Job: Dean of External Relations and Chief of Staff, George Mason University Korea
You might recognize Dan Walsch, PhD Communication ’11. For nearly 20 years, he served as Mason’s director of media relations and spokesperson and could be seen on the local news from time to time. He also taught public relations classes in the Communication Department for most of his 28-year career at Mason. In fact, teaching is what led him to his current position.
Korea Bound: In spring 2015, Walsch was retired and teaching in the Communication Department part time when he was approached by the department chair about the possibility of teaching for a semester at Mason Korea. “I thought it would be a great opportunity for any faculty member on a number of levels: teaching abroad, living in another part of the world, and helping promote our university.”
Stepping Up: In addition to teaching communication, Walsch also taught some business courses while in Korea. He’s now stepped back into an administrative role, serving as the international campus’s dean of external relations and chief of staff. “To say the least, my days are very busy.”
How’s his Korean?: “I wish I could impress any and all by launching into a monologue totally in Korean, but the truth is, I can’t. I have picked up several phrases that I do use a great deal—‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ are two. Fortunately, many of the Koreans with whom I interact are very patient and supportive.”
Best Part of the Job: “I have been part of the Mason ‘family’ since 1989. I love our university. The best part of the job is in a small way being able to continue to promote and support its brand and vision. On a personal level, working and living here have given my wife and I great opportunities to experience parts of the world we otherwise would never have had a chance to see. It has been great fun.”
Best Mason Memory: “So much has happened at Mason since I first arrived in Fairfax. Because of my role, I have had a front-row seat to it all: the university’s unprecedented growth, the Final Four adventure, Vernon Smith’s Nobel Prize, amazing research efforts on the part of our faculty—to name a very few. But in terms of my own favorite Mason memories, I must say they revolve around the people themselves. Over the years, I have worked with and gotten to know folks at all levels of the university. George Mason has been and continues to be totally blessed with an array of amazing men and women–not just those in leadership positions, but folks who have worked behind the scenes. I call them everyday miracle workers. My best memories are dominated by having been able to watch so many dedicated professionals work their magic.”