The Celebration of Distinction is George Mason University Alumni Association’s annual awards banquet. Each year, the Alumni Association honors individuals for their support, dedication and contributions to the university. This year’s emcee is Dr. Peter Pober. Since 2010, the LGBTQ Lambda Alumni Chapter of Mason has recognized an alumnus from the Mason LGBTQ community for their achievements and service to the LGBTQ community. The awardee is recognized and receives an award during the Celebration of Distinction. This year, the Lambda Alumni Chapter is recognizing Karen Wolf.
Karen Wolf has been a strong advocate for the LGBTQ and all diverse identities from the beginning of her years in undergraduate at the College of William & Mary. After getting her degrees in Computer Science and Women’s Studies at William & Mary, Karen worked for the Feminist Majority Foundation and in 2005, she began her career at Mason working as a Web Developer in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. In 2007, she began working in her current role as the Technology Coordinator in the Office of Technology Integration within the Office of University Life. In her role, Karen designs and develops websites and web solutions for University Life departments. She also trains staff members on website management and social media as well as plans and implements centralized solutions to communication and technology issues. When asked to provide some insight into Karen’s work, her supervisor Michael Galvin, said that colleagues from University Life and across the university describe her as consultant, guru, coach, mentor, friend, therapist, teacher, and leader, all marveling at the grace and warmth that Karen brings to collaboratively developing web presences and creating solutions. Karen is also the co-founder and key member of a variety of committees: University Life Marketing and Communication, Student Affairs Technology, Digital Identity, and the Mason WordPress support group. Karen completed her Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University in 2010. In addition to her work at Mason, Karen spends her time advocating for LGBTQ identities within Mason. She serves as a trainer for the George Mason University Safe Zone Program, where she helps to create a safer, more welcoming and inclusive campus environment and strengthens community and encourages networking among faculty, staff, and students toward the goal of supporting the well-being of LGBTQ people. Karen served on the Committee for the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference, hosted by George Mason University’s Office of Women & Gender Studies in 2012. Karen also serves as a trainer for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education’s “Creating Community” model, which explores intra-personal identity as well as the life experiences and institutions that shape, influence, and produce our identities. In addition to her advocacy at Mason, Karen volunteers with the Fairfax LGBTQ Youth Group, FLY through the Washington D.C Metro PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. In her role, she facilitates meetings and social events for queer youth ages 12-19. In October of 2013, Karen won the Outstanding Achievement Award for Mason Staff Members. The Lambda Alumni Chapter is proud to award this year’s Outstanding Alumnus award to Karen Wolf.
Mabinty Quarshie, a 2013 graduate of George Mason University has been accepted in graduate school at Georgetown University. Mabinty will be in the Masters of Professional Studies in Journalism program and will begin in Fall 2013. Mabinty was a Women and Gender Studies minor and worked in the center for all fours years of her time at Mason. We are proud of Mabinty’s accomplishments.
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