Issue Number 6
March 2015
A Super Visit With a Supreme! 
SIWP Students Posed with Justice Scalia
During their Visit to the Supreme Court   

How would you like to debate marriage equality and Constitutional originalism with Justice Antonin Scalia? That is just what a group of young people in the Semester in Washington Politics (SIWP) program had the opportunity to do on February 11 at the Supreme Court. These students from the Native American Political Leadership Program went on to discuss with Justice Scalia the sovereignty of the indigenous peoples and land ownership and the tradition of writing dissenting and concurring opinions.


Semester in Washington Politics students participate in weekly networking events with key decision-makers and policy experts in Washington, DC. These almost always include meetings with White House staff, members of Congress, and leaders of advocacy groups from across the political spectrum. 


Since 2001, SIWP students have met with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonya Sotomayor who have been extremely generous with their time, spending an hour or so speaking with CPS students and answering their questions. 


Later this semester, SIWP students will return to the Supreme Court for a briefing with Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Justice Kennedy's staff has arranged for a visit to the Supreme Court while it is in session so that students can hear the Court's oral arguments. Immediately following the oral arguments, Justice Kennedy and students will discuss the functioning of the Supreme Court.


"This is an unparalleled opportunity for our students," said Greg Lebel, director of SIPW. "Very few people have the chance to actually engage in conversation with a member of the Supreme Court and this term, our students will get to talk with two of them."


Semester in Washington Politics offers undergraduate and graduate students from other colleges and universities the opportunity to spend a semester or summer session studying applied politics here at GW while gaining experience at professional internships and participating in weekly Networking Events and an optional mentorship program. 


Click here for more information about SWIP

Fighting Global Organized Crime in the 21st Century
United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (NCA) Director General, Keith Bristow

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, transnational organized criminal activities in cyber crime, money laundering, cyber attacks on governments and human and drug trafficking total $800 billion a year which equals 1.5 percent of the global GDP. The damages go well beyond the economic and compromise the national security and political stability of the countries involved.


In an event sponsored by CPS's Police and Security Studies and Strategic Cyber Operations and Information Management programs on January 29,
United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (NCA) Director General, Keith Bristow discussed transnational organized crime as a national security threat and addressed the challenges of 21st Century policing. 


Established in 2013, NCA is the UK's main law enforcement agency dealing with organized crime, akin to our F.B.I. but without the domestic police functions. According to Mr. Bristow, the damage caused by transnational crime to the UK's economy runs about $36 billion per year and it is rising. "Many hundreds of billions of pounds of criminal money is almost certainly laundered through U.K. banks and their subsidiaries each year," Bristow said during his speech.


Some of the same financial transfer systems are also used by terrorist groups both domestically and globally. As such, traditional law enforcement approaches need to be re-evaluated and governments must work much more closely with financial institutions and technology companies like Google. The relationship with these companies is "conceivably becoming as important as U.K. government's relationship with some countries," he opined.


Director General Bristow was accompanied by NCA's regional head for North America and director of intelligence operations and the three of them took turns answering questions from about 100 participants who represented local and national law enforcement, U.S. government departments and European agencies such as Europol. The event was covered by the BBC and Reuters, among others.


See the full video here (password: gw012915)

Cassie Phillips, MPH
Cassie Phillips | Photo: Alfredo Medellin

Cassandra Phillips, CPS' in-house expert on healthy environments and foods, has just been awarded a Master's in Public Health in Global Environmental Health from the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Cassie completed her rigorous program while working full-time as the CPS office manager during business hours and taking classes in the evenings.


For her Culminating Experience (capstone project) she produced an original research paper entitled "Fast Food: A Potential Source of Exposure to Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA) among a Nationally Representative Sample of the U.S. Population," which she presented to her professors, classmates and colleagues on January 12th. Her paper was also accepted by the Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN) Conference which was held in Austin, Texas, February 4-6, 2015. CEHN is a national multi-disciplinary organization whose mission is to protect the developing child from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment.


The project was a quantitative analysis of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data from 2003-2010 that investigated the association between fast food consumption with human exposure to high-molecular weight phthalates (di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate (DINP)) and BPA, in 8876 participants, aged 6 to 85 years old. The main research finding was a significant association between fast food consumption and DEHP and DINP. There was evidence that phthalate levels increased with the increasing amounts of fast food consumption. Phthalates and BPA are endocrine disrupting chemicals that other studies have linked to adverse reproductive, neurobehavioral, and respiratory outcomes in children and chronic disease in adults.


Cassie has been the face and the voice of CPS to the general public and the College's go-to person for faculty and staff since 2010. Her professionalism, volunteerism and positive attitude are legendary and she has led many CPS and GW initiatives and projects over the years. As an example, she participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University and made a commitment to action to create a community garden in her Northeast D.C. community. Cassie and another student applied for and received a grant from the GW Public Service Grant Commission to start the Edgewood Community Garden which has been producing organic vegetables for two years.


"I very much appreciate the support and flexibility of my CPS colleagues and the resources at GW that have enabled me to take advantage of so many wonderful opportunities."


From all of us at CPS, a hearty congratulations and a big thank you, Cassie! 


For more information about the CEHN 2015 Research Conference see here and click on "Presentation Abstracts" button to read a description of Cassie's research.

Publishing Student Wins Top Digital Book Award

 Lillian McAnally and Richard Chambers at the Award Ceremony

Lillian McAnally who is expected to receive her Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Publishing in May has won the Digital Book Award for the digital version of Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail, by Richard F. Chambers, President and CEO of Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). The Book received the QED (quality, excellence and design) seal for passing a 13-point quality assurance test across multiple digital devices. The announcement came at the 6th Annual Digital Book World Conference and Expo in New York on January 15th.


Ms. McAnally is Managing Editor of Content Development at the IIA Research Foundation in Florida and is completing her degree online. "What an honor to be acknowledged by a panel of colleagues in the digital publishing industry. We will continue to raise the bar on the quality of digital outputs we deliver to our members and consumers," she said at the award ceremony. Director of the MPS in Publishing, Dr. Arnie Grossblatt, notes, "In her work in our digital publishing lab course, Lillian demonstrated skill in designing and building multi-platform
e-books. It's very rewarding to see classroom accomplishments translated into real-world products
Lillian is known to her professors and cohort as a talented, dedicated publishing professional, always eager to learn about new developments in publishing." Ms. McAnally's publishing career has spanned over two decades, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In a brief interview with CPS Leads conducted by e-mail, she said that what interested her in this particular degree program was her desire to learn more about the industry and to stay current with its technology. Convenience of online learning was also a deciding factor for her. She adds, "Acceptance and participation into the MPS in Publishing Program has been a great investment in my career. I've already begun to see the ROI in my current role, and I have learned so much from colleagues in my cohort."

Whole-brain Teaching, A No-Brainer

Michelle Johnson in Her Classroom | Photo: William Atkins 

GSPM Alumna Michelle Johnson (Master's of Political Management, 2008) is a 2014 winner of Milken Educator Award, one of the most prestigious teacher awards in the country known as the "Oscar of Teaching." The Award includes a $25,000 cash prize. She was recognized for vast improvements in reading comprehension and academic growth demonstrated by her second grade pupils at Seaton Primary School in DC's Shaw neighborhood. "We were excited to see Michelle win this award. Her passion for education has long been evident. Her innovative leadership style exemplifies the multifaceted nature of political management." says Dr. Lara Brown, Associate Professor and Director of the Political Management Program at GSPM.


Ninety-nine percent of Seaton students qualify for free or reduced lunch and 45 percent are learning English as a second language. Ms. Johnson is known for her use of the "whole brain teaching" technique in which every action and verbal direction is coupled with a physical movement that allows students to internalize information and stay engaged. Using this technique, she transforms her classroom into a verbal, visual, motion-oriented environment that excites her students and makes them desire learning.


According to Seaton's assistant principal, "What she's outstanding at is planning and using data analysis to inform the decisions she makes in the classroom." The method of putting together a detailed strategy centered on motivation and data is one Ms. Johnson said she learned as a student, first as an undergraduate and then at GW's Graduate School of Political Management. "In GSPM you get a lot of practice in building relationships, managing people and understanding what motivates them," she said. "I use those skills every single day as part of my classroom management strategy."


Click here to read James Irwin's story in GW Today


Watch the video of Michele's stunned reaction on hearing the news

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

Kiasha J. Sullivan
CPS Marketing & Production

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In This Issue
A Primer on Using Social Media in the Classroom 
Photo: Isra Garcia
The staff of recently published a piece about how to use social media as a learning tool, which can be of help to college and university faculty. The article says that if you want to bring the "real world" into the classroom, consider integrating social media into your lessons. It adds that when used carefully, social media can be a useful tool rather than a distraction. Here are examples of what you can do:


Create a Class Facebook Group

Create a Facebook page on which you can post assignments, make announcements, and remind students about important deadlines. A Facebook group also creates a space for students to ask and answer questions. Having students share their questions, insights, or experiences with a topic can expand learning for other students. In short, it extends the classroom discussion beyond the classroom. A Facebook group is also ideal for teachers using the flipped classroom. Post videos, photos, documents, and other resources on the group's wall so that students can access them before class or while working on their assignments. Of course, content management systems can offer the same opportunities for announcements and resources. However, because many students have Facebook on their phones and tablets, they have constant access to course information without having to log in to a completely different system.


