AUP Thanksgiving

In celebrating the American tradition of giving thanks, AUP welcomed students, faculty and staff to join together at the American Church in Paris to partake in our annual Thanksgiving feast. This year's celebration was particularly poignant following the recent attacks that took place in Paris on the evening of November 13th. With additional security measures in place, the mood was relaxed and joyful as all those in attendance were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate this AUP tradition. As President Celeste Schenck recently expressed in a letter to students and parents:

Last night we held our annual Thanksgiving dinner as guests of our neighbors, the American Church of Paris, in the basement of which our university was founded in 1962.  Students, faculty and staff celebrated together that quintessential American holiday together with a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a host of pies. Not gourmet, exactly, but comfort food of the highest order. We were delighted at the felicitous timing of this holiday, which gave us all a chance to render thanks for all we so abundantly have. As I circled the room speaking to members of our communities, I saw students wearing hijabs, a young man with a kippa, others wearing crosses. We accept, honor, and celebrate our many differences. They are the very air we breathe at AUP;  they inflect all learning on what has to be one of the most demographically diverse learning communities on the planet.  For the privilege of leading such an extraordinary institution, I am profoundly grateful.

To read President Schenck's full update, please visit our website


AUP Student Voices: Sharing Reactions to Recent Events

As we posted on our website earlier this week, members of the AUP community have continued to share their heartfelt reactions to the horror of recent attacks in Paris.

In a beautiful letter to his mother following the Fall break, student Colin Marston, wrote about his emotional journey since he first learned about the attacks, his thoughts about the extraordinary nature of today’s global context as well as the evolution of his thinking following conversations back in the classroom with faculty. Click here to read the letter in full.

On Thursday of last week, students held a poignant vigil in honor of the victims of the attacks and their loved ones. Organized by student leaders, the vigil provided a moment of quiet reflection for faculty, students and staff who came to share a moment of collective remembrance and healing. Please take a moment to watch our time-lapse video which focuses primarily on the mural created by attendees of the vigil.












Posted on the mural were poems, thoughts and wishes in different languages. One of the beautiful poems contributed by a student is available to read here.

Finally, we share graduate student Sharon Zwach’s moving commentary and video below.


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that:" After creating a memorial at La Republic, it began to rain. I slowly walked around the massive swarm of people that were crying under umbrellas, mourning throughout the wailing sirens, praying at the foot of the statue, and blanketing the scene of attack with flowers, candles, letters, pieces of artwork, and other symbols of peace. Some had even placed flowers inside the bullet holes in the windows of the attacked restaurants, a powerful reminder of the importance of turning something tragic into something good. These images of my second home will forever be pierced into my memory forever, a difficult reminder to me of how precious every life is no matter who you are. Thank you to those who reached out to me in the past few days- all of your messages have really helped me during this tragic time. Thank you Brian Higgins for the hearts that you mailed to me from over 4000 miles away on last valentine's day: today, they found their purpose. After making a full circle around the grieving crowd, I returned to the spot where I began, only to find to my surprise that someone had added a candle to the memorial that I had left behind. #ShineOn #CityOfLights #CityOfLove #ILoveYouParis #JeTaimeParis #PrayForParis #PrayForTheWorld

As we continue to capture student voices, we will share them on our website




Sean Casey '04 wins the AIDEX Humanitarian Hero Award for 2015

We are delighted to report that alum Sean Casey ’04 has won the AIDEX Humanitarian Hero Award for 2015.

Sean Casey was the first person deployed by International Medical Corps to respond to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Since August 2014, under Casey’s leadership, International Medical Corps has cared for nearly 2,500 patients in its Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) in Liberia and Sierra Leone, trained thousands of front-line Ebola responders, screened hundreds of thousands of individuals through its SRUs in the three most-affected countries, and provided ongoing support to hundreds of Ebola survivors. Today he serves as Regional Director managing the organisation’s Ebola response, recovery and ongoing preparedness efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Mali.

In addition to Casey’s work on the Ebola response, he was also one of the first humanitarian responders to this year’s earthquake in Nepal, where he was taking a brief holiday when the quake hit. After surviving the initial quake while in the city of Bhaktapur, Casey immediately launched International Medical Corps’ response, quickly pulling together local medical and logistics volunteers to deploy Mobile Medical Units to the epicentre within hours of the quake.

Prior to his work in West Africa and Nepal, Casey has led responses to humanitarian emergencies in Ukraine (2014), the Philippines (2013/2014), Mali (2013), South Sudan (2012), and Haiti (2011/2012), among others. He has also worked on a number of human rights issues across the world, including support for survivors of torture in Iraq, child soldier reintegration in Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and sexual minority protections in places like Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Congratulations Sean, we are very proud of you!




Seeking Career Mentors for the 2015 - 2016 Academic YearCareer Mentoring

It’s that time of year!  We are now recruiting alumni to participate in our 2015-2016 Career Mentoring Program to be held in the spring - 8 February 2016 to 9 May 2016. As in previous years, we will be offering this program to AUP's juniors and seniors and graduate students. The program will span the course of 14-weeks allowing students to work with alumni volunteers engaging the tremendous professional resources found within our alumni ranks.  If you are interested in participating as a mentor in the 14-week program, please submit your application no later than Friday, 11 January 2016.

