Summer 2021 Dean’s List Announced

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  • Congratulations to the College of Education and Human Development students named to the Dean’s List for the summer 2021 semester!

    This honor is given to undergraduate students who have enrolled in at least six credits and have earned a GPA of 3.50 or higher for the semester.  These students were notified by an e-mail from Associate Dean Dr. Ellen Rodgers, but we wanted to acknowledge them publicly on the blog as they are exemplars of student success!  The College is proud to have such a long list of talented undergraduates!  We hope to see even more of you on the list next semester!

    Early Childhood Education for Diverse Learners

    Danielle Azu

    Presley Julio

    Yessica Mejia Santos

    Hyeonjung Park

    Ramzia Popal

    Katie Raguindin

    Erica Ramirez Estrada

    Maria Torres

    Wendy Zeron

    Elementary Education

    Rachel Cameron

    Samreen Hashmi

    Janet Hodges

    Calvin Jennings

    Andrea Martinez Gonzalez

    Theresa Moulder

    Samar Said

    Brianna Smith

    Sofia Velasco

    Cecilia Yanes Trejo

    Sevval Yeter

    Health and Physical Education

    Carlos Guardado

    Julianna Norvell

    Robert Thompson

    Special Education

    Faye Alghofaily

    Jayme Cole

    Lucas Gillenwater

    Health, Fitness and Recreation Resources – Parks and Outdoor Recreation

    Christina Clark

    Clare Condon

    Maureen Kraus

    Health, Fitness and Recreation Resources – Sport Management

    Omar El Saeid

    Health, Fitness and Recreation Resources – Therapeutic Recreation

    Hina Choudhary

    Jessica Winkler

    Human Development and Family Science

    Natalie Alba

    Kamryn Armistead

    Maria Basnight

    Yornif Cudjoe

    Rosana Gomez Sanchez

    Adrian Hurdle

    Andreas Krawczak

    Katelyn Lowell

    Shannon Mulligan

    Monica Solorzano

    Tyler Theriault


    Omar Afifi

    Sean Amoah

    Rehan Anthony

    Jorge Arrate Garcia

    Sebastian Baytan

    Ana Beasley

    Anda Bruk

    Michael Bui

    Samantha Burgess

    Yoobin Chai

    Anqa Chowdhury

    Ronald Combs

    Kaitlin Corbett

    Megan Cummins

    Alex Denchi

    Alison Do

    Owen Donahue

    Brett Downs

    Omar El-Khodari

    Marlon Falconer

    Xavier Ferguson

    Steven Figueroa

    Trisha Fonseca

    Melena Futsum

    Julianne Gabitan

    Victoria Goldammer

    Zachary Gray

    Sean Grimm

    Denzel Hardison-Wright

    Najma Hashimi

    Juan Helguero Hazou

    Jaydon Jackson

    Kiara Jalali

    Benjamin Johnson

    Gurpreet Kaur

    Rohan Kumar

    Hannah Malhoyt

    Lara Malkawi

    Alyssa Mielke

    Seth Moellmer

    Alison Murphy

    Milan Nanayakkara

    Shorouq Njim

    Benjamin Oswalt

    Justin Jose Pagarigan

    Jacqueline Perdomo-Trejo

    Jordyn Renzi

    Robert Seoane

    Theresa Sherrill

    Tucker Spence

    Christopher Sullivan

    Taylor Thompson

    Gabrielle Torrijos

    Hong Tran

    Raechel Wahab

    Brianna Warman

    Kyia Williams

    Tourism and Events Management

    Marilyn Bell

    Justin Chiocchio

    Madison Kinsler

    Maya Mara

    Christina Morolla

    Jennifer Robinson

    Katherine Szczapa

    Kayla Tyson

    Jiemin Yang


    Two New Degree Names for SRTM

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  • Students in the School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management (SRTM) will notice an exciting change for this fall. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has approved two new degrees to replace SRTM’s Bachelor of Science in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources (HFRR) degree. The new degrees are Bachelor of Science (BS), Sport Management, and Bachelor of Science (BS), Recreation Management. Read on to see why this change is both simple and significant for CEHD students.

