Success Starts Here
We are a progressive, diverse university and our leadership reflects that. We come from many different backgrounds, many different places, and each of us brings something different to the table. It is these very contrasts that allow us to look beyond the expected as we share the responsibility and commitment to ensure the success of our students in their academic goals, personal lives, careers, communities and whatever other endeavors they may choose to pursue.
Our graduates go on to become involved, caring and contributing members of society, who seek to make a positive imprint. It’s the best lesson we teach.
We learn not by convincing others that we are right, but by being open to the possibility that we may not be. Learning is about shaping our beliefs, sharpening our understanding of complex issues, uncovering nuances that escaped us before.
Ángel Cabrera, University President
Ángel Cabrera is in his seventh year as president of George Mason University. Before becoming Mason’s sixth president in 2012, Cabrera served as dean of IE Business School in Madrid and as president of Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of Arizona State University). Cabrera is the first native of Spain to have served as president of an American university.
As a business educator, Cabrera played a key role in advancing professional ethics, internationalization, and corporate social responsibility. As a senior advisor to the United Nations Global Compact, in 2007 he was the lead author of the Principles for Responsible Management Education, now adopted by more than 700 schools around the world.
The World Economic Forum named Cabrera a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” in 2002, a “Young Global Leader” in 2005, and chair of the Global Agenda Council for entrepreneurship in 2008. In 2004, Businessweek named him one of 25 “Stars of Europe.” Cabrera was an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2008 and a Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting topic leader in 2010.
Cabrera holds a telecommunications engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (BS and MS in computer and electrical engineering) and an MS and PhD in psychology and cognitive science from Georgia Tech, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar.
In 2014, Cabrera received an honorary degree from Miami-Dade College, and in 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The Carnegie Corporation of New York named Cabrera to its 2017 class of “Great Immigrants.” For more news about the president’s work, go here.
Executive Council *
Trishana Bowden joined George Mason University in March 2019 as the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations and President of the George Mason University Foundation.
As the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations and President of the Foundation, Trishana reports jointly to the President of the university and the Foundation Board of Trustees, working harmoniously with a multitude of highly engaged and energetic university and foundation partners. She is responsible for developing, executing, and evaluating all aspects of the university’s comprehensive fundraising program, including annual giving, major and leadership giving, corporate and foundation relations, planned giving, alumni relations, research and prospect management, development services, and donor cultivation and stewardship.
Trishana will provide vision and direction for University Advancement with a clear focus on future fundraising after the completion of the record-setting Faster Farther campaign, which concluded in December 2018. She will provide strategic leadership and direction for post-campaign analytics, reporting, and followup, while working with key leadership to develop clear priorities and a plan for future support through pipeline development, alumni engagement, and participation strategies.
Bowden came to Mason from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, where she was the Vice President for Advancement, responsible for providing strategy, leadership and direction for fundraising, alumni and parent relations, campaign planning, and implementation. Her accomplishments there included diversifying and strengthening Goucher’s donor base and pipeline to build a culture of philanthropy, which led to a doubling of overall giving to the institution in less than three years.
Prior to her work at Goucher, Trishana was the Associate Dean for External Relations at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law. She also served as Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement at American University Washington College of Law and has held development positions at the American Lung Association of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. She received a B.S. in Mass Communication/Media Studies from Towson University in 1991.
Dr. Deborah Crawford joined Mason as Vice President for Research in April 2016. She is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the full range of the university’s research activities.
Previously, she was with the International Computer Science Institute, an independent non-profit research organization affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as president and executive director. From 2010 to 2014, she served as senior vice provost for Research at Drexel University.
From 1993 to 2010, Crawford worked at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in executive and program management positions in the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Education and Human Resources, and Engineering, and in the Office of the Director. Crawford also served as NSF’s liaison to the National Science and Technology Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Institutes of Health. She was recognized by the President of the United States for her contributions to science and science policy, receiving a Presidential Rank Award in 2006 and in 2010.
Prior to joining NSF, Crawford’s research interests were in high-speed optical and optoelectronic systems in work done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of California Santa Barbara, and AT&T Bell Laboratories.
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Crawford earned her PhD in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Bradford, and her B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.
Sharon Cullen manages all aspects of the president’s activities and commitments, engages in university-related initiatives and oversees the President’s Office operations, along with the members of the presidential administrative team. She works closely with the president, senior administration, and across a broad spectrum of the university.
Ms. Cullen is a member of Executive and President’s Councils. She is an alum of the Leadership Legacy program (Cohort 2) and is also engaged in the university’s wellbeing initiative.
In June 2007, she received a Certificate of Achievement for her accomplishments and contributions to the president and Mason. In December 2011, she was presented with a Presidential Citation for assisting in the apprehension of a campus perpetrator.
Ms. Cullen joined Mason’s Office of the Provost in January 2000 and transitioned to the President’s Office in 2001. Prior to joining Mason, she was involved in academic administration at Georgia Tech, Augusta College, the University of North Dakota and Northern Virginia Community College.
She is a graduate of Duluth Business University with a concentration in legal administration and holds a paralegal certificate with 10 years of related experience in various areas of the law. She is also a member of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE).
Brad Edwards became the fifth athletic director in George Mason’s history on July 1, 2014. Prior to Mason, he served as athletic director at Jacksonville University and at Newberry College. He began his work in intercollegiate athletics in 1999 after a successful nine-year career in the NFL, joining his alma mater, the University of South Carolina.
In just three years at Mason, Mr. Edwards has led a departmental effort that secured more than $17 million in new revenue and product through fundraising and corporate sponsorship agreements, including a $13.7 million 20-year naming rights partnership with EagleBank. In March 2017, Mason athletics recently completed the $1.3 million phase 1 of the baseball stadium renovation. Additionally, the department has begun Phase 1 of the Patriots Basketball Improvement Plan primarily focused on providing a dedicated practice facility for the Patriots basketball teams and a complete overhaul of the basketball locker rooms in EagleBank Arena.
At Jacksonville, Mr. Edwards raised a department record of approximately $3 million in new capital gifts for athletic facilities. At South Carolina, Mr. Edwards played a primary role in the development of more than $170 million in revenue, construction projects and project financing. Mr. Edwards also played a critical part in new facility design, development and construction; most notably assistance with day-to-day oversight of design and construction of the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena, and primary oversight of the 34,000-square-foot Charles Crews Football Facility. Mr. Edwards was responsible for all venue concessions and food service, department advertising and multimedia rights, executive suites and assisting in securing major financial gifts.
Mr. Edwards earned second-team All-American honors after the 1987 season for the Gamecocks. He went on to play free safety in the NFL after being drafted in the second round of the 1988 draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He was a defensive co-captain and runner-up MVP with the Redskins Super Bowl XXVI championship team. Mr. Edwards is a member of South Carolina (statewide) athletic Hall of Fame.
Mr. Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of South Carolina and a master of arts in education from Michigan State University. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Marketing Management Executive Education Program, as well as the Executive Management and Leadership Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additionally, Edwards is a graduate of the Sports Management Institute, an academic alliance between the business schools and athletic departments of the Universities of Southern California, Notre Dame, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Texas-Austin, Michigan and Georgia. For more about Mason athletics, go here.
Carol Dillon Kissal serves as the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance for George Mason University. Prior to George Mason, Mrs. Kissal served as the Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer for Emory University. In her role, she led the financial operations of a $5.5 billion enterprise. The portfolio included responsibility for financial and accounting operations; treasury and debt portfolios; capital and corporate finance which include acquisitions, financial reporting; grant and research sponsored programs; procurement and contracts management.
A proponent for innovation and insights, Mrs. Kissal created a Systems and Data Analytics discipline within the Finance Division in an effort to standardize data-driven decision-making and accountability across the University. Additionally, growth in the allocation of investment for strategic plan initiatives grew over the last three years due primarily to financial structures developed which have created optimization in liquidity and debt portfolio management.
