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University Welcomes CNN's On The Story | GW Board Elects New Trustees | National Security Declassified | Rooney Addresses Class of 2005 | Brady Gallery Exhibitions | NIH Grant to Help Vocal Surgery Patients | Responding to the Call of Katrina | University Welcomes New Deans | Harnessing Success | Swartz Named Vice President | ‘Kuwait Chair’ Endowed | Hi Yo Silver, Away! | A Faculty for Writing

University Welcomes CNN’s On the Story

GW began a new chapter in its ongoing relationship with CNN on July 8, when the Jack Morton Auditorium opened its doors to On the Story, an interactive, global news program that tapes every Friday evening on campus in GW’s Media and Public Affairs Building before a studio audience.

CNN’s Kyra Phillips takes a question from a GW student as senior Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, Congressional correspondent Joe Johns, and Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve look on.

Julie Woodford

The one-hour show, featuring CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour as part of a rotating cast of CNN reporters, transports viewers behind the headlines of the world’s top weekly news stories. An insider’s look at what it’s like for CNN journalists to be on the front lines of the hottest news events around the globe, the program features first-hand accounts of the newsgathering process, never-before-seen raw news footage, and questions from the studio audience.

“GW is pleased and proud to continue our partnership with CNN, especially on a program that brings together top correspondents from around the world to offer the audience additional depth and perspective on the top stories of the week,” says GW Vice President for Communications Michael Freedman. “GW students have a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes, ask questions of the correspondents, and learn more about the process of gathering, sorting, and reporting. Judging from the tremendous interest even during the heat of summer, I’d say CNN On the Story will be a hot ticket on campus and across Washington throughout the year.”

Lucy Spiegel, senior executive producer of On the Story and CNN vice president for weekend programming, says that CNN is glad to make GW the show’s new home. “Taping On the Story at GW is a terrific opportunity to do a hard news show in front of a live audience in a top-notch facility,” she states. “Our relationship with GW is an important factor in the success of our show.”

At GW, On the Story replaces CNN’s leading political debate program Crossfire, which ended production on June 3 after airing 736 shows live from the Jack Morton Auditorium in the Media and Public Affairs Building. The program drew much excitement during its three years at GW, where some 117,000 visitors participated as studio audience members and more than 200 students served as Crossfire interns, volunteers, and staff.

“We are thrilled to host a new CNN program at GW,” says Heather Clapp Date, coordinating producer of CNN at GW. “We have enjoyed terrific audience involvement and turnout for the first few weeks of On the Story at GW, helping us get off to a great start.”

On the Story is taped from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday. Doors open at 6:30 and audience members must be seated by 7:10. The program airs on CNN Saturdays at 7 p.m. and replays Sundays at 10 a.m. To reserve free tickets for the studio audience, please call 202-994-8CNN or visit

—Jamie L. Freedman

GW Board Elects New Trustees

In August, the GW Board of Trustees elected four new trustees and two new emeritus trustees.

Serving as new charter trustees are: Gary C. Granoff, BBA ’69, JD ’73, chairman and president of Ameritrans Capital Corp., who has previously served on GW’s Board of Trustees; and Delano Lewis, Hon. DPS ’91, former U.S. ambassador to South Africa and former president and chief executive officer of National Public Radio.

The newly elected alumni trustees are: Gerald Lazarus, MD ’63, director of the Wound Healing Center and chief of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; and Jeanette Michael, JD ’75, executive director of the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board.
Newly elected emeritus trustees are: Joseph L. Brand, JD ’63, a partner at Patton Boggs, LLP; and Morton I. Funger, BA ’53, a partner with Ralmor Corp.

National Security Declassified

Before 9/11, the most-viewed photograph on the National Security Archive’s Web site was the Oval Office meeting of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon. Since the attacks, it has been a photograph of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. As subjects such as terrorism and the Patriot Act gain public attention, the archive’s services are increasingly in demand.

Housed in GW’s Gelman Library since 1994, the archive serves many roles: research institute on international affairs; library and archive of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act; public interest law firm; and publisher of documents in book, microfiche, and electronic formats. It was created in 1985 and formerly was housed at the Brookings Institution. Today, it has nearly 30 staff members, analysts, and fellows. Funding comes from publication revenues and from private philanthropists—the archive receives no government funding.

“We act as a clearinghouse to help people use FOIA, use the documents obtained through FOIA, and sometimes unite people who are all looking into the same things, whether they’re journalists or educators,” says Malcolm Byrne, deputy director and director of research.