    Why would SRTM want to rename and divide the HFRR degree into the two new degrees?

    A desire for clarity and consistency with the industry lies at the heart of the change. According to Dr. Laurence Chalip, Director of the School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management, “The new degree titles are more descriptive of each specialization. The old title was somewhat unusual, so students and their families often did not fully appreciate or recognize what was being offered. The new degree titles are consistent with each specialization, and are in keeping with degree foci parents and students will see at other institutions, and with students’ career aspirations. So, the new titles should help students and their families better recognize the training that is being offered.”

    Parks and Outdoor Recreation students
    Sport Management students

    Does this change affect current students?

    Students beginning their degree path in SRTM this fall have automatically been enrolled in the new degree programs. Continuing students currently enrolled in the HFRR degree program have the option to shift to the new Sport Management and Recreation Management bachelor’s degrees after consulting with their academic advisor. Because requirements for the old and new degrees are very similar, the shift from HFRR to a new Sport or Recreation Management BS should be seamless.

    What is the benefit to students?

    Name recognition. While SRTM is known for its cutting-edge curriculum and already enjoys close relationships within the industry, the name change is likely to further enhance student opportunities and graduate placement. The new degree names will represent SRTM graduates more precisely to potential employers and help graduates move more effectively into positions of leadership in the field.

    How do the new degree names align with SRTM’s goals?

    According to Dr. Chalip, “The School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management capitalizes fully on the unique skills and experience of its faculty as well as the many opportunities afforded by our outstanding location in the Washington metro area. We work tirelessly to assure that our students are among the best prepared in the nation. The new degrees recognize the quality and opportunities that our programs deliver.”


    PEREC Recruiting Environmental Field Interpreters

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  • Mason’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center’s (PEREC) Field Interpreter team is recruiting students to join their team in delivering award-winning Watershed Education Programs in local parks.  Mason students will engage 7th graders in Chesapeake Bay related activities including collecting and identifying stream organisms, testing water quality-chemistry, assessing biodiversity, watershed and habitat characteristics at Burke Lake, and Lake Accotink in Springfield.  This is a tremendous way to enhance science communication skills while working with with a fun team. Training is provided, background checks required.

    PEREC flyer

    Work Hours: Weekdays mid- Sept. – Oct. 8:30am – 1:30pm, students work on days they are available.


    Must have at least 1 weekday available (more preferred) from 8:30am-1:30pm.

    Interest in engaging youth in hands-on, outdoor environmental activities 

    Environmental Enthusiam

    Students must provide transportation to local parks. Carpooling is encouraged.

    Grads: $15/hr

    Undergrads $13/hr


    Tues. Sept. 7th 1pm OR  Tues. Sept. 7th 4:30pm

    FIELD TRAINING: Friday Sept. 10th. 8:00am -12:00pm Burke Lake Marina. 7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039

    For the Orientation Zoom Link:  Email Program Manager Matt Helfinstein and Dr. Smith 

    Any questions, please email Matt Helfinstein and Dr. Smith.

    If you know the days that you will have available please email us those as well.  Matt will follow up with questions.  


    Be Engaged – Get your Popcorn and Mulled Cider Heeere! 

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  • The CEHD Student Success Team is all about…well, you guessed it – student success. Each team member supports that success a little differently. Some provide study tips or help you navigate conflict with peers. Others knock down barriers on your behalf, making sure that nothing gets in the way of you completing your coursework. And I, proudly, pop popcorn and mull cider at least once a semester. It’s called balance. 

