Monday, March 31, 2014

URSP Student Bradley Strylowski Researches Canvas a Touchscreen Inspired Musical Instrument

In my final year of high school, I began teaching myself guitar and learning music in my free time, and soon began exploring musical applications for my smartphone. However, many of these disappointed me, as I found them either more difficult to control than actual instruments or offering too little control of the computer-generated audio. Last summer I participated in a research program at Louisiana State University, where I researched Mobile Music under Dr. Jesse Allison. We decided to build a non-skeuomorphic musical instrument for the touchscreen which we chose to call Pitch Canvas. By the end of the summer, we had completed a stable version of the interface, which with its hexagonal layout and gesture-based interaction, offers a means of producing music difficult to replicate even with traditional interfaces. Upon returning to George Mason at the end of the summer, I wanted to continue adding functionality to the interface, and applied for the URSP with the help of Dr. Jesse Guessford. I’m excited by the opportunity to explore novel ways of creating music, and also by the project’s further applications in fields such as music therapy, music education, and music visualization.

I plan to pursue a career in computational science research, and through this project I have learned much about the nature of interdisciplinary research. Also, I have gained skills in mobile development which will be useful later in my career, and have also learned about efficient programming methodology and processing multiple sources of information.

Most of my work is limited to programming in its various forms, whether encoding general algorithmic design, building the graphical representation of the interface, or translating between various environments. However, I am also growing acquainted with playing the instrument, and will be performing an improvisation later in the spring. Just this week, I discovered a way of playing the instrument that varies the volume of sustained notes, allowing the tracing of a melody by gently pulling the individual notes from the background.

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/31

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/31
This Week at Mason:

Practices for Sustainable Leadership in Social Justice

March 31, 2014 

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Student Union Building I, Room 3A

Student leaders, advocates and activists are often overcommitted, passionate and self-sacrificing for a social justice cause. Yet, to prevent burn out, student leaders need more tools to cope with the frequent stress and intense emotions that come with social justice work, not often addressed in traditional leadership trainings. This pride week workshop will include interactive and experiential learning to guide students to access their own "inner fuente" through self-care and community support.

Student leaders who also carry one or more invisible identities (Learning disability, sexual Assaults survivor, Veteran, Dreamer, and UndocuQueer, etc.) are especially encouraged to attend. Wear comfortable clothing for activities. This event is part of Mason's LGBTQ 2014 Pride Week. See the website for additional events.

Classic Film Screening & Discussion: Bycycle Thieves
March 31, 2014
4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Johnson Center, Cinema

Mason’s Cinematic Arts Fraternity, Delta Kappa Alpha, and Film & Media Studies are cosponsoring Classic Film Screenings and Discussions. Free and open to the public.

The discussion following a screening of Bycycle Thieves (1948), will be led by FAVS' Ben Steger.  

Not Leaving it at the Door: Intersections of Identities
March 31, 2014 

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Student Union Building I, Room 3A

This workshop will explore how race, gender, class and other identities intersect with sexual orientation. It will examine how in the LGBTQ movement individuals with certain identities are asked to leave parts of their identity behind.

Participants will be asked to think about ways to allow everyone to bring their whole selves to the table when fighting for LGBTQ rights. Who gets to show up and completely be themselves? What identities do you have to check at the door? For different perspectives on these and more questions come out and join the conversation. This event is part of Mason's LGBTQ 2014 Pride Week. See the website for additional events.

Sigmi Xi Chapter Meeting
April 1, 2014 

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Room F

Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. The interdisciplinary nature of Sigma Xi chapters allows members to interact with colleagues and address a range of issues that bridge the scientific disciplines.
Sigma Xi was founded to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering.  

S-CAR World Cafe Film Series: Mugabe and the White African
April 4, 2014
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Arlington Campus, John Burton Library

Join the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR) for a film showing of Mugabe and the White African.

In 2008 Mike Campbell - one of the few remaining white farmers in Zimbabwe to have held fast in the face of the violent 'Land Reform' programme - took the unprecedented step of challenging President Robert Mugabe before the SADC International Court (SADC - South African Development Community) to defend his farm, which is also home to 500 black workers and their families, and to charge Mugabe and his government with racial discrimination and with violations of Human Rights. Light foods provided.

