George Mason University

News at Mason

Two Mason employees receive book scholarships from Faculty Staff Book Scholarship

September 8, 2016   /   by Kristen Dalton

Jessica Massie. Provided photo.

Pursuing higher education isn’t cheap, so a few hundred dollars can go a long way.

George Mason University employees Jessica Massie and Laura Titkemeyer received a $250 book scholarship funded by TIAA-CREF’s Raise the Rate Contest winnings to help pay for their textbooks while they pursue their degrees at George Mason.

Massie, the office manager for Mason’s Global Affairs Program, said the scholarship is a wonderful resource that encourages faculty and staff members to continue to pursue their education.

“This scholarship is really making a difference for me this year. I enjoy working in higher education and really appreciate how pursing my current graduate degree helps me become more mindful of how I can help students in the future,” said Massie, who is in the Master of Public Policy Program with a concentration in social policy. “The program allows me to analyze how policy impacts society so that I can be mindful of how I interact with students in a more holistic way.”

Titkemeyer. Photo provided.

Titkemeyer is currently pursuing a master of science degree in organization and development, and knowledge management from the Schar School of Policy and Government. She is especially interested in graphic recording and facilitation.

“Graphic recording includes listening to spoken words, thoughts or ideas and synthesizing them into something that is visual with text and drawings and is easily understood,” said Titkemeyer. “I would like to use the skills and knowledge gained through this program to connect people to ideas.”

Titkemeyer started her career as a Mason undergraduate student interning for Human Resources and Payroll’s training and organizational development team. Upon graduation, she accepted a position as a customer service associate in Human Resources and Payroll.

“I find it very helpful to write in my books. Renting textbooks is an affordable option, but it is challenging to find or connect concepts without writing in them,” said Titkemeyer. “I appreciate this scholarship to help purchase books that I can write in and keep for years.”

The scholarships, which support the professional and personal development of Mason employees, are made possible through a $25,000 endowment from TIAA-CREF’s 2010 Raise the Rate contest won by Mason.

Linda Harber, vice president of Human Resources and Payroll, said the extra book money sometimes makes the difference between being able to enroll in classes in a given semester or not.

“We are so happy that our faculty/staff book scholarship is an option for our hard-working faculty and staff who are also pursuing a degree here at Mason,” said Harber. “It helps promote what Mason is all about—lifelong learning for our entire university community.”

The scholarship has been awarded since 2011 to nine employees throughout the Mason community. Award recipients are chosen by the Faculty and Staff Book Scholarship Selection Committee, which includes members from the Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and Student Financial Aid.

The scholarships also are supported by donations made to the Raise the Rate book scholarship fund. Contributions to the fund can be made at by selecting “give,” navigating to the gift options, selecting “other” and entering “#160013 Raise the Rate.”