SMPA to largely avoid University-wide budget cuts by The GW HatchetApr 24, 2015 “Media Credit: Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Despite University-wide budget cuts, the School of Media and Public Affairs remains largely unaffected.
The School of Media and Public Affairs will emerge from University-wide budget cuts relatively unscathed, the school’s director said last week.
SMPA Director Frank Sesno said the school, one of the more selective programs at GW, won’t see its budget directly impacted by University-wide financial woes. With one of the few graduate programs in which enrollment has increased, the school has been less affected than some of its more-stressed counterparts, Sesno said.
Still, he said the school is taking on some cost-cutting measures, including holding back on hiring for two open faculty positions until next year at the earliest. He said he hopes to fill the spots with visiting professors.
Overall, though, he emphasized that the school will be spared from the widespread budget cuts.
“We’ve always operated within our budget. We’re very, very diligent with that,” Sesno said. “So it’s very important we maintain that discipline and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re a healthy program.”
GW is roughly 75 percent reliant on tuition to fund the daily costs of running the University and has slashed budgets to make up for recent enrollment declines. Graduate and professional enrollment has dropped by about 1,200 students across the University, and to make up for the loss, faculty and staff are planning new academic programs and decreasing costs across campus.
The number of students enrolled in the school's master's program has increased by about 40 percent, from 27 students in 2009 to 38 in 2013, according to the Office of Institutional Research & Planning. The global communication master's program, a dual program between SMPA and the Elliott School of International Affairs, nearly doubled in size, from 28 to 55 students over the same time period. Albert May, an associate professor of media and public affairs, is retiring at the end of this semester. May said in an email that associate professor Cheryl Thompson will be taking his place when he leaves, and that she was hired in anticipation of a retirement. Multiple professors in SMPA declined to comment.”
Splurge-worthy local fare at The Fainting Goat by The GW HatchetApr 23, 2015 “Media Credit: Photo Courtesy of The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat's cool aura and decorations pair well with its eclectic menu, which includes chewy octopus, spicy vegetables and cheese plates.
I ate dinner at The Fainting Goat on U Street twice in two weeks. I made the initial reservation because the name made me laugh and I had family in town, and I went again because I was determined to try every scrumptious bite on its eclectic, albeit limited, rotating menu .
The restaurant is airy and its light fixtures give the joint a gold glow. Paintings of upturned goats hang on exposed brick walls, surrounded by gray wooden tables and chairs. The first room holds a small bar and high tables, the ideal setting for a weekday happy hour. The dining room, up a short flight of stairs, has a bigger bar and cloudy ice-cube windows.
The Fainting Goat sources at least some its animal fare from nearby farms like Wagon Wheel Ranch in Mount Airy, Md. Its menu is divided into categories of ascending size (and price): Nibble for hor d'oeuvres, Graze for appetizers and Feed for entrees, as well as meat and cheese boards for $18 and $15, respectively.
The $8 flatbread is heavy with peppery goat sausage and whipped ricotta, sprinkled with garlic and pickled onion. It’s a cop-out meal at a place with more unique items like $14 beef crudo – with smoked tuna, lemon and arugula – and $8 goat cheese fondue, but it’s a dish anyone with taste buds would devour.
Though my friend and I stared longingly at the garlic buttered steak and grilled rapini on a fellow diner’s table, the $35 slab was out of our price range. Instead, we split $19 tagliatelle pasta with a generous topping of sliced, seasoned lamb belly, rich parmesan and tangy green peas. Pasta isn’t usually my mojo when I splurge on a meal, but this was worth breaking the “never order what you can cook” rule.
I also sampled a $9 duck liver parfait because my dinner partner-in-crime had a more adventurous palate than I do. It’s small cup of rich, processed meat topped with crushed pistachios that’s served with toasted brioche and greens with pomegranate seeds. The dish is for a more sophisticated palate, and while it’s not something I would normally eat, it’s satisfying – and definitely not something I could cook.
I ordered the octopus after the waitress' eyes lit up when I mentioned it. I could understand – it is chewy, charred and glazed to perfection. The tentacles, coated with breadcrumbs that add a necessary crunch to the $16 dish, and are served with sweet yogurt and spicy mashed chickpeas. Tied for would-eat-again are the roasted carrots. I have never ordered, let alone enjoyed, carrots before, but for $9, they came coated in ginger, sesame seeds and a minty herb called shiso. They were salty, filling and shocked me into leaving my vegetable comfort zone. If you eat at The Fainting Goat, don’t expect dessert – it was only offered one time I went, and the only option was a creme brulee sans the hard caramel shell. Instead, savor every mouthful of your meal. For my third visit, I'll try the pork chops.”
