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Destination: Mason – students embark on road to success

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Destination: Mason – students embark on road to success

An ambitious project to promote greater student engagement across George Mason University and enhance the out-of-classroom experience for INTO Mason students was re-launched during the Spring 2018 semester.

An ambitious project to promote greater student engagement across George Mason University and enhance the out-of-classroom experience for INTO Mason students was re-launched during the Spring 2018 semester. Under the Destination: Mason program, Academic English, Undergraduate and Graduate Pathway students were required to attend at least one event in each of the following categories: Arts; Athletics; Career Readiness; English Practice; Global Competency; and Well-Being. Events included baseball games, dance competitions, global and cultural student panels, yoga sessions, networking events and a lot more. Some of the faculty required their students to take a selfie at each event and write a reflecti… Read the full article
An ambitious project to promote greater student engagement across George Mason University and enhance the out-of-classroom experience for INTO Mason students was re-launched during the Spring 2018 semester.

Under the Destination: Mason program, Academic English, Undergraduate and Graduate Pathway students were required to attend at least one event in each of the following categories: Arts; Athletics; Career Readiness; English Practice; Global Competency; and Well-Being. Events included baseball games, dance competitions, global and cultural student panels, yoga sessions, networking events and a lot more.

Some of the faculty required their students to take a selfie at each event and write a reflection paper at the end of their challenge describing how their experiences will help them become successful students at Mason. Other faculty members asked their students to keep weekly journals or to prepare classroom presentations in order to develop their writing and speaking skills.

“This program was a collaboration between the INTO Mason Student Experience team and our faculty across our academic programs,” said Cassie Larson, INTO Mason Student Orientation and Engagement Coordinator. “We provided the structure of the program and the faculty individually decided how to implement it in their classrooms and curriculum. Students had the opportunity to not only become more engaged on campus and meet American students, but to explore various interests and discover new ones!” 

Over 30 students successfully completed Destination: Masonduring the Spring 2018 semester. A celebration was held at the Mason Global Center where these students were awarded a certificate and a letter of recommendation from INTO Mason Executive Director, Todd Rose, highlighting their extra-curricular engagement outside the classroom.

“Part of our initiative for greater internationalization of the campus is making sure our students are going out and participating in everything they can at Mason,” said Steve Harris-Scott, Graduate Pathway Program Manager at INTO Mason. “This is an important step for us in those efforts and this program will hopefully be rolled out to a greater number of classes next semester.”

To see photos from the Destination: Mason ceremony click here.

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Future looks bright for INTO Newcastle star-gazers

A student visit to Hauxley Observatory, which has just reopened following an arson attack in 2010, has ignited hopes of a new dawn for INTO Newcastle University’s Astronomy Club. Inspired by the students’ feedback, Dr Adrian Jannetta, module leader for maths at INTO Newcastle, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and training officer with the Northumberland Astronomical Society (NASTRO), is planning to set up the club again. Dr Jannetta accompanied a group of students to the observatory, where they explored the structure and makeup of the galaxy, the crescent moon and various constellations. The students were able to peer at the cosmos through clear skies in the ut… Read the full article
A student visit to Hauxley Observatory, which has just reopened following an arson attack in 2010, has ignited hopes of a new dawn for INTO Newcastle University’s Astronomy Club.

Inspired by the students’ feedback, Dr Adrian Jannetta, module leader for maths at INTO Newcastle, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and training officer with the Northumberland Astronomical Society (NASTRO), is planning to set up the club again.

Dr Jannetta accompanied a group of students to the observatory, where they explored the structure and makeup of the galaxy, the crescent moon and various constellations. The students were able to peer at the cosmos through clear skies in the utter dark and take pictures through telescopes.

The group received assistance with telescopes from the Fellow members of the Northumberland Astronomical Society, who were ‘overwhelmed’ by the students’ enthusiasm. Dr Jannetta is hoping to multiply visits to the observatory next year, having gathered from his students that more people would definitely be interested in going along.

Dr Jannetta said: "Astronomy is part of my life. I’ve studied it, read about it, and I am passionate about communicating it. As a subject, it relates to so many aspects of the world. Most people will have thought about the big questions, like ‘Where did the Earth come from?’ or ‘Where did the universe come from?’. Everybody thinks about it from time to time, including our students, but what they don't know is that a lot of their questions can be answered. They just haven’t been exposed to it in their previous education.

"Some students have never seen through telescopes at all, and some of them haven't been to a real rural area, haven't seen the dark sky. I’d like to give them a new experience. I don’t want it to feel like an extra subject.” 

Dr Jannetta set up the Astronomy Club soon after joining INTO Newcastle in 2008, and took students to Hauxley Observatory. Over the next couple of years these visits became increasingly popular among students, but when the observatory was burned down in an arson attack in 2010, the club folded.

“A few months ago, the visitor centre was finally completed, and it is now available for us to use again. I’d like to be able to get students from INTO up to the observatory to look through the telescopes, see some stars and planets and take pictures like we did before,” said Dr Jannetta.

When Hauxley Observatory was founded about 18 years ago, Dr Jannetta was one of the founding members. Initially it was a group of friends meeting to talk about their shared passion of astronomy, but eventually it grew into the Northumberland Astronomical Society that today organises stargazing events and explores space.

Keith Howlett, Deputy Programme Manager for Foundation in Science and Engineering, said: “Everyone should look into astronomy with Adrian at least once while they are studying at INTO Newcastle University. We have beautiful dark skies nearby in Northumberland where you can see the stars as you never can in the city. Although It is worth going along just to see our night sky it is also cool to find out why the sky looks the way that it does and what is actually happening out in space.

“I first met Adrian18 years ago at an astronomy society, a long time before he was a maths teacher. He has a real passion for astronomy and he is about the best guide that you could wish for to the night sky and the science behind it!”

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Astronomy Group Pic Website

A helping hand in Mexico

Andrea Powell from the Application Processing Centre in San Diego shares her experience of volunteering with the Flying Samaritans, a group of US doctors, nurses, dentists, translators and pilots in San Quentin… Read the full article
Andrea Powell from the Application Processing Centre in San Diego shares her experience of volunteering with the Flying Samaritans, a group of US doctors, nurses, dentists, translators and pilots in San Quentin…
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