Mason sophomore Lana Zonjic says there aren’t any college campuses in Croatia where she is from, so she had to rely on movies and what people said to learn about them. When she got to Mason where she plays on the women’s volleyball team, she says her coaches and teammates helped her adjust to college life quickly. At the end of her freshman season, she was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Co-Rookie of the Year.
Mason PhD computer science student Keith Sullivan leads Mason’s robotics team, the RoboPatriots, who compete internationally each summer. Right now, Sullivan and the team are preparing to compete in the 2012 RoboCup in Mexico City, Mexico. The RoboPatriots compete in the kid-size humanoid league with robots that are 30 to 60 centimeters tall. The robots play (or try to play) soccer.
While still in high school, government and international politics major Keil Eggers founded the Kansas Consortium for Youth Voice, a nonprofit that empowers young people to get involved in social issues through activism and volunteerism. He says, “I’ve learned that if you give people the opportunity to participate in something they care about, they will do it.”
Civil and infrastructure engineering major Sean O’Bannon leads the student organization Engineering Students Without Borders. In the summer of 2011, O’Bannon and a group of engineering students, alumni, and faculty traveled to San Isidro, Peru, to help villagers there improve the water storage system of their small agricultural community.
Government and international politics major Joseph Quarcoo was a driving force behind Mason being designated a polling place by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. His fellow student leaders credit Quarcoo’s eloquent speech before the board as the moment that they garnered the support of the supervisors. Following the speech, the board unanimously approved the creation of the university precinct.
Bioengineering major Kaala Evans used the diverse number of student organizations available to her on campus to network and meet people in her field of study. She was the programs director of the National Society of Black Engineers, and in addition to other groups, she was a member of the Bioengineering Club, Leadership Diversity Academy, and the Society of Women Engineers.
Finance major Danjing Shen is one of more than 70 Chinese students studying at Mason as part of the China 1+2+1 program. From China’s Jiangsu Province, she attends Soochow University when at home. Although she loves being in the United States, she isn’t crazy about American food. Shen and her fellow 1+2+1 participants ride the CUE Bus to Asian supermarkets in the area and then cook together in their dorm kitchens.