Ray Niederhausen

Ray Niederhausen

Ray Niederhausen

How did you decide to enroll at Mason?
After culinary school I chose to take additional courses work at Northern Virginia Community College.  I decided to go back to school full time and switch careers.  My wife and I worked together to make being a full-time student a real possibility.  The guaranteed admission agreement made Mason an attractive option to continue my education.

What is your involvement on campus?
I am a member of the club football team.  I play on the offensive and defensive lines.   This is my second year on the team.  My worry was that I would be too old to play football.  My heart and my head are more responsive than my body.  This is my last opportunity to play football and a second chance at the sport I love.   

What has been your favorite class at Mason?
My favorite class was History 300: Introduction to Historical Method with Dr. Jennifer Ritterhouse.  She is an amazing professor.  I felt overwhelmed at the start of the semester, but Dr. Ritterhouse assisted the class throughout the whole semester.  I developed a research project on Oscar Micheaux and his lack of recognition with the Harlem Renaissance.  I hope to continue this study in the spring semester with Dr. Ritterhouse.   

Once you finish your degree, what are your career goals?
I would like to get involved with one of the museums in the DC area.  I would love to get involved in historical research and spread the importance of history.  I currently volunteer with the Smithsonian and have an internship with Mt. Vernon.  I really want to stay connected to a historical site or society.    

What is the most exciting aspect of this current year?
I am excited to be a dedicated student and absorb all the information at my fingertips.  Now that I am older and wiser I appreciate the education.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be a college student.  

Can you tell me about your experiences with the Alan and Sally Merten Mason Family of the Year Award?
I heard about the award process and thought my family would be the perfect fit.  My family deserved their day.  I submitted a photo of my family from one of the away club football games with a description of why I felt they were deserving of the award.  My family did not know that I submitted the nomination and were quite surprised when I told them they had won.  It was special to let them know how much I appreciate their support. 

What would you do with an hour of free time away from classes?
 I would catch up on my comic books.  I have a whole bunch of comics that I have wanted to read.  

What is your favorite food? 
I’ve eaten so many different types of food in my life.  I would have to go with my mom’s chicken cordon blue.