Profile of a Senator December 2022

Meet Rachel Spence, Staff Senator and Academic Coordinator, International Enrollment Partnerships, Enrollment Management

Rachel Spence

Role:  I manage the course mapping and degree planning components of all new partnerships for the International Enrollment Partnerships (IEP) team. I coordinate between Mason academic departments, Transfer Services, and our international partners to develop programs and pathways for international students to earn Mason degrees.

I also support students in our China 1+2+1 program. C121 is a longstanding undergraduate dual-degree program for students from China. Students spend their first undergraduate year at a partner university in China, transfer to Mason for about 2 years, complete their Mason degree requirements, and graduate from both universities. I assist with all the academic components of their experience – from transfer credits, registration, academic advising, and graduation. About 35-40 students earn their Mason degree through this program every year!

Mason journey: As a military spouse, I don’t always get a say in where I live, so I am thankful to have been a Mason employee for more than 5 years and a Virginia state employee for 12. Prior to coming to Mason, I worked at Old Dominion University for 7 years, and joined Mason Nation in 2017. I started working in the Global Education Office and transitioned to IEP in 2018. Since July 2021, I have worked fully remote from Southern California!

Best thing about working at Mason: I truly love the diversity of the faculty, staff, and students I get to interact with. I know it’s a cliché, but “our diversity is our strength” should be the official university motto.

Why I serve on the Staff Senate: I joined the Staff Senate as a direct result of the Governor’s telework policy earlier this year. As I was worried about being able to keep my remote job, I appreciated how the Staff Senate was advocating and positioning itself as the voice of all classified staff on this issue. I was so thankful for the various speakers and special sessions they held in the spring that I decided to give back and serve as a senator this year.

At the end of the day: Despite working more than 2,600 miles from Fairfax, I still feel connected to the campus. I am thankful for the tools the university offers to stay connected and the willingness of my colleagues and students to accommodate my non-standard work hours!