Meet Mason’s Newest Patriots!

by Katherine Wilson, Associate Director of Admissions

As our new 2012-13 academic year approaches, I am thrilled to introduce you to The Patriot Life’s NEWEST BLOGGERS! In addition to your favorite upperclassmen rockstars: Kathleen (sophomore), Grant (junior), Jenny (senior), Gabriela (senior), and Chloe (senior), we’re now thrilled to welcome: William, Denisha, Kasi, Sierra, and Ben as the newest members to the blog. All of whom are rising freshmen at the Mason Nation. Get ready to follow them as their summer days draw to an end, their hometown goodbyes become a reality, and they finally arrive on campus to begin their version of The Patriot Life.

Ready to meet them? Scroll down for an interview with these new Patriots:


Hometown ‘Shout Out’:  I guess this is where I insert the obligatory, “Hey, y’all!” as an indicator that I am in fact from the South. I have lived in Laurel, Mississippi, all my life where I attended a small private school, but I could not be more excited to make a new “home away from home” at Mason.

Why Mason? When deciding how and where I wanted to spend my undergraduate years, I knew my decision was a very crucial part to my personal growth over the next four years. Here at Mason, it truly does feel like home. I visited numerous college campuses and found that it was only at Mason that I felt the most at home. Plus, the close proximity to D.C. provides numerous opportunities for future jobs or internships in the nation’s capitol. Ultimately, coming to a campus that encourages innovation, embraces diversity, and celebrates its students’ accomplishments, I knew Mason was the perfect fit for me.

Academics: I am currently a Biology major in the Honors College, and I am very excited to be able to challenge myself with new professors in a new environment. The human body and mind fascinate me beyond belief, and I cannot wait to be able to use Mason’s numerous resources to further pursue my interests so at the end of the year I can apply to the GMU Biology Honors Program. 

Campus Involvement: I am a proud member of Mason’s internationally recognized forensics team, and I could not be more excited! The art of public speaking and acting have always been a key part of my life, and being able to continue my involvement with both of these activities throughout my college years is very exciting! Beyond forensics, I hope to get involved with student government, student organizations, and campus research programs.

This year’s to-do list: Aside from studying, I really want to take a dance class and get involved with several on and off-campus organizations.

Best tasty treat on campus that you simply can never seem to pass up: La Pat is my favorite on-campus eatery, but Freshens smoothies are super great! However, I’m still trying my very hardest to get Chipotle to move to campus. It’ll be a tough battle, but I’m ready to fight for my burritos!

Why you’re here to write about life as a Patriot: When I first started to consider Mason as an option for college, The Patriot Life was the biggest help in really getting to know what campus life was really like. Now that I’m actually going to Mason, I could not be more excited to be able to show what life is like as a Patriot—AMAZING! Getting to personally showcase all Mason has to offer is something I simply could not pass up!

Random fun facts: I don’t eat red meat, and my friends LOVE to tease me about it. I’m also a very, very serious sleeper. I love my sleep, but not too much! My favorite color is blue, and I love to play piano! I love music and friends and food and Mason. So…yay!

Most interesting class that you plan to take: I’m super excited for my PSYCH 100 class and my Research Methods class!

Free space! 

In reality, nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

            -Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild


Hometown shout-out!  I was born in Rome…New York (it’s always funny to see everyone act incredibly interested when I say that I was born in Rome, and then I throw in the word ‘New York’ and it becomes significantly less interesting…Rome, NY is cool too!), but raised in the 757 (Chesapeake, VA).

Why Mason?  Well, not only is it ideally located for internships and jobs, but I got the sense of such a close-knit community when I walked onto the campus, and (cheesy part coming) when I walked on campus back in November 2011, I just felt like I was meant to go to this school. I walked the grounds of George Mason University and I really saw myself as a student here, which I didn’t see with the other schools I visited (definitely showed me the importance of visiting a college campus before you make your final decision). And it doesn’t hurt that the food is delicious and there’s a 24-hour Starbucks on campus.

Academics: I am a Communications major, which is ironic because I used to hate public speaking, but not so much anymore. I mean, I love talking, and I appreciate/am fascinated by the art of human communication and mass media, so majoring in comm just seemed right for me. I’m currently exploring a minor in either Film and Video Studies or Electronic Journalism.

Campus involvement: Well, aside from blogging, I plan to become involved in the Office of Student Media, whether it be for Broadside, WGMU, etc. I also plan to get involved with Habitat for Humanity and Campus Crusade for Christ.

This year’s to-do list: I’d like to explore the different kinds of media in the Office of Student Media so that I can decide which one is best for me. In the future I’d love to do Student Government or maybe even become a Patriot Leader or a Mason Ambassador! And also on this year’s to-do list, I must try all the food at Southside while simultaneously avoiding the freshman 15.

