Culture and Globalization

Aug 23

Welcome to CULT 320: Culture and Globalization. We are going to have a jam-packed, exciting semester together. In order to facilitate fun and informative class discussion, I want us to start by introducing ourselves.

Please tell us who you are, what you’re doing this semester (at Mason, or elsewhere), and something you hope to take from this class. Click on the comments link above this prompt to post your introduction. Your post is due by 1pm, Wednesday, September 5.

After you have introduced yourself, please reply to TWO of your classmates’ intros. Your replies are due by 1pm, Friday, September 7.

116 comments so far

  1. Craig
    6:00 pm - 8-23-2012

    Here is an example of how you will introduce yourself in the comments section. My name is Craig Willse, I’m in my first semester here at Mason as part of the Cultural Studies faculty. Last year I taught in the sociology and anthropology program at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and during the year before that I was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Riverside, affiliated with the Ethnic Studies department. I just moved to DC and other than teaching this course, I’m spending the semester exploring neighborhoods, trying not to get lost on my drives to Fairfax, and learning my way around the Mason campus. I’m also finishing up work on a book about the recent history of homeless management in the United States. I’m excited to be sharing my first semester with all of you.

    • vorozhko
      4:18 pm - 8-30-2012

      How long have you been engaged in research for your upcoming book?

      • Craig
        7:53 pm - 8-30-2012

        Well, sometimes it feels like an eternity. I’ve been working on the project for about six years, but before I started doing formal research, I worked as a social worker (at a shelter for LGBT youth in Los Angeles) and a tenant organizer (in New York City). And I started doing that work back in 1999, so in a lot of ways the book dates back to then.

  2. vorozhko
    4:14 pm - 8-30-2012

    Conceived in Moscow, Russia and exported to the United States, my name is Denis Vorozhko. I transferred to Mason, two years ago, from the University of Colorado in Boulder. This will be my last semester at George Mason as I am set to graduate with a major in Psychology and a minor in Global Affairs. I am eager to strengthen my writing and verbal skills during this course in hopes of bettering my arguments, and to communicate clearer my comprehension of the studied material. After reading the syllabus, I am particularly interested to analyze mass incarceration in relation to the Drug War and the billion dollar prison industry.

    • btaborga
      6:22 pm - 8-30-2012

      What kind of jobs or where do you see yourself after you graduate? I also have an interest in mass incarceration. It is a big issue that has not been given much thought, but i am glad we will analyze it and study it in this class.

    • saehwan72
      7:29 pm - 8-30-2012

      I’m looking forward to our class discussions on incarcerations to see everyone’s viewpoint on it. I’m also minoring in Global Affairs. Congrats on graduating after this semester. Are you considering graduate school? I’m hoping to get a job within the government that will incorporate both my economics and global affairs skill sets. If you have any suggestions for a fellow global affairs minor student, feel free to let me know!

    • tmarchan
      7:54 pm - 9-3-2012

      Denis, I am not familiar with mass incarceration in relation to the drug war but it sounds very fascinating. I can’t wait to listen to your input on this.

  3. btaborga
    6:15 pm - 8-30-2012

    My name is Bruno Taborga and I am a junior here at George Mason. I was born in Bolivia and lived in Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru for most of my life because of my fathers job in the World Bank and the Inter-American Development bank. I am studying Global Affair with a concentration in international development. I wish to work in international Organizations like my father has for the rest of my life. I enjoy traveling and getting to know different places. I have a huge interest in the environment and sustainability. I am excited to take this course because I feel it will introduce me to various cultural issues in the world and it will help me get a better understanding of world issues concerning cultures. I want to learn about real life case studies and analyze them. I also hope to meet other students with the same passion I have and learn from their experiences so I can apply them to my area of study.

    • saehwan72
      7:33 pm - 8-30-2012

      Hi Bruno,

      It seems like the major you picked goes well with your life experiences. I also want to get more involved with recent case studies and further analyze them and I also look forward to the discussion we’ll be having throughout the semester. Hopefully we get in depth information about the case studies through out the semester! Good Luck!

    • Craig
      7:55 pm - 8-30-2012

      We’ll be looking at the World Bank in some detail in a few weeks, it will be great to have your insider’s perspective for those conversations.

    • hakunanahtata
      10:56 pm - 8-30-2012

      Bruno I am jealous of the places you have lived/traveled to! I have never been to South America but want to. What was it like living in those places and having a father with such a cool job and experiences? What kind of feed back did you receive in those countries since your father worked for the world bank and the WB has mixed reviews in a lot of those countries? I am excited for your input in class.

    • oliviab
      5:42 pm - 9-3-2012

      Yay for international development! haha. That’s so cool that you have been able to live in so many different places, and that you hope to continue doing that after college! Can’t wait to look further into the World Bank and hear all the input that goes along with that.

    • grivas3
      9:46 pm - 9-7-2012

      Hi Bruno,

      Thats great you have had the chance to travel to so many places. I am hoping to visit South America this winter with a study abroad program. Out of all the places you traveled do you have a favorite one so far?

  4. saehwan72
    7:23 pm - 8-30-2012

    Hello! My name is Sae Hwan Kim. I was born in Seoul, South Korea. My mother and I moved here to the states in 2000. I am a transfer student from NOVA. I currently live in Woodbridge, VA and I commute into Mason. I am majoring in Economics and minoring in Global Affairs. I plan on going for my master’s degree right after I finish up my bachelor’s degree. I’m the store manager of a Sears Home Appliance Showroom and I’m a full time student as well. I enjoyed the first class and I’m hoping I enjoy the rest of them just as much.

    • kmilburn1957
      10:32 pm - 8-30-2012

      Sae Hwan- I was interested to see that you are from Seoul, Korea. I lived there for two years and loved it! I miss Namdaemun markets. I am impressed with your ability to be a fulltime manager and student. Anytime I feel overwhelmed I will try to think of your schedule and get over myself real quick! I like how interactive this class seems to be. It will be good to hear everyone’s opinions and stories.