URSP Student Bradley Boeji Researches Dynamic Changes in Muscle Length in Osteoarthritis Patients

I’m doing my research project on osteoarthritis (OA) patients as the title suggests, more specifically I’m working with osteoarthritis patients that are post-ACL reconstruction surgery. I got into this project through a friend in one of Mason’s graduate programs. He thought it may be something I was interested in so he suggested I come in and help him out with his research. His project is very similar to the work I am doing only he is looking at different variables that can be linked to OA in post-ACL reconstructions. After helping him do one data collection I had to see more and know more about his work. I have always been interested in injuries (rehabilitation and prevention), being a hopeful physical therapist in the making, but I had never thought about looking at injuries in a research frame. It has been my first true application of some of the skills and knowledge I have learned from the Kinesiology program and that has been the real hook for me. This project is going to help me tremendously with my long term goals because I will have a leg up on my studies in graduate school. I will be able to bring a different perception to the other students and the material in general that I think will help me master the art of rehabilitation. At the essence of rehab is correcting biomechanics and to do that you need to have a full and complete understanding of the mechanics of human movement. Starting out now working with technology in the SMART lab I can gain a huge lesson in applied biomechanics by having data right in front of me on a screen to manipulate and experiment with. This will carry over into the clinical realm where the main source of technology comes from your own mind’s analytical processes. During an average week, with no data collections, I’m mainly working with Visual 3D (Biomechanical analysis software) to code the commands I will run once all of my data has been collected and reading research studies. In reading a few studies this week I learned that where it is well understood that muscle influence knee joint loading and impairments in muscle function have been observed in knee OA patients there is actually very little evidence that suggests these may precede OA. So my focus may shift to better understanding these impairments as a means to further the understanding of knee OA and help establish better preventative measures.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

URSP Student Bethany Larson Explores the Use of Polaroid Photography as a Tool for Empowerment for Dementia Residents in Long-term Care Settings

URSP Highlights: Bethany Larson

My name is Bethany Larson and I am a junior in the Social Work program at George Mason University. My grant project focus is exploring the use of Polaroid photography as a tool for empowerment for dementia residents in a long-term care setting. Some outcomes I hope to see are a positive association for photography as a creative outlet and art therapy method tool, a positive emotional response for the photography sessions from the residents, and possibly seeing a need for a creative art requirement in residents personalize care plans. I was interested in the project after being approached my mentor, Dr. Emily Ihara. She saw value in my extensive art background and wanted to know if I was interested in working with the older population. I accepted the challenge and chose to intern at Birmingham Green (BG) for one of my social work classes to get more experience with the older population. I enjoyed working with the adults at BG; I asked the one of the social workers if she would be interested in supervising my project this semester, and she agreed. This project relates to my long-term goals of being comfortable with conducting research, building up my resume before I graduate with different experiences, and separating myself from the crowd by getting out of my comfort zone. On a weekly basis I meet with mentor every Monday night after school, I am regularly reviewing the literature on related topics, and I am regularly corresponding with the administration at Birmingham Green. One thing I discovered this week was the IRB (Institutional Review Board) approved my project! IRB is the human subjects review board that requires certain documents to make sure I will not be harming the vulnerable population involved with my project. This approval allows me to move forward and start the process of getting consent from residents to participate at BG! This project has been and continues to be a valuable learning process!

URSP Student Anastashia Cuddihy Conducts a Collection of Oral Histories Concerning the Trujillo Regime

Thursday, February 20:

I had a long night last night. I was dropped off at the airport at about midnight

and spent most of the evening trying to find a comfortable position to sleep on the plane, drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and waiting for the 6:20 am flight to JFK. Finally, at around 4:00 am, we were able to drop off our luggage and make our way through security to board our flight at 5:55. In the security line, something happened which made me realize just how much my research will be appreciated and how much it is needed. My mother and I were talking about the coming trip, everything I needed to get done in such a short period of time and about my research in general. As we were chatting, a man whom my mother had pointed out in the luggage line as being Dominican turned around and asked if we were headed to the Dominican Republic. We answered him in Spanish that we were and that we were headed to La Vega so I could do research on victims of Trujillo’s dictatorship and collect oral histories, something which I have always been interested in as it is so relatively unknown in the United States. At once, he began nodding and squared his shoulders in a way that would become familiar to me during my time in the Dominican Republic. The same behavior would preceded almost every conversation I would have regarding the Trujillato. El Jefe so impacted the small nation that this man before me, not even alive when Trujillo was assassinated, expressed the same thoughts and emotions voiced by those who had lived through the dictatorship. As we spoke in line, he began to recommend books for me to read and movies to watch to better acquaint myself with the Trujillo Era. I began to take notes when another voice chimed in from behind us. This second man, with whom we later enjoyed breakfast, was from Honduras and was alive during the Trujillo years. Before his flight to Houston began boarding, he told me what he knew about the Trujillo dictatorship and began to talk about other Latin American dictatorships from the same era. I was shocked at the interest my project was getting, even before I boarded my flight and before most people were even out of bed. The rest of the flight was relatively mundane, running for our connecting flight to Santiago, Dominican Republic, getting picked up at the airport by family, and enjoying a home-cooked meal and then a trip to the local watering hole before collapsing in bed, waiting for the next day.

Saturday, February 22.

