Year: Master’s Student
Personal Motto: “Do what you love, study what you enjoy.”
A Nontraditional Student: Before coming to George Mason University, Lisa Struckmeyer, BA History ’12, had a nine-year career in the U.S. Air Force as a technical sergeant and a master instructor for hyperbaric medicine. While she was able to take courses toward her bachelor’s degree throughout her military career in countries such as Germany and Italy, she was excited to have her family move to a permanent location near Mason. Struckmeyer reflected that, “It was really nice to be near a university,” since she had no desire to take classes online.
A Passion for Research: Starting off as a psychology major, Struckmeyer soon switched her major when she discovered her true love: history. She hasn’t looked back since. In fact, she loved history so much that upon graduating with her history degree, Struckmeyer approached Robinson Professor Spencer Crew to see if she could help him with his research. He happened to be working on a three-volume book called Slave Culture, and brought Struckmeyer on as a research assistant.
“Addicted to Research”: While researching slave narratives with Professor Crew, Struckmeyer realized she was “addicted to research,” and enjoys constantly searching for information. Her dream job would be “where all I do is research anything that people are curious about, because I love to solve mysteries.”
A Curious Bee: Her latest passion has been understanding beekeepers. Last year, during a summer course, Lisa was given the opportunity to travel to Peru and help remote communities build their honey bee programs. In addition to taking the trip for class credit, she was also the documentarian for the trip. Her experience in Peru led her to begin preliminary research this semester on honey bee keepers and their relationship with the insects most people fear. “They all have a relationship with bees and talk about them in a really interesting and human relationship way,” Struckmeyer says. “They’re very connected.”
—Amber Papas, BA ’16