George Mason University
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George Mason University

Honors College Faculty Recognized with Outstanding Achievement Awards

December 13, 2018

The Honors College joins the rest of George Mason University in recognizing two of our valued faculty, who received outstanding achievement awards this morning. Director of the Office of Fellowships LaNitra Berger received the Margaret C. Howell award for her instrumental role in helping the Honors College and George Mason University become leaders in diversity, inclusion, and access. Director of Student Success Kareema Smith received the Mason Faculty Alumni award, which recognizes Mason alumni who have become leaders on the Mason faculty and staff

Portrait of Dr. BergerLaNitra Berger has recently been in the news for her work addressing diversity issues in the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program with Honors College alumnus Desmond Moffitt, BA History ‘17. Together, they spoke at Fulbright Diversity Conference in Berlin, leading Mary Kirk, director of the State Department’s Office of Academic Exchange Programs, to describe Berger and Moffitt as “leaders at the program.”  

This work builds on Berger’s immense success helping students receive some of the most prestigious fellowships available, including Fulbright, Goldwater, Boren, Marshall, Truman, and Udall. In order to help students who might not otherwise imagine themselves applying to these prestigious fellowships, Berger offers weekly office hours in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education. With Berger’s leadership and guidance, the Honors College and George Mason more generally have been able to provide students who might be underserved at other universities access to excellence.

Kareema Smith portraitKareema Smith’s role in the Honors College is equally important. As the Director of Student Success, Smith provides an invaluable academic and personal resource to students, both those who are struggling and those who simply would like someone to help with their transition to college. With Smith’s help, the Honors College has been able to retain students at a rate that sets it apart from peer institutions.

Smith, who graduated from Mason with a BS in Psychology and an MS in Educational Psychology, is able to guide students towards success in a way that someone who was not formerly a student here might not be able to.

Like Dr. Berger, Smith has been key to the Honors College’s efforts to help motivated students from all backgrounds succeed. Smith has played an active role in student life, for instance by serving as the faculty advisor to the Honors College Multicultural Association and by helping to organize the Honors College College Application Coaches service project with the Early Identification Program, a college access program run by Mason. Through all of her work, Smith has demonstrated commitment to helping all Honors College students succeed.

The Honors College thanks both Dr. Berger and Ms. Smith for their continued dedication to our students.