George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Eva Bramesco speaks on the occasion of the Honors College's tenth anniversary

February 27, 2020

What are your favorite aspects of the Honors College? 

One of my favorite things about the Honors College approach is that it’s centered in confidence in our students. We kick-start you all with Honors 110 and then do our best to do a combination of getting out of the way while also poking and prodding you towards the coolest opportunities. We know if we equip you all and then let you run, that you’ll do really interesting and exciting things, and I think that shows the kind of faith our faculty and staff have in our students. 


What was the been the biggest change in the Honors College since you started? 

Probably the size, and I guess I’m partly to blame there! We have more students, and we’re a bigger team now than when I first got here. It’s been exciting to watch us change and grow along with the university.


What do you look for in an Honors College student? 

To borrow a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, The West Wing: "Before I look for anything, I look for a mind at work." My goal is to admit students who are going to benefit from the Honors College. That looks different in different students, but students who are challenging themselves in and out of the classroom in high school are probably going to do that when they get here, too, and we’re ready for them.


Honors College students talk about being inspired by the Honors College and the faculty. What about the students inspire you? 

In my job, I’m lucky enough to supervise a student group called the Honors College Recruitment Team (HCRT). These are Honors students who like the Honors College so much that they’re willing to talk about it to prospective students and their families! This is an all-volunteer group that works incredibly hard and represents the Honors College so well, and they do it all just because they want to bring their positive experiences to as wide an audience as possible. While I think my HCRT students are the best, I think that most Honors students have their own version of HCRT – an activity, involvement, or cause that they really care about – and I think commitment to community at this large a scale is pretty inspirational.


First semester Honors students take Honors 110: Principles of Research. Why is this class so important? 

This class really lays a strong foundation to help students take advantage of all the resources and opportunities that an R1 institution can offer. Learning how to “do research” in the first semester gives our students the skills and confidence to apply for grants, submit proposals, and present at conferences. We regularly see our freshmen presenting and securing research assistantships, and I don’t think that would be nearly as common without HNRS 110. It’s also a total bonding experience for the freshman class. Sharing an academic experience right when they get to Mason really helps with class cohesion and gives new friendships a jumping off point. I’ve definitely observed this in my HNRS 110 section! 


What is one thing about you that may surprise people? 

I have a full blown Tik Tok addiction, and I can sometimes be found practicing the latest dance moves in my office.