Today was my first interview. Yesterday was the Friday before the last weekend of Carnaval street celebrations, so it was difficult to talk to anyone about my project. This worked out pretty nicely, as I was able to get my preliminary research together, organize my thoughts and really prepare for my first interview with the principal of a local school. One thing I have noticed in my short time in this country is that driving seems to be a full-contact sport with next to no rules. Red lights, stop signs, and pedestrians seem to be mere suggestions to stop, not requirements. It is not uncommon to see three Vespas joined together by each drivers putting one foot on the scooter closest to them. This makes it so people can still talk while on the move. Needless to say, we did not get in a car here without some level of trepidation! I was also able to witness an incredibly interesting ceremony in which a baby was baptized with his godparents present in his own home. It is called a ‘water party’ and it was quite similar to baptism ceremonies I have been to in the States, except for the fact that it was in a home instead of a church.

Sunday, February 23.

One of the greatest things about anthropological research is the requirement that you immerse yourself in the local culture to understand better the people you are researching. Being in La Vega for this weekend is incredibly lucky, since I am able to witness and participate in Carnaval. Every Sunday in the month of February, La Vega is turned into the cultural capital of the Dominican Republic. Parades and partying take over the streets, which are clogged with people and demon costumes wielding large beanbag footballs on ropes, which they use to hit Carnaval-goers in punishment for the sins they have committed in the past year. It was painful when I turned my back to the “demons” and got a surprise attack! After leaving Carnaval and the music of the party behind, I was able to conduct another interview despite the loud music outside. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the long, fun day. It was almost impossible to sleep through the continuing music and yelling filtering in through the bedroom window!

Monday, February 24.

Today was quite productive and exciting! Not only was I able to get two interviews done, one in the morning and one in the early evening, but I was able to explore more of the island. After my first interview, we headed out to see a museum dedicated to the Mirabal sisters. These sisters were murdered during the Trujillo regime and are remembered as heroines and near saints all over the island. They are even featured on 200 peso bills. Unfortunately, the museum is closed on Mondays, so we were unable to take a tour. Fortunately, the sisters’ birthplace was nearby and we were able to talk our way into a tour of the grounds. It is now a cacao farm, as it was then, and the home is nearly the same as it was when the sisters lived there. We were able to try some fresh cacao seeds (white and fleshy, I thought they tasted like watermelons) and some sundried ones which were incredibly bitter but unmistakably chocolate. After leaving home, we visited the memorial across the street that was erected for the sisters. It was an incredible experience I can only hope to repeat. The last wonderful part of the day was the interview I had this evening with a local hero and entrepreneur. Today exceed my every expectation and I cannot express my gratitude for this amazing country.

Tuesday, February 25.

My last interview was today, and it was a bittersweet experience. The interview was with the owner of the oldest operating restaurant in the city, who was incredibly kind and intelligent; it was a joy to talk with him about my project and to hear his story. While I cannot wait to get home and begin to put together my research and present it, I am going to miss this country and city greatly. The people have been incredibly welcoming and kind, and I have never experienced such hospitality. Tomorrow is going to be my last full day here, and it is looking like it will be spent packing and resting up for our early flight and return trip home. I really hope I can return here again, to incorporate these amazing stories into my graduate studies in a bioarchaeological context and to better understand what happened to the amazing people of this nation under one of the most brutal dictators in the history of Latin America.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

URSP Student Abbas Idris Researches Graphene

My name is Abbas Idris, I currently do work on graphene and my dream is to develop single molecule sequencing technology further than its current
limitations. I first got interested in this field after doing a Genomics project my junior year of high school. At the time and up until my senior year, I was enrolled in the Governor's School at George Mason's Price William campus. I had been working on a graphic user interface for genomic analyses when I realized how wonderful it would be to sequence an entire human genome. After the project (my senior year), I became more interested in this idea and dreamt of creating an efficient sequencing tool so that I could do my own personal genomics work. I ran into many third generation sequencing devices, but I was particularly amazed at the potential of single molecule sequencing. Not knowing how to make an impact in this innovation, I originally wanted to pursue other methods of sequencing and reinvent them. However, I have since began chasing the idea of single molecule sequencing using a graphene nanopore. The first few weeks of my research I spent time in the lab working on the previous idea, but for the past couple of weeks I have spent hours delving into interesting articles that have shaped the direction of my work. One thing I have discovered is that threading a DNA molecule through graphene focuses too much on ion displacement that on the individual nitrogenous bases on a molecules

URSP Student Matt Rawls Conducts A Quantitative Analysis of the Metabolic Framework of Deep-Sea Nitrate-Reducing Epsilonproteobacteri

URSP Highlights: Matt Rawls

I have always had a strong drive for science and fascination with the ocean. Growing up one of my biggest hobbies with friends was maintaining large

aquariums and observing underwater life. I originally worked with Dr. Foustoukos on a chemistry related project at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, and when offered the opportunity to spend a month at sea on the East Pacific Rise I said yes immediately. My entire life I have wanted to live on a ship conducting scientific research and I finally had the opportunity to do that.

