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George Washington University

GWU Campus News

Men's basketball inks third recruit
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 25, 2017
“Six-foot-three-inch guard Terry Nolan Jr. committed to GW for men’s basketball Monday afternoon.
Nolan announced his commitment for the 2017-18 season on Twitter.
“After recent discussion I have decided to close my recruitment. I thank everyone that has recruited me since I opened my recruitment,” Nolan said. “I would like to announce I’m committed to George Washington.”
The Our Lady of Mount Carmel guard, who previously verbally committed to Chattanooga last September, earned second-team All-Baltimore Catholic League honors his junior year.
Former Chattanooga head coach Matt McCall, who recruited Nolan, is now at the helm of Massachusetts after being hired March 29.
Nolan joins guards Justin Mazzulla, who signed a National Letter of Intent in November 2016, and Maceo Jack, who signed an NLI in January.
After the announcement, GW and head coach Maurice Joseph now have four open scholarships for the upcoming season.”

This week in music
by The GW Hatchet
Mar 09, 2017
“Looking for tunes to shake up your spring break? Check out these new tracks from Ed Sheeran, Cold War Kids and Lefti to spice up your traveling playlist.
Ed Sheeran – “What Do I Know”
Sheeran has mastered the sappy yet sweet lyric. The simple and romantic themes of Sheeran’s lyrics are heartwarming and will always leave you in a good mood.
In his new song “What Do I Know,” from his album “÷”, Sheeran’s use of both high and low vocal harmonies creates an echoey intonation that compliments the bare-bone style of the guitar and percussion instrumentals.
One noteworthy lyric juxtaposes the fast-paced nature of corporate life with the power love has to change the world.
“Everybody’s talking about exponential growth and the stock market crashing and their portfolios / Love can change the world in a moment, but what do I know.”
Overall, the verses are more interesting, both musically and lyrically, than the chorus. Sheeran’s use of deep low notes throughout his vocal performance in addition to the effortless acoustic guitar melody makes the verses captivating for a listener, and are reminiscent of his early chart-climbers, like “Thinking Out Loud.”
“÷” was released March 3.
Cold War Kids – “Can We Hang On?”
Cold War Kids is known for bringing angst and grit to the traditional indie music scene, and past hits like “Hang Me Up to Dry” definitely approach ‘90s rock territory. Their new single “Can We Hang On?” off their upcoming album “L.A. Divine,” is a little less angst and more reflective.
Nathan Willett sings about how we ruminate on what might have been and question whether we’ll know better for the future.
“Think about the old days / What we didn’t do to survive / Do we get better with time? / Tell me I’m wrong.”
The song features both raw and electronic sounds, with a piano melody throughout the first verse, and an electric guitar riff that ties together beats from the intro to the chorus.
It’s somewhat disappointing that this indie rock band has turned more mainstream in recent years, shifting away from their edgy and somewhat grungy instrumentals and moving toward the traditional folk and pop sounds – though this is often the fate of many bands in this genre of music, like we saw with Fun and The Head and the Heart.
“L.A. Divine” will be released April 7. The single “Can We Hang On?” was released March 3.
Lefti – “City Heart”
Missing the city over break? “City Heart” by Lefti will give you a taste of the urban life you’ll be craving. Lefti is the solo project by former Cobra Starship bassist Alex Suarez, and he continues on Cobra Starship’s signature dance-pop punk style.
This single continues the trend in music of “nu-disco,” where dance music from the ‘70s and ‘80s gives new life to the age of electronic music. Energetic drum beats and retro synths come to play in this peppy and dynamic track that’s perfect for dance parties or an epic sing-along in the car.
Lefti overlaps progressive drum sounds that continue to build with a repetitive base to mimic the chaotic and bustling city streets. The lyrics are not stand-out but successfully elevate the track with melodic high notes.
The single “City Heart” was released March 3.”

Three Colonials pick up men’s basketball A-10 postseason honors
by The GW Hatchet
Mar 08, 2017
“Three men’s basketball players earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference postseason honors, the league announced Tuesday.
Graduate student forward Tyler Cavanaugh was named to the All-Conference Second Team, and, along with graduate student forward Patrick Steeves, received an All-Academic Team nod.
