The faculty of George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government have nothing but praise for Silva Pecini Morris.
“One of the most frequent phrases I use during my office hours is, ‘You’ll have to talk to Silva about that,’ ” said Edward Rhodes, a professor of government and international affairs. “These are words that my students love to hear. They sigh with relief when they hear them.”
For her outstanding work as a director of Student Services, Pecini Morris is the July Employee of the Month.
Pecini Morris has worked at Mason for 15 years. In her current role she works with graduate students and faculty to make their learning experience as smooth as possible.
Pecini Morris described her job, which includes working with prospective students to customize their curriculum and help students get in touch with other departments such as the Office of Student Financial Aid or the Office of the University Registrar, as “fun.”
“It keeps it interesting,” she said. “And it allows me to sort of see something from the beginning to the end, which is really rewarding.”
“Silva brings a rare and exquisite depth, authenticity and totality of caring to each and every human being she interacts with,” said Jessica Srikantia, an associate professor in the Schar School. “Silva turns bureaucracy into human family and community.”
Pecini Morris credited her team as much as they credited her.
“If it wasn’t for our team and how supportive they are and how good they are, I don’t think I would have stayed as long as I have. I just feel like I’m part of a family,” said Pecini Morris, who earned her master of public policy from Mason in 2007. “I love what I do and I love Mason, and this award really belongs to all of them.”
How she got here:
I started as an administrative assistant while also pursuing my master’s in public policy. Initially I thought I would be here only for a couple of years before starting a career as a civil servant, but I fell in love with the work and with Mason. So here I am 15 years later. What’s kept me at Mason is that I have been afforded opportunities to learn new things over the years, which have kept me growing in the field.
Best day on the job:
Graduation is always special for me. I work with our Schar students from the time they’re admitted to one of our master’s programs until they graduate. So to see them to the finish line, accomplishing their goals and realizing their dreams is definitely very rewarding and special for me.
What she likes best about working at Mason:
I love our students and my team of colleagues. Our students are so driven; they come from varying walks of life and they’re able to juggle a lot while taking graduate classes. I admire their drive and hard work. They want to change the world with their contributions. I’m also extremely lucky to have a very supportive team of colleagues at Schar. I honestly don’t think I would have been here for as long as I have been if it wasn’t for Jill Deering (my supervisor) and others in our team. They all embody the Mason values of team work, innovation, and service to others. They inspire me with their work ethic and commitment to our students.
What she does when not working:
Right now, just trying to keep up with my 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. They keep me on my toes. I also try to run every day so I can keep up with the kids and unwind.