GW in brief

Student among finalists vying to speak at GOP convention

Sophomore Nathan Imperiale was named one of ten finalists in an essay contest to select a young speaker to give a primetime speech at the Republican National Convention in September. While Imperiale was not picked to speak at the convention, he will be attending next week’s nominating festivities in New York.

The contest, sponsored by the Republican National Committee and MTV, called for 18 to 24 year-olds to submit essays in July on how they had responded to President Bush’s call for community service. A selection committee chose the 10 finalists from a field of about 1,000 contestants. More than 100,000 people voted at the RNC and MTV Web sites, where video biographies and essay segments from each finalist were posted.

“We were very impressed with all ten of the finalists,” Alyssa McClenning, spokesperson for the contest, said. “I can’t imagine being one of the online voters having to choose one.”

Princella Smith, a 20 year-old from Arkansas, was announced the winner on the popular MTV show “Total Request Live” on August 16.

Imperiale first heard about the “Stand Up and Holla!” contest at a press conference in April at GW’s Jack Morton Auditorium, where a similar contest with the Democratic National Committee was also announced. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago attended the conference to promote political activism among youth voters.

Imperiale used his experiences as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer and Capitol Hill intern to write his essay on the importance of reaching out to minorities in the United States.

In his essay, Imperiale described his grandfather’s experiences as a Spanish immigrant as a factor that led him to become active in his community. His grandfather emigrated during World War II after the death of his family in Spain.

“His story inspired me to get involved in community service and help other minorities build a life in the U.S.,” Imperiale said.

Imperiale, who was profiled in six local newspapers where he lives in Southern California, said he received hundreds of letters of support from friends, family and strangers.

GW receives $1.5 million grant to develop protein microscope

GW received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a protein microscope that, for the first time, will examine protein activity in living tissue in detail.

The team of about 15 researchers, including graduate students, hopes the microscope will help advance treatments for neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS and Alzheimer’s disease.

“I can compare this to the discovery of the optical microscope – the regular microscope,” said Akos Vertes, professor and principal investigator for the project. “We hope to open a similar window into protein.”

The GW Institute for Proteomics Technology and Application, a research collaborative comprised of several of the University’s science departments, will use the grant money to create the microscope. GW will then team up with researchers from the Children’s National Medical Center to examine protein distributions in neuromuscular junctions.

“If successful … this will open up a new chapter in the structure and function of proteins in living organisms,” Vertes said.

University offers new Graduate Certificate in Knowledge and Innovation Management

GW’s School of Business and School of Engineering and Applied Science are teaming up to offer a new Graduate Certificate in Knowledge and Innovation Management.

The certificate will prepare students for careers in managing a firm’s technological resources.

Thirty students will be admitted each semester to the four-course, 12-credit program. The program, which is completed in four semesters, will instruct students during night classes taught by business and engineering professors and professionals.

Professor to teach in China as Fulbright Scholar

Business Professor Amy Smith received a Fulbright scholar grant to teach at the Southwest University of Finance and Economics in the Sichuan Province of China.

Smith will teach graduate courses in marketing management and services marketing during the fall semester. She will work on a project as a visiting research fellow at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, during the spring semester.

The Fulbright Scholars Program will send about 800 U.S. scholars and practitioners abroad this school year to about 140 different countries.

GW business professors Mary Granger and Stuart Umpleby went abroad last year with the Program. Granger taught at the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland and Umpleby taught at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

-Caitlin Carroll

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