New Buildings Heat Up the Mason Experience
summer, Mason will benefit from a series of new buildings on the Prince
William and Fairfax campuses to offer students, faculty, staff and the
local community a variety of new programs and services.
In May, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was dedicated on the Prince William campus, which will offer the
community an opportunity to experience first-class performances by
local music, dance and theater groups. The building also provides
exhibition space to showcase local artists, and creates meeting and
special event spaces for business and civic organizations.
This month, the state-of-the-art Biomedical Research Laboratory (BRL) opened its doors on the Prince William campus. Inside,
researchers focus on the development of techniques and products for
detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases.
Later this summer, the Aquia Building on
the Fairfax campus is scheduled to be completed, featuring a data
center and temporary office space. Also scheduled for completion are
the Hampton Roads student housing building, the new addition to the de Laski Performing Arts Building, and Masonvale, the faculty and staff housing community, all located on the Fairfax campus.
Just in time for Alumni Weekend, the Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel (located on the Fairfax campus) will host its first guests. The complex
features a 150-room hotel with a restaurant and lounge as well as a
24,000-square-foot conference center with a ballroom and 11 other
meeting spaces of varied sizes.
Alumni Profile: Rhonda Strickland
just three hours before the deadline, Rhonda Strickland, MFA ’90,
heard a familiar voice on the radio, that of her former Mason creative
writing professor, Alan Cheuse.The writer and “All Things Considered” book critic was on the popular NPR show explaining the Three-Minute Fiction contest.
Contestants could go to the program
website where they saw a photo of a newspaper on a table, taken from
outside a coffee shop. Participants could then write a 350-word story
describing the photo.
"It just came to me," Strickland explained to The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina,
regarding her plot for the main character, his girlfriend, and their
train-hopping trip from Arizona to New York. The photo was the
culmination of the story, as the pair rummaged for food in trash bins
outside the coffee shop.
With just 60
minutes remaining until deadline, Strickland sent the story with the
title “Please Read”. Out of 3,000 entries, she was named
the winner, thanks in part to her use of the photo as the destination
for the story, instead of the starting point as most of the other
writers. Her prize? Her story was read on the air.
"It's very flattering, especially just winning a contest, but then that
it's NPR is very exciting," Strickland further explained to The News
& Observer. "So many people heard it, and I'm getting calls from
people I haven't talked to in a long time."
photo by: Robb Hill/Robb Hill Photo