George Mason University
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George Mason University

Career Connection Faculty Award

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 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. Find out more about the nomination criteria.

Susan Howard

Susan Howard

2019 Award Winner: Susan Howard

Susan Howard teaches, mentors, and creates at the nexus of academia, industry, and entrepreneurship. 

Term faculty with the School of Integrative Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), she combines theories from the behavioral and social sciences, emerging immersive and mobile technologies, human-centered design, with innovative business practices to not only understand root causes of problems but to design entrepreneurial solutions to address pressing social, environmental and health problems. She co-founded a women-owned and managed small business with offices in Washington, D.C. and Delhi, and is considered a thought-leader in the use of media and technology for behavior change. 

Drawing on her entrepreneurial mindset, Susan helps learners connect the dots between theoretical knowledge and real-world experience. In her classes she engages students in identifying a problem that they are passionate about solving and teaches them to use the tools of design to create solutions from conceptual ideas to products and services. 

In addition to fostering social entrepreneurship, she is committed to opening doors that result in job, internship, and higher education opportunities for students interested in global health, medicine, law, the arts, advertising, teaching, and park management. 

In fall 2019, Susan will be teaching courses on Systems Thinking in Health, Medicine & Society, Contemporary Health Issues and the flagship course for the new Design Minor. Susan has an undergraduate degree in English from Wesleyan University, a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Hawaii and is a doctoral candidate in Environmental Science and Policy with a focus on One Health at George Mason University. Susan was a 2017 Recipient of a Stearns Center Teaching Distinction Award.

2019 Award Nominees

College of Education and Human Development
  • Michelle Gnoblea
  • Greer Mancuso
  • Holly Klee
  • Anna Evmenova
  • Anastasia Kitsantas
  • Carmen Rioux-Bailey
  • Colleen Vesely
  • Debra Stroiney
  • Erin Peters-Burton
  • Grace Francis
  • Jason White
  • Matt Andre
  • Nicole Forry
  • Rita Chi-Ying Chung
  • Sheryl Asen
  • Shane Caswell
  • Spiros Protopsaltis
  • Shahron Williams van Rooij
  • Yoosun Chung
  • Stormi Woltz
College of Health and Human Services
  • Ellen Fink-Samnick
  • Devon Collins
  • Huma Hussain
  • Anna Pollack
  • Brian Gillette
  • Beverly Middle
  • Phillip Bush
  • Gilbert Gimm
  • Jenna Krall
  • Janusz Wojtusiak
  • Laura Poms
  • Margie Rodan
  • Matthew Rossheim
  • Michael Strand
  • Yiota Kitsantas
  • Sharolyn Dugger
  • Sina Gallo
  • Shannyn Snyder
  • Virginia Blair
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Mahmut Cengiz
  • Marek Sojka
  • Rosolino Candela
  • Ronaldo Martinez
  • Luai AlSadiq
  • Amy Bangerter
  • Al Fuertes
  • Angela Hattery
  • Andrew Novak
  • Amy Swan
  • Benedict Carton
  • Cesar Martinelli
  • Christopher Morris
  • Donald Gallehr
  • Eric Larson
  • Erin McSherry
  • Erin Murdoch
  • Heidi Lawrence
  • Iuliia Aleksandrovna Mikheeva
  • Kathryn Hemmann
  • Linda Chrosniak
  • Lisa Gilman
  • Larry Guerin
  • Maria Dakake
  • Megan Tucker
  • Peter Magellan
  • Rei Berroa
  • Rachel Lewis
  • Rosemarie Zagarri
  • Sharon Doetsch-Kidder
  • Steven Holmes
  • Sharon Spradling
  • Theodore Dumas
  • Virginia Hoy
  • Young Jung
  • Andrew Humphries
  • Daniel Walsch
  • Frank Carbo
  • Steven Wienburger
  • Avrama Blackwell
College of Science
  • Susan Keltner
  • Daniel Pinto
  • Theodorus Visseren
  • Nacir Himidouch
  • Sarah Bui
  • Andrew Crooks
  • Alexandra Masterson
  • Estela Blaisten-Barojas
  • Charles Madden
  • Cindy Smith
  • Douglas Eckley
  • Donna Fox
  • Dmitri Klimov
  • Deborah Polayes
  • Gwendolyne Fondufe
  • Gerald Weatherspoon
  • Jennifer Sklarew
  • Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon
  • Maction Komwa
  • Natalie Burls
  • Paul Dirmeyer
  • Paul Houser
  • Serenity Montaño
  • Shobita Satyapal
  • William Kennedy
  • Younsung Kim
  • Christian Jones
  • Stephanie Lessard-Pilon
College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Erik Sandberg
  • Christopher Troiano
  • June Huang
  • Josiah Lebowitz
  • Kristin Johnsen-Neshati
  • Michael Nickens
  • Bobby Yi
  • Susan Kehoe
Honors College
  • David Zeglen
  • Blake Silver
  • LaNitra Berger
Mason Korea
  • Kent Zimmerman
  • Gyu Tag Lee
  • Heung Gweon Sin
  • Jang Jin
  • Jenny Lee
  • Jong Won Nam
  • Lester Kurtz
  • Soojong Kwak
  • Vias Nicolaides
  • Leo Jung
Office of Sustainability
  • Donielle Nolan
Schar School of Policy and Government
  • John Gordon
  • Trevor Thrall
  • Desmond Dinan
  • Eugene Tadie
  • Harry Dinella
  • Marvin Phaup
  • Michael Hunzeker
  • Naoru Koizumi
  • Phillip Mink
  • Robert Deitz
  • Tonya Neaves
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Alan Gropman
  • Robert Gerenge
  • Susan Allen
  • Susan Hirsch
  • Thomas Flores
School of Business
  • Roderick French
  • Benjamin Diamond
  • Anthony Sanders
  • David Gallay
  • Eugenia Tsirigotis
  • Frank Neville
  • Gary Brooks
  • Gretchen Hendricks
  • George H.K. Wang
  • Janet Faughnan
  • James Powell
  • James Wolfe
  • Kathleen Roberts
  • Sarah Wittman
School of Integrative Studies
  • Michael Gilmore
  • Susan Howard


