Mason Impact for Faculty
Join Mason Impact
Influence lives. Provide guidance. Be a role model. By participating in the Mason Impact program, you can help students see a multitude of possibilities, and inspire them to believe they can change the world.
Your willingness to be generous with your time, to share your knowledge, and to inspire a passion for lifelong learning among our students are some of the reasons we're proud of our faculty at Mason.
Mason faculty have two opportunities to be a part of the Mason Impact program:
- Teach classes certified by the program.
- Conduct and lead funded research.
Mason Impact Courses
There are two types: those that require a research/creative project, and those that don't.
Courses that are Mason Impact + are courses that meet the criteria of MI courses with additional criteria of the appropriate focus area. The focus area can be either Civic Engagement (CECL), Research and Scholarship (RS) or Entrepreneurship (ENTR).
All courses must contain an embedded student research/creative project, which can be done by an individual or by a team.
Certify Your Course for Mason Impact
To be considered as a Mason Impact Course, you will need to submit a syllabus containing:
- Mason Impact Logo
- Description of how your course connects with the Mason Impact.
- Mason Impact learning objectives. Feel free to use our language or write your own. Please make the pertinent objectives bold for ease of review.
You will also need to submit documentation explaining how your course prepare students to make an impact on the world.
Mason Impact Grants for Faculty
These grants support educational innovation that enhances the Mason Impact program. They support the development of cross-unit, multidisciplinary curricula while also helping faculty revise existing curricula. Projects should:
- Deepen student development in at least one area of focus.
- Increase the percentage of students participating in a branch of the Mason Impact program.
Priority in 2019-2020 was given to proposals that:
- Scaffold undergraduate and/or graduate learning from intellectual discovery to the development of specific knowledge and skills, and culminate in a high impact experience.
- Engage faculty and staff from multiple units, departments, and divisions in sustainable multidisciplinary collaboration.
- Pilot models of multidisciplinary collaboration that are scalable and have the potential to become new minors, concentrations, or majors.
OSCAR and the Office of Undergraduate Education offers grants for the creation of Summer Team Impact Projects.
Past grant offers prompted more than 60 proposals, 17 of which were selected for funding. Those projects, involving almost every school and college at Mason, supported the work of 30 faculty and 140 students.
Summer team projects should be based around a central theme, question, or problem.
Faculty propose a topic and structure that is multidisciplinary in nature in the fall. Accepted projects recruit undergraduate participants in the spring.
These projects are led by at least two faculty members with support from additional faculty members and doctoral students. The faculty team, with support from OSCAR, then hires six to 10 undergraduate students to actively engage with the project.
Faculty use the first week to give the students an academic orientation to the program and the second to help the students develop individual or team components to the larger project.
Students, with faculty mentorship, work on the project for the remaining weeks of the summer, then present results at the Summer Celebration of Student Scholarship.
Funding support includes:
- Up to $9,000 for project leaders.
- Up to $3,000 per organizing member
- $4,000 each for participating undergraduate students (six to 10 per grant)
- Up to $4,000 in supplies.
In addition, where possible, we pursue outside funding and/or collaboration opportunities with community organizations and businesses to generate additional project support.
Mason students research bird behavior at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in Front Royal, Virginia. Students at the facility often work with and are mentored by Smithsonian scientists.
Five Mason bioengineering students created a customized prosthetic arm to enable Isabella Nicola to play the violin. Isabella was born without a left hand and with only partial bone from her left elbow to her wrist.
Civil engineering senior Tyler Miesse works with Celso Ferreira, assistant professor, on a project studying how vegetation in coastal marshes can protect communities from waves and flooding.
Senior Kara Wright talks about a summer research project during the OSCAR Summer Celebration in the MIX at Fenwick on Mason's Fairfax Campus. The event included 70 poster presentations by 113 students.