Class of ’21 graduate wins George Mason Honors College Scholarship


Class of 2021 graduate Harshita Chaudari won the presitigious Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security at George Mason University’s Honors College.

Local resident Harshita Chaudari, a rising third year, is studying cybersecurity engineering at George Mason University and was awarded the Honors College’s selective Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security on May 5, 2023. Chaudari was a 2021 graduate of Dominion.

Harshita plans to work in the intelligence community in a top cybersecurity agency. She will be interning this summer with the Department of Defense. In addition, she is a dedicated practitioner of Indian classical dance, plays the piano and flute, and is learning the guitar.  

The Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security is awarded to George Mason Honors College students who will contribute to the next generation of national security solutions. Funded by a generous donation from the Peraton Corporation, each recipient is awarded up to $10,000 to provide financial support for their studies and academic enrichment. Peraton is an innovative national security company with over 450 George Mason University graduates as employees. 

Harshita is interested in how the increase of smart technology will impact the need for increased security over personal information, particularly in the Intelligence community: “The first thing my professor said in my first cyber class was that complete security is not possible. There will always be possible vulnerabilities. I want to work to narrow that gap as much as possible.” 

Building on what she is learning in her Cyber Security Engineering coursework, Harshita hopes to participate in a research lab on campus in the future. Harshita has a current internship at the National Reconnaissance Office and is actively working towards her goal of pursuing national security and forensics on the digital front lines.  

Harshita credits the enriching opportunities she has had at George Mason’s Honors College with helping to prepare her for future leadership in the field: “Mason’s connections to prominent STEM companies allows me to meet with potential future employers and to better gauge the different career paths that lay ahead. I chose to apply to the Honors College to experience a research-based learning environment. I’m grateful to Honors College for this opportunity and am honored to be receiving this prestigious scholarship.”

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2023, the University launched Mason Now: Power the Possible, a $1 billion comprehensive campaign to support student success, research, innovation, community, and sustainability. Learn more at

About the George Mason University Honors College

The George Mason University Honors College inspires the most motivated students from all backgrounds to pursue the most challenging educational and civic engagement experiences available to them. The Honors College offers students a supportive, tight-knit college community, the resources of Virginia largest research university, and providing multidisciplinary learning opportunities that complement all majors. The Honors College is committed to enacting diversity and inclusion in its curriculum, co-curricular programming, and community because robust communication and collaboration among people representing multiple different perspectives is required to address the challenges of the present and future. Learn more at . 

About the Stu Shea Peraton Scholarship in National Security

The scholarship was funded by Peraton, a next-generation national security company with over 450 George Mason University graduates as employees. Learn more at: