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UA Moves Up in World University Rankings to No. 86

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 13:13

The University of Arizona is ranked No. 86 in the annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2014-15, representing a jump of nearly 20 places from the previous year. The UA was ranked No. 103 among 400 universities in 2013-14.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are among the most comprehensive global rankings, using 13 performance indicators to examine a university’s strengths against all of its core missions — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. This year’s rankings, released on Oct. 1, employed the same methodology used since 2011-12.

The performance indicators are grouped into five areas:

  • Teaching: the learning environment (30 percent of overall ranking score)
  • Research: volume, income and reputation (30 percent)
  • Citations: research influence (30 percent)
  • Industry income: innovation (2.5 percent)
  • International outlook: staff, students and research (7.5 percent)

"The Times Higher Education World University Rankings present a picture that reflects the scholarly excellence of our faculty and research at the University of Arizona,” UA Provost Andrew Comrie said. “It is an honor to be included among the world’s premier institutions of higher education. With our Never Settle academic and strategic plan in place, we feel that the best is yet to come.”

The UA provides competitive research and academic programs in astronomy, entrepreneurship, environmental sciences, integrative medicine, optics, tribal and indigenous law, and many other disciplines of critical importance to local and global communities.

Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, said: “Top-quality universities come in many different shapes and sizes, and there is no single model of excellence. With this in mind, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings are carefully designed to capture excellence in teaching and research against a university’s own mission and its own unique profile.”

View the complete results at

Editor: dougcarrollByline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsHeader image: NoNo Image: Subheading: Teaching, research and citations heavily weighted in ranking of No. 86, a jump of nearly 20 places.Include in UANow: 0Include in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image: 

A Faster Internet? UA Scientists Are Working on It

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 13:12


Removing barriers along the way to a blazingly fast Internet is the declared goal of scientists at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences who are leading an international consortium tasked with developing new technology to make it happen.

In 2008, the National Science Foundation gave a five-year, $18.5 million grant to establish an engineering research center (ERC) that is based at the UA and united with other universities in a collaboration known as the Center for Integrated Access Networks, or CIAN.

The NSF recently approved funding for the second half of the project, totaling about $17 million, more than half of which goes to the ERC at the UA. Each year, the center also receives roughly $2 million in support from corporate sponsors and an additional $1 million from other agencies.

"Our goal with CIAN is to remove the bottleneck of the Internet so the entire network becomes more scalable," said Nasser Peyghambarian, director of the ERC and professor in the College of Optical Sciences. "In other words, more users can access it at higher speed, lower cost and lower energy consumption."

As the number increases of end users accessing the Internet with computers and mobile devices, the network has to grow, become faster or both.

"It's not going to expand indefinitely, so we have to create new technologies to be able to handle that growing demand," Peyghambarian said. 

The key to accomplishing that goal lies in developing a hybrid architecture that marries electronics and optics, and that is exactly what Peyghambarian and his colleagues are working on at the ERC.

"As an end user right now, you have to rely on electronics for the information you are trying to send or receive through the Internet," Peyghambarian explained. "Your computer and smartphone are electronic devices. They send electronic signals into the data superhighways of the Internet, and those have always been fiber-optic networks. But the optical signals are being transformed back into electronic signals at the receiving ends. The goal of CIAN is to bring optics closer and closer to the end user."

"People want more information going to their homes," added Daniel Kilper, a research professor of optical sciences and CIAN's administrative director. "Tomorrow's Internet no longer is about the information superhighway, it's more about information Main Street or information neighborhood — fiber-optics all the way to the home."

Dan Kilper, CIAN's administrative director, explains how optical components such as tiny laser mirror arrays modulate high-speed electronic signals to create a faster Internet. (Photo: Bob Demers/UANews)  

To achieve that new kind of capability and bandwidth going to individual users, scientists and engineers have to reduce the cost and energy consumption of the photo-electronic components. One of the key technologies developed by CIAN involves arrays of miniaturized mirrors to control laser pulses that in turn modulate high-speed electronic signals, a process known as optical circuit switching.

"We develop new photonic integrated circuits using a technology called silicon photonics," Kilper said. "We can take all these bulky optical components here and put them onto a chip, and then we can start to integrate that optical chip with the electronic chip, either side by side or even potentially on the same chip to gain efficiency, reduced cost and reduced power consumption so that these devices can be mass-produced and go out to individual users.

"With today's commercially available systems you can already achieve transmission rates of 400 gigabits per second, but we're looking at a terabit and beyond," Kilper said.

The research at CIAN has garnered much industry interest, attracting 20 industry affiliates ranging from hot startups such as Calient and Bandwidth10 to industry heavyweights including Fujitsu, Texas Instruments, Intel and Samsung.

CIAN doesn't focus on the research alone but plays an important role in education at several levels. Graduate students have gone on to apply their expertise in companies working on making the faster Internet a reality. Some have founded their own companies specializing in integrated optical-electronic circuits; others have embarked on careers at other universities.

In educating students, CIAN follows the guidelines of Engineer of 2020, an initiative spearheaded by the National Academy of Engineering to equip engineering graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in emerging and future markets.

"Future graduates need to have new capabilities that go beyond engineering," Peyghambarian said. "They need to be entrepreneurs, and they have to come up with new ideas, so we train our students and put them in workshops to become entrepreneurs of the future."

In addition to its core funding, CIAN has attracted renewed and additional funding for two three-year programs bringing research experience to undergraduates (REU) and teachers (RET), with a special emphasis on minorities and underserved communities including Native Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans.

"We have been engaged in outreach to Indian reservations, where education and outreach have been received really well," Peyghambarian said. "In addition, we have a program for veteran education, funded by NSF specifically for that purpose."

"CIAN illustrates the remarkable diversity of optics and photonics applications pursued by the College of Optical Sciences," said Dean Thomas Koch. "Our college has a culture of being able to successfully meld basic research, teaching and service to industry, allowing us to offer an unparalleled educational experience for our students. Our faculty and students constantly push the boundaries of what's possible through discovery and innovations, with breakthroughs in the applications of light that impact virtually every field of science and industry."

UA's national partners in CIAN are the University of California San Diego; the University of California Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; California Institute of Technology, the University of California Berkeley; Columbia University and Cornell University in New York; Norfolk State University in Virginia; and Tuskegee University in Alabama. International partners are Aalto University in Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Darmstadt in Germany and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea.

Editor: dougcarrollWriter: Daniel StolteByline: Daniel StolteByline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsHeader image: NoNo Image: Subheading: Dan Kilper and the College of Optical Sciences are leading an effort to develop a technology that marries electronics with optics. Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image: 

UA Granted $2.5M to Expand Training for Rehabilitation Counselors

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:42

With three new federal grants funded at $2.5 million, University of Arizona faculty will greatly expand educational and training opportunities for high-demand rehabilitation counseling professionals — especially to support individuals with visual impairment and mental illness.

Chih-Chin Chou, a UA associate professor in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, has been awarded three U.S. Department of Education grants that are expected to improve recruitment, expand financial support for students and ultimately result in 100 qualified rehabilitation counselors training and graduating over a five-year period. 

"The job market analysis of rehabilitation counselors for the next 10 years clearly indicates that there is a significant shortage of qualified rehabilitation counselors, yet the demand is much greater than supply locally and nationally," said Chou, the principle investigator on the three grants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that rehabilitation counselors will see faster-than-average job growth across the country at least through 2022.

"While the need is critical and interest in the rehabilitation counseling program has continued to grow, tuition and the cost of living in Arizona have been growing rapidly, resulting in insufficient funding to recruit and support the numbers of students wishing to pursue the profession," Chou said. "We see this project as an important mechanism for attracting students from this region, including students from culturally diverse backgrounds and persons with disabilities who live below the poverty level."

UA College of Education Dean Ronald Marx said the College of Education's faculty in the rehabilitation counseling program, which ranked sixth in the nation in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools, positioned the institution to be highly competitive for the awards.

"The fact that Professor Chou was able to win three of these awards in one year is testimony to the quality of the program," Marx said. "These funds will enable us to prepare high-quality professionals to work in a broad range of rehabilitation settings."

The UA is the only higher-education institution in the state offering the master's level program and, since the 1990s, has collaborated with the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration to offer courses in Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott, Yuma and Window Rock on the Navajo Nation.

The three projects, each funded over a five-year period, are:

  • The Master's Rehabilitation Counseling project, funded at nearly $1 million. The project will expand the number of qualified rehabilitation counselors available for employment in public vocational rehabilitation programs. The program is responding to a statewide need to increase the number of qualified rehabilitation counselors, especially those able to work for public agencies.
  • Master’s Rehabilitation Counseling for People Who Are Mentally Ill, which will be funded at about $750,000 and also is responding to a statewide demand. Through the project, the UA will provide its Council on Rehabilitation Education-accredited master's degree-level training program through traditional classrooms, video conferencing and Web-based instruction, which will allow students in remote areas to pursue the degree on a full-time basis. 
  • The Preparation of Rehabilitation Counselors for People with VI (individuals who are blind and visually impaired) also will be funded at about $750,000. Students will receive special training in understanding medical and psychological aspects of visual impairment, as well as braille, assistive technology and working environments. Also, students will be required to participate in 800 hours of field experiences in a clinical setting, working with people who are blind or have vision impairments.

For each project, the UA team will collaborate with Arizona State Rehabilitation Services Administration counselors and American Indian rehabilitation agencies across the state. The effort also will focus on recruiting a diverse pool of individuals who are responsive to the unique needs of people with visual impairments and mental illnesses, including physical, developmental, cognitive and emotional disabilities.

The UA program, which generally enrolls about 20 new students each year, anticipates recruiting an additional 18 students each year for the general rehabilitation counseling program and for specialties in psychiatric rehabilitation and work with individuals who have visual impairments. Those students will receive stipends funded by the new grants.

Sunggye Hong, an associate professor in the UA Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, is working with Chou on the project. Hong, whose focus is on preparing students to work with individuals who are visually impaired, said that while the Council on Rehabilitation Education does not require the rehabilitation counseling students to train on ways to aid individuals with visual impairments, it is a priority at the UA. 

Chou and Hong noted a number of concerning statistics driving the need for more qualified professionals: More than 4 million working-age adults across the country are blind or have vision impairments and more than 65 percent are unemployed. As many as one in three adults older than 65 will be living with limited vision by 2030.

The team noted unemployment of 90 percent among the approximately 3 million individuals of working age in the U.S. who are living with psychiatric disabilities.

Such individuals often need the support of rehabilitation counselors to learn how to best use adaptive aids to ensure that they can live independently. They also rely on such counselors to pursue the lifestyles of their choice.

"With the special education and advanced technology in providing accommodation, people with visual impairments have education and skills to contribute to society, yet they usually face challenges trying to look for employment," Chou said. "They frequently require specialized employment services in order to maximize their chances to achieve gainful employment, remain employed and advance in the workplace."

By training rehabilitation counselors to be attentive to the needs of those with mental illness and visual impairment, also with a focus on adaptive technologies, the UA team intends to expand the number of qualified professionals and also the number of those who are able to maintain independent living.

"An aging population combined with other health problems requires a comprehensive level of assessment and service provision," Hong said.

"In addition, while rapid development of technology venues promised greater opportunities for rehabilitation counselors to increase successful intervention, equally critical training (is needed) to keep up with technology options," he said. "This project will serve as an important vehicle to deliver these essential components to rehabilitation counselors."

Editor: dougcarrollWriter: La Monica Everett-HaynesByline: La Monica Everett-HaynesByline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsExtra Info: 

What do rehabilitation counselors do?

