Faculty and Staff

Nance Lucasnlucas2@gmu.edu

Dr. Nance Lucas is Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies in the School of Integrative Studies, an affiliate faculty member of the Higher Education Program, and former Associate Dean of the School of Integrative Studies (formerly New Century College) at George Mason University.  Her teaching and scholarship passions focus on the intersections of science and applications of leadership and well-being.  She is co-author of Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want to Make A Difference (1st, 2nd,  & 3rd  editions), a best-selling book of Jossey-Bass Publishers, and contributing author of Leadership Reconsidered and The Social Change Model of Leadership Development and has delivered numerous keynote addresses and presentations globally.

At Mason, she is the co-founder of the Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE), the Leadership Legacy Program, and MasonLeads.  She leads Mason’s well-being university initiative in collaboration with colleagues across the institution, while also leading global and national efforts to advance human flourishing and organizational well-being. 

Nance received a PhD in higher education with a concentration in leadership studies and ethics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Lucas earned her MA in higher education and BA in industrial and organizational psychology degrees from the Pennsylvania State University.  She has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Maryland College of Education.

Melissa Schreibstein


Melissa Schreibstein is Director of Well-Being Programs for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being (CWB) at George Mason University. As Director, Melissa leads signature well-being initiatives at Mason and consults on the science and application of well-being across the university and in the larger community. She is also responsible for overseeing CWB’s executive education programs and leadership development programs. She contributes to curriculum development and instruction as a faculty member for CWB courses.

Prior to joining CWB, Melissa worked as a consultant to U.S. Army soldiers and leaders and served as Primary Instructor for the Master Resilience Training Course. She founded The Leadership Project, LLC, a leadership coaching and consulting practice that serves hardworking leaders and athletes in the D.C. metro area and across the country. Melissa has more than a decade of experience as a skilled coach and passionate facilitator, helping clients develop a mental edge, conquer obstacles, and thrive personally and professionally.

Melissa completed a coaching certification at Mason in CWB’s Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program. She holds ACC coach credentials from the International Coaching Federation. Melissa studied positive psychology and resilience at the University of Pennsylvania, when she became certified as a Level 4 Master Resilience Trainer for the U.S. Army. She received a master’s degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro school of Health and Human Sciences. Her bachelor’s degree in psychology is from the George Washington University, where she captained the women’s soccer team.

Katie Clarekclare@gmu.edu

Katie Clare is the Associate Director for Resilience Programs for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being (CWB). In this role, she is responsible for collaborating with campus partners to manage the university’s Resilience Badge and move it from a small hybrid program to a fully online program that will extend its reach to a wider audience. She is one of two Mason employees certified to teach Mental Health First Aid through the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Prior to joining CWB and since 2001, she served in a variety of roles at George Mason University — all of which focused on student success. For more than 10 years, she served as the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She has taught for the Honors College, the Department of English, and the UNIV 100 program. She piloted a course similar to UNIV 100 in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for transfer students. In addition, she transitioned the content of the Mental Health First Aid training program into a partial-term course to increase student participation. For two years, she served as the faculty member for the Well-Being Living Learning Community.

Katie’s research interests include how we embody well-being concepts such as mindfulness and resilience in our daily lives and how writing benefits well-being. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) in 2005 and earned her BA in English and Art History in 2001.

Whitney Hoplerwhopler@gmu.edu

Whitney Hopler is the Communications Manager for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.

She is the author of the spiritual well-being book Wake Up to Wonder, as well as the Wake Up to Wonder blog on her website.

Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for top media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com. Whitney’s writing has appeared in many leading publications, such as Thrive Global.com, Guideposts, and The Washington Post.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from George Mason University. When Whitney was a Mason student, she served as an editor for the campus newspaper’s style section.

Mary Hornermhorner6@gmu.edu

Mary Horner is the Administrative Assistant for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Before working at Mason she spent 26 years as a human resources professional. Mary earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Texas State University.

Jennifer De La Rosa is Assistant Director of Marketing at Mason Recreation. She graduated from The University of Texas – Pan America with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication: Public Relations & Advertising, with a minor in Marketing. She received her Master’s degree in Public Administration at The College at Brockport State University of New York.


Debbie Schuman serves as the Project Coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. In addition to her fiscal responsibilities for the center, Debbie also supports the executive education programs offered by the center with budget, purchasing, payment and reconciliation responsibilities. She came to Mason with 25 years of experience in the banking and finance industry working for one of the top banks in the United States. There she served as a senior vice president, with a primary focus in marketing, customer experience and problem resolution.

Christian Whitecwhite37@gmu.edu

Christian White is the Communications and Marketing Assistant for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Mason in Communication with a double concentration in public relations and media production, with a minor in Information Technology.


Taylor Lucas serves as the graduate student assistant at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.

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