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Wendy Melillo Farrill Interim Faculty Director, AU Honors

Wendy Melillo is a full-time professor of Journalism. She teaches in the School of Communication's Journalism division. Her research is focused on how strategic communication influences society and the media. Melillo was a reporter for The Washington Post, earning a Pulitzer Prize nomination and an award from the White House Correspondents' Association for her coverage of the United Way scandal. She spent nearly a decade covering political advertising and strategic communication planning for the business publication Adweek before joining SOC.

Her first book was published in 2013, How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America. The book discusses the compelling - and sometimes controversial - story of the Ad Council and the campaigns that have become part of the nation’s collective memory.

Jamie Wyatt Director, Honors & Scholars Program

Jamie Wyatt is the Senior Director of University Honors and Scholars Programs. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching and has served in a variety of roles at AU since receiving her graduate degree. She worked extensively with AU’s General Education Program (now AU Core) before focusing her efforts on building and managing the University College Program, AU’s oldest and largest living-learning community. Jamie began working with Honors and Scholars Programs in 2016 and has been committed to expanding educational opportunities for all AU students by consolidating the administration of Undergraduate Research, the Summer Scholars and Artists Fellowship grant, and Phi Beta Kappa under the Honors and Scholars umbrella. She is also a passionate advocate for experiential learning and strives to build hands-on learning opportunities into the curriculum. Her office door is always open, and she encourages students to visit any time.

Amanda Harrison Assistant Director, Honors & Scholars Program

Amanda Harrison has been a member of the AU community since 2005, when she began her graduate studies in European history. From 2010-2017, she worked at the Academic Support and Access Center, supporting students with disabilities and is a passionate supporter of Universal Design. Amanda continues to work with AU students as the Manager of Undergraduate Scholars programs, fostering intellectual curiosity and the development of research skills in undergraduate students.

Laura Lannan Program Coordinator, Honors & Scholars Program

Laura Lannan joined the Honors Program after earning her MFA in Creative Writing from AU in 2022. Prior to coming to AU, Laura worked with teens and young adults at the DC Public Library and managed author events for Busboys and Poets. A dedicated reader, Laura is passionate about education and fostering intellectual curiosity. She is currently working on publishing her MFA thesis, a poetry collection that ties together science and imagination in the fabulist tradition.

Elise Keely Academic Advisor, Honors & Scholars Program

Elise has worked with the AU Honors program since 2017. Previously, Elise worked at an educational non-profit in DC for four years and before that attended university and worked in Rome, Italy for seven years. In her current position as academic advisor, she loves meeting with students (and finding creative ways to fit study abroad experiences into their schedules). She is always happy to meet about Honors courses, research projects, connecting students across cohorts, or just to hear about your most recent trip home. Elise is also very passionate about food and happy to suggest where to eat for any occasion. Anytime you Zoom with her, you’ll likely see a different pup in the background since she moonlights as a dog sitter around the city. 

General Questions

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