About Us

About the Office of Graduate Student Life

Graduate Student Life is dedicated to supporting the success and well-being of Mason graduate students by:

  • Providing community-building, professional development, and personal development programs
  • Connecting graduate students to campus resources
  • Identifying and advocating for graduate student needs

Graduate Student Life was created as a unit of the Division of University Life in 2011 with the creation of a graduate assistant position and the opening of the Graduate Student Center on the third floor of the Johnson Center. The Graduate Student Life website was created as a partnership between University Life and the Office of the Provost and was launched in Summer 2012; focus groups of faculty members, campus offices, and graduate students informed the content and organization of the website. The Director of Graduate Student Life position was created in 2012.

Graduate Student Life Staff

Julie Choe Kim, Ph.D., Director

Julie joined the Mason community as Director of Graduate Student Life in October 2012. She has worked in student affairs in higher education for more than 20 years in areas including graduate student life, student activities, multicultural affairs, and residence life.  Her research interests include Asian American students, student development, multiple identities, intersectionality, and graduate student success. Julie received her Ph.D. in Student Affairs from the University of Maryland at College Park; she received her master’s degree in Counselor Education and bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia. Outside work, Julie enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.

Julie’s office is located at Student Union Building I (SUB 1), Room 3326.

Austin A. Deray, Assistant Director (interim)

Picture of Austin A. Deray

Austin joined the Mason community as Graduate Assistant of Graduate Student Life in August of 2016, after  over ten years working in higher education both as a faculty member and Higher Ed professional. Attending George Mason University as a doctoral student in Cultural Studies, his research interests looks at the lived experiences of students of color in historically white fraternities. His current fields of research are titled “From Men’s Studies to Masculine Theory” and “Film and Media Studies,” both focusing masculine identity formation and historical evolution. As the Interim Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life, his primary focus is Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Community Building, and Well-Being initiatives & programing for Mason’s graduate and professional student populations. When free of responsibilities, he is an avid reader, traveler, foodie, and open to discuss any argument uttered in earshot.

Austin’s office is located at Student Union Building I (SUB 1), Room 3324. His number is 703-993-5582.

Nikita Thadani, Graduate Professional Assistant, Graduate Student Engagement

Nikita is the newest member of the Graduate Student Life team, working as Graduate Professional Assistant for Graduate Student Engagement! She is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Medicine & Society and Visual Arts. During her undergraduate career, Nikita worked in student programming with her university’s programming board VTU and participated in psychological research on college sexual assault and trauma. At Mason, Nikita is pursuing her M.Ed. in Counseling and Development, with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In her free time, she loves drinking coffee, reading, baking, hiking, painting, and taking care of her plants.

Nikita’s email address is nthadani@gmu.edu.

Contact Us

By Mail:
Office of Graduate Student Life
4400 University Drive, MS 2A4
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-993-4031
Fax: 703-993-9528
Email: gradlife@gmu.edu




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