Archive | September, 2009

What’s Up Alum? – Michelle Costa

28 Sep

My name is Michelle Costa and I graduated from the Elliot School of International Affairs in 2008 with a degree in International Affairs and Economics.  Since then I have been working as a Teach For America corps member in New York City teaching high school mathematics at a transfer high school in East New York, Brooklyn.

Michelle Costa (4th from Right) and students

Michelle Costa (4th from Right) and students

How did I end up where I am today?  Well, as a freshman in the University Honors Program I came across an opportunity in one of the UHP Newsflashes to work as a Campus Campaign Manager with Teach For America.  I looked into the organization and realized that it was something that I could be interested in so I applied and accepted the position.  Professors and staff at the University Honors Program were continuously supportive as I worked to recruit some of the top students at GW, including many honors program alumni.  Holding events in the club room and sending announcements over the list serve, I was able to increase the number of corps members from GW by over 300% my senior year.  After working for Teach For America’s recruitment team for three of my four years at GW I decided to apply to teach in NYC.  My first year teaching was a whirlwind of experiences, ranging from discouraging days with low attendance and failing test scores to days where my students actively participated and mastered the objectives of the lesson.  I am now going into my second year teaching and I am eager to push myself to become a better teacher so that I can help my students to be even more successful.

Top 10 College Women, win $3k + Trip to NYC

28 Sep

Each year Glamour sponsors the Top 10 College Women Competition for college juniors. They look for “topnotch students who have leadership experience on and off the campus with
inspirational goals for the future.”  (Sound like any of you, Honors students?)

The winners receive $3,000, are featured in an issue of the magazine, and win a trip to New York where they attend a gala awards luncheon.

The 2010 competition is now open, and the electronic application can be accessed here:

Career Panels and Honors Societies Events

28 Sep
Here are two events Honors Students might be interested in:
(Event 1)
Sigma Iota Rho and the Career Center host: An International Development Career Panel
When: September 29th, 7:30pm (followed by reception)
Where: 1957 E St., Room 505
Guest Speakers will talk about careers and working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pan-American Development Fund (PADF). Another surprise guest speaker will also be there. All GWU students are welcome to attend! First come first serve seating.
(Event 2)
Sigma Iota Rho Rush Info Meeting: Honor Society for International Studies
When: Sept. 30th, 7:30 pm
Where: MC 301

Elliott School of International Affairs students interested in pledging Sigma Iota Rho, the national honor society for international studies should attend this brief informational meeting for details on the benefits of joining SIR and the upcoming rush process.

NewsFlash!: Deadlines Tomorrow, Free Pizza, Looking at Law School?

24 Sep
NewsFlash! The George Washington University Honors Program
Issue 4: September 24, 2009


FINAL DEADLINE for Schedule Changes
Tomorrow, Sept. 25th is the last day to make changes to your schedule, without leaving annotations on your transcript. Need to switch your class status to audit or pass/fail?  Want to drop a course?  Make sure to fill out a Registration Transaction Form by the end of the day on Friday. Forms should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at Colonial Central and can be processed by the staff there.

Internships, Independent Study, Course Conversions, Senior Theses, and the like

For students planning to take an Honors contract course (conversion, internship, independent study, research assistantship or senior thesis), the deadline for submission of the Contract Form, proposal, and Registration Transaction Form is Tomorrow, Fri, Sept 25.  Please come to the office to pick up these forms and make an appointment to discuss your plans with an advisor.
Schedule your 4-year plan meeting no later than October 23rd. Call or email to set it up.

Now that you’ve got your first year under your belt, your honors academic advisors would like to meet with you to check in on how things are going and re-visit your four year plans.  Feel free to make an appointment with either Catherine or Jordana to discuss a change of major, study abroad, or anything at all.

If you’re studying abroad next spring, let us know by submitting a study abroad form to the office once your plans are set.  Want to get a head start on your thesis planning?  Make an appointment with one of our advisors.

In order to graduate
from the Honors Program, you must fulfill the honors senior thesis/seminar requirement.  Please come to the honors office to pick up an information packet, ask questions, and if you’re still stumped, make an appointment to discuss your options with an advisor.

Fill out a graduation form if you already know what you’re doing to fulfill your senior thesis requirement.

If you are pursuing special honors to fulfill this requirement, please make sure to pick up the Special Honors Verification Form to be signed by your major advisor.  Those who plan to graduate in December must fill out a graduation form by the end of the semester.

Symposium Deadline
For those registered or considering registering for Symposium, the deadline to add via RTF is Tomorrow, Friday, September 25th.  Confirmed dates and topic for the course will be announced very soon!


Constitutional History Roundtable
On Friday, September 25, 2009 American University Washington College of Law and the Institute for Constitutional History will host a roundtable discussion of Barry Friedman’s The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution (2009). The event will take place from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm in Room 603 at American University Washington College of Law.

Please see the attached flyer for more information about the event, including how to RSVP.  Find information about the book here and here.

Law School Information Session and Free Pizza
Professor Kasle, the pre-law advisor in the Honors Program, will give a law school information session on Tuesday,  October 6, at 7pm in the Honors Club Room.  All sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the Honors Program who are interested in attending law school are invited.  Pizza and sodas will be served.

“But I’m A Cheerleader” Movie and Pizza
The Association of Queer Women and Allies (AQWA) is hosting a movie screening of “But I’m a Cheerleader” this Thursday (Tonight) from 8-11PM in the Honors Program Club Room. Free pizza and snacks will be served. “But I’m a Cheerleader” is a hilarious satire about a girl whose parents and friends send her off to a camp to “cure” her of being gay. Come see this great movie and meet some new people!

Torture: Too High a Cost
Amnesty International at GWU and the World Organization for Human Rights USA
September 30th 8:00 PM
Elliott School Room 213

Tom Parker, Amnesty International
Shaikh Shaker El-Sayed, Universal Justice Foundation
Harold Nelson, Torture Abolition and Survivors’ Support Coalition International


Colleen Costello, World Organization for Human Rights USA

Torture is among the most serious crimes to be inflicted on human beings.  It is a crime against humanity and a war crime under both domestic and international law.  It is so reviled that it is deemed unjustified under any circumstances and so heinous that under international law, every country is obliged to prosecute individuals responsible for torture.

“Torture: Too High a Cost” will feature human rights practitioners who will address the high cost of torture in the “war on terror.”  Each panelist will offer a distinct perspective on the cost of torture, from the personal and social impact that torture has on the victims and on society to the legal and political cost that torture has exacted on the United States. Panelists will explain how the universal prohibition of torture was violated and how this human rights standard can be reclaimed and restored.

We invite you to join us in exploring the use of torture in the United States, and what can be done to uphold human rights through transparency and accountability.

Diamond Dozen Film Series
Join Professor Webster on Fridays @ 6pm in the Honors Club Room this semester for some baseball-themed films. The full schedule can be found at our official website under Events.

Graduation Reception Date Set
Seniors, take note: the biggest soirée of the year, the Honors Graduation Reception, is set to occur on May 15th, 2010. That’s a Saturday, and while the exact time remains to be determined, plan on it being some time in the late afternoon.  Tell your family.

Join. Intern. Work. Volunteer

Expedition Panama
Expedition Panama is a student led group that seeks to evaluate, explore, and explain globalization in our world, using Panama as a case study. The Expedition is traveling to Panama this December 28th-January 10th 2009-2010 to research the forces of globalization on Panama.

As of now, we have confirmed interviews with over 15 high level administrators (including the SVP of HSBC Panama and Executive Director of PIMPSA), a detailed itinerary laid out, and numerous research data and prospectives. We are seeking 3 additional team members to join us to visit Panama. After the expedition we plan to publish our findings to the academic community. Our trip will consist of interviews (both planned and unplanned) from top executives down to the beggar on a street corner. We are working closely with the Panamanian government, who is committed to showing us different governmental projects and arranging interviews with governmental and nongovernmental personnel.