Junior guard Yuta Watanabe earned a spot on the All-Defensive team.
Richmond’s T.J. Cline was named A-10 Player of the Year, and Dayton’s Archie Miller was named A-10 Coach of the Year.
Cavanaugh landed on the Second Team for the second straight year after a standout final season in Foggy Bottom.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native who transferred from Wake Forest in 2014, led the Colonials in 2016-2017 with  17.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game – all career-high averages. He also posted 14 20-point performances and was one of three A-10 players to record 10 or more double-doubles with 11 on the season. 
The 6-foot-9-inch forward also took home the conference’s final Player of the Week award Monday, after  averaging 25 points and nine rebounds on .593 shooting from the field in GW’s wins over Fordham and Dayton last week. 
Cavanaugh, who is pursuing his master’s degree in Sport Management, boasts a 3.71 GPA.
Harvard transfer Steeves, studying for a master’s in business analytics, owns a 3.97 GPA and is averaging 6.0 points and 2.7 rebounds. In 23 games and six starts this season, he holds the second-best field goal percentage (49.0) on the team.
Watanabe, who frequently guarded opponents’ top offensive performer, led GW with 29 blocks and 27 steals this season. His 1.2 blocks per game is eight-best in the A-10.
The Colonials (18-13, 10-8 A-10) hope to keep their season alive this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pa. where they enter the Atlantic 10 Championship at the No. 6 seed. GW awaits the winner of No. 11 Saint Louis (11-20, 6-12 A-10) vs. No. 14 Duquesne (10-21, 3-15 A-10).
Tip-off for the second-round matchup is set for Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Men's basketball rides five-game win streak to Pittsburgh
by The GW Hatchet
Mar 06, 2017
“The 2016-2017 regular season came to a close for men’s basketball Saturday night on the highest possible note.
The Colonials – who had a rollercoaster season with highs, including a road victory over Temple, and lows, like three separate three-game losing streaks – upset the first-place Dayton Flyers, 87–81, on senior night.
The win was GW’s fifth in a row, moving the team from 5-8 in conference play to a respectable 10-8 finish.
During a down year in which parity reigned in the Atlantic 10, the Colonials’ record positions them as the No. 6 seed, two spots higher than they were projected in the league’s preseason poll . After a first-round bye, GW will take on either No. 11 Saint Louis or No. 14 Duquesne Thursday night at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.
In his first year at the helm of the program, interim head coach Maurice Joseph said his team is currently playing its best game and that the past few games have shown the squad’s true ability.
“The teams who typically are playing well towards the end of the year, those are the teams that go on runs, those are the teams that make some special things happen,” Joseph said Saturday. “This team has that kind of potential because they have grown together, they have been through some stuff. They have been through blowout wins, they have been through heart-wrenching losses, they have been through coming back from down-18 on the road, they have been through it all.”
GW’s recent success has come with the emergence of a potent offense. Over the past four games, the Colonials have averaged 80 points per outing and shot over 47 percent during each game. Their top scorer, graduate student Tyler Cavanaugh, has averaged 23.3 points per game over that stretch, shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.
It’s a tall order, but here’s what the path to the program’s first conference title since 2007 might look like.
Second round (Thursday, March 9 at 8:30 p.m.): No. 11 Saint Louis or No. 14 Duquesne
By the nature of the bracket, this will likely be the lowest seed the Colonials play. But that is not to say that a win will be easy. GW has allowed five of its last six opponents to shoot a higher clip, all of which were above 40 percent from the floor.
The Dukes fell victim to the Colonials twice and the Billikens fell once during the regular season, all by single-digit margins.
When GW hosted Saint Louis, it was no walk in the park. The Billikens led for more than 34 minutes before the Colonials scraped back into the game. Veterans, including Cavanaugh and graduate student Patrick Steeves, were vital to their team’s 40-point second half and strong defense.
Duquesne provided GW with slightly less trouble, as the Colonials led for the majority of both matchups and combined for 23 three-pointers in the two games.
Although GW will be the higher seed no matter who the opponent is, no games in the A-10 tournament can be taken for granted. Expect the Colonials’ opening contest to be a tight one.
