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 A Guide to Arts and Sciences' News, Events and People

March 2012

Stutter Study Informs Therapy

Polling Dr. Sides

Summer Arts Initiative Launched

Watergate: Cast behind the Scandal

Professor Shares Math

Student Foodie Starts Magazine

Student to Serve as Delegate for Obama

Bokamosa Youth Shine in Performance

Yeskel Series Inspires

TSPPPA Alumnus Credits GW for Success

GW Launches Minor in Sustainability

Alumni Donor Challenge

Dancing Abroad



Selected Published Works

Columbian College Video

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Upcoming Events
Career Advising
March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 10:00 am
Phillips Hall, Room 107

Political Science Speaker Series: Trade Unions, Gray Power, and the Welfare States in the European Union and U.S.
March 21, 1:30 pm
Hall of Government, Room 428

Jewish Literature Live: Reading by Pearl Abraham
March 22, 7:00 pm
Marvin Center, Room 405

Chemistry Seminars
March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 3:00 pm
Corcoran Hall, Room 101

Political Science Speaker Series: Neil Malhotra
March 23, Noon
Hall of Government, Room 428

Noshing with Notables: Amy Farrell
March 23, 12:30 pm
Media and Public Affairs Building, Room 601Z

Open House: Museum Studies Program
March 23, 4:00 pm
1310 G Street NW, Suite 690

Medevil and Early Modern Studies Institute Symposium: Cultural Translations
March 25, 9:30 am
Various Locations

Master Class: John Freely, Guitar
March 25, 11:00 am
Phillips Hall, Room B-120

Yeskel Memorial Concert: Miranda Cuckson, Time and Tide
March 27, 7:30 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium

Master Class: Miranda Cuckson, Violin
March 28, 2:30 pm
Phillips Hall, Room B-120

The Short Story in the 21st Century
March 28
Details TBA

Conversation with Sculptor Janine Antoni
March 28, 6:00 pm
The Phillips Collection

Open House: Summer Literacy Camp
March 28, 6:30 pm
Speech and Hearing Center

What Would Harriet Do? Unfinished Liberation or the Danger of Innocence
March 28, 6:30 pm
Marvin Center, Room 309

New Plays Festival 2012
March 29, 30, 31, 7:30 pm; April 1, 2:30 pm
Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre

Online Info Session: Survey Design and Analysis Graduate Certificate
March 29, 1:00 pm

Visiting Artist Lecture by Huey Copeland
March 29, 6:15 pm
Smith Hall of Art, Room A-114

Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting
March 30-April 1
Foggy Bottom Campus

2012 Women's Leadership Conference: You Are Not Supposed to Be Here
March 30, 8:30 am
GW Mount Vernon Campus

American Studies Collected Stories Conference: Keynote Speaker Lauren Berlant
March 30, 4:00 pm
Media and Public Affairs Building, Room 310

Book Launch Party: "Foxboy"
April 2, 4:00 pm
1957 E Street

All Voice Recital
April 3, 7:30 pm
Phillips Hall, Room B-120

Conversation with Artist William Pope.L
April 4, 6:00 pm
The Phillips Collection

Political Science Speaker Series: Scott Mainwaring
April 6, 12:30 pm
Hall of Government, Room 428

Jewish Literature Live: Reading by Erica Jong
April 10, 7:00 pm
Marvin Center Amphitheater

Solar Institute Symposium 2012
April 12, 8:30 am
Media and Public Affairs Building

Alumni Events
CCAS Reception at GW Global Forum
March 15, 7:00 pm
Grand Hyatt Seoul, South Korea

GW Global Forum
March 16-17,
Grand Hyatt Seoul, South Korea

Fleischman Lecture: Fiddler's Fortunes: The Mighty Afterlife of a Broadway Musical
March 19, 7:00 pm
Washington, D.C.

Tokyo Dinner with Dean Peg Barratt
March 19, 7:00 pm
Tokyo, Japan

Breakfast with SMPA's Steve Roberts
March 21, 8:30 am
Los Gatos, CA

Osaka Meetings with Dean Peg Barratt
March 21
Osaka, Japan

Breakfast with SMPA
March 22, 8:30 am
San Fransisco, CA

SMPA Annual Alumni Event
March 22, 6:30 pm
The Home of Frank Sesno and Kathy Sanderson

GW Museum Studies Open House
March 23, 4-6:00 pm
1310 G Street NW, Suite 690

GW & Politics: On the Campaign Trail
March 27, 6-8:00 pm
Philadelphia, PA

Barack Obama and the Age of Fracture
March 29, 4:00 pm
Media and Public Affairs Building, Room B07

GW Culture Buffs: National Gallery of Art
March 31, 11:30 am
The Capital Grille

Department News
American Studies


Art Therapy

East Asian Languages and Literature

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers


Fine Arts and Art History

Forensic Sciences



Judaic Studies


Media and Public Affairs

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Museum Studies




Political Science


Public Policy and Public Administration


Romance, German, and Slavic Languages and Literature

Science and Engineering Hall


Solar Institute

Speech and Hearing Sciences


Theatre and Dance

Womens Studies

Undergraduate Research Fellow Informs Theory behind Stuttering
More than 68 million people worldwide are affected by stuttering-a communication disorder in which speech is interrupted by abnormal pauses in syllables, broken repetitions, and prolongations of syllables. While there's no definitive cause, speech pathologists theorize stuttering may be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics and issues relating to development of grammar skills in childhood. A key factor is anticipatory anxiety-the theory that a person will experience symptoms of fear and nervousness when faced with something that has frightened them in the past. To better understand the impact of this form of anxiety, senior speech and hearing sciences major Olivia Cali conducted a controlled experiment among a group of adult stutters. Cali is one of 15 Luther Undergraduate Research Fellows selected by Columbian College this year to engage in independent, faculty-mentored research projects. Read more.

Polling Dr. Sides: State of the 2012 Presidential Election
As the public wades through the Republican presidential primaries and non-stop news coverage of the nomination contest continues, we asked Associate Professor of Political Science John Sides to provide his assessment of how the 2012 election is shaping up. A scholar of political behavior in American and comparative politics and  co-founder and frequent contributor to the popular political blog The Monkey Cage, Sides is learning what issues are important to the public and how voter opinion on the candidates is evolving.

What are your thoughts on why a clear front runner has yet to emerge in the Republican race for the presidential nomination? Front runners emerge quickly when they are acceptable to a wide swath of the party. This year, the Republicans had no such candidate. Read more.

Summer Arts Initiative Launched
GW is placing renewed focus on the arts through a host of courses, special institutes, exhibitions, and events that take advantage of the university's collaborative partnerships with the area's museums, galleries, archives, and performing arts venues. Among the new additions for 2012 is a Summer Piano Institute featuring world-renowned guest artists, and a Summer Studio focusing on art and politics at the pre-college level. New summer abroad programs, the Howard Hodgkin's exhibit at GW's Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and performing arts events at GW's Lisner Auditorium are also on tap.
"The summer arts initiative integrates GW's top-tier art events and academic programs with the vibrant cultural communities of the nation's capital," said Peg Barratt, dean of Columbian College. "Our efforts demonstrate the university's commitment to the importance of the arts and the humanities in advancing our society." Read more.

Watergate: Cast behind the Scandal
It isn't often historical fiction writers meet their subjects. But in 1968, on the Hempstead Turnpike in Long Island, a 16-year-old Thomas Mallon, now director of the Creative Writing Program, shook hands with then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon, whose involvement in the nation's most infamous political scandal is the subject of Mallon's latest book, Watergate, published in February by Pantheon. The book follows seven real figures during the Watergate era-including Fred LaRue, a Nixon presidential aide who was in charge of delivering payment to the burglars, and Alice Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt and longtime friend of Nixon- providing their perspectives as the scandal unfolds. Read more.

Professor Shares Math
Svetlana Roudenko, an assistant professor of mathematics, sees math as beautiful because of its utility and applicability to a wide variety of real-world problems. Her research on a specific type of equation may help us learn how to predict the formation of ocean "super waves" that can damage ships, how to focus a laser beam through different media so that it can reliably burn-or not burn-a specific point, and how airline pilots can differentiate minor turbulence from the dangerous kind. Roudenko's work was recently recognized with a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant, worth $450,000 over five years. The grant is awarded to junior faculty members who excel at both research and teaching. Read more.

Food Magazine a Recipe for Success
Audrey Scagnelli's appetite for food is insatiable. She is the founder of College & Cook, a digital magazine that premiered in January and connects college-aged foodies across the country. It contains a hodge-podge of content: recipes, an interview with restaurateur and Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn, and feature stories that run the gamut, from the slow food movement to coping with food allergies.

