Alumni Weekend Survey Helps Us Plan for 2011
Thank you for taking the short survey presented in October’s MasonWire. The 2011 Alumni Weekend planning committee will incorporate your feedback to make Alumni Weekend 2011 even better.
What we learned:
- Reconnecting with friends and showing off the university were the top reasons to attend Alumni Weekend.
- Many who attended were impressed with the changes to Mason and gained a sense of pride from what they saw.
- The PatriotFest BBQ and the Alumni Weekend Step-Off were well received and will return on next year’s program.
Vice President for Facilities Tom Calhoun gave a popular lecture and it will immediately precede the tours next year.
- Many respondents would like more networking opportunities and suggested a reception/partnership with our Greek community, something we will be working on for next year.
- Of those completing the survey, 94% attended Alumni Weekend 2010 and said they are very likely or likely to attend a future Alumni Weekend.
- Of those who did not attend, the top two reasons were lack of time and not knowing anyone who was attending.
Most significant of all, there was high interest in this event from those who did not attend.
Please mark your calendars for Alumni Weekend 2011, September 29 – October 2.
Alumni Profile: Dean M. Ravizza, BSEd '91 and MS Physical Education '92
Dean M. Ravizza, Ph.D., admits that his work has caused him a few sleepless nights. He sometimes relives the horrifying stories he has heard from the children in armed conflict in northern Uganda. But this just strengthens his resolve to help them.
“I have this incredible education, why not put it to work?” he said.
Ravizza, who also holds a PhD from Virginia Tech, is an assistant professor of health and sport sciences at Salisbury University in Maryland. His fieldwork in Uganda has shown that sports can provide a path to conflict resolution for children integrating back into their families and communities after being abducted by rebel soldiers and forced to commit atrocities against their countrymen.
Finding them marginalized by their communities after their escape or rescue, Ravizza initiated a sports program for boys and girls that takes a holistic approach and includes peace education and conflict resolution, HIV and malaria awareness, social inclusion of females and people with disabilities, and building positive social networks. The goal is to build self-esteem and skills through sports, which helps children successfully transition back into their communities.
To share his work and spark an interest in younger generations, Ravizza is teaching a course this fall at Salisbury called Sport for Development, Peace, and Social Change. In October, he presented at the United States Institute of Peace Symposium on Sports and Peacebuilding.
Read more about Ravizza’s work in the fall 2010 issue of Heifer International’s World Ark magazine.