December 2006 Accolades

Posted: December 1, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Accolades is a monthly column that recognizes the latest achievements of George Mason faculty and staff members. Send information to

Please note: Because of the winter break, the next Accolades column will be published in February 2007.


Sarah Cunningham, Orientation, Family Programs and Services, published a book review on “Binge: What Your College Students Won’t Tell,” for the quarterly newsletter for the American College Personnel Association Commission for Admissions, Orientation and First Year Experience.

Julia Findlay
Julia Findlay

Julia Findlay, Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS), is chair of the Washington, D.C., area Embassy Dialogue Committee, affiliated with NAFSA: Association of International Educators. OIPS helped organize two events recently held at the Embassy of Switzerland, a workshop titled “Building Educational Partnerships,” and a reception for new educational and cultural attachés assigned to the embassies in Washington, D.C.

Todd Hooten, Arlington Campus Library, has been selected as the December 2006 Information Technology Unit Employee of the Month.

LeRoy LaFleur and Mario Ascencio, University Libraries, were selected to attend the Emerging Leaders Institute of the American Library Association. They will receive two days of training; participate in a problem-solving workgroup; network with 100 peers; and get an inside look into ALA structure and an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

Erik Melis, Student Financial Aid, gave an invited presentation on “An Institutional Perspective on Implementing the Academic Competitiveness (ACG) and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants” during the Quality Assurance Workshop at the Federal Student Aid Conference in Orlando in October.

Alan Merten, Mason president, has been elected to the board of directors at Cardinal Financial in McLean, Va. Cardinal Financial, the holding company for Cardinal Bank, serves the Washington, D.C., area with 23 branches. Cardinal also operates several other subsidiaries, including Fairfax-based George Mason Mortgage, a residential mortgage lending company with seven local offices; Cardinal Trust and Investment Services; Cardinal Wealth Services; and Wilson/Bennett Capital Management.

Sondra K. Patrick, Loudoun Operations, wrote an article with George Washington University colleague Cherng-Jyn Yen and former doctoral student George V. Govan, titled “How High School Students Construct Decision-Making Strategies for Choosing Colleges” in College and University Journal, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, vol. 81, no. 3 (2006).

College of Education and Human Development

Mark Goor received the Distinguished Service Award from the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children in San Diego during the annual conference in November.

Marjorie Hall Haley
Marjorie Hall Haley

Marjorie Hall Haley was the invited keynote speaker for the joint conference of the Washington Association for Foreign Language Teaching and the Confederation in Oregon for Foreign Language Teaching held in October in Portland. The title of her address was “Understanding Multiple Realities: Many Languages, Many Cultures.” She also had an article published in the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) Review titled “Discovering the Treasure in the NECTFL Reports on CD-ROM” vol. 58, pp. 68-72 (2006, Spring/Summer).

Lorraine Valdez Pierce gave a presentation titled “Validity in Statewide Testing of English Language Learners” for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Task Force on Education in Washington, D.C., in October.

Russ Brayley, School of Recreation, Health and Tourism, presented a paper at the15th Symposium on Nordic Tourism and Hospitality Research held in Savonlinna, Finland. His paper addressed Nordic sacred sites and their contribution to understanding the human experience in the context of transmodern tourism. He also began discussions exploring a George Mason partnership with 13 Finnish universities to offer PhD program opportunities in tourism studies.

College of Health and Human Services

Mark R. Meiners, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, was a speaker in November at a briefing of congressional staff on “The Long-Term Care Partnership Program: What Role Will It Play in Broader Long-Term Care Policy?”

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Donald Boudreaux
Donald Boudreaux

Donald Boudreaux, Economics, spoke in November at Bucknell University on a panel discussing global free trade. The debate was directed by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a nonprofit educational organization, and sponsored by a number of university organizations, including Students for Fair Trade and the Bucknell University Conservatives Club.

Todd B. Kashdan, Psychology, gave a talk in November on “Curiosity and Interest: Thriving on Novelty and Challenge” at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., as part of a distinguished lecture series on “The Pursuit of a Well-Lived Life.”

Eric Pankey, English, is the editor of “Best New Poets 2006,” published by Samovar Press.

Peter Pober, Communication, is the 2006 recipient of the L.E. Norton Award given by Bradley University for “compassion, commitment and dedication to forensics.” The annual award is presented nationally to one scholar/educator who has significantly influenced the discipline. Named after one of the founding forensic academics, the award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the forensic community each year.

