Friday, January 20, 2012

OSCAR is open! And the blog is closing...

OSCAR, the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research, is the home of the Students as Scholars initiative. And as of Monday, January 23rd, 2012 we will open our office and our new website.  Monday is also Dr. Rebecca Jones' first day in the office, and Ms. Sabrina Lunin will be joining us next week as our office coordinator. Dr. Bethany Usher (Director of Students as Scholars) and Shannon Jacobsen (Students as Scholars Graduate Research Associate) have also moved in and we're still unpacking boxes and figuring out how to plug things in. 

OSCAR is physically located on the second floor of the Johnson Center, Room 246. Please stop by, say hi, learn about new opportunities, and grab a bag of Students as Scholars M&Ms.

Our website address is  Please see the tabs at the top - information relevant to each group (students, faculty & staff, and community)  is being added daily. Please let us know ( what you would like to see on the website as we work on creating it as the digital home of Students as Scholars

The new website means that I will stop updating this blog on a regular basis, although it will remain for those who want to refer back to it.  And I hope that it will evolve in the future, perhaps as a place for students to update us on their scholarly activities (like the New York Time Scientist at Work blog)?  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Q&A Session for Track B and C SDG

We invite faculty to attend next week's Scholarship Development Grant Question & Answer session to learn more about opportunities to enhance the curriculum and promote student scholarship at Mason through SDGs. This session will emphasize Track B Curriculum Development SDGs, which support the creation of scaffolded learning experiences for students as they progress through an academic program, along with Track C Collaborative Project SDGs, which support interdisciplinary and co-curricular projects that have a substantial undergraduate student scholarship component.

Our goal with this session is to help teams that are beginning to work on their proposals, and to answer questions from faculty who are interested in putting together proposals, either now or in the future.

The deadline for receipt of Track B and C proposals is February 3, 2012.

Date: Tuesday, January 17th, from 11-12
Location: Johnson Center Room 240A (the Paul Robeson Room)

Friday, January 6, 2012

CREATE workshop for faculty

I just got this announcement about an NSF-funded opportunity to faculty to learn about the CREATE curriculum model in a workshop this summer. It is a curricular model for using "intensive analysis of primary literature to demystify and humanize research science for undergraduates."  It looks really interesting, and I would love to have one of our faculty attend and bring back the ideas to campus.  NSF pays for the workshop, other than travel, so SaS could cover the travel expenses. The rub is that the application deadline is January 15th (and it arrived in my inbox last evening). Please let me know if you would like to apply.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Help highlighting student projects in OSCAR

Now that OSCAR's construction is nearing completion, we're beginning to think about decorating.  We would like to feature displays of student research and creative work.  I'd love to have artwork, posters about student projects (dances, recitals, etc), research posters, and other visual representations of undergraduate research and creative work.  Please contact us at with any ideas or items to display.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NSF REU Summer Research Opportunities

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports summer research opportunities for undergraduate students at many institutions (in the US and in international locations) under the program Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). These positions are competitive, offer a summer stipend, and usually cover travel expenses.  It is a great opportunity to learn more about your field, meet interesting peers, and gain a professional experience your portfolio. Application deadlines are vary, but are usually between late January and mid-March.

If you need help with an application, please contact us at or your advisor for assistance.

NSF supports research in hard, applied, and social sciences, including:

  • Astronomical Sciences
  • Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Earth Sciences
  • Education and Human Resources
  • Engineering
  • Ethics and Values Studies
  • International Science and Engineering
  • Materials Research
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Ocean Sciences
  • Physics
  • Polar Programs
  • Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Mason's own Math Department supports an REU project, Research, Education and Training in Computational Mathematics and Nonlinear Dynamics of Biological, Bio-inspired and Engineering Systems. For more information, see

To search for available sites, see

GMReview undergraduate peer reviewer invitation

The GMReview is inviting undergraduates to serve as peer reviewers.  This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in scholarly publication, and to learn about the amazing array of undergraduate research at Mason. 

Peer reviewers lend their voice to what Mason undergraduate scholarship looks like.  Specifically, peer reviewers meet twice a month to evaluate submissions to see how well they align with the mission of the GMR and how well they demonstrate excellence in their respective field.  

To apply, send your resume to with GMR | Peer Reviewer as the subject line.

OSCAR construction update

The work on OSCAR continued over break (many thanks to the hardworking construction team!).  Although the walls are up, we'll still be waiting on final touches and furniture for a while. The space is looking wonderful, though!

Looking in the front door (near Admission, on the JC atrium side)

The reception desk is to the left.  The left office will be for Dr. Rebecca Jones, Assistant Director of OSCAR, and the office to the right will be mine (Dr. Bethany Usher, Director of Students as Scholars and OSCAR)

Bookshelves and student workstation along the diagonal wall.