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GMUAA President-Elect Catherine Lemmon presents the Alumnus of the Year Award to J. Gregory Bedner.

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Jeanine Talley is presented the Peter C. Forame Student Leader Scholarship by David Hirsch, J.D. '84, Chair of the GMUAA Awards and Scholarship Committee.


The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University

Alumni Awards

Alumni, Students, and Faculty Are Recognized at 2003 Celebration of Distinction

The George Mason University Alumni Association hosted its annual Celebration of Distinction awards dinner on April 23 to recognize and honor outstanding alumni, students, and faculty members for their achievements and contributions to the university.

The Alumnus of the Year is J. Gregory Bedner, B.S. Business Administration '76 and J.D. '83. Bedner established ADI Technologies Inc. in 1991 and developed the small technology company into a highly successful business, which was purchased by Perot Systems. Bedner then became president and CEO of the new Perot Systems Government Services. A loyal supporter of George Mason's School of Law and its alumni chapter, Bedner established the Greg Bedner/ADI Corporation Scholarship, an annual award to one or more outstanding entering law students. He serves on the Executive Board of the George Mason School of Law National Center for Technology and Law, and gives advice and counsel on a number of technology-related issues, including the Global Internet Summit and the information technology track at the Law School.

This year's Alumni Service Award was presented to Jennifer A. Hess, J.D. '95. Hess works for a small litigation firm, Charlson Bredehoft, P.C. She has served on the Law Alumni Chapter Board for more than five years and led the alumni board's involvement in the annual judicial and legislative reception. A volunteer for the Career Development Office, Hess has hosted numerous mock interview sessions with students. She also has assisted and coached the law student trial advocacy team and participated in the Law Alumni Chapter's Student Scholarship Committee.

Described as a phenomenal leader by her students, Doris A. Bitler, associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs and an associate professor of psychology, was awarded the Faculty Member of the Year Award. Bitler is the faculty advisor for the Alpha Lambda Delta and Golden Key honor societies. She serves on the Sexual Assault Coordinating Council, is a member of the Sexual Harassment Resource and Referral Network, and received the first George Mason Staff Senate Outstanding Supervisor Award. Bitler is a member of the NACADA Journal editorial board; a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice; and a comprehensive program grant reviewer for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

Biology major Amit Sinha was recognized as Senior of the Year. As a University Scholar with an unwavering focus on success and involvement, Sinha is graduating in three years with a 3.95 GPA. He has been on the Dean's List and recognized annually at the Office of Housing and Residence Life's Academic Achievement Banquet for all three years. He also is a peer health educator with Student Health Services and active in the Indian Student Association, and served as director of academic affairs for the George Mason chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Beverly C. Stewart was awarded the John C. and Louise P. Wood Graduate Scholarship. Currently enrolled in the Master of Initiatives in Educational Transformation Program at George Mason, where she maintains a 4.00 GPA, Stewart teaches Title I math at the elementary level and mentors several children. She is active in community service, working with the Special Olympics, the Fairfax County Office of the Aging, and the Lion's Club. She also teaches computer classes for senior citizens at Hunter Woods Fellowship House in Reston, Va. For 17 years, she has been a single mother of two daughters, one of whom is currently a senior at George Mason.

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From left to right: Beverly Stewart, Doris Bitler, Jennifer Hess, Mary Tatum Chappell, Stephen Michael, Amit Sinha, Jeanine Talley, and Gregory Bedner.

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Back row from left to right: Dewayne Messenger, David Reininger, Linda Borostovik, Tharun Mohan, Lucy Church, Rosemary Poole, Richard Klimoski, Brian Perryman, Christopher Jones, Jeremy Schofer, John Riley, and Paul Garriss; Front row from left to right: Jesse Seiple, Adam Modzelesky, Lauren Geerdes, Peter Anderson, Diane Pape Reed, Jason Lefton


The recipient of this year's John C. Wood Scholarship is Stephen Michael, a junior psychology major who has maintained a 3.84 GPA in his course work while rearing four children as a single parent. After more than a 20-year break from course work, Michael transferred to George Mason in fall 2002 to complete his degree despite extreme financial difficulty. A recipient of the Mark and Catherine Winkler Scholarship for Single Parents, he recently was honored for academic excellence by the Office of Diversity Programs and Services. An honorable mention was awarded to Mary Tatum Chappell, a third-year student working toward a B.I.S. degree with a concentration in psychology of communication.

Jeanine M. Talley, a third-year integrative studies student in New Century College with a 3.81 GPA, received the Peter C. Forame Student Leader Scholarship. As chair of the Dialogue Committee for the University Dispute Resolution Project, Talley hosted and facilitated a dialogue on cultural awareness with students from various backgrounds. She has been an orientation leader and a peer advisor for the Freshman Center, helping to integrate new students into college life. As a second-year member of the President/Provost Student Advisory Committee, Talley provides a voice for the concerns and questions of George Mason students.

The School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E) awarded its Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award to Lisa I. Jensen, B.S. Computer and Electrical Engineering '86 and M.S. Software Systems Engineering '93. Jensen is a member of the IT&E Alumni Development Committee, the IT&E Advisory Board, and Women in Technology, and was a finalist in the 2002 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is the executive vice president of operations and cofounder of Blue Ridge Networks, an Internet security technology provider firm in Chantilly, Va., that pioneered the Virtual Private Network technology.

