• Alumna fundraises for her African Peace Corps village

    Alumna fundraises for her African Peace Corps village

    Lifestyle January 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm Comments are Disabled

    In her senior year at Mason, Jennifer Bent needed to fill her last few credits and found herself enrolled in an introduction to anthropology class. Little did she know that a few years down the road that class would play an important role in her life and career. “I remembered the professor teaching us that you cannot make assumptions on another culture based off the rules of your own,” said Bent, who is now in Togo, Africa working as a girl empowerment and education volunteer with the Peace Corps. Currently, Bent is working on a Peace Corps Partnership Project to raise $5,000 to buy desperately needed textbooks and chalkboards for the poor village she lives in. She has already raised nearly $1,000. The villagers have pledged to donate to help build new desks, plant trees and contribute to the classroom supplies. The overwhelming poverty and lack of development in the small village she lives in are made even more difficult by the rigid gender roles in the Togolese culture that Bent must battle. “It’s unlikely that I will be able to alter a whole cultural belief system overnight, or even over my entire time in service,” Bent said. “Despite this, […]

  • Mason Makes Careers

    Lifestyle January 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm Comments are Disabled

    Every week, Broadside features a student or alumnus with a great internship or job to highlight the opportunities and potential earning a degree at Mason offers Name: Becca Norris Year: Junior Major: Integrative studies major with an individualized concentration in media: production, consumption and critique with a minor in electronic journalism Internship: Seventeen Magazine in NYC, N.Y.   What were some of your day-to-day responsibilities? On a daily basis I was responsible for creating the daily clips for the entire office which was basically the news and gossip breakdown of the day. I was the executive editors intern and I basically did whatever she asked as well as doing a lot of research for our health editor.   What was your favorite part of the internship? The best part, apart from getting my foot in the door of a major magazine, was the freebie table. Everyday items from designer makeup, books, designer accessories, shoes and more were put on the table and were up for grabs on a first come, first served basis. Needless to say, I got a lot of great stuff!   How have your classes at Mason prepared you for the internship? Mason helped prepare me by […]

  • Overheard at Mason

    Editorials, Lifestyle January 29, 2013 at 8:42 pm Comments are Disabled

    My friends have said, on several occasions, that I should not eavesdrop. But here’s the thing: the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines eavesdrop as “to listen secretly to what is said in private.” By that definition, I would not consider what I do to be eavesdropping. In no way does the fifth row from the back of the lecture hall qualify as a private space. What is said there is said in public. I just got back from class and I am setting the scene for a story I am telling my friends about a pair of individuals I overheard talking before the lecture started. “Barely anyone else in the room was talking.” “You would think they would realize how loud they were talking.” I begin to describe the individuals picking out definable qualities; “The one on the left had this unusually high ponytail that mirrored the movements of her mouth while she talked,” and “The other one had this ugly pink sweater that literally made everything around her the same ugly color.” Using bits and pieces of what I have overheard, I put together as much as I can about what it is they are talking about. The ponytail girl is […]

  • Robertino Bogart/Broadside

    A Trip to Eastern Market

    Lifestyle, Multimedia November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm Comments are Disabled

    Dream of the ancient cities of the Middle East, and chances are, you will picture large extravagant palaces, curved, domed architecture and the occasional flying carpet. Think Aladdin! But the clearest image that will come to mind is that of an open air market. Located in the center of town, it is filled with the hustle and bustle of merchants peddling their wares, elders swapping stories and people browsing and bargaining for goods. Believe it or not, Eastern Market, located in Washington DC, is just this kind of market place. It contains all of the hustle and bustle of an open air trading bazaar, yet it is suitably integrated into its Southeast DC neighborhood. At this sprawling marketplace, come enjoy fresh food, snacks, art work and music while experiencing a unique slice of DC culture. The heart of the market is located on 7th St SE between North Carolina Ave SE and C St SE. On the weekends, the street is closed to traffic and vendors set up tables one after the other under shaded awnings to peddle their wares. Of particular interest, keep an eye out for Anthony Reddix and his giraffes, woven from strips of aluminum cans. Expect […]

  • Mason Alumnus Angela Panayotopulos Publishes Novel Set in Greece During World War II

    Mason Alumnus Angela Panayotopulos Publishes Novel Set in Greece During World War II

    Featured, Lifestyle November 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm Comments are Disabled

    A Greek American, Angela Panayotopulos was inspired by her cultural roots and began piecing together a story about war in Greece while enrolled in a creative writing course at Mason. She became so immersed in the topic that, during the course, the brief story became so convoluted with information that her peers began suggesting that she turn her work into a novel. “There was just so much going on,” Panayotopulos said. “Most of the class said, ‘Whoa! This isn’t a story; it should be a book.’ So I said, ‘Okay, then let it be a book.’” Born to parents who are 100 percent Greek, Panayotopulos always got a blend of Greece and American culture growing up. With that unique background, she became very inquisitive about the world around her and developed a curiosity for all types of people. “[Mason] was my first choice because of the diversity,” Panayotopulos said. “You can really live out your cultural diversity there.” Early in her college experience, Panayotopulos truly began to embrace her Greek background. She and a friend started the Greek Club as a way to teach people about Greek culture and dance. “I always happy to be a Greek American,” Panayotopulos said. […]

  • Manny Alfaro/Broadside

    Man-Made Selection: Machines Take Over

    Lifestyle November 5, 2012 at 11:53 am Comments are Disabled

    This is the digital age and people everywhere have surrendered many aspects of their lives to technology. What if someone were to tamper with those systems? Mankind could be in a lot of trouble. What if those systems themselves decided to unshackle from their purposes and turn on their creators? The machine uprising, a war between man and his own technology, might no longer be the works of science fiction. “Two big things have to happen for a machine takeover: computers need to become sentient and thus capable of taking over the world and they need to want to take over the world,” said Dr. Trevor Thrall, Biodefense Director and professor of Public & International Affairs. The point of singularity, the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means, is that first step. We are all very familiar with the incredible power of computers; try passing Calculus II without a calculator. It is not just math, though. Remember Watson, the supercomputer on Jeopardy? A computer that was able to trump the longest and most decorated winner on the show with ease. Man has been competing with his hardwired counterpart for a long time and has been beaten in many fields. […]

  • The Carouser Report: The D.C. Horror Show

    Lifestyle November 5, 2012 at 11:44 am 1 comment

    The yellow taxi is spiraling down Route 66, transporting us to safety. The lights of oncoming traffic are a blur and I am trying my best to remain coherent. The driver and I are caught up in a conversation about his homeland, India. I am having a hard time remembering where specifically he hails from, and he is having a hard time understanding my slurred ramblings. The only thing I can focus on is the ever-increasing fare. The numbers are rapidly reaching into the $60 range. I am frantic. I know there is no way I can afford the bill. I am contemplating a high risk jump from the speeding van and taking my chances with the street. Then it hits me like a kick in the groin: the big city, in all its attractiveness, has bested me. Now she is getting her last kick while watching me flee from her grip at 3:30 a.m. As we cruise along, she is laughing as I squirm about in the cab, desperately trying to get out of a pickle. The allure of Washington D.C. draws many to George Mason. Weekends in the big city are a commodity to many who seek the […]

  • Active Leader Program Holds Skills Seminar

    Lifestyle November 5, 2012 at 11:39 am Comments are Disabled

    According to Nick Lennon, Director of the Leadership Education and Development Office, “Every student has the capacity to be a leader in some way.” The most difficult obstacle to overcome is the myth that you must hold a powerful position or claim some high rank in order to be a leader. There is much more to being a leader than most realize, and that is what Lennon wishes to teach students through his work with the lead office and its two pilot programs, Active Leaders and the SEED program. “This program has become sort of like my mission in life, more than just my job,” Lennon said. “I want to be able to look back and know that I helped to create a more positive world.” The Active Leaders program invites students to take part in a 10-week seminar that builds leadership skills through various activities and reflection both in groups and individually. The program is in its first year and the seminar began at the beginning of the semester. While the program covers a wide array of topics relating to leadership, it focuses on the importance of ethics, and incorporating ethics into every aspect of leadership decisions to facilitate […]

  • Manny Alfaro/Broadside

    End of the World: Nuclear Holocaust

    Lifestyle October 31, 2012 at 11:12 am Comments are Disabled

    We have seen shows in which terrorists are about to detonate a dirty bomb in a major US city, but in actuality, the possibility of nuclear war bringing about the apocalypse is more like the scenario in the 80’s classic, “War Games”, where the only way to win is not to play. “So far deterrence has worked incredibly well on a global scale of preventing conventional war and nuclear war,” said Dr. Trevor Thrall, Biodefense Director and professor of Public & International Affairs. He explained the apocalyptic thoughts are just leftover nightmares from the Cold War. “Back then, most of the tension and fear was around accidents and the thought that perhaps the enemy had already launched a missile,” Dr. Thrall said, “but in actuality they were never that likely and are even less so now.” The main focus of nuclear war now is the tension between Iran seeking weapons and their nuclear armed neighbor, Israel. Dr Thrall can understand where the Iranians are coming from and their desire for such a weapon. “No nation has with nuclear capabilities has ever been invaded since acquiring them and even the crazies understand what we are dealing with here: they know better […]

  • Alumnus Creates “Write Home Soon” Project

    Alumnus Creates “Write Home Soon” Project

    Featured, Lifestyle, Multimedia October 31, 2012 at 11:05 am Comments are Disabled

    In high school, Mark Strandquist spent hours working with social justice groups in D.C., listening to first hand accounts of segregation, unequal schools and housing and the crack epidemic from senior citizens. Strandquist was amazed to realize that after a lifetime of hardship, many of these men and women were still suffering, struggling against gentrification to retain their homes and communities. The experience stuck with him and has inspired his latest art project, called “Write Home Soon.” Strandquist, a Mason alumnus and former student media photographer, is asking for the community to create postcards that share a memory or story from a lost space that was once, or still is, important to them. “The main goal is to democratize the creation, exhibition, and consumption of art,” Strandquist said. “To help and foster a space where any individual, regardless of class, identity, or what side of the Anacostia River they live on, can include their voice, vision and memories near the National Mall.” After spending so much time learning the stories of the senior citizens in D.C., Strandquist wondered what happens when individual histories are not recorded. “What I’m interested in is questioning how our libraries, museums and textbooks would differ […]