2018, Honors College
Honors College alum Desmond L. Moffitt (B.A. European History ’18) is actively promoting inclusive excellence for students worldwide.
Alongside faculty member Dr. LaNitra Berger, Desmond participated in the inaugural Fulbright Diversity Conference on September 22-23 in Berlin, Germany. Through panel discussions with global education leaders, Desmond imparted Mason’s values of diversity and inclusion in an international setting.
A 2018 Fulbright Scholar, Desmond enriched Fulbright conference discussions from a recent Mason graduate perspective. He represented the Honors College as part of a task force, collaborating with other experts to produce deliverables like Fulbright’s constitution and preliminary budget.
“The experience was insightful. It was awesome to connect with other professionals doing similar work. I heard perspectives from Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany,” describes Desmond, whose minors in dance and linguistics inspired him to pursue educational experiences in Germany as an undergraduate.
In Germany, Desmond served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grantee as part of the Berlin European Studies Program. There, he taught English to students in German vocational schools. Teaching abroad reshaped Desmond’s perspectives on student inclusion.
“Desmond identified big issues through his time on this grant,” explains Dr. Berger, Director of Fellowships and Faculty in the Honors College. Desmond realized that students across the globe face exclusion due to lack of educational resources.
“Many students in Germany didn’t have the proper resources,” says Desmond, previously a diversity consultant with Mason’s Global Education Office.
Desmond’s experiences abroad fueled his desire to advocate for policies that benefit under-resourced students worldwide.
“Speak up when things aren’t going well. Improve policies for people who can’t speak up for themselves,” continues Desmond, former community outreach coordinator for MasonU.
An Honors College student leader during his time at Mason, Desmond supported disadvantaged students in the D.C. area. He helped found two student organizations, MasonU and Honors College Black Ambition, two impactful student organizations that empower those often ignored or undervalued by our educational system.
Leading these organizations helped Desmond gain skills that are transferable to his career devoted to improving equitable student access to educational resources.
Desmond's passion for education reform and public service grew through the Honors College support system and curriculum.
"The Honors College continues to equip me with the skills necessary to battle our growing achievement gap in education,” says Desmond, crediting Dr. Berger and other faculty with supporting his growth and success.
“Cultural exchange can be powerful, so we need to continue holding institutions accountable to the missions that the set,” says Desmond, committed to prioritizing inclusive excellence in higher education across the world.
Reporting by Jimmy O'Hara. Photos courtesy of Desmond Moffitt and Dr. LaNitra Berger.