After working for several months at Carnegie with Dr. Foustoukos, I started working a lot with Dr. Perez-Rodriguez (Carnegie post-doctoral fellow), classifying a new species of iron-reducing bacteria. I became very familiar with chemosynthetic microbes (microbes that live off of chemicals in their environment) and hydrothermal vent systems where many of them are found. This new set of skills really helped my candidacy for the research spot on the ship.

I developed a great set of research skills and met some incredible scientists from all over the world. The international effort featured scientists from Russia, Greece, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, Canada, China, India and the USA. I made friends and contacts that I will have for the rest of my life; it was an outstanding opportunity.

Daily life on the ship consisted of waking up, eating, spending all day crunching numbers and taking measurements and performing various analysis techniques and serving your 4 hour Jason shift. Jason was the remote controlled submarine that was used to take samples from the sea floor (2 miles deep). Jason had a large control room and it operated 24/7, so teams of 6 were swapped in and out every 4 hours. My shift was 12am to 4am. Specifically, during the day, I analyzed every water sample we took for hydrogen peroxide and I counted cells in our samples to quantify the amounts of microbial life. Our (Dr. Foustouokos, Dr. Perez-Rodriguez and myself) experiment involved culturing deep-sea microbes in situ at high pressures. The goal was to observe metabolic rates of nitrate-reducing microbial populations in different pressures relative to their natural environment.

Several new things were discovered on the ship already, not counting the next year of analysis to be carried out on all of the samples. We found many new hydrothermal vent sites and named them during our Jason van shifts. DNA analysis confirmed many new undescribed species of bacteria were present in samples as well. We also found hydrogen peroxide in vent fluid samples, something that has not been done before.

Living and researching on the ship was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Analysis for our particular experiment is ongoing to this day, although things have slowed down. Many fluid and microbial samples are in the freezer until the time is right to grow and classify new species and perform other various analyses. Our experiment is part of a much larger, international collaborative effort nicknamed “Dimensions” that is working to gain a better understanding on deep-sea biological and chemical processes.

Friday, March 28, 2014

URSP Student Diana Prado Researches The Effects of Manual Mowing on Native Herbaceous Plant Communities

Can manual mowing reduce the occurrence of invasive alien plant species in meadows? We have reason to think that it can, but we need to develop the data to prove it. We will conduct our research over the growing season (May through September) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. 

This project is ecologically important because meadows in our area are declining rapidly. Human development has eliminated the fires that create these ecosystems. When there is a forest fire, the land returns as meadow before it can be a forest again as part of the succession process. Another human aspect that is endangering meadows is the introduction of exotic invasive species. For example, the Occoquan Bay meadow is spotted with Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica ) and Calorie Pare(Pyrus calleryana) among many other exotic invasive species. These invasive species outcompete the native ones, sometimes displacing them completely. Despite the plight of meadows, most governmental funding for restoration goes toward forest restoration even where meadow restoration would be more appropriate. This research will complete two important tasks for meadow restoration is we are successful: It will provide a cheaper and herbicide-free alternative for meadow restoration and it will create the opportunity for community involvement in the meadow restoration work.

This semester, we are trying to gather our team of “green reapers.” This is an experiment in itself. We are trying to create a group of about ten inexperienced volunteers to help us mow this meadow under very tough conditions. They will need to face the intense summer heat, rise at dawn, battle bugs and stick with it all summer.

Another interesting aspect of our volunteer search is the demographics. Most active environmental work involves educated middle class Americans. We want to see if we can encourage people from other demographics to get involved. One example are latinos. I am a latina, born and raised in Lima, Peru. Many of my latino friends are having a hard time just getting by, so they don’t participate in active environmental work. But we want to see if we can encourage them and reach a very large group of people that has generally been uninvolved in the environmental restoration movement. Once this team is formed, we will begin our management experiment and research.

NCUR 2014

NCUR 2014

OSCAR will be accompanying students as they travel to Lexington, Kentucky for the National Conference of Undergraduate Research on April 2nd. The students are looking forward to meeting with hundreds of successful scholars from across the nation.

 To view the 35 abstracts submitted by Mason students, please follow this link: NCUR Abstracts.

URSP Student Alisha Brown Researches How Motivational Interviewing Affects Elderly Clients

I did not think that I would have the opportunity as a nursing major to conduct research as an undergraduate student. When I was presented with the idea in my nursing fundamentals class, I decided that I would look into it and see if it was something that would interest me. From the moment that I met my mentor, I knew that this is something that would change my college experience and that I am definitely going to move forward with. I am excited to participate in a project that a lot of people in my position don’t get the opportunity to pursue. I am honored that I was selected to go out and research an unanswered in question in nursing. The purpose of my project is to see how motivational interviewing affects elderly clients above the age of 65, who have obstructive sleep apnea and mild cognitive impairment, and their adherence to CPAP machine usage.

