News Briefs

GW appoints new Shapiro Fellow

Carin Dessauer, former CNN executive and producer of the first online news interview, joins the School of Media and Public Affairs this semester as a Shapiro Fellow.

“As a leader in cutting-edge integration issues, Dessauer will add a unique perspective to our understanding of the business and its future role in politics,” said Jarol Manheim, interim director of GW’s SMPA.

The Shapiro Fellowship program was founded to give students an opportunity to talk with active professionals who will give them advice, encouragement and help to create better careers. The program is funded by the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Charitable Trust and has brought many acclaimed professionals to the school, including veteran journalist Helen Thomas.

“The beauty of a seminar is that it’s a give and take,” Dessauer said. “I hope to learn from the journalists, business professionals and politicians of tomorrow.”

Dessauer will teach a class for one semester on internet news, which began last week. The class will be a seminar every Thursday, in which students can learn from Dessauer’s experiences and will include other surprise guest speakers.

“I want to help students, undergraduate and graduate, to understand that though they grew up with the internet, it is not to be taken for granted,” Dessauer said. “It is such a powerful tool.”

Dessauer has more than 15 years of Washington reporting experience and has spent most of her career in network news for broadcast, cable, print and online mediums. Her first job was at Rothenberg Political Reports, a political magazine.

She oversaw CNN’s election coverage, and held the first online news interview with then-presidential candidate, George W. Bush. She was profiled in the December/January issue of Working Women magazine as “one of CNN’s fasted rising young executives.”

“I just loved journalism, and wanted to mesh political coverage with it,” Dessauer said, referring to her own school days at Bucknell University where she double majored in Economics and Communications and completed six internships.

Dessauer said she hopes her class on internet news will show that the internet is “still in its early stages.”

“Think how long it took for TV and radio to make a difference,” she said.
The internet is important because it provides new options, Dessauer said.

“People want their choices,” she said. “They can read, watch and listen to the news when it works for them and still tap into other sources.”

Dessauer is currently a consultant for the Markle Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes emerging communications media and information technology.

Dessauer said she is looking forward to her class and hopes to teach students to apply what they learned.

“Simply having knowledge is not enough – it’s what you do with it,” she said.

-Shilo Groover

Redman to headline Fall Fest

New Jersey rapper Redman will headline Fall Fest Saturday. He made his initial impact with Whut Thee Album? in 1992.

Redman is known for blending reggae and funk influences with topical commentary and displayed a terse, but fluid rap style that was sometimes satirical, sometimes tough and sometimes silly, according to the All Music Guide (

Redman returned in 1994 with his second album, Dare Iz a Darkside, which was a harder album than his debut. His third album, Muddy Waters, followed in 1996. He returned two years later with Do’s the Name.

Redman is famous for his partnership with Method Man on the album Blackout and with Def Squad on the album El Nino. He is lauded for his consistency in hip hop, and releases an album almost every year. His newest album, Malpractice, features guest artists including Method Man, Def Squad and new artists.

He was nominated for a Grammy award for his performance with De La Soul in the song “Oooh.” He is also costarring in a major motion picture with Method Man this year.

-Katie Warchut

Rollberg named University Honors Program director

Chair of GW’s Department of German and Slavic Languages and Literatures Peter Rollberg was named the new director of the University Honors Program last month. Rollberg, who is also this year’s recipient of the Trachtenberg Teaching Award, succeeds David Alan Grier who served as the program’s director since 1992.

Rollberg’s involvement with the Honors Program began in 1992 when he developed two honors classes, History of Russian Cinema and Early German Cinema.

Rollberg said he hopes to help strengthen the bonds of the students who comprise the Honor’s program and continue Grier’s efforts to implement new programs, seminars and social events.

He said departments and faculty members who are not yet involved with the Honors program would benefit from and enjoy involvement in honors classes where small, specialized sections with low teacher-student ratios generally yield tremendous discussion and creativity.

-Shaina Schallop

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