Quick Links

Mason Grad Insider

Quick Tips to Being a Mentor to Undergrads!

March 25, 2021

by Austin A. Deray

 

Good day, Mason graduate students! I hope y’all are having a good Spring 2021 and beginning to enjoy the warmer weather. Today’s blog was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my many writing groups (y’all know I love a writing group: “Virtual Writing Communities: How Can We Work Together, while We Stay Apart?”), and I decided to bring it to everyone this week on Mason’s Grad Insider… so let’s get to talking about mentoring. 

A lot of time in grad school, we talk about finding a mentor (“What to Look for in a Mentor”), but recently, one of  my writing groups had …

Finding Balance Between School, Work, and Life

March 3, 2021

By Kerry Hentges, Programming and Administrative Coordinator for University Life SciTech, pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at George Mason

I decided to apply for graduate school 6 years after graduating with my Bachelor’s of Fine Art. I had decided I wanted to be an art teacher, and graduate school was the next step in that process. I was excited to get back into art-making and learn new techniques.

The first thing I was told upon entering graduate school was that I was going to make bad art. The next thing I was told was that I wasn’t even going to have time to sleep during the next …

Meal Prepping: An Aspirational Blog Post

December 2, 2020

Hey Mason Grads,

Nikita here. Today I’m going to write a little bit about meal prepping, and let me be very clear with you: this is an aspirational blog post. I am mildly terrible at remembering to meal prep. The hopes are that in writing and publishing this blog post, I’ll hold myself a little more accountable for doing it!

Meal prep is essential for us working adults (as many of us graduate students are), both to bring to our jobs and to those evening classes. Meal prep is great for many reasons–when you meal prep, you’ll be eating more nutritious food, healthier portions, and saving a lot more money …

Biking through the DMV and These COVID-19 Times

November 11, 2020

Hey y’all, I don’t know about everyone else, but I am finding this pandemic/COVID-19 moment we are currently living to be both neverending, but also stifling. When I was home, where I fled to for summer break, I was on an island and had a beach to walk and rivers to kayak; but alas, since being back in the DMV, I’ve found myself spending more and more time indoors. It is now fall and I still enjoy getting outdoors and the perk of the DMV is that you get to enjoy the fall leaves, a thing I never got in GA.  Don’t get me wrong, on the plus side, it …

Citation Management Systems: Creating Your Own Personal Database

October 28, 2020

Hi Mason Grads,

Nikita here. I’ve recently become a citation management system user at the behest of my lovely boss, Dr. Julie Choe Kim. In particular, I’ve started using Zotero–which is free and open-source, and was created right here at Mason. So, not only is it free, but as Mason students, we get the perk of extra storage space when we register with our GMU email address! Now, hear me out, because I’m not here to be a walking, talking Zotero ad. Let me explain why it works for me.

I am what some might lovingly call a digital hoarder. What does that mean? It means I never delete text …

A Virtual End and Farewell to the 2019-2020 Academic Year

May 6, 2020

By Sydney Glass and Austin A. Deray

For starters, we want to give each of you a virtual round of applause as you have truly shown your commitment to your graduate education and resilience throughout this period of stay-at-home orders, online learning, and living and working from home. I am sure that none of us could have ever imagined that this would be our new reality, so we really do commend you for pushing through despite the many challenges. While the academic year is ending, the effects of this pandemic will likely be felt for quite some time. Thus, we want to remind all of you that it is okay …

Mason Resources: Maintain Your Well-Being during a Time of Uncertainty

April 29, 2020

By Sydney Glass

With so much uncertainty in our day-to-day and the end of the semester steadily approaching, it is easy to become overwhelmed. The Mason community recognizes that this is a difficult and challenging time and has worked together to transform many of the student support services to a virtual format. In addition, online resources, events, and programs related to well-being have been created to provide support during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. We want you all to know that you are not alone, and we will overcome this together. To learn more about the available opportunities and ways to maintain your well-being at Mason, read below.

Mental Well-Being: Those of …

Virtual Writing Communities: How Can We Work Together, while We Stay Apart?

April 15, 2020

By Austin A. Deray

In light of all that is going on, I thought it is not only timely, but also prudent, to revisit the discussion around graduate communities I have had in the past (see Study Groups: The Thing to Do in Graduate School and My Cohort, My Tribe) and talk instead about the importance of finding or forming your own virtual writing community. Over the past two years, through my fields (my program’s version of comprehensive exams) and my dissertation proposal, I have had an amazing group of friends with me, writing and working on our individual assignments and projects together. I don’t know about y’all, but I …

How to Stay Connected in the Age of Social Distancing

April 1, 2020

By Sydney Glass

By this point, we are all practicing social distancing and doing our part to remain healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. Many of us are already several days in and are starting to feel the effects of this limited social contact. It is important to emphasize that social distancing does not mean “social isolation.” It simply means that we have to maintain a certain physical distance (at least 6 feet!) from each other. Therefore, I want to mention things that we can do to make this experience less isolating and more enjoyable.

Visit a Virtual Museum: As we all know, traveling is not a good idea …

Make Time for Self-Care—You’ll Thank Yourself Later

February 27, 2020

By Sydney Glass

Last November , I was fortunate to attend a self-care workshop led by the amazing Dr. Al Fuertes, an Associate Professor in the School of Integrative Studies and a University Life Faculty Fellow. While this workshop was specifically for graduate student staff in University Life, I can recognize its benefits for all graduate and professional students at Mason.

Oftentimes, as graduate students, we feel the need to continue as if everything is fine, or that taking time to destress will take away from time that we could spend completing another assignment. In actuality, not being aware and recognizing that you need and deserve a break could negatively …