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An Update from the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

February 2013


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Alumni Events

GWebinar: How and Why to Join a Nonprofit Board
February 14th, Noon

GWebinar: The Emergence of Walkable Urban Places
February 20, Noon

GW Forensic Sciences Reception
February 20, 7:00 pm
Washington, D.C.

George's Birthday Bash
February 20 - 23
40 Locations Worldwide

TSPPPA 50th Anniversary Celebration
February 22 - 23
Washington, D.C.

Emancipation and Equality: A Genealogy
February 28, 4:00 pm
Marvin Center, Room 307

Upcoming Events

Forecasting Seminar - Xuguang Simon Sheng
February 14, 12:30 pm
Monroe Hall, Room 321

Comparative Politics Workshop: Todd Eisensdat & Jennifer Yelle
February 15, 12:30 pm
Sigelman Seminar Room, Hall of Government 428

Chemistry Seminars
February 15, 22, 3:00 pm
Corcoran Hall, Room 101

Spies, Cyber Attacks, and Social Media
February 19, 6:30 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium

Visiting Scholar: Nina Dubin
February 20, 6:15 pm
Smith Hall 114

Ancient Inscriptions from the Holy Land
February 20, 7:00 pm
1957 E Street, Room 213

Forecasting Seminar: Olivier Coibion
February 21, 12:30 pm
Monroe Hall, Room 321

Jewish Literature Live Speaker: Bruce Jay Friedman
February 21, Noon
Marvin Center, Room 310

GW-Smithsonian Collaborative Research Symposium
February 21, 2:00 pm
Phillips Hall, Room 209

New Plays Festival 2013
February 21, 22, 23, 7:30 pm, February 24, 2:00 pm
Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre

European Politics Speaker Series: Matthias Mattijs
February 22, Noon
Voesar Conference Room, 1957 E Street NW Suite 412

Forensic Sciences at the FBI Laboratory
February 25, 4:00 pm
Mount Vernon Campus, Academic Building 310

Writing in the Disciplines Distinguished Lecture: Boston University\'s Chemical Writing Program
February 26, 4:00 pm
Gelman Library, Room 702

Covering the Drug Wars
February 26, 6:00 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium

Teaching Hsieh (in conversation with Anne Goodyear)
February 28, 6:00 pm
Center for the Study of Modern Art

Comparative Politics Workshop: Dorothy Smith Ohl
March 1, 12:30 pm
Sigelman Seminar Room, Hall of Government 428

Zalmen Mlotek, 100 Years of Yiddish Theater Music
March 5, 7:00 pm
Washington DCJCC, 1529 16th Street NW

Reading Kushner: A Play Workshop
March 8, Noon
Rome Hall, Room 771

GW American Studies Celebration of Jon Vlach
February 28, 6:00 pm
Washington, D.C.

Department News


Art Therapy


The Documentary Center

East Asian Languages and Literature


Fine Art and Art History

Forensic Sciences



Judaic Studies


Media and Public Affairs

Medieval and Early Modern Studies


Museum Studies



Political Science


Romance, German, and Slavic Languages and Literature

Science and Engineering Hall

The Solar Institute

Speech and Hearing Sciences


Theatre and Dance

University Writing Program

Womens Studies

Green Chemistry: A Changing Dynamic
The unfortunate reality of chemistry is that chemists, in their quest to innovate and devise new products to meet societal demands, sometimes create chemicals that are toxic. Look no further than some of the chemicals found in paint, glue, and even cosmetics. Some, like dioxins, are highly toxic to many animal species and are ending up as far away as the North Pole. Enter green chemistry advocate Adelina Voutchkova, who joined Columbian College last year as an assistant professor of chemistry.

“Chemists are very skilled at making new molecules to serve a particular function, but most are not trained to consider the unintended long-term effects of those chemicals on humans and other animals,” said Voutchkova.  “We are taking a different, less traditional approach.” Read more.

Inaugural Moments
A presidential inauguration is a proud and historic moment, a time when we come together to celebrate our democracy. For Columbian College students, it is also a rite of passage. On January 21, many in our community had a front row seat to the big-ticket events—the swearing-in ceremony, inaugural parade, and even the inaugural balls—that marked the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term. What was it like to be so close to the action? Here are their thoughts.

