EagleBank Scholarships Awarded to Exceptional Real Estate Development Students
On the heels of a major partnership with EagleBank, George Mason University and its community have already been experiencing exciting changes to benefit both institutions and the community they serve.
While one of the most notable changes thus far is the historic name change of the former Patriot Center to Eagle Bank Arena, the relationship goes far beyond a name change. The contributions from this partnership support Mason’s School of Business in many ways including student scholarships and EagleBank serving as a consultant for the master’s in real estate development program.
Two exceptional MS in Real Estate Development students, Greg Hoffman and May Abou Ghazaleh, have been awarded scholarships made possible through this partnership.
Hoffman is a Northern Virginia native who works full-time as a project manager at Manhattan Construction. When he applied to the program, Hoffman had almost 10 years of technical and management experience in the realm of general contracting for federally funded development projects. As his career evolved, he sought to expand his leadership role while focusing on real estate development holistically rather than just from a construction perspective.
“As a student, Greg contributes a strong technical insight to classroom discussions while also demonstrating his ability to master new concepts that are outside of his area of expertise,” says Kat Grimsley, director of the MS in Real Estate Development program. “To that point, Greg has maintained a 4.0 GPA over 27 credit hours of instruction. He has been a dedicated and positive force within the MS in Real Estate Development program and is certainly deserving of a scholarship to recognize and reward all his hard work.”
Finally, and perhaps most impressively, Hoffman helped bring academic victory to George Mason’s School of Business as part of the student team that won first place in the 2015 NAIOP Capital Challenge, a development case study competition between real estate students in the masters programs at George Mason, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and the University of Maryland.
Abou Ghazaleh, the other scholarship recipient, is a Syrian native with as Grimsley describes, “an incredible story who epitomizes George Mason’s value of strength through diversity and, in May’s case, also strength through adversity.”
Abou Ghazaleh was educated in her hometown of Damascus as an architect with a focus on urban planning; she later earned an MBA as part of an exchange program with a university in Barcelona, Spain. Over the course of almost 15 years, she excelled in her career, but the Syrian crisis of 2011 forced her to face personal and cultural challenges that would change her life.
After violent conditions plagued the country and threatened their safety, Abou Ghazaleh fled Syria with her children. Despite this, she is looking to the future and has embraced a responsibility to help rebuild Syria because, in her own words, there will be an “urgent need to rebuild and rehabilitate sites and cities” after all the destruction that has occurred. When she finishes her degree and it is safe to return to Damascus, Abou Ghazaleh plans to help her country define policies and development and planning strategies as a way of contributing to the rebuilding process.
“George Mason’s MS in Real Estate Development program is proud to help May gain the skills necessary to achieve this goal. Without question, May brings a unique and global perspective to the classroom, not only because she has worked in the real estate industry in a foreign environment but also through her astounding life experiences,” tells Grimsley. “She unquestioningly deserves to be supported in her academic endeavors here at George Mason.”
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