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U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton visits Mason’s Science and Technology Campus

April 16, 2019   /   by John Hollis

Bill Hazel (left), Mason's Senior Advisor for Innovation and Community Engagement, speaks with Provost and Executive Vice President S. David Wu and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton during Wexton's visit to the SciTech Campus on Monday. Photo by John Hollis.

George Mason University welcomed U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton to its Science and Technology Campus on Monday, and the freshman Democratic lawmaker from Virginia’s 10th District came away impressed.

“George Mason University is on the forefront of a lot of amazing scientific work,” she said, “and is going to be a leader now and in the future.”

A number of senior university officials—including Provost S. David Wu; Bill Hazel, Mason’s senior advisor for innovation and community engagement; and Kenneth Ball, dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering—greeted Wexton for a tour that included detailed looks at the research of consequence being done within the Institute for Biohealth Innovation and the Bull Run Hall science and engineering labs, as well as a stop at the Virginia Serious Game Institute.

Along the way, Wexton got the chance to hear directly from the Mason scientists who depend on federal funding.

“It’s good that she came out,” Hazel said. “Mason is really playing a significant role in workforce training and innovation in her district. All that is important. What she could see for herself that can’t be replicated is the enthusiasm of our scientists. You can’t bottle that up and package it. They’ve got to see that for themselves.”

Welcoming the opportunity to personally make his case for his work was Barney Bishop, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry whose work with Monique van Hoek on the recuperative powers of the blood of Komodo dragons has commanded worldwide attention.

“Anytime we get the chance to talk [to lawmakers], I’ll do it,” said Bishop. “They get to see where their money is going.”

Wexton, whose 10th District includes all of Loudoun County and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, said she was thrilled to see the kind of innovation at Mason that would benefit her district and the nation as a whole.

“We know there’s a need, and that there will continue to be a need in the future,” she said. “We need to make sure our students are trained for these jobs, these careers.”

Among other assignments, Wexton sits on the House committees for Science, Space and Technology, and Financial Services.