AUP's 50th Anniversary

Updates to the Event Details for the 50th Anniversary Global Alumni Weekend in May 2013

As alumni start making their plans to return to Paris in May 2013, we are continually updating the event details for the 50th Anniversary Global Alumni Weekend on our website here. The cost of the weekend will be 50 euros which will cover several cocktails, two lunches, a boat party plus one drink, all lectures and reunions, plus a ticket to the graduation ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Online registration will be available in the February newsletter!

Student Assistants Needed for the 50th Anniversary Events in May 2013

Looking for work next spring? Planning to be in Paris the week after final exams and before graduation? The Office of University Outreach and Advancement is looking for 10 students to assist with the 50th Anniversary Global Alumni Weekend events from May 24 – 27. The work will include a variety of tasks such as preparing guest lists and name tags, assisting with setup for events, manning check-in tables, serving beverages, etc. This will also be a great opportunity to meet and mingle with visiting alumni from all classes who will be present for the weekend. Please contact the Director of Outreach and Advancement, Kristina Ver Foley, if you are interested in a position:


Campus Events

AUP Alumni Present: An Introduction to the World of Human Rights
Thursday, 17 January 2013; Dinner at 6:30 PM, Lecture at 7:30 PM
Thurber Room, American Church in Paris, 65 quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris

Kristina Keenan--Alumni Affairs and Development CoordinatorAUP alumni Ramsey Ben-Achour ’07 and Kristina Keenan ’08 will kick off a human rights lecture series at the American Church in Paris introducing human rights and sharing their individual experiences working in the field. Kristina Keenan, currently AUP’s Manager of Outreach Communications, is a US Army veteran who served in two peacekeeping operations in Bosnia in 2003 and 2004. She will speak about her experience interviewing locals in the aftermath of the conflict and genocide there. Ramsey Ben-Achour is the Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa for the human rights organization, Heartland Alliance. He worked as Country Director for Haiti from 2010 to 2012 following the massive earthquake which devastated the country. Ramsey will talk about his experiences in both Haiti and the Middle East, his frustrations, and lessons learned. The talk will take place at the American Church and is open to the public. A dinner will take place in the same location prior to the lecture which everyone is welcome to attend.


Romney’s Loss and the Future of the Republican Party
Tuesday, 22 January 2013; Doors open at 7:00 PM and discussion starts at 7:30 PM
Room C12, 6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007 Paris

The Department of International and Comparative Politics and Republicans Abroad France welcome two of the leading French authors and observers of American politics: Gérald Olivier, author of “Mitt Romney pour le Renouveau du Mythe Américain” and Soufian Alsabbagh, author of “L’Amérique de Mitt Romney” and “La Nouvelle Droite Américaine.” Both are keen observers of Mitt Romney and Republican politics, very sought out by the French media, and ready to address two questions which may be on the mind of Republicans - Why Romney lost, and what Republicans must do to win the White House. The discussion will take place in English and is open to the public.


Obama 2: Que peut attendre l’afrique de la reelection du premier president afro-americain à la maison blanche?
Friday, 25 January 2013: 6:30 PM
Room C12, 6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007 Paris

Le Cercle Andrew Young et The American University of Paris vous invitent à une conference-debat with Steven Ekovich, AUP Professor of Political Science and History; François Durpaire, historien et écrivain spécialisé dans les questions d'éducation, de citoyenneté et de diversité culturelle aux États-Unis et en France; Diallo El Hadj Mamadou Cellou, spécialiste des investissements internationaux en Afrique, de la coopération internationale, de la géostratégie africaine, et de l'économie du développement; Remigius Kintu, economiste de formation, c’est un infatigable défenseur de l’Afrique aux Etats-Unis. Le Cercle Andrew Young (CAY) est une association à but non lucratif, fondé le 12 mars 2010, par cinq journalistes et universitaires africains, anciens bénéficiaires des programmes « International Visitors » soutenus par l’Africa Regional Services (ARS) de l’Ambassade des Etats-Unis en France, le Cercle est ouvert à toute personne ayant participé au Programme « International Visitors »  aux Etats-Unis d’Amérique.


An Evening with Conductor, Harpsichordist, and Musicologist William Christie
Friday, 25 January 2013; 7:00 PM
Grand Salon, 31 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris

The AUP Arts Arena presents William Christie, esteemed conductor, harpsichordist, musicologist, teacher, and founder of Les Arts Florissants, William Christie is at the core of one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 30 years: a renewed appreciation of Baroque music in France and the founding of the world-renowned vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Arts Florissants. In great demand as a guest conductor (Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris, Opéra Comique, Berlin Philharmonic, Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne Festivals), his award-winning discography includes more than 100 recordings. Equally committed to the training of young artists, he founded Le Jardin des voix, an academy for young singers, and regularly gives Master Classes at the Julliard School and elsewhere. Honored as Commandeur dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur as well as Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and officially received under the dome of the Institut de France in January 2010. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For reserved seating, please contact:


French Reading Group - Introductory Meeting
Monday, 28 January 2012; 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Room 33, 6 rue Colonel Combes, 75007 Paris

AUP’s Center for Writers & Translators and the London-based publisher And Other Stories have set up a new French reading group. The specific aim is to find top books to propose to AOS for translation and publication. Wider aims of the group are to become familiar with what's hot in French publishing at the moment, discover new things the group may like, and even interest other publishers in a book if AOS isn't. Authors under consideration include Marc Biancarelli, Fabienne Juhel, Julia Deck, Jean Rolin, Antoine Volodine and Hubert Haddad. AOS editors will participate by videoconference. This introductory meeting will be followed by a second one in March. For details contact Daniel Medin at


Pat Thompson Scholarship Fundraising Event – Film Screening and Cocktail
Monday, 4 February 2013
Film Screening: 8:00 PM at the Action Christine Cinema (4 Rue Christine, 75006 Paris)
Cocktail fundraiser: 9:30 PM just following the film at the Hotel d’Aubusson (33 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris)

The AUP community is invited to the film screening of "Rupture: Living with a Broken Brain" - a film produced by actress, filmmaker, and former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2007, similar to the one that struck the late Professor Pat Thompson. Maryam d'Abo will be present at the screening, Q&A and cocktail to speak about the film and her experience. Your ticket to this event will help raise money for the Pat Thompson Scholarship Fund which will be awarded yearly to an AUP communications student. This year's winner will be announced at the event.

5 Euros – student ticket price for film screening (tickets sold at the door)
10 Euros – non-student ticket price for film screening (tickets sold at the door)
250 Euros – ticket price for screening & cocktail fundraiser

Tickets for the screening + cocktail may be purchased by making an online donation of €250 ($333) to the Pat Thompson Scholarship or by mailing a check to: 

The American University of Paris
Office of University Outreach & Advancement
Attention: Pat Thompson Scholarship event
118, rue Saint Dominique
75007 Paris, France

You will receive an automatic receipt for an online donation which will serve as your ticket reservation. Tickets purchased via check will be acknowledged with a mailed receipt. All tickets will be available for pick-up at the door on Feb. 4.


7K du 7éme
Saturday, 2 March 2013; 10:30 AM
Grand Salon, 31 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris

The AUP community is invited to participate in the annual 7 kilometer race in the 7th arrondissement along with members of the neighborhood. The cost to register is 10 euros and a subscription form must be received with the application fee, and with a medical certificate, or a copy of a university league license which is valid for the current sports season. These licenses must be handed to the organizers of the event when receiving your squad number at 9 AM the morning of the race. The certificates will be kept by the organizers until the end of the race. The registration fee will go to the Ambohimalaza France Association whose primary purpose is to help children in Madagascar. Click here to sign up.


Please send all event information for the AUP News and the public calendar to


Alumni Events


AUP 50th Event in Atlanta

Thursday, 24 January 2013; 6:30 pm
Park Tavern, 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta (on the corner of 10th Street and Monroe)

Please join AUP President Celeste Schenck, Vice-President and Dean of the University, Neil Gordon, fellow alumni and friends in celebrating the University's 50th Anniversary in Atlanta! All those in the local community are encouraged to attend. Spouses and guests are welcome. An RSVP for you + guest(s) to is requested.

AUP 50th Event in Miami
Sunday, 27 January 2013; 6:00 - 8:00 PM
The Junkin Family Home: 638 San Lorenzo Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146-1343

Join President Celeste Schenck in celebrating AUP's 50th Anniversary in Miami! Cynthia and John Junkin, parents of AUP alumna, Marjorie Junkin '11, have graciously opened their home for this event and all those in the local community are encouraged to attend. Spouses and guests are welcome. An RSVP for you + guest(s) to is appreciated.


AUP 50th Event in San Francisco
Friday, 8 February 2013
Time and location to be determined

Save the Date! Join AUP President Celeste Schenck, local trustees, alumni, parents, friends, accepted and prospective students in celebrating the University's 50th Anniversary in San Francisco. More details will be sent to our alumni in California soon.

AUP 50th Event in London
Thursday, 7 March 2013
Time and location to be decided 

Save the Date! More details regarding this event to come in the following weeks.

AUP 50th Event in New York
Thursday, 4 April 2013; 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
The House at 7 East 95th Street (in the library), New York, NY

Save the Date! More details regarding this event to come in the following weeks. 

To receive invitations to alumni events in your city, please contact to update your records.


Notable Now and Then

AUP Student Wins Global Student Trading Competition Launched by an Alum

Vasco Vassilev, a junior at AUP, has won the inaugural TopTradr University Challenge, a community-based, real-time, peer-endorsed platform that allows users to share their trades, performance and views. Vasco won $10,000 towards his tuition and an intensive 8-week trading internship with Amplify Trading. Out of 1000 students participating and over 6551 trades placed during the contest, Vasco rose to the top by executing 180 trades achieving an impressive 71% return on his initial capital. Approximately 30 prestigious institutions were represented, including Columbia, Princeton and Oxford.

Says Vasco, “I never traded to win the competition, only for my own amusement, and I believe that that was what really helped me as I was not afraid to lose. This was a direct result of the pleasure I took in trading itself, and this pleasure was my sole reason I continued, especially after I suffered some severe losses. I believe that many contestants abandoned when they experienced similar losses, and in my opinion this was their error, and eventually my advantage… This competition is a great opportunity as it has opened many doors for me, including a much-expected 8-week internship in trading.” 

Alumnus François Nembrini ‘01 approached AUP last September about TopTradR, the global trading competition that his firm was launching. He wanted to be sure that AUP students took part to show off their trading skills, remembering the virtual trading competition he participated in with his professor Ali Fatemi back in his undergraduate days.


Library News

Last month, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded AUP a $710,000 grant “to support the collaborative work of the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries” through July 2015. The grant, administered by President Celeste Schenck and AMICAL Director Jeff Gima, will allow AMICAL to continue supporting the improvement of library and information services at AUP and the 25 other member institutions of AMICAL through professional development, resource sharing, collective purchasing, and tools for collaboration. AMICAL is increasingly supporting curricular collaboration as well: among other program areas, this grant will enable shared online meeting and teaching tools, as well as a faculty hub for connecting with peers at other AMICAL institutions for teaching and research collaborations.

AUP Student in a Recent New York Times Article, “In Paris, Longing for Damascus”

In the New York Times article by Celestine Bohlen, AUP student Maha Assabalani was interviewed about fleeing Damascus in February 2011. “A Yemeni citizen watched in horror as Syrian security forces rounded up 15 friends and colleagues at the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. Five are still in prison...” Read the full article here.


History Students Visit the U.S. Embassy in Paris

Dr. Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre's upper-level undergraduate history and politics class, “Twentieth Century European Diplomatic History”, visited the U.S. Embassy in Paris in December and met the Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs, Mr. Jonathan Cohen. The visit was a unique opportunity for the students to test and contextualize the history and theory of diplomacy that they had learned in the course in discussion with a senior diplomat. The students were able to ask Mr. Cohen about his European diplomatic experiences and his perspectives on trans-Atlantic relations, as well as seek his advice on career paths in international diplomacy.  


Call Out: Alumni Submission for AUP’s Student Journals

The staff of AUP's student journals, Paris/Atlantic (humanities and arts) and The Lutetian (social sciences), would like to request alumni submissions of academic papers, fiction, poetry, art, photography, original translations, film stills, and more. Please send your work to, or visit Visit their Facebook group here.


In Memoriam

Alumna Zineb Benhamida ’91 passed away on January 5, 2013 after her plane returning to France from Morocco crashed suddenly. Her husband Farid, who was piloting the small aircraft, and their three children Yto, Driss and Amine were also victims of the crash. More information has been reported online here


Student Dimitri Makansi, a freshman from the fall 2012 incoming class, passed away on January 9, 2013. Although he had not been with us for a very long time, Dimitri had already made many friends and become an important part of our community. He will be dearly missed. In agreement with his parents, AUP will organize a memorial service in Dimitri's honor on Tuesday January 22 at 5:30pm in the Grand Salon. If you knew him and would like to share stories or photos, please contact Student Affairs Counselor Sandrine Godt in B28 (or no later than Monday January 21st at 5pm. On Wednesday January 23rd from 5 to 7pm, Student Affairs will also organize a support group in Room B31: ALL the members of our community who feel that such an initiative could help them mourn Dimitri’s loss are welcome to join our Student Counselor, Sandrine Godt and AUP’s off-campus therapists, Ariane Wilder and Mathilde Toulemonde.


Faculty and Research Updates

Matthew Fraser, Associate Professor of Global Communications, published a column on the CNN website, “Depardieu’s Puzzling Love for Russia”, analyzing the controversy surrounding the French film star Gerard Depardieu’s decision to flee high taxes in France by taking Russian citizenship at the invitation of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Professor Fraser was also interviewed on BBC World Service on the same issue as part of a radio discussion about national identity.


Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre, Assistant Professor of History, attended the American Historical Association conference in New Orleans in early January. She attended research panels related to her current research and teaching as well as workshops on developing history courses and curricula.


Claudia Roda, Professor of Computer Science, is a member of the organizing committee and workshops chair for the ACM Web Science 2013 conference at the Le Palais des Congres de Paris from May 2 – 4, 2013. The conference covers the wide variety of disciplines concerned with the use and development of the web. Amongst the keynotes speakers is Vint Cerf, father of the Internet; panels will be organized by scholars such as Alex `Sandy' Pentland, director of MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory and MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program. If you are interested in submitting a paper or a workshop proposal, or simply in attending the conference, please visit


David Pike, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Contemporary History and Politics, has a paperback edition of his book France Divided (Brighton/Portland/Toronto: Sussex Academic Press, 2011) now available in the UK, with a similar edition planned for the US.




Danielle SavageDanielle Savage, Director of Career Development, was invited to participate in a panel discussion entitled “Polishing Your Personal Brand: How to Build & Promote It at Every Stage of Your Career” organized by the French chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Along with Christophe Ginisty, a well-known French blogger, Anne-Céline Lejeune, a recruiter specializing in communications professionals, and career coach Nadira Artyk, she fielded questions on online presence, networking, and focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses. “I wish Danielle Savage had been my career advisor when I was in college!” Claudia Vaccarone, the President of IABC France, tweeted during the lively session. Held at AUP in December, this event attests to the growing partnership AUP has forged with IABC, allowing current communications students to experience the benefits of this professional association with a global reach.


James Noel Ward, Instructor in Finance and Business Administration, attended the 20th Anniversary Conference on Analysis, Probability, and Mathematical Finance on the 7 and 9th of November 2012 at the Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne. On December 21st he attended the presentation of a paper by Paul Henry-Labordere “Forward Monte-Carlo schemes for non-linear PDEs: Multi-type marked branching diffusions” at the Institut Henri Poincaré as part of his work with the Paris-based research group Le séminaire Bachelier, organized in conjunction with the Centre de Mathematiques Appliquées (Ecole Polytechnique), le CEREMADE (Université Paris Dauphine), le Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistiques (CREST), le Laboratoire de Probabilités et modèles aleatoires (Universite de Paris VI- VII), l'Université d'Evry, and l'Université de Marne La Vallée. 



The next issue of AUP News will be sent on Monday, January 28, 2013. Please review the submission guidelines prior to sending content to Kristina Keenan at Deadline for content is Monday, January 21th.


January 14, 2013




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