Freshmen share their stories, dreams and hopes for Mason.


The class of 2027 just joined Mason as the newest set of freshmen. Before the academic year began, a few freshmen were asked to share where they were traveling from, their path of study, career dreams, and fun facts about themselves.

Welcome to Mason, Class of 2027.

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Sime

Freshman Joshua Sime

From Charlottesville, Virginia

What are some of your personal hobbies?

“I like playing video games, tinkering with tech, and blacksmithing.”

What are you planning to major in at Mason? What inspired you to choose it?

“I am majoring in Computer Game Design. I’ve always done a lot of programming since I was a kid, both my parents are in Computer Science and I always dreamt of making games. Ever since getting into Game Design I’ve loved it! I hope to work for Bethesda Studios one day hopefully through connections at Mason as BGS have created some of my favorite games.”

What made you pick Mason for college?

“I chose Mason because of its great Game Design Program, connections, and location. It’s close to home but also has a lot of the benefits of living right outside a big city.” 

What is something new you hope to experience at college?

“I plan to play a lot of recreational sports and join a few clubs. I’m very excited to meet new people and go do a lot of new things in Fairfax and Washington, D.C.”

Can you tell me more about the video games you have created?

“Both the games I’ve made and published so far have had the main goal of just helping to learn Game Design and give me more experience. The first was a project for my Game Design Class in Junior Year of high school with 3 other classmates and we made it in under a month. It’s inspired by the dinosaur game that plays on Chrome Browsers when you lose internet connection. 

The second game, Mineral Math, was a year-long project. I partnered with my School district and a local elementary school to create it. It’s a game around learning fractions and is meant to help elementary students learn fractions in a more engaging and fun way. I meet with a class of 5th graders a few times to get feedback on the game and what they wanted to see in it. 

Both these games are free to play and available to anyone on my Itch.io or Unity Play which can be found in my personal Instagram bio, or by going to Itch.io and searching for Sime Gaming Studios.”


Photo Courtesy of Maisha Mahjabin

Freshman Maisha Mahjabin

From Springfield, Virginia

What are some of your personal hobbies?

“I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, and hanging out with my friends.”

What are you planning to major in at Mason? What inspired you to choose this major?

“I am planning to major in Industrial and Systems engineering at Mason. My passion for mathematics and technology encouraged me to pursue a career in STEM. During my High School senior year, I had an opportunity to do a year long internship with a corporate company as an IT intern. The experiences and knowledge I got from my internship made me curious to learn more about technical and problem solving skills which eventually drove me to major in Systems engineering.”

Why did you choose Mason?

“The diversity of Mason influenced me the most. I believe Mason’s diversity can help me learn, grow, understand different perspectives and prepare me to work in a global society. I wanted to explore and experience different ways of thinking and that’s why I chose a university that recognizes the importance of diversity in higher education.”

You mentioned you had an interest in activism. How can Mason help?

“I feel very excited to join and be a part of Mason’s social awareness related activism. As I always love to learn about progressive movements, I believe GMU will give me the opportunity to learn more and actively engage in activism to raise awareness.

I am looking forward to organizing and taking part in activism to promote and increase female representation in STEM fields. As a woman pursuing a career in STEM, I feel that the biggest barrier of women in these careers are lack of social supports, opportunity, and undermining women’s ability in technical and mathematical skills. This is very important to raise awareness to create an inclusive environment where women feel more welcome pursuing their careers in STEM and get the same opportunities as men.”

What note would you leave to your future, graduating self?

“Guess what? You made it! You broke through your challenges and figured out the best for yourself. I hope you are ready and excited to start the next chapter.”


Photo Courtesy of Jade Benesh

Freshman Jade Benesh

From Summerville, South Carolina

What are some of your personal hobbies?

“Some of my hobbies include archery, reading, hiking, horseback riding, karate, sketching and painting.”

What are you planning to major in at Mason? What inspired you to choose this major?

“I am majoring in Psychology with the intent of ultimately commissioning into the military. My main form of inspiration comes from someone very special to me, who is a practicing Forensic Psychologist herself. After learning more and more about her profession, I realized this was the path for me.”

What made you pick Mason for college?

“At first, I was very unsure about which college was the right choice for me, but after visiting George Mason and seeing the different clubs, organizations, opportunities, and student support…I realized that George Mason had exactly what I was looking for in a university. I was especially impressed by George Mason’s ARMY ROTC unit, which demonstrated dedication to the ARMY core values and the success of their members. Even after these few short weeks I find that I made the right choice in choosing to become a GMU Patriot.”

As a psychology major, what is one thing you wish people knew about psychology?

“I’m sure there are many people do not actually know about psychology, just like any field of study, but my mom who is a practicing psychologist says: “I wish people knew that psychology is a science, not an art. The practice of psychology is based on research and data and takes years of study. While ‘pop’ psychology articles and taking internet quizzes can be fun, they aren’t a substitute for treatment or evaluation by a psychologist.”

What is something new you hope to learn about psychology?

“As I learn more and more about my field, I realize that I actually know very little about psychology and what it means to be a psychologist. I find there is still so much to learn about what it truly takes to learn and understand the deepest parts of people and to be able to help them understand themselves.”