Around Mason: Week of August 31, 2021


Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit through the online form.

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

Campus Updates

COVID Safety Training Available Online

Mason faculty and staff are encouraged to complete the Fall 2021 COVID Safety Training. Faculty and staff can access COVID Safety Training through Mason Leaps.

This training shares valuable information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the campus community by raising awareness about the disease’s symptoms and transmission and reviewing the precautions the university has put in place this fall to reduce its spread.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to take the training as soon as possible so they understand their responsibilities and how to protect themselves and the campus community as we return to campus this fall.

September Staff Senate General Meeting

The September Staff Senate meeting will feature guest speaker Paul Allvin, vice president of strategic communications and marketing. Paul will share updates regarding the university's rebranding efforts as Mason approaches its 50th anniversary.

Wednesday, Sept. 1
10 a.m. to noon
Guest speaker: 10–11 a.m., followed by general meeting from 11 a.m. to noon
Hosted on Zoom
Passcode: SS123
Call in: 301-715-8592 or 267-831-0333
Webinar ID: 939 9974 9658/ Passcode: 224754

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at George Mason University. Working closely with university administration, we address concerns that have an impact on the quality of work-life for the Mason community. The work of the senate is accomplished through open and continuous communication with its constituents. Find ways to virtually engage with the senate before, during, and after general meetings.

Interim Title IX Coordinator

Crystal C. Coombes, recently hired as Mason’s American with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator, is now serving as interim Title IX coordinator. Both positions are based in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, formerly the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics.

Coombes brings extensive experience in ADA and Title IX positions, most recently at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the University of South Florida. As interim Title IX coordinator at Mason, she will lead the university’s commitment to provide a learning and working environment free of sexual discrimination, sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.

Visit for more information.

College Colors Day

College Colors Day will be celebrated nationwide on Friday, Sept. 3, when everyone wears their favorite school colors! Here at Mason, we will celebrate proudly by wearing our Green and Gold Mason gear.

Wherever you are, show your pride by wearing Mason gear.

Need some new Mason gear? Visit the campus bookstore or shop online at Let's show the world our Mason pride by using #collegecolorsday and #wearemason when posting our photos on social media. Let's go Mason!

The Mason Club Reopens at Southside Dining Hall

Mason Dining is proud to announce that the Mason Club, Mason’s faculty and staff dining room, is scheduled to reopen Sept. 7 in a new location, the Blackstone Room at Southside Dining Hall.

The Mason Club will provide faculty and staff an inviting, comfortable, and private eating experience. Mason Club members will be able to choose from Southside’s variety of culinary options, ranging from soups, salads, specialty deli sandwiches, home-made pasta, pizza, traditional grill options, vegan and vegetarian choices, daily entrees, allergen-friendly meals, and a full dessert bar.

Membership, which costs $25 per semester, is open to all Mason employees, and card access is available 24 hours a day. A dining room attendant will be present during lunch hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays) to help with beverages and general needs. Food service will be mostly self-serve.

Members can purchase drinks, snacks, or all-you-care-to-eat dining. Payment options include debit/credit, Mason Money, or Byte meal plans. Byte meal plans can be purchased via Mason Dining’s website and provide a cost-effective option, with per-meal prices as low as $7.40. Regular door prices will range between $9.25 and $11.25 for meals, with a $5 drink/snack option for someone looking for lighter fare.

Reservations are not required, however, they are highly recommended since the space accommodates approximately 26 guests. Visit Yelp to reserve your table. The Mason Club will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Faculty and staff are encouraged to rejoin the Mason Club via Mason’s Marketplace and enjoy the dining experience.

For more information visit Mason Dining’s website, email, or call 703-993-3313.

Show Your Mason Pride on Spirit Fridays

Every day is a good day to show the world your Mason Pride by wearing green and gold. Now that the fall semester has started, we are back to celebrating Spirit Fridays. Everyone is encouraged to wear the Mason colors every Friday.

Via campus mail, Mason departments should have received a tabletop cutout of the Patriot to help promote Spirit Fridays. Place it somewhere visible to employees, students, and visitors as they enter the office.

Remember: Wear Green. Wear Gold. Every Friday!

For questions, contact David Atkins, executive director of business partnerships and licensing, Operations and Business Services, at

Mason Shuttles and Labor Day Weekend

Limited service will be available on Mason Shuttles during Labor Day weekend. Visit for more information.

Training and Professional Development

Webinar: Basic Questions about Accessibility and Usability in Online Courses

Quality online courses focus on accessibility and usability, including clear and logical navigation, readability, and alternative access to materials. This Stearns Center webinar will answer basic questions about accessibility: what it is, why it’s important, and how you can make sure that your online course is accessible.

The webinar also highlights resources and services for accessibility available to Mason faculty from Assistive Technology Initiative, along with a demonstration of how to use Blackboard Ally, an accessibility tool available in all Mason Blackboard courses.

Webinar: Basic Questions about Accessibility and Usability in Online Courses
Tuesday, Sept. 14
1–2:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Darlene Smucny, Stearns Center, and Korey Singleton, Assistive Technology Initiative

Contact with questions.

Resources for You

CommonHealth Wellness Champion Award

Is there someone in your workplace who makes your workplace a healthier place to be? Maybe someone who runs your office wellness challenges, organizes a walking group, or makes sure healthy snack options are available?

Nominate your favorite encouraging colleague for the CommonHealth Wellness Champion Award. Nominations are accepted for the next few weeks, and the committee will choose awardees in mid- to late September.

Contact Beth Baroody, Reward and Recognition, at with questions.

Find Your Patriot Perks

Mason has partnered with the City of Fairfax and local businesses to offer discounts to Mason faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees. Discounts are available at select eateries, professional services, spas, hotels and more!

Visit to find discounts available to you with your Mason ID or Alumni Association Member Card.

For questions, contact David Atkins, executive director of business partnerships and licensing, Operations and Business Services, at

Arts Alive! at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Arts Alive! returns to the Hylton Performing Arts Center with a dazzling line up of local arts the entire family will enjoy. Come out to the Hylton Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, from noon to 4 p.m. and celebrate Prince William County's thriving arts community.

This family-friendly festival is co-presented by the Prince William County Arts Council and the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Featuring multiple stages of performances indoors and out, hands-on activities for all ages, food vendors, and more, this free event has something for everyone!

Check back for the full schedule of events and performances at or

A special thank you to the Arts Alive! 2021 sponsor, NOVEC.

Try Going Car-Free

It’s always a great idea to have more than one way to get to Mason. Car-Free Day on Sept. 22 is an opportunity to try a new way to commute. Take the Car-Free pledge at, receive a Nift Gift, and be entered into a raffle for some great prizes.

Remember, public transportation costs are subsidized for full-time Mason employees up to the IRS limit of $270/month. Details on the Commuter Choice Program are available at

Contact with questions.

Save the Date: Learn to Ride with Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling

The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) and Mason Parking and Transportation will host an adult Learn to Ride biking class on Saturday, Oct. 2. Details coming soon at