Distinguished Alumni

Congratulations to our 2023 Carter School Distinguished Alumni, Joseph J. Yarsiah, MS '14!

This award recognizes graduates who represent the Carter School and Mason at the highest levels of excellence, thrive in their professional and personal endeavors, and create positive change in their local and global communities. 

Joseph Yarsiah is the country director for Give Directly Liberia which is the world's largest NGO dedicated exclusively to providing unconditional cash assistance to the impoverished. The program’s positive impact is inspiring and Yarsiah's leadership continues in humanitarian responses, especially in Liberia's northeastern region, plagued with military insurgencies, famine, displacement, and interchanging drought disasters.

Congratulations to 2023 George Mason University Senior of the Year, Hannah Adamson, BA '23!

The only student award presented by the Mason Alumni Association, the Senior of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions to Mason and the community by an undergraduate senior.

Hannah Adamson actively serves as a Carter School ambassador, is part of the Mason Environmental Justice Alliance, and serves as the office coordinator for the Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation. Her global field experience includes travels to Kenya, Finland and Spain. Adamson has co-authored published articles, and was part of the fall 2022 Presidential Leadership Cohort. 

Carter School Distinguished Alumni of the Year

Past Recipients

2024 –  (current)

2023 – Joseph “Jay” Yarsiah, MS ‘14 

2022 – David Cunningham, MS ‘01

2020 – Lewis Dabney, MS ‘99

2019 – Leila Peterson, MS ‘99

2018* – Min Zaw Oo, MS ’02, PhD ’10 

2017 – Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, MAIS ’96, PhD ’06

2016 – Maya Kapsokavadis, ‘09

2015 – Tatsushi Arai, PhD ’05

2014 – Ibrahim Sharqieh, PhD ’06

2013 – Susan Shearhouse, MS ’88

2012 – Craig Zelizer, PhD ’04

2011 – Mary Wade, PhD ’05

2010 – Lisa Schirch, MS’94, PhD’99

2009 – Mohammed Abu-Nimer, PhD’93

* In 2018, the Mason Alumni Association celebrated its 50th anniversary and recognized 50 Alumni ExemplarsMin Zaw Oo, MS ’02, PhD ’10 of the Carter School was among this distinguished group. 


Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D) Award

The G.O.L.D. Award recognizes graduates of the last 10 years who have made significant contributions to their profession, and/or their community already, and who have significant promise for continued leadership, service to their community, and future career success.

2022 – Raquel Gonzalez, ’07, MS ‘12

Alumni Service Award

The Alumni Service Award was established in 1989 and is given annually to a George Mason University alum in recognition of their continuous and exceptional service to Mason and the community at large.

2020Robert Harris, MS ‘96, PhD ‘03 and Ilana Shapiro, PhD ‘03