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Spring semester begins Monday, January 25, with a mix of in-person instruction and expanded online classes. Visit Mason’s Safe Return to Campus Plan for COVID-19 updates.


Building Connections – We’ve Got Your Back

Building and strengthening connections across Mason’s science community is more important than ever.

Yesterday’s ScienceConnect event gave me and the 500-plus registrants the opportunity to meet many of our faculty, staff and students. We kicked off the fourth annual and first-time virtual event with an audience of more than 80 in the main room. Over the course of the afternoon, attendees met with more than 60 of our faculty and staff in the breakout rooms who graciously committed their time to share information about our many programs, research opportunities, and resources to support each other.   

The event also offered a wellness-based opportunity to connect; the District Trivia game gave 50+ participants the ability to laugh, challenge their minds, expand their knowledge, and build even more connections. (Who knew the Mason Observatory was built on our campus in 2007?)

The analogy for ScienceConnect helps each of us reflect on our own approach to this pandemic influenced learning situation. 1) Do you embrace our current ‘new normal’ or do you run from it?  I was encouraged to see so many of us enthusiastically engaged in this activity. 2) What is it like to use new technology? Does it make you nervous? It’s good to use opportunities like this to build your confidence and knowledge despite its potential pitfalls. 3) Going into a room of unknowns...where to start? Knowing, like it says on our new shirts, ‘We’ve got your back’ should help. 

Just like in the ScienceConnect ‘main room,’ throughout our College of Science at Mason, you will meet fun, knowledgeable, and kind staff and faculty willing to help, asking good questions to point you in the right direction.

Will the journey be perfect? No. But is your scientific learning experience worth taking these smart risks to get involved and build our community? Yes. 

A huge thank you to the points of contact listed here who coordinated this event for their departments. Christine Amaya, Dede Chasten, Aikwan Chong, Samantha Cooke, Chris Durac, Kim Hamilton, Stephanie Lister, Genevieve McKenna, Peter Plavchan, Anne Reynolds, Ginny Scott, Mark Uhen, and Karen Underwood. And also I extend my sincere appreciation to the ScienceConnect administrative working group who planned and executed the event. 

As our scientists know, experimenting with something new is not an easy endeavor; yet it can teach us so much. 

Thank you to all faculty, staff and students who came together to connect our science community. It was great to ‘see’ and meet you. As we start the fall semester, we will face the unknowns together.

We’ve got your back,