Inspired by Revolution to Study Government, She’s Now Earning a BA and Master’s Degree at the Same Time

A young woman in glasses smiles at the camera.
Nardine Mossad: The BAM program allows the senior to take graduate-level courses, condensing the time it takes to complete her master’s degree. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services

When Nardine Mosaad was 11 years old, she witnessed the protests of the 2011 Egyptian revolution firsthand. Watching from her balcony in Cairo, her eyes stung from the gas bombs exploding in the streets. Mosaad saw young students and others taking to the streets to fight for a change. She admired their tenacity and fearlessness even when the police fought back. The experience inspired her to study how governments work.

“I saw a group of young people in Egypt topple down a 30-year-old regime and it really had a profound impact on my development,” she said. “It really impressed on me how a group of young people could have a tremendous effect on how the government could be structured.”

Mosaad, a senior at the Schar School, moved to Fairfax when she was 13, and it wasn’t long after that she learned a teacher from her school in Egypt was murdered in a church bombing. That event solidified her drive to go into government, with the intention of representing those who do not have an effective public voice. Mosaad chose the Schar School because the government and international politics program is known as one of the best in the country. For her, it was important—not to mention energizing—to know she could study at a top government school.

Enrolled in Mason’s Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s (BAM) program, Mosaad is majoring in government and international politics with a concentration in international relations and a minor in French. Her accelerated master’s degree studies are in international security. The BAM program allows her to take graduate-level courses as an undergraduate, condensing the time it takes to complete her master’s degree.

“I thought, I’m just going to get my degree and leave,” she said. But when she saw “how Mason really cares about students and wants them to get involved” in issues that interest them, “that really motivated me to go out and get out of my comfort zone and talk to people.”

She immersed herself in several Schar School offerings, signing on in the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP), which provides significant research opportunities for undergraduates; joining the International Relations Policy Task Force (IRTF), which gives juniors and seniors a chance to become policy experts by researching and crafting policy recommendations; and pursuing an internship that can reinforce her studies.

Through all these available opportunities, Mosaad discovered her favorite thing about the Schar School: its diversity.

“When you listen and learn from people from all around the world, you start seeing the world from a whole different perspective,” she said.