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

Submit achievements announcements with the CAS achievement form.


Grants and Research

Zois Boukouvalas (mathematics & statistics) was granted $200,000 from Energetics Technology Center, with prime funding from the Office of Naval Research, for his project titled "Data-Driven Multi-model Fusion for the Analysis of Energetic Material Systems." December 2020

Anastasia Snelling (health studies) was granted $33,000 from DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) for her project called "Assessing the role of corner stores for promoting and selling fresh produce." December 2020

Vladimir Airapetian (physics) received an award of $21,366 from NASA for his project called "Exploring Evolving Magnetic Activity of Young Suns with Nicer." December 2020

Anastasia Snelling (health studies)was awarded $110,00, representing year three, from the District of Columbia Department of Health, for her project called "Multi-Component Obesity Prevention in Targeted Settings." November 2020

Jessica Gephart (environmental science) received $17,226 from Stanford University, prime funding from the MAVA Foundation, for her project called "The Environmental Performance of Blue Foods." November 2020

Gregory Lane (economics) was awarded $12,521 from Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) for his project called "Coping with the Loss of Home: Improving Adolescent Mental Health with Education." October 2020

Gregory Harry (physics) received $92,407 from the National Science Foundation, which will span over three years, for his project called "Collaborative Research: LSC Center for Coatings Research." October 2020

Jesse Meiller (environmental science) received an award of $5,000 from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, with prime funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, for her project called "Microplastic Research in the Anacostia River Watershed." October 2020

Kim Blankenship (sociology) received an award of $11,986 for her project called "District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR)" from George Washington University. October 2020 

Kathryn Walters-Conte (STEM partnerships and outreach) was awarded a $52,522 supplement from NSF. She is working with John Bracht and Bill Bellows to continue science innovation and entrepreneurship training through the Tenleytown I-Corps Site during the COVID-19 pandemic. October 2020

Becca Peixotto (anthropology) was awarded $5,000 from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her project called "Maroons in the Great Swamp Comic/Graphic Novella." October 2020

Walter Park (economics) was granted $94,444, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for his project entitled COVID-19 and Patenting. July 2020 

Molly Dondero (sociology) was awarded an incremental fund of $23,127, from an expected total funding of $46,948, from the University of Texas Austin for her project called "Reproductive Responses to the Zika Virus Epidemic in Brazil." September 2020

Elizabeth Cotter (health studies) was awarded $144,143 from NIH, representing one year of an expected $716,046 over five years, for her project called "Reducing Maternal Stress to Improve Obesity-related Parenting Practices." September 2020

Anthony Ahrens (psychology) was awarded $40,935, from Lubuto Library Partners, for his project called "Honesty and HIV Prevention: Promoting Adolescent Sexual Health through Traditional Storytelling." September 2020

Gregory Lane (economics) was granted $16,865, from The World Bank Group, for his project called "Fostering Resilience in Low-Income Countries." September 2020

Ignacio Gonzalez-Garcia (economics) was awarded $150,363, from the New Venture Fund, for his work entitled "Changes in Taxation and Inequality: A quantitative exercise for the US." September 2020

Glen Kwende (economics) was granted $15,000, from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, for his project entitled "Workers' bargaining power in the United States over time." September 2020

Gregory Harry (physics) was awarded $92,410 for his project called, "Collaborative Research: LSC Center for Coatings Research." August 2020

Sauleh Siddiqui (environmental science) was awarded $200,000 from the National Science Foundation for his project, entitled "RAPID: Time-Sensitive Human Forest and Model Forecasts for COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Trails." August 2020

Gregory Harry (physics) was awarded $99,984, representing year one of an expected $299,955 award, stretched over three years, from the National Science Foundation, for his project called "Aluminum Gallium Arsenide Coatings to Improve LIGO Sensitivity." August 2020

Boncho Bonev (physics) received $347,553 from the National Science Foundation for his project, entitled: "Collaborative Research: Pushing the Boundaries of Post-Rosetta Cometary Science with the New Generation of Near-Infrared Spectographs." August 2020

Elizabeth Cotter (health studies) received $144,143 from the National Institute of Health to develop and pilot test a culturally relevant mindful parenting program intended to reduce maternal stress and improve obesity-related parenting behaviors. July 2020

Alexander Zestos (chemistry) received $50,000 when he won the Pittcon Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP) Starter Grant Award. July 2020

