This award was established in honor of our former provost, Peter Stearns, who along with a core group of dedicated faculty members, had a clear and remarkable vision for promoting the scholarly pursuit of global studies here at Mason. This award was established as a legacy to Dr. Stearns and his commitment to Global Affairs and the success of our students.
Jan Jan Maran is a first-generation Kachin-American who majored in Global Affairs and minored in Environmental Sustainability Studies and Anthropology at George Mason University. She began her journey into advocacy when she was first nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Kachin Alliance in 2018, during which she was introduced to a film-screening event for "Mother, Daughter, Sister", a documentary which shed light on how the Myanmar military used rape as a weapon of war against Rohingya and Kachin women specifically. The film-screening event ultimately led her to be in contact with STAND: the Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities, where she ended up serving as a Co-Lead for the Burma Committee for 2 years. Not long after, Jan Jan brought STAND to campus with the founding of STAND at Mason, where she also served as President for a while. When a military coup was staged in Burma on February 1, 2021, Jan Jan responded to the shocking atrocities unfolding on the ground by co-founding Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD), a youth-led grassroots organization that builds and strengthens networks for Burma pro-democracy movements. She currently serves as Executive of GM4MD, Burma Policy Lead for Action Corps, and a Representative of U.S. Advocacy Coalition for Myanmar (USACM). Together, with all her colleagues in the Burma advocacy space, Jan Jan is galvanizing the Myanmar American constituency domestically while also connecting passionate friends and diaspora members of Myanmar globally to respond to the worsening health and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, support Burma’s fight for democracy, and help bring an end to the military coup once and for all.