George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

COVID-19 and the Mason Impact

Mason has an exceptional opportunity to engage with our students and community while highlighting the scholarly work of our faculty through the lens of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. UNIV 391: COVID-19 and the Mason Impact will be a FREE one-credit course offered to Mason students during July (Summer Session C, July 6 - August 5). The course will be graded as Credit/No Credit. During each class, a different Mason faculty or staff member will be featured and lead a conversational presentation about an aspect of COVID-19 that has intersected with their scholarly work. After each presentation, students and faculty will interact in a Q&A. The recorded presentation will be made available for the general public on YouTube after the live session is completed. The course will be held from 5:00 - 6:15 p.m. on MTTh and will be 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

Registration is available through Patriot Web until July 6. 
  • First time registering for a course? Just need a refresher? Check out the Registration Guide.
  • Still have questions or trouble registering? Contact the registration experts at To ensure a response please be sure to send any inquiries from your Mason email address. Requests sent from non- Mason email addresses conflict with the university email policy and will not be replied to.
  • Not currently a Mason student but want to enroll in UNIV 391? Apply as a Non-Degree student here, then, once admitted, follow the registration guide instructions to register.

Please note that a Zoom account is required for this course. The link will be readily availlable in Blackboard, but please make sure you have a Mason approved Zoom account by following the instructions ITS provides:

Schedule of Speakers



Topic / Link

Monday, July 6

Amira Roess 

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

Tuesday, July 7

Jennifer Victor 

Political Implications of COVID-19

Thursday, July 9

Tyler Cowen

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

Monday, July 13

Heidi Lawrence

Vaccination Beliefs and COVID-19

Tuesday, July 14

Matt Cronin

Clear Thinking Amidst COVID Chaos 

Thursday, July 16

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

Monday, July 20

Ali Andalibi 

An Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2

Tuesday, July 21

Mark Ginsberg

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

Thursday, July 23

Rick Davis and Adrienne Godwin 

Imagining a New Future for the Performing Arts

Monday, July 27

Abena Aidoo 

Navigating Tourism in the Covid-19 Era

Tuesday, July 28

Emily Ihara 

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

Thursday, July 30

Keith Renshaw and Robyn Mehlenbeck 

Coping During COVID – Maintaining Sanity During a Pandemic 

Monday, August 3

Dieter Pfoser, Leigh McCue and Robert Axtell 

Why Model?

Tuesday, August 4

Lisa Park and Julie Zobel 

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