Students may have noticed during the month of April many University buildings and structures had a blue-glow at night. The blue-glow was not an accident but for a good cause. All throughout the month the University was participating in the "Light it Up Blue" campaign for Autism speaks, an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about Autism through science and advocacy.
GW buildings participating in the campaign included the School of Media & Public Affairs, Lisner Auditorium, the Elliott School Building, and Duques Hall along with the Clock Tower on the Mount Vernon Campus. GW's buildings joined 2,000 famous landmarks around the world that participated in the campaign. The landmarks included the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and Niagara Falls in Canada.
"Autism has been made one of the top three initiatives at GW by President Knapp," Heather Russell, Development Director of the Office for the Vice President of Research, said. Russell was in charge of planning out the University's participation in "The Light it Up Blue" campaign this year.
"It is GW's plan to establish an Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorder Institute focusing on research, treatment, and policy in the next two to three years," Russell explained.
The University will work with Children's National Medical Center to establish the Institute.
In addition, to recognize World Autism Day on April 2nd, the University had blue spot lights on University yard for two hours.
Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that generally appears in a child's first three years of life. One in every 88 children around the world will be diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.
Since 2010, GW faculty have conducted over 30 research projects on causes and treatments for Autism and other related neurodevelopment disorders.