Understand. Innovate. Succeed. George Mason University | College of Science | Annual Report 2022-2023

A message from College of Science Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

It has been an incredibly productive, successful, and rewarding year full of innovative ideas accomplished and bold aspirations established. In the face of national enrollment declines and uncertainty, we celebrate George Mason University boldly expanding our academic and research footprint, graduating and enrolling more students than ever before, supported by our college enrollment and research growth, highly regarded programs, and diverse community.

Our innovative approaches to research and discovery continue to push into new frontiers of science.

This report shares but a few of our successes and partnerships in data, space, forensics, ecosystem health, sustainability, climate, and community building. Despite our fast pace, we stop and recognize the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students, and collaborators anchored by our collectively confirmed mission: A vibrant future for all, informed by science. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.


The College of Science continues to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and education. Over the past year, Mason Science faculty led collaborations and advised governments and organizations across diverse domains including space, data, energy, climate, agriculture, and quantum materials among many disciplines. The college also launched programming to expand the intellectual curiosity of the next generation of scientists. Whether inside or outside the classroom, our science community cultivates a promising research future for new frontiers. Photo by Sierra Guard/Creative Services/George Mason University.


Mason Science research continues to expand, with research expenditures growing an accumulated 13 percent between July 2020 and July 2023. Faculty and students work to solve grand problems from assisting the USDA’s goal to increase crop production and decrease the environmental footprint to studying therapeutics that could better protect the health of military personnel. The college is proud of its Mason Science community members who continue to receive grants, fellowships, and awards in recognition of their academic and scholarly work. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.


The College of Science shows no signs of slowing down in its mission to enable future successes through the advancements in scientific discovery and knowledge sharing. This past year saw ambitious student researchers earning competitive grants to support their work, continued efforts to provide an inclusive and equitable science community, as well as recognition for our Mason Science researchers with the most patents and largest commercialization in Mason’s history. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.

Meet the newest members of the College of Science Leadership Team

(L-R) Gerald Weatherspoon and Jennifer Bazaz Gettys. Photos by Creative Services/George Mason University.

Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Affairs

In July 2023, Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon joined the College of Science Dean’s leadership team as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Affairs. A well-known leader and scholar within the Mason community, he will provide leadership, vision, advocacy, and oversee execution for the college’s Office of Student Affairs. Weatherspoon joined Mason in 1996 as a tenure track assistant professor. For the past seven years, he served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Under his leadership, the department’s doctoral program is now ranked in U.S. News & World Report; a materials chemistry concentration for undergraduates has been approved; a science and policy certificate for graduate students has been approved by SCHEV; a chemistry capstone course for undergraduates has been recently approved; a full-time undergraduate coordinator with a science and education background has been hired to focus on recruitment, retention, and degree completion issues; undergraduate and graduate student attendance at scientific conferences has increased exponentially; and placement of bachelor's degree awardees in Tier-1 doctoral programs nationwide is the new norm. Learn about his impact on the Mason science community and past achievements.

Jennifer Bazaz Gettys, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Enrollment

In March 2023, Jennifer Bazaz Gettys joined the College of Science leadership team as the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Enrollment. Part of the college administration since 2011, Bazaz Gettys will continue to oversee the college’s enrollment, facilitate and guide curricula development and optimization, and manage academic affairs for the college. With this change, her role will pivot to a more strategic and long-term mindset as many of the routine tasks will be delegated to a direct report.

Admirably serving our college for more than a decade, Bazaz Gettys was a crucial player in the college and university’s extremely favorable Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation in 2022, and has represented and advocated for the college on numerous university-level committees, including: Mason Academic Assessment Council, Academic Enrollment Planning Team, Cross-college Curriculum Committee, and others. Bazaz Gettys received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in psychology from Mason, and will soon complete a Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program.

College Leadership

Our deans and department chairs provide the vision to connect the students, faculty, and partners to their various disciplines. Contact our leadership to learn how you can support and engage our students' learning, research, and programs.

Chairs and Directors

Mark D. Uhen, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences

Geraldine Grant, Biology

William J. Hahn, Biomedical Sciences

Andre Clayborne (interim), Chemistry and Biochemistry

Jason Kinser, Computational and Data Sciences

Amy Fowler (interim), Environmental Science and Policy

Mary Ellen O'Toole, Forensic Science

Dieter Pfoser, Geography and Geoinformation Science

Maria Emelianenko, Mathematical Sciences

Saleet Jafri, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience

Paul So, Physics and Astronomy

Iosif Vaisman, School of Systems Biology

College Administration

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, Dean

Ali Andalibi, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship

Jennifer Bazaz Gettys, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Enrollment

Paula Danquah-Brobby, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Cody Edwards, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Patrick M. Gillevet, Associate Dean for Research Operations

Audrey Kelaher, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Tracy Mason, Assistant Dean, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Meghan St. George, Chief Business Officer

Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Affairs

Dean's Advisory Board

The college appreciates the expertise and guidance provided by the distinguished team of executives on the Dean’s Advisory Board. See the full list of board membersPhoto by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.

Stay Connected #MasonScience

Keep up-to-date with the latest research, student achievement, and innovation happening in the College of Science. News and events from the college appear on our various social media channels each and every day. We would love for you to connect and engage with us. Have an interesting story to share? We want to hear about it. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.


Editors: Tracy Mason, Laura Powers

Creative Director: Natasha Gilliam

Graphic Designer: Becky Freund, Becky Creates

Writers: Shayla Brown, Priyanka Champaneri, Elizabeth Grisham, John Hollis, Colleen Kearney-Rich, Audrey Kelaher, Zander Leon, Katie Maney, Tracy Mason, Laura Powers, Lauren Reuscher, Anne Reynolds, Daniel Tong

Photography: Ron Aira/Creative Services, John Boal Photography, Shelby Burgess/Strategic Communications, Evan Cantwell/Creative Services, Natasha Gilliam, Elizabeth Greenheck, Sam Kittner, Zander Leon, Ayman Rashid/Creative Services, Douglas Rissing, Cindy Smith/PEREC, Cristian Torres/Strategic Communications

Exploring New Frontiers | Innovative Learning and Research | Mason Science Success Defined