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Challenges of Setting Limits on Presidential Power

American University News - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 00:00
Under the U.S. Constitution, presidential power is limited and subject to checks and balances. However, over the years, presidents have found ways to break away from limits.
Categories: University News

The First 100 Days of the Trump Administration

American University News - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 00:00
SPA’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies hosted an event on January 24 to review what the 100 days typically means for a new administration.
Categories: University News

Modern Day Renaissance Hybrid Woman

American University News - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 00:00
Kaylah “Kami” Simmons is a senior interested in theatre arts, media and television, entertainment, political science, and policy-making. The Washington Semester Program gave her the chance to reflect on her career plans while exploring her interests.
Categories: University News

Welcoming the Newest Alumni Board Members

American University News - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 00:00
Meet the university’s newest alumni leaders.
Categories: University News

SIS welcomes Senator Russ Feingold to campus

American University News - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 00:00
Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold will join SIS Dean James Goldgeier for a Dean’s Discussion on March 1 and will teach skills institute courses this spring as a Distinguished Executive in Residence.
Categories: University News

The Power in Pausing

American University News - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 00:00
Mindful Eagles Help AU students Pause and Relax Before They Take on the Challenges In front of them.
Categories: University News

Recyclemania Kicks Off at Zero Waste Basketball Game

American University News - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 00:00
Game tip-off at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8
Categories: University News

Why a Master’s Degree in “Strategic Communication?”

American University News - Fri, 02/03/2017 - 00:00
Potential students often ask how a master’s degree in strategic communication differs from a degree in more traditional disciplines like public relations or advertising.
Categories: University News

Analytics Alumna Finds Solidarity at Kogod

American University News - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 00:00
Linda Tacaraya, MSAn ’16, discovered something rare and sometimes elusive during her time at Kogod: professional solidarity.
Categories: University News

SCRC Open House February 22

George Mason University - Wed, 02/01/2017 - 10:33

You are cordially invited to the upcoming Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Open House on Wednesday, February 22, 3 to 7 p.m. Located in 2400 Fenwick Library, SCRC supports academic research, teaching and learning at Mason by collecting preserving and providing access to primary research collections and documents, archival and rare book collections, and digitizing priority collections.

During the Open House, you can explore selected materials related to George Mason University, Northern Virginia, performing arts, transportation and planning, and photography. SCRC also collects oral histories pertaining to Northern Virginia, the Federal Theatre Project, Reston, Virginia, and George Mason University’s history. Learn about the George Mason University Archives and the University Records Management program, too.

For more information about the SCRC Open House, please contact Rebecca Bramlett, rbramlet@gmu.edu, 703-993-2058.

 

 

Categories: University News

SPA Doctoral Student Named Founders Fellow by American Society for Public Administration

American University News - Wed, 02/01/2017 - 00:00
Zachary Bauer, SPA/PhD ’20, is one of 25 graduate students and new professionals selected to be a 2017 American Society for Public Administration Founders’ Fellow.
Categories: University News

Game Change: AU Senior’s ‘Code Switch’ Will Explore Identity

American University News - Wed, 02/01/2017 - 00:00
Eric Vignola is a peer leader and contributor in the new AUx2 class.
Categories: University News

Focus on: Black/African Heritage Month

George Mason University - Tue, 01/31/2017 - 16:50

Black/African Heritage Month is a time to remember the important contributions and achievements of Black/African Heritage cultures on campus, throughout history and their current contributions to the world. Explore Mason Libraries’ collections to learn more. Online resources are available – free – to Mason students, faculty and staff. Login with your Mason username and password. Some selected collections include:

  • African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
    Time travel into history with access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. Includes papers from more than 35 states, including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles. Also available to search is the wide-ranging magazine collection from 1825-1995.
  • Black Studies in Video
    Survey the evolution of black culture in the United States through documentaries, newsreels, interviews and archival footage.  Includes topics of history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations.
  • Oxford African American Studies Center
    Highlights the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.  Content includes primary source documents, biographies, images, maps, film clips, sound recordings, and thematic timelines. The collection is continually updated and offers education and teacher resources.

For more information, search the Libraries’ subject guides, database list or contact

Categories: University News

Libraries Sponsor Summer Undergrad Research Project

George Mason University - Tue, 01/31/2017 - 13:45

In conjunction with OSCAR, Mason Libraries are sponsoring and funding an Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) intensive research project during Summer 2017. Potential project ideas:

  • Research on individual book artists; copyright and Artist Books; working with metadata; researching planning and mounting an exhibit, or researching and creating your own Artist Book.
  • Researching how Congressional hearings have been managed historically, and whether majority bias results in legislative action.
  • Text mining and examining the use of particular words in public domain texts.

Basic details:

  • You must be a Mason undergraduate student
  • You must attend one of two proposal workshops (mandatory)
    • February 1, 2017 from 1 – 2:30 p.m., Fenwick Library Room 1014A
    • February 16, 2017 from 10 – 11:30 a.m., Fenwick Library Room 1014A
  • You must apply to OSCAR by February 22, 2017
  • You must be able to work 360 hours on the project during Summer 2017
  • Successful applicant receives $4,000 stipend during Summer 2017

Undergraduate students who have a research idea or are interested in working on a research project using library resources are encouraged to Diane Smith, Associate University Librarian, dsmth36@gmu.edu for more information.

