At A Glance

GW President Steven Knapp, left, and Teamsters' General President James P. Hoffa.
GW President Steven Knapp, left, and Teamsters' General President James P. Hoffa. (Photo: Dave Scavone.)
March 20, 2014


The GW President’s Medal was awarded in January to James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. In bestowing the honor, GW President Steven Knapp said the university “is proud to honor Jim Hoffa as a passionate advocate for social justice and the labor movement, as one of the foremost experts on labor issues, and also as a dedicated partner and friend of this university.” The ceremony for Mr. Hoffa, the son of former Teamsters president James R. Hoffa, was held at Gelman Library’s International Brotherhood of Teamsters Labor History Research Center, a joint initiative of GW and the Teamsters launched in 2008.


GW’s innovative new Bachelor of Science in finance double-major program, which debuted in the fall, allows students to focus on finance while pursuing a second degree in a nonbusiness field. The interdisciplinary degree program provides finance students with “the opportunity to pursue their passion— whatever it is—and still major in a business discipline that makes them very marketable,” says Isabelle G. Bajeux- Besnainou, associate dean for undergraduate programs at GW’s School of Business. Other departments within GWSB are developing curricula for similar programs employing the double- major model.


The history of Washington took center stage at this year’s Albert H. Small-George Washington University Washingtoniana Symposium and Luncheon in October. In his address, Mr. Small, one of the nation’s foremost collectors of historic documents, shared the story of his Washingtoniana collection, which he donated to GW in 2011. The collection, comprising rare papers, maps, drawings, and other artifacts chronicling the history of the nation’s capital, will be permanently displayed in a museum on GW’s campus slated to open later this year.


The Rodham Institute, which recently opened its doors at GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, promotes health equity in the District of Columbia through health-care provider training and community-focused education. Named in honor of the late Dorothy E. Rodham, mother of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the institute serves as “a catalyst” to “unite and commit to a common goal of improving the health of all District residents, regardless of their neighborhood, their skin color, their gender, or their bank accounts,” says Professor of Medicine Jehan El Bayoumi, the institute’s founding director.


GW’s Office for Study Abroad was recognized among the top 25 university study abroad programs in the nation by the Institute for International Education. The rankings, released in November in the institute’s annual “Open Doors” report, highlight universities with the highest rate of student participation in study abroad. The university’s Office for Study Abroad offers more than 350 semester- and yearlong study abroad options in more than 60 countries.


Michael J. Feuer, dean of GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, was installed in October as president of the National Academy of Education, where he will serve a four-year term. Dr. Feuer brings to the new position a wealth of experience as an expert and leader in educational research. As president of the academy, he plans to advance programs that prepare future education scholars, enhance international programs, and develop new ways to communicate research and connect the work of the academy to the behavioral and social science community.


For the fourth year in a row GW hosted the finals of the Siemens Foundation’s annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, where 20 top contenders competed to win up to $100,000 in scholarship funds. The competition showcases the original research projects of high school science students from across the country.


Renowned chef José Andrés offered “The World on a Plate: How Food Shapes Civilization” for the second year in a row last semester. The 1.5-credit hour course, organized by GW’s Urban Food Task Force, explored food from a variety of perspectives: as a public health issue, an industry, a science, a craft, and a political instrument. Mr. Andrés is a James Beard Award winner who has been recognized as a culinary innovator. (For more, see “Food for Thought,” GW Magazine, summer 2013.)


DegreeMAP—a tool that enables students to monitor their progress toward a program’s degree requirements— introduced its “What If” functionality in January. The new application allows students to explore requirements for degree programs other than their own, which aids in decision-making for those wanting to add a major or minor or to switch programs. The removal of “unnecessary barriers” to changing or adding a major is one of the goals of the university’s strategic plan, said Provost Steven Lerman at the 2013 Faculty Assembly in October.