2012-2013 Fairfax Speakers
Steven Pearlstein, a Pulitzer-prize winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post, joined the George Mason University faculty as Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs in the fall of 2011. His route to university teaching has been an unconventional one. After several years as a reporter for small newspapers in New Hampshire, he moved to Washington to serve as administrative assistant to members of the House and Senate. He was a TV reporter for public television in Boston, senior editor at Inc. magazine, and founding editor and publisher of The Boston Observer, a monthly political magazine. He returned to Washington in 1988 as deputy business editor and, over the next 23 years, also served as the Post’s defense industry reporter, economics writer and Canadian correspondent. He became an opinion columnist in 2003, with a wide-ranging interest in business and economic topics of local, national and international interest.
Professor Pearlstein was awarded the Gerald R. Loeb Award for commentary in 2007 and the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2008 for columns the previous year anticipating and explaining the recent financial crisis and global economic downturn. In 2011 he won the Gerald R. Loeb Award for lifetime achievement in business and financial journalism. His work has also been cited by the Society of Business Editors and Writers. He has appeared frequently as a commentator on national television and radio programs. He continues to write a weekly column for the Post’s Sunday Business section and oversees the Post’s leadership web site, On Leadership.
At Mason, Pearlstein will focus on teaching basic principles of economics and economic policy and exploring new ways to improve the economic literacy of undergraduates as well as teach a freshman reading and writing course in the Honors College. Pearlstein holds a B.A. in American Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
James P. Pfiffner is University Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. His areas of expertise include the Presidency, American National Government, and public management. His professional experience includes service in the Director’s Office of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (1980-81), and he has been a member of the faculty at the University of California, Riverside and California State University, Fullerton. In 2007 he was S.T. Lee Professorial fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of London.
He has written or edited twelve books on the presidency and American National Government, including The Strategic Presidency: Hitting the Ground Running, Power Play: The Bush Administration and the Constitution, and Torture as Public Policy. He has also published more than 100 articles and chapters in books, professional journals, reference works, and the popular press.
He received the Distinguished Faculty Award at Mason in 1990 and the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Scholarship in 1999. While serving with the 25th Infantry Division (1/8 Artillery) in 1970 he received the Army Commendation Medal for Valor in Vietnam and Cambodia. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Gabriella M. Petrick, Ph.D. received her degree from the University of Delaware as a Hagley Fellow and is currently an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies in the Department of Nutrition, and Food Studies at George Mason University. She is also affiliate faculty in the Department of History and Art History. Her interdisciplinary research on food combines the fields of the history of technology, sensory history, environmental history and the history of science. Additionally Dr. Petrick’s training at the Culinary Institute of America, Cornell University and at several wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties has shaped her theoretical approach to taste. Her forthcoming book with Johns Hopkins University Press, tentatively entitled Industrializing Taste: Food Processing and the Transformation of the American Diet, 1900-1965, analyzes how new food processing techniques transformed the foods available to American consumers as well as how housewives incorporated these new industrial foods into their family’s diet over the course of the last century. She is also working on a second book project, Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter: Taste in History, for the sensory history series at the University of Illinois Press that looks at the importance of taste historically. She has won many awards for her scholarship including the Hindle Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Society for the History of Technology, the W. Gabriel Carras Award for Junior Scholars from the Steinhardt School, New York University, and a National Science Foundation Grant. She has published in the Journal of America History, Agricultural History, History and Technology, among other journals and edited volumes.
Lebanese artist Chawky Frenn exhibits his work nationally and internationally including such exhibits as Be the Peace you seek! At BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD and Can Humankind Save Itself? at Lamar Dodd Art Center of LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA. His work is included in the collections of the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, Ohio, and in many private collections. Frenn’s work has appeared in publications including 100 Artists of Washington D.C., Male Nude Now, and a monograph of his work titled Art for Life’s Sake. He has also recently authored two books: 100 Boston Painters and 100 Boston Artists.
Frenn also lectures nationally and internationally, most recently participating in a conference sponsored by Centre de Recherches Politiques de la Sorbonne at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, France. He holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a MFA from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University. Frenn previously taught at Bridgewater State College, Montserrat College of Art, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at George Mason University. Frenn’s various honors include the Teaching Excellence Award from George Mason University in 2009, the Blanche E. Colman Award from Mellon Trust in Boston in 1998.
Lance Sherry is an Associate Professor of Systems Engineering and Operations Research (SEOR) at George Mason University. Dr Sherry also serves as the Director of the Center for Air Transportation Systems Research (CATSR), a multidisciplinary research center housed in the Volgeneau Engineering School at George Mason University.
Dr. Sherry has over 26 years experience in the industry and academia ranging from aircraft flight test engineer, cockpit avionics design and certification engineer, lead system engineer, program manager, business development and strategic planning, and researcher. Dr. Sherry's research interests are in the analysis and simulation of stochastic network-of-networks composed of autonomous, complex, adaptive agents. He has published over 100 papers and journal articles, holds several patents, and has received several awards for his work.
Jorge Haddock is Dean of the School of Management at George Mason University. Prior to coming to Mason, he was Dean of the University of Richmond’s School of Business and Associate Dean and Professor of Management Science and Information Technology in the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Haddock earned a BS in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, an MS in management engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in industrial engineering from Purdue University. His primary teaching interests include operations research, production planning and information technology. His primary research interests involve the design and implementation of effective information technology, production and service systems, as well as their effect on corporate culture.
Haddock combines his administrative responsibilities with a passion for research, which has translated to more than 70 publications that he has authored or co-authored. He is also the co-inventor of the patent “Method of System for Providing Credit Support to Parties Associated with Derivative and Other Financial Transactions.” He has been a consultant to several companies, including Mackie Designs, CSX World Terminals, Citicorp, Citibank (Wall Street) Bendix, Jiffy Lube and others.
Haddock has been recognized throughout the years for his academic contributions to the community and most recently was honored with the 2009 Virginia Hispanic Educator of the Year Award from the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Amy L. Best is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at George Mason University. Her research focuses on the study of youth, culture and social inequalities, with a particular interest in how gender, ethnicity, race and class differently shape the social experiences of contemporary American youth. She is interested in qualitative and feminist approaches to social research. Best is author of Prom Night Youth, Schools and Popular Culture (2000 Routledge), which was selected for the 2002 American Educational Studies Association Critics’ Choice Award, Fast Cars: Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars (NYU Press 2006), and is editor of Representing Youth: Methodological Issues in Critical Youth Studies (NYU Press, 2007). Best served as editor for the Culture section of Blackwell’s online journal Sociology Compass (2006-2010). She served on the editorial board of Social Psychology Quarterly (2009-2011), as an officer for the American Sociological Association’s Sex and Gender section (2009-2011). Best is the founding director of the PhD program in Public Sociology at George Mason (2008-2012).