President's Blog

Mason alumna, our “Person of the Year”

This note from Honors College Dean Zofia Burr and Assistant Dean Andy Hoefer about alumna Audrey Ferguson truly made my day.  Time Magazine got it right this year when it named Ebola fighters the “Person of the Year“.   I was delighted, and not surprised, that one of our alumni was among the many unsung heroes who “risked, persisted and sacrificed” to save lives.  And I loved the piece of Mason Pride that she found and shared with us from the heart of Liberia.

When Audrey first came to Mason, she intended to study global affairs. Then she decided to pursue nursing and minor in global affairs, a combination not possible at many other institutions. It’s great that Mason enabled her to pursue both interests and helped prepare her for the important work that she is doing in our community and around the world.

So, I nominate Audrey as my Mason Person of the Year! Thank you Audrey for all you do.


From Andy Hoefer, via Zofia Burr

Time magazine this week named its Person(s) of the Year: healthcare workers battling the Ebola virus in West Africa. Among that group is Mason alumna Audrey Ferguson (University Scholar, BS in Nursing, Class of 2012). Audrey is in West Africa as part of an effort coordinated by the U.S.-based nonprofit Partners in Health. She’s involved in preventative care and public health outreach.

audreyfergusonOn Tuesday, she sent us this photo from a roadside shop in Zwedru, Liberia — an image that shows a bit of Mason’s global presence.

Audrey has been passionate about global health since early in her time at Mason. Involved in a wide variety of service organizations at the university, she was awarded two Critical Language Scholarships — a U.S. Department of State program — to study Bangla in Bangladesh during her undergraduate career.

After graduating, Audrey took a nursing position at Inova Fairfax. This past summer, she returned to Bangladesh as a volunteer with a Canadian nonprofit, Bangladesh Health Project, and she taught in a Bangladeshi nursing school.

In September, Audrey responded to the State Department’s call for healthcare professionals willing to travel to Liberia, where she is now. She is scheduled to return home next week.