English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Computing a Lifetime of Service

Alumna profile

by Alecia Bryan

Gail Bohan, BA English ’70, MPA ’82, became part of the George Mason community at a time when our institution was finding its roots as a new university. Her undergraduate experience was shaped by current events, such as the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. The campus climate was one of continuous discussion around these and other political issues, and coupled with the campus’ proximity to Washington, D.C., offered Bohan a sincere connection to being part of this important dialogue.

Bohan returned to Mason in the early 1980s to focus her graduate work on researching government productivity. She was part of a group led by Professor John D. R. Cole that identified how to measure and show improvements to local infrastructure. She remembers this work fondly, and its importance toward preparing her for future projects.

Bohan’s professional career has been one of service to our local community. For 13 years she worked for Fairfax County’s Cooperative Computer Center. In this role she worked to develop strategic plans, policies, and organizational structure to manage the county’s IT systems. In 1997 she brought her expertise to the City of Fairfax, where she was director of IT until her retirement in 2013. Bohan was director at a critical point when technology was shifting and upgrades to all hardware and software was integral to maintain efficiencies. Bohan successfully led this charge and recalls her time in this role as the best job she ever had.

Another mark of service from Bohan’s career was her involvement with the team that created the Northern

Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS), which was developed from the Metropolitan Medical Response System in 2005. NVERS focuses on providing coordinated responses to emergencies across the region. Bohan continues this important work by volunteering locally with the Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), an all-volunteer program that works with NVERS to provide help during medical emergencies. The Fairfax MRC also offers preventative care such as flu vaccinations and health screenings for school-aged children. Bohan enjoys this work because of the benefit it offers the community, and the ability to help without needing a medical background.

Bohan is also committed to strengthening our Mason community. She has served as president of the university’s Alumni Association, is a member of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, and is a volunteer with the college’s mentoring lunch program. She was recently awarded the George Mason University Alumni Association’s 2017 Alumni Service Award. Gail is especially devoted to giving back to help current students with the costs of tuition and books. She remembers not having loan programs available while she was in school, and the stress caused by working and going to school full-time. She hopes her gifts will provide a better environment for students, and enable them to focus on their classes.

Bohan’s best advice for students today? “You can’t predict what your future will be, so just do what you can, day by day. And save some money so that you can enjoy retirement while you’re still healthy!”

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