Quarterfinal (Friday, March 10 at 8:30 p.m.): No. 3 Richmond
If the Colonials come out with a victory Thursday, their next matchup is guaranteed to be against the 13-5 Spiders.
Richmond defeated GW Jan. 8 and Feb. 4 . in similar fashions. The Spiders shot high percentages in the first half of both games only to concede comebacks by the Colonials that would ultimately fall short.
For Richmond to fall, GW will have to be on top of its game and limit Spiders senior T.J. Cline, who averages 18.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Semifinal (Saturday, March 11 at 3:30 p.m.): No. 2 VCU
With wins in their first two games, the Colonials would likely see the Rams Saturday.
After being blown out by 30 at the beginning of conference play, GW came within a second of beating the Rams last month . If it were not for a last-second heart-breaking foul by the Colonials, they would have picked up another win and risen to the No. 5 seed in the tournament.
Although VCU is a talented team that has remained strong all year, a game against the Rams could give GW a shot at a redemption upset against a team they looked evenly matched with last time out.
Final (Sunday, March 12 at 12:30 p.m.): No. 1 Dayton or No. 4 Rhode Island
Both the Flyers and the Rams have favorable paths to the championship final and have defeated nearly every team in the league during the regular season. If the Colonials reach the final day of the tournament, they would be riding an eight-game winning streak.
The Colonials fell to Rhode Island by 12, but picked up an upset against Dayton in their final regular season game.
If GW reaches the A-10 finale, the team will already be against the odds, so defeating one of the league’s top teams may not be out of the question.
“We are going to take [the A-10 Championship] one game at a time and continue to try to get better. We are going to go down there and empty our clips,” Joseph said. “There is a lot more work to do, [we’re] definitely not satisfied.””

Man arrested after thefts in District House, shoplifting in Whole Foods
by The GW Hatchet
Mar 06, 2017
“University Police Department officers arrested a man for stealing student belongings in District House and then shoplifting in Whole Foods Thursday night, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.
At about 8:34 p.m., UPD officer Colin Felix received a radio run for the first theft at District House and spoke with the first victim to get more information. Felix then arrested Mamadou Dieng for the crimes, who was transported to the Second District station, the report said.
Dieng, 40, was charged with first and second degree theft and shoplifting after taking a MacBook valued at $1,500, Ray-Ban sunglasses, a Lululemon backpack, a $200 North Face backpack and a bottle of wine valued at $82.47, the report and MPD spokeswoman Rachel Reid said. Dieng will appear in the D.C. Superior Court on March 28, according to the court’s website.
Both District House thefts occurred in the basement levels and the shoplifting occurred in the Whole Foods cafe area, the report said.”

Women’s basketball falls to No. 7 seed Duquesne in A-10 quarterfinal
by The GW Hatchet
Mar 04, 2017
“For 39 minutes and 35 seconds, no one could tell who would come out victorious in Friday afternoon’s Atlantic 10 quarterfinal between  the reigning two-time conference champions and No. 7 seed Duquesne.
But it was GW – the No. 2 seed that clinched its third straight regular season title last week – who learned the hard way that anything can happen in tournament play.
Over a span of 25 seconds in the fourth quarter, the Colonials saw their one-point lead slip away after clutch plays from the Dukes. Ill-timed fouls and miscues followed, closing the book on GW’s A-10 postseason run.
Unable to hold back a persistent Duquesne offense, the Colonials (20-9, 13-3 A-10) dropped the heartbreaking decision, 62–58.
“We win, we lose together as a staff, team, and you know we’re going to move forward together as well,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said.  “I told the girls in the locker room there’s not another group that I want to be out there fighting with.”
“We’re all disappointed in the outcome,” senior guard Shannon Cranshaw, who scored 10 points Friday, said. “It’s not what we anticipated but that doesn’t take away from the great things that we’ve done in our season and as seniors what we’ve done in the past three years. But it’s tough.”
The teams were in gridlock on the court for most of the game.
The Colonials were off to a frenetic first quarter when the Dukes opened the match with an ironclad zone defense. After ten minutes of play, GW was down 9—14 and shooting just 23.5 percent from the field to the Dukes’ 40.
