Written by Ann Ludwick and Philip Wilkerson with contributions from GMU Toastmaster Members
GMU Toastmasters, chartered June 6th, 2008, is a unique club due to its location on a college campus. This location allows members to come from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and life experiences. George Mason University, located in Fairfax, VA, is Virginia’s most diverse four-year public institution with a student body of over 38,000 and staff/faculty population of over 5,100 representing a wide range of ethnicities and national origins. GMU Toastmasters currently has 24 members and holds a legacy of excellence. To that end, GMU Toastmasters was one of two clubs, out of a total of 130, from District 29 to obtain all 16 Distinguished Club Points in 2019-2020. There is a total of 18,337 clubs in Toastmasters worldwide. Using the statistics that were available on June 27, Jim Dooley was able to identify 42 clubs that had achieved all 12 of the DCP Educational Goals (C&L awards, Pathways awards). When Jim looked at the records for those 42 clubs, he saw that only 37 of them had achieved all 16 of the DCP goals (the 12 educational goals and the 4 others). Meaning only two-tenths-of-one-percent of clubs achieved what we can label what we call “Superstar Distinguished” status! For this blog post, we have gathered testimonials from one student, one staff member, one faculty member, and one Fairfax City resident to show how this Community Club has enhanced their lives and why joining Toastmasters is a great experience for professional development and personal growth.
Has joining Toastmasters helped you in your role of teaching?
Toastmasters has helped me become a better teacher. Being a Toastmaster not only helped me improve my teaching ability but also my attitude. I now look at any class as an audience, but not a captive audience. Each class my responsibility is to ask myself: how can I make this communication informative, useful, and interesting?
Andrew Finn, Founding Member of GMU Toastmasters (2008)
George Mason University Department of Communication
How has being a member of Toastmasters contributed to your professional development?
Every week in summer from about mid-June through all of July, you will find me in front of large groups welcoming new students and families to Mason! Giving these inspiring presentations is a favorite job task, but it wasn’t always easy. Like many people, I joined Toastmasters with the goal of improving my pubic speaking skills. The George Mason University Toastmasters club has helped me tremendously. My club provides supportive members, convenient meetings, and positive feedback – all of which contributes to my job.
Ann Ludwick, SR1 (VP of Education)
Assistant Dean, Schar School of Policy and Government
GMUT member since 2012
Why should other students consider joining Toastmasters while in college?
Joining Toastmasters helped me gain confidence and leadership skills to achieve my personal and career goals. My tip for college students is if you can, join Toastmasters in your first year. The skills you will learn will make your college journey a lot easier and stress free.
Aisha Yusuf, LD1 (Area 21 Director)
PhD candidate in Economics
George Mason University
GMUT member since 2016
What brought you to GMUT and what keeps you here?
I decided to join GMU Toastmasters because of the school’s proximity to my residence, and the meeting time and date. The GMU club is a family, and each member provides the support and encouragement one needs to achieve his/her personal goals and objectives. As a result of GMU Toastmasters I have been able to get to know faculty, staff and many students who are Toastmaster members.
Regina Faulkerson, DTM (Immediate Past-President)
GMUT member since 2018
The GMU Toastmasters Club aims to develop leaders and speakers while promoting all the benefits Toastmasters has to offer to anyone in our communities at Mason and in the Northern Virginia area. COVID-19 has not slowed anything down and our weekly meetings have continued using Zoom. GMU Toastmasters welcomes guests and you can check out our meeting schedule here.
Additionally please check out all the social media channels: I would like your help in this effort.
You can also learn about Philip Wilkerson’s GMU Toastmaster Experience in this short podcast episode found below: