Mason in Summer: Not as Busy, but Still Bustling

Posted: June 20, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Kendra Ghanbari, a senior psychology major, is one of the thousands of students on campus this summer.

By Ryann Doyle

Not too long after graduates have donned their caps and gowns, most college campuses settle into a quiet and leisurely tempo for the summer. Not so at Mason’s Fairfax Campus, where students, faculty, staff and visitors are bustling despite the rising temperature.

Although the numbers are smaller than in the fall and spring semesters, enrollment for the summer session includes thousands of students. During the 2006 summer sessions, 12,352 students were enrolled. This year, summer sessions A and B are already under way, while session C starts July 2. Most classes run four to five weeks, still providing a window for students to take a break and enjoy the summer before the fall semester begins.

“I like to take classes during the summer because of the schedule. The classes are more intense, but they last for a shorter period of time,” says Kendra Ghanbari, a senior psychology major. “I put in the time and effort, take the test, and then I’m done.”

Rosalyn Tuohy, a junior theater major, enjoys taking summer classes to fill up her schedule.

When students transfer to Mason from another college or university, sometimes credit hours get lost in the process. Taking classes in the summer gives transfer students an opportunity to regain lost credits and maintain their class status.

“I wanted to be a senior when the fall semester starts. As a transfer student, it is hard to catch up,” says Rosalyn Tuohy, a junior theater major who transferred from Northern Virginia Community College. “I always take summer classes, and most of my friends do, too. It is less time to forget things, and it helps to fill up my summer schedule.”

Taking classes is not the only reason for being on campus this summer. Several sessions of orientation for freshmen and transfer students have already been held and more are scheduled throughout the summer. New students and their parents are on campus for two full days of academic meetings and socializing.

The Fairfax Campus offers attractions such as the University Game Room in the Student Union Building I, Damon’s Grill, the Aquatic and Fitness Center and multiple computer labs, which bring students to the campus year round.

“I live really close to campus and I don’t own my own computer, so I come on campus to use the computer labs,” says Lauren Golden, a junior communication major. “Since the gym is free for full-time Mason students, I also like to go and work out, then grab a coffee at Jazzman’s.”

Young and Jaepin
Young Joo and Jaepin Shin, graduate students in the English Department, enjoy playing pool between classes.
Photos by Ryann Doyle

Warm weather doesn’t always mean summer break for faculty and staff members either. Whether they are working, teaching classes, attending meetings or tutoring students, Mason faculty and staff are busy all over campus.

Tamera Schweinsberg, ITU support center specialist, and Dorothy Brewer, administrative assistant to the IT security and project office, say they enjoy working on campus during the summer.

“I like the summer because I get to interact with the students more. They feel more comfortable since the campus is quieter and the interaction is more personal,” says Schweinberg. “I also like the warm weather and being able to sit outside to eat lunch.”

All three Mason campuses are hosting camps open to younger members of the Northern Virginia community this summer. Altogether, there are 67 offerings that cover a wide range of interests and last between four and seven days.

The sports camps include basketball, cheerleading, disc golf, self defense, lacrosse and equestrian, among many others. The youngest children can attend creative cuisine cooking camp, dinosaur camp, little scientist camp, scrapbooking camp and Spanish camp.

For more information and a complete list of the camps offered at Mason, visit the summer camps web site.

Write to at