George Washington University
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George Washington University |
|GWU Campus News|
by The GW HatchetOct 20, 2014
“Media Credit: Nicole Radivilov | Contributing Photo Editor
Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell, who has donated millions to the University, has said gifts from University trustees are critical to the success of the University's $1 billion campaign. The University has raised $605 million since starting the campaign three years ago.
The University has $400 million left to raise in its largest-ever campaign, just three months after the effort publicly launched.
GW has brought in $605 million since starting to build up the campaign three years ago, making it “substantially more than halfway to its goal,” University President Steven Knapp announced at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting. That means officials have pulled in $80 million since the campaign’s kickoff in June.
“We still have a long period of time ahead of us, but we’re not going to slow down as a result of that,” Knapp said in an interview after the meeting. “It would be great to finish ahead of time or to raise more than the goal. We have to see what happens.”
Experts say bringing in more than $600 million with four years left in the campaign may cause officials to shift their focus to growing GW's historically small alumni donor base.
A school will typically pull in about two-thirds of its goal before going public with a campaign, and the majority of schools also exceed their goals, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
After building momentum with large gifts at the start of a campaign, donations the rest of the way are typically smaller, said David King, the president and chief executive officer of the fundraising firm Alexander-Haas. That shift may mean more work for fundraisers, who will need to reach out to more donors while money “accumulates slowly,” he said.
“The work is so much harder because there are so many more gifts to be secured. It takes just as much work to get a $10,000 gift as it does a $100,000 gift, but you have many more prospects who can do that. The volume of work increases a great deal,” King said.
In what could be a new chapter for the campaign, bringing in more small or medium-sized donations would let officials focus on expanding GW’s donor base – which grew 15 percent last year.
The newly announced total also comes about one week after Mike Morsberger, GW's vice president for development and alumni relations, announced he will step down at the end of this month. Morsberger spent four and a half years building the campaign from the ground up – expanding the fundraising office by 30 percent and creating a plan to reach the University’s eye-popping goal.
The foundation that Morsberger put in place will help ensure the campaign's success, even as fundraisers start looking to new donors for gifts, said Mitch Blaser, chair of the GW School of Business’ Board of Advisors.
“The team isn’t going to stop playing cause the coach had to go somewhere else or was replaced,” Blaser said. “There’s plenty of momentum to carry through.”
To continue building excitement, Knapp will travel to New York this week to meet with donors and alumni and kick off the campaign for a second time in the city with GW’s largest alumni population outside of the D.C. area.
The campaign has already helped bring in the University’s largest-ever gift: Billionaire philanthropists Michael Milken and Sumner Redstone gave GW a combined $80 million gift last spring, which renamed the public health school.
Other major buildings on campus also need naming gifts – including the business school, the GW Law School and the soon-to-be completed $275 million Science and Engineering Hall.
Deep-pocketed donors may still come on board as the campaign continues and they see its success, Nilsen said.
“You may get higher-level donors who are maybe not quite ready now. Hopefully seeing the momentum from gifts already given will make them be more willing to give,” Nilsen said. “You’re not in the crunch time, but it will slow down a little bit. This is where the planning tends to pay off.”
The announcement of the new total also came after two multi-million dollar gifts from sitting trustees.
Terry Collins and his wife pledged $2.5 million to fund an endowed scholarship for first-generation college students and an endowed professorship in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Collins said his gift, and other donations from trustees, could convince potential donors to support GW, too.
“I do believe that it sets a standard and says ‘OK, people want to invest.’ You want to give what you can give to help and improve the opportunities for students,” Collins said.
Avram “Ave” Tucker pledged $2 million for the athletics department, the business school and the law school last week. His gift will support faculty research in the business school and the law school’s endowed fund for the government contracts associate dean. GW renamed the baseball field at Barcroft Park in his honor.
Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell said gifts from trustees are “critical to the success of the campaign." Carbonell and his wife gave $2.5 million to start an autism institute at the University last spring, and they have also given more than $150,000 in matching gifts as part of the Senior Class Gift campaign since 2010.
As the face of GW's Board, Carbonell has become a defacto fundraiser.
“When I sit with a potential donor, the fact that I’ve given and many of our trustees have given, it’s not lost on them that the people who have really inside information, the people who really know what’s going on, are ready to support that,” Carbonell said after Friday's meeting.
The University received its largest-ever gift from a sitting trustee last spring, when Mark Shenkman gave $5 million to the business school and career services. GW renamed Ivory Tower as Shenkman Hall in his honor. This fall, Shenkman also donated a statue of George Washington worth about $50,000.
“We ask people if you’re going serve on this board, that GW has to be one of your philanthropic priorities, like No. 1 or No. 2, and I think the Board has stepped up in that way,” Carbonell said.
Chloe Sorvino contributed reporting.”
by The GW HatchetOct 20, 2014
“The Hatchet's editorial board looked at some of the biggest news from the past week, including the departure of fundraising chief Mike Morsberger, the University's $20 million budget shortfall and the possibility of some standardized rules and regulations across GW's 10 schools.
How to fill the shoes of a GW giant
The University's fundraising chief was a big personality on campus, and we’re sorry to see him go. Mike Morsberger has not only been the face of the $1 billion fundraising campaign , but he has also essentially been a GW cheerleader for the duration of his four-year tenure.
At a school where just a handful of administrators are accessible, Morsberger’s passion was readily apparent, and his openness will be missed. He joins a line of recently departed officials who had the same qualities – former Deputy Title IX Coordinator Tara Pereira and former Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak among them.
