Catherine Ferraro Is October Employee of the Month

Posted: October 1, 2009 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: October 1, 2009 at 10:46 am

By Rashad Mulla

Catherine Ferraro. Creative Services photo

Catherine Ferraro. Creative Services photo

Catherine Ferraro covers five news “beats,” fills in as editor of the Mason Gazette from time to time, and has headed promotion for several Mason projects—most notably Grad Week 2009, a weeklong event in early May that featured 10 events on and off campus.

And, in a recognition her co-workers deem well deserved, Ferraro is the October Employee of the Month.

Ferraro, an associate manager in the Office of Media and Public Relations, has been at Mason for two and a half years. Her daily duties include writing news and feature stories for www.gmu.edu and the Gazette, writing and sending out various media and public relations documents, staying up-to-date on the various areas she covers and contacting reporters from outside publications about possible stories involving Mason. She has pitched stories to scores of local and national media, including the Washington Post, USA Today and the New York Times.

“The phrase ‘go-to person’ was invented to describe Catherine,” says Robin Herron, managing editor of the Mason Gazette. “No matter what she is assigned, she can handle it, whether it is gathering statistics, serving on a committee, filling in for someone who is absent or coordinating a special project. And she does it as a team player.”

Some of the areas Ferraro covers include the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Office of Admissions, Human Resources and Payroll, University Life and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. In one of her favorite stories, she wrote about a costume exhibition at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C., curated by Howard Kurtz, an associate professor in the Theater Department.

Her stories about the Mason community have won her praise from the people with whom she works.

“Catherine is a multitalented, highly creative, efficient producer of high-caliber products and projects for the university,” says Harold Linton, director of the School of Art. “Her projects for us are award winning and exemplary on every level—a real point of pride for all the faculty and staff in our school.”

Ferraro says the Employee of the Month award caught her off guard.

“When I learned that I had been chosen as October Employee of the Month, I was very surprised. It was very unexpected,” she says. “I feel very grateful to have been chosen by my colleagues, though, because it’s always nice to be recognized and appreciated for your hard work.”

In her free time, Ferraro enjoys reading and attending various performing arts events. As an avid piano player, she took lessons for eight years when she was younger. She recently purchased a piano from Mason’s annual piano sale and is taking private lessons with Linda Apple Monson, associate director of the School of Music and director of keyboard studies.

“I don’t know of any other place where I would be able to take piano lessons from an international Steinway artist and with someone who is as dedicated to their craft as Linda,” says Ferraro. “It is a privilege to work with her and just one of the many perks of working at Mason.”

She lives in Chantilly with her husband of two years.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu