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George Washington University

Dancing to Survive [The George Washington University]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine
Photo © Katherine Lambert

IT’S DUSK ON A SATURDAY November evening in downtown Washington, DC. While most 20somethings are preparing for a night on the town, a dozen Asian Americans are sitting on the floor of a rehearsal room at the Kennedy Center. “We are preparing for a January performance, and there’s no time to lose,” says dancer Stacy Topazian, referring to the “Passages From the journey,” a 60-minute work that centers on the Asian immigrant experience. The program will make its debut on January 20-21. She turns to talk to Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the 27-year-old founder of Moving Forward: Asian-American Contemporary Dance Company. Dressed in his signature black turtleneck and black pants, Burgess has the aura of a Zen master. His choreographing, like his words, are calm and deliberate. “We use modem dance movements such as arabesques, leg lifts, jumps, and leaps as a way to express the subject matter,” he says. “We also use some traditional East Asian movements, but mostly we create a vocabulary through dance which communicates a story line to the audience.”

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The China Connection [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine

IN ANY GIVEN MONTH, CHINA is making headlines. The issue may be human rights, trade sanctions or conflict over elections in Taiwan. In recent weeks, rampant copying of American music, videos and software has once again touched off talk of sanctions. Several GW law school professors are taking action of another sort. They are trying to help the Chinese strengthen their commitment to intellectual property rights. “We are continuing to work to get a program started,” says Andy Sun, associate director of the taw school’s Dean Dinwoody Center for Intellectual Property Studies. “No matter what happens, we will not give up trying to bridge the gap and improve China’s protection of intellectual property.”

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On the Inside Track [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine

JOB DESCRIPTION: LONG HOURS, HIGH pay, interesting work. Requires extensive legal expertise, high level of company loyalty, ability to make multiple decisions quickly and to handle considerable power. Sound good? To an increasing number of lawyers these days the of general counsel to a corporation is a dream job. In the last decade, it has become fashionable—and sometimes highly lucrative—for attorneys to work as in-house counsels at corporations. The lead attorneys at Merrill Lynch, Conseco, Viacom and Walt Disney, for example, all reported in a Forbes magazine survey that they earned more than $2 million in 1994. In contrast to the status of in-house attorneys less than a decade ago, these legal eagles wield considerable power. While not every general counsel has a seven-figure income, the position today offers prestige and pay comparable to that of partners at major law firms. Are you ready to make the switch?

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Alumni Profile: Jack Olender, The Avenger [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine

MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY JACK H. OLENDER (LLM ’61) is seated behind a microphone at “Of Consuming Interest,” a talk show at Washington radio station WTOP. Today’s topic is tort report, a topic that has drawn a lot of attention in the months since the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Common Sense Product Liability Reform Law,” a bill which could put a $250,000 cap on malpractice awards and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Olender is doing everything he can to make sure it doesn’t become law. Today, he is debating the pros of can of the legislation with fellow attorney Roger Conner, founder and executive director of the DC-based American Alliance for Rights and Responsibility. The referee for the show is WTOP’s Shirley Rooker. Dressed in a finely cut black wool suit, starched white shirt and a matching and requisite red tie, Olender adjusts the microphone as his opponent takes the first shot.

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Following Protocall [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine

IN 1987, ELLEN PESTORIUS WAS a GW graduate student in the
business school looking for a research topic in her course in technology and entrepreneurship. She was dating a stockbroker named Scott Kleinknecht, who had started dabbling in the telephone answering business thinking it would be a good investment that someone else could run. But the business was taking more time than he’d expected to gain traction. He soon realized that if he wanted to continue to be his own boss he’d have to quit his job and focus on the communications business. Before he’d be willing to do that, he needed more research. So he suggested to Ellen that for her class project she could help him investigate what was then a new technology called interactive voice response, which allows people to use their telephone keypads to make choices. Six years, two kids (Timmy, 2, and Katie, 3 months) and 65 employees later, the Kleinknecht have grossed about $1.5 million. Projections for 1998 are upward of $4
million. They have also expanded their company to offer more services, and have renamed it Protocall Communications.

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Law Alumni Newsmakers: John Lasco [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine
Law Alumni Newsmakers

IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO: A SOLDIER is riding in a bus operated by a private company. The driver runs a red light, slams into a telephone pole, and the soldier is badly injured. Who pays his medical bills? For years, the answer would’ve been: the federal government—not the bus company. John Lasco (JD ’49) changed all that.

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Law Briefs: Charitable Gift Annuities [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine
Law Briefs

FRANK NEUHAUSER, JD ’40, WAS a patent lawyer “back when they still called them that,” says the 40-year veteran of General Electric’s legal department. “I helped obtain hundreds of patents as head of the small appliances division.” He began his career as an engineer of small appliances. But in 1938 GE needed lawyers as much as it needed engineers. The company began sending several of its employees to The George Washington University Law School to get their degrees. Neuhauser jumped at the opportunity. “I always know a good deal when I see it,” says the 84-year-old, “and I still do.” That’s why he says he and his wife Virginia, made a gift to The George Washington University Charitable Gift Annuity program.

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Centuries Campaign is Halfway There [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine

GW’s Centuries Campaign has raised nearly $150 million toward its goal of $300 million by the year 2000. The University kicked off the fundraising campaign in February 1996, and has raised 52 percent of its $175 million goal. The Medical Center has raised 47 percent of its goal of $125 million. “To raise nearly 50 percent of our goal by the end of the first year is excellent progress,” says Michael J. Worth, vice president of GWs Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. “It shows the great commitment of the University’s alumni, parents and friends in helping to attain a bright future.”

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Law Briefs: Alumni Ron & Phyllis West Donate $100K [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine
Law Briefs

IN 1964, RON WEST, Ron West, BS’58, JD’64, made a promise. Three years earlier, GW Law School showed it believed in West by awarding him a full scholarship. Upon graduation, he vowed to someday pay back the generous gift. West accomplished his goal this year, thanks to the sale of stock from his old employer, MAMSI. The West’s set up a $100,000 donation in the form of a Charitable Remainder Trust. Here’s how it works.

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Law Briefs: Centuries Campaign Right on Track [GW Magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
GW Magazine
Law Briefs
November 1996, page 2

THE GW LAW SCHOOL IS right on track when it comes to fund raising for the Centuries Campaign, having raised $15.2 million to date. That total accounts for about 43 percent of the Law School’s goal of $35 million. The University-wide fundraising effort aims to raise $300 million by the year 2000.

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More George Washington University Articles


"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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