Outstanding Graduating Student: Theresa Boyd


Each semester, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences recognizes some of their most outstanding graduating students. Honors College Spring 2024 graduate Theresa Boyd was nominated by the Department of History for her academic achievements and contributions.

Portrait of Theresa Boyd

What was the most impactful class you took in your major? 

As a History Major, I had the benefit of doing an independent study with Professor Gabrielle Tayac. Under her guidance, I created a public history exhibit showcasing the stories of Native American women institutionalized in the Canton Asylum. My research afforded me the opportunity to connect with scholars and other individuals connected by the Asylum’s history. GMU’s proximity to Washington D.C. gave me easy access to primary resources from the Canton Asylum located in the National Archives. Developing a historical exhibit which outlined the stories of the lived experiences and tribal histories of different institutionalized women showed me the power of narrative history. The greatest lesson I learned; everyone has a story that should be heard.

What activities were you involved in during your time at Mason that impacted you? 

Engaging in community service was part of my role as an Honors College student. In my course, “Addressing the Digital Divide: Digital Literacy and Community,” I volunteered as a digital literacy educator at the Little River Glen Senior Center. The unique experience offered a way to give back to the community and to connect with people from different backgrounds. Moving forward as an educator, I plan to bring my knowledge of the digital divide and different ways to teach to younger generations.

What is your most memorable “Mason moment?”

My coursework and background as a History student at George Mason prepared me to explore extraordinary international programs. My resume helped me in being picked to participate in a historical dig. The scientific society, Aranzadi, chose only a select few qualified international college students for a chance to spend two weeks at an archeological site. The excavation site was located in the Spanish region of Navarre. This once-in-a-lifetime experience gave me a new love for the Basque history, culture, and language. In addition, I discovered the intense physical demands of archeologists in uncovering the remnants of history.

As you are reflecting on your time at Mason, what is one piece of advice you would give a student who is just starting off on their Mason journey?

My first piece of advice is to take advantage of the study abroad programs Mason offers. I was able to take two courses abroad through Mason in Germany and Spain. My classmates and I still keep in touch as a result of our experiences traveling together. Additionally, I recommend that students put forth their best effort, challenge themselves by taking courses outside of their comfort zone, ask questions, investigate, and engage with their professors and course content.

What is your next step after graduation? What are your future plans?

I look forward to continuing my education at George Mason as I continue finishing my Master’s in Special Education. I am excited to embark on my teaching journey in the upcoming 2024-2025 school year as a special educator. My lifelong learning goal includes obtaining my PhD.