Commencement 2014

As in years past, we welcome a new group of alumni into our fold with Commencement 2014, taking place on Tuesday, May 27th at the Théâtre du Châtelet. This year’s Commencement Ceremony and Graduation Gala evening promise to be unforgettable as we celebrate those from within our ranks, with four Honorary Degrees and one Medal of Distinguished Achievement:

Honorary degrees

Edward Frieman, a member of AUP's Board for ten years,  plasma physicist of international renown, the eighth director of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCSD vice chancellor of marine sciences, and dean of the graduate school of marine sciences.  A prominent advisor to the government on matters vital to defense, energy and science policy, he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1979-81. This degree is being awarded posthumously and will be accepted by Dr. Frieman’s wife, Joy.

Judith Ogilvie '65, member of AUP's second class, and our first alumni (and woman) chair of the board, current Deputy Executive Director and COO of the Pan American Development Fund (PADF), former Senior Vice President of CHF International, Founding Director of the Center for NGO Leadership and Development at Northern Illinois University (NGOLD); and leader of countless delegations and development missions.

Lillian Greene-Chamberlain, a member of AUP's Board in the 1970s, the first African-American woman to compete in sports internationally, to found a women's track team at a major American university, to serve as the Director of Physical Education and Sport at UNESCO, and to lead the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Nicholas Vreeland '73, AUP alumnus, grandson of Diana Vreeland, the only Caucausian member of the Dalai Lama's immediate circle, and first Caucasian to serve as abbot of the Rato Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India.

A film screening of Monk with a Camera featuring Nicholas Vreeland will take place on Monday, May 26th in the Grand Salon. Scroll down to Campus Events for full details.

Medal of Distinguished Achievement

President Schenck will also be giving the Presidential Medal of Distinguished Achievement to Pierre Salinger (his wife Poppie will receive) who was Chair of our Board of Trustees in the 80s, press secretary to President Kennedy, California Senator and an accomplished journalist among other illustrious achievements.

New Alumni Cocktail

This year, the New Alumni Cocktail will be held in conjunction with the Graduation Gala on the evening of May 27th. In sponsoring the New Alumni Cocktail at the debut of the evening, the ticket price per graduate has been halved, allowing a memorable and affordable evening to all incoming alums.

All those in our alumni community are welcome to join the festivities. If you would like to learn more about Commencement 2014, please visit our website for details.



AUP Cares raises enough funds to build a second home in South African township!

AUP Cares, a student-led fundraising club, raised 770 euros through a raffle this semester for the South African based charity Afrika Tikkun. The funds will be used to build a home for a needy family in a township near Johannesburg. AUP Cares held a first raffle in the fall, collecting 794,96 euros to build a home for the Mandlanzi family in the township of Mufuleni, Cape Town.

Please visit our website to learn more.



AUP Students at the Hult Prize Competition, London

On 7-9 March 2014, five students from the American University of Paris travelled to London to compete in the world’s largest student competition, the Hult Prize. The concept of students creating business ideas for positive social impact was founded by a graduate of the Hult International Business School and has been recently named one of the top ideas changing the world today by TIME Magazine. Former President Bill Clinton sets the challenge theme each year and the winning team receives $1 million in seed money. Over 11,000 teams applied to compete this year alone and the American University of Paris was one of 40 teams accepted to present their social business idea at the Regional Finals in London. 

The AUP team consisted of five students from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds:
Inna Thalmann, Germany, Major in Economics
Jessica Kaisaris, Canada, Master in Cross-Cultural and Sustainable Business Management
Stine Saatvedt, Norway, Major in International Business
Anna Kasper, USA, Master in Global Communications
Vasco Vassilev, Bulgaria, Major in Global Finance

To learn more about the Hult Competition, please visit our website.



Recent Launch of Nikita and Vesper

AUP alumna Courtney Montague '04 has recently launched an online marketplace called Nikita & Vesper. Courtney and her co-founder developed this venture with the desire to provide women access to online resources for purchasing beautiful accessories and clothing that are also ethically produced. In considering their own experiences, the partners believe very few companies provide e-commerce shopping that is both fashion forward and ethical which prompted the creation of Nikita & Vesper!

Please check out their new website. You may also follow Nikita & Vesper on Facebook or on Instagram @nikitaandvesper

AUP Alumni get 10% off any of their products, please use the coupon code at checkout: NVNEWS.



