Statement on The Murders of Black Americans and Racism in the UHP

UHP Students,

The UHP condemns in the strongest terms the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, Tony McDade and all other members of the Black community who have been killed as a result of anti-Black racism and systemic oppression. Black lives matter. For far too long, we have lived under a system that has dehumanized and cast Black lives aside using state sponsored violence. These murders are not isolated incidents, but rather the results of longstanding systems of oppression built on white supremacy. As a society and as a community of scholars, we must confront this truth and commit to genuine discourse and action on issues affecting Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

In these moments, we must also look inward, and the UHP acknowledges that our program is not one in which all BIPOC students, staff, and faculty feel fully safe, represented, and supported. Our mission implores our students to “probe the most foundational questions of humanity and to apply their understanding to complex problems of the world today,” and we must do the same as we think about our own program. We should examine in what ways problems of racism, privilege, and lack of diversity have been sustained in our classrooms, living spaces, and in our own UHP community. We should also ask: How can we address these concerns internally and what can we do to actively overcome their presence? How can we resolve and constantly re-evaluate each of these issues as they evolve over time? These are questions that we have committed to consistently ask ourselves to create lasting change not just in our program, but within the greater context in which it exists.

One immediate action is to stand up, speak out, and support those around the country and the world who are making their voices heard. We condemn the authoritarian response of our leaders and the violence against citizens who express their legitimate grievances as is their fundamental first amendment right.

Our goal is to be a community where we all belong, but unfortunately, we are not yet fully there. As we press on toward that goal, we are listening carefully to the concerns that have been brought to us. We are eager to make improvements to our program so that we can better serve our mission. As a start, we are putting together a working group consisting of UHP students, faculty, and staff to help identify areas of concern and provide concrete steps for moving forward. Later this week, we will be telling you more about what the UHP has been doing and is committed to doing in the future and asking for volunteers to join this working group.

In solidarity,
The UHP Administration & Faculty

GW Resources:
GWInSolidarity Events 
GW Bias Incident Reporting
GW Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Anti-Racist Resources We Are Reading: 
Anti-Oppression LibGuide: Anti-racist resources
Educational and actionable resources

A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources: Book, movie recommendations, and more

To Watch or not to Watch? (obviously to Watch)

Hey folks,

I imagine that many of you, like me, find you have more time on your hands than you have had in quite a while. And what better way to spend it than on one of the plethora of streaming services available to us these days? So, I am on the hunt for some good recommendations for shows/films, preferably on one of these streaming services. I have watched some of the ABSOLUTELY WILD Tiger King (documentary?) and those people are nuts, but I am definitely behind on streaming culture, so even things that seem old are most welcome!

Anywho, stay healthy and keep your spirits up in these tough times.

Awaiting your suggestions,


Note from the Director on COVID-19 Virus Preparation


I know you have all been hearing from many different campus partners about the University’s response to COVID-19, but I wanted to quickly let you know how the UHP is responding to the challenges raised by this virus.

For the time being, the UHP is open and operating as normal. Spring classes are meeting, and the townhouse is open for study hours. That said, this is obviously a fluid situation and the UHP will adhere to all University recommendations and directives as they arise. In particular, GW has suspended all non-essential, GW-affiliated international travel and is requiring community members traveling within certain countries to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Unfortunately, these travel restrictions will impact the spring break and summer plans of some UHP community members. Advisors Brianna and Ben are available to help students navigate any last-minute changes that might affect a student’s four-year plan. In light of COVID-19, please consider your personal travel plans carefully for the upcoming spring break week. In the event that you become ill or are subject to quarantine, UHP faculty members are aware that flexibility will be required and are prepared to make appropriate individual accommodations. Communication is definitely the key here, so please be in email contact with your instructors directly if you are unable to attend class. Please do not attend class if you are not feeling well!

In the event that the University decides that it is prudent to cancel some (or all) face-to-face class meetings, the semester will continue using online resources. We ask students to be flexible and patient as there are bound to be some initial technical hiccups. Also, each faculty member will use different online tools and teaching methods, depending on the course content and format – so follow directions carefully and ask questions if you are uncertain about any course expectations. In the event of campus closures, Brianna and Ben will still be available for advising sessions, which will be held via WebEx.

Let me conclude by echoing the GW Student Association’s message of “stay informed, stay calm, and be kind.” Keep reading your emails carefully, keep washing your hands and keep looking out for one another. Further, the UHP will not tolerate any bullying, scapegoating or demonization connected to the COVID-19 virus. Bias and xenophobia have no place within our community of scholars, so please immediately report any acts of hate or bias that you have experienced or witnessed. If you have any questions, you can also reach out to me directly at

Bethany Cobb Kung
Director, University Honors Program
Associate Professor of Honors and Physics

Study Abroad in Greece, Summer 2020

Do you want to have class in a volcano crater this summer? Do you want to swim in the “crystal waters” of the Libyan Sea on the southern coast of Crete? Have you ever wanted to visit the Parthenon or the site of the ancient oracle at Delphi?

The UHP is offering a course this summer that will let you do all of these things while getting Arts and Humanities and WID credits towards graduation!

Please see the attached flyer for information about the information session this evening and the upcoming application deadline on March 6th. You can also start an application here.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security STEM Internship (Paid)

Are you a student looking for a professional opportunity to enhance your research interests and career goals in homeland security related areas? Do you want to learn from top scientists and subject matter experts in homeland security related areas? Do you want to network with your peers and members of the academic and scientific communities in business, industry, and government research facilities conducting research in DHS relevant areas? If you answered “Yes”, to the above questions, the HS-POWER program is for you!