"I don't get sick of it," said Scagnelli, a sophomore in the School of Media and Public Affairs. "Of everything there is in life, food is something I just do not tire of, be it eating it, talking about it or shopping for it." Read more.

Student to Serve as Delegate for President Obama
As a kid, sophomore political science and philosophy major Alex Yudelson would hit the pavement with his father, going door-to-door as he campaigned for town supervisor. He watched the presidential election results in 2000 and 2004, but remembers bedtime was called before the final tally was tabulated. Fast forward a decade and politics continues to play an important role in Yudelson's life. In September he'll trek to Charlotte, N.C., and cast his pledged vote as a delegate for President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. "It's a huge honor for me," said Yudelson, who will represent the 29th Congressional District in upstate New York. Read more.

Bokamosa Youth Shine in Sold Out Performance
Last month, the Dorothy Betts Theatre overflowed for the South Africa Project, a performance by youth visiting from the Bokamoso Youth Centre in Winterveldt, South Africa. The evening included the premiere of the play, Take Off the Mask, created by Professor of Theatre Leslie Jacobson, her colleague Roy Barber from St. Andrews Episcopal School, the youth of Bokamoso, and 2011 Luther Rice Undergraduate Fellows Madeline Hendricks and Ariel Warmflash. The event marked the ninth year of the week-long residency program that has brought students from Bokamoso to GW. This year, they stayed on campus with GW students, attended classes, and reunited with art therapy graduate students and the Luther Rice Fellows who worked with them in Bokamoso last July. Read more.

Yeskel Memorial Concert Series Presents Violinist Miranda Cuckson
A concert series established within the Department of Music through a gift from Peter Yeskel, BA '71, will feature acclaimed violinist Miranda Cuckson on March 27 in the Jack Morton Auditorium. The Stanley Yeskel Visiting Artist and Memorial Concert Series was funded by Yeskel, an emeritus member of the Columbian College National Council, in honor of his father's love of music. The series brings national and international artists to campus to provide insight into the artistry of performance and, through visits to the classroom, engage in the scholarly side of a student's musical education. Last fall, the series brought Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute to GW to perform.  Read more.

Alumni Award-Winner Credits GW for Career Success
The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration has awarded Frank P. DiGiammarino, III, MPA '95, the Distinguished Alumni Award for achievements in the areas of public policy and public administration, and leadership in serving the public interest and enhancing the quality of democratic governance.

"I can't imagine doing the tough jobs without having been through GW," said DiGiammarino, who is standing in photo with his family. "I encourage students to think big, do big things, and celebrate them." Photography by William Atkins. Read more.

GW Launches Minor in Sustainability
Responding to student interest and employers' demand, GW will begin offering a minor in sustainability this fall. The 18-credit minor, which will not be housed in one particular school but rather overseen by the Office of the Provost, will offer courses in all of the university's schools and colleges. GW will be one of only a handful of schools that offer an undergraduate minor in sustainability. Read more.

Alumni Donor Challenge
A Columbian College alumna volunteer leader has issued a generous challenge: If 3,600 alumni give to GW before March 31, she has pledged to give $100,000 to Columbian College. This means your gift of any size could mean an extra $100,000 in support of research endeavors, student scholarships, and new academic initiatives. Read more.

Fond (of) Fare Well
They've performed in Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Croatia, to name just a few spots, and now the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, led by Professor of Dance Maida Withers, is adding India to the list. The group left in late February for a series of performances of the original work "Fare Well-The End of the World As We Know It OR Dancing Your Way to Paradise," which explores the end of time through dance, live music, visual projections, and poetry. "We have been told that the power of the colors, culture, people, and history can be quite overwhelming," said Withers shortly before the trip. "We hope so." Read more.

Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs Jeff Blomster received a $267,605 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research work at Etlatongo, Oaxaca, Mexico, to explore the emergence and dynamics of the people of the Nochixtlán Valley between 1150 and 850 BC.

Political Science graduate student Kerry Crawford won a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Jake Haselswerdt, a graduate student in political science, received the award for best poster by the American Political Science Association's Public Policy Section.

Political Science graduate student Lisel Hintz received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State, enabling her to conduct dissertation research in Turkey.

Ruth Weintraub Professor of Biology Gustavo Hormiga received an award of $424,002 from NSF to examine the taxonomy and systematics of selected Neotropical species of spiders.

Senior journalism and mass communication major Haley Lesavoy won a Gracie Award for her work as host of the GWTV show "Select Seven."

Assistant Professor of American Studies Suleiman Osman received the American Council of Learned Societies/Oscar Handlin Fellowship to support his new project "The New Localism: Neighborhood Activism and Slow-Growth Politics in North America and Europe in the 1970s."

Brian Richmond, chair of the Department of Anthropology, received a NSF grant to conduct fieldwork in Koobi Fora, Kenya, relating to fossil bones and footprints of human ancestors and relatives from 1.4-1.6 million years ago.

Political science doctoral candidates Ajay Verghese and Rachel Whitlark were selected, respectively, for a Shorenstein Fellowship in Contemporary Asia at Stanford University and a Stanton Nuclear Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Seven geography graduate students- Eric Ashcroft, Emiko Guthe, Ellen Hatleberg, Amanda Osborne, Genevieve Parente, Colin Reisser, and Maianna Voge-and two geography undergraduate students-Kathleena Mumford and Kelsey Nyland- presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

The Maryland Theatre Guide featured Zack Colonna, BA '07, in the article, "A Quick 5 with Zack Colonna." He will appear as the title character in "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" at the Olney Theatre Center through March 18.

Five communication majors-Madison Cooke, Ashley Huffman, Alya Ibrahim, Risa Langelo, and Tess Leibowitz-authored senior theses that were accepted for presentation at the Theodore H. Clevenger, Jr. Undergraduate Honors Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Sociology graduate students Scott Grether, Amanda Hayes, Allison Helmuth, Kai Jenkins, Jee Jee Kim, and Gerilyn Slicker presented papers at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society Conference in New York.

Gabriella Demczuk, who is majoring in fine arts and minoring in journalism, wrote and edited the video "Saving Madagascar's Forests" published on the National Geographic website.

Professor of Mathematics Valentina Harizanov presented an invited paper "Pi-0-1 Equivalence Structures and Their Isomorphisms" at the international meeting on Computability Theory at the Oberwolfach Mathematical Institute in Germany.

Patrick McDonough, MFA '10, is one of the artists participating in the award-winning Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit that will be on display April 21 through October 20 in the Foggy Bottom Historic District.

I Am, a documentary short created by junior political communication major Sara Snyder and alumnus Stephen Molldrem, BA '11, will be screened at the 2012 Undergraduate Ethics Symposium at DePauw University.

Patricia Phalen, associate professor of media and public affairs, traveled to Sweden's annual TV Drama Vision Seminar, presenting research on Hollywood writers and leading a discussion on the differences between European and American production. 

Doctoral candidate in economics Pingkang Yu appeared on the daily news program Biz Asia America discussing the G20 Mexico Meetings on February 24.

Selected Published Works
Brandon Bartels, assistant professor of political science, published "Politics at the Checkout Line: Explaining Political Consumerism in the U.S." in Political Research Quarterly.

David Hildebrand, MA '87, is the primary music historian for a documentary in production, entitled Anthem, about music of the War of 1812 in America and the true story of the birth of "The Star-Spangled Banner."  It is scheduled for release this summer on Maryland Public Television.
Hugo Junghenn, professor of mathematics, authored Option Valuation: A Frist Course in Financial Mathematics.

Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs Albert May co-authored a chapter in the new book Citizen 2.0: Public and Governmental Interaction through Web 2.0 Technologies that explores how social media technologies affect the interaction between Congress and the American people.
Professor of English Robert McRuer co-edited the collection of essays Sex and Disability.

Rani Parker
, PhD '04, was featured in the Maryland Entrepreneur Quarterly.

Jozef Przytychi, professor of mathematics, authored the article "Distributivity Versus Associativity in the Homology Theory of Algebraic Structures" published in Demonstratio Mathematica. Several doctoral candidates in mathematics worked on problems proposed in the paper and will present it (in posters) at GWU Research Days 2012 March 28-29.

Daniel B. Schwartz, assistant professor of history, authored The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image.

Assistant Professor of Art Therapy Elizabeth Warson authored the article "Healing Pathways: Art Therapy for American Indian Cancer Survivors" published in the Journal of Cancer Education.



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