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Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:37 p.m.

WMATA releases final safety maintenance plan

WMATA released a final safety maintenance plan, according to a release Tuesday.

The plan includes 15 “safety surges,” which involve single tracking or complete shutdowns of portions of the Metro tracks, as well as reduced Metro hours and extra maintenance on weekends, according to the release. Starting June 3, the Metro will close every week night at midnight, rather than its normal 3 a.m. closing time on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Safety comes first, and I want to remind the region that SafeTrack is not just about the 15 maintenance surges,” Paul Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager and CEO said in the release.

Wiedefeld added that there will be not be early morning or late night service when it conflicts with track work.

The first “safety surge” begins on June 4 lasting 13 days, and will involve continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston stations with reduced service at all orange and silver line stations. None of the surges will directly impact the Foggy Bottom Metro station, according to the release.

WMATA will have 40 buses “dedicated to providing alternative service,” and will have additional eight-car trains on lines that are under repair. According to the plan, the last “safety surge” will be completed March 2017.

The release recommended that riders “use alternate travel modes” and “travel outside rush-hour periods.”

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Mel Chin will be the first William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement, according to a University release.

The trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art fund this three-year professorship, and the person selected seeks to “drive social change at the local level,” according to the release.

Sanjit Sethi, the director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, said in the release that Chin embodies the qualities that Corcoran faculty and students embrace, like creativity and innovation.

“Mel is a passionate, creative practitioner who is dedicated to addressing some of the most pressing issues of our times, and I know he will be an invaluable resource to the students at the Corcoran and to the broader D.C. community,” Sethi said. “This visiting professorship allows the Corcoran to bring exciting individuals that are committed to the role creativity plays in addressing complex issues.”

Chin has shown artwork in exhibitions in the District, Minneapolis and Houston throughout his 40-year career.

Chin will teach classes and work with students and faculty to launch a community engagement project. He will also expand “Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project,” a creative campaign to prompt public engagement and action about childhood lead poisoning.

The artists involved in the project create “Fundreds,” hand-crafted symbolic $100 bills to “represent the public voice speaking out against the problem of lead poisoning to those with the power to end it,” according to the release. Chin started project after witnessing the effects of lead poisoning on residents in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

“Our project is not so much about the soil in New Orleans, or the houses in Detroit, or the relationship between lead and criminal activity that they discovered in Cincinnati,” Chin said. “It’s about the value of human beings who are burdened by something that was no fault of their own.”

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D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine will appeal a federal judge’s decision against the city’s concealed carry law, DCist reported Tuesday.

District laws state that a resident must have a “good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property” or “any other proper reason for carrying a pistol” to have a concealed weapon. Tuesday’s ruling marks the second time a judge has ruled against the law.

“We believe that the District’s gun laws are reasonable and necessary to ensure public safety in a dense urban area, and we will request a stay of this decision while we appeal,” Racine said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s decision Tuesday forbids officers in the Metropolitan Police Department from enforcing the law. In his decision, Leon said residents will be in more harm if they cannot carry concealed firearms.

Leon added that the law is “inconsistent with the individual right to bear arms under the Second Amendment,” according to DCist.

The Supreme Court struck down the city’s blanket ban on handguns in 2007. After the decision, D.C. passed additional laws increasing registration requirements for weapons.

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The D.C. Council approved a revised version of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to replace the D.C. General homeless shelter Tuesday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor.

The D.C. Council approved a revised version of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to replace the D.C. General homeless shelter Tuesday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor.

Updated: May 18, 2016 at 10:06 a.m.

The D.C. Council voted Tuesday to tweak Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to close the D.C. General homeless shelter, which drew criticism from the mayor.

Bowser’s proposed plan to close the much-maligned D.C. General homeless shelter required the city to put up smaller shelters in each of the D.C.’s eight wards. Residents in some wards complained of the shelters’ locations the cost of the overall plan.

The Council’s unanimous revision of the plan stipulates that each of the ward’s new shelters must be on city-owned property, Washington City Paper reported Tuesday. The Council’s plan would save the District $160 million.

Only two of Bowser’s proposed shelters were owned by the city – in Wards 7 and 8. Bowser would have to change the proposed sites, buy the land or use “eminent domain” under the Council’s plan.

Ward 8 Council member LaRuby May proposed another amendment to the plan that would require a minimum of 50 units in each shelter, which was shot down by the Council in a four-to-eight vote.

Earlier in the day, Council chair Phil Mendelson said Bowser’s plan was “hampered by obfuscation and misinformation,” according to Washington City Paper.

“These problems would all have been avoided if there had been more collaboration…[and] there would not be questions about credibility,” Mendelson said.