The Alexander Hamilton Society Is Hiring a Program Assistant!

 Check out the following job opportunity passed along by UHP alum Eamonn Bellin!

The Alexander Hamilton Society (AHS) is seeking to hire a full-time Program Assistant to support career services for its students and alumni network.

AHS is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national organization that seeks to identify, educate, and launch young men and women into foreign policy and national security careers imbued with the Hamiltonian perspective of strong and principled American leadership in global affairs. We have established student-run chapters at over 80 universities as well as professional chapters in NYC and Washington, D.C. Our alumni and affiliates have gone on to serve in the highest levels of government and industry. To learn more, please visit

The Program Assistant will have an opportunity to influence the development of the organization, gain experience across a number of functions, and work with rising and established leaders in our network. Those committed to AHS’s mission, interested in our areas of focus, and who possess an entrepreneurial spirit will find working at AHS incredibly rewarding. An ideal candidate is a recent graduate, who is personable, professional, organized, and seeks a gateway into the Washington policy community. We offer competitive compensation commensurate with experience.


  • Assist with AHS’s Office of Career Services
    • Build relationships with recruiters at key organizations and offices;
    • Develop and manage career resources;
    • Correspond with students on career-related support;
    • Facilitate mentorship and networking opportunities within the AHS network;
    • Collect and track student information and application status.
  • Assist in planning AHS’s National Programs
  • Assist with alumni programming
    • Track information on their career whereabouts;
    • Produce and send a monthly alumni newsletter. 


  • 0-2 years professional experience (including internships);
  • A commitment to AHS’s mission and principles and an interest in U.S. foreign policy and national security. Being an AHS alumnus is a plus;
  • Outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills, and a proactive personality;
  • Ability to manage a substantial number of projects and contacts at once;
  • Ability to present information concisely and effectively, both verbally and in writing;
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office, especially Excel and Powerpoint;

Application Instructions

To apply for this position, please upload your cover letter, resume, and a list of references here. We expect a number of qualified applicants and only those selected for an interview will be contacted further.

The Hunt for Lost Nazi Uranium Colloquium

Check out the following colloquium event passed along by Professor Kung!

Title: The Hunt for Lost Nazi Uranium

Abstract: 1944 saw the height of the Manhattan Project efforts which was distributed between Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanford. Since the Manhattan Project was spurred by the fear that Germany was building nuclear weapons, Allied anxiety continuously pondered the Nazi atomic progress. As Germany began to fall, Gen. Groves commissioned the military and scientific intelligence mission code-named Alsos. It was to be at the forefront of the defeat so as to immediately assess the German advancement towards an atomic bomb. Alsos uncovered what the Manhattan Project had feared: the Germans had a two-year lead on the American nuclear program and being the birth place of nuclear fission, the Germans began with an incredible sprint of discovery. But then they found, just as the Americans were getting their feet wet, the German program miraculously had slowed. In April 1945 in the sleepy village of Haigerloch, Alsos found the culmination of the German nuclear program: a failed reactor experiment, named B-VIII. It was on the scale of Enrico Fermi’s successful Chicago Pile 1. This incomplete nuclear reactor, built of 664 uranium cubes had come very close to criticality. What had happened? How did Germany miss the mark? The answer is straightforward: unlike the U.S. efforts, spearheaded by Groves’ singular defining military force, the German atomic program was not administered by a competent manager. Their adequate resources were distributed and not gathered, their superb intellect was competitive and not collaborative. The failure of their atomic program can be pinned to a critical mass of German confidence moderated by ego and arrogance. Had they more humility and collaboration, history would have taken a different path. Instead, their reactor was scattered to history. What happened to the German B-VIII reactor? The United States acquired it; however, the question remains: what did they do with it?

When? Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-5 PM

Where? In Corcoran 101

Islam in India and Pakistan: A Historical Look into Interreligious Dialogue

Check out the following event passed along by Professor Aviv!

Please join us on Thursday, February 20 at 5pm in the Marvin Center, Room 307 for the 2020 Berz Lecture: “Islam in India and Pakistan: From the First Conquests to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)”

Speaker: Dr. Shankar Nair, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Abstract: As the still young Islamic empire spread into the lands of India, Muslims encountered, for perhaps the first time, a grand-scale religious civilization entirely unmentioned in the Qur’an or in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. With so little explicit guidance from their scriptural sources, how were Muslims to navigate this new land or make sense of the incredibly diverse Hindu populations of South Asia? Though one might have expected Muslims to reject Hindus outright as mere idolaters and unbelievers, the historical response was surprisingly nuanced and accommodating. As modern nationalist forces in the region threaten to overturn this legacy, this talk surveys the often forgotten history of Islam in South Asia, offering insights into how the region arrived at the crises it faces today.

Aisthesis: A Publication Opportunity for Honors Students

Dear Honors Students,

University of Minnesota Duluth’s Honors Program is currently seeking academic and creative submissions for the 2020 issue of Aisthesis, our undergraduate honors journal. As an interdisciplinary publication, we welcome academic work, including honors capstone projects, literature reviews, and research articles from all fields of research. Creative submissions of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and visual art (including but not limited to painting, sculpture, short film, multimedia, and photography) are also encouraged. If you are hoping to build your resume, share your work, and publish as an undergraduate, this is the perfect opportunity for you!

The submission deadline is March 20, 2020. Guidelines can be found at

Please email questions to and follow the Aisthesis Facebook page ( for updates. We look forward to reading your work in the coming months.

The Aisthesis Editorial Board

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