George Mason University

News at Mason

Database Highlights Mason’s Community Partnerships and Services

February 9, 2012

By Karina Schultheis

Mason’s Office of Community Relations recently revamped its online database, A University Engaged, which lists the community programs and partnerships with which Mason is affiliated. The database has expanded by nearly 70 percent, with 200 current services listed. Programs are categorized as follows:

  • Education
  • Supporting community health
  • Driving economic development
  • Embedded in the community and improving our environment
  • Supporting the arts

To find programs of interest, you can search through the various categories, select a Mason department and even search by locality.

In Northern Virginia, many of these partnerships provide enrichment and academic opportunities for K-12 students as well as their teachers. For example, Mason’s College of Education and Human Development partners with Northrop Grumman and the Hoop Magic Sports Academy to provide Fairfax County students with the “Hoop Magic” program, a fun and interactive approach to teaching science, math and technology fundamentals using sports-themed educational games.

Other programs focus on early intervention efforts for at-risk youth. Mason’s Department of Social Work has partnered with Black Women United for Action to improve the quality of life for children living in a 50-unit low-income housing development in Chantilly, Va. In addition to providing safe housing to these individuals, the initiative offers mentorship to the children and addresses potential educational concerns.

Frequently, Mason students participate in community enrichment services that directly correlate with their field of study. The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution offers its Fight Nice Community Mediation Program, which is a free service provided to Fairfax residents to resolve neighborhood disputes. Students serve as mediators and assist with conflicts ranging from property appearance to intrafamily disagreements. Similarly, eight student troupes from Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts use their talents to assist Reston’s Hunters Woods Elementary School with production oversight, set concept and design, musical interpretation and more.

Programs also extend far beyond Virginia and include 23 partnerships that have an international presence. Through its Alliance for International Education, Mason’s Center for International Education promotes collaborative intercultural education focused on issues of social justice and ethical leadership.

“A University Engaged is a wonderful, easy-to-use resource for sharing the multitude of university partnerships, programs and services that benefit the community,” says Traci Claar, director of Community Relations.

If you have a program you would like to be included in the database, information can be submitted online at Please direct any questions to Claar at 703-993-8846.