Winter 2010 Outstanding Educator
MYRON D. "MIKE" MAST
A professor at Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration, Dr. Myron “Mike” Mast has served as a member of the GVSU faculty for 35 years.
He began his academic career in 1967 teaching public administration and political science at Lamar State University (Texas) and later at Ball State University (Indiana).
Mast came to Grand Valley in 1975, and has helped guide the incredible growth and change within the public administration programs during his tenure. He coordinated the public administration programs during the late 1970’s and mid-1980’s, and helped the university obtain a 1991 grant to create a philanthropy center (now GVSU’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership). He was active in developing the Master of Public Administration degree and later witnessed the creation of the Master of Health Administration degree.
Mast holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Calvin College, and master’s and doctorate degrees in political science and public administration from the University of Colorado. He also completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.
Mast is described by his former students as accessible, caring, and as one who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure student success. They commend him for his personal approach to teaching and for his wonderful sense of humor.
He has authored and presented a wide variety of papers at conferences and workshops throughout the nation, and is active in community affairs. He is a member and the founding president of the West Michigan Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He served as a volunteer probation officer in Kent County and as a board member for the county’s former Hearing and Speech Center. He has also helped the City of Grand Rapids with Citizen Satisfaction surveys.
Mast is currently engaging in a period of phased retirement. He and his wife, Willa, a Grand Valley alumna, reside in Grand Rapids. They have two sons, Michael, a GVSU alumnus and Russell, a graduate of the University of Chicago. Mast plans to enter full retirement soon to spend time with his family, including four grandchildren, and caring for his vintage houses in Grand Rapids.