BIS in Individualized Study

Constance Hall, 2021

Constance Hall

How did you choose your degree program? 

I had wanted to complete my degree in education for many years. Through the encouragement of a dear friend, I contacted the BIS program and quickly learned this was where I was supposed to be! The BIS department worked with me to create the steps I needed to move forward and graduate in the field I love.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you? 

With each class I took I became more confident and eager to see what the next semester would teach me. The professors I learned from supported and encouraged me, this gave me the strength to push forward, especially when COVID hit. With the help of amazing advisors, I took classes that gave me real world skills I am using every day at my current job. I truly enjoyed ever class I took!

What accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud of?

As an adult learner it was not easy to step into a classroom filled with students younger than my own children. You see, my story is one that spans over 30 years. In the 80's many learning disabilities were not quite understood and school was always a struggle for me, no matter how hard I worked. Over the years I learned strategies that worked and used them in each class I took here at GMU. So, the accomplishments I am most proud of during my time at Mason: that fact I did not run away after that first class, my determination to work as hard as I could to make this time in school completely different then in my past, and most importantly, knowing that I am not the student I was or thought I was all these years. My time at Mason gave me confidence in myself I did not know I had.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career? Please give an example of this impact if possible. 

There are so many faculty and staff members that made a difference in my time at Mason, each contributing their knowledge and support. I can not think of one Professor, who, at the end of the term, I did not say to my family, "Wow, I really enjoyed that class, what a great teacher!" However, several stand out as being pivotal for me. Professor Kenneth Thompson was my first professor at Mason and taught me all then new "stuff" that was now part of college. Professor Sara King clarified so much in English for me, she went over and beyond to bridge the gaps I had. Professor Janet Ha Poirot, without her the research process would not have happened; her encouragement and eagerness to help me never stopped. One person stands out the most, Dr. Lazaroff. He was both my BIS Advisor and professor. He encouraged me every step of the way, and found what teaching methods worked best for me. He was the first person I met at Mason, during my initial advisory meeting, and my first glimpse of college. It was he who said, "You are not the student you were before, forget all about that." He was right. I was blessed to have such amazing people during my journey here at Mason.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

My life long dream was to be a teacher. Following graduation I will be able to fulfill that dream as a Special Education Teacher! I am also thrilled to be starting my masters degree, here at George Mason University in the Spring.