The annual Distinguished Alumni Reception recognizes the accomplishments of an exemplary alum from each of the academic programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Those honored are nominated by department chairs, faculty and staff, based on criteria that includes professional accomplishments, awards, philanthropy, service and contributions to the college and university community. In Fall 2017, the women and gender studies program honored Mary Ann Vega.
Mary Ann Vega graduated from George Mason University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and another in art history. She is currently a student in our Masters of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies program with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies. In addition to the MAIS, she is also pursuing a master’s degree in sociology at Mason and upon completion will be the first student to earn this degree combination. Her research focuses on higher education policy and campus climate with special attention to issues around domestic violence and sexual assault.
Mary Ann also serves as the graduate assistant in Women and Gender Studies. In this role, she coordinates course marketing and course presentations in classes, serves as a liaison to campus committees, and does most of the marketing and outreach work for the program’s University Life programming.
Mary Ann is a first-generation college student who has often worked as many as three jobs at a time in order to fund her graduate school experience, all while taking a full course load and earning outstanding grades. Her achievements and dedication have been recognized through the Dean’s Challenge Award, which is earned by undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement despite challenging circumstances.