This is the first of an occasional series of spotlight stories focused on Mason students who have been awarded scholarships. The series will detail the students’ achievements, the scholarships they have received, and their future goals.
Mikayla McKee, a senior dance major at Mason, has always had a passion for dance and performing. She fell in love with the welcoming and open faculty at her audition here at Mason four years ago during her initial college search. Though Mason was a bit of a trip from her hometown of Bellmore, New York and her mother and younger brother, she was drawn to its inclusive yet diverse culture. It was watching one of the Mason BFA performances that sealed the deal for her; she truly felt that Mason held the key to her dance future.
Since her freshman year, Mikayla has continued to grow into a young professional, beautiful dancer, and productive member of the Mason community. She is currently serving her second year as a Resident Advisor for the Arts Living Learning Community on campus. She also works as one of two social media specialists for the School of Dance. She says that the position allows to her to spread her love of dance to people, while indulging her interest in photography. Mikayla has earned several academic awards as well. She made the Dean’s List in 2013-2015, she is honored as a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, and received the George Mason University Provost Achievement Award.
When she’s not at school, Mikayla remains busy taking dance classes back home in New York, and even attended the one week dance intensive, Abraham in Motion, this past summer. She also spent this past summer interning for a modern dance company in New York called RIOULT. Mikayla has used her experiences in and out of the classrom to choreograph dances on other students, as well as perform others’ choreography herself at Mason. As Mikayla says, “Every time I have had the chance to do a performance at Mason, I am my happiest self.” She hopes to continue performing and sharing her love of dance with the world after her graduation from Mason this coming May through employment with a New York based modern dance company. She also hopes to work on the business side of the company, specifically in social media as she currently does with Mason’s School of Dance.
Mikayla is the recipient of two scholarships, the Mason Dance Scholarship and the Samuel J. and Daphonal T. Bell Endowed Scholarship. As a result of Mikayla’s receipt of these scholarships she says, “these scholarships made me feel proud of myself and my accomplishments, and it has made mine and my family’s lives much easier.” The first is a scholarship designated to students in the dance program at George Mason. The second, The Samuel J. and Daphonal T. Bell Endowment, was established through a bequest from Daphonal T. Bell in 2003 to provide aid to students who are either or both scholastically inclined and economically in need. The fund was started by Mrs. Bell to memorialize her husband and his legacy in perpetuity.
11/15/2016 – CM