Mason to honor faculty and staff at outstanding achievement awards

October 29, 2019   /   by Mariam Aburdeineh

George Mason University will host the 22nd annual Outstanding Achievement Awards for faculty and staff on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall.

“The Outstanding Achievement Awards is one way Mason recognizes and honors the exceptional contributions of faculty and staff, by supporting and showing appreciation for those who work tirelessly, lead by example and embrace Mason’s values,” said Lester Arnold, Mason’s vice president for Human Resources and Payroll.

Executive council members including Mason President Anne Holton, Provost S. David Wu and Vice President for Finance and Administration Carol Kissal will be in attendance to honor the 23 honorees and help present the awards.

For the first time the Civility Star Award, which recognizes a role model of integrity, civility, respect and positive behavior, will have two recipients: Trasi Watson of University Career Services and Ryan Barnett of the Office of Military Services, both of whom have continuously forged trusting relationships that focus on student success, according to their nominators.

“I was moved when I found out about the nomination and the award,” Barnett said. “I do my best to treat others the way I wish to be treated. With the award, I know that my colleagues appreciate my efforts and I appreciate their recognition.”

Among the other recipients is Counseling and Psychological Services’ Derek Vigon, who will be receiving the Martha J. Reiner Quality Customer Service Award for his excellent customer service and responsiveness to the needs of students.

“[Vigon] always goes above and beyond to make our student athletes feel special and more importantly, a part of something bigger than themselves,” a nominator said, adding that Vigon has also traveled with the Women’s Basketball Team overseas to provide sport psychology mental skills training and team-building sessions.

Faculty honorees include Paula Azevedo, who will receive the Adjunct Faculty Service Award for her support and service to the Secondary Education Program in Mason’s College of Education and Human Development.

“I am hopeful for our future teachers if they have been exposed to an individual with the characteristics of Dr. Azevedo,” a nominator said. “She demonstrates what a true teacher educator should be: ethical, compassionate, collaborative, encouraging, reflective, and determined.”

All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the celebration. As the ceremony takes place on Halloween, costumes are also welcome.