Jack Wood Award Recipients for 2017
Elected Official/Staff Category:
Delegate Greason represents not only the citizens of Loudoun County in Virginia’s General Assembly, in which Mason has a presence, but also his alma mater George Mason University. Tag is a champion for the students, faculty and staff of the university and has helped members of the General Assembly better understand the needs of our community. Each year he has been the principal sponsor of budget amendments designed to help the university meet its strategic goals. George Mason University is very fortunate to have an advocate like Delegate Greason working for our students, faculty and staff.
Sandy Spring Bank – Jay O’Brien and Annie Bolger of Sandy Spring Bank have worked tirelessly to partner with George Mason University’s University Life Offices to support the Early Identification and Student Transition and Empowerment Programs by signing on as the Title Sponsor for the Diversity Scholarship Golf Classic for the past eight years.
Through their leadership, creativity and follow-through, students benefit from scholarship funds raised, and local and regional business and community members learn more about George Mason University and its offerings. At the event each year many new participants and sponsors are surprised to learn about everything that Mason does, both on our campuses and beyond. Jay O’Brien and Annie Bolger, the representatives of Sandy Spring Bank, are incredible champions for both Mason and the Fairfax community, and have gone above and beyond in connecting the two for several years.
Dr. Daniel Sklarew has been advancing Mason’s Town-Gown partnerships for over 20 years, promoting ecological sustainability and watershed stewardship across Northern Virginia and beyond. In Fairfax County he led the Mason team preparing the County’s first community-wide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and applied its finding to assist Reston Sustainability Community Partnerships in its energy and greenhouse gas reduction initiative. In Prince William County he has trained public school teachers to lead Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) in their classrooms, and has trained Mason student field-interpreters to assist with these experiences since 2009. In Arlington County, Dr. Sklarew was central to co-organizing the Mason/Arlington Earth Week community event hosted at the Arlington Campus, which included the Arlington Green Patriot Award and Operation Rain Barrel. In addition, Dr. Sklarew has strengthened Mason relationships internationally with Japanese and Mexican communities through sustainability and watershed experiences. Most recently, Dr. Sklarew has worked with the King’s Park West community, south of our Fairfax campus, to facilitate collection of neighborhood donations to Mason’s Pop-up Pantry. Dr. Sklarew has exemplified leadership in advancing mutually beneficial Town-Gown relations between Mason and its neighbors.
Student Category (awarded to an individual or group):
Epsilon Mu Colony of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity has shown a drive to positively represent Mason and assist those within the surrounding community. Last semester Beta raised over $2,000 for breast cancer research and awareness for local organizations working in that arena; participated in Fear 2 Freedom, assembling survivor kits to be used at local hospitals for victims and survivors of sexual assault; volunteered with the local chapter of the Brother’s Brother Foundation, assembling medical kits for doctors, nurses and clinics in communities of dire need; and over the holiday season adopted seven families through the Fairfax County Adopt-a-Family Holiday Program, donating over $400 worth of gifts for families in need. This semester Beta coordinated and donated over 5,000 non-perishable food items to local food pantries and food banks with an emphasis on serving children from low-income families or in danger of becoming homeless and need a packed lunch for school. The Epsilon Mu Colony of Beta Theta Pi is committed to building relationships of mutual assistance between the University and the greater Northern Virginia community.
Partnership Initiative Category (an initiative between a Mason entity and an external organization(s) that reciprocally benefits both entities):
Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinics are an example of academic-community partnerships at their best. At the request from a Mason alumna working as a Nurse Manager for Manassas Park City Schools, Mason professors Drs. Rebecca and Caroline Sutter were approached about providing school-required exams for students who could not afford care. Through partnerships with the Prince William Health District, the City of Manassas Park and space provided by Manassas Park Community Center, the clinic now operates one 6-hour day per week clinic at that site, and has expanded to two other sites in Springfield and Falls Church through a partnership with Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. The goal of the clinic is to serve as a bridge for patients with no access to care into a more permanent healthcare solution. Current estimates suggest that the clinics provide over $90,000 each month in unreimbursed care, or almost $1.1 million in care per year. Through the engagement of Mason faculty, students (across numerous disciplines from nursing and language translation to social work and psychology), and numerous community partners, these clinics are successful.
Congratulations to all our award recipients. We greatly appreciate your leadership in strengthening the relationships between the university and the communities we serve.