    If you’ve been in CEHD long enough, you know I’m not joking about the popcorn and cider. The Student Success Team adores sending students to class with a smile and a salty snack. Believe it or not, we don’t do that just to satisfy hunger. The purpose behind the popcorn is actually much deeper – it’s about enrichment

    Dr. Ivory Berry and Brianna Alford making popcorn
    We love popcorn – almost as much as we love students!

    What is enrichment?

    Enrichment extends a student’s education beyond the classroom. It encompasses a variety of engagement opportunities that focus on developing the whole student. Examples include: participating in activities and organizations; reflecting on health and wellbeing; engaging in writing and research; sharing knowledge in new communities and cultures; establishing leadership skills and abilities; proactively preparing for the future; developing relationships with peers and mentors; and much, much more. If you’re involved at Mason in a way that helps you grow personally, academically, and professionally – and it’s not just during class – you’re most likely engaging in enrichment. 

    Why does it matter? 

    Enrichment is the free throw after a two-pointer. It’s the “and some” that seems optional and maybe even inconsequential but could ultimately cost you or save you the game. Enrichment helps students gain self- and cultural awareness; build a support network; increase and apply knowledge, skills, and abilities; and develop a sense of belonging in the college and community. Students who are plugged in and connected know when and with whom to celebrate, as well as when and where to reach out for support. This ultimately aids in persistence to graduation. 

    How to enrich your experience: 

    • We (the CEHD Student Success Team) host activities and events. Attend them.  

    Remember the popcorn I mentioned earlier? It’ll be available during our Suite 2200 Open House on Monday, August 30. We guarantee it’ll be delicious, but more importantly, it will encourage people to linger near the suite, which gives students like you a chance to connect with faculty, staff, and fellow students. Social enrichment at its best. Learn more here.

    • We oversee CEHD Clubs and Organizations. Join one.  

    There are over 400 student organizations at Mason, and our office oversees close to 10 in CEHD alone. Chances are at least one of those organizations will align with your academic or personal interests. Join one and build up your support network. Check out the CEHD student organizations here. Discover other student organizations at Mason’s Get Connected fair happening in-person on 9/1 and virtually on 9/2. Learn more here

    • We provide opportunities to strengthen and develop your skills. Participate in them. 

    Throughout the year our office offers numerous opportunities to further your skills in reading, writing, research, time management, etc. These opportunities come in the form of events (Writer’s Retreats and research symposiums), guides (like this Time Management Toolkit), and campus partnerships (like encouraging students to attend Learning Service’s upcoming workshop on How to Focus Better). Take advantage of them now – it pays to be proactive! 

    Enrichment opportunities extend well beyond the suggestions listed above, but for the sake of your time, we’ll pause there for now. Enjoy the fall ‘21 semester, CEHD students, and don’t forget to Be Engaged!  

    Brianna Alfors, CEHD Student Enrichment Coordinator

    Brianna Alford is the Student Enrichment Coordinator for the College of Education and Human Development. When she’s not devising opportunities for CEHD students to Be Engaged, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and advocating for a proper RSVP.


    The Story Behind Our Formula

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  • Be informed. Be Engaged. Be Present.

    The Student Success Formula

    Five years ago, I interviewed for the inaugural CEHD Director of Student Success position. As part of my interview process, I was asked to prepare a job talk on current trends in student affairs and a sample welcome message that I would deliver at a new, undergraduate transfer student orientation. I knew that preparing the job talk would take some time since I needed to research current trends and think about a succinct way to deliver the presentation; but, on the other hand, I knew that crafting the welcome message was going to be a cakewalk! 

    Two years prior, I was fresh out of doctoral studies at Illinois and had relocated to Ohio to assume a full-time student success position working with exploratory/undeclared students, new transfer students, and students who were not in good academic standing. Retention and graduation rates were pretty abysmal to be frank, and I was given the tall order to develop approaches and initiatives to improve those rates. Rather than assume that the students were not academically prepared for college or were unmotivated to earn a degree, as too often folks do in their instant analysis, I sought to understand their lived experiences and how they connected (or didn’t connect) to the university, including its structures, policies, resources, services, personnel, and academic programs. I quickly learned that students were not in sync with the university and vice versa. 

