Around Mason: Week of March 16, 2021


Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit to

Deadline is close of business Wednesday for inclusion in the following Tuesday's edition.

Campus Updates

Last Call: Nominations for Jack Wood Award for Town/Gown Relations

In honor of Jack Wood, former mayor of the then-Town of Fairfax, Mason's Office of Government and Community Relations presents this community-wide award program to recognize faculty, staff, students, businesses/not-for-profits, community members, and elected officials/staff who demonstrate leadership in fostering mutually-beneficial relationships between the university and the community.

To nominate yourself or someone else, submit the online form by March 19.

Those with community relations/outreach as a primary responsibility in their job description are not eligible.

Award Recipients will be notified by April 9, with an award ceremony held May 6 in conjunction with the Board of Visitors meeting.

Visit the website for details.

Questions? Contact Traci Kendall at

Taxation of Business Reimbursements

As the university transitions to the Mason Finance Gateway for all reimbursable business expenses, remember that all reimbursement requests (travel, food, beverage, or other expenses) must be submitted within 60 days of trip or event completion. Reimbursements submitted after 60 days will be subject to taxation per IRS guidelines.

This rule already applies to travel reimbursements, and beginning April 1, the rule will also apply to all business expense reimbursements. 

Contact with specific questions on taxation. Information about the Mason Finance Gateway is available at

Registration Open: Virtual Bike to Mason Week 2021

Whether you currently bike for commuting or recreation, or you are contemplating starting to bike as part of your return to campus plan, Virtual Bike to Mason Week 2021 is open to the entire Mason community.

The celebration spans multiple days with online learning opportunities about cycling and more. Sessions include:

  • Fix a Flat
  • Bicycle Commuting 101
  • Smart Cycling
  • Bicycle-Friendly Driver Training
  • e-Bikes
  • Multi-Modal Commuting (which addresses active transportation more broadly)

Additionally, there will be an open cycling forum called “Cycle Talk” and a session on the facilities and programs that support cycling at Mason.

Sessions are taught by cycling and commuting enthusiasts from Mason and League of American Bicyclist league-certified instructors.

Details and event registration are available at Classes are continuing to be finalized, so check the site regularly.

Questions? Contact

Transit Driver Appreciation Day: March 18

Mason Shuttles is celebrating Transit Driver Appreciation Day on March 18. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate our dedicated shuttle drivers!

Share a "thank you" by sending your kind words about your experiences on Mason Shuttles to

Celebrating 30 Years of Employee of the Month

The first-ever George Mason University Employee of the Month was honored 30 years ago in March 1991. Mason’s Employee of the Month award highlights the hard work and achievements of faculty and staff members who embody the values of the university.

To celebrate 30 years of this wonderful Mason tradition, the university will share Employee of the Month memories, photos, and stories on social media. Follow the month-long celebration of the Employee of the Month program on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Apple Federal Credit Union Ends Contract

Apple Federal Credit Union has informed Mason that it will terminate its contract to provide branch and ATM services on its campuses effective June 30, 2021, due to multiple factors, including the pandemic. They will serve current members and the Mason community at their 20 local branches and via digital channels. Mason has valued the long-standing partnership with Apple FCU and respects their decision at this time. Business Services, in conjunction with other interested departments, is working to engage another banking partner as soon as possible to minimize interruption of services. We will keep the Mason community informed throughout this process.

Contact David Atkins, Business Services, at with questions.

Card Access Reader Replacement

Starting this summer, the Card Access Security Office (CASO) will upgrade older card reader technology (swiping a card) to the new, smart card standard (presenting/tapping a card). This provides increased security at readers and allows for a contactless user experience by tapping the Mason ID at a reader.

This process is solely a reader upgrade, as Mason has been utilizing a dual-technology Mason ID card that has both a magnetic stripe and contactless smart card element. This card currently has a picture of the Johnson Center on the front. See examples here. The Mason Card office has been issuing this card since the summer of 2014.