Nancy Snider (performing arts) was awarded $12,500, from The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation, Inc., for her project called: "Koster Foundation Summer Study Grant." June 2020

Molly Dondero (sociology) received $29,750, from the Russell Sage Foundation, for her project entitled: "Immigrant Integration and Institutional Attachments in an Era of Enforcement." June 2020

Adam McKay (physics) was awarded, from NASA, $20,454.43 in new funding, with a total expected funding of $147,944, for his project called: "Observational Analysis Support for Giant Plants and Small Bodies in the Solar System." April 2020

Adam McKay (physics) received an incremental funding of $57,754, with an expectance of $115,042 over four years from NASA, for his work entitled, "Observational Analysis Support for Giant Planets and Small Bodies in the Solar System." April 2020

Buck Woodard (anthropology) received $22,700 as Lead Ethnographer for the "Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP Tribal Affiliation Study," National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Washington, DC. April 2020

Hanning Chen (chemistry) was awarded $35,000 from George Washington University for his project, entitled: “Collaborative Research: Integrated Experimental and Computational Studies for Understanding the Interplay of Photoreactive Materials and Persistent Contaminants.” April 2020 

Hanning Chen (chemistry) was awarded $18,000 from his prime funder, George Washington University, for his project, entitled: “Development of Graphitic-Carbon-Nitride-Based Antimicrobial Nanomaterials for Safe Food Processing and Packaging.” April 2020 

Hanning Chen (chemistry) was awarded $11,250, as an incremental fund, from Utah State University, prime funder Honda Research Institute USA, Inc., for his project, named: “Systematic Exploration of MEG Materials for Solar Energy Conversion.” He is expecting a total funding of $45,000. April 2020

Boncho Bonev (physics) was awarded $64,955 from John Hopkins University, primarily funded by NASA, as a first-year payment. His three-year project – entitled: “A Comparative Study of How Ices are Stored in Cometary Nuclei” – is expected to receive a total funding of $198,855. April 2020 

Kim Blankenship (sociology) was sponsored by Yale University and awarded $40,958, which represents year one of an expected $153,675 award over five years, from the Federal Awarding Agency: NIH/NIDDK for her project, titled: “The effects of affordable housing access on type two diabetes self-management and control.” April 2020 

Boncho Bonev (physics) was awarded an incremental funding of $20,000 from the Regents of the University of Michigan, primarily funded by NASA, for his three-year project – entitled: “The Dynamics, Thermodynamics and Composition of the Cometary Coma” – which is expected to have a total funding of $127,626. April 2020 

Vladimir Airapetian (physics) was granted an incremental fund of $10,052, while expecting a total fund of $50,259 in the future, from the Space Telescope Science Institute for his project entitled: "The Evolving Magnetic Lives of Young Suns." April 2020

Michael Alonzo (environmental science) was awarded a grant for $416,659 from the National Science Foundation for his work titleled “Understanding Tree Species Response to Urban Heat Using High Resolution Remote Sensing.” April 2020

Laura Cutler (Center for Israel Studies) was awarded a grant for $40,000 from the Israel Institute Inc. for her Teaching Expansion project. April 2020

Pankaj Kumar (physics) received a grant for $74,536 from NASA for his work "Observational Determination of the Filament Channel Formation and Eruption of Solar Filament Channels.” April 2020

Pankaj Kumar (physics) received a grant for $112,234 from NASA for his project "Observational Determination of the Filament Channel Formation and Eruption of Solar Filament Channels”. This represents one of three years of funding with the total amounting to $341,376. April 2020

Pankaj Kumar (physics) received a grant for $30,774 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for his work on "Observational Determination of the Filament Channel Formation and Eruption of Solar Filament Channels” Research for the Center for Research and Exploration in Solar-Planetary Science. April 2020

Douglas Fox (chemistry) received $36,519 of additional funding from the US Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc. for his project titled "14C Labeled Cellulose Nanofibrils for EHS Studies”. The new total award for this project is $89,377. April 2020

Maria Floro (economics) received a grant for $50,000 from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) for the project "Capacity Building for Policy Advocacy on Care”. This is a supplement to a previous award from OSF to expand the scope of the project. April 2020

Victoria Connaughton (biology) received a grant for $10,000 from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) - Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) for her work on the project "Using zebrafish to assess water health of Paint Branch Stream, an upstream tributary within the Anacostia watershed.” March 2020

Mark Nelson (computer science) received a $174,951 grant from the National Science Foundation to systematically characterize the performance and robustness of AI decision-making algorithms, using games as benchmark domains. March 2020

Anastasia Snelling (health studies) received a grant for $33,000 from DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) for her work on “Healthy Corners Evaluation Project.” March 2020

Philip Johnson (physics) received a grant for $119,677 from NASA for the project “Remote Sensing of Planetary Atmospheres in the Solar System and Beyond.” This amount represents incremental funding with a total expected funding of $758,114 through March 31, 2023. March 2020

Molly Dondero (sociology) received a pipeline grant from the Russell Sage Foundation/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for her work on “Immigrant Integration and Institutional Attachments in an Era of Enforcement.” March 2020

Anastasia Snelling (health studies) received a grant for $80,609 from District of Columbia Public Schools – Food and Nutrition Services for her work on “Plant-Based Meals in DC Public Schools.” Feb. 2020

Hanning Chen (chemistry) received a grant for $18,000 from US Department of Agriculture for a project titled "Development of Graphitic-Carbon-Nitride-Based Antimicrobial Nanomaterials for Safe Food Processing and Packaging." Jan. 2020

Hanning Chen (chemistry) received a grant for $35,000 from the National Science Foundation for his project "SusChem: Collaborative Research: Integrated Experimental and Computational Studies for Understanding the Interplay of Photoreactive Materials and Persistent Contaminants." Jan 2020

Stephen Casey (math & statistics) received a grant for $77,648 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) for his project “Novel Techniques for Signal Analysis and Processing: Sampling Non-Euclidean Geometries, Network Tomography, Time-Frequency Analysis, and the Analysis of Point Processes.” This represents funding for one year of a three-year project with an expected total funding of $228,269. Jan. 2020

Zois Boukouvalas (math & stats) received a grant for $40,000 from Energetics Technology Center (prime funding from Office of Naval Research) for his work on “Undersea Weapons and Energetics Technology Development Using Machine Discovery & Invention (MD&I).” Jan. 2020

Anastasia Snelling (health studies) received a two year grant for $100,000 from the District of Columbia Department of Health for the project, Faithfully Fit – “Multi-Component Obesity Prevention in Targeted Settings.” Jan. 2020

Appointments and Honors

Dan Kerr (history) has moved to the position of President for the Oral History Association. October 2020

Orisanmi Burton (anthropology) received a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, Harvard UniversityJune 2020

Bob Connelly (women's, gender and sexuality studies) worked on Disasters at Sea, a TV series aired on the Smithsonian Channel that won a 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Factual Series. May 2020

Aaron Posner (theatre) won the 2020 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play for Life Sucks, a loose adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. May 2020

Melissa Scholes Young (literature) has been appointed editor of Furious Gravity. May 2020

Laura Brower Hagood (art history/arts management) has been appointed executive director of the Historical Society of Washington. April 2020

Pamela S. Nadell (Jewish studies) was awarded the top prize in the 2019 National Jewish Book Awards, the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year for her work “America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today”. March 2020

Terry Davidson (psychology and neuroscience) has been appointed as a Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience by American University’s Board of Trustees. March 2020

Kareem Rabie (anthropology) has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for next year. Feb. 2020

Rachel Louise Snyder (literature) was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction for her book No Visible BruisesJan 2020

Publications, Exhibitions, and Productions

Rachel Louise Snyder published an article “Punch After Punch, Rape After Rape, a Murderer Was Made" in the New York Times. December 2020

Alexander Zestos (chemistry) published an article "Polymer Modified Carbon Fiber Microelectrodes for Precision Neurotransmitter Metabolite Measurements" in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. December 2020

Michael Brenner (center for israel studies) authored an article in Forward about CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour apologzing for comparing President Trump to Nazis. November 2020

Chet'la Sebree (MFA in creative writing) wrote a book called "Field Study" that will be published, by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, a major publishing company, that will be released in June, 2021. November 2020

Valzhyna Mort (MFA in creative writing) was interviewed by NPR about a book of poetry she wrote called "Music for the Dead and Resurrected" that was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, one of the biggest publishers in the U.S. November 2020

Donald Earl Collins (critical race, gender and cultural studies collaborative) published an article in Al Jazeera English called "In the US, voter suppressin will remain the norm." November 2020 

