A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Meet the Mason Nation: Lewis Forrest II

By Colleen Kearney Rich on April 28, 2016


Lewis Forrest II

Job: Associate Dean, University Life

You might consider Lewis Forrest, BA English ’96, MEd Counseling and Development ’05, a Mason lifer. In addition to earning two degrees at Mason, Forrest has spent the majority of his professional life at the university, first working in the Early Identification Program (EIP) and then serving as its director. In 2015, he took on a new role in University Life, where he oversees not only EIP, but the offices of Graduate Student Life, International Programs and Services, Academic Integrity, and Mason Recreation.

Lewis Forrest II, associate dean for University Life, poses with students at the Early Identification Program offices. Photo by Ron Aira

Lewis Forrest II, associate dean for University Life, poses with students at the Early Identification Program offices. Photo by Ron Aira

Sports Fan: After finishing his undergraduate degree, Forrest put the writing skills he acquired at Mason to work as a sports writer. A big fan of college and professional basketball, he had to immerse himself in all kinds of sports as a reporter. “I was covering swim meets, tennis, cross country . . . and learned all the ins and outs of all those sports.” But ultimately he realized it wasn’t the profession for him. “So I tried to find out where my passion was,” he says. His path soon led him back to Mason and EIP.

Connecting with Students: During his time with EIP, Forrest worked with thousands of middle school and high school students. Many of them enrolled at Mason as undergraduates. Photos and gifts from those students decorate his Student Union Building I office. “I keep in touch with a lot of them. I just finished writing a letter of recommendation for one and even ran into a few on campus today.”

Working with Students: After completing his MEd, Forrest worked for a time as a professional school counselor in Prince William County Public Schools. When the director of EIP, Hortensia Cadenas, BA Spanish ’80, MA Foreign Languages ’93, retired in 2010, Forrest jumped at the chance to return to Mason. “I really wanted the opportunity to come back. I had a lot of ideas, and I really missed [Mason].”

Favorite Thing about Mason: The community. “I can walk around campus and talk to people I’ve known since 1990. They still give me encouragement and advice. I have a strong network of folks who support me.”

On His New Role: As an associate dean, Forrest says he has enjoyed seeing the university from “a different lens. I get to work with people who really know what they are doing, and I am learning something new about how Mason works.”

 


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