Issue Number 3
August 2014
Able Alumnae Advance Admirably

Margarida Saragoca


Margarida Saragoca and Jeanine Guidry have never met and they live in different continents but the two accomplished women have one thing in common - they are both CPS alums making original contributions to their fields while advancing their careers.


Margarida, a lawyer, is a 2013 graduate of the master's program in law firm management (LFM) and she works for one of Portugal's top law firms, Vieira de Almeida & Associados (VdA). The firm received the 2013 Most Innovative Law Firm of the Year Award for continental Europe from theFinancial Times. As VdA's Business Development and Clients Director and a member of the firm's Innovation Forum, Margarida played an important role in the preparation and submission of projects to the award committee. As a result of this award, Harvard Law School is preparing a case study on VdA which Carl Leonard, the LFM program director, hopes to use at CPS next year. According to Margarida, "When I first joined the GW's LFM Program I was particularly interested in gaining academic experience and certification from one of the top US universities. I swiftly realized the Program would take me to a new personal and professional dimension: it is all about strategic management thinking and leadership empowerment. Ultimately, I believe it gives me and my firm a true competitive advantage."


This September, Margarida will make a presentation at the "Second International Seminar in Legal Management for the Public Sector" in Brazil. The conference is jointly organized by the Central Bank of Brazil and the Brazilian Department of Justice and brings together speakers and participants to focus on professional legal management issues for public sector attorneys. Margarida will present on CPS' Law Firm Management program, providing information and insight on its structure and also telling a personal story of how the program has benefited her and her firm.


Jeanine Guidry, currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Health at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine, is a graduate of master's in strategic public relations (SPR) offered by CPS' Graduate School of Political Management.  Jeanine is very active in her field and made two presentations at a major conference in Montreal, Canada earlier this month. The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) recognized Jeanine at its 2014 annual conference by presenting her with the Eason Award for Graduate Student Research for the top student-authored paper presented at the conference. The $1,000 award winner paper was titled "On Pins and Needles: How Vaccines Are Portrayed on Pinterest".


Her second presentation, a poster session, was based on her SPR Capstone project on measuring social media for non-profits titled "Creating Social Change with Public Relations: Strategically Using Twitter to Turn Supporters into Vocal Advocates".  "We are very proud of - and not the

least bit surprised by - Jeanine's success and recognition at the AEJMC conference in Montreal. Her academic research into the effective use of Social Media by non-profits began with her Capstone thesis in the SPR program and has developed into a specialization as she pursues her PhD at VCU. She along with Dr. Janis Page, who teaches our online Capstone class, presented papers at this important academic conference. Both were identified as members of the GW SPR community and brought great recognition to our program." says Lawrence Parnell, Director of SPR program.


In addition to her doctoral work, Jeanine is also an Affiliated Graduate Researcher at VCU's Center for Media+ Health. The center's focus is on the critical role media (both traditional and new media) play in health information dissemination and health issue communication.


Click here a short video on the award won by Margarida's firm:

Jeanine Guidry receiving her award at the AEJMC conference


Jeanine Guidry, a PhD candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Health at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine, is a graduate of CPS's master's in strategic public relations program offered by CPS' Graduate School of Political Management. Jeanine is active in her field and presented twice at a major conference in Montreal earlier this month. The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication presented Jeanine with the Eason Award for Graduate Student Research for the top student-authored paper presented at its annual conference this year. The $1,000 award winning paper was "On Pins and Needles: How Vaccines Are Portrayed on Pinterest".


Her second presentation, a poster session, was based on her capstone project measuring social media for non-profits titled "Creating Social Change with Public Relations: Strategically Using Twitter to Turn Supporters into Vocal Advocates".  In addition to her doctoral work, Jeanine is also an affiliated graduate researcher at VCU's Center for Media + Health. The center's focus is on the critical role traditional and new media play in disseminating and communicating health information. 

 Click here a short video on the award won by Margarida's firm

Sustainable Landscapes 
Students Win Gold!
Harvest Home and its award-winning landscape design

CPS Sustainable Landscapes students Julie Melear, Janet Conroy and Mary Sper's landscape design for Harvest Home has won the 2014 Gold Award in outdoor design from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). Harvest Home was Team Capitol DC's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy's 2013 Solar Decathlon which included faculty and students from GW and American and Catholic universities. The 700-square-foot solar-powered, attractive and affordable structure and garden was designed and built over a period of two years in DC and was then taken apart, transported to Irvine, California for the Decathlon and reassembled there! At the end of the competition, Harvest Home was donated to a war veteran who suffers from emotional trauma.


The winning landscape design featured a Harvest Table with a water rill and herb plants running down the center; a rainwater cistern to collect 100 percent of the roof runoff;deck tiles made from recycled tires;a beehive and compost bin; and two organic gardens with edible plants. "GW's landscape design for Harvest Home broke through the conventional boundaries of the Solar Decathlon competition. Few entries had ever focused on reinforcing the design concept of the house through the landscape. Harvest Home was continually praised by juries and visitors alike for its welcoming landscape that extended from edge of its competition space." says Adele Ashkar, CPS Associate Dean for Academic Excellence and Sustainable Landscapes Program Director.


Read more about the award-winning design

See APLD's announcement

First Star's Shining Stars On Campus

First Star Academy students in their ceramics class


Question: What is the difference between foster youth and non-foster youth? 


Answer: Foster youth attend college at a rate of 3% while their non-foster peers attend at a rate of 30%


Foster children are not less bright, enthusiastic, or hopeful than their peers. The reason they attend college at such a disproportionately low rate is that they have not received the guidance and encouragement necessary to direct them along that path.


The First Star program seeks to change that by bringing high school foster children to the GW campus to work, study, play, perform, and live the lives of college students. They live on the beautiful Mount Vernon campus and take college courses for credit, thus removing the psychological barriers to considering college. 


The university hosted the four-week immersion program in partnership with  First Star Greater Washington Academy on campus last July for the second year. In addition to math and English courses, the group of 21 students took a two-credit fine arts class in ceramics with Professor Dandee Pattee. 


GW student-athletes mentor the students, living with them, accompanying them to class and activities, talking to them, and acting as stellar role models. Some of the mentors were foster children themselves. 


A highlight of the summer is the annual talent show. Toni Marsh, CPS Associate Dean for New Initiatives and the campus liaison for the program said, "Last July I had the privilege of attending a talent show that showcased an incredible array of performances that were astounding in their emotional and artistic depth. The kids did poetry, modern dance, African dance, rap, piano, mime, and drama and they were fabulous."  


The same group of students will be back next year.


Read more in GW Today

It's A Matter of Time : 
Online Dropout Rates Related to How Students Perceive Time

A new study shows that one major reason for high dropout rates in many online courses is related to the psycho-social profile of the students. It is an intrapsychological factor called temporal (or time) perspective (TP) and it's about how students perceive time. The authors of the paper published in the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning looked at students in both a traditional face-to-face setting and in online classes offered by the same institutions of higher education for their study. Temporal perspective can be understood as someone's cognitive construct, and typically falls into one of five categories:


- Past Negative (PN): They remember the traumatic and negative experiences from the past and tend to over-generalize those for their entire life.


- Past Positive (PP): They tend to recall the positive experiences from their past. It's related to an optimistic outlook on life.


- Present Hedonists (PH): They are oriented towards immediate pleasure, living the present moment without worrying too much about the future.


- Present Fatalists (PF): They feel powerless about their future no matter what they do; they perceive themselves as helpless and define life as unfair.


- Future Time Perspective (FTP): They desire to plan and achieve specific future goals; they are achievement-oriented, have expectations for the future and hope for change.


According to the results of the study, onsite students have a very different temporal perspective than online students. Students taking online courses show a high Past Negative (PN) perspective, while onsite students have a high Future Time Perspective (FTP). The age difference between onsite and online students may partially explain this as the former are typically in their early to mid-twenties while the latter are in their mid-thirties or older.