We will spend one week in Panama City, the urban growth center, interviewing officials and touring projects. We will also be conducting surveys from different groups. The second week, we will be going to the rural areas and staying in small villages, interviewing village leaders and observing government/IMF/USAID projects in the rural areas. This may involve backpacking. GW is also sponsoring our expedition.

We are seeking motivated students who are interested in world affairs and globalization. The expedition takes a lot of planning and commitment, and requires students who aren’t flakey and have a deep desire to study globalization. This is a serious project, not a vacation in Panama, even though there will be “less” academic events (who are we kidding, all of it will be fun). This would look amazing on your resume, and if a future employer asks to see written examples of your work, you can show them a voluminous journal that we publish after the trip. Bam. You got the job.

Unfortunately, most of the expedition will be student financed. GW has agreed to subsidizes some of the trip, but the rest of the costs will come out-of-pocket sources. However, during the fall we will be fundraising and soliciting alumni donations, so the financial aspect should not be too much of a burden.

We are most interested in students with some of these qualifications (but please feel free to apply if you don’t feel you meet these requirements):

  • Deep Interest in International Affairs/Business/Globalization
  • Spanish language skills
  • Video camera/electronics expertise
  • Knowledge of Panama/Latin America
  • Go getter who is friendly and can easily talk with strangers
  • Gathering research data in other countries
  • Finding financial, cultural, economic, developmental, diplomatic, governmental information through internet and print sources

Please apply within the week (no later than 9/25).

Visit our website for more information!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions:
Parker Hine
Phone: (913) 708-4511

Intern for DC Trans Coalition
The DC Trans Coalition is a local grassroots organization dedicated to advocating for transgender, transsexual and gender diverse people within the District of Columbia. DCTC works with community advocates, other LGBT organizations, District agencies, and local politicians to enact and enforce policies responsive to the needs of the trans community. We are seeking an undergraduate intern for the Fall semester in order to coordinate our various enforcement programs. Responsibilities will include coordinating our Bathroom Project, frequent interaction with the DC Office of Human Rights, establishing a training program for our enforcement activities, helping to coordinate our legislative agenda and our meetings with local politicians, coordination with other LGBT organizations, helping with fundraising activities, and helping with membership and meeting organization.

This is an unpaid position, however we are willing to work with college/university advisers and administration to help you get appropriate course credit for your work. You will be able to work from home, and the work load will be flexible (up to 10 hours per week) so that you can maintain other employment. Attendance at DCTC meetings every 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening monthly will be mandatory. Preference will be given to bilingual (English/Spanish) applicants. We especially encourage trans and gender nonconforming people to apply since we prioritize building leadership experience in the trans/gnc community. This is a great opportunity if you’d like to work on LGBT advocacy and local grassroots organizing in the District of Columbia. Please send a resume and cover letter to Alison Gill at

Comments or questions about the NewsFlash?  Need something posted?  If so, contact Jared at  All submissions due Tuesday by 5:00 PM. Please include Newsflash in the subject line.
DO NOT HIT REPLY, your message will not be read.  Email to contact the Honors Program.

Free Flu Shots

24 Sep

GW wants to stick you!  And even better, they’re not going to charge you for it.

That’s right, there are going to be free flu shots from the University for all GW Faculty, Staff, and Students.

For more info, you could probably just check your email, or you can click here.  Here are the dates and locations:

Thursday, September 24
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom, 11am – 3pm

Tuesday, September 29
Ivory Tower, Residential Lobby, 3pm – 6pm

Thursday, October 1
Thurston Hall, TV Lounge, 3pm – 6pm

Wednesday, October 7
Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom, 12pm – 4pm

Thursday, October 8
Mount Vernon Campus, Ames Pub, 11am – 2pm

Remember, these shots will help protect you against the regular old flu, not H1N1 (that vaccine isn’t available anywhere yet).  So this doesn’t mean that you can stop washing your hands and start dipping your germ covered fingers into community bowls of nuts/candy/whatevs.  Still, please go get a shot. They’re free.  If you’re scared, bring a friend to hold your hand, it will be okay.  We don’t want all our UHPers to be sniffling, sneezing, and sick.