Prior to joining Emory in September 2014, Mrs. Kissal served as Deputy General Manager of Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for eight years. She was responsible for developing, managing and implementing a financial operating and capital plan totaling $2.6 billion annually.
Mrs. Kissal’s experience prior to WMATA includes leadership roles with the DC Department of Transportation, Amtrak and IBM. She received a nomination by President George W. Bush to be the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration.
She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Pace University. Mrs. Kissal currently serves as a Board Director for Dining for Women in Greenville, SC. She is also a board member for The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and a Strategic Advisor for the Junior Achievement Board in Atlanta, GA. She is married and has one daughter studying civil engineering at Clemson University.
Paul Liberty was appointed Vice President for Government and Community Relations in 2012, reporting directly to President Ángel Cabrera. He oversees a team working with federal, state and local governments as well as business and civic communities. He leads several major university-wide initiatives and is a member of the university's Executive Council and President's Council. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Liberty served as Interim Vice President for University Relations, responsible for managing community relations, creative services, events management, media and public relations, University information and web communications.
Before joining Mason, Mr. Liberty was an executive for two publicly traded companies and a merger and acquisition advisory firm overseeing internal and external communications, corporate affairs, investor relations, legislative affairs, marketing and public relations. In addition to his corporate activities, Mr. Liberty has worked in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government at the federal, state and local levels. During his time in public service he worked on Capitol Hill, served in the White House and was chief of staff for a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. He also has managed policy and legislative functions for a large business trade association.
Mr. Liberty is a native to Northern Virginia and is active in a number of business, civic, and charitable organizations and was recognized by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors with its annual award for outstanding volunteer services.
Mr. Liberty received his BA in English from George Mason University.
For more about the Office of Government and Community Relations, go here.
Dr. Michelle Marks is the Vice President for Academic Innovation & New Ventures at George Mason University. In this capacity, she is responsible for identifying, launching and sustaining educational initiatives that fulfill George Mason’s strategic plan and generate financial resources to support students, faculty and the educational mission. Charged with creating accessible student pathways and bringing learning science innovations to campus, Dr. Marks is leading university initiatives designed to deliver online programming at scale, create pathway programming for international students and support adult degree completion through the establishment of strategic partnerships with businesses, government and education institutions. At Mason, Dr. Marks has been a champion for increasing higher education access and completion rates for Virginia’s students and is currently leading a joint initiative with Northern Virginia Community College that will launch a new student transfer model for community college students interested in pursuing a four-year degree. Dr. Marks oversees Mason Learning Solutions, the Office of Digital Learning, Academic Initiatives and Services and the Academic Ventures project management group.
Dr. Marks previously served as George Mason’s Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Associate Provost for Graduate Education. As a Professor of Management in Mason’s School of Business, Dr. Marks has spent her career researching organizational leadership development and teamwork. She has published studies illustrating the dynamic nature of the collaborative processes used by organizational teams and the critical roles of team leaders. In 2006, Dr. Marks was honored with the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award and was the recipient of the Executive MBA Professor of the Year award in 2008 and 2011.
Frank Neville is Chief of Staff at George Mason University, supporting the President in pursuing the University's strategic objectives.
Prior to joining Mason in June 2012, Mr. Neville was Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs at Thunderbird School of Global Management, the world's top-ranked school of international business. At Thunderbird, Mr. Neville was responsible for the school's global reputation and rankings while at the same time overseeing the school's advisory boards and managing a diverse global outreach and business development portfolio.
Prior to joining Thunderbird in 2004, Mr. Neville was a career diplomat with the United States Department of State. An accomplished foreign policy advocate, he has appeared on Nightline, The Today Show, 20/20, CNBC, CNN, BBC World Service and hundreds of other television programs in defense of U.S. policies. An experienced public speaker and debater, he has given numerous public presentations in Chinese, Spanish, and English to audiences throughout Asia, Latin America, and the U.S. While at the State Department, he achieved the highest levels of proficiency possible for a non-native speaker in Spanish and Mandarin.
During his 15 years in the State Department, Mr. Neville served in Taipei, Chengdu, Guatemala City, and Beijing. While in Taipei, he served as a spokesperson for the unofficial U.S. mission to Taiwan. In Chengdu, he directed U.S. public diplomacy in a district of 190 million people, which included Tibet. He served as Spokesperson and Press Office Director at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, where he was deeply involved in U.S. law enforcement activities, including counter-terrorism, anti-narcotics, and immigration. While in Beijing, he helped design and execute U.S. public affairs strategy during the 2001 EP-3 hostage crisis and led the public defense of U.S. policy toward Iraq in preparation for U.S. military action in 2003. At the time of his resignation from the Department of State, Mr. Neville was the Foreign Service's most decorated officer under 40 years of age.
In addition to his service at the State Department, Mr. Neville worked in the Secretary of Defense's Office of Chinese Affairs and served on a Pearson Fellowship, first with the City of Nogales, Arizona and then in the Office of the Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano.
Mr. Neville holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Carleton College.
Rose Pascarell is Vice President for University Life at George Mason. She has held several leadership positions in the University as Associate Vice President for University Life, Associate Dean for Campus Life and Associate Director of the Women's Studies Research and Resource Center. Ms. Pascarell's leadership work in University Life has focused on increasing student engagement and academic success, and the building of just communities.
Ms. Pascarell has worked on campus climate and multicultural/diversity issues for the last fifteen years. Her teaching and workshops focus on race, class, gender, sexuality; and the formation of just community through the examination of difference.
Ms. Pascarell earned a BA in Sociology, Criminology, and Conflict Analysis at the State University of New York at Albany. Her MA in Sociology is from George Mason University.
For more about University Life, go here.
Julian R. Williams was appointed the Vice President for Compliance, Diversity and Ethics for George Mason University in June 2015. In this role he provides leadership to the University’s Compliance, Diversity and Ethics division, which includes the Title IX and ADA coordinator(s), University Ombudsman and Assistive Technology Initiative. Julian serves as the university's executive-level compliance, diversity and ethics strategist and champion. He also advises University leadership on compliance policies and procedures. Julian leads the University's efforts to ensure a diverse student body and workforce.
Previously, he served as the Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Officer at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie NY. In that role he was the primary liaison to the President, Board of Trustees, government officials and others in the campus community on incidences of sexual misconduct and claims of discrimination or harassment. Julian has also served as the Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Julian has worked as a civil trial attorney in the state of Michigan on cases involving discrimination, harassment and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Julian also serves as union-side legal counsel in disputes between Michigan public school employees and public school districts.
He serves on the executive board for the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity, a national non-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity and diversity dedicated to the promotion of policies designed to fulfill the nation’s promise of equal opportunity for all individuals. Julian is also a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).
Julian earned a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University College of Law.
For more about the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, go here.
S. David Wu is Provost and Executive Vice President of George Mason University. Since his appointment in 2014, Provost Wu has launched important initiatives at Mason, including the establishment of the Science and Technology campus in Prince William County, the creation of campus-wide multidisciplinary initiatives, and the formation of comprehensive partnerships with Inova health system and UVA. Despite the climate of declining state support, he was able to build a world-class senior leadership team, streamlined academic administration, implemented a market-responsive budgetary system, while managing organizational changes and positioning the university for top quality research and education. In 2016, Mason entered the rank of Carnegie tier-one research universities.
Prior to joining Mason, Dr. Wu was dean of the Rossin College of Engineering and holder of the Lee A. Iacocca endowed chair at Lehigh University. Serving the deanship for over a decade, Dr. Wu led a period of unprecedented expansion and renewal for the college, recruited over 40% of the faculty, created over 12 new interdisciplinary programs, and built substantial academic and research space. At the conclusion of his tenure as Dean, engineering alumni established the S. David Wu Endowed Scholarship in honor of his accomplishments.
Provost Wu is an accomplished scholar in systems engineering and operations research. As a fellow of IIE, he published extensively and served as editor or editorial board member on several leading journals in his field. He currently serves on the board of overseers for Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, and the advisory boards for the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the National Taiwan University. In 2015, he was recognized with the prestigious Tien Educational Leadership Award.
Provost Wu was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and HKUST. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1987.
* Also includes Ángel Cabrera, President.
President's Council **
Dr. Peggy Agouris is a professor of Remote Sensing and Spatial Informatics, and Director of the Center of Earth Observing and Space Research (CEOSR), one of Mason’s most active research centers, with external funding of several million dollars annually. She has been dean of the College of Science since 2013.
Her research interests include the automation of processes for spatiotemporal information extraction from digital imagery and the integration of remote sensing and digital image processing and analysis within geospatial information systems. She has written more than 100 articles in journals, books, and conference proceedings in the image analysis and computer science literature, several of which have received national and international awards. Dr. Agouris has directed numerous PhD and MS theses, and many of those she advised are faculty members in national and international institutions.
Dr. Agouris serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, the Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, the Board of Advisors of the Intelligence National Security Alliance (INSA), and Mason’s Board of Trustees. She received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award from the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, and has served on the Committee of Visitors of the CAREER program across all NSF directorates. Her work has been supported by research grants and contracts from NSF, NASA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Army TEC, USGS, and others. She has consulted for the CIA, Milcord, Intergraph, BAE Systems, and other companies, and has served as expert witness in technology litigation cases. The total amount of external research funding she has received to date exceeds $30,000,000.
Dr. Agouris received a degree in engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and her MS and PhD from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Mason in 2007, she was with the University of Maine; before that, with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.
Ann Ardis earned her PhD from the University of Virginia (1988) and is known internationally for her scholarship on turn-of-the-century British literature and culture and modernist studies. She is also known for her work on the transformations of print media and the Anglo-American periodical press at the turn of the twentieth century. She is the author of New Women, New Novels: Feminism and Early Modernism (Rutgers UP, 1990) and Modernism and Cultural Conflict, 1880-1922 (Cambridge UP, 2002) as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She is co-editor of three edited collections: Virginia Woolf Turning the Centuries (Pace, 2000), Women’s Experience of Modernity (Johns Hopkins UP, 2002), and Mediamorphosis: Print Culture and Transatlantic Public Sphere(s), 1880-1940 (Palgrave, 2008). She recently completed a term of service as co-editor of Modernism/modernity, the official journal of the Modernist Studies Association (Johns Hopkins UP). Ardis comes to Mason from the University of Delaware, where she served as senior vice provost for graduate and professional education. Prior to that role, she was the deputy dean of Delaware’s College of Arts & Sciences and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, which supports collaborative multidisciplinary research, teaching, and creative activity anchored in the humanities.
Kevin Avruch is the Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Resolution and professor of Anthropology in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). He received his BA from the University of Chicago and his MA and PhD from the University of California at San Diego.
He taught at UCSD, the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since 1980, he has been at Mason, where he served as coordinator of the Anthropology Program in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1990-1996. From 2005-2008, he served as associate director of S-CAR.
Dr. Avruch has published more than 65 articles and essays and is author or editor of seven books, including: Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Religion, and Government; Culture and Conflict Resolution; Information Campaigns for Peace Operations; Context and Pretext in Conflict Resolution: Culture, Identity, Power and Practice; and Conflict Resolution and Human Needs: Linking Theory and Practice (with C.R. Mitchell).
Dr. Avruch has lectured widely in the United States and abroad. He spent the 1996-1997 academic year as a senior fellow in the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace at the U.S. Institute for Peace. He was the Joan B. Kroc Peace Scholar at the Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego in Spring 2009, and he was a Fulbright Specialist at the Malaviya Peace Research Centre, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, in December 2011.
Dr. Avruch is working on projects investigating sources of political violence in protracted conflicts, human rights, and truth and reconciliation commissions in post-conflict peace building, and the role of power in asymmetric conflicts and conflict resolution. As Rice Professor he serves as academic director for S-CAR's retreat and conference center, Point of View (POV), in Lorton, Virginia, a center for advanced study and practice of conflict resolution and transformation, and a site for teaching, training, research, and practice.
Kenneth Ball became dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering in August 2012. Under his leadership, the school established a new Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2013, and he has overseen rapid growth in the school’s enrollment and the launch of new degree programs such as the MS in Data Analytics Engineering and the BS Cybersecurity Engineering.
Before coming to Mason, Dr. Ball served as L.S. Randolph Professor and led the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He served for 15 years on the mechanical engineering faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, where he was the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering. He has earned degrees in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University and Drexel University and was a post-doctoral research associate in applied mathematics at Brown University.
Dr. Ball is recognized internationally for his research in computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer. He has chaired international conferences, is a past associate technical editor of the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, and has served on several other engineering journal editorial boards. He has obtained externally sponsored funding (excluding high-performance computing grants) in excess of $20 million for projects and program development in mechanical engineering, including the thermal/fluid sciences and nuclear engineering. The estimated commercial value of his supercomputer grants is in excess of $10 million.
He is active in engineering program assessment and accreditation activities, both in the United States and internationally, particularly in the Middle East. He is an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology program evaluator and has participated in numerous conferences and workshops related to engineering education and program accreditation.
Dr. Ball is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected to the leadership track of the Executive Committee of the Department Heads Forum, serving as Secretary and Vice-Chair elect.
David Burge has served as Vice President for Enrollment Management at George Mason University since July 2015.
Before coming to Mason, he served as Executive Director of Admission Services at Arizona State University and oversaw the execution of new student enrollment strategy for undergraduate and graduate, domestic and international students.
Other professional experience includes the University of Kansas and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, holding senior leadership roles within each institution’s Office of Admissions and Scholarships.
He is currently the immediate past-president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC,) a professional organization of more than 15,000 school counselors and college admission professionals. Prior to serving in the NACAC Presidential Cycle, Mr. Burge served as President of the Great Plains Association for College Admission Counseling, an affiliate of the national organization.
He has recently served on a number of panels/sessions focusing on the role and impact of public higher education – the Social Mobility Symposium, TargetX User Conference, and as the welcome speaker at the annual meeting for NACAC.
A native Kansan, his academic background includes two degrees from the University of Kansas: an undergraduate degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Educational Policy and Leadership.
Zofia Burr is the founding dean of Mason’s Honors College, established July 2009. Programs within the Honors College include the University Scholars’ Program, the Office of Postgraduate Fellowships & Scholarships, the Honors Program in General Education, and the Honors College Living Learning Community. Dr. Burr has been a member of Mason’s English faculty since 1992.
Under Dr. Burr’s leadership, the Honors College has tripled in size, while seeing a rise in the academic profile of the entering class.
Her main areas of research and teaching interest are modern American poetry, research methods, disability studies, and pedagogy. She was among the winners of Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award for 2004.
She is the author of Of Women, Poetry, and Power: Strategies of Address in the Poetry of Dickinson, Miles, Brooks, Lorde, and Angelou, and editor of Set in Motion: Essays, Interviews, Dialogues, by A. R. Ammons. Dr. Burr’s writing has appeared in a number of collaborative installations that were shown and performed in various venues, including Mobius Gallery in Boston, Artemisia in Chicago, and Soho 20 New York. She is currently at work on a non-fiction project based on the experience of caring for her mother after a brain injury, and for her father with dementia.
Before Dr. Burr pursued graduate work in literature and creative writing, she taught emotionally disturbed children. She is currently the faculty sponsor for Mason’s chapter of Active Minds, a national organization focused on de-stigmatizing mental health issues on campus. She received her MFA and Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Henry N. Butler is dean and professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Prior to his appointment as dean, Dr. Butler was a Mason Foundation Professor of Law and executive director of the Mason Law & Economics Center.
For more than 25 years, he has led judicial education programs that teach judges the basics of economics, finance, accounting, statistics, and scientific methods and in the process educated over 3,000 sitting federal and state judges.
From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Butler served as the first executive director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University School of Law. He has held appointments at The Brookings Institution, Chapman University, the University of Kansas, the University of Chicago, and Texas A&M University. From 1986 to 1993, he was a law professor at Mason; during that period, also served as an associate dean and director of the Law & Economics Center.