Categories: University News

Alumni Witnesses WSP 30 Year Evolution

American University News - Tue, 01/31/2017 - 00:00
William Grover, a professor at Saint Michael’s College, has seen first-hand how the Washington Semester Program (WSP) has evolved over the past 30 years.
Categories: University News

The State of Race on Campus

American University News - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 00:00
The face of racism is changing on campuses across the nation, but it’s no less destructive than in the past, according to American Political Sociologist and Duke University Sociology Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.
Categories: University News

Social Impact Initiative

American University News - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 00:00
Univision, Fusion Media Group (FMG) and American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) today announced the launch of a new research-based initiative.
Categories: University News

AU’s Creative Caucus Spurs Collaboration

American University News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 00:00
AU Professor John Simson believes in the power of synergy. This conviction inspired him to found AU's Creative Caucus--an interdisciplinary artistic forum for faculty across campus.
Categories: University News

Securing Your Drupal Site

The George Washington University - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:40
January 26, 2017Christian Aldridge, Web Developer for Libraries & Academic Innovation

If you’re patching your Drupal installation regularly (core and module updates) you’re halfway there.

An important disclaimer: I’m not addressing the server environment (LAMP stack) in this post, which is critical to security. If you’re using a hosting service, be sure to check on their security policies and makes sure they’re updating your server.

Part 1: Secure Your Connection

Make sure you’re configured to pass login and form submissions over a secure connection. If you’re using a hosted service, check their options for adding a certificate to your site: on some services (like Dreamhost) it’s as simple as checking some boxes.

In a future post I’ll address adding certificates to your site in detail (configuring Apache and generating certificates) so you can run connections securely over https using SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

If your site accepts both http and https requests (instead of routing all requests over https), I recommend the Secure Login module (https://www.drupal.org/project/securelogin). This will let you force login requests and form submissions over https. Why is this important? If you don’t use a secure connection for logins or forms, all the submitted information (including passwords) is sent using clear text (unencrypted plain text) and can be intercepted.

These are the settings I tend to use, which include forcing forms of any kind to submit over a secure connection:

Note: if you’re using the Drupal login block on a page and you’re using Secure Login, that page will load over https. By default new Drupal 7 installations include the login block on the home page.

A last point on securing your site: it’s good for SEO! Google ranks secure sites higher, so you can check off another box on your Search Engine Optimization to-do list.

Part 2: Accessible Spam Protection

On my sites I use the aptly-named Honeypot module (https://www.drupal.org/project/honeypot), a simple and effective way to catch spam in forms (comments, contact forms, anything that allows an anonymous user to submit something). I prefer Honeypot over Captcha because (a) it’s invisible to the user and (b) it meets accessibility requirements.

Comment sections tend to be hit the most on the Drupal sites I’ve built, and with Honeypot I’ve reduced spam to very manageable crumbs. If new comments from anonymous users are set to require approval (which I highly recommend) this will keep your site “spam free” on the user side and limit the spammed comments to a trickle that are easily deleted.

Once you install the module, you can adjust the settings from the configuration page:

I’d start with the default settings and then adjust from there if anything is getting through. I recommend starting with the time limit setting first, then tinkering with the element name if spam is still managing to get through. And remember to check the logs!

These two easy steps will help make your Drupal site both more secure and less of a headache.

Securing Your Drupal Site

The George Washington University - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:40
January 26, 2017Christian Aldridge, Web Developer for Libraries & Academic Innovation

If you’re patching your Drupal installation regularly (core and module updates) you’re halfway there.

An important disclaimer: I’m not addressing the server environment (LAMP stack) in this post, which is critical to security. If you’re using a hosting service, be sure to check on their security policies and makes sure they’re updating your server.

Part 1: Secure Your Connection

Make sure you’re configured to pass login and form submissions over a secure connection. If you’re using a hosted service, check their options for adding a certificate to your site: on some services (like Dreamhost) it’s as simple as checking some boxes.

In a future post I’ll address adding certificates to your site in detail (configuring Apache and generating certificates) so you can run connections securely over https using SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

If your site accepts both http and https requests (instead of routing all requests over https), I recommend the Secure Login module (https://www.drupal.org/project/securelogin). This will let you force login requests and form submissions over https. Why is this important? If you don’t use a secure connection for logins or forms, all the submitted information (including passwords) is sent using clear text (unencrypted plain text) and can be intercepted.

These are the settings I tend to use, which include forcing forms of any kind to submit over a secure connection:

Note: if you’re using the Drupal login block on a page and you’re using Secure Login, that page will load over https. By default new Drupal 7 installations include the login block on the home page.

A last point on securing your site: it’s good for SEO! Google ranks secure sites higher, so you can check off another box on your Search Engine Optimization to-do list.

Part 2: Accessible Spam Protection

On my sites I use the aptly-named Honeypot module (https://www.drupal.org/project/honeypot), a simple and effective way to catch spam in forms (comments, contact forms, anything that allows an anonymous user to submit something). I prefer Honeypot over Captcha because (a) it’s invisible to the user and (b) it meets accessibility requirements.

Comment sections tend to be hit the most on the Drupal sites I’ve built, and with Honeypot I’ve reduced spam to very manageable crumbs. If new comments from anonymous users are set to require approval (which I highly recommend) this will keep your site “spam free” on the user side and limit the spammed comments to a trickle that are easily deleted.

Once you install the module, you can adjust the settings from the configuration page:

I’d start with the default settings and then adjust from there if anything is getting through. I recommend starting with the time limit setting first, then tinkering with the element name if spam is still managing to get through. And remember to check the logs!

These two easy steps will help make your Drupal site both more secure and less of a headache.

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