Although there’s no good time for the head of a hefty fundraising campaign to depart, experts seem confident that Morsberger and his office have already laid enough of the foundation that the campaign will remain steady. And since Morsberger said he left for personal reasons, he was likely making the best choice for himself.
It will be crucial, though, that GW find a replacement who will maintain the momentum. Morsberger was a massively successful fundraiser and powered GW’s office from the paltry operation it once was to the behemoth it’s now trying to become. That’s no easy feat, and obviously a replacement exactly like him isn’t just waiting around the corner.
It’d also be excellent if Morsberger’s successor was as personable and committed to this school as he was. If anyone on this campus should bleed buff and blue, it’s the chief fundraiser. We had that in Morsberger, and we hope we can see that in the future, too.
Unpleasant surprises in the University's budget
We recently found out that GW has had to make up for a $20 million budget shortfall. Admittedly, $20 million is only about 1 percent of the University’s annual operating budget, so we don’t have to panic over this deficit. Faculty leadership have assured us that the $20 million isn’t earth-shattering and GW has done its best to minimize the impact.
But there were still significant ramifications: 10 percent of the resulting cuts have affected schools.
It’s clear that the University has tried to concentrate the cuts in non-academic areas, like the offices of the treasurer and the president. That’s encouraging, since GW has had issues with administrative bloat in the past, and we would hope that its first move would be to look for cuts in administrative departments.
GW lost $10 million in projected revenue because of a drop in graduate enrollment, which is unfortunate and largely out of the school’s control. In fact, declining enrollment in graduate schools is a problem across the country , not just at GW.
The other $10 million, though, was used to cover surprise costs. Unsurprisingly, administrators have neglected to explain exactly what those surprises were.
Such a blatant lack of transparency and accountability is a scary precedent to set. Since almost anything could be called “unexpected,” there’s potential for more costs to be passed off that way in the future. The University has made cuts in areas that directly affect students, and we only know half the reason why. Refusing to give us a breakdown of the $10 million makes the University appear like it is trying to hide something.
The Faculty Association is pushing GW to be more transparent in its budgeting process, and the Board of Trustees hopes to gain more oversight. This is something the student body should readily stand behind – since we’re already wary of the secrets the University keeps from us.
Soon each of GW’s 10 schools could be required to set uniform rules and regulations about certain topics. Chair of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell has established a set of working groups to undertake a review of the faculty code and streamline practices across campus.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because Carbonell started this process almost exactly a year ago. Back then, though, he jumped into it without much planning – for starters, he admitted he hadn’t even read the code. It prompted outcry from professors (as well as this editorial board ) who feared the University’s highest governing body would rewrite how they operate without faculty input. Soon after, Carbonell backtracked . But this time, he is taking a more steadied approach, and professors are coming on board.
The review will aim to standardize some of the more big-picture rules that all schools have in common, like the processes for giving professors tenure and conducting dean searches. Those are two areas that have caused a good deal of faculty strife , and among other things were the reasons the Faculty Association formed as an opposition group to the Faculty Senate in the spring.
Carbonell doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, here, either. If the review takes into account the recommendations of faculty members, it will be able to evaluate the best practices of each of the schools, determine who has the smoothest processes and apply them across the board. This may go a long way in soothing some recent faculty tensions.
Carbonell might not be able to unite the faculty again as one big happy family, but reworking the rules that govern their lives to make them more efficient would certainly be an improvement.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, sports editor Sean Hurd, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and design editor Sophie McTear.”
by The GW HatchetOct 20, 2014
“The Metro is the third-most popular public transportation system in the country. For the 800,000 people who ride it every day, the “doors closing” announcements are all-too-familiar. We caught up with the woman behind the voice, Randi Miller, to chat about making a living as a voice actress and avoiding the train.
How did you become involved in the project, and what was the process like for you?
Randi Miller: I was working at a Lexus dealership in Alexandria, where I had been forever. And my boss, who was the general manager, actually yelled across the hallway to me one day and said, “Hey, Randi, Metro’s looking for a new voice, you should enter the contest that they’re having.” And I said “Sure.” Of course, I didn’t. And then a couple of the sales people came up to me and said the same thing. And I had no idea there was a contest, no clue. So I went online to check it out and I saw that they had a script posted online, and you had to record the script and burn it to a CD and send it in. So I waited until the day before the entry was due and decided, "Well, what the hell, I should probably enter because everybody keeps telling me I should," so I did and I won.
Did you then have to re-record your voice for the actual train, or did they just use what you sent in?
RM: What they did was they narrowed the field. There was 1,259 people that entered from all over the country and they narrowed it down to 10 finalists. And they called me and of course when they called me, my reaction to “Hi, this is Ron from Metro” was “What are you selling?” you know? I wasn’t very nice to him, I confess, because I didn’t realize. And he told me, “We narrowed it down to top 10 finalists, we’d like you to be one of them,” and they had us all come down to a studio in D.C. and record actual announcements to be the final audition basically for the gig. So we all did and then they had a press conference and they announced the winner at the press conference and there was a sea of photographers and camera people and reporters and “Good Morning America” and all these other people and I was just like “Really?” I had no idea that this was such a big thing, you know? So they announced that I won and then I had to go into another studio and record the actual train announcements and a few station announcements, including things like “Stepping onto a crowded platform can be overwhelming, please step to the side.” Stuff like that. And that was it. I never had to record anything else.
What was the voice like before this competition?
