Mason in the News

Posted: May 9, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage Mason recently received.

Thursday, May 1, Voice of America

Higher Development for Global Development

Elavie Ndura was interviewed by Voice of America about the role of higher education in national development. Ndura discussed the benefits of partnerships and collaboration between higher education faculty in developing and more developed countries, potential challenges facing the implementation of the Mason-Burundi Memorandum of Understanding and ways that funding agencies can best support such partnerships. The interview was conducted in Kirundi, Elavie’s native language which is spoken throughout the Central African region.

Saturday, May 3, Atlanta Journal Constitution

If Party Denies Obama, Black Voters May Walk

“Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, an Obama backer, cautions against reading too much into the rhetoric du jour. ‘Asking people [now] what they think is not at all going to be indicative of how they’re going to behave in November,’ Kirk said, adding, ‘I’m as guilty as anyone of parroting’ anti-Clinton talk. A touchy subject. Political scientists who study black voting patterns say Kirk is right in cautioning against confusing April anger with November action. ‘Some of it is an expression of frustration and anger of the moment,’ said Michael Fauntroy of George Mason University. ‘Some of them say they are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Many of the people who say that will ultimately end up voting for Hillary Clinton because they will conclude that the McCain alternative is unacceptable.’ But Fauntroy warns against underestimating the depth of black suspicions about the nominating process. ‘I believe this is a very touchy subject because there are some African-Americans who are so distrustful of the political system that they believe that it is going to be stolen from them anyway,’ he said.”

Sunday, May 4, Washington Post

Home Prices Receding, Sales Rising in Pr. William

“While some jurisdictions are starting to see a positive trend in housing sales, data shows that many surrounding localities are still on the decline. Housing sales in the counties of Fairfax and Loudoun and in the city of Alexandria, for example, are down 26, 20 and 40 percent, respectively, from a year earlier, data show. Real estate agents said the Prince William market is heating up more quickly than others because it took a bigger hit. ‘The housing market is looking much more affordable in Prince William than in other places,’ said Stephen Fuller, an economist at George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. ‘Prices got way too far away from reality across the region. Prince William is adjusting more substantially and will be a much better housing market in the long run because there is a better balance between value and price.’”

Monday, May 5, New York Times

A Turkmen Dismantles Reminders of Old Ruler

“A 246-foot tall, rocket ship-like monument to the late ruler of Turkmenistan, topped with a golden statue of himself that rotates to always face the sun, will be removed from the center of the Turkmen capital, state news media there have reported. A decision by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to move the monument was his latest step in dismantling the personality cult of Saparmurat Niyazov, whose often bizarre decrees turned the isolated, energy-rich country into the punch line of a bad international joke. But analysts like Eric McGlinchey, a regional expert at George Mason University in Virginia, warn against reading too much into Mr. Berdymukhammedov’s moves, which have included purging the former members of Mr. Niyazov’s inner circle but also issuing coins bearing his own portrait. ‘I would hesitate to uncork the Champagne just yet,’ McGlinchey said by telephone. ‘What he is doing is typical of any new leader trying to remove the legacy of a predecessor and consolidate his hold on power.’”

Tuesday, May 6, USA Today

Young Voters Poised to be an Election Force

“This year looks different for many reasons, topped by the Democrats’ long, heated contest between a 60-year-old former first lady and a 46-year-old newcomer who is African-American. Youth turnout also is up somewhat on the Republican side, in part because of Texas Rep. Ron Paul — the antiwar, antitax iconoclast whose backers sparked a brushfire on the Internet. The appeal of individual contenders is far from the only ingredient in the mix. Campaigns are doing intensive outreach to young people this year and making unprecedented use of the Internet to mobilize them. And the issues on voters’ minds — the Iraq war and the economic slowdown — are potent. ‘We have all these factors firing on all cylinders,’ says Michael McDonald, a turnout analyst at George Mason University. ‘It really does seem to be a perfect storm.’”

Tuesday, May 6, Wall Street Journal

Blue-Collar Voters Are Belles of the Ball

“White, working-class voters may hold the key to whether today’s Democratic primaries in Indiana and North Carolina move the party any closer to choosing Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as its presidential nominee. Turnout by blue-collar workers is expected to be strong after both candidates showered them with attention over the past few weeks, with each striving to appear in tune with the average Joe. ‘If you can look like the common man and make your opponent appear out of touch, you’ve pretty much won the election,’ Richard Shenkman, a George Mason University professor who has written several books about presidential campaigning, tells the Washington Post. ‘The American people, given the choice between reality and the myth, almost always pick the myth… We tell ourselves their average day is just like ours.’”

Thursday, May 8, Washington Post

George Mason’s New Arts Venue Is Finally Under Way

“George Mason University officials made two announcements last week about the large and long-awaited arts venue planned for its Prince William Campus: It is under construction and will be named the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Scheduled to open in spring 2010, the $60 million facility will feature a reception space, an art gallery and two theaters, including the 1,166-seat Merchant Hall, modeled after a 19th-century European opera house. ‘This building will have a transformational effect on our region,’ said Jean Kellogg, who will be the center’s executive director. ‘It’ll be a beautiful space.’ The 86,000-square-foot center aims to provide a state-of-the-art setting for major acts and local performers while boosting Prince William County’s image in the process.”

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