'Schar Conversations' Podcast

As higher education is compelled to pivot to remote teaching and learning, faculty members and students require new skills. In this series of enlightening video podcasts, Schar School professors, staff, and scholars will explore best practices while examining—and questioning—their own methods for successful and humane distance teaching and learning.

  • Episode 1: Making the Switch to Online Teaching
    Join host Rob McGrath and Schar School professors Delton Daigle and Heba El-Shazli as they discuss experiences and strategies in switching to online teaching in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include the benefits of asynchronous design and accessibility of content delivery. 
  • Episode 2: Being Intentional with Online Teaching
    Rob McGrath hosts Schar School colleagues Bonnie Stabile, Eric McGlinchey, and Sheldon Edner for a discussion on intentional course design. Other topics include the virtues of editing lecture content for online delivery and the distinction between graduate and undergraduate learners.
  • Episode 3: Student Experiences of the COVID Transition to Online Learning
    Rob McGrath hosts Schar School undergraduate government and international politics majors Fatiha Tabibipour, Sasha Silva, and Sally Kishi for a recap of the COVID-19 Spring semester from a student perspective. Topics include lessons learned from the transition to better prepare students and faculty for an uncertain Fall.
  • Episode 4: The Black Lives Movement and Higher Education
    Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Jatia (Tia) Wrighten discuss the pillars of the Black Lives Movement in the United States with Schar Conversations host Mariely Lopez. In addition, they explore how the Black Lives Movement should matter for academia, higher education, curriculum development, and teaching.  
  • Episode 5 How to Run an Election During a Pandemic
    Leading local election experts talk with Professor Jennifer Victor about the perils of running an election during a global pandemic. The conversation draws on expertise from election administrators (Brenda Cabrera), George Mason University administrators (Kristen Wright), and a Schar student and election volunteer extraordinaire (Jean Thoensen). The conversation covers the challenges to elections in 2020, the best practices for voters and local administrators, and how Mason students can best engage their civic voices this election season.
  • Episode 6: The 2020 Election and What Not: Polarization, Democracy, and Democrats
    In this conversation, Jennifer Victor discusses the nature of polarization in the United States and its effects on the health of democracyHow this provides signals into the health of democracy. She also addresses the prospects of a rich(er) conversation and debate if the Democrats win, as well as what might they do with that authority.
  • Episode 7: The 2020 Election and What Not: Puerto Rico, Its Party System, and Statehood
    In this conversation, Mariely Lopez-Santana discusses the outcome of the election in the reference to Puerto Rico and the plebiscite on its status in relation to the United Stats. She also addresses the nature of the party system there and the implications of the electoral success of newly elected parties.
  • Episode 8: The 2020 Election and What Not: Rifts in US Politics and Prospects for the Democratic Party]
    In this conversation, Elisabeth Anker addresses the apparent rift in US politics and the the potentially precarious consequences in light of the Presidential election. She also examines why President Trump continues to draw wide public support despite his performance on a number of key issues. Anker also provides insight into the status of the democratic party helmed by Biden and whether his election opens or closes space for progressive politics and leftists.
  • Episode 9: The 2020 Election and What Not: Democracy and Foreign Policy
    In this conversation, Char Miller and Mouin Rabbani address the implications of Trump's refusal to concede defeat on democracy in the United States as well as the priorities of a Biden administration foreign policy, with emphasis on the Middle East.
  • Episode 10: The 2020 Election and What Not: The Transition!
    In this conversation, Jack Goldstone addresses the troubled transition after the 2020 election, and the potential turbulence during the next two years. He also addresses implications for US Democracy as well as US “exceptionalism.”
  • Episode 11: Race Matters Before/After the Election
    In this conversation, Donna Murch speaks on the Black Lives Matter movement and race matters more broadly in relation to the 2020 elections and beyond in the United States.
  • Episode 12: Kazakhstan in Context
    In this conversation Eric McGlinchey addresses the recent developments in Kazakhstan and places them in the context of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Schar Conversations Podcast Team: Delton Daigle, Heba El-Shazli, Bassam Haddad, Mariely Lopez-Santana, Robert McGrath, Matthew Scherer, Jennifer Victor, Jo-Marie Burt, Matt Green, Peter Mandaville, Eric McGlinchey, Char Miller, and J.P. Singh

Those interested in joining the conversation may contact Bassam Haddad at bhaddad@gmu.edu, or any of the team members listed above (see the faculty directory for contact information).