Start a Topical Twitter Feed 

Twitter offers a quick way to post class announcements. It also helps class track information on a topic. For instance, for a class discussing a current event or topic such as career ideas, Twitter can provide up-to-date information. By following the Twitter feeds of experts in the field or even hashtags focused on a current world issue, students can learn more about what is happening in the world around them. Twitter is made not only for reading, but also for responding. Encourage students to interact with others via Twitter by posting their favorite quotes or facts from a particular lesson. Have them interact with experts by tweeting questions or comments. Many organizations offer Twitter chat sessions with which students can interact.


Require Students to Blog

Instead of traditional writing assignments, require students to blog which enables them to display their writing on a larger scale. For example, have them document research for a larger project, or review movies, books, or audio recordings. Ask students to illustrate their thoughts with photos or videos. By having students read each other's blog posts, they will create a stronger community with one another, discovering shared experiences and reactions. Because their work becomes part of the greater World Wide Web, students have increased motivation to carefully consider their language, spelling, and grammar usage as well as how they incorporate outside information.


Post Student Videos to YouTube

YouTube is an excellent option for flipped classrooms in that students can watch lectures and resources before entering the classroom. Instead of watching material created by others, why not have students create their own material? Students will enjoy watching each other explain a concept, review a book or movie, stage their own interpretation of a scene from a play, create public service announcements, or report on news stories. Again, like blogging, since the material will be seen by a wider audience, students will be more apt to do their very best in creating a video, and they will enjoy being able to express their creativity as they connect more deeply with course material.


Showcase Student Work on Instagram

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a carefully crafted class Instagram feed can say. Instagram can offer a place to feature student artwork or even interesting details about students themselves. For example, have students post pictures of items focused on a certain theme or have them post photos of items related to their research, favorite book or historical figure.


And finally, remember that privacy concerns are always an issue whether using social media for personal or educational use. Please read all social media platforms' privacy pages, and ensure that your class feeds are set to private to protect students' work. Review your school's social media policy and if necessary, secure signatures from the parties involved. Furthermore, make sure that students are well versed in the etiquette and other proper use of technology.


Read the original piece and the resources it lists in Edudemic:


Of Note:

CPS Wins Faculty and Staff Innovation Grant


Ethel Badawi, Esq., Assistant Professor & Assistant Director, Paralegal Studies Program, and Derek Haseltine, Director of Career Services, have been awarded a faculty and staff innovation grant from the Shenkman Career Services Fund (SCSF). Their project, "LinkedIn and Linked up" aims to increase student awareness regarding the impact of digital profiles and social media, connect paralegal students to professionals within their industry, and develop professional networking skills. As part of the project, a digital profiles competition for paralegal students will be launched in mid-March.

The Shenkman Career Services Fund (SCSF) Faculty and Staff Innovation grants provide funding for GW faculty and staff to create professional and career development activities for GW undergraduate and graduate students. The Fund provides funding to offset costs associated with infusing career-related materials into existing or new class curricula and/or departmental, program or school-based initiatives.

GSPM Announces
Emeritus Status for Founding Dean Christopher Arterton and for Professor Dennis Johnson

GSPM announced on January 23, 2015 that the university trustees have conferred emeritus status on the school's founding Dean, Professor Christopher Arterton and on distinguished Professor Dennis Johnson.


As the Founding Dean from GSPM's establishment at GW in 1991 until he stepped down in 2010, Chris Arterton literally created a new academic discipline, Political Management, as an applied, management degree differentiated from both academic political science and public policy. During his tenure, he expanded the School's academic programs by incorporating the University's existing Master's program in Legislative Affairs and by initiating two new Master's degrees, one in Strategic Public Relations and another in Political Communications and Governance, the University's first degree program taught entirely in Spanish. He also oversaw the launch of the School's online degree programs. 


Dennis Johnson is one of the foremost scholars on the field of political and campaign management and is the author of several books, Campaigning for President 2012: Strategy and Tactics (Routledge, 2014), being the latest. Johnson has held multiple leadership roles at GSPM in his more than twenty years of service. As professor of political management and legislative affairs, he has served as GSPM's director of the legislative affairs program (1993-2000), associate dean (1995-2006), and acting executive director (2011-2012). Dr. Johnson was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China during the 2010-2011 academic year.


Read the full announcements: