Alumni, Students Recognized at Celebration
On April 7, 1998, the George Mason University Alumni Association hosted the annual Celebration of Distinction awards dinner in the Johnson Center Multipurpose Room. Nearly 200 alumni, university administrators, faculty, and friends of George Mason were in attendance to recognize and honor 21 alumni, students, faculty, and staff for outstanding achievements. At the event, the Alumni Association presented six awards and two scholarships.
The Alumnus of the Year Award was presented to Thomas J. Webb, B.A. Business Administration '74 and M.B.A. '77, for outstanding achievements that bring honor to George Mason University. Webb has been employed with Ford Motor Company since 1977 and is currently vice president of finance for Visteon Automotive Systems. Visteon is Ford's automotive products division, a $17-billion business comprising 78,000 employees and 45 plants on 6 continents. During a period of substantial transition and restructuring in the mid-1990s, Webb was instrumental in designing a plan that would significantly cut costs, without sacrificing quality, and streamline the company to maintain efficiency and profitability. He has demonstrated courage, determination, and leadership and clearly exemplifies what an individual can do with a degree from George Mason University.
The Alumni Service Award was presented to Lisa A. Mayne, J.D. '85, in recognition of outstanding service to the university. Mayne is a partner in the firm of Kelly and Kelly, concentrating in contract negligence, collection, and other commercial transaction cases. She is currently president of the Women's Law Association and has been active in the Bar Association. She served the George Mason University School of Law Alumni Association from 1986 to 1992 as secretary, vice president, and president. She also has served as president of the George Mason University Alumni Association Board.
The Exemplary Service Award was presented to Alumni Affairs staff member Andy Ackley for consistently demonstrating steadfast commitment to the George Mason University Alumni Association and providing extraordinary support to the Office of Alumni Affairs and the Alumni Association.
Nancy Riffe was recognized as Senior of the Year for her outstanding contributions to academic excellence, student life, service to the university, and leadership. Riffe has maintained a 3.41 grade point average in speech communication while competing extremely well on the national level in forensics. This year, she placed second nationally. She is a Presidential Scholar and has been involved in the Golden Key National Honor Society, Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha (the forensics national honor society), and as national secretary in Lambda Pi Eta (the national communication honor society). She also holds office on the American Forensics Association's National Student Committee and Executive Committee.
Alumni Association scholarships were awarded to two Mason students. The Peter Forame Student Leader Scholarship was presented to Clair Carroll for her outstanding leadership skills and commitment to service. Carroll serves as president of the Black Caucus, vice president of Zeta Phi Beta (a community service organization for college women), and representative on the George Mason University Student Senate. She is also an active member of Alpha Eta Delta (the pre-medical national honor society), the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Debate Team. She has worked as a mentor to freshmen and pregnant teens and as a peer counselor with the Virginia Student Retainment and Retention Program.
The John C. Wood Scholarship was presented to Avril A. Amato. This scholarship provides financial assistance to a student who demonstrates academic excellence and contributes to the life of the university and the community while overcoming obstacles in pursuit of an education. Amato graduated with a psychology degree in May with a 4.0 grade point average. She maintained this exceptionally high level of scholarship while raising two teenage children, one of whom has been diagnosed with a serious degenerative disease. She has devoted many hours of service to the Battens Disease Support and Research Association, Whitman-Walker Clinic, AIDS awareness, and her children's schools.
In addition, Alumni Association groups and university departments presented 10 awards and scholarships.
The Department of History and Art History presented its Outstanding Graduate Award to Richard L. Fulton, B.A. History '78. Currently, he is vice president, division director of Quebecor Printing USA, Inc.
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) Alumni Association presented the Mary Lynn Boland Award to Vicki Rast for outstanding service to the ICAR community. Rast is a United States Air Force doctoral fellow with ICAR and is also a candidate for the doctor of public administration degree at the University of Alabama. A captain in the U.S. Air Force, Rast is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Squadron Officer School, and the Air Command and Staff College.
The George Mason University School of Law Alumni Association annually awards scholarships to outstanding law students. School of Law Alumni Scholarships were awarded to first-year day student Atoosa Reza, class representative to the Student Association and officer of the Honor Court, and Richard Kelsey, a second-year day student who is editor of the Docket and a Dean's Scholar. An Honorable Mention was awarded to Sherri G. Kraham, a second-year day student enrolled in the international business law program. The Dean Engle Memorial Scholarship was awarded to second-year day student Christopher A. Costa, who is in the top 15 percent of his class and is a Dean's Scholar.
The Law Faculty Exemplary Service Award was presented to Professor William E. Kovacic for exemplary service to the School of Law through scholarship, teaching, and advising students and alumni. Kovacic joined the George Mason faculty in 1986 and is a prolific scholar and an expert in the fields of antitrust law and government contracts law. He has served on career services and judicial clerkship committees and as faculty advisor to the Law Review.
The M.B.A. Alumni Leadership Certificate was awarded by the M.B.A. Alumni Association to Paul Lockhart Dethero, a first-year student concentrating in finance, and Christian K. Holler, M.B.A. '98, for significantly contributing to the development of the partnership between George Mason University alumni, students, and the business community.
Catherine M. Spage, B.A. Economics '91 and M.P.A. '95, received the Wayne F. Anderson Award for Distinguished Public Service, presented by the Department of Public and International Affairs for outstanding accomplishments in public service. Spage is current president of George Mason's M.P.A. Alumni Chapter, a group she was instrumental in reviving after a period of inactivity.
The New Century College Distinguished Service Award was established this year to recognize alumni who have demonstrated achievements in their profession, as well as provided support and service to George Mason University. This year's recipient was Karen Kolosvary, B.I.S. '96. Kolosvary has been instrumental in helping to form the NCC Alumni Society.
The New Century College Graduating Senior Internship Award was established this year to recognize a graduating senior for his or her outstanding internship or practicum experience. The recipient was Shauna Riley, B.I.S. '98. Riley participated in an internship with the Compeer Program after first serving as a volunteer companion, and was invited to be a member of the Compeer Advisory Council.
The Career Connection Alumni Award, sponsored by the Office of Career Services, recognizes alumni for their active support of Career Services and George Mason students in encouraging career exploration and providing greater access to employers and the world of work. The recipients were Allison Ritman, B.S. Accounting '87, and Francis Gary Powers, Jr., M.P.A. '95.