A Pittsburgh, Pa., native, Mason joined Angelo State’s physical therapy (PT) faculty after seven years of post-doctoral research, when the PT program was still in its infancy.
“I was looking at some of the newer programs,” Mason said, “because I figured they would have less tradition, less of the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ sort of thing. ASU’s was a new program, and they really needed a faculty member with neuroscience expertise and a research background, so it was a good fit.”
During her ASU tenure, Mason helped guide the PT program from when it was a master’s degree and she taught double course loads through its evolution into ASU’s first doctoral program, her appointment as program director, and its move into the state-of-the-art Health and Human Services Building. In addition to teaching, she mentored dozens of student research projects and conducted various seminars and conferences for everyone from grade-school girls to professional therapists. She also initiated three endowed scholarships for PT students.
“I wanted to produce students who would be excellent physical therapists.”
“I wanted to produce students who would be excellent physical therapists,” Mason said. “So I tried to provide them with the foundation they could build on to become excellent clinicians. We also had lots of new faculty coming on, so I could mentor them and get them up and running.”
“We were trying to build a high-quality program that would be respected,” Mason said. “We are now an established program and well-respected for the quality of our graduates. Students will sometimes apply two or three times because ASU is where they want to come.”
In recognition of her expertise and dedication, Mason was nominated for multiple Faculty Excellence in Teaching Awards and won the 2010 Faculty Excellence in Leadership/Service Award for her college. And now, the ASU Alumni Association has named her its 2021 Outstanding Retired Faculty.
“I’m very honored,” Mason said. “It never occurred to me that I would be selected for something like this. I’ve always been more the person in the background, so this honor came right out of the blue.”
In retirement, Mason stays active delivering Meals for the Elderly, singing in her church choir, working in her garden and attending various community events.
“After you live in a place for a while, you get connected with the community,” Mason said. “But I do miss the interaction with young people, both faculty and students, at ASU.”