Alyssa Goff is a junior Criminology major at Mason who plans to graduate a semester early. Most impressively, she is the newly elected Chapter President of Pi Beta Phi — a feat she has had her eyes on since first joining the sorority in 2014. Many who have gotten to know this outgoing and sweet leader can easily attest to her reliability. Alyssa is also on the judicial board for Panhellenic, Vice President of Order of Omega, and acted as a rho gamma in the Fall of 2016. I caught up with the busy President, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since elementary school thanks to our small town.
What are you studying at Mason and why?
Criminology, Law, and Society (Concentration in Law and Society) with a minor in Human Development and Family Science. I want to go to law school after college and become a family law attorney to help children in need such as foster care and child protective services from the legal perspective.
How important do you think it is declare a minor?
A minor makes your degree dynamic. I personally always felt like I needed a minor to make me stand out from the many crim majors here at Mason and show my passion for families and children.
What is something people don’t know about you?
Most people here always assume I am an only child when really I have three older siblings.
When you first became a member of Pi Beta Phi, did you ever think you would be Chapter President a few semesters later?
Becoming Chapter President was always a goal for me from day one. I have always been a leader since high school and wanted to continue that in Pi Beta Phi. Becoming President was a dream when I was a new member, and I am so excited for it to be a reality in just two short years.
How do you balance your sorority commitments, classes, work, and your personal life?
It is difficult to balance my two jobs, class, meetings, and to fit in down time. Junior year has been my busiest year running from class to work to multiple meetings every week. I use my nights to relax from the day. I start my day around 8:30 a.m. every day, so that I can do everything that needs to be done and maintain my grades.
What do you think has prepared you to hold a position of leadership?
Being the President of my high school for two years in a row and Secretary in high school for three years prepared me for similar positions in college. I really wanted to use my leadership skills in college when I first came to Mason, but I was not sure where or how to use them until I joined Pi Phi. This organization has given me more opportunities than I ever could have imagined.
Do you have any advice about getting the most out of the college experience?
I would advise others to make a lot of friends freshman year, whether that would be in your hall, building, work, gym, or clubs. It is really vital for you to join a club or LLC freshman year to build those connections and have something to do on the weekends here. Honestly, if I didn’t have Pi Phi, I don’t know what I would be doing to have fun here at Mason.
How have you seen yourself grow during your time at Mason?
Before Mason, I was a girl from a small, predominantly white southern town. Coming to Mason, the cultural diversity really opened my mind and horizons of appreciation for differences in the world. I have tried different foods I would have never had the opportunity to try back at home. I have met and become friends with so many people from different backgrounds.. My independence has also flourished being away from my parents whom I depended on heavily before college. My leadership and time management skills have truly improved because of Pi Phi. Mason has made me a better, stronger, and more appreciative person.
Coming from a small town, and then attending college in a much more populated area, where do you see yourself settling after graduation?
I really enjoy knowing where I am driving with no one beeping the horn at me to go faster on my way home from work in a small town. On the other hand, the job opportunities, the sizes of malls, available stores, restaurants, and things to do are endless in the Fairfax and D.C. areas. After graduation, I want to find a city that is in the middle of rural town and crazy city life. Somewhere like Charlottesville, VA would be ideal because it is busy enough with UVA and has a thriving downtown, but it is also right beside the mountains and backroads for the peace and slow-pace life.