Peraton awards scholarships to Honors College students with interests in national security


Peraton, a Virginia-based national security company, awarded 10 George Mason University Honors College students the Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security at the Honors College’s 15th Annual Research Exhibition and Awards Ceremony.

Peraton is one of the largest employers in the Washington, D.C., region, according to the Washington Business Journal. Funded by a generous donation from the Peraton Corporation, the Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security awards each recipient up to $10,000 to provide financial support for their studies and academic enrichment.

Matt McQueen, Chief Communications and Engagement Officer at Peraton, shakes hands at the awards ceremony.
Matt McQueen, chief communications and engagement officer at Peraton, shakes hands at the awards ceremony. Photo by Honors College

“As national security challenges continue to evolve, we need to tap into the full breadth and depth of our academic partnerships to meet the call,” said Stu Shea, chairman, president and CEO of Peraton. Shea spoke at Mason’s 2022 Spring Commencement and is a former member of the College of Science Advisory Board. “Students from nontraditional backgrounds bring new perspectives, fresh ideas, and unique solutions to the workforce enabling our nation to remain competitive and proactively address increasingly more complex customer mission needs.”

Mason students overall are exceptionally well-positioned to succeed in the national security work envisioned by Peraton: the university is ranked No. 9 in the world in cybersecurity and is the largest producer of tech talent among four-year higher education institutions in Virginia, as well as being the No. 1 most ethnically diverse public institution in Virginia.

Laila Salguero, Peraton’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer, noted that, “Mason has distinguished itself as one of the most diverse and inclusive incubators for next-generation talent in the nation.”

The selected Honors College students represent a breadth of majors within the College of Engineering and Computing, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Schar School for Policy and Government. All recipients credit the Honors College’s multidisciplinary approach to learning, research, and civic engagement and the diversity of their cohorts as critical to their growth as scholars and their future success in the workplace.

Layan Wahdan, one of the scholarship winners, holds her awards plaque.
Layan Wahdan, one of the scholarship winners, holds her award plaque. Photo by Honors College

“The interdisciplinary Honors College courses have shaped the way I think about approaching problems in bioengineering,” said Layan Wahdan, junior bioengineering major and one of this year’s scholarship recipients. For Wahdan, the scholarship will support her in preparation for applying to medical school upon graduation. “I am confident that my studies will uniquely prepare me to help support national security.”

Aarush Sivaram Jambunathan, a junior majoring in international security and law, hopes to meaningfully contribute to national security in ways that “would not only reflect my experiences as an immigrant, but would ensure that people like me have a voice in the future of the United States.”

“With this generous support, Peraton enables the Honors College to support the development of the next generation of leaders,” said Zofia Burr, dean of the Honors College. “These scholarships show Peraton’s commitment to helping us cultivate a diverse and inclusive community of future professionals who are ready to respond to tomorrow’s multidimensional national security challenges.”

Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security Recipients

Fariha Ali, senior, information technology

Moneem Bhuiyan, junior, information technology

Harshita Vivek Chaudhari, junior, cybersecurity engineering

Dulguun Gantumur, senior, global affairs

Rida Hasan, junior, cybersecurity engineering

Aarush Sivaram Jambunathan, junior, international security and law

Berk Kasimcan, junior, bioengineering

Sebastian Rodionov, senior, government and international politics

Layan Wahdan, senior, bioengineering

Learn more about the scholarship recipients here.