GW Magazine nameplate
from the editor's desk

On the Rise

In my 14 years as part of the GW community, I have been continually impressed with our university on a variety of levels.

For one, if you haven't been here lately, you may be surprised by all the change. Such was the case for a friend, who visited recently and marveled at the redeveloped hospital site. This part of campus, transformed into a vibrant mix of housing, shopping, and restaurants, is hardly recognizable to graduates of more than a handful of years ago.

Across the street, construction of the future Science and Engineering Hall inspires further awe, as do preparations for a much needed building for the School of Public Health and Health Services on Washington Circle. It reminds me of the past decade's building accomplishments, which included the opening of the business school's Duquès Hall on 22nd Street, the opening of the School of Media and Public Affairs building on 21st Street, and major upgrades to the Law School complex on the University Yard. In all of these venues, more and better teaching, learning, and research are taking place.

What hasn't changed, though, are the amazing people everywhere within our institution. George Washington continues to be a first-rate venue to work, to learn, and to send your child to school for not only an academic but also a real-world education. The added benefit is the luxury of a city setting within the confines and safety of a beautiful campus.

GW Magazine has increasingly reflected the university's rising excellence. I now have a bigger team of talented editors to help me cover all of the wonderful things going on. And the magazine itself has seen growth and improvement. I will brag for a minute and tell you that GW Magazine won a Best Article of the Year award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for our winter 2011 feature "Saving Grace," about international art detective Charles Hill, BA '71. We are proud of receiving this award, which is highly coveted among our peers for excellence in literary journalism. (To read the article, visit our archives at

But there is no good story for us to tell without your stories. We'd love to hear from you if you have an article idea. GW Magazine is a collective endeavor.

Meanwhile, in this edition, Danny Freedman's account of cybersecurity training will chill you and thrill you with what some of our fellow graduates are doing to keep our digital world free from danger. This GW CyberCorps program is just one of several facets of an interdisciplinary initiative in cybersecurity that is being developed here (see the article's sidebar).

For a firsthand account of the 2008 financial crisis from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, see page 36.
A group of 30 undergraduates was treated to four lectures by the Fed chair himself—the first time a sitting Fed chair has helped teach a college course. And the lectures are available online for anyone who wants to watch.

New York Yankees President Randy Levine, BA '77, sat down with me to explain a new GW strategic plan for athletics that he and others helped formulate. He is incredibly dedicated to his alma mater, and we are lucky to have his expertise and time.

Read about another dedicated Colonial on page 22, where we share the storied career of Bob Chernak—retiring senior vice provost and senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services—who has done so much for our GW community.

And Ruth Steinhardt goes behind the scenes of a landmark GW-hosted event to share one entrepreneurial student group's experience at the Clinton Global Initiative University.

I hope you enjoy what I think might be one of our best magazine editions ever. Please drop me a line at to let me know what you think.


Heather O. Milke, MBA '02