This Week in the News…

Posted: September 1, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Sunday, Aug. 27, Associated Press Newswires

George Mason Researchers Study Mummies

“Molecular geneticists are studying tissue samples from South American mummies with the hopes of gleaning insight into ancient Incan culture. The three frozen mummies were found high in the Andes mountains by Johan Reinhard, National Geographic’s explorer-in-residence. The mummies remain in Argentina, but muscle biopsies about one millimeter in diameter and one-half centimeter in length were extracted with a small syringe and sent to George Mason University’s School of Computational Sciences…. Keith McKenney, a GMU geneticist, said the research they’re conducting will give insights on whether the mummies were sacrifice victims and why they might have been chosen. ‘Our work is in human identity so we are interested in family trees,’ McKenney said.”

Sunday, Aug. 27, Washington Post

Robb Seeks to Rebuild a Racial Base of Support

“Compounding the problem of apathy for [Sen. Charles] Robb and others in his party among African Americans is that ‘no one has told them what the Democratic Party has stood for and where it stands today,’ said Toni-Michelle Travis, a political scientist at George Mason University. ‘Robb still looks bland. How is he going to pull it off?'”

Sunday, Aug. 27, Houston Chronicle

Black Employee Scolded for Becoming a Blonde

“[Janel] Rankins is still ruffled because she feels as if she was asked to change her hair because she is black. Proving her case, though, may be difficult. ‘Grooming cases can violate racial discrimination laws in certain cases,’ said Nelson Lund, a professor at George Mason University’s law school and an expert on discrimination cases. ‘But there can be considerable murkiness in the application of these laws.'”

Monday, Aug. 28, Washington Post

A Lesson in College-Level Economics

“A 1993 report estimated that the area’s universities accounted for a total of $14.4 billion in economic activity (based on all goods and services the universities consumed). Today, one economist [Stephen S. Fuller, a professor of public policy at George Mason University] estimates that number to have grown to $20 billion, or 9.4 percent of the Washington area’s gross regional product…. The numbers bolster arguments by university presidents that their institutions should be taken more seriously by the business community, and not just as providers of bodies to fill skilled jobs. ‘Too often our conversations with business leaders are along the lines of “I need twice as many people as you gave me last year and I need them now,”‘ said Alan G. Merten, president of Northern Virginia’s George Mason University. ‘We need to go beyond that.’ Merten is cochairing a task force of higher education and K-12 educators to bring a holistic approach to the region’s information technology workforce needs. A big part of his job in that effort, he says, is changing the mind-set of many business people that schools are merely employee manufacturers. ‘They want to buy from us, not invest in us,’ he said. ‘That short-term mentality could cause us some problems.'”

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