Friday, March 29, 2013

URSP Highlights: Amani Mansour

 Spring 2013 URSP participant Amani Mansour:

            This semester I am conducting research on the role of personal power on a person’s success in meetings and negotiations.  I became interested in the role of power in negotiations when I was an intern last semester for the Undergraduate Experiential Learning Project (UELP). This project creates experiential learning activities (ELAs) for conflict analysis and resolution classes.  Students participate in these activities to help them link theory to practice.  In two of these ELAs, students take on roles and participate in meetings and negotiations.  Through my observations last semester, I noticed that power plays a huge role in the success of the negotiation process.  This is why I am using the ELAs to collect data on the role of personal power in negotiations. 
            I am currently at the stage in my research of attending and collecting data from the ELAs.  To get to this stage, I had to first narrow the type of power I wanted to focus on.  I chose personal power because I felt it is a huge component to a negotiator’s success but there is very little literature about it compared to the general concept of power.  Then, I defined personal power and broke it down into components.  I relied on the literature to help me shape the way I defined personal power.  For the first month and a half of this semester, a typical week for me included reading scholarly work on power and negotiations, meeting with my mentor and discussing what I have found and how it applies to my research, and from this, my research question evolved to focusing on personal power.  Now a typical week for me includes meeting with my mentor, attending ELAs and taking notes, and listening to recordings from previous ELAs and collecting data from that.  The research process has not only expanded my knowledge on my topic and my field of conflict analysis, but also on the research process.  While conducting research is a difficult process, it is also a fruitful one; and I am very excited to continue my work and hopefully have interesting results to share by the end of the semester.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

URSP Highlights: Patrick Maloney

 Spring 2013 URSP Participant Patrick Maloney:

            I discovered the OSCAR program through a teacher I had for one of my classes here at Mason. I did well in her class and she encouraged me to apply for the program. After looking into the opportunity a little more, I quickly decided to develop a research plan and apply for the program.
            With a background in environmental science and a concentration in environmental health, I decided to look into the effects of mercury on childhood leukemia. Through the classes I have taken at Mason, I have become interested in the various negative effects of air pollution on the human body and therefore wanted to get a more in depth understanding of some of the problems. This, coupled with my grandfather’s passing due to leukemia, gave me a subject area I am quite passionate about.
            In order to complete my research, I spend about an hour meeting with my mentor each week. During this time, we develop goals and a strategy to complete those goals each week. After this meeting, I typically spend time that same day researching or analyzing data. This week in particular, I discovered that the EPA database I will be using is extremely vast and incorporates data for many air pollutants across the entire country for the last 60 years.
            After college, I hope to pursue a career in the field of science and thus, the research skills I am developing are not only excellent for my future workplace, but the program itself stands out on a student resume.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Journal adds to the body of knowledge in all fields and showcases the outstanding scholarship of our undergraduates. It provides a forum for students to publicly share their research, offering opportunities for presenting their work to potential graduate programs and employers. Undergraduates also participate in the scholarly publishing process by reviewing submitted articles and shaping the journal’s content.

The Journal welcomes submissions of individual and collaborative research work in all disciplines. Keep in mind the following requirements:

  • The work must be completed while the author is enrolled as an undergraduate student at one of the Alliance institutions: The College of Charleston, University of Delaware, Drexel University, George Mason University, Georgia State University, Hofstra University, James Madison University, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Northeastern University, Old Dominion University, Towson University, or The College of William and Mary.
  • Faculty-mentored research papers and theses from all disciplines will be considered.
  • Submitters to the journal must own the copyright to the work being submitted.

There are three issues of the journal to date, and the overall acceptance rate over that period is 40%.
Articles published in the journal are easily accessible and frequently located through search engines. The overall most downloaded article, published in 2010, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Continued Effects on the Alaskan Economy, has been downloaded over 4600 times! The top downloaded article for 2011, The Adoption of Christianity by the Irish and Anglo-Saxons: The Creation of Two Different Christian Societies has over 1000 downloads, and the most downloaded 2012 article, Steadfastness, Resistance, and Occupation in the Works of Sahar Khalifeh, published in November 2012, has over 200 downloads.

