From three to 10!
Following elections last fall, the Schar School Alumni Chapter Board of Directors now numbers 10—more than three times our number less than a decade ago. The growth is reflective of both the commitment by alumni and the Schar School’s current competencies, including 13 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered on two campuses with 80 full-time faculty members.
Returning are re-elected board members, including Khushboo Batia, Chair of the Undergraduate Outreach Committee and member of the Golden Quill Society; Emily Mark, Secretary of the Board, Co-Chair of the Student Support Committee, and one of the developers of the highly successful mentoring program; and J.J. Stakem, Chair of the Veteran’s Committee, point person for the Veterans ERPi Patriot Scholarship, and a leader in outreach to Mason’s veteran community.
Laura Gouge joins the Board after a dedicated and continuing stint on the Student Support Committee, where she has been a mainstay of the mentoring program and a critical link to our new and current students. Gouge currently works for the American Sugar Alliance as the special projects coordinator. When not working on Schar School events, she focuses her boundless energy on creating stage sets for the Arlington Players volunteer theater group. Gouge graduated in 2015 from the Master’s in International Commerce and Policy degree program.
Craig Buckley serves as Vice President of the Board and brings his 22 years of experience as a member of the Fairfax City Police force. During the course of his career, he has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, and general crimes detective. Captain Buckley is currently commander of the Criminal Investigations Division and received his Master of Public Administration from the Schar School in 2016.
Jason Matechak has spent his legal career in international government contracting, lecturing, and working around the globe. A founding partner at Impressa Legal Group, Matechak also serves as the Director for the Center for International Procurement Law and Policy at the International Law Institute. A true Patriot, he earned his law degree from the George Mason University School of Law (now the Antonin Scalia Law School) and his Master’s in International Commerce and Policy from the Schar School.
Reflective of the many unique careers held by Schar School alumni, Mark O’Malley serves as the Director of Operations and Plans in the Division of Sealift Operations and Emergency Response at the U.S. Maritime Administration in Washington. O’Malley directs the management of shore side logistical support for 53 Ready Reserve Fleet vessels that support Department of Defense and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. He served 30 years in the United States Coast Guard in the fields of maritime safety, security, and search and rescue, retiring in 2012 at the rank of captain. Mark received his Master of Public Affairs from George Mason in 1995.
Ever ready to parley, Joshua Pipes graduated from Mason’s Master’s in Peace Operations program in 2014. He works as a federal contractor at the U.S. Department of State, supporting the Bureau of Information Resource Management. He previously served as a federal contractor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Pipes has taught English in South Korea and now is working to develop our First Year Initiative to inform Schar School students about alumni chapter activities.
Jenny Walters joins the board as the new Chairperson of the Events Committee and is bringing her natural enthusiasm to the Chapter. She is the Communications Director for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Homeland Security. Walters holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Schar School. She began her career at the Department of Homeland Security at the Science and Technology Directorate, where she spent seven years before moving on to her current position working at DHS Headquarters.
Colin Hart is president of the Schar School Alumni Chapter. He can be reached at email@example.com. For information about the chapter, contact Zavin R. Smith, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.