MA in Sociology

Richard Walker, 1996

Richard Walker

Richard Walker is a native Washingtonian. He graduated from Anacostia High School and entered Clemson University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history and undertook additional post-graduate study in comparative literature.

Mr. Walker was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Signal Corps and began active duty in 1966, serving his initial year with the Army Pictorial Center in Long Island City, New York, where he traveled to military locations along the Eastern Seaboard as a motion picture assistant director in the production of training films. He was subsequently reassigned to the position of photographic laboratory officer with the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (ARS) and posted to the port city of DaNang in the Republic of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.  The 1st MIBARS had the unique mission of examining aerial reconnaissance photography taken by the US Air Force and processing it for the use of tactical commanders on the ground. Mr. Walker was recognized for his work in the development of a complimentary program for obtaining needed imagery on short notice or under marginal weather conditions by utilizing volunteers with hand-held small-format cameras to photograph features of interest on the ground from light spotter aircraft at low altitudes.

After military service, Mr. Walker returned to the Washington area and was employed by the Federal government as an investigator, thereafter moving into the areas of operating personnel management and policy. During the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, he became a recruitment and training officer with responsibility for originating programs for the hiring and training of regulatory inspectors for oil and gas exploration and production operations on Federal land leases onshore and on the Outer Continental Shelf. Although he subsequently moved back into the field of general human resources management, Mr. Walker’s career specialty was technical writing related to human resources management functions. Over a career spanning some 35 years, he produced a wide body of written work encompassing policy development and documentation, directives and instructional materials, and scripts and program plans for training and management conferences and closed-circuit television productions.

In 1994, seeking to gain a better understanding of the implications of increasing ethnic diversification within the domestic labor pool for the recruitment of personnel for careers in traditional American public land management programs, Mr. Walker undertook graduate study at George Mason University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He was awarded the Master’s Degree in Sociology in 1996. Based on his experience in conflict management and day-to-day workforce management issues, he raised an early discussion of the potential effects of the stereotyping nature of the emerging gangsta rap musical genre on group relationships in American society through his Master’s Thesis, Taking the Rap: Gangsta Rap Music As a Reflection of Social Conflict In Contemporary American Society. He remained a student for an additional year earning a graduate certificate in Community College Education, his plan of instruction including the development of a representative and comprehensive institutional advancement program as part of a cooperative work assignment arranged by George Mason University with Germanna Community College, Locust Grove, Virginia.

Mr. Walker retired from Federal Service in 2002.  He enjoys website design and construction as well as searching the World Wide Web for information on historical events and classical and popular music performers of the 20th Century.