Dr. Solon Simmons is the Interim Vice President for Global Strategy and Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis. A professional sociologist who specializes in American politics, Solon has taught a wide array of classes at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) including: conflict theory; global conflict; culture, identity and conflict; class inequality and conflict; and conflict in America. Solon teaches coequally in the undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D levels and also teaches regularly in the new dual degree program at the University of Malta. He has served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies from July 2012 to July 2014 as well as Acting Dean for S-CAR from July to October 2013. Solon holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and received his undergraduate degree in the History of Science from the University of Chicago. His publications include “The Eclipse of Equality: Arguing America” on Meet the Press and “Professors and their Politics”, co-authored with Neil Gross.
Cheryl Choy is the International MOU and Agreements Director in the Office of Global Strategy and the Associate Director at the Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (CAPEC). Cheryl has been at Mason for more than fifteen years working with faculty and students across disciplines to build cross-cultural relations, academic programs, and cultural activities. Cheryl has a B.A. in Mass Communications and Speech Communication from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, a M.A. in Telecommunications with a concentration in instructional technologies and a M.P.H. (Master of Public Health) from George Mason University. Her current interests include food and culture, nutrition education and global health and education systems.
Denisha is a student office assistant at the Global Office. She is currently a junior at Mason majoring in global affairs. In her free time, she loves to volunteer, draw, read, write horrible poetry and even worse prose, and travel. In the future, she plans to work for in the nonprofit sector in or in media production.
Erica Yoo is Korea Programs Office Assistant and joined the Office of Global Strategy in August 2012. She is currently studying Tourism and Events Management at Mason and will be graduating in May 2013. She mainly engages in scheduling and planning meetings related to Songdo Korea Campus. She loves to learn about different cultures, food, languages, etc. She has learned Spanish for over four years in college and hopes to continue learning more languages. She hopes to plan international meetings and conferences in the future to reach more diverse people and go global!
Jim Burke joined the Office of Global Strategy as the Events and Outreach Director after seven years managing international program development and outreach for a number of universities and private education providers in the US, China, and Australia. Along with organizing events with the Provost’s Office to grow Mason’s visibility abroad, Jim will be working to promote the new branch campus in Songdo, South Korea as a destination for innovative experiential learning. Jim holds a Master’s Degree in Education Administration and Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Jun Kim serves as the Finance Specialist for the Office of Global Strategy and Mason Korea. He supports the Global Office regarding financial activities related to the management of Mason Korea and other international initiatives such as the China 1+2+1 dual degree program. Prior to Mason, Jun has been involved in providing financial administrative support to international relief and development organizations and their projects in Australia, South East Asia, and parts of Africa in the areas of health, vulnerable children and women care, community development, and education. Jun Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages and a Minor in Business Administration from George Mason University.
Lisa O’Hara is the International Programs Administrator for the Global Office. She works on a variety of projects with her main focus on the Moscow State University and the China 1+2+1 Dual Degree Programs. Before coming to George Mason, Lisa was a field engineer on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, an electronics engineer with the Defense Mapping Agency, a hospital administrator at UVA, an independent consultant, the business and technology manager for a start-up international law firm and the director of finance for a small business. Lisa has traveled extensively around the world, including independent study in China as an undergraduate student. She holds a BS in Geophysics from VA Tech, an MBA from George Mason University and an MA in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.
As Assistant Vice President for International Campus Operations in the Office of Global Strategy, Dr. Park coordinates university-wide planning for the Mason’s international campus in Songdo, South Korea, and manages issues of program administration and operation between the Songdo and Fairfax campuses. She serves as the official point of contact and information agent between Songdo-based and Fairfax-based university administrators and facilitates other communications as appropriate. An Associate Professor of Tourism and Events Management at the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), she has involved in diverse research projects with various national and international partners and has produced over 60 publications in a combination of journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and technical reports. Dr. Park joined the Office of Global Strategy in 2010 by taking a leadership role in Mason’s evaluation of the Songdo Global University project. Dr. Park’s other activities in the Global Office include advancing dual degree relationships with Korean partner institutions and identifying new educational and research opportunities for Mason faculty in Korea.
