Awards and Recognition


In 2010, Loudon County Public Schools initiated the “College in Six Program”.  The program is based on research that suggests that having students in sixth grade visit a college campus is critical in their preparation for post-secondary education.  Since the initiative’s inception, African and African American Studies has worked closely with Sterling Middle School to create a positive partnership.  Sterling Middle School is the most diverse middle school in Loudon County, and many of its students will be first-generation college students.  Every fall, approximately 300 sixth grade students spend the day on Mason’s Fairfax Campus.  Students tour the campus and participate in a leadership/college prep workshop.  We also visit the Sterling Campus throughout the academic year.  This five-year partnership has been a wonderful success and as a result, AAAS received a Loudon County School-Business Partnership Award.  Mason undergraduate students lead the student tours and help facilitate the college prep workshop.


Mason professors Fred Bemak and Rita Chi-Ying Chung have traveled to more than 55 countries, together and individually, where they have worked with at-risk youth, immigrants and refugees, counseled child-trafficking and post-disaster victims; and guided students of color and former child soldiers.  Chung received the Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Humanitarian and Caring Person Award, which Bemak received in 2011, and Bemak received the Kitty Cole Human Rights Award, which Chung garnered last year.  In addition, Chung was one of seven Virginia professors to receive the highly competitive Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion resources in recognition for her exemplary teaching, research, knowledge integration, and public service.
Fred and Rita