College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences
Battelle Thompkins Hall


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News & Events

Mural of white dove in front of rainbow. Credit: Paul Moody

The First Pride Was a Riot: The Origins of Pride Month

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Dolen Perkins-Valdez's “Take My Hand”

Dolen Perkins-Valdez's “Take My Hand”

2023 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Fiction.

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AU Museum to Open Six New Exhibits This Summer

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A book by the pool

Best Beach Reads 2023: What AU’s Lit Department Is Reading

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To the Point: Fentanyl

To the Point: The Fentanyl Crisis, Why Now, Why So Deadly?

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CAS students graduating


CAS faculty and students are making their mark on the world. See their latest achievements, awards, and honors.

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Spotlight: Meet Our Student Changemakers

Meet more CAS Alumni and Students.

Alexis Threatt


Alexis ThreattMS, Data Science

"At AU, I met great, enthusiastic, and encouraging professors who genuinely cared about my well-being—and students who became some of my closest friends. AU fosters an environment in which I felt comfortable being myself. It challenged me and prepared me for the world."

Alexis Threatt grew up in an urban area surrounded by a series of parks filled with trees. It was her first inspiration for the work she now does on the Global Climate Change Team at the US Forest Service International Programs. 

Alexis first got her foot in the door at the Forest Service while earning her MS in data science at AU. For her capstone, she landed a position as a program manager on the US Forest Service’s Africa and Middle East Team, managing its Mozambique and Angola Programs. “Both countries endure massive fires across the country, and I decided to pursue a comparison analysis of wildfires in two high-priority conserva tion areas called the Niassa Special Reserve in Mozambique and Mavinga National Park in Angola,” she explains.  

Alexis is thrilled with her current job. And with her environmental science background and MS in data science, she has lots of choices for her future. She is looking ahead at the possibility of earning a PhD, continuing with her forestry and climate change work, and implementing her data science degree—and perhaps even pursuing a career as a foreign service officer or working at the United Nations in an environmental position. 

Julian Urrutia-Carter

Julian Urrutia-CarterMS Biotechnology 

“STEM is inclusive. I've learned that science is for everyone. AU gives me the confidence to pursue new scientific fields, especially those where I didn't feel (or wasn't told) I could be successful.”  

Julian Urrutia-Carter was working as a respiratory therapist when he became interested in biotech. He was looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to deepen his scientific knowledge.  

Julian enrolled in American University’s MS in Biotechnology program, where he has taken advantage of every opportunity to excel. In addition to his graduate classwork, he works as a teaching assistant in AU’s General Biology lab, as a graduate ambassador, and as the publicity chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Council.  

During summer 2023, Julian will work on bioinformatics and genetic analysis projects at the Smithsonian's Center for Conservation Genomics at the National Zoo. “I'm hoping to learn more about genetic conservation efforts for declining and endangered species,” he says. He will also work with Assistant Professor of Biology David Carlini on a computational transcript analysis project relating to research on surface-dwelling vs cave crustacean populations. And he will continue his work as an assistant high school football coach at Blake High School in Silver Spring, MD.  

“I really enjoy my courses at AU, and I'm introduced to new topics, ideas, and people every week,” he says. “I like TA'ing, which allows me to work on my science communication skills. And as a grad ambassador, I can share my experience with other incoming grad students and let them know it's possible to switch paths and go back to school for what really interests you.” 

Why the College of Arts & Sciences?

Students and alumni discuss distinctive features of the College, why they chose their particular degrees, and program opportunities they pursued.