Plus, Alumni Physicians on the Frontlines, Students Stepping Up and More
Plus, Alumni Physicians on the Frontlines, Students Stepping Up and More
Columbian College

May 2020

🎓Congratulations CCAS Class of 2020!🎓

The CCAS community celebrated the Class of 2020 during four livestreamed ceremonies showcasing graduates of the CCAS doctoral, master's and undergraduate programs. Among the featured speakers was President and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Daniel Weiss, BA ’79, who challenged graduates to embrace this “unprecedented” moment. “When the world is disrupted, there are opportunities to learn...chances to do things better.” CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck congratulated graduates for their “resilience in the face of difficulty” and encouraged them to resist the temptation to look inward. To view the four ceremonies, as well as videos featuring student reflections and congratulatory wishes from alumni, visit the CCAS Celebration webpage.
Luke Fey with face mask on
As the coronavirus turned New York hospitals into crisis zones, Doctors Luke Fey, BS ’13, and  Alexandra Cummings, BS ’14—former Columbian College biology students—put themselves in harm’s way to confront a global medical emergency.
Craig Silverman giving a presentation
A joint investigation by Columbian College’s Institute of Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP) and BuzzFeed journalist Craig Silverman (above), IDDP’s inaugural Knight Fellow, uncovered a billion-email sales campaign for overpriced facemasks.
Mark Olshaker Headshot
When nonfiction writer Mark Olshaker, BA ’72, co-authored a 2017 book about killer germs with an infectious disease expert, they warned about being ill-prepared for a pandemic. Now, the COVID crisis is proving all their predictions true.
map of online community spread
Online communities that distrust establishment health guidance are more effective than government health agencies at reaching and engaging audiences, according to a Nature journal study led by Physics’ Neil Johnson
Undergraduate student headshots
How has the COVID crisis changed the world for students and their families? First-year students in Assistant Professor of Writing Christy J. Zink’s seminar shared their journal reflections on confronting new fears and finding new inspirations.
Leisha Mahajan wearing a mask
Meet two Columbian College students who are making a difference in their communities through mask-making and volunteer work at a foodbank. “Everyone is trying to find a way to do anything to help out,” said senior Leisha Mahajan.
Chris Yeazel loading a FLARE shuttle with food
FLARE, an electric shuttle service co-founded by alumnus Chris Yeazel, BA ’06, MPA ’14, collects donations for Virginia food assistance centers. The former history major’s service transports more than 800 pounds of donated food on every run.
 From left: David Hyon, Lucas Vining-Recklitis, Ahmad Aljaberi and Anna Grim run
A team of innovators led by CCAS students won first place in the tech venture track of the 12th annual GW New Venture Competition. They are developing a method to mass-produce a red blood cell product to improve the supply chain.


Alison Brooks (Anthropology) was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, joining the country’s leading researchers in one of the highest professional honors among scientists.
Emily Green, BA ’06, (Political Communication) won a Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting for the This American Life episode “The Out Crowd.”
Sarah Wagner (Anthropology) received a $97,509 grant from the National Science Foundation to study funerary practices, pandemic confinement and the implications for COVID-19 transmission.

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