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George Washington University

GWU Campus News

Fundraising campaign total reaches $740 million
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
After making serious strides toward reaching its goal of $1 billion over the course of the academic year, donations to GW’s largest-ever fundraising campaign have grown by $25 million since February, reaching a total of roughly $740 million.
Members of the Board of Trustees announced the new total during their meeting Friday, which was far lower than the $110 million increase between October's and February's Board meeting. Still, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Aristide Collins said he thinks the University will hit the three-quarter benchmark on the fundraising blitz over the summer.
Collins said the campaign is right on target and has seen a healthy number of donations over the past year. The University counts 55,000 members in its donor pool, a 5,000-person increase since the total was last released in February.
“If you look at the campaign as a whole, it’s really a very good example of how people are really investing in GW,” Collins said. “I think that the pace over the past year has increased. There’s a lot of enthusiasm.”
He said that though the campaign will reach the $750 million marker during the summer, the University will wait to celebrate it until the fall, when students and parents are back on campus.
“It’s our inclination to do it when the family’s here, when everybody can acknowledge it,” he said. “We might have surpassed it then, but at least to put the stake in the ground and say, ‘We’re celebrating with everybody,’ I think it’s always good.”
University President Steven Knapp said in an interview that he’s content with how the campaign has been progressing since it publicly launched last June.
“That’s pretty rapid progress, and we just want to keep that going and build momentum on it,” he said. “I’m very excited with the way our students have engaged with the campaign, really dramatically increased in the participation rate, which is very, very important for the future.”
The senior class raised more than $128,000 this year from more than 60 percent of its students, the highest donation and participation counts in University history.
But nearly a third of the $25 million increase in donations since February was funded by two million-dollar donations. Gilbert Cisneros, a 1994 alumnus, and his wife Jacki Cisneros donated $7 million to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences to fund the Cisneros Leadership Institute, which chairman of the Board Nelson Carbonell announced at the Friday meeting. The donation is in large part going to benefit Hispanic students, Carbonell said in an interview.
“I think the gift is really a terrific opportunity for the University to really improve in that area, have new resources that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Carbonell said.
Carbonell said this isn’t the first time the couple has given to the University, either. They made a $1 million gift to financial aid at GW in 2011 after winning $266 million in the Mega Millions lottery.
Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
Aristide Collins, the vice president for development and alumni relations, said he hopes to raise 75 percent of the University's $1 billion fundraising goal by this summer. Officials announced at Friday's Board of Trustees meeting that $740 million has been raised for the campaign.
Trustee George Wellde, who graduated with a master's degree in 1976, also donated $1 million toward the Center for Career Services. Mark Shenkman, another trustee, made a $5 million gift for the Center for Career Services last year, the largest-ever gift from a sitting trustee.
Collins said the other two-thirds of the $25 million were collected or pledged and include a “couple large grants.”
The $110 million that officials brought in between October and February shows donations coming at an estimated pace of about $23 million per month on average, though that amount could also include pledged gifts.
That average gift total decreased by more than 60 percent between February and May, where gifts averaged about $8.3 million each month. The University does not release month to month giving totals, but rather makes announcements at points throughout the year.
Collins said the development office has seen “very strong momentum” throughout the campaign, bolstered donors who give annually or have given at multiple points in the fundraising blitz. Collins said it's important to keep in touch with past donors in the hopes they will decide to give again.
“You also want to have major gift donors who give at one part of the campaign for one particular priority,” he said. “They may give to that same priority again. They may decide to give somewhere else, so you want to continue to cultivate and steward them as you go throughout the campaign.”
Experts say the decline in the rate of giving should not be a cause for concern.
Arthur Criscillis, a managing partner at the fundraising firm Alexander-Haas, said the University has “obviously hit some nice licks” in fundraising $215 million, or about a fifth of its goal, over the past 11 months. The campaign had already raised $525 million during its three-year quiet phase before launching in June.
“When you have the announcement and it’s public, there can be a period of time where it’s just not rocketing forward,” he said.
Criscillis said the large, multimillion-dollar donations in a campaign often come during the “silent phase” before it’s announced publicly. Those donations generally come from donors who have been giving to the University since before the campaign started, he said.
For example, billionaire philanthropists Michael Milken and Sumner Redstone, neither of whom attended GW, gave a combined $80 million last spring to rename the public health school.
But major gifts from first-time donors tend to take some time, said James Reber, a University of California, Berkeley graduate who operates a small fundraising firm.
“It might take you two meetings and some schmoozing,” he said. “It might take you six months just to get a meeting.”
Erika Bernal, the director of development and alumni relations at Marshall B. Ketchum University in California, said before universities present their fundraising campaigns publicly, they often try to raise about 50 percent of the campaign goal, so fundraisers don't have to rely so heavily on large gifts in the first years of the public phase.
“There’s like a pyramid,” she said. “You need a pretty wide base of smaller level donors.”
Those donors, like parents and alumni with no prior history of giving, are generally “very good supporters, but don’t have the capacity” to donate six-figure or seven-figure gifts, Bernal said. Their gifts typically roll in during the first and second years of the public phase of the campaign and are smaller than the annual donation amounts in the private part of the fundraiser.
Major gifts often start to come back in during the tail end of the campaign in the form of matching agreements, she said.
“At the end you usually have your closers,” she said. “People who are willing to match gifts and say, ‘We’ll match up to $100 million if you can raise $100 million from an alumni base.’”
Collins said he expects to see more large gifts as the campaign continues.
"I'm just very very optimistic," he said. "You can't do this kind of work without being enthusiastic and excited about it, telling the GW story."
Jacqueline Thomsen and Colleen Murphy contributed reporting.”

Smith Center staple leaves behind 'G-dub' legacy
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Ed Metz cheers on men's basketball in a game against Dayton this past season. Metz and his signature "G-Dub" chant have become synonomous with the Smith Center atmosphere, but the Colonials superfan is moving back to Ohio after four decades in the District.
Never particularly athletic like some of his siblings, Ed Metz wanted to be a cheerleader at his high school, but positions were never offered to men. But in 1980, GW's cheerleaders needed a male for their squad — and the GW temporary worker-turned-senior secretary finally got the gig.
He lasted just one year.
"Students were throwing trash into my megaphone," Metz said. "So then I thought, 'It's time to retire at the end of the season,' and I did."
Then the 30-year-old reject cheerleader took to rooting on the sidelines, and over time became an institution at the Smith Center.
But the Colonials are now in need of a new No. 1 fan. Thirty-five years later, Metz is ending his career as a Smith Center mainstay to go back home to Ohio after losing his partner of 40 years to a heart attack.
"He was really a game changer and he will be missed," three-year starting small forward Patricio Garino said.
Metz could always be found hanging over the baseline first row seats, behind the backboard, on the GW bench side. He would get there before game time and jump to his feet in full applause when GW Cheer would enter the arena.
Known as the "G-Dub guy," Metz would stand up at a break in the action during a basketball game, stretch out his arms wrapped in the sleeves of a buff-colored turtleneck accompanied by a blue beanie hat and chant in his raspy voice — hoarse from years of rooting for his GW favorites.
He would form a big "G" with his arms, crossed, with hand over hand and the student section sends back a YMCA-styled "W" roaring the second part of the cheer, "Dub."
Since Metz started the chant a few years ago, it has become a favorite. He finds it easy to do from up in the stands looking toward the Colonial Army. When Metz missed a few games this season, the students picked up the chant — keeping the tradition alive in a way that could have had freshmen thinking it had been going for decades.
"You can hear his voice, and when the rest of the building interacts with him after he chants 'G' and everyone else chants 'Dub,' it's a special sight to witness," three-year starting point guard Joe McDonald said.
Born and raised in Buckeye nation, Metz grew up in Ohio with seven siblings. His father wasn't a sports guy, but two of his brothers played — one high school football and the other soccer. Metz took a liking to basketball in high school, where his school was a regional powerhouse.
When he graduated he headed to the Ohio State University. He studied engineering, but never graduated. Metz would start an English degree at GW but never complete it either. What Metz did do during his time as a Buckeye was pick up a love for football. From 1966 to 1983, he said he never missed a Ohio State–Michigan football game. Soaked in a culture of winning, he learned how to become not just a fan but a fanatic.
Metz had moved from Ohio to D.C. in 1975 to work for IBM in Manassas, Va. He chose the location because he could stay with family members in the area, and had no idea he would end up rooting for the Colonials.
"My mom came up here and I brought her in here to see, and she said, 'This is a basketball arena?'" Metz said. "She couldn't believe that I was rooting for such a small school like this."
