Latest News

OSCAR November 2014 faculty newsletter Wednesday, October 29,2014

OSCAR November 2014 faculty newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

We're mid-way through the semester, and we just wanted to share a few OSCAR/Students as Scholars news items with you.

Please join us in welcoming two new(ish) members of the OSCAR Team!

Denise Nazaire, already a familiar face in OSCAR, joins us as the OSCAR Program Coordinator. As our GPA, she helped develop the OSCAR Federal Work Study Research Assistant program. Now, in addition to expanding this, she’ll be providing additional student professional development and outreach, and will be supporting our curricular initiatives.

Andrew Cote joins us as the OSCAR Graduate Professional Assistant. Andrew is working on his DMA in music composition, and has experience in both creative activities and teaching.

Learn more about the entire OSCAR team here.

OSCAR Federal Work Study Research Assistantships

If you are looking for help with a research or creative project, hire an OSCAR Federal Work Study Research Assistant.  Learn how to submit your position description on this site.

Undergraduate Research Scholars Program

URSP is accepting applications for Spring projects until November 12th. Contact Dr. Rebecca Jones, OSCAR Assistant Director, with any questions about the application process.

How to get involved with Students as Scholars? Let us count the ways…

Many faculty wonder how to start to get involved with supporting undergraduate research and creative projects.  Chairs and Deans wonder what “counts.” We’ve put together a guide for you here.

Curriculum Scholarship Development Grants

Is your program revamping your undergraduate degree program? Trying to figure out how to ensure students are prepared for culminating research experiences and their future careers? Want to engage them in scholarly inquiry in their classes? Prepare a Curriculum SDG preliminary proposal to attend our Curriculum Development workshop in January, with the potential to submit a full Curriculum SDG proposal in February for additional support from OSCAR. More details and application can be found here.

4VA Grants

Do you have a research initiative? A project idea that includes another institution within the collaborative? An innovative idea for the Mason campus? 4VA grants can support your research - we encourage you to apply, and include undergraduate research assistants in your project.  Proposals are due November 7, and instructions for including undergraduates are available on our new webpage.

Save the Date!

Fall URSP students will be presenting their projects on Friday, December 12th from 11-4 (Johnson Center), followed by our OSCAR Open House from 4-6 (JC NW Lounge Area). We’ll post a schedule of presentations on the website soon. Please join us to celebrate a great semester, and bring students to see the presentations and eat cookies!

Deadlines and Important Dates

-Posters on the Hill applications deadline: November 5, 2014.
-Curriculum SDG Workshop Applications Due: November 5, 2014.
-National Conference of Undergraduate Research abstract submissions deadline: Tuesday, December 2, 2014.
-2015 Celebration of Student Scholarship: May 5, 2014, Center for the Arts (never to early to plan!).

We are in Johnson Center Room 246, near Admissions. Please stop by to say hi, get information, or make an appointment. Our website is Connect with us on Twitter (@Mason_OSCAR) and Facebook (Students as Scholars at Mason).



The OSCAR Team
Dr. Bethany Usher
Dr. Rebecca Jones
Samira Lloyd
Denise Nazaire
Andrew Cote 

Grave Concerns: Dr. Usher's Research Unearths More than Bones Tuesday, October 28,2014

Grave Concerns: Dr. Usher's Research Unearths More than Bones

Usher was a college freshman when she took part in her first dig at a prehistoric Monacan burial ground. While the experienced archaeologists rescued bones, pottery and other remains from the eroding mound, she was relegated to the edges of the site. But when someone unearthed teeth and wondered aloud what kind they were, Usher, who’d worked as a dental assistant in high school, chimed in. “Oh, that’s a lower second molar,” she said. She was promptly moved to the center of the mound.

It’s the “intentional signaling” of the dead that Usher says gives cemeteries an added layer of intrigue, even more than regular archaeological sites.

“You at first think how they’re laid out, where they’re positioned and what things were placed with them reflect who that person was,” she says. “But in fact, those things are what the people who buried them wanted this person to look like in the ground. So you get these interesting contradictions.”

As a graduate student, Usher studied health patterns of people buried in a medieval gravesite in Denmark, and she continues to work with her OSCAR students on some of that data today. Marion Chaloux, BA Anthropology ’13, studied leg and arm bones of children buried at the site to determine how tall they would have been if they’d grown to adults. She found, however, that the children were actually shorter than normal, and would have been shorter as adults had they lived, because they were sick and not growing properly. Chaloux won an award at the CHSS undergraduate symposium with her research last year.

Continue reading on the Mason News page.


OSCAR student newsletter Friday, September 5,2014

OSCAR student newsletter

OSCAR supports undergraduate research and creative activity by:
•  helping students find a project and mentor
•  funding undergraduate research and creative projects
•  providing student travel grants
•  supporting interdisciplinary courses
•  hosting the Celebration of Scholarship
•  sharing information about undergraduate research opportunities

Students in the Spotlight
Would you like to learn what undergraduate research looks like in dance? Computer science? History?  Did you know that the current URSP students this fall are all writing blog posts about their experience?  Go to the Students as Scholars blog to read about these amazing students and projects. I guarantee you will be impressed. Curious about how you can get started on a project? Read this blog post to learn more.

OSCAR Work-Study Research Assistants

Want to work with a professor, earn money, and learn more about how research or creative projects are actually done? If you are eligible for work-study, then check out the open positions. We're happy to help you get started - just stop by or email us.
Upcoming deadline for Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP)
The URSP is designed to give you an authentic research, creative, or scholarly experience under the guidance of a mentor. Students may receive financial support and/or academic credit for their projects, in addition to developing relevant academic and professional skills. View a list of current and past funded projects here. The Undergraduate Research Scholars program welcomes proposals for the spring semester of 2015. The deadline is November 12, 2014.
Traveling to present your research?
Apply for funding from OSCAR to help you get there.  Learn more and apply for USTF. Applications are reviewed monthly.  

Submit your abstract to NCUR

The National Conference on Undergraduate Research will be held in Spokane, WA from April 16-18, 2015.  Last year we had 40 Mason students attend the event in Lexington, KY.  OSCAR will support current Mason students who are selected to present at this competitive with travel funding (amount to be determined). Abstracts will be accepted soon and the deadline will be December 2, 2014.  
Student Toolbox
OSCAR's Student Toolbox has been updated with links and tools to help you present your research, access Mason resources, and how to be an ethical scholar. Check it out!
We are in Johnson Center Room 246, near Admissions.  Please stop by to say hi, get information, or make an appointment. Our website is Connect with us on Twitter (@Mason_OSCAR) and Facebook (Students as Scholars at Mason).

Best wishes for a great fall semester!

The OSCAR Team
Dr. Bethany Usher
Dr. Rebecca Jones
Samira Lloyd
Denise Nazaire 


October 27

OSCAR Weekly Office Hours

Johnson Center room 246

November 04

EcoScience+Art Presents The Rain Project

6:00 PM
Research Hall room 163

November 05

2015 Posters on the Hill

Council on Undegraduate Research

See All Events »