We look forward to reviewing your work. To submit please go to and click on “Submit Article.”
Submission deadline: June 1, 2013

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/25

This Week at Mason:

Global Cyber Security: Current Trends and Strategies

March 26, 2013

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, Room 125

A Panel discussion featuring top experts from the Cyber Security industry!
Gen. Michael Hayden
Former Director of CIA and NSA
Distinguished Visiting Professor, George Mason University

Sandy Stanar-Johnson
NSA-CSS Representative to Department of Homeland Security

Jim Lewis
Director and Senior Fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Please RSVP:
Free with RSVP

Cognitive Migration and Mobility Decision-Making: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach

March 27, 2013

1:00 pm

Mason Hall, Room D205 F

Institute for Immigration Research Spring 2013 Colloquium Series Presents:  Dr. David Kyle, Co-Director at Center of Expertise on Migration and Health, UC GLobal Health Institute and Faculty Director, UC Davis at UC Global Health Institute. 

Japanese Spirit: Rebuilding After 3.11

March 27, 2013

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Johnson Center, Bistro

In remembrance of the tsunami and earthquake that devastated the Tohoku region of Japan, Mason Smiles for Japan (MSFJ) presents an event featuring a documentary film followed by a discussion. Event is open to the public and free meals will be provided.

Iranian-Jewish Dialogue on the Cyrus Cylinder

March 28, 2013

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Arlington, Founders Hall, Room 126

The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA), and National Iranian American Council (NIAC) invite you to a shared panel and celebration in honor of the presence in Washington of the Cyrus Cylinder and its significance for the peaceful interaction of civilizations based on universal human rights and human dignity.

Center for Global Studies 10th Annual Spring Conference

Thursday, March 28, 4:30-6:30pm - Mason Hall, Meese Conference Room
Friday, March 29, 9:00am-3:30pm - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC

This is not your father's peace-building. Globalization is changing the art and science of peacebuilding, and with it, our understanding of its study, practice, and very definition. Efforts to deliver justice while building peace in conflict-ridden countries such as Colombia, Libya, and El Salvador face real tensions. In addition, emerging actors are increasingly looking to mobilize globally in order to influence local conflict dynamics, whether through transnational advocacy, diaspora lobbying, or international support for regional peace-building. At its 10th Annual Conference, the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University is excited to showcase cutting-edge scholarship and insight from academics, policy makers, and practitioners working on peace-building in an age of new post-conflict realities.

Monday, March 25, 2013

URSP Highlights: Anushay Ibraz

Spring 2013 URSP Participant Anushay Ibraz:

What got you interested in this project?
My study explores my interests in finding differences in how college undergraduate students interact and communicate in a face-to-face context and online using Facebook. In my opinion, Facebook serves as a major platform for social media and plays a significant role as a form of communication among the current demographic of college students, ranging from ages 18 to about 23 years of age. As a fellow student, who is heavily exposed to both online and face-to-face communication, I am aware that everyone manifests their communication abilities differently and have certain preferences on how and when to express themselves. My observations of friends, roommates and fellow classmates have led me to believe that students engage in a more free exchange of information when employing their preferred channel of communication rather than an alternative method. My interest, therefore, lies in examining and comparing the level of restraint and spontaneity students express over Facebook and during a face-to-face encounter.

How do you see it being related to your long-term goals?
I hope that the final product of my project will be used as a stepping-stone for further research on communication through social media. I believe the project will help me expand my level of critical thinking and enrich my research and writing skills, which are essential to the public relations field. Analyzing Facebook and face-to-face interactions will help me better understand how individuals respond to information that is disseminated between two communication platforms. An aspiring public relations practitioner needs to understand their audience to capably communicate with their publics and I think this project can help me grasp the bigger picture on how to achieve effective communication. 