I see my project being related to my long term goals because I eventually want to get my PhD in nursing and there will always be questions that need answering in the medical field. I know that starting my research skills now will only improve as I reach different heights in my nursing career and begin a research study of my own. On a weekly basis, I meet with either my mentor or her colleagues in the sleep lab. I enter patient data and look through patient files to see what their past and present CPAP machine usage is like and how motivational interviewing has affected their scores. I have just recently written a semi-structured motivational interviewing questionnaire to be submitted to the IRB so that my portion of the project can begin. I am also in the process of submitting an abstract to the Gerontological Society of America and presenting my findings at a local conference in DC this November. This week I discovered that majority of the clients take medications for cardiovascular diseases than may be related to sleep apnea.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Summer Opportunities: Deadlines During April

Summer Opportunities

Application Deadlines During April

Not going to be at Mason over the summer months but still looking for a great way to make the most of your time off? Take a look at these great opportunities for Summer 2014!

Here are some of OSCAR's favorites this week:

Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Intern SUMMER Workshop

Each year, 25-30 interns are selected by the IRT to participate in an intense four-week SUMMER workshop at Phillips Academy prior to or at the completion of their senior year of undergraduate study. The workshop typically runs for the month of July; interns and faculty work together nine hours each day, six days a week. Included in the workshop are lectures, seminar discussions, small group meetings, writing conferences, films, debates, practice teaching sessions and presentations by nationally known educators, scholars, poets and artists.
Deadline: April 1, 2014
Location: Andover Academy, Massachusetts

Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute
June 9- July 18, 2014
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have created the Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute to encourage minority students and others with an interest in African-American and African Diasporan Studies to pursue graduate degrees, especially PhDs in the humanities.
The program, which is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, offers a six-week session for 10 rising seniors (juniors in spring 2014, entering their senior year in fall 2014, graduating in 2015).
The Institute, with the help of renowned scholars, will develop and nurture the students’ interest in the appropriate disciplines, and provide them with the requisite intellectual challenges and orientations needed to pursue humanities careers and to reach their full potential.
 Deadline: April 1, 2014
Location: New York
New York University Center for Neural Science Hughes Undergraduate SUMMER Research Program
The purpose of this program is to provide hands-on research experience for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Neuroscience. Participants work full time in research laboratories with Center faculty and graduate students and attend research meetings and seminars.
Deadline: April 15, 2014
Location: New York, NY

If you don't see any research/ internship opportunities in your area try searching your specific location here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/24

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/24
This Week at Mason:

Cyber Security Colloquium: From Threat and Problem to Defense and Solution
March 24, 2014
The Mason Inn Hotel & Conference Center

VIP GlobalNet, LLC ( will host industry, academic, government SMEs in cyber security for the “Cyber Security Colloquium: From Threat and Problem to Defense and Solution”. The colloquium will examine leading-edge cyber security issues, requiring public-private cooperation and research and technical collaboration by government, academia, and industry.

Thought leaders will explore topics including:
Examining Cyber Security Trends and Reviewing Predictions for 2014
Mining Big Data with Hadoop, a Path to Value Through the Deep Net
On the Front Lines of Cyber Warfare, SCADA, and Critical Infrastructure
The Right BYOD Policies Bring Fast Flexibility While Safeguarding Systems

Vision Series: Janine Wedel: Defining Corruption Down
March 24, 2014 

7:15 pm
Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, Auditorium

Defining Corruption Down: How the West created an anti-corruption industry and put blinders on its own misdeeds.

Bio: Janine Wedel, a university professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, writes about governing, corruption, foreign aid, and influence elites through the lens of a social anthropologist. Winner of the 2001 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, she is currently at work on a book exposing new forms of corruption, to be published in 2014 by Pegasus Books. Wedel is a four-time Fulbright fellow and recipient of awards from the National Science Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, among many others.

S-CAR World Cafe Film Series: Johnny Mad Dog
March 25, 2014 

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Arlington Campus, Metropolitan Building, John Burton Library, Room 5193

Join the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution for a film screeing of: Johnny Mad Dog.

Johnny Mad Dog, maybe 15, leads a band of boy soldiers in a civil war in an unnamed African country. "Don't want to die? Don't be born" is one of their shouted mottoes. We follow Mad Dog and his crew - No Good Advice, Butterfly, Chicken Hair, and others - as they kill, pillage rape, interrogate, and terrorize on their march to the capital. They take a TV station and lead an assault on the President's residence. We also follow Laokole, about Johnny age, as she tries to hold together her family of brother and disabled father. Is there more than chaos and inhumanity here? At war since age 10, has Johnny anything inside?

Conference: Radiological and Nuclear Detection
March 25, 2014 to March 26, 2014
The Mason Inn Hotel & Conference Center

VIP GlobalNet LLC, would like to invite you to a two-day conference: “Radiological and Nuclear Detection: An Industry Discussion with Government.” Our objective is to bring together key government and industry experts in order to facilitate discussion and interaction so that industry can better understand the needs of the Government and so that Government can better understand the capability that industry can deliver. There is a substantial opportunity for both government and industry experts to gain insight through this interaction that will advance agency capability and enhance National Security in this critical mission area.

