Here is the science news, relating to George Mason University and the College of Science for the month of September 2017: (more…)
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George Mason University has been selected by the Department of Homeland Security to lead a consortium of universities and law enforcement agencies to investigate patterns of criminal activities and forensics, and develop strategies to predict and disrupt transnational crime.
The 10-year, multimillion-dollar grant is among the largest research awards the university has received, with $3.85 million committed for its first year of operation.
George Mason University, on June 10, dedicated a library to University Professor and famed conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy.
The Thomas E. Lovejoy Library, named for the “godfather” of biodiversity, is located in the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) in Front Royal.
“In the world of conservation, he’s like the Rolling Stones,” said Cody Edwards, SMSC’s interim director. “He’s one of the founding fathers in that field, which is why having his library at the school makes a lot of sense.”
The library contains books and papers Lovejoy wrote about his extensive research and experience in the field. Lovejoy, a University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, who coined the phrase “biological diversity,” supported moving his materials to SMSC.
“The logic of providing an actual library on conservation biology was more than compelling,” said Lovejoy, who also held the biodiversity chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment in Washington, D.C. “Having been engaged at Front Royal from the very outset makes this a very special honor to have it named for me.”
Mason President Ángel Cabrera, Provost S. David Wu and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Director Steven Monfort also attended the two-hour dedication.
Lovejoy received his bachelor’s degree and PhD in biology from Yale. In 1965, Lovejoy was invited to study birds in the Amazon by his freshman-year advisor, ornithologist Philip Humphrey.
His trip to the Amazon influenced him to establish a conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund-U.S., which he led from 1973 to 1987.
Lovejoy has also served on the science and environmental councils under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and currently serves as senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation.
In his speech at the library dedication, Lovejoy spoke about the importance of written words, especially books. He said he hopes to influence future generations seeking to learn and advance in conservation practices.
Adapted from a story by Noor Khan
Learn more about the SPARK STEM program and the impact on Northern Virginia grade school students.
The Bernie L. Bates Foundation has been awarding academic scholarships and book grants since its inception in 1995. But there was always an urge to create a more lasting legacy.
“We wanted to support a cause,” said Duke Haggins, the foundation’s vice president. “We don’t want to do this just for now, we want to do this years from now, even if we’re not here.”
So the foundation, with the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., created the Bernie L. Bates and Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter Scholarship Endowment. The goal is to recognize, with $1,000 scholarships, the scholastic achievements of minority undergraduates at George Mason University who pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
That the endowment is tied to George Mason is not an accident.
The Bates Foundation, located in Alexandria, Va., has long admired the academic and community achievements of Mason’s Eta Delta Delta Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Haggins said. The chapter recently received a service award from Fairfax County’s BeFriend-A-Child program for its mentorship of local youths.
“They always talk about the environment [at Mason], that it’s a great place to be on campus,” Haggins said of Eta Delta Delta’s members. “We could not think of a better place to [establish an endowment] than at a great organization like George Mason.”
Scholarship recipients will be chosen by Mason’s Office of Student Financial Aid, using criteria provided by the foundation. Though the scholarship is open to all students, there is a strong preference for it to be awarded to a male minority. Recipients must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
“This award is just the type of scholarly support that the fraternity is known for and is desperately needed at an institution like George Mason,” said Professor Rodney Hopson, Eta Delta Delta’s university advisor. “As a relatively young institution, [Mason] needs more support geared toward male students of color whose interest lay in science.”
Isaiah West, president of Eta Delta Delta, said the endowment and scholarships are what his fraternity is all about.
“I like the fact that we’re so dedicated to the betterment of minorities and the community around us,” the senior kinesiology major said. “I couldn’t be any more proud of what our chapter and our graduate chapter has been able to do.”
Adapted from story by Damian Cristodero.