RM: (laughs) I know exactly what the voice sounded like before me because when the train first started running in 1976, and I just told you how old I am, we all skipped school, a bunch of us and rode the subway because it was such a big deal. And Sandy Carroll was a Metro employee who had recorded the announcements originally, and it was her voice that was on the train for the first 30 years. So for the first 30 years, what you would hear was, “Bing bong, door is opening. Door is closing.” And that’s all I heard and I used to mock her all the time, so it’s very ironic that I ended up being the voice that I used to make fun of.
Had you had any experience beforehand with recording your voice or being a spokesperson?
RM: My experience as a voice person was limited to singing and writing songs and performing from the time I was 11. And then in the early 90s, or mid-90s I guess, I worked for a video production company, and we had some industrial videos that we did that needed narration. If we couldn’t find anybody else to do it, I would step up to do it. But it’s not like I did it for a living or got paid for it or anything. But that was the extent of my experience.
Is it strange for you when you have to ride the Metro at all?
Media Credit: Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Randi Miller became the voice of Metrorail after she won a competition in 2006. Miller worked at a car dealership and was encouraged by her boss and coworkers to enter the contest, where she beat out 1,259 contestants.
RM: When my voice first went live on the train and I found out that it was on the train, initially they had me come down and be on a train in D.C. with media on the train as well for the big unveiling. And unfortunately when they realized that the clip was too long for the little chip that was in every train, what they did was they took pieces of it and they mashed it all together and it sounded horrible. I was so mad. And I was live on TV listening to it for the first time and of course all my friends, including my mother, called me later and said, “You hated it, didn’t you?” I’m like, “Oh, yeah.” Because it sounded like, “Step-back-doors-opening.” It was really weird, the way they pieced it together. But then when it actually did go live, I ran down to the King Street Metro station, which was right down the street from the dealership where I was working because I couldn’t wait to hear it. And so I stood on the platform and I would listen, you know, “Nope, that’s her. Nope, that’s her. Nope, that’s her.” And then I heard me and I jumped onto the train, I couldn’t wait to hear it. And then after about three stops I couldn’t wait to get off because I couldn’t stop saying it with myself and it was just very, very strange. So I very seldom ride the train.
To your knowledge, has Metro ever thought of doing another competition like this?
RM: There was some discussion. There’s been actually a lot of discussion about having me do station announcements, stop announcements, because the drivers are so difficult to understand but other than that, there’s been no discussion of doing any additional voices. What they did with the other top-10 finalists was they had them record some station announcements as kind of a consolation prize.
Has anyone stopped you and said, “Your voice sounds awfully familiar?”
RM: All the time. I meet people all the time and it’s very funny because they’ll say, “Have I met you before? Because there’s something about you that’s so familiar.” And then we’ll go through the whole where’d you go to school, where have you worked and then finally I’ll say, “How do you go to work?” and then they’ll tell me they ride the Metro and then I’ll be like, “Close your eyes,” and I do the thing. Pretty much every waiter in Montgomery County knows who I am because of my mother. Every time we go out to dinner, she never loses an opportunity or misses an opportunity to tell everybody, “You’re waiting on a celebrity. Do you ever ride the Metro?” and then I have to do the whole performance. And people get a huge kick out of it, it’s fun. And I’ve gotten a lot of voice work as a result. It’s very cool.
Is the reason you don’t ride the Metro because it’s not convenient, or is the reason you haven’t rode it in the past seven years because you don’t want to hear yourself talk?
RM: My primary reason for not riding the Metro is that there is no Metro in Woodbridge where I live. When I do come up this way into Maryland or need to go into D.C., I do prefer to take the train into D.C., I just haven’t had much occasion to do it. Secondary of course is that I can’t stand to listen to myself on the train because I can’t not say it with me and it’s just embarrassing to sit there and go, “Step back, doors opening. When boarding, please move to the center of the car.” And everybody looks at me like, “Who are you and why are you doing that?” I’m just some crazy person, that’s all. Ignore me, I’ll be fine.
Is there a particular announcement that you really like? And if you could re-record one, would there be one you'd re-recorded?
RM: I like the ones where I sound like a nicer person. When people don’t get out the way, I sound very mean and bitchy and I don’t like that because I’m not that way. But you have to be bitchy because the doors don’t stop. It’s not like an elevator door and people don’t get it and that’s the whole reason they did these announcements. But I would have to say my favorite one is when I say, “When boarding, please move to the center of the car.” I don’t know why, but I really like that one.
RM: There was a lot of hooplah from professional voice-over people that refused to enter the contest because it didn’t pay anything and everyone was so mad about that. You know, the Metro slogan is “Metro opens doors,” and it’s true. I didn’t care. People asked me, “Aren’t you mad that they’re not paying you? Do you get any royalties? Do you get anything?” I got a baseball hat that says “Metro” on it, I got a Monopoly game – the D.C. version – and I think they gave me a $10 fare card because I had to come down and do a lot of press stuff and at the time $10 went a long way. But, to be honest with you, no, I didn’t get paid anything, but I got instant celebrity, which is what I always wanted when I was a kid. I thought I’d be a famous singer. I never thought I’d be a famous transit person, you know what I mean? And I’ve since done – I’m the voice on a bus in California, you know the Smart Bus, it’s kinda cool. But it’s been a wonderful experience, it really does open doors and I just really love being the voice of Metro. It sounds so stupid and I never thought that it would be a big thing, but it really has made some amazing changes in my life. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve gotten a lot of work as a result. And as it turns out, I’m really good at being a voice-over person and I’m never happier than when I’m in the studio, and I never thought I would ever say that.”
by The GW HatchetOct 17, 2014
“Media Credit: Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Senior Jack Persons is on track to having the best season scoring average in program history after posting the worst numbers of his career during the 2013-2014 season.
Like the courses he’s played on the last three years, senior Jack Person’s career has had its fair share of peaks and valleys.
Persons set school 36-hole and 54-hole records as a freshman, and helped his team win the Atlantic 10 championship. The following year, he posted the eighth-best season scoring average in program history at 75.3.
But then as a junior, Persons endured the worst statistical year of his career. He finished five events on par compared to seven-par and six-par finishes in his first two seasons, respectively, and his stroke average of 76.16 was the highest of his career.
Now in his final year on the team, Persons is on track to have his best season yet as a Colonial. Through 12 rounds of play this season, the San Francisco native is in position to post the best season scoring average in program history.
“I haven’t yet played to what I think my ability is,” Persons said. “I’m still waiting for my breakout round.”
After posting just one top-10 finish in both his sophomore and junior seasons, Persons has a top-five finish and two top-10 finishes through just four events this year.
Persons placed fifth out of 104 players at George Mason’s Patriot Intercollegiate last week, carding an even par total of 213 (72-71-70) and helping the team to its eighth-lowest 54-hole team total (876) in program history. Persons’ 213 was also the seventh-best 54-hole total in program history, and seven shots off his freshman record of 206.
He followed that performance with a 54-hole total of 223 (73-78-72) at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, good enough for a tie for 36th in the 93-player field. And Tuesday, he finished tied for ninth at the Terrapin Invitational out of a 75-player field.
Persons credits his strong performances this season to a mental switch, and head coach Chuck Scheinost said he’s seen Persons show increased resilience during tricky rounds, when in past years he might not have scored well.
“In other years his ‘bad’ round may have been an 80 or an 82, but now he’s getting to the point where it’s a 76 or 78 because he’s really sticking with each round for the team’s sake,” said Scheinost, now in his second year as coach. “He’s also showing that ability to put together a ‘bounce back’ round.”
As the lone senior on this year’s roster, Persons is not only tasked with getting back to form but with leading GW in the huddle.
The soft-spoken Persons prefers to lead with his golf clubs rather than his voice. While he said he has tried to become more expressive with his teammates, his actions on the course are what junior Steve Piela said younger players notice most.
“He is always the first one to arrive at practice and stays late,” Piela said. “He’s very approachable, so I think that makes it easier for the younger guys to settle in, and for all of us to come together to achieve the same goal.”
Persons called this year’s team the most talented and dedicated group of players he’s played with – a team capable of reaching even greater heights than the 2011-12 breakout club.
“These guys really want it,” Persons said. “I’d like to qualify for regionals as a team, and I think we’re going to have to win the A-10 in order to do that, but we are fully equipped to do just that.”
And his high hopes have rubbed off on the rest of his teammates.
“The mindset is definitely different this year, and I think Jack is a big part of that,” Piela said. “We understand that we have the capability to achieve what we want to achieve, we just need to keep putting that work in.””
by The GW HatchetOct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Professor Anthony Yezer will hold a course over parents weekend called “Why Do Education Levels Rise With City Size and Gay Men Live in San Francisco?" The class will explore regional economics' one factor that explains differences in city distributions.
Class is in session this weekend, but don’t worry – this isn’t on the midterm. Leave your notebook at home for these 50-minute crash courses, all taught by GW professors for students and their families.
From a discussion of Jackie Robinson as a catalyst for civil rights to a class on social networking tips, there's a topic to pique the interest of every family member.
“Why Do Education Levels Rise With City Size and Gay Men Live in San Francisco?” | Anthony Yezer
Saturday Oct. 18, Marvin Center Room 308, 4 p.m.
If you’ve ever wondered why gay men are concentrated in San Francisco, whether you can predict which town Taylor Swift is most likely to move to or the truth behind D.C.’s restrictions on building heights, economics professor Anthony Yezer is your man. Yezer, who compares regional economics to “detective work,” will reveal the single factor that explains these odd differences in city distributions – and you’ll never guess what it is.
“I work on a lot of topics, but [regional economics] is the most fun," Yezer said. "We love to kind of solve puzzles."
“Teaching Students Nobel Prize-Winning Innovation: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)” | Jason Zara
Saturday Oct. 18, Marvin Center Room 309, 4 p.m.
Stop by this event and you’ll win a Nobel Prize. Well, kind of. Jason Zara, an associate professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, invites visitors to try to “invent” the Nobel Prize-winning MRI by coming up with the key innovations behind it, an exercise he uses with his biomedical engineering students. Zara aims to teach visitors how to “think like engineers” when solving problems.
“Engineers see problems that need solving, carefully consider what they know about the problem and then come up with a plan to attack the part of the solution they don't already know,” he said. “We try to teach students these problem-solving techniques from a very early stage.”
“Social Networks, Leadership and Organizations” | Andrew Cohen
Friday Oct. 17, Marvin Center Room 307, 5 p.m.
*Good for older siblings
The hours you spend crafting the perfect Twitter bio, editing your LinkedIn page and chatting up old friends aren’t a waste of time, and assistant professor of management Andrew Cohen is here to explain why.
Cohen, who teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership and human resource management, will explore how students can use social networking to their advantage in pursuing a career or leading an organization. He’ll touch on how institutions like schools, businesses and nonprofits use networks to achieve goals, and what leaders of those organizations can do to help.
“The notion of how networks, the web of interpersonal relationships among members of an organization, might shape and be shaped by the leadership of the organization is particularly important,” he said.
“Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Look at Some of the Big Cases in the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 Term” | Jill Kasle
Saturday, Oct. 18, Marvin Center Continental Ballroom, 3 p.m.
