Achievements Selected recent feats by students, faculty, and staff

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

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Michael Alonzo (environmental science) received $89,126 from the University of Maryland, College Park National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) for his project "Expanding Access to Data-Intensive Remote Sensing Algorithms through Collaboration with the Socio-environmental Research Community."

Kim Blankenship (sociology) received $10,026 from George Washington University for her project "District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR)."

Boncho Bonev (physics) received $42,850 from the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for his project "Ground-Based Studies of Comets Using High-Resolution Infrared Spectroscopy."

Mieke Meurs (economics) received $53,748 from the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) for her service as executive vice president-treasurer to IAFFE.

Mieke Meurs (economics) received $24,500 from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) for her project "Feasibility Study for Care-Gender Macroeconomic Model for Policy Analysis in Columbia."

Laura Owen (education) received $13,115 from the Sylarn Foundation for her project "College Readiness - Middle School Campus Experience."


Nathan Harshman (physics) won a Reviewer Excellence award from the American Association of Physics Teachers for the contributions he has made to the American Journal of Physics.

Melissa Scholes Young (literature) won Best Book Award in Literary Fiction from American Book Fest for her debut novel, FLOOD. The book was also reviewed by the Mark Twain Forum and featured on Center for Mark Twain Studies (Elmira College). Kevin MacDonnell writes, "Flood reflects America's rural-urban divide, racism, empty-headed faith, willful ignorance, wheel-spinning, and marveling at distracting fireworks instead of the vast universe looming behind them. It's more than a hillbilly elegy."


Ibram X. Kendi (director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center) wrote an opinion article for the New York Times about the history of racism and what makes a person a racist. Kendi wrote, "A racist is what a person is, what a person is saying, what a person is doing." Kendi also talked with WTOP-FM and KCRW Radio.

Evan Kraft (economics) wrote an opinion piece for The Hill about the recent rise in US wages. Kraft wrote, "It has been very difficult to gauge how many of those who are counted as out of the labor force actually would be willing and able to come back."

Carolyn Parker (education) wrote an opinion article for IEEE's blog, The Institute, about gender disparity in STEM fields. "By systematically working to improve the school system as well as cultural perception, we can move the needle on this and close the gender disparity within STEM. And we must. We need all of the smartest thinkers involved in solving the future's biggest challenges—not just half of them," said Parker.

Jessica Young (health studies) wrote an opinion article for The Conversation about the relationship between place and health. Young wrote, “Prosperous zip codes tend to have social resources that distressed zip codes do not, like access to fresh and nutritious foods, cleaner air and high-quality schools.” The story ran in 28 outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle.


Naomi Baron (world languages and cultures) appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss what technology use tells us about how we connect with-and ignore-each other. Baron said, "... With the newest technology, we can assume-because the message goes really fast-we should respond really fast if we care."

Naomi Baron (world languages and cultures) spoke to The Atlantic about people's increasing tendency to avoid replying to texts or emails. Baron said, "Americans have far fewer manners in general in their communication than a lot of other societies."

Ernesto Castañeda (sociology) spoke to the Austin-American Statesman about research that finds DACA recipients are employed or in school. Castañeda, who was not involved in the research, said, "With more than 3,000 respondents, this is an exceptionally large sample size."

Tim Doud (art) spoke to The Washington Post about how he and other artists are trying to build a space for artists to work and collaborate in an effort to change D.C.'s reputation as solely a political town. Doud said, "It's not a space where you go in and close your door.

Caleen Sinnette Jennings (theater) appeared on PBS NewsHour to discuss D.C.'s Women's Voices Theater Festival. Jennings said, "What's important is the fact that the story is worth telling, and the story is worth seeing. I think women of my generation wrestled with that thought. It's good to see younger women coming along and saying, 'Why was this even a question?'"

The Washington Post interviewed Caleen Sinnette Jennings (theater) about her new play, Queens Girl in Africa, a semiautobiographical play about her time living in Nigeria during its civil war. Describing her script, Jennings said it was "a little bit of both [research and memory]. When you're 15, you don't know how incredibly important the history that surrounds you really is." Queens Girl in Africa is the first play in a lineup kicking off the second Washington Women's Voices Festival.

Ibram X. Kendi (founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center) talked with NPR about issues American educators face when teaching students about slavery. Kendi said, "Saying that the deadliest conflict in American history was fought over an effort to keep people enslaved conflicts with students' sense of the grandness of America… and the grandness of themselves as Americans." The story ran in over 75 NPR affiliate stations.

Allan Lichtman (history) appeared on CNN to discuss reports that President Trump's official schedule has gotten shorter. "In a sense, executive time might be considered a good thing-but not for this President."

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to AFP about Donald Trump's position on immigration. Lichtman said, "Trump very neatly among modern presidents has sought to exploit [immigration] for political purposes." Lichtman also appeared on MSNBC.

Theresa Runstedtler (chair of the Critical Race, Gender and Cultural Studies department) spoke with CNN about President Trump's rocky relationship with the NFL. Runstedtler said that Trump's tweets and comments about NFL players "just shone a spotlight on the debate and gave it a kind of national profile that it might not have had."