The Colonials went back and forth with the Dukes on the floor to open the second quarter, before Cranshaw hit one of her signature threes to cut Duquesne’s lead down to two points.
An aggressive drive to the hoop by graduate student Lexi Martins tied the game at 14, but the Dukes were nipping at the heels of the Colonials, and both teams answered every time the other scored, resulting in a 22—22 tie heading into halftime.    
The box score was nearly identical at the break for two teams which split their regular season series back in January.  The Colonials were shooting 28 percent from the field to the Dukes’ 29, and GW was narrowly winning the boards, 24-23.
At the half, Martins was leading the team with seven points and six rebounds.  Her post-partner, senior forward Caira Washington, was scoreless despite picking up four rebounds and three blocks.
The lone bright spot for the Colonials was their three-point shooting, led by Cranshaw, who went 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. GW went 4-for-9 in the half.
The Dukes set the pace early in the third, opening on a 5-0 run that was spurred on by Duquesne’s Amadea Szamosi.  Szamosi, who scored 24 points against the Colonials in their last matchup, ended the night with 17 points and five rebounds.
But Washington answered Duquesne’s run with a monster drive to the hoop to pick up her first points of the night and halt her opponent’s momentum.  Both teams went nearly the entire quarter taking turns with the lead before the Colonials picked up the pace in the last few minutes, fueled by their rock-solid bench.
Junior Brianna Cummings turned the pressure up, making hard drives to the rim and picking up seven points, which clutch free-throws with seconds left in the period to give the Colonials a slim one-point edge.
Freshman Kendall Bresee grabbed a loose ball at the half-court line and drove to the rim, taking on two Dukes and making a contested layup to give the Colonials a 38–35 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Hannah Schaible tallied her first points of the game in the fourth frame when she hit two back-to-back threes to extend GW’s lead 45–38, and sophomore guard Mei-Lyn Bautista added to the lead with a drive to the arc to give the Colonials a nine-point cushion midway through the fourth.
But the Dukes weren’t backing down.
Szamosi, along with guards Julijana Vojinovic and Chassidy Omogrosso, fueled a 7-0 run late in the quarter that put GW down 57–54 with one minute and 20 seconds left in the game.
A drive to the hoop resulted in Martins picking up two points from the charity stripe, and Washington battled through double-coverage under the hoop and made a huge basket with 25 seconds left in the game to give the Colonials a one-point lead.
Szamosi made what could be called the biggest play of the game when she drove to the basket and was fouled while making her shot, sending her to the line for a three-point play. 
After being called for a five-second violation on their next possession, the Colonials were forced to give up the ball to the Dukes.
A foul on the inbound play sent Duquesne’s Conor Richardson to the line, where she split her free throws and made it a two-possession game with eight seconds remaining.
Washington ended the night with 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Martins contributed a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.  The Colonials ended the night shooting 34 percent from the field and grabbing 46 rebounds.
“The season has been such a privilege to play in and Coach Rizzotti , knowing the experience that she has as a basketball player and as a coach and to learn from her this entire year has been a blessing for me,” Cranshaw said.  “She’s really just made us all very close and we play for her and it’s been a great year.”
Despite the loss, the Colonials are hopeful for a spot in the NCAA or National Invitation Tournament.
“Our season is not over,” Rizzotti said.  “We can have as much basketball left to play as possible and that’s what they’ve earned for having such a great regular season, and hopefully the sting of this loss will stick with us a little bit and we’ll go back home and prepare for what’s next for us and the next step.””

Now hiring: GW's education school
by The GW Hatchet
Mar 02, 2017
“The education school is staffing up.
There are currently 14 open positions for the Graduate School of Education and Human Development posted on GW’s job website, making up about 15 percent of the school’s current positions. Faculty and deans in the school say they are interviewing applicants for the positions, and that the majority of the spots opened up because faculty retired or moved.
Dean Michael Feuer said he expects a group to be hired by this summer and ready to start in the next academic year.
“We have search committees at various stages of the recruitment and screening process, and are now bringing candidates to campus for interviews,” Feuer said.
