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  • Adrienne Frank 2:25 pm on February 7, 2014 Permalink  


    auAsk anyone in D.C.—even Washington natives—and they’ll tell you this has been one of the most brutal winters in recent memory. Mother Nature has been a bitter pill, delivering lows in the single digits and snow and ice that never seem to melt. (I’m still thawing out from the 5-degree day we had a few weeks ago.)

    So, it’s fitting that our next Final Exam, courtesy of government professor Jim Quick, centers on the Arctic. The series of questions from his popular Power and Money class touch on timely security, economic and environmental issues. And they’re tricky; in addition to your wool beanie, you’re going to need to put on your thinking cap.

    Check out Jim’s quiz in the April issue of American—and in the meantime, stay warm.

    Snow covered campus pic courtesy of Holly Mcaloney

  • Adrienne Frank 7:16 pm on February 3, 2014 Permalink  

    busy, busy town 

    busytown-carsYou know it’s a good day when you can slip a reference to beloved children’s illustrator Richard Scarry into a news brief (and use the word “anthropomorphic,” to boot). I’m working on a story about AU’s connection to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Books That Shaped Work in America” project, which commemorates the federal agency’s centennial. I was delighted to see that Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town and What Do People Do All Day? made the list. My toddler is currently obsessed with Cars and Trucks and Things That Go—and I have to say, I wouldn’t mind tooling around town in the pencil car.

    Read more about the books AU intern Amanda Kraft selected for the DOL project in the April issue of American.

  • Adrienne Frank 3:44 pm on January 24, 2014 Permalink  

    a little taste 

    1982-rocky-rear-90One of the coolest parts of my job is unearthing interesting connections to the university—and sharing those stories with you.

    I wanted to give you a sneak peek of one of the stories you’ll find in the April issue of American. What’s AU’s connection to Rocky? You’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, check out this iconic clip. (If you’re like me, it will have you hankering for a cheesesteak from Steve’s in South Philly.)

  • Adrienne Frank 2:44 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink  

    drumroll, please 

    Congratulations to Christopher Hannigan, SPA/BA ’07, winner of this issue’s “Final Exam.” Christopher will receive a six-month subscription to Politics and Prose Bookstore’s Book-a-Month Gift Program.

    If you missed the question, here’s a recap:


    The answers, which Christopher and another dozen or so alumni aced, are:

    1. 20       2. 16       c. larger       d. 16

    Check out the April issue of American–which features a test question from SPA—for another chance to win.

  • Adrienne Frank 6:22 pm on December 17, 2013 Permalink  

    aim high 

    1501794_10152015338472459_596937123_nYesterday I realized one of my childhood dreams: getting up close and personal with an F-16. (My parents have a photo of me as a little girl with a female fighter pilot at an air show in Arizona. I wanted to be that woman.)

    I’m not going to give anything away (you’ll have to check out the April issue of American magazine to find out why we were at Andrews Air Force Base), but I will share this photo of art director Maria Jackson with an awesome piece of machinery in the background.

    Curiosity piqued yet?

  • Adrienne Frank 8:24 pm on December 12, 2013 Permalink  

    we’re golden! 

    D14_336_003American magazine received a gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) District II. Among the judges’ comments: “Good sense of place; concepts borrowed well from popular media; quality info and storytelling.”

    I’m not going to lie, we’re on cloud nine! A lot of love and sweat equity went into the redesign and we’re so proud of the magazine. The real reward is that AU alumni enjoy the magazine… but the CASE award is pretty awesome, too.

  • Adrienne Frank 6:02 pm on December 3, 2013 Permalink  

    a witness to history 

    pov2AU tops Princeton Review’s 2013 list of most politically active campuses, so it should come as no surprise that our alumni are equally engaged in “the business of Washington.”

    White House press assistant Hannah Hankins, SOC/BA ’11, is one of AU’s “party animals.” Hannah—who worked in the magazine’s own University Communications and Marketing office as an undergrad—has held three different positions at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We were blown away by how cool, calm and collected Hannah is, especially since we arrived to take her photo late on Sept. 27, the Friday before the government shutdown. (President Obama delivered remarks in the briefing room just minutes before Jeff Watts snapped Hannah’s portrait.)

    Cooler still, the native Minnesotan is one of five AU alumna in the White House communications office. pov1(Pictured from left: Hankins; associate research director Kristen Bartoloni, SPA/BA ’08; executive assistant to the communications director Dawn Selak, SOC/BA ’10; and deputy research director Alex Platkin, SPA/BA ’07. With the impending shutdown, ommunications director Jennifer Palmieri couldn’t make the mini AU reunion.)

    And speaking of the “POTUS,” as Hannah called him throughout our interview, President Barack Obama will be at AU on Thursday, December 5 for a taping of Hardball with Chris Matthews. You can submit a question for the POTUS here.

  • Adrienne Frank 5:20 pm on November 26, 2013 Permalink  

    next stop: Georgia Avenue/Petworth 

    D14_248_030_Metrocentered I know I shouldn’t choose favorites, but “Metrocentered” is one of the most fun pages in the magazine. So much work goes into it–and yet, the final product looks very natural. Based on the feedback we’ve heard from readers, “Metrocentered” is one of your favorites, too.

    D14_248_050_metrocenter_groupWe just shot the Union Station “Metrocentered” last month (it was, as it often is, the last thing on our to-do list). So, it felt a little odd to be shooting another “Metrocentered” just a few weeks later!

    For the April issue, we hop on the green/yellow line to the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro, where we have alumni, staff, and a student doing some very cool stuff. We needed to shoot the image in November, as it looks more like spring now than it would if we waited until February, right before we go to press. In order to remove any trace of fall, art director Maria Jackson and I got to the location, Grant Circle, 30 minutes early to rake up all the leaves. (My job requires more manual labor than you might expect.) More than a few Petworth residents, who strolled through the park as we were feverishly raking leaves, noted that “the park service is really on top of things.”

    The photo, which I’ll share with you in a few months, turned out great–and I can honestly say we left the park better than we found it.

    If you want to see your Metro stop featured in a future issue of American magazine, shoot me an email at afrank@american.edu.

  • Adrienne Frank 3:16 pm on November 18, 2013 Permalink  

    it’s here! 

    HP_ad_kuehlThe new issue of the magazine arrived in our office on Friday. We’re tickled with it and hope you enjoy it, as well. If you want a sneak peek before the magazine hits your mailbox, check it out here.

  • Adrienne Frank 8:56 pm on November 11, 2013 Permalink  

    coming soon… 


    A particularly patriotic American magazine hits mailboxes next week. The November issue features a cover story about AU’s “new Americans,” including freshman Dullah Hassan, who’s sitting for the citizenship test soon. We’ve also got a profile of former NFL player-turned Under Armour executive Ryan Kuehl and a lively look at the objects that inspire AU faculty and guide their research.

    We also unpack a Buzzfeed reporter’s bag, offer an insider’s look at the White House briefing room, and head to the Union Station Metro stop.

    Your copy should arrive, hot off the presses, by mid-November!

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