After challenging regular season, golf set to battle in A-10 Championship by The GW HatchetApr 23, 2015 “After a tough 2014-15 campaign, GW golf will head to Harmony Golf Preserve in Harmony, Fla. on Friday to compete in the Atlantic 10 Championship.
The three-day event, which runs from April 24 to 26, will have 12 teams fighting for the title of conference champion and an automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Regional competition.
The Colonials' best finish all season came earlier this fall at the Patriot Intercollegiate tournament, where the team went just 24-over-par with a combined score of 876 – good for an impressive fifth-place finish in the 17-team field.
Despite some outstanding individual performances, the Colonials then struggled as a team in almost all of their subsequent outings. GW finished in the bottom half of the field in every tournament, unable to shoot better than 40-over-par as a team for the remainder of the season.
But as second-year head coach Chuck Scheinost said, the squad's schedule has become increasingly tougher over the course of his four semesters at GW. At the Seminole Intercollegiate tournament in mid-March, for example, the Colonials finished last in a 17-team field but competed against four top-10 teams in the country.
“I think playing the top courses and against top competition will ultimately create and attract the best players, so I feel it's all a part of the process to get the program to where it's consistently competing among the best in the A-10 and region,” Scheinost said.
Lone senior Jack Persons has paced the Colonials most of the season, finishing first among his teammates in six of 11 tournaments and averaging a team-best score of 74.35.
Persons shared Atlantic 10 player of the Week honors with VCU junior Adam Ball in late March after finishing 1-under-par at the Bash at the Beach in March with a score of 212, which tied the fourth-lowest 54-hole score in program history.
“Jack has been a great leader for us this year, especially with his play on the golf course and in pushing the guys to be better,” Scheinost said. “He's been great at organizing our guys, always making sure they get to practice extra if they want by taking the team to the course early or by staying late."
Ball and his Rams are the favorite to take the title for the second straight year. Golfweek.com has ranked VCU the 77th-best team in the nation, while GW sits at No. 232.
Still, the Colonials have some new weapons at their disposal this year. Freshmen Vince Palazzolo and Zack Bailey, part of Scheinost’s first-ever recruiting class, follow Persons closely on the stat sheet, averaging scores of 75.56 and 76.80, respectively.
“All three of our freshmen have flashed their talent in individual rounds this season,” Scheinost said. The third freshman, Jack Porcelli, is averaging a score of 78.90. “The goal is to get all of our players, not just our freshmen, to be more consistent from round to round, practice to practice and tournament to tournament.”
VCU and Richmond will likely be GW's toughest competition again. Richmond fell to the Rams by just a one-shot in last year’s championship, combining for a score of 879 to VCU’s 878.
Richmond (178), conference-newcomer Davidson (189), Rhode Island (194) and George Mason (222) lead GW in the rankings, but as the Colonials realized last season, anything can happen in championship play. GW, posting similar regular season results last year, was picked to finish seventh among its league rivals. But the team closed out the final day of championship play with a 13-over-par 297 team score to surge to a third-place overall finish. While an A-10 title seems unlikely this season for Scheinost, GW still has the potential to upset some talented teams and remain in the conversation as one of the stronger programs in the league. “I think our confidence level is in a pretty good spot,” Scheinost said. “We absolutely have the talent to win a championship. We're going to have to put ourselves in good positions and play our best golf to have a chance to do that.””
Sara Merken: How GW can make sustainability cool by The GW HatchetApr 23, 2015 “In the near-perfect world that is living on a college campus, many students, myself included, don’t have to worry about paying utility bills. We sing too many songs in the shower, leave the lights on in our rooms when we go to class and keep our chargers plugged into outlets all day.
As college students, it’s too easy to forget about living green lifestyles because our minds are so focused on other things. But we can't forget about sustainability and just move on – there's more we can do to save water and energy.
GW has implemented multiple programs throughout the past few years to become a more sustainable campus, in addition to making a sustainability strategic plan. Officials have launched initiatives targeted at students like Green Move-Out and the annual Eco-Challenge, which students have historically failed .
Sustainability is already something that higher education officials know is important to promote at their schools. But to engage students with green initiatives, GW needs to make sustainability something cool that students want to be a part of – something that directly pertains to their interests.
Last weekend, the Earth Day Network and the Global Poverty Project hosted the Global Citizen Festival, a six-hour concert and environmental rally on the National Mall. Along with Usher, Mary J. Blige and Fall Out Boy, speakers at the event included International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
About 200,000 people attended the concert – and a day of bland lectures or speeches probably wouldn't have had the same level of enthusiasm. Instead, it was an opportunity for people to watch some of their favorite artists for free while still learning about how to make the world a greener place.
GW can learn from this model and make sustainability a fun aspect of campus life that actually interests students, rather than a chore.
Meghan Chapple, the director of the Office of Sustainability, told me in an email, “We are always interested in more ways we can engage GW students in sustainability, and we need their help to become a more sustainable campus.”
There are certainly models GW can use for engaging students. Other universities have already taken a step toward creating sustainability events that grab students’ attention.
This month, the University of Illinois at Chicago is encouraging students to participate in Earth Month through events like sports games, environmental documentaries and a weeklong Bike2Campus competition, which encourages students, faculty and staff to ride bikes for one week.
“For those kinds of activities there are prizes, and there’s a competition: The more often you participate, the more likely you are to win something,” Cindy Klein-Banai, the school’s associate chancellor for sustainability, told me. She added that these events also put an environmental spin on activities that students already enjoy.
GW could also emulate Georgia Southern University’s GreenFest , which last fall featured four hours of live music, a farmers market and more than 30 vendors promoting sustainable lifestyles.
By thinking along those same lines, GW could integrate similar events into our campus life. For example, a concert in University Yard similar to Spring Fling with vendors from D.C. farmers markets could attract students looking for a fun activity on a Saturday afternoon, and would promote local agriculture.
Additionally, student organizations should strive to organize new and interesting sustainability events. As students, they’re most likely to know what their friends will enjoy or what they will ignore.
At the University of California, Berkeley, a student organization runs sustainability programming for the school’s Earth Week, and organizes events like a human oil spill demonstration and a community farm day. The group also helps to educate the student body about green initiatives, and serves as a liaison between students and the administration and faculty.
Although GW has multiple organizations concerned with specific aspects of sustainability, the student body would benefit from a student-run division of the Office of Sustainability that could give a young, fresh look at programming.
Stan Slaughter, the founder of Tall Oak Productions, an organization that teaches students how to compost, told me it’s necessary to “live your message” when encouraging others to be more eco-conscious.
When planning sustainability-related events on campuses, students and officials should “make it live, make it accessible and make it the kind of event that [students] are going to come to without guilt, because guilt tripping people doesn’t work,” Slaughter said. Ultimately, GW is tasked with making sustainability cool, which isn’t easy. But by taking into account the types of events to which students flock, the University can add high levels of student participation to its list of successful green efforts. Sara Merken, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet opinions writer. Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”
Public health school combines policy and management departments by The GW HatchetApr 23, 2015 “Media Credit: Sara Gleysteen | Hatchet Photographer
The departments of health policy and health administration at the Milken Institute School of Public Health will become one department after a 15-year separation to help faculty collaborate on research and better prepare students for jobs.
Public health policy and management just got remarried.
The departments, which were separated 15 years ago, joined again this semester in a move that will help faculty across the similar fields collaborate more on research and will also likely help the graduate students in those programs better prepare for work in health administration, faculty and administrators say.
Lynn Goldman, the dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, said the merger will optimize research opportunities and classroom education for all public health graduate students.
“Tomorrow’s public health leaders deserve and need the best education and training possible,” Goldman said in an email. “The net effect will be a positive evolution that will maximize the school’s research and education potential and create dynamic synergies for faculty and students.”
Leighton Ku, a professor of health policy, said people who choose to concentrate in health administration usually plan to work in the field, while those who get graduate degrees in policy plan to work in government. He said the overlap between the two gives students a more holistic approach to public health education.
“We got divorced back then, and we’re now getting remarried,” Ku said about the departments’ separation 15 years ago. “Being in D.C., there’s such a focus on policy and we’ve established that focus now.”
He added that recent legislation creates more jobs and opportunities that require students to be experienced in both fields.
“The worlds are colliding with things like the Affordable Care Act, so managers need to understand how policy is changing," Ku said. “Overall, there’s a great overlap in subject matter, and we were the only equivalent programs in the country that were still separate."
The combined department of health policy allows students seeking their master's or doctoral degrees in public health to take classes in both public health and management, while still concentrating their degree in one of the two options.
By combining two graduate programs into one comprehensive department, the public health school is falling in line with other combined programs at public health schools across the country. The University of California, Berkeley has a similar combined program in its school of public health and offers other combined degrees across schools, said Joan Bloom, a professor in the school. She said the program’s graduates often enter careers that are overall more policy-oriented than administrative. “Students are less restricted, and there are sufficient electives and opportunities for internships that they focus the program the way they want it,” Bloom said.”
