Meet Alyssa Goff: Staff Senator and Administrator, Freshman Programs, Global Education Office
ROLES: My primary role is to recruit, retain, and engage our ever-growing 200+ freshmen Global Gateway students who study abroad their second semester at Mason through the Global Education Office (GEO). This position has allowed me to grow in many of my strengths from social media management to building a rapport with our cohort via engagement programs to teaching UNIV-108, a specialized transition to Mason course. Teaching UNIV-108 is my favorite duty because it keeps me connected to the students.
COVID-19 TRANSITION: Like all Mason offices, GEO had to pivot our programs from in-person to virtual as much as we could, given study abroad is all about the experience. Our team had to find creative alternatives such as virtual internships and virtually attending a school abroad. Global Gateway was able to send 35 freshmen to Mason Korea for the Spring 2021 semester, and COVID-19 certainly added another level of stress for their transportation. Six hundred students studied abroad, interned abroad, or enrolled in virtual international experiences. It has been a busy time transitioning to telework and monitoring the pandemic around the world but it has also shined a light on many new online opportunities!
MASON JOURNEY: I began my Mason journey as a freshman in fall 2014! Time truly flies seven year later. My professional journey started in 2018, and I started my graduate coursework with the Tuition Exemption Benefit offered to all Mason staff. I completed my M.A. in Higher Education this year. In my three years, I have worked in a variety of offices within the university, and I am so grateful for the unique experiences contributing to where I am today in GEO. From undergraduate student to the role I have now, I hope my mix of experiences leads to being a successful Staff Senator offering a different perspective.
WHY I SERVE ON STAFF SENATE: I wanted to be a voice for the new staff who are finding their place at Mason and connect with more colleagues across campus. Staff Senate is a great place to remember why we work here and help each other out.
AT THE END OF THE DAY: I am a young professional, new dog-mom, and excited to see where Mason will take me! I wear many hats on and off campus, and I look forward to this new opportunity to improve Mason for our staff. GEO is a place for students to have a study abroad experience and also a place for individuals to grow and prosper. Mason has given me so much since I was a student, and I enjoy being able to give back through my work with Staff Senate.
Fast Facts about the Global Education Office
- Students can choose from among more than 220 programs.
- GEO maintains more than 100 partnerships in over 60 countries.
- Each year GEO offers $500,000 in scholarships for study abroad.
- Pre-pandemic, more than 1,750 students studied abroad during the academic year.
- The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and South Korea are among the most popular destinations.
- Global Gateway has become a signature program for GEO and Mason, currently enrolling more than 200 students for the new academic year.
- Some students participate in multiple programs and even graduate early.
Follow GEO and the Global Gateway