AMERICAN.EDU/CAS/CONNECTIONS | FALL 2011
An Artful Gift
Research Two Go
A New Ethical Economics
Public Health Gets Real
Here Comes the Sun
Letter from the Dean
On the Cover
Sigalit Landau // Dead See. 2005 // Photograph
Publisher: College of Arts and Sciences // Dean: Peter Starr // Managing Editor: Mary Schellinger // Writers: Maggie Barrett, Josh Halpren, Kaitie O’Hare, Charles Spencer // Editor: Ali Kahn, UP // Designer: Nicky Lehming // Webmaster: Thomas Meal // Senior Advisor: Mary Schellinger // Send news items and comments to Abbey Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org
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INNOVATIVE. PASSIONATE. VISIONARY. INSPIRED. COMMITTED. CURIOUS. All of these
adjectives describe the faculty, students, and alumni, good citizens all, whose stories are featured in this issue of Connections. No one exemplified the model citizen like Jack Child, who was passionate about the study of Latin America and its language. His influence and tenacity continue to enrich our community. Aaron Bell shares Jack’s passion as he travels across state and national borders researching this country’s involvement in El Salvador’s civil war. Curiosity is the lifeblood of an academic community. It drives U. J. Sofia, newly appointed associate dean for research, to measure changes in the sun. And it motivates Colin Saldanha, who joins the university this year, to study how the effects of estrogen on the minds of songbirds might inform the way we treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke patients. Martha Starr’s interest in the consequences of the current recession inspired her to compile reflections by leading economists whose views depart from economics as usual. Carly Kinney is blending majors in statistics and political science with an eye toward a career as a pollster. Curiosity also drives a psychic teenage investigator—the protagonist in MFA alumna Jennifer Allison’s riveting mystery series. And across campus, faculty and students with penetrating research questions are pairing up to find answers. Giving back to the community is what fuels some. Don Rothfeld envisions his gift of Israeli art as enriching both the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center and the dialogue on political issues involving Israel, inspired by programs at the museum and AU’s Center for Israel Studies. Mary Margaret Whipple may be stepping down from a successful political career, but she continues to work to improve the lives of fellow Arlingtonians. Others act as the role models themselves, putting their expertise to work to teach students what it takes to be a good citizen. Our new undergraduate programs in public health, launched this fall, offer students the fundamentals so they can go on to seek innovative solutions to this growing global issue. In his new book, Carl Menninger offers guidance on what it takes to balance the artistic and business aspects of an acting career. We are pleased to share these stories with you—and invite you to share your stories with us. Happy reading,
Peter Starr Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
AMERICAN.EDU/CAS/CONNECTIONS | FALL 2011
Letter from the Dean An Artful Gift 2 Rothfeld Collection of Contemporary Israeli Art donated to AU Museum
Birdbrained Study 4 Biology professor Colin Saldanha studies the effects of hormones on the brains of songbirds
Public Health Gets Real 4 New interdisciplinary degrees marry hard and social sciences
Research Two Go 6 Faculty-student collaborations gain fuel across campus
Here Comes the Sun 10 Physics department chair U. J. Sofia’s lofty new solar study
Jennifer Allison’s Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator 11 Successful mystery series launches alumna author’s career
Remembering Jack Child 12 Tribute to beloved and innovative language and foreign studies professor
A New Ethical Economics 14 Economics professor Martha Starr’s new book makes case for an ethics code in the field
Sum of the Parts 15 Junior Carly Kinney finds she can have it all in her future career
Mind the Edge 16 Theatre and dance director Carl Menninger’s self-help guide for young actors
Alum Profile: Mary Margaret Whipple 17 A public service wonk for people and the planet
The Road Taken 18 PhD history candidate Aaron Bell’s excellent dissertation adventure
New Faculty 19 Achievements 21
THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY MUSEUM at the Kat-
zen Arts Center recently received a major gift from New York collector Donald Rothfeld. The Rothfeld Collection of Contemporary Israeli Art features 151 pieces of contemporary, 2
mixed-media Israeli art and it comes with the Rothfeld Fund, a $50,000 endowed gift to support maintenance and exhibition costs. “In its first six years, the American University Museum has focused on international art, and
particularly on contemporary art from the Middle East, already presenting major exhibitions from Syria, Lebanon, and Israel,” said Jack Rasmussen, the museum’s director and curator. “The Rothfeld gift helps us build a collection
that will encourage this continuing discussion of ideas, beliefs, and values in the region—exactly what is needed today.” The collection, a virtual chronicle of Israel’s history, includes the work of prominent and emerging Israeli artists, including
noted painter Moshe Kupferman, a Holocaust survivor and a founder of Lohamei Hagetaot (a kibbutz in northern Israel that commemorates Jews who resisted Nazism). Also represented in the collection are artists Yael Bartana, Sigalit Landau,
Rona Yefman. Martha Double Jew. 2008. C-print
by Maggie Barrett
Sigalit Landau. Dead See. 2005. Photograph
Artful Gift An
and Elad Lassry, who recently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; all three were featured at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Rothfeld gave the collection to the American University Museum, the largest university affiliated art museum in the D.C. metro area, to inspire dialogue about political issues involving Israel. AU is home to the Center for Israel Studies (CIS), whose mission is to present the creative and intellectual contributions of modern Israel in the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The university offers an undergraduate minor in Israel studies, one of the premier programs of its kind in the United States, focused on the nation’s history, unique political democracy, multicultural society, economic development, immigrant absorption, and international contributions. “When I decided to gift the collection, I felt that the work should be gifted to a non-Jewish [or] -Israeli affiliated institution. I wanted the artists’ work out there— to be seen, discussed, and compared with that of their peers across the globe,” Rothfeld said. “When I learned about AU’s Israel studies program and met the staff, I was convinced that this was the right venue for the work. The beauty of the Katzen Arts Center and the Washington, D.C., location
Pavel Wolberg. Jenin. 2001. C-print
arts Tal Shochat. Crazy Tree (Detail). 2005. Photograph
“The Rothfeld gift helps us build a collection that will encourage this continuing discussion of ideas, beliefs, and values in the region— exactly what is needed today.” — Jack Rasmussen made it a slam dunk.” The gift also honors Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and an acquaintance of Rothfeld.
The museum will show works from the Rothfeld collection in exhibitions and in conjunction with events cosponsored by the museum and CIS. 3
by Charles Spencer
Public Health Gets Real by Josh Halpren
BIOLOGIST COLIN SALDANHA
is interested in how hormones, estrogen in particular, are delivered to the right place at the right time to regulate neural structure and function. Songbirds, which make up about half of Earth’s 9,000 bird species, turn out to be the perfect subjects to study this phenomenon. They need to learn a specific song, and in spring parts of their brains actually double in size. Estrogen contributes to this brain plasticity, and it also slows degeneration when the birds’ brains are injured. Such findings are why Saldanha has devoted his career to understanding the mechanisms of hormone production, function, and delivery. “One thing that our research has discovered is that the enzyme that makes estrogen is localized to very specific portions of nerve cells, and our big surprise was that individual synapses are capable of synthesizing estrogen,” he said. The most recent description of his research findings appears in 4
“Our big surprise was that individual synapses are capable of synthesizing estrogen.” — Colin Saldanha
two coauthored articles: “Synaptocrine Signaling: Steroid Synthesis and Action at the Synapse,” Endocrine Reviews (2011) and “Intracerebral Estrogen Provision Increases Neurogenesis and Cell Proliferation in the Injured Zebra Finch Brain,” Developmental Neurobiology (2011). His research could have important implications in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has awarded him about $3.2 million in grants to investigate neuroplasticity. This fall Saldanha is setting up his lab, but in general he will teach courses in endocrinology and sexual determination and differentiation.
MAINTAINING AND improv-
ing public health is one of the great mandates of our time, both in the United States and abroad. In this spirit and context, the committee charged with creating AU’s newest major, within the College of Arts and Sciences, delivered its baby. The new program offers a BA, a BS, and a minor in public health. The BA focuses on the social sciences aspect
of public health (e.g., prevention and community health), and the BS on the science, including biostatistics, advanced work in epidemiology, and infectious disease. Interdisciplinary at its core, the public health program pulls courses from each of the university’s schools and college. Across campus, more than 70 AU faculty members currently conduct research
related to health or teach courses in the field. “We hope to engage many different types of students,” says Lynne Arneson, interim program director and a member of the original committee. It’s already happening. Public health is attracting premedical students, as well as those with interests in global health, advocacy, and environmental health. “I love public health
because it incorporates so many fields,” explains sophomore Tahmina Ahmed, CAS ’14, who dreams of working as a pediatrician for Doctors Without Borders and community health organizations in her native New York. Ahmed wants to complement her physical science course work with classes in other disciplines to ensure adequate preparation for her career. “Politics,
history, gender roles, religion, and cultural perceptions all impact health.” Haley Lynn, CAS ’14, spent her first year in the School of International Service but changed her major to public health after she discovered the program. Lynn’s goal is to promote healthy lifestyles at both the grassroots and public policy levels. “Providing [health] education and easy-toaccess resources for
“Providing [health] education and easyto-access resources for people of all socioeconomic levels is imperative for our nation to prosper.” — Haley Lynn people on all socioeconomic levels is imperative for our nation to prosper,” says Lynn. She hopes to get involved with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and other obesity prevention efforts. “Informing others about easy ways to live a healthy lifestyle is what I am truly passionate about.” “What sets our program apart from other public health programs,” explains Arneson, “is that it teaches students the basics and also allows them to develop their passions.” Students take classes in global health, health science, social and community health, and policy, program planning, and evaluation, ultimately choosing one area of concentration. “We hope to use this major to make a good connection between the hard sciences and the social sciences,” says Arneson. AU’s program is also unique in that it requires students to participate in
interdisciplinary Photo by Annie Adam (Uganda)
internships and experiential learning opportunities. Partnerships with public health institutions and NGOs in the D.C. metropolitan area provide quality internships and research opportunities for students. In addition, AU offers study abroad programs specifically for public health students. “Public health is a practical type of major,” says Arneson. “It’s all about applying knowledge.” “We can pump billions of dollars into our economy to create jobs,” says Lynn. “But who will fill those positions when so many people are not healthy? A change needs to start from the ground up.” Ahmed agrees, “It’s imperative,” she says, “for doctors to realize that giving advice and medication is not the only solution. They can be advocates for their patients through real change in the public health system and community.” 5
IMAGINE MILLIONS of
by Kaitie O’Hare
ON A BUSY CAMPUS like American University, it is sometimes a challenge to stay abreast of all the research being conducted by students and faculty. The College of Arts and Sciences alone has 17 departments, and the range of research is broad and impressive. Four professors and their students discuss their collaborations here.
professor in the Department of Biology, is paying forward the positive undergraduate experience she had at Bucknell University: She’s opened her visual neuroscience laboratory to interested students, giving them the opportunity to conduct independent research in her area. “I think the hands-on experimental aspect of science is very important,” she says. “It allows students to learn laboratory techniques and to apply and ‘see’ concepts they have read about and learned about in the classroom.” Connaughton and her students, undergraduate and graduate, are currently testing zebrafish retinas for exposure to different compounds like nicotine and glucose. The latter induces hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, which, in humans with diabetes, can cause 6
retinal complications. The goal is to develop a new model, using zebrafish, to observe the effects of prolonged hyperglycemia on the retina. Data from the research serves as the basis of a proposal that will be submitted to NIH before the end of the year. “There are zebrafish mutants with visual system defects localized to the retina, and some of these defects are characterized by symptoms that are similar to those seen in humans with specific visual problems, such as night blindness,” says Connaughton. Her students are also conducting experiments on sewage waste and runoff in natural habitats to see how human-ingested chemicals affect animal life. For this study, they are monitoring exposures of fluoxetine (Prozac). “In many cases, it is not known what effect
these chemicals have on the animals, such as fish, that inhabit the contaminated streams and lakes. If we know what the concentrations of contaminants are in those streams, we can perform lab studies to determine the chemical’s effects,” she says. While Connaughton continues to seek answers to her research questions, she never loses sight of her ultimate goal as a professor: to influence and expand the minds of her students. Lindsey Nugent, a recent graduate and former student of Connaughton, says that the mentoring opportunity was a primary reason she enrolled at AU. During the two years she spent in the lab as a grad student, Nugent used Connaughton’s retinal slice preparation to isolate the eyes and retinas of cavefish and examine neuronal cells. She attributes her success to Connaughton. “As scientists we
love facts and figures, but the thing about research is that anything can happen. You will have many more failed experiments than successful ones, but it’s those successes that keep you going,” says
Nugent. “[Connaughton] pushed me so hard during graduate school, but she did so with comfort and respect. I was ready to quit a couple of times when it seemed like I would never get results, but she kept me going.” Photo by Vanessa Robertson
“I think the hands-on experimental aspect of science is very important.” — Victoria Connaughton
square feet filled with paperwork from decades of bankruptcy court cases. Daunting, right? It’s a challenge facing the National Archives. Economics professor Mary Hansen is homing in on the challenge and putting her students to work researching the underlying issue that is front and center in today’s economy: debt. Hansen’s recent grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking supports her study of changes in bankruptcy law from 1940 to 2000, and in particular how women’s indebtedness has changed during that time. “A lot of interesting changes happened in the middle of that time period,” Hansen says. “The most important thing was that the participation of women [in the labor force] about doubled. You would expect the changing economic role of women to be reflected in their access to credit markets, in their rates of indebtedness.” This rate of indebtedness is what Hansen hopes to measure, with input from her students. They will be closely examining original court documents from bankruptcy cases to measure changes in debt by gender over time. Hansen was drawn to the topic because of her interest in economic, legal, and social
history. She is particularly excited to explore a topic that has been only narrowly covered in the past but offers insight into our current economic situation. While managing what she refers to as “largescale archival work,” Hansen wants to ensure that her students take from the experience a new understanding of bankruptcy law and a new perspective on the research process in economics and history. They are assigned tasks relevant to their experience, interests, and academic focus. All of them, however, get to participate in the hard work: photographing and filing each document. The next step will be to identify trends and decipher meaning to better understand the complexities of women’s indebtedness. “These students will know where the numbers come from. Being part of that datagenerating process is exciting for them, knowing that they’re contributing to knowledge that no one had ever put together before,” says Hansen. While the process benefits her students, Hansen gets satisfaction from observing them find meaning in the documents. She hopes that some students will use the data for their capstone topics. “Students get a real sense that economics
Photo by Vanessa Robertson
Research Two Go
“Being part of that datagenerating process is exciting for [the students], knowing that they’re contributing to knowledge that no one had ever put together before.” — Mary Hansen is history, when it boils down to it. It’s a reflection of people’s lives;
it’s the foundation of people’s everyday struggles,” she says.
“Watching students do that is a really rewarding experience.” 7
PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR Anthony Riley has
By understanding the mechanisms, he says, he is able to determine how various drugs affect the body. “I can see how alcohol and cocaine interact,” he says. “I can understand what parts of the brain might be involved. It’s a difference between basic research and applied research.” With so much ground to cover, Riley relies on the help of his students—11 altogether. “I’ve got many students, and each is doing
Photo Vanessa Robertson
implemented a less conventional approach to doing research with his students: Rather than inviting them to work on his projects, he encourages them to develop their own studies. In his lab. Under his supervision. In 35 years of teaching, Riley has published with every student who
has ever worked with him in the psychopharmacology laboratory. After they graduate, he continues to work with them to secure jobs in the field of psychology. “I see myself as a trainer and as a mentor,” he says. “I want them to be equally creative and passionate, to have a topic that they enjoy, that they want to pursue— and that they can have
the intellectual freedom to pursue a topic that simply excites them.” Riley and his students are currently exploring ways in which drugs interact with each other, how drugs affect certain areas of the brain, how adolescents react differently to drugs, and more. He is interested in the mechanisms of drug intake and abuse, and he hopes that his research may contribute to the development of new treatment methods.
“We’re allowed to generate our own ideas here; we don’t get handed a project.” — Katie Serafine 8
something different in that analysis,” he says. For example, one student is looking at the mechanisms of the aversive effects commonly associated with abused drugs, as well as using neurobiological assays, or measurements of drug activity, in the brain to study which components and pathways are affected by the drugs. Another student is analyzing how drug history can affect drug vulnerability and abuse liability. Riley’s students appreciate his dedication to their research and also his flexibility. Katie Serafine, a doctoral student in behavior, cognition, and neuroscience, says the ability to choose her assignments is what keeps her focused on the work she’s doing with Riley. “We’re allowed to generate our own ideas here; we don’t get handed a project. I’ve never had to run an experiment that I wasn’t interested in.” Riley says he always looks forward to what the next batch of young minds might contribute to his research. “I hope [the future] holds the same as the past: that I continue to have the bright students around me, the support of the university, and the ability to pursue what I’m interested in. I have my own intellectual curiosity, and watching students understand and process these issues and take off on their own is really rewarding.”
STATISTICS YEARS AGO, a gradu-
ate data analysis course lit a fire inside statistics professor Betty Malloy, and she’s been burning for more ever since. “I had so much fun playing with data,” she says. She’s looking to pass along that same sense of fun and fire to her students any way she can, particularly by giving them opportunities to engage in research. For Malloy, statistics isn’t just about crunching numbers: it’s about looking for data trends and creating models to reveal information about anything from elephant fertility to traffic pollution. “Every day you wonder what it is you get to do that day, what you’re going to discover,” she says. “Whether it’s a small discovery or you end up with a dead end, it doesn’t matter. You always have this little bit of excitement, and you feel like high-fiving someone sometimes.” Those high-five moments are what keep her busy working on so many projects, including analyzing auto workers’ health risks, a project she has been working on since 2004. The General Motors United Auto Workers Study has Malloy and her students analyzing data from the National Cancer Institute to create models that assess health risks associated with hazardous working
conditions. More than 40,000 employees were sampled across a span of 70-plus years. The study focuses on exposure to auto plant chemicals, which can cause disease and cancer. Malloy is trying to determine just how dangerous these chemicals can be to the overall health of the plant workers. “It’s a really rich data set,” she says. “There are lots of measurements, lots of different outcomes measured, and lots of different exposures that [researchers] have estimated. It’s just a goldmine of information.” Malloy and her students have seen some strange trends in their data that at first appear abnormal but make sense after careful thought. “It’s interesting that a lot of times you see a downturn at the higher exposure, which would imply that the more you’re exposed to the chemicals, the less you’re at risk. This is counterintuitive,” she says. “The unhealthy workers get sick earlier at lower exposures and drop out [of the work force], and you have what’s called the ‘healthy worker survivor effect.’ People who are really healthy continue working at higher exposures, and it makes it seem like these exposures aren’t bad for you.” Working with these data has also been a joy for Malloy’s students.
