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About the College | Achievements

Please see below for recent student, alumni, faculty, and staff accomplishments:

Please send achievements announcements to emilyd@american.edu.


Recent Achievements

John Bracht John Bracht (biology) received a $50,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project titled "I-Corps: Using Genomics to Detect Pathogens."

 Nicole Caporino Nicole Caporino (psychology) received the first-ever Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for Excellence in the Integration of Science and Practice from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) at ABCT’s 50th annual convention in New York.

Mark Laubach Mark Laubach (biology) was awarded $10,078.20 from Yale University for his project "Remote Effects of Focal Hippocampal Seizures in Neocortical Function."

GRANTS AND RESEARCH

Alida Anderson (School of Education) received $146,389 (represents year one of this project) from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for the project titled “Master Teacher Cadre Program – Secondary Special Education Cohort.”

Anthony Ahrens (psychology) was awarded $23,817 from Catholic University of America (CUA) (CUA funding from: Saint Louis University and SLU funding from: John Templeton Foundation) for the project titled "Integrating Social Cognitive Theory and Virtue Ethics."

Boncho Bonev (physics) received $97,761 from NSF for the project "Comets and the History of Volatile Matter During Planetary System Formation;” $65,355 from John Hopkins University for the project "Parent Volatiles in Comets;" and $43,733 (represents partial funding of total $132,590 for a three-year project through December 7, 2019) from NASA for the project "Spatial-Spectral Studies of Water and the Physical Environment of Inner Cometary Atmospheres."

John Bracht (biology) received a $50,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project titled "I-Corps: Using Genomics to Detect Pathogens."

Molly Dondero (sociology) was awarded $31,889 from Pennsylvania State University for the project "The Mexican Children of Immigrants Program."

Mark Laubach (biology) was awarded $10,078.20 from Yale University for his project "Remote Effects of Focal Hippocampal Seizures in Neocortical Function."

Stephen MacAvoy (environmental science) was awarded $14,445 from the Cave Conservancy of the Virginias for his project "Assessing the trophic ecology and climate change resilience of Stygobromus tenuis."

Laura Owens (School of Education) was awarded $42,398 from Harvard University (funding from US Department of Education) for her project titled "Digital Messaging for Improving College Enrollment and Success.”

David Pike (literature) was awarded $143,63 from ACLS for the project is entitled "Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: Narrating Urban Space in the Global South," and will be conducting it in collaboration with Professors Malini Ranganathan (SIS) and Sapana Doshi (U of Arizona, School of Geography and Development).

Michael Robinson (mathematics and statistics) was awarded $32,704 from the Battelle Memorial Institute / Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for his project titled "Topological Data Modeling for High Performance Data Analytics."

Anastasia Snelling (health studies) received $29,950 from A Wider Circle from her project titled A Wider Circle "Wraparound Support” Program Evaluation.

Catherine Stoodley (psychology) was awarded $19,518 (represents year one of an expected three year project totaling $98,513) from the University of Denver (funded by NIH) for the project titled "Cognitive and Neural Predictors of Comorbidity Between Reading and Attention Problems.”

John Willoughby (economics) received $421,223 from Open Society Foundations for his project titled "Proposal to Support the Organizational Strengthening of the Program for Gender Analysis of the Economy."

APPOINTMENTS AND HONORS

Nicole Caporino (psychology) received the first-ever Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for Excellence in the Integration of Science and Practice from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) at ABCT’s 50th annual convention in New York. She has been selected as a 2016 “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science (APS). The Rising Star designation recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.

Robb Hunter (Department of Performing Arts) was nominated for Outstanding Choreography for An Octoroon (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company) for the 2017 Helen Hayes awards.

Natalie Konerth (BS applied mathematics) received the Patriot League Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for her second consecutive season.

David Landstrom (Department of Performing Arts alumn) was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for Next to Normal (The Keegan Theatre) for the 2017 Helen Hayes awards.

Aaron Posner (Department of Performing Arts) was nominated for Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation for District Merchants (Folger Theatre) for the 2017 Helen Hayes awards.

Meghan Raham (Department of Performing Arts) was nomitated for Outstanding Set Design for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Round House Theatre) for the 2017 Helen Hayes awards.

Jonelle Walker (Department of Performing Arts alumn) was nominated for Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation for TAME (WSC Avant Bard) for the 2017 Helen Hayes awards.

PUBLICATIONS, PRODUCTIONS, AND EXHIBITIONS

Laura Beers (history) recently authored the book Red Ellen, which is about the British MP Ellen Wilkinson. Martin Rubin of The Wall Street Journal wrote a review of Red Ellen. Rubin writes that Beers, “draws a multifaceted portrait, capturing the woman herself as well as her remarkable political career.”

Max Paul Friedman (history) wrote about flag burning as a means of protest for New York Daily News. Friedman wrote, “No one should trample on the First Amendment's protection of free speech. But anyone readying to set the flag alight ought to reconsider. The problem with flag burning is that it is unintelligible speech.”

For The Hill, Evan Kraft (economics) authored an opinion article about an increase in the minimum wage that is taking effect in 19 states across the country. Kraft wrote, “If set too high, it should lead to a situation of excess supply. More people are willing to work at the higher, regulated wage than at the equilibrium wage set by the free market.”