Jill Kasle, an associate professor of public policy and administration who describes law as “the only club I ever wanted to belong to,” said she decided to become a lawyer at age 9 after a visit to the Supreme Court building.
With a lifetime of experience, Kasle will now share her knowledge of the biggest upcoming Supreme Court cases on topics ranging from gay marriage to the Affordable Care Act. Whether you’re a law student or more closely resemble a pre-Harvard Elle Woods, don’t miss this refresher.
“Celebrating the Impact and Legacy of Jackie Robinson” | Richard Zamoff
Friday, Oct. 17, Marvin Center Room 308, 5 p.m.
*Good for the whole family
Richard Zamoff, a professorial lecturer in the sociology department, is the biggest Jackie Robinson fan around – but not just in terms of baseball.
Zamoff has dedicated much of his career to the study of Robinson as an “informal civil rights leader,” whose courage and commitment to social change outweighed any achievements on the playing field. Take the course for a new perspective on sports, and learn how Robinson was a catalyst for changes like Brown v. Board of Education and President Harry Truman’s desegregation of the military.
“Most students only knew him as baseball, and I thought that was a terrible and significant omission in education," Zamoff said. "He was an important civil rights person. I wanted to fill in those blanks."”
by The GW HatchetOct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer
Without men's soccer leading scorer Jonny Forrest in the lineup, players like sophomore Garrett Heine will need to step up offensively for the Colonials.
Men’s soccer is in a state of emergency.
After losing five of the last six games, the Colonials must turn the corner in conference play, and quickly, if they hope to reach the Atlantic 10 Championships. Last season, they missed the postseason by a single win.
But struggles continued for GW on Saturday in the team’s conference opener against Rhode Island. The Colonials, outshot 18-5 by the Rams, fell to URI 2-1.
GW has played without two key players in recent games. Senior Andri Alexandersson has missed the past three games with an injury, and after playing limited minutes against Saint Peter’s and Longwood, junior Jonny Forrest has also been out with an injury for the past two games against Robert Morris and Rhode Island.
Forrest leads the team with three goals, while Alexandersson leads with eight shots on goal and a .727 shots on goal percentage. Out of GW’s four wins in the season, both Forrest and Alexandersson have each netted a game-winning goal – with Forrest’s game winner coming against Harvard on Sept. 7, and Alexandersson’s coming against then-No. 22 Navy.
The loss of Forrest and team captain Alexandersson are crucial for a squad that has been unable to generate offense in its last six games and has been outscored by opponents 15-5. While nine different Colonials have combined to score the team’s 13 goals through 10 games this season, GW has been unable to produce consistent offense and was shutout in four of its six losses.
The Colonials’ recent skid comes after the team showed promise, starting the season 3-1 and outscoring the opposition 8-5.
“We just want to get everybody fit and know that we have the full squad to pick from if we can,” head coach Craig Jones said Saturday after the team’s loss to Rhode Island.
On the other side of the field, junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe has struggled in front of the net after performing solidly in the season’s early going. While he ranks fourth in the conference in saves, averaging 4.7 per game, he does not rank in the top 10 in save percentage or goals against average.
In recent weeks, van der Merwe has struggled defending against forwards in the open field, often coming off his line and leaving the net vulnerable when he is unable to get back.
While Jones said van der Merwe’s performance against the Rams was an improvement from last week, he is unsure if van der Merwe will play or sit in place of junior Jack Lopez or senior Luke Farrell.
“I guess we’ll see what happens this week at practice and see if his confidence is high or if we think he needs a break,” Jones said. “Probably right now if you ask me, it would probably be him, but again with a full week of practice and two home games, we’ll see what happens.”
Jones said the tools GW needs to succeed are present, but oftentimes either the offense is unable to keep up with the defense, or vice versa.
“The pieces are there, its just putting them together and getting our defensive and offensive units on the same page and both producing, not one or the other,” Jones said.
But with just seven games left in the regular season for the team to click as a unit on the field, the Colonials may find themselves in a similar situation – fighting to grab the eighth and final spot in the postseason.
To do so, GW doesn’t have to knock off the top teams in the conference, but they must capitalize on the winnable games against weaker conference teams to steal wins from top A-10 teams.
Here is a look at which squads GW will need to beat to make a run at postseason play.
Saint Joseph’s (6-3-3, 1-1)
GW fell behind 3-0 last season against Saint Joseph’s before then-junior Farhan Khan scored with 86 seconds remaining in the game, bringing the score to 3-1 and preventing a shutout.
Through its first 11 games of the season, Saint Joseph’s has been able to convert on goal scoring opportunities, outscoring opponents by a margin of 15-10. The Hawks have three players – junior Emmanuel Temeh, seniors Jake Nelson and Mike Glazer – who are tied with Forrest with three goals scored this season.
Duquesne (6-3-2, 1-0)
This season, the Dukes are the top-scoring team in the conference, as they lead the A-10 in scoring at 1.90 goals per game and in shots averaging 16.30 shots per game. But on the defensive end, Duquesne ranks ninth in the conference in goals allowed, averaging 1.40 goals allowed per game.
Individually, the Dukes are led by sophomore Kadeem Pantophlet and freshman Fredrik Borenstein, who have each scored four goals.
The Colonials will face a tough matchup on the road Oct. 26, against a Duquesne team that is undefeated (5-0) at home.
La Salle (4-6-1, 0-1-0)
Last fall, the Colonials saw their season end with a loss to La Salle that kept them out of the playoffs. This year, GW takes on La Salle early under pressure to pick up points on the front end of conference play on Friday.
La Salle is a team that creates opportunities, taking 12.82 shots per game to GW’s 11.40, but the Colonials have the edge in accuracy with 1.30 goals per game to La Salle’s 0.91.
The Explorers have been slightly tougher on defense than the Colonials, averaging 1.41 goals per game to the Colonials’ 1.95. This is a beatable team for GW, but the Colonials will have to exorcise some of the demons of the past to do so.
VCU (4-7-2, 1-0-1)
This season, the Colonials’ matchup against the Rams is the last major test they will have. GW last played VCU in 2012, losing 3-1 after giving up three goals early.
The Rams are 1-0-1 in conference play after defeating then-No. 20 George Mason and tieing Massachusetts.
Despite a losing record, the Rams have played five top-25 teams this season, defeating Mason and No. 5 Georgetown. VCU lost to then No. 1 Notre Dame and then No. 15 Virginia by just a single goal.
Rams redshirt junior goalkeeper Garrett Cyprus has a save percentage of 0.771, allowing 11 goals through 12 games.
Mark Eisenhauer contributed reporting.”
by The GW HatchetOct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Cartoon by Jay Fondin
Dear GW parents,
Welcome to campus, or if you’ve been here before, welcome back.
If the last time you visited Foggy Bottom was during move-in weekend, you might notice much has changed on these campus streets. Much has gone on behind the scenes, too, from dean departures to school mergers to heightened anticipation for the upcoming basketball season.
We’re editorial board , a group of staff members from across The Hatchet’s many sections, with the exception of news. We’re students just like your kids are, with parents just like you. With Colonials Weekend upon us, we wanted to do something we haven’t done before – write directly to parents.
The ed board gathers weekly to produce editorials about issues affecting GW’s campus, students and community. Our first duty is to students, to be a voice on campus for what our peers care about while using our knowledge as Hatchet staffers to support our opinions.
When you’re not on campus, it’s difficult to keep up with the day-to-day goings-on. You can sign up for as many parents listservs or follow as many GW Twitter accounts as you want, and attempt to pry bits of information from your children, but you may still feel like you’re just getting scraps of news rather than the full picture.
That’s our job: to provide context to the stories that call for it. To be the best GW parent you can be, you should stay knowledgeable of the issues that will affect your students’ time here. Don’t settle for surface level, or you’ll only be getting part of the story.
A focus on mental health
Most parents probably cite their children’s health as a top concern. Thankfully, the University has prioritized students’ mental and physical well-being this past year, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
GW committed to moving Student Health Service and the counseling center from K Street to the heart of campus, a relief for many students. It also brought counseling services to the Mount Vernon Campus after three students committed suicide there last semester. The community surrounding the Vern has looked to help, too, offering students relief from daily stresses with a program called “Home Away from Home.”
The student body has been doing its part as well. In the spring, the Panhellenic Association released a mental health and suicide prevention guide for students involved in Greek life. Then, the Program Board and the Residence Hall Association dedicated September to mental health awareness and planned free events for students.
Though well-being will always be a concern for every parent, you can rest assured that the GW community is keeping mental health awareness a dominant part of the campus conversation.
Making sense of safety trends
You probably knew when you sent your kids to college that they might, just might, occasionally experiment with drugs and alcohol. When The Hatchet reported that drug and alcohol violations have skyrocketed by almost half over the past year, your fears were likely confirmed.
But the University's top security official told The Hatchet that the increase stems from more enforcement on the part of campus police, so your kids aren’t necessarily partying that much harder than past students.
And that likely won't change anytime soon. Although marijuana decriminalization will appear on the D.C. ballot this November, GW officials have repeatedly told The Hatchet that the University will continue to enforce federal laws, which prohibit the sale or use of the drug.
If you’ve signed up for text or email alerts from the University, you might think there have been more assaults happening on campus this semester – five reported so far this academic year.
Still, about 80 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, so it’s actually encouraging that students are alerting law enforcement when these incidents do occur.
GW has looked to improve its sexual assault policies and responses in the last several years: The University meets almost all of the White House’s standards for sexual assault prevention, which should leave students – and parents – feeling more confident that GW is making prevention a priority.
We’re still waiting for the University to choose new Title IX coordinators and fill a position that has sat vacant for 11 months, but in the meantime, the campus community has stepped up on its own. Some Greek chapters, as well as the athletics department, have started bystander intervention trainings, and plan to hold more events throughout the semester. We’ve also seen a strong showing of anti-sexual assault student activism on campus.
The long and short of it
Grade school kids, especially moody teenagers, are notorious for shrugging off their parents’ questions about their lives. “What’d you do at school today?” is often met with a simple, dismissive, “Nothing.”
Now that we’re older, we recognize how frustrating that might have been, but that doesn’t mean we’re necessarily better about it. It’s up to you, our parents, to not let the trend continue now that your kids are at college.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, culture editor Emily Holland, sports editor Sean Hurd, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and design editor Sophie McTear.”
by The GW HatchetOct 09, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
University President Steven Knapp chairs the Atlantic 10 Council of Presidents, which is made up of the leaders of the conference’s 14 member universities. Knapp said it took a crash course in A-10 politics as a member of the council’s membership committee to make him more “immersed” in the world of college sports.
University President Steven Knapp’s office doesn’t hold much to suggest he is the chair of the Atlantic 10 Council of Presidents, a body made up of the leaders of the conference’s 14 member universities.
Bookcases line the walls of his Rice Hall office, with titles like “Anna Karenina” and “Inferno” peeking off the shelves. Dozens of mementos, but nothing to suggest that Knapp oversees the highest-ranking committee in the conference’s governance structure, except a single pom pom and a picture of him at Nationals Park.
Appointed at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Knapp chairs the biannual meetings of the council. Knapp makes announcements for the league, and he regularly speaks one-on-one with A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade.
“At the end of the day, the final decision as it regards to the constitution and bylaws of the A-10, those decisions are made by the 14 presidents of the 14 member institutions,” McGlade said in an interview last month.
The council approves the conference’s operating budget and has made changes to schedules and championships, including expanding the A-10 women’s basketball season from 14 to 16 games beginning in 2013-14. It also created the policy that if a program is ineligible for an NCAA tournament because of an Academic Progress Rate penalty, it will also be ineligible for A-10 championships.
“I think by and large [the A-10 is] pretty much aligned, and one of the good things about our conference is that everyone in the conference is strongly committed to the ideal of the student athlete,” Knapp said in an interview last week.
When the council next meets in November, the presidents will likely discuss the legislation that the power five “equity” conferences passed this summer, which is expected to increase benefits for student athletes.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
University President Steven Knapp speaks to the men's basketball team before a home game.
In a time of sweeping changes in the NCAA, McGlade said she is glad Knapp will guide the A-10 council.
“He has been invaluable in that role in terms of his vision and leadership and really keeping our entire presidents council laser focused on these important initiatives that are really affecting the future of intercollegiate programs,” McGlade said.
That focus is coming from a college president who does not have a background in sports. Knapp said he was “mainly a musician” in high school, though he did wrestle for one year.
Knapp said he was on the team because he was in the lowest weight class. Although he was a beginner, he said he could earn points for his team if he won by default when the opposing team did not have a member as small as he was.
“I was sort of cannon fodder out there because I had no experience, and if they did have somebody that size then I got creamed because I was completely new to it,” Knapp said.
Knapp, who came to GW in 2007, said it took a crash course in A-10 politics as a member of the council’s membership committee to make him more “immersed” in the world of college sports, especially during years when conference realignment swept over the NCAA. Creating the University’s Athletic Strategic Plan with the Board of Trustees also raised his awareness of the issues facing student-athletes.
Knapp was elected to replace the president of former A-10 member Xavier University, Rev. Michael Graham, who stepped down after seven years as chair. Since 2010, the conference has seen the departures of Butler, Xavier, Charlotte and Temple and the addition of George Mason, VCU and most recently Davidson, which officially became a member in July.
The loss of high-performing schools was expected to weaken the A-10. But last year, it saw six teams receive bids to the men’s basketball NCAA tournament, the same number as Power Five conferences like the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12. This season, a conference-record 96 men’s basketball games will be televised.
The A-10 has managed to maintain its success, even after it was tagged as a league on the losing end of realignment. In some cases, teams that have switched conferences to pursue larger television revenues have helped GW and the A-10.
Maryland, formerly of the ACC, pulled in $32 million by joining the Big Ten for the 2014 season – a payout that will jump to $43 million in 2017 after the conference renews its TV contract. Since UMD’s departure, Virginia has made home-and-home agreements with GW men’s basketball over the next two years, allowing the Cavaliers to continue to tap into the D.C. media market.
Knapp said the situation would be different in a league that had “huge money-making football programs” like the Big Ten.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Athletic director Patrick Nero waits with University President Steven Knapp at a press conference in 2012.
He said the A-10 looks at all potential new members and determines whether the academics and values of the athletic program meet league standards. He seeks the same qualities in athletics staff, which led him to hiring Athletic director Patrick Nero, who Knapp said shares his academic priorities. GW student athletes earned an all-time high 3.22 cumulative grade point average last spring.
“I think it helps that we’re remaining true to our focus on basketball across the conference and in academics,” Knapp said.
Knapp said A-10 membership appears stable right now, though the membership committee monitors schools that it thinks could be good additions at all times.
Still, not all is harmonious on the council. Knapp said as possible changes in NCAA bylaws come under consideration, he does not want to see college athletics move toward professionalization.
“That would mean that our student athletes would have a harder time functioning as student athletes, and that’s the bottom line for us,” Knapp said.
Though not every issue is settled, the league’s unlikely leader said he is ready to face dynamic shifts in the collegiate landscape after his unorthodox sports education. It may not be what everyone is doing, but Knapp said he is optimistic that upholding the A-10’s standards will pay off.
“I think that kind of integrity is good for morale,” Knapp said.”
by The GW HatchetOct 08, 2014
“Media Credit: Photo by flickr user Gage Skidmore used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.
Two GW students let a tracker into Thurston Hall to film a College Republicans event with congressional hopeful Carlos Curbelo. The tracker, whose job was to take videos of politicians' speeches to catch their gaffes, worked for Curberlo’s opponent Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla.
Updated: Oct. 7, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.
Members of GW's College Democrats chapter are under University investigation for assisting in "dirty politics."
When the GW College Republicans hosted Florida congressional candidate Carlos Curbelo on Sept. 18, two members of College Democrats reportedly helped sign in a tracker, whose job was to take a video of Curbelo's speech in case he slipped up. CR Chairman Alex Pollock said the tracker worked for Curberlo’s rival, Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla.
The video taken and and later published the next day in the Miami Herald showed Curbelo criticizing Medicare and Social Security, calling them “Ponzi schemes.” Garcia has now used the remark in an attack ad against him.
The tracker was signed into Thurston Hall by a student with a GWorld card. CD President Connor Schmidt and Pollock said the incident encouraged “dirty politics” and exploited college students’ access to speaker events.
