Dean's Council Holds Biannual Meeting
The SIS Dean's Council met on Oct. 19 during All-American Weekend.
"The SIS Dean's Council plays an invaluable role in the life of the School," said Dean James Goldgeier. "These alumni and friends of SIS provide so much support to enable us to be successful. I am grateful to them for that support and for the advice they provide as we create new and innovative programs and activities."
Dean's Council members advocate for SIS to promote a greater awareness of SIS nationally and internationally.
"The Dean's Council shapes the present and future role of the School in the lives of prospective students, current students, alumni and friends," said Associate Director of Alumni Relations Stephanie Block. "The Council also provides alumni and friends engagement with the School community in a unique way while making a positive impact."
Twice a year, the Dean's Council meets with the School's leadership team to hear about new programs and curriculum developments. They hear presentations from faculty, staff and students.
MORE HEADLINES - 10/26/2012
SIS Offers AU's First Three-Year Degree
International Service Attracts Students
Scholars Examine Cuban Missile Crisis
SIS Offers AU's First Three-Year Degree
Dean Goldgeier speaks to the inaugural class of Global Scholars.
The Global Scholars program is the first three-year B.A. offered at American University. The program accepted its first class of 57 high-achieving students in August 2011.
The program, profiled in U.S. News and World Report, The Chicago Tribune and USA Today, caters to academically motivated students who have a passion for studying international relations, said Professor Sarah Cleeland Knight, the program's director.
While the program received over 400 applications for the class of 2014, we "wanted to keep it small to focus on each student," said Knight.
Distinctive opportunities for the participants include specialized internships and living-learning communities, where the first-year students live together, supported by second-year Global Scholars.
"We have monthly community meetings," said Knight. "We've hosted speakers from the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development. On Nov. 6, Dean Goldgeier will talk about U.S. foreign policy and the election, and we'll go to the election night party in the SIS building to watch the returns."
In August 2012, the program began mentoring the first-year students by second-year Global Scholars.
"The students were paired by their interests," said Knight. "They've met during the community meetings, but they also get together informally once a month. That's been helpful in terms of navigating course registration, student activities and how to be a successful student."
Summer study trips are a highlight of the Global Scholars program. In 2012, the students traveled to Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.
"Studying abroad is a chance to complete core requirements toward the degree, and these courses are taught by AU experts in their field," said Knight. "But students also take advantage of the experiential learning elements. They learned about global environmental politics in the Galapagos, and studied international development in Costa Rica."
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International Service Attracts Students
Tyler Steinhardt, SIS/BA'15, in Masaka, Uganda with
students from the HOPEFUL School.
Tyler Steinhardt, SIS/BA '15, considered several D.C. universities, but his search ended when he reached SIS and saw a brochure for the Global Scholars three-year B.A. program.
"I thought the program was intense and strong," said the Baltimore native. "I liked how AU focused internationally and the strong international service program."
International service is a hallmark of Steinhardt's life. Through high school work with Fields of Growth International, he became familiar with the Holistic Organization for People's Empowerment for Uganda Locals (HOPEFUL), a nonprofit that harnesses "the passion of the lacrosse community into positive social impact through global leadership development, service and growing the game," according to its website. The program developed the HOPEFUL Uganda Peace Village and Orphan School, and the Uganda Lacrosse Union. In 2011, Steinhardt was named the Ugandan National Coach of the Year, and as general manager of the country's lacrosse team, he is training the players for the 2014 World Championships in Denver.
Steinhardt said balancing his work abroad with his academic requirements is essential to the Global Scholars program. "Global Scholars allows me to pursue the HOPEFUL initiative. It's a true grassroots nonprofit movement, and that's the real power in it."
Steinhardt also combined his love of lacrosse and his talent for service through another grassroots movement. The "Shootout for Soldiers," a 24-hour lacrosse game in Baltimore, raised over $120,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project in summer 2012.
"The event was way better than anyone expected," Steinhardt said. "We had a $10,000 goal, and we ended up raising $120,000. A thousand people played in the game; it was insane."
Steinhardt hopes to pursue a career linking sports and development, a combination made possible by the Global Scholars program.
"Global Scholars supports this dream. AU focuses on internships and doing what you love and pursuing that. That rang bells for me. 'Are you going to allow me to do what I want with my life?' " Steinhardt said. "That was a big thing."
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Dean James Goldgeier welcomes Y.J. Choi, Korean Ambassador (center) to the U.S. Oct. 15 at the Korea-America Seminar:
"U.S. - South Korean Relations Under the New Administration."
American and Korean media attended the event.
Scholars Examine Cuban Missile Crisis
James Blight and Janet Lang of the Balsillie School
of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo,
in Waterloo, Canada, presented "The Armageddon
Letters" on Oct. 16.