Shouzhong Zou (chemistry) and his team at AU had their research on if spinach-based catalysts have the ability to power fuel cells published in IEEE SpectrumOctober 2020

Laura Beers (history) published an opinion article in The New York Times about the possible appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and what that would look like for the future of women. October 2020

Christine Platt (Antiracist Research and Policy Center) spoke with the Wall Street Journal for a story about how Black parents and discussions about racism and protests are evolving in the wake of the social justice movement. September 2020

Grace Hasson (literature) is a junior at AU and wrote a book called "Into the Orange Grove," which focuses on her own poetry. September 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) co-authored an article entitled “Lists of Chemical Warfare Agents and Precursors from International Nonproliferation Frameworks: Structural Annotation and Chemical Fingerprint Analysis” in the Journal of Chemical of Information and Modeling. September 2020

Lindsay Milliken (political science) co-authored an article called "A Grassroots Effort to Fight Misinformation during the Pandemic." September 2020

David Vine (anthropology) published a new book, The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State. October 2020

K. Tyler Christensen (critical race, gender and culture studies) published a poetry collection, That Boy From Idaho. June 2020

Donald Earl Collins (history) reflects on the current state of the U.S. in "America isn't just a failing state, it is a failed experiment," published in Al Jazeera, and in a live interview, "Is America Permanently Broken?" in The Signal. August 2020

Donald Earl Collins (history) writes about the experience of being Black in America in "The Weight and Pressure of American Racism," published in Al Jazeera, and “American Culture Sees Blackness as the Damage It Did to Us, Not the Joy We Take in Ourselves,” in NBC News Think. July 2020

Brooke Wong (health studies) is the first author of a JAMA article entitled "Differences in Racial Disparities in Firearm Homicide Across Cities: The Role of Racial Residential Segregation and Gaps in Structural Disadvantage." August 2020

Alexander Zestos (chemistry) published an article called "Polymer-Modified Carbon Fiber Microelectrodes for Neurochemical Detection of Dopamine and Metabolites" in the Journal ECS Transactions. July 2020

Alexander Zestos (chemistry) published an article entitled "Timed Electrodeposition of PEDOT: Nafion onto Carbon Fiber-Microelectrodes Enhances Dopamine Detection in Zebrafish Retina" in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. July 2020

Stephen Casey (mathematics) co-authored a new book, Sampling: Theory and Applications, based on talks given at American University at SampTA 2015, an international conference of mathematicians, engineers, and applied scientists. June 2020

Sarah Bea Katz (creative writing) published an article, "Lyme disease: the other epidemic no one is talking about," for Al-Jazeera. April 2020

Buck Woodard (anthropology) published a research article called, "An Alternative to Red Power: Political Alliance as Tribal Activism in Virginia," in Comparative American Studies, Volume 17, Number 2. April 2020

Buck Woodard (anthropology) published a book entitled, "Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America's Indian School" with Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, from the Muscarelle Museum of Art at William & Mary. April 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) presented a virtual poster for the National Spring Meeting of the American Chemical Society entitled “Structurally Annotated Lists of Chemicals from International Frameworks for the Control of Chemical Weapons and Precursors.” Undergraduate student Charlotte Slavick is one of the co-authors of the poster. April 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) co-authored an article entitled "Updating the Chemical Weapons Convention: How We Got Here and What Is Next," published in Arms Control Today. April 2020

Max Paul Friedman (history) wrote an op-ed titled “How the Democratic candidates should talk to voters about Cuba” in The Hill. March 2020

Alexander Zestos (chemistry) published an article "Carbon Nanotube Yarn Microelectrodes Promote High Temporal Measurements of Serotonin Using Fast Scan Cyclic Voltammetry" in the journal, Sensors. Feb. 2020

Lily Donaldson (computer science) was invited to present her research at the US Department of Energy's 2020 Lighting R&D Workshop. Feb. 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) co-authored the article “Leveraging Cheminformatics to Bolster the Control of Chemical Warfare Agents and their Precursors,” published in a special issue on “emerging technology” of the journal Strategic Trade ReviewJan 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) published an article in The Non-Proliferation Review, entitled "Controlling Novichoks after Salisbury: revising the Chemical Weapons Convention schedules." Co-author: Gregory Koblentz, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. Jan 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) co-authored an article entitled “Leveraging Cheminformatics to Bolster the Control of Chemical Warfare Agents and their Precursors” in a special issue on “emerging technology” of the journal Strategic Trade ReviewJan 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) published an article in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, entitled "Influence of the Structural Accuracy of Homology Models on Their Applicability to Docking-Based Virtual Screening: The β2 Adrenergic Receptor as a Case Study." Three students are co-authors of this article. Jan 2020

Liz Cotter (health studies) Published a systematic review “A Review of Latino/Latinx Participants in Mindfulness-Based Intervention Research” in the journal Mindfulness with co-author Naya Jones. Jan 2020

Melissa Scholes Young (literature) published an article, "I Can't Be Your Becky: The Risk of Giving Readers What They Want, " in the Mark Twain Journal. The journal was founded in 1936 and is one of the oldest American journals dedicated to a single author. Jan. 2020

In the Media

Kara Reynolds (economics) appeared on PRI's The World to discuss the new trade group, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. November 2020

Nika Elder (performing arts) was interviewed in The Washington Diplomat for "Long Before Trump's 'Fake News,' Artists Stretched the Truth." October 2020

Mary Gray (mathematics and statistics) and Andrew Gelman, a Columbia University professor, represented the American Statistical Association in the Reddit "Voting in America" Ask Me Anything Series. October 2020

Daniela Muñoz (communications and culture) was quoted in a NPR article discussing the embracement of the term "Latinx," by saying that, "Latinx gives people the freedom to identify as they wish, 'the "x" in Latinx is a placeholder for whatever you want it to mean.'" October 2020

David Vine (anthropology) and his research on the expansion of US military bases were the subject of an article by the Investigative Reporting Workshop. September 2020

David Vine (anthropology)'s research on wartime population displacement since 9/11 was written up in New York Times Magazine. The article was shared on Twitter by US Representative Ilhan Omar. September 2020

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) was quoted, as a chemist and nonproliferation analyst, in the story "How German military scientists likely identified the nerve agent used to attack Alexei Navalny," published in Science Magazine. September 2020

Vladimir Airapetian (physics) was interviewed on NASA TV explaining what is hopefully discovered when researchers look outside of our solar system. August 2020

Mary Ellen Curtin (American studies) spoke to NPR Atlanta about America's history of leasing African-American prison labor. August 2020

Donald Earl Collins (history) spoke to PBS 39 WLVT-TV's Courageous Conversations about The Whitewashing of EducationAugust 2020

Jody Gan (health studies) was quoted extensively in an article on swimming safely during COVID-19 appearing in MediumAugust 2020

Jessica Owens-Young (health studies) was quoted in American Public Media about racial disparities connections to the coronavirus pandemic, D.C.'s response, and old, negative patterns coming back. July 2020

Juliana Martinez (world languages and cultures) appeared in a WESH 2 segment to discuss best-selling books on racial issues. June 2020

Melissa Scholes Young (literature) was a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi Show talking about the literary partnership between AU & Politics & Prose Bookstore. May 2020

Caleen Jennings (theatre) was quoted in the New York Times on the subject of theatre during coronavirus. April 2020

Gabriel Mathy (economics) was quoted in the New York Times as media seeks to understand the economic upheaval. April 2020

Melissa Hawkins (health studies) was quoted in Medium’s OneZero about telemedicine during the pandemic. April 2020

Alan M. Kraut (history) had his book Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the "Immigrant Menace" named one of FastCompany's "10 brilliant nonfiction pandemic books." March 2020

Andrew Taylor(arts management) was quoted in the Washington Post, commenting on the Kennedy Center President forgoing her salary. March 2020

Dustin Friedman (literature) was reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books for his work Before Queer Theory: Victorian Aestheticism and the Self. Jan 2020

David Pike (literature) published a review-essay on Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite which was featured on the website Bright Lights Film Journal. Jan 2020

Rachel Louise Snyder (literature) was featured by the editors of the New York Times Book Review on a list of the 10 Best Books of 2019 for her book No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill UsJan 2020

Sandra Beasley (literature) was featured on Poem-A-Day for her poem "Say the Word." Jan 2020

Jeffrey Middents (literature) was cited on the British Film Institute's list of the Best Video Essays of 2019 for Memorias de C/Leo: On Auteurism and RomaJan 2020

Past Achievements