Distinguished College Alumni Honored at Reception

by Rashad Mulla

Distinguished College Alumni Honored at Reception

Some notable College of Humanities and Social Sciences alumni attended a special ceremony at George Mason University on Friday Oct. 5 to be recognized and honored for their achievements.

The occasion was the college’s Distinguished Alumni Reception, where 12 departments and programs recognized exemplary alumni. Those honored had been nominated by department chairs, faculty and staff, based on criteria that included professional accomplishments, awards, philanthropy, service and contributions to the college and university community.

William Carter, BA '91, government and international politics, wrote a nomination letter for news anchor Nicole Livas, BA '90, communication, who won the Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Communication. Carter mentioned Livas' character, traits, work on campus as a student and her tireless efforts throughout a professional career covering cities in Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia.

"Nicole’s illuminating charisma, proactive leadership skills, and steely-graced tenacity have served her well on the airwaves," Carter said. "Those leaner years and smaller markets were not short on some of our country’s most fascinating stories; from the sad and sobering one-year anniversaries of the Virginia Tech killings and World Trade Center attacks to being one of the first journalists herself arriving at the Kennedy Compound to report on John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s death. Nicole had a job to do, help the public understand what just happened."

Each award winner was recognized with similar detail.

Jack Censer, dean of the college, spoke at the event and introduced each award-winner.

“I am very proud of the many ways our alumni make a difference at local, national and international levels every day,” he said. "They are active in their communities in research, business, the arts, government, public service, health and education."

He added, "The tremendous achievements of our alumni are a vital piece of our success as a university."

The complete list of winners is as follows:

Department of Communication

Nicole Livas, BA ‘90 

Department of Economics

Nancy Pfotenhauer, MA '87

Department of English

Maria Bachman, MA ‘91 

Department of History and Art History

Jessica Finnefrock, MA '00

Department of Philosophy

Ali Manouchehri, BA ‘99

Department of Psychology

Nancy Cooke, BA '81

Department of Public and International Affairs

Terri Cofer Beirne, BA '88

Department of Sociology and Anthropology 

Richard Walker, MA '96

Global Affairs Program

Catherine Welch, MA '11

New Century College

Jessica Zucal, BA ’01, MS ‘09

Women and Gender Studies Program

Anahit Kay Yaghoubian, BA '03

WGMU Award – Beth Kauffman Award for Creativity

Brandon Katz, Communication, ‘14

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