Mason Korea Senior Takes Spirit of Service to Fairfax

Mason Korea Senior Takes Spirit of Service to Fairfax

Ilya Kim (Global Affairs, ’23) is no stranger to student leadership. He served as Mason Korea’s Student Council President, a Resident Advisor, and a University Life Office intern among other responsibilities before arriving to the Fairfax campus this fall as part of Mason Korea's undergraduate curriculum.

Before that arrival, Kim had already secured a job as a Community Assistant for Mason’s Housing and Residential Life. Upon arriving, he also joined the President-Student Advisory Board.

“At the end of the day, all of my roles aim to serve Mason Korea students and address their needs,” said Kim. “I strive to ensure that Mason Korea students receive attention from Fairfax staff,” he added.

As a Community Assistant, Kim is a member of the Housing Student Staff who makes sure that the resident halls are safe and comfortable for residents. Kim is also on-call after official hours. Additionally, he sits on the Student Staff Voice Committee, a semi-formal union of Residential Student Staff that seeks to improve the residential experience. 

Kim thanks Yorgun Marcel, Associate Dean for University Life, for helping him land this position. “I am forever grateful to Dean Marcel, who guided me throughout my time at Mason Korea,” said Kim. “I first heard about Housing and Residential Life through Dean Marcel, and then went through a lengthy application process. Despite some obstacles along the way, I’m glad I was able to learn from it so that now I can improve the experience for Mason Korea students who will come after me.”

As a member of the President-Student Advisory Board, Kim represents Mason Korea students to the senior leadership of George Mason University, including President Gregory Washington and Vice President of University Life Rose Pascarell. “Fellow Mason Korea student representatives and I have brought up topics like the Fairfax Transition experience and how Mason can build more support structures for students transitioning from the Korea campus,” said Kim.

Campus life aside, Kim is enjoying life in Fairfax with its diversity and easy access to Washington, D.C. “This will sound funny, but I love going to Barnes and Nobles' bookstore because finally, all the books are in English. I also love Northern Virginia because of how diverse and inclusive it is; no one cares about your ethnicity or skin color here.”

As for tips for Mason Korea students who are preparing to transition to Fairfax, Kim advises: “Always email if you have any questions; do not rely on your friends because policies change. Mason offices are responsive, and they will guide you through the entire process.”