• 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 […]

  • (Evan Cantwell/Creative Services)

    Dance Gala provides opportunity for Mason dancers

    Featured, Lifestyle March 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm Comments are Disabled

    There’s more to the annual Mason Dance Gala than the audience can see. This year, the show featured five pieces, all choreographed by guest artists from various dance companies. Each piece had a personality and style of its own, leading the dancers to choose their favorite pieces to perform. “The gala has showed me ways of moving that I never thought I could do, especially the Petronio piece,” said Julie DeGregorio, who is the senior vice president of the Mason Dance Company and performed in three of the pieces. “I watched the video before we had the audition, and I was like, there’s no way I can move like that. It was something about the slicing through air and release of the neck and head that I fell in love with.” Though it was the third Gala DeGregorio was performing in, there was no denying how much she gained from the experience. “It’s professional work instead of student choreographed. So it’s an honor to be chosen to do work by companies. I’ve made a lot of connections through these pieces,” DeGregorio said. Celine Berthaud, a junior who appeared in three of the pieces, agreed with DeGregorio on the greatly positive […]

  • Mason Makes Careers: Robert Perito

    Mason Makes Careers: Robert Perito

    Lifestyle March 7, 2013 at 12:56 am 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: Robert Perito GRADUATION DATE: May 20, 2002 DEGREE: M.A. in Peace Operations Policy CURRENT JOB: Director of Center of Innovation for Security Sector Governance, U.S. Institute of Peace   What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities? The USIP Security Sector Governance Center helps build professional, sustainable and democratic security institutions that promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. This capacity is essential in countries impacted by the Arab Spring and countries emerging from conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan. The Center conducts programs in security sector transformation in fragile states and helps develop a cadre of security sector reform experts through conferences, research and training. The U.S. Institute of Peace is funded by Congress and dedicated to the peaceful resolution of international conflict. How did your degree and/or courses at Mason help you land the job? I came to the U.S. Institute of Peace as a Senior Fellow to write a book on the role of police in peace operations. The research skills and background knowledge that I obtained at […]

  • (Maurice C. Jones/Broadside)

    Student leaders discuss racial inequity

    Lifestyle March 7, 2013 at 12:11 am Comments are Disabled

    On March 2, Mason’s LEAD Office hosted the Mason Leadership Institute. Held once a semester, the Institute is dedicated to educating Mason’s future leaders. This semester, the Institute focused on the subject of diversity and inclusion. How, as a leader, does one identify internalized biases, and how does that compromise leadership ability? All these questions, and more, were answered by Dr. Shakti Butler. Butler, a true renaissance woman, is African American with a mixed Arawak Indian and Russian-Jewish heritage. Filmmaker and founder of World Trust Educational System, Butler has made it her mission to inform others of their responsibility to each other as humans. “We need to understand that if we want to have a world that thrives, we need to understand how we’re disconnected from each other,” Butler said. The day’s activities primarily revolved around viewing and discussing Butler’s newest documentary, “Cracking the Codes,” a stirring collection of stories that explores both the personal and institutional effects of structural racism. Chimes were played regularly throughout the film, signaling the viewers to turn inward toward their tables and discuss the sensitive topics covered in the film. The film was separated into three sections, the first focusing on the social determinants of […]

  • (Jenny Krashin/Broadside)

    Breaking down the walls

    Featured, Lifestyle March 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm Comments are Disabled

    Student with Asperger’s shares his college experience through blogging  Sporting a Red Sox hat and a leather jacket, Aaron Gushin, a freshman economics major, may not stand out to you on your walk to class in the mornings. Although his baseball hat may appear conspicuous to some Masons students, the rest of him is fairly ordinary—long brown hair, medium height and medium build. But there is something about Gushin that sets him apart from many: He has Asperger’s syndrome (AS). As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, Asperger’s syndrome is defined as a neurological condition, one generally considered a form of autism, that causes social impairment, communication difficulties and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. “Sometimes I feel like I’m a different type of species,” Gushin said. Being a relatively new discovery, AS is a concept many find hard to understand and because of that, difficult to treat or work with. It is this lack of societal understanding, Gushin says, that led him to start a blog to catalogue and document his experiences while at Mason. “I needed to change something for myself, and I just felt putting into words, into writing, all this stuff I’m always thinking, would help […]

  • (Stephen Kline/Broadside)

    Nutrition Department hosts Chocolate Challenge

    Featured, Lifestyle, Multimedia March 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm Comments are Disabled

    Amateur and professional chefs and chocolatiers create edible sculptures    For the twentieth annual Chocolate Lovers Festival, the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies hosted the Chocolate Challenge. The competition pitted amateur and professional chocolatiers against each other in a Food Network style competition. All entries were required to be completely edible, made predominantly of chocolate and no larger than 2’x2’. Awards were given for the best amateur and professional cake entries in both child and adult divisions, best in show for sculpture and artistic creations and an overall people’s choice award. Best judges entries received a blue ribbon and an award certificate. Sandy Dornslife of CakeWalk won best professionally decorated cake for her pirate ship creation. The Nutrition Kitchen, a space used by the nutrition studies program, was transformed from a working classroom-kitchen to an edible art gallery. Chocolate creations ranging from sculptures to cupcakes were judged by both a panel of judges and the general public. Judges included: Thomas Prohaska, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services and his wife Beth; Warren Brown of Cake Love and Love Café who has been featured on Food Network; Sabrina Campbell of Occasionally Cake; and Mayor of the City […]