The College of Humanities and Social Sciences boasts more than 70,000 incredible alumni who work and serve their communities in all 50 states and around the world. Meet our alumni whose diverse career paths illustrate the remarkable opportunities for college graduates and showcase how a Mason Graduate is an engaged citizen, a well-rounded scholar, and is prepared to act.
Mounir Alafrangy, BA History '10, spent 45 days inside the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) habitat as part of a simulated mission to Phobos, Mars's largest moon. Alafrangy was one of four crew members, known as analog astronauts, who were selected from a large pool of applicants for the mission.
Dave Alpern, BA Communication ’91, is one of the longest tenured sports executives in NASCAR. Alpern is currently the president of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), an American professional stock car racing organization in North Carolina.
Rion Amilcar Scott, MFA '08, is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn't Require You, a finalist of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and winner of the 2020 Towson Prize for Literature. His debut story collection, Insurrections, was awarded the 2017 Pen/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Kevone Bennett, BS Psychology ’14, is a user experience researcher at YouTube Music, and his role is to learn and understand how consumers interact with the platform. Bennett talks with people around the world, in places like Japan, India, and Brazil, gathers their feedback, and then offers recommendations for improvements.
Maria Bennett Hock, BIS ’07, began her degree path as a 22-year-old military spouse. She moved often and took courses at universities across the United States and overseas in Germany and Korea. When her youngest son graduated from Mason, Hock decided to complete her degree and found the Bachelor of Individualized Study program at the university, which provides a tailored degree experience for adult learners with a mixture of college credits and professional experience.
Christian Carrozzo, BA Philosophy ’10, MA ’12, is founder of the Program for Neuroethics and Clinical Consciousness at the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he serves as resident faculty and senior editor of the Journal of Hospital Ethics.
Torey Carter-Conneen, BA Economics '06, joined the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in September 2020 as chief executive officer. ASLA is a community of nearly 15,000 members whose mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.
Exploring technology’s potential in the music industry
When Scott Cohen, BA Psychology ’89, moved to New York City after graduating from Mason, a chance meeting in 1995 changed his fortunes and launched him on a wild rollercoaster ride fueled by the hype of the internet’s early days.
Danielle Craddock, MAIS '11 is the owner of Danielle B. Craddock LLC, a consulting company where she uses her experience as founder and director of Girls Inspired & Ready to Lead Inc. (GIRL) to help others start their nonprofits or develop STEM programming. GIRL mentors and empowers teen girls through career exploration, leadership development, and confidence building.
Actor brings broad range of skills to every role—onscreen and off
Ryan Duncan, BA Foreign Languages ’95, is an actor with film, theater, and television credits. His roles have included parts in Shrek the Musical and Gettin’ the Band Back Together on Broadway and Blue Bloods on CBS. He also works as a simulation specialist with Mursion, a company using virtual reality to help individuals improve communication around topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Mason author gives voice to generations of native American women
Kelli Jo Ford, MFA '07, was named to O Magazine’s list of “Native American Authors to Read Right Now,” and her debut novel, Crooked Hallelujah, was named one of the best books of 2020 by Publishers Weekly and was on the long list for the 2021 Carnegie Medal for Fiction, among other accolades.
As a first-generation college student Raquel Gonzalez, BA Integrative Studies '07 and MS Conflict Analysis and Resolution '12, didn’t have the benefit of a lot of guidance or even a clear idea of what they wanted to do once they accomplished the actual goal of getting into a college. Part of their journey to figure out where they belonged and what they wanted to do, included changing colleges to find the right community.
Marisa Krafsig, BA Psychology ’00, is the vice president and chief human resource officer for IntelliDyne LLC, an information technology consulting firm. Krafsig’s expertise in diversity, reward and recognition, talent acquisition management, and organizational and professional development has helped develop the company into a recognized employer of choice.
Daniel Lash, BS Economics ’97, is a partner at VLP Financial Advisors, a financial planning firm based in Vienna, Virginia. He has 25 years of experience in the financial planning industry, which has enabled him to forge long term client relationships built on a foundation of trust and understanding.
Washington Post video reporter Tom LeGro, BA English ’98, MFA Creative Writing ’01, was part of the team that revealed then-U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged past sexual harassment of teenage girls and the subsequent efforts to undermine the reporting that exposed it.
Jennifer Levasseur, PhD History ’14, is a curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Her collection responsibilities include the museum’s astronaut cameras, chronographs, and material focusing on the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station Program. Levasseur joined the Smithsonian in 2002 when few women were working in the space history community.
Liana Montecinos, BA Philosophy and Foreign Languages ’09, is managing attorney with Montecinos Law LLC. In the face of extraordinary hurdles as a Honduran asylee and undocumented child in Virginia, her education at Mason offered a path to success.
Rima Nasser, BA Integrative Studies ’08 Rima Nasser, BA Integrative Studies ’08, is founder and lead designer of TEW Design Studio, a boutique and full-service interior design firm in Raleigh, North Carolina.
"Sol"-utions to climate change and the road to net-zero
Sol Salinas, BA Psychology, BS Marketing '85, is a corporate sustainability expert and digital transformation global thought leader with 25 years of experience in all aspects of sustainability and digital transformation. Salinas was one of the founders of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program and served as its director of strategic planning and brand czar from 1991 to 2005.
Dr. Alexandra Sims, BA Anthropology ’09, is a primary care pediatrician and health services researcher at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. At Mason, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, while also completing the prerequisites for medical school.
Quincey Smith, BA Communication ’11, is an expert in leading marketing campaigns aimed at shifting policies and changing public narratives. He is currently a senior vice president with the New York hub of communications firm BerlinRosen and is the youngest member of their leadership team.
Erin Stephens, PhD Sociology '18, was a co-curator of "Pen, Lens & Soul: The Story of The Beautiful Project," an exhibit featuring photographs taken by girls ages 8 to 15 as part of The Beautiful Project, a North Carolina-based collective that uses photography and writing to encourage, support, and promote authentic expression of Black girls and women.
Hodei Sultan, BA Global Affairs ’07 and MS Conflict Analysis and Resolution ’11, has more than 10 years of experience working on issues related to gender, civil society, youth, peace education, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution, through her work with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
The recipient of the Department of History and Art History’s 2019 Outstanding Alumnus Award, Sean Sweeney, BA History ’00, learned the field of cyber - security without undergraduate training in information technology or computer science.
Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency, has named Nicole Tong, MFA ’07, Fairfax’s first poet laureate, the county’s highest honor awarded to a local poet.Tong is a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College, where she serves as NOVA’s college coordinator for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
Rhonda Vetere, BA Communication ’92, is chief information officer for Herbalife Nutrition and leads the information and technology strategy and technology operations. Vetere has lived and worked internationally and has managed teams of more than 20,000 technology and operations professionals in more than 160 countries.
Dvon Williams, BA Communication '06, serves as the chief communications officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, building a team of diverse communication professionals to effectively communicate the organization's work.
Deborah Willis, PhD Cultural Studies '03, is the first Mason PhD to be elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a university professor and chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where she also serves as director of the NYU Institute for African American Affairs and the Center for Black Visual Culture.
The Honorable Roderick C. Young, BA Speech Communication ’89, MA English ’94, is a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, who returned to Mason virtually in May to speak to CHSS graduates.