COVID-19 and the Mason Impact



In the summer of 2020, this course was created to engage our students and community by highlighting the scholarly work of our faculty through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic. UNIV 391: COVID-19 and the Mason Impact was a free one-credit course offered to Mason students and shared with the public. During each session, a different Mason faculty or staff member was featured to lead a conversational presentation about an aspect of COVID-19 that intersected with their scholarly work. The course was moderated by Dr. Bethany Usher, Associate Provost and faculty member in Sociology and Anthropology.

Purpose and Class Overview

COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our global, local, and personal lives. Mason faculty share their perspectives, and highlight how their scholarly work can help us better understand the effects of the pandemic. In the context of COVID-19, and the social and biological impacts of the pandemic, students will: 

  • Describe the global, local, and personal impacts;
  • Compare how different disciplines have contributed to learning; 
  • Demonstrate that research and scholarship at Mason contributes to the rapidly growing body of knowledge, and compare how different disciplines have contributed to the research; and
  • Make informed decisions about their own personal behaviors to mitigate risks of COVID-19 to the themselves and their communities.

Questions about the course? Email us at

List of Previous Speakers

Recordings of the presentations can be found via the links below



Topic / Link

Monday, July 6 2020

Amira Roess

Introduction to COVID-19: Challenges in Responding and Ways Forward 

Tuesday, July 7 2020

Jennifer Victor

Political Implications of COVID-19

Thursday, July 9 2020

Tyler Cowen

Should We be Trying to Speed up the Rate of Progress?

Monday, July 13 2020

Heidi Lawrence

Vaccination Beliefs and COVID-19

Tuesday, Juy 14 2020

Matt Cronin

Clear Thinking Amidst COVID Chaos 

Thursday, July 16 2020

Andrew Light Climate Change, COVID-19, and Creating a Sustainable Recovery

Monday, July 20 2020

Ali Andalibi 

An Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2

Tuesday, July 21 2020

Mark Ginsberg

The Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on K-12 Education

Thursday, July 23 2020

Rick Davis and Adrienne Godwin 

Imagining a New Future for the Performing Arts

Monday, July 27 2020

Abena Aidoo

Navigating Tourism in the Covid-19 Era

Tuesday, July 28 2020

Emily Ihara

When Will I be Able to Hug My Grandparents? Social Isolation and Older Adults During the Pandemic

Thursday, July 30 2020

Keith Renshaw and Robyn Mehlenbeck 

Coping During COVID – Maintaining Sanity During a Pandemic 

Monday, August 3 2020

Dieter Pfoser, Leigh McCue and Robert Axtell

Why Model?

Tuesday, August 4 2020

Lisa Park and Julie Zobel

Mason’s Response to COVID-19 and Safe Return to Campus

Share Your Story

The University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is actively collecting materials that document the effects of COVID-19 on our university community. We are asking members of the Mason Nation to help us build this collection by preserving and donating a record of their personal experiences regarding the COVID-19 Crisis.  

More information is found here

The site includes a form that interested individuals can complete, with an additional option of uploading files or mailing in physical materials such as diaries, journals, etc. This archive will be accessible in the future – we will process the collection in 2021 and make appropriate materials available online and the entire collection available for in-house research.