George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

The Honors College Celebrates Its Winter Graduates

December 19, 2019

On Wednesday, December 18, the Fall 2019 graduates and their families gathered in Buchanan Hall for an evening of celebration and reflection. Alumna Doreen Joseph, Dean Zofia Burr, and Interim University President Anne Holton praised graduates for their many accomplishments and challenged them to continue to excel.

Speaking to the Honors College graduates, Alumna Doreen Joseph (Cyber Security Engineering '19) shared the following quotation: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game." Joseph emphasized the value of embracing failures as lessons and going after the impossible.

Joseph, who is now attending the University of California, Davis with a fully funded position in the Computer Science PhD program, encouraged the graduates to trust in their own futures. “Everything you’ve done [and] been through was all preparation for this next step of your journey,” said Joseph, reminding the graduates to slow down and take the time to celebrate this moment.

Honors College Dean Zofia Burr reflected on the lessons taught throughout the Honors College curriculum, beginning in Honors 110: Principles of Research and Inquiry, encouraging graduates to remain inquisitive and recognize the value in asking meaningful questions. For her, the Honors College is built on giving students the opportunity to pursue their interests and learn from their mistakes.

“It is a profound honor to be able to be in my position and watch [your growth] happen,” said Burr, encouraging the graduates to stay in touch with the Honors College as they move into the next chapter of their lives.


Group photo with Honors College graduates

Honors College graduates pose for a group photo with Mason's Interim President Anne Holton (center) and Honors College Dean Zofia Burr (hidden behind Tristan Moon's ballcap)

Interim President Anne Holton expressed her admiration for many of the students and her trust in their continued success.

“One of the most special things about the Honors College is you all are thrown in right from the beginning with other like-minded, committed, students leaders,” said Holton, who believes in the benefits of having a community like the Honors College as a resource.

Holton ended her remarks with a message about what it means to be an alumnus of Mason. “Mason [is] a step along your way of lifelong learning,” said Holton. “Move forward as a community.”

The Honors College is proud to congratulate all of our Winter 2019 graduates.

Aniqa Rashid
Taylor Felder
Carly Shanahan
Megan Le
Danielle Hahami
Durwood Moore
Tristan Moon
JulieAnn Sickell
Benjamin Maderi
Stefan Schweers
Sarah Beavers
Victor Huynh
Tucker Phillips
Jenniffer Andino Cruz
Amy Rose
Melissa Alberto
Risheek Rajolu
Brendan Raymond
Virina Matta
Emma Beitzel
Elaine Ly
Alexander Herrick
Mosufa Zainab
MaryKate Smith
Jeremy Shontz
Pavithra Narra
Aimee Trettel
Sharon Blevins
Tiffany Dawson
Alicia Rodriguez
Mary Youssef
Rachel Thomason
Kaitlyn Selmer
Katharine Downey
Jacob Adams
Chetana Parupalli
Dante Burrichter
Michael Peterson
Sydney Hatton
Tenzin Tsarong
Angelene Jesse Chung
Abigail Hummel
Spogmai Khan
Candice Kaye Wong
Michael Shannon
Devon Thyne
Ana Young
Kelly Foster
Marcus Shera
Katherine Beutner
Sofia Sikandar
Sarah Wheedleton
Navolle Amiri
Erin Metzger
Jesse Wong
Joshua Vaz
Nikita Verma
Ryan Powell
Nicholas Fones
Lori Johnson
Quy Mai
Chanel Sherwood

Reporting by Zaria Talley. Photos by Sophia Chapin and Josh McLean.