  • Help people with emotional and physical disabilities live independently.
  • Work with clients to overcome or manage the personal, social and professional effects of disabilities on employment or independent living.
  • Rehabilitation counselors can work in schools, hospitals, independent-living and residential facilities, job training centers, insurance companies, mental health treatment programs, substance abuse treatment centers and prisons, and also with rehabilitation agencies, in private practice and with corporations.  
  • Rehabilitation counselors are typically required to have a master's degree in their field, and may also need certification or a license to practice.
  • At the UA, the rehabilitation and mental health counseling emphasis prepares graduates for professional certification as a certified rehabilitation counselors. Students are also able to meet the educational requirements for licensure in the State of Arizona as licensed professional counselors.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, UA College of Education

Header image: YesNo Image: Subheading: Faculty members in the UA's top-ranking rehabilitation counseling program have received a total of $2.5 million in grant funding to expanding training for students over the next five years. Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image: 

Old Main's Ambassadors

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:12

It all begins and ends at Old Main on the UA campus.  Tours for prospective undergraduate students and their families are led by current UA students eager to share their passion for the University.

Video Thumbnail: Category(s): Campus NewsYouTube Video:  Ambassadors At Old Main Video of Ambassadors At Old Main Feature Sticky: OffFeature on Front: YesMedium Summary: As you'll see, passion for the UA is hard to contain on student-led tours for prospective students and their families. UANow Image: Date of Publication: Monday, September 29, 2014

FitPHX at Verde Park

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:00
Short Summary: An illustrated skeleton helps the students explain the science of the body. UANow Image: Social Network: FacebookSocial Author: University of Arizona College of Medicine — PhoenixSocial Link: FitPHX at Verde Park

Rainy season leaves Arizona crawling with caterpillars

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:50
Date of Publication: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Organization : USA TodayCategory(s): Science and TechnologyOther Story Image: Short Summary: The prevailing theory is that the caterpillars are looking for a place to pupate, according to a report from UA entomologist Carl Olson.Include in Olympic coverage: noFeature on olympic page: noMedium Summary: The prevailing theory is that the caterpillars are looking for a place to pupate, according to a report from UA entomologist Carl Olson.

Regents approve UA veterinary school

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:46
Date of Publication: Thursday, September 25, 2014 Organization : Arizona Daily StarCategory(s): HealthOther Story Image: Short Summary: A degree program in veterinary medicine was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents, giving the UA the state's only veterinary medical school operation. Include in Olympic coverage: noFeature on olympic page: noMedium Summary: A degree program in veterinary medicine was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents, giving the UA the state's only veterinary medical school operation.

Expert on African-American genetics shifts his focus

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:40
Date of Publication: Monday, September 29, 2014 Organization : The Chronicle of Higher EducationCategory(s): Science and TechnologyOther Story Image: Short Summary: Rick A. Kittles will study Native Americans in leading the division of population genetics at the UA’s Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.Include in Olympic coverage: noFeature on olympic page: noMedium Summary: Rick A. Kittles will study Native Americans in leading the division of population genetics at the UA’s Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.

UA Center: When Disaster Strikes, Preparedness Is Key

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 16:02

Imagine this: You work at a community health center. It has been more than 110 degrees for five straight days, the power in your building is out and 50 people in the clinic waiting room are seeking medical attention.

What do you do?

Through trainings and mock scenarios, the Mountain West Preparedness & Emergency Response Learning Center at the University of Arizona's Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health helps prepare organizations for emergencies such as this.

The center, also known as MWPERLC, has trained thousands in emergency preparedness since it was established in 2005. It largely serves the health-care workforce, including state, county and tribal health departments in Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. In addition, the center has provided strategic guidance and services to schools, law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations.

“We as a community need to be prepared to help each other out. You can only help others if you’ve prepared yourself first, if you’ve taken the initiative,” said Mona Arora, a senior research specialist at the center.

MWPERLC offers online training in various aspects of emergency response, ranging from mass care to medical countermeasures.

The center also develops and conducts face-to-face trainings and emergency exercises, designing and facilitating functional exercises that allow an agency and its employees to simulate the response and rapid problem-solving skills needed to manage a hypothetical emergency.

"It makes it more realistic. It adds the pressure factor into it, that real-time response," Arora said.

Earlier this month, which is National Preparedness Month, Arora and colleagues led a training with the Marana Health Center, using the afrementioned extreme weather scenario.

The health center employees responded through a tabletop exercise, in which they had to answer the question, "If this were to happen in real life, what would Marana Health Center be doing?"

The health center exercise was limited to a tabletop discussion. If it had progressed to a functional exercise, participants would have received mock phone calls from other agencies, simulating escalating conditions and requesting needed actions.

"They'll actually be role playing," Arora said. She said MWPERLC has used UA students and trained staff members to make phone calls and create the feel of a real emergency situation.

"What we do is set the stage," Arora said.

MWPERLC works closely with public health professionals, but it also works with the UA community.

"We do work with the University as a whole to bring people together, to bring different departments together to make sure everybody is on the same page as to what their roles and responsibilities are (in the event of an emergency)," Arora said. "Moreover, we work together as a team when such a situation arises."

In 2009, when the H1N1 virus outbreak struck Arizona, the center played a critical role in bringing together different UA departments and students to distribute seasonal flu vaccinations.  The center worked with units such as Campus Health; the Colleges of Public Health, Pharmacy and Medicine; the UA Police Department; Parking & Transportation; Life & Work Connections and others.

Forty-three student volunteers from various disciplines helped the UA Campus Emergency Response Team Mass Clinic Planning Subgroup set up a “drive-through POD,” or point of dispensing. They administered 500 vaccinations in three hours to individuals, who were able to remain in their vehicles.

The planning subgroup saw the mass immunization as an opportunity to implement and test  a “mass clinic” plan that it had been developing. This was the first time it was able to test the plan.  

