December 18, 2017

Chiang Publishes Article in AEJM, Presents at MCA

Professor of Mathematics Yuan-Jen Chiang published a research article, Equivariant exponentially harmonic maps between manifolds with metrics of signature in the Asian-European Journal of Mathematics.

She also presented a research paper, Leaf-wise harmonic maps of manifolds with 2-dimensional foliations at the 2nd Mathematical Congress of the Americas, which occurs every four years, in Montreal, Canada.

Stommel Provides Expertise for Inside Higher Ed

Jesse Stommel, executive director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, was among a panel of digital experts who provided perspective for an Inside Higher Ed article about digital learning development. To read the article, go to “Predicting 2017’s Legacy.”

Al-Tikriti speaks at UC San Diego and Soka University

On Dec. 1, Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti of the Department of History and American Students spoke to students at the University of California-San Diego about his experiences as a relief worker, the ideals of medical humanitarianism, and the challenges faced by medical NGOs. The next day, Al-Tikriti spoke to students and faculty about the same topics at Soka University in Los Angeles. Speaking in his own capacity, Al-Tikriti’s talks were informed by his experiences over the past 27 years working in field operations with Catholic Relief Services and MSF/Doctors Without Borders, which he additionally served as an MSF USA board member from 2011 to 2017, and as vice president in 2016-17. This board and officer service ended this past July.

Shaffer Talks with Bloomberg News about Fake Accounts

Instructional technology specialist Kris Shaffer recently commented in an article for Bloomberg Technology.  The article, “How the Kremlin Tried to Pose as American News Sites on Twitter,” detailed how a Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated dozens of Twitter accounts masquerading as local American news sources that garnered more than half-a-million followers.

According to the article, the majority of the imposter news accounts were created more than a year before the 2016 U.S. elections. Shaffer, who is conducting research for UMW and Data for Democracy, told Bloomberg that the history of tweets and engagement with real users improves the placement of the account and its posts in Twitter’s search results. That means that if the account does push major disinformation campaigns, it is less likely to be blocked.

“Shaffer’s analysis of the accounts found that several of the imposter news accounts also tweeted during the French presidential election,” according to the article. “He surfaced about 41 Tweets from accounts including @WorldNewsPoli, @TodayMiami, @DetroitDailyNew, and @ChicagoDailyNew. Most of the posts were retweets of local news articles, but more than a quarter of them included stories from, a known disinformation site, according to Shaffer. Those stories were mostly attacking Emmanuel Macron, who won the election, and biased toward Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician in France.”

Farnsworth Delivers Washington Lecture to Delegation from Norway

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered a Washington lecture entitled, “The Trump Presidency, the Mass Media and Public Opinion,”  as part of the Norwegian Washington seminar. The lecture was part of an annual international program bringing and the country’s leaders in politics, business and the media to the US.


Hansen-Glucklich Talks about Holocaust Memories, Jewish Remembrance

Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich, assistant professor of German, was quoted in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian about her lecture “Holocaust Memory Reframed: Museums and the Challenges of Misrepresentation.”

Her presentation centered on how three distinct museums of Jewish remembrance – Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, the Jewish Museum Berlin in Berlin, Germany and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

“The narrative which all three museums create resonate with the civil religions of their context cultures.” Hansen-Glucklich said in the article. “There has been an explosion in the number of Holocaust museums and remembrances around the world, especially in Europe and the United States during the past few decades. Museums and memorials reach an audience of a size and diversity unrivaled by most other media – the Holocaust museum in D.C has received nearly 40 million visitors since it opened its doors in 1993. This staggering statistic shows how powerfully a single institution can shape memory of a single event.”



Al-Tikriti speaks on Panels at Capitol Hill, Smithsonian and MESA Conference

On November 16, Middle East History Associate Professor Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti spoke on a panel sponsored by the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). Entitled “The Situation in Mosul,” the panel took place at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.  Introduced by CAORC Executive Director Rick Spees, Prof. Al-Tikriti joined Drs. Alda Benjamin, Eric Davis, and Katharyn Hanson to discuss recent developments in Northern Iraq. For his part, Al-Tikriti spoke to perceptions of a tripartite Iraq in U.S. foreign policy circles, how that perception has come to color reality on the ground, and current humanitarian realities in and around Mosul.

On November 17, following a brief and informal discussion with certain CAORC colleagues on the same topic at the State Department, Prof. Al-Tikriti  joined another panel to speak on Northern Iraq at the Ripley Auditorium of the Smithsonian Institution. Sponsored by The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII), and devoted to the memory of Prof. Peter Sluglett (d. 2017), this panel was entitled Narratives of Co-Existence and Pluralism in Northern Iraq.” In the course of this event, Dr. Katharyn Hanson of TARII provided opening remarks, Dr. Peter Wien of UMD / TARII provided speaker introductions, and both Profs. Dina Khouri (GWU) and Nelida Fuccaro (NYU Abu Dhabi) offered special remarks in honor of Peter Sluglett. During the panel, Prof. Al-Tikriti was joined by Drs. Orit Bashkin (Chicago), Alda Benjamin (U. Pennsylvania), Arbella Bet-Shimon (U. Washington), and Michael Sims (U. Washington, ABD). Topics covered during this panel included Da’esh, Yazidis, Iraqi Christians, Iraqi Jewry, and regional policy realities.

Finally, on November 18, Prof. Al-Tikriti joined a roundtable at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference in Washington, DC, entitled “Usurpation: The Untold Stories of the Iraq War, 2003 to the Present.” Organized by Dr. Afaf Nash (USC), here Prof. Al-Tikriti joined Drs. Nash, Nadje al-Ali (SOAS), Nada Shabout (U. of North Texas), Jeffrey Spurr (Independent Scholar), and Saleem al-Bahloly (Johns Hopkins) to discuss the longer term legacies of the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

Prof. Al-Tikriti’s contribution to the roundtable was entitled “Familial and Personal Journeys With US Foreign Policy on Iraq.” In this discussion, he discussed the impact of recent developments in Iraqi history on his extended family in Mosul, Tikrit, and Baghdad. He then discussed his interactions with U.S. foreign policy in Iraq since 1990, and how such interactions affected his career and politics. He closed by discussing his prior research on the effects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq on state institutions, cultural patronage, and education.

For full roundtable presentation abstracts, see:

Konieczny Publishes in Semigroup Forum

Janusz Konieczny, professor of mathematics, published a research article, Centralizers in full injective transformations in the symmetric inverse semigroup, in the journal Semigroup Forum. This research was supported by a 2014–15 University of Mary Washington Faculty research grant.

Cooperman Quoted in Global Times

Rosalyn Cooperman, Associate Professor of Political Science, was recently quoted in Global Times. Read the article titled “New PACs are rising on the left and the right to get women inaugurated in 2018.


Liss Research Appears in Psychology Today

Research conducted by Psychology Professor Miriam Liss recently appeared in Psychology Today. For the article, called “10 Signs Insecurity Is Spreading to Your Facebook Behavior,” Liss and students  administered a set of personality measures along with FOMO (fear of missing out) as predictors of use of, and addiction to, social media.