Best tasty treat on campus that you can never seem to pass up: I haven’t been able to try enough food to make a decision, but I do love me some Starbucks, especially when the seasonal flavors come in! And I also hear that there’s a Dippin’ Dots on campus…

Why you’re here to write about life as a Patriot: A good friend of mine, Darion Haynes, used to question what a campus was really like after open house and days specifically spruced up for prospective students and parents. I just want to show people what life is like every day for an average student, because that’s what they’re going to be experiencing when they get to campus. And I really do love this university, so I hope that by writing about life as a Patriot, I’m able to give prospective students and parents a real look into university life and also give them a little Mason spirit in the process. So Darion, I hope you’re reading this also!

Random fun facts: When I was younger, I thought Neverland was a real place and I wanted to go there sooooo bad. I still think N’Sync was cooler than The Backstreet Boys. The first time I met Drake (a hip-hop artist), I asked him to do a “hood pose” with me…I think I scared him a little. In high school, my best friend, Eileen, and I would combine our names and call ourselves Eilisha when we were together…we even made an Eilisha Hedgingham (that’s our combined last name) Facebook page! Favorite artists: Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, Michael Bublé, and Drake. I also love listening to classical/choral music and singing karaoke to classic Disney songs. The first time I had coffee, my mom tricked me and got me to drink it by telling me that it was hot chocolate…it was like five years later that I actually decided to give coffee a chance again!

Most interesting class that you plan to take: I’m really excited to take my Reading the Arts class! I think it will bring a new and interesting perspective towards pieces of art that I hadn’t thought of before.

Free space! I love Dr. Seuss, so I’ll end with this from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And
you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll get mixed up,
of course, as you
already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds
as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great
tact and remember that…

…Life’s A Great
Balancing Act.”

“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)



Hometown ‘Shout Out’: I’m from a beach town on the east coast of Florida, New Smyrna Beach. Most people have never heard of us, being as the only thing to put us on the map is that we’re the shark bite capital of the world. Yikes! Regardless though, I love the beach and will always cherish the memories made growing up in NSB!

Why Mason? I chose to go to Mason initially because of it’s proximity to Washington DC and all of the opportunities that come with it. As I actually spent time on campus though, I really started to fall in love! It’s hard to find the words to explain it, but I truly feel at home at Mason, and that it brings out the best in me. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else for college!

Academics: I’m majoring in Film and Video Studies, and could not be more excited about it! Making videos has been a passion of mine since a young age, so I can’t wait to begin bringing my skills to a professional level! I’m also thinking about minoring in Communications, we’ll see!

Campus Involvement: Besides blogging, I plan on joining a sorority, volunteering with the Office of Sustainability (Yay for being eco-friendly!), and maybe even running or soccer club!

This year’s to-do list: Find a job on or near campus, get involved, keep good grades and have fun!

Best tasty treat on campus that you simply can never seem to pass up: As an incoming freshman, I haven’t had the chance to experience a lot of the food on campus yet! I do love Chick-fil-a though, so I’ll probably be spending a lot of time there this year, hopefully while also avoiding the dreaded “freshman 15”!

Why you’re here to write about life as a Patriot: I’m a huge believer in experiences and how they shape people. Keeping that in mind, I hope that sharing my experiences in my life at Mason as well as my transition being an out of state student will be helpful to admitted students in making their decision. I also think it will be fun to look back on these posts one day! I’m sure there will be a lot of great memories!

Random fun facts: I’m a huge NASCAR fan, which always seems to take people by surprise. I also make YouTube videos! It’s a hobby I really enjoy.

Most interesting class that you plan to take: I’m excited about my Video Production class and also one entitled “The Digital Past” because I’m a techie at heart! However, my favorite course that I’ve taken at a college level so far was while I was dual enrolled at Daytona State: Broadcast Newswriting! It was right up my alley with my interest in production and so much fun, even though getting on camera was definitely nerve-wracking!

Free space! 

All our dreams can come true… if we have the courage to pursue them.

– Walt Disney


Hometown Shout Out: There really isn’t much to say about Toms Brook, Virginia simply because there isn’t much there. Located on the scenic and simplistic Route 11 in the Shenandoah Valley, you might miss it entirely if you blink while driving through. While it might be unsettling for some, I find it cozy being nestled between two mountain ranges. From any window in my house, I can enjoy the blues and greens of nature. What can I say? I’m a country girl at heart.

Why Mason? Originally, George Mason was third on my list of colleges I was considering. It wasn’t until I attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference in July of 2011, which was held on Mason’s campus, that I felt as if I had found my niche. Mason gave me a sense of hominess and completeness. Just far enough from home to feel different, I am drawn to all of the international, cultural aspects that Mason has to offer and am sure I will take full advantage of them.

Academics: My blueprint is to major in Communications with a focus in Public Relations and a minor in Photography. Then, if all goes as planned (fingers crossed) I will continue on to receive my Masters in Arts Management and be fabulously successful.

Campus Involvement: I hope to engage myself heavily in the Office of Student Media; I would love to get involved in the publishing of the student poetry anthology which is such a brilliant idea. I am a member of the Arts LLC and am waiting on pins and needles to start our creative adventures. If I find the time, I would love to also join Mason’s equestrian team since riding is a passion of mine.

This years to-do list: Survive Biology. Explore all that Washington D.C. has to offer.

Best tasty treat on campus that you simply can never seem to pass up: The pineapple at Southside. Every time we had breakfast or lunch there during the WJMC, I gorged myself on those delicious, golden cubes. As a health nut, Southsides eating choices are an absolute extravaganza to me of smart and incredibly tasty treats.

Why youre here to write about life as a Patriot: Coming from a nearly nonexistent, rural town to the largest university in Virginia is honestly intimating. Writing is a form of comfort and mental release to me. By blogging, I will get the chance to relay and inspect my life as a George Mason Patriot and find all the exciting wonders that lie within. I invite readers to buckle up and sit shotgun as I careen through my college experience.

Random fun facts: 

I’m a bit of a kaleidoscope ancestry-wise. I have Cherokee and Colombian heritage on my father’s side while my mother’s mother was French.

I certainly hold true to the Gemini stereotype that we are indecisive.

I consider myself an Anglophile and well as a Francophile.

I base most of my life choices off of the morals of classic Disney songs.

I have traveled to New Zealand and ridden through where they filmed “Lord of the Rings.”

I strive to live a creatively conductive lifestyle; my humble hobbies include photography, drawing, painting, and sad attempts at poetry.

Most interesting class that you plan to take: Since I haven’t started classes yet all I can say that I am definitely looking forward to my Philosophy class “What is Art?” It sounds fascinating. 

Free space! 

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of “Le Petit Prince”


Hometown ‘Shout Out’: I’m from New York, but no, not the city! I live in Farmington,  in upstate New York, where you can experience the joy of all four seasons in the same day! I attended school in Victor (Farmington is too small to get their own school), and aside from the crazy weather, I love my hometown. I’m the first person ever from my high school to go to George Mason that I know of!

Why Mason? My junior year of high school, I went to a college fair, where George Mason was the farthest away school to have a booth. That got me interested, and from there I discovered they have a fantastic economics department- once I heard about the school, I started notice their professors being quoted and writing editorials all over the place (yes, I still read a newspaper). After that I came to visit, and the visit just made everything click- it was a great size, had a beautiful campus, had great academics, and just seemed like the perfect place for me!

Academics: I plan to major in economics, and possibly double in Political Science, if I’m feeling particularly crazy. I’m also a member of GMU’s Honors College

Campus Involvement: I ran Cross country and Track in high school, but I’m not nearly division 1 level! I’ll be running in some capacity, whether its with a club team or just on my own. Beyond that, I haven’t yet decided what I’ll be doing, but there’s certainly a lot of options! Oh and I’ll be blogging. But since this is on the patriot life page, you probably knew that!

This year’s to-do list: My Cousin who’s a year older than me got a 4.0 her first semester of college (in Rhode Island, not here at George Mason), so as a matter of pride I have to match her. Besides that, I want to get involved with at least a few clubs and activities, and hopefully make some friends in the process!

Best tasty treat on campus that you simply can never seem to pass up: I’ve only been to campus three times, so I’m not sure yet, but I’ll find something delicious! I love eating- goods thing I run so much!

Why you’re here to write about life as a Patriot: I love writing, and I’m very excited about going to George Mason, so I figured I should combine those two things! I also plan to use this blog to convince some of the younger kids back home to come join me at this fantastic college!

Random fun facts: My favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers (same colors as George Mason!). As a resident of upstate NY, I also cheer for our hapless hometown team, the Buffalo bills, who have now gone 12 straight years without making the playoffs (it’s going to happen this year!). I’ve loved politics since I was in fourth grade and am actually excited to vote in November (I understand this is not a normal feeling for people my age). I was voted “seriously Sarcastic” for my yearbook in high school, and I gotta say, I earned it. Even though I can’t play an instrument or sing to save my life, I love listening to and talking about music! I don’t have an overall favorite group or artist- that changes every week! (This week it’s the Rolling Stones, last week it was the Barenaked Ladies, the week before that it was The Clash. Go figure)I also love movies- I saw The Dark Knight Rises midnight premier and currently believe it’s the greatest movie ever (much like music, my favorite movie changes every few weeks). My favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory

Most interesting class that you plan to take: I can’t say for sure, But I’m excited to take the honors 110 course (even if I’m still not sure what exactly it will be about) and, of course Government 101! I sadly don’t get to take any econ classes first semester- I got out of the freshman classes with AP tests, and have to take Calculus II before moving on- oh joy!

Free space! 

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

–Ferris Bueller