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George Washington University

GWU Campus News

Six national fraternities vie to join campus
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 29, 2016
“Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor
Freshman David Lange wants to start a chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity specifically meant for gay, bisexual, transgender and progressive men. The Interfraternity Council is considering six chapters to potentially join campus.
The Interfraternity Council heard presentations from six national fraternities this month about launching chapters at GW, the president of the group said.
Alpha Sigma Phi, Chi Phi, Delta Lambda Phi, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta and Sigma Alpha Mu presented in front of the IFC's president’s council. Greek life council members want to expand the number of fraternities on campus to allow more men to join fraternities, IFC President Brandon Capece said.
Capece said the IFC wants to add “more than one” chapter to campus, staggered over the next few years – meaning one chapter will arrive at a time, “so that groups have a chance to solidify their presence before another group arrives.”
Capece declined to comment on the organizations the IFC is considering, saying it was too "premature" in the process.
Members of the IFC will notify prospective organizations of their decision early next month, he said. Members of the council are assessing the chapters based on their potential contributions to the GW community, the organization's philosophy and values, academic integrity, stance against sexual assault and capacity to develop sizable membership on campus.
“It was important for us that any organization we invited to campus would help in our goal of expanding the number of unique opportunities for potential new members within Greek life and promoting diversity within our community,” Capece said.
Earlier this semester, the IFC announced that it is planning to add chapters so that more men who rush fraternities are offered bids. The IFC is also seeking to build back its membership after two chapters were shut down within the last two years.
Delta Sigma Phi was the latest fraternity to join the IFC and recruited their first members last semester.
Earlier this year, a group of freshmen launched Delta Lambda Phi’s bid to start a chapter on campus. It is one of the only fraternities in the country specifically aimed at gay, bisexual, transgender and progressive men.
David Lange, a freshman, said he and about 10 other students want to start a chapter of Delta Lambda Phi to diversify the Greek experience at GW and to offer gay and bisexual men more social opportunities on campus.
“I’m not a traditional frat guy, so when I heard about this I thought ‘This is amazing,’” Lange said. “I’ve been saying that we talk about the gay community, but what is that? I think this typifies what the gay community is and what it can be. We can create these bonds that wouldn’t exist otherwise.”
Lange, along with a Delta Lambda Phi alumnus and a GW graduate student, presented in front of the IFC’s president’s council earlier this month. If approved, Lange said Delta Lambda Phi would recruit its inaugural pledge class next fall.
He said that while existing chapters are not discriminatory, many gay, bisexual and transgender men don’t join social Greek life because of negative stereotypes about the fraternity experience.
“I think there might be a perception of Greek life as a very macho sort of culture that a lot of gay men might not jive with,” he said. “That is the stereotype. It’s not true in a lot of cases, but a lot of people might say that’s not really for me, have a fraternity like DLP to say ‘Yeah, we’re proud of it and proud of whoever we are.’”
With 30 chapters and five colonies around the country, Delta Lambda Phi is the smallest national organization being considered by the IFC this semester. Others like Phi Delta Theta and Phi Gamma Delta have more than 140 active chapters.
L.T. Piver, the assistant director of expansion and growth for Alpha Sigma Phi’s national organization, said the chapter would be successful at GW because of the fraternity's already strong presence in D.C. Alpha Sigma Phi has established a chapter at American University.
“Understanding the caliber of student that attends GW and the alumni support within the area, we see a partnership between Alpha Sigma Phi and GW to be very successful and rewarding for both the campus community and our fraternity as a whole,” he said in an email.
Piver said the the organization's traditionally large pledge classes – about 50 men for a university of GW’s size – would help boost fraternity membership on campus.
“We see a lot of potential within the Greek community at GW knowing that, while all the chapters have continued to grow and be successful over the past few years, the interest level of the student body has yet to be met and that there are a large majority of students seeking a Greek experience on campus but haven’t been able to find their place,” he said.
Christian Madrid, an expansion specialist for Chi Phi, said the fraternity was interested in starting a GW chapter because it would grow the fraternity's presence in D.C.
"GW’s location in the heart of the nation’s capital is an ideal location for any fraternity chapter. In addition to this, we recognize the academic, philanthropic and leadership strength of the Greek community and strive to be a part of it," Madrid said in an email.
Andy Huston, the executive director of Sigma Alpha Mu, said the organization would release more information if it is selected to join the University.
Three other national organizations did not return a request for comment.
Natalie Maher contributed reporting.”

Residence halls save more energy in annual sustainability challenge
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“Media Credit: Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Notecards in Hensley Hall remind residents how to be sustainable. Hensley Hall won the residence hall eco-challenge this year.
Updated: April 28, 2016 at 6:26 p.m.
GW's residence halls performed better in this year's sustainability challenge than they had in the last two years.
Hensley Hall won the eco-challenge – a contest that pits halls against one another to conserve electricity and water and to recycle well. Officials said the amount of energy students saved could power four residence halls for an academic year.
Director of the Office of Sustainability Meghan Chapple said in an email that the buildings that participated this year collectively reduced electricity use by 5.7 percent and water use by 24 percent from last year. The energy savings would be enough to power Merriweather, Clark, Hensley and Cole halls for a whole school year.
“It's as though we took them off the grid,” Chapple said.
The eco-challenge is an opt-in competition, and few residence halls chose to compete. Out of the 43 residence halls and townhouses on campus, 16 buildings opted into the contest – a total of 2,789 students. Only one student from each residence hall needs to enter for the entire building to be considered in the contest.
In 2013, residents of the winning hall reduced their electricity usage by 52 percent and their water consumption by 38 percent. This is the third year officials have not released data on individual halls.
Chapple said the organizers of this year’s challenge focused on student engagement by hosting events like waste and recycling sorting, and by designing a March Madness-style bracket for participating halls.
“It gave them a specific hall to compete against, which fostered friendly competition,” Chapple said in an email.
Chapple announced Hensley Hall’s win at the Earth Day fair last Tuesday, but did not announce any data from this semester’s contest.
Last year, the University would not release the fall 2015 contest results after the majority of residence halls failed the challenge the year before.
In the past, prize options included a truck-load of toilet paper, but less wasteful options were given to the winner this year. Hensley Hall's prize is an afternoon visit with puppies during exam week.
Hensley Hall council president David White said that representatives from the sustainability office did not check in or report progress outside of three long-term checkpoints, but said residents were committed to the contest.
“The eco reps really spearheaded the effort, making sure everyone was involved and knew what was at stake,” White said. “They even hosted an activity in which we wrote on note cards how we could be even more sustainable. The competition aspect really brought everyone together.”
Ryan Ihrke, the director of sustainability at Green Mountain College in Vermont, said there are often difficulties in involving students in conservation without consistent feedback.
“There is some behavioral change [in competitions like these], but consumption often goes up again,” he said. “It’s just asking overall how do you keep people’s attention?”
Ihrke added that while increasing student involvement is always difficult, students find more motivation through shorter competitions that provide educational opportunity and daily feedback.
“Goals need to be clear,” said Ihrke. “If more immediate feedback can be provided, students will be more likely to change.””

Fundraising campaign on track with high goals in individual schools
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo.
Aristide Collins, the vice president of development and alumni relations, declined to release fundraising progress within individual schools. Hatchet File Photo.
Officials expect to hit their goal of raising $1 billion on time.
The $1 billion campaign, which formally launched two years ago, has raised $852 million so far and is still set to finish at the end of June 2018. Gifts to individual schools make up the largest part of the campaign's goals, but officials will not comment on fundraising progress within each school.
In total, gifts to 13 schools and the Mount Vernon Legacy are expected to total $824 million, according to GW's campaign website . The School of Medicine and Health Sciences holds the largest goal of $225 million, followed by the Milken Institute School of Public Health's planned $150 million total – more than half of which is covered by a record $85 million gift made in 2014.
Aristide Collins, the vice president of development and alumni relations, declined to disclose the fundraising progress within each school.
"We continue to work with the deans, development and alumni relations staff in the schools and units to engage with alumni, friends and potential donors," Collins said in an email.
Collins added that development staff are "placing fundraising emphasis on unmet needs" for faculty and student support.
Each school's page on the fundraising website lists which smaller projects will benefit from the funds raised.
According to a chart on the campaign website, 94 percent of donations made to the campaign so far are designated for specific causes. Fifty-nine percent of those funds raised went toward academic programs, 19 percent toward expanding the University’s research programs and 16 toward support students through scholarships and academic advising. The remainder are labeled as “unrestricted.”
“Unrestricted gifts include both the university’s general fund, which helps advance priorities identified through GW’s strategic plan and addresses the university’s greatest needs, as well as dean’s funds, which are used at the dean’s discretion for school-specific needs,” University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said in an email.
Experts said that fundraising officials are often cautious in releasing information about smaller goals within the campaign.
Rob Townes, the executive vice president of Atlanta-based fundraising firm Sinclair, Townes & Company, said while schools will announce good news as the campaign progresses, they often hesitate to publicize slow progress because those announcements could derail larger gifts in the works.
“A big gift may be gestating,” Townes said. “If it got out that a certain school isn’t doing a very good job, it could undermine the conversation that’s going on to get that gift in.”
Townes said that publicizing the smaller goals could put the University in a bad position if they fall slightly short, even if they have raised a significant amount of money.
“You never ever ever want to have a goal that you don’t make,” Townes said. “It may be that a school has a $100 million goal, and you raise $99 million. Some people may too easily cast that as a failure.”
Jancy Houck, the director of development at the University of South Carolina, said that during her university’s $1 billion campaign, which wrapped up last year, some individual schools did not meet their fundraising goals.
Houck said that when her team realized some schools could not reach the individual goals, development officers shifted the marketing approach to focus on the campaign's overall success.
“We don’t want anyone to feel bad about it,” Houck said.
Houck said managing a campaign that is divided by school can be difficult, especially for the development officers in each school who have to coordinate with each other. She said that if a potential donor has connections to multiple units within a university, fundraisers have to be wary of overwhelming them with requests for gifts.
“If it became obvious to the donor that different schools were fighting over him, that would be a big deterrent,” Houck said.”

Metro Monopoly: Springtime activities
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“Media Credit: Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Take advantage of the spring weather by shopping outdoors at Eastern Market.
It’s finally springtime in the District, which means you can take advantage of the beautiful weather before the summer’s humidity kicks in. Here are some outdoor options to maximize the last few weeks of spring in D.C.
For a connection to nature: National Arboretum
Greek architecture meets natural beauty at the National Arboretum – a major center for botanical research featuring a library with over 10,000 volumes of botany books.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as an escape from studying for a few hours. Stop by the National Herb Garden for the alluring aromas of dozens of herbs, and experience more than 100 varieties of roses. For a more exotic view, check out the bonsai exhibit – a Japanese art of growing ornamental, artificially-dwarfed trees.
Take a page out of District history, and walk through the National Capitol Columns – an arrangement of twenty-two Corinthian columns originally from the Capitol building. The columns sit by a serene reflective pool.
The Asian gardens are perfect for a picnic, so be sure to pack a light lunch for you and your friends.
3501 New York Ave. NE
Nearest Metro stop: Stadium-Armory
For a boutique farmer’s market experience: Eastern Market
If you’re tired of the indoor mall scene, trade Pentagon City with Eastern Market for an upscale farmer’s market experience.
You can shop to the soft strumming of a guitar or the crooning of a saxophone on streets lined with musicians. Walk through the stands to see homemade art and trinkets by D.C. artisans including hand-woven sun hats, hand-painted pottery and personalized coins. There’s something to suit every quirk, whether you’re hoping to pick up a working traffic light for your “man cave” ($100) or a bobblehead clock ($5).
Eastern Market is also a great one-stop shop for all things vintage: Pick up Freddie Jackson on vinyl ($16) or an antique map ($45). If comics are your thing, take a look at some of the originals for sale, such as the Amazing Spider Man for $25.
Skip the prices at Whole Foods, and check out the farmer’s market for fresh, local produce. Many of the sellers keep out samples of their products – one stand laid out seven different types of apples, from sour granny-smith to sweet fiji.
225 7th St. SE
Nearest Metro stop: Eastern Market
For the view: Sculpture Garden
Peaceful meets postmodern at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden – a top destination for both tourists and residents alike.
Conveniently located between the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art, the sculpture garden offers art, food and jazz. If you’re hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at the Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe, including pizza ($9) and hot and cold sandwiches ($9.75 to $10).
A walk around the garden will draw you into a landscape of contemporary art in funky shapes, a myriad of metals and brassy shades. Even if contemporary artwork isn’t your thing, the sculptures are so rife with humor and wit that even the most amateur of art connoisseurs can appreciate them.
If you’ll be in D.C. over the summer, keep an eye out for the local jazz artists that will perform Friday nights in the garden starting in late May.
Constitution Avenue & 7th Street
Nearest Metro stop: Federal Triangle
For an outdoor walk through history: Theodore Roosevelt Island
Escape the urban rush for a day on the wooded Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River.
Getting there is an adventure – the footbridge leading to the island is at least a 15 to 20 minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro Station – but the journey is worth it.
Roosevelt Island is the perfect place for an active or relaxing day. You can bring a book and find a grassy spot to read or wander along the different terraced trails totaling almost three miles.
If you own or rent a kayak or canoe from elsewhere – they’re not available to rent on the island – you can bring it for a day on the river.
You can also take your photo by the only memorial of Theodore Roosevelt in the District. Located in the Memorial Plaza, the memorial contains four massive granite tablets with quotes from “the Great Conservationist” surrounding a 17-foot-tall statue of the former President with one arm raised.
Nearest Metro stop: Rosslyn”

Get a full-body BLAST at new local exercise studio
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“Media Credit: Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Exercise fanatics can take full-body workout classes and get a fitness evaluation at BLAST.
If you’ve walked down M Street in West End recently, you may have noticed a new boutique fitness studio – boldly located adjacent to the old standby, Soulcycle.
It is called BLAST, which stands for Balanced Level of Aerobic/Anaerobic and Strength Training. The M Street location is the only one in D.C., and the first outside of Atlanta, Ga. where founder Missi Wolf started the studio after the mother of two shed 100 pounds in two years.
BLAST offers three main services: classes, fitness testing and nutritional counseling.
I was curious to try out the BLAST trifecta, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was pretty skeptical. As a general rule, I hate workout classes, though maybe not for the reason you might think. I like exercise and don’t typically have trouble getting myself to the gym, so shelling out $30 or more for mood lighting and a peppy instructor doesn’t seem like money well spent.
So when I walked into the cheery studio and saw the orchids by the front desk and the prominent branding on the spandex leggings and cropped workout tops for sale, I wondered if that’s what customers were really paying for. But after completing the BLAST trifecta, I walked out feeling like I’d pushed myself and learned things about my body that I could not have done on my own.
BLAST offers just one type of class: the Blast Full Body workout. Each class is 60 minutes of interval training, but it can be broken down in different ways depending on the day and instructor. The classes run about $33-35, depending on how many you buy at a time.
The time was broken up into five-minute blocks during my first class. Coached by instructor Lauren C., we alternated between treadmills to floor stations with mats, free weights and resistance bands. Other classes are broken down into 10-minute blocks or alternate lengths of time, and instructors can switch up the strength materials at the floor stations.
All BLAST classes use treadmills for the cardio portion, which I enjoyed. Doesn’t exercise feel better when you don’t do it sitting down? BLAST’s studio uses FreeMotion incline trainers that can go up to a 30 percent incline – much higher than the treadmills in the Lerner Health and Wellness Center.
For each cardio block, Lauren C. called out three speeds as guidelines for where to set our treadmills based on our fitness level and how hard we were trying to push ourselves. With a combination of running, jogging and walking at different inclines, I built up a sweat quickly. My water was gone less than 20 minutes into the class, but no sooner had I started wondering if I could get some more than Lauren C.’s assistant plucked the empty bottle off my treadmill and went to refill it.
Lauren C. peppered in some motivation, corrected our form and swore a bunch, which was great. She frequently told the class how much time was left in each block, and never told us we had 10 seconds left when we actually had 20. When class finished I was exhausted, sweaty and happy to know that I would be sore the next day.
The Profile
I went back to BLAST to meet with Sarah, the instructor who completed my fitness profile. For the second time, I recognized a GW student working at the front desk when I came in – expect to see familiar faces.
The BLAST score is an overall fitness score determined by performance in a series of fitness tests. I did the ‘Classic’ BLAST profile which tested my strength, core, flexibility, percent body fat and the volume of oxygen my body consumes while running, which measures cardiovascular fitness. It costs $195. I left the appointment with a better understanding of how my workouts were contributing (or not) to my overall fitness level.
For the cardio test, I was hooked up to a face mask and tube that would measure my breathing, put on a heart rate monitor and hopped on the treadmill. I’d been told not to work out the day before.
The test takes up to 12 minutes – the maximum amount of time that the equipment needs to get enough information to tell you what your heart rate zones are and at what rate your body stops burning fat and starts burning sugars. I started at a walk, then Sarah gradually increased the speed of the treadmill up to seven miles per hour, then started increasing the incline.
I learned that my body stops burning fat when my heart rate hits 184 beats per minute. Sarah explained that means if I’m trying to improve my cardiovascular fitness in a workout, I should get my heart rate above that point. If I’m trying to burn fat in a workout, I should stay below 184. She prescribed me a few different workouts for each option.
While we got high-tech on the treadmill, Sarah measured my body fat percentage the old fashioned way, by measuring how much fat and skin she could pinch away with a tool (don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt).
The strength, core and flexibility tests took me back to the Presidential Fitness Test in middle school – Sarah tested how many push ups and crunches I could do in a minute and measured how far I could reach beyond my toes.
All in all it took about an hour and a couple hours after I left the appointment, Sarah emailed me a copy of my profile. The profile puts all the tests together to show what areas should be priorities. It also provides benchmarks in each category so that you know what a reasonable next goal looks like.
In looking at the workouts BLAST prescribed me to fit my profile, I realized that the profile testing and the classes fit together. The different speeds Lauren C. was calling out? I’d been thinking of them as easy, medium and hard, but they could also coincide with the heart rate zone someone wants to be in during the workout.
The thing I liked so much about BLAST was that it actually taught me something, instead of just massaging my ego and telling me that I could do it.
For a certain set of D.C. residents, quite a few of them GW students, workout gear branded with one’s favorite studio logo has become like gang apparel. For me? I’ll ride (technically, run) with BLAST’s red symbol.”

GW settles former UPD officer gender harassment lawsuit
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“A former officer in the University Police Department settled her harassment complaint against the department this month.
Linda Queen, who left UPD in March 2014, filed a gender discrimination suit against GW last year. She settled the case with the University earlier this month.
Her lawyer, Ari Wilkenfeld, filed the voluntary dismissal in the U.S. District Court April 13.
University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar declined to comment the dismissal, citing University policy not to comment on "matters subject to litigation."
Wilkenfeld declined to give details on the settlement because he said the agreement was confidential. Queen did not respond to a request for comment.
“The parties reached an out of court settlement,” Wilkenfeld said. “Ms. Queen is very happy with it.”
Queen filed the lawsuit alleging that her former UPD supervisors, Christopher Brown and Warren Gibbs, sexually harassed her. She said the officers would ask her on dates, embrace her and swing her around, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleged that the University did not intervene with her supervisors, despite complaints she made to GW’s human resources office. Queen also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Queen’s suit is one of six discrimination lawsuits filed against the University since 2010. The other lawsuits range from racial discrimination to age discrimination. Last month a former security officer, Bernard Nono, filed a racial discrimination case against GW for not rehiring him after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.”

Kendrick Baker:Students need weight room orientations
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“We’ve all seen the movie in which a misfit goes to the gym's weight room for the first time: Comical mishaps with weights and machines inevitably ensue. But these sorts of mishaps happen in real life, too, and can cause serious injuries. The gym environment can seem too intimidating for inexperienced people to ask for help or advice.
Staff and students must work together to make sure that everyone using the weight room at Lerner Health and Wellness Center is familiar with the equipment and is able to use it safely.
HellWell staff should actively advertise fitness orientations, especially for incoming freshmen. Staff should raise awareness by posting flyers in residence halls and setting up tables at Colonial inauguration about weight room orientations.
These orientations would serve as an important introduction to the specific equipment in HellWell, as well as a review of proper weightlifting techniques. By having scheduled orientations during Colonial Inauguration and Welcome Week, staff can reach students who may not be familiar with gym equipment and who don’t know how to find more information. This way, HellWell staff would minimize any feelings of embarrassment, and prevent injuries.
If a student wants to improve and learn about how to use weights, the fitness center staff does technically provide fitness orientations. However, most students probably don’t even know that’s an option. To sign up for an orientation, students have to email a staff member directly. Getting in touch with staff members by email is inconvenient, and the ability to do so is poorly marketed in the gym or on its website.
If students don’t know about those orientations, they might sign up for a personal or group training session, which can be extremely expensive. Individual sessions start at $75 each, and group sessions can cost as much as $112 per session.
While fitness center staff should do more to teach students how to use the equipment, students must also take initiative. I have seen many students come to the weight room looking extremely lost, and not ask for help. Students who want to use the weight room for the first time should consult online sources to come up with a consistent workout plan, watch videos to correct their form and reach out to friends who frequent the gym. And even though students might feel awkward about asking for help, it’s more important to be safe in the weight room than it is to avoid embarrassment.
For students who want to start weight training, the options that HellWell provides are lackluster and poorly advertised. Inexperienced students are dissuaded from asking for critical advice because asking comes with embarrassment. It is on both the students and fitness staff to make sure students learn how to train with weights safely.
Kendrick Baker, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet columnist. Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”

Professor known for popular course on death to retire
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“For Pamela Woodruff, death is no tough topic.
Woodruff, a psychology professor and alumna who began teaching at GW in the 1970s, is retiring this year. She is best known for her “Attitudes Toward Death and Dying” course, which addresses the different aspects, attitudes and experiences associated with death.
The class, which has become a staple of Woodruff’s time as a professor, is popular among students and often has a long waitlist, even with a cap of 70 students. Woodruff said she thinks the high level of interest in her class is partially because she requires her students to complete miniature projects in which they explore their own mortality – like designing their own tombstones or imagining death as a person.
“I like grossing out students, truly, and I like the humor,” Woodruff said. “I just enjoy being around young adults quite a lot. My students are great.”
The course includes a number of topics related to mortality – like grieving, children’s concept of death, death of the elderly, burial options and euthanasia, Woodruff said.
Woodruff said she was finishing up her clinical psychology work when the chair of the psychology department asked her to teach at GW. She said she has taught for so many years because she loves being around students, and that the hardest part about retiring is going to be leaving them.
Woodruff said she has a blunt and to-the-point personality, which she has taken into the classroom.
Her ability to deal with death started before she came to GW. She said her husband died when her daughter was young, and it was something the family worked through together.
“My daughter was always very comfortable with death,” Woodruff said. “I never lied to her about it. If we had a pet who died we used the correct word, that they were euthanized, not put to sleep.”
Woodruff also worked at the National Cancer Institute for 12 years as a researcher, where she said she often saw people suffer before they died. That experience turned her into an advocate for euthanasia or “death with dignity,” she said.
“Over 12 years I saw dozens and dozens of people die, but they had no control over their death in the sixties and seventies, so I feel strongly that people should,” Woodruff said.
Her experience at the National Cancer Institute also led Woodruff to help train hospice caretakers and pushed her to advocate for a “death with dignity” bill in Maryland. She said euthanasia is her favorite topic to teach in the death and dying course because of her particular interest in the subject.
In her retirement, Woodruff said she is planning to volunteer at the Montgomery Hospice in Rockville, Maryland. She said that visiting a person in their care once a week for a few hours will be a rewarding experience.
Calling no question “too morbid,” Woodruff said she would like her body donated to science when she dies but that it is unlikely to happen because she is a “terrible specimen.”
“Ultimately it’s up to my daughter, because she is surviving me, but she always tells me that I am going to be such a terrible teaching specimen,” Woodruff said. “And funerals are for the living anyway.””

Institute director discovers new way to measure autism
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 27, 2016
“The director of GW’s autism institute helped find a new way to measure autism in boys.
Kevin Pelphrey, the director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, is one of the co-authors of a paper published last week that found brain imaging can improve treatment for autism in boys. The paper is the first major research to come out of the institute since Pelphrey joined GW this month.
Doctors quantified how the brain is working in autism patients and assessed the effectiveness of treatment for the first time, according to a University release . Researchers analyzed 164 brain images from 114 individuals and found the brain scans of social perception circuits indicated autism in boys.
Pelphrey said they conducted the research with functional magnetic resonance imaging – a technique that monitors brain activity in certain types of thinking. He said he started this research five years ago by comparing children with autism to those without autism.
“We didn’t focus only on boys, but our results showed that our technique worked best for boys,” Pelphrey said. “We are working on developing other approaches that will work best for girls with autism.”
Pelphrey said other researchers worked with him on the project – including the other authors of the paper and students who were undergraduates at the time.
“We hope to involve undergraduates at GW in this type of work in the future,” Pelphrey said.
The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute was first discussed in 2010, and officials spent roughly a year searching for a director. Pelphrey was named the inaugural director of the institute and started in his position this month.
Pelphrey said the goals of this kind of research within the institute are to identify the “brain bases of neurodevelopmental disorders” to develop tools for detection and individually tailored treatments.
Malin Björnsdotter, an assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg and the lead author of the paper, said in an email that she had been researching social processes using neuroimaging for almost 10 years, but that Pelphrey inspired her to work in autism research during a lab visit in 2011.
“We have been working on this particular project since then,” she said. “It has been a true pleasure to work with him, and I look forward to future collaborations.”
Björnsdotter said autism is common and potentially devastating, but poorly understood. She said studying neural changes in children with autism provides important clues to how and why social abilities are disrupted.
“This knowledge may help us design interventions that help children-at-risk, not only in autism, but in many different disorders and contexts,” Björnsdotter said. “My goal is to develop new tools that can be used to help patients.””

Zach Montellaro: To infinity and beyond
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 25, 2016
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Photo Editor
Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.
When I came to GW, I never, ever wanted to be a journalist. I was going to be a history professor, or bullshit around on the Hill or do literally anything else except report. Journalists were unpaid, overworked dreamers, and that’s something I never aspired to be.
But I lived on the Vern my freshman year, and it was a slow night. Somehow, be it divine providence or a friend leaving it behind, an application for The Hatchet multimedia section ended up in my room, behind my bed.
And well, because it was The Vern and there’s nothing better to do on a weeknight during your second week of freshman year, I filled it out. It took me about an hour total to do it. Worst case scenario, I wasted an hour of an otherwise slow night trying to join another student org.
What could possibly come from one application?
As it turns out, a lot. A whole lot. That dumb, rushed application turned into my entire life in college, and it turned into my home. The Hatchet has been an institution I have poured literal blood, sweat and tears into. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
For nearly my entire time at college, my home base has never been my dorm room or Gelman or whatever - it has always been the Hatchet townhouse. From the moment I walked in the doors of 2140 G, I knew I found where I wanted to be. One of my earliest memories was my first editor stopping a meeting to make us watch a concert of diva singers, and him regaling us with his deep, fawning affection for Aretha Franklin. And as weird as it sounded, I started to think that here’s where I would fit in.
And for a reason still beyond me, I was made an editor at the end of my freshman year. And I ran with it - right into a wall. I’ve never felt more in over my head then in those first couple of months - and never more certain that I wasn’t cut out to be a journalist. Sure, it was fun bopping around D.C. shooting videos, but all this could ever be was a hobby, right?
But I stuck with it, not because I thought I was any good, but because I wanted to be with my friends. I would hang around the townhouse my sophomore year, getting coffee and food for other editors just because I wanted to be with them. I huddled up in my chair at all hours of the day, butting in on meetings and peppering other editors with questions about what exactly they were doing. And inch by inch, I started to get better.
But my biggest problem has always been confidence. Despite all my bravado, I never think I’m really the guy for the job. I would never say I’m a good reporter, or a good writer - I just happened to be in the right place at the right time or the most willing to fall flat on my face. And in the last two years, The Hatchet has helped me break that problem - that maybe, just maybe, I could do this.
The Hatchet moved onto bigger things (say, a brand new townhouse) over the next two years, and so did I. I finally grew into my metaphorical paws. I stomped (shoeless) around the townhouse, teasing editors when they needed it and trying to help when they needed that too. I didn’t have to pretend I knew what I was doing, because sometimes I actually did. I knew I finally figured out what I was meant to do, and that was to be a journalist.
And as I accept that reality, I also have to accept another more crushing one - it’s time to let go. Time to move out of my home of the last four years, out into the real world and into newsrooms where I can’t kick off my shoes and scream about the Mets at all hours of the night. The Hatchet gave me some great experiences that all seemed to revolve around stalking the District’s dogs. But it also gave two other important things – the confidence to walk into these new newsrooms with my head held high and a group of lifelong friends to catch me when I fall. It gave me the strength to forge ahead, to infinity and beyond:
Sam, Molly, Maddie and Sean : Thanks for always putting up with my Hatchet crap, even when you really, really didn’t want to. You guys have kept me grounded in the outside world and each deserve far more words that I can give here.
Mom and Dad : I’m sure you couldn’t have been thrilled to watch me dive headfirst into a career with awful job security and even worse pay. You’ve both worked so, so incredibly hard your entire life so that could be a choice I could make, and there’s nothing in this world I’ll ever be able to do to repay that. Thank you so much for your support, I love both of you. Syd , thank you for being my long distance support system. You were always the better twin.
Gabe : There’s no better place to start my list of Hatchet folks than with you, right? I stumbled blindly into your section, and you let me stay. You were the first person who ever showed any confidence in what I was doing here, and the first one who pushed me to do more. Thank you for that, thank you for the impromptu concerts during multimedia meetings and thank you for everything. Without your guidance during my freshman year, I quite literally don’t know what I’d be doing with my life. Gabby, Marie, Francis and Gabe, thanks for adopting me into the bigger visuals family years ago. It’s been a blast.
Cory : As you put it much more elegantly than I ever could, where would I be without you? The answer is probably nowhere near where I am today. Thank you for hiring a dumb New Yorker who had absolutely no right being on staff. I hope I haven’t let you down because everything I’ve done at The Hatchet has been to prove that you made the right decision then. I miss yelling about baseball with you, and it looks like my eternal devotion to the Mets is starting to finally pay off. I selfishly hope you grow tired of the west coast so you move back here so that we can go to more ballgames.
Diana : One of my earliest memories as an editor was you basically threatening me into being your date to our first Hatchet prom. I was a huge dork who insisted on getting a matching tie, so thank you for putting up with that. But beyond the time, thank you for being my partner in crime. I don’t think either of us really knew what we were doing, but together we made a really phenomenal team. Nobody can light up a room like you do, and I miss your infectious happiness in the townhouse. The next time I’m back in New York, you owe me a bagel.
Big Gabe : Your “Hey, I’m Zach Montellaro” accent still needs some work, but I can forgive that. Besides the time you made an attempt to kill me, you were always there with a great joke (or a good beer) to lighten the mood. I’m still drinking crappy beer because you haven’t guided your mini-me, and that’s something we need to change now that I’m (almost) a real adult.
Culture crew : Some of you were the coolest folks I ever worked with ( Morgan, Tati, Holla ) and some of you ( Ally ) were the lamest, but there was never a time I didn’t enjoy spending time with each one of you.
Justin : Thank you for always making everyone laugh, and putting up with staff on Sunday mornings when all you wanted to really do was go home and sleep. You time and time again opened your literal doors to staff and helped make us into a family.
Jacob: I miss being able to bounce down to the first floor to give you a hug, because you give good hugs. You’re one of the smartest folks to ever walk through the townhouse doors and one of the most eloquent writers I’ve ever met. If there’s one college class I’d want to take in the future, it’d be whatever one you’re teaching. Move back to the east coast.
Nick Ong, Cam and Sean : My single greatest Hatchet memory is our road trip for the NCAA and joking about the hammer. I never had more fun than being on the road with the crew. There was nothing better than shooting the shit on the sidelines with you, Cam. And thank you, Nick and Sean, for letting me invade your first floor enclave to yell about sports. You guys always kept me humble. J Solo, thanks for helping to fill that sports void with our trips to The Tuck.
Chloe : I used to always joke I was always a bit afraid of you, but I was afraid of you because you are so damn good at what you do. Thank you for building up our news team to what it is. Nick Rice , you’re genuinely the coolest fucking dude I’ve ever met. I aspire to that.
Mel : On more than one occasion, you’ve saved me from being a total absolute wreck. Thank you for helping me make sure my shoes match my belt and making sure that I can pass off being a real adult to the outside world, both physically and mentally. I’m still not sorry for all the mean things I’ve said about your only true love, Tom Brady.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond : There is not a person on the face of this planet who got more shit from me than you did, and probably not a person who gave more back to me. Thanks for always going beyond the headlines to bring us the story behind the story, and for busting your ass to get where you got to today. No one deserves it more. Once you’re finally off the trail, you owe me that drink.