What do you actually do on a weekly basis?
I make it a habit to meet with my advisor at least once a week during his office hours. In the beginning, we went over my results from the pilot study I conducted last semester and thought of ways to improve my data collection method. I am researching more articles and scholarly journals to add to my literature review and provide more insight into my research question. I am also reformatting my survey questionnaire to better measure results of face-to-face and Facebook communication behaviors.

What is one thing you discovered this week?
I handed my survey out to a few students in class and the feedback I have received will make it easier to score my results. By using Likert scales, I can quantify my results, which will help me better measure and analyze incoming data using SPSS analytics software. With my survey finalized, I am ready to put it online and send it out for data collection. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

URSP Highlights: Stephen Lippi

Spring 2013 URSP participant Stephen Lippi:

After switching to a major in Psychology from Chemistry, I decided to get involved in research here at Mason. When I worked with a graduate student in the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (formerly biopsychology) program under Dr. Jane Flinn, my interest in research increased. After working in the animal lab and learning about the research that was being done, I knew I wanted to be involved. I applied and was accepted into the Accelerated Master’s program in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and soon began to think about some way I could apply my chemistry knowledge to a project. That ended up being working with biometals. After reading research that the lab had conducted with animals and biometals and knowing just how important metals can be in the body, I applied to the OSCAR program and decided to work with Dr. Flinn to form a question and project that involved biometals and behavior. After reading background literature and research done by Dr. Flinn and the lab, Cu deficiency was seen to be an exciting and interesting metal to look at and connect to behavioral measures. My research project, “The Effects of Cu Deficiency on Fear Conditioning” combines my interest in Chemistry with my training in Behavioral and Physiological Psychology.
After graduating, I will continue to earn my M.A. from GMU in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and will apply to Ph.D. programs in order to pursue a Ph.D. in some form of biological psychology or neuroscience. I want, wholeheartedly, to become a professor after I earn my doctorate degree. Teaching is what I truly want to do with my life and conducting original research not only allows me to continue learning myself, but also provides experience that I can transfer into my classroom and with future undergraduates and graduate students.
On a weekly basis, I read background literature and maintain a research binder with all my articles that relate to my research topics and continue to work on my project’s plans and goals. Once my rats arrive to GMU, my weekly schedule will include handling and monitoring their health in order to maintain a healthy and happy life for them.
One thing I discovered this week was exactly how much work truly goes into doing research with animals, particularly in formulating a diet. In choosing to research Cu deficiency, I thought we could simply order a diet with lower Cu levels and that would be it. However, working with a great nutritionist, I've learned that so much planning is required and ingredient interaction occurs in diet development and that it takes much more work than simply saying “I want the Cu levels lower” in order to create a special diet for a study. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/18

This Week at Mason:

URSP Proposal Writing Workshop

  • March 20, 2013

  • 10:00 am to 11:00 am

University Hall, Room 3300

Join Dr. Rebecca Jones to receive tips on writing your Undergraduate Research Schoalrs Program (URSP) proposal before submiting your application for the Summer program. The deadline for Summer URSP applications is Friday, February 22nd at 5:00 pm.

Jeremy Black Lecture

  • March 20, 2013

  • 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Johnson Center, George's Restaurant

Please join us for an open lecture with noted historian, Jeremy Black:
"War, Technology and the Rise of War, 1450-2000"
Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He has lectured extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and the U.S., where he has held visiting chairs at West Point, Texas Christian University, and Stillman College. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

CCT Brown Bag with Dr. Peter Stearns

  • March 21, 2013

  • 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Research Hall, Room 163

Referencing his latest book, Satisfaction Not Guaranteed, Dr. Stearns will talk about the tensions between some basic, quite common modern developments, and their corresponding levels of satisfaction.  Obvious issues are: how do we measure satisfaction, and how do modern societies stack up here?  What are the areas of discomfort?  The talk will explore two categories: one where trends were initially mishandled, and the other where new problems and expectations form the clear problem.  In particular, consideration will be given to the topics of child rearing and death.  And a third topic: how applicable are these suggestions to modern societies in general, and what are the comparative complications?  Finally, what might we do about the issues described -- consumerism as a case in point.
Dr. Peter N. Stearns became Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University on January 1, 2000. He has taught previously at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Rutgers, and Carnegie Mellon; he received his AB, AM, and PhD degrees at Harvard University. Dr. Stearns has authored or edited over 100 books. He has published widely in modern social history, including the history of emotions, and in world history.

