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School of Education - George Mason University

Featured Master's Alumni

Molly Owens

I attended the Educational Psychology Accelerated Master’s Program in Fall 2013 and graduated Spring 2015. I chose this program because it is a one-year program, I loved the professors and no GRE requirement! The program was extremely flexible in regards to research opportunities and internship opportunities for credit. I would not be as successful as I am today without my classmates, staff & professors. Everyone was extremely supportive and open to hearing how to own my education.


I interned with the United States Olympic Committee in Coaching Education and Government Affairs. While interning I was able to take 4 Graduate Classes (2 via Skype while I was in Colorado). I assisted coaches from National Governing Bodies with day to day tasks. I also created an online coaching & sport psychology website. I was a leadership coach at the IMG Academy. While I was there, I worked with students, Olympians and professional athletes in regards to communication training, inter/intra personal skills and teamwork. I helped develop the leadership core curriculum for all stakeholders and sport performance staff.

I also interned with the U.S. State Department in Sport Diplomacy. I worked with athletes and coaches from across the world in regards to sport. I assisted the program and grant managers with scheduling classes, assisting visitors with culture shock and day to day activities.

I'm currently a Career Developer at Dev Bootcamp in Chicago, IL. I assist graduates and alumni with career readiness techniques including resume, cover letter, networking, salary negotiation and technical interviews. I also create connections with employers who are looking to hire Junior Developers and interns by creating relationships with employers across the country.

The classes on Human Development, Culture & Intelligence, Motivation and Program Evaluation are aspects of my education I’ve used for every prior and current position. I find myself using my education in regards to student 1:1 meetings and evaluating internship programs at other companies. I used my program evaluation education in order to evaluate the USOC Internship program in order to improve the overall program for future interns and stakeholders. I used my education in Human Development and Culture & Intelligence when working with students, international coaches and athletes. I am able to bring empathy to every relationship I have due to what I’ve studied and experienced with my prior positions.

Featured Doctoral Student

Asia Williams

I entered the Ed Psych program with an interest in peer/cross age mentoring and tutoring. In almost every one of my classes, I was able to explore the topic further. One day in my Theories of Learning and Cognition course, Dr. Sheridan talked about a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that she was awarded with her colleague Dr. Kevin Clark, Professor in the Learning Technologies Design Research (LTDR) program. I asked Dr. Sheridan if I could volunteer since her program funded by NSF grant would use a peer mentor model to teach video game design. She requested a copy of my resume and shortly thereafter offered me a position as Graduate Research Assistant (GRA). I had no idea that those positions existed and was thrilled that not only would I receive a modest stipend, the university would also pay for six of my academic credits.


I stopped working as an academic coach, leaving behind a career that was potentially lucrative, to give full attention to my GRA responsibilities. Early in my work in the game design program, I met Dr. Erin Peters-Burton who consulted as a subject matter expert. Dr. Peters-Burton was a mentor for me then and continues to be now.

Dr. Sheridan and Dr. Clark were instrumental in encouraging me to apply and participate in national and international conferences such as AERA, ISTE and SITE. They made clear the importance of joining these professional organizations. As a result of Dr. Sheridan and Dr. Clark’s mentoring, another GRA, who was then a doctoral student, and I published an article about the game design program in a peer-reviewed journal. As a GRA, I learned about grant funding for academic research and gained hands-on practical skills in qualitative research, particularly as a participant-observer. For my master’s thesis, I wrote a case study about peer mentoring and tutoring which resulted from both my coursework and position as a (GRA). Though I was a MS student in Ed Psych, opportunities for presentations and publication prepared me well for a future in academia.

My work with Dr. Sheridan and Dr. Clark as a GRA was a tremendous impetus for applying to Mason’s doctoral program in Education. I entered the doctoral program with a very strong foundation for all of my Research Methods classes because of earning a degree in Ed Psych. My coursework for the MS in Ed Psych program also had professional applications. On a two-year hiatus from the doctoral program, I was instrumental in launching a Title 1 elementary school’s STEM program. In my pedagogical practice, I regularly used theories of learning and cognition to design lessons. For classroom management, I considered the importance of fostering intrinsic motivation while using extrinsic motivators intentionally. I gained knowledge about learning and cognition that affects my family personally from the Ed Psych program. I try my best to scaffold my children's metacognition. My two terrific teens and I discuss attributing their intellectual capabilities to a growth mindset and why their academic progress is linked to their degree of self-regulation. This is particularly important as my son enters his junior year and will soon apply to college and my daughter begins her freshman year in high school.