  5. sbannach
    10:39 pm - 8-30-2012

    I haven’t written an “About Me” since the days of MySpace, so forgive me if this sounds extremely contrived. My name is Sara Bannach and I’m a sophomore Global Affairs major here at GMU. I’m also pursuing minors in Arabic and Intelligence Analysis. I was born outside of L.A. but spent most of my childhood in Michigan, Wisconsin, and, most recently, central Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, I would like to work for an international organization, though my ultimate dream is to become a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department. I’ve always been fascinated by and eager to learn about the multitude of different cultures our world has to offer, so I’m extremely excited to hear about the experiences and viewpoints from such a diverse group of people. Here’s to a great semester!

    • shanaz
      1:34 am - 8-31-2012

      Hi Sara!

      I’ve heard that its a really long process to become a Foreign Service Officer. I think you have to take a Foreign Service Exam in order to even land an interview. Have you started preparing for this exam or is this something you’ll look into years after you graduate? Good luck!

    • ksalvucc
      3:34 am - 8-31-2012

      That sounds so cool! I am very interested in the State Department, so maybe you and I can discuss job opportunities at the State Department this semester.

    • msirico
      10:54 pm - 8-31-2012

      hey sara!
      that sounds really interesting! you have such high goals! the state department sounds really fascinating. it’s great that you want to use your studies to help others that way! i’d love to hear more about it!

  6. kmilburn1957
    10:48 pm - 8-30-2012

    My name is Kathy Milburn and have been working as an instructional assistant in a Preschool Autism classroom for the past four years. While I love the job and the staff I work with, I would eventually like to become and ESOL teacher. So, after 30 years of being a good Mom and raising my three kids, I am off to finish my degree. Fortunately, Mason offers an adult degree completion program, the BIS, or Bachelor of Individualized Studies, that serves my needs perfectly.
    Althought I loved journalism, my father (an engineer) convinced me that being an engineer was in my blood. Georgia Tech seemed to agree with him and offered me a scholarship. I never did get in touch with my “inner engineer”, but I did marry one. With one year left till graduation, I left Tech and followed my Marine husband around the world. We lived in Sicily, Italy and Seoul, Korea for two years each and saw as much of Europe and Asia as we could while we were there.Along the way we had three children and now have four grandchildren.
    Because of this exposure to other cultures and ways of life, I am interested in helping students from other countries acclimate and adjust to the American school system and culture. By becoming an ESOL teacher I am hoping to blend my job experience in the education field with my desire to help young studetns and their families become successful in their new country.

    • navery
      5:31 am - 9-3-2012

      Hello! Nice to meet you, Kathy! It must have been wonderful to see the world. When you were in these countries did you pick up any of the languages? I’ve only been to England, Japan, and the Philippines, and they were all amazing experiences. I can only imagine how cool it was for you! I love your aspiration to become an ESOL teacher. I believe the program you’ve chosen at Mason, plus your life experiences are going to make for a wonderful ESOL teacher.

      • kmilburn1957
        7:06 pm - 9-3-2012

        When we lived in Italy I made it a point to learn Italian. We lived out in town and I took language courses, as well as use the language everyday so by the end of our two year tour I was pretty fluent. I had the same idea when we moved to Korea, but so many Korean study English since Kindergarten they would hear us speaking English and insist we talk in “American” so they could practice. It was also a lot harder learning the Hangul writing system and we lived on base, so my need and determination to learn Korean fizzled away. I loved th experience, though!

    • oliviab
      5:48 pm - 9-3-2012

      Kathy, your life sounds like it’s been so exciting! And it’s great that you’ve decided to finally pursue something you’ve always wanted to do. I agree, your experiences will definitely help you in your work as an ESOL teacher!

    • tmarchan
      7:50 pm - 9-3-2012

      Nice to meet you Kathy! I would like to live in different countries. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences in the countries you have lived in.

    • shill10
      10:43 pm - 9-11-2012

      Hey Kathy πŸ™‚

      It was great talking to you in our group discussion the other day. My dad was in the army and spent time overseas as well. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live overseas and I’m jealous that you have experienced that. Did you like Italy or Korea better? I love to travel, but out of the 4 continents that I have been lucky enough to visit, Europe and Asia are still “to do”. I think it is great that you are back to finish your degree also!

  7. hakunanahtata
    10:48 pm - 8-30-2012

    Hey My Name is Natasha and I have lived in Alexandria, Virginia my whole life. I transferred to GMU from JMU and love the diverse student body and experience here in fairfax. I am a Global Affairs major concentrating on the environment. I work as a freight shipping sales rep and go to school, commuting from Alexandria. I have traveled throughout Europe going once or twice a year growing up and studied abroad in Amman, Jordan for 6 weeks. Needless to say I love to travel and that is what I hope to do for 6 months money depending when I graduate. After that who knows, there are always government jobs, the military, furthering my education, I have no idea what I want to do professionally except not sell freight shipping space even though the money is really good. I am hoping to get a better understanding of the world we live in and learn ways to positively contribute to society. The prison system in America is something that has always upset and interested me. I am excited to learn more about how/why it is the way it is and what and how we can change it to better the lives of Americans. I look forward to learning from everyone in the class and broadening my perspectives πŸ™‚

    • ksalvucc
      3:32 am - 8-31-2012

      Wow! I really want to hear more about your study abroad program to Amman, Jordan, at some point.

    • njelvani
      12:16 am - 9-2-2012

      I have never been to Jordan before. What kind of environmental issues is Jordan suffering from?

      • hakunanahtata
        2:26 am - 9-5-2012

        I was there studying Arabic and didn’t learn to much about the environmental problems there. One of the main environmental issues is lack of water though.

        • msaddat
          11:34 am - 9-7-2012

          Hey Natasha! Just like you, I was born in Alexandria, VA and have lived in NOVA my entire life. I saw that you studied abroad in Jordan in the past–was that the Arabic language intensive? I was looking into doing the same thing this winter break so I would love to hear some suggestions and your opinion about the program!

    • jhanse10
      7:28 pm - 9-4-2012

      Hi Natasha! I have always wanted to study abroad and I am considering it for next year? How was Jordan? DId you study there during college or high school? Maybe you could tell me a little bit more of your experience?

      • hakunanahtata
        2:32 am - 9-5-2012

        I studied there in college and it was incredible. When I wasn’t studying I traveled a lot to places like Petra, Aqaba, Ajlun, the Dead Sea, Jerash, and Wadi Rum there is so much to do! People there are extremely hospitable and the food was amazing πŸ™‚

    • albuquerque
      8:27 pm - 9-6-2012

      thats so awesome that you want to travel around after you graduate! I have the same plan after I graduate but all my friends think im crazy not to just dive into the working field, so its nice to meet someone who also wants to travel just because they love it!

    • sarahariri
      2:36 am - 9-7-2012

      Hey Natasha!
      I’ve also lived in Amman (as a short-stay arrangement) your comment about the lack of water brought back some memories. Little things like taking a bath can be really difficult in some neighborhoods. It was a real eye-opener. I’m glad you were able to experience the Middle East! I personally think that the sun setting on the Dead Sea is one of the most amazing sights, ever!

    • grivas3
      9:27 pm - 9-7-2012

      Hi, Natasha like you I also want to study abroad hopefully this winter. I would love to hear more about your experience.

  8. shanaz
    1:27 am - 8-31-2012


    My name is Shanaz or Shay. I am a senior at George Mason University. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Development. I am originally from Kurdistan. I love to learn about different cultures especially when it comes to food, language, traditional clothing, and music. I love traditional clothing from different cultures. I currently own traditional Pakistani, Indian, Kurdish and Afghan dresses. I am fluent in Kurdish and have studied German, Spanish and Arabic. This past summer, I spent my time learning how to cook traditional Kurdish and Middle Eastern food. A typical Kurdish meal includes rice, soup, meat, salad and bread.

    I am interested in learning about how social media is changing the world along with it’s limitations.

    • hakunanahtata
      7:32 pm - 8-31-2012

      Hey Shay! I am no familiar with Kurdistan so I am anticipating learning a lot from your personal cultural experiences there and in life.

    • njelvani
      12:28 am - 9-2-2012


      I think this discussion board is a great example of social media being incorporated into educational institutions πŸ™‚

    • ender91
      3:32 am - 9-5-2012

      I am also really like traditional clothing because they are so pretty! I especially love middle eastern wedding dresses! They have such elaborate and intricate designs that just looks so much prettier than the typical white wedding gown to me. Did you learn cooking in a class or from family or friends?

    • fabbasi2
      6:22 pm - 9-11-2012

      Hi shay πŸ™‚ is also one of my hobbies. It’s fun to learn about different cultures through cooking . I feel like we have such a diverse class this semester one day we should all bring foods from our different cultures and share with one another πŸ™‚ .

  9. ksalvucc
    3:23 am - 8-31-2012

    My name is Kazim Salvucci. This is my fourth semester at Mason. My major is Conflict analysis and Resolution with a concentration in International affairs. I am a student in the S-Car program. After I complete this course, I hope to have a better understanding of what culture really is, and all the areas that culture defines.

    • ksalvucc
      3:25 am - 8-31-2012

      I was also born in Karachi, Pakistan. I came to America when I was 6 or 8 months old. I have been living in Springfield, VA since then.

      • ksalvucc
        3:41 am - 8-31-2012

        My goal is to either get a job with the State Department or USIP. I am very interested in diplomacy.

    • kmilburn1957
      1:35 pm - 8-31-2012

      Kzim- What is the S-Car program?

      • ksalvucc
        2:34 pm - 9-5-2012

        It is formally known as I-Car, but recently changed to S-car. It is the school for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. It is a very interesting program, and I look forward to explaining it to you during the semester

  10. rafae309
    4:30 pm - 8-31-2012

    Hi my name is Rafae and I’m a Junior here at George Mason. I’m majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Governance and recently changed my minor from Arabic to Conflict Analysis and Resolution. I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and I can speak Urdu. I have traveled a lot and been to a lot of different places, Hong Kong, Singapore, U.K, U.A.E, Saudi Arabia and Canada, to name a few. Seeing cultures, traditions and meeting people from all over the world was a major reason why I have always been interested in the international global field and current affairs. I love music from all genres, food from other countries and meeting people from different cultures.

    I hope to find a job right after college and maybe pursue higher education once I’m settled. It’s my dream goal work with the U.S government, where I would love to be in the State Department and get to see and work in places I’ve never been to before. I have also been very interested in aviation, since my dad was in the same field for more than thirty years and I’m a member of the GMU Aviation Club.

    Having read the posts of my fellow classmates, I’m really looking forward to an exciting and enjoyable class with you all!

    • emyers
      10:48 pm - 9-5-2012

      Rafae! I was just talking about joining the Aviation Club today! Maybe I will see you at the meeting on Friday, I’m really excited about it!


      • hsingh4
        11:42 am - 9-6-2012

        Hi Rafae!

        I’ve always wanted to go to Singapore and Hong Kong, I would love to hear how it is there. I was born in India but lived most of my life in Canada. What did you think of Canada?

        • rafae309
          9:03 pm - 9-11-2012

          Hey! Singapore and Hong Kong were simply beautiful and amazing and I had a lot of fun there. We took a road trip to Canada to see Niagara Falls, Toronto and Montreal and they were the chillest places I’ve been to. The people, the buildings, and the art in Montreal were mind blowing. A good friend just moved to Canada so I’m defintely going to be going there again one day!

      • rafae309
        8:58 pm - 9-11-2012

        Hey Emma I hope you had fun at the meeting! I couldn’t make it (I sort of knew what they were going to talk about anyway) but I will defintely be going to their fly days πŸ™‚ See you there!

    • shill10
      10:45 pm - 9-11-2012

      Did you take Honors 130 with.. crap what was his name.. umm the class was all about humanitarianism. I feel like I recognize you lol

      • rafae309
        1:08 pm - 9-12-2012

        Me? I never took a class like that but it still feels good to be recognized lol πŸ˜€

  11. msirico
    9:54 pm - 8-31-2012

    My name is Marissa Sirico, but I have gone by the nickname “B” for years. I’m from Long Island, NY. I was born and raised in Long Island, but I spent my junior year in Germany. Here at Mason, I’m studying global affairs with a concentration in world economics. I also studying mandarin chinese. I’m looking forward to learning a lot in this class, especially mass incarceration.

    • sbannach
      10:52 pm - 8-31-2012

      Wow, a whole year in Germany? That sounds awesome! I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

    • shanaz
      11:16 pm - 8-31-2012

      Hi B, I’ve studied German for two years. However, I’ve only been to Germany once, but I would love to go again some day. I’m curious to know where you lived in Germany.

    • btaborga
      4:55 pm - 9-1-2012

      Nice! what are you trying to do after you graduate? Learning mandarin will certainly help you a lot with international jobs or any kind of job. Would you ever go back to Germany to live there again?

    • kmilburn1957
      7:15 pm - 9-3-2012

      Hey B- may hat is off to you and tackling mandarin chinese. I failed miserably in trying to learn hangul in Korea. And that was pretty straightforward compared to the tonal intricacies of mandarin! Like Bruno said, having that language skill on your resume should open somoe more doors!

    • jhanse10
      7:36 pm - 9-4-2012

      Hey B! I lived in Germany for 8 years. I was born there and then moved back when I was in the 6th grade to Stuttgart. I was there until I graduated high school.I am curious to where you spent your Junior year?

  12. njelvani
    12:04 am - 9-2-2012

    My name is Nadia Jelvani. I am a senior at George Mason, seeking a B.A. in Global Affairs with a concentration in Middle East and North Africa. I will be graduating ia by the end of the fall 2012 semester and moving forward to continuing my education in a master’s program. I am multilingual and I thoroughly appreciate the similarities and differences in the comparisons between the languages I have been exposed to and speak. By studying Spanish and Arabic and Farsi, I realize that there are so many ways to embrace and learn about other cultures, traditions, backgrounds and life styles and I how I contribute to society and the evovlement of globalization. Today, I find the rate at which the world’s resources and interconnectivity are multiplying, locally and globally, fascinating. I look forward to class discussions and future assignments on globalization, the “human’s rights catastrophe” in jails and prisons. I hope to complete the course with a better understanding of people’s reflections on Culture. I also hope to expand my horizons once I graduate by visiting friends abroad and site seeing.

    • rafae309
      6:56 pm - 9-2-2012

      Hi! Congratulations on graduating soon iA! Knowing Spanish, Arabic, Farsi and English would be so awesome. Are you studying those languages here at George Mason? Knowing so many diverse and important languages would definitely help in Global Affairs. I tried learning Arabic but gave up after three classes. I also agree that the rate at which the world is becoming more and more interconnected is very fast and very fascinating. Good luck in the future!

      • njelvani
        10:53 pm - 9-2-2012

        Thank you for your reply. I studied Spanish in High School Farsi is a my second language and has many words in common with Arabic but they are grammatically and structurally different languages. Farsi is spoken as a first language specifically in Iran and as a second language in it’s bordering countries. I hope that answers your question.

        • kmilburn1957
          7:20 pm - 9-3-2012

          Nadia- I did not know that Farsi and Arabic were two different languages. See, I already learned something new! I thought they were slight derivations of each other like Sicilian and Italian- basically the same but pronunciations or occasional different wrods for different things. I am going to love the discussions in this class with everyone’s cultural diversity to delve into to get honest facts and opinions

          • njelvani
            11:31 pm - 9-5-2012

            I am glad you learned a new fact. The world needs more people like you πŸ™‚

  13. hsingh4
    11:01 pm - 9-2-2012

    Hey guys my name is Harit Singh. I’m a senior here at Mason but unfortunately I don’t think ill be graduating quite on time. I was born in India and lived there till i was 4, then moved to Canada and lived there for about 13 years, and finally moved to Virginia in 2008. I’m studying global affairs with a concentration in global economy and management, and once I finish college I’m hoping to get a government job. Since I was born in India I can speak in Hindi fluently. I also know quite a lot of French as I spent my entire childhood in Canada so I felt that global affairs would not only interest me but that it would be beneficial also. I hope to gain a greater understanding of exactly how culture and globalization are connected. Though I will be honest, when I first got to this class I was under the impression that it was gonna be boring, but thankfully I was wrong.

    -Harit Singh

    • Craig
      12:00 am - 9-3-2012

      I’ll do my best to keep things interesting for us. πŸ™‚

    • navery
      5:25 am - 9-3-2012

      Nice to meet you, Harit! So you’re thinking of attaining a government job? That’s a good choice. Are you planning on pursuing this occupation in America or returning to Canada? And don’t worry about graduating on time. I’m in the same boat as you, but I think we’ll both make it just fine! In fact, I know quite a lot of seniors that have the same predicament, so no worries! When you graduate it will be the perfect time for you.

      • hsingh4
        11:09 am - 9-6-2012

        Hi Nikki nice to meet you too! Honestly I don’t plan on returning to Canada because I feel there are more opportunities here, despite the current state of the economy. I feel like a government job would be pretty interesting and secure, also my dad is a private contractor for USDA so hopefully it should be too hard to get in!

    • sarahariri
      2:39 am - 9-7-2012

      Hey Harit!

      That is really cool that you were able to live in so many different places. I speak French as well! Were you living in Quebec?

