Student news

  • November 4, 2021

    Isidore Nsengiyumva, only four years old at the time, was in the fields with his father and older brother in Burundi, when suddenly they heard the sound of motors and guns. Troops involved in the country’s civil war attacked their village, and rapidly, their lives were changed.

    “We hid in a bush, and when the noise of the guns and fighting subsided, we went back and found our home burned,” Nsengiyumva said. “That’s when my dad decided it was no longer safe.”

  • June 8, 2021

    Activism runs in Laila Mokhiber’s blood.

    Well before she became the director of communications at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA USA), Mokhiber was a child holding protest signs in human rights demonstrations. Before then, her mother held her as a baby in the gallery of the Supreme Court, as her father argued to incorporate Arab Americans into the Civil Rights Act in 1987.

    The George Mason University alumna has also made a name for herself. In 2020, she was named one of the top 40 influential Arab Americans under 40 by the Arab America Foundation.

  • Wed, 04/21/2021 - 18:14

    Playing football for University of Notre Dame was something Steve Elmer said he could only dream of when he was younger. His talent combined with a scholarship had him playing on the field with a golden helmet as freshman. He became one of the team’s most experienced offensive linemen, having 30 starts to his name.

  • Thu, 04/15/2021 - 18:05

    Black-footed ferrets were once thought to be extinct, until a small population was discovered in Wyoming in 1981. The species is still endangered, but scientists—including a George Mason University researcher and students at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC)—are coming to the rescue.

    In December 2020, Willa, a black-footed ferret who died in 1988, was cloned using her cells that had been frozen. That clone, Elizabeth Ann, is now the first North American endangered species to be cloned in the United States. Senior Research Scientist Klaus-Peter Koepfli conducted critical research on her genetic cell line.

  • Mon, 04/05/2021 - 16:09

    Growing up in the slums of Cameroon, Joseph Sany said he witnessed urban violence and police oppression regularly. He heard about genocide in Rwanda, and he saw more violence firsthand when he worked with NGOs and visited countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone during civil war.

  • Fri, 04/02/2021 - 15:38

    A few days after Khalid Noor was born in Takhar, Afghanistan, the Taliban seized the province, and his family had to escape to another region on foot.

    “We were constantly moving from city to another city,” he said. “When one district was taken or collapsed, we had to move to another.”

    It wasn’t an ideal life, but Noor is motivated to change that for future generations—and he’s negotiating with the Taliban to do so.

  • Mon, 03/15/2021 - 13:48

    Sensing a rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in American culture and around the world, Anna Antonio-Vila, who said she grew up going to schools with diverse peers, was upset.

    “It’s very unsettling to me because I believe that our religions are so connected and that we should not be fighting,” the government and international politics major from Spain said. “We should be helping each other.”

    So, the Catholic sophomore at George Mason University posted on Twitter about her desire to form a club where people of Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—could talk about religion and politics, connect and form a union.

  • Sat, 02/20/2021 - 13:16

    A team of George Mason University students are among the brains behind a satellite that launched into space this weekend as part of a collaboration with Northrop Grumman and Virginia Space that includes being part of a resupply mission to the International Space Station.