This award is given to graduating students who have excelled in the Global Affairs Program through academic performance, including exceptional grade point averages.
Jihyo Cha is a senior majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in Media, Culture, and Communication, and minoring in Communication at George Mason University.
Christopher graduated with a BA in Global Affairs with a concentration in Media, Culture, & Communication. He recently left his newspaper job. He has had so many freelance clients he thought, "hey, I'll just do this full time." He immediately lost all his clients. He now spend most days feeding pie to ducks in a park. After he get tired of this, he has big plans to go motorcycle camping until he runs out of money.
Haseung “Madeline” Joung is from South Korea, but she also lived in Atlanta, Georgia for over 10 years. She spent three years at the Songdo campus and one year at the Fairfax campus. As a Korean student with an international background, she knew that George Mason University was a perfect fit for her because it promised an interactive and multi-cultural learning environment in both South Korea and the United States.
She majored in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Governance and minoring in Journalism. What attracted her to Global Affairs was that it was an interdisciplinary program that offered a wide range of diverse courses, but also provided specific concentrations so that she could focus on what she is passionate about. She decided to minor in journalism during her exchange year at the Fairfax campus in 2019 due to her keen interest in news and media. She hopes to work in the international news media field in the future.
Being a GMU student has presented her with some amazing opportunities. Particularly when she studied at GMU Korea, she got to have some memorable experiences such as working at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, being a UN College Leader for WFUNA, interning at Asian Boss, being a research fellow at the Center for Security Policy Studies – Korea, and being a Liaison Officer for the Secretary-General of OECD during the 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge, and Policy. She was able to learn about these opportunities with the help of the faculty and staff at GMU Korea so she is so grateful to them. Besides this, some of her favorite memories are being part of The Voice and The Fourth Estate, being part of the GMUK Student Council, and being a Resident Advisor at Mason Korea.
She would like to thank her family for their unconditional love and support, her friends for standing by her every step of the way, and the fantastic professors at GMU Fairfax and GMU Korea for their guidance and support.
Melinda Kong is graduating in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Governance. She was born and raised in Virginia and transferred from James Madison University last year. She is the first of her family to receive a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year institution. Her parents originated from Cambodia to the United States as refugees during the Khmer Rouge and they are partially the reason why she is studying Global Affairs. Melinda's academic interests include human rights, international development and security, social justice, and non-profit organizations. She pursued the Global Affairs program because she was really interested on how the world interacts with one another and loved how the program is interdisciplinary. Melinda's favorite classes would be International Security and Environment Policy Making for Developing Countries because it really challenged her and was very informative. Melinda is very grateful for my GMU experience and everyone that supported her!
Kanghyun Kwon was born in South Korea. He graduated high school in China before becoming a member of Mason Patriots in Songdo, Republic of Korea. He studied Global Affairs B.A. with a concentration on Global Governance, and Conflict Analysis and Resolution as his minor. He studied the territorial disputes in the Kuril Islands and Dokdo in East Asia, air pollution in East Asia affected by COVID-19, and nuclear proliferation in North Korea.
Now that he awaits for graduation, in addition to the great academic achievement he made, he can remember so many experiences he had throughout the four years at Mason. In there he had several internships and met wonderful staff, students, and faculties as well as distinguished guests such as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. He haa accepted a letter of offer from the law school in Australia and ideally will move to Australia before April to start the new semester at the law school in May. Currently, he has been gathering his documents and academic portfolio to start his new academic career in a new environment.
He feel unfortunate that his experience at Fairfax was only a few months long since he left the country a few weeks after the first COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Before leaving the U.S., however, he had great classes and various intercultural experiences that made him feel like being a true member of global affairs department. The last career fair he had in Fairfax, which was also the last offline career fair he had, showed him how much opportunities and excitement he would have had at Fairfax if he had stayed without the pandemic.
He would like to thank his parents for supporting him, and every professor and staff member of the University he met in Songdo and Fairfax who have been showing great perseverance and commitment to their field of expertise even at the time of unprecedented crisis.
Elizabeth Munn is an international development concentration with a minor in conservation studies from Mobile, Alabama. She was involved with various activities on campus and interned with the Council on Foreign Relations. Elizabeth fostered her love of travel by studying abroad first in France and then South Africa, where she worked with children from a historically exploited community and learned about structural inequalities in a post-colonial state. Her most memorable academic experience at Mason was the immersive semester she spent in Front Royal with the Smithsonian Institute for Conservation Biology. She is also a University Scholar and won the Schartzstein research award. Elizabeth plans to attend law school and become a lawyer focusing on human rights and environmental justice. She is very grateful for the opportunities George Mason and the Global Affairs department has provided. She’d also like to thank her family for being so supportive of her studies and desire to explore the world.