List of Announcements (details below):


VSE in the News

Here is a list of news stories about VSE that have been posted at, or that have appeared in other venues in the last week.

Beyond Mason:

At the Volgenau website (

If you have suggestions for other stories, please submit them to Martha Bushong, [log in to unmask].


Nominations:  GMU Teaching Excellence Awards

The Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 George Mason University Teaching Excellence Awards.

Teaching Excellence Awards are open to all faculty members across the institution with at least 3 years of Mason teaching experience. Two of our Teaching Excellence Awards are specifically targeted around excellence in Teaching with Technology and teaching General Education courses.

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, October 14th. Please send 2-3 paragraphs explaining why you believe your nominee should be considered for a teaching award to [log in to unmask].

For additional information about the Teaching Excellence Awards and the nomination process, visit the CTFE website at


Discipline Based Education Research Seminar (9/30, 11am)

Ioulia Rytikova and Mihai Boicu of our Applied Information Technology Department will be presenting a seminar for the Discipline Based Education Research group:

Personalized learning in ALT laboratories

Tues., Sept. 30, 11 AM Exploratory Hall 3301


When active learning is used in the classroom, typical lecture methods of instruction are replaced with a new approach where students work collaboratively during class time and focus primarily on understanding and applying the material using cutting-edge classroom technology. Innovative Active Learning Technology (ALT) classrooms are specifically designed to support interactive, collaborative and a technology-enhanced learning environment. Taking a class in any ALT room helps students to become active participants in the learning process. It supports them in building competencies (problem-solving, critical thinking, communication) as well as content knowledge in a fun and creative environment.

Students have an innovative learning experience by immersing in a synergic integration of various learning methods, including experiential learning, personalized learning, competency-based assessment, team-based learning, and dynamic team assignment, all guided by dynamic learning data analytics in a partially flipped classroom. This becomes a great opportunity for the students to learn academically challenging courses in a new, innovative way.


PROV 601: Planning Your Graduate School Experience

PROV 601: “Thriving in Your Graduate Program: Fostering Graduate Student Success” is a 1 credit hour seminar for beginning (1st- and 2nd-year) doctoral and Master’s degree students that is offered during the spring semesters.  It is paid for by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence.

PROV 601 has been designed for students to explore the opportunities and challenges of graduate school with an eye toward facilitating their success as graduate students at Mason and in their career. The seven seminar sessions encourage students to begin thinking about where they want to be after completing their degree program, and how to position themselves to get there by improving the visibility and impact of their research in scholarly and professional communities.

Admission is competitive.  The application, as well as further information, can be obtained at the URL below.



NSF Forum (10/3):  Undergraduate STEM Education Program (IUSE)

The NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) is collaborating with the Virtual Faculty Collaborative (VFC), a partnership between AAAS, Louisiana State University, and Higher Education Services, to discuss the newly released Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program.

The IUSE Engineering Forum will be held on Friday, October 3, 2014 from 2:00-4:00pm (Eastern Time).

This webinar targets engineering faculty and staff considering submitting proposals to the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE: EHR) program.  During this session, NSF Program Officers will address items related to the IUSE program. The session will also include several opportunities for asking questions. A recorded version of the webinar will be posted at a later date.

To register for the IUSE Webinar, please access the application website.

 Enrollment will be limited to 300 participants per session.


Funding Opportunity:  DOD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI)

On September 22, the Department of Defense (DOD) released the broad agency announcement (BAA) for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) as part of the larger University Research Initiative (URI) aimed at institutions of higher education.  

Through the MURI program, DOD seeks to fund basic research bringing together more than one scientific discipline focused on enhancing fundamental knowledge across fields related to national security.  DOD seeks to leverage its investment in basic research and notes that MURI research will have defense as well as commercial applications further downstream.  As in years past, DOD funds MURI research across a wide range of disciplines that vary by branch needs.  This year’s topics include:

Army Research Office (ARO)

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)

Office of Naval Research (ONR)

DOD encourages faculty to engage with program managers assigned to each topic area through the white paper process to assess the feasibility of proposed topics. 

Due Dates: Proposals are due by 4:00 PM (EST) on February 23, 2015.  White papers are due November 24.

Total Funding and Award Size:  DOD expects $145 million dollars to be made available, pending congressional appropriations.  Individual awards will range from $1 million to $2.5 million annually for up to five years, but MURI awards typically fall between $1.25 million and $1.5 million annually.


More information:


Sam Malek Receives Funding from Dept. of Homeland Security

Sam Malek of the Computer Science Department received $500K from the Department of Homeland Security for his project, “Tools for Automated Detection and Assessment of Security Vulnerabilities in Mobile Applications.”


Shanjiang Zhu Receives Funding from Virginia Tech and Virginia Ctr. for Transportation Innovation & Research

Shanjiang Zhu of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering received $20K from Virginia Tech and the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research for his project, “Transportation System Impact of the Opening of Phase 1 of the Silver Line.”


Parag Chitnis Receives Funding from U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services

Parag Chitnis of the Bioengineering Department received $223K from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for his project, “An All-Optical Photoacoustic Imaging System for the Eye.”


Max Albanese and Mihai Boicu Receive Funding from National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance

Max Albanese and Mihai Boicu of the Applied Information Technology Department received $23K from National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance for their project, “Extra-Curricular Activities to support Educational Programs in Information Technology Entrepreneurship.”

Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

[log in to unmask]
Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633