Joisanne Rodgers, Director, Contemporary Student Services
Dr. Joisanne Rodgers (she, her) is a first-generation college student, a post-traditional student, a lifelong learner, and an educator passionate about post-traditional and contemporary students. Dr. Rodgers has worked in higher education for nearly 20 years in various roles, including admissions and recruitment, advising and success coaching, housing and residence life, marketing and outreach, retention initiatives, and student success initiatives. As Director of Contemporary Student Services, Dr. Rodgers leads a fantastic team of advocates and champions serving Mason’s contemporary student population. The team collaborates and partners throughout the Mason community to support contemporary student belonging, thriving, and success.
Dr. Rodgers earned a bachelor’s in political science and dance studies from Allegheny College, a master’s in student affairs in higher education from Western Kentucky University, a specialist’s in leadership from American College of Education, and a doctorate in leadership with a focus in higher education from American College of Education. Her research interests include post-traditional and contemporary students, mitigation and elimination of institutional barriers, and student success and retention.
Shyama Kuver, Associate Director, Contemporary Student Services
Shyama Kuver (she, her, herself) is an artist and educator who is passionate about creating inclusive campus spaces for all of Mason’s community members. She grew up in pre-tech San Francisco, where she was inspired by the rich diversity of cultures, beliefs, and the city’s innate sense of creativity. These experiences are what have led her to pursue a career in education, where every day she is motivated by Mason’s students and professionals.
On campus her position is designed to assess the gaps in service that may emerge for contemporary students and how Mason can uniquely provide support for those students. By working closely with campus and community partners, she aspires to make Mason a space where all students feel a sense of belonging and thrive as they pursue their goals.
Some of her research interests include quantitative and decolonial research methods, diversity and equity, and inclusion on post-secondary campuses, and surveillance modalities on campus and how they may affect student learning.
Caroline Simpson, Coordinator, Contemporary Students
Caroline Simpson (she, her, hers) is passionate about contemporary student success. She is a double Mason alum, receiving her Bachelors in Public Administration and her Masters in Higher Education and Student Development. During her time as an undergraduate student she was transfer student who lived off-campus which is what inspired her to begin working with contemporary populations. In her free time she loves to hike, read, and play with her cats. She is happy to connect with you anytime! You can email her to set up a time or find time on Navigate.
Matt McLaughlin, Coordinator, Off-Campus Students
Matt McLaughlin (He, They) is an enthusiastic advocate for contemporary students. Matt comes to Mason from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Affairs as a single parent, adult learner, and off-campus student. The experience inspired him to work with and support contemporary students at Mason. As off-campus coordinator, Matt will supervise and support the contemporary student advisor program and the contemporary student lounge at Mason. He will also work closely with campus and community partners to provide students with resources and support for living off-campus. Outside of Mason, Matt enjoys spending time with his 7-year-old daughter and designing and playing tabletop games. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to him!
Louise Higgins, Office Manager, Contemporary Student Services
Louise Higgins (she, her, hers) is the Office Manager for Contemporary Student Services. She is honored to support a dedicated and enthusiastic team devoted to all George Mason University students’ well-being. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Louise has a diverse background. Most recently, she was at Gunston Hall, the historic home of George Mason. One of her proudest accomplishments has been her research support for the exhibit, Revolutionary Rights. In her free time, Louise enjoys spending time with her four grown children who live in the area.
Alexia Ferguson, Graduate Professional Assistant
Alexia is a Graduate Assistant for Contemporary Student Services. She is getting a master’s in sociology and previously received a bachelor’s in global studies and political science. She is a first gen student from Michigan and hopes to one day go into policy! She has a lot of experience with studying abroad, being a collegiate athlete, and being involved on campus. She would love to talk to you about all her experiences so stop by and see her in HUB 1014/1012!
Our Contemporary Student Staff Team
The Contemporary Student Staff team is a group of contemporary students (just like you!) that act as peer mentors to give information about available student resources, highlight opportunities for student involvement, and provide social support! Contemporary Student Mentors are not academic advisors: they cannot give information on what classes to choose for the upcoming semester, whether or not you should drop a class, or advise you on your studies (if that is what you need, click here). They can, however, give you more information about the university, help you get involved, how to find off-campus housing, and provide advice and support on how to make the most of your off-campus student life! Set up a virtual meeting with a contemporary student mentor by clicking here.