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Dean's blog: Traditions, Connections and Making Mason Memories 

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

Within the following week, our nation will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, near us at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the foiled attempt in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Many of you may remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. Perhaps you even knew someone affected. In the days and weeks which followed, we heard many stories recounting bravery and acts of courage which abounded on that day.

Fast forward to today, when many of the children who then grieved the loss of their mothers and fathers, family members and friends, are now pursuing their collegiate educational dreams, some in the very cities where that devastation took place. In addition to the 9/11 effect, others of you are moving forward from your own life altering challenges thanks to COVID-19. 

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of losing someone or something suddenly in your life, then you’ll understand when I stress the value of living life fully and taking time to make connections. For these are the moments and memories that you keep close in times like this. They are the things you will remember.

For those Mason Patriots who must live on, despite such setbacks, you have the difficult challenge of appropriately honoring those we have lost while building your own full lives. You must be brave and boldly continue forward.

Making meaningful connections is not impossible in a virtual environment. In fact, we will provide many opportunities to help you make them. For the 170+ students participating in the College of Science Learning Community, the hundreds of students and mentors participating in virtual and in person research presentations and outreach programs, and the 30 plus new faculty and staff who have joined us in 2021, and the thousands across Mason’s science community, we are offering plenty of ways to get and stay connected. 

Take the first step. Make time to register and join us for the Fifth Annual Fall ScienceConnect

Drop in for as long as you can to learn about our College of Science departments and programs, get to know your academic cohort, explore university resources, hear about possible research and professional opportunities, and win fun prizes. (Mason’s current events policy requires you to register before entering the event). 

Whether you are face to face or virtual, we have options to participate: 

Fairfax Campus outside of Exploratory Hall
Tuesday, September 14 from noon to 4:30 p.m. 

Science and Technology Manassas Campus outside Katherine Johnson Hall
Thursday, September 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14 
in our ScienceConnect online trivia game 
from 3 to 4 p.m. or via Instagramlive throughout the day 

Whether it’s reading the college’s weekly e-newsletter, following us on social media, or regularly checking our website 
news and events calendars, please make an effort to stay informed.  

We will provide the opportunities. It’s up to you to make this year memorable. 

Let’s stay safe, stay connected, and start making your Mason memories.