George Mason in the News

Posted: March 2, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

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

Sunday, Feb. 18, Washington Post

Scared Speechless?

“Stage fright affects a mammoth swath of people, regardless of occupation or experience. It all boils down to the fear of being judged. ‘By not having a dialogic interaction, by literally prolonging the response the audience has toward you, you give them the right to adjudicate at a much more intense level,’ says Peter Pober, an associate professor of communication and the coach of George Mason University’s forensics team. All of this builds up. To defuse the buildup, Pober recommends addressing only one audience member at a time. ‘Make eye contact, and handle a crowd of hundreds by focusing on individual faces. Know the first two lines of what you’re going to say,’ Pober says. ‘You can nearly eliminate stage fright if you memorize the first two lines you want to come out of your mouth. Know the exact wording, and you’ll start off with confidence.’”

Saturday, Feb. 24, Baltimore Sun

His Faith, Party Put Mooney at Crossroads

“With his Catholic faith and conservatism at odds, State Sen. Alex X. Mooney, the Republican lawmaker from Frederick, is grappling with how to vote on a proposal to repeal the death penalty. Catholic politicians of both parties have for years struggled to mesh their personal and political beliefs on the death penalty and abortion, in particular. ‘Catholic politicians are not just Catholic, they’re Democrats or Republicans, they’re labor organizers or small business owners,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a George Mason University public policy professor who studies faith and politics. ‘The question is: Do they vote their religious identity first?’”

Sunday, Feb. 25, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Virginia Regrets Role in Slavery, Abuse of Native Americans

“The Virginia General Assembly voiced ‘profound regret’ Saturday for slavery and the exploitation of Native Americans, four centuries after the state gave birth to both ills in America. The House approved the resolution on a 97-0 roll-call vote in Richmond, and the Senate followed suit with a voice vote later in the day. The legislative body that passed Saturday’s resolution is descended from the assembly that began passing slave laws shortly after the first Africans arrived near Jamestown in chains in 1619. ‘[Virginia] may have been the cradle of democracy, but it was also the cradle of slavery,’ said Roger Wilkins, a professor of history and American culture at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. ‘It’s a state that’s standing on that mixed history and making apologies for its past. That’s a good thing for it to do.’”

Tuesday, Feb. 27, Washington Post

In N.Va., Let Down a Rising Economy

“Although Northern Virginia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, tens of thousands of its jobs are contract work, where moderate income employees such as Messick and Willingham are at the mercy of employment that can end suddenly and disappear forever. Often, workers are able to jump to new jobs without disrupting their lives – Messick did it for six years. Other times, finding work can be elusive. ‘These jobs are becoming a growing share’ of the region’s economy, said Stephen Fuller, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, who estimates that 200,000 federal contract workers are employed in Northern Virginia and thousands more in the private sector. ‘Particularly at the low end, [people] work only as long as it’s available.’”

Thursday, March 1, Miami Herald

Making a Start-Up Company Successful

“In a new study upending decades of conventional wisdom, Florida International University researchers found that neither age, education, gender, nationality nor household income were major factors in determining whether a start-up venture would take flight or flounder. Zoltan Acs, a professor of Public Policy at George Mason University and the editor of the journal publishing Reynold’s study, agrees with some of its findings. But he said the entrepreneurial landscape is by no means an even playing field. A recent study he did analyzing small-business survival in different cities found education plays a huge role. Regions with higher high-school dropout rates had lower new-firm survival rates, and regions with a higher share of college degrees had better survival rates. If you make the leap and tie education to income levels then new-firm survival is ‘almost a class issue,’ he said. Individuals with ‘access to resources and skills’ are the ones ‘that have the ability to build [successful] businesses in society,’ Acs said.”

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