Student Awardees

We are incredibly proud of our Fall 2018 MA award-winning graduates and would like to spotlight their successes and accomplishments during their time at Mason. Read more about their stories below. 

Valeria Lamarra

Academic Achievement


Valeria Lamarra is a December 2017 graduate of Mason’s department of Russian & Eurasian studies, and a new alumna of the Global Affairs Accelerated Master’s program. Her passion for understanding global phenomena has led her to the far reaches of the earth, including a 10-week State Department program in Russia. This interest has been consistently reflected through her academic work on development, discourse, and political economy in the Former Soviet Bloc.

While on campus, she spends her time in the Global Affairs office as a work-study program assistant, or frantically typing away on some assignment in Argo Tea & Cafe. While not working on campus, she may be engaged in myriad of occupations, such as the circus arts, singing early music at festivals or services, or even plopped down in front of an easel with charcoal.

While she loves (and often quotes) every one of the Global Affairs faculty members, her time studying economics in Havana, Cuba, with her Global Affairs cohort is certainly her fondest memory of the program. Alongside her thanks to Dr. Breglia, Dr. Hultin, Dr. Son, Dr. Ashley, and Dr. Razzano, she’d like to particularly thank her four zany sisters, eccentric parents, very supportive grandmother, and countless others, for all that they have done over the course of her academic career.


Hoshang Matin

Certificate of Merit


Hoshang is receiving the certificate of merit after completing the MA with us through the accelerated pathway. Hoshang is from Afghanistan and is one of 5 kids, the youngest being his 5 year old sister Maryam. Growing up he enjoyed learning languages, studying cultures,  and playing sports (especially soccer).  In fact, he is a professional goalkeeper and often played as a goalkeeper for Nova Community College, Alexandria Campus.

Hoshang wants to thank his professors, all of whom are his favorite, for having tolerated him in their classes.

In the short term, Hoshang is heading home to take care of his father, and, on the happier side, to attend his brother's engagement ceremony. His long terms plans are to pursue an MA certification in Data Engineering and to apply for a job with the  UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Global Affairs has inspired Hoshang to be a global citizen, empowered his critical thinking skills, and has even given him some ideas for writing a book in the future. We look forward to it!


Khaled Mohamed

Certificate of Merit


Khaled came from Egypt to the US to work as a radio journalist with Voice of America, and he realized that there is more to achieve in his new home country. Khaled has always had a passion for global affairs and how the world can overcome its conflicts peacefully and be more interdependent. Khaled’s passion was fulfilled by joining Mason’s Global Affairs program. In his first class with Dr. Lisa Breglia about global competencies, he always felt that he was not only a part of the class, but also the whole process of globalization. His life experience represents one type of globalization flows which is immigration from the global South to the global North. Studying research methods provided Khaled with extra tools in his career as a journalist and investigative reporter.


Khaled’s heart is still in Havana after his study abroad trip to Cuba. It was the cherry on the top; the experience that he will never forgot. In every GLOA or specialization class, he felt how lucky he was to be a GLOA student and to work with wonderful professors like Dr. Lisa Breglia, Dr. Jennifer Ashley, Dr. Kathalene Razzano, Dr. Byunghwan Son, and Dr. Niklas Hultin.