Newsmakers: Nov. 17, 2010

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 16, 2010 Comments Off on Newsmakers: Nov. 17, 2010

Awards and Honors

•Lucile Adams-Campbell, associate dean for community health and outreach for the Medical Center, received a Legacy Laureate honor from the University of Pittsburgh on Oct. 28.

Adams-Campbell, also associate director for minority health and health disparities research at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, received her doctorate in epidemiology from Pittsburgh in 1983 – becoming the first African-American woman to receive the degree nationally.

“I’m truly honored to be recognized by my alma mater and am humbled by the achievements of my fellow Legacy Laureates,” Adams-Campbell says.

A member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine, Adams-Campbell is an expert on health disparities and specializes in community health research, interventions and outreach.

She participated and led several large cohort studies of African-American women and played a leading role in bringing the Boston University Black Women’s Health Study – the largest study of African-American women – to Georgetown.

Books and Publications

• Bette Jacobs, professor of nursing and health studies, served as lead author of an article published in the fall Journal of Law, Medicine Ethics.

Her article, “Bridging the Divide Between Genomic Science and Indigenous Peoples,” examines some of the complex human concerns that come with genomic technologies.

Jacobs, also a distinguished scholar at the O’Neill Institute or National and Global Health Law, showed in the article how history shows that tools intended for good can harm individuals and, particularly for certain vulnerable populations, create more risk than benefit.

The article posits an obligation to include cultural knowledge and representation in shaping how science is used in indigenous communities.

• Miléna Santoro, associate professor of French, has co-edited Transatlantic Passages: Literary and Cultural Relations between Quebec and Francophone Europe (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010) with Paula Ruth Gilbert of George Mason University.

The book delves into the cultural connections between francophone communities on both sides of the Atlantic. Transatlantic Passages includes essays, interviews and images that address the often-neglected cultural commerce integral to understanding historical and contemporary identities in Quebec and francophone Europe. The collection also draws conclusions about the ways in which cultures and individuals communicate and inspire each other.

SFS in Qatar Gets its Own Women?s Center

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November 16, 2010 –The university has launched one of the first women’s centers in Education City – at its School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Q).

Education City, an initiative of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, comprises SFS-Q and five other American universities in Doha, Qatar.

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Georgetown’s Women’s Center, the Qatar campus launched its own women’s center branch under the guidance of Brendan Hill, associate dean of student affairs, and Elena Lopez-Khoury, a student wellness counselor.

Empowering Women

“Education City, by its very nature, is an empowering environment for women,” Hill says. “The Women’s Center at Georgetown’s Qatar campus is designed to help our female students take full advantage of this environment by encouraging them to think consciously about the role gender plays in all societies.”

Lopez-Khoury says many female students in Qatar asked to have a space to discuss matters common to women and to support each other.

“The Women’s Center is a safe place for women to come and discuss issues that are relevant to them in their lives,” she explained.

Striving for Excellence

Laura Kovach, director of the Women’s Center on Main Campus, believes extending the center’s mission to the Qatar campus is an important step for the female community.

“We’ve spent the last 20 years serving the Georgetown community in Washington, D.C.,” she says. “We are thrilled to have a Women’s Center at SFS-Q to continue the work of supporting students, faculty and staff.”

With the number of female students on the rise at Georgetown’s Qatar campus, the initiative has been met with enthusiasm and appreciation.

“As female students continue to strive for excellence in their lives,” explains Aminah Kandar (SFS ’14), “I believe that it is essential to provide an environment in which they can exchange ideas, receive support and, of course, simply have a place to which they can retreat.”

Providing Role Models

Despite the growth of female students in the Middle East, and particularly in the Gulf region, women remain underrepresented in professional fields.

“In general women have still not achieved the same status as men, and this is especially true within the region,” observed Lopez-Khoury. “This leaves our students without many role models or avenues to discuss the challenges that many women face, such as finding that balance between work and family.”

Politics of Education Class Battles Illiteracy

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 12, 2010 Comments Off on Politics of Education Class Battles Illiteracy

November 12, 2010 –Students in government professor Doug Reed’s Politics of Education course are seeing the result of failed educational policies in the form of young, low-income children in Washington, D.C., who aren’t reading on grade level.

The students are helping children in grades first through third in the city’s poorest neighborhoods through the DC Reads program.

A Critical Stage

“A lot of research has shown that if kids aren’t reading by fourth grade they have enormous challenges staying in school and then eventually finding employment,” Reed says. “So what DC Reads does is help these public schools get kids through that very critical stage.

Reed got the idea to have his students tutor the children after participating in a two-day session this past May on community-based learning.

Led by Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice Research and Teaching (CSJ), the session was part of university’s annual Teaching, Learning and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI).

Political Microcosm

“I want the students to think, in complex ways, about how education is shaped by politics and how it also kind of creates a kind of politics of its own,” Reed says. “I wanted to add a community-based learning component to help the students see some of these conflicts play out in microcosms in schools today.”

The DC Reads program began in 1997 as a local response to the America Reads Challenge, a literacy initiative established to improve reading proficiency for all elementary students.

“[Reed] is not only using DC Reads in a mutually beneficial way to support education, he is thinking about how research can be informed by the programming that goes out into the community to generate changes in education,” says Nathaniel Roloff, program director for DC Reads at CSJ.

“Some of our most engaged tutors … are from this course,” he explains.

Education Reform

“The work I’m doing with children reminds me what we want out of education reform – children who can read, who feel they can succeed in school and want to be there, and eventually who will be able to move on to college or employment,” says Andrew Levine (C’11), a government major who tutors first-, second- and third-graders at Randle Highlands Elementary School every Saturday.

“When I work one-on-one with children,” he says, “I can see which strategies of teaching work better than others, and this can often stand in for what educational policies could be more successful in the future.”

Georgetown Vet: From Learjets to Policy Management

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Air Force veteran and Georgetown graduate student Erik Brine used to spend his days in a C21 Learjet, transporting the dead and the wounded in Iraq.

Now, in addition to working full time as a civilian in the Air Force’s international affairs office, he takes classes at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where he is seeking a master’s degree in policy management.

“The purpose of getting this degree is to receive a broader education on policy issues outside of the field that I’m most experienced in – national security and military affairs,” explains Brine, also a major in the Air Force Reserves. “I was looking for something that touched on social policy issues as well so I can broaden my background.”

Brine also serves as president of the Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter at Georgetown and knows firsthand the difficulties that service members face.

“Right now, we’re filling in the gap for students and serving as a support structure for veterans,” Brine said.

A Misdiagnosis

During his time as an Air Force pilot, Brine visited 56 countries and deployed several times to the Middle East.

The New Jersey native was on a mission to Afghanistan when he came down with what doctors initially thought was conjunctivitis, an easily treated eye infection. But the problem wouldn’t go away, and he ended up stuck in a German hospital for weeks being misdiagnosed.

It wasn’t until he came back to the United States that he saw an eye disease specialist who correctly diagnosed him with a virus, for which he regularly takes medication. Without it, his sight deteriorates.

Lucky One

Though the eye problem spelled the end of his flying days, he recognized that he was one of the lucky ones.

“I had just had my first child at the time, and I realized that I loved to fly airplanes, but I loved my kid and would really like to see her graduate from college.” He now has three young children.

Georgetown’s SVA, which now includes 115 students and faculty supporters, helps veterans with benefit issues and other needs related to their service.

Learning from Vets

In October, the group hosted more than 450 student veterans at Georgetown for the 2010 SVA national conference.

The university participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, an Department of Veterans Affairs-sponsored benefit that defers the cost of tuition for returning veterans.

Scott Fleming, associate vice president of federal relations, is teaching Brine in a half-semester course on Lobbying and Government Relations. Students in the class are broken up into teams that develop lobbying strategies on issues that interest them.  Erik is on a team focusing on proposed amendments to the New GI Bill.

“The Georgetown SVA has played an important part in bringing the many veterans on campus together and in engaging them with every aspect of the university,” Fleming said. “In doing so, they are important not only to each other, but also to the broader student body who gain for improved opportunities to interact with and learn from our student veterans.”

(Nov. 10, 2010)

Scholars and Newsmakers Debate 2010 Elections

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Kevin Madden, press secretary for Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, told about 200 students at Georgetown Nov. 8 that the tea party is “not monolithic – it is a reform element within a center-right electorate.”

Madden and Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) professors E.J. Dionne and Paul Begala served as panelists for the GPPI-sponsored Election Reflection 2010: Recapping the Midterms Elections.

Judy Feder, a GPPI professor and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, moderated the lively debate.

Tea Party Paradox

The panelists disagreed about the impact of the tea party movement on the election.

Dionne, well-known Washington Post columnist, disagreed with Madden, and said a “tea party paradox” made it clear that it is a far right movement. The paradox, he said, is that tea party candidates helped the Republicans in the primary but mostly failed in the midterm general elections.

Begala, now a CNN special contributor, cautioned the audience about what the election signified.

“I’d be careful about overreaching the ideological meaning of this election,” said Begala, who served as White House counselor in the Clinton administration. “It’s really hard to get around the worst recession in anyone’s lifetime.”

Losing in Droves

Madden credited the Republicans’ message on the economy with helping win over independent voters who supported Obama in 2008.

“I would argue the foundation for success in 2008 was the middle of the electorate, and they [the Democrats] lost them in droves,” he said.

Dionne argued that Democratic incumbents were forced to defend their votes on legislation such as health care with little support on the campaign trail.

“There was no cover from the national party, no consistent defense,” Dionne said. “They did a lot of things but didn’t manage to build it in to a complete whole.”

The panelists said they were excited by the possibilities 2012 may bring.

“As an analyst, I cannot wait for the presidential nomination [from the Republicans],” Begala said.

JFK’s Protectors Share Firsthand Accounts

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President John F. Kennedy’s secret service agents worked for about $1.80 an hour, according to those featured in a Discovery documentary screened for the first time at Georgetown Nov. 8.

They also had no computer databases to work with – just 3 x 5 cards in their pockets with names of people threatening JFK.

“We were pre-technology,” former agent Gerald Blaine told a packed audience in the university’s Gaston Hall. “We operated by hand signals. …The one thing we always feared was somebody in a window or hidden away with a rifle, which is what happened.

The publishing of The Kennedy Detail, Blaine’s book with journalist Lisa McCubbin, coincides with the documentary of the same name.

Georgetown Connections

A Georgetown alumnus, Kenneth Atchity (C’65) served as an executive producer of the documentary, which premiers Nov. 21 on the Discovery Channel.

The book authors and four other agents assigned to protect the Kennedy family came to Georgetown at the behest of University Librarian Artemis Kirk, who noted that the university has a large collection of intelligence and espionage materials.

“These materials assist faculty, students and researchers in a wide range of disciplines from peace and security studies, to international diplomacy and global area studies,” Kirk explained.

No Conspiracy

Blaine said he wrote his book “mainly because history today has been written by what I call a cottage industry, called conspiracy.” He said conspiracy rumors surrounding Kennedy’s assassination are pure fiction.

“It’s been 47 years,” he said. “Anybody who’s worked investigations on conspiracy will tell you that if a conspiracy lasts for 60 days it’s a miracle. But over 47 years there has not been one single bit of evidence to show that it was a conspiracy.”

Modern Concerns

Max Gottlieb (C’14) asked if the agents ever felt nervous watching other presidents travel. Former agent Clint Hill, who jumped on the back of Kennedy’s car after the first shot was fired, said that he does, and cited President Obama’s trip to India this week.

“Any time a president goes outside White House grounds, I’m concerned,” Hill said.

Bikeshare a Hit With Georgetown?s ‘Green’ Community

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Scott Anderson, Georgetown’s director of web communications, no longer has to wait for a bus to get to work in the morning, thanks to the installation of three Capital Bikeshare docking stations near the university’s Main Campus.

“It’s really proven useful, especially since there is a station right outside of campus,” says Anderson, who lives in McLean Gardens. “Now, instead of waiting for the bus in the morning, I just grab a bike on Wisconsin Ave. and just roll down to the main campus. It’s a win-win – I’m being green, getting a little exercise and lowering the stress of my morning commute.”

Sustainability on Wheels

The District’s Department of Transportation and Arlington County in Virginia officially launched Capital Bikeshare earlier this fall to help decrease car emissions and increase healthy activity. There are now more than 110 stations across Washington and Arlington, Va.

Bike program members generally rent the bicycles for an annual or monthly fee, but day passes are also available with a credit card.

“The bikes are a convenient and inexpensive way for either planned or spur of the moment travel to and from campus or around the city,” says Karen Frank, vice president of university facilities and student housing.

They also help with the university’s sustainability efforts, she says.

Green and Smart

“Bikes are green and healthy and smart,” says Bikeshare rider Provost James O’Donnell, “and when I’m going from one serious meeting off campus to another one in Healy, it’s great to be able to feel like a kid again for five minutes.”

There hasn’t been an official survey of the bike stations’ popularity on campus, but Frank says she’ll “take the empty racks near campus as a positive sign.”

The stations near the university are just outside the Healy Building gates at 37th and O Streets, at 34th Street and Wisconsin Avenue and at CO Canal and Wisconsin Avenue.

Partnering with Capital Bikeshare is part of the university’s overall sustainability efforts, which include encouraging alternative transportation options.

Rather, Kucinich Reflect on Midterm Elections

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 08, 2010 No Comments

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather headlined a Nov. 5 panel discussion at Georgetown reflecting on the recent midterm elections.

“American growth and jobs – that was what this election was about,” said Rather, who now manages a television news magazine on HDNet. “And in President Obama’s case, you promised a lot and you may have overpromised, but you have under delivered.”

Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) sponsored the panel, which was moderated by Jon-Christopher Bua, a White House commentator for the British television channel Sky News.

An adjunct professor in SFS’ BMW Center for German and European Studies, Bua teaches a course on the American-European perspective of politics and the media.

A Missed Moment

Panelists also included Henry Olsen, director of the American Enterprise Institute’s National Research Initiative; Harold Ickes, former deputy chief of staff to President Clinton; Adam Boulton, Sky News political editor; James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute; and Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief.

Kucinich, who just won re-election for his ninth term in Ohio’s 10th district, voiced his discontent with his own party.

“We had a historic moment in 2008 and the Democratic Party blew it – plain and simple,” Kucinich said. “I sat on the risers looking at two million people during inauguration.

“We had a moment where [there was] a New Deal type energy that could have transformed this country and put millions of people back to work, and [the Democratic Party] missed it.”

Not an Endorsement

Olsen noted that the Republicans, despite having won 61 seats in the house and getting closer to controlling the Senate, are rated “at or slightly lower” than Democrats.

“This should not be interpreted by Republicans as an endorsement of them,” Olsen said. “But on the other hand, it is very difficult to look at the election and see that primarily, as far as the current result, a repudiation of policies that have been advanced by the president.”

Brains and Egos

At the beginning of the event, Rather joked that with all the “brains” on the panel, he’d better speak first or he “may not get to say anything at all.”

“Or the egos, maybe,” Bua replied.

“There’s no ego like an anchorman’s ego, believe me,” Rather said.

University?s NCAA Self-Study To Start This Year

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 05, 2010 No Comments

Georgetown has begun a yearlong, campus-wide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program. 

NCAA Division I institutions are required to conduct a self-study every 10 years, and Georgetown completed its last report in 2001. The study covers governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender and diversity issues and student-athlete well being. 
President John J. DeGioia has appointed Jane E. Genster, senior counselor to the president, to chair the steering committee that will lead the self-study. 

Valuable Opportunity
“NCAA certification provides Georgetown with a very valuable opportunity to ensure the integrity of our athletics program and to increase campus-wide knowledge and understanding of that program,” DeGioia says. “We take the process very seriously and hope that it will both affirm our program’s many strengths and help us identify areas for improvement.”

The steering committee will be assisted by three subcommittees — the governance and commitment to rules compliance committee will be chaired by Wayne Davis; academic integrity by Robert Cumby and gender, diversity and student-athlete well-being by Rosemary Kilkenny. 

The steering committee and the subcommittees include representatives from the faculty and student bodies as well as alumni and staff, including athletics department personnel. The process will include opportunities for communication with and input from all members of the university community.  

Focus Areas

“This process will better enable us to understand what is working and where we need to focus to continue our efforts to enhance the student-athlete experience at Georgetown and our intercollegiate athletics programs,” said Lee Reed, director of athletics. 

Following a two-year pilot project, the NCAA Division I membership overwhelmingly supported the program and its standards at its 1993 NCAA Convention and has, since 1997, required certification every 10 years.
Certification Process
When Georgetown has concluded its study, an external team of reviewers will conduct a three- or four-day evaluation visit.  The reviewers include peers from other colleges, universities or conference offices.

The peer-review team will then report back to the NCAA Division I Committee on athletics certification, after which the NCAA will determine Georgetown’s certification status and announce the decision publicly. Sanctions are imposed for institutions that fail to conduct a comprehensive self-study or correct problems.

The three options of certification status are certified, certified with conditions and not certified. Institutions have the opportunity to correct deficient areas after having its status determined, and those that do not take necessary corrective actions may be ruled ineligible for NCAA championships.

The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics.  Its primary purpose is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body.  Activities of the NCAA membership include formulating rules of play for NCAA sports, conducting national championships, adopting and enforcing standards of eligibility and studying all phases of intercollegiate athletics.

Law Alumni Awarded for Legal Achievements

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 05, 2010 No Comments

The Law Center recently honored five alumni with this year’s Paul R. Dean Award for leadership contributions to the law school and the legal profession.

The alumni received the awards during the Law Center’s Reunion Weekend gala Oct. 16 and were recognized during an annual Law Center meeting on Nov. 2.

The 2010 Dean Award recipients are:

  • Dolores Silva Smith (L’75), director of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer and Community Affairs Division until her retirement in 2004
  • Bruce Blume (L’80), founder, chairman and CEO of the Blume Company
  • Michael Jones (L’85), a partner with the law firm Kirkland and Ellis
  • Thomas Hardiman (L’90), judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Dean Emeritus David McCarthy Jr. (L’60, L’62), who served as Law Center dean from 1975 to 1983.

The award is named for Paul R. Dean, the Law Center’s 10th dean from 1954 to 1969. He passed away in 2008.

“He’s the founding dean of the modern law school,” McCarthy said. “It’s a distinct honor to get an award named for Paul R. Dean.”