Photo by Kaitie O’Hare
“Every day you wonder what it is you get to do that day, what you’re going to discover.” — Betty Malloy “Betty’s great—she’s just too modest to say so,” jokes Philip Gautier, a recent graduate and research assistant to Malloy. “I’m learning about techniques that are common and broad. There’s so many that you can’t cover everything in your course work, so there’re a number that I’m learning from scratch in the research with Betty.” Gautier meets with Malloy to discuss theories and methodologies associated with the
study and implement them in programs that they design to catch data trends. They look at simulation studies and they talk about what works—and what doesn’t work—in their data and programs. Currently, they’re drafting a research paper about their results. After their close collaboration on the auto workers study, they will have to pursue their joint research from a distance: Gautier began
his doctoral studies at Purdue University this fall. But after working with so many research assistants over the years, Malloy regards goodbyes as a bittersweet aspect of her career. “There always seem to be new things to find out and new people to work with, who bring in questions and make me think about things in new ways,” she says. “We just have really good students. I feel really lucky.” 9
Jennifer Allison’s Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Kaitie O’Hare
“We don’t understand what carbon dioxide, methane, and other pollutants are doing to our climate until we understand what the sun is doing.” — U. J. Sofia U. J. SOFIA, chair of the
Department of Physics, sits down at a table in his office, as usual. It’s two years to the day since he began his career at American University. Sofia takes a moment to look around the room, decorated with all manner of artifacts and trinkets, including a massive inflatable globe that hangs above his desk. He’s had a good two years, he acknowledges. And now, he’s launching his third year at AU as the first associate dean for research. Sofia is not new to research. He has been actively involved in more than two dozen
funded research projects, and his list of publications and presentations is even longer. Science runs in his family. His father is also an astrophysicist, whose work shaped Sofia’s life at a young age. “My earliest datable memory is being at the launch of Apollo 11. I was actually at the Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the first spacecraft where people landed on the moon,” he says. “I was just a bit over two years old, and I still remember my dad holding my hand and leaning over to me and saying, ‘Remember this, you want to remember this.’ And I do. I
From The Bones of the Holy cover art
Here Comes the by Kaitie O’Hare
remember the rocket going up, feeling the pulse of the engines.” Now, as his father retires from Yale University, Sofia takes over the family trade. His current project—in collaboration with the University of Maryland–College Park and the University of Maryland–Baltimore County—is the establishment of the Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute, where he and colleagues will study effects of the sun on the earth and other planets in our solar system. “It’s actually a very good thing for the department overall, so we’re very excited about it. This gives us a very tangible connection to NASA,” he says. To conduct his research, Sofia will utilize a device designed by his father called a Solar Disk Sextant (SDS). The SDS has the capability to take precise measurements of the sun, even
changes in its apparent size over a 20-minute span of time. A nearspace instrument, it will be mounted for flight on an 11 million cubic-foot balloon at an altitude of 120,000 feet (that’s nearly 100,000 feet above the altitude at which commercial airplanes fly). The balloon, says Sofia, is “unfathomably large.” Sofia’s contribution to the project will be to program the SDS, as well as the PICARD satellite, launched by France in 2010, to gather information about the sun—size, temperature, energy output, and more—over the next three years. “Basically, we don’t understand what carbon dioxide, methane, and other pollutants are doing to our climate until we understand what the sun is doing. That is a fundamental piece of the model that is missing, and we’re hoping to provide that fundamental piece,” he says.
HIGH SCHOOLER Gilda Joyce,
psychic investigator, knows the signal: an itch in her left ear followed by a communication from the “other side.” And then there are the creepy crimes to which she finds herself drawn to solve. A strange life indeed for a somewhat quirky teenager, but her future is written—for now, anyway, according to her creator Jennifer Allison, MFA creative writing ’98, who is five books into the Gilda Joyce series (the first was published in 2005). Here’s the backstory: Gilda has been honing her psychic skills to communicate with her recently deceased father. But her clairvoyance also gets her entangled in a series of mysteries involving both the living and the dead. In the latest book, The Bones of the Holy, Gilda travels to St. Augustine, Florida, where her mother is about to remarry —the prospective husband is an antiques dealer, who seems to be harboring some ghostly secrets in his historic house. Allison began the Gilda Joyce series after working a long and varied string of jobs, including a stint as a shopping mall pianist.
When the dot-com she was working for went under and she found herself with time on her hands, she turned to what she loved doing most: writing. And so the Edgar Awardnominated series was born. The first book, Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator, is set in San Francisco, where Allison was living at the time. Subsequent books follow Gilda around the country and abroad, always to places where Allison has lived or visited. “I need to be able to really picture where and when things are happening, and setting things in places that I know in pretty intimate detail helps me know my story,” she explains. “Some little nuggets of history are woven in there. I find it interesting to do that; I think it inspires me. When I’m in a place, I think of events that could have happened in that location. The places are almost characters in the books because they have so much influence on what happens.” Like Gilda Joyce—who is always typing spy reports, writing in her journal, or writing novels in her spare time—many of her fans are young writers. “Lots
of the readers love that Gilda’s a writer herself,” says Allison. “A lot of [them] feel this connection to the main character. They’re great readers, they’re really smart, they’re increasingly younger and younger.” A self-described literacy activist, Allison enjoys connecting to her readers in the classroom. “I’m really interested in literacy in our country and how to get kids more access to books and help them find books that they really enjoy reading,” she says. “There are too many situations where kids don’t have access to those books. I find it gratifying that my values are in line with what I work on.” She has created an interactive website with a section for teachers who are using the books in class. The teacher’s guide features questions for discussion, creative art projects, and suggestions for writing exercises. Allison intends to write at least one more Gilda Joyce book. “Grand plans for the future are to find a conclusion for the Gilda Joyce series, whether it’s one book or three more books, and to have a sense that the reader can journey through them and reach a conclusion.” She’s currently working on a children’s picture book about her life as a mother of three. “It’s very humorous and based on things that my kids have inspired—things that are annoying at the time, but funny later,” she says. Allison is also interested in switching genres and maybe writing a play some day. “I’d like to keep growing in other areas,” she says. www.gildajoyce.com 11
Photo by Jeff Watts
by Charles Spencer
Jack Child, who died June 18 at age 73 after complications related to open-heart surgery, had an eclectic list of passions. Penguins. Antarctica. Latin American postage stamps. More importantly he leaves behind no shortage of friends who admired his innovative approaches to teaching and his devotion to his students and colleagues. Child came to American University first as a graduate student, earning master’s and doctorate degrees in international relations from the School of International Service. He joined SIS as an assistant dean in 1980, and later moved to the College of Arts and Sciences. There he taught in the Department of Language and Foreign Studies. “Jack was an exceptional scholar and colleague and a wonderfully interesting, multifaceted human being. His passing leaves an enormous hole in the department, college, and university,” CAS dean Peter Starr noted. As assistant dean, Child played an important role at SIS, said former SIS dean Lou Goodman. After his move to CAS, “his ties to SIS never abated, and he was beloved by all the faculty here. He was named faculty of the year at SIS a few years ago.” Child had a fascinating background: Born in Buenos Aires, he lived with his American parents
in South America for 18 years. After graduating from Yale with a degree in communication engineering, he joined the U.S. Army, where he served for 20 years as a Latin American specialist. He retired as a lieutenant colonel. He was still on active duty when he earned his graduate degrees from AU. “He was just a wonderful scholar, a wonderful colleague who, in a way, anchored the Latin American studies
community here,” Goodman said. “Every semester he would, on his own, publish who was taking what courses and send it out to everyone who taught about Latin America to keep the community together.” Goodman noted that Child was also the pioneering director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. “He was the model teacher using technology in the classroom in ways that just entranced
students,” Goodman said. Child’s research focused on cultural studies and conflict resolution in Latin America, with a focus on Antarctica and the Falklands. Child also loved to get out of the classroom: He was the guest lecturer and guide on 14 expedition cruises to Antarctica and the surrounding vicinity. And his boundless enthusiasm for penguins captured attention as well. His books also reflect
his eclectic interests. Among his publications: Miniature Messages: The Semiotics of Latin American Postage Stamps; Latin American History through Its Art and Literature; and Antarctica and South American Geopolitics: Frozen Lebensraum. “Jack was a militant Latin Americanist, deeply committed to teaching and scholarship,” said Amy Oliver, chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion and
Photo courtesy of Jack Child
His Memory Lives On A generous supporter of American University over the years, Jack Child justified his giving quite simply: “All in all, AU has been a part of my life for many years, and through my support I hope to remain a part of AU’s
for many years to come.” Child’s generosity extended to both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of International Service. The building housing the Department of Language and Foreign Studies
(LFS) was dedicated as Jack Child Hall to recognize his commitment to that department. An endowed fund, the Jack Child Faculty Development Award, is being established to help build camaraderie in LFS.
