Jessica Hanna is November Employee of the Month

Jessica Hanna, receiving her award from Mason President Ángel Cabrera, says the best thing about working at Mason is "the diversity of people, skills and backgrounds." Photo by Lydia Antonio-Vila.

Jessica Hanna has been the grants and finance analyst in George Mason University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy for two years, a position she said she loves because of her colleagues.

“They are, far and away, the best team that I’ve ever worked with and make it a joy to come to work every day,” she said.

The feeling is mutual.

Said Professor Shobita Satyapal: “Jessica has been the most outstanding fiscal and grant specialist with whom I have had the pleasure to work.”

She is also Mason’s November Employee of the Month.

Prior to joining the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where Hanna manages all aspects of the department’s finances, including planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting and reconciling nearly 100 sponsored funds, she was a finance assistant with the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

When told she would be honored as November Employee of the Month, Hanna was surprised.

“It’s not something I expected,” she said.

“Jessica embodies the core values at Mason of professionalism, quality customer service, integrity and enthusiasm,” Satyapal said. “Despite her demanding workload, Jessica is extremely enthusiastic, friendly and a unifying force in our department. Her dedication is outstanding.”

How she got here: I worked in finance prior to my husband’s military career taking off but stopped working to stay home with our two daughters. When he retired and we moved here to Virginia, I decided I would like to start working again. I looked to see if there were any openings at Mason and, very lucky for me, there were.

Best day on the job: A year and a half ago, the College of Science’s director of finance tasked me with the management of a $10 million astronomy award. I’ve learned a lot since taking over this complex award and have found the additional responsibilities to be very fulfilling. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge.

What she likes best about working at Mason: I do think it’s the diversity of people, skills and backgrounds. I work with people from, literally, all over the world with different input of ideas, and we all work together toward a common goal.

What she likes doing when not working: I have two daughters, 13 and 16, and I love spending time with them, my husband, my family and my friends.