Kendria Mason named First-Year Experiences coordinator
Kendria Mason has been named the coordinator of First-Year Experiences, the universitywide program supporting the academic transition of new Virginia Tech students.
“Virginia Tech has a uniquely structured First-Year Experiences program with award-winning faculty, whom I’m looking forward to collaborating with,” said Mason. “The first year of college can set the trajectory for our students’ education, and my hope in this position is to work with our faculty and campus partners to provide students with the tools to be successful through graduation and the rest of their lives.”
Prior to joining the university, Mason received a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs with a concentration in student affairs from the University of South Carolina. While pursuing the degree, Mason also served as a coordinator and advisor for the university’s Department of Housing and Residence Life, where she engaged with hundreds of first-year students. While pursuing her master’s degree, Mason also taught a specialized section of University 101 for TRIO students in the University of South Carolina’s First-Year Experience Program.
“That experience allowed me to see students outside the classroom in situations that ranged from their most vulnerable to moments when they achieved something they’d spent a semester working toward,” said Mason. “The college experience has changed in recent years, in part from the pandemic, and being able to interact with so many students has helped me understand how I can better support them as they start the next stage of their education.”
First-Year Experiences (FYE) courses are foundational classes that are taught in every college and support the academic transition for students arriving at Virginia Tech. The courses are housed in each department and reflect the strategic direction, mission, and culture of that unit. During the 2021-22 academic year, faculty taught more than 150 sections of FYE courses for the more than 8,000 first-year and transfer students who started arriving on campus last fall.
“I’m extremely excited that Kendria has joined our team,” said Stephen Biscotte, assistant provost for undergraduate education. “I believe that with her experience in FYE, passion for supporting students and faculty, and collaborative and thoughtful nature, she will be a great asset to the First-Year Experience program and community.”
Prior to pursuing a master’s degree at University of South Carolina, Mason received a Bachelor of Educational Studies at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina.