Aaron Thomas George is the Housefellow for Hamerschlag and Scobell, Carnegie Mellon University’s two buildings that house first-year male students. Also as the Coordinator of Community Standards and Integrity, he works with students in the focus areas of academic integrity, bystander education, men and masculinity programming, and respondent support.
Aaron completed his undergraduate studies in mathematics and earned his master’s in educational administration and leadership with an emphasis in student affairs from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. “Pacific was great – a medium, private, liberal arts school,” says Aaron. “Many movies were filmed on our campus because it has an East Coast Ivy League look and it’s only a day’s drive from Hollywood.”
How did you come to join CMU?
After three years working at the University of Puget Sound – a small, private, liberal arts college in Tacoma, Washington – as a Resident Director, I decided it was time for a change. My job search landed me here where I could use my strengths in both Greek life and residence life. My father was born here in Pittsburgh at Shadyside Hospital, so I have always known about Pittsburgh and thought of CMU as a great school. When I saw the job posting, I jumped at the chance.
What are you looking forward to most in becoming the Housefellow for the HamSco communities?
Over the last eight years of my professional experience, I’ve mostly worked with upperclass and fraternity/sorority students. I’m excited to work with first-year students, especially within an all-male community. Part of my work in the Office of Community Standards and Integrity (OCSI) is coordinating efforts around men and masculinity issues. In other words, I provide programming and support for those who identify as male and those who care about them. Together, we work to understand what it means to be a man, how social and media constructs of masculinity support unhealthy attitudes toward ourselves, other men, and women; and how, as men, we can rediscover our maleness and live a life that is both affirming and supportive. I look forward to bringing this programming into the Hamerschlag and Scobell (HamSco) communities and to empower the residents to create a living experience where authenticity is supported and celebrated.
Share one of your most prized CMU memories.
Seeing Buggy/Carnival for the first time. The moment I came for my on-campus interview and then throughout my first year here, everyone talked about Carnival. It didn’t really make sense until I saw the booths starting to go up. Then it sunk in … this is a real Carnival! The craftsmanship was amazing, and the buggy races were out of this world. I couldn’t believe there were actual people inside the buggies. I will always remember my first Carnival!
Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about going to the movies. To me there is nothing like going to the movie theater. Stepping up to the (assumed) high school student selling tickets, the smell of popcorn in the air, getting your favorite snack, finding your favorite seat in the theater still available, the lights going down, the green image signifying that a movie preview is about to be shown, the chatter in the audience simmering down … I am able to turn off the overactive part of my brain and envelop myself in a story that I feel is meant just for me. I’m whisked away from my current reality for a brief movement, and when I return, I feel rested, energized, and excited for the next theater-going adventure.
All-time favorite book?
It’s hard to choose my favorite book. The last book that I read and really enjoyed was Fiend by Peter Stenson. It’s about drug addicts who survive a zombie apocalypse, because they are drug addicts.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My great-great-grandmother Margarete Lomeli. She had 18 children, crossed over the Rio Grande from Mexico, and worked her way to California as a migrant field worker. She was a very strong woman, and my family credits her with giving us our strong work ethic.
You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?
Cinnabon all day, every day!!