Olivia Sun is the China 1+2+1 Program coordinator, supporting all aspects of this program and other major China activities at Mason. Prior to joining Mason, Olivia has worked for several higher education institutions and providers in China and the US under different cultural contexts to develop China-related programs such as 2+2 duel degree, pathway program and study abroad. She was born and raised in Suzhou, China and holds a Master’s degree in Globalization and Educational Change from Lehigh University.
Qifei Zhang is a program intern for the China 1+2+1 program. He is also a student in a dual-degree program from Communication University of China. He is currently seeking a bachelor’s degree in economics. He likes watching TV shows and films, including House of Cards, Under the Dome, and High School Musical etc., and also keeps a close eye on current political and financial issues. He has had internship experiences before with an NGO and a think tank. Qifei plans to go to graduate school after graduation.
Qing is a student intern in the Office of Global Strategy. He is a transfer student from China 1+2+1 program and is currently seeking an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at Mason. He likes to communicate with people from different fields and different cultures to learn various perspectives. He has an interest in doing research in communications and signal processing-related fields. He loves doing math, watching movies, playing tennis and travelling to different cities. He plans to go to a graduate school for further education after completing his undergraduate studies.
Richena Purnell-Sayle is the Project and Office Manager in the Office of Global Strategy. She holds a BA in Music from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. She has traveled throughout Europe including as an exchange student in Northern Sweden. She earned a Master’s degree in Global Affairs at George Mason in Fall 2014. Her academic web portfolio.
As the Program Manager for Global Relations & Protocol, Rita
ascertains the goals and interests of international visitors from global universities and governmental organizations to Mason and is responsible for setting appropriate meetings and other engagements which lead to new opportunities for Mason students, faculty and staff. She creates protocol guidance and tracks annual visit statistics. Rita is also a Fulbright Campus Representative and the Coordinator for the Phi Beta Delta Epsilon Delta Chapter of this international honor society. She has created and maintains a Global Professional Staff Exchange program for the university. At Mason since 2006, Rita has traveled throughout the Middle East Gulf region, Russia, Germany and Switzerland on behalf of the university. She holds a Masters degree from Old Dominion University in Occupational and Technical Education and speaks fluent German.
Setarra Kennedy is the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Global Strategy. Holding a BFA in Dance, Setarra has performed and taught dance throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area. She loves trying new foods and exploring different places in her downtime and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Arts Management at George Mason University.
Songjun is a Student Office Assistant for the Office of Global Strategy. She is a China 1+2+1 program student from Huaqiao University and currently a Finance major at Mason. She is a shutterbug and loves traveling around with her camera. She believes portrait photography is a way to get to know a person. She hopes to join a tourism company after graduation and experience more different cultures.
Svetlana Filiatreau, Eurasia Programs Coordinator, Office of Global Strategy, Provost’s Office. Svetlana Filiatreau joined the Office of Global Strategy in 2011. Ms. Filiatreau leads the development of GMU’s international strategy for engagement with Russia, former Soviet states, and Central and Eastern Europe. Svetlana conducts research on educational systems, identifies suitable partners for research and educational collaboration, creates the appropriate program structures for these agreements, represents the university in the networking events, and manages partner relations agencies, embassies, and NGOs in Eurasia and stateside.
Ms. Filiatreau holds a Master’s degree with the specialization in community-based development and is a Ph.D. Candidate in International Education. Svetlana’s research and professional interests include university-based ethical, moral, and civic formation of undergraduate students in post-Soviet states; the role of ethical leadership of higher education institutions in Ukraine’s democratic transformation; university campus internationalization; and development of academic cross-border partnerships.
Talisha Mottinger joined Mason in 2011 as the International Budget Analyst for the Global Office. Prior to coming to Mason, Talisha worked in finance for six years at the University of Arizona. Talisha has worked in all areas of University finance, from sponsored funding to departmental, state and tuition based funding. She holds a BS in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs.