Access to Excellence Podcast

A podcast All Together Different

Join Ƶ President Gregory Washington as he invites experts, change-makers, innovators, and thought leaders to engage in meaningful conversations about the greatest challenges of our time.

Listen and learn from audacious people from George Mason and beyond who represent the diversity of insight, the agility of collaboration, and the tenacity required in the struggle for a better future that is at the essence of the Mason Nation.

hosts each episode of the Access to Excellence podcast, recorded on the campus of Ƶ.

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Latest Episode

Cybersecurity and the global threats of tomorrow (Episode 59)

Cybersecurity and the global threats of tomorrow

Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director of the National Security Institute and assistant professor of law at Ƶ's Antonin Scalia Law School, knows better than anyone the growing threats to national security during these rapidly changing times.In this fast-paced episode of Access to Excellence, Jaffer and George Mason President Gregory Washington discuss the U.S.'s position on the global stage, the power of the American Dream, and what we as citizens can do to start solving some of the country's stickiest problems. Listen now.

"So if we want to think about how to fix our problems in the world, it begins here at home. It begins with voting. Voting every day. It is a crime that half the American people that could vote don't register. It's a crime that half those that are registered don't vote. Take responsibility. All our young people that are listening to this here at George Mason: every single one of you must register to vote. You wanna go protest? Go protest. But vote. Because at the end of the day, this isn't about Republican/Democrat. This is about America. This is about a vision. This is about a dream. This is about the ideals that we have in this country. And they are the right ones, and we are called to this mission. We have been since our founding and we still are today, no matter how hard it is."

Jamil Jaffer
Access to Excellence, Episode 59

Jamil Jaffer
Meet our guest
Meet our guest

Jamil Jaffer is the founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at the Antonin Scalia Law School

Photo credit:
Photo credit
Cristian Torres

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  • July 5, 2024
    Jamil Jaffer and Gregory Washington discuss the U.S.'s position on the global stage, the power of the American Dream, and what we as citizens can do to start solving some of the country's stickiest problems.
  • April 22, 2024
    Jeremy Campbell, associate director for strategic engagement in Mason’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth, says that at the current pace the Amazon rainforest, in five to 10 years, could pass a tipping point in which it could transform into grasslands. That process, fueled by deforestation and climate change, has already begun and is a threat to the biodiversity and socio-cultural aspects that define the region.
  • March 25, 2024
    Catherine Read is the first woman and first Mason graduate (BA government and politics ’84) to be mayor of Fairfax City, Va., the university’s hometown, and she isn’t shy about touting a university she says helped teach her how to think critically. Want to know why it’s good to “disrupt the system,” why it’s important to get more women into policy-making decisions, and why our educational system doesn’t reward bold ideas? Read tells you.
  • February 16, 2024
    Rev. Jeffery Johnson, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfax, Virginia, and Dr. Vernon Walton, pastor of First Baptist Church in Vienna, Virginia, guide us through some of the history and aspirations of the Black community through the lens of Black and African American History Month and their perspectives as long-time leaders of their parishes, both of which were founded by former slaves.
  • January 11, 2024
    Mary Ellen O’Toole, director of the Forensic Science Program in Mason’s College of Science, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the university’s new “body farm,” an outdoor research and training laboratory on its SciTech Campus that will allow crime-scene research in forensic science and forensic anthropology using human donors.
  • December 1, 2023
    Peter Becker, a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department in Ƶ’s College of Science explains, talks how a predicted major increase in solar storms could be a prelude to an “internet apocalypse, and how a $14 million federal study he is leading with the Navy could provide better predictive capabilities and help us better understand exactly what’s at stake.
  • November 13, 2023
    Melissa Perry, dean of Mason’s College of Public Health, is an ardent proponent of virtual reality as a tool to help solve the nation’s health challenges. But she also worries that technology has helped create an “epidemic of loneliness” that has heightened the importance of a shared humanity and “being present for each other.”
  • September 11, 2023
    Karina Korostelina, a professor of conflict analysis and resolution in Mason’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, conducts remarkable research with global implications that not only applies to countries and groups in conflict but societies as well. Ukraine’s war with Russia, at its end, she says, will present enormous problems with the reconciliation of people and territories.
  • August 4, 2023
    Nikyatu Jusu, an assistant professor of directing and screenwriting in Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, talks about her hit movie “Nanny,” which won the grand prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The horror genre is not all “jump-scares,” she says. Just as often, the monster is a commentary on human nature and the way we treat each other and ourselves.
  • July 8, 2023
    Andrew McCabe, the former deputy and acting director of the FBI, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor, gives a masterclass on the indictment of Donald Trump under the Espionage Act, goes deep into some of the most controversial and important moments in his career, and explains why he so appreciates teaching at Mason.
  • June 2, 2023
    Foteini Baldimtsi, an assistant professor in Mason’s Department of Computer Science, and James Casey, an associate professor in Mason’s Computer Game Design program, help us understand what the metaverse is, or will be, and how the volatile world of cryptocurrency fits in.
  • April 28, 2023
    Paula Sorrell, associate vice president for innovation and economic development at Mason, and Ajay Vinzé, dean of Mason's School of Business, discuss how Mason Enterprise is an economic engine for Northern Virginia, and how the School of Business is changing the way business is taught.