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Civility in the Classroom in the Age of Trump

April 28, 2017

By: Dr. Jeremy Mayer, Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

(This opinion piece is solely representative of the opinions of the author. Should you have any questions or comments, please email Dr. Mayer.)

Graduate students in our hyper partisan polarized era may be worried about how civil discussions can take place in the classroom. This is particularly true at a place like Mason, which has a diverse faculty, many with strong political views and identities. In truth, it can be hard to have a civil discussion about reproductive access policy or some other controversial topic, without descending into a CNN style shouting match.

The keys are …

Graduate Students, Let Your Voices Be Heard!

April 21, 2017

By Hadeel Al-Tashi

Often, by the time students reach the graduate level they feel their days of campus and involvement and activism are behind them. This is understandable – priorities certainly do change once in graduate school with a focus shifting more toward professional pursuits, research, and degree completion. Yet, there are many opportunities for graduate students to continue to engage with the campus community. For those who were once active undergraduate campus leaders and for those who have never served in a formal leadership role, I am here to say Graduate Students, Let Your Voices Be Heard!

My name is Hadeel and I am a graduate …

Resilience at Mason

14 April 2017

By Lewis Forrest, II, Associate Dean for University Life

Spring is here and the semester is entering its busy season before exams and graduation. How are you holding up? Are you able to attend to your well-being and stay focused during this important time? Are you more resilient than you realize?

In my blog post last year, I challenged you to be mindful of your well-being during graduate school, given the complex lives and multiple responsibilities graduate students balance. This time, I’d like to focus specifically on resilience.  Whether you have things under control or not, we all should find time to reflect on our resilience. At …

Conferences: To Go or Not To Go?

Austin A. Deray 7 April 2017

It’s that time of the academic year, the one we both look forward to and dread – it’s conference season. In honor of conference season, this week’s blog should be on conferencing: why you should attend and what to do at a conference. So, let’s get started.

Why Graduate and Professional Students Should Attend Conferences

The answer may seem obvious to some, but conference attendance can yield these 3 beneficial outcomes.[i]

Networking: Conferences are a great place to network. People will get to meet you and you get to meet others. Regional, national, and international conferences are great places to meet diverse groups of …

How to Take Notes like a Graduate Student

31 March 2017

Katrina Dunlap

One of the more tedious tasks to studying or reading for your graduate course work is taking good notes on what you are reading. While this may or may not come easy to you as a student, it is an imperative skill to master as soon as possible. Below, I’ve summarized how to use the Cornell method on note-taking that you can apply to almost any graduate course you take.

Why take notes? Well the obvious answer is so you don’t have to waste time re-reading the text or article again. A somewhat less obvious reason is for a deeper comprehension of the reading. Whatever …

Learn More about Well-Being this Spring at Mason

By Whitney Hopler, Communications Coordinator, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being

24 March 2017

No matter what field you’re studying at Mason as a graduate student, you can benefit from learning about well-being at this year’s Spring into Well-Being (SIWB) campaign. “Life is not merely being alive, but being well,” ancient Roman poet Marcus Valerius Martialus pointed out. That applies just as much today as it ever did. There’s something for everyone in the lineup of more than 100 events planned for the six weeks of SIWB, from Monday, March 20 to Friday, April 28. Here are just a few highlights of particular interest to graduate students:

Thursday, March 30, …

How to Read Like a Graduate Student

Katrina H. Dunlap


If you are in graduate school—whether part-time or full-time—chances are you are inundated with multiple reading assignments. From reading dissertations to textbooks, these assignments can be time-wasted without a having a strategic approach to pull something useful out of it. While there are lots of acronym-driven reading techniques, like “SQ3R” or “Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review,” which aim to help you build a framework to understand your reading assignment, I personally believe that these techniques take too much time to understand and are cumbersome. Below, I’ve outlined some helpful tips for you to consider with respect to your graduate-level reading assignments.

Skim it! The longer the readings are, the more …

Fulbright Season Is Here!

Learn more about international opportunities for graduate students through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

March 3, 2017

By Kay Ágoston, Director of Graduate Fellowships

Of all the grant and fellowship programs I advise Mason graduate students on, the most popular is without a doubt the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Fulbright program is one of the premier nationally competitive awards available to U.S. students.  Originally created in the aftermath of World War II, the goal of the program is to promote mutual cultural understanding and academic exchange between the United States and the rest …

Mason Grad Insider’s Guide to Publishing: Part 2

24 February 2017

Austin Deray

This week’s Insider continues our publishing series.[i]  Last week, we went over the first three steps of publishing: Step 1: Identify your audience; Step 2: Familiarize Yourself; and Step 3: Know the Guidelines. This week we will continue our guide into publishing with steps 4-6. Let’s get started!

Step 4: Follow these General Rules and Guidelines

Besides knowing the style guidelines for specific disciplines (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, AMA), there are some specific rules and guidelines to keep in mind when publishing.

Before submitting, read and follow the instructions for authors provided by the particular journal you are targeting (see the journal’s web page for …

Mason Grad Insider’s Guide to Publishing: Part 1

17 February 2017

Austin A. Deray

For this week’s Insider, we’ve decided to focus on both an academic and a professional issue: publishing.[i]  Most think the hardest part of the publishing process is writing the perfect article, review, or chapter excerpt; however, I’ll be honest that it is just the beginning. What can be the longest, most heart-crushing, and most exhausting bit of the process is the journal selection and publication process.

This all being said, I thought it would be help to go through a quick look, a beginner’s guide if you will, to publishing as a graduate student.

Step 1: Identify Your Audience

An easy, but often overlooked, …