It is no secret that George Mason University is a diverse place, one composed of students, faculty, and staff from all over the world. Mason has many international perspectives, and Rob Pierce, though from Northern Virginia, embodies that outlook. He is a professor in the School of Business where, this semester, he will teach Business and Society and The Global Environment of Business.
Next semester, the fluent Italian speaker will offer Italian Business and Italian Society, a class that includes embedded travel to Italy, where Rob lived for four years.
Pierce, now in his fifth year at Mason, came to the school via the unusual path of international education, and ten years as an expatriate in Europe. While abroad, he worked in international schools and spent years in the banking industry, a background that came in handy when he began teaching business. However, he brings another perspective to the school—that of someone firmly grounded in liberal arts education. In the Business School, he teaches in the foundations area, which aims to introduce students to the Business School through a liberal arts lens. His PhD is in early modern European history and, next semester, he will teach a class on the Protestant Reformation for the History and Art History Department.
While teaching internationally, Pierce says he benefitted by “learning that people from other countries and cultures do things very differently than we do in the United States.” On the Mason campus, this perspective serves him well. “This summer I taught one section and, in it, we had students from many countries around the world and many diverse backgrounds. That is what classes are like around here, and I think it is great opportunity for all of us to learn.” He believes this global population is one of Mason’s highlights. “I think our students are accustomed to diversity. They will not be put off by the global workforce in London or Paris or any other major city. Our students will be well-equipped to be in these places and work in offices that are very diverse.”