Dr. Butler received his BA from the University of Richmond, his MA and PhD in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (where James M. Buchanan, George Mason’s first Nobel Laureate in Economics, served on his dissertation committee), and a JD from the University of Miami School of Law (where he was a John M. Olin Fellow at the Law & Economics Center; the Center moved to Mason in 1986).
Barbara Clark was appointed Interim Chief Budget Officer in the Office of Budget and Planning in February 2019. She also serves as Director of Financial Analysis and Budget Operations after holding the position of Assistant Controller in Fiscal Services since November 2010. She has over 22 years of progressive experience in budget and financial administration working for George Mason University.
Ms. Clark is a growth-minded and dynamic budget executive with a proven track record of successfully driving winning financial outcomes, streamlining processes and ensuring that organizational objectives are achieved. She is an experienced change agent with a knack for building synergistic relationships with organizational leaders, external institutions and cross-functional teams. She has a strong drive for steering decisions based on discovered best practices, efficiencies and data analytics. She provides the direction and oversight of budget operations and financial analysis and manages a team of six.
She supports the reporting, operations and policies/procedures of institutional budgets and plans and tracks the university’s $1B operation budget. She is an effective collaborator, and provides critical data and analysis to other senior university leaders.
She performs multifaceted complex analysis to evaluate, implement and support various campus initiatives while translating institutional goals and objectives into sound and executable financial strategies and plans. She directs the preparation and analysis of a variety of reports and financial analysis and presents implications of these analyses to the SVP and Provost. She is responsible for preparing the fiscal year executive summary for Board of Visitor budget approval.
Ms. Clark earned her bachelor’s degree in government and political science at George Mason University and her master’s degree in public administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed the Leadership Legacy program and received her certification in Positive Leadership in 2015. She is a strong proponent of the university’s Well-Being strategic initiative and recently received her ICF ACTP and ACC executive coaching credentials in Leadership for Organizational Well-Being.
Her CliftonStrengths by Gallup are: Empathy, Developer, Arranger, Individualization and Input.
Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, since May 2015, joined Mason in 1991 as artistic director of Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) and a member of the theater faculty. The company, which presented its final programs in 2012, was nominated for 38 Helen Hayes Awards, winning 12, and originated numerous works that went on to other regional theaters, television, radio and publication.
From 2007-2011, Dr. Davis served as Mason's associate provost for Undergraduate Education, working primarily on issues of general and liberal education, international programs and student academic life. He has served as executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center since August 2011.
Prior to coming to Mason, Rick was Resident Dramaturg and Associate Artistic Director of Baltimore's Center Stage (1986-91), Associate Director and co-founder of the American Ibsen Theater in Pittsburgh (1983-85) and taught drama at Washington College.
Rick has directed a broad range of professional theater and opera productions (more than forty to date) in venues from upstate New York to Boise, Idaho and many places in between, including Baltimore Center Stage, the Kennedy Center, the IN Series and more. He also has worked as dramaturg on more than thirty professional productions, and has directed dozens of plays, musicals, and operas for college and university programs, including the Mason Players.
He was a winner of the George Mason Teaching Excellence Award (1997) and an Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year (2006). His four books include translations and studies of Calderón de la Barca and, with Brian Johnston, Henrik Ibsen; and a college textbook on writing about theater (with Christopher Thaiss).
Rick was educated at Lawrence University (BA) and the Yale School of Drama (MFA, DFA). He teaches courses in directing, dramatic literature, theater history, and arts management.
For more on the College of Visual and Performing Arts go here.
Shannon N. Davis is Professor of Sociology, Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology, and Chair of the Faculty Senate. She earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina - Asheville and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from North Carolina State University. She was a post-doctoral scholar at the Carolina Population Center (at UNC Chapel Hill) prior to coming to Mason in 2006.
Dr. Davis’s research focuses on the mechanisms that reproduce and potentially undermine inequality. One vein of her work focuses on the negotiation of family life, examining how family members negotiate the intersection of paid and unpaid work in their daily lives and how gender inequality is reproduced in families. Her research on whether married couples’ responses to the recent economic recession could lead to greater gender equality was funded by the American Sociological Association. A second focus of her research is on the construction and maintenance of beliefs about gender, or gender ideologies. Dr. Davis studies how gender ideologies inform decisions about education, work, and relationships in the United States. In a third line of inquiry, Dr. Davis has examined the processes through which inequality is reproduced or undermined in higher education with an eye toward understanding the role that undergraduate research can play in changing the future of the professoriate.
Dr. Davis has authored over 60 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, is the co-editor of the book Gender in the Twenty-First Century: The Stalled Revolution and the Road to Equality, and co-author of two additional books, Methods of Research on Human Development and Families and Why Who Cleans Counts: What Housework Reveals about Power Dynamics in American Family Life.
Dr. Davis is an award-winning teacher and mentor. She received the Teaching Excellence Award from Mason in 2013, the Outstanding Mentor Award from OSCAR (for her work with undergraduate researchers) in 2012 and was an inaugural winner of the Sustaining Mentor Award in 2019. She also received the Kathleen S. Lowney Mentoring Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems in 2018.
Dr. Davis has served on George Mason University’s Faculty Senate since 2016. She became a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in 2017 and was elected as Chair of the Faculty Senate for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Edward Dittmeier is the University’s Auditor. Reporting functionally to the Audit Committee of the Board of Visitors and administratively to the President, he leads the University’s internal audit function which is charged with evaluating the adequacy and effectiveness of the university’s governance, risk management, control, and compliance processes.
Ed has over thirty years of executive internal audit experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Mason in 2015, he was senior vice president and associate general auditor for BB&T Corporation for three years where he developed, enhanced, and implemented internal audit processes to align with Federal Reserve Board large bank supervisory expectations. Prior to that, he served in multiple senior-level internal audit roles for American Express Company providing assurance related to the credit card, travel related services, and international banking businesses as well as corporate activities. In these roles, he drove improvements in corporate governance processes related to Audit Committee oversight, focused executive attention on worldwide systemic process issues, and served as the chief audit executive for a $2 billion Canadian subsidiary bank. Mr. Dittmeier earned bachelor's degrees in business administration (accounting) and statistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.
Dr. Gesele Durham joined George Mason University in 2019 as Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning. By deploying her research, statistical, and strategic planning skills, Gesele’s work focuses on the production and use of analytics, providing meaningful assessment and planning, and enabling data-informed decision-making that advances Mason’s strategic goals.
Prior to joining Mason, Gesele was the Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While there, she created the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, initiated campus-wide discussions regarding data governance and resource development, implemented innovative campus tools aimed at strategic initiatives such as persistence and completion, access to strategic data for planning, and assessment of student learning and program outcomes.
A frequent contributor to national conversations on the advancement of analytics and strategic planning, she currently serves as the secretary on the executive board for the APLU’s Commission on Measurement, Information and Analysis. In the past she also served on the APLU’s board for the Voluntary System of Accountability, Product Advisory Councils for the EAB for both the Navigate/Student Success Collaborative as well as the Academic Performance Solutions tools, and as a member of the Peer Review Corp and mentor for the Persistence and Completion Academy for the Higher Learning Commission.
With a doctoral degree in Political Science from Binghamton University, she began her academic career at the University of Minnesota Morris as faculty before relocating to Wisconsin. After serving as the assistant director for the multi-disciplinary International Studies program at UW-Madison, she transitioned to the newly created role of enrollment data manager within the UW-Madison Graduate School. She also served one year with the General Accounting Office in Washington. D.C. evaluating international environmental agreements. Originally from central Illinois, she attended Illinois State University for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in Political Science.
Kimberly Eby joined the Mason faculty in 1996. An associate professor in the School of Integrative Studies, she is also affiliated with Women and Gender Studies and the department of psychology. In 2002, she was awarded the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award. Her scholarly and professional interests include issues surrounding violence and gender, leadership, organizational development and change, and collaboration and community building across a variety of contexts. She was a consultant for the National Learning Communities Project and continues to present at national meetings and consult with individual institutions on topics such as leading institutional change; learning space design; interdisciplinary collaboration; working with student and faculty diversity; and other issues related to faculty, teaching, learning, and leadership.
