A Magazine for the George Mason University Community


Flipping the CompSci Classroom

By Martha Bushong on March 1, 2018

CS 112 Introduction to Computer Science is the engineering equivalent of freshman composition. At Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering, almost all engineering students, regardless of their majors, must pass this course. It’s a challenging one, especially if it is their first encounter with writing code.

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Seeing What Others Don’t

By Cathy Cruise, MFA '93 on March 1, 2018

On an otherwise ordinary day near Springfield Mall in Northern Virginia, a car came to an abrupt stop on the side of the road. The driver jumped out, dragged his passenger outside, and threw her onto the curb. Then he got back in the car and sped away. Luckily, Mason alumni Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, an expert on human trafficking, was in her own car nearby, and saw the whole thing.

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Bringing People Together

By Buzz McClain, BA '77 on March 1, 2018

As a practitioner in the peacebuilding field, Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, MAIS ’96, PhD Conflict Analysis and Resolution ’06, helps clients ranging from the Fairfax County Public Schools system to the Security Council of the United Nations with conflict assessment studies, mediation, and training.

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Alumni Profile: Tracy Russillo

By Mason Spirit contributor on November 30, 2017

Lt. Col. Tracy Russillo, BS Law Enforcement ’88, a 28-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, is the first woman to be appointed deputy superintendent of the department. Prior to this position, she was also the first female to receive major and lieutenant colonel status.

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Where the Wild Things Grow

By Colleen Kearney Rich on November 28, 2017

On the south side of the Fairfax Campus, between the Art and Design and Nguyen Engineering Buildings, there is a space where wild things grow. This outdoor classroom/learning lab is called the Green Studio, and George Mason University just might be the only university with such a space.

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Meet the Mason Nation: Dan Walsch

By Colleen Kearney Rich on November 7, 2017

You might recognize Dan Walsch, PhD Communication ’11. For nearly 20 years, he served as Mason’s director of media relations and spokesperson and could be seen on the local news from time to time. He also taught public relations classes in the Communication Department for most of his 28-year career at Mason. In fact, teaching is what led him to his current position.

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Rice, Beans, and a Serving of Reality

By Jamie Rogers on November 7, 2017

Barbara Gomperts, MA English ’08, wondered how she was going to make one can of beans last three days.   She had $4.18 to spend on food each day for the next three days—a total of $12.54.   For Gomperts, a nutrition major, this was a project for the NUTR 626 Food Systems class, offered at Mason this summer. But for others, it’s a way of life.   Students in the class…

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A Daughter’s Tribute

By Mason Spirit contributor on November 7, 2017

On January 8, 1973, Lt. Col. William L. Deane of the U.S. Army was declared missing in action in Vietnam. His daughter, Sharon M. Deane, MA History ’10, was 8 at the time. For 27 years, the Deane family waited and hoped for answers. In April 2000, his remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in a special ceremony recognizing his ultimate sacrifice.

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Simply the Best

By Buzz McClain, BA '77 on May 5, 2017

Mason senior Mason MacDonald won the Sodexo USA National Customer Experience Award for his lively efforts behind the counter at the Northern Neck Starbucks on Mason’s Fairfax Campus.

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Lights, Camera, FAVS Students in Action

By Colleen Kearney Rich on June 21, 2016

“I toured a lot of different film schools, and this was one of the only ones that emphasized working with other students,” says FAVS Meagan Arnold, who comes from Stephens City, Virginia. “It is really hard to make a short film by yourself.”

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