With the goal of promoting evidence-based social justice activism, the Science of Diversity Project (2012-2014) engaged over 25 undergraduates as active participants in all aspects of a social science research project focused on how diversity manifests itself and is experienced by undergraduates at Mason. The Project, directed by Professors Eden King (Psychology), Jamie Lester (Higher Education Program), Shannon Portillo (now at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs & Administration), and Associate Dean Joya Crear (University Life), was awarded a Scholarship Development Grant by the university’s Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR). The results of interviews, surveys, and a mapping project yielded important themes including a shared understanding of diversity as a “surface level” feature, a habit of self-segregation among peers, and the generally supportive nature of encounters with faculty and staff.

For more information about the Science of Diversity Project contact Professor Eden King, Department of Psychology.



A year after its establishment, the Diversity Research Group began a series of pilot efforts to examine the nature and implications of diversity at Mason. These efforts produced the first three volumes in the Diversity at Mason series: Student Reflections (June 2006), Valuing Written Accents: Non-native Students Talk about Identity, Academic Writing, and Meeting Teachers Expectations (June 2007), and The Fulbright Experience (June 2008). The fourth volume in the series, Diversity at Mason: Student Research on Student Identity (August 2009) featured the work of students as independent researchers of diversity. The fifth volume, The Pursuit of Transformative Education (May 2011), examined the experience of students as they wrote about a transformative experience in their lives, and then translated that from English to their home language. A New Kind of International (May 2015), the sixth volume in the series, explores the evolving meaning of “international” from the perspective of freshmen students in the first cohort of Mason Korea. See the full text of volumes one through six.

For more information about the Diversity at Mason series, contact Professor David Haines, in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.