Dawn Aponte


Administrative Assistant, Washington Scholars Program

Dawn Aponte is an Administrative Assistant for the Washington Scholars Program (WSP) and K-12 Partnerships Program Office, within the Office of Admissions at George Mason University. Dawn joined the team in 2012, following a career with the U.S. Dept. of Justice. She loves supporting the WSP summer programs, the students and their families, and her teammates. In her opinion, Mason is an inspirational and progressive place to learn and serve. Dawn spends her free time outdoors as much as possible and loves to read and be with her young-adult children.

Speakers Uncategorized

Dr. Kathryn (Kate) M. Rodriguez-Clark

Kate recently joined the National Zoo after more than 15 years as a staff scientist in the Population Ecology and Genetics Lab at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC), in Caracas, Venezuela. She started at IVIC fresh out of graduate school at Cambridge and Princeton, and followed her time there with two years as an associate researcher at the Venezuelan conservation NGO Provita. Her PhD research focused on examining the effects of modern zoo population management on quantitative genetic variation in captivity and the wild, and her early work in Venezuela focused on helping zoos there develop an effective ex-situ conservation strategy for Andean bears, taking into account both wild and captive population pressures. In her new role as a National Zoo Secretary Scholar, Kate collaborates with colleagues across the Smithsonian and around the world to understand and manage the demographic and genetic challenges faced by NZP/SCBI’s huge diversity of ex situ populations, in order to ensure the integration and success of the Smithsonian’s in situ and ex situ conservation efforts.

Uncategorized Youth Advisory Board

Justin Lee

Justin is senior at Chantilly High School in Chantilly VA, and he is excited to be part of the Youth Advisory Board for WYSE 2018. He absolutely loved his time on the George Mason campus during WYSE 2017 and would give almost anything to relive that week. His interest in environmental science stems from his father who raised him in his home in the Shenandoah Valley. He loves the Appalachian Mountains and Shenandoah Valley a great deal, and his goal in life is to help preserve them in order to make sure that he can raise his children the way that his dad raised his. Justin is currently a tour guide at Skyline Caverns, routinely taking people over 250 feet underground and telling them all about the very rare crystal formations. One of his favorite pastimes is to go up onto the roof of his home in the mountains and take pictures of the beautiful sunsets and the awesome wildlife.