About Graduate Student Life

The Office of Graduate Student Life is dedicated to supporting the success and well-being of Mason graduate students.

Graduate Student Life focuses on:

  • 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, Interim Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life


Austin joined the Mason community as a Graduate Professional Assistant for Graduate Student Life in August of 2016, after over ten years working in higher education both as a faculty member and Higher Ed professional. As the Interim Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life, his primary focus is Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Community Building, and Well-Being initiatives & programming for Mason’s graduate and professional student populations and oversees the management of the units communications. 

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 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.

Nikita’s office is located at Student Union Building I (SUB 1), Room 4012. Her email address is nthadani@gmu.edu.

Bernard Atieme, Graduate Professional Assistant, Leadership and Advising

Headshot image of Bernard Atieme

Bernard Atieme serves as Graduate Student Life's Graduate Professional Assistant for Leadership and Advising, working closely with the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). He has extensive experience mentoring student leaders and supporting student organizations in his academic and professional life. Bernard is currently a doctoral candidate at Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Mason. His master’s degree was in political science, emphasizing politics and public policy. His research interests include democratization, contentious politics, and election violence. Currently Bernard is working on his dissertation, exploring why people participate in election violence. He reads, plays soccer, listens to music, and watches movies in his leisure time. His new adventure is DJing.

Bernard's office is located at Student Union Building I (SUB 1), Room 4012. His email address is batieme@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

Our office: 

Student Union Building I (SUB 1), Rooms 3326, 3324, and 4012

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030




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