Deborah Norris's (psychology) book In the Flow: Passion, Purpose and the Power of Mindfulness was published in November.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez (literature)authored an article for The Washington Post about the impact skin tones can have on families. Perkins-Valdez notes, “While darker skin subjects people to discrimination, a lighter hue also can pose problems.”

Christopher W. Totten's (art) book Level Design: Processes and Experiences was published December 2016 by A K Peters/CRC Press.

IN THE MEDIA

Anthony Ahrens (psychology) spoke with NPR about the feeling of gratitude and his recent research into why some people are more grateful than others. “Autonomous folks who really value independence might feel that gratitude undermines that independence, says Ahrens.”

Robert Blecker (econmonics) spoke to Canada's CBCNews about Donald J. Trump and Carrier jobs in Indiana. "Can this work in the long run? Well, he's not going to negotiate with every company," Blecker said. He also talked with Salon about Donald Trump's threats against Mexico and the impact on consumers on both sides of the border. “For both the U.S. and Mexico, it's challenging because if you start putting tariffs on imports from the other country, you're essentially putting tariffs on some of the inputs of many of the things you want to make,” Blecker said. In addition, Blecker spoke to Politifact about Kellyanne Conway's inaccuracy regarding Mexico's primary source of income. Blecker noted, "Remittances are important -- just far from No. 1."

Terry Davidson (director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience) talked to NPR about how poor eating habits can affect both the body and the brain. Davidson stated, "It's surprising to me that people would question that obesity would have a negative effect on the brain, because it has a negative effect on so many other bodily systems," he says, adding, why would "the brain would be spared?"

Ellen Feder (philosphy) spoke with Health.com about intersex. “Many of these surgeries are not necessary for the health and well-being of the child,” says Feder.

Max Paul Friedman (history) spoke with New Orleans Public Radio about World War II history, specifically the Latin American deportation operation and Germans that lived there at the time. The Roosevelt administration asked FBI agents to go and find dangerous Nazis in Latin America, Friedman explained.

Matthew Hartings'(chemistry) research was featured in a 3D printing forum in www.3ders.org. Hartings and fellow researchers successfully printed a chemically active structure by using nanocomposites and a 3D printer. Hartings said, “As a chemist…I wanted 3D printed objects to be able to do chemistry after they were printed.”

Cheryl Holcomb-Mccoy (dean of the School of Education) spoke with Diverse: Issues in Higher Education about the Senate education committee's decision to move forward with the nomination of Betsy DeVos. Holcomb-Mccoy said, “I thought we were really moving in the right direction of ensuring that all students that choose to go to college in the U.S. have access to fair education and equitable education across the board.”

Kathleen Holton (health studies) spoke to Prevention Magazine about food additives and fibromyalgia.

Monica Jackson (mathematics and statistics) spoke to The Hechinger Report about the importance of helping and encouraging more African-American women to go into the STEM fields. Jackson said, “Give them access to resources that can hone their skills.'' She also noted, “Help her to see the fun in math. Math is very challenging but there is a beautiful side to it that makes it all worthwhile.”

Alan Kraut (history) spoke with the Associated Press and USA Today about the flaws of immigration in the United States. Kraut said, “Here we are, the United States, a nation of nations, with the iconic symbol of the Statue of Liberty, and yet we are still arguing about the peopling of America.” The story ran in about 400 publications nationwide.

Peter Kuznick (history) talked with WTOP and shared his views on President Trump. He also shared his expertise about what happens next involving mass protests with Christian Science Monitor.

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke with The Washington Post about his time-tested system that has successfully predicted the winner of presidential elections. Lichtman said, “Based on the 13 keys, it would predict a Donald Trump victory.”

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke with WTOP about President Obama's legacy. Lichtman said, “After all, Obama likely averted a financial meltdown [and] perhaps a descent into depression.” WTTG Fox 5 also spoke with Robert Lehrman, communications professor, about the president's farewell speech. In addition, he talked with Sinclair/WJLA online about President Obama’s decision to speak out against Trump and spoke with WTTG about President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

Juliana Martinez (World Languages and Culture) talked with US News & World Report about gender fluidity and coming out. Martinez said, "Even expressions like 'gender identity' are not familiar to most people,” so it is important to be prepared with clear definitions and setting expectations.

Pamela Nadell (history) talked with Hadassah Magazine about the uptick in anti-semitic incidents worldwide and provided historical context. Nadell said, “I turn to the past to look for lessons in the present. I like to think of a line from a poem by Muriel Rukeyser: “I am in the world/ to change the world,” and that's what I like my students to consider. They are here because we hope they are going to learn how to change the world for the better.”

Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska (history) spoke with Architectural Digest about how historians are coming together to save artifacts left behind from protesters across the country. She said, “So much contemporary activism is online, through social media platforms like Twitter, which museums and different historical societies are experimenting with collecting, but what those institutions work best with is tangible ephemera.”

Jennifer Steele (School of Education) spoke with NPR about her research on bilingual education. Steele said, "If it's just about moving the kids around that's not as exciting as if it's a way of teaching that makes you smarter."

David Vine (anthropology) spoke with Time Magazine about the positive impact of shutting down military bases. Vine stated, “Our bases in the Philippines and Japan today risk sucking us into a clash with China because of territorial and maritime disputes between the countries along the South China Sea.”