Mason in the News

Posted: November 16, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason University recently received.

Sunday, Nov. 11, Washington Post

GET SMART(ER); You’re No Genius? Don’t Worry

“Being in school gives you practice in memorizing things, a skill that fades with lack of use. Someone studying for an exam 15 years after they graduated from college, for example, probably will have a harder time memorizing lists of facts than someone with recent practice in cramming. Exposing yourself to new experiences can help improve inactive or less active parts of the brain. George Mason University neuroscience expert Jim Olds — who is generally skeptical that you can improve your intelligence as an adult, by the way — agrees that exposing yourself to new experiences can be a boon. ‘I watch adults at all ages right up to seniors become much more active intellectually as they become more engaged intellectually with their surroundings,’ he says.”

Wednesday, Nov. 14, Yahoo! News

Youth Vote May Bring Iowa Surprise

“The hidden youth vote is oft-cited by politicians who believe they have more support than scientific polls show. Young voters are less likely to have voted regularly in primaries; less likely to be home when pollsters call in early evening hours; and less likely to use a land-line, preferring cell phones. Those factors mean pollsters are more likely to under sample and overlook younger voters. George Mason University Professor Michael McDonald, an expert on voter turnout, agrees that more young people will vote than pollsters believe. McDonald points out that 18-29 year olds have begun turning out in higher numbers. In the general election in 2004, 49 percent of the demographic turned out to vote, up nine points from 2000 when national turnout rose about 4 percent, according to the Current Population Survey conducted by the Census Bureau. ‘There’s some indications that youth interest is up in this election cycle,’ he said.”

Thursday, Nov. 15, Washington Post

Mason Neck Neighbors Fear GMU’s Center for Peace Will Threaten Theirs

“George Mason University officials recently gathered on a small outcropping above a glittering bay on the Potomac River, a plot with an unsurpassed view they hope will draw leaders from warring nations as far away as Israel and Sudan. Last month, school officials began a $25 million fund-raising campaign to build the Point of View retreat center on donated land. They hope students and professors from the university’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution will one day gather at the retreat to observe, think and study. They envision leaders from war-torn nations sitting down in small conference rooms overlooking the property’s serene wetlands and working out their problems, just 22 miles south of the nation’s capital. ‘Point of View will be a place where people with deep differences can address their conflicts, resolve them and heal,’ said Sara Cobb, the institute’s director. ‘That’s the broad vision.’”

Thursday, Nov. 15, Washington Post

GMU Prepares to Say Farewell to an Original

“For more than a quarter-century, students at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus have attended classes in an old department store — literally. The former Kann’s department store building, which houses [Mason’s] School of Public Policy, is cramped, poorly ventilated and has few windows. At one point, administrators occupied what used to be the ladies’ lingerie department on the second floor. Students ride to class on escalators that are so old that it’s hard to find anyone who even makes the parts. ‘It’s been one of our monumental buildings, one that everyone who attended class there remembers, and somewhat fondly,’ Larry Czarda, [Mason’s] vice president for regional campuses, said of the three-story red-brick structure known on campus simply as ‘the original.’ ‘But the reality is, it’s a tough building,’ he said.”

Write to at