“It was a success because we were able to train a lot of people,” Arora said. “Having the campus community train on our plans helps us as an institution better prepare and respond to a public health emergency.”

MWPERLC offers many different trainings and services through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Read more about the CDC grant in this UANews story.)

Agencies can request training support from the MWPERLC. The center will adapt its workshop curriculum to meet an agency's specific needs.

Arora says the benefit of emergency preparedness is being able to use the knowledge and skills gained to help others, be they co-workers or family members.

“In the bigger scheme of things, that’s what community resiliency is all about,” Arora said.

Brenda Granillo, the program director, says the community “plays a vital role in emergency planning and strengthening the nation’s overall level of preparedness.”

“The more we engage our communities, the better we can understand their real-life safety and sustaining needs and their motivations to participate in emergency-management-related activities prior to an event.”

For more information on the center, visit

Editor: Alexis BlueWriter: Brittney Smith Byline: Brittney Smith Byline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsHeader image: YesNo Image: Subheading: The UA's Mountain West Preparedness & Emergency Response Learning Center has trained thousands in emergency preparedness.Include in UANow: 0Include in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: no

A New Method for Healing Hearts

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 14:05

In a cutting-edge new clinical trial, the University of Arizona's Dr. Zain Khalpey is using tissue from the human placenta to help heal hearts after surgery.

Khalpey, a cardiothoracic surgeon, has been applying amniotic tissue, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effects, to human hearts since last year.

He was the first in the world to practice the technique, which he says appears to significantly reduce risk for postsurgical complications such as atrial fibrillation, or abnormal heart rhythm.

Between 27 and 40 percent of heart surgery patients develop postoperative atrial fibrillation, which reduces blood flow and increases the risk of stroke and other serious complications.

The irregular heart rhythm usually begins three to six days after surgery and is thought to be caused by postsurgical inflammation, said Khalpey, an associate professor in the UA Department of Surgery and surgical director of the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at the UA Medical Center.

In an effort to reduce inflammation – and thereby risk for atrial fibrillation – Khalpey applies an amniotic membrane patch to the area of the heart where the surgery was performed. The patch is made from the inner layer of the placenta, which supplies blood and nutrients to the baby in the womb, and is rich in anti-inflammatory proteins.

"This is an anti-inflammatory blanket that sits on top of the heart, and it basically cools it down," Khalpey said.

The technique seems to be working.

Early clinical results suggest that the patch may reduce the risk for postsurgical atrial fibrillation to less than 10 percent. Khalpey will explore the patch's effectiveness further in a new two-year clinical trial looking specifically at patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass surgery.

The patch, which is biodegradable and dissolves as the patient heals, also helps prevent scarring, which is especially helpful in long-term cardiac patients who may require additional surgeries in the future, Khalpey said.

The amniotic tissue comes from female donors who have had a caesarean birth. Since the tissue doesn't provoke the vigorous antibody response that transplanted organs do, immunosuppressant drugs aren't needed, Khalpey said.

Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effects, amniotic tissue has been used by surgeons for years to promote healing of eye wounds and other surface wounds, especially diabetic wounds.

But it never had been used on hearts until now.

"With this patch," Khalpey said, "you are potentially minimizing postoperative atrial fibrillation, which leads to a lower incidence of postoperative strokes, morbidity and mortality and eventually leads to shortening a patient's hospital stay."

Editor: dougcarrollWriter: Alexis BlueByline: Alexis BlueByline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsHeader image: YesNo Image: Subheading: A UA surgeon is exploring how amniotic tissue, with its anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring properties, may help prevent complications after heart surgery.Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image: 

Using the Force: UA Police Officer Completes NASA Project

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:40

One night on patrol at the Posada San Pedro residence hall on the University of Arizona campus, UA Police Officer Andrew Lincowski found himself stopping to help a student in need. This was not the kind of aid that police officers normally perform: Lincowski was summoned to assist with physics homework.

If this seems unusual for an on-duty officer, that's because it is. Lincowski is also an undergraduate student at the UA studying physics and astronomy, and recently he completed a summer-long internship at NASA.

The possibility of finding life-sustaining planets beyond our solar system has long captured the public's imagination, and the search is intensifying among today's top scientists. This past summer, Lincowski joined leading scientific minds at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the investigation.

Lincowski traveled to Greenbelt, Maryland, over the summer as a NASA intern. Out of several hundred participants in the internship program, Lincowski was one of only 16 nationwide recipients of the prestigious John Mather Nobel Scholarship, offered by the National Space Grant Foundation. During his stay, he participated in a project affectionately called "Finding the Needles in the Haystacks," otherwise known as the Haystacks Project.

"Haystacks is all about searching for Earth-like, extrasolar planets," says Lincowski. "This work is enabling us to determine what else is out there."

The existence of extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, wasn't confirmed until 1988. Since then, more than 1,800 exoplanets have been discovered. The goal of Haystacks is to create high-fidelity models of extrasolar planetary systems to help scientists identify exoplanets and investigate them for signs of life.

"These models will be the inputs for detailed simulations of exoplanet observations with future NASA missions, including ones capable of finding truly Earth-like planets," explains NASA scientist Aki Roberge, principal investigator on the Haystacks Project and a mentor to Lincowski.

Spotting the dim light that corresponds to a far-away exoplanet is a colossal undertaking. One of the most effective ways to determine what an Earth-like planet might look like is to study the properties of our own solar system. Lincowski's role in the Haystacks Project was to create a model of how our solar system would appear if observed from far away.

Lincowski's efforts on Haystacks will inform the development of the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope, a NASA flagship mission planned for launch between 2025 and 2035. ATLAST will scan the stars for signs of life beyond our own solar system, and provide scientists with new insights into the underlying physics governing our universe.

"Andrew did an amazing job on the project this summer, showing great independence and persistence," Roberge says. "I think Andrew is a born scientist. He combines intelligence and discipline with valuable skills in writing and communication."

When he's not preoccupied unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos, Lincowski can be found in uniform, serving protecting his fellow students as an officer in the UA Police Department.

After Lincowski graduated with an accounting degree from the UA in 2006, he began working for a homebuilder. When the housing market crashed, he decided that he'd had enough of accounting and joined the Tucson Police Department. He hopes to one day work for the FBI and investigate financial crimes.

Ultimately, his interest in mathematics and the origins of the universe led him back to the UA in 2011 to begin his studies in physics and astronomy. In the spring of 2012, he transferred from TPD to UAPD.

"I loved it," Lincowski says. "UAPD is different than city or town agencies — they truly partner with the community."

Since then, he has managed to juggle a full academic course load and a demanding career as a campus police officer. He says the role of UAPD is far more diverse than people might realize.

"It's important to educate students and faculty about law and safety," says Lincowski, who also serves as a UAPD liaison to the Posada San Pedro residence hall. "We spend a lot of time on public outreach, and teaching people how to prepare for and deal with emergencies."

Brian Seastone, chief of police at UAPD, calls the department's commitment to community-oriented policing "total engagement."

"At the University, you can go from responding to a fire alarm to talking to a Nobel laureate — it's an incredible place to work," Seastone says. "We don't want officers just going out there and patrolling, we want them getting involved in the campus community.

"We are very fortunate that we have not only Andrew but a number of officers and civilian employees that are going to school, so they can see the student side of campus life and bring it back to UAPD. It makes us a better department."

When considering a drastic career change, Lincowski said it was important to be well rounded, have a financial plan, and be mentally and physically prepared to make the transition.

"You have to jump in with both feet, and be prepared for the long haul," he says. "You can't slack."

After the completion of his studies, Lincowski hopes to attend graduate school and complete a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He'd like to study high-energy physics, the origins of the universe, and the fundamental nature of matter and energy.

"Physics and astronomy are relatively far removed from the normal perception of most people, but everyone's technology is based on physics," Lincowski says. "We are at a point where computing technology is not going to progress much further without understanding and employing quantum mechanics. Advanced physics is required to continue to develop technology, even in biology and medicine."

Lincowski hopes that his efforts will help the public understand the importance of STEM education and increase awareness of scientific advancements.

"They say that civilizations are measured by their art and science," he says. "These things increase the quality of our lives, and move us forward as a species."

Editor: dougcarrollWriter: Raymond SanchezByline: Raymond SanchezByline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsHeader image: YesNo Image: Subheading: University of Arizona Police Officer Andrew Lincowski joined planetary scientists at NASA this summer to search for exoplanets that might have the potential to harbor life. Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image: 

What's Your State's Most Unusual Food Topic?

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 21:00
Date of Publication: Monday, September 22, 2014 Organization : People magazineCategory(s): HealthOther Story Image: Short Summary: The authors of a UA study were able to figure out some fun factoids about eating across the country.Include in Olympic coverage: noFeature on olympic page: noMedium Summary: The authors of a UA study were able to figure out some fun factoids about eating across the country.

Live Bugs Tell of a Bug's Life at Insect Festival

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 14:03


Ask any entomologist, and you might be told that bugs rule the world. Each year in September, they certainly rule the show during the Arizona Insect Festival. Now in its fourth year, the event has the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center crawling with an estimated 5,000 people, wanting to learn about insects, interact with them and marvel at their incredible diversity.

"Insects play very important roles — for example, as recyclers of biological matter and in pollination ecology — and they're a hugely important resource in the form of prey to larger animals, so they're key to many ecosystem processes that hold everything together," said Wendy Moore, an assistant professor in the UA Department of Entomology and one of the organizers of the festival.

Insects are among the most diverse groups of animals, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms. Southern Arizona is one of the most diverse areas for arthropods — insects, spiders and their kin — in the United States, according to Moore, who is the curator of the UA's insect collection and runs the "arthropod zoo" at the festival.

"The Southwest is extraordinarily rich in arthropod species," Moore said, "and that's partially due to the fact that we're in the sky island region with so many different elevations for arthropods to exist in. In addition, this region is a confluence for faunas from the North, the South and the deserts."

The UA Center for Insect Science brings together researchers and students from several departments, including entomology in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and ecology and evolutionary biology and neuroscience in the College of Science.

"Together we form this great, world-renowned collection of researchers of arthropods that makes the UA a leader in arthropod research," Moore said.

"The students are an essential part of the festival, because to put on a party like this, it really takes a village. And our students are some of the most enthusiastic participants that we have. They are integral in designing and running every single booth, and in doing the interactions. It's a great opportunity for them to engage with the public and talk about their research."

About 20 booths at the Sept. 21 event offered visitors a glimpse into various aspects of insects. There were plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal, from caterpillar- and roach-petting stations to the microscopes revealing the inner workings of bug brains, from live specimens of the world's most painful stinging insect (the tarantula wasp) to more environmentally friendly ways to fight insect pests.

Bruce Tabashnik, head of the entomology department and a world-renowned expert in studying insect resistance to genetically engineered crop plants, said: "This festival is a great opportunity to show people what integrated pest management is all about. We are well-known for linking with farmers and really anyone who is concerned about controlling insects, in environmentally friendly ways that are sustainable and don't poison people or other living things. We're interested in advancing any knowledge about insects, and to use that information to improve the lives of the people of Arizona and the world."

Editor: dougcarrollWriter: Daniel StolteByline: Daniel StolteByline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsHeader image: NoNo Image: No imageSubheading: UA students brought the hidden world of insects to the community at the annual event, which showcases the Southwest as a hotspot of arthropod diversity. Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image: 

Bad Behavior: Personal Choice or Unintended Outcome?

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 14:56

What is the source of bad behavior? I believe the answer lies in the dialogue created at places such as the University of Arizona's Center for Leadership Ethics at the Eller College of Management.

