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A reflection from the Dean

Dear Mason Science community:

 As stated in President Washington’s message on Monday, January 30, 2023, our community and our world have been shaken by very recent incidents of violence and tragedy. The massacres in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay in California earlier this month, last week’s release of the video showing the murder of Tyre Nichols, and the escalating situation in the West Bank and Jerusalem are stark reminders of how much we still have to go towards progress as a society that rejects violence and embraces peace.

 As a graduate student, I lived nearby and spent a lot of time near Monterey Park, and as a younger faculty, I carried out research and traveled extensively to the West Bank. I hold these times in my life and these places close to my heart. These recent events have left me in despair and somewhat unsettled. I cannot help but think of the families and the communities affected by these horrendous incidents, and particularly for those that experience these tragedies up close. And I am sure each of us is affected differently, even if we are far away from where the violence strikes.

The President’s message (below) provides many resources to support your mental health, and as always I strongly encourage you to be there for each other. During the event of reflecting on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I was struck by his quote that was shared— “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

In times like this, and always, it is key to have each other’s backs. 

With you always,

Fernando Miralles Wilhelm
Dean, George Mason University College of Science 


Sent: Monday, January 30, 2023 4:05 PM
Subject: Statement on recent tragedies


For many in our community, the last month has been particularly troubling as our nation and world have weathered horrific tragedies, most recently with Friday’s release of the video showing the murder of Tyre Nichols. It followed massacres in Monterrey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, which themselves occurred amid a backdrop of thousands of American deaths in January by gun violence, and a constant stream of violence and death from wars and ethnic strife around the world. 

Each drumbeat of such violence strikes all-too-familiar and deeply personal chords of pain in the communities of victims who are involved. Collectively, they take a toll on us all.  

As we continue to process, reflect, and respond to recent events, I want you to remember the many resources at Mason available to support your mental health and well-being. Resources are listed below along with accompanying links. They exist for you, so please use them if they can be of help. 

For Students:  

Counseling and Psychological Center (CAPS) – in-person or virtual counseling appointments 

Within CAPS, specific resources include  

The Steve Fund  - dedicated to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. 

TimelyCare at Mason - provides virtual mental health for students 24/7.  

You may download the app for easier access.  

Anti-Racism and self-help resources 

Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment 

Center for the Advancement of Well-Being 

Student Support and Advocacy Center 

For Faculty and Staff: 

Center for Psychological Services (CPS) Emotional Support Line 

Employee Assistance Program 

For those who are available and able, many of us will come together in community today (Monday) at 5 p.m. for the annual MLK Evening of Reflection: Lighting the Pathway. The event, hosted by the Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment, includes panelists Aniyah Vines, Breya Johnson, Mark Hopson, and Samaria Rice. Register to attend here.  

Take good care of yourselves and each other. 


Gregory Washington