Summer Programs for High School Students to Draw Young, Emerging Leaders

Posted: June 20, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: June 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Two programs offered this summer through the Office of Admissions will draw hundreds of talented high school students from across the country to Mason and the Washington, D.C., area.

The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE) will be held June 26−July 1 on Mason’s Fairfax and Arlington Campuses, as well as at locations in Washington, D.C.

In its second year, WYSE is a leadership experience program that provides students access to government officials and area practitioners in environmental science, conservation and sustainability studies. One of the keynote speakers this year is Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

“In 2011, we are again highlighting the phenomenal relationship that Mason has with the Smithsonian in the Smithsonian Semester program and additional partnerships with the National Geographic Society and the Nature Conservancy,” says Richard Friesner, a program director in the Office of Admissions.

Friesner notes that 125 student are participating this year, with many of them coming from New York, Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The goals of the program are to prepare the next generation of leaders in the environmental fields and expose them to a variety of specialties so that they can begin developing a network of contacts.

The Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC), in its third year, will be held July 10-15 on the Fairfax Campus and at locations throughout Washington, D.C.

The conference helps students network with professional journalists and nurture connections in the field of journalism that will continue to serve them throughout college and into their professional lives.

“Our conference is, at its heart, a leadership development program,” says Caitlin Shear, a program director in the Office of Admissions. “Our incredible participants have often already started careers in the media. And we consider it essential that they learn from those who are media leaders today how to master the skills that will ensure their success as unbiased, trusted journalists regardless of their medium.”

Shear notes that WJMC has been working with the Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association to attract students and faculty advisors from all over the country. As a result, the 151 students attending this year represent 34 states, as well as Guam, the Mariana Islands and U.S. military bases abroad. Most of the participants come from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and California.

“We are featuring programs in more subject areas than ever before, including sports, disaster reporting, war reporting, fashion and culture, TV production and photojournalism,” Shear says.

“Program partners like the Newseum, the National Press Club and C-SPAN help us to develop unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our national youth correspondents,” Shear adds.

Amy Takayama-Perez, Mason’s director of K-12 partnerships and the Washington Scholars Program, says that many of the students who attend WYSE or WJMC will eventually apply to Mason for undergraduate study.

“We expect some of our brightest environmental science, sustainability, engineering, communications and policy students will come from this cohort,” Takayama-Perez says.




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