Mason is...Driven to Serve
Senior of the Year Wants to Organize, Build, Serve
As a teenager, Beverly Harp had her eye on the Far East, spending her high school sophomore year in a boarding school in Mussoorie, India.
She continued to study Hindi and U.S.-India relations on climate change as a University Scholar in George Mason University’s Honors College, but lately, she’s been focused on things closer to home, particularly campus groups.
“I didn’t study abroad during the school year, because I had these organizations that I really cared about,” she says. “There’s so many opportunities on this campus to do things. I was really excited to dedicate a lot of my time to organizing and building things with students.”
The global affairs major poured her time into co-founding Roosevelt at George Mason, a chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, a public policy organization that fosters a network of student-run think tanks.
“It’s been quite a journey, but we have really grown,” she says. “We have 40 to 60 people attending our weekly meetings. It’s become a community for people and a great platform to do advocacy or any intellectual work.”
After its first year, Roosevelt at Mason was named the best new chapter by the national organization. Harp was asked to mentor other new chapters in the region, says Anthony Dyer Hoefer, assistant dean of Mason’s Honors College.
“Her aim has been to foster an organization that is sturdy enough to thrive through the leadership transitions that often slow down or even end student organizations,” he says.
Harp’s enthusiasm for public service, commitment to campus organizations, and knack for leadership are some of the reasons why she was named Mason’s Senior of the Year.
During her college career, Harp’s attention was also focused on helping her peers aid grade-school students from groups underrepresented on college campuses through the organization MasonU.
“It gives them the opportunity to see what college life is like and to get a vision of what college could be for them,” she says.
Though she’s been busy on campus, her three study-abroad trips to India have made her global affairs studies at Mason much fuller, Harp says. She’ll be returning to India this August on a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a yearlong research project on climate finance.
“I’m just really grateful to have gotten to come to Mason and to have learned from people who are much smarter than me and who have different experiences than me,” she says.