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Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 2:59 p.m.

Supreme Court Justice Breyer to speak at Lisner

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, center, will speak at Lisner Auditorium on Oct. 27. | Hatchet file photo

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will speak with NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg at Lisner Auditorium on Oct. 27, the University announced Wednesday.

Breyer and Totenberg will discuss his interpretation of the Constitution, his life as a Supreme Court Justice and his book, “The Court and the World.”

President Bill Clinton nominated Breyer to the Supreme Court in 1994, where Breyer has served since.

A limited number of student tickets will be available for $10 at the Lisner Box Office starting at 10 a.m. Thursday. The event will begin at 7 p.m.

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Michael Tapscott, the director of the Multicultural Student Services Center, addresses graduating students at a ceremony. Jake Amorelli | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Michael Tapscott, the director of the Multicultural Student Services Center, addresses graduating students at a ceremony. Jake Amorelli | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Crystel Sylvester.

Students connected to the Multicultural Student Services Center celebrated commencement in a ceremony Thursday.
Speakers told them to keep fighting against aggressions and misperceptions about their marginalized communities.

The ceremony, held in Lisner Auditorium, featured student speakers from various multicultural communities and organizations on campus.

Here are some of the highlights from the ceremony:

1. Student activism

Vanessa Perry, the interim vice provost for diversity and inclusion, told the graduates that she was proud of them for advocating for their communities on every level – at GW and on the national level, like after events on the University of Missouri’s campus.

She closed her speech telling students that “black lives matter.”

She also reminded graduates to be proud of themselves, especially because many of them were a part of communities from which people are less earn bachelor’s degrees.

2. The mark of leadership and relationship

Michael Tapscott, the director of the MSSC, gave the graduates guidelines for leadership.

“Have confidence – show up, show off and move on,” he said.

He also led the graduates through an exercise in which they spoke to five people in the room that they did not know, reminding them to build relationships throughout their careers.

“There is something to be said for lifelong relationships,” he said.

3. A home away from home

Tapscott reminded the graduates that no matter how far they ended up from D.C., the MSSC would always be there when they come back.

“Today, your undergrad legacy is established,” he said.

Ahana Das, a student speaker from the South Asian community, said that as an international student from Singapore, the MSSC gave her a home away from home.

“I’ll use the word that my name is often mixed up with – ‘Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind,’” she said.

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

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Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Veteran services program awarded for service

GW’s veterans’ services program received the “Vetty” award, the first of its kind from Mission Complete, a veterans employment organization in an event held on campus Wednesday night.

The GW Veterans Accelerate Learning Opportunities and Rewards program, which launched in 2013, has helped student veterans better access University’s available to them. The award acknowledges the program’s work in helping students explore career options and offering academic support.

Retired Vice Adm. Mel Williams, the associate provost for military and veterans affairs, said in an acceptance speech at the Lisner Auditorium ceremony that the award is “a true honor and very unexpected.”

“We accept this award on behalf of the more than 1,500 students who are helped by GW VALOR in honor of their service and sacrifice,” he said according to a University release.

Victoria Pridemore, the associate director of military and student services, said in a release that it’s “humbling and gratifying” for another organization to notice GW’s work toward helping its student veterans.

Liberty University Christian College Education, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland were also nominated by Mission Complete for being military-friendly, according to Mission Complete’s website.

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Nearly a month after technical difficulties prevented fans of Jon Stewart from purchasing tickets to see his Colonials Weekend performance, the University announced ticket sales will resume at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

jon stewart

Jon Stewart, here with former president Bill Clinton, visited campus at least twice in 2012. Hatchet File Photo.

Frustrated Twitter users called the July 7 and July 8 incidents #VendiniGate after they experienced issues while purchasing the tickets through the vendor Vendini.

Seven thousand non-refundable tickets, which cost $50 to $99, are available for both the 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows, according to the University release.

“If you did not receive a confirmation email then you do not have tickets,” reads the release. “All previous purchases will be honored and reserved seating will remain the same.”

Stewart’s last episode as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” airs next week.

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Foodies, rejoice.

GW alumna, chef and New York Times bestseller Ina Garten is coming to Lisner Auditorium Oct. 8 to discuss her Food Network show, “Barefoot Contessa,” and her life in the Hamptons.

Garten, who graduated from the GW School of Business, held a similar talk at Lisner last year, according to a University release.

Garten will be joined by The Washington Post’s deputy food editor, Bonnie Benwick, and will take questions from the audience following her discussion.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., start at $64.75, and attendees can pre-order an autographed copy of her cookbook, “Make It Ahead,” which they can pick up at the event.

