College Alumni Recognized at 2015 Celebration of Distinction

by Anne Reynolds

On April 23, George Mason University held its annual Celebration of Distinction awards ceremony, where an enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 members of the Mason community recognized the contributions of an exceptional group of alumni. The college’s presence at this year’s ceremony was substantial and distinctive, with six awardees sharing ties to the college.

William Miller, MFA '87

William Miller was named Mason’s Faculty Member of the Year. Bill has been a valued member of the Department of English for the past 30 years. He teaches in and directs the university's Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, and was instrumental in launching Mason’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program in creative writing, and evaluations from his students reveal their esteem for his teaching. He has been a vital part of the annual Fall for the Book festival, which brings acclaimed authors and a recognition of the joy of reading to the region.

Raquel Friedmann

Raquel Friedmann is Mason’s Senior of the Year. An environmental and sustainability studies major, she has been actively involved on campus in numerous organizations. During her time as a Mason student, she has worked as a resident advisor, University 100 Peer Advisor, EDGE facilitator, Orientation Leadership Team member, Meaningful Watershed Education Field Interpreter, a Fairfax County substitute teacher, and she has interned for Environment America Clean Water. Her dedication to service has led her to projects in El Salvador, Guatemala, and to co-lead an alternative break service trip to Jamaica. She plans to pursue her MA in international environmental policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Michael Whitlock, BA Government and Politics '96

Michael Whitlock is Mason’s Black Alumni Chapter Distinguished Alumnus. A former federal prosecutor, Michael is now a partner at the global law firm Morgan Lewis, where his practice focuses on white-collar investigations, civil and criminal anti-trust proceedings, and other complex civil litigation. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Mason, Michael earned his law degree at the University of Virginia and his master's degree in public policy from Harvard University. With the formation of Mason’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, Michael’s degree in government and politics made him an alumnus of that school, though he remains active on the advisory board of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Maricé Morales, BA Global Affairs and Foreign Languages '09, MPP '11

Maricé Morales is Mason’s Latino Alumni Chapter Distinguished Alumna. While at Mason, Maricé held leadership positions in the Hispanic Student Association and the Mariposas Mentoring Program, and served on the Provost’s board of student leaders. In 2014, she became the first Peruvian-American to be elected to the Maryland General Assembly, where she was a founding member of the assembly’s Latino Caucus. Within the assembly, Maricé serves on the House Judiciary Committee. Earning her law degree from the University of Maryland, she works internationally and domestically on issues of human rights and discrimination, civic engagement, labor and employment, and criminal justice reform. 

Danah Telfaire, BA Integrative Studies '04

Danah Telfaire is the New Century College Distinguished Alumna. Danah is the regional administrator of assessment, accountability, and student services at Imagine Schools, the operator of 39 charter and independent schools. She works to support students, teachers, and administrators in attaining educational excellence, regardless of socio-economic status. Danah works directly to support student achievement in Washington, D.C., by serving on a number of task force committees at the Office of State Superintendent of Education and on local school boards.

Mary L. Bauer, MA Foreign Languages '90

Mary L. Bauer was recognized as the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Distinguished Alumna. Mary is the widow of Jeffrey T. Chamberlain, a two-term chair of Mason's Modern and Classical Languages Department and former University Marshall. Following her husband’s death, Mary pursued her passion for helping the homeless by establishing the Mary's Scholarship for Homelessness Awareness and Advocacy endowment to encourage students to address the issue of homelessness and its root causes. Now retired from federal government service, she is an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

“The varied accomplishments of our alumni are extraordinary,” said Dean Deborah Boehm-Davis. “They amply illustrate the richness and depth of the college’s students, both current and past. I am so proud to see them recognized at events like the Celebration of Distinction.”

Kevin Augustyn, director of development for the college, agrees. “I continue to be amazed at the diversity and dynamism of the impact that Mason graduates are making in their communities, here in the region, and throughout the United States and the world.”