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Greetings from Jonathan Mathis

Dear fellow alumni,

Our newest Eagles are back on campus, and alumni have answered the call to engage incoming students. Your support for students is always important – certainly more now than ever before! Alumni who serve as mentors, recruit students for internships or employment, and welcome new Eagles to campus demonstrate the power of the AU community. In addition to your time and talent, the investment of financial support is deeply appreciated and ensures the presence of the alumni community in every facet of life at AU. Thank you.

We are excited for the start of the fall semester and hope that you will consider these opportunities to engage or re-engage with AU:

  • Whether you live locally or in another time zone, you can support the student experience through AU’s Career Center. Connect directly with students as mentors and career advisors through Alumnifire, AU’s online mentoring platform. If you are in a position to hire interns or employees, check out the recruiting guide online. The Virtual Job and Internship Fair is Thursday, September 23, and registration closes soon! Finally, this spring, the Career Center will launch a new program, Alumni-in-Residence, connecting alumni with fellow Eagles and with students. These virtual meetings serve as informational interviews, enabling students and alumni to gain insight regarding their career path or a specific industry, organizational leadership, work within a particular region, and navigating identity in the workplace. If you are interested in participating, click here.
  • Through the Student Emergency Relief Fund (created in response to COVID-19), alumni continue to support students who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic, funding emergency financial aid, books, laptops and internet connections, and more.
  • The Black Alumni Alliance recently hosted an annual household item giveaway for incoming students, providing everyday items that they may have forgotten and supporting their transition to life in the residence halls. To learn more about our alumni affinity groups and how you can become engaged, visit our website.

These are just a few ways to support your alma mater and current students at this time. If you are interested in learning more, visit our website and sign up today!  

Today marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which provides an excellent opportunity for all of us to appreciate and celebrate the colorful cultures, rich histories, and diversity of the American Latino community. I encourage you to read about this year’s recipient of the Latino Alumni Alliance Book Award, Karla Santillan. Like so many of our students, Karla is an inspiration to us all.

Finally, a dynamic student experience isn’t possible without dynamic faculty. Here are some highlights of the great work of AU’s faculty, both on campus and beyond:

  • Sauleh Siddiqui, associate professor of environmental science, appeared on CNN in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, to discuss infrastructure changes needed in the US to mitigate for climate change.
  • Two AU School of Education instructors have developed educational materials to help teachers connect with students to process emotions related to the pandemic in connection with a large-scale art installation on the National Mall. The exhibition – In America: Remember – from artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, will include more than 640,000 white flags planted on the National Mall to symbolize those who have died from COVID-19.
  • American University Distinguished Professor Terry Davidson is a pioneering highly original research that suggests a transformative approach to drug addiction, obesity, and dementia, conditions that take an immeasurable toll on individuals and society.

Although this year will look a bit differently than anticipated, your continued support makes AU stronger and better. Thank you. I am perpetually proud to be your fellow AU Eagle.

Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle,

Jonathan Mathis, PhD, Kogod/BSBA ‘04