University Life
  • Alissa Karton
  • Christian Rafael Suero
  • Victoria Stone
Volgenau School of Engineering
  • Cerasela Cristei
  • Dmitri Kaznachey
  • Tim Hope
  • Mike Bailey
  • Bobby Varghese
  • William Michael Jacobs
  • Huzefa Rangwala
  • Andre Manitius
  • Amarda Shehu
  • Amir Tofighi
  • Jonathan Bell
  • Chien Chung Huang
  • Craig Lorie
  • Colin Reagle
  • Doaa Bondok
  • Fei Li
  • Giordano Paniconi
  • Gene Shuman
  • Girum Urgessa
  • Houman Homayoun
  • Irene Bruno
  • Ioulia Rytikova
  • John Doyle
  • Kevin Andrea
  • (Krzysztof) Kris Gaj
  • Larrie Ferreiro
  • Liling Huang
  • Massimiliano Albanese
  • Mehdi Amiri
  • Mihai Boicu
  • Mark Snyder
  • Jeff Offutt
  • Özlem Uzuner
  • Robert Gallo
  • Robert Osgood
  • Remi Veneziano
  • Shani Ross
  • Thomas Winston
  • Yotam Gingold

Past Award Recipients

2018: Dr. Michael E. von Fricken, College of Health and Human Services

Dr. Michael E. von Fricken is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Global and Community Health. His research interests include vector-borne disease surveillance, control, and pathogen discovery. He has ongoing projects in Kenya, Mongolia, and Haiti focusing specifically on emerging pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks, and has conducted international training workshops on appropriate field methodology and data management for vector borne disease research. His work has had a direct impact guiding treatment policies of Rickettsial infections in Mongolia and the management of malaria in Haiti. He received his PhD from the University of Florida and completed his postdoctoral fellowship with Duke University, Division of Infectious Disease. He is now currently a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park, and holds a Visiting Scientist designation with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Diagnostic Systems Division, based out of Fort Detrick, MD.

2017: Dr. Dann Sklarew, College of Science

Dr. Dann Sklarew is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the College of Science and the Associate Director of the Potomac Environmental Research Education Center (PEREC). As a Smithsonian Fellow, he developed a nitrogen budget for the Rhode River basin (MD), validating demographic and agricultural census data. For EPA's Office of Water, he contributed to policies on watershed management and storm water pollution control. Dr. Sklarew has investigated various ways to help diverse partnerships address common ecological problems, including producing and writing a video documentary, Turning the Tide: Sustaining Earth's Large Marine Ecosystems; directing the UN-sponsored IW:LEARN project, and participating in a collaboration of international experts examining Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley.

2016: Carla Fisher, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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. 

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).