Many local marine biology and ecology teachers and their students will benefit from the legacy of a George Mason University alumna and longtime elementary school teacher through a new fellowship program. The Ann C. Powel Memorial Scholarship Fund enables a K-12 teacher to spend a summer at the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC), thanks to director R. Christian “Chris” Jones’ endowment in his late wife’s name.
Jones recently finalized the $100,000 endowment that will annually offer a teacher the chance to work with one of the PEREC researchers during the summer. The stipend will allow the selected teacher to spend the summer researching aquatic systems while working with faculty members and devising a cumulative lesson plan that can be taken back to school in the fall and shared with students and other teachers via PEREC’s website.
Jones said he could think of no better tribute to his late wife of 25 years, who passed away in December 2013 after a lengthy illness.
“When you lose your spouse, you want to do something to celebrate her life,” Jones said.
Powel, who had earned undergraduate and master’s degrees at George Mason, had been an ardent fan of marine research since spending a summer in North Carolina at the marine lab run by Duke University and working daily with staff members there.
“She just found that incredibly inspiring and motivating,” Jones said.
Keenly aware that his wife had paid her own way for such a very memorable experience and that not all teachers could afford to do likewise, Jones wanted to make that kind of opportunity available to more educators.
Summer 2018 will mark the first time the stipend has come directly from the Ann C. Powel Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“It’s the best way to honor her,” Jones said.
Adapted from a story by John Hollis.
Astronomers have identified a bumper crop of dual supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. This discovery could help astronomers better understand how giant black holes grow and how they may produce the strongest gravitational wave signals in the Universe.
The new evidence reveals five pairs of supermassive black holes, each containing millions of times the mass of the Sun. These black hole couples formed when two galaxies collided and merged with each other, forcing their supermassive black holes close together.
The black hole pairs were uncovered by combining data from a suite of different observatories including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Wide-Field Infrared Sky Explorer Survey (WISE), and the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona.
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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.