Wednesday, July 23,2014
OSCAR is the home of Students as Scholars, Mason's initiative to increase the opportunities for undergraduates to participate in undergraduate research and creative projects – what we call "student scholarship." The main role of the GPA is to assist with Students as Scholars curricular initiative, including:
·Tracking and organizing course information
·Coordinating faculty learning communities and portfolio reviews
·Communicating regularly with faculty regarding curricular activities
·Assisting in faculty development activities
Additionally, the GPA will be expected to support the overall mission of OSCAR, which may include any or all of the following, depending on the skills and experience of the selected student:
·Working as a part of the OSCAR team to support outreach events, including Admissions, Orientation, and Celebrations of Student Scholarship
·Updating OSCAR website
·Assist with Students as Scholars - Living Learning Community, attend meetings (8-10/semester), assist faculty fellow
·Updating databases and analyzing assessment data
·Providing research support for OSCAR activities and assessment
·Attend URSP Seminars, assist in leading group discussions and assessment
·Consulting with faculty and students on undergraduate research projects (commensurate with experience)
·Serve as moderator of oral presentation session each semester
·Interview past URSP participants, data to be used for outreach and web content
·Assuming responsibility for special projects as needed
Qualifications: We are seeking a Mason graduate student from any discipline, with an interest in higher education administration and/or a career goal of teaching and mentoring undergraduate students.The student must:
·Be a full-time graduate student (enrolled for 6 or more credits) in good academic standing (GPA 3.0 or greater).
·Demonstrate flexibility, curiosity, reliability, and organization.
·Have excellent written and oral communication skills.
·Interact professionally (in person, on the telephone, and over email) with students, faculty, and staff.
·Be comfortable working both independently and collaboratively.
Preference will be given to graduate students who have experience:
·Conducting research or creative work themselves as undergraduate students.
·Teaching, either at the high school or college level.
Schedule:The student is expected to spend 20 hours per week in OSCAR, including attending a weekly planning meeting, throughout the academic year.The GRA is expected to have regular schedule, but may be asked to be flexible for special events. Appointment dates will be August 25, 2014 through May 22, 2015.
Compensation: The selected GRA include both a stipend and tuition support for academic year 2014-2015.
First time appointment without master's degree: $11,500 with tuition support.
First time appointment with master's degree: $13,500 with tuition support.
* Continuation of the GRA beyond the first year initial contract is contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.
HireMason Job ID: 97510.
Prior to the trip, the students raised funds in order to purchase the necessary equipment needed for the system. Fundraisers included a soccer tournament, food venues, and crowd funding.
The travel team was made up of 10 students and 2 professional advisors.The trip consisted of ten days of implementation and construction of a water distribution system and water storage tank. During this time, the students and volunteers of EfID laid and installed over 2 miles of PVC pipe, assembled and installed 30 water stations, and erected an 8 foot tall CMU block tank base and a 10,000 liter water storage tank. Once in Sabana Grande, the team split into two: the Tank Team and the Distribution Team, each with a leader. During the trip, the students and volunteers not only learned an immense amount of in the field and practical applications of leadership, flexibility, and time management, but also were able to experience the challenges faced when working abroad, more specifically in a developing country. The largest challenges that were faced included the language barrier, changes in design, and availability of materials. Luckily, all of these issues were manageable with the help of two fluent Spanish speakers, flexibility from the teams and the application of engineering judgement.
The successful completion of this project has provided more than professional experience for the students and water access for the community, it has provided hope and opportunities for community members. Now, children can focus on being children instead of having to walk long distances in order to access water. Elders no longer have to worry about having someone physically capable of carrying buckets of water to their homes. Most importantly, the community may now grow and develop thanks to the health improvements brought by access to clean water.
While in the community, bonds were created that will never be broken, and many students are highly anticipating their return to Nicaragua next year, as long as the need arises for their presence. Otherwise, EfID hopes to travel somewhere new, to see another improvement in today's developing countries.
ASAIO Conference experience summarized by Katrina Nguyen:
"The American Society for Artificial Internal Organs conference held in Washington, DC this summer was a very rewarding experience. Having only been actively involved in research for the past year at Mason, this was the first conference I have attended outside of Mason. This conference had posters set up for a poster session, but the main events were the oral presentations. These presentations ranged from innovation and regulation of devices to technology that allows for having organs on a chip. The information delivered was not only informative, but the experience as a whole was invaluable. Towards the end of each presentation, those who attended would line up in the middle of the room asking questions. To be in a room filled with students, scientists, and medical doctors questioning each other and expanding on each other's ideas was great to be a part of.
Aside from the oral presentations, the posters were set up outside of the rooms. Here, those who had posters to present and those who attended the conference could come and go and look at the posters. This was similar to conferences at Mason – the main difference was that there were doctors and scientists in addition to students. This was slightly intimidating at first, but overall, the entire conference was a wonderful experience"
This course was designated as Research and Scholarship intensive (RS) by the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), which highlights opportunities for students to participate in research. The students investigated topics ranging from military education to Chinese porcelain, as well as more Washington-specific subjects, such as the cherry tree myth and portrayals of Washington in film. As a part of the course, students wrote about and gave a presentation on their findings at the library. These writings are being published in the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington, which is maintained by Mount Vernon.
But while this opportunity was new to history majors, conducting original research is not. “The Department of History and Art History has always required majors to do original research for their capstone course, HIST 499,” says Kierner. “What was new for this group was having their research published and presenting it in a public venue.”
One of the things history major Anna Groves found most valuable about the course was being able to interact directly with the professional historians studying the life of Washington. She tied her class research to her internship in the Office of the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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