Bro. Dr. Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon was recently awarded the United Bank Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion at George Mason University. Bro. Dr. Weatherspoon is a 1982 initiate of the Alpha Beta Chapter at Jackson State University. He is a current financial member of the the Theta Tau Sigma Chapter in Northern Virginia and a Life Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.

Dr. Weatherspoon joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Mason in 1996. In 2002, he became the first African American faculty member to gain tenure in STEM at the university. Throughout his career, he has served as a champion to create an inclusive, diverse campus. Currently, Dr. Weatherspoon is the Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chief Diversity Officer for Faculty in the College of Science (COS), and a member of the Mason President’s Anti-Racism & Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force. A few of his efforts for faculty include appointing the first woman as Associate Chair (Dr. Megan Erb) in the department, increasing diversity among adjunct, term, and tenure-stream faculty in the department, and nominating Dr. Rebecca Jones to become the first term faculty member to serve as COS faculty chair.

Dr. Weatherspoon’s efforts have not stopped with faculty. He has also worked tirelessly as a mentor and to be a beacon of light for all students. He has served as the faculty advisor for the Mason chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, promoted women graduate students to serve as Head Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) in departmental teaching laboratories, and received the Teaching Excellence Award at Mason. He shares his love of inspiring students with his message saying, “You have a unique opportunity to speak life or death into that student’s present and future. Choose your words wisely, because they are looking to you for guidance; their parents have entrusted them in our care, and we must do our utmost to create learning environments and prepare them for win-win outcomes.”

The United Bank Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion honors a faculty member who has made extraordinary contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion at George Mason University.