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Mason Grad Insider

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 …

Interpersonal Skills: A Key to Job Success

January 29, 2020

By Sydney Glass

Interpersonal skills can be described as those that allow you to successfully interact with and convey information to other people.[i] Regardless of our program or degree level, all graduate students can benefit from improving these skills, especially those of us preparing to enter the career world soon. With graduation coming up in May, I am constantly thinking of ways to enhance my resume and set myself apart from other job candidates; bringing attention to my interpersonal skills is a great way to do this. While others may have the same credentials and technical knowledge as you, many may not have these skills, which can lead to more …

Fulbright Redux… and Beyond

November 20, 2019

Kay Ágoston, PhD Director of Graduate Fellowships

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post for the Grad Insider on opportunities for Mason graduate students through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Then as now, Fulbright is one of the most sought-after of all the external funding opportunities I work with. So, it’s time for an update!

What is the Fulbright U.S. Student Program?

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is one of the most prestigious awards available to U.S. students.  Created in the aftermath of World War II, the program promotes mutual cultural understanding and academic exchange between the United States and the …

Overcoming Procrastination

November 13, 2019

By Yasamin Rahmani

The Webster’s Dictionary definition of procrastination is “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Although the definition is quite broad, it does hit close to home. Whether this intention of putting off is at work, school, or our personal life, it is no stranger to us – at least not to me.

Procrastinating can also be looked at as a habitual stress relief that can be done inadvertently, hindering one’s success. It is no surprise that having the habit of procrastination affects productivity and the ability to plan ahead to achieve short-term and long-term goals.

The reason I chose to write this …

Provost Office Support for Recipients of Major Grants and Fellowships

November 6, 2019

By Kay Ágoston, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Fellowships, George Mason University

Did you know that the Office of the Provost at George Mason University now offers supplemental funding for Mason graduate students who win certain types of major external awards?  It’s true! As of Fall 2019, Mason graduate students who win external awards may qualify for supplemental internal support, including supplemental funding, tuition assistance, and subsidized student health insurance. The type and amount of supplemental support will vary according the status of the student and the type of award.

More about this exciting development in a moment, but first, some backstory:

Several years ago, when I first arrived at Mason …

Finding Your Community through the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA)

October 16, 2019

By Sofiyat Aderonke Ibrahim

For many of you reading this, you identify with one of the following: You are a current or former Mason graduate or professional student, you are interested in connecting and building relationships with the people around you, and/or you are committed to getting the best out of your time here at George Mason University. If any of these statements is true, then you should definitely continue reading this post because this information would help make your experience at Mason as a graduate or professional student even better.

To begin, I would like to introduce myself and tell you why becoming a graduate student at George Mason …