Meet the Staff

Meet the Women and Gender Studies Staff!

Anu Aneja

Dr. Anu Aneja (she/her), Director

Anu Aneja has joined George Mason as Associate Professor and Director of Women and Gender Studies and is excited to work with faculty and students to lead this vibrant, diverse and welcoming program! She has most recently taught Women's Studies and Humanities courses at the Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, and formerly at the Ohio Wesleyan University in Ohio. She was a student of French at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and received a Master's and PhD in Comparative Literature from Penn State University.

She has research interests in the areas of transnational feminist theory and aesthetics, in particular their inventive crossings across South Asia and the west; contemporary French, francophone and Indian literatures; feminist perspectives on mothering; and feminist pedagogy. Her monograph entitled Feminist Theory and the Aesthetics Within: A perspective from South Asia is forthcoming. Her publications include two edited collections - Women’s and Gender Studies in India: Crossings (2019), and Gender & Distance Education: Indian and International Contexts (2019); and a co-authored book, Embodying Motherhood: Perspectives from Contemporary India (2016). She currently serves as Area Advisor, 'Gender and Education’ for the digital edition of Oxford Bibliographies, and as a member of the editorial board of the academic journal, Gender & Education.

She enjoys sculpting in clay, creative writing, beach vacations and reading for pleasure, and dreams of making more time for all of these in future lifetimes.


Holly M Mason

Holly Mason Badra (she/her), Associate Director

Holly has joined WGST as our Associate Director. She received her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from GMU in 2017. While pursuing her MFA, she served as a tutor in the Writing Center and Coordinator of the Weekly Graduate Write-Ins. Her teaching experience includes elementary, middle, high school, and college Composition, Humanities, Literature, and Creative Writing classes. She is originally from North Carolina, where she received her BA in English (with a Minor in Dance) from UNC-Greensboro.

Holly also serves as the staff advisor for the GMU Kurdish Student Organization. And works with NVWP Director Leslie Goetsch coordinating the Mason Writers in the Schools program that allows MFA Creative Writing students the opportunity to teach in local grade schools. She is a member of President Washington's Anti-Racism & Inclusive Excellence Task Force. And is a part of a new CHSS working group dedicated to Staff Professional Development and the inaugural CHSS Inclusive Excellence (IE) advisory council. She is also the Executive Committee Secretary of the GMU LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance.

Holly is the recipient of the 2022 Rose Pascarell and Ric Chollar Professional Service Award, which honors a staff person who collaborates to serve, support, and advance efforts for the LGBTQ+ community at Mason.


Vanessa Arias (she/her), Graduate Assistant 

Vanessa is a first-generation second year graduate student in the MA in Higher Education and Student Development program. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with a minor in Social Justice and Human Rights from George Mason University in 2022. Outside of work and school, Vanessa enjoys reading, watching soccer games, and spending quality time with her friends and family.


Lindsay Lowry (they/he), Lead Center Mentor

Lindsay is a 4th-year student who is in the INTS program with a concentration in Women and Gender studies and is seeking a minor in American Sign Language. WMST 402 with Dr. Tianna Cobb is their favorite course that they have taken at Mason so far due to the discussion-based learning that has allowed them to learn from the diverse perspectives in the class. They grew up in Northeast Ohio, specifically in the Canton area (GO BUCKEYES). The center provides a safe and judgment-free zone of exclusion from the queerphobic/sexist/racist/ableist society that we must survive in. Lindsay continues to unlearn these hierarchical tendencies that have been instilled in him and always looks to encourage folks to be uniquely themselves without regard to respectability and societal standards. They strive to meet folks where they are in their journey and are always willing to provide support and care however they can.


NaimaNaima Baez (she/her), Center Mentor

Naima is a senior Integrative Studies major with a concentration in Childhood Studies and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is interested in working with children in an educational capacity, as well working in developmental psychology and mental health for all ages. Other interests include music and animals. In her free-time she likes to watch videos of cats, orangutans, and monkeys, and her favorite artist is Ariana Grande. She will be graduating this spring and attending graduate school for Counseling.


Gray Davis (she/they), Center Mentor

Gray is from New Castle VA, has been at Mason for 3 years, is studying biology, and her favorite animal is a calico cat named Myrtle!




Steph Woosley (they/them), Center Mentor

Steph has lived in Winston-Salem, NC and near Pittsburgh, PA. They joined Mason in Fall 2022 and plan to graduate Fall 2024. Steph aims to do community-based outreach for vulnerable populations after graduating.




Irene Mayberry (she/her), Center Mentor

My name is Irene Mayberry and I live in Springfield, VA. I have been at Mason for 4 years and my favorite subject in school is animal biology. My favorite animals are tigers and lions!





Katelyn MooreKatelyn Moore (she/they), Lead Program Advisor

Katelyn is a Senior Environmental and Sustainability Studies major with a concentration in Equity and Environmental Justice and a minor in LGBTQ+ Studies. Katelyn loves the nuance and differing perspectives of the world that come with queer scholarship and studying topics through a much more inclusive, intersectional lens. Katelyn loves all of the classes in their minor, but their favorite so far has been INTS 375: LGBTQ+ Trauma, Mental Health, and Wellbeing with Ric Chollar because the class brought together individuals from various academic disciplines (i.e. Social Work, Sociology, and Women and Gender Studies) for a truly engaging discussion. In her free time, Katelyn’s favorite things to do include baking cookies, watching reality TV, and reading romance novels. 



Tsebaot Tilahun (she/her), Program Advisor

Tsebaot is an undergraduate student at The Jimmy and Roselynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She enjoys crafting, reading, learning about nature, and getting hyper-fixated on obscure historical figures in her free time. She was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and has lived in different states besides Virginia including Georgia, and Oregon. Along with her work in the Women and Gender Studies Center, she is also a member of the GMU Forensics team. She is very passionate about helping her community through advocacy, organizing, and volunteer work. She hopes that through her position as a Program Advisor, she is able to gain valuable communication skills that will help in her future career endeavors. 


Stephanie Martinez (she/her), Program Advisor

Hi, I'm Stephanie! I am a sophomore here at Mason studying English. I don't have a favorite animal but I really like raccoons.


Will Barker (they/he), Program Advisor

My name is William (they/he), and I live in Loudoun County. I've been at Mason for almost three years, studying Public Administration, Public Policy, and Government Analytics. I don't have any pets, but I'll gladly hang out with cats, dogs, or other animals, regardless of my allergies. Some of my favorite subjects to explore are science fiction/fantasy, vexillology, photography, and music!