Celebrating Honors College Student Awardees at the Spring 2023 Exhibition and Awards Ceremony


As a community of highly motivated individuals, Honors College students ask critical questions, pursue unique opportunities, and forge strong partnerships to address modern challenges. At the Spring 2023 Exhibition and Awards Ceremony, several of these students were celebrated with awards recognizing their achievements and accomplishments. The Honors College spotlights students who explore their curiosity and embody a commitment to civic engagement and experiential learning through their involvement within and beyond their communities. We would like to congratulate the following student awardees. 

Schwartzstein First Semester Research Award 
With gratitude to Linda A. Schwartzstein, MA’91, PhD’94 and Lee M. Goodwin for their support of this award. 

Every year, HNRS 110 faculty nominates one student paper from each section which demonstrates outstanding research practice. With support from Linda A. Schwartzstein and Lee M. Goodman, the Schwartzstein, one winner is selected with the goal of honoring students whose projects display exceptional intellectual curiosity and creativity and supporting them in future research. This year’s Schwartzstein Prize winner is Isabella Majarowitz, for her project on racial disparities in policing of in Washington, DC and Baltimore City, Maryland public schools. Aiming to center the voices of students of color affected by inequitable policing, Marjarowitz expressed that “receiving this award will enable me to actually carry out this research and make an impact.” 

Odin, Feldman, and Pittleman Scholarship Recipients

Odin Feldman Pittleman Scholarship
With gratitude to Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, LLC (Dexter Odin, David Feldman, James Pittleman) for their support of this award.

The Odin Feldman Pittleman Scholarship, made possible through the support of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, LLC, recognizes students who are dedicating their careers to improving the lives of people in developing countries. Nour Alashwal, a rising sophomore majoring in civil engineering major, and Katherine Fisher, a rising senior majoring conflict analysis and resolution, were the 2023 awardees. Alashwal is grateful that this award will help further her growth through the Honors College, including the intimately structured classes and professional opportunities available.  

Dr. Gerald L. Gordon Scholarship
With gratitude to Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Cathy Riley for their support of this award.

Established in recognition of Dr. Gordon’s many extraordinary contributions to the development of Fairfax County as the President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the scholarship supports a distinguished student pursuing a degree in a STEM field, economics, or another discipline relevant to economic development in Fairfax County. This year, the scholarship recognizes Mariana Ferrao Da Silva Trujillo, a rising junior majoring in economics and minoring in finance who aims to promote economic development through the country and the world. A former intern of the Mercatus and CATO Institutes and student leader with the Model United Nations and the Economics Society at George Mason, this award “will make it a lot easier for me to balance work and study and be able to really take that opportunity as a way of furthering my career and long term goals more.” 

McQueen Family Scholarship 
With gratitude to Matt McQueen for their support of this award.

The McQueen Family Scholarship for Global Studies was established by Matt McQueen, who is an Honors College Advisory Board Member and community leader. This scholarship supports exceptional students who are studying abroad and working to further their education. Rising sophomore and business management Jiselle Daniela Floyd was this year’s winner. Being an Honors College student has allowed Floyd to expand the bounds of her comfort zone, and she looks forward to being able to enjoy studying abroad and seeing the world with the support of the McQueen Family Scholarship. 

Dr. Harold J. Morowitz Scholarship 
With gratitude to Ann Nitze for their support of this award.

This scholarship honors the memory of Dr. Harold J. Morowitz, a Robinson Professor at Mason with over 60 years of experience as a college educator who instilled the value of lifelong learning in his Honors College students. The award supports Honors College students prioritize their studies and research, who may otherwise need to work a part-time job through college. Rising sophomore and geography major Cameron Hunt is this year’s award recipient. This award increases Hunt’s confidence in pursuing his academic passions, at the intersection of geography and geospatial intelligence including human migration and crisis response. 


Michelle Litwiller Memorial Scholarship
With gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Roger Litwiller for their support of this award.

This award is made possible by the donations of Dr. and Mrs. Roger Litwiller in memory of their daughter, Michelle, who was a student in Mason’s Plan for Alternative General Education (PAGE) program in 1987, the curriculum that provided the template for the present Honors College curriculum. The award is given to a distinguished or exceptional first-year student; this year’s recipient is Connie Lam, a rising sophomore studying engineering. As an Honors College student, Lam has enjoyed access to “research opportunities and just discovering problems we can solve within our community,” including being a part of the Honoring Our Community program. 

Honors College Concerned Citizen Award 
With gratitude to Charles C. Thomas, Jr. for their support of this award.

Created by Dr. Charles Thomas, this scholarship was made to support African American students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community service. Nasrin Ali, a rising junior majoring in computer science, was this year’s awardee. For Ali, “receiving this awards motivates me to keep going on my journey and helping my community.” 

Honors College Outstanding Service Award

This award recognizes distinguished or exceptional achievements of graduating students who have served exceptionally in multiple roles over their years in the Honors College. This year, the Honors College recognized three awardees: 

  • Elise Mertz, a senior English major who is also a student leader with Honors College Connects and the Honors College Recruitment Team, has worked to attract students to the Honors College and connect current students with high-impact professional projects with nonprofit partners. Mertz is honored to receive this distinction: “It's just nice to know that I can make a difference. It feels validating that the things I'm doing can actually matter to the community.” 

  • Kennedi Wilson, a senior double majoring in government and international politics and spanish, has served as a Resident Assistant (RA) for the Honors College LC for three years, supporting residential engagement and keeping residents well connected to campus resources. Wilson has been passionate about being an RA, and is grateful for being recognized for her passion. 

  • Rosy Sultana, a senior computer science major, has been involved with the Honors College Recruitment Team and the Honors College Student Advisory Board. To receive this award shows her that “the time I spent in collaboration, teamwork, leadership, that it's something that I can continue and know that it's been valued and appreciated.” 

Honors College Outstanding Achievement Award

Honors College Outstanding Achievement

The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes the distinguished or exceptional achievements of second-year students representing the disciplinary range of students in the Honors College. This year, the Honors College recognizes anthropology major Mikayla Miller and sophomore computer science major Matt Nguyen. Miller, who works with Student Involvement, has supported the planning of many large-scale events across campus as well as building community within the Student Involvement Office. 

Nguyen has served various student organizations on campus, including as the vice president for F1rst Gen @ Mason, marketing chair for the Society of Hispanic Engineers, and the historian for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers. “This award will help me continue to be more motivated to be active on campus and be a good well rounded student, Nguyen says, “and just continue what I'm doing right now and hopefully get back in the future.” 

Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security
With gratitude to Stu Shea, Chairman, President, and CEO of Peraton.

The Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security was awarded to students who will be leaders contributing to the next generation of national security solutions. Funded with a generous donation from the Peraton Corporation, each recipient was awarded $10,000 to provide financial support for their studies and academic enrichment. Ten Honors College students from different majors were awarded the selective Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security at the Honors College Spring Awards Ceremony on May 5, 2023. Learn more about the awardees here.  

The Honors College would like to express our gratitude to all of our donors for their generosity in supporting these awards and celebrating our students. We hope that these awards continue to materially support and encourage Honors College students in their pursuits.