The UA center is engaged in education involving ethical practices at both the high school and college levels and solving ethical behavior issues, which have been trending in the wrong direction. The center also actively discusses unethical behavior and the positive impact that addressing these behaviors will have on our society. In short, the center is committed to changing a current societal shortcoming by educating early and setting the right examples.

Regardless of whether unethical behavior is a choice or an unintended consequence, its existence generally harms not only innocent people but also industries, schools and governments. Unethical behavior has an impact on the integrity of systems and industries. We don't need to look any further than the sub-prime mortgage crisis, Ponzi investment schemes, falsified corporate financial reporting and government scandals to see the evidence of this.

So where does my interest in ethics come from? I have chosen a profession that is highly regulated, or perhaps even overregulated.

I say this with a complete understanding that the primary argument for high regulation is ethics-based. But what is ethical behavior?

There was a time when ethical behavior simply meant that you treated people well, did not steal, did not lie and did not cheat. You simply practiced professionalism and worked diligently. If you did these things, you performed your job in an "ethical" manner. Today, the industry has shifted into a hypervigilant regulation of lawyers and their law firms, one that stretches beyond the above-described ethics code.

What has changed?

Studies show that unethical behavior is often accepted and practiced by both high school and college students in the form of cheating, plagiarism and even taking medications to obtain a testing advantage. Some would argue that this happens because schools and parents have failed to give students a strong, clear message that these behaviors are wrong and will not be tolerated. But maybe this conclusion is too simplistic.

In an April 20, 2011, op-ed piece published in The New York Times, "Stumbling Into Bad Behavior," authors Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel state that unethical conduct occurs because "people are unconsciously fooling themselves. They overlook transgressions — bending a rule to help a colleague, overlooking information that might damage the reputation of a client — because it is in their interest to do so." Bazerman and Tenbrunsel argue that when people are busy at work and life, we fail to even notice that a decision has an ethical component, which allows us to "behave unethically while maintaining a positive self-image." I also believe that this failure to consciously evaluate decisions with the ethical component in mind allows normally ethical people to accept the unethical behaviors of others.

With a prevalently tolerant attitude toward unethical behaviors, it's easy to see its impact on adults in their professional work environments: professional athletes attempting to cheat by using performance enhancing drugs; a job applicant lying on an application; or a company CEO who falsifies financial statements to satisfy Wall Street expectations.

So will increasing the punishment for unethical behavior at a young age change a student's perspective before entering the workforce? I can certainly think of modern-day examples where this is not the case. State bar associations disbar lawyers every year for acting unethically, and this isn't enough of a deterrent to change behavior. In fact, in the same op-ed piece referenced above, Bazerman and Tenbrunsel state that fines and penalties can actually increase the undesirable behaviors they are designed to discourage: "With no penalty, the situation was construed as an ethical dilemma; the penalty caused individuals to view the decision as a financial one."

So if the threat of punishment or a clear negative outcome isn't enough to change behavior, what will? Quite simply, programs such as the UA's Center for Leadership Ethics at Eller.

Doug Zanes is the owner and responsible attorney for Zanes Law, a personal injury law firm established in Arizona in 2003. Zanes, who has invested more than 17 years practicing law, is a newly appointed member of the advisory board member at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management's Center for Leadership Ethics. With a three-pronged focus on research, education and outreach, the center works to advance improvements in organizational ethics. The Center for Leadership Ethics consists of scholars with diverse interests pertaining to leadership ethics who are committed to improving the ethical culture of organizations.

Categories: Business and LawThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: Guest PostEducationOutreachByline: Doug Zanes |UANow Image: Editor: dougcarrollInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Friday, September 19, 2014Medium Summary: What's the source of unethical behavior and why don't punitive measures prevent it from happening? In this guest column, Doug Zanes, a newly appointed member of the advisory board at the UA Eller College of Management's Center for Leadership Ethics, explains the challenges.Feature on Front: NoShort Summary: Is unethical behavior a choice?

'Arizona Illustrated' to Feature Inspirational UA Student

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 19:28

The inspirational story of Samir Madden, a UA junior who is a congenital quadruple amputee, will be featured on "Arizona Illustrated," airing at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 on PBS 6.

As president of the International Child Amputee Network, Madden works to increase awareness of children with limb differences in schools and classrooms. He teaches and mentors on issues of self-esteem, bullying and acceptance. He is studying history and religious studies at the UA.

Two additional Tucsonans will be featured in the broadcast: Tamara McKinney, program director of the Reading Seed, and Tom Kramkowski, dropout prevention specialist and Youth on Their Own liaison.

McKinney is an advocate for reading proficiency and literacy in the K-3 student population. Reading Seed trains volunteers to work with struggling readers on motivation, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Kramkowski works to identify, guide and assist at-risk teens in the Tucson Unified School District. Many of the students with whom he works lack the support of a caring adult and have no permanent residence or consistent home environment.  

Madden's story also is one of 14 that will be broadcast nationally as part of "American Graduate Day 2014," which will air from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 27 on PBS 6. UA President Ann Weaver Hart will introduce the program.

"American Graduate Day 2014," hosted by author and U.S. Army veteran Wes Moore, will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are helping youth stay on track for college and career success. This year’s topics include early education, caring consistent adults, more and better learning, special needs, STEAM, dropout prevention and re-engagement, career readiness and college completion.

The program will be anchored by a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces that spotlight individuals around the country who are keeping students on the path to graduation.









Byline Affiliation: University Relations - CommunicationsWhat: 'Arizona Illustrated'Where: PBS 6When: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21Header image: YesNo Image: Subheading: Samir Madden, a junior studying history and religious studies who is a quadruple amputee, is the subject of a profile by Arizona Public Media.Include in UANow: 0Include in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: no

100% Student Engagement Series: Boeing Internship Provides Inside View of Management

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 18:42

The University of Arizona is committed to ensuring that every student integrates and applies learning via internships, jobs, research and other opportunities relevant to the real world. This is the last in a five-part UANews series detailing industry-related experiences UA students have completed.

Ryan Mooney, a UA senior studying finance in the Eller College of Management, has long been interested in the aerospace industry and decided to pursue an internship with the Boeing Company because of its "highly respected reputation and its innovative products that connect people around the world."

Mooney said he gained an inside view of how commercial airplanes are manufactured. He also learned more about the everyday business aspects of operating a major global corporation.

As his 12-week internship came to a close, Mooney shared a bit about his experience. Read other articles in the series:

Q: Tell us about your responsibilities.

Mooney: I worked on the 787 Final Assembly Finance team and some of my responsibilities included providing production support teams with financial products and cost management tools. I also helped in the financial forecast for the third quarter for customers, and quantified risks and opportunities for support teams that would be incorporated into the forecast. Lastly, I was responsible for selecting a summer project. I had to independently investigate a solution to a current issue on the 787 program and present my finding to managers and team members.     

Q: What are some of the most important things you learned in the course of the internship? 

Mooney: Some of the most important things I learned throughout my internship include the importance of adapting to a team environment. Working with other members on my finance team and support team managers was an essential component to providing the necessary financial data. Communication was another important aspect of my internship. During staff meetings, I was responsible for communicating the weekly breakdown of financial data for support team managers. Lastly, I learned to take advantage of the resources that Boeing provided for interns, which included informational interviews with managers, intern speaker series, interns tours and other developmental resources that helped to give interns a sense of pride for working at Boeing.     

Q: How will you apply what you have learned? 

Mooney: I will apply what I learned both in class and in my future career after college. No matter the industry, communication and teamwork are critical skills that lead to success. My experience at Boeing gave me an idea of the hard work it takes to excel in a large business and the importance of collaborating with colleagues in order to accomplish the goals expected to succeed in any business or industry.  

Categories: Campus NewsTeaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: StudentsStudent LifeEducationOutreachByline: University Relations - Communications |Editor: dougcarrollInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Friday, September 19, 2014Medium Summary: Ryan Mooney, a UA senior studying finance, completed an internship with Boeing. Feature on Front: NoShort Summary: Ryan Mooney, a UA senior studying finance, completed an internship with Boeing.

100% Student Engagement Series: UA Student Lands Macy's Internship

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 16:33

The University of Arizona is committed to ensuring that every student integrates and applies learning via internships, jobs, research and other opportunities relevant to the real world. This is the fourth in a five-part UANews series detailing industry-related experiences UA students have completed.

Natalie Sanchez with Terry J. Lundgren, the CEO of Macy's (and a UA alumnus).

Natalie Sanchez, a journalism senior with a minor in fashion, worked this past summer with Macy's Merchandising Group in New York City as a private brands marketing intern. 

Sanchez said she was "truly blessed" for gaining the internship with the company, which provides merchandising services to a broad range of popular brands, including Kenneth Cole, Jones New York, Liz Claiborne and Nine West. She won the internship after interviewing Terry J. Lundgren, the CEO of Macy's and a UA alumnus. Sanchez's interview with Lundgren is available online.

Sanchez shared with us about her experience with Macy's.

Q: Why did you want to work with the Macy's Merchandising Group? 

Sanchez: Prior to interviewing the CEO, I didn’t consider having a career in retail, since I am a journalism major. But when the opportunity arose, I knew I would be foolish not to take it. During my interview, I specified that I wanted to do marketing because of the marketing experience that I gained last fall with Tucson Fashion Week. I knew I could implement my journalistic skills in video, writing and communications to be a successful asset.

UA students took part in a 5K run to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House New York. From left: Codey Villanue, Stephanie Ho, Natalie Sanchez and Stephanie Mcllroy.

Q: What were your responsibilities?

Sanchez: My responsibilities started off initially small, but as I spoke with my supervisor about ideas that I wanted to implement that is when it took off. My main focus soon centered around making corporate videos and I was even able to teach the team a thing or two. What was really exciting is that one of the videos that I edited was shown at a conference for all of the Macy's district managers to see. And if I couldn't solve a problem myself, I would ask my office team for help. They were extremely kind and provided me with much insight about their experience with the company.

Q: What have you learned in your experience? 

Sanchez: I was also placed into a group with five other interns. We were assigned a case study from the company and had to come up with a solution to present before the executives. It taught me that not everyone works at the same pace and may also not be as organized. But I loved this aspect of the internship because in order for us to find a solution it required detailed research from within the company's databases, and also external marketing databases. Something else that was great about this was the opportunity to talk with VPs about the marketing strategy I wanted to implement. So I learned a lot about the company, made connections and learned how to work with others who are successful but may have different work habits than myself.

Q: How do you envision that your summer internship will help you, academically and professionally? 

Sanchez: The internship taught me to be more understanding when working with others, since everyone works at a different pace. Professionally, I made a lot of connections in Macy's and know this will help me substantially in the future. Networking is key and is the main reason I obtained this internship. It also showed me when it is necessary to take a step away from work and to finish the task the next day instead of frequently staying later.

Q: If you could share advice with other students, what would you emphasize? 

A: Anything can happen. I work with the Arizona Opera from time to time, and something can happen unexpectedly onstage or where a recasting is needed last minute. Regardless of these obstacles, the show must go on. The same goes with the corporate world. I also appreciated the fact that Macy's Inc. is immersed in many different charities. Volunteering is important to me, and I am happy to see that even a large corporation values helping others. Mr. Lundgren is a truly inspiring and vibrant man, and I'm grateful I could interview him and intern with his company.

From left: Stephanie Ho, Terry J. Lundgren, Natalie Sanchez, Codey Villanue and Stephanie Mcllroy

Categories: Teaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: StudentsStudent LifeEducationResearchOutreachByline: University Relations - Communications |UANow Image: Editor: dougcarrollInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Thursday, September 18, 2014Medium Summary: Natalie Sanchez spent most of her summer in New York City, interning with Macy's Merchandising Group. She was hired for the position after interviewing Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's CEO. Feature on Front: NoShort Summary: Natalie Sanchez spent most of her summer in New York City, interning with Macy's Merchandising Group. She was hired for the position after interviewing Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's CEO.

100% Student Engagement Series: UA Journalism Program Led to Newspaper Gig

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 17:29

The University of Arizona is committed to ensuring that every student integrates and applies learning via internships, jobs, research and other opportunities relevant to the real world. This is the third in a five-part UANews series detailing industry-related experiences UA students have completed.

Justin Sayers with his family at the UA commencement ceremony in May 2014.

Having earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the UA in May, Justin Sayers spent part of his summer serving as a sports copy editor with the Hartford Courant, a newspaper in Connecticut.

While at the Courant, Sayers was responsible for editing sports stories for accuracy, grammar and style. In the deadline-prone environment, Sayers said he had to "adapt to the fast pace of a real-life newsroom. I've been able to learn a lot about copy editing, which has actually helped me become a better writer and better journalist."

Sayers returns to the UA this fall to begin the master's degree program in journalism, and his long-term professional plan is to work for a newspaper as a reporter. He offered insights about his summer experience.

Q: How did you land your summer internship?

Sayers: I got my internship for the summer through the UA's School of Journalism. When I was a junior, one of the representatives from the Dow Jones News Fund came to talk to my class about applying to the internship the following year.

Q: What was it about the position that captured your interest?

Sayers: I was interested in the internship because I've always had an interest in sports journalism, but never had the chance to do hands-on work in the field. I've already had a lot of experience with writing and reporting, so editing seemed like something I wanted to try. Luckily for me, I was accepted and was able to make myself more well-rounded this summer.

Q: How do you envision that your summer internship will help you in the future?

Sayers: I definitely think that this internship helped me both professionally and academically. I feel that I was able to gain a leg up on my peers by taking part in a unique opportunity. I feel the experiential learning prepared me for finding a job because it gave me a good sense of the industry I'm going into. And I decided to pursue a master's degree in journalism because I felt that one extra year for a second degree was an opportunity I could not pass up. My sister spent five years after graduating from college with a history degree working to become a dietitian, so she persuaded me when she heard that I could get a second degree that quickly. Also, anything to get me a leg up on my peers in the job hunt is a plus.

Q: What were some of the standout moments for you?

Sayers: The moments that stood out were the positive reinforcement that I received from my superiors. They let me know when I made mistakes, but did it in a constructive way, making sure that I learned from them. Also, I think the fact that everybody seemed upset when I left showed that I was able to assimilate myself into the newsroom during my short time there.

Q: What advice would you provide to other students?

Sayers: I definitely think that internships are the best way for students to prepare themselves for going out into the real world. Classes are important, but you can only talk about something so much without actually doing it. Being able to learn while also gaining experience is an opportunity that students should never pass up. It also allows you a little more freedom than jumping into a job you know nothing about right after college.

Categories: Teaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: StudentsStudent LifeEducationOutreachByline: University RelationsEditor: dougcarrollInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Wednesday, September 17, 2014Medium Summary: UA journalism student Justin Sayers spent most of his summer working as a sports copy editor. Feature on Front: NoShort Summary: UA journalism student Justin Sayers spent most of his summer working as a sports copy editor.

The Life of Old Main, From Dawn Until Dusk

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 15:26
Date of Publication: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

100% Student Engagement Series: Interning in TV in D.C.

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 17:18

The University of Arizona is committed to ensuring that every student integrates and applies learning via internships, jobs, research and other opportunities relevant to the real world. This is the second in a five-part UANews series detailing industry-related experiences UA students have completed.

Chelsea Hemphill, a UA journalism senior, served as a FOX 5 intern in Washington, D.C., working for the network covering news for the D.C. area and also the Maryland and Virginia region.

Hemphill was tasked with a broad range of responsibilities, including taking viewer calls, queuing news tips for the news desk, finding potential news stories and conducting interviews in the field.

Q: What was it about the position that captured your interest? 

A: Working as an intern at FOX 5 was a dream come true because I was able to get hands-on experience going out in the field and I was able to work alongside reporters, which is a special treat. They kept it completely honest about how the news industry is. There was an ongoing joke almost every employee would say: "FOX is where you go to die." I first thought this was an insult, but it was actually a term of endearment because people who work for FOX usually stay there until they retire. They do it for all the right reasons, especially because it is a top-20 market. I also was excited for the challenge to show my supervisors that I could be of assistance to them.

Q: What did you learn during your experience? 

A: This was an interesting job because I never knew how essential the viewer was in finding original stories to cover. I also would call to schedule interviews for future stories, go out in the field to get interviews, help assist photo shoots and help escort guest appearances. Then, above all else, it was my duty to get good practice working on standups and putting together packages. Also, the main thing I learned was that anchors and reporters go with the flow. They never know when some aspect of the show is going to malfunction. And because it is all live, they really are winging it almost every time they go on air. 

Q: How do you envision that your summer internship will help you, academically and professionally? 

A: As an intern, it's hard to come into the newsroom without a set plan of what you would like to accomplish. But if you show your determination early on, the news desk editor and reporters will give you stories to help them with. And that's where the real fun begins. This internship has definitely prepared me for my broadcast journalism classes. What I was taught at the station are some of the things I will be learning this next semester. On a professional level, it helps with networking. 

Categories: Teaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: StudentsStudent LifeEducationResearchOutreachByline: University Relations - Communications |Editor: dougcarrollInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Tuesday, September 16, 2014Medium Summary: UA journalism student Chelsea Hemphill spent her summer in Washington, D.C., learning the ins and outs of broadcast news with FOX 5.Feature on Front: NoShort Summary: Chelsea Hemphill served as a summer intern at Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C.