  14. navery
    5:16 am - 9-3-2012

    Hello, all! I’m Nikki Avery! I’m a senior in George Mason, but credit-wise I’m most likely a junior. I have a huge affinity for foreign languages and drawing.I’ve studied Japanese for eight years now and I’ve just begun studying Russian and Cebuano this year. As a Global Affairs major, this class was part of my required course regimen, but the concept of ‘globalization’ is something I’ve always fancied. When I was small, I used to believe the U.S., the United States, and America were all separate countries; I would constantly try to figure out how they influenced each other and why they were so similar. A kind adult finally taught me those were all different names for the same nation I lived in. Since that awkward time, it always fascinated me to learn about globalization between real countries. I hope I can learn some great stuff this semester, so I can not only fulfill my requirements, but also a lifelong interest.

    • kmilburn1957
      7:23 pm - 9-3-2012

      Nikki- Is Cebuano a language? I love your story about the US/America!

      • navery
        11:56 pm - 9-3-2012

        Yes! Cebuano is actually one of the dialects of the Philippines. I’m half Filipino, so its an attempt to learn my mother’s language! The official language in the Philippines is Tagalog, but Cebuano/Bisaya is the second most used language there. And thank you!

  15. jhanse10
    2:48 pm - 9-3-2012

    Hi, my name is Jessica Hansen and I am currently a sophomore here at George Mason University. I am a Global affair major with a concentration in International Development. Still pondering the idea of a possible minor in Sociology or Global Community Health. I moved to the United States last year for the first time to attend college. Prior to moving to Virginia, I lived in Germany and Italy as a military brat. My passion is traveling and seeing the world. I love to experience other cultures and be surrounded by diversity. With my BA in Global Affairs I hope to one-day work within the United Nations or at an international embassy.
    I am very eager to dive right into this class because the topics are so intriguing. I hope to become more familiar with the concept of globalization and knowledgeable in the area of mass incarcerations. Most importantly, I am interested in hearing ideas and opinions from such a diverse group that seems to make up our CULT 320 class this semester. I am looking forward to many great lectures! (:

    • kmilburn1957
      7:27 pm - 9-3-2012

      Jessica- where was your family stationed in Italy? We spent two years at Sigonella, Sicily, and my son was born in Naples. Were you old enough to remember it? Unfortunately my son was only two when we left so he has no memories of his “homeland”. How as Germany? I would have loved to live there, but alas- we only visited.

      • jhanse10
        7:15 pm - 9-4-2012

        My family was stationed at Aviano Air Base for about 7 years. I moved there when I was 4 years old and left at the beginning of my 5th grade year.The people were always so friendly. At both places we lived on the economy, which was alot better then being stuck on base. I remember a lot about Italy but enjoyed Germany a bit more because I was old enough to experience the culture and really take part in their traditions. I love how much freedom my parents gave me because the environment is overall safer then back in the U.S. I was able to travel a lot, which, was really great. America was definitely a culture shock when I moved back but I am getting used to it. Was Italy you only overseas assignment?

        • kmilburn1957
          9:25 pm - 9-20-2012

          No, we also spent two years in Seoul , Korea. We lived on base there, so didnt get the cultural experience you do when you live off base. I envy you being ablet o stay there for seven years. I cried when we left Sicily because I felt so at home there. The people were so friendly and welcoming. Korea was fun, too, and we did some great traveling while there. I ate things there I never thought I would eat :/ But I didn’t feel as “at home” there as I did in Italy. Funny, I also felt it was much safer there. Kinda like back in th 50’s Happy Days kind of time.

    • sbannach
      10:23 pm - 9-4-2012

      Hey Jessica,
      You’re so lucky to have travelled around the world with your family! I too have a military family, though we never had to move overseas for it. I look forward to hearing about your experiences abroad!

    • gail50
      4:52 am - 9-5-2012

      Jessica, Do I understand correctly that you have lived abroad all your life and just returned to the US to study? If this is the case, I suspect you had or are having quite a cultural adjustment. In any case, I think you will have a lot of good comments on your experience abroad to share with the class.

    • shusain
      11:32 am - 9-7-2012

      Hi Jessica! I think you should definitely go for the minor. The more on your resume the better! I’ve never traveled to Germany or Italy, I can’t imagine actually living there. Not only do we have the same major, but I would love to work for the United Nations one day too!

  16. oliviab
    5:38 pm - 9-3-2012

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Olivia. Born and raised in Virginia. I am a junior at Mason, studying Global Affairs. I am pretty much set on concentrating in International Development. And I am minoring in non-profit studies. I still don’t really know what I want to do after college, but in general, I hope to work for non-profits/NGO’s or give-back companies.
    Outside of the academic part of college, I am the president of the GMU TOMS Campus Club (most of you have probably heard of TOMS shoes, or have a pair of your own!). I love the TOMS’ One-for-One mission and will support just about any other organization with a similar cause. This summer, I interned for a company called HALF UNITED, which was an AWESOME experience. Learned a lot. But they are an apparel company and for each product they sell, HALF the profits go to fighting hunger (feeding kids in several areas around the world). After my internship there, I am even more positive about wanting to work for a give-back organization after college.
    Anyway, excited to see what this class has in store! I can already tell that it’ll be very interesting from the first session last week. There are so many different view points and backgrounds represented, which I love. See ya’ll Wednesday!

    • msirico
      7:41 pm - 9-4-2012

      hi Olivia!
      your internship with HALF united sounds awesome! Give back companies are one of those new models that gain popularity by giving back, and that’s amazing! this type of company truly sounds like a great match with your academic interests as well!

    • ender91
      3:23 am - 9-5-2012

      Hello Olivia!
      I’m sorry but what is TOM’s One-for-One mission? I only know what the TOMS shoes look like but aside from that nothing else. Also what does the GMU TOMS campus club do? I think its great that you were able to intern for a company that helped strengthen your interests.