The authors also confirm some results of previous studies of online versus onsite students but the finding that carries the most weight is that "previous literature identifies FTP as one of the temporal orientations that could be strongly related to learning". In other words, perhaps retention in many online classes is low because students, who are less inclined toward FTP, are worse learners. In the concluding part of the study in order to help institutions better identify practices for online students, the researchers present two tables that include all five TP categories for each of these two conditions: students choosing online classes for convenience and students choosing online classes for personal preferences.



For more information or to submit a story for an upcoming issue, please contact:

Karla Jones
CPS Manager, Marketing & Production

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In This Issue
Try Your Luck at CaPSino Royale!

Mark your calendars for the second annual CPS Alumni Weekend Reception on Friday, September 19, 2014. E-mail invitations with event details will be sent to alumni soon. 


The Inaugural Alumni Weekend Reception in September of 2013 was a rousing success with more than 100 alumni and faculty participating at the event which was held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington, DC.

Loudoun County   or Bust!

Virginia Science and Technology Campus, Ashburn

It was announced earlier this year that CPS is expanding its IIST (Integrated Information, Science and Technology) bachelor's degree completion program to GW's Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Loudoun County, Virginia as of fall 2014. This move is in response to the growing workforce demand in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) job market in Northern Virginia.  ICT is Loudoun County's largest industry cluster, representing 21% of the businesses, including companies such as Neustar, Verizon, Raytheon and Computer Sciences Corporation.


The interdisciplinary IIST program is geared towards individuals who are already in a technical field, or those who are attempting to gain entry either as career- changers or as young professionals. IIST's articulation agreement with Northern Virginia Community College and competitive tuition rates, make it an ideal program for community college students and others who are seeking to enhance their employment and advancement prospects. The cohort-based program in Ashburn will be offered during evenings and on weekends with the needs of working professionals in mind. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with industry partners such as Deloitte's through site visits and guest speaker events. "Our program can help bridge the gap between industry demands and a student's educational level and thus make all the difference in her career trajectory." says Dr. Sara Hooshangi, the IIST program director.

Read more about IIST expanding to VSTC

Of  Note:

Navy Yard: 
Lessons Learned 

DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier

On the morning of September 16, 2013 a mentally-disturbed sub-contractor went on a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard which resulted in the death of twelve individuals and wounding of another three before he was shot to death by the police. The Navy Yard shooting is the second-deadliest mass shooting on a U.S. military base in U.S. history, behind only the Fort Hood shooting in November 2009. 

Dr. Frederic Lemieux

On the anniversary of this tragic event, CPS will hold an important session to explore the lessons learned from the incident and the response to it so that law enforcement would be better prepared in the future. Chief Cathy Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department and Dr. Frederic Lemieux director of GW's Police and Security Studies and Security and Safety Leadership programs are the featured speakers. Wednesday, September 17, 2014 [ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, Elliott School's City View Room]

Click to register for the event



GSPM & SMPA Seminar


Unless you live on Mars, it won't be a surprise to you that the web has reinvented how political campaigns are run and that digital strategy is now an integral part of any campaign. The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) are holding a seminar "Digital Technology and the Changing Campaign Landscape" to illustrate the point. SMPA Director Frank Sesno will moderate the session and GSPM Director Hon. Mark Kennedy will provide the introduction. The main speakers are Zac Moffatt and Michael Slaby. Moffatt is the co-founder of Targeted Victory that has served over 200 campaigns, including Mitt Romney for President and Marco Rubio for Senate. Slaby is Managing Partner of Timshel, a new company that works to solve social and humanitarian challenges with better technology. Among his previous positions, he was Chief Integration and Innovation Officer for Obama for America campaign. Wednesday, August 27, 2014 [4:00 - 5:30 pm, Jack Morton Auditorium]


Click here for more information and to register for the Seminar


Landscape Design Referral Site


The GW Alumni Landscape Designers business referral site is a collaborative effort between the Landscape Design (LD) program, LD alumni and the CPS Alumni Relations office and was created in direct response to inquiries from the general public searching for qualified landscape designers. The site links to landscape design businesses that are either owned and/or operated by CPS alumni or firms that have CPS alumni on staff as landscape designers. The site will be advertised to the general public and to all GW alumni in the metro-DC area.


Explore the site


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