George Mason University recognizes Lum, Manuel-Scott for excellence

On May 1, 2017, George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera announced the university’s first Presidential Awards for Faculty Excellence, designed to recognize exceptional teaching, research and scholarship, social impact, and diversity and inclusion. The college is extremely proud that two of our faculty members are recipients of these awards.

Wendi Manuel-Scott, director of the African and African-American Studies program and faculty member in the Department of History and Art History, was named as one of the inaugural recipients of the Alcalde Family Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion, an honor that she shares with Kevin Clark, director of Mason’s Center for Digital Media, Innovation and Diversity, and faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development.

Wendi Manuel-Scott

Manuel-Scott described herself as very humbled by the award. “I am passionate about the work I do,” she said. “It’s important to me, particularly to be able to see how it impacts students – for me, that’s the biggest reward.

I look back to when I was in school, and recall the faculty members who had an impact on my life, and I am proud to be able to pass on that academic and professional support to our students.”

Moreover, she noted, “I am proud, too, to see the university’s commitment to growing in diversity, and to be a part of that process and expand this work. I see it as legacy that I can look back on, and hope that it continues to grow while I am here and into the future.”

Cynthia Lum has been named as one of two inaugural recipients of the Williams Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Social Impact, along with Michael Nickens, Mason’s director of athletic bands and faculty member in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Lum is the director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and is a faculty member in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society.

Cynthia Lum

She appreciates the award as a reflection of the work of the center, which uses rigorous, research-based study of criminology and criminal justice to serve as an informational resource for practitioners and the policy community.

“It’s wonderful that the university recognizes both research excellence and also the impact that we have with that research,” she said. “It sends a good message: this is what we are about, it’s what distinguishes us.

“What … makes Mason unique, what makes us great, is that we have those connections across different types of communities. Not just local, state, regional, national, or international. But across diverse communities within those realms, and that’s really important.”

Manuel-Scott, Lum, and the university’s other honorees will be formally recognized at the University Commencement ceremony on May 20.