Award Nominees 2016

About the Award

The Career Connection Faculty Award is an annual award celebrating Mason faculty and staff who make a positive impact on students' career goals, employment plans, or graduate school preparation. Recipients are those who go above and beyond the expectations of their role and devote extra time and energy to helping students prepare for life after Mason. Nominations are made by students in the early part of each spring semester.

Nomination Criteria
Passionate about Student Professional Growth
Nominees are passionate about supporting students in their professional growth and invest time into student professional growth.

Facilitate Career Connections
Nominees help students connect the classroom to their careers through curriculum and advisory roles. They prepare students for life after Mason by:

  • Incorporating career content into courses and programs
  • Assigning career-related activities such as resume and cover letter writing
  • Inviting University Career Services to speak about career-related topics during class
  • Encouraging participation in career-related events such as career fairs, networking events, and experiential learning activities (e.g., internships, research, study abroad)
  • Serving as a reference or writing letters of recommendation for students

Develop Career-Related Skills
Nominees provide opportunities for students to develop the skills they need to pursue their career goals by:

  • Increasing awareness of transferable skills gained from their courses
  • Relating curriculum to real world issues
  • Providing recommendations on how to improve skills

Encourage Student Potential

Nominees see potential in their students and provide support for reaching that potential by:

  • Asking questions about future plans
  • Giving advice based on experience
  • Interacting with students formally and informally

2016 Award Recipient: Carla Fisher

Dr. Carla L. Fisher joined George Mason University in 2011 as an assistant professor in the department of communication. Prior to joining Mason she was an assistant professor with Arizona State University where she also served as coordinator of research in the Family Communication Consortium.

Dr. Fisher received her Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University with a focus on family, health, and aging communication. She was a National Institute on Aging (NIA) Pre-doctoral Fellow completing interdisciplinary training in human development/aging that included a minor and graduate certificate in gerontology as well as international studies at the Institute of Gerontology, University of Jönköping, Sweden. Recently she was selected for post-doctoral training in health behavior theory in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) fifth Advanced Training Institute.

Read about Dr. Fisher's research
Dr. Fisher's research focuses on how intergenerational family communication is connected to health. Using a life-span, developmental framework, she examines how families cope with aging and health transitions, the therapeutic implications of their interaction, and how communication is tied to long-term health outcomes. She has explored this in the context of breast cancer, genetic testing, medical decision-making, later-life care giving, geriatric healthcare, mental health, and disordered eating patterns.

Dr. Fisher's dissertation research focused on mother-daughter communication after a breast cancer diagnosis in young, middle, and later adulthood. She has since created a larger research program on mother-daughter breast cancer coping and prevention. She recently published a book on enriching mother-daughter communication across the breast cancer journey and has been invited to speak internationally with medical communities about this research.

Dr. Fisher's research has been funded at the university, private, and federal levels. She has received several top paper awards and published in peer-reviewed books and journals such as the Journal of Genetic Counseling and Health Communication. She collaborates with various medical institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She recently served as chair of the National Communication Association's Communication and Aging Division and on the editorial board of The Journal of Family Communication.

Award Reception: Spring 2017

All nominees receive an invitation to the Career Connection Faculty Award reception held each spring (exact date coming soon). The winner is announced during the reception. Deans, directors, and chairs are invited to attend in support of faculty member nominees within their school/college.

