A competitive figure skater, an Emmy-winning voice-over actor, a small business owner. Students go to college to discover their niche. But at the tender age of 18, some outstanding members of AU’s Class of 2017 already boast a wealth of experience. Chandler Vu of Ventura, California, helped build an orphanage in Peru, and Hackensack, New Jersey’s Jordan Coleman was the voice of Tyrone on Nickelodeon’s Backyardigans. John Wilkinson started his own company, repairing real estate signs in Friendswood, Texas. Mohammadulla Hassan didn’t receive a formal education until he was 11—seven years after his family fled Taliban ruled Afghanistan. He comes to AU from the prestigious Atlanta International School. Riley Oshiro of Boulder, Colorado, took home the gold at the Southwest regional figure skating championships, while Jessica Cianci of Batavia, Illinois, made it to the national championships in swimming.
A First for AU AU’s first botanist and the former curator of African archaeology and ethnography at Chicago’s iconic Field Museum of Natural History are among 22 new faculty members. The new crop of professors come to D.C. with a variety of research interests, such as gaming, econometrics, neuroscience, and citizen journalism. “We’ve recruited at all levels— those doing cutting-edge work and those with strong connections who will put us on the map,” says Phyllis Peres, senior vice provost and dean of academic affairs. 8 American Magazine August 2013