If you have additional questions regarding the program, please visit our website or contact the Alumni Affairs team at




AUP Green Hosts Youth Empowering Youth: Taking Charge in Climate Action

The event "Youth Empowering Youth: Taking charge in climate action" on Monday, November 2nd was a great success! The student club AUP Green hosted speakers from six different organizations based in the Paris region who are all active in the preparations for the Paris 2015 COP21. It also proved to be an excellent opportunity for AUP students to network with peers from Parsons in Paris, NYU and SciencePo. AUP Green will uphold these new found collaborations and attended the Climate March Paris organized by Avaaz last weekend. They will also be working with CliMates to help organize AUP's very own Climate Simulation where students will role-play, negotiate and get the feel for the underlying difficulties in reaching unanimous agreements. Furthermore, Emma Stokking from Avaaz, Elisabeth Mulroy and Camolie Fagerberg are brainstorming in regards to a zero-waste workshop at AUP.

Below Elisabeth Mulroy is holding her waste for the past three months. Everything that could not be composted or recycled fits into an old jar of confiture. She spoke at the Youth Empowering Youth event about her zero-waste lifestyle. Check out this video that she made for Peacock TV about it. AUP Green thanks everyone who showed up and to those who take a stand for climate! #youth4climate




Baytna à Vous, an AUP Club Centered on the Refugee Crisis

Baytna à Vous (BV), a club centered on the Syrian Refugee Crisis at AUP, launched on October 27th with an informative and delicious event. It began with a short presentation about the current conditions in and around Syria, the aims and goals of BVSyria, followed by short clips of the personal lives of individual Syrian refugees. After introducing local Syrian NGOs, the members of BV went on to explain how the rest of the student body can get involved. The 45+ attendees were invited into the next room where a long table of Arabic delicacies and beverages awaited them. There was also an information table set up, providing the guests with all the necessary informative pamphlets and documents such as ‘The Syrian Crisis for Dummies’ as well as the aims and drives behind the NGOs, CODDSY and Souria Houria. Both graduates and undergraduate students were given an opportunity to apply for roles as members or as volunteers. Baytna à Vous is happy to report that it received 30 applicants during the event. The table also included a donation box, where they received 40 euros that will be sent out to sponsor students' education in Syria and its neighbours. If you were not able to attend the event and want to find out more, please contact the members on or find them on Facebook. Don’t forget to follow BV on Instagram @BVsyria!




Academic Events



A Paris Tribute to C.K. Williams (1936 - 2015)
Wednesday, December 2, 2015; 7:00 PM
6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007; Room 104

Writers and friends celebrate the Paris life of internationally acclaimed poet C.K. Williams, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award. To learn more about the event, visit our website.



AUP MAGC Lecture Series: Brand Culture and Politics
Thursday, December 3, 2015; 6:30 PM
2 bis Passage Landrieu, Paris, 75007; Room 1


Come hear Sarah Banet-Weiser from the Annenberg School of Communication at University of Southern California speak on political possibilities in a brand culture.





 What is Critical Democracy?
Monday, December 7, 2015; 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM
6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007; Room 104

The Center for Critical Democracy Studies presents: What is Critical Democracy? And why is it so important?

Professors Cynthia Fleury and Stephen Sawyer will discuss Critical Democracy and answer students’ questions.
Submit your questions before the event! Email them to:

Read more about Critical Democracy in the The Toqueville Review / La Revue Tocqueville. This semi-annual publication is available online through the AUP Library. Search for ‘Tocqueville Review’ under ‘Journals’!

Look for more events from The Center for Critical Democracy Studies in Spring 2016 on our website.



To keep abreast of upcoming campus events, please visit the events page of our website



Alumni Events   


AUP Alumni Holiday Party
Thursday, 10 December 2015; 6:30 PM
6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007, Paris; 1st Floor

As we look to the holidays, join us for a festive evening with the alumni community. This will be the first alumni holiday party in the renovated Combes building. The evening will be filled with music, wine and cheer! All in our community are encouraged to attend.

An RSVP for you + guest(s) is required to by Monday, December 7th.





Faculty and Research Update



Professor Rebekah Rast will be presenting her research on the early stages of foreign language acquisition as guest lecturer of the Second Language Studies Program, Michigan State University. See upcoming events in the following link:

Professor Rast will also be meeting with Sandhya Shanker, Specialist at the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), during her visit at MSU.


Professor Philip Golub will be spearheading AUP’s participation in the Colloque Chine et Environnement conference to be held in May 2016. Professor Golub’s co-authored chapter in the 2012 book Ethics and Global Environmental Policy, entitled “Overcoming the Planetary Prisoner’s Dilemma: Cosmopolitan Ethos and Pluralist Cooperation” focuses on the negotiating positions of China and the United States and suggests a political and philosophical framework to push the climate change negotiating frontier further. This scholarship is germane to the conference focus on how to move forward to secure a global environmental agreement with China, and professor Golub will sit on several committees that help the conference recommend approaches to achieve this goal. Given the importance of China’s role in the development of global environmental policy, the Colloque Chine et Environment will attract scholars from major international universities and organizations.

In keeping with the focus on China, Professor Golub’s upcoming book entitled East Asia’s Reemergence, to be published by Polity Press in early 2016, will take further the discussion of the economic rebalancing between East and West and its implications for world politics. Combining an interesting historical narrative of the remarkable ascent of East Asia with a social theory perspective, the book will be an invaluable guide for AUP students and the broader public to understanding one of the biggest issues the world faces today.



November 30, 2015



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