Facing pressure to increase class size, GW revamps admitted students days by The GW HatchetApr 20, 2015 “Media Credit: Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Dean of Admissions Karen Felton takes a selfie with two students at one of the admitted students days.
Updated: April 20, 2015 at 7:23 p.m.
When newly admitted students walk onto campus this month, they will be greeted by cookies to eat with milk in wine glasses, brightly colored lanyards, buff-and-blue buttons and dessert tables filled with lemon squares, cake pops and lemonade.
The University revamped admitted students days this year to give students and their parents a more upscale experience, a move experts say could seal the deal for undecided students coming to campus. The number of April visit days also increased to five, and the program was rebranded as "Inside GW" — giving students and parents a glimpse into life in Foggy Bottom.
The upgrades come after officials increased the University's acceptance rate to 45 percent, the highest in a decade, in a move to potentially create a larger freshman class and bring in more revenue. A larger freshman class, which could grow by about 150 to 200 students, could also help alleviate the University-wide budget crunch.
Officials also divided students and parents into specialized sessions for the first time, giving them more opportunities for face time with administrators and potential classmates. Sessions for parents included topics like financial aid and career services, where parents texted questions to administrators.
Meanwhile, students toured classrooms, listened to sample lectures from professors and attended a “speed mingle” event with current and other prospective students. The University also created a phone app for students and parents to look up the day’s scheduled events.
Experts say the glitzier set of admitted students days could help the University increase its yield rate, the percentage of students who commit to GW after being admitted. As students have increasingly applied to more schools nationwide, it becomes harder for officials to predict where they will end up – but getting that estimation right is key at GW as officials look to grow revenue from tuition.
Dean of Admissions Karen Felton said in an email that the University changes the programs for accepted students each year based on survey results. She said students and parents were split up this year so they could “get the most out of the day in ways that are meaningful to their individual perspective.”
Media Credit: Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Major changes have been made this month to admitted students days with the intention of appealing to more undecided students.
Felton said the programs have always offered breakfast, lunch and snack options for prospective students and their families, but this year’s added food options are “a way to offer more variety and choices.” She declined through a spokeswoman to say how much officials spent on the admitted students days.
Colleges across the country are becoming more competitive in their efforts to draw in students, said Mark Montgomery, a college application and admissions consultant.
“You bring the kids on campus and wine them and dine them and take them on a booze cruise,” he said. “Whatever it takes to make that school look more attractive than the others. Eighteen year olds can be bought. They’re unsophisticated consumers.”
Montgomery said a high yield rate can also boost a college’s overall ranking, a statistic universities use to help attract funding for research, new buildings or other large projects.
"Every single chocolate mousse is worth it. Every kid sitting at that dessert bar is the financial health of the university," he said.
A 2013 study by the University of Nebraska found that an in-person visit to the campus was the most influential factor for a student when picking which college to attend, more so than visiting a college’s website or meeting with a guidance counselor about potential colleges.
Anna Fabiano, who walked through the Marvin Center with her son, took the opportunity to speak with current students and ask about upcoming campus construction projects. Fabiano said she found the day's schedule gave her a good feel for campus.
“There was never a moment where help wasn’t available,” Fabiano said.
Shadman Chowdhury, a high school senior from Long Island who was admitted into the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said his visit helped solidify his interest in GW.
“I liked the parents' separation because it gave me more reason to see what I want to,” he said. “And I liked how they balanced it out between academics and social stuff.” This post was updated to reflect the following correction: In a photo caption, The Hatchet incorrectly called Karen Felton the director of admissions. Her title is dean of admissions. We regret this error.”
Crime Log by The GW HatchetApr 20, 2015 “Threats
Media and Public Affairs Building
4/10/15 – 2:40 p.m.
A contract employee made threatening statements to her manager.
- Referred to department
4/11/15 – 9:44 a.m.
A student reported that her wallet was stolen from her gym bag. Metropolitan Police Department responded to file a report.
- Referred to MPD
Simple Assault/Disorderly Conduct
2300 Block of H Street
4/12/15 – 12:57 a.m.
University Police Department officers responded to a fight in progress. MPD was already on the scene and had broken up the combatants, who were identified as students. Neither of them wished to press criminal charges. One of the students was transported to GW Hospital by EMeRG for treatment for his intoxication.
- Referred for disciplinary action
False Fire Alarm
4/12/15 – 6:20 a.m.
UPD officers saw that a manual fire alarm activator was pulled with no signs of fire or smoke.
- Open case
4/12/15 – 11:21 p.m.
A staff member noticed a sword in a room and it was confiscated by UPD officers.
- Referred for disciplinary action
Drug Law Violation/Liquor Law Violation/Receiving Stolen Property
4/13/15 – 1:05 a.m.
UPD and Housing Staff responded to a tip of firearm possession by a student and searched the room. While no weapon was found, the search yielded drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol and signs belonging to GW.
- Referred for disciplinary action
Corcoran School of Arts and Design
4/9/15 – 10:45 p.m.
A student reported that her project was damaged.
- Open case
Health and Wellness Center
4/14/15 – 7:45 p.m.
A student slapped another student after being called a derogatory name. They were both escorted out of the building for the night.
- Referred for disciplinary action
Mitchell Hall (7-Eleven)
4/14/15 – 8:35 p.m.
A subject unaffiliated with the University was barred after he made several threatening statements to a student.
- Subject barred
4/15/15 – 6 to 10 a.m.
Three laptops belonging to three different students were stolen from a room between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. while the students were asleep in the apartment.
- Open case
Unknown date and time
A student reported that her art project was destroyed. - Open case Compiled by Benjamin Kershner and Sam Eppler”
Beefsteak: Love it by The GW HatchetApr 20, 2015 “Media Credit: Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer
When entering Beefsteak, customers walk along the ordering area to choose their vegetables and toppings.
Beefsteak is a playful way to get a filling José Andrés fix without shelling out $15 for tapas.
The latest addition to Andrés’ restaurant empire does not disappoint because its variety is unparalleled. It offers dishes like Kimchi-wa, with edamame, roasted garlic and Bok Choy, and Frida Kale with black bean sauce and scallions, plus “make your own” options.
As you eat your meal, the sauces sink into the food and make every bite tastier. Beefsteak gives us reason to believe that vegetables are the new bacon, making us crave veggie bowls.
The restaurant's initial out-the-door lines have dissipated, but you may need to set aside about 10 minutes to waiting in line if you’re going during lunch or dinner hours. If you're a Sweetgreen fanatic, then you are accustomed to long lines and this won’t be a dealbreaker.
Media Credit: Sophie McTear | Design Editor
The see-through glass invites customers into Beefsteak’s modern, garden-inspired interior. Crates hanging from the ceiling create dynamic lighting, while pale, wooden tables and chairs offer comfortable seating. The walls are adorned with friendly vegetable cartoons that add to the pleasant atmosphere. While taking your meal to-go is an option, I prefer dining in because of the restaurant's pleasant vibes.
The experience begins when you choose your vegetables. Unlike Chipotle and other assembly line setups that emphasize protein choice first, Beefsteak puts vegetables center stage.
Options include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots and my personal favorite, asparagus. Beefsteak recommends selecting four to five, but you can pick as many as can fit in the plate. Just don’t be over-ambitious with your veggies – remember that you may want to leave room for grains and protein.
Part of what makes the vegetables crave-worthy is that they have a crisp exterior and are tender inside. Roti and Sweetgreen cannot brag about cooking vegetables right in front of you.
While the vegetables are lightly boiled, you can select grain and sauce add-ons in the next station. Though the quinoa and spicy tomato sauce are the most popular choices, I went with the white rice and black bean sauce for the texture.
In the protein station, I added roasted chicken to my bowl, though the deli chicken doesn’t seem as wholesome or tasty as the rest of the food in the restaurant. Next time, I would opt for salmon or poached eggs as my protein source.
Then you may choose to complete your colorful meal with raw vegetables or crunchy additions. Bright red cherry tomatoes and delectable mozzarella spheres crowned mine. I chose to forgo the crunchy options, but the promising ones included cranberries, pita chips and roasted chickpeas.
Take note that add-ons may bump up the price of your meal. Bowls start at $8, but can easily reach $13 with extras like $4 salt-cured salmon and $2 mozzarella. The homemade lavender lemonade is a must. This sweet choice is the perfect addition to a veggie-filled meal, though I was tempted by alcoholic options like $8 Infinite Monkey Theorem wine and $4.50 Dogfish Head beer. You’ll leave the restaurant with a full stomach and a clear conscience, knowing that the flavorful bowl was also fresh and nutritious.”
Snapshot by The GW HatchetApr 20, 2015 “Media Credit: Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Staff Photographer Ranjit Bhangu, Kavita Oza and Kajal Bhatia, members of the GW Bhangra team, perform during the opening of the 22nd annual Bhangra Blowout, an international dance competition, in Lisner Auditorium.”