Kim served for nine years as the Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) and Associate Provost for Faculty Development, providing programming, consultations, and professional development support to Mason faculty and graduate students, with an emphasis on teaching and learning. She has collaborated with campus leaders on multiple institution-wide curricular, strategic, and leadership initiatives, including Mason’s award-winning Students as Scholars program, the Leadership Legacy Program, various diversity and inclusion efforts, and the Learning Environments Group (LEG).
Currently she serves as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development. In this role she is responsible for all matters pertaining to Mason faculty’s professional well-being and development, including assisting with faculty career development, recognizing faculty excellence, cultivating academic leadership, and implementing policies and practices that support faculty at Mason.
Kim earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Michigan State University and her undergraduate degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.
Cody Edwards is the Associate Provost for Graduate Education at George Mason University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Edwards served as the founding director of the College of Science’s STEM Accelerator Program. Dr. Edwards is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Prior to coming to Mason, he was an Assistant Professor and Curator of Mammals at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Since arriving at George Mason University in the fall of 2004, Dr. Edwards has taught 8 different undergraduate and graduate courses and has served on numerous departmental, college, and university committees including the Student Value and Affordability Visioning Group. He also served on the Faculty Senate (2011-13). Outside of Mason, he has served on 7 international/national professional society committees and served as the Associate Editor for The Southwestern Naturalist, a nationally distributed journal published by the Southwestern Association of Naturalists (SWAN). In addition, Dr. Edwards has served as advisor or committee member for 32 graduate (Ph.D. and M.S.) and 13 undergraduate students.
Dr. Edwards’ research philosophy encompasses the full multiplicity of conservation and evolutionary biology. For example, his research activities have ranged from impacts of military training on small and medium sized mammal communities, the ecological and conservation impacts of introduced rodents on endemic Galápagos Islands rodents, to population and conservation genetics of leaf litter frogs (Costa Rica and Panama), swans (Alaska and Virginia), rodents (Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, United States), black rhinoceros (South Africa; collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Freeman, New Century College), and black howler monkeys (Belize; collaboration with Dr. Sylvia Vitazkova, New Century College). Recent research efforts have focused on development and assessment of innovative pedagogical strategies. His research program provides high school, undergraduate, and graduate students the opportunity to gain knowledge and engage in research in a multidisciplinary environment that fosters independent thought and encourages the formation of their own research projects and/or the progression of an existing one. His scholarly contributions are illustrated by numerous publications, conference and invited presentations, and research funding in excess of $1.6 million dollars.
Dr. Edwards received a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Angelo State University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Texas Tech University. He is committed to student success, training, and excellence, and in educating the next generation of global citizens/leaders.
Mark Ginsberg joined George Mason University in 2010 as the dean of the College of Education and Human Development. Dr. Ginsberg's career spans more than a 35-year period as a professor, psychologist and skilled administrator. He has published extensively in the areas of education, psychology, human development and human services. In addition, he has lectured and presented at over 200 conferences, seminars and other educational meetings and professional development events, both within the United States and internationally.
Dr. Ginsberg served as the executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) from January 1999 until June 2010. Prior to joining NAEYC, Dr. Ginsberg was chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Services in the Graduate Division of Education at The Johns Hopkins University and a member of the faculty of both the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Ginsberg held the position of executive director of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in Washington DC, from 1986-93. From 1981-86 he was a senior member of the management staff of the American Psychological Association, after having been a faculty member at the University of Rochester.
Dr. Ginsberg serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the respected international organization, Parents as Teachers. He is a Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Academic Deans of Research Education Institutions and the Board of Directors of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. He also is a past-president of the International Step by Step Association, a nongovernmental organization of thirty education-focused NGOs in Europe and Central Asia, and the Society of Psychologists in Management.
Dr. Ginsberg is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Maryland Psychological Association, a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a member of the American Counseling Association, American Educational Research Association and American Society of Association Executives, of which he was elected to serve on the national Board of Directors.
Dr. Ginsberg completed his master's degree in 1978 and his doctoral degree in 1981 at The Pennsylvania State University, after being awarded a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Cortland. He also completed a fellowship in clinical psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2006, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the State University of New York.
He is married to Elaine A. Anderson, chair of the Department of Family Science at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. They have two grown children, Andrew and Robert.
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Renate Guilford is Associate Provost of Academic Administration at George Mason University. She plays a major role in the overall performance of the Office of the Provost, leading the financial and personnel management support structure for academic and administrative units. She has extensive expertise in all aspects of the academic operation and drives critical analysis and planning for several of the university’s strategic initiatives.
A 27-year veteran of Mason, Ms. Guilford has extensive experience leading organizational change, planning for growth, personnel management and resource allocation. Her most recent work focuses on supporting the development of new academic programs, restructuring of administrative functions within key enrollment services operations, creating international branch campuses and building international partnerships. Ms. Guilford leads and supports new academic enterprises, research administration, and multiple other efforts within and across Mason’s schools and colleges and central support units
Ms. Guilford earned two degrees from George Mason University: an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Public Administration.
William A. Hazel Jr., MD, serves as the Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives and Policy at George Mason University. Previously, he practiced orthopedic surgery in Northern Virginia until becoming Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia in January of 2010. He completed his second term in January of 2018, after serving under one Republican and one Democratic Governor. In that role, he oversaw 11 state agencies, including such diverse programs as Medicaid, Behavioral Health, Social Services, and Aging and Rehabilitation. These agencies accounted for approximately one-third of the state budget.
Among his current activities, Dr. Hazel serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Stewards of Change Institute. He became committed in SOCI’s work as a result of his extensive work on data-sharing initiatives in an effort to better inform policy and budget decisions. The opioid epidemic and early childhood development are two areas of special focus for him.
During his first term as Secretary, Dr. Hazel led the Virginia Health Reform Initiative and helped establish the Virginia Center for Health Innovation. He continues to serve as the Founding Chair of ConnectVirginia, the state’s health information exchange. Among his accomplishments, Dr. Hazel negotiated an agreement with the Department of Justice to improve community services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In his second term as Secretary, Dr. Hazel devoted considerable attention to developing alignment and coordination between agencies and secretariats. He co-chaired the first Children’s Cabinet in Virginia and co-chaired the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse. He advocated for strengthening the state’s behavioral health system and for increased access to care for low-income Virginians.
Dr. Hazel has served as a Trustee of the American Medical Association, Speaker and President of the Medical Society of Virginia, President of the INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital Medical Staff, and Chair of the Medical Affairs council of the INOVA Health System. As a founding member of Commonwealth Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, he gained extensive experience working in the health care system while helping to lead a large group practice. His experience includes working as a team physician for the Chantilly High School Chargers, as an Assistant Orthopedic for the Washington Redskins football team, and as team physician for DC United.
Dr. Hazel grew up in Fauquier County on the family farm. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Princeton University, his Medical Degree from Duke University School of Medicine, and completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the Mayo Clinic before returning home to Virginia in 1988. He lives with his wife, Cindy, in Oakton, Va. They have two grown children and three very cute grandchildren.
Dr. Germaine M. Buck Louis is the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Previously, she was a Senior Investigator and Director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health. Dr. Louis’ research interests primarily focus on the interplay between environmental chemicals and lifestyle on human reproduction and children’s health. She has held several leadership roles for professional organizations, including as President of the Society of Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiologic Research and Society for Epidemiologic Research, and also on numerous advisory committees for The National Academies, Pan American Health Organization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and World Health Organization. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Buck Louis was a tenured professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She has published numerous papers and co-edited the textbook entitled Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology.
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Christopher J. Maier supports the mission of the Staff Senate in his role as chair, to advocate, appreciate, and educate the Mason classified and non-student wage employees, on matters of work-life significance. His goal is to engage constituency among the staff, cultivate relationships with university administration, and work collaboratively across all campus communities, to enhance work and lifestyle choices.
Mr. Maier joined the Project Management & Construction office at Facilities in 2015, where he manages engineering and construction projects of various capacities. He is a graduate of Michigan Technological University in Civil Engineering, with over 10 years of experience in resolving complex post-structural and geotechnical issues, including a plethora of building-envelope related deficiencies. Mr. Maier is currently studying for his Professional Engineering exam with the goal of ultimately obtaining a Registered Building Envelope Consultant status.
Sean Mallon was appointed Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in April 2016. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading the Mason's strategic vision as an economic and innovation engine for the National Capital region. Mr. Mallon oversees the Mason Enterprise Center (MEC), the Office of Technology Transfer and the George Mason Research Foundation. He also works collaboratively with academic leadership and faculty to ensure an innovative, scalable approach to facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration for the development and delivery of entrepreneurial thinking and learning across the entire university.
Prior to joining Mason, Mr. Mallon served as Senior Investment Director for the CIT GAP Funds, a seed- and early stage technology venture fund within the Center for Innovative Technology. In this role, he oversaw a portfolio of over 100 companies, and led new investments in Virginia-based technology companies committed to rapid growth and the development of innovative products and services. Mr. Mallon has over 20 years of investment and start-up experience focused on aggressive growth, transformation and optimization. He has founded two companies, and has worked with several others in senior roles ranging from sales and marketing to product management, supply chain and finance. From 1999 to 2003, Sean was a principal at Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds (MAVF), a $200m early-stage venture capital firm focused on the telecommunications and IT industries. Sean holds an AB degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Patrick McCavitt is currently serving as Interim Assistant Vice President, Business Services. Patrick joined Mason in 2012 as Director of Business and Finance for Auxiliary Enterprises and University Life. In that role, he manages the financial planning, budgeting and analysis of the Auxiliary Enterprises business units, and the University Life student support and programming units. As Interim AVP, Auxiliary Enterprises, Patrick manages the staff and strategic business partnerships for Mason’s large support operations including dining, EagleBank Arena, student centers, mail services, print services, retail units, card office, licensing, and vending. Auxiliary Enterprises’s contracts and operations support students and the community through its business activities, and provides funds to support the university and student scholarships.
Prior to joining Mason, Patrick worked in financial services managing corporate planning, venture and real estate investments, and financial transactions. He has extensive experience marketing failed insured banks and distressed debt, and working with small growing businesses. He has been a member of several private business and not-for-profit Boards of Directors. Patrick receive his Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Carol McGinnis is currently serving as Interim Controller. Carol has over thirty five years’ experience in higher education accounting. She joined George Mason University in 1997 as the first Policy Analyst and Training Director for Fiscal Services. In 2001, she was promoted to Associate Controller. She leads a staff of sixteen in General Accounting, which is responsible for general ledger and chart of accounts maintenance, accounting and treasury operations, financial reporting, tax accounting and reporting, and cost accounting functions which include preparation of the federal facilities and administrative cost rate proposals and fringe benefit rate proposals. As Interim Controller, Carol works closely with the Directors of Purchasing and Accounts Payable, Student Accounts, Fiscal Policy and Communications, Finance Administrative Systems Team, Internal Controls, and Debt Management.
Prior to joining Mason, Carol held accounting positions at the University of Florida, and performed audits as a staff accountant with Price Waterhouse. She was a graduate teaching assistant and editorial consultant at the University of Texas at Austin, and taught a fundamentals of accounting course at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.
Carol received a Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Florida International University, and studied music education as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. She is a Certified Public Accountant, passing all parts of the exam on her first sitting, and maintains active CPA licenses in Florida and Virginia.
Janette Kenner Muir is the Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives and Services at George Mason University. Prior to this position, she served for five years as the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. Currently her primary responsibilities include: overseeing the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Accreditation and Program Integrity, and Robison Professors. She manages external relations with the Northern Virginia Community College system and the State Council for Higher Education, and she serves as the chief academic liaison to Mason Korea.
Dr. Muir’s academic life focuses in the areas of political communication, civic engagement and the study of the presidency (from campaigns to spouses). For the last few presidential elections she has taken a class to New Hampshire to observe, first hand, the primary process in action. Working with University Life, she has helped lead efforts engaging students in political participation on campus. She is an editor of the volume Readings in Political Communication, and was featured in a Harvard International Review symposium, writing about media, politics and citizen participation. She edited a volume honoring the life of Jane Blankenship, a leading rhetorical critic of the 20th century, published in the political communication series of Lexington Books. Her recent work focuses on Hillary Clinton in A Companion to First Ladies, published by Wiley Blackwell.
Committed to teaching excellence, Dr. Muir has been nationally recognized for the quality of her teaching, winning the Donald Eckroyd and Caroline Drummond Eckroyd Distinguished Teaching Award, and the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award. She was named a Teaching Fellow for the Eastern Communication Association, and awarded a C-SPAN Fellow for her educational involvement with the cable network. She has been named a Centennial Scholar in the Communication discipline. She is past president of the Eastern Communication Association, and past editor of Communication Quarterly, a top-tier journal in the Communication discipline. Dr. Muir served on Mason’s Faculty Senate for five years in the position of Academic Policies Chair, and she served as an elected faculty representative to the Board of Visitors for four years.
Dr. Muir’s Ph.D. is from the University of Massachusetts in the area of rhetoric and political communication. She also has degrees from Wake Forest University (MA, Communication) and Palm Beach Atlantic University (BS, Double major in Behavioral Science and Communication Arts). Her husband, Star Muir, is an associate professor at Mason in the Communication Department.
Shernita Rochelle Parker is currently serving as the Interim Vice President for HR/Payroll and Faculty/Life. Shernita joined the HR/Payroll team in October 2010 as a member of the Employee Relations team. In that capacity, she worked with faculty and staff on performance issues, conflict resolution, the grievance procedure, and a variety of other workplace issues and concerns. In August of 2016, she became the Director of Organizational Development, Learning and Coaching. In this role, she and her team work to provide learning and development opportunities for faculty and staff to help them thrive professionally and personally. Specifically, she offers trainings and programs to support talent development via skill and competency building. She also oversees and coordinates coaching activities and engagements for the internal workplace coaching program, as well as external executive coaches with whom the university partners.
Prior to joining the HR/Payroll team, she served as Director of Development for the College of Education and Human Development where she led the fundraising, alumni outreach, and communication efforts for the college. In addition to her time at Mason, her work in higher education includes William & Mary Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and American University. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Boston College and her law degree from the University of Maine School of Law.
In 2014, she received her certification as a leadership coach from the George Mason University/Philosophy IB Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance program. In 2017, she received a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) from The Flourishing Center and became a Certified Resilience Trainer. Additional professional certifications include EQi (Emotional Intelligence), Appreciative Inquiry, and Gallup’s StrengthsFinder. She is involved in a number of university initiatives, including the Well-Being University Learning Community, MasonLeads, The Strengths Academy, Civility in Action Committee, and the newly formed Inclusive Well-Being Collaborative.
Some of her areas of interest include: leadership competency development, performance management, change management, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, mindfulness, coaching, and individual and organizational well-being – particularly as each relates to the cultivation and support of one of the university’s most valuable resources — its faculty and staff.
Pam Patterson is Associate Vice President for University Life at George Mason University. Prior to coming to George Mason, Dr. Patterson served in student affairs leadership positions at Montana State University, the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse, and the University of Georgia. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program and is an executive leadership coach certified through the International Coaching Federation with the credential of Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Her interests include the science and application of well-being, leader development, and coaching. Dr. Patterson is also licensed and certified by the Institute of HeartMath as a Resilience Advantage Trainer.
At George Mason, she was a member of a team that created and implemented a leadership development curriculum for executive education and a separate program for faculty and staff. Dr. Patterson is a co-founder and co-chair of MasonLeads, the Leadership Legacy Program, and serves as co-director of the Advanced Coaching Program in Leadership & Well-Being and co-director of the Strengths Academy. Dr. Patterson received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Illinois University and earned her doctorate in higher education from George Mason University.
Maury Peiperl joined Mason as Dean of the School of Business in August 2017. Previously he was Director (Dean) of Cranfield School of Management, one of the UK’s leading MBA and Executive Development institutions, as well as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University. Before Cranfield, Peiperl spent 10 years as Professor of Leadership and Strategic Change at IMD in Switzerland, where he developed and directed numerous executive development courses and held a variety of administrative roles.
From 1992 to 2004, Peiperl was a professor at London Business School, where he co-founded the pioneering EMBA—Global program (joint with Columbia) as well as creating the Managing Change and Global Business Leader courses and the Leadership for Change executive program.
Peiperl has designed and directed executive programs for many clients including Adecco, Carrefour, CEIBS, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, EDS, GlaxoSmithKline, IATA, Nortel Networks, OMV, Otis, Rentokil, Rockwool, Santander, SEB, UPM, among others.
Peiperl’s areas of research interest are top management learning, executive careers, change management, talent strategy and global mobility. He has taught, researched and consulted in these areas in some 32 countries on 6 continents. He is co-author of the leading textbook on change management, Managing Change (McGraw Hill), as well as two books on careers and work, Career Frontiers and Career Creativity (Oxford) and the central reference in the careers field, The Handbook of Career Studies (Sage). He has also published in Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Review, Human Resource Management, Group & Organization Management and the Journal of International Business Studies, among others. He is the winner of multiple research awards, including an Emerald Literati award in 2017 for the paper “Cosmopolitanism in a Globalized World” (with Orly Levy and Karsten Jonsen).
Peiperl has held visiting or affiliate appointments at MIT, Maryland, Georgetown, HEC Paris, and Templeton College, Oxford. Before becoming a professor he worked for IBM, Merrill Lynch and LEK Consulting and as a research fellow at Harvard Business School.
Outside his teaching and research, Peiperl sits on the boards of several start-ups, as well as the Alumni Council of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He spent 6 years as a trustee of UK anti-trafficking charity HERA, for which he now acts as Ambassador.
Peiperl holds a BS in Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA, AM and PhD from Harvard University. In February of 2017, he was named a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences.
Carl Rowan Jr. possesses a unique combination of legal and law enforcement experience that is particularly well suited for sophisticated law enforcement and security policy development and problem solving. He was presented the “2013 Golden Best Award for Safety and Security” by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District in Washington, DC, which is comprised of Washington’s major business leaders. He is a subject matter expert on active shooter matters and lectures extensively on that, and other, emergency preparedness issues.
He began his law enforcement career as a Deputy US Marshal in Washington, DC, where he handled diverse matters such as fugitive investigations, witness and judicial protection. He later left the Marshal’s Service to attend the Georgetown University Law Center where he graduated in 1978 with a Juris Doctor degree and gained entry to the DC Bar Association.
He then joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent in the metro Washington area where he specialized in violent crime investigations, undercover assignments, and SWAT operations. He later became a supervisor in the FBI Legal Counsel Division at FBI Headquarters and handled a wide range of civil claims against the agency and also provided investigatory legal support to agents in the field.
Upon leaving the FBI, Mr. Rowan entered the private practice of law specializing in administrative, regulatory, and legislative matters, as well as white collar crime counseling and internal investigations. He became a partner in a major national law firm, but also maintained a corporate security consulting firm with a former US Secret Service agent and a former member of the US intelligence service. The company focused on investigations, due diligence inquiries, and protection matters for corporations and government clients.
In 2000, he was named the Vice President for Global Security at a multi-billion dollar software company based in San Mateo, California with 130 offices in 34 counties. He managed a staff of 40, including investigators, an executive protection team, and a contract security element. His security department also worked closely with the Silicon Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, the US Secret Service, and the FBI on cases involving theft of identity, corporate espionage, and Russian organized crime.
He returned to the Washington, DC area in 2002 as a Chief of Police to lead the law enforcement functions of a highly specialized rail and transportation company, created post 9/11, to support security agencies of the federal government on a global basis. The company’s security division was certified as a law enforcement agency by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Mark J. Rozell, the Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government, is a renowned scholar of American government and politics. He is the author of nine books, and editor of 21 books, and numerous journal articles and contributions to edited compendia on the presidency, religion and politics, media and politics, and interest groups in elections, among other topics. His latest books include The President’s Czars: Undermining Congress and the Constitution. University Press of Kansas, 2012 (with Mitchel A. Sollenberger), Interest Groups in American Campaigns: The New Face of Electioneering (3rd edition). Oxford University Press, 2012 (with Michael Franz and Clyde Wilcox), and Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy, and Accountability (3rd edition). University Press of Kansas, 2010. His latest edited books are The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics (5th edition). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014 (with Charles S. Bullock III) and Religion and the American Presidency (2nd edition). Palgrave-MacMillan Press, 2012 (co-edited with Gleaves Whitney). He is the co-editor of the Palgrave-MacMillan Press book series on religion and politics.
Dean Rozell has testified before Congress on several occasions on executive privilege issues and has lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad. In recent years, he has lectured in Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and Vietnam. He writes frequent opinion columns in such publications as The Hill, Roll Call, and Politico. He is often asked to comment on his areas of expertise for the state, national, and international media.
Prior to joining the Mason faculty in 2004 as professor of public policy, he was Ordinary Professor and chair of the department of politics at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He earned both his PhD in American Government and Masters of Public Administration from the University of Virginia and his BA in political science from Eisenhower College.
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Marilyn Smith was named Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of George Mason University in 2013.
As the Chief Information Officer of MIT from 2009-13, Ms. Smith led the central IT department, overseeing a budget of $60 million and a staff of 300. In a highly distributed environment, she developed strong partnerships with faculty, staff, and students, and led the department in its transformation to a customer, results and people focused culture.
From 2006-09 Ms. Smith was President of the Life Companies at The Hanover Insurance Group in Worcester, MA. She directed the sale and transition of The Hanover’s life insurance companies to Goldman Sachs. These complex and successful programs required creativity in retaining customers and in energizing, motivating, developing and retaining employees. Prior to that role, she served as COO of Life Operations, responsible for transaction processing, call centers, and financial and operational reporting for Hanover’s life business, with a budget of $30 million and staff of 350. Ms. Smith started her tenure at The Hanover Insurance Group (formerly Allmerica Financial) in 2000 directing all new information technology development for the corporation as Vice President of Project Delivery.
After graduating from Wellesley College with a major in Astronomy, Ms. Smith spent 25 years at John Hancock in information systems management, including key positions in Retail Insurance and Investment Management. Subsequently, she spent 4 years at Liberty Mutual as Vice President and CIO of Personal Market Information Systems.
Ms. Smith is a Director on the Board of CSP, Inc., a provider of IT solutions, systems integration services, and dense cluster computing systems. She is a member of the Audit, Compensation and Nominating Committees.
Ms. Smith serves on the Babson College Graduate Advisory Board and the Northeastern College of Professional Studies Advisory Board. She is a member of the Bryant University Technology Leadership Council. She has served as Chair of the Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Awards Committee, was Co-Chair of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council, and served on the Wellesley College Alumnae Association Board. She is a member of the Boston Club and of the Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management.
She received an MBA with highest distinction from Babson College. She is a graduate of the Aspen Seminar on Leadership.
Mark Smith joined George Mason University in August of 2013 after having spent nearly two decades leading government relations efforts at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to his experience in academia, Mr. Smith completed an additional decade of service to the Commonwealth, including having served as Assistant Secretary of Education, Executive Assistant for the Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety, Division Administrative Manager in the Attorney General’s Office, and as a staffer for both the Virginia House and Senate Clerks’ Offices which are responsible for the daily operations of the General Assembly.