  17. tmarchan
    7:45 pm - 9-3-2012

    My name is Tiffany Marchante and I am a junior pursuing a Global Affairs major with a concentration in Global Governance. My parents are from El Salvador and I like to travel there during the summer. I have lived in the DMV area my whole life. I enjoy learning about other countries and I think GMU is the perfect place for that because of its diversity. In the future I would like to travel all around the world and learn about different cultures, traditions, and foods!! There are many career options that I have been looking into but the one that grabs my attention the most is becoming a Consular Officer.

    • rafae309
      12:05 am - 9-4-2012

      Hi Tiffany, I’m pursuing a concentration in Global Governance as well and I totally agree about GMU being the perfect place, especially regarding global affairs and diversity. Are you interested in becoming a Consular Officer here in the U.S or are you more interested in working abroad? What other career options would you be interested in?

  18. vorozhko
    9:38 pm - 9-3-2012

    Just as intrigued and curious, as the person above me, of your perception of the “U.S., United States, and America” when you were small; what kind of a relationship did you envision between the different “states” of America?

  19. albuquerque
    8:00 pm - 9-4-2012

    Hello, Im Erin Albuquerque. Im a junior majoring in Global Affairs (concentrations: International Development & Global Inequalities & Responses) with a minor in Global Conflict Analysis & Resolution. I am in the class because it is required and to be honest I had no idea what I was in for when I got to the first class. So far though it seems interesting and very applicable to my studies. A little about myself, I come from a long line of military officers, mostly Navy, and through that I have lived all over the US at major entry ports. Because of this I have been exposed to a lot of different cultures though ive never lived abroad, which is what led me to wanting a career outside of the US. Ideally I want to work in project management for a private development firm but I am also considering positions with USAID and World Bank. This year though im just a freshmen RA in the park and im working on a huge fundraising project for an organization I worked with this summer while in the Philippines.

    • emyers
      6:36 pm - 9-7-2012

      Hey Erin…wow we have the same major, concentration, minor, and I’m studying abroad in the Philippines this summer, thats kinda crazy! Thats cool that you’ve lived in so many different places in the US, sounds like a very interesting childhood!

  20. allcajun
    11:28 pm - 9-4-2012

    Hello all,

    Shannon Cash here; I am a junior majoring in finance. I am prior Air Force active duty and currently Air Force Reserve. I am an anomaly, I have the job that I want but require a degree to continue progressing in professionally. I work for the Federal Railroad Administration as the Fund Administrator for Obama’s high speed rail project. I have been to numerous countries during my time in the AF and have seen the good the bad and the ugly of what the world has to offer. I hope to gain a better understanding of how globalization affects all countries involved better or worse.

  21. acoreas12
    12:32 am - 9-5-2012

    Hi, everyone! My name is Ana Coreas, I’m a senior majoring in Conflict Analysis & Resolution and minoring in Immigration Studies and Sociology. If all goes well I’ll be graduating this fall. After graduation I would like to join USCRI as an immigration intern and work to address the needs and rights of refugee and immigrant children while also being exposed to the immigration court process. On a more personal note, both my parents immigrated from El Salvador fleeing a civil war and came to northern VA where I was born and raised. Over the summer I studied abroad in Costa Rica and was exposed to the life of the Bri-Bri indigenous community in Yorkin. The experience was amazing and I left Costa Rica with a new perspective on life and I can’t wait to learn more about this topic this semester in addition to issues regarding land rights and environmental racism.

    • albuquerque
      3:56 pm - 9-5-2012

      @acoreas12 random, but it sounds like you studied some of the same stuff in costa rica that I did in the Philippines. If your ever looking to further your research or cross compare with a totally “different” culture you should look into the idigenous people’s of Mindanao, PI.

    • shill10
      10:49 pm - 9-11-2012

      I think that we should be friends lol I have the same major and minors as you. I also have an interest in refugees. Today the UN refugee people outside the JC caught my interest, but since I wasn’t 21 I wasn’t allowed to donate. (Which is very strange I think) Anyway have you done any internships? I am looking for one for either next semester of first semester Senior year, but it is kinda in the “unknown” for me so any advice you might have would be appreciated!

  22. grivas3
    1:30 am - 9-5-2012

    Hi all,

    My name is Gladis Rivas and I am currently a Junior. This is my second semester at mason because I previously attended Nova community College for two years. I am a Global affairs major with a concentration in Global Inequalities and Responses and also doing a minor in immigration studies. I love traveling and learning about different cultures and customs. I was born in El Salvador but have been raised in the United states. I register for this class because is require for my major but so far it seems very interesting so I’m excited to learn more about the subject.

  23. shusain
    2:32 am - 9-5-2012

    Hi everyone! My name is Sana Husain and I am currently a junior at Mason. I’m majoring in Global Affairs with a minor in Business Management. In the future I hope to obtain a career which involves international business. I love to travel and learn about different cultures. Some of my international travel spots include London, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, and my absolute favorite which was Dubai. I hope to extend that list in the future πŸ™‚ I chose to take this class because I thought it would help to broaden my knowledge of globalization. The first class was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to the ones ahead!

    • msaddat
      11:49 am - 9-7-2012

      Hey Sana! It’s awesome to hear about all the places you have traveled. Like you, I also hope to pursue a career in international business. Have you been looking at certain companies that you are interested in? I think it’s vital to learn about culture when thinking about doing international business and that’s why I’m excited to see what this class has to offer. Also, I’m planning (and dreaming) of visiting Dubai after i graduate iA. It has been a dream of mine for years and getting a gig in international business dealing with Dubai would be a dream come true!

  24. ender91
    3:11 am - 9-5-2012

    Hi! My name is Megan Galo and I am junior who has just decided to be fully committed in a global affairs major after considering about three other completely unrelated majors. Therefore I am still fairly unfamiliar with the major and hasn’t completely decided on a concentration but right now I am interested in international development. I am hoping this class and my other classes this semester might help me choose which concentration I should go into. As for myself personally, I was born and have spent a big part of my childhood in a little agricultural town in the Visayan region of the Philippines. Tagalog is the official language of the Philippines but I rarely speak it these days since I always talk in an obscure language called karay-a (one of about a hundred other languages present in the country) with my family so now I am finding myself to be much more fluent in english instead. Aside from my native country and the U.S., I have never been on any other country. I would really love to visit another country in Asia or South America and personally experience culture someday. I work part time right now as a cashier but I am trying to look for a better job or maybe even an internship.

