A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Alumni Profiles

Picturing Prince

By Mason Spirit contributor on March 1, 2018

Over Alumni Weekend, Mason alumnus Steve Parke came to campus to share his experiences working with music icon Prince and sign copies of his new book, Picturing Prince (Octopus Books, 2017), for an enthusiastic crowd of the Purple One’s fans.

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Seeing What Others Don’t

By Cathy Cruise, MFA '93 on March 1, 2018

On an otherwise ordinary day near Springfield Mall in Northern Virginia, a car came to an abrupt stop on the side of the road. The driver jumped out, dragged his passenger outside, and threw her onto the curb. Then he got back in the car and sped away. Luckily, Mason alumni Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, an expert on human trafficking, was in her own car nearby, and saw the whole thing.

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Bringing People Together

By Buzz McClain, BA '77 on March 1, 2018

As a practitioner in the peacebuilding field, Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, MAIS ’96, PhD Conflict Analysis and Resolution ’06, helps clients ranging from the Fairfax County Public Schools system to the Security Council of the United Nations with conflict assessment studies, mediation, and training.

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Alumni Profile: Rion Amilcar Scott

By Tara Laskowski, MFA '05 on December 4, 2017

Rion Amilcar Scott, MFA Creative Writing ’08, my friend and fellow MFA grad, won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction for his story collection Insurrections.

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Alumni Profile: Tracy Russillo

By Mason Spirit contributor on November 30, 2017

Lt. Col. Tracy Russillo, BS Law Enforcement ’88, a 28-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, is the first woman to be appointed deputy superintendent of the department. Prior to this position, she was also the first female to receive major and lieutenant colonel status.

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Meet the Mason Nation: Dan Walsch

By Colleen Kearney Rich on November 7, 2017

You might recognize Dan Walsch, PhD Communication ’11. For nearly 20 years, he served as Mason’s director of media relations and spokesperson and could be seen on the local news from time to time. He also taught public relations classes in the Communication Department for most of his 28-year career at Mason. In fact, teaching is what led him to his current position.

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A Daughter’s Tribute

By Mason Spirit contributor on November 7, 2017

On January 8, 1973, Lt. Col. William L. Deane of the U.S. Army was declared missing in action in Vietnam. His daughter, Sharon M. Deane, MA History ’10, was 8 at the time. For 27 years, the Deane family waited and hoped for answers. In April 2000, his remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in a special ceremony recognizing his ultimate sacrifice.

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Alumni Profile: Jason Von Kundra

By Cathy Cruise, MFA '93 on August 4, 2017

The phrase “farm to table” resonates with many of us these days, and for Jason Von Kundra, BS Earth Science ’12, it’s more than criteria for picking a restaurant—it’s a livelihood. Von Kundra lives and works at Harvest Table Farm in Meadowview, Virginia, supplying food year-round for nearby Harvest Table Restaurant.

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Alumni Profile: Maria Ambrose

By Mason Spirit contributor on August 4, 2017

For Maria Ambrose, BFA Dance ’11, an early opportunity at Mason planted the seed that would grow into her professional career, and land her in the spotlight.

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Alumni Profile: Nathaniel Provencio

By Damian Cristodero on August 4, 2017

As principal at Minnieville Elementary School in Woodbridge, Virginia, Nathaniel Provencio turned an underperforming institution into one of Prince William County’s best performing elementary schools. His efforts earned him recognition as the Washington Post’s 2017 Principal of the Year.

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