The Mysterious New Building

I am sure most of you, who attend the Loudoun campus have seen the construction site opposite the Reynolds building. But does anyone really know what the building is supposed to  become? Whenever I asked someone what it is going to be, they never seem to know. It almost seems like a secret. Ever since then, I have been on the case to find out exactly what is going on here ( I realize that eventually it will be done and then I will automatically know what it is, but I have to know now because I am really impatient!).  So, without further ado, here are some of the clues I have collected so far.

Some Interesting Speculations

  • Some hope that it will be a giant food court ( which wouldn’t be so bad)
  • I also heard that it will be a place where NOVA students are able to take George Mason classes enabling them to earn their Bachelor’s degree at NOVA (it is called the Higher Education Center) Which would be a good option for those who are either unable to or do not want to leave the area for a long period of time to attend a four year college
  • Others believe that the classes that were originally set at Signal Hill will be moved there. It would eliminate either waiting for the shuttle, driving over or crossing the street.

The Facts/Evidence

  • I found out that it will be opening sometime late this summer or early fall
  • It will have more group study rooms ( I assume like the ones in LC)
  • It will have rooms to video/audio record yourself giving a speech if you are taking any CST classes.
  • When I searched “New Building” the first link is to an impressive article on a new building at the Woodbridge Campus published in 2011. The plans included a new café, a black box theater, several computer labs, a photography dark room and other exciting things.
  • When I searched “HEC” on the Nova website, I found the plans for the new building’s expenses. It says “audio and visual infrastructure and digital classrooms”

The Unknown

  • Unfortunately, no one seems to know its exact purpose. I have already scoured the NOVA website and came up with a dead end at the virtual campus map where it just says “Future”
  • The other day, I looked at the map by the Waddell building and noticed that the new building was there. I thought I was finally going to know something about it but under “HEC” it just says “Under Construction”… Really?

So, after comparing all of my notes and gathering all of the evidence, I have come to the conclusion that I still have NO IDEA what the main purpose of this building is supposed to be. All in all no matter it’s purpose, I think it will be a nice addition to our already beautiful campus and I am really excited about it.

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Midterms for GMU and Graduation (Already?)

Dearest NOVA student body and staff,

I think I’m going through an early mid-life crisis.  It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since I began my journey into my George Mason Registered Nurse BSN program. Today marks the beginning of week 7 or Mason’s Midterm week. For those who aren’t familiar with the semester set up of Mason, classes begin January 20 and end around May 13, give or take a few days earlier for finals and grades. This semester has gone by so fast and the finish line is so close. Three weeks ago, I received an email from the College of Health and Human Services asking me if I’ve already applied to graduate for Spring.

I’d like to say that I’m excited for my Bachelor’s degree but in all honesty I’m nervous. Right now I’m working in the profession I trained for and all that’s left is possible higher pay and more work options. College is supposed to be a time of growth, self-discovery and adventure; for the most part I’ve lived through it. I’m just going through the motions of saying goodbye to another stepping stone of my life. I can happily say that I have no regrets.

Shall I go onto a Master’s? Doctorate’s? One day. I think for now I want to live out a few more dreams.




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New Chapter GMU and My Career

This semester will be my last for my Bachelor’s in Nursing program at Mason. It’s a bittersweet ending. I’ve already gotten an email about applying for Spring graduation. The paperwork is much more complex for graduation compared to NOVA, there’s separate documents for what name you would like on your diploma and if there’s special accents etc. Instead of applying for just one major, you can apply for two and/or your minor if applicable; though being a transfer student that doesn’t apply to me. The biggest struggle this semester has been the new full-time job I have started in my Nursing Career combined with a full semester of classes of 15 credits. However, the challenge may seem impossible but I assure you if you practiced the fundamentals of time-management then you will be just fine.

All my classes, both nursing and non-nursing, are online which gives me flexibility, the key is making sure you’re at least one week ahead of the assignments. Mason teachers communicate very well and provide flexibility when appropriate as long as the student puts forth their best effort. The demands of Bachelor level education require more critical thinking, research and plenty of essays. This easily can wear down a student who isn’t careful with their time and priorities. I’m an advocate for keeping track of everything via calendars, at least 1 or 2; trust me it’s the only thing that will keep you from sinking into weeks of work. I do bring good news though, there are tools that Mason offers to help you along the way, just like NOVA, the library has live chat and many scholarly databases for research. I’ve even asked the librarian for help on creating an essay thesis.

I’m still growing and learning as I near the end of my final semester but I believe that’s the spark that keeps me motivated. This new chapter in my life and in my career opens doors to new opportunities to explore different paths and discover more about my field. I can say with confidence attending Mason online was one of the best decisions I have made.

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My name is Andrianna Boykin and this is my first year at NOVA. I am majoring in Social Sciences with a concentration in Teacher Education. I haven’t decided yet which four-year college I am transferring to, but I narrowed it down to VCU, JMU or GMU. I love reading, writing and funny stuff! So, if you are looking for some comedic relief, check out my blog! I am very excited to share my first impressions of all that NOVA has to offer!

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End of First GMU Semester

Hello NOVA!

I just completed my first semester completely online at GMU and I want to share my experience thus far. There are at least 1/3 of NOVA Nursing graduates that transferred to the RN-BSN program at Mason just like me but we each went through different classes over the course of 14 weeks.

Part of the online program is the curriculum is shorter than NOVA instead of 16 weeks there’s 14 and for half-semester classes it’s only 7 weeks. Sounds great, but it’s a lot of work to compensate for the extra week NOVA grads are used to having with the added holiday break (yes not to worry there is still a week off for Thanksgiving!) Usually the semester for in-person classes ends the week of December 15; however, the online classes usually finish first because professors can open the final exams earlier. Which brings me to another note. Finals.

Finals online with GMU were different than what I expected. Depending on the program and professor you have, you are given the opportunity to take exams anywhere you want, most of the time I chose my cozy desk at home. The catch is that you must download a special program called “Lockdown Browser”, once activated, the only accessible window you can open is Blackboard and only the test for which it is meant to proctor. It monitors you through webcam and tracks your activity to decipher if you are cheating. It’s not as bad as you think, but it makes you study and learn better. I also had my first experience submitting a physical assessment final exam which included a video recording of me and a patient of my choosing. With that particular final, the professor wanted us to submit our videos using a program called “Kaltura”. *Make sure you check all your computer equipment and programs before starting your semester and make needed changes and/or updates. It was new and stressful but ‘this too shall pass’.

Similarly, at the end of the semester, there is the course and faculty review, completely online and a lot more extensive than NOVA’s reviews.

Most important experience from my first online GMU semester is learning to trust your online community. Your community consists of your classmates, peers, professors, IT support etc. Everyone is there to learn and to get the most out of the courses and it’s a great way to network and build relationships. I’ve made new friends who I’ve never even met in person before but we have supported each other, learned from each other, and guided one another through hard projects.

I promise you like I said before, NOVA has prepared you well for whatever is next, be it GMU or another university or job.

Good Luck!

George Mason University


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