Dr. Jackie Poapst, Assistant Director of Debate, George Mason University

Connecting undergraduate education to real world research and analysis.

The Mason Center for Argument and Public Policy begins its first semester of research as a connected project to the George Mason University’s Communication Department, COMM 362 (Argument and Public Policy) course. Founded by Dr. Jackie Poapst (left), this site aims to encourage undergraduate critical thinking, research, and policy centered analysis. Each student in COMM 362 serves as research analysts for their semester in the course, picking an area of expertise and updating their author page on the center’s site throughout their course work.

Meet our Analysts

Elliot Matthews

Elliot is a graduating senior studying Communications at George Mason University. His love for politics, and his positioning in the world’s capital has given him insight into the disparity between intended and actual politics. His research into immigration policies in the post 9/11 world has given valuable insight into the dangers of fear-mongering in politics.

Sean Rush

Hi, I am Sean Rush. I am a Communications major at George Mason University, concentrating in Political Communications. I like to go outside, play with me dogs, and watch Netflix. This semester, I will be researching Sanctuary Cities in an effort to understand the action behind them.

Sandra Mosely

Sandra Mosely is a Communications student at George Mason University majoring in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. Her love for animals has prompted her to research and share her findings on wildlife conservation.

Emily Portalatin Munoz

Emily Portalatin Munoz is a Junior at George Mason University studying Criminology, Law and Society. Her passion about the immigration system stems from her being PuertoRican as well as being actively informed about the struggles her many friends in the hispanic community are faced with. In her free time she enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter, going to the movie theater, and spending lots of time with her friends and family.

Hello, my name is Valentina Balatsenko and I am a communication major with a concentration in interpersonal and organizational communication. I love to learn about different languages and cultures in my free time, and I love playing games. One of my favorite games is Animal Crossing. My work for this class site can be found here. (I will probably change this ‘about me’ section later to make it sound more professional)

Hi, my name is Katy Rivera and I am a communications major, concentrating in interpersonal and organizational communication. I love going to the gym, eating and interior decorating. I will be taking a closer look at plastic pollution and its effects on the environment.

Tartil Jarrar

Tartil is a GMU senior majoring in communication with a concentration in PR. She chose to focus her research on environmental policy, specifically policies surrounding air pollution.

I love the environment, and I believe that knowledge is power. The more informed we are, the better we can be towards our beautiful planet. I look forward to sharing what I learn with you!

Andrew Koh

Andrew is a Communications major at George Mason University studying under the concentration of Media Production & Criticism. As a musician and music journalist currently writing for indie music blogs, Fuzzy Logic based in Washington DC & the Let It Happen Music Blog based in Cardiff, Wales, UK, his work within the music industry has been in jeopardy due to the cancelation of live music events & venue closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. With an interest in examining the potential legislative & public policy solutions regarding the pandemic, Andrew looks to develop a deeper understanding of how US public policy & government is affected under an international crisis.

Charles Vanek is a Communications Major at George Mason University. He enjoys friends, family, food, and facts. More importantly, he is a “political Martian” in the modern world. He cuts through the spin of partisanship and the lies of the mainstream media and gets at the facts, then forms opinions based on those facts, not on allegiance to one party or another. He’s in a unique political headspace and has been for years. The aliens brought him here…and they don’t want him back, but stick around, you might just like what he has to say.

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