Students Reap Reward through Academic Challenge

Posted: November 13, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Brooke Braun

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) announced the first recipients of the Dean’s Challenge Award, an award given to students who challenge themselves academically and take true advantage of all the opportunities Mason has to offer.

Faculty members from each academic unit within CHSS were encouraged to nominate students who are continuing their studies through spring 2008. The one-time, $2,000 award was offered to undergraduate and graduate students.

All nominees had to be at least a sophomore working toward a CHSS (undergraduate, master’s or doctoral) degree with distinction of achievement in several areas, such as scholarship, research, commitment to learning, innovation, dedication or initiative. Special attention was given to students who attempted difficult course work, such as university or departmental honors and independent study of all types, including participation in research projects.

Finalists had to submit an essay detailing their experience at Mason and their feelings about being nominated. Winners were selected by the Dean’s Review Committee. The scholarships were awarded last month.

“This award recognizes students who have made conscious choices to challenge themselves beyond what is required in the classroom,” says CHSS Dean Jack Censer.

For example, government and politics major MacGregor Lennarz is an honors student who has also distinguished himself as a student leader, a civic activist, an athlete and a mentor.

Sociology and anthropology master’s candidate Jennifer Talken-Spaulding has struck a strong balance between her work as cultural heritage manager of the National Park Service and her studies in anthropological theory. Her academic excellence earned a unanimous nomination from the department.

After 10 years as a well-regarded trial attorney, Anne Douds has transitioned to an academic scholar as a justice, law and crime policy doctoral candidate. She is conducting dissertation research that will examine access to immunization services for juveniles.

A complete list of the winners follows.

Undergraduate Students

Katherine Berger (Sociology)

Kimberly Day (Psychology)

Teresa Hsieh (Sociology)

Amanda Hubert (Administration of Justice)

Marketa Jenesova (Global Affairs)

Alec Knight (Global Affairs)

MacGregor Lennarz (Public and International Affairs)

Afra Saeed (Psychology)

Andrew Smyth (Economics)

Madeline Wiley (New Century College)

Master’s Students

Cara Conway (Psychology)

Alissa D’Amelio (Communication)

George Fachner, Jr. (Administration of Justice)

Jessica Johnson (Psychology)

Jennifer Talken-Spaulding (Anthropology)

Doctoral Student

Anne Douds (Administration of Justice)

This article appeared in a slightly different format in CHSS Connection.

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