News Briefs

GW music department to present jazz festival

The GW music department will hold its fifth annual jazz festival April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Marvin Betts Theatre.

The festival will include ensembles under the direction of GW professors John Albertson, Peter Fraize, Jim Levy, Ricky Loza and David Marsh. It will also feature GW band King James and the Serfs of Swing accompanied by guest vocalist Sharon Clark. The Los Gringos Latin Orchestra, Brickhouse R&B band and the jazz groups Ubercombo and Combonation are also slated to perform.

All seats for the festival are $5 and can be reserved by calling TicketMaster at 994-7410.

GW students recognized as Truman Scholars

Two GW students were named Truman Scholars for the 2000-2001 school year.

The Harry Truman Scholarship Foundation chose juniors Danielle Gonzales and Sarah Hirschman from a pool of 200 finalists, making GW one of five schools nationwide to field two winners, according to a University press release. Other universities include Harvard, Michigan, Stanford and Duke.

The Truman Scholarship awards program recognizes students with extraordinary leadership potential and involvement in public service, according to the press release. Truman scholars receive $27,000 for graduate studies, a stipend for undergraduate expenses, and the possibility of an internship.

We congratulate our students and take great pride in these terrific accomplishments, GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said in the press release. The Truman Awards reflect well not only on these students, but on our faculty and on the academic excellence of the institution as a whole. GW’s goal is to prepare students of leadership roles in the 21st century, so it is especially gratifying that we have begun that century with two such prestigious honors.

Gonzales is a political science major who has spent much of her GW career interning at various Hispanic organizations, including the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and the Democratic National Committee Office of Latino Outreach. In addition to the Truman Scholarship, Gonzales has been awarded GW’s Presidential Scholarship and Hispanic Magazine‘s Nuestro Futuro Award.

Hirschman, a philosophy major, is a staff member with the International Foundation for Election Systems. She previously worked as an intern in the office of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.). She is a GW Presidential Scholar and served as a vice president and senator in the Student Association.

GW anthropologists find new evidence in human evolution

GW researchers Brian Richmond and David Strait, professors in the Department of Anthropology, discovered evidence to support the theory that humans evolved from creatures already capable of walking on the ground.

For over a century, scientists have hypothesized about how and why the first human ancestors began walking upright, but until now there has been very little evidence to help answer this question, Richmond said, according to a University press release. Our study is important because it demonstrates that our earliest ancestors did not simply come down from the trees. Rather, they evolved from an ape that was already adapted to life on the ground. This discovery changes our ideas about the origins of human lineage.

The article the researchers produced on the topic appeared on the cover of the March 23 edition of Nature.

-Theresa Crapanzano

SMPA students sign petition to eliminate fee

Students in the School of Media and Public Affairs were asked to sign a petition Wednesday night in support of eliminating a fee to be charged to SPMA majors starting in the fall.

Journalism, electronic media and political communication majors will be charged $2,000 next academic year to cover construction costs of the new SMPA building. The building is currently under construction at the corner of 21st and H streets.

But according to Student Association President Caity Leu, not all students support the fee. She and other students collected student signatures outside the annual SMPA majors meeting in Funger Hall. Before the meeting, Leu said about 50 student signatures had been collected.

I really think the fee is unequally distributed among students, Leu said. SMPA majors won’t be the only ones to use the building.

She added that no SMPA minors or graduates will be charged.

The SA already passed a resolution to eliminate the fee. Leu said the collected signatures will be brought to the April 6 meeting of the Joint Committee of Faculty and Students, which is debating the issue. After the JCFS reaches its decision, the issue will be brought in front of the Board of Trustees in May.

-Margaret Magee

SA’s Academic Update is ready to go

The Student Association’s Academic Update, with the exception of a few technical problems that will be fixed by the end of this week, is up and running, said Elizabeth Cox, SA vice president for Academic Affairs.

The Academic Update is the SA’s online course guide. It is sponsored by the GW Bookstore. The Academic Update is compiled from results of surveys handed out to students at the end of the last semester. It offers students an in-depth analysis of courses that they may be considering.

Students may choose any course and view bar graphed survey information on the professor, the course and student opinions about the course.

Cox said Jordan Usdan, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, Ben Getto, vice president for Financial Affairs, SA President Caity Leu and numerous SA senators and cabinet members combined efforts to compile the data.

The data was submitted to Attitude Research, a company that graphed the data and helped create the Web site. The Academic Update can be accessed from the SA’s Web site,

Getto said he hopes students will look at the Academic Update as a useful tool when deciding what classes and professors to take.

It’s going to be a really good service for students, and I hope everyone uses it, Getto said. We worked really hard on it, and it was worth it.

-Reshma Jhaveri

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