Bowser cursed at Mendelson about his comments in a hallway in the Wilson building, according to Washington City Paper.

“You’re a fucking liar! You know it can’t close in 2018,” she told Mendelson, according to Washington City Paper.

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Monday, May 16, 2016 6:12 p.m.

Ten full-time Corcoran faculty laid off

Ten full-time faculty from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design did not get contracts for next academic year. Hatchet file photo.

Ten full-time faculty from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design did not get contracts for next academic year. Hatchet file photo.

Updated: May 16, 2016 at 11:37 p.m.

Ten full-time faculty members at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design will not return to the University next academic year, a University spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

Nine faculty members with contracts expiring May 30 will return, University spokeswoman Kurie Fitzgerald said.

“Next academic year, there will be just over 50 full-time faculty members teaching across the disciplines of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design,” Fitzgerald said in an email.

Sanjit Sethi, the director of the Corcoran School, sent an email to students Monday telling them that “all full-time faculty have been notified of their contract status” after considering the school’s current and projected enrollment, the operating budget, merging the Corcoran’s programs with the arts programs at GW and feedback from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

“The review process was undertaken with a great deal of care, and I considered several factors,” Sethi said in the email.

He said in the email that faculty whose contracts were not renewed will receive one year of severance payment and are being recommended for emeritus status at GW.

Last month, GW had not yet renewed contracts for any Corcoran faculty members for next academic year. At the time, faculty members said they would know about the status of their contracts at the end of May.

Students and remaining faculty members said several full-time photography professors lost their jobs, the Washingtonian reported.

Corcoran’s art programs will officially merge with the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences by the end of next fiscal year, Sethi said earlier this year. When GW absorbed the Corcoran in 2014, officials laid off 150 part-time faculty and staff. All full-time faculty were then given one-year contracts.

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Dean Jeffrey Akman addresses graduates at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences celebration Sunday. Jake Amorelli | Staff Photographer

Dean Jeffrey Akman addresses graduates at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences celebration Sunday. Jake Amorelli | Staff Photographer

Updated: May 16, 2016 at 11:40 p.m.

More than 150 GW medical students officially became doctors Sunday afternoon at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences M.D. celebration and hooding ceremony in Lisner Auditorium.

Jonathan B. Perlin, the president of clinical services and chief medical officer at the Hospital Corporation of America, stressed the importance of empathy and a connected history when practicing medicine for the graduates.

Several retiring SMHS faculty members were also given emeritus status during Sunday’s festivities, which also featured remarks by Dean Jeffrey Akman, graduating student Justin Cappuzzo and the administration of the Hippocratic Oath.

1. Narrative as a connecting force

Perlin invoked the spirit of pioneering physician Sir William Osler to begin his address to the Class of 2016, reciting Osler’s advice for being successful in the field: “Listen to the patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.”

“He means every patient has a story,” Perlin said. “Which leads me to the theme of my remarks: the concept of narrative as it connects the science of medicine with the art of healing. As it connects our honed medical skills with our humanity, and as it connects each of us to each other.”

Perlin went on to tell his own story, and explained how his journey through medical school and lessons learned as a practitioner have shaped him into the doctor he is today.

“It is often said that medicine is a science and healing is an art,” Perlin said. “It is less often noted that what bridges the two is a narrative– a narrative that connects a plausible scientific hypothesis about a patient’s health with the person who stands, sits or reclines before you.”

2. Growing together

After the graduates were presented their degrees and hooded by various faculty members, Cappuzzo spoke to those in attendance about how although earning his diploma was a difficult experience, it was also a shared one.

“Throughout the many nights on call, studying for the infamous multiple choice shelf exams, and standardized patient encounters, the singular experience has bonded us so that we can now go together to the next step of our medical educations an careers,” he said. “We have grown together, we have changed each other. And so class I say this: You have kept me honest and you’ve kept me strong, and for that I’m eternally grateful.”

3. Service, altruism, integrity and courage

Before the graduates concluded the ceremony by reciting the Hippocratic Oath, Akman charged the new professionals with reinforcing the core values found within it: service, altruism, integrity and courage.

“Doctors, your path on the road to physician hood began with an emphasis on professionalism and humanism, with the white coat as a symbol of both,” Akman said. “Now, with the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath, we come full circle…The career that you have chosen demands that you embody these values.”

He encouraged the graduating class to continue to do the right thing no matter how difficult or unpopular it may be.

“While courage is not a word you hear mentioned very frequently in medical school, it seems to me it’s times like we’re going through now where it is really important to hear physician voices,” he said.

Akman delivered a host of examples like treating patients with deadly infections like Ebola and Zika virus, speaking out against challenging social issues like the gun violence epidemic and working in underserved communities to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.

“There’s so much that needs to be done in our communities, in our country and around the world,” Akman said. “Strive to be the physician citizen, the physician officer or the physician activist that will make an impact beyond the exam room.”

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at: www.hatchetphotos.com

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Ali Eskandarian, the dean of CPS, addresses graduates at a commencement ceremony. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photograher

Ali Eskandarian, the dean of CPS, addresses graduates at a commencement ceremony. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photograher

This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Liz Provencher.

A group of graduates, who ranged from bachelor’s to master’s degree recipients, gathered Saturday to celebrate their accomplishments in the College of Professional Studies and the Graduate School of Political Management.

Speakers had words of wisdom and personal stories to share with the graduates. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Three assignments

Mark Kennedy, the outgoing director of GSPM and keynote speaker, gave graduates three assignments to complete following graduation.

In his first assignment, Kennedy told the graduates to keep moving forward and to not settle for going back to where they came from.

“In a quiet moment, write down the doors you want your diploma to open,” Kennedy said.

The second piece of advice Kennedy gave was to keep moving toward their goals. He said that when navigating the professional world, it is important to keep goals in mind and continually work toward them.

“Continue learning by keeping current with best practices in your profession,” he said.

Finally, Kennedy reminded the graduates of the support they have gotten from friends, family and others who have helped them along their journeys. Kennedy urged students to “keep them close and hold them dear.”

2. Focus on the ‘how,’ not the ‘why’

Student speaker Elise Schaengold, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in integrated information, science and technology, told fellow graduates the story of her long road to receiving her bachelor’s degree.

After originally not completing her degree, Schaengold said she was constantly dwelling on why she never finished school.

“The answers to why got me no where,” she said. “In fact, those self defeating ideas held me back.”

Schaengold said when she finally started focusing on the “how,” like how to achieve her goals and complete her degree, she was able to get her diploma at GW. She told the graduates to think about how to achieve their goals, not why they have faced hardships when facing challenges in their careers.

3. Influence politics and inspire civility

In the final speech of the evening, CPS Dean Ali Eskandarian gave a speech themed around this year’s presidential election and inspired graduates to use their knowledge to impact politics. He said whether or not the graduates are graduating with a degree in politics, they can use the skills they’ve gained in higher education to help change politics and inspire civility.

Eskandarian said graduates from GSPM have all of the tools necessary to become effective leaders and advocates for civility in politics, and graduates from CPS can utilize their independent thinking skills to positively influence politics.

“I urge you to do your best to uphold those commendable GW values no matter where you are,” Eskandarian said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at: www.hatchetphotos.com

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Saturday, May 14, 2016 7:59 p.m.

CCAS graduates told to move ‘onward’

Katherine Bradshaw, the student speaker, asked graduates to think of their lives as stories with plots, characters and themes. Jake Amorelli | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Katherine Bradshaw, the student speaker, asked graduates to think of their lives as stories with plots, characters and themes. Jake Amorelli | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Graduates from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate programs heard words of encouragement from student and faculty speakers at the second undergraduate commencement celebration Saturday afternoon.

Speakers, including Dean Ben Vinson, encouraged graduates to both reflect on their time at GW and look to the future after graduation.

1. Moving onward

In his address to the graduates, Vinson recalled moments in history that “encapsulated an onward movement,” like the famous portrait of George Washington crossing the Delaware River.

“For most of us what we do and what we experienced is not going to be written down in history books,” he said. “But that’s what I like about this word onward, because it describes what’s next for you.”

Vinson said that while the initial steps of moving onward can be scary, everyone eventually finds their footing.

“I continue to have to navigate obstacles, make difficult choices, come to terms with the roadblocks and learn to celebrate the smallest of victories,” Vinson said. “For me, and for most of us, these are the acts of journey, of moving onward.”

2. ‘The readiness is all’

Alan Wade, a theatre professor, framed his speech as a play between two characters: one of whom was himself and the other a director casting a commercial selling graduation caps and gowns.

Wade gave advice to graduates by quoting Shakespeare.

“As Hamlet says ‘The readiness is all,'” Wade said. “They’re prepared for whatever their next step is.”

Wade added that when he dropped off his son at GW as a freshman, he leaned out of the window of his residence hall room and said, “Do you smell that? It’s freedom.”

“That freedom, that independence, is a necessary component in engaging the world, in creating one’s self and in owning that creation of being – something Hamlet famously muses on,” Wade said.

3. Life is a story

Katherine Bradshaw, the student speaker, asked graduates to think of their lives as stories with plots, characters and themes. Bradshaw, who double majored in classical studies and English, reminded the graduates that they have all been characters in someone else’s story and the protagonist in their own.

“When we each began the stories of our lives we had a myriad of blank pages to fill,” Bradshaw said. “Today we’re rapidly moving through those pages, filling them with the events, people and ideas that make up our individual journeys.”

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at: www.hatchetphotos.com

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Chris Evans, the student speaker for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences called on officials to improve mental health policies on campus. Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor

Chris Evans, the student speaker for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate celebration, called on officials to improve mental health policies on campus. Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor

Updated: May 15, 2016 at 12 a.m.

Speakers at the first Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate commencement celebration in the Smith Center Saturday inspired graduates to take advantage of life’s opportunities.

Chris Evans, the student speaker, urged University officials to change Mental Health Services polices after he spoke about three students who died by suicide on the Mount Vernon Campus two years ago.

Here are some highlights from the event’s speakers:

1. Improving mental health resources

Evans, who graduated with a double major in political communication and sociology, demanded that officials extend the hours for counseling services after 5 p.m. and on weekends and make sure students do not have to wait for appointments.

He also suggested that students have access to unlimited free counseling sessions.

“If a student shows the strength to walk into the doors of our counseling center, we should welcome them free of charge the first time and every time after,” Evans said.

Evans asked that officials improve University policies related to mental health and that graduates fight mental health stigma in their careers.

“Let’s be the University that leads the way,” he said. “Let’s step up and do our part and make sure that our community holds strong for years to come.”

2. Be your life’s architect

Daniel Martinez, an assistant professor of sociology, advised the Class of 2016 to step out of their comfort zones as they set out into the “real world.”

He likened the students to architects, because they have the ability to design their own futures and change the blueprints for their careers along the way.

“We only get one shot at this thing called life, so make it count,” he said.

3. Enjoying the moment

Ben Vinson, the dean of CCAS, urged the graduates to stay “thirsty” for life’s opportunities.

Vinson also encouraged them to revel in the importance of the moment when they walked across the stage at the ceremony.

“Right here, right now, you are better prepared than you have ever been for understanding your own destiny,” Vinson said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at: www.hatchetphotos.com

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Michael Feuer, the dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, addresses graduates. Blair Guild | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Michael Feuer, the dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, addresses graduates. Blair Guild | Hatchet Staff Photographer


This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Justine Coleman.

Future educators crossed the stage at the Smith Center Saturday morning to receive their degrees from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Speakers encouraged members of the Class of 2016 to acknowledge their achievements and challenged them to consider how to improve education accessibility.

1. Trust in your capabilities

Alumnus Topher Kandik, who was named D.C.’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, reflected on how experiences at GW prepared him for a teaching career.

“I was named 2016 Teacher of the Year in the District of Columbia because George Washington University prepared me for the classroom experience,” he said. “And I want you to trust that it’s going to do the same for you.”

2. Serve the community in your own way

Keynote speaker LaRuby May, a member of the D.C. Council and an alumna, reminded graduates that while they should be proud of themselves, others do not have the opportunities for the same kind of success.

“Be mindful that the privilege of having a vehicle is not measured by how fast you get to your destination, but by how many others you are able to drop off on your way to your destination,” she said.

May added that while the graduates can serve their communities in many ways, having a purpose to work for is most important.

“How will you take this degree that you’ve earned, this access that you’ve been granted, the ideas you’ve created? Wow will you take it and generate a product that provides a service to others?” she said.

3. Work as a team

Michael Feuer, the dean of GSEHD, referenced the plus-minus scoring system in hockey to rate players: Those who are present on the ice when their team scores earn positive points, and those on the ice when the other team scores gain negative points. He compared this system to the group effort of all educators.

“I always liked that because it reminds me that we all have pluses and minuses that success doesn’t happen without some failure along the way,” he said. “And maybe most important is we all share in the responsibility for how our whole team does.”

3. ‘We are together’

Student speaker Jennifer Romba, who received a master’s degree in international education, stressed that the Class of 2016 should promote change through education and fight for accessibility to education around the world.

“We know this change can’t happen overnight because education is a ripple effect that begins in institutions like this and with educators like us,” she said.

When Romba was in the Peace Corps, she traveled to Rwanda to teach children. While she was there, she said the word “turikumwe” stuck with her, which means “we are together.”

“As we go forward, I pass onto you my fellow graduates, my fellow educators a charge to remember that the future will be built, ‘turikumwe,’ together,” Romba said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at: www.hatchetphotos.com

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