Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.
The College of Education and Human Development faculty in Special Education have chosen
2021 Outstanding Graduate Student in Special Education
Q & A with Outstanding Graduate Student in Special Education, Daffany Nance:
What part of your Mason experience are you most proud of?
As a lifelong learner, I was excited to earn my master’s degree in special education. I have been out of school for 25 years, raising four children, and working full time. The support from my professors, family, and friends, helped me achieve my academic goal.
What are your future plans, goals, and dreams?
My future plans are to continue to be a life coach and maintain a full-time teaching job in special education. I have written a book and waiting for it to be published. I am working on my second book and looking forward to one day being able to travel the world and inspire everyone. Everyone deserves to be valued and believe they are important in their own special way.
What is your favorite memory from your time in the College of Education and Human Development?
When I walked into my first class, I remember looking at the professor and stated it has been twenty-five years since I have been in school. I said I do not even know if I am going to make it through the class, let alone pass a test, or be able to write a paper. She looked back and me and smiled and said do not worry you will be able to make it. When she said that I was like you are crazy, but her belief in me instilled willingness and wanting to be able to make it through my program.
What advice do you have for fellow CEHD students?
When the professor states if you have any questions to please consult them, it is in your best interest. I will never forget a professor who stated your friends do not know what the professor expects, only the professor does. Several times when I was not sure how to proceed in my class, I consulted my professors. They were helpful to me, guided me, and taught me extra items I did not learn in class as I had an eagerness of wanting to learn more.
Would you like to give any shout-outs to those who supported you along the way?
I would like to thank the faculty and staff of George Mason. Without their dedication and support, I would not have made it through the program. I would also like to thank my children for their patience and sacrifice for allowing me to attend school while raising them. Third, thank you to my family and close friends who helped hold my hand when I wanted to quit. Fourth, I thank my Grad group of friends who were inspired by me and supported me throughout my journey. Lastly, I want to thank Arlington Public Schools for believing in me and allowing me to represent them through my transition from being an assistant teacher to becoming a teacher. in my own classroom.