Mary Anne McKernan is October Employee of the Month

Posted: October 1, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Mary Anne McKernan
Mary Anne McKernan
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Name: Mary Anne McKernan

Current Position: Office manager of the Graduate Admissions Office for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS)

Years at Mason: Three and a half

What she does: McKernan oversees office operations in the CHSS Graduate Admissions Office and supervises both the processing team and student workers to ensure that graduate admissions enrollment services are delivered accurately and timely. She serves as a resource, trainer, and expert to the staff and to the graduate directors and coordinators. This year, her office processed nearly 2,700 graduate applications. In addition to these responsibilities, she participates in recruiting events, counsels prospective applicants, and provides input and specifications for Banner and DataMart reports.

Life before Mason: “I worked for many years in telecommunications, and right before coming to Mason, I worked for the National Institutes of Health in Inventory Management. I ordered everything from pens and pencils to food for the lab animals.”

What she likes best about her job: She likes helping students and the friends she’s made here at Mason. And her five-mile commute isn’t too bad either.

Something people might not know about her: MCkernan is a native of the Northern Virginia area. “I was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Fairfax City. I have been here my entire life, except for the four years I was at the College of William and Mary.” She also loves to travel. “My favorite place is Hawaii! I could live in Maui; it is so beautiful.”

What she does on the weekends: Her favorite thing to do when she isn’t at work is visit with her grandsons. “Caleb is 21 months and Jack is a month old. In addition, I like to read and I am actively involved in church-related activities.”

What others say about her:

“Mary Anne manages an exceptional admissions processing staff. They work overtime during peak processing months to meet internal department deadlines so that faculty admissions committees may read files and extend offers early in the cycle to be competitive with other graduate programs. When other employees have left our hallway for the evening, and early on Saturday mornings, the admissions staff is here processing applications. Through this busy season, in large part due to Mary Anne’s good nature and humor, her staff rolls up their sleeves and works through the files with camaraderie and good cheer!”

—Jack Censer, dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences

—Dee Holisky, senior associate dean of academic programs, College of Health and Human Services

“From her first days of employment trying to learn the new Banner student information system during conversion, Mary Anne distinguished herself. She asked the right questions, identified and offered solutions to problems, organized the workflow and created manual work-arounds when there were system problems. Today, she is an expert system user and a leader and continues to distinguish herself.”

—Susan Swett, director of graduate admissions, College of Health and Human Services

“Mary Anne is a dedicated Mason employee who consistently displays deep knowledge in her job functions and passion for the role of graduate admissions in the college. She readily shares that experience with me and other members of the graduate admissions office. Mary Anne helps us to perform our duties independently while fostering a collaborative team-oriented work environment that helps us deal with peak workloads and deadlines. If workload requires us to work late to extend our work week to the weekend, Mary Anne is there leading the way, never asking us to do more that she would herself.”

—Betty Zimmerman, graduate admissions processor, College of Health and Human Services

Write to at