Greg Johnson

  • November 22, 2022

    In late October 2022, Latifa Sharifi and her three sons reached the safety of American soil after evading Taliban pursuit for more than a year. The acclaimed human rights attorney had been placed at the top of the Taliban’s kill list, following the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan in September 2021. For more than a year, she lived in a purgatory marked by narrow escapes by mere seconds and minutes, followed by seemingly endless stretches of anguish and uncertainty. When she finally walked through the arrivals gate and into the loving embrace of family at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, her back bowed and her emotions flowed. The bright lights of the terminal were a welcome end to a year spent hiding in the shadows and living in the dark. Her sons were her focus, her faith was her foundation, and an international team of relative strangers had been her lifeline.

  • November 15, 2022

    As a graduate of a local high school, Victor Kolbay, BS Accounting ’15, was familiar with George Mason University long before he registered for his first course. Choosing to live on campus for the first year, he became immersed in the culture, loving every moment of it, including his participation in the Green Machine, Mason’s renowned pep band. Of course, he enjoyed his classes and learned a lot, but the rest of his Mason experience was just as fulfilling. Kolbay, now an accounting manager at Logenix International, holds dear to his heart the events, buildings, faculty members, and hangout spots that made his student experience so special. 

  • November 8, 2022

    Never one to back down from a challenge, Alaleh Jenkins, BS Accounting ’97, immigrated to the United States as a teenager without speaking any English. As a student at George Mason University, she enrolled in basic English classes and quickly became fluent in English while also excelling in her other courses. Focused on academics as well as adjusting to and succeeding in a new country, she took advantage of Mason’s job fairs, landing a job at a major CPA firm after graduation.  “I got a lot of tough love at my first job and I will be forever grateful to my employer for pushing me out of my comfort zone,” Jenkins says.

  • November 7, 2022

    “The foundation for the success that I’m experiencing today came from my Mason education,” says Jason Chesky, BS Finance ’12. To help current George Mason University finance students build foundations of their own, he established the Jason M. Chesky Endowed Scholarship. Knowing full-well how challenging the cost of higher education can be to some, and the barriers it can create, Chesky wanted to make things a little easier for students and allow them the opportunity to  focus on their education.

  • November 1, 2022

    Despite living and working in the Atlanta metropolitan area, Michael VanPatten, MBA ’90, never lost touch with Mason. Immediately receptive to post-graduation calls from the alumni relations team, he was eager to connect with alumni and assist students in attaining an MBA. The positive experience he had at Mason, with instructors who had working knowledge in the areas they were teaching, encouraged his continued engagement.

  • October 27, 2022

    Reflecting on his career path in the three decades following his graduation from George Mason University, George Cabalu, BA Economics ’92, is grateful that he chose the green and gold. In fact, with the university rapidly climbing ranks across the board, his degree has never been more valuable. Cabalu, who is now a Managing Director at Wells Fargo Advisors, is extending a helping hand to students by establishing the Cabalu Scholarship Endowment, geared toward School of Business students of Asian descent and from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • October 26, 2022

    In her quest to gain a better understanding of people, the mechanisms of the world around her, and advances in science and technology, Prachi Vakharia has taken on many roles simultaneously. Presently, she is a transportation and innovation specialist at Amazon, associate partner at European boutique investment bank ImprovedCF, and co-founder of Womanium. She does all this while also serving on several advisory boards, including as chairperson of the Business for a Better World Center (B4BW) Advisory Board at George Mason University’s School of Business. 

  • October 20, 2022

    With the daytime dedicated to her nine-to-five job and evenings occupied with coursework, the financial support that Kaylene Green, BS Accounting & Legal Studies ’87, received from her employer was integral to her success. Now the president and CEO of Flagship Government Relations, Inc., she makes sure to return the favor, supporting the business students of her alma mater.

  • October 18, 2022

    To overcome the challenges of running a business during the pandemic, Craftsman Auto Care’s Matt and Judy Curry demonstrated exceptional skill as innovators and entrepreneurs, taking extensive measures to make the vehicle maintenance process as safe and easy as possible for their customers. Following COVID restrictions, the couple has parlayed their company’s successes into a sixth location. Their significant presence and established business expertise in the Northern Virginia community has made them valued partners of the School of Business at George Mason University, most specifically the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).  

  • October 5, 2022

    Since the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship’s (CREE) inception a dozen years ago, its advisory board, comprised of the region’s senior leaders from across the real estate industry, has been a staunch supporter of developing the next generation. As both the center and the master’s in real estate development program (MRED) mature, former students who have advanced in the careers and become industry leaders themselves, are coming back to support the program that helped them along their way.