Peraton Awards George Mason Honors College Students National Security Scholarship

George Mason University

May 9, 2024

The Honors College at George Mason University and Peraton awarded 10 students the selective Peraton Scholarship in National Security at the conclusion of the Spring Semester. Award winners are committed to advancing the field of national security: “It means so much to be able to be financially supported for something that I care so much about,” says award winner Dominique Harper, a Computational Data Science major with a minor in Intelligence Studies.

Peraton is an innovative national security company with over 500 George Mason University graduates as employees. The Peraton Scholarship in National Security is awarded to George Mason Honors College students who will contribute to the next generation of national security solutions. Funded by a generous donation from Peraton, each recipient receives financial support for their studies and academic enrichment.

“As the state of national security continues to change, we are evolving in lockstep to meet new challenges as they arise,” said Stu Shea, chairman, president, and CEO, Peraton. ”Peraton and I are proud to support George Mason’s next generation of problem solvers, critical thinkers, and solution architects who will help protect the nation today and prepare it for tomorrow through this scholarship.”

Many award winners underscore the opportunities that this award will enable them to pursue. Joshua Farmer, a Conflict Analysis and Resolution major with a minor in Intelligence Studies says he “will be able to take on additional field experiences that otherwise would not have been possible without the support of the Peraton Scholarship.” Farmer is currently studying European perspectives on intelligence work in Spain. Similarly, Jacob Little, a Computer Engineering major, says “This award will give me more time to explore myself and my interests.”

Many top performing students are faced with choices between opportunities that will help them advance academically while building the skills necessary to address tomorrow’s grand challenges and earning the money needed to support themselves. Award winner Brynne Severns, a Forensic Science major studying biometrics indicates that “This award is going to allow me to step back from a couple of my jobs and really have time to focus on my internship. I’m interning federally this year and really take the time to dive into my studies and continue my education in the field of national security.” Olivianna Watkins, a Government and International Politics major, notes that the award will enable her to take “an internship that I would rather do, rather than just having to go work, financially.”

Award winners include:

  • Avery Boardman, Government and International Politics
  • J.I.B., Government and International Politics
  • Joshua Farmer, Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Dominque Harper, Computational Data Science
  • Jacob Little, Computer Engineering
  • Paul Russell, Cyber Security Engineering
  • Brynne Stevens, Forensic Science
  • Ayesha Shaik, Computer Science
  • Griffin Wack, Global Affairs
  • Rachel Wang, Cyber Security Engineering
  • Olivianna Watkins, Government and International Politics

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2023, the University launched Mason Now: Power the Possible, a $1 billion comprehensive campaign to support student success, research, innovation, community, and sustainability. Learn more at

About the George Mason University Honors College

The George Mason University Honors College inspires the most motivated undergraduate students from all backgrounds to pursue the most impactful educational and civic engagement experiences available to them. The Honors College offers students a supportive, tight-knit college community, the resources of Virginia’s largest research university, and multidisciplinary learning opportunities that complement all majors. The Honors College builds the communication and collaboration skills necessary to address the challenges of the present and future in its curriculum, co-curricular programming, and community. Learn more at

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