Mr. Smith is active in the community as well, serving as a member of the advisory committee for the YMCA Model General Assembly, the Virginia YMCA Board of Directors, the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, and as a member of the Review Committee for the Virginia State Employee Emergency Fund. Past service includes having been appointed to the Virginia Board of Conservation and Recreation, and to the National Kidney Foundation and its Virginia affiliate where his work resulted in several awards for distinguished leadership. He was also recognized for leadership and involvement in the Richmond Jaycees.
At Mason, Mr. Smith serves as chief liaison between the University and entities of the Commonwealth, including elected and appointed officials in the executive and legislative branches as well as numerous state agencies that interface with a variety of University offices. In concert with the University’s leadership team, he facilitates the establishment of the University’s state budget and legislative priorities while planning and leading the execution of strategies to advance Mason’s agenda year-round in Richmond.
Mr. Smith graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Administration of Justice and Public Safety and a minor in Political Science. He later earned a Master of Science in Public Administration, also from VCU.
Mr. Strike has more than 30 years of experience in project management, contracting, design, facilities operations and management. He has a proven record of achievement serving as a senior executive developing and leading high performing, highly complex organizations. He has managed the full range of facilities engineering, project management, environmental, transportation, contracting, and public works services to include associated financial, acquisition, and real property management supporting port and airfield operations, research, education and training, administrative, industrial, and community support facilities.
Mr. Strike currently holds the position of Director of Project Management and Construction at George Mason University where he is responsible for developing, managing, and executing a capital and non-capital design and construction program in excess of $100 million. He also held the position of Director of Facilities Management at George Mason University where he was responsible for energy management, infrastructure and records, facility condition and assessment programs, and for the maintenance of over 8.5 million square feet of buildings. Mr. Strike has been the Vice President for Facilities since January 2018.
Prior to joining Mason Mr. Strike was the Business Director for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Norfolk, VA where he was responsible for 13,000 employees and a business volume exceeding $12 billion annually. In addition, he served as the Executive Director of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; Business Manager and Utilities Department Head at Navy Public Works Center, Norfolk, and the Deputy Public Works Officer at Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown.
Mr. Strike holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University, a Master of Engineering from Old Dominion University, and a Master of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.
Mr. Strike lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife Estrella and they have two daughters.
Dr. Bethany M. Usher, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, takes students to graveyards - she is a biological anthropologist who studies cemeteries from both osteological and archaeological perspectives to understand the social structure and health of past communities. She is passionate about getting students to apply their classroom experiences and learn how fun and exciting it is to tackle intellectual challenges.
Bethany directed the Students as Scholars initiative through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), and served as an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) at Mason from 2010-2016. She chairs the Councilor for Undergraduate Research Program Directors Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and was Co-Chair of the CUR National Meeting in 2014, Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All. Prior to joining Mason in January 2010, she was faculty at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where she established the Center for Undergraduate Research and served as its Director. At SUNY Potsdam, she was an Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology and past chair of the Anthropology Department. She has a long history of collaborating with undergraduate researchers.
Mr. Zenelis has been leading Mason’s libraries for the past eighteen years. From 2001 to June 2013, he also fulfilled responsibilities as Associate Vice President for Information Technology. Beginning July 2013, he assumed responsibility for the GMU Press.
He joined George Mason University from Temple University where he served in senior administrative roles in the university’s library system. Earlier, he held progressively higher-level management positions at the Columbia University Libraries. He began his career in research librarianship at The Research Libraries, The New York Public Library.
Under Mr. Zenelis’s leadership, Mason’s library system has transformed into a significant, dynamic, and innovative organization. Its services and programs closely align with the academic and research programs of the university’s schools and colleges. Having emerged into a research-level library, it is steadily accruing national recognition for Mason with significant advances including: the completion of the impressive state-of-the-art Fenwick Library addition; the newly-launched Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC); robust growth in collections (especially digital scholarly resources), and noteworthy special collections; Mason Publishing’s enterprise–level service with specialized information and research materials to learners and researchers; implementation of a host of programs and services in the forefront of academic research librarianship; and accomplished library faculty and staff able to anticipate and meet the rapidly evolving needs of Mason’s academic and research programs.
Mr. Zenelis also implemented the Libraries’ development/advancement program with accomplishments that include: securing donor funds, grants, and appraised in-kind gifts; establishment of an external Library Advisory Board; endowments for library collections and programs; a growing number of estate planning commitments; grants-seeking activities resulting in successful funding for a variety of educational- and collections-related projects from foundations and government agencies; and development of the Libraries’ naming opportunities proposal.
He represents Mason in his area of responsibility externally, serving actively or recently in leadership roles, with these organizations: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Washington Research Libraries Consortium, Library Advisory Committee of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the landmark Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) program, and The Center for Research Libraries.
Mr. Zenelis’ educational background includes political science with degrees from Temple University (B.A.) and the Graduate School & University Center, The City University of New York (M.A.), and library and information science (MLS) from the University of Pittsburgh.
Julie Zobel is currently the Assistant Vice President for Safety, Emergency and Enterprise Risk Management. She began working in the area of safety and compliance for Mason in 2000 as the University Biological Safety Officer, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and Assistant Radiation Safety Officer. She was quickly promoted through the ranks to Director of Laboratory Safety. In 2007, her role expanded as she worked with university officials to establish the university’s Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS). Ms. Zobel’s role was expanded again in 2015 when she became responsible for the Office of Risk Management (ORM). EHS and ORM functional areas include emergency management, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health, occupational safety, and traditional risk management with regard to insurance and claims management, as well as enterprise risk management.
Dr. Zobel earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Hazardous Materials/Environmental Management and Civil Engineering from the University of Findlay and the University of Akron, respectively. She earned an M.S. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Engineering from the University of Akron. Ms. Zobel went on to earn her Ph.D. in Biodefense from George Mason University where her research addressed the role of naturally occurring Bacillus anthracis in biological incident preparedness and response. She is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager at the master’s level, a Registered Biosafety Professional through the American Biological Safety Association, and a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society.
Prior to working at Mason, Ms. Zobel was employed as an environmental consultant where she was responsible for modeling contaminant fate and transport, bioremediation projects, and environmental site assessments.
** Also includes members of the Executive Council.
Brian Platt, Presidential Fellow for 2018-19, is Associate Professor of History and Department Chair in the Department of History and Art History. He is a specialist in Japanese history, with a research focus on the 18th and 19th centuries. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998, and is the author of Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750-1890 (Harvard University Press). He is the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, the National Academy of Education, and the Association for Asian Studies. His current research project deals with historical commemoration and autobiography in 18th and 19th century Japan. He has taught various courses on Japanese, Asian, and world history, as well as comparative courses on such issues as modernization, memory, gender, and national identity.
He has chaired the Department of History and Art History for twelve years. Under his leadership the History doctoral program has become one of the top doctoral programs at Mason, and the youngest program among the top fifty nationally. He has established two graduate programs in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. He has also overseen the continued development of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, arguably the top digital humanities center in the world. As Presidential Fellow he is developing mechanisms to ensure that faculty perspectives are factored into the work of administrative units.
Dr. Banville earns her Ph.D. at Université Laval, Canada in 1998 and has been employed at George Mason since 1999. She is the Director of the Division of Health and Human Performance which includes four undergraduate academic programs (Athletic Training, Kinesiology, Therapeutic Recreation, and Health and Physical Education Teaching Licensure Program) and two graduate programs (Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotion and Athletic Training). She is also the Academic Program Coordinator for the Health and Physical Education Licensure Program.
Since July 2016, Dr. Banville serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative for George Mason University. In that role she evaluates and ensures the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletics program, facilitates institutional control of athletics, and works at enhancing the student-athlete experience.
Dr. Banville research interests focus on the curriculum and Instruction of physical education in the schools, and the preparation, induction, and professional development of physical education teachers. She has investigated the impact of a teacher induction program on teacher success and retention in the profession, and is currently looking at the training of cooperating teachers, and the impact of the implementation of an after-school curriculum on low socio-economic kids. She is a member of many professional associations (SHAPE America, AERA, AIESEP, VAHPERD) and a fellow of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD - now SHAPE America).
For more information about the George Mason University Athletic Council, go here.