Fall for the Blog: Hope for GMU

Fourth Estate follows events of the Fifteenth Annual Fall for the Book Festival through Fall for the Blog.

Gallup senior scientist Shane Lopez introduced his book "Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others" to George Mason University students and faculty this Wednesday in the Center for the Arts building on campus.

Lopez presented to a packed house. Extra chairs had to be put out at the last minute, and there were still attendees who had to stand in the back.  Refreshments and light snacks were served, which allowed for interaction between the speaker and the guests before the event.

Invited by the Center for Consciousness and Transformation,  Lopez was introduced as the leading scientist on hope.  His biography was quite extensive and listed many of his accomplishments, inluding being the lead scientist in the Gallup Student Poll, having published over 100 articles in multiple publications and being a business professor.

As Lopez took over, he explained that hope affects everybody everywhere and that it is an investment into the future.  For every point he touched on, he had a real life example that explained the concept in a way that was easy to understand.  The audience was very engaged, laughing and raising their hands during impromptu in-session polls and asking questions at the end.

At every junction, Lopez delivered an exciting account about hope and why it matters.  He was able to explain the science behind hope, including research and statistics, reaching the more logically-minded attendees.  He also explained the abstract reasons as to why hope is so instrumental, saying that it is influential and makes people happier.

What was very interesting were the examples he used to engage this specific audience of university students and faculty.  He explained that hope is worth one letter grade.  That is, students that are hopeful about the assignment overall receive higher grades than those who are not hopeful.  This is because hopeful students see the future investment of hope, go to school regularly, do their assignments and are more resilient.

Attendee Samantha Freking, a junior at Mason and early childhood education major,,enjoyed the seminar. She came because of a class she is taking but said that “more students should be listening to this.”

Samantha said Lopez was easy to connect with and that he had interesting ideas that she never thought about.  She said that she would like to take these positive ideas and implement them in her classroom in the future.

After the presentation, Lopez stayed to sign books and interact with the attendees.

 A faculty member who had previously read the book and was unable to make the seminar came just to get her book signed.  Lopez signed the book, “Thank you for making ripples,” implying the ripple effect that hope has on a community.

For the guests in attendance that night, Lopez made quite an impression on them as well.


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