Mason Programs Honored with Northern Virginia Leadership Awards

Posted: November 18, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Megan McDonnell

George Mason was honored with two awards at the eighth annual Northern Virginia Leadership Gala earlier this month. Hortensia Cadenas received the Northrop Grumman Educational Leadership Award, and the Capitol Wireless Integrated Network (CapWIN) was given the Walton and Adams, P.C., Bridge the Potomac Award.

Hortensia Cadenas
Hortensia Cadenas

Cadenas, director of the Early Identification Program (EIP) at George Mason, was recognized for her leadership and growth of the program. Through her efforts, more than 575 students have been allowed to attend college. “Ms. Cadenas makes every effort to influence her students to believe in themselves and in the power of education to change their lives,” says Traci Claar, director of community relations, who nominated Cadenas for the award. “She always tries to strengthen the support of the EIP in the community.”

EIP identifies intellectually capable, but at-risk, middle and high school students who have the skills and knowledge to earn a college degree. The specific goals of the program are to identify students who have academic potential, but are not working up to their abilities; encourage students to consider attending college; increase students’ interest in academic work; and develop students’ leadership skills. The program also seeks to increase college enrollment of first-generation college-bound students by raising their academic aspirations and improving their academic achievement through a yearly summer academy, special activities, and tutoring programs. At the same time, it educates and supports EIP parents as they assist their children in their pursuit of higher education.

CapWIN was recognized for its commitment to enhancing public safety by implementing a regional partnership to eliminate barriers to multiagency and multijurisdictional public safety and transportation communications in the U.S. National Capital Region. Claar, who also nominated CapWIN for the Bridge the Potomac Award, believes that “CapWIN challenged [the] status quo by starting a grassroots effort to link law enforcement, transportation, fire, and emergency medical services at the federal, state, and local levels under an integrated communications network in the national capital region.”

Roger Stough
Roger Stough

The program—a partnership between Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia—is a state-of-the-art wireless integrated mobile data communications network being implemented to support federal, state, and local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, transportation, and other public safety agencies primarily in the area. George Mason’s role in the project, which is coordinated through the School of Public Policy (SPP), is to evaluate institutional relations and how they are managed. Roger Stough, associate dean for research and external relations in SPP, is principal investigator on the project. CapWIN provides first responders with an array of communication capabilities and direct access to a variety of databases that were previously not available to public safety agencies.

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