C2M Deputy News Editor Jill Carter

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

I love Michael Crichton. I also love pirates. So when I found Pirate Latitudes on my father's bookshelf, I was understandably excited. The author of such thrillers as Jurassic Park and Timeline was bound to do brilliantly with swashbucklers and wenches and mystical creatures like the Kraken, right?

Well, turns out my high expectations were only partially met. 

Pirate Latitudes follows the voyage of Captain Hunter and crew, who are on a "privateerng" mission against the Spanish. Their ship sails out from the Caribbean town of Port Royal under contract with the British governor. Without giving too much of the plot away, the crew faces many setbacks on their voyage, from encounters with giant sea monsters to cannibals. 

Mason students lobby state government in Richmond

On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Mason Student Government led a group of students, faculty and alumni to the state capitol in Richmond to lobby state politicians on behalf of the university.

Junior Savannah Edwards, student government’s Secretary of MASON, and Vice President Jordan Foster began planning for Mason Lobbies in September 2012.

“Months ago we started coming up with an idea that we wanted lobbying to have a bigger place at Mason,” Edwards said in a statement to students, alumni and faculty.

Law school professorship endowed by the NRA Foundation

The long-debated issue of gun control has once again resurfaced with the recent mass-shootings. Powerful lobby groups like the National Rifle Association and well-known politicians like former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords have been speaking to Congress on the ability of gun ownership limits to prevent future tragedies.

Study: Mason grads earn high wages compared to other Virginia colleges

George Mason University graduates are making about five thousands dollars more than their co-workers, according to a recent study.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia released their institution and program-specific data for the wages of recent graduates 18 months after graduation. The study breaks down the average wages by different majors in each institution.

President Obama to pay another visit to Mason this Friday

President Barack Obama will be visiting George Mason University for the second time this month on Friday, Oct. 19.

The campaign event will be held at the RAC Field next to the Recreation and Athletic Complex on the Fairfax campus. Doors are set to open at 8:45 a.m.

A limited number of tickets will be available to Mason students. 

Tickets are available online, and members of the public can request an e-ticket at http://OFA.BO/BarackGMU.

"Take Back the Night" event sponsors raise concerns over keynote speaker

This year’s Take Back the Night event features a speaker whose selection has raised eyebrows amongst the event’s sponsors.

“Take Back the Night is a rally and march celebrating survivors of sexual violence and their allies,” said Brittany Owen, president of the Feminist Student Organization in an email. “It’s a Mason tradition going back 22 years as part of Turn Off the Violence Week.”   

GMU professors to teach economics in free online university

Two George Mason University economics professors have started a free online university.

In September, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok announced the opening of Marginal Revolution University (MRU) on their widely read economics blog, Marginal Revolution.

Tabarrok and Cowen first started publicly discussing and debating economic ideas on their blog in 2003.

Mason Arabic professor awarded 2012-2013 Fenwick Fellow grant

This August, Fenwick Library announced the 2012-2013 recipient for the Fenwick Fellow grant.

“The annual Fenwick Fellow program assists research by Mason faculty members as well as enhances the resources and capabilities for the University Libraries,” according to a press release from University Libraries. “The fellowship provides a $5,000 award for research materials and assistance, along with a fully equipped office in the Fenwick Library, to support the research project.”

Mason adds beekeeping to list of sustainability efforts

A new honeybee apiary is now housed at George Mason University as part of a project to improve campus sustainability.

Kathleen Curtis, executive assistant to the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, presented the project to the Director of the Office of Sustainability.

Curtis was assisted by graduate student German Perilla.

“We needed to identify and rally the support of faculty members with expertise involving beekeeping and sustainability,” Curtis said. “That’s where [Perilla] came in. You can’t get much better than [Perilla].”

Despite initial concerns of mischievous students and those with allergies, the project received the sustainability department’s approval, as well as a grant from the Patriot Green Fund.

“Not only did we receive encouragement and support, but no office acted as a roadblock,” Curtis said. “They were all very supportive, which I thought was amazing.”

Curtis first became interested in bees and beekeeping as a young child in northern California.

“I fell in love with all things that crawl [and] hop and glide,” Curtis said. “I saw a bee tree once and became very curious. I decided at a very young age that someday I’d learn to manage bees.”

Curtis got the idea to start an apiary on campus in reaction to the ongoing decline in bee populations and American dependence on pollinated crops for food.

“Consideration of our world and our connection to it can increase because of the apiary,” Curtis said. “If we want to continue our way of eating, we need to find a way to keep the bees going.”

Curtis explained that local hives produce stronger bees that live longer and that student involvement could help increase hive populations.

“A lot of people are interested in bees, but a lot more do not know how to find out about them,” Curtis said. “Since Mason has a commitment to sustainability, we should have an apiary here. It’s a natural fit.”

Perilla, a graduate student in the zoo and aquarium leadership program who has worked with bees and pollination in Columbia, was integral to the management of the apiary. Perilla insists that working with bees can increase knowledge through many disciplines including project development, business administration, conservation and conflict resolution.

“We hope that the Mason community takes full advantage of this unique opportunity,” Perilla said.

Both Curtis and Perilla hope that the apiary will not only improve pollination in the area, but foster an attitude of sustainability on Mason’s campus as well as in the surrounding community.

“Sustainability is harmony, equilibrium between man and nature, and all species should thrive,” Perilla said. “The bees will determine in a tangible way if our behaviors and actions are in agreement with our idea of sustainability.”

Perilla plans to raise strong bees in order to make them available for everyone at Mason.

“The ultimate goal is to find permanent support from the university to be able to develop the full potential of what bees and beekeeping offer to our community,” Perilla said.

For Curtis, the bee apiary is more than just a sustainability effort, it is her passion.

“I am amazed by the bees’ simple complexity,” Curtis said. “The way the hive is run, the way they manage themselves. I don’t think I will ever learn enough about them.”

The apiary is located near Patriot Circle and Shenandoah Parking Deck.

Mason student travels to Norway on Fulbright scholarship

A Ph.D. student at George Mason University will be spending this year in Norway as a grantee of the prestigious US Fulbright award.

Mona Anita Olsen served as the assistant director of the Mason Small Business Development Center and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Mason with a focus in instructional technology, entrepreneurship and apprenticeship.