RJK : When I joined staff, I was scared – scared that I wouldn’t fit in with everyone else, scared that nobody else would like me and scared that I wouldn’t last. And then I met you. You were the first person on staff to be my friend, and I’ll never forget the first Hatchet prom with us awkwardly huddling in some backyard not knowing anyone. You’re the most badass, kickass woman I’ve ever met, and I’m truly happy you’re in my life. Some of my favorite Hatchet memories here are the little things with you - just watching a ballgame or splitting mozzies from Gallery. Last year, you said you adore me - but RJK, the truth is I adore YOU.
Ferris : You’re an asshole and a half, but… you’ve also been one of the best parts about The Hatchet for me. You dragged me kicking and screaming out of my shell and into life in D.C. If it was up to me, I’d be curled up inside for my entire life and you don’t let that happen. And even though you give me a hard time, you’re always there with help with whatever I need. I don’t say it enough, but thank you Ferris. For everything.
Volume 113 : I’m taking a bit of a cop out here, because there’s so many of you I don’t know all too well. That fills me with great pride - to know that there’s plenty of smart, dedicated folks still willing to give up their time to help make this institution shine. Nathan and the rest of the crew, I can’t wait to see what you guys do next year.
And a special shout out to you, Sam Hardgrove. I was crushed when you went abroad, because people like you are the heartbeat of this institution - dedicated and talented sure, but also a great friend. I hope Volume 113 will fully appreciate how lucky they are that they get to spend their time with you.
Melissa S : It was a crushing blow to find out you were a Yankees fan, but I’m glad we’ve moved past it. The second floor is quite literally a zoo, but every time I walked in you were the calm in the middle of the hurricane. The Hatchet needs more people like you who have the patience and poise to not only catch everyone’s dumb mistakes, but to fix them as well.
Grace K : One of the first things you ever said to me was pointing out how loudly I chew gum (which is a totally valid complaint). I’ve tried to chew more quietly, and as a reward I’ve gotten to know you. Thanks for letting me take up some of your space on the third floor, and for all the incredible stories I can live vicariously through. I was a bit shocked that someone on staff out-Disneyed me, but you’ve managed it. Please stop stealing my stuff and poking me.
Victoria, Grace and Regina : You guys were all put in unenviable positions of running sections with little notice, and you’ve all handled it like stars. Grace and Regina, I hope you guys keep trying new things to make the section your own, and Victoria I hope you tweet your heart out. Let every snow day be your prime.
Avery and Andrew : I’ve only gotten to know the pair of you this semester, but you two have been rockstars. Avery, you crack me up with your random asides, and I’ve never seen someone become so good at their job so quickly. Andrew, you come on staff in some of the hardest circumstances - replacing an editor in the middle of the semester. Your talent as a reporter has shown this last couple of weeks. Unlike the weird lady at the Nats game, you can always sit next to me.
Katie : Your dedication has been unmatched. Thank you for always being the first one at breaking news and the last one to leave and for running away with my hat.
Ryan : I’ve caught myself saying “aw man, I miss Ryan” a lot of times this semester. Your quippy jokes in the townhouse always made me laugh, and you can grow a hell of a beard. I’m so excited for Volume 113 that you’re coming back next year, because a bit of everything was missing without you in the townhouse.
Melissa H : No one else understands or cares about my rants about bagels or pizza, and even though I tease you about your boyfriend (hi Gary!), you still let me hang around. I was worried that when there was another Long Islander on staff, I wouldn’t get along with them. That was until I met you, because you’re one of the nicest folks I’ve had the pleasure of working with here. You’re better than awesome, and I can’t wait to see what you do with your section next year.
Tyler : The thing I admire most about you is your pure dedication to the institution. In less than a year, you’ve worn so many hats - and have excelled at all of them. If we actually lost you in the metro, The Hatchet would be lost as well. I’m also happy to see you’re already carrying one very important part of my job forward - making fun of everyone else.
Eva : I don’t know why, but the moment I caught you falling off that stool at the party, I knew you’d start catching everyone else. You’re one of the rocks that the Hatchet has - that no matter what your title is, you’re there to catch everyone else when they’re about to fall. Thank you for doing that, and for weathering the storm that was last year’s playoffs. Melton , I think the only thing you want to hear from me is a simple thing - let’s go Mets. Can’t wait for this year’s World Series parade.
Dez : Thank you for always being my biggest fan in the stands during basketball games. This year, as I moved off the court and up into the crowd, I’m glad I always had a friend I could watch the games with. I remember butting into all those photo meetings in 2140 G, and you made it a point to help me feel included. Thank you for showing me that everyone from Philly isn’t someone who throws batteries at Santa - a select few of you are awesome people. I’m so excited for you for Columbia next year.
Robin : I’ve never met someone so full of life as you - and someone who lets everyone know it. If I could have half as much fun in life as you did just a karaoke, it’d be a great one. And while I encourage you to give up your residency in the townhouse, I’m glad I can always wander in and find a friend at any hour of the day.
Video squad : Out of all the sections, you guys have had to put up with me the most because I could never really let go. I know that wasn’t particularly easy, so thank you for humoring me this year. Blair , you’re one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. A lot was dropped on your plate at the beginning of the year, and you’ve handled it with grace. I’m so proud that you’ve made your mark both on The Hatchet and in outlets around the city. Deepa , one of the best things I did for video was steal you away from the photo department. Thank you for bringing a new set of eyes to everything on The Hatchet and helping push video to do bigger and grander projects. Halley , your constant cheeriness has never failed to brighten up my day. Just being around you always put a smile on my face. Jake , we’re not there yet, but maybe someday you’ll earn the honor of watching pay-per-view wrestling with me. You’re going to be such a champ next year.