Where Will You Go This Summer? Short-Term Study Abroad
This summer, explore the world, enrich your mind, and earn credits through short-term study abroad courses that are open to both GW students and visitors. Journey through Kenya and discover how digital technology is used to address underdevelopment issues; travel to Shanghai to examine misconceptions about China’s economy and policies; or join an expedition into the Guadalajara LGBT culture and community. Ranging from one week to two months, these programs apply classroom lessons to global experiences.  Read more.

GW, Smithsonian Research Delves into Distinctive Areas of Science
Bee pollination of particular plants, fungal impact on mineral erosion and wood decay, and physical attributes of ray-finned fish all have something in common: They are being studied by Columbian College researchers in collaboration with experts from the Smithsonian. For the second year in a row, the GW–Smithsonian Opportunity Fund is enabling scientists and scholars to come together on start-up projects using seed money provided jointly by the two institutions.  Members of the GW community will have the opportunity to hear about these projects and more at the GW-Smithsonian Collaborative Research Symposium on February 21.
Read more.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Donates Lab Equipment to GW
Students in biology teaching labs will have more opportunities for hands-on learning due to $130,000 worth of lab equipment donated to GW by Vanda Pharmaceuticals. The equipment includes a spectrophotometer, ultra-low-temperature freezers, and many sets of lab racks, pipettes and other basic lab gear. “This [donation] certainly helps us keep up-to-date, modern equipment in front of the students in their classes,” said Professor Diana Lipscomb, chair of the Biological Sciences Department. Read more.

Przytycki Honored by Poland’s President
Congratulations to Professor of Mathematics Jozef Przytycki, who was awarded the title Professor of Mathematical Sciences by Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski (pictured in photo on the left) at a ceremony in Warsaw’s Presidential Palace. This is the highest honorary title officially conferred by the president and is awarded to a select number of individuals who have demonstrated significant academic and professional achievements. Pryzytycki is renowned for his research in knot theory. Read more. Read more.

Alumna Clarice Smith’s Art Displayed at Brady Gallery
Spring season at GW’s Luther W. Brady Art Gallery opened with “Clarice Smith: Captured Moments,” an exhibition of 28 paintings by the artist, philanthropist, alumna, and honorary degree recipient. Smith’s work features realistic landscapes—including four paintings of the Sante Fe southwestern sky she debuted at this exhibit—and floral images and portraits that focus on “captured moments” from her life.

“I’m not interested in just painting a pretty flower—I want to invoke a memory or a feeling,” said Smith, BA '76, MFA '79, and Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts 2012. “Captured Moments” will be on view through March 15. Read more.

Alumna Takes Big Bite out of D.C.’s Food Scene
For months, alumna and photographer Emily Pearl Goodstein, BA ’05, crisscrossed the District and surrounding suburbs, eating dozens of culinary delights and snapping shots of everything from five-star cuisine to the unapologetic, bad-for-you diner food. It was D.C.’s food scene, from restaurants Art and Soul in Capitol Hill  to Zengo in Chinatown. The result: a new cookbook titled Washington, D.C. Chef’s Table. Read more.

Alumni Art in Residence Halls
GW has 32 residence halls, each with a common area that is (mostly) devoid of color and art. But that’s all changing under the guidance of Seth Weinshel, director of housing. He is working with the Brady Art Gallery to put artwork produced by alumni in every university residence hall. So far, seven halls have alumni artwork, including a piece by Kenny George, MFA ’08, who has his art hanging in the lobby of Amsterdam Hall. He created the piece as part of his work as a graduate student. Read more.

Call for Nominations - GWAA Distinguished and Recent Alumni Achievement Awards
The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and the Recent Alumni Achievement Award are the highest form of recognition given by the Alumni Association. This time-honored tradition recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through notable achievements in their professional and personal lives. The deadline for nominations is February 28. To learn more, visit the GW Alumni site.

In Memoriam: Harry E. Yeide
We note with regret the passing of Harry E. Yeide, professor emeritus of religion and an assistant dean of Columbian College from 1967 to 1979. Yiede joined the Department of Religion in 1963 and served as its chair from 1979 to 1991 and 1993 to 1997. He led in the founding of Columbian College’s Peace Studies Program and received a Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching in 1997 and for University Service in 2007. He wrote articles and reviews on aspects of bioethics, peacemaking, and other ethical issues, and his book, Studies in Classical Pietism: The Flowering of the Eccesiola, was published in 1997.

New Books
Falling up the Stairs by Claudia Chapline, BA ’53 (Red Comma Editions)

Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present by Alexander Dumbadze, associate professor of art history (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Globalization and Austerity Politics in Latin America by Stephen Kaplan, assistant professor of political science and international affairs (Cambridge University Press)

Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community, and State Formation by Andrew M. Smith II, assistant professor of classics and history (Oxford University Press)

Awards and Recognition
Gus Weiss Associate Professor of Theoretical Physics Andrei Afanasev and Mona Zaghloul, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received a $150,000 grant from Dominion Virginia Power to engineer solar cells that will increase efficiency in the conversion of solar light into electricity.

Doctoral candidate in political science Bret Barrowman received an Advanced Research Fellowship from the American Councils Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Program for research and language training in Georgia and the Ukraine.

David Braun, assistant professor of anthropology, received $100,000 from the National Science Foundation to research early human behavior at a site in Elandsfontein, South Africa.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, was appointed to the Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs by Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.

Journalism major Sarah Ferris and political communication major Sara Snyder won the first annual Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prizes.  

Adrienne Hancock, assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences, received $150,000 from the National Institutes of Health to study gender perception of transgender speakers.

Jake Haselswerdt, a graduate student in political science, received a doctoral dissertation research improvement grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Policy Tools and Public Opinion.”

Llewelyn Hughes, assistant professor of political science and international affairs, won an Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council for his project on firm structure and the politics of climate change.

Oleg Kargaltsev, assistant professor of physics, had his research on the “Helica Jet of the Vela Pulsar” published in Astrophysical Journal.

Eric Lawrence, associate professor of political science, published "The Publication of Precedents and Its Effect on Legislative Behavior" in Legislative Studies Quarterly.

James Mahshie, chair of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, received $200,000 from the Department of Education to study rhythm, intonation, and voice characteristics of children with cochlear implants.

Kimberly Morgan, associate professor of political science, and graduate student Alexander Reisenbichler co-authored "From 'Sick Man' to 'Miracle' – Explaining the Robustness of the German Labor Market During and After the Financial Crisis 2008-09" in Politics and Society.

Suzanne Wright Quaide, BA '88, has been selected by her peers to receive the Eastern Region Museum Education Art Educator Award of the National Art Education Association. Wright has served as the director of education for the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC since 2000.

Gregory Schiller, BA '96, was awarded the 2012 Missing Children’s Child Protection Award by the U.S. Department of Justice, and the 2012 John Walsh Award from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his efforts in prosecuting Internet Crimes Against Children cases in Palm Beach County, FL.

Nikolay Shiklomanov, assistant professor of geography, received $160,000 from the University of Tromso, Norway, to study Arctic urban sustainability in Russia. With Dmitry Streletskiy, research scientist in the Department of Geography, he also received  $170,000 from the National Science Foundation to conduct collaborative research on the interactions between air temperature, permafrost, and hydrology in the high latitudes of Eurasia.

Akos Vertes, deputy chair of the Department of Chemistry, won the Chemical Society of Washington's Hillebrand Prize for his innovative work in discerning fundamental processes in MALDI and Electrospray Mass Spectrometry and their applications in proteomics research and in vivo imaging. Vertes is the fourth member of the Department of Chemistry to receive the award; previous winners are Professors Nicholae Filipescu (1971), David Ramaker (1988), and Akbar Montaser (2000).

Professor of English Gayle Wald served as an editorial consultant and is a featured talking head in the documentary "Godmother of Rock Sister Rosetta Tharpe", part of PBS’s American Masters series, which will air on February 22. The film is based on her book Shout, Sister, Shout!



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