Colleagues describe Diana Parkinson as a self-starter, a joy to work with, and the ultimate teammate. An engagement officer in George Mason University’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, Parkinson works to connect alumni with event, volunteer, and philanthropic opportunities across campus. For her innovation, dedication, and championing of student success, Parkinson has been recognized as August Employee of the Month.
“I’ve worked with Diana for more than five years as colleagues and over the last year as her supervisor,” said Zavin Smith, director of development. “Diana is an excellent example of a compassionate, collaborative and collegial colleague.”
“Her commitment to the betterment of the advancement processes, thorough attention to detail, and limitless energy has caused her to be one the most depended upon team members,” said Jeff Danaher, director of development, university priorities.
“Diana has a great work ethic,” said Kira Woitek, director of development, individual giving, in the College of Engineering and Computing. “She has a great ability to get tasks done in a professional and timely manner.”
“Despite the overwhelming amount of work that everyone has to do, Diana consistently finds ways to help coworkers and the other departments on campus,” said Nikki Jerome Ouellette, director of alumni and community engagement, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Her willingness to assist others and her commitment to educating Mason employees are unequaled.”
“From my initial connection with her in my [Alumni Association] role to our connections with my role in the university within the School of Business, Diana makes a point to proactively connect and provide updates,” said Christine Landoll, president of Mason’s Alumni Association and director of business engagement in the School of Business.
“Even amidst a busy schedule full of competing priorities, Diana remains positive, professional, and is always a joy to work with,” said Kaitlin Cicchetti, director of advancement for University Life. “She is passionate about the success of our students and motivated daily to do all she can to enhance their experiences.”
How did you come to Mason:
After moving back to Northern Virginia, I decided two things—I needed to get rid of my long commute, and I missed working in a higher ed advancement shop. Mason turned out to be the right place and have the perfect role for me at the time!
Best day on the job:
I know it's cliche but I can't pick just one. My favorite moments tend to involve knowing my work has helped a student or encouraged a donor. Other highlights: when colleagues turn into friends!
What do you like best about working at Mason:
Life-work balance. My supervisors at Mason have been so supportive through different life changes and events over the years.
What do you like to do when you’re not working:
I enjoy cooking for my family, volunteering at church, making my baby laugh, and watching my toddler play every sport under the sun. I've also been learning how to sew over the past few years and am proud to say I made my own bathing suit last year!
Are you an alum of Mason?:
Yes, I earned my graduate certificate of nonprofit management in 2021, thanks to our tuition reimbursement benefit.