He was wandering around Foggy Bottom one afternoon when he stumbled in on a basketball game between GW and West Virginia, a battle in the old Southern Conference.
"I went over and sat in that section there," Metz said, pointing across the Smith Center from his usual game day perch. "It was all West Virginia fans in here and I didn't know who to root for because I wasn't a GW fan or anything. So I started cheering for GW because they went ahead.”
The Smith Center and GW basketball program have grown since the days when Metz, who became a season ticket holder after that first season, used to sit with the students in the bleacher-style stands.
"Primitive seating, but you were kind of jammed in," Metz said. "A big game after we'd win, they'd rush the floor. It was just more intimate. Now it's just more individual seats. It's just a little different."
Metz said he was nearly done with the Colonials in 1989 when the team went 1-27 on the season.
"I thought I was going to give up," Metz said. "I couldn't believe it."
But the crowd kept him coming back. He hung around and the team rose to success under Mike Jarvis and Karl Hobbs. GW took a trip to the Sweet Sixteen with Yinka Dare and Dirkk Surles in 1993. In 2006, Metz headed to Greensboro, N.C. to see the team lose to No. 1 Duke by 13, in what he calls his favorite season.
Metz can be like a Colonial basketball encyclopedia. He remembers the golden years with no waning lust and can recall key baskets by his favorites, like 2012 alumnus Tony Taylor, GW's all-time scorer, the "fierce" and "intimidating" Mike Brown and Shawnta Rogers, "the Mighty Might."
"He had an uncanny way of igniting an arena, and was as responsible as anyone for augmenting our home court advantage," athletic director Patrick Nero said. "We'll need a new Ed to emerge next season."”

Staff Editorial: Stay tuned: Stories to keep watching this year
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Unless you’re taking summer classes or living in University housing, it can be easy to forget about GW over the summer.
But GW doesn’t forget about us. Officials keep making decisions, teams keep recruiting and practicing and student organizations keep preparing for the upcoming school year.
It’s tempting to block the University from our minds as we relax over the next few months. But some story lines from this year will play out over the summer and into next year. Keep these topics on your radar as you’re lounging at the pool or fetching coffee as an intern this summer.
The uncertainty of the budget cuts
Financially, it hasn’t been an easy year for GW. A dip in graduate enrollment has had repercussions, like a 5 percent cut to most departments' operating budgets, a delay to parts of the strategic plan, 46 staff layoffs and a higher acceptance rate for next year’s freshman class.
Unfortunately, these financial difficulties likely won’t end any time soon. It’s only May, and there’s still a lot that can change: More positions could be cut, programs could change and other academic departments may suffer.
There are some students who have been directly affected by these cuts, like those involved in the music department. For others, the University’s financial troubles might be easy to brush off as long-term problems that won’t affect current students.
But unlike some issues, like the lack of sufficient donations for the Science and Engineering Hall, these budget cuts are more tangible. Even as students head to various destinations this summer, the University will continue to cope with its financial challenges.
It’s time for students to pay serious attention to the layoffs and slashed budgets. It’s important to understand that the University has to find money somewhere, and some cuts are likely unavoidable. And the student body also has to keep in mind that, thanks to the budget cuts, it’s likely that asking the University to fund new programs and initiatives could be a little bit harder.
Student groups' frustration with the Student Association
The SA recently passed a budget that has made some student groups on campus unhappy. Some organizations were awarded funding for food and small events, while more than 50 budgets were denied altogether — and some student organization leaders don’t understand why. It’s likely that the growing tension between student groups and the SA will only increase when students return to campus in the fall and have to work with their smaller-than-desired allocations.
Some of the blame should certainly fall onto the SA’s complicated budget allocation process, and the SA finance committee should try its best to make that easier. But it seems like student organizations aren’t completely innocent, either, if they haven’t been communicating with members of the SA.
There are resources meant to help student leaders understand the allocation process, and it’s up to student groups to utilize them. A senator is assigned to each student group and is available to answer questions, and members of the SA make themselves accessible through office hours.
If all else fails, student organizations do have other options. The summer is a perfect opportunity to raise money and plan for fundraising activities to make up for the deficits that the SA could not fund. For example, it would be smart for groups to replicate SASA’s approach and try fundraising online to make up for the funds they were denied.
Bickering between the SA and student groups can have a huge effect on student life at GW. Student organizations bring a lot of life to this campus, but when they don’t have the funding they need, students are the ones who lose out. Hopefully, after everyone has a chance to take a break from the drama this summer, the SA and student groups can do a better job of working together.
A tense relationship with Foggy Bottom
The University hasn’t always been on the best terms with Foggy Bottom residents. Neighbors have voiced their concerns about the 2007 campus plan to University President Steven Knapp, complained about students’ loud parties and, most recently, have publicly expressed their fears about GW’s increasing enrollment.
The University recently modified its campus plan to account for students in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design who take classes or reside on Foggy Bottom. Neighbors have reservations about GW’s enrollment numbers becoming hard to control, and have raised concerns like “competition for sidewalks” and an unfettered increase in the volume of students on campus.
Foggy Bottom residents’ complaints aren’t new information, but that doesn’t mean students should ignore them. The more neighbors express their concerns to the University, the more likely it is that officials will try to control students breaking rules off campus.
As students, we can’t do anything about campus construction or the enrollment cap. But we can still try our best to avoid giving Foggy Bottom’s residents something to complain about. They’ll have a break from us over the summer, but when we return in the fall, it’s important for us to remember to coexist, and that we aren’t the only ones who live here.
More opportunities to be a fan
Anyone who paid close attention to the men’s basketball team this year was likely disappointed. Despite a relatively successful season, the team didn't make it into the NCAA tournament.
Hopefully, that won’t be the case next year. Mike Lonergan, head coach of the men’s basketball team, has one more opening on his roster after three players transferred and two spots were filled— an opportunity to bring fresh talent to the team. There’s speculation Lonergan will make this move over the summer, so fans should keep an eye out for that news.
But there’s a lot to look forward to when we get back to campus, too. Unlike this past basketball season, many of the most important match-ups, for both the men’s and women’s teams, are scheduled to take place on our campus, giving students a chance to cheer them on in person.
Unfortunately, at a school where even the most popular team has low game attendance, many of us tend to forget that GW has plenty of successful Division I sports apart from basketball. But students should be paying attention to other sports, too. The Atlantic 10 Conference recently reached a new deal with the American Sports Network, meaning other sports, like men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball, will be aired on television.
So students should stay tuned and get excited over the summer: The men’s basketball roster will look different, more games in the Smith Center make it easier to be an enthusiastic fan and other sports at GW will get a boost from more television coverage.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Sarah Blugis and contributing opinions editor Melissa Holzberg, based on discussions with managing director Rachel Smilan-Goldstein, design assistant Samantha LaFrance, and copy editor Brandon Lee.
Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”

by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Katie Causey | Photo Editor
Carmen of Carmen Y Sus Delicias chefs prepare traditional Peruvian food at the 17th annual Food Festival of the Americas, hosted by the Organization of American States.”

Financial aid pool swells with more students to support
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
GW will have $27 million more to give to students in financial aid next year.
The Board of Trustees approved roughly $182 million for undergraduate students’ financial aid Friday, an increase of about 6.5 percent from last year and part of the largest expansion in financial aid funds the University has signed off on in six years. The increase partially stems from the larger size of next fall's freshmen class, after officials accepted 45 percent of all applicants.
More than $260 million for financial aid will be set aside for all students, an 11 percent increase from the pool of money available to students last year. Part of that increase comes from a 23 percent jump in graduate student aid, which grew to $78 million.
University spokeswoman Candace Smith said in an email that swelling aid pool was based on several criteria including anticipated enrollment growth, increases in tuition and “the amount available through philanthropy.”
“Most importantly, the increase stems from the University's commitment to enhancing access and ensuring our financial aid packages remain competitive in the higher education marketplace,” Smith said.
The amount of aid money available to undergraduates dropped by $2 million in 2013, a decrease officials attributed to a smaller undergraduate class. Officials predict to gain an extra $56 million in tuition revenue for the upcoming year, according to the fiscal year 2016 operating budget that the Board of Trustees signed off on Friday.
The bump in tuition revenue could help GW with its current budget issues because the University is dependent on tuition for roughly 75 percent of revenue .
Tuition for incoming students will increase 3.4 percent in the fall, the first year it will be more than $50,000, but an amount that's about in line with past increases. A portion of those funds will also go toward mental health resources on campus. As part of its overall focus on affordability, officials lock in tuition for returning students through the University's fixed tuition policy.
Officials publicly revealed for the first time last fall that they place hundreds of students who cannot afford the cost of tuition on the waitlist each year, a decision that affects about 10 percent of applicants annually.
Sandy Baum, a financial aid expert and higher education professor at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, said some universities may increase the aid amount in hopes the students will decide to come and pay the rest of the cost to attend.
“If we can give someone a $10,000 grant and get them to enroll, [and] if they didn’t enroll, we wouldn’t have the other $50,000,” she said.
Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
The Board of Trustees approved more than $260 million for financial aid on Friday.
She said colleges across the country have faced pressure to admit more students from low and middle-income families. Over the past five years, middle-class families at GW have had to pay more than double the amount high-income families do, even after receiving financial aid packages.
“If the size of the class goes up, even if they aid students at the same rate that they were before, the dollar amount of aid is going to go up,” she said.
Antoinette Flores, a policy analyst for the Center for American Progress who focuses on student debt and financial aid, said an extra scholarship could be the final push a student needs to choose GW over another university. As schools increasingly use smaller packages of merit aid to lure talented students, merit-based aid at GW has increased by more than a third since 2010.
“GW might be able to offer someone a $2,000 grant or merit aid scholarship, and it could encourage higher income students to attend that institution over another institution,” she said.
Officials predict that $12 million will be used for scholarships and money used for University fellowships for students for the next fiscal year, a $1 million decrease from last year, according to the operating budget approved by the Board of Trustees Friday.
Rick Ross, the co-founder of College Financing Group, a financial aid consulting firm, said schools like GW do their best to make sure their financial aid pool never dips below a certain monetary level so as many students as possible can receive aid without the institution losing money.
Experts said last year’s increase in financial aid would not hurt the University financially because it matched GW’s planned tuition increase.
He said officials have to strike a delicate balance when determining how much money to give out to students, including both merit and other kinds of aid.
“At every college they would ideally want every student to pay full tuition,” Ross said. “They don’t want to give away their money, so they’re going to try to see how much merit aid they need to get to attract this student without giving away too much.”
Jacqueline Thomsen contributed reporting.”

University names new senior associate provost in effort to expand global reputation
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
Doug Shaw, the associate dean for planning, research and external relations and an associate international affairs professor, will now take on the role of international vice provost.
An associate dean from the Elliott School of International Affairs will take the helm of a newly created international position in the provost’s office, the latest in a series of moves GW has taken to grow its global reach.
University President Steven Knapp announced that Doug Shaw will be GW’s first senior associate provost for international strategy at Friday's Board of Trustees meeting. Shaw will work as a touch point for international student services and create global opportunities for the University, helping GW to reach its goal of becoming a highly regarded international institution.
Shaw's position is just the latest example of highlighting globalization at GW, as University officials increasingly turn to countries like Saudi Arabia , South Korea and Turkey for partnerships and programs.
“We’re trying to create a more effective focus to save resources and make us more effective internationally in getting global recognition for the University and increase its global impact,” Knapp said at Friday's meeting.
Knapp said Shaw was an obvious choice for the position because of Shaw’s continued work with the University in the Elliott School as an assistant professor of international affairs and the associate dean for planning, research and external relations. Shaw teaches classes on topics like nuclear weapons and international security politics.
“He has long been recognized as an extraordinary servant at the University,” Knapp said at the meeting. “After a search by a University-wide committee, he was identified as the absolute top choice for this very important new position.”
In the new role, Shaw will coordinate international components of the University, including opportunities for research, philanthropy, recruiting and study abroad. Knapp said the new position fits within the global goals of the University-wide strategic plan.
“We haven’t had a strategic way of thinking about what it means to be surrounded by embassies and the International Monetary Fund and the Pan American Health Organization, and this position will help us figure out how we make effective use of all those connections,” Knapp said.
Provost Steven Lerman said some of the associate provost’s focus will be on centralizing resources like career services and counseling for international students.
“We want every international student who comes here to have the best experience possible, and that responsibility has been scattered,” Lerman said at the Board of Trustees meeting.
Lerman added that the associate provost will work with the office of study abroad to expand study abroad possibilities and offer resources to students studying abroad at GW.
GW currently offers five programs associated directly with the school in Argentina, Chile, France, England and Spain. About 50 percent of undergraduate students study abroad.
Shaw will also work with Lerman to formulate a larger global strategy for the University. Lerman said he plans to “replicate plans” from when the University planned to start a partnership with China but in other international locations like India and the Middle East – areas officials have already pinpointed as main focuses abroad.
A committee of faculty and administrators from across the University selected Shaw for the position this month after Lerman announced his office was creating the position in March.
Shaw said in his first year in the position he will focus on learning more about the “breadth of GW’s international activities, capacities and priorities.” Shaw will begin his new post on July 15.
“I am particularly excited about the opportunity to support faculty and students in innovative collaborations on international issues and with international institutions,” Shaw said.
Shaw served as director of policy planning at Georgetown University, where he researched and taught about global human development and started initiatives to connect students to international leaders in the public and private sectors.
Former dean of the GW School of Business Doug Guthrie served in a similar position as vice president of China operations and laid out GW’s strategy with China. The partnership with China never came to fruition after Guthrie was fired in 2013 for overspending by $13 million.
The University has also worked to expand its global research portfolio. Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa said he is focusing on helping professors earn funding from international sources as domestic research dollars have declined. Researchers now have a chance to receive money from the European Union after laws that originally set aside money just for European researchers were overhauled.”

First-year law student remembered for friendly demeanor, willingness to help
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Photo Courtesy of McFadden Family
First-year law student James McFadden went into cardiac arrest May 1 after choking on food at dinner, and was kept alive on life support until last Wednesday. His mother said he was kind and always looking to help.
James McFadden didn’t have much time for hobbies, his mother said. He was always too busy helping out anyone who asked.
James McFadden, a first-year law student from Olmsted Falls, Ohio who went by Jim, died last Wednesday. His mother, Lisa McFadden, said the 27-year-old went into cardiac arrest May 1 after choking on food at dinner, and was kept alive on life support for about two weeks.
She said he had a wonderful sense of humor and was always willing to help friends and family, especially his younger sister, with whom he shared an especially close bond. He is survived by his parents, sister, aunts and uncles.
“Whether it was reviewing an essay for [his] sister, helping a friend to try and coordinate a fundraiser, he just did the gambit,” Lisa McFadden said.
James McFadden studied government, the history of science and Spanish at Harvard University, graduating in 2010, according to his LinkedIn page. During his senior year, a cheating scandal had hit campus and he and a few friends decided to make T-shirts in support of the student being accused of faking his way through Harvard. The story of the shirt, with the student's mug shot on the front and fake resume on the back, was picked up by Boston Magazine.
At GW, McFadden was a member of the International Law Society and the Korean American Law Students Association, according to his LinkedIn page.
In 2010, he received a Fulbright grant and traveled to Naju, South Korea, where he taught middle school courses for a year, according to his LinkedIn page. He was offered a job with the Fulbright program for the next year, where he helped run its work in North Korea.
Lisa McFadden said James McFadden was "very proud" of his work in South Korea and his family traveled abroad to visit him.
“He made so many friends through that program. That’s what’s amazing,” she said. “He had his high school friends and then his friends from Harvard and then his friends from Fulbright, and he managed to pull all three groups together.”
Blake D. Morant, dean of the law school, sent an email to law students and faculty on Saturday, expressing his condolences to James McFadden’s family. James McFadden is the third law student to die this academic year.
“I know that everyone joins me in mourning the loss of our dear friend,” Morant said in the email. “Members of the University staff have spoken with Jim’s family and have offered our deepest sympathies and our desire to provide whatever support is necessary.”
A GoFundMe campaign started during James McFadden’s hospitalization has raised nearly $45,000 of its $50,000 goal to help cover medical and funeral costs.
Starting in early 2013, James McFadden also spent a year and a half as communications director for Aravella Simotas, a New York State assemblywoman.
Simotas said in an email that James McFadden was a “brilliant writer, witty spokesman and fiercely loyal friend.”
“His love for life, dedication to his family and infectious personality were his most endearing traits,” she wrote.
Simotas said during a lunch they had before McFadden left for GW, he shared his excitement to learn about shaping public policy.
“In Jim's mind, we all have a duty to help humankind. We can all learn something from the example Jim set during his relatively short life," she said. "I am so very grateful to have known Jim, and pray that he rest in peace."”

Experts say incoming UPD chief brings skills to bridge gap between campus and city police
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Photo Courtesy of GW Media Relations
RaShall Brackney, a former member of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, will take on the role of University Police Department chief starting in June.
Experts say GW’s new head of the University Police Department has the skills and experience that will serve her well on the job, despite her lack of previous experience leading a campus police force.
RaShall Brackney, who starts her new position as UPD chief next month, has spent 30 years working in an urban area as a veteran of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and has worked with university police forces, a set of skills experts say will help her adapt to her role at GW.
Experts also say that her experience in the city police force in Pittsburgh could help Brackney fill the communication gap between UPD and the Metropolitan Police Department, a problem that has led to communication errors between the departments in the past.
In the fall of 2013, MPD and UPD mishandled two gun threats on campus. MPD took several hours to inform campus police of an armed robbery on campus, and a week later, campus police notified MPD of a gun threat in South Hall at least 15 minutes after UPD found out about the incident.
This February, GW notified students of a robbery about an hour after the MPD sent out its own separate alert.
Brackney has been a commander in Pittsburgh’s police force for 15 years, where she currently is in charge of the major crimes division. She was also responsible for Pittsburgh’s SWAT team, accident investigations and hostage negotiations. Brackney will replace former UPD chief Kevin Hay, six months after his retirement in November.
Brackney was unable to immediately return requests for comment because she is on her honeymoon, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.
Sonya Toler, a public information officer at Pittsburgh’s public safety department, said she is not able to provide any information about Brackney’s experience or qualities because Brackney has not formally informed the force that she is leaving.
Chuck Drago, a former police chief who now consults police departments, said that Brackney’s experience with elected officials during her time in Pittsburgh is similar to a college police chief working with administrators, a crossover that could be useful in her new role.
“Coming from a city police department, she would understand the issues for a city police department and how they react in a college police department,” Drago said. “She’ll bring that perspective to the University.”
Media Credit: Camille Sheets | Hatchet Staff Photographer
RaShall Brackney will oversee about 100 officers in the University Police Department.
S. Daniel Carter, a campus security expert, said campus police departments generally take on more diverse roles than city police, including functioning as security guards and responding to medical calls.
He added that colleges frequently pick a new police chief from someone who works in a city police department, but added that Brackney will need to learn the specifics of the GW community to find out how to adapt her skills for Foggy Bottom.
“There are many campus police chiefs who come from municipal agencies,” Carter said. “That was for many years a far more common approach than having someone rise through the ranks in the campus police department.”
Brackney also received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and is currently working towards a doctoral degree in instructional management and leaderships at Robert Morris University, according to a University release.
Michael Dorn, the executive director for the non-profit campus safety organization Safe Havens International, said having a sharp mind paired with communication and leadership skills can better prepare an officer for a position than an in-depth level of experience in a particular field. He said Brackney's pursuit of a Ph.D. is especially impressive for the position.
“I would be more focused on her master's and what her Ph.D. is,” Dorn said. “Those would be more relevant than experience. Those types of experiences pertain very much to leadership.”
Dorm added that Brackney's experience with several divisions of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, like the major crimes division and her operations as an officer in the Pittsburgh Municipal court building, will help her balance her multiple responsibilities on campus.
“They don’t want you to be so fixated on your own division,” Dorn said. “It provides a strategic thinking experience, beyond just one aspect of the job.””

Archaeology professor designs first online companion course for field work in Kenya
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Katie Causey | Photo Editor
A field archaeology course by associate archaeology professor David Braun now features an online companion course, the first of its kind at the University for a course held abroad.
Before GW’s archaeology students visit Kenya, they’re going to have to see it on their computer screens.
A field archaeology course run by David Braun, an associate professor of archaeology, now features a four-week-long online course that prepares students to study early human origins for six weeks over the summer at the Koobi Fora Field School in northern Kenya's Sibiloi National Park. The class marks the University’s first online companion course for a course held abroad.
With previous classes, Braun had previously typed up a 150-page manual with information on geology, ecology and evolution for students to read before heading off to Kenya. But that set the students back in learning once they got to Kenya because, “we knew that they didn’t get to read [the document],” he said.
“Some of them would refer to it while they’re in the field. Actual learning didn’t happen until we got to Kenya," Braun said.
The online course, which launched this month, features videos from previous trips to Kenya and key information that the manual covered, but presents it in a way that’s more accessible for the students, Braun said. He said he expects to “start at a higher level as soon as we get to Kenya.”
The field school, which has been around since the early 1980s, received more than 180 applications this year but is taking only 25 students. He said he’s using the course as a way for students to pick up general concepts that they’ll need to understand before going out and digging in Africa.
Braun’s course is designed solely for his field course students, who are from countries like Ethiopia and South Africa as well as GW. The course isn’t open to the general public, but the decision to open it up rests on Braun, Paul Schiff Berman, the vice provost for online learning and academic innovation, said.
The online course is hosted alongside GW’s massive open online courses, like the Graduate School of Political Management’s course on business and politics, but it’s still not considered a MOOC, Berman said.
“For technical reasons we hosted it on the same platform as our MOOCs because, like MOOC participants, these students are not enrolled in the GW Banner system,” he said in an email.
Berman said University online course designers worked with Braun to bring the curriculum from the manual into the digital age.
Those designers “worked with Professor Braun and his colleagues on the instructional design, video, editing and animation work to build this course, and we performed the work necessary to make it available to his Koobi Fora Field School students worldwide,” Berman said.
Courses like University Writing incorporate some online aspects, where students complete assignments online instead of coming to class. The University started focusing on hybrid courses in 2011 in a project that the University’s cost-cutting task force expected would save the University $6 million.
“Many faculty members find that putting some part of their courses online is beneficial, either because they can devote more on-campus class time to hands-on projects and discussion or because, as in this case, the logistics of the course lend themselves to an online or hybrid approach,” Berman said.
Curt Bonk, a psychology and technology professor at Indiana University who has written several books on online learning, said the online course can hold students accountable for knowing the necessary material, especially if there are tests.
“There has to be some kind of incentive,” Bonk said. “So there has to be an exam on it or a discussion or a reflection.”
Bonk said the online companion course could excite students for the trip more than a pamphlet and Braun’s videos from earlier excursions are a good way to give current students a taste of what they’ll be experiencing.
He added that students will also better understand the material, which will cut down on having to reteach what the pre-course materials cover.
“You don’t want people walking blank,” Bonk said. “Going through the curriculum will give them that base knowledge. You can go deeper and talk about things knowing that people had that anchor.””

Construction and renovation budget increases 12 percent for next fiscal year after Board vote
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
GW’s budget to finance renovation and construction projects has increased by nearly 12 percent for next fiscal year, the Board of Trustees announced Friday.
The Board approved the capital budget for fiscal year 2016 on Friday, outlining how much will be spent on new construction and improved facilities on campus. The capital budget increased from fiscal year 2015 by about $14 million to nearly $133 million, but that amount is about a quarter of the size of budgets over the last several fiscal years.
The plan accounts for $69 million to be spent on the construction of District House, which will house about 850 sophomores and juniors by fall 2016, as well as renovations to Mitchell and Strong halls.
The budget to improve space for academic and research projects like classrooms nearly quadrupled from $17 million this fiscal year to $63 million. That jump includes renovations to Ross Hall, classrooms around campus and the renovations to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design’s 17th Street building. The University will also invest in research at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus next year.
Those funds will continue “the University’s investment in previously approved major capital projects that deliver enhanced facilities in support of the university mission,” read a Friday University release.
The capital budget, which peaked at nearly $480 million fiscal year 2013, helped officials finance a years-long building boom on campus. Nearly half of that year's budget funded projects like the Science and Engineering Hall, the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the GW Museum and Textile Museum, according to a release. Because of the size of those projects, the cost was also spread out over several years.
Provost Steven Lerman said in March that the capital budget would likely shrink for this upcoming as officials have checked off those major projects.
Experts say that a university’s capital budget tends to change drastically from year to year and depends on new construction going up on campus.
Lee Gardner, a senior finance and policy reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, said the University’s steady increase in construction over the years has likely been part of a strategy to strengthen the school’s visibility nationwide.
“GW has come a long way over the years in terms of its reputation and its success,” he said. “Colleges can’t build forever. Colleges have to spend money on other things sometimes. It makes sense to put some cash in academics and research.”
The Board of Trustees also approved a $45 million increase to its operating budget, which controls spending for the University’s daily functions. That budget will now total $935 million in fiscal year 2016, an amount that has increased 46 percent since 2012. The operating budget also covers a nearly 7 percent increase to undergraduate financial aid for next year.
This is also the first year that the operating budget is controlled using a new budget model, which will dictate how tuition revenue is spread among most of GW’s schools.”

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