The need for the archive was made clear to Washington Post reporter Scott Armstrong in the early 1980s when he requested a government document and was provided with a memo with the top half blacked out. Raymond Bonner of The New York Times received the same memo—with the bottom half blacked out. They put the missing pieces together and realized the disorganization and the arbitrary nature of access to classified documents.

With the archive’s help, the public puts together other such missing pieces on many subjects, namely government involvement overseas and matters of national security. GW was tapped to house the archive, Byrne says, because of the strength of the Elliott School of International Affairs and the history department, the enthusiasm of Gelman’s staff, and support from GW’s administration.

The archive has made more than 30,000 FOIA requests. Supporting more than 30 terminals, its computer system hosts databases of released documents—more than 100,000 records—and FOIA requests filed by the staff and outside requestors on international affairs—more than 20,000 records.

Staff members field more than 2,500 public service requests every year, testify before Congress, lecture at universities, host topical conferences, and make media appearances to discuss FOIA and the various topics for which the archive’s collections provide documentation. The archive’s publications have won critical acclaim and honors including the George Polk Award for Journalism. Recently, the archive won a 2005 Emmy Award for achievement in news and documentary research for Declassified: Nixon in China, originally broadcast on the Discovery Times channel.

Perhaps its most significant contribution is changing the way the public views its right to information and the government’s response to information requests.

“Today, it seems natural that the government shouldn’t do something like erase the e-mail tapes from the Reagan administration. We can’t just ‘hit erase’ on those sorts of matters,” Byrne says. “But as technology and laws and world events change, public entities have to stay on top of monitoring such activity.”

—Laura Ewald

Rooney Addresses Class of 2005

Washington’s Ellipse sparkled under sunny skies May 22, as more than 23,000 GW graduates, family members, and friends celebrated Commencement 2005.

Three-time Emmy Award-winning CBS News commentator Andy Rooney delivered the keynote address and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. In a special commencement highlight, Rooney’s granddaughter Alexis Rooney Perkins, BA ’05, who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history at the ceremony, presented her grandfather with his honorary degree.

GW Board of Trustees Chairman Charles T. Manatt (far left) and President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg flank honorary degree recipients (from left) Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Philip K. Russell, Andy Rooney, and Alberto Ibargüen.

Julie Woodford

Inspirational words of wisdom also flowed from GW’s other honorary degree recipients: renowned physicist Mildred S. Dresselhaus, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree; acclaimed newspaper executive Alberto Ibargüen, former publisher of The Miami Herald and of El Nuevo Herald, who received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree; and retired Maj. Gen., Philip K. Russell, a top medical researcher, who was honored with a Doctor of Public Service degree.

Outstanding members of the GW community were recognized during the ceremony for their contributions to the University. Four faculty members won Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Prizes for excellence: Marie Price, associate professor of geography, received the prize in teaching; Amitai Etzioni, University Professor, and Jozef Przytycki, professor of mathematics, received the prize in research scholarship; and Arthur E. Wilmarth, professor of law, received the prize in university service.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award went to: Robert Ames Alden, BA ’65, MA ’68, the longest serving Washington Post editor in the newspaper’s history; Walter M. Bortz III, EdD ’98, president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and a former vice president at GW; Diana B. Henriques, BA ’69, a New York Times reporter specializing in white-collar crime and corporate governance issues; James F. Humphreys, JD ’78, long-time West Virginia legislator; Pradman Kaul, BS ’67, CEO and chair of Hughes Network Systems; Floyd D. Loop, MD ’62, CEO and chair of the board of governors of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1989 to 2004; Christine E. Seidman, MD ’78, Harvard Medical School professor and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Service at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and George W. Wellde Jr., MBA ’76, a managing director at Goldman Sachs & Co.

The second annual Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize recognizing undergraduate leadership was presented to Lina Musayev, who also received her degree in political communication at the ceremony. Musayev is the co-founder and executive director of United Students for Fair Trade, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for progressive and humanitarian economic policies aimed at improving the lives of impoverished farmers and laborers in developing countries.


Brady Gallery Exhibitions

The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery is offering two exhibitions this fall. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise stated. For more information, visit

John Walker: Works on Paper 1990-2004
Organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Maine.

Sept. 6 through Oct. 28

Imagination and Knowledge: Centennial Celebration of Einstein’s Miraculous Year
Featuring photographs of Albert Einstein from GW President and Mrs. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s collection; and furniture on loan from the Historical Society of Princeton—including never-before-displayed pieces of Einstein’s personal furniture. The exhibition is being sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and other GW resources.

Nov. 2 through December.

NIH Grant to Help Vocal Surgery Patients

GW Professor of Surgery Dr. Steven Bielamowicz (center), during a recent medialization laryngoplasty, a procedure used to correct vocal fold problems.

