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Greetings from Jonathan Mathis

Dear fellow alumni,

There is much good work happening at AU right now, and I am delighted to share for any of you who haven’t heard. 

The university received a historic grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study food waste—and to consider ways in which it might be reduced. Sauleh Siddiqui, associate professor of environmental science (who also recently appeared on CNN to discuss climate change) will lead a team of researchers from across the country in tackling this incredibly important issue. Alongside this news came the addition of sustainability as a pillar of the university’s strategic plan, a fitting change. 

Other big news this month comes from our School of Education. Partnering with an organization called Urban Teachers, AU SOE will provide specific coursework and experiences to prospective teachers to promote success in urban teaching environments. And, through the program, the School of Education will enroll hundreds of aspiring teachers giving them tools to succeed in urban environments and helping to address the serious shortage of teachers in our country. 

An educator myself, I believe alumni can serve as teachers too. In my own role, I look constantly to connect students with those in my personal networks who might build them up and help further their ambitions. One of my favorite ways to serve AU is by connecting a motivated student or fellow alum with someone I know can help them succeed. I often find myself automatically flipping through my mental Rolodex to see how I might help transform a fellow Eagle’s goals into their realities. I invite you to join me in this labor of love as an alumni volunteer. 

Speaking of labors of love, as you know, our dedicated faculty is generating knowledge to advance society—with students right alongside them. During the next several weeks, you’ll see some of them  featured in a video series on social media. (The first video actually debuted last week.) These AU changemakers are addressing societal challenges from cybersecurity to obesity, and I hope you’ll take the time to watch and share.

These are just a few ways AU is addressing pressing issues of our time. As we continue to accept new challenges, we also will find new engagement opportunities. Please consider how you can support the university. We would be very glad to connect with you in furthering the idea that Change Can’t Wait!


Jonathan Mathis, PhD, Kogod/BSBA ‘04

P.S. Our annual Multicultural Alumni Reunion is happening November 5-7. This is one of our signature events each year, and I hope you’ll join in virtually as we celebrate the great diversity of our alumni family. Learn more and RSVP to attend.