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AU Newsmakers 8.20-8.27, 2021
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Campus Celebration and COVID Fear: Colleges Reopen for a Second Fall Under the Pandemic Shadow
American University welcomed students back to campus for move-in week. The event was featured in The Washington Post, WUSA9, and NBC4. (8/22, 8/26)

Faculty Authors
'Boring!' Is How Students Describe Reading on Screens
Naomi Baron, professor emerita of linguistics, wrote an article for The 74 about her study which looked at student engagement when reading digitally. Baron wrote, “The reason these new findings should alarm educators is that if students are bored, they're not concentrating. And if they're not concentrating, they're not learning.” Baron also spoke to the Christian Science Monitor about the educational drawbacks of digital learning. (8/23, 8/25)
The Next COVID War: School Vaccine and Mask Mandates
Cynthia Miller-Idriss, director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab, wrote an article for MSNBC about the polarization of school mask and vaccine mandates. Miller-Idriss wrote, “In some ways, the violence we've seen outside schools reflects broader tensions rippling across the country.” (8/22)

ISIS is a Significant Risk to U.S. Evacuation in Afghanistan
Earl Anthony Wayne, distinguished diplomat in residence in the School of International Service, spoke to CNBC about the risk ISIS poses to the American evacuation from Afghanistan. Wayne said, “The Islamic State has not gotten along with the Taliban, and of course, not with us nor the previous government of Afghanistan. They have showed a willingness to carry out terrorist attacks that are focused on civilians.” Associate Professor of Public Affairs Tricia Bacon spoke to PolitiFact about Al-Qaida's presence in Afghanistan. Tazreena Sajjad, senior professorial lecturer in the School of International Service, wrote an article for The Conversation about the refugees fleeing Afghanistan, and spoke to El Mercurio. Gordon Adams, professor emeritus in the School of International Service, spoke to L'Express Magazine. Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Akbar Ahmed wrote an article for The National Interest. The New York Times cited research conducted by AU researchers for a story about the number of Afghanis who worked for the U.S. government that were yet to be evacuated. (8/26, 8/23, 8/21, 8/22)
9 Women Now Serving as Governors in U.S., Tying a Record
Executive Director of the Women & Politics Institute Betsy Fischer-Martin spoke to The Associated Press about Kathy Hochul's new role as New York State Governor. Fischer Martin said, “It gives her an automatic way to shine in the office.” (8/24)
Before You Buy Bitcoin, Consider These Three Things
Kent Baker, professor in the Kogod School of Business, spoke to CNBC about investing in bitcoin. Baker said, “There's no free lunch in investing – higher expected returns come with higher expected risks.” (8/24)
Why Pfizer's FDA Approval Matters and What it Means for Vaccine Mandates
Washington College of Law Professor Lindsay Wiley was quoted in an NPR article about the FDA's approval of the Pfizer vaccine. (8/24)
How Biden and Bennett Will Push the Restart Button on U.S.-Israel Relations
Dan Arbell, scholar in residence at the Center for Israel Studies, spoke to The Forward about this week's meeting between U.S. President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Guy Ziv, associate professor in the School of International Service, spoke to Al Jazeera about the meeting. (8/24, 8/25)

Prepared by University Communications

American University's faculty, staff, students and programs appear in regional, national and international print, online and broadcast media regularly. Each week, AU Newsmakers provides highlights of AU in the news. For prior weeks, go to:

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