  25. jnewman4
    3:58 am - 9-5-2012

    Helle Everyone! I am a senior this year studying Global Affairs with a minor in Spanish. Im local; i was born and raised in Vienna, VA. (about ten minuted away) I havent had the chnge to travel outside of the US but i hope to this year, maybe Argentina, Spain, or Cuba. I am passionate about learning how the world inter-connects through globalization; especially when it comes to the environment. I look forward to learining about the expandidng modern world and how it directly corrilates with the idigenous losing their homes and livelihoods. Since i am a Global Affairs major i am required to take this class; however, i am excited about the numerous topics we will be covering.

    • ncockril
      12:58 pm - 9-5-2012

      Hi! Just curious as to what made you aware of this issue: was there some sort of personal epiphany that led to your wishes of going to South America to help this sort of thing? Your interest is quite pointed, and I was just wondering if you’d expand on how you became so interested in it!

  26. gail50
    4:16 am - 9-5-2012

    Hello! My name is Gail Davenport. I am a β€œSenior Auditor” in CULT 045. As you may know, Virginia residents over 65 years of age may submit their college transcripts and, if accepted, can attend a Virginia State college as an auditor, taking classes without credit for free. I have audited classes in music, history, english, and art history at GMU for several semesters.

    I worked for over 20 years as a Contracting Officer at a federal government agency and for five years as an Economic Business Analyst in the Center for Acquisition and Systems Analysis at MITRE Corporation. Currently, I am β€œon call” as a consultant for special projects such as writing and editing documents for government source selections (competitive acquisitions). I have an MS in Consumer Economics from U of Maryland. My BA is from Cal Berkeley (Go Bears!) with a major in musicology.

    I believe that in the current era, globalization is increasing exponentially and I fear that a majority of US citizens are unaware of the consequences – both positive and negative. I am enthused about studying globalization from a cultural prospective that will go beyond political, economic, and social dimensions to explore effects of more specific spheres from environmental impacts to food customs.

  27. gail50
    4:43 am - 9-5-2012

    Kathy M., I enjoyed your post and replies. Where in Sicily is Sigonella? We spend a short five days in Sicily in June. We flew to Catania, drove to Cefalu, took the train to Palermo, then drove south to Agrigento and back east to Siracusa, and Catania. We missed seeing the western half of the island. We also took the ferry over to Calabria and drove up the north coast to the coastal town where my father was born. I was truly thunderstruck by the number and complexity of the series of tunnels and bridges in both areas. There are huge road building projects in Calabria so I suspect it may see more foreign tourism. Right now it is mostly the Italians who take advantage of the wonderful beaches on the Mediterranean.

    • kmilburn1957
      9:34 pm - 9-20-2012

      We lived in a seaside town names Acitrezza for the first year. It was named for the three rock Cyclops threw at Ulysses (becasue there are three huge rocks off its coast). We then moved to Motta St. Anastasia to be closer to the base my husbnad was stationed. The nearest big city was Catania. We got to know the island very well, and was awestruck by those ruins in Agrigento. Palermo was beutiful too. I would have loved to have had a connection to the country as you did. We loved living there- the people are so warm and welcoming. We had a local family who started out as just our landlords but became our close freinds who showed us the real Italy, not just the tourist spots, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

  28. gail50
    4:56 am - 9-5-2012

    I am replying to myself to correct the mistake in the Culture and Globalization course number before someone else does! Of course I meant CULT 320.

  29. emyers
    5:21 am - 9-5-2012

    Hola! My name is Emma Myers, I am currently a junior at George Mason studying Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Inequalities and Responses with a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, it’s a mouthful but I want to do something good for the world. I love traveling and lived in the Canary Islands for 10 months which really made me kind of obsessed with traveling, which is why I chose Global Affairs as my major, in hopes of being able to work abroad and learn more about the world we live in, so I am extremely excited for this class! I have also traveled to other parts of Spain, France, Italy, the Dominican Republic, Iceland and Hungary, and I love hearing of other peoples travel adventures which it looks like there are a lot of in this class!

    • shusain
      11:15 am - 9-7-2012

      Hi Emma! I think it’s really nice you want to do something good for the world, I feel the same which is why I’m a Global Affairs major as well. I’m actually taking CONF 340 this semester and so far its a really interesting class. Where would you like to work if you could abroad? I’m so jealous you have visited Spain, France, and Italy!

  30. rgomez5
    3:07 pm - 9-5-2012

    Hi guys, my name is Ruben, I am originally from Venezuela and moved to VA in 2005. I am majoring in Economics and this is my last semester here at GMU; I found this class as a good choice for my 300 level elective, I will find very interesting to discuss globalization issues with people who may have different ideas and from other cultures. Globalization is been part of my life for long time, when I was in high school I went to Russia for a year as an exchange student, at the time I was 15 and it really was an interesting experience, after that experience it was much easier to understand people from distant parts of the world. I love to travel, but I never been to Asia, I am trying to go to Thailand this December, =)
    I look forward to have a fun class and learn from each other.

    • ncockril
      1:09 pm - 9-5-2012

      Hey Ruben!

      When you said that your trip to Russia for a year, I both shuddered and laughed at the same time. I am originally from Russia, and I haven’t been back for years because of the political machinations and fairly dangerous nature of living there (my family there are as close to political opposition you can get there, and even that is very scary). I was wondering if you could expand on how it gave you a broader view on global society and culture. πŸ™‚ I suppose not everything coming out of modern Russia today is bad, yeah?