Cultural Translation students' recent publications

Present and past students of the MA in Cultural Translation have been very active this month and present an impressive portfolio of publications in prominent online literary journals advised or edited by AUP professor Daniel Medin (Department of Comparative Literature and English).

Some of Emma Ramadan’s translations of Frédéric Forte’s sonnets appeared in Asymptote 8 (the poetry editor of The Paris Review reads them on youtube)

One of Mui Poopoksakul’s translations from Thai of the stories of Prabda Yook was also published in Asymptote.

Sousan Hammad’s translations of Najwan Darwish are in the current edition of The White Review.

And another great review by Madeleine LaRue appears in Music and Literature.



Nollywood in Paris!

AUP alumna Nadira Shakur '04 is co-founder of the film festival NollywoodWeek Paris, taking place at Cinéma l'Arlequin, from June 5th to June 8th. The week will include six new releases from Nigeria including Half of a Yellow Sun starring Chiwetal Ejiofor and Thandie Newton. A roundtable discussion of women in film as well as a professional networking event which is free to students and accreditation is available.

Passes may be purchased for 39 Euros; individual tickets are 7 Euros; and students tickets are 4,50 Euros. All films are in English with French subtitles. To learn more about the festival and purchasing tickets, please visit Nollywoodweek website.




 Support AUP

Imagine how different your life would be had you NOT studied at AUP in Paris? This year’s annual spring fundraising appeal has started and our goal is to raise €30,000 in support of student scholarships.

Every year AUP admits highly qualified students who dream of having the experience you enjoyed, but who have to decline our offer of admission due to insufficient financial resources. Every gift to scholarships helps to make another such student’s dream more attainable. Be among the first to show your support and make a gift today!



Campus Events


AUP hosts Jane Goodall at the American Church of Paris
Thursday, 15 May 2014; 6:30 PM
American Church of Paris, 65 Quai d'Orsay, 75007 Paris

The American University of Paris is proud to collaborate with The American Church of Paris (ACP) to bring you A Night With Jane Goodall on May 15. The event is organized by our branch of the student-run group Roots & Shoots and sponsored by our Student Government Association and ACP. Tickets are now available online for purchase at 20€ each. Please contact for more information.

A Night With Jane Goodall will kick off at ACP with a reception starting at 18:30 followed by an evening of conversation, music and presentations. Afterwards, join us for a book-signing session and a chance to win a date with Dr. Goodall herself!



Seminar and discussion with Sundar Sarukkai
Wednesday, 21 May 2014; 4:30 PM- 6:30
Bâtiment C des Grands Moulins, Université Paris Diderot, 5, rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris
Salle 888C - 8ème étage

All members of the AUP community are warmly invited to attend a seminar and discussion with Sundar Sarukkai (of Manipal University) on Wednesday, May 21st 16h30-18h30 based on his book, co-authored with Gopal Guru, The Cracked Mirror. An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory (Oxford University Press, 2012). He will be addressing the questions of theory, ethics and politics around the logic of untouchability and caste in Indian thought and experience.

Professor Raj Isar of the Department of Global Communications will be conversing with Professor Sarukkai after the presentation of the book, followed by an open discussion.



Film Screening: Monk with a Camera
Monday, 26 May 2014; 6:00 PM- 9:00
Grand Salon, 31 avenue Bosquet

Join the AUP Community for the film screening of Monk with a Camera, featuring AUP alum and 2014 Honorary Degree Recipient, Nicholas Vreeland '73. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and cocktail reception.

Monk with a Camera chronicles the life and spiritual quest of Nicholas Vreeland, a Tibetan monk, whom, by selling his photographs, helped rebuild one of the most important monasteries in the Tibetan culture, the Rato monastery. The documentary offers a rare glimpse into the lives of Nicholas and his aging master Khyongla Rinpoche. It is a documentary about a personal journey, but also about the people of Tibet, who live in exile in the protected areas of India. People who left their families and friends, and built a new life away from Tibet, a country, they will never be able to go back to. It is a documentary about life in the monasteries, about the future of the Tibetan communities, about the impact of Buddhism on American society, and about pursuing art in a world of impermanence.



Beckett Letters: French Translation Launch I
Tuesday, 20 May 2014; 7:30 PM
Librairie La Hune, 16-18 rue de l'Abbaye, 75006 Paris

Volume I of the edition of Letters of Samuel Beckett, co-edited by AUP Professor Dan Gunn and supported by his student research team, will come out in a French translation with the prestigious publisher Gallimard. A celebration and reading will be held here in Paris, at Librairie La Hune.

For further events, see the blog of the Department of Comparative Literature and English.



Beckett Letters: French Translation Launch II
Wednesday, 21 May 2014; 6:00 PM
Librarie de Paris, 7,9,11 place de Clichy, 75017 Paris

Volume I of the edition of Letters of Samuel Beckett, co-edited by AUP Professor Dan Gunn and supported by his student research team, will come out in a French translation with the prestigious publisher Gallimard. A celebration and reading will be held here in Paris, at Librairie La Hune.

For further events, see the blog of the Department of Comparative Literature and English.



Beckett Letters: French Translation Launch III
Thursday, 26 June 2014; 8:00 PM
L'Atelier, 2 bis, rue du Jourdain, 75020 Paris

Volume I of the edition of Letters of Samuel Beckett, co-edited by AUP Professor Dan Gunn and supported by his student research team, will come out in a French translation with the prestigious publisher Gallimard. A celebration and reading will be held here in Paris, at Librairie La Hune.

For further events, see the blog of the Department of Comparative Literature and English.





Alumni Events


AUP Boat Ride & Student-Alumni Cocktail
Friday, 16 May 2014; 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
The Bateau River's King, 25 Quai de Grenelle, 75015 Paris

Please join us for an AUP Boat Party on the Seine hosted by the SGA! We encourage all local alumni to attend and guest(s) are welcome. The cost for the evening is 20 Euros in advance and 25 Euros at the door. If you would like to purchase advanced tickets, you may register online or contact the Alumni Affairs Office at




DubaiAUP Gathering in Dubai
Friday, 16 May 2014; 7:00 PM
The Jetty Lounge, Mirage One and Only, Al Souffuh, Jumeirah Road, Dubai

As a new resident to Dubai, Alice Moir-Veyret, AUP's Summer Programs Manager, is organizing a local soiree! Everyone in the AUP community is encouraged to join - spouses and guests are welcome. An RSVP for you + guest(s) to Alice Moir-Veyret is requested at



SingaporeAUP Alumni Dinner in Singapore
Monday, 19 May 2014; 7:30 PM
IndoChine Waterfront, 1 Empress Pl, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 179555

Alumna Akiko Diana Izawa '99 is traveling through Singapore this month and would like to organize a dinner with fellow alums. Everyone in the local alumni community is encouraged to join - spouses and guests are welcome.An RSVP for you + guest(s) is requested at



Professor Peter BarnetGlobal Communications & MAGC Graduation Dinner/ Farewell to Peter Barnet
Thursday, 22 May 2014; 7:30 PM
Cafe Louis Philippe, 66 quai de l'Hotel de Ville, 75004

You are invited to a soiree with the 2014 graduating class and the alumni community as we honor Professor Peter Barnet on his retirement. Join us in celebrating the incredible career of Professor Barnet as he moves into his next great adventure. All those in the alumni community are welcome to attend. The menu is 32€ per person.  Register online by May 20th or contact





Faculty and Research Updates



Professor Hall Gardner  is one of four scholars who was interviewed on the Russian annexation of the Crimea by Japanese Public Television NHK for the show: Global Debate Wisdom: "Is this the Start of a New Cold War?"

The NHK show aired on Saturday April 26.



 Geoff GilbertProfessor Geoff Gilbert looks at modernist Paris in "The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Paris". Beyond pragmatic reasons, many of us have come to Paris in the hope of experiment and personal transformation. A new essay by Geoff Gilbert has appeared in the distinguished Cambridge Companion series. It explores the history of this desire through a reading of modernist expatriate literature. To read more about Professor Gilbert's work, please visit our website.



Dan GunnProfessor Dan Gunn has returned from a fully funded visiting professorship at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia. He was teaching on translation with the specialist and author of many books on translation, Franco Nasi. Being an accomplished photographer at the same time, he has brought us back some impressions.



Professor Brian Schiff received a grant from the Heny S. Truman Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to continue his research on the identity stories of Palestinian students studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1997-98, Schiff conducted 16 in-depth narrative interviews with Arab students at the Hebrew University designed to give interviewees the opportunity to narrate their identities with richness and color. In 2002, he published a well-received article on the research in the journal Ethos. To read more about Professor Schiff's work, please visit our website.




May 15, 2014



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