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An Update from the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

July 2013


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LGBT Health Forum: The DOMA Decision and the Affordable Care Act—The Impact on LGBT Health
July 17, 7:00 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium

Harvest Home Open House
July 27, 11:00 am
Catholic University

Information Session: MS in High Technology Crime Investigation
August 7, 6:30 pm
Arlington Graduate Education Center

GW’s Summer Piano and Chamber Music Concert Series: Peris, Watson, Orlando & the Aeolus Quartet
August 8, 6:30 pm
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Department News


Art Therapy



East Asian Languages and Literature



Fine Art and Art History

Forensic Sciences



Interior Architecture and Design

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

Women's Studies

Unlocking a Cure for Tuberculosis
Cynthia Dowd 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. The team, which included Emma Edelstein, BS ’13, and Emily Jackson, PhD ’13, designed and tested molecules that work like a chemical Trojan Horse, sneaking past the defenses of TB-causing bacterial cells and, once inside, blocking functions essential for survival. Their work was published online this summer in the journal MedChemComm. Read more.

A Shakespearian Obsession: Katherine Bradshaw’s Love of the Bard
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. But Bradshaw’s passion began long before college or even high school English class. It all started at the ripe age of seven, when her parents gave her a child’s book retelling Shakespearean plays. Read more.

How Throwing Made Us Human
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. Read more.

New Model for High Performance Computing Launched
Columbian College spearhead the launch last month of GW’s Colonial One cluster, which establishes a new model for High Performance Computing (HPC) by centralizing the management and service delivery for HPC resources. Located at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, Colonial One is a collaborative effort between the college, the Division of IT, School of Medicine, and nearly 100 faculty researchers. The $2 million investment in GW’s research computing infrastructure provides a central resource to support a wide variety of projects and encourages inter-disciplinary partnerships across the university’s three campuses. Read more.

Greening a Ubiquitous Gray
It’s an essential part of the glue that builds cities and much of the space between them. But the process of creating cement, a chief ingredient in concrete, generates nearly as much of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide as it does the cement itself. Chemistry professor Stuart Licht thinks he can cut that rate to zero. He’s developed a solar-powered process that recently was awarded a four-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Now Licht and an interdisciplinary team of GW scientists are refining the proof-of-concept. Read more.

Dean’s Scholars in Globalization Takes Students to Asia
As an associate professor of psychology and organizational sciences, David Costanza specializes in teaching students how organizations develop and deliver their human resource systems. He took his lessons further this summer—almost 10,000 miles further—when he led students through Singapore, Vietnam, and China as part of the Dean’s Scholars in Globalization Program. Read more.

Wu to Lead Innovative Study of the Brain’s Auditory Systems
The brain’s billions of neurons work together in complex networks to form the connections that allow us to process all types of information from the world around us. That includes hearing sounds and being able to tell precisely where the sounds are coming from. But how does the brain make this sound-locating maneuver? Through a prestigious grant from the Whitehall Foundation, Assistant Professor of Psychology Guangying Wu will study how the brain’s inhibitory circuits play a role in processing information on sound location. Read more.

Students Unveil “Coming Soon” Exhibit
Walk into the Great Hall of the Marvin Center this summer and you’ll notice a new addition to the space—a four-panel installation celebrating the new George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, as well as the university’s growing number of collections. The project is the work of 12 graduate students from Columbian College’s Museum Exhibition Design Institute, a summer course held over six weeks led by faculty members Carl Gudenius and Barbara Brennan from the Exhibit Design Graduate Certificate program. Read more.

Design Dream Team
Have you ever wanted to redesign a room, but felt you couldn’t afford to hire a designer? Meet three Colonials who beg to differ—and who started their own interior design firm, ZOOM Interiors, to prove it. Beatrice Fischel-Bock, BA ’13, Elizabeth Grover, BA ’13, and Madeline Fraser, BA ’14, met while students in Columbian College’s Interior Architecture and Design program and hatched the idea to launch a cost effective design service for college students and young professionals. Read more.

Persian Summer Program Stresses Training, Proficiency, Culture
Thanks to a grant from the National Foreign Language Center’s Startalk initiative, a new summer Persian Immersion program was launched last month focused on teacher training, student proficiency, and cultural understanding. The program was led by Assistant Professor Pardis Minuchehr, who directs Columbian College’s Persian language program. Minuchehr plans to continue to stress the themes of proficiency and cultural awareness during the upcoming academic year in teaching an ancient language (known as Farsi in Iran and Afghanistan) that has becoming increasingly critical to our understanding in today’s modern world. Read more.

New Books
Megiddo V, co-edited by Eric Cline, chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute.

Awards and Recognition
Shelley Brundage, director of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences graduate program, was elected a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The fellowship is the highest form of recognition given by ASHA for individual achievement.

Kimberly Morgan, associate professor of political science, and doctoral candidate Alex Reisenbichler published the article "How Germany Won the Euro Crisis" in Foreign Affairs.

Equitrekking, the PBS travel TV series hosted by alumna Darley Newman, BA ’01, has been honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Daytime Emmy Award. This is the show’s third Emmy for Outstanding Single Camera Photography and its eighth nomination.

Victor Weedn, chair of the Department of Forensic Sciences, appeared on the television program Evil Twins, for the episode “Blood Brothers,” which aired on Investigation Discovery on July 16. Weedn served as a forensic DNA expert.

We Want to Hear From You!

We welcome reactions, commentary and story recommendations on our Facebook page, or you can contact us at ccasnews@gwu.edu.