number 1 Most Politically Active Students
Alumna Breaks Income Barriers for Rural Family Farmers
One Acre Fund started in Kenya in 2006 and now serves more than 600,000 smallholder farmers. Dilanthi Ranaweera, SIS/MA ’15, led field operations for the organization’s first pilot program in East Asia, where she recruited, trained, and assisted farmers in the field. After the Myanmar pilot ended, she joined the Kenya program. She chose to remain in field operations because it enables her to have direct contact with farmers.
number 2 Most Active Student Government
36 percent New Tenure-Faculty Identify as People of Color
6 Alumni Are Members of Congress
4 Alumni Are Presidents of Nations
number 6 Truman Scholarships 2009-2018
A Force for Change
Ibram X. Kendi, Center Director
We can no longer sit on the sidelines of history.
The Antiracist Research and Policy Center engages in research around racial inequity to dismantle discriminatory policies in the US and abroad. It is founded on a pioneering vision of racial change: to eradicate racist ideas, you must first do away with racist policies. The center's unique research model is team based and project oriented, tasking groups with targeting an inequity, researching its underlying causes, and developing a campaign for change.
Film Examines Debate over Death Penalty
School of Communication professors Maggie Stogner and Richard Stack released their powerful new documentary, In the Executioner’s Shadow, which examines all sides of the death penalty debate through interviews with crime victims, family members, and a Virginia-based executioner. The film navigates the moral quandaries of capital punishment, while exploring larger questions of American identity, justice, and mercy. Several AU students and alumni assisted with the production.
Central to the film is Jerry Givens, who conducted 62 executions—work so secretive that even his wife did not know. (She thought he was a prison guard.) He has since become a leading anti-death-penalty advocate.
Although it illuminates the dark side of capital punishment, the documentary does not take a formal position on the issue. It simply challenges the viewer to consider the ramifications of this practice—which occurs increasingly beyond public purview—for our society.
Stogner says, “It’s about who we are as a country and what our values are in the twenty-first century.”
Jewish Group Aids Houston's Recovery
To many, the sustainability of Houston’s Jewish community came under threat when Hurricane Harvey damaged synagogues and flooded thousands from their homes.
Avital Ingber, Kogod/BA ’03, head of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, helped raise millions of dollars for shelter, synagogue reconstruction, and Jewish day school tuition.
“In the fourth-largest city in America, we don’t want to have a generation that is lost in terms of its connection to the Jewish community,” Ingber says.
Eagle Alum Scores 19 in NBA Debut
After playing 10 seasons in professional basketball’s minor league, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Andre Ingram, CAS/BS ’07, for its last two games of 2018. Not only did Ingram accomplish his NBA dream—he captivated the sports world, scoring 19 points in his debut. “Every time I was ready to jump off that ledge, something pulled me back,” he says. “My story is to let that voice, let that encouragement, pull you back in.”
Combatting Stereotypes with Muslim Project
Ammarah Rehman, SIS/BA ’19
Ammarah Rehman, SIS/BA ’19, is building bridges with her website, The Muslim Project, to combat stereotypes of Muslims in mainstream media and society.
“As a Muslim American, I always saw the Muslim community portrayed negatively in the media and felt responsible to end Islamophobia,” the 2018 Newman Civic Fellow writes in her personal statement for the fellowship. “My goal is to humanize people who practice Islam and mitigate the scourge of Islamophobia and bigotry through advocacy, policy, education, and interfaith dialogue.”
Study Links Child Hunger, Parental Job Stress
Each year in the US, hunger and health problems strike more than 60 percent of children aged three to five in households where parents’ jobs and income change, says a study coauthored by School of Public Affairs professor Taryn Morrissey. About half of children in the same age group have parents whose income swings up or down by 33 percent, the study shows.
Such income fluctuation appears linked to food insecurity, say Morrissey and her University of Pennsylvania coauthor, Sharon Wolf, in “Economic Instability, Food Insecurity, and Child Health in the Wake of the Great Recession,” published in the Social Service Review.
“We focus on young children,” says Morrissey, “because economic resources, family stability, and other characteristics are particularly important to lifelong cognitive, health, and social-emotional outcomes.”
Stabilizing parents’ work schedules and improving enrollment procedures for programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid are part of the solution, she says. The study draws from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation.
Tracking Climate Change Funding
SPA professor Todd Eisenstadt is tracking how funding for climate change projects flows from international donors to local development projects and the effect on indigenous populations in developing countries.
“This is a burgeoning area of study because a lot of money is being collected,” says Eisenstadt. “It is important for the public, policy analysts, scientists, and policy makers to understand whether and how these funds are being channeled so they get where they need to go.”