Featured Stories


Unimaginable Journeys: From Friendship to Surrogacy

August 01, 2013
Heidi Bardot, MA ’99, and Director of the GW Art Therapy Program developed both professionally and personally and built deep relationships with classmates in the Art Therapy graduate program, but one friend in particular provided the ultimate gift of life.
Photo of Keith Candall

Researchers Create Method to Rapidly Identify Specific Strains of Illness

July 11, 2013
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and George Washington University (GWU) have developed a method to rapidly identify pathogenic species and strains causing illnesses, such as pneumonia, that could help lead to earlier detection of disease outbreaks and pinpoint effective treatments more quickly. The findings are featured online in the journal Genome Research.

Unlocking a Cure for Tuberculosis

July 01, 2013
In a study led by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Cynthia Dowd, researchers identified a potential new route for attacking tuberculosis that may hold promise against drug-resistant strains of the disease and even dormant TB infections.

How Throwing Made Us Human

July 01, 2013
Little leaguers and professional baseball players alike have our extinct ancestors to thank for their success on the mound, according to a study by Neil Roach, a postdoctoral scientist in Columbian College’s Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology. Roach’s study, featured on the cover of the June 27 edition of the journal Nature, proposes that this ability first evolved nearly 2 million years ago to aid in hunting. Humans are unique in their throwing ability, even when compared to our chimpanzee cousins.
Katherine Bradshaw

A Shakespearian Obsession

July 01, 2013
Forget contemporary authors and playwrights—for Katherine Bradshaw, it’s all about William Shakespeare! The rising sophomore’s enthusiasm is hard to contain, particularly now that she is able to study, eat, breathe, and live the bard’s life through her immersion in the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare program, a unique living and learning experience offered to Columbian College undergraduate students.

What a Catch: Biology PhD Candidate Sequences Fish Genome

June 01, 2013
Growing up in Argentina, Daniela Campanella, a doctoral candidate in biological sciences, fished the fresh lagoons of the Pampas Region with her father and grandfather, catching and eating the fish Odontesthes bonariensis, commonly known as the pejerrey. This spring, Campanella was the first person to successfully sequence the entire genome of the pejerrey, a fish with temperature-dependent sex determination—a discovery that will impact research around the world.

Unmanned Flying Vehicles: The Next Criminal Element?

June 01, 2013
According to Victor Weedn, an accomplished forensic pathologist and chair of the Department of Forensic Sciences, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, could soon become a major tool in the arsenal of criminals everywhere. His biggest concern is the lack of preparedness by the forensics community for investigating crimes committed using UAVs.
Conflicted City

Conflicted City: Analyzing East Jerusalem through a Geographic Lens

June 01, 2013
In East Jerusalem, Palestinian and Israeli residents live very close to each other, but their interactions are often limited. As a Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellow, Aurora Echavarria tackled the unique sensitivities of the city by analyzing how past conflicts between the two peoples have affected Jerusalem’s physical environment and exacerbated tension.
2013 Commencement Speaker Kerry Washington, B.A. ’98

Kerry Washington to Graduates: Answer the Call

May 19, 2013
Commencement speaker Kerry Washington, B.A. ’98, urged the class of 2013 to go beyond their comfort zones and live their own stories in the university-wide ceremony on the National Mall.
National Council

Celebrating National Council’s 20 Years

May 01, 2013
Columbian College’s National Council for Arts and Sciences celebrated its 20th anniversary last month at a dinner held at the United States Institute of Peace. Comprised of alumni, parents, and friends of the college, the council was applauded by President Steven Knapp and Provost Steven Lerman for its commitment and service as a volunteer advisory board to the dean of the college.
Eisen and Faghfoory

New MA in Islam Bridges Gaps in Knowledge, Understanding

May 01, 2013
Something rather special, even symbolic, happened at GW this year when Religion Department faculty members Robert Eisen, who is Jewish, and Mohammad Faghfoory, a Muslim scholar from Iran—both devout to their respective faiths—collaborated together to create a new master’s degree program in Islamic Studies.
Solar Institute

Clean Energy Leader Amit Ronen to Direct Solar Institute

May 01, 2013
Amit Ronen, the deputy chief of staff for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), has been named the new director of the GW Solar Institute.

Philanthropy-Inspired Fellowship Partners National Park Service and Columbian College

May 01, 2013
A new graduate certificate program has been created within Columbian College to strengthen knowledge about the natural and cultural resources that form the heart of the National Park Service (NPS) mission. The Certificate in Contexts of Environmental Policy, to be offered this fall, is designed for emerging leaders at NPS involved in the preservation and protection of public lands and cultural heritage.
Turtle Ants

Turtle Ants: Shielded from Danger

April 01, 2013
Scott Powell has spent a lot of time sitting in trees in eastern Brazil. Among the branches and tropical wildlife, the assistant professor of biology has passed many summer hours watching a remarkable little creature distinguished by a dish-like head that acts as a shield against intruders—the turtle ant.
Ben Vinson III

Ben Vinson III To Be Next Dean of Columbian College

April 01, 2013
Ben Vinson III, a renowned scholar and vice dean for Centers, Interdisciplinary Programs, and Graduate Education at Johns Hopkins University, has been named the new dean of Columbian College. A member of Hopkin’s faculty since 2006, Vinson is the Herbert Baxter Adams Professor of Latin American History and the former director of the Center for Africana Studies.