Art Taylor, English, had his review of the novel “Twilight” by William Gay published in Washington Post Book World.

Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Richard Rubenstein was invited in November by Lamar University in Beaumont, Tex., to present two public lectures on his recent books.

Robinson Professors

Paul D’Andrea, Robinson Professor of Theatre and English, was a leader for “Colloquium on Renaissance Humanism” presented by the George Mason Law and Economics Center Program for Federal Judges in San Diego.

Robert Hazen, Robinson Professor of Earth Sciences, participated in Harvard University’s “Origin of Life Initiative,” a general public lecture on origins of life and a research seminar on mineral-molecule interactions. He also gave lectures on “Origins of Life” at the Carnegie Institution and on “High-Pressure Life Origins” at the Pardee Symposium of the Geological Society of America in Philadelphia.

Harold Morowitz, Robinson Professor of Biology and Natural Philosophy, co-authored a working paper with Eric Smith of the Santa Fe Institute. The paper was the subject of the article, “Was Life on Earth Inevitable?” on, the online version of the journal Nature.

John Paden
John Paden

John Paden, Robinson Professor of International Affairs, presented a paper, “Islam and the Political Arena: Lessons from the 2003 Nigerian Election,” at the international conference Nigeria 2007: Political Social and Economic Transitions, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University.

James Trefil, Robinson Professor of Physics, gave a lecture, “What All Judges Need to Know about Scientific Evidence,” at State of Kansas Judicial Conference in Topeka. He also lectured on “Why Creationism and Intelligent Design Don’t Belong in the Public Schools,” for the University of Pittsburgh Honors Lecture.

Roger Wilkins, Robinson Professor of History and American Culture, gave the Gertrude and G. D. Crain Jr. Lecture, “Media and Politics: The 2006 Election,” at DePauw University. He also lectured on “Watergate and the Washington Post,” for the House of Representatives Page School Speaker Series in Washington, D.C.

School of Law

Timothy Muris provided expert testimony in November on loyalty discounts before the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

Joshua Wright testified in November as an expert witness on exclusive dealing before the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

School of Management

Sidhartha Das and Maheshumar Joshi, DMIS, delivered the presentation, “The Role of Firm Size and Technology Intensity in Technology Services Organizations” at the Academy of Management meeting in Atlanta. They also wrote “Exploring Process Innovativeness and Firm Performance in Technology Services Organizations: Moderating the Role of Environmental Hostility,” which was published in the November Proceedings of the Decision Sciences Institute.

Christopher Joiner, Marketing, was chosen as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Consumer Research, the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Richard Klimoski, dean, served as chair and moderator of “Employee Attachment and Deviance in Organization,” a panel discussion at the 18th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Dallas.

David Kravitz, Management, and Myrtle P. Bell, University of Texas at Arlington, had their proposed theme, “Diversity Education and Training: What We Know and What We Need to Learn,” accepted by the Academy of Management Learning and Education for a special issue in 2008. Kravitz also co-wrote an article, “Understanding Attitudes toward Affirmative Action Programs in Employment: Summary and Meta-Analysis of 35 Years of Research,” that was published in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Stanislava Nikolova, Finance, co-presented a paper, “What Can We Learn about Capital Structure from Bond Credit Spreads,” at the FDIC Annual Bank Research Conference in Arlington, Va.

School of Public Policy

Ann C. Baker presented her paper, “Shifting Organization Landscapes: Pushing Theoretical Boundaries for Creativity at the Edge of Chaos,” to the Academy of Management International Conference in August. In October, she presented “Tapping Local Knowledge: Unleashing Agents of Change for World Benefit” at the United Nations and Academy of Management Global Forum: “Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change.”

Desmond Dinan
Desmond Dinan

Desmond Dinan went to the College of Europe’s Natolin (Warsaw) campus in Poland in November to lecture on the European Union policymaking process.

James Pfiffner gave a lecture titled “The President, Iraq and the Public” at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies in Shepherdstown, W.V., in November.

Hilton Root presented his lecture, “How the U.S. Won the Cold War and Lost the Third World,” in November in Washington, D.C., for Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Mark Rozell spoke on the 2006 elections at the November meeting of the Fairfax Committee of 100. He also spoke at a University of Virginia forum on executive privilege and presidential powers.

Catherine Rudder participated in a roundtable discussion on “Can Congressional Reform Help End Policy Gridlock?” at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in November.

Susan J. Tolchin was a current affairs panelist and participated on a collaborative writing panel at the Sanibel Island Writers Conference in Florida in October.

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