SIS commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis with a series of lectures, book talks and presentations the week of Oct. 15.
"We want to create a time machine today," said Janet Lang, research professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, who presented "The Armageddon Letters" with James Blight, Centre for International Governance Innovation chair in foreign policy development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, on Oct. 16. The scholars included video and real-time blogs, written by fictional John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in their multi-media project.
"One of our tasks is to engage your gut, your heart, your soul," Lang said. "You have to get a sense of what it was like when you didn't know what was going to happen."
The value of studying the Cuban Missile Crisis cannot be underestimated, said Professor Robert Pastor.
"No single event brought the world closer to a nuclear holocaust than the confrontation in October 1962 between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after the Soviets sent nuclear weapons to Cuba. Few incidents have been studied more intensely than that," Pastor said. "What we didn't know at the time turns out to be much more important than what we knew. And we only began learning what actually happened 30 years later, at a conference in Havana in 1992 when Fidel Castro, the Soviet Ambassador to Cuba and the Soviet military leader in Cuba at the time of the crisis, told us such extraordinary secrets that Robert McNamara, who was there, was flabbergasted. I was also there and, indeed, had spoken to Fidel Castro in 1980 about some of what he disclosed. The revelations should compel all students of international politics to return to the case study and learn both old and new lessons for the 21st century."
"This is a way to get excited about history," said Lang.
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Alexandra Barrantes, SIS/MA '04, visited the Career Center Drop-in Advising station in the SIS Atrium Oct. 10 to talk to interested students about her work as a social protection specialist at the Organization of American States.
Alumnus Hani Farsi Receives AU Honor
Hani Farsi, SIS/BA '92, received the Cyrus A. Ansary Medal from AU President Cornelius Kerwin Oct. 18.
Alumnus Hani Farsi, SIS/BA '92, received the Cyrus A. Ansary Medal at the 2012 AU President's Circle Dinner Oct. 18.
Farsi founded the Mohammed S. Farsi Foundation in 2009 to donate to three critical areas - healthcare, education and environmental work. He established the Mohammed S. Farsi Foundation Middle East Scholarship at AU in 2011 to allow college students from Tunisia and Egypt to spend their junior year attending AU's Washington Semester Program. The scholarships "are designed to encourage global cooperation and closer international relations by promoting the idea of global citizenship," according to the Foundation's website.
With his father, Farsi established the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace at SIS in 1996, the first chair endowed at any university in the U.S. devoted to the study of Islam and peace. Farsi also serves on American University's Board of Trustees.
The Cyrus A. Ansary Medal honors alumni, donors or volunteers who have displayed extraordinary commitment and leadership, within the university or their professions - and who have notable accomplishments, in service to the university and for the benefit of the community at large. Previous SIS-affiliated winners include: Alan H. Fleischmann, SIS/SPA/BA/BS '87, chair of the SIS Dean's Council; and Esther Benjamin, SIS/MA '92, CAS/MA '95, associate director for global operations of the U.S. Peace Corps.
SIS and Bretton Woods Committee Host Career Event
Panelists SIS Professor Arturo Porzecanski and Thelma Diaz, former resident director, Asian Development Bank
SIS and The Bretton Woods Committee co-sponsored "Introduction to Careers at the International Financial Institutions" Sept. 27. SIS Professors Arturo Porzecanski and John Starrels organized the event with two alumni - Bretton Woods Committee Deputy Director Carmen Iezzi Mezzera, SIS/BA/MA '00, '01; and Bretton Woods Committee Executive Director Randy Rodgers, SIS/MA '97.
The Bretton Woods Committee was founded in 1983 by lawyer Henry Fowler and Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department Charls Walker, who suggested a "non-partisan network of prominent global citizens which works to demonstrate the value of international economic cooperation," according to the Committee's website.
"We're open to business to the D.C. community, and we look forward to partnering with other organizations like this one to present programs of interest," Porzecanski said.
Event participants included panelists Thelma Diaz, former resident director, Asian Development Bank; Jean-Louis Sarbib, executive director of Development Gateway and former senior vice president of the World Bank; SIS Professor John Starrels and Human Resources Consultant for the World Bank John Waterston.
This was the first time that the Committee held an event like this, Iezzi Mezzera said, adding that she automatically asked SIS to host the panel discussion.
"Being alumni made the decision easy, but we also wanted to work with a school that had both a great reputation for supporting the development of future leaders," she said, adding that they also wanted to work with one that had strong programs in areas that feed into the work of the international financial institutions such as international development, business, economics, communications and government. "We hope it is the first of many young leaders/young professionals programs. Later in 2012, we will launch the next wave of that effort aimed at graduate students."
As a student at SIS, Iezzi Mezzera valued similar events aimed at job-seeking students.
"Most were sponsored by in-house groups, so I hope that SIS will continue to engage external organizations like Bretton Woods to host similar events on or off campus," she said. "One aspect of my time at SIS that I particularly appreciate as my career moves forward is the range of experiences and the flexibility of the training I received. I suspect students today benefit similarly from being exposed to many different types of organizations, ideas and possibilities."
Porzecanski agreed with the advantages gained by these types of programs.
"Lots of students - not just AU students - came to campus to attend this event who might not otherwise have come," said Porzecanski. "It's a good example of somebody coming up with an idea and as a result all kinds of beautiful things come out of it."
We invite readers to send comments to SISComm@american.edu. Please include your graduation year and degree.
"Great story. This is great stuff," wrote Alan H. Fleischmann, SIS/SPA/BA/BS '87, chair of the SIS Dean's Council, about the article "Secretary of State Clinton Launches U.S.-Pakistan Women's Council" in the Oct. 9 newsletter.
"Read some pretty exciting stuff in SIS News on the Pakistan and woman agenda," said Christina Gonsalves, SIS/BA '09.
Maria Elena Franco, SIS/MA '11, works at Start-Up Chile, a government funded program supporting expatriate entrepreneurs with funds and visas. CNN featured the program Oct. 11.
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Getting to Know You - Leeanne Dunsmore
Title: Associate Dean for Program Development and Enrollment Management
Duties: I have the incredible pleasure of creating new programs in response to changing trends in higher education, developing partnerships throughout the world for our students and recruiting talented future leaders for our graduate programs. I am currently working on the launch of an online degree program and Global Scholars, the highly successful three-year B.A. program.
How long at SIS? Let's just say I have been here so long, I ordered the first computers we purchased for the school: PS/2 Model 25s with dual floppy drives. It was a big deal to convince the University we needed computers!
You'd be surprised to know: I the first in my family to attend college and I was an international student from Canada. My background has had a profound influence on my work. I understand how important it is to provide all students with access to education and to create opportunities for students to experience the world.
Best part of working at SIS: Every day at least three people come to me with a great idea that will improve the life of someone in our community; a new program, scholarship, internship or job - there are endless opportunities.
First job: I made spaghetti at a spaghetti machine and noodle works.
Where I grew up: I was born in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, moved to Europe as a child and still consider Italy my home. I am a classic global nomad.
Family: Next year, I will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary, and I have two amazing boys who keep me in the know.
Hobbies: Running keeps me sane, and photography.
Weekends: I live near a lake with great running trails. You can find me there most weekends with my dogs and friends.
What I'm reading these days: Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven.
Favorite movie: The movie "Love Actually." There is a scene at the end of the movie in which people are greeting each other at an airport. I spend so much time in airports, and I love arriving in different countries and seeing people greet one another. No matter where you go in the world, when you get off a plane, people are eagerly awaiting their loved ones, and it reminds me of how much we all have in common.
Favorite D.C. hangout: The Verizon Center when the Capitals have a home game.
Favorite food: Coffee - couldn't survive without it.
Last vacation: I went scuba diving in the Florida Keys with my family. I haven't had a moment to plan my next one, but I most certainly will need one soon!
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Dean James Goldgeier's op-ed, "Don't Forget NATO," was featured in The New York Times/International Herald Tribune Oct. 16.
Professor Robert Pastor: Interviewed in "The Untold Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis," Associated Press, Oct. 16.
Professor Michael Dobbs's op-ed, "The Price of a 50-year Myth," appeared in The New York Times Oct. 16.
Professor Philip Brenner: Interviewed in "Looking Back at the Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 Years Later," WTOP, Oct. 15.
Professor Gordon Adams: Interviewed in "The Pivot to Asia and the Urgent Fight Against Waterborne IEDs," Foreign Policy, Oct. 15.
Professor Philip Brenner: Interviewed in "Marking the Cuban Missile Crisis," Al-Jazeera, Oct. 14.
Professor Gordon Adams: Interviewed in "Romney Will Channel Reagan on World Affairs in Debate," The Washington Times, Oct. 14.
Professor Ben Jensen: Interviewed in "Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban Was Named for a Battlefield Heroine," International Herald Tribune, Oct. 14.
Professor Philip Brenner: Interviewed in "50 Years After Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. Influence in Hemisphere Waning," The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 14.
Professor Robert Pastor: Interviewed in "Cuban Missile Crisis Beliefs Endure After 50 Years," KCAU-TV (Sioux City, IA), Oct. 13.
Professors Svetlana Savranskaya, Philip Brenner and Michael Dobbs: Interviewed on "Cuban Missile Crisis: The Other Secret One," on BBC News, Oct. 13.
Professor David Mislan: Interviewed in "Live Blog: The Vice Presidential Debate," U.S. News and World Report, Oct. 11.
Professor Arturo Porzecanski: Interviewed in "In Fight for a Mexican Company, a Peek into a Tycoon's World," The New York Times, Oct. 11.
Professor Gordon Adams's column, "Never Mind About Those Jobs Cuts," appeared in Foreign Policy Oct. 10.
Professor Robert Pastor's op-ed, "A Third Path to a Solution is Needed in Syria," appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 10.
Professor Matthew Taylor: Interviewed in "Brazilian Corruption Case Raises Hopes for Judicial System," The New York Times, Oct. 9.
Professor Robin Broad's blog, "Economic Growth, 'Development' and the Triple Crisis: Reflections on El Salvador and Gold Mining," appeared on Triple Crisis Oct. 9.
Professor Matthew Taylor: Interviewed in "Brazil's Supreme Court Convicts Lula Aides of Corruption," Reuters, Oct. 9.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed: Interviewed in "The War on Terror is a War on Women," University of Cambridge Research News, Oct. 8.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed: Mentioned in " 'One Film 9/11' Can Make a Difference," The Huffington Post, Oct. 8.
Professor Celeste Wallander's op-ed, "Rocket Science 101," appeared in Foreign Policy Oct. 8.
Professor Gordon Adams: Interviewed in "Romney Lays Out Policies for Foes and Friends of America," The Washington Times, Oct. 8.
Professor Philip Brenner: Interviewed in "A 50 Años de la Crisis de los Misiles, ¿Aprendió el Mundo Algo?" La Página (El Salvador), Oct. 7.
Professor Susan Benesch's article, "The Innocence of YouTube" (with Rebecca MacKinnon), appeared in Foreign Policy Oct. 5.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed's poem, "First Love," appeared in The Huffington Post Oct. 5.
Professor Robert Pastor: Interviewed in "Future of Voter ID in Other States is Unclear," The Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 4.
Professor Arturo Porzecanski: Interviewed in "Bond Vigilantes' Ghana Ambush Proves Default Hex Unbroken," Bloomberg, Oct. 4.
Professor Gordon Adams's blog post, "The Sheathed Sword: In an Era of Draw Down, Dempsey's Capstone Concept Fails to Set Priorities," appeared in Foreign Policy Oct. 3.
Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer: Interviewed in "In Assisi, Seeking Love and Forgiveness in the Shadow of St. Francis," The Washington Post, Oct. 2.
Professor Jeff Colgan: Interviewed by KSA2 News (Saudi Arabia), Sept. 11.
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SIS Professor Derrick L. Cogburn received the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha Award for outstanding teaching in political science.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed delivered the keynote address, "Urgency of Christian-Muslim Dialogue: the Case of Pakistan" at the Oct. 8 "Roundtable Meeting on Pakistan," held at Lambeth Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The event was chaired by Bishop Tony Robinson, archbishop of Pontefract.
SIS Professor Susan Benesch spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations on Oct. 23 and at the First Amendment Advisory Council of the Media Institute's second annual celebration of Free Speech Week on Oct. 25.
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Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) will discuss his book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change Monday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. in the Abramson Family Founders Room. The event is free and open to the public.
Friday, Oct. 26, Ronald Pruessen returns to SIS to co-host the symposium "America's Role in the World: Views from Abroad" with Dean James Goldgeier from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Abramson Family Founders Room.
SIS will host the Second Annual Greater D.C. Master's International Fair Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m in the SIS Atrium. Master's International (MI) offers the unique opportunity to integrate a master's degree with overseas service in a variety of fields. For more information, visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/learn/whyvol/eduben/mastersint/. The event is free and open to the public.
Join SIS for an Election Night party Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., or until the returns are in. There's free parking in the SIS building at the intersection of Nebraska and New Mexicoa Avenues. View the returns, enjoy food and drink throughout the evening and hear expert commentary by SIS faculty. The event, held in the SIS Atrium, is free and open to the public; RSVP at http://www.american.edu/sis/electionopenhouse.cfm.
SIS Ph.D. candidate Katherine Tennis will discuss "Outsourcing Exclusion: The Politics of Migration Management in Migrant-Sending States" Thursday, Nov. 15 from 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. in SIS 300 as part of the fall International Relations Workshop. The free event is open to SIS faculty.
The Social Enterprise program will sponsor a three-part workshop on design thinking Saturday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 1. The workshop is open to the public; fees are $15 for students and $25 for professionals. Visit the workshop's Facebook page for information on locations and registration.
Alexander Downes, associate professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University in D.C., will speak on "Foreign-Imposed Regime Change and the Onset of Civil War" Monday, Dec. 10 in SIS 300 from 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. The free event, part of the fall International Relations Workshop, is open to SIS faculty.
American University offers free parking in the SIS garage and in the Nebraska Avenue lot after 5 p.m. on weekdays. The SIS building is located at the intersection of Nebraska and New Mexico Avenues, NW.
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