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Interim Dean Mary Jane Schumann welcomed the 2015 Graduating Class of the George Washington School of Nursing. Katie Causey | Photo Editor

Interim Dean Mary Jane Schumann welcomed the 2015 Graduating Class of the George Washington School of Nursing. Katie Causey | Photo Editor


Speakers at the School of Nursing’s commencement ceremony urged about 300 graduates to balance nurturing attitudes with professionalism in Lisner Auditorium Thursday night.

Mary Jean Schumann, interim dean of the nursing school, told graduates that they would be part of the most personal moments in their patients’ lives – from births to deaths.

1. Thanking support systems

Schumann led a round of applause for the audience members who supported the graduates as they juggled school with jobs and responsibilities at home.

She said spouses, family members and friends helped graduates with everything from doing laundry to picking up kids from school.

“This was a family event, so if you hear a child in the background, please note that that child was a part of the support system,” she said.

2. Changing perceptions of nursing

Student speaker Danielle Melican, who said she never imagined she would be addressing the crowd after becoming a mother and high school dropout at age 16, said she came across stereotypes about nursing while researching for her speech on the Internet.

“While looking through seemingly unending memes and quotes about nursing, I noticed that three words appeared much more frequently than others,” she said. “Those words were caring, calling and compassionate.”

She encouraged graduates to be examples of how nurses could handle a rigorous education and be professional while still maintaining those qualities.

“You are proof that nurses are more,” she said.

3. Making “CHOICES”

Diane Okonsy, a graduate in the doctor of nursing practice program, said she and her fellow students have embodied the acronym “CHOICES,” which stands for choices, hard work, opportunity, initiative, charity, energy and passion and shooting for the stars.

She emphasized the “charity” aspect of the acronym before presenting a check for $2,500 to the doctor of nursing practice program on behalf of her fellow graduates.

4. Launching a new career

After serving as dean of the nursing school for 10 days, keynote speaker Pamela Jeffries said she and the graduates were in similar situations as they embarked on new career paths.

“I’m very much empathizing with each of you every step of the way,” she said. “There are many similarities with our journeys as we forge into new directions.”

She left the graduates with four pieces of advice for the future: set goals, find a mentor, build a network and be a leader.

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

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Provost Steven Lerman encouraged new inductees of Phi Beta Kappa to give back generously. Kendall Payne | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Provost Steven Lerman encouraged new inductees of Phi Beta Kappa to give back generously. Kendall Payne | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony, which was held in Lisner Auditorium, was short and sweet.

The national honor society, which was founded in 1776, inducted about 90 new members on Friday afternoon. Here are three takeaways from the ceremony:

A thanks to all who lent a hand

Jeffrey Brand, president of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, commended the parents and family members in the audience for handling the complaints about exams, late-night papers and even unreasonable professors.

Brand, who is also the associate dean for graduate studies in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and an associate professor of philosophy, said that their support gave students the “faith that the sacrifices they’ve made will be worth it.”

He also demonstrated the secret handshake for the new members.

Becoming a citizen scholar

Provost Steven Lerman, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, encouraged inductees to “give back generously.”

He spoke about “what it means to be a citizen-scholar in the 21st century.” He said the critical thinking skills the inductees have gained in their four years at GW will set them apart in the Information Age.

More than just a line on a résumé

Andrew Steigman, an associate dean at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, is a former president of the D.C. area’s Phi Beta Kappa Association.

He told inductees to treat their membership “as more than an impressive entry on their résumé.” Phi Beta Kappa, he said, could be a part of their lives if they joined regional association.

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

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Joie Chen, left, an Al Jazeera America anchor, led a panel on the rights of Asian American Pacific Islanders and women during a White House summit on the Asian American Pacific Islander community Tuesday. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Joie Chen, left, an Al Jazeera America anchor, led a panel on the rights of Asian American Pacific Islanders and women during a White House summit on the Asian American Pacific Islander community Tuesday. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Avery Anapol.

A day of artistic performances and fireside chats marked the first-ever White House-sponsored celebration of heritage and advancement in the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

Political and community leaders, business officials and artists were counted among the 1,500 people gathered at Lisner Auditorium Tuesday for the event.

The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian American Pacific Islanders has worked since 2009 to address issues like immigration, healthcare and economic development that affect the community, which is the fastest growing racial group in the country.

The opening ceremonies began with a moment of silence for the those affected by the earthquakes in Nepal and a Hawaiian chant by Kamana’opono Crabbe, chief executive officer of the Office of Hawaiian affairs. The day soon turned to lighter fare with a Hawaiian drumming performance and comedic welcoming remarks from the master of ceremonies, Parag Mehta. Mehta is the chief of staff for Vivek Murthy, the first Asian American U.S. surgeon general.

Kiran Ahuja, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, highlighted President Barack Obama’s accomplishments in the AAPI community, like Obama’s appointment of 20 AAPI federal judges during his time in office.