There are 94 total faculty members listed on the school’s website. Nov. 14, there were 97 faculty listed on the school’s website, according to an archived version of the site.
Feuer declined to comment on how many of these positions are new, how long the hiring process typically takes, if GSEHD is doing anything different to recruit applicants and why the number of open job positions in GSEHD continues to increase annually.
We continue to be surprised at the high level of folks who want to come work at GW.
The education school has been through a series of changes in recent years: After enrollment dropped by more than 20 percent by 2013, school leaders began adding new programs through a strategic plan in 2014. Since then, enrollment numbers have increased and the school added a new doctorate degree.
Colin Green, the interim senior associate dean and an associate professor of curriculum and pedagogy, said there are eight ongoing faculty searches, a combination of non-tenure track and tenure track positions. He said the number of openings will vary depending on the year but that eight positions is normal for the school.
Green said people in the school have retired and moved to different areas, so the majority of the open positions are filled from existing positions. He added that the search committees will finish interviewing the week after spring break.
“Both faculty and the dean’s office in the School of Ed. have been really impressed by the caliber of people who are applying for faculty positions,” Green said. “We continue to be surprised at the high level of folks who want to come work at GW.”`
Sharon Dannels, interim associate dean for doctoral studies who has worked at the school for 16 years, said the school is running a national search to screen candidates before selecting potential hires and conducting phone interviews. She said school leaders will invite finalists to campus for full-day presentations and interviews.
She said there are no new programs or departments that new staff members will join. Newly hired faculty are replacing retired faculty, she said.
“We don’t have any new departments,” Dannels said. “The hires are in current departments.”
Matthew Shirrell, an assistant professor of educational leadership and administration who began at GSEHD in August, said he applied for the position in fall 2015 and was hired in April 2016.
GW had the perfect balance between working with teachers and practitioners who are actually in the field and in research.
Shirrell said he had an offer from another institution but decided on GW because of the school’s focus on research.
“GW had the perfect balance between working with teachers and practitioners who are actually in the field and in research,” Shirrell said. “I really enjoy interacting with, working with and teaching people who are practicing teachers. At the same time, it’s a university that also has a lot of research support.”
Shirrell said he had a Skype interview before flying to D.C. in the winter to give research and teaching presentations and have one-on-one meetings with program members, the search committee and deans.
The school’s enrollment is rising, especially through online programs, and faculty are retiring, which has led to the hiring push, Shirrell said.
From 2015 to 2016, enrollment increased by 114 students, according to statistics from GW’s institutional research office.
“The new hires bring a new perspective,” he said. “Having been at other institutions seeing the way other schools of education do things, having a different perspective impacts decisions that are made at a program level, at a department level and at a school level.”
Mikyong Minsun Kim, an associate professor of higher education administration said in an email that the new hires, both faculty members and administrators, affect the ability of operating the business at different levels and often change the schools’ dynamics and culture.
“People is the most important factor in higher education,” Minsun Kim said.
Sharon Wong contributed reporting.”

Crime log
by The GW Hatchet
Feb 26, 2017
“Theft II
G Street Garage, 2028 G St. NW
2/16/2017 – Unknown
Case open
A student reported to the University Police Department that she left her coat on a table unattended. Her coat was missing when she returned to the elevator lobby.
– Open case.
Drug Law Violation/Liquor Law Violation
Thurston Hall
2/16/2017 – 4:36 p.m.
Case closed
UPD officers responded to a suspicious odor coming from a Thurston Hall room. GW Housing conducted an administrative search that yielded drugs, paraphernalia and prescription drugs. A male student was arrested by UPD and transported by the Metropolitan Police Department to the Second District station for processing.
– Subject arrested.
Theft II
Health and Wellness Center
2/16/2017 – Unknown
Case closed
A female student reported to UPD that her wallet was missing from her wall locker.
– No suspects or witnesses.
Simple Assault
FSK Hall
2/16/2017 – 9:50 a.m.
Case closed
UPD responded to a roommate dispute. Upon arrival, officers discovered a female student had assaulted her roommate. UPD arrested the student and she was transported to the Second District station. The victim was treated on scene by EMeRG and released.
– Subject arrested.
Theft II
Shenkman Hall
2/15/2017 – Unknown
Case open
A male student reported that his property was removed from the front door to his residence hall room.
– Open case.
Threats in a Menacing Manner/Liquor Law Violation/Disorderly Conduct/Intoxication
Thurston Hall
2/20/2017 – 3:24 a.m.
Case closed
UPD responded to a report of an intoxicated male student who was causing a loud disturbance in Thurston Hall. While being assessed by EMeRG personnel, the student was combative and made a series of threats toward officers and personnel on the scene. EMeRG transported the student to the emergency room at GW Hospital for further treatment.
– Referred to the Division of Student Affairs.
Threats in a Menacing Manner
Medical Faculty Associates
02/17/2017 – 5 p.m.
Case closed
Contract security personnel reported to UPD that an individual not affiliated with the University had hand-delivered a threatening letter to an MFA office. MPD responded to the scene and took a report.
– Referred to MPD.
Drug Law Violation
International House
2/20/2017 – 5:15 p.m.
Case closed
UPD officers responded to a suspicious odor coming from a residence hall room. GW Housing conducted an administrative search that yielded drugs and drug paraphernalia.
– Referred to DSA.
– Compiled by James Levinson.”

Tammy Duckworth sets Commencement speaker precedent
by The GW Hatchet
Feb 26, 2017
“Commencement speakers should have star power, unique experiences and be able give a speech worth remembering. And this year’s Commencement speaker seems to deliver on all three.
Last week, GW announced that Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., will speak at this year’s Commencement. Duckworth, who is a woman of color, a combat veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, the first Asian American female senator and an alumna, is the type of Commencement speaker GW should strive to recruit each year. Because of her varied life experiences, and her own diverse identity, Duckworth will be able to connect with most people in the graduating class, even if only because she is an alumna. While it’s not the Commencement speaker’s job to represent every person within the student body, it’s promising that if someone wants to, they will probably be able to see a bit of themselves in Duckworth.
It’s not surprising that officials went with a politician as the speaker. Even though this will be the second year in a row that the Commencement speaker is a Democratic senator, the choice shows that officials understand the GW community and the types of people students want to hear speak. Our student body is known to be political, even if not every student wants to be a politician, and we’re a liberal-leaning university. The speaker sending students off into the real world should reflect that.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that every Commencement speaker has to be a politician. But a speaker should have a way to connect with the graduating class. In Duckworth’s case, that’s easy – she earned her master’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs. And when GW brought Kerry Washington to speak at Commencement, even though Washington is an actress and not a politico, she had an immediate connection with graduates because she’s an alumna.
While bringing in Tim Cook in 2015 was a high-profile pick, and his speech was still well-received, there wasn’t much that Cook could do to tell GW students about how their experience at GW specifically will affect them in their chosen career paths. It’s not a necessity for the Commencement speaker to be an alum, but if the University is going to bring in a speaker without easy name recognition, the person should at least have a comprehensive understanding of GW and the GW experience – and it’s even better if they have both, like Duckworth and Washington did.
The University’s checklist for a Commencement speaker is probably different than students’. Students might be looking for someone who can inspire them with a moving speech, or someone who they want to emulate – whether it be a well-known senator, successful entrepreneur or Hollywood star. But for GW, a Commencement speaker is another cool thing to brag about on admissions materials and tours. By choosing popular figures as Commencement speakers, GW gets media attention from some news sources, like landing on yearly “best of” lists. There’s nothing wrong with either of these lists of wants – what’s important is striking a balance between the two, which Duckworth should be able to achieve.
The University should continue choosing speakers with name recognition so both students and the admissions office can do a bit of showing off. And hearing a famous person speak at Commencement might make the event all the more memorable. But bringing in someone with name recognition isn’t enough. The speaker should understand the student body they’re speaking to, whether through career goals, ethnicity or alum status. The speaker should be able to give students insight on what it’s like to succeed in the real world and how to deal with challenges they’re bound to face – like how to succeed in a field where the odds are against you and how to dust yourself off when you fall. Success stories are great, but stories about hard work and picking yourself up are more realistic for a group of graduates. As someone who lost her first race for a seat in the House of Representatives, Duckworth has her own story to share that should encourage graduates to not give up.
This year, GW struck the perfect balance between someone with name recognition and a motivator for students in Duckworth. She knows what it’s like to lose and what it’s like to have the odds stacked against her. Hopefully GW continues this trend in the future and picks speakers already known to graduates, setting a standard for future speakers that can get prospective students excited.
Our Commencement speaker isn’t always going to be the first lady , a former president or a Grammy award winner . They can still have compelling words to share with graduates that they will remember for the years to come, and it seems like Duckworth will be no exception.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Melissa Holzberg and contributing opinions editor Irene Ly, based on discussions with managing director Eva Palmer, homepage editor Tyler Loveless, contributing sports editor Matt Cullen and copy editor Melissa Schapiro.”

Removal of USDA database won't impact research, faculty say
by The GW Hatchet
Feb 26, 2017
“Faculty say the removal of a federal online database that tracks the mistreatment of animals will not affect their research.
Researchers in the biology department said the USDA’s removal of information about the treatment of animals is concerning but that their research will be unaffected because it largely focuses on invertebrates: The federal government and GW’s office of research integrity only consider organisms with backbones to be animals.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service tracks and reports the mistreatment of animals across the U.S. The USDA removed the APHIS database, which records instances of animal research mistreatment, from its website in early February, citing privacy concerns and ongoing litigation. Those records are now only available to the public through Freedom of Information Act requests.
University spokeswoman Emily Grebenstein said in an email that the USDA annually conducts unannounced inspections of animal research facilities. She said that although the records of these inspections are no longer available to the public, the University is committed to maintaining high standards for animal welfare.
“A change in the accessibility of these records does not change the underlying protections for laboratory animals or the USDA inspection schedule nor does it impact GW research or research funding,” Grebenstein said.
She said that the University, like other institutions that use animals in research, has a committee to guide research and ensure animals’ protection.
Grebenstein added that researchers must go through multiple stages of approval from the research office and the government before beginning research. The school is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and reports to national agencies, she said.
GW has two holding areas for animals used for research, one on the eighth floor of the Science and Engineering Hall and a larger facility in the basement of Ross Hall. In 2015, the USDA issued a citation for the mistreatment and death of five hamsters, after which researchers and staff received animal care training.
Tanya Espinosa, the public affairs specialist for the USDA, said that even with the removal of the database, the Animal Welfare Act still ensures that research facilities are required to obtain a license from the USDA and are inspected about once a year.
“The removal of information from our website has no bearing on the activities of our inspectors in ensuring facilities that are regulated are in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act,” she said. “Our inspectors continue to inspect facilities and enforcement actions if necessary.”
Mollie Manier, a professor of biology who studies gut microbes and the brain using flies, said the rules and database ensure the animals’ well-being but that those rules did not apply to the insects she uses in her lab.
“There were a lot of animal care protocols and guidelines around the ethical treatment and usage of animals and usage of animals in scientific experiments,” Manier said. “None of those apply to organisms that are animals but don’t have backbones.”
She said she was surprised to discover that neither the government nor the University considers insects to be animals, but said that because she works with flies she has to “jump through fewer bureaucratic hoops.”
“Those rules are in place for very good reasons,” she said. “I’m in support of those rules, but I’m also glad they don’t apply to my research.”
Courtney Smith, a professor of biology who studies pathogens using sea urchins, said that an animal’s nervous system, brain and ability to feel pain are factors in determining which animals are protected under the Animal Welfare Act. These distinctions seem less clear to biologists in practice, she said.
She added that scientists who do use vertebrates in research are required to complete tedious paperwork before being able to move forward with animal research.
“I have talked to people that work on vertebrates that have seriously considered switching to invertebrates because it saves them multitudes of paperwork piles,” she said.
Matthew Zembrzuski, the manager of research compliance at American University, said that because the database made animal research infractions public, researchers and institutions can learn from others’ experiences.
“It’s important to learn from mistakes that others have made to prevent abuses or bad practices,” Zembrzuski said. “The database itself isn’t going to change the research that’s conducted or the methods to ensure ethical use.””

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