Dr. Mason grew up in California where he attended the University of California at Berkeley to earn a B.A. in rhetoric. He next attended California State University, Hayward (now called California State University, East Bay) where he earned an M.B.A. in finance and a master's degree in economics.
He moved to Georgia to earn a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Georgia. While he was doing his graduate studies, he was hired by the University of Georgia as an instructor to teach economics on the Athens campus. He later became an instructor for the University of Georgia when UGA opened its satellite campus at the Gwinnett University Center (GUC). While UGA had an undergraduate presence at the GUC, he taught all the undergraduate economic courses. Later, as GUC became Georgia Gwinnett College, he joined the inaugural faculty.