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An Update from the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

June 2013


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Alumni Events

GW LinkedIn Group Virtual Networking Hour
June 13, Noon

GW Culture Buffs: Atlanta and the Civil War
June 15, 11:00 am
Atlanta, GA

SMPA Alumni Networking Happy Hour
June 19, 6:00 pm
Washington, DC

GW Culture Buffs at The Shakespeare Theatre Company
June 20, 5:30 pm
Washington, DC

GWebinar: Re-entering the Workforce
June 25, noon

GW Art Therapy Reception at the American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference
June 15, 11:00 am
Atlanta, GA

Other Events

Colonial Inauguration
June 13, 19, 25, 30
Foggy Bottom Campus

Hearing Health Fair 2013
ne 21, 9:30 am
710 21st Street NW

Speaking for Success Workshop
July 12, 8:30 am
Speech and Hearing Center

LGBT Health Forum
July 17, 7:00 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium

Department News


Art Therapy


East Asian Languages and Literature



Fine Art and Art History

Forensic Sciences



Interior Design and Architecture

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

Columbian College Celebration 2013
"This is your time to seek, recognize, and embrace opportunity—not to wait for it to find you."
—Columbian College Dean Peg Barratt

On May 17 and 18, family and friends joined students and faculty at the Charles E. Smith Center for one of three Celebration ceremonies to recognize Columbian College graduates. Attending the pre-commencement festivities were 1,125 undergraduates and 480 graduate students. Featured speakers were Dean Peg Barratt, History’s Denver Brunsman, Sociology’s Daina Stukuls Eglitis, American Studies’ Jennifer Nash, as well as addresses by undergraduate students Adam Bethke and Paul Seltzer and graduate student Simon McNorton. Visit the Celebration website to hear each speech or view images from the photo gallery.

Unmanned Flying Vehicles: The Next Criminal Element?
There is much in the news these days on privacy concerns relating to the proliferation of drones in the U.S. but not much discussion about the potential criminal factor. Just imagine a robot flying with a gun, chasing an elderly woman into an alley and ordering her to drop her purse. Terrified, she complies and runs away. The robot then darts down, scoops up the purse, and rapidly flies away. Science fiction? Maybe not. 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. Read more.

What a Catch: Biology PhD Candidate First to Sequence Fish Genome
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 king fish Odontesthes bonariensis, commonly known as the pejerrey. What she didn’t know on those family fishing trips is that the pejerrey would not only nourish her body, but her mind as well. This spring, Campanella was the first person to successfully sequence the pejerrey genome—the first known genome of a fish with temperature-dependent sex determination—a discovery that will impact research around the world. Read more.

Conflicted City: Analyzing East Jerusalem through a Geographic Lens
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. While working to map out the areas of interaction for her fellowship project, she came to better understand why Jerusalem, in essence, is two very different cities operating as one. Read more.

Cicadas 101 with Professor John Lill
They’re back. After 17 years maturing underground, Brood II cicadas have surfaced for a few short weeks. With their distinctive red eyes, unearthly mating calls—not to mention their plague-like quantities—cicadas are not your average insect. As the brood emerges, John Lill, associate professor of biology, recently talked about the mystery behind their 17-year cycle and what to expect this season. Read more.

ENRP Students Make Policy Recommendations
For students in the Environmental Resource Policy graduate program, there was more than a grade riding on their end-of-year capstone projects . . . their research may influence environmental policy. In partnership with the Department of Energy and other organizations, the group made recommendation on policies involving the effects of confined animal feeding operations on water quality; the economic, environmental, educational and recreational value of the National Park Service; DOE’s remediation plan for uranium-contaminated areas; and challenges regarding the EPA’s proposal to combine global data about toxic chemicals. Read more.

Immigration Reform: Professor Provides Her Insight
The debate over comprehensive immigration reform has permeated political discussions this year, and a draft a bipartisan bill to address the country’s immigration problems is currently before Congress. Professor of Geography and International Affairs Marie Price, coeditor of “Migrants to the Metropolis: The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities,” recently provided her insights on what the bill entails, how it will affect the country’s undocumented population, and the hurdles ahead. Read more.

Documenting War’s Impact
Nina Seavey, director of GW's Documentary Center, has won nine awards for her film "The War at Home," which provides a sweeping look at the profound changes on the domestic front brought on by World War II, particularly as it related to women. Produced for the National Park Service, "The War at Home" will screen every hour for the next two decades at the National Historical Park in San Francisco.

Seavey is also masterminding an interactive film about the upcoming theatrical dance piece “Healing Wars,” choreographed by 2002 MacArthur fellow Liz Lerman, MA ’82. “Healing Wars”—which looks at the experiences of people tasked with healing physical and psychological wounds of war—is one of several projects conceived for the National Civil War Project. Read more.

Nine Columbian College Alumni Join GWAA Board
The George Washington Alumni Association named nine Columbian College alumni to its Board of Directors. They are Martin Baum, BA ’82, Shannon Cerminaro Doyle, BA ’96, Brooke DeLancey, BA ’08, MA ’10, Kristine Esposo, BA ’07, Tim Gowa, BA ’10, Jennifer Leighton-Guzman, BA ’06, Priscilla Monico, BA ’07, Courtney Tallman Thorne, BA ’05, MPA ’07, and Marilyn Yakowitz, MPHIL ’74, PHD ’80. The new members will work with other volunteers from across the university to strengthen the relationship between alumni and their alma mater and work with the Office of Alumni Relations to implement new programs and services for GW alumni. Read more.

In Memoriam: Otto Bergman
We note with regret the passing of Otto Bergman, a professor of physics at GW from 1962 until his retirement in1998. During his tenure here, Bergman served in the Faculty Senate and published numerous articles on particle physics, special and general relativity, plasma physics, and material science. Read more.

New Books
Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction, by Eric Cline,chair of the department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Oxford University Press)

Awards and Recognition
Donna Betts, assistant professor of art therapy, has been elected by the American Art Therapy Association to serve as President-Elect for a two-year term.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, recently spoke at the White House about his journey as an Asian American dancer and choreographer; that same day, a dance solo he choreographed was performed for President Obama and guests.

An undergraduate thesis on fossil Hominin footprints by Heather Dingwall, BS ’12, was recently cited in Nature. Her research was supported by a Gamow Fellowship and a Provost/OVPR Undergraduate Fellowship.

D. Gilson, an English graduate student, received the Larry Neal Writers' Award in poetry from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Llewelyn Hughes, assistant professor of Political Science and International Affairs, published "The Politics of Energy" with Phillip Lipscy in the Annual Review of Political Science.

Heather Jameson, doctoral candidate in pharmacology and physiology, won a two-year award from the American Heart Association in support of her dissertation project, "Role of Oxytocin Neurons in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Mediated Cardiovascular Disease."

Eric Lawrence, Robert Stoker, and Hal Wolman, all faculty in the Department of Political Science, published "The Effects of Beneficiary Targeting on Public Support for Social Policies" in the May issue of Policy Studies Journal.

Sally Nuamah, BA '11, gave a TEDx talk on girls and education in Ghana, based on research she began as a Luther Rice Fellow at GW.

Undergraduate biology student Mariana Abarca Zama received a prestigious George M. Wright Climate Change Fellowship from the National Park Service.

We Want to Hear From You!

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