College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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President Barack Obama Kicks off Post-9/11 G.I. Bill at George Mason University

President Barack Obama Kicks off Post-9/11 G.I. Bill at George Mason University

President Barack Obama visited George Mason University on Monday Aug. 3 to kick off the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill -- an education benefit program for military veterans. Along with Vice President Joe Biden, Obama appeared at the Fairfax campus’s Harris Theater before a crowd of many distinguished guests and delivered a tribute to American troops who have fought for their country since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “It was a chance for those in attendance to see all of the great opportunities this university has to offer,” said College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jack Censer.

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Weisburd Wins Criminology’s Top Prize for His Policing Research

Weisburd Wins Criminology’s Top Prize for His Policing Research

Distinguished Professor David Weisburd has been named the winner of the 2010 Stockholm Prize in Criminology for his research and findings that police patrols at crime “hot spots” do not merely move crime around the corner. The Stockholm prize is widely considered the most prestigious in the field of criminology, and this is the first time the international committee has bestowed the award on a single individual. Winners receive 1 million Swedish kroner (about $130,000).

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Rashkover and Dakake Attend Scriptural Reasoning Symposium at Cambridge

Rashkover and Dakake Attend Scriptural Reasoning Symposium at Cambridge

George Mason University religious studies professors Randi Rashkover and Maria Dakake recently attended a scriptural reasoning symposium at Cambridge University in England. The June symposium “Scriptural Reasoning in the University” is one that grouped prestigious professors and others from around the world to investigate “the relevancy of ancient texts such as the Bible and the Qur’an for modern life and how to deal with those critically, intellectually, rationally, but not dismissively or disparagingly,” says John Burns, summer chair of Mason’s Religious Studies department.

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Griffin Roberts; A BIS Major and Grad Student Takes Real Life Autism Experience to the Field

Griffin Roberts; A BIS Major and Grad Student Takes Real Life Autism Experience to the Field

Karen Griffin Roberts graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor of individualized study and returned on scholarship to pursue a master's degree in early childhood special education. After spending nearly 20 years as an educator and raising a son with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism, Griffin Roberts realized she had a unique insight into the disorder, and she used that insight to write and research her BIS senior project, "Modifying the Preschool Classroom to Include Children with Autism: A Manual for General Education Preschool Teachers." The College of Humanities and Social Sciences recently obtained a copy of Griffin Roberts' ground-breaking project (linked) and also held a question and answer session with her. Here's what she had to say:

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Kashdan Helps You Find Happiness During Recession

Kashdan Helps You Find Happiness During Recession

Mason professor Todd Kashdan is quoted in a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, written by Deborah Kotz. How can we truly feel happy right now, in this moment when our 401(k)'s and house values are tanking? When our jobs are threatened or already lost? U.S. News posed this question to leading happiness researchers to find out what tools we can employ to stay upbeat in gloomy days. While it's true that some lucky folks are born with sunny dispositions, others, according to the latest studies, can learn to be happy. How? "We need to move away from the concept of trying to fill our days with frequent pleasurable moments and fewer negative moments," explains Todd Kashdan, a professor of psychology at George Mason University and author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. "What truly provides satisfaction is having a meaning and purpose in life, which is doubly important in the midst of this current economic nightmare." Ten other secrets:

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Mantz Pursuing Field Studies in Congo

Mantz Pursuing Field Studies in Congo

Jeff Mantz from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology is back in the Congo, where he is pursuing field studies about coltan. He recently wrote "Blood Diamonds of the Digital Age: Coltan and the Eastern Congo."

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Professor Emeritus Aksyonov Dies

Professor Emeritus Aksyonov Dies

Vassily Aksyonov, Professor Emeritus of Russian Literature and Writing, died on Monday, July 6, in Moscow. He was 76. According to news reports, he had been in the hospital since January 2008 after suffering a stroke. In December 2004, Aksyonov received the Open Russia Booker Prize, which is awarded for the best Russian novel of the year. His award, presented in Moscow, was for “Voltairiens and Voltairiennes,” a historical narrative about 18th-century Russia laced with hints and prophecies about contemporary political issues.

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