Mason’s new tech initiative is set to be an automatic gamechanger

David Rehr said he has spent his entire life thinking about how government can be more efficient and effective. The George Mason University alumnus and director of Mason’s Center for Business Civic Engagement at the Schar School of Policy and Government spent 25 years as a lobbyist on Capitol Hill. Before that, he was a child growing up in the Midwest, the son of a hardworking postman who didn’t attend college. His time in government, he said, made him a bit cynical, feeling that citizens’ har

Mason leads Virginia in innovation and diversity as engineering numbers climb in latest U.S. News rankings

George Mason University is the most diverse and most innovative institution in Virginia according to the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report for its 2022 Best Colleges List, reflecting the university’s mission of providing access to excellence. Six programs made the top 100, including engineering, which rose 16 spots in the past year. Mason also rose in its social mobility rankings (graduating Pell Grant students), to No. 127 (up from 144). Over the past five years, Mason grew its numbe

The Secret's Out: Mason's study abroad programs are your ticket to the world (Video)

With more than 200 programs in more than 60 countries, students can study abroad for as little as a week or as long as a full academic year. Whether it’s advancing your career through an internship at a global organization, expanding your academic learning by studying at Mason’s partner institutions abroad, learning a language by being fully immersed in the culture, or experiencing personal growth and enhancing your global awareness, Mason students from all majors can earn college credit while learning from expert faculty members who lead the trips.

Mason’s required COVID-19 testing helps keep campus safe

George Mason University has implemented several strategies to keep the campus community safe this fall during the evolving pandemic. Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19, the university is requiring all students who live on campus to participate in mandatory routine COVID testing, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated, non-residential students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate in the COVID surveillance testing to keep the university community safe. “Even for peopl

The Taliban as a long-term ‘government’ is unrealistic, Mason expert says. Here’s what needs to be done.

The Taliban’s reign in Afghanistan is not feasible long-term, said Charles Davidson, executive director of the Political Leadership Academy at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. “The Taliban is a group of warlords…they are not a government, they are not politicians,” Davidson said. “History shows that when warlords fill a political vacuum, it’s only a matter of time until that system breaks down, if they’re not able and willing to allow people who can gov

Vaccines are a key part of Mason’s fall plan

Since the COVID-19 shutdowns, thousands of students, faculty and staff are heading back to universities to resume an on-campus experience. To safely return, vaccines have been an essential part of many institutions’ strategies. “Vaccination provides an effective measure to significantly reduce the risk of infection to both the individual and, if the majority of the population is vaccinated, to the greater population,” said Amira Roess, professor of global health and epidemiology at George Mason

Michael Fauntroy returns to Mason to lead new Race, Politics, and Policy Center

George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government will launch its new Race, Politics, and Policy Center in Fall 2021 under the leadership of Professor Michael Fauntroy. Fauntroy, who taught at Mason for 11 years before joining the faculty at Howard University in 2013, returned to Mason in June. “If you look at what’s going on around the country at colleges and universities, there’s not a lot of energy and attention being put to these issues,” Fauntroy said. “The goal of the center

Carter School research finds compassion can be built in conflict zones, sometimes

Can enemy groups learn to develop compassion for one another? That was the question Carter School professor Daniel Rothbart set out to answer in his research at Rondine, a two-year “laboratory for peace.” Now, the results are in. “This is the first in-depth case study of compassion among civilians who live in conflict zones,” said Rothbart, who collaborated with George Mason University professors Thalia Goldstein, Marc Gopin and Karina Korostelina. “We hope this is a model that can help create

Mason alumna named a top influential Arab American, advocating for Palestinian refugees

Activism runs in Laila Mokhiber's blood. Well before she became the director of communications at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA USA), Mokhiber was a child holding protest signs in human rights demonstrations. Before then, her mother held her as a baby in the gallery of the Supreme Court, as her father argued to incorporate Arab Americans into the Civil Rights Act in 1987. The George Mason University alumna has also made a name for herself. In 2020, she was named one of the top 40 influential Arab Americans under 40

Advocating for diverse representation in climate change policy

Dilafruz Khonikboyeva, BA ’10, MS ’14, grew up during the civil war in Tajikistan, and said it was her experience of living through conflict that motivated her to study at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. In April, she received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award. “The Carter School means so much to me personally and professionally,” Khonikoboyeva said, adding that she keeps in touch with professors who have been like mentors. “For me, this award is

Law School takes on 21-day racial equity challenge

With racial tension high in the United States, and the need for equity growing ever stronger, students and faculty at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School participated in a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge virtually in March and April. The challenge, created by diversity expert Eddie Moore Jr., focuses on the Black American experience and is "designed to advance deeper understandings of the intersections of race, power, privilege, and oppression, and guide participan

Empowering Sudanese civilians to be a voice for change

Following decades of war and genocide in Sudan, in April 2019 a mass movement from civilians overthrew the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir. As the country transitions to democratic rule, George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution is working to empower civilians to use their voice to impact the future. The Mason team, working with partners in Sudan, has been interviewing and video recording oral histories of 100 Sudanese civilians who have lived through both war and

Mason team brings to life untold narratives of anti-lynching heroes

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it so most museums are closed, but students and researchers at George Mason University’s John Mitchell, Jr. Program (JMJP) are working hard to create a digital one that sheds light on civil rights pioneers with largely untold stories. Thanks to an $8,000 grant from Virginia Humanities, the team is building a digital exhibit on the life of anti-lynching advocate John Mitchell, Jr., and his colleagues Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells. The grant is part of $181,50

Busting crimes and saving lives: Mason’s multidisciplinary research in action

Illegal goods can have deadly consequences. Whether it’s a counterfeit face mask that doesn’t provide a frontline worker adequate protection from COVID-19, or a counterfeit pill laced with fentanyl (a synthetic painkiller 50-100 times more potent than morphine), millions of lives can be at risk. A multidisciplinary team of researchers and students at George Mason University is working to stop such criminal activity. Thanks to a nearly $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)—an

Rapper and double Mason alum Anees gains musical momentum after a surprise from Justin Bieber

Since he was old enough to drive, Anees Mokhiber would freestyle in his car. The George Mason University double alumnus has since transformed the hobby he describes as therapeutic into a career, with his car being his mobile recording studio. On April 10, during an Instagram live from his Ford Focus, the up-and-coming rapper sang his latest single “Slip,” and was caught by surprise when Justin Bieber joined the livestream to jam along. The Grammy-winning pop star gave major compliments on Mokhi

Leaving Notre Dame football for a career touchdown in D.C.

Playing football for University of Notre Dame was something Steve Elmer said he could only dream of when he was younger. His talent combined with a scholarship had him playing on the field with a golden helmet as freshman. He became one of the team’s most experienced offensive linemen, having 30 starts to his name. “A lot of people probably expected me to play my senior year and push hard to develop myself for the next step to the NFL,” said Elmer, who majored in economics. “But I was fortunate

What’s in a cell? Mason team analyzes genomes to support conservation, cloning project

Black-footed ferrets were once thought to be extinct, until a small population was discovered in Wyoming in 1981. The species is still endangered, but scientists—including a George Mason University researcher and students at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC)—are coming to the rescue. In December 2020, Willa, a black-footed ferret who died in 1988, was cloned using her cells that had been frozen. That clone, Elizabeth Ann, is now the first North American endangered species to b
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