2016 Award Recipient

Carla Fisher
Carla Fisher
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

2016 Award Nominees

College of Education and Human Development
  • Allison Ward Parsons
  • Carmen Rioux-Bailey
  • Charles Robison
  • Christopher Atwater
  • Diana Kyu Yacob
  • Erin Peters-Burton
  • Julie Kidd
  • Marcie Fyock
  • Margaret Jones
  • Nelson Cortes
  • Priscilla Norton
  • Rodney Hopson
  • Sonya Horsford
  • Susan Burns
  • Tina Jones
College of Health and Human Services
  • Ali Weinstein
  • Gregory Simon
  • Janusz Wojtusiak
  • Jessica Murgueytio
  • Katherine Westpheling
  • Lisa Lindley
  • Melissa Robinson
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Amal Amireh
  • Beth Jannery
  • Carla Fisher
  • Catherine Wright
  • Cortney Hughes Rinker
  • Danielle Harms
  • David Foster
  • David Miller
  • D. Keith Bryars
  • Dennis Staszak
  • Eric Pankey
  • Erin Murdoch
  • Graziella McCarron
  • Gregory Guagnano
  • Gwen Udell
  • James Bennett
  • Jason Dunick
  • Jennifer Ritterhouse
  • Jeremy Hodgson
  • Jessica Legnini
  • John Dale
  • John Hawley
  • Julie Owen
  • Karl Zhang
  • Kevin Wright
  • Lisa Bauman
  • M. Jay Farr
  • Maria Massi Dakake
  • Mark C. Hopson
  • Michael E. Hurley
  • Noura Erakat
  • Paula Nadler
  • Rachel Shor
  • Robert W. Holder
  • Rosolino Candela
  • Spencer Crew
  • Stephanie L. Liberatore
  • Steven Corbett
  • T. Mills Kelly
  • Thomas C. Rustici
  • Thomas Roccotagliata
  • Thomas Carter
  • Xiaomei Cai
College of Science
  • Alathea Jensen
  • Anne Scherer
  • Donna Fox
  • Feras Batarseh
  • James Lawrence
  • Jason Kinser
  • Joseph Pesce
  • Kelly Knight
  • Kim de Mutsert
  • Krishnamurthy Vemuru
  • Leila Hamdan
  • Mikell Paige
  • Ramesh Raj Pant
  • Reid Schwebach
  • Theodore Dumas
College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Edward Gero
  • Elizabeth Adams
  • Julianna Nickel
  • Lisa Billingham
  • Michael Nickens
  • Paul Petzrick
  • Ryan Braaten
  • Sang Nam
  • Seth Hudson
  • William Christopher Wren
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Mara Schoeny
  • Tehama Lopez Bunyasi
School of Business
  • Anthony Sanders
  • Bret Johnson
  • Cheryl Wood
  • Cindy Parker
  • Gautham Vadakkepatt
  • Ioannis Bellos
  • J.K. Aier
  • James Murray
  • Jamie Johnson
  • Jeff Kulick
  • Jessica Hoppner
  • Karen Kitching
  • Larissa Ramos
  • Mahesh Joshi
  • Matthew Cronin
  • Penny Deans
  • Robert Pierce
  • Russell Gilbertson
  • Shelly Canterbury
Schar School of Policy and Government
  • Eric Shiraev
  • Gregory Koblentz
  • Heba El-Shazli
  • Kenneth Prillaman
Volgenau School of Engineering
  • Alok Berry
  • Amarda Shehu
  • Craig Dill
  • Craig Lorie
  • David Loveall
  • David Wheeler
  • Harold Greenwald
  • Huzefa Rangwala
  • John Doyle
  • John Morgan Russell
  • Joshua Stough
  • Kris Gaj
  • KuoChu Chang
  • Larry Kerschberg
  • Liza Wilson Durant
  • Omar Nachawati
  • Paul Ammann
  • Paulo Costa
  • Peggy Brouse
  • Richard Carver
  • Saeed Agbariah
  • Siddhartha Sikdar
  • Tahir Khan
  • Vinod Dubey
University Life
  • Andrew Ruge
  • Juan Oyhenart
  • Nick Lennon
  • Teejay Brown

Past Award Recipients

2015: Cindy Parker, School of Business

Dr. Cindy Parker received her bachelor's, master's, and PhD in organizational psychology from George Mason University and has been as assistant professor of management at George Mason for 10 years.

Before coming to Mason, Dr. Parker worked for over nine years in private industry as a management consultant, focusing on a variety of human resource initiatives. Her previous work experiences include: Consortium Research Fellow at the Army Research Institute, statistician at the American Medical Student Association, associate research scientist at the American Institutes for Research, and assistant vice presidents at Aon Consulting.

Her consulting assignments focused on enhancing human potential and effectiveness at work and included such projects as development, validation, and implementation of employee selection and assessment procedures, leadership assessment and development, job analysis and competency modeling, development and validation of performance management systems, and product development.

At Mason, Dr. Parker teaches two human resource management courses in the School of Business and serves as the faculty advisor for the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Dr. Parker is a five-time recipient of the School of Business Undergraduate Teaching Award.

2014: Brian Alexander, Schar School of Policy and Government
Brian Alexander is an adjunct instructor in George Mason University's Department of Public and International Affairs, where he has been a student since fall 2007. His approach to scholarship is similar to his approach to teaching: to engage in creative critical thinking on issues of power and justice while actively participating in the professional worlds of public policy and politics.

In addition to his work as a student and instructor at George Mason, Brian works as a government relations professional. He has worked for firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton and IBM, and he currently advises small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations on change management and government affairs. He lives in Alexandria and enjoys most of all spending time with his wife Caroline and their two daughters, Kitty (five) and Phoebe (three).