Former President Bill Clinton originally created the event, and President Barack Obama reestablished it with an executive order in 2009.

Joie Chen, the anchor of Al Jazeera America’s “America Tonight,” moderated a panel discussion with prominent women in the AAPI community including Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Mini Timmaraju, the national director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. They discussed the overlap of issues of both women and AAPIs with a focus on immigrants and workers’ rights.

“When you look at the world through the eyes of women, you see things much more clearly and completely,” Poo said. “The many different hats we wear offer us a unique perspective.”

The panel also discussed ways to include the voices of AAPIs in the immigration debate, which tends to focus on Hispanic populations.

“We all have to be a lot more loud about our place in the immigration debate,” Timmaraju said. “We don’t do a really good job about being on the attack when we are attacked.”

The session continued with a fireside chat moderated by Gautam Raghavan, the vice president of policy at the Gill Foundation and the former White House LGBT liaison. Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the other panelists, discussed the role of government agencies in the AAPI community.

The discussion ended with a call to action for young people to become more involved in public policy for issues they’re passionate about.

“If you want to be rich, it might not be the path for you, but if you want to have a rich life, there is no better way to go,” McCarthy said.

The morning session concluded with an artistic performance by Hawaiian musicians Paula Fuga and Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole.

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed seniors from high schools across the city. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor.

Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed seniors from high schools across the city. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Andrew Goudsward.

Music and cheering from some of D.C.’s high school seniors filled Lisner Auditorium Friday morning for the first-ever D.C. College Signing Day.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hosted the event celebrating graduating seniors who have recently decided where they will attend college.

In an address to the group, Bowser told college-bound students that graduating high school is “just a launching point,” and reminded them that attending college will also benefit their communities.

“If we are to build a city where we have a pathway to the middle class, we need you to compete for good paying jobs right here in your home town,” Bowser said.

Bowser also thanked GW for its commitment to admitting local students. Several recipients of the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship were at the event. Over the program’s 25 years, more than 150 D.C. residents have earned full-ride scholarships through the program. In part of its overall focus on college affordability, the University has assigned each of its admissions staffers to a local high school to meet with students and build relationships.

Duncan told students their goal should be “not just to go to college, but to graduate from college.”

“You guys are the future of this city,” Duncan said. “Don’t forget your roots.”

Students from high schools around the city attended the event, which was held as a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, encouraging every high school student to pursue higher education.

In a taped message, Obama spoke of her own struggles during her freshmen year of college, including not having the right size sheets for the bed, and encouraged students to develop a plan for their future.

The event was hosted by local disc jockey Angie-Ange, who told the crowd today was “a celebration of you.” Some students in attendance performed musical numbers. All students were invited to take the stage to tell everyone their name and where they are going to college.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sophie Kaplan.

Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg came to Lisner Auditorium on Thursday to talk about their long friendship and differing opinions on court decisions.

Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legal affairs correspondent, moderated the conversation sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates to a sold-out audience.

Didn’t score tickets? Here are some highlights from their hour-and-a-half discussion.

1. A long-term friendship

Ginsburg and Scalia said they’ve been close friends since they served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit together over 30 years ago.

“She’s a nice person, what’s not to like?” Scalia said. “But her views about the law.”

Ginsburg said her favorite moment with Scalia was when they rode on an elephant together.

“Your feminist friends made fun of me for riding behind you on the elephant,” Scalia said.

“It had something to do with weight distribution,” Ginsburg said.

2. United States v. Virginia

Ginsburg and Scalia were on opposite sides when it came to a high-profile Supreme Court case on the Virginia Military Institute, which originally would not allow women to enroll.

Scalia said allowing women into the school would ruin a long-standing tradition at the military institute.

Ginsburg disagreed, saying the institute for women didn’t have facilities of the same quality.

“Faculty were more supportive of the admission of women, and why? Because it would upgrade their applicant pool,” she said.

3. Rooted in the Constitution

Scalia and Ginsburg said their differences in opinion are rooted in their interpretations of the Constitution.

Scalia said the Constitution’s meaning has remained the same throughout the years.

“There is no living Constitution unless it’s enduring,” he said.

Ginsburg, who is one of the liberal members of the Supreme Court, said the text was written by white male property owners and wasn’t representative of all Americans.

“The Founders had some grand ideas,” she said. “These grand ideas were meant to develop as society developed.”

4. It’s about that time

The justices are in their late 70s and early 80s, but they said they had no intention of leaving the Supreme Court in the near future.

Scalia said he will retire when he thinks he no longer does the job the way he used to do it.

Ginsburg, who is three years older than Scalia, said she won’t retire as long as she can work “full steam.”

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