Articles by: jennykrashin

  • Mason at the movies

    Mason at the movies

    Lifestyle April 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm Comments are Disabled

    This week, you’ll have the opportunity to see three incredible movies that received overwhelming critical acclaim and Academy Award nominations on Mason’s campus. The Office of Student Involvement will host screenings of these films in the Johnson Center Cinema, free for Mason students.   The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey The long-awaited prequel to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will end its run at the JC Cinema April 6-13. This first part of a trilogy adaptation from J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous work of fantasy is about a fussy and reluctant creature named Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is called upon to join a ragtag team of thirteen dwarves to help reclaim their stolen kingdom and treasure from a mighty dragon. Led by the wise wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), the fellowship embarks on a perilous quest that involves trolls, goblins, the fearsome creature Gollum (Andy Serkis) and many other dangers. Though smaller in scope and stakes than “The Lord of the Rings,” part one of “The Hobbit” is an action-packed cinematic experience that’s a marvel to behold. New Zealand’s stunning scenery and state-of-the-art special effects make for a visually thrilling film. Incorporating material from Tolkien’s extensive […]

  • Graduate Fulbright award student studies in Norway

    Graduate Fulbright award student studies in Norway

    Lifestyle April 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm Comments are Disabled

    It’s March, and the cold is nearly unbearable. People are layering wool garments on top of wool garments to fight the bitterness of a Norwegian winter. Bundled individuals are strapped in their frosted skis and are waiting anxiously for the 45 kilometer ski marathon to begin. Mason graduate student Mona Anita Olsen is one of these anxious marathoners who is thrilled by the adventure the Fulbright Student Program is offering her. “It’s been eye-opening on so many fronts,” said Olsen, who is completing entrepreneurial research in Norway as a part of earning her Ph.D. in Education at Mason, as well as being a Fulbrighter. “I had friends to teach me how to ski. Number one: it’s so hard. Number two: I have a lot of respect for skiers. The joke was that I won the purple knee awards! I fell A lot!” Olsen said. “But seriously, I learned a lot from this experience. Without having a vision I’m not as strong of a person as I think I am, so this was a great experience.” The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards grants to individuals in the U.S. who wish to teach or complete studies and research abroad. Fulbrighters, as Fulbright […]

  • (Stephen Kline/Broadside)

    Annual Drag show packs JC

    Featured, Lifestyle, Multimedia April 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm Comments are Disabled

      Not a single chair or table was open in the Johnson Center at 9 p.m. on April 5. Students were leaning against the kiosks near the Atrium’s pop-up stage, and some were even lined up along the walkways, trying to do anything to avoid being stuck viewing the annual PRIDE Week Drag Show on the second floor of the JC Atrium. The PRIDE Week Drag Show is held at the end of Mason’s PRIDE Week. PRIDE Week takes place every April, and is Mason’s way of celebrating an anniversary of the active movement toward human rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, which began in 1969 and the early 1970s. The drag show is an anticipated event — co-sponsored by the Office of LGBTQ Resources, Weekends at Mason, and the Patriot Activities Council — and features not only Mason student entertainers, but drag queens and kings from the D.C. area. “[The Drag Show] represents a fun and entertaining side of the week,” said Alex Gant, the coordinator and emcee of the drag show. “PRIDE Week is a mix of serious discussion about rights and activism, addressing the challenges that face LGBTQ identified people and how to move forward […]

  • Speech archive records hundreds of international accents

    Lifestyle April 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm Comments are Disabled

    For more than 13 years, Mason linguistics professor and phonologist Steven Weinberger has administered the Speech Accent Archive, an online resource with hundreds of voice samples from native and non-native English speakers. The site, which receives over one million hits per month, lets visitors recognize and compare the world’s accents. Weinberger created the site after deeming it beneficial to students taking his English phonetics courses. All linguistics majors at Mason use the website to conduct research or to help improve site fluidity. “We needed to know what non-native speakers sounded like,” said Weinberger. “Actors who are learning an accent, speech pathologists and linguists find the website to be valuable. It’s also good for everyday people who are interested in the way different people talk. The beauty is that everyone is reading the same paragraph, so you can easily make comparisons.” The website allows nearly anyone in the world to submit samples of themselves reading a standard passage. The speakers must first fill out a short form that provides information on their native language background. After the recordings are collected, Mason linguistics students work to organize and sort the information based on the speaker’s age, the birthplace of the speaker or the […]

  • A Dunne deal

    A Dunne deal

    Featured, Lifestyle April 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm Comments are Disabled

    Customer service representative Charles Dunne takes extra initiative to serve patrons at Southside   As his face greets the brisk morning air, Charles Dunne wheels out his 4-speed mountain bicycle. Dressed in dark navy slacks, black dress shoes and a thick jacket, Charles straps a plastic helmet atop his head. He takes a deep breath and prolongs his exhale. Then he’s off. Cycling four miles up and down the moderate hills of Fairfax, Dunne coasts onto Mason’s campus. Parking his bike outside Southside, Dunne is now ready to ride the day as Mason Dining’s customer service representative. The line for Southside is backed up three feet to the elevator for lunch at noon. The slow, mundane shuffling of anxious feet harmonizes with the chatter of students engaged in various conversation. James K. Conant, a professor of Public and International Affairs, heads straight to the salad bar after entering the campus’ all-you- can-eat dining hall. He crafts a salad of mixed greens, small vegetables and ranch dressing. Next, he ladles noodle soup into a dull green ceramic bowl and retires to a booth near the back of the hall. Upon sitting, Conant realizes he forgot silverware. He finds a fork for his salad […]


