2023 SIS Scholarship Award Winners

2023 SIS Scholarship Award Winners





Fall 2023 SIS Scholarship Winners

This year the School of Integrative Studies awarded $10,000 worth of scholarship funds to our students! To learn more about our scholarships and awards to see if you may be eligible, please visit: SIS Scholarships

Jon Sultan Writing Award

Aisun Abedinzadeh

Aisun is majoring in Human Development and Family Science. Her hometown is Ashburn, Virginia.

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

My favorite INTS course I have taken is INTS-490-DL2. This course was a core course and major requirement in order for me to receive an undergraduate degree. This course is also an internship. By taking this course, I earned my first internship position. I am happy to say that my first internship is one that I have absolutely treasured and loved. My journey to finding this internship opportunity was not a complex one. Being a Mason commuter and student who does not live on campus, I wanted to make certain that I follow George Mason accounts on social media platforms, especially accounts that are prevalent to my major and the school my studies fall under, so I do not miss any prevalent detail. With that being said, one of the accounts I follow on the social media platform Instagram includes "integrative_studies." During my first semester in college, during the month of October, I noticed an Advertisement on the "integrative_studies" Instagram account for a program called The Back Pack. The Back Pack program is recommended for students in the School of Integrative Studies, as well as HDFS majors, which is the major I committed to. After researching this program, I learned that it is a before and after-school care program for elementary-aged (5-12 years old) students. In this program, staff members and counselors are responsible for the safety of children as they engage in various leisure activities. After now being an intern at The Back Pack for over four months, I have loved every second of this internship, and I always look forward to my next shift. I have learned a great deal about children and how they develop and cognitively think. By taking this course, I was required to complete assignments regarding the time spent at my internship. Some of the assignments I worked on included two essays (an initial and final essay), a site evaluation form, a resume, and a LinkedIn Profile. This course benefited me in more ways than one. Working with children has always been a dream of mine. In my future profession, I hope to work with children whether that is as an educator or pediatric nurse. Additionally, The Back Pack program is located approximately twenty minutes from Mason, therefore, it was convenient for me to go to my internship and commute to school afterward. This course allowed me to update my resume and form a LinkedIn account, which is not something I may have done if it wasn't for this course. LinkedIn is something that I have admired and appreciated after learning about it through this course. Overall, INTS-490-DL2 has been my favorite INTS course I have taken because I was given the opportunity to work with children, which is a population I have aspired to work with. I have also learned about the work field. I have gained networking experience and connections; most of the staff members include professional childcare workers or university students/graduates. I have acquired new skills after working in this position, such as leadership, communication, and patience skills. I am grateful for this experience and all it has taught me. 


Founders Endowed Experiential Learning Scholarship

Anna Dolleris

Anna is majoring in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Liberal Arts for the Teaching Profession. Her hometown is Nelson County, Virginia.

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

My favorite INTS course was INTS 101 (Narratives of Identity) with Professor Sharrell Hassell-Goodman. It was the first class that taught be about the concept of intersectionality and therefore the importance of equality in and outside of the classroom setting. 

Drs. Sura and Cecil Howard Book Fund Award

Kimberly Ngyuen

Kimberly is majoring in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights. Her hometown is Leesburg, Virginia.

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

One of my favorite INTS classes has to be INTS 334 Environmental Justice with Professor Michael Gilmore. It was a class I took in the summer, and for an online, asynchronous class, I was learning so much and having so much fun, and I truly believe it is due to having such a great professor for the subject. Professor Gilmore is not only greatly invested and involved in the subject himself, but he has a great and comprehensible way of teaching that just gets students to be emotionally involved rather than just looking for a good grade.

Lucas Leadership Scholarship

Amanda Jones 

Amanda is an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major with a concentration on Sustainable Food and Agriculture. Her hometown is Springfield, Virginia.

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

My favorite course was the first course I took at Mason, called Sustainable Food Systems. It has inspired me to seek meaningful connections in my courses to prepare me for working after I graduate. 

Linda Hemm Scholarship

Rebecca Orfila

Rebecca is a Bachelor of Individualized Studies student. Her home town is Washington, DC!

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

This one is tough! So many courses stand out as amazing! The favorite BIS or INTS class in my mind right now is INTS456 with Dr. Thurston and Dr. Lynch. It forced me to look deeply into my actions and reactions, like other courses i.e. BIS301, but I am applying the lessons to my life and those of my grown children. This course really improved my heart and soul and will improve my teaching ability going forward. Of course, anything with Dr. Fuertes is a must-take class. I believe the courses I have taken with him are CONF, not INTS.

Ken Thompson Scholarship

Sheila Creed

Sheila is a Bachelor of Individualized Study student. She grew up overseas but considers Fairfax, VA her hometown now. 

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

My favorite BIS course was BIS 300 with Professor Janet Ha Poirot because it was the beginning of my research journey. Professor Poirot taught the research process in a step-by-step manner which gave me a solid foundation that I was able to apply to several other research-based courses I’ve since taken, such as advanced composition. She also encouraged me to choose a research topic that was meaningful to me. My research is centered around helping drug addicts, which I am continuing in BIS 390, and will continue to build upon through BIS 490. 

Jack Fahey Giving Back Scholarship

Jamilah Dalton

Jamilah is a Bachelor of Individualized Study major and her hometown is Manassas, VA.

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

INTS 355, Mindfulness, Meaning & Wellbeing - This has been my favorite INTS/BIS course so far because of the immediate and lasting practical applications it has had in my life. The vision quest exercise is one I still reference to this day. The insights I gained from that exercise help me to focus on what is meaningful to me. I also learned techniques which I can easily share with others. 

First Generation Scholarship

Sandra Lopez

Sandra is majoring in Integrative Studies with a concentration in International Studies. Her hometown is Fort Collins, Colorado. 

What has been your favorite INTS or BIS course and why?

My favorite course has been Social Justice and Human Rights, exploring human rights from a global lens understanding what social justice may look like across the world.