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Mason's Fred Bemak receives Outstanding Faculty Award from state

January 23, 2018   /   by Damian Cristodero

Fred Bemak

Fred Bemak, a professor and academic program coordinator of George Mason University’s counseling and development program, is a recipient of a 2018 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

Bemak, in the College of Education and Human Development, is one of 12 recipients selected from 83 nominees, and the 21st George Mason recipient since the award’s inception in 1987.

“It’s not that I’m part of a special group of SCHEV winners,” Bemak said. “It’s more about, ‘Wow, I can keep having an impact.’ It’s about having work focused on social justice and diversity acknowledged at this level, and the possibility and commitment to continue helping and training and giving back to the community.

Bemak’s wife, Rita Chi-Ying Chung, also a professor in the counseling and development program, was similarly honored in 2013.

Bemak, who has been at Mason since 2000, is the founder and director of the University’s Diversity Research and Action Consortium. He also founded Counselors Without Borders, which provides culturally responsive humanitarian counseling to those in disaster situations around the world. In March, Bemak will take a small group of Mason faculty and graduate students to Puerto Rico, to help those still recovering emotionally from Hurricane Maria.

Nominees for Outstanding Faculty Awards, submitted by each institution, must demonstrate a record of superior accomplishment in teaching, research and knowledge integration.

A panel of former winners, chief academic officers and their designees select finalists who are judged by a selection committee of SCHEV members, and education, business and community leaders.

Winners receive $5,000 underwritten by the Dominion Foundation. The awards will be presented at an event at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va., on March 1.

“I’m hopeful that this will open doors to have even more impact and continue to make contributions that make our world a better and more humane place to live,” Bemak said.