The Mary Lynn Boland Award was given to Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) students Adina B. Friedman and Jesse Seiple. Friedman is a Ph.D. candidate who holds an M.A. in Middle East history from Tel Aviv University, Israel; an M.S. in peace and development research from Goteborg University, Sweden; and a B.S.C. in biology from San Jose State University. For many years, she worked on projects involving Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian, and Egyptian cooperation in the fields of education and academics, refugees, culture, development, environment and health issues, and peace and coexistence. Seiple is a second-year master's student who holds an undergraduate degree in English from Western Washington University. He serves as copresident of ICAR's Graduate Students in Conflict Studies, as well as editor, chief, and writer for facta et verba, a bimonthly op-ed newsletter on ICAR culture.

Christopher K. Jones, M.A. International Transactions '99, was awarded the School of Public Policy Alumni Service Award. Since 1996, Jones has served as president and CEO of Enterprise Resource Performance Inc., where he is involved with consulting, strategic planning, and market development. He served in the U.S. Army in Anchorage, Alaska, from 1970 to 1972. He was president of the International Commerce and Policy Alumni Interest Group and was instrumental in developing the new School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter, currently serving as its interim president.

University Career Services recognized Paul D. Garriss, B.S. Accounting '92, and Linda C. Borostovik, B.A. Psychology '93, with the Career Connection Alumni Award. Garriss is the lead financial analyst for Financial Services­Joliet Refinery with ExxonMobil Corporation. For several years, he served as ExxonMobil's college relations and recruiting representative to George Mason, personally coordinating the company's involvement with the university's job fairs and on-campus interviewing. Borostovik, an employee relations specialist in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has participated in numerous Career Services activities, including serving on a career panel for psychology majors, conducting mock interviews, and talking to individual students referred through Career Network Online.

The School of Management (SOM) Alumni Chapter recognized Dr. Richard J. Klimoski with a Special Recognition Award for his commitment to alumni outreach and his support in the revitalization of the school's Alumni Chapter. Upon becoming SOM dean in spring 2002 after serving as interim dean, he initiated outreach to the school's alumni by starting the SOMTimes magazine, scheduling a series of alumni breakfasts, and energizing the SOM Alumni Chapter's activities. He also provided resources for an online alumni survey and started a tradition of having an SOM presence at Homecoming.

Deborah L. Whetzel, B.S. Psychology '81 and M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology '83, received the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Student Association Distinguished Alumni Award. An employee at Caliber Associates, Whetzel is instrumental in fostering internship opportunities to industrial/organizational psychology students. In addition, she spends a significant amount of time mentoring and advising many current and former Mason students who work with her at Caliber.

The Broadside Alumni Chapter awarded Francisco P. Bernasconi, B.A. Area Studies (Latin America) '90, the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award. The national photo editor at the New York Times, Bernasconi and his staff were awarded several 2002 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service, Explanatory Reporting, Breaking News Photography, and Feature Photography for work related to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Telecommunications Master of Arts Program Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to David S. Reininger, B.S. Decision Sciences '89 and M.A. Telecommunications '92. Reininger, an employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia for nearly 20 years, is involved with broadcasting Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and National Transportation and Safety Board meetings via streaming audio and video to a diverse national and international audience.

This year's Department of Communication Outstanding Alumni Award went to Diane Pape Reed, B.A. Communication '89. In 1994, Reed helped create the George Mason Forensics Team Alumni Chapter and was elected its first president. She recently led a fund-raising effort that brought in more than $130,000 to create an endowed fund for the team. Reed also serves as the vice president of service for the George Mason Alumni Association.

The Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award was presented to Jean F. Jenkins, Ph.D. '99, a senior clinical advisor in the Office of the Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health. Jenkins is a nurse researcher and writer, whose work has been published in more than 25 peer-reviewed journals.

Lucy C. Church, B.I.S. '81 and M.P.A. '86, received the Wayne F. Anderson Award for Distinguished Public Service. Church has served on the George Mason Women's Advisory Board, the university's Arts Gala Committee, the NCAA Steering Committee for Athletics, and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Search Committee. Active in many community organizations, she is vice president of the Virginia Opera and president of its Northern Virginia Advisory Board, and has been active in political campaigns.

Rosemary J. Poole, B.A. History '84, was honored with the Outstanding Graduate in Art History Award. Poole has taught art history at George Mason as an adjunct instructor and in the Learning in Retirement Program and has lectured at a number of local venues including the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.

This year's Stephen Karbelk Alumnus of the Year Award went to John P. Riley, M.A. American History '87. Riley is the director of education and scholarship programs for the White House Historical Association, an organization that encourages the study of presidential history and provides fellowships to assist this study.

In addition, the following scholarships and awards were presented to students: Dean Engle Memorial Scholarship to Jeremy J. Schofer, School of Law Alumni Chapter Scholarship to Brian P. Perryman, New Century College Outstanding Internship Awards to Jason S. Lefton and Peter J. Anderson, David R. Stevenson Nonprofit Internship Award to Dewayne J. Messenger, Broadsider of the Year Award to Adam E. Modzelesky, Broadside Rookie of the Year Award to Tharun Mohan, and Beth Kauffman Award for Creativity to Lauren P. Geerdes.