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

  • February 22, 2021
    How are anti-racism efforts building on college campuses? How will Mason affirm its core values and mission of inclusion? President Gregory Washington speaks with Wendi Manuel-Scott and Shernita Parker, co-directors of Mason's Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force about the university's commitment to be a national leader in this dialogue.
  • February 19, 2021
    In this fascinating conversation, President Gregory Washington speaks with Kevin Clark, director of original animation for preschool programming at Netflix, and retiring professor in the Learning Technologies Division in George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development, about how technology and economics are helping fuel the rich entertainment content highlighting people of color, and how that programming can be a conduit for anti-racism efforts.
  • January 29, 2021
    On Jan. 22, Mason President Gregory Washington spoke with Mason scientists Lance Liotta and Virginia Espina, who head the university’s effort to push the boundaries of technologies that are keeping its three university campuses safe from COVID-19. That includes a rapid-result saliva test, and development of an antibody test that can track a body’s response to the virus and vaccine.
  • January 29, 2021
    Fighting climate change is a global imperative, and the consequences of inaction could be dire. But Mason's Andrew Light, who helped negotiate the Paris Agreement on climate, tells Mason President Gregory Washington that for the go-getters, opportunity awaits.
  • January 29, 2021
    What's it like to interview a mass murderer? Professor Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former FBI profiler, fills us in on that and Mason's new Forensic Science Research and Training Laboratory, which will be one of only eight in the U.S. to use donor remains for forensic research.
  • January 29, 2021
    How did the election play into our national identity? How did Donald Trump mold the Republican Party in his image? How can we reform the Electoral College? Mason President Gregory Washington speaks with Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell on where our politics goes from here.
  • January 29, 2021
    Professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Martin J. Sherwin discusses his new book about the Cuban Missile Crisis and tells a terrifying, and not well-known, story of how close we came to nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
  • January 29, 2021
    Tehama Lopez Bunyasi, assistant professor in the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, explains how using our democratic freedoms will help overcome racism in America.
  • January 29, 2021
    Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell provides an unbiased analysis of the stakes heading into the presidential debates -- with some debate history thrown in as well.
  • October 16, 2020
    Mason's Justin Gest, an expert on immigration and the politics of demographic change, explains why the U.S., from the outside looking in, appears to be a "closed angry giant."
  • October 15, 2020
    In a conversation with John Hollis, Mason's Charles Chavis, a historian of the early civil right movement, puts the current protests for racial justice in historical context.
  • July 27, 2020
    Did you know the torch relay began at the 1936 Berlin Games?