And Sarah - remember when I dragged you onto the paper? Even before you started here, I knew you’d be infinitely more talented than I’d ever be. There’s been nothing better than having a friend on staff who I knew outside of this crazy place first to tell me when I’m getting too ridiculous and remind me to see the outside world. Thank you for loaning out Andrew so I had someone to harass in class and for keeping me grounded.
Lillianna : There’s a lot of secrets you’ll never get out of me, and that’s going to drive you crazy forever. But one secret I will let you in on - I do wander into the townhouse to make sure the lights get turned off, but I also do that to spend time with you. You’re a good reporter and an even better person who never fails to make me laugh. I’m sorry it took me a bit to get to know you outside of the L&L Connection - but I’m so glad I did, because you might just be one of my favorites here (but I’ll never admit it).
Jeanine : One day, I want to be as half as cool as you. But until that day, I’ll just have to spend my time admiring you instead. Everything you’ve put your mind to, you’ve knocked out of the park. No matter the craziness that’s going on at some party, you’re always there to try to get me to loosen up and have some fun. I will never be an exciting man, but I get a lot closer to being one by just knowing you.
Brandon : My one true friend, Brandon Lee. If you asked me if I ever wanted to be on a watchlist, I’d say no. But after meeting you, it is one small trade-off that I’m willing to make if it means keeping you around. Your intelligence is matched only by your enthusiasm for libertarianism, and that’s quite alright. Even if it means dragging you out of Sign of the Whale every once and awhile, you’re one true friend I’m always glad I’ll have.
Dan : I thought there was only enough room for one grump on staff, but you proved me wrong. You’re one of the most talented shooters I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, but more importantly, you’re one of the most kindhearted folks I’ve met. I’m glad you’re going to carry my mantle as Hatchet staffer who acts like a 43-year-old on the verge of retirement.
Mark : Big Mark! Thank you for putting up with all my crappy jokes and my dumb hugs. Watching you grow into the absolute phenomenal writer you are today has been awesome. Getting to meet people like you are what made The Hatchet worth it to me. One day, I hope to earn a “savage” from you - but until then, I’m glad you are my buddy.
Jax : I’m so, so, so, so proud of you. I don’t ever say that enough, but I really am. Watching you transform from some dope I suckered into joining the multimedia section into such a strong journalist has been one of my proudest moments here. You’ve handled such a stressful job here and the paper would be nowhere without you. Thank you for taking my jokes well, and thank you for making me proud.
Ellie : The paper couldn’t be in better hands than yours next year. Being in charge is never easy - but I already know you’re going to do phenomenally. In the less than two years you’ve been on staff, you have already helped transform your team and the organization as a whole. My only regret from working with you is that I never met your dog, because in everything else you’ve done, there can be nothing to regret.
Sam LaFrance : I’ve been spoiled with a lot of things at The Hatchet - but the thing that’s spoiled me the most is you, because if you’re the mortal enemy I’m going to have in this world, it is going to be a pretty easy life. You took on so much more than you signed up for here, and most of that involves dealing with me. Every time I hear a One Direction song I can’t help but smile, because I know somewhere, you’re laughing at my discomfort. I don’t think I want to be a sack of skin or a skeleton, but if that’s a decision I had to make to keep you around, I’d make it 10/10 times.
Bluge : One of our first real conversations was me making fun of you’re selfie face, so we had nowhere to go but up. I’m glad you let me burst your little ops bubble you had on the third floor, because I came to realize how much I admire you. There’s nothing easy about being the opinions editor, because you have to let everyone know how it really is. I can only dream of being as smart, poised and confident as you are, and I can’t think of a better way than to close out my time at The Hatchet with you at Hatchet Prom.
Nora : I said it during my hotseat, but you really do light up my world. There’s been countless number of days that I’m down and out, but just being you around you turns that all around. I’m glad me driving you off a tiny ledge didn’t drive a wedge in our friendship, but only gave you fodder to make fun of me. I’ve also been incredibly proud to work alongside you on the court. I’ll be hard-pressed to ever work with someone as fearless and as smart as you ever again.
RSG : Thank you for always being there for me. Through my highs and lows, you were always there when I needed to spill my heart out about something dumb on the long walk back from some party. You are simply an incredible person I’ve been blessed to know, and there has never been another person on this staff who has shown me as much genuine kindness as you have. Live that slug live forever.
Colleen : Well it looks like we made it, huh? Thank you for letting me take this wild adventure with you. You said that I’ve always been there for you, but it’s really been the other way around - you’ve always been there for me. I’m loud, whiny and angry a lot of the time, but you still put up with all my quirks and let me help you build the institution I love. From the day we joined staff, I knew you would be the one running the show one day because I knew you’d be the best at it - and I am so incredibly happy to say that I was so right. I’m convinced that nobody could’ve handled everything that happened this year - nobody but you. I’m so happy I have a lifelong friend as we both get ready for the next steps in our lives.
Bri : There’s no way in hell that I forgot about you, right? I have written and deleted what I wanted to write to you about 15 times now because I just don’t know what to say. Truly, I can’t write anything here that fits, because there isn’t enough words on this planet to sum up what you mean to me. The Hatchet has given me a lot of important things for sure. But by far, the absolute most important thing it has given me is you. You’re my best friend, and everything else The Hatchet has given me doesn’t even come close to adding up to a day with you. The best memories on The Hatchet that I have isn’t a particular one, because it is just about every single second I’ve spent with you. Whether it’s carrying you down a boardwalk in Ocean City or curling up and watching Game of Thrones with you, there’s not a moment that goes by that I would ever take back. Not a day that goes by where I don’t think about how lucky I am to have you in my life, and I don’t want to imagine it any other way.

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