This process will be seamless for users. Existing Mason ID cards will work on new readers without any user intervention. Staff will go from building to building across campuses, replacing these older readers. Each reader will be tested to ensure proper functionality.

For questions regarding this upgrade, reach out to

Media, Arts, Design, and Communication Internship and Career Fair

The College of Visual and Performing Arts, Department of Communication, and University Career Services will host Mason’s Media, Arts, Design, and Communication Internship and Career Fair on Thursday, March 18, from 1–5 p.m. on the virtual expo platform Airmeet.

Mason students and alumni can meet with recruiters from more than 30 arts, media, and design employers across the United States including United Talent Agency, W2 Communications, Wolf Trap, Virginia Film Office, and Torpedo Factory Art Center.

After registering at, students and alumni will receive a link to the event.

For more information, contact Ryan Braaten at or 703-993-8641.

Training and Professional Development

Apply for the Leadership Legacy Program

The Leadership Legacy Program, sponsored by MasonLeads and Human Resources and Payroll, is designed for Mason full-time faculty and staff who are committed to furthering their leadership development.

The program curriculum provides opportunities for experienced faculty and staff to advance their conceptual and experiential understanding of leadership in the context of university settings.

Applications and nominations for the 2021–22 cohort of the Leadership Legacy Program are due Friday, April 2.

For more information and to apply, check out the flyer and visit the website.

Contact with questions.

Toastmasters Open House

George Mason Toastmasters will host a virtual open house on Wednesday, March 24, at noon. Learn more about Toastmasters, see a meeting in action, participate in Table Topics (impromptu speaking practice), and ask questions about the club. 

Meetings are scheduled through the end of spring semester. More information is posted at

Guests who join George Mason Toastmasters as a result of the virtual open house will receive a discount on membership dues.

For more information, contact Heather Aleknavage, vice president of membership, at

University Records Management Coordinator Training

Online Records Coordinator training is available for staff and faculty. University Records Management governs this compliance area for Mason. Improper handling of university records can affect audits, accreditation, litigation, and more.

This workshop will cover:

  • Records management basics
  • A review of local and federal laws that govern information management within the university
  • Services available to university departments and offices
  • Electronic records and data management
  • Creating internal records policies for individual departments

Records Coordinators will receive materials from this workshop to share with their departments. Training dates, times, and registration are available at

Questions may be directed to

Resources for You

Participants Needed for COVIDsmart Research Study

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) – Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute (HADSI), George Mason University, and Vibrent Health are launching a digital health study called COVIDsmart that aims to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 and how to address public health crises.

All individuals over 18 years of age living in the United States are invited to share how COVID-19 has impacted their health, lifestyle, and experiences.

Participants will be automatically entered for a chance to win $50 and $500 gift cards. Enroll today at

Contact or 757-446-7991 with questions.

EVMS IRB# 20-07-EX-0138.

Prescription Drug Drop Box Available at Mason Police Headquarters

Do you have unused prescription medications that you no longer use or need? Visit the Mason Police Department lobby to drop off medications in the CVS Drug Drop Box available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The Mason Police and Safety Headquarters is located on the Fairfax Campus, in front of the Rappahannock Parking Deck.

Needles or sharps of any kind are not accepted.

For questions, contact Lt. Michael Guston at

One-Day Summit on Accelerating Active Transportation Change in Northern Virginia

A group of 11 Northern Virginia organizations, including Mason Parking and Transportation, are teaming up for a one-day virtual summit on Thursday, March 25, via Zoom.

The summit will address how to make active transportation more accessible to all, including sessions on the following:

  • Intersection of health and active transportation
  • Promoting equitable outreach
  • The business case for active transportation
  • And much more

Event speakers include local elected officials, advocacy, planning, and consulting professionals, and academic research faculty.

Registration is required. Visit

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Wellness Resources

Mason faculty and staff have access to Kaiser Permanent’s EAP Wellness Resources, whether they are members of Kaiser or not.

Visit the website to explore a range of self-care tools, tips, and activities to help you thrive in mind, body, and spirit. Find articles, meditations, and other useful well-being resources.

Questions? Contact