Vice President for University Life Rose Pascarell and I had lunch today with a terrific group of undergraduate resident assistants. Rose asked them to share how they had been able to find their passion at Mason. Without exception, every story was linked to a faculty or staff member. Here are some of the stories:
- Don Boudreaux helped a student not only discover but fall in love with economics.
- Rebecca Walter directed one student’s independent study project that inspired her to direct her professional interest towards women’s issues.
- By bringing his professional experience to his classes, Arthur Romano helped a student conclude that studying conflict analysis and resolution was the best decision in her life, and helped her realize she wants to work in youth empowerment.
- Liza Durant helped a student who was unsure about his interest in engineering “feel important” and develop a passion for civil engineering.
- Marcella Marcey, reaffirmed one student’s commitment to psychology as she was beginning to have doubts.
- Teejay Brown made a minority student find her home in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education, which helped her find many other ways to engage and serve.
And there are many more stories like these. In fact, there are thousands of stories like these at Mason. That’s what makes being part of Mason such a thrill: to be able to have such impact in young people’s lives. And to be surrounded by colleagues who do it so well.
Rose also asked what is the one thing they would focus on if they were president for a day. Here are some of the answers:
- Focus on sustainability: set up better recycling infrastructure, plant organic gardens
- Create wellness programs to help students live more relaxed, healthier lives
- Encourage students to leverage our unique location and engage in social change movements
- Create initiatives to increase the interactions between different ethnic and cultural groups to turn diversity into a multicultural learning asset for everyone
- Improve student advising
- Build parking decks
- Create a support program to identify students who are about to fall through the cracks and get them out of their slump
Granted, each of these would take a bit longer than a day. But they make a great list. Thank you for an inspiring and energizing lunch. More to come!