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Oliver Denaburg, Graduate Student, Forensic Science

Meet Oliver Denaburg, graduate student and teaching assistant pursuing his Master’s in Forensic Science, with a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation. After watching shows like CSI: Miami, Denaburg was hooked to forensic science. He chose MasonScience thanks to our top-notch facilities and equipment like the Crime Scene House and the FARO 3D laser scanners. Some of his fondest memories of being a part of the program include working at the Research and Training Laboratory and working with the individuals from FAROTechnologies. In fact, Denaburg has started his research on the comparison of firearm trajectory determinations by using traditional hand measurements and the FARO 3D scanners. Thanks to all the opportunities and training provided by our Forensic faculty and partners, Denaburg will undeniably be a stand-out candidate when applying to crime scene units in the area after graduation.

Oliver Denaburg

Maddie Bowers, Graduate Student, Forensic Science

This StudentSpotlight features Maddie Bowers, graduate student in the gmuforensicscience program. Bowers decided to pursue forensic science due to her love for DNA and genetics. Some of her favorite moments in the program include being in the DNA lab where they got to analyze the DNA profiles they worked on all semester. Bowers encourages anyone who is considering a Forensic Science degree to check out our Mason Forensic Science Program. With so many amazing opportunities, hands-on learning, crime scene investigation, and experienced professors, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. After earning her Bachelor’s in Forensic Science this past spring, and now working to earn her Master’s in Forensic Biology, along with her DNA research internship, she will be well-prepared for her future career in the forensic DNA field.

Learn more about the program forensic.gmu.edu

Maddie Bowers

Sky Ratcliffe, Mathematics PhD Candidate

MasonScience congratulates, Sky Ratcliffe, incoming doctoral student, for being one of four students to earn the 2022 Graduate Inclusion and Access Scholarship. Thanks to this scholarship, Ratcliffe is set to start their Mathematics PhD program this fall. 

Sky Ratcliffe, SS

Melissa Miliam, GeorgeSquared alum

Meet Melissa Miliam, GeorgeSquared alumna. She recently completed the GeorgeSquared Advanced Biomedical Sciences Program in May 2022 and is set to complete her Master’s in Physiology Georgetown University. Why did she choose the G2 program? “It’s the perfect program for students who want to pursue careers in health,” stated Miliam, “and it’s a learning environment established on compassion and support.” Prior to starting the program, she struggled with feelings of doubt and imposter syndrome. After completing the program, she has become an entirely new person. Not only did she learn the study skills needed for medical school, but she became a more confident student.

To any student considering applying to the program, “it could be the best decision they make for themselves,” Miliam says, “The program will give them the confidence they need to succeed in their future endeavors and the skills necessary to do so as well.”

Melissa Miliam, Student spotlight, georgesquared

Maggie Walker, Undergraduate, Biology

Did you know road salt gets rid of ice, snow…and ecosystems? Meet Maggie Walker, a Mason Biology, Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, and Honors College student studying the negative effects of road salt on our environment. Road salt has been touted as a lifesaver when it comes to combatting icy roads. Yet using this snow-melting mineral has a dark side once it enters waterways. Read more here.

Maggie Walker, Student Spotlight, Biology, SM Conservation

Jordan Sims, PhD student, Environmental Science and Policy

Mason Science congratulates Jordan Sims, second year PhD student, Environmental Science and Policy, for earning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Sims, a student in The Salerno Lab, is studying microbial ecology of coral reef ecosystems to better understand the role that bacteria play in coral reproduction and disease. The fellowship will fund her ongoing project, “Understanding the Bacterial and Environmental Drivers of Stony Coral Settlement.” Read more about this exciting achievement here.

Jordan Sims

Team of CDS Students

Congratulations to the Mason team for winning second place for their presentation on Addressing Hunger with Bits and Bytes, the theme of the 2021 Virtual Virginia Datathon. The team, with Faysal Shaikh, MS student, Computational and Data Sciences, as team leader, also included Bikram Adhikari, PhD student, Computer Science; Amira Al-Khulaidy, PhD student, Computational Social Sciences; Kokou Wilfried Letsou, PhD student, Computational Science and Informatics; and Luke Palmieri, BS student, Computational and Data Sciences. The Mason team analyzed available data, in one scenario taking into account car ownership (or lack thereof) and reasonable access to a grocery store. Presentations were judged on impact, innovation, feasibility, completeness of idea, and presentation. 

CDS Team, Datathon winners, Student spotlight

Carissa Hunter, PhD student, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Carissa Hunter, a Ph.D. Student studying Chemistry and Biochemistry at the #MasonScience, has volunteered with the Committee of Minority Affairs for a year. Composed of chemists from local universities, Hunter joined the American Chemical Society to become more involved and share important skills she learned while working with the Minority Affairs Committee. Hunter said, “I am really excited to see how far the Minority Affairs committee can grow…” Read more about Hunter’s story here.

Watch a glimpse of Hunter's graduate school journey.

Carissa Hunter Spotlight

Samantha Lawrence, Undergraduate, CDS

Congratulations to Samantha Lawrence, Computational and Data Sciences, for being awarded the Stanley Zoltek Memorial Scholarship. The Stanley Zoltek Memorial scholarship is an award established in memory of Dr. Stanley Zoltek, a professor at George Mason from 1980 to 2018. Lawrence said, "Paving my own way as a first-generation college student is difficult. This scholarship was a big deal for me..." Learn more about Lawrence's story. 

Samantha Lawrence, CDS, Student Spotlight

Fall 2021

Amy Rose, BS, Geography and Geoinformation Science

Amy Rose, GGS, Student Spotlight

Happy #GISDay, #MasonNation! #DYK the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science offers various undergrad and graduate programs here at Mason? Such as urban informatics, geographical information systems, and more! Check out what #MasonScience alumni Amy Rose has to say about her experience in the GGS department. 

Camille Goblet, PhD student, ESP

Camille Goblet, ESP, Student Spotlight

Camille Goblet, a doctoral student co-advised by Cody Edwards, Associate Provost, Institute for a Sustainable Earth, & Executive Director, Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, and Elizabeth W. Freeman, Associate Professor, School of Integrative Studies, is conducting genomic analysis of managed Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) populations in institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This project will aid in management and conservation of the critically endangered black rhinoceros by performing genetic analyses of individuals within the North American population. Read more on her research.

Volunteers Around the World-Dental (VAWD)

Volunteers Around the World- Dental, Student Spotlight

Mason’s chapter of Volunteers Around the World-Dental (VAWD), a student-led organization that gives volunteers an opportunity to shadow dental professionals abroad. This past summer, a team of eight Mason students helped provide dental services in Cusco, Peru and found that the impact they made in the communities left an everlasting impact amongst themselves. The students helped set up a free dental clinic in a local elementary school to aid the rural community of Ccoyllorpuquio, near the city of Cusco. Biology student Julia Hakeem stated that “We helped them with the health of their teeth and therefore the health of themselves...”. Congratulations to this student organization for going above and beyond to help out communities in need of health services. Read the full story. 

Marcus Chua, PhD student, ESP

Marcus Chua, ESP, Student Spotlight

Marcus Chua, a doctoral student co-advised by HC Lim, Assistant Professor, Biology and Thomas Lovejoy, Professor, Environmental Science & Policy, is investigating the systematics and taxonomy of the living chevrotains- animals also known as mouse-deer. Read more about his research.

Louise Singer, Undergraduate, Biology

Louise Singer, Biology, Student Spotlight

Congratulations to senior Biology major, Louise Singer for being one of the three OSCAR students to be awarded the Summer 2021 Top Presentation. Singer used her OSCAR funding to examine snails from two different lakes in Fairfax, VA. Singer said that it was meaningful to design and execute her own research project. Watch her video presentation “Analyzing the Microbiome of Avian Schistosomiasis Vector Gyraulus Parvus.” 

AmeAmor Blatchford Rodriguez, Undergraduate, CDS

AmeAmor Blatchford Rodriguez, CDS, Student Spotlight

Congratulations to #MasonScience student AmeAmor Blatchford Rodriguez for being awarded the National Leader in Education award as a top 10 scholar of the year for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Rodriguez is majoring in Computational and Data Science and started the data science and computation society here at Mason. Learn more about her achievements

Katheryn Hout, ESP

Katheryn Hout Spotlight

Meet Mason Science student, Katheryn Hout, who is studying Environmental Science with a concentration in human and ecosystem response to climate change. She co-founded a sunrise chapter during the COVID-19 pandemic to enact change and provide other students with a voice. Hout has researched and worked with various climate models simulations to predict the climate for the next 100 years using dynamic models with previously collected data. Learn more about her efforts and research here.

Jenna Cann, PhD student, Physics

Jenna Cann Spotlight

 Meet Mason Science alumni Dr. Jenna Cann, an astrophysicist with a BA in Astronomy and PhD in Physics from the Department of Physics and Astronomy here at George Mason University. Dr. Cann's research focuses on black holes in dwarf galaxies. Dr. Cann found their place in astronomy when she transferred to Mason from Nova Community College. She worked on various projects with blackholeGMU and is most proud of their work with spectrum.gmu, a diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility  advocacy group at Mason. As one of the co-founders, she worked relentlessly to acknowledge the barriers that members of under-represented groups face when pursuing STEM education and careers. Congratulations on your achievements Dr. Cann! Learn more about their story here.