‘Doc Nix’ embracing new role with faculty committee

"Doc Nix" poses with The Green Machine at the Homecoming game against ODU on Feb. 4 (Jake McLernon)
"Doc Nix" poses with The Green Machine at the Homecoming game against ODU on Feb. 4 (Jake McLernon)

Michael Nickens, better known as “Doc Nix,” is most recognized for his presence at Mason basketball home games as director of the pep band, the “Green Machine.” This semester, Nickens is taking his knowledge from within the Mason’s School of Music to the Board of Visitors as a new faculty committee representative.

Nickens attended his first meeting as a faculty representative on Jan. 25 and said the environment was a shift from what he’s used to seeing at the Patriot Center.

“This was the first time I had experienced a very formal situation,” said Nickens. “They had fancy name plates on each chair.”

According to Tom Hennessey, Jr., university chief of staff and BOV liason, there is only one faculty representative on the Board of Visitors and it’s by virtue of position.

“The Board has designated the chair of the faculty senate as the faculty representative to the Board of Visitors,” said Hennessey, Jr. “Faculty representatives to the committees of the Board are by general election.”

Peter Pober continues to serve as chair of the faculty senate, a position he has held since 2009.

Nickens was asked to fill the faculty representative seat left by Janette Muir, who was appointed as the new assistant provost of undergraduate admissions on Jan. 10.

“Dr. Nickens assumed Dr. Muir's position in the Academic Programs, Diversity, and University Life Committee at the January 25th Board meeting,” said Hennessey, Jr.

Although a different experience than being at the helm of the ‘Green Machine’ in front of thousands of cheering fans, Nickens said he stills feel excitement for the new position.

“I am able to witness and take part in a process that makes ever lasting change at George Mason, said Nickens. “This is something that I live for—not the paycheck, the fun, and the attention during half-time shows.”

Nickens said the hopes the work he does at Mason will create a sense of community that extends beyond the university.

“I enjoy that, all of that, to build up the community not only at Mason, but in NoVA as well.”

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