Personal, intellectual growth highlight graduate’s Mason experience


James Condo is graduating from George Mason University this month with a BA in sociology. Originally from Massillon, Ohio, Condo is a student in the Honors College and has trained in the emerging field of Next System Studies, which involves research into questions of systemic design, change, and movements.

James Condo headshot
Honors College student James Condo. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

Condo’s undergraduate research has focused on collective action via social movements, indigenous land rights, and ethics in artificial intelligence. During his time at Mason, Condo has also worked as lead research assistant for the Social Science Research Lab and an office assistant in the Information Sciences and Technology Department in the College of Engineering and Computing.

What is your best memory of Mason?

My best memory has to be my time as a Next System Fellow at Mason Square. I was able to build lasting friendships and academic relationships with people in the program, and it was fascinating to learn about the social movements and organizations working to build a better world.

How have you grown while at Mason?

I have grown a great deal while at Mason, both personally and intellectually. In terms of my intellectual growth, I am now confident in my abilities to conduct research in the social sciences and to write persuasively and analyze dense academic texts. Personally, I have developed a lot of friendships and really have been able to learn to devote time to both my studies and to my mental and physical well-being.

What is your best piece of advice for incoming students?

Push yourself out of your comfort zone. There are so many opportunities that can come from just trying new things and exploring all Mason has to offer, so I’d recommend challenging yourself to embrace the discomfort that comes with growth.

What’s next for you?

In the immediate term, I will be working as a substitute teacher while I await admissions decisions from graduate schools. Once I hear back from grad schools, I will need to weigh the offers of sociology and urban planning programs, and then move on to attending graduate school. In either case, graduate school will prepare me for a specialized career, and I am looking forward to my next chapter as a student and professional.