Access to Excellence podcast terms
- January 25, 2023
Missy Cummings, one of the country’s first female fighter pilots and the director of Mason’s Autonomy and Robotics Center, calls herself a tech futurist, charged with making tech work and helping it get better. She isn’t shy about calling out bad tech either, including the vision systems in self-driving cars and Tesla’s Autopilot.
- December 13, 2022
Helon Habila, a professor of creative writing, and an acclaimed international author, has never shied away from important issues. The author of four novels and a factual account of the 2014 kidnapping in Nigeria of 276 young girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram, Habila says he strives to describe history through the eyes of ordinary people.
- 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.