April 11, 2017

Our Staff

Bethany M. Usher, Ph.D.
Bethany M. Usher, Ph.D.

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Dr. Usher spends as much time as possible in graveyards - she is a biological anthropologist who studies cemeteries from both osteological and archaeological perspectives to understand the social structure and health of past communities.  She previously directed the Students as Scholars initiative through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), and served as an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence. Bethany is now the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, but keeps her home office within OSCAR. She serves as a Councilor for Undergraduate Research Program Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and was Co-Chair of the CUR National Meeting in 2014, Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All. Prior to joining Mason in January 2010, she was faculty at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where she established the Center for Undergraduate Research and served as its Director. At SUNY Potsdam, she was an Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology and past chair of the Anthropology Department. She has a long history of collaborating with undergraduate researchers.
Karen T. Lee, Ph.D Karen T. Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, OSCAR

Dr. Lee is a native Bostonian. Trained as a marine biologist, she studies the ecology and behavior of crabs and crayfish, particularly the biology of invasive species and the impact of human activities on crustacean populations. She is also the coauthor of an anatomy and physiology textbook for first year students. Karen is the new assistant director of the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research. Before coming the George Mason University she was an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and was their first Undergraduate Research Coordinator. She has mentored undergraduate students during her entire professional career and has been a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research as a biology councilor for 12 years. Outside of work she sings barbershop bass and is a Red Sox and Patriots fan.

Jesse J. Guessford, D.M.A.
Associate Director for Undergraduate Education, Curriculum

Jesse Guessford received a B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University, a M.M. in Music Composition from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and a D.M.A. in Music Composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Guessford has studied composition with Andrew Simpson, Zack Browning, Sever Tipei, Warren Burt, Vinko Globokar, and Lucas Foss. His music has been heard throughout North America including performances during the SEAMUS Nation Conference, in Europe at the Etchings Festival in Auvilar, France, and in Africa on South African Radio. Dr. Guessford has received numerous awards including the Subito Grant for Emerging Composers awarded by the American Composer’s Forum. As an Associate Professor in the School of Music at George Mason Univerisity, Dr. Guessford has focused on the scholarship of teaching with and about technology and the music of John Cage. Dr. Guessford is also co-founding director of MMT (Music, Motion, Technology), a dance and music collective based in Northern Virginia creating new evening length works involving dancers, musicians, and interactive audio and visual technologies.

 

Laurence Bray
Faculty Fellow

Dr. Laurence Bray is a bioengineer who studies the basic fundamentals of neuroscience using experimental, computational and behavioral approaches.  She is currently the Associate Chair of the Department of Bioengineering, and serves as the director of the Department's Undergraduate Program. Laurence is also a new OSCAR Faculty Fellow, and serves as the Chair of the Faculty and Curricular Activities (FCA) Committee and a member of the Student Scholarly Activities (SSA) committee.

Since she joined George Mason University in July 2013, she has been heavily involved in undergraduate research and education, curriculum improvement as well as course development. Laurence has instructed 26 RS-designated senior design projects, and mentored a minimum of two OSCAR URSP students per year. She received two OSCAR scholarly development grants (SDGs), from which a new course in partnership with INOVA hospital has emerged where students learn to apply engineering principles to medical problems through classroom and hands-on clinical experience.

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