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5 Myths about the Liberal Arts

By Robert Matz on July 19, 2016

When the United States began falling behind other countries in math and science, there was a big push for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Soon liberal arts were getting a bad rap.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

By Colleen Kearney Rich on July 18, 2016

Different Takes on Summer Breaks

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Saving a Historic Site in Nicaragua

By Jamie Rogers on July 18, 2016

When George Mason University anthropology major Bryan Dalton stepped off the plane in Nicaragua last summer, he was quickly whisked away to help save an archaeological site on the brink of destruction. It was June in the Central American country, and heavy tropical rains had flooded the Huellas de Acahualinca Museum, endangering the 2,100-year-old footprints encased in volcanic ash that the museum is built around.

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Studying Coral Reef Ecology in the Bahamas

By Colleen Kearney Rich on July 18, 2016

Can you earn credit while swimming with sharks? Yes, you can. For the past 13 years, School of Integrative Studies professors Greg Justice and Tom Wood have been traveling to the Bahamas each summer with students for their Coral Reef Ecology class. In the 3-credit course, students learn about reef ecosystems while living on board…

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Building a Water Distribution System in Nicaragua

By Colleen Kearney Rich on July 18, 2016

Led by civil engineering major Rony Avalos, the Mason Engineers for International Development spent part of spring semester designing a new water distribution system for an orphanage in Nicaragua that supports 300 children, and planning for their May trip to install it. This was the group’s sixth trip to Nicaragua, although the projects have been in different locations throughout the country.

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Learning Hindi in India

By Colleen Kearney Rich on July 18, 2016

This summer, global affairs major Beverly Harp is traveling to India for the fifth time. Two of her trips were partially funded by Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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Working in Public Health in Swaziland

By Colleen Kearney Rich on July 18, 2016

Community and global health major Erica Street, MPH ’16, admits she couldn’t have pointed out Swaziland on a map before traveling there last summer. But after hearing classmate Shannon Turner, MPH ’15, talk about her work in the south African country during the summer of 2014, Street knew she had to go there for her practicum.

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In the Lyme Light

By Colleen Kearney Rich on July 18, 2016

Artist and writer David Michael Conner, BA English ’01, MFA Creative Writing ’09, knew something was wrong with him in early 2010. He was suffering from cluster headaches, temporary leg paralysis, double vision, panic attacks, hearing fluctuations, and bouts of fatigue so extreme he couldn’t drag himself out of bed. After years of enduring a battery of tests and struggling to get a concrete diagnosis—all while trying to work a full-time job in spite of his many symptoms—Conner discovered that all of his health issues traced back to an inadequate course of antibiotics he took for Lyme disease at the age of 18. Now Conner is speaking out internationally about Lyme disease and advocating for those who are chronically ill with it.

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Lyme Disease Bites

By Michele McDonald on July 14, 2016

But a new test can now detect it earlier so treatment can start sooner.

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Giovanna Chesler on the Diversity Crisis in the Film Industry

By Mason Spirit contributor on May 11, 2016

What does it mean to teach a diverse group of students a craft in an inaccessible industry? Filmmaker Giovanna Chesler has asked herself this question frequently over the past 15 years of university teaching.

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