Joint program with INTO Mason and Mason Korea creates cross-cultural learning opportunities for South Korean government officials


INTO Mason and Mason Korea partnered with the South Korea’s Local Government Officials Institute (LOGODI) to offer a joint program for 25 South Korean local government officials from May 15 to June 2. In this inaugural program, participants studied Business English, visited sites in South Korea and the greater Washington, D.C. region, and learned from Mason faculty and staff.

korean officials on campus
Korean government officials on Fairfax Campus tour. Photo by Jing Chen/INTO Mason

Participants received global business instruction, including in Business English, made several site visits, and heard from Mason guest speakers.

“This is an example of the unique opportunity Mason has to share the skills people need to be world-class leaders,” said Tasha M. Troy, the INTO Mason instructor who led the program in Fairfax. “It shows what Mason can do when different departments, schools, and campuses collaborate to create a highly engaging and relevant training program.”

Participants began with a week in Mason Korea focused on Business English instruction. In Fairfax, the group heard from Jonathan L. Gifford, director of the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy and Schar School professor; Greg Farley, director of sustainability for Facilities; Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting, School of Business; Ellen Harpel, PhD Public Policy ’06, founder of Smart Incentives; and Mahesh Joshi, associate professor of global strategy and entrepreneurship, School of Business.

korean officials in classroom
Korean government officials taking Business English class at INTO Mason. Photo by Jing Chen/INTO Mason

Off-campus, they visited the State Capitol Building in Richmond; the Unisphere net-zero building in Silver Spring, Maryland; the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; and the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. They also attended a Memorial Day festival in Vienna, Virginia, and other activities off-site.

From the beginning of the program at Mason Korea through the two weeks at the Fairfax Campus, participants were highly engaged and enjoyed the range of activities. “It was amazing to watch their confidence grow, even over such a short period of time,” Troy said. “Clearly, the participants gained a lot from the program.”

Seo Hee Kyung, a team leader in the Health Promotion Division of the city government of Seoul, was impressed by the "organized curriculum" put together by INTO Mason adjunct instructor Tasha M. Troy and the "very helpful" field trips.

Kwon Ja Eun, a senior officer in the Local Autonomy Administration division at Seoul's city hall, was particularly happy to hear the "passion" from the various Mason professors and speakers.

Finally, Hyun Sang Wuk, a trainee with LOGODI, "loved having the opportunity to get the insights from the people from various fields."