A four-year, $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is helping GW researchers develop computer-based tools to improve the success rate of surgeries performed to alleviate voice disorders caused by vocal chord weakness. The project pairs the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Vocal fold problems can impair voice production, impeding the ability to work and conduct social interactions. The shortcoming of the current surgical procedure used to correct the problem and restore the patient’s voice, medialization laryngoplasty, is that it is dependent on the surgeon’s skill and intuition: The procedure fails in about 24 percent of cases, and additional surgery is required.

Development of an image-guided procedure began in September. “By superimposing the CT data from the patient with the actual larynx of the patient during surgery, we are essentially giving the surgeon X-ray vision,” says James Hahn, chair of the Department of Computer Science and of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering. Hahn says this will allow the surgeon to place an implant with much more accuracy than is currently possible.

Steven Bielamowicz, GW professor of surgery, is principal investigator of the project.

Responding to the Call of Katrina

In the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, members of The George Washington University community donated time, food, supplies, and money to help residents pick up the pieces of their lives. Meanwhile, the University opened its doors, sheltering students and administrators from the storm-ravaged region and enabling them to restart their academic lives.

A medical team of 19 health care professionals led by GW professors Christina Catlett, assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Yolanda Haywood, assistant dean for student and curricular affairs and associate professor of emergency medicine, traveled Sept. 12 to Baton Rouge, La., to help victims of Katrina. The team assisted with medical needs by screening patients in the region’s shelters.

More than 175 members of the University community attended a Disaster Relief Volunteer Training seminar run by the American Red Cross in Ross Hall, Sept. 9. The seminar, compressed into a three-hour session with an additional three-hour online course, qualified volunteers to receive full disaster relief certification.

In further support of the Red Cross’s activities, immediately following the disaster, the University initiated a hurricane relief effort under the jurisdiction of the Medical Center in coordination with the Red Cross. Just a week into the drive, John F. “Skip” Williams, University provost and vice president for health affairs, reported the drive raised more than $21,000 in hurricane relief donations. The Medical Center continues to accept donations. For more information, please call 202-994-3727.

The University also opened its doors to students, allowing students from affected schools to enroll at GW with nondegree status on a space-available basis. As many as 75 students are now enrolled at various levels within the University organization.

GW also has offered residential and office space to administrators of flood-ravaged Dillard University, and is now providing those services to one of the vice presidents of Dillard.

—Thomas Kohout

University Welcomes New Deans

This fall, two new deans joined the GW administration: Michael E. Brown as dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and Frederick M. Lawrence as dean of the Law School.

Michael E. Brown

Formerly director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, Brown is an international security expert. His education career also includes serving as senior fellow and associate director of the international security program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard from 1994 to 1998.

He is co-editor of International Security, a prominent security studies and international affairs publication, a post he has held for 12 years. Brown was selected after an extensive global search. In addition to editing and co-editing 18 books, he wrote Flying Blind: The Politics of the U.S. Strategic Bomber Program, which won the Edgar Furniss Book Award. He also serves as professor of international affairs and of political science.

Harry Harding, former ESIA dean, now serves as a University Professor.

Frederick M. Lawrence

Frederick M. Lawrence was appointed dean of the Law School after a yearlong search during which Roger Trangsrud served as interim dean. Chosen from more than 175 applicants, Lawrence comes to GW from Boston University School of Law and also serves as Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law.

Lawrence is a leading expert in civil rights and has written five books, including Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law. Having served as a delegate to the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Enactment and Enforcement of Legislation to Combat Hate-Motivated Crimes, Lawrence has lectured internationally on the subjects of bias crime law and civil rights, and since 2003 also has served as chair of the National Legal Affairs Committee of the Anti-Defamation League.

Harnessing Success

A little “puttering” can yield huge results. Just ask GW Professor of Engineering Roger E. Kaufman, a mechanical engineer with a passion for designing gadgets. Throughout his career, Kaufman has earned acclaim for inventing novel instruments such as virtual reality surgical simulator devices for training doctors, as well as numerous aids for the handicapped. Kaufman is now putting his expertise to work for the U.S. military with his latest invention, the Close-Quarter Combat Training Simulator Harness.

GW Professor of Engineering Roger E. Kaufman is helping to revolutionize the way that U.S. Marines train for battle through his latest invention—the Close-Quarter Combat Training Simulator Harness.

