‘Mason Explores D.C.’ Provides Introduction to Nearby Attractions

Posted: September 6, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Over the next two weeks you could enjoy the renaissance of Duke Ellington’s neighborhood; learn about spies, intelligence operations and deception that changed the course of history; canoe down the Potomac River; or eat peanuts and hotdogs while cheering on the Washington Nationals baseball team. And you don’t even have to worry about how to get there.

It’s all possible with the new Mason Explores D.C. program.

“The goal of the Mason Explores D.C. program is to provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to interact and enjoy the incredible resources of living in the metropolitan D.C. area,” says Heather Hare, associate director for leadership and community engagement.

“We hope that participants will form relationships that will foster a sense of community, understand how to use our public transportation system, gain awareness of the wonderful opportunities a Metro ride away, and have a lot of fun!”

Events to look out for are

  • “The Moveable Feast,” where participants taste their way through D.C.

  • “Before Harlem, There Was U Street,” giving participants the chance to tour the historic U Street district that flourishes with culture, music, nightlife and shopping

  • “Most Haunted Houses,” a walking tour of spooky places in D.C.

Also on the Mason Explores D.C. to do list: the International Spy Museum, “Shear Madness” at the Kennedy Center, a Washington Nationals baseball game, the National Zoo, the Flea Market at Eastern Market, Adams Morgan, Mount Vernon, and “My Children! My Africa!” at the Studio Theatre.

For each exploration, Mason faculty and staff serve as volunteer group leaders. Most explorations are scheduled on weekends, beginning Saturday, Sept. 8.

“I think it’s important that students early on in their college careers feel a sense of place and belonging at their college or university. And I find it’s through casual, fun outings such as this that this sense of community develops,” explains Karen Misencik, director of experiential learning at New Century College and leader of the haunted house tour.

“I’m also a shameless tourist in my own city. Even though I’ve lived in this area for almost my whole life, I still try to remember how lucky we are to have the D.C. metropolitan area, with all its history and culture, so close by.”

Each event lasts for about a half day. Depending on the activity, lunch or light refreshments may be offered.

The Mason Explores D.C. program was launched by the Welcome Week Committee and was a collaborative effort between the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, Student Activities and University Life. New Century College has also decided to participate in Mason Explores D.C.

To participate, you must register in person at the Freshman Center on the second floor of the Johnson Center. A $5 deposit is required upon registration to reserve a spot; however, the $5 will be returned in the form of a Metro fare card that will be used to travel to and from D.C. on the day of the event.

For more information and a full schedule of Mason Explores D.C. activities, visit the web site or contact Heather Hare, 703-993-2902.

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