Pollock said he worried that candidates might now hesitate to speak at GW, particularly during campaign seasons.
“A small liberal arts college in the Northeast does not get opportunities like this to host congressional candidates from Florida on a one-day notice, but GW does because of our unique reputation and location,” Pollock said. “I fear that these actions have damaged that reputation, and subsequently harm our ability to draw the very speakers we pride ourselves on.”
The University is investigating the two students and the executive boards of the College Republicans and Democrats to determine who signed in the tracker, Pollock and Schmidt said.
University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said the individuals involved in the case were referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. He declined to say which part of the Code of Student Conduct they possibly violated, citing GW’s policy not to comment on ongoing investigations.
Schmidt said the members acted independently of the group's leadership board. Both Pollock and Schmidt said they were unaware of the incident until the video was picked up by the Miami Herald.
“It wasn’t anything we condoned or helped coordinate or facilitate or work on in any way,” Schmidt said.
The two students, whose names were not disclosed by the University, had worked on Garcia’s campaign over the summer as trackers themselves, Schmidt said. Garcia had come to speak to the College Democrats the previous evening, and after he spoke, members of his campaign approached the two students, asking them to let the tracker in the next day, Schmidt said.
Schmidt, who said he heard about the incident from Pollock, called the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has contacted the Miami Herald to take down or edit the piece. Schmidt said the Democrats do not intend to take any action to punish the members.
Aside from damaging a candidate’s reputation, tracker videos can also violate privacy or raise security concerns, Schmidt and Pollock added. In the Curbelo video, the students who attended the event introduce themselves by name and major.
“This precedent discourages GW students from publicly speaking at high profile events, or even asking questions, for fear of being secretly recorded and published in a major national newspaper,” Pollock said.
-Hatchet reporter Matt Schwartz contributed reporting.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Pollock and Schmidt said the two members were not part of the CD's leadership board and had acted independently. In fact, Schmidt said the two members acted independently of the executive board. We regret this error.”
by The GW HatchetOct 06, 2014
“The term “buyout” tends to make people nervous.
As of late, the word has been associated with the economic downturn of 2008, and for many, it brings to mind companies looking to downsize and cut costs.
A spokeswoman for GW even called it “The Hatchet’s terminology” last week in an effort to distance the University from the word’s negative connotation.
When The Hatchet reported that the business school was offering buyouts to dozens of professors, we immediately though back to former dean Doug Guthrie, whose three-year tenure was plagued by faculty turmoil. When he first came to GW, Guthrie noted that the business school suffered from “poor teaching and deficient scholarship,” and suggested replacing tenured professors with younger, research-focused faculty.
There’s no reason for students in the business school – or any other school – to panic over this news. The idea of buyouts may seem scary, but ultimately, it looks like the University does have students’ best interests in mind.
Partially, that’s because these changes are driven by the strategic plan, GW’s road map for the next 10 years. It focuses heavily on boosting GW’s academic profile, a positive move that will benefit anyone with a GW degree. That shift calls for a hiring blitz of 50 to 100 professors, and buyouts are a necessary – albeit somewhat uncomfortable – step toward jump-starting the plan’s implementation.
The other part of the strategic plan we're seeing at play here is an effort to make GW a research powerhouse, which University President Steven Knapp has prioritized since he arrived in 2007. By reducing the number of positions held by more experienced faculty, who usually have larger salaries, GW is freeing up money to hire new professors who can boost its research reputation.
Charles Garris, a professor and the chair of the Faculty Senate’s executive committee, told The Hatchet that deals like the business school’s are a way to maintain a mixture of ages. It might seem harsh, like GW is trying to oust older professors, but the University is actually trying to maintain a group of faculty with diverse teaching experience.
Of course, there are pros and cons to both younger and older professors. Older professors tend to be more worldly, have tried and true systems of teaching and know how best to connect with students, but may avoid using the latest technology to improve their classes. Younger professors may be more innovative and offer students real-world connections and networking opportunities, but sometimes lack solid teaching strategies and career experience.
But with these buyouts, the University has an opportunity to balance these strengths and better accommodate students’ academic needs.
It wouldn’t be beneficial to have a faculty corps in the business school – or any school, for that matter – completely dominated by either young or older professors. The best option is a variety of ages, which gives students the opportunity to choose which professors are right for them. If you’re a student who wants to connect with professors closer to your own age, you can have that option. If you find it easier to respect a professor who’s been around for longer, you can do that, too.
It might seem like the system puts older professors at a disadvantage, but faculty have the option to turn down the deals that the University offers, and many do: The Hatchet reported that when faculty were offered buyouts in the engineering school and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and 2010, only about 15 percent accepted them.
We have to be careful not to blow the buyouts out of proportion or start worrying that GW is trying to convince every professor over the age of 50 to retire. That’s simply not the reality.
The buyouts could be positive for current faculty as well, encouraging older professors to change outdated practices or try new technology. And those professors in the middle – not fresh out of graduate school, nor headed for retirement – will be able to take advantage of the benefits afforded by a diverse faculty.
It’s unlikely GW will ever own up to the fact that it’s offering "buyouts." That’s why the spokeswoman stayed away from the term and refused to disclose how many of the deals have been offered. The soonest GW will celebrate the outcome of this process is when it can brag about the school's swath of professors who are up-and-comers in their fields.
We’re in the awkward phase right now – caught before that time comes, in the process of having to usher out older professors. But students should appreciate that their University has their best interests in mind, and recognize that down the line, academics and research at this institution will be greatly improved.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, culture editor Emily Holland, sports editor Sean Hurd, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and design editor Sophie McTear.”
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