Designed and built in the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science machine shop for the Naval Research Laboratory, Kaufman’s series of virtual reality harnesses are part of the Navy’s Virtual Technologies and Environment program. The unique mechanisms—invented to enhance virtual reality training in confined spaces—may eventually revolutionize the way Marines train for battle. “My harness allows Marines to move freely within view of the tracking camera system while wearing head-mounted virtual reality goggles,” Kaufman explains. “The harness keeps Marines centered in the camera’s field of vision, while allowing them to spin, turn, jog in place, get down on the ground and roll, move around on their knees, or fire from a prone position.” Prior to Kaufman’s invention, Marines using the technology were forced to stand in one spot.

Although he calls the device “one tiny part of a huge project,” it is generating excitement in the military world. This is hardly the first time that Kaufman’s work has caught the public eye. Early in his career, he created the much-loved FORTRAN Coloring Book (The MIT Press, 1978), a technical computer book handwritten and drawn in a lively style similar to Dr. Seuss. The work, which he confesses he wrote only because the textbook for a Fortran course he was teaching at MIT did not come in on time, received worldwide accolades and spawned a flood of copycat books in Germany and other countries. “It started as an inside joke and ended up becoming pretty famous, making The New York Times Noteworthy Paperbacks list,” Kaufman says. “Ted Geisel, the real
Dr. Seuss, even sent me a nice note complimenting the Coloring Book and saying he wished he’d had a text like that when he was a student at Dartmouth.”

Kaufman, who earned a PhD in 1969 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution, gained notoriety early in his career for designing the first polycentric knee joint on the computer that exactly replicated the motion of a human leg. He also is credited with developing an early computer-aided design system for creating linkage mechanisms, as well as one of the world’s first interactive computer graphic systems. His inventions for children with neuromuscular problems—including a hand-eye coordination trainer—were featured in the 1976 Jerry Lewis Telethon.

A GW professor since 1976, he has developed a number of virtual reality instruments for GW Medical School, including devices for training surgeons performing laproscopic and endoscopic procedures, urologists performing cryosurgery, and medical personnel performing needle sticks. Kaufman also burns the midnight oil inventing devices at home in his basement, an avocation that indirectly led to his recent work with the NRL. A number of years ago, he explains, he met a brilliant GW electrical engineering doctoral student who’d been born without arms. “I asked him what gadgetry might be helpful to him and he replied that it would be great to have a device that would help him get dressed,” he says. “In my basement, I designed and built two foot-operated dressing machines to help him put on his shirt and pants.” The former student, who is now a senior scientist at the Naval Research Lab involved in the VIRTE program, remembered those machines that Kaufman had built for him years ago and called upon him to build the combat training simulator harness.

Now several years into the project, he says that he’s thoroughly enjoying the experience. “I love inventing gadgets and I love to putter, so I’m having a ball.”


Swartz Named Vice President

Building on six years of technological leadership as GW’s CIO, David Swartz was named vice president responsible for Information Systems and Services in August. He will continue CIO duties and also will manage new areas including student technology services and residential networking.

Julie Woodford

Swartz has helped to consolidate the University’s IT infrastructure into an integrated organization with 260 employees and a $40 million budget. He also oversaw the replacement of GW’s mainframe applications with powerful servers supporting Web-based applications that simplify access and ease of use. His efforts were recognized in a cover story in The Chronicle of Higher Education in July.

He also has helped raise the University’s visibility as a technology leader. In August, GW’s ISS department was named a recipient of CIO magazine’s “Bold 100” award. The honor recognizes organizations that embrace great risks to achieve great rewards. GW was chosen in part for its plan to improve business continuity, disaster recovery, and user services on all campuses by developing a second data center on the Virginia Campus. The move was part of the University’s preparedness response to the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks. ISS was praised for “choosing continuity, not disaster recovery.”

‘Kuwait Chair’ Endowed

Vice President and General Counsel Dennis Blumer signs the agreement establishing the Kuwait Chair for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs with a $3.3-million gift from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

Julie Woodford

In July, GW received more than $3.3 million from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences to fund the Kuwait Chair for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs in GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Former U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Edward “Skip” Gnehm was named the first Kuwait Chair. His focus in the role is to give students the resources and expertise needed to better understand the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula.

GW enjoys close ties with the country of Kuwait. Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was honored by the University at a convocation June 30, in which GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg awarded Sabah an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Sabah is among the longest-serving government officials in the Middle East. He began his career in 1954 and was a member of the founding commission that drafted the constitution of the State of Kuwait. Other major accomplishments include playing a central role in securing the right to vote and hold office for Kuwaiti women and playing a central role in Kuwait’s participation in the United Nations.

Hi Yo Silver, Away!

Yes, even university presidents are allowed a respite. For his, President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg journeyed to Banff, Alberta, Canada, for a week of horseback riding in late July. Here he and trusty horse Molson make their way through the Canadian Rockies.