Finding Ethics in Islamic Law: Guest Lecture by Rumee Ahmed

  • March 21, 2013

  • 3:00 pm

Johnson Center, Gold Room

Islamic legal ethics are found in complex relationships between the Muslim community and Islamic source texts, theology, exegesis, jurisprudence, and legal theory. Legal ethics cannot be divorced from these interconnected relationships, so that proposing a change in law requires corresponding changes in multiple related Islamic sciences. Without these corresponding changes, a new law cannot be deemed 'ethical'. Through a case-study of prisoners of war, this presentation will explain the way in which Islamic legal ethics are conceived and how legal change occurs in the Muslim community so that it is both 'religious' and 'ethical'.

15,000 and Counting - The Search for the Disappeared in Peru

  • March 22, 2013

  • 1:30 pm to 4:15 pm

The Hub (SUB II), Meeting Room 3

Guest Lecture with Forensic Anthropologist Jose Pablo Baraybar has been the president of the executive committee of the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team since its inception in 1997 and is currently the director. EPAF advocates for the use of forensic science in the systematic search and identification of the missing from Peru’s internal conflict (1980-2000). With over 20 years of experience, Baraybar has worked on forensic investigations of human rights violations in Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Haiti, Ethiopia, the Congo, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Somaliland, Iraq, and the Philippines.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Peer Educational Mentorship

The Peer Educational Mentorship (PEM) Program is a paid opportunity for qualified, highly motivated undergraduate students at Mason who are interested in gaining leadership opportunities and intercultural experiences. The mentors, called Peer Educators (PEs), work with undergraduate international students in ACCESS, a first-year transitional program. PEs provide advice and positive reinforcement to their international “mentees” to help build confidence in their abilities both as students and as non-native speakers of English.

Benefits of Participation
  • Earn a stipend in both fall & spring semesters
  • Personal growth in the areas of leadership experience, intercultural communication, critical awareness of ethical challenges, and development of multicultural perspectives
  • Build your resume with valuable mentorship experience
  • Meet new people from around the world

Upcoming Information Sessions:
Tuesday, 3/5 @ 5-6 p.m.

APPLICATION DUE DATE: MARCH 20, 2013.  Click here to download the application.

***For more information and to apply:

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/4

This Week at Mason:

Vision Series: Lance Sherry

March 4, 2013

7:00 pm

Center for the Arts, Concert Hall

Delayed and Cancelled! Why the US Air Trans. System is Unreliable and How to Fix it presented by Lance Sherry, Director, Center for Air Transportation Systems Research.

School of Art Student Photography Exhibition

March 5, 2013

Art and Design Building, Fine Art Gallery

Free exhibition.


FAMS Visiting Filmmakers Series: Reportero and Bernardo Ruiz

March 6, 2013

4:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Johnson Center, Cinema

Reportero follows veteran reporter Sergio Haro and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for the media. In Mexico, more than 50 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon came to power and launched a government offensive against the country's powerful drug cartels and organized crime groups. As the drug war intensifies and the risks of the journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?

Visual Voices: Alyce Myatt

March 7, 2013

7:30 pm

Harris Theater

Alyce Myatt presents Media, Art & Money - Alyce’s Adventures in the ScreenTrade.


Graduate Seminar Spring 2012: Professor Jun Xi

March 8, 2013

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Innovation Hall, Room 136

Join the Department of Chemisty and Biochemistry for a presentation by Professor Jun Xi.