    Mason Players produce play written by alumnus

    Featured, Lifestyle April 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm Comments are Disabled

    The dressing rooms of the Harris Theater performance building are what some would call stereotypical. Eggshell-white painted cinderblock walls, no windows and bulbous Hollywood-styled light bulbs, meant to mimic the light effects of stage lights, outline wall-to-wall mirrors. Students, ranging in age and theatrical experience, strip down to undershirts and underwear to don hand-me-down or thrifted costumes, and then spend the rest of their time applying stage makeup to age their young faces. “See?” said Collin Riley, who is playing the protagonist, Franco Baldini. “You learn so much doing theater,” he said, jokingly, as a crew member in charge of costumes taught him the importance of properly tying his necktie. Every spring, these Mason students and faculty come together to form the Mason Players, a theatrical group that performs an array of plays and musicals that are generally free or low-cost to students with Mason identification. As a part of the Department of Theater’s Season of Magic & Transformation’s lineup of plays for the spring semester, the Mason Players are acting out the story of “Passaggio,” the goings-on of a small Italian town struggling to find a medium between reality’s responsibilities and the drive to achieve life’s larger dreams. “It’s […]

  • (Courtesy of Blackboard Inc.)

    MyMason to update Blackboard for summer 2013

    Featured, News March 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm Comments are Disabled

    As the Class of 2013 walks across the stage at the Patriot Center on May 18, the information technology department will be busy rolling out new changes to Mason’s online learning management system, Blackboard. “We are going to release it right after the spring semester, so actually during graduation. Summer classes start that Monday and we would like to have it available then,” said Joseph Balducci, manager of online learning resources. These changes will dramatically affect the look of Blackboard, while adding and refining the services it provides. The new Blackboard, which can be viewed in a video available on Mason’s courses support website, moves away from the blocky layout full of unused modules and toward a more streamlined website that encourages interconnectedness and sharing between students and teachers. Balducci estimated that 50 percent of classrooms currently use Blackboard. “Obviously, there are distance learning classes that are only online, so they use it more. Then, your traditional classes, many of them, use Blackboard as well, just not as much,” Balducci said.   Blackboard’s new format is intended to increase classroom involvement through a few key improvements. “Right now, you have to go into each individual course to get information,” Balducci […]

  • Single-Mindedness and Religion in the JC

    Editorials, Featured March 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm 1 comment

    Every week there is at least one time – where I walk thought the JC in the early afternoon on weekdays, and there is at least one kiosk that, in some way or another, talks about SOME kind of Christian denomination (or Christian organization on campus) or another. Whether it’s the ‘Lutheran Campus Ministry,’ the ‘One God, One Message’ group, the ‘Tuesday Night Encounter’ group, or, more recently, the group with the sign that says, “What does the Bible really say?” I respect their right to free speech and the freedom to practice their religion, however there’s one problem in how they got to where they are: they don’t read their religious texts with an open mind. If anything, they’re biased toward the faith they call true. I’m not saying these people are necessarily wrong, but when it comes to promoting religion, it seems like they give don’t give a fair shot to both Christianity and whatever religion they are trying to get people to leave. I’ve spoken with several of these Christian organizations, and I can tell that they don’t give other religions enough open-minded thought or consideration. Pretty much every religious person is guilty of that to some degree […]

  • Photo of the week: Baby, it’s cold outside

    Photo of the week: Baby, it’s cold outside

    Featured, Multimedia March 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm Comments are Disabled

    Broadside is opening up photo of the week for submissions. We are looking for dynamic, engaging, quality photos. Please submit to


    Heavyweight wrestler represents Mason at NCAA

    Featured, Sports March 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm Comments are Disabled

    Two losses ended sophomore heavyweight Jake Kettler’s long trip to the NCAA tournament. In the preliminary round Kettler lost to Indiana University’s Adam Chalfant. This moved him to the consolation bracket, which pitted him against Dan Scherer from Stanford University. “It was tough. I had a plan and stuck to it mostly but I just had some lapses,” said Kettler about his first round loss. “I was wrestling hard. It wasn’t a lack of effort. It just came down to me not knowing some positions and some little mistakes, which ended up having a big impact on the match.” Kettler has come a long way this year, along with the Mason team as a whole. However, he was the only member of the team that qualified for the NCAA. On March 13, while most students were relaxing over their spring break, Kettler was getting anxious about his qualification. “I planned on qualifying from once I started college wrestling, and I was certain I was going to get in because I’ve put in a lot of work. But it was stressful not knowing,” Kettler said. “I have been here for three years as a spectator and now I’ve been seeing a lot […]