Health Policy Seminar
March 26, 2014 

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Mason Hall, Room D005

Health Policy Seminar Series: Hospital Payment Innovations in Maryland by Karoline Mortensen, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Department of Health Services Administration

Monday, March 10, 2014

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/10

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/10
This Week at Mason:

S-CAR World Cafe Film Series: American Blackout
March 11, 2014 

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Arlington Campus, Metropolitan Building, John Burton Library, Room 5193

The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) presents American Blackout as part of their World Cafe Film Series.

Chronicles the recurring patterns of disenfranchisement witnessed from 2000 to 2004 while following the story of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who not only took an active role in investigating these election debacles but also found herself in the middle of one after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Some call Cynthia McKinney a civil rights leader among the ranks of Shirley Chisholm and Malcolm X. Others call her a conspiracy theorist and a 'looney.' American Blackout gains unprecedented access to one of the most controversial and dangerous politicians in America and examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence political dissent.

Exhibit: Fixed, Measured, and Leveled
March 3, 2014 to March 28, 2014
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Fine Art Gallery, Art & Design Building

Fixed, Measured, and Leveled: Works by Richard Franklin, Harold Linton, Peter Winant. Can a line define boundaries of public and shared space, color become physical energy, or shape conger or describe memory? By using formal elements of line, shape, and color – seemingly simple characteristics of drawing and painting – the artists in this exhibition investigate complex issues of control and perception that move beyond the limits of the ordinary.

New SUPERvisor Series: Dealing With Difficult People
March 11, 2014 

9:30 am to 12:30 pm
University Hall, Room 2001

We all have to deal with difficult people. Have you ever wondered; how can I deal with someone like that without losing my cool or feeling overwhelmed?Is there a way I can turn this situation around?Come learn about the dynamics of dealing with difficult people; and practice the skills you need to handle difficult situations by managing communication, conflict and stress.

Contested Issues Dialogue
March 12, 2014
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Student Union Building I, Room 3311

University Life Professional Development is providing opportunities for the UL community to learn about and engage around issues in the field of higher education and student affairs. We are pleased to share the opportunity for UL staff and community members to come together to engage in a facilitated dialogue on contemporary topics addressed in the book, Contested Issues in Student Affairs: Diverse Perspectives and Respectful Dialogue.

Conference: Rules Change
March 14, 2014 from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm
March 15, 2014 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Arlington Campus, Founders Hall

Rules Change is a discussion-oriented gathering aimed at promoting cross-silo knowledge, ideas and collaboration on issues like election reform, corporate personhood, success measures and accountability, money and politics, media responsibility and environmental sustainability. The event is co-convened by George Mason's School of Public Policy and the Media Stewards Project, with support from The F.B. Heron Foundation.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Summer Opportunities: Deadlines During Week of 3/10

Summer Opportunities

Application Deadlines During the Week of 3/10

Not going to be at Mason over the summer months but still looking for a great way to make the most of your time off? Take a look at these great opportunities for Summer 2014!

Here are some of OSCAR's favorites this week:

University of Wisconsin -- SUMMER Internships in Aquatic Sciences, Center for Great Lakes Studies
This research experience program will provide undergraduate students with laboratory and field training in aquatic science (including lake and ocean systems) with extensive shipboard field research opportunities. The goal of this activity is to develop, through hands-on experience, future scholars to pursue Interdisciplinary research toward an understanding of the aquatic environment. The program will consist of a work-experience program in the laboratory and in the field, under the supervision of a research director. In consultation with the research director, students will prepare a written research plan, conduct the proposed work, prepare a project summary and give an oral presentation of the results at the close of the session. Team investigations will join students and faculty from several disciplines working on a major research project. Research directors include scientists at the Center for Great Lakes Studies and faculty from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geosciences, and others.
Deadline: March 10, 2014
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

City of Hope Eugene and Ruth Roberts SUMMER Student Academy
City of Hope's Eugene and Ruth Roberts SUMMER Student Academy gives curious and hardworking students the opportunity to learn about science by actually doing it. Unlike traditional high school or college classes where the course of study is entirely determined by the instructor, City of Hope’s SUMMER program students select their own research project according to their individual areas of interest. Selected participants then spend 10 weeks working full-time as a member of a biomedical research team.

Our world-renowned physicians and scientists serve as mentors who guide students in their research, while helping them develop their critical thinking skills. Weekly seminars allow students to present research findings to their peers, a good primer for what graduate and postdoctoral students do. There are workshops covering topics such as creating posters for research talks, biomedical ethics and other important subjects. Students interact with their peers and their research mentors on a continual basis, fostering valuable relationships for the future.
Deadline: March 14, 2014
Location: Duarte, CA

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
CSIS offers both full and part-time internships in the fall, spring and SUMMER for undergraduate and recent graduates interested in gaining practical experience in public policy at an institution dedicated to analysis and policy impact. Interns may participate in a variety of activities, including research, writing, and organizing meetings and events that support the goals of the program they are working with.
Deadline: March 14
Location: Varies based on internship

If you don't see any research/ internship opportunities in your area try searching your specific location here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ecoscience+Art Reception

Ecoscience+Art Reception

 Check out the Science and the Arts in Environmental Reclamation Reception with acclaimed eco-artist, T. Allan Comp on April 3rd at 5pm in Research Hall

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Global Problem-Solving Skills Workshop: Apply now!

Cambodians with a newly built latrine.
From Field Note: Sanitation Marketing
Lessons from Cambodia:
A Market_Based Approach to Delivering Sanitation
2012. Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank.
Do you wonder why the most devastating challenges facing the developing world persist?  Despite a wealth of insight and expertise around the world, the world’s poorest citizens continue to be challenged by environmental degradation, infectious disease, food insecurity, and a host of other problems.  Universities offer many of the resources—knowledge, researchers, technologies—needed to solve these problems.  So, what prevents people and ideas from creating impact on the ground?  This workshop will offer some answers to this question and arm you with tools used by the world’s most effective innovators and social entrepreneurs to cross the chasm from idea to impact.

The Office of Global & International Strategies will hold a Global Problem-Solving Skills Workshop - a day of demonstration, experimentation, and collaboration for students and researchers.  The workshop will offer participants tools and techniques that originate from human centered design, innovation systems, and international development.  Each tool can be deployed on the ground to spark real, practical solutions, as case studies from Cambodia, Kenya and elsewhere will illustrate.

This one-day workshop, held on Saturday, April 19, in University Hall 1201 (on Mason's Fairfax campus) will be facilitated by the Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI), a highly-regarded non-profit international development organization.  Hands-on interactive activities will arm students with tools that GKI uses to solve challenges in the developing world. Participants will use a case study on sanitation in Cambodia to model global problem solving.  Faculty are invited to be participant observers, experiencing these tools firsthand so that they can use them in their own classrooms and research endeavors.

8:30a  Registration
9:00a  Provost Peter Stearns welcomes attendees
9:00a  Introduction
9:30a  What are my strengths as a problem solver [Tools: Sharing Visioning]
10:30a  How do I select a problem to solve? [Challenge Mapping; Context Analysis]
12:30p  LUNCH
1:30p  What do I need to know to solve my challenge? [Uprooting Assumptions]
2:45p  BREAK
3:00p  Whose challenge do I seek to solve and what do I need to know about them? [Human-Centered Design; Gaining Empathy]
4-5:00p  How can I make a real difference? [Measuring Impact; Action Planning]

Attendance is free (thanks to our sponsors) for accepted students and faculty. Lunch, snacks, and all materials will be provided.

What will students learn?  Students accepted to the Global Problem-Solving Skills Workshop will learn necessary skills to create innovative solutions to global problems, and deploy these on the ground to deliver real results.  Undergraduate students who complete this workshop and subsequently design a research project will be encouraged to apply for support from OSCAR. Graduate students are also welcome to apply, and admission will be based on the quality of the application and space availability. 

What will faculty learn?  Faculty accepted to participate in the Global Problem-Solving Skills Workshop will learn interactive methods for engaging students that they can implement in their own classes, as well as innovative techniques for taking academic insights and translating them into real world impact. Faculty would be encouraged to incorporate these active methods in their classes, and would be eligible to apply for Students as Scholars Scholarship Development Grants and/or RS course designation

There are a limited number of seats for students (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty to participate in this workshop. Applications are due on Sunday, March 23rd at midnight. Applicants will be notified of the results on Monday, March 31st. Click here for the application.

Student applicants are asked to briefly answer two questions: 
  • What can you tell us about yourself that will show your interest and/or experience in global problem-solving? 
  • What do you hope to learn from this workshop? 

Faculty applicants are asked: 
  • What can you tell us about yourself that will show your interest and/or experience in global problem-solving?
  • What do you hope to learn from this workshop?
  • Which classes do you teach or programs do you lead where you could apply these problem-solving methods?

The Global Problem-Solving Skills Workshop is sponsored by the Office of Global & International Strategies, in partnership with the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), and University Life

Monday, March 3, 2014

GMU Student Sarah Soliman Presents at the National Collegiate Research Conference

Of the 150 undergraduate student researchers selected to present at this year's National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) was George Mason's own Sarah Solimon. Sponsored by the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association the National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) encourages undergraduates students from across the nation to share their interest in research by facilitating communication, collaboration, and identity for undergraduate students in the global research sphere. This year's conference was a four day event held at Harvard University that allowed student researchers to collaborate and network with their peers and Harvard faculty. It also gave students the opportunity to present their research through poster and plenary presentations, allowing for an exchange of ideas through shared research and interests.

In addition to student presentations and panel discussion, keynote speakers included Google's Vice President of Research Alfred Spector, Scientist Stephen Wolfram, Nobel Prize winner John Mather and HIV discoverer Robert Gallo. The conference teamed student researchers together for the Innovative Challenge led by Alfred Spector. It called for participants to brainstorm innovative solutions to posed problems, drawing from experience in research. It was a collaborative event aimed to “refine macro-scale questions to frame more specific, tractable problems,” thus developing and presenting solutions to these issues.

Sarah, a junior at Mason, was the only student selected from GMU, and one of five researchers selected from Virginia. She presented alongside of a majority of students from universities such as Harvard, Yale and CalTech. Her research with Dr. Danielle Rudes in the Criminology, Law and Society Department, was accepted as a poster presentation titled: Managing Probationers: Analyzing the efficiency and usability of probation's computational software and its impact on case management. 

As a Applied Information Technology student in the Volgenau School of Engineering with interest in Criminology, Sarah describes her project as fusing her "academic interest of engineering with my personal passion for law and criminology, combining aspects of both the sciences and humanities to examine the software system (BADGE) that probation officers (POs) use to document and supervise criminally involved juveniles". She feels that her research provides empirical and theoretical contributions regarding the efficiency and usability of data management systems/software in criminal justice agencies and how these systems operate in practice among line-level staff. Furthermore, it uses a mixed methods data collection approach to explore aspects of the efficiency and usability of BADGE for information gathering, data storage and correspondence about criminally-involved individuals under probation supervision.

Please join OSCAR in congratulating Sarah Soliman for a job well done!

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

OSCAR's Top 5 Picks of the Week 3/3
This Week at Mason:

Talk: Enduring Technological Optimism
March 3, 2014 

12:15 pm to 1:30 pm
Exploratory Hall, Room 3301

Enduring Technological Optimism: Israeli Water Resources at the Crossroads. During the past decades, Israel's water resources have undergone a revolution. Desalination and waste water recycling have reduced dependence on Kinerret Lake and the national water carrier, and changed the way the public and Israel's farmers view this scarce resource. Israel's water management strategy is considered a model to many dryland nations around the world. But is it sustainable?

Dr. Alon Tal is a visiting scholar from Standford University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is a leading Israeli environmental activist, co-founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Green Zionist Alliance, and past chairman of Israel's Green Party.

Hosted by the Mason Water Forum to showcase water research and expertise in and around Mason. Please contact Dr. Paul Houser ( if you'd like to showcase your research at an upcoming event, and Lisa LaCivita ( or Bernadette LeMasters ( to be on our listserve.

Krasnow Seminar: Beth Cabrera
March 3, 2014 

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Krasnow Building, Room 229

Krasnow seminar by Beth Cabrera "How positive emotions impact our success and well-being". Dr. Cabrera helps organizations and individuals apply knowledge from the field of positive psychology to achieve greater success and well-being. She works with companies to build and maintain positive work environments where people thrive. She also helps professional women create happier, more meaningful lives.

Dr. Cabrera is a Senior Scholar at the George Mason University Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and founder of Cabrera Insights.

The presentation will cover 1) how positive emotions enhance our success, 2) strategies for increasing positive emotions in our lives, and 3) why positive emotions are not enough for sustained well-being.

Sojourner Truth Lecture
March 4, 2014
1:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Mason Hall, Meese Conference Room

The Sojourner Truth Lecture, sponsored by Women and Gender Studies (WGST) and African and African American Studies (AFAM), bridges the transition from Black Heritage Month into Women’s History Month by bringing in an African disaporic woman speaker. This year’s speaker will be Crystal Endsley, Visiting Professor of African Studies at Hamilton College.

A reception and poetry workshop will follow. The poetry workshop will be led by Crystal Endsley from 5:30-7:00 PM.

4th Annual Jeffrey T. Chamberlain Memorial Lecture
March 5, 2014
3:30 pm
Research Hall, Room 163

The Department of Modern & Classical Languages presents the Fourth Annual Jeffrey T. Chamberlain Memorial Lecture: "Methods and realities in current second language teaching and learning" by Dr. Manel Lacorte from the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland. The event is free and open to the public with reception to follow.The talk will begin with a brief overview of second language teaching

School of Art Reception: Fixed, Measured, and Leveled
March 5, 2014
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Fairfax Campus, Art and Design Building, Fine Arts Gallery

Join a reception for the art exhibit Fixed, Measured, and Leveled.
Can a line define boundaries of public and shared space, color become physical energy, or shape conger or describe memory? RW Franklin, Harold Linton, and Peter Winant investigate complex issues of control and perception that move beyond the limits of the ordinary.
Exhibit will be displayed March 3 - March 28.