CEHD Student Organization Spotlight: PhD in Education Student Organization (PESO)

This week, we interviewed the PhD in Education Student Organization (PESO) President to learn more about this CEHD-related organization. Keep reading to learn more about PESO, and to find out how you can get involved!

Who is eligible to join PESO?

Membership in PESO is inclusive of all CEHD doctoral students in good academic standing and is not restricted on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, sex, age, part- or full-time student status, marital status, personal appearance, or political affiliation.

What is the mission of PESO?

PESO was established to advance collegiality, advocate for doctoral student needs, and develop and sustain professional relationships among all doctoral students, faculty, and staff within the College of Education and Human Development. With this in mind, the CEHD PhD in Education Student Organization seeks to:

  • Foster informal and formal interactions, collaborations, and accountability;
  • Provide an open and inclusive forum for our membership to express their concerns, achievement, and ideas that prepare members for continued research, future academia, and careers in our fields;
  • Promote professional development through discussions, presentations, and trainings that strengthen our scholarly endeavors;
  • Share advice, resources, and experiences to assist one another through doctoral studies;
  • Host social and networking events on and off campus to create community
  • Foster a sense of belonging and success for diverse PhD students- e.g. underrepresented students according to their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic level, culture, language, nationality, ability level, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, expression of religion, or/and additional underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Represent the collective opinions and shared interests of our membership to the appropriate authorities at the program, College, University level and beyond
  • Encourage participation in activities relating to the organization and collaboration with the College of Education and Human Development, its various programs, and George Mason University.

Why should students join PESO?

Joining PESO presents students with opportunities to collaborate with faculty and peers, expand and improve their professional skills, and serve our Mason learning community.

What kinds of events does your organization offer?

We offer both in-person and virtual events as well as digital resources including:

  • PESO Professional Growth Sessions, a monthly virtual mentoring series hosted in collaboration with the CEHD PhD Committee
  • PESO General Body Meetings, opportunities to meet PESO members and get updated on current organizational happenings (and have fun!)
  • PESO Critical Issues Discussion Group Meetings, informal gatherings designed to help students using critical theories in their research to ask questions and get mentoring from peers who are currently using critical frameworks in their research

What is your favorite thing about being in PESO?

I came to Mason and joined PESO during 2020 when everything was virtual and life just felt different and disconnected. Through PESO I found community, connection, and purpose during those weird and isolating times. I love being a part of the PESO community!

What is the best way to contact PESO to get involved?

There are lots of ways to reach out to us! 

You can connect with us on social media: 

You can use your GMU login username and password to access our homepage and PhD resources at:

You can also email us at:

Is there anything else you think the Mason CEHD community should know about PESO?

PESO is here to support and help PhD students make the most of their doctoral experience. We always welcome new members and invite your suggestions for how to better serve our PESO community.