Profile of a Senator December 2021

Meet Hugh Bayard, Staff Senator and Grants Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs

Role: I assist in facilitating all aspects of the proposal submission process to ensure proposals meet federal, sponsor and university guidelines. When Mason receives an award, I conduct initial reviews to certify that all aspects of the award execution are handled in a timely manner. I get the opportunity to work with research faculty and administrators conducting world-class research, scholarship, and creative work. It is gratifying to gain first-hand experience in supporting the university’s strategic goal of $225 million in sponsored research expenditures by 2024.

Why I love Mason: While my Mason journey officially started in June 2019 at the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), it really began years earlier during a campus tour as an undergraduate McNair Summer Scholar at the University of Delaware. This is when I was initially exposed to Mason’s thriving research community, and this experience led me back to Mason as a young professional. Working in OSP, I love being a part of one of the most critical aspects of the university’s purpose and mission – research of consequence.

Fun facts: I am an ultra-marathon runner who has also maintained a plant-based diet for nearly four years. I, however, have a great weakness for Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, and it should come as no surprise why eating Whoppers tend to keep me running. I love exploring the DMV area, jaw-dropping hiking trails, and cycling in my free time. As a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc., I enjoy serving my community and providing advocacy.

The best things about working for Mason: The university community has certainly been one of my favorite factors about working for Mason because I have met colleagues who I now consider lifelong friends. I am also constantly inspired by learning about everyone’s impact. With Mason’s commitment to an enriching work environment, I take full advantage of professional development opportunities by attending workshops, lectures and networking events. Most recently, I have been admitted to the Schar School of Policy and Government’s Master’s of Public Policy program where I hope to contribute to research more directly in one of the many research centers, institutes or initiatives.

Why I serve on Staff Senate: From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have witnessed all of us stay committed to keeping the campus community safe and healthy. I was particularly motivated by our university’s administration, faculty and staff in continuing the work of Mason during a time when emergency public health measures upended our daily fabrics of life. In the push to return to campus, becoming a Staff Senator was an opportunity taken to not only represent my peers but continue to learn about Mason and the accomplishments across our campuses.

At the end of the day: I enjoy my job as it is not only exciting to be a part of Mason’s strategic research goals but also to be a part of a community where our work is recognized worldwide. I genuinely feel that I am growing with Mason, and I know that you’ve either seen or heard about all those new Mason buildings to come. 😊