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Mason’s Vision Series

08 Sep Posted by in Faculty, Region | Comments
Mason’s Vision Series
 

We’re about to launch the new round of our now well-established Vision Series. I’ve written on this before, but a renewed note is appropriate.

We conceived of the series now five years ago as an opportunity for faculty from all sorts of fields to present their work to a general audience. Our hope was that students and staff, faculty from various units, and a wider local constituency would find these presentations interesting and enlightening, and that we could build a more lively intellectual community around the University. (The Mason equivalent of football, though to my regret no tailgating has developed.)

We started the series in Fairfax. Two years ago we took advantage of the splendid Hylton facilities to open a Prince William component. And last year, again using a splendid new building, we included Arlington.

On the whole the series has worked well. Faculty are, I believe, honored to be asked to participate, and we have had a wide range of disciplines and faculty types (some relatively junior) represented. I can’t claim that all faculty have successfully remembered the “address a general audience” part, but most have, and most presentations have been lively as well as interesting.

Audiences, though once in a while a bit disappointing, have been solid for the most part. A number of faculty faithfully attend even for topics well outside their specialty. Student attendance has been spottier than I would wish, except when classes are “encouraged”, but some students have recognized the asset. We had a Syrian student visitor a few years back, for example, who quite eagerly took advantage of the series. Community response has been excellent.

So we’re back for more, and hope the audiences are, too. The whole series schedule is available on the web at http://visionseries.gmu.edu. Our first Fairfax session will be September 24 with Steve Pearlstein, of Washington Post and now Mason fame, talking on Economics for Everyman. Prince William launches October 22 with Maggie Daniels talking about Strategic Tourism Development: Dollars and “Dis”repair. Arlington begins with Audrey Cronin, October 15, on How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns.

This is a win-win for all involved. Hope to see you there.