    I was lucky to have had my undergraduate experience at a nurturing Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Louisiana. Though we had limited resources, we had highly supportive and engaged faculty, staff, upperclassmen, and alumni who showed us the way; they synced us to the university. I’ll never forget running into my mathematics department chair, Dr. Meyinsse, on “the strip” in between classes after returning from summer break following completion of my freshman year. He asked, “Berry, what did you do this summer?” I replied with glee, “I went home and got plenty of rest, hung out with my friends, and caught up on my favorite tv shows!” “And what else?” he asked. “That was it! It was great!” I responded. He leaned in towards me with direct eye contact, like only a parent could, and said, “make that your last summer at home just resting and hanging out. Berry, you need to be in a summer program and involved in activities preparing for life after undergrad.” Admittedly, I was a bit confused because as a first-generation college student, I thought taking the right classes was all that I needed to focus on to earn my degree and obtain a job offer or a graduate admissions letter.  

    That’s me as an undergrad at Southern University and A&M College

    He gathered my whole life in an instance! He was the lifeline that I didn’t know I needed. I spent a lot of time with Dr. Meyinsse, and others at the university, who instilled in me the expectation to “stay in the know” and encouraged me to become a Ronald E. McNair Scholar; attend and present at research conferences; go to sporting and social events at the school; serve in leadership roles in various clubs and organizations; get involved in student government; join the honors program; and form study and peer support groups. I even became a student ambassador and led campus tours for prospective students and their families and spoke at admissions events. I probably over did it, but I was fully plugged in to the university, highly engaged, and simply having the time of my life. Oh, and I got admitted to and enrolled in the doctoral program at Illinois immediately following completion of undergraduate studies! 

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t witnessing this motivation, engagement, or sentiment in my students in Ohio. However, I quickly realized that what they needed was a Dr. Meyinsse, so I became him for them.  

    I knew that if I could encourage them to plug in to the university by staying abreast of policies and deadlines; checking and responding to their emails in a timely fashion; and reviewing their degree audits and course syllabi regularly that they would be in a better position for success. So many of them were missing assignments, advising appointments, and opportunities to appeal decisions because they were disconnected. They had no clue what was going on at the university!  

    I knew that if I could get them to see beyond the degree audit and realize what it would take to be a competitive applicant with a diversified portfolio of experiences to land a job in their field or admission to an advanced degree program that they would then see the value in being engaged inside and outside of the classroom.  

    I knew that if I could get them to think about their areas of academic, professional, and personal strength and challenge and identify associated resources to aid in their development then they would want to explore all that the university has to offer to support their matriculation and wellbeing. 

    So, whenever my students would ask, “Dr. B., what I need to do to successfully make it through?” I always channeled my inner Dr. Meyinsse, “Be informed; Be engaged; and Be present—both inside and outside of the classroom; that’s the formula for optimal student success.” Dr. Meyinsse didn’t use those exact words, but it captures the spirit of his words and what I took away from our conversations and ultimately simplified to make shareable and actionable.  

    Fortunately, I didn’t just leave that message with my students in Ohio. I brought it with me in my new transfer student orientation welcome message for my interview at Mason and have shared it countless times with students, faculty, and staff ever since.  

    You’ve seen the student success formula on our swag. You’ve heard it in our presentations. We’ve even plastered it on the main wall in the CEHD Student Success Center. We’ve fully embraced it, and I urge you to do the same…because Dr. Meyinsse said so. 

    Dr. Ivory Berry, also known as “Dr. Get-Your-Life-Together,” is the Assistant Dean for Student Success for the College of Education and Human Development. He shares his no-nonsense wisdom every day in the Office of Student and Academic Affairs, and occasionally, here on the Student Success Blog.