Access to Excellence Podcast Features Grand Challenges

Mason President Gregory Washington takes on some of the toughest issues facing students and graduates and the opportunities those issues present.

Access to Excellence Podcast

"Here are some of the big issues out there that you can solve, that you can attack with your Mason education," says Mason President Gregory Washington. Read more. 


 

President Washington at lectern

About the Podcast

The world is facing serious challenges. Mason President Gregory Washington's conversations on these topics with thought leaders and experts will broaden perspectives, enlighten and educate.


 

Latest Episode

Access to Excellence Podcast Episode 44 featuring Gail Christopher

When Gail Christopher, executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity and a George Mason University senior scholar, talks about “ensuring a future,” she means creating a system of equity that produces opportunities for everyone. In her second podcast with Mason President Gregory Washington, Christopher expands on the idea that academic institutions are essential for shifting the cultural ethos to one that is not racist, and discusses the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Conference recently held at Mason.

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More Episodes

  • November 16, 2022
    When Gail Christopher, executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity and a Mason senior scholar, talks about “ensuring a future,” she’s really talking about creating a system of equity that produces opportunities for everyone to “actualize their potential.”
  • October 18, 2022
    Are the midterm elections the most consequential of our time? Maybe, maybe not. Jennifer Victor, associate professor of political science in Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government and Mason president Gregory Washington wrestle with that, and you might be surprised at the answer. Want more surprises? Then hear why high voter turnout could be a double-edged sword for our democracy.
  • September 6, 2022
    Dr. Michael Nickens, an associate professor of music at Mason, explains how he transforms from his mild-mannered persona into Doc Nix, the flamboyant leader of the Green Machine, the nation’s No. 1 pep band. Actor Bill Murray is a fan of the band, and Nix is pretty good on the tuba.
  • July 25, 2022
    Alpaslan Özerdem, dean of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution explains the keys to effective peacebuilding, whether it concerns the war in Ukraine, gun violence or local issues. And don’t miss the discussions about how an alien invasion could help mend the rift between Russia and the West.
  • June 15, 2022
    Rep. Cori Bush, Missouri's first Black congresswoman, is teaching at Mason this summer. A pastor, teacher, nurse, and a Black Lives Matter activist in Ferguson, Mo., Bush talks about her most her unusual, and activist, path to Congress. “There is always someone to help, something to give,” she says. And she doesn’t flinch discussing controversial issue around race and policing.
  • May 20, 2022
    Louise Shelley, a University Professor and director of Mason’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, explains the connections between Russia’s war in Ukraine and corruption and organized crime, and how criminals and terrorists take advantage of the globalized world in which we live.
  • April 19, 2022
    Jim Trefil, a Mason physicist and Robinson Professor, explains the importance of a scientific worldview. The author of more than 50 books and one of the developers of the modern theories about quarks as a fundamental component of the universe, Trefil is helping pioneer a new way of teaching science.
  • March 15, 2022
    Larry Pfeiffer, director of Mason’s Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security explains Vladimir Putin’s real agenda in Ukraine and why China is taking notes. He also asks Americans to guard against autocracy at home because, as he said, it doesn’t take much for a country's values to be subverted and freedoms suppressed.
  • February 18, 2022
    Charles Chavis, an assistant professor of conflict resolution and history, and director of African and African American studies, talks about his new book that explores the lynching of a young Black man in Salisbury, Md, and how understanding his story and the Black experience can help find the right ways to fight anti-Black violence today.
  • January 12, 2022
    Ted Dumas, an associate professor of psychology and an experienced researcher, reveals foods we are losing to climate change, how a pooping bear in Japan can help keep cherries from extinction, and that if we do nothing about the climate, most of the US could be uninhabitable by 2100.
  • December 8, 2021
    Thalia Goldstein, associate professor of applied developmental psychology explains how kids benefit socially and emotionally from finding out Santa Claus isn’t real. Even so, Goldstein admits she is still disappointed about hearing the truth. A conversation with real holiday spirit.
  • November 19, 2021
    John G. Turner explains the real history of Thanksgiving. Were the Pilgrims religious refugees who established democracy and the holiday in New England, or invaders who betrayed their native allies and even enslaved them? A fascinating story with lots to digest.