Emily: I'm a proud Virginian, born in DC but raised in Fairfax. Growing up I was a Girl Scout, and in high school I traveled nationally to debate and also did crew. I don't have time to pursue a ton of personal interests, but I'm a huge foodie. I love rallies, street festivals and the like. DC has been a perfect place to get out and about and find interesting street food. I love traveling as well, both domestically and abroad. My family is from Hong Kong so we go back every 2-3 years and take side trips to other parts of Asia, including Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. I'm graduating in 3 years, so I won't really have the time go abroad, but I hope to travel a ton after graduation. My dream trip would be to go to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I'm not a huge sports fan, but I love cheering for the US.
HCAU: What is your major, and why did you choose that field?
Emily: I'm a political science major with a certificate degree from the SPA Leadership Program. Having been an avid debater, captain of my high school's team and nationally ranked at competitions, I spent 4 years falling in love with public policy. I wasn't necessarily interested in politics, but that quickly changed after my first hill internship the summer before college. I decided to stay in the field because, frankly, there's a lot wrong with our country's policies. One day I hope to be an agent of change through work in government and public policymaking.
HCAU: What made you want to get involved in AU Student Government, especially a role as demanding as SG President?
Most college grads would be happy to land a 9 to 5 job, but for two AU alums that wasn’t enough. Meet: David Simnick and Daniel Doll.
Dave and Dan wanted to make a difference, and an entrepreneurship class became their catalyst. They worked across colleges with Dave’s longtime friend, Eric Vong (who was studying at Purdue), to develop a business with a core humanitarian mission: A bar of soap can save a life.
More than 22,000 children die every day from diseases like cholera and typhoid. 3,000 of those deaths could be prevented with access to a bar of soap. Dave, Dan and Eric recognized the need and created SoapBox Soaps, a company empowering consumers to change the world through everyday purchases.
The idea is simple. You buy a bar of soap; they give a bar of soap. Sound familiar? If you’re reminded of companies like TOMS or 2degrees, you’re not far off. But those brands cater to niche audiences. SoapBox Soaps is taking it one step further, hoping to reach a broad range of consumers by giving a universal commodity, like soap, a mission.
Building a business from the ground up is no easy feat, and the SoapBox team has had their fair share of struggles and successes. Laughing, Dan told me about a frantic call he received from Dave one night. It was shortly after Dan had finished building the first version of their website, so they could sell their products online.
“Dan, I think I deleted the site,” Dave told him over the phone. Sure enough, in one move Dave had deleted the entire platform (but to his credit, he did rebuild 98% of it that night). In the grand scheme of things, it was a minor setback.
Thousands descended on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia this Labor Day weekend for the Budweiser Made in America Festival. The two-day festival attracted a crowd of 50,000 people decked out in their most patriotic stars and stripes—but the real stars were on stage.
I was pumped when Jay-Z stepped onto the main Rocky Stage to headline Saturday night, and he didn’t disappoint. The crowd was with him every step of the way. Fans shouted the lyrics as he moved from earlier material like “Izzo (H. O. V. A.)” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” to newer hits like “Empire State of Mind.” Obama made a (virtual) cameo— appearing on screen and urging fans to vote in the upcoming election.
Rumors Jay-Z wouldn’t be appearing alone were confirmed when Kanye stepped on stage mid-set to perform “I Don’t Like.” Rappers Common, Pusha T, 2 Chainz (one of my new favorites on the hip hop scene) and Big Sean also joined Kanye on stage for “Mercy,” “New God Flow,” and more. Fans went wild, hands held high in the “Roc” symbol, as Jay and Ye closed out the night with “N----- in Paris,” followed by a stunning cascade of fireworks above the stage.
The festival was bursting with other surprise performances including Eve with Jill Scott and Tyler, the Creator at Odd Future. T.J. and Jam Master J’Son DJed for Run DMC in honor of their dad and longtime Run DMC DJ, Jam Master Jay, who was fatally shot in 2002.
Picture yourself strapped firmly to a chair, arms crossed over your chest as someone pushes you into a pool. Imagine the disorienting feeling of plunging, upside down into the water and having to make your way out to the surface. Now ask yourself: why would anyone volunteer for that?
The answer is simple—it’s a simulation. What better way to prepare for a helicopter crash than to recreate the experience? A lesson a few American University School of Communication (SOC) students learned firsthand.
Escaping a downed aircraft was just one of the survival skills students picked up this summer as part of “Extreme HD Alaska,” a Classroom in the Wild filmmaking course offered by SOC’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking. The unconventional, immersive course took a select group of students to the wilds of Alaska for a firsthand look at wildlife filmmaking.
The stunning footage most of us are used to seeing on TV is just a finished product. A lot more goes on behind the scenes. Wildlife filmmakers have to face the harsh conditions of natural environments, a no doubt thrilling but sometimes dangerous task.
During the three-week course, students experienced both sides of the spectrum. They camped beneath 20 hours of Alaskan sunlight in sight of cascading bodies of water and striking, snow-capped mountains. At the same time, they developed the skills necessary to keep themselves and their equipment safe when filming in rough weather and terrains.
They couldn’t have come up with a better name for this festival. With a killer lineup and an outrageous menu, Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival was the place to be last weekend. DC restaurant (and food truck) favorites made appearances — Baked & Wired, Shake Shack, Pleasant Pops and Jose Andres’ Pepe Truck were all there. And of course, Sweetgreen.
But I think most of us were there for the music. It’s not everyday you see Fitz and the Tantrums, A$AP Rocky, Explosions in the Sky, Kid Cudi, The Shins, and Avicii on the same stage. I talked to a girl who drove all the way from New York just to see The Knocks.
For most of the day we were all gathered around on blankets in the grass. People were dancing, hula hooping, running around. Most of us were just lounging, drinking, and loving the music. Some people brought paint and were drawing on each other’s faces. The teenage girl sitting in front of us painted mine. Sometimes you just have to go with it.
If you’ve ever been to a festival, then you know it’s more than just the food and the music. It’s all about the atmosphere. And that’s the best part of Sweetlife. Everyone laughs and talks. When you get a bunch of people together who are just trying to have a good time, you can’t go wrong. It’s just…fun!
There’s nothing worse than being caught in an uncomfortable situation with nowhere to go. We’ve all had them—those awkward moments on the DC metro or bus. Sure, you can pretend you didn’t hear that guy hitting on you. But you’re still stuck sitting next to him for the next 10 minutes. Here at Her Campus AU, we’ve had our fair share of awkward encounters. So here they are: the good, the bad, and often funny in this addition of Collegiettes Tell All: Awkward Metro Moments.
“I was sitting next to a guy on the metro on the way home from work. When I got up to leave he handed me a note. I didn’t know what to say, so I just thanked him and headed for the doors. Just my luck, they didn’t open right away. For a good 30 seconds I was staring at the doors, too embarrassed to look in his direction. I read the note later. It said, ‘You’re really cute. Text me.’” – Ashley Goetz
“One time I was on the metro and I was about to sit down when this old guy behind me basically yelled not to sit down because I would get bed bugs from the seat…ew!” – Abbey Weit
”One time I was wearing a t-shirt from my high school in Atlanta, GA, and a man approached me to ask me where I lived in Atlanta. It was a little awkward but also kind of cool, because we realized we were both from the same area!” – Paula Tulis
“I could write a book on the weird stuff that has happened to me on the bus. The highlight being the day when, during my morning commute, a woman was clipping her toenails on the bus. Later, coming home from my internship, a different man was clipping his toensails on the bus. Must have been national clip-your-toenails-on-the- bus day. I clearly didn’t get that memo!” – Tori Lardner
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrating its 100th Anniversary, so don’t miss out on the celebration! Here are a few of the events that are worth venturing downtown for.
The festival kicks off with the 2012 Pink Tie Party. It will feature top chefs, as well as the “Auction Spectacular” with offers from sporting, concert and dining experiences to weekend getaways. Tickets for the gala are $200. Who: Hosted by chefs Jose Andres and Roy Yamaguchi What: 2012 Pink Tie Party When: March 20 at 7 PM Where: The Mayflower® Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel
The Opening Ceremony to celebrate the 100th year of the Cherry Blossom Festival will feature local and national entertainers and speakers. The event is free, but be sure to get your tickets in advance! What: National Cherry Blossom Festival® Opening Ceremony When: March 25, 5-6:30 PM (doors open at 3:30 PM) Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
It’s not every day you get to see hundreds of kites soaring over the monuments. Bring your own kite to fly, or watch the Rokkaku Kite Battle. Check out the day’s schedule before you go! What: Blossom Kite Festival When: March 31; 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM Where: Washington Monument grounds – Constitution Avenue & 17th Street, NW
Chances are, even if you don’t know Meagan you’ve seen her around campus. She was in the Vagina Monologues and is a member of Alpha Phi Omega. Last fall she studied in Rome, and now she’s the Director of Women’s Empowerment for Women’s Initiative. Whether it’s powering down the field during a rugby game or making your drink in the Dav, this girl does it all.
Did I mention she also landed a killer spring internship with The Washington Scene (a division of The Hill that covers all things social happening in here DC)? At her internship, Meg’s attended some elegant galas and even met a few celebs. She took some time out of her busy schedule to tell Her Campus AU all about her experience.
HCAU: So how did you get this internship?
I got my internship through my Reporting professor, Jane Hall. My supervisor is an AU alum and was looking for recommendations for spring interns. Professor Hall gave her my name!
HCAU: People are always stressing the importance of networking. There’s proof that it works. Can you tell us what the biggest perk of your internship has been so far?