American University is located in Washington, D.C., at the top of Embassy Row. Chartered by Congress in 1893 to serve the public interest and build the nation, the university educates active citizens who apply knowledge to the most pressing concerns facing the nation and world. Students engage with leading faculty experts and world leaders, learning how to create change and address issues including the global economic crisis, health care, human rights and justice, diversity, the environment and sustainability, immigration, journalism’s transformation, corporate governance, and governmental reform.
fieldwork WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE: you might be struggling with caffeine use disorder. Caffeine, found in cappuccinos, cola, and chocolate, is the most popular drug in the world. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful—and it’s a mounting health concern, according to a new study by CAS psychology professor Laura Juliano. Published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, the study reveals that more than 50 percent of caffeine users struggle to curb consumption or kick the habit altogether. Many suffer from headaches, irritability, and lethargy when they don’t get their fix. Furthermore, some pregnant women and people with heart conditions are unable to skip the Starbucks—even though caffeine can be deleterious to their health. While the American Psychiatric Association added caffeine use disorder to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders last spring, Juliano says the negative effects of caffeine are often overlooked because the drug is woven into routines and customs. Half Caf Juliano advises adults to cap caffeine at 400 mg per day—the equivalent of two to three 8-oz. cups of joe. Pregnant women should halve that number, as should those with anxiety, insomnia, or high blood pressure. If the thought of giving up your third (or fourth) cup of coffee gives you the shakes, you’re not alone. Juliano’s research indicates that people who struggle to cut back are interested in formal treatment, similar to smoking cessation programs. 8 AMERICAN MAGAZINE APRIL 2014
mastery Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success offers a formula for success—being born at the right place and time and investing at least 10,000 hours in pursuit of your goal. It’s about being focused and impassioned and pursuing a dream. Meet one of AU’s outliers: U.S. district court judge Reggie Walton, WCL/JD ’74. 1949 Born in Donora, Pennsylvania, a steel town 25 miles outside of Pittsburgh. 1956 Began playing football. “Donora was a tough little town. You had to be tough.” 1974–1976 Worked as a public defender in Philadelphia. 1989–1991 Left the bench to work as President George H. W. Bush’s associate director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and later as his senior White House advisor for crime. “I felt very strongly about the impact of drugs on communities and individuals.” 1981 Appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. 1983 Began taking cooking lessons at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda. “I do 99.9 percent of the cooking. My wife, Debra, is a medical doctor. She gets home late, so I usually have dinner for her.” 1991 Reappointed to the Superior Court bench by Bush. 2001 Assumed his current position as U.S. district court judge for the District of Columbia after being nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate. 1967 Appeared in court three times for gang fighting. Got more serious about studies after a friend nearly killed a rival with an ice pick. 1970 Appointed by a fraternity brother as chief justice of the university’s student court. “That engendered my interest in becoming a lawyer.” 1967 Graduated from high school; won a football scholarship to West Virginia State University. 1976–1981 Worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. 2005 Witnessed the attack of a cab driver in Chevy Chase Circle while driving to the airport. Tackled the assailant and held him until police arrived. 2007 Appointed by Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, where he adjudicates surveillance applications submitted by the Justice Department. 2007 Presided over the trial of Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff. Libby was convicted of committing perjury, obstructing justice, and making false statements; Walton sentenced him to 30 months in prison and fined him $250,000, but Bush commuted the sentence. 1974 Earned juris doctorate from AU’s Washington College of Law. 2012 Presided over the perjury trial of baseball great Roger Clemens, who was acquitted. “It wasn’t a strong case; I think the correct result was reached.” 2013 Elevated to chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. “The things that you hear are disturbing. When you get applications seeking to conduct surveillance, there’s a lot of pressure not to have another 9/11. On the other hand, you don’t want the executive branch to trample on individual liberties. It’s a difficult balance.” LET’S TALK #AMERICANMAG 9