  31. sarahariri
    3:22 pm - 9-5-2012


    My name is Sara Alhariri and I am a senior at Mason studying Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Inequalities and minoring in French. My family is originally from Baghdad, Iraq but I was born in New England. I am passionate about foreign language and currently speak Arabic and French and have studied various other languages before. I have been lucky enough to have traveled extensively including most of Western Europe and parts of the Near and Middle East. I also lived in France to attend the American University of Paris as a visiting student. Through this class, I hope I can learn more about the world that I enjoy discovering through travel and language-learning. I believe that this class will give me a new perspective on global affairs which is what I look forward to the most this semester.

    • jnewman4
      11:10 am - 9-7-2012

      Hi Sarah! I love that you are passionate about foreign languages! THere are so many in the world and i feel it extremely important that they are shared for the sake of preservation. There have been so many lost languages throughout time. I myself wanted to study foreign languages, but i thought Global affairs gave me a more broader scope on culture. You speak Arabic? I took arabic 106 and let me tell you it was fun but very VERY hard. I can proudly say i can write in arabic, but i have no idea the translations.

  32. msaddat
    3:35 pm - 9-5-2012


    I’m Marjohn Saddat and this is my last year at GMU. I’m a double major studying marketing and global affairs. I’m also the EVP of a newly founded co-ed business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, here on campus. My main goal is to get into international business once I graduate and nothing could help more than learning about global affairs and how culture is so important when doing business around the world. I’m a first generation Afghan-America so I was brought up in a completely different culture than which I lived in. Taking my experience that I grew up with, I had my first “global” experience while studying abroad this past summer in Rome, Italy. It was my first time out of the states and it was a trip I will never forget! While studying international business and conflict resolution, I traveled throughout the entire country as well as visiting Nice and Monaco. I love learning about people, culture, experiencing different lifestyles, eating incredible food, and this past summer has only increased my desire to learn more. I’m eager to see what this class has to offer and I expect to hear some great discussions throughout the semester!

  33. jbleichn
    3:47 pm - 9-5-2012

    Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Bleichner and I am a sophomore here at George Mason. I am a Global Affairs major with a minor in Legal Studies. I was born in Fairfax but I currently live in Manassas, Va. I really enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures. I’m excited to take this class because I want to learn more about the world, its cultures, and how it is connected.

  34. Savannah
    4:13 pm - 9-5-2012

    Hey guys I’m Savannah Hill and I am a Conflict major with Immigration and Sociology minors. I became interested in global conflict when I became a student ambassador through People to People at the age of 12. The idea is that all cultures and peoples are more alike than we are different. Every other year since I was 12 I traveled with this group. I went to Brazil, Australia, Ecuador and the Galapagos, and finally South Africa. This year I am a junior and will be part of the women’s acapela group “Noteworthy” as well as a member of the Working Group on Displaced Populations. I am very interested in refugees and child soldiers. I hope that I will learn about different cultures throughout the world am will be interested to learn through student’s experience from different backgrounds. I’m most looking forward to the Week 7 unit on Immigration, gender, race, sexuality, and nationality.

    • acoreas12
      9:06 am - 9-7-2012

      Hi Savannah!
      It’s crazy but not only are we both majoring and minoring in the same fields, but I find it very interesting how we have the same interests regarding refugees and displaced populations too. I am not too familiar with People to People, but it sounds like a great program for students to travel and gain exposure to other cultures. How did you get introduced to the program and which trip was most memorable?

      • shill10
        10:54 pm - 9-11-2012

        Ok I just saw that you already posted on my post. But People to People was awesome for me.. I learned a lot about growing up and the world. (When I was 12 in Brazil I ran out of money.. turns out it was a currency exchange issue.. but I learned how to save and spend real quick lol) Geez I don’t even know which was my favorite. Probably Brazil or Ecuador. Australia and South Africa were fairly similar to American cultures, but the others were more of a culture shock. In Ecuador I had the change to snorkel with sea lions and penguins which was the coolest experience! In Brazil I loved visiting Iguazu Falls πŸ™‚

  35. Natalie
    12:18 pm - 9-5-2012

    HI Everyone,
    I’m Natalie Gibson, and I am currently a sophomore at Mason.I am majoring in Global Affairs and History. I am a total history buff and if Icould travel back in time to see anything today I would pick to see the GlassPalace of the Great World Fair in London 1851, what an exciting time inhistory. I took this class because I love to experience different cultures andtheir traditions, and I think Mason and this class is the perfect place to dothat because of our diversity and proximity to D.C. This summer I went on amission trip to El Salvador, and absolutely fell in love with the country. Ihope to one day work for an international embassy, and then become a historyteacher. I am excited to take this class because I think it will broaden myknowledge about globalization.

    • acoreas12
      8:46 am - 9-7-2012

      Hi Natalie! I haven’t been back to El Salvador since I was 8 years old, so I’m curious to know which part of ES you went to and how long you stayed? I hope you tried some ‘pupusas’ during your visit,they’re amazing!

  36. ncockril
    12:54 pm - 9-5-2012

    Good afternoon everyone; my name is Nicolai Cockrill. I am a second-year student here at George Mason studying Global Affairs with a minor in History. Reading the Economist and other publications weekly along with watching my Frontline and other various documentaries have given me a good understanding of many problems the international world faces. Other than international affairs, I enjoy playing paintball, swimming, Reddit, and a nice pair of slacks. I hope to explore in-depth some of the problems the US rehabilitation system creates through its policies of mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders- however, after reading the syllabus, I am excited about all topics yet to be covered. All of this will one day I hope help me work for the U.N., some kind of N.G.O., or write for a respected foreign policy publication.

    • jnewman4
      2:30 pm - 9-6-2012

      HI nicolai!I believe you’re the second person named Nicolai i’ve met in my life, and i have to say I think a nice pair of slacks should be on every man’s agenda! It seems we have similar goals following graduation. I too would love to find a job with some NGO or even World Bank, IMF, something! Have you applied for any internships? From experience, I know it is so competitive. What about Graduate School? Do you think in our desired field, one would be more marketable with a Masters Degree?

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