September 2014

Senator Highlight: Brett Say

Brett Say, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Before coming to Mason I worked for a private-sector engineering firm as a proposal manager where I worked on large government proposals ($20M-$100M). While I gained some great experience in that position, the hours were long and the work was stressful. Moreover, on top of my day job, I was going to graduate school in the evenings here at Mason. While that may sound like a lot to handle (and it could be) I found that spending time on campus and in class helped reliever, rather than add to, my stress. I thoroughly enjoyed what I was doing in class and became more and more interested in higher education. This interest drove me to start scanning job openings at Mason and when I saw an opportunity, I decided to make a career change. That was a little over three years ago and I have no regrets.

So why did I join the Staff Senate? It may sound cliché, but I wanted to try to make a difference. George Mason University is one of the largest employers in the state of Virginia and I believe it is important to ensure Mason staff are appropriately recognized and represented. Mason is a wonderful place to work, and it is made wonderful through the efforts of its faculty and staff. I wanted to contribute to that effort. On the Staff Senate, I have served on two committees: Education and Outreach Committee and Awards Committee. The first ensures that staff are kept up to date on the activities and opportunities here at Mason, and the second makes sure staff are recognized for their achievements. I was also recently privileged to serve on the university search committee for a new athletic director, resulting in the hiring of our current AD, Brad Edwards.

What might you not know about me? I grew up in a small town in northwest PA where I spent a lot of time working on the family farm, so while I enjoy wearing a tie to work every day, some coworkers may be surprised to see me in cowboy boots and jeans outside of work. My hobbies are also a little inconsistent; I like to fish but enjoy painting as well (watercolors mostly).