professor of Spanish and Latin American studies. “His tireless efforts toward Latin American studies and American University have greatly improved both. Perhaps most of all, I remember how beautifully he treated every person he came in contact with at AU.”
Adapted from “Jack Child Leaves Behind Devoted Friends,” american.edu/ americantoday/campusnews/20110621Jack-Child.cfm
Child intended the balance of the funds designated for the College to support Spanish and Latin American studies operations. A permanently endowed Jack Child Spanish and Latin American Studies Fund will provide additional resources to faculty in the field to enrich their teaching, reflecting Child’s passion for his discipline. The fund will also set up an annual prize for two outstanding students—a graduate and an undergraduate—in the field. SIS will benefit through support for their fine new building, as well as funds to supplement the annual Harold E. Davis/John Finan Prize for outstanding student work in Latin American studies and create an endowed fund for scholarships and fellowships for undergraduates and graduates in the field. In addition to monetary gifts, Child left a collection of academic and cultural materials to be used as resources in Spanish and Latin American studies.
A New Ethical
Illustration by Branden Vondrak
by Maggie Barrett
“We need to consider these other issues if we hope to prevent crises and downturns like this in the future.” — Martha Starr DO ECONOMISTS need
a code of ethics? That’s a question not often asked in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the great recession that followed. But should it be? Economics professor Martha Starr, editor of the new book, Consequences of Economic Downturn: Beyond the Usual Economics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), believes we should be asking this 14
question—and more like it. The book, a collection of essays by Starr and other economists, explores the ethical, as well as the social, political, cultural, and educational, questions behind the crisis and downturn. “We need to consider these other issues if we hope to prevent crises and downturns like this in the future,” said Starr, associate professor of economics
and former Federal Reserve economist. After the crisis, many people wondered why influential economic policymakers failed to act despite all the warning signs. Starr says it could be partly because economists have no code of conduct or ethical guidelines to ensure that they use their professional skills in the public interest. “Unlike almost any other
academic profession— statisticians, mathematicians, physicists, sociologists, you name it—economists have always opposed adopting an ethical code.” The result? Little or no incentive to spot and thwart developments that could (and did) spiral out of control and cause hardship for people, particularly the economically disadvantaged and average working Americans. George DeMartino of the University of Denver writes in his essay that such a code of conduct would oversimplify the complex ethical situations that economists face. Alternatively, he suggests establishing a field of professional
economics ethics to study how economists should approach particular situations. “A well-written code could make people think hard before, for instance, accepting $135,000 in speaker’s fees from an investment bank—and then giving that investment bank privileged access to the White House,” said Starr, referring to the relationship between Goldman Sachs and Lawrence Summers, then top White House economic adviser, in 2008. Another essay focuses on why organizations once considered too big to fail took on such risky investments in the first place. Risky investments,
of course, present the greatest opportunities for high returns; the reward is supposed to be tied to the risk. But, says Starr, in contemporary American capitalism, risk and reward have been effectively divorced, particularly for those with money and power. “Numerous laws, practices, policies, and institutions enable the wealthy and powerful to push risks off themselves and onto others—especially the unsuspecting taxpayer,” Starr said. Take the concept of limited liability, which protects investors from losing more than they invested in a venture. While it was designed to foster new business by protecting investors if a venture failed, it created a screen behind which people could set aside returns while they were accumulating new wealth. If things turned sour, investors could keep the returns they had earned and saved. When the boom-time bubble burst, the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program shifted the risks onto taxpayers. “Not only had the average American not agreed to take on these risks and had not benefited from the outsized gains,” said Starr, “but they also bore most of the costs of the downturn through lost jobs, homes, home equity, and retirement savings.” That’s what motivates Starr to keep asking those questions.
Sum of the Parts “Electoral politics and statistics go hand in hand because polling is such an integral part of the election process.” — Carly Kinney WHEN JUNIOR CARLY KINNEY,
CAS ’13, graduated from high school, she vowed that she was done with math—forever. She was on course for a career in political science. But halfway through her freshman year, she found she kind of missed the quantitative work. So she signed up for a statistics class. And then another. “I’ve found that I like the statistics classes much more than I thought I would,” says Kinney. And so she devised a rather unusual way to combine her interests: double major in statistics and political science. The point of convergence? In a word, polling. Kinney refers to it as an art. Her career plans now involve elections and public opinion polling. “Electoral politics and statistics go hand in hand because polling is such an integral part of the election process,” she says. “I’m really interested in elections, so the fact that an election cycle comes around every other year keeps me
interested in political science. It changes the politics at every election—which means I never get bored.” If Kinney was apprehensive about the demands of a double major leaving no time for other activities, like studying abroad and interning and all of the other things going on around campus, she will be able to say she did it all by the time she graduates. She’s studying abroad in Rome for her fall semester, and she completed her second internship this summer working in the public affairs department at Ipsos, a market research company. “They do a lot of polls, they do corporate reputation studies and different studies for different entities, and I think that’s really interesting because they [do] a lot of statistical analysis,” she says. “I’d love to work more with election polls in the future, perhaps at a research company like Ipsos that designs and conducts them. It seems like a perfect mix of my political
by Kaitie O’Hare
interests and statistics, so I think I’d really enjoy it.” Her first internship was in the polling department at Huffington Post, where she compiled polls and analyzed trends. “You can hardly read a story about any national election without getting some kind of polling results,” she says. “I love being able to follow that closely and delve deeper into what the polls say, and my internships so far have only strengthened that love. At both the Huffington Post and Ipsos, I’ve gotten to meet and work with people who use political polls in their daily work, which has been amazing and a lot of fun.” Kinney admits that it all can be a bit overwhelming at times. “Coordinating my classes is definitely the biggest challenge of studying both political science and statistics,” she says. “I’m lucky because political science is a large department, which means that there are a lot of different classes that I can fit around my required statistics classes. So juggling the two majors can be done with careful planning.” Kinney says she would love to be able to use her career to advance social issues she cares about, like gay rights. “I’m not sure how I could use statistics to contribute to that cause,” she says, “but if I got the chance to do so, I’d definitely take it.”
humanities Photo by Jeff Watts
E G ED
CARL MENNINGER studied
theatre at Northwestern University and Emerson College, whose graduates are fixtures in show business. But when it came to the business half of the profession, like most newly minted actors he was woefully unprepared. To help other young actors avoid that experience, AU’s director of theatre, musical theatre, and dance cowrote Minding the Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor (Waveland, 2011) with award-winning actress Lori Hammel. Though it’s aimed at young actors, Minding the Edge is a useful self-help guide for all creative artists. Its exercises help artists define their ambitions 16
and talents and guide them toward mastering the business end of any creative profession. According to Menninger and Hammel, there are really three edges that need minding: The “abyss” is something you don’t want to fall into. For an actor, that can mean focusing on your goals and not becoming so comfortable with a day job and social life that your true work begins to suffer. “If you’re not minding that edge, you go into free fall—and the next thing you know, at 30, you’re still waiting tables; you haven’t spent the energy and time pursuing your goal,” Menninger said. “Keep your edge” translates to “staying on top of your game.” That
might mean taking voice or dance lessons, or persistently auditioning for parts, whether they’re dream roles or not. Don’t be an “edgy person.” Most people want to avoid highmaintenance diva types, so “don’t become the gossip, the person who snaps at people, the toxic presence in the room,” Menninger cautioned. Which brings us to Neg-a-Tors, defined by Menninger and Hammel as: “external negative forces, people, thoughts, and opinions that bring us down.” How do you deal with these negative forces? “We come across them all the time, and they’re tough. I try to kill it with kindness because it irritates them,” Menninger
Photo courtesy of Mary Margaret Whipple
e h t d n i M
by Charles Spencer
said. “If you find yourself thinking, ‘That positive guy really irritates me,’ you’d better ask yourself, how ridiculous is that?” “Artists can be very self-absorbed. To some extent you have to be; you’re fighting your own fight out there,” he said. “Remembering that everyone, including you, is contributing to a larger whole in creative endeavors requires a shift in mind-set.” Because a creative artist’s work life is less formally structured than most other professions, finding the self-discipline to be proactive about your career after college (going to audition after audition, spending the time to make contacts after a day’s work) goes against a lifetime of conditioning. From
IF YOU WERE to describe Virginia
the time you start acting, you’re in a “reactive paradigm—you master tasks, await assessment, enjoy successes as you master harder and harder tasks—but you’re always reacting.” Then you graduate from college and “everything changes, you become a business owner,” Menninger noted. “That’s really what an actor is, a business owner. That takes a discipline of thought and action.” It comes down to motivation. You have to ask the “important questions, like: ‘Who am I?’ ‘What is it I’m selling?’ and ‘What’s motivating me to do this?’ That’s the big question.” If you answer money or celebrity, you’re probably in the wrong business.
“If you’re not minding that edge, you go into free fall — and the next thing you know, at 30, you’re still waiting tables; you haven’t spent the energy and time pursuing your goal.” — Carl Menninger “Money is nice, but you’ll get derailed if your motivation isn’t, ‘This is what I love and when I’m doing it I’m in the zone; when I’m doing it I feel creative, smart,
engaged, empowered,’” Menninger said. “If that’s not what’s driving you to be an artist of any kind, it’s going to be harder— unless you get an incredibly lucky break.”
State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple in a word, this might be it: humanitarian. Born in Watseka, Illinois, Whipple grew up in College Station, Texas. She attended Rice University, received her BA in English from AU (in 1961), and earned a master’s from George Washington University. Whipple has long been dedicated to improving the welfare and future of young people. A former instructor at Northern Virginia Community College, she began her career in public service as a volunteer at her daughters’ schools. In 1976 she was appointed to the Arlington County School Board and became chair in 1978. Committed to change, she ran for office and was elected to the Arlington County Board in 1983, serving until 1995. During her tenure, Whipple represented Arlington on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors in 1985 and from 1988 through 1995, when she was elected to the state senate. “I felt that my strong ties and valuable experiences in the local communities while on the County Board,” said Whipple, “would allow me to help make decisions
Mary Margaret Whipple by Yuri Ozeryan
that would improve the lives of the people. I knew firsthand how they would be affected through the various programs.” Whipple represents the 31st district in the Virginia State Senate, which includes Arlington County north of Columbia Pike, the City of Falls Church, and eight precincts in eastern Fairfax County. Known for her environmental support and legislation, Whipple is a three-time recipient of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Legislator of the Year Award—in 1998, 2000, and 2009. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arlington Community Foundation and an Honorary Member of the Board of Scenic Virginia. She also is a member of the Arlington branch of the American Association of University Women, the Arlington Kiwanis Club, the League of Women Voters, the Arlington Historical Society, the Committee of 100, and the Arlington County, Virginia, Commission on Aging. Four terms after she arrived in Richmond, Whipple announced that she would retire in 2011. She will remain active in the Arlington Community Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to students pursuing higher education. 17
new faculty // notables
IN 1992, El Salvador
ended nearly 50 years of military control and fighting. The peace came about with substantial intervention from the United States during the nation’s 12-year-long civil war. Aaron Bell, U.S. history doctoral candidate, is taking his personal interest in U.S.–Latin relations to new academic heights as the topic of his dissertation; he’s also taken it on the road. Bell’s research has entailed an extensive journey around this country and to Central America to unearth information about the role of the United States in providing aid to Salvadoran political parties, like Alianza 18
Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), during the 1980–92 civil war. “I’m really interested in Latin America’s history in the past 100 years,” he says, “because there have been so many struggles through democratic and revolutionary means over what I think are really essential questions about how human societies should function.” He’s particularly interested in looking at the extent of this country’s power in Latin American affairs and the impact of that influence on the region’s citizens and governments. “The U.S. has had a tremendous amount of influence in the region, and it’s interesting
to me to see how our country has understood those struggles and interacted with a variety of political and social movements,” he says. “I feel like there’s conflict between our espoused values and more practical concerns—or at least what policymakers have believed to be practical concerns.” Bell spent two months in El Salvador, an academic payoff during which he hoped to open more doors. “Going down there gave me this chance to talk and work with historians to get their perspectives on things and see the circles they’ve uncovered that I wouldn’t even know
Photo by Jeff Watts
“It’s apparent that at American, growing the sciences and building a strong science program is a priority, and that’s impressive.”
—Gregory Harry Photo by Jeff Watts
Assistant Professor, Performing Arts »» PhD music, University of California–Berkeley »» MA music, University of California–Berkeley »» BA music, Swarthmore College
Assistant Professor, Physics »» PhD physics, University of Maryland »» MS physics, University of Maryland »» BS physics, California Institute of Technology Harry’s research focuses on astrophysics, thermal noise, and gravitational wave detection, which will one day provide scientists with a new way of studying the universe.
Her areas of interest are ethnomusicology, North Indian classical music, and music of South Asia. She has been studying a group of folk musicians on the India-Pakistan border who play classical and folk music for Hindu life-cycle ceremonies and holidays.
“I’ve always been interested in the types of stories people tell about their worlds.” —Lindsey Green-Simms
Photo by Jeff Watts
“The more places you see and the more archives you go to make your work a lot better.” — Aaron Bell
Assistant Professor, Art History »» PhD art history, University of Pennsylvania »» MA art history, University of Pennsylvania »» BA art history, Columbia University Her primary interest is the relationship between art and dance in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a subject explored in her forthcoming book, Modernism on Stage: The Ballets Russes and the Parisian Avant-Garde, 1917–1929. LINDSEY GREEN-SIMMS Photo by Jeff Watts
Photo courtesy of Aaron Bell
by Kaitie O’Hare
general lack of interest in the subject. “There’s some really excellent journalism from the early 1980s, and that’s probably the best stuff written on this particular topic. There just hasn’t really been anything in depth since then,” he says. “Everything references that reporting, and I think that’s a lot of the appeal—just constantly chasing after that and getting, incrementally, a little closer.” Bell decided he had one more base to cover in preparation for his trip. Back from his research odyssey, he immediately headed up to Vermont for an intensive Spanish language immersion program at Middlebury College. For seven weeks, he had to communicate exclusively in Spanish. When he emerged from that experience, he had bumped his language skills up a level and was sufficiently fluent to hold his own with Spanish-speaking scholars and others. After all the preparation for his international research, Bell was finally ready for the real challenge. “I think that’s been the good thing about this dissertation in general: getting to see all these different people and places that I wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise,” he says. “It makes for a better dissertation. The more places you see and the more archives you go to make your work a lot better.”
MICHAEL BADER Photo by Jeff Watts
to look for,” he said. The payoff, however, came only after Bell did extensive groundwork. To prepare for his study in El Salvador and elsewhere in Central America, he embarked in early summer on a month-long road trip across the country to visit various archives. “That was pretty interesting to spend a month on the road. I’ve always wanted to see the U.S. I had never driven past Kansas, so it was a really good opportunity to do that.” Bell’s research took him to university archives in New Mexico and Idaho and at Stanford, as well as the Ronald Reagan presidential library in California. The ultimate challenge was piecing together all the information, like a puzzle. Bell has had to learn so many names—of countless organizations and politicians and policy makers—and understand their roles in the context of El Salvador’s transition to a constitutional democracy. “You sort of have to play investigator,” he says. “You have to read and find out who the people are, and figure out how they all connect, and you have to do all that legwork to [tie] it all together.” He discovered it wasn’t so easy to find what he was looking for (in some places, information was poorly organized at best), which he attributes in part to the dearth of U.S.–Latin American studies programs and
Photo by Jeff Watts
Assistant Professor, History »» PhD modern Chinese history, University of California–San Diego »» MA international studies, University of Washington »» BA English language and literature, University of Washington He is interested in Chinese, Japanese, and inner Asian history. Jacobs specializes in China’s little known northwest region, which is predominantly Muslim.
Assistant Professor, Sociology »» PhD sociology, University of Michigan »» BA architecture and art history, Rice University Bader studies racial and economic segregation, neighborhood inequality, and health and nutrition disparities. He is interested in cities and the ways in which people interact within the built environment.
Assistant Professor, Literature »» PhD comparative literature, University of Minnesota »» BA comparative literature, University of Michigan Her areas of interest are world literature, globalization, and gender studies. Excited to be part of AU’s politically and socially active community, she sees Washington, D.C., as an ideal place to teach global literature and hopes to share her “passion for literature, film, traveling, and thinking with AU students.”
“I can’t imagine there’s any better place to be than the capital of the United States if you want to be involved in the most current issues.” —Justin Jacobs
new faculty // notables “My most rewarding discovery at AU was that there are institutional regulations that facilitate rather than limit innovation.”
RANDA SERHAN Photo by Jeff Watts
Photo by Jeff Watts
—Randa Serhan Assistant Professor, Psychology »» PhD psychology, American University »» MA psychology, American University »» BA psychology and philosophy, Rutgers University He researches drug abuse and drugseeking behaviors, focusing on environmental stimuli that elicit cravings in drug users.
“D.C. is where I want to be.” —Daniel Kerr
Photo by Jeff Watts
Assistant Professor, Economics »» PhD economics, University of Paris I PantheonSorbonne and CREST »» MA economics, Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education »» MA applied mathematics, Novosibirsk State University
Assistant Professor, Sociology »» PhD sociology, Columbia University »» MA sociology, Columbia University »» MA sociology, University of Windsor »» BA sociology, American University of Beirut She is interested in Arab studies, immigrant communities, nationalism, and citizenship. Drawn to AU because of the dual opportunities to direct the Arab Studies Program and teach sociology, she believes “the time is ripe for expanding everyone’s understanding of the Arab world, and that the program at AU will add to the field.” XIAOQUAN RAPHAEL ZHANG Photo by Jeff Watts
Photo courtesy of Natalia Radtchenko
Her interests are microeconometrics, labor economics, and public policy evaluation, the latter inspired by research related to practical applicasions of labor economics and interaction with policymakers.
Photo by Jeff Watts
Assistant Professor, History »» PhD social history and policy, Case Western Reserve University »» MA history, Case Western Reserve University »» BA history, Carleton College His areas of focus are environmental history, urban social history, community history, oral history, and public history. He was drawn to “the vibrancy of AU’s student body and the ways in which professors engage with the community outside the university.”
His research focus is Chinese literature between the last two dynasties, particularly the seventeenth century. He has translated the works of William Hazlitt, T. S. Eliot, and other authors into Chinese.
Professor, Biology »» PhD biopsychology, Columbia University »» MA biopsychology, Columbia University »» BA biology and psychology, Gustavus Adolphus College His research focuses on neuroendocrinology, neuroplasticity, and neuroscience. He’s interested in how hormones are delivered to the right place at the right time to regulate neural structure and function (see story on p. 4).
Assistant Professor, Language and Foreign Studies »» PhD Chinese and comparative literature, Washington University »» MA literature, Peking University »» BA literature, Peking University
“I study biology because nature engenders humility. I practice science because the method is transparent. I teach because I learn.” —Colin Saldanha
Appointments & Honors MUSTAFA AKSAKAL (history) was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for 2011–12, an Institute for Advanced Study fellowship for spring 2012, and a Charles A. Ryskamp Research fellowship for 2012–13. JEREMIAH DITTMAR (economics) is a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. ERICA DIXON (PhD psychology candidate), ARTHUR SHAPIRO (psychology), and colleague Kai Hamburger (Universität Giessen, Germany), placed second in the seventh annual Best Illusion of the Year contest for “Grouping by Contrast.” DANIELLE EVANS (literature) shared the 2011 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (Riverhead, 2010). The prize is given to an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. MARY GARRARD (art, emerita) received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Lifetime Achievement Award. The HEALTH PROMOTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM won the National Wellness Institute Distinguished Academic Program Award, which recognizes outstanding academic health promotion and wellness programs that consistently produce high-quality graduates prepared to implement wellness programs in various work sites. CONSUELO HERNANDEZ (language and foreign studies) received the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies James Street Prize in recognition of her scholarly excellence and for the best article published in 2011 Latin American Essays. DEREK HORTON (chemistry, emeritus) has been selected to join the 2011 class of fellows of the American Chemical Society. FRED JACOBS (SETH) was appointed as a research fellow to EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. RICHARD MCCANN (literature) was offered a creative artist residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy during November to work on The Resurrectionist, A Memoir. HEATHER MCDONALD (literature) won top prize for her essay, “How to Fix Everything,” in Creative Nonfiction’s food essay contest. The essay appeared in the journal’s spring 2011 issue. The Florida Alliance for Arts Education honored DARIO MOORE (MA dance ’05), artistic director of the Center for Contemporary Dance, with the 2011 Doris Leeper Award for Excellence in Arts Education.
KERMIT MOYER (literature, emeritus) won the 2011 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for The Chester Chronicles. President Obama appointed LESLEY WEISS (BA ’76) to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
Grants & Research Jumpstart for Young Children awarded SARAH IRVINE BELSON (SETH) $32,744 for the first year of the three-year Jumpstart for Young Children Partnership Program. RICHARD BERENSON (physics, emeritus) received $660,000 from NASA for first-year funding of the proposed five-year District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium. KIM BLANKENSHIP (sociology) transferred two Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants from Duke University to AU: $1,349,169 for “Impact Assessment of HIV Prevention Programs” (HIV Synthesis Project) and $1,392,527 for “Structural Interventions and HIV Prevention among Sex Workers and Their Clients in India.”
Publications & Productions MUSTAFA AKSAKAL (history) published “Why Did the Ottomans Enter a European War in 1914?” in Beyond Dominant Paradigms in Ottoman and Middle Eastern/North African Studies: A Tribute to Rifa’at Abou-El-Haj, eds. Donald Quataert and Baki Tezcan (ISAM, 2010). ANDREA BONIOR (PhD clinical psychology ’04) published her first book, The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up with Your Friends (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011). VICTORIA CONNAUGHTON (biology) and colleagues published “Bipolar cells in the zebrafish retina” in Visual Neuroscience 28 (2011). KATHLEEN DECICCO-SKINNER (biology) and colleagues published “Loss of tumor progression locus 2 (tpl2) enhances tumorigenesis and inflammation in two-stage skin carcinogenesis” in Oncogene 30:4 (January 27, 2011). NOAH GETZ (performing arts) released two CDs in July: a solo, Still Life, featuring pieces written for Getz; and Voyage, featuring Pictures on Silence, Getz’s harp and saxophone duo.
USAID awarded CAREN GROWN (economics) $163,415 for year one of a two-year contract to serve as senior gender advisor at the agency. As the senior technical expert, she will develop strategies on gender issues and plan major programs.
GLENN MOOMAU (literature) published “The Pulpwood Yard” in storySouth 31 (Spring 2011).
MARY HANSEN (economics) received a $207,665 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create a data set of personal bankruptcy cases from 1898 to 2000.
L. D. RAFEY (CAS ’81) published Martin Truemartin (CreateSpace, 2010), a fantasy novel for young adults and adults. The book received the NABE Summer 2011 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Juvenile Fiction and received a five-star review from Foreward Clarion.
CIGNA Corporation awarded ROBERT KARCH (SETH) $44,498 for his “Expatriate Market Size Study.” ERIC LOHR (history) received $39,376 from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research for his project, “Imperial and Revolutionary Russian Citizenship,” a historical analysis of the concepts and practices of Russian subjecthood and citizenship. STEPHEN MACAVOY (environmental science) was awarded $15,000 by the University of the District of Columbia for his study, “Determination of Seasonal Source Variation of Hydrocarbons, Fatty Acids, Organics, and Nutrients in the Anacostia River: Stable Isotape Ratios of Specific Compounds.” GISHAWN MANCE (psychology) received a $40,197 award from John Hopkins University (funded by a NIH/NIMH grant) for a study, “Preventing Depression in Disconnected African-American Adolescents and Young Adults.” PAUL WINTERS (economics) received a $96,500 grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to study smallholders farming in Ethiopia.
PETER KUZNICK (history) and Oliver Stone coauthored an article, “Barack’s Betrayal,” for the New Statesman (April 14, 2011).
JEFFREY REIMAN (philosophy and religion) published “What is Fair Punishment?” in Journal of Catholic Social Thought 8:1 (Winter 2011). GRETCHEN SCHAFFT (anthropology) coauthored Commemorating Hell: The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora (University of Illinois, 2011). RICHARD SHA (literature) published “Towards a Physiology of the Romantic Imagination” in Configurations (Johns Hopkins University, 2011). MYRA SKLAREW (literature, emerita) published “Enough” in the Textbook of Interdisciplinary Pediatric Palliative Care (Elsevier, 2011) and “Bly in prose: the song of the body, the memory of rhythm” in the Fortnightly Review (2011). MARTHA STARR (economics) published Consequences of Economic Downturn: Beyond the Usual Economics (Pelgrave Macmillan, 2011). It includes chapters by colleagues JON WISMAN and CAREN GROWN and AU doctoral student coauthors, Bart Baker and Emcet Tas.
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Published on Nov 22, 2011
Connections, the official magazine of American University's College of Arts and Sciences, provides a look into recent developments in the de...