George Mason University

News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of September 3, 2019

September 2, 2019

Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Submit an announcement from your unit using the online form.

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

Campus Updates

9/11 Day of Service and Service Fair

Mason students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to participate in the 9/11 Day of Service and Service Fair.

7th Annual Day of Service
Wednesday, September 11
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., multiple locations
Service events will provide the opportunity to give back to the local George Mason community. Volunteer for one of the many service projects on campus at

Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL) Service Fair 
Thursday, September 12
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., SUB I quad
Connect with more than 30 different community partners and leaders and discover opportunities to use your School Assistance and Volunteer Leave.

General information about the 9/11 Day of Service and Service Fair can be found at

Up to two hours of volunteer service can be considered work time with your supervisor’s permission. If you would like to volunteer more than two hours, eligible faculty and staff may use School Assistance and Volunteer Leave.

Contact Lisa Snyder at or 703-993-9851 with questions.

September Staff Senate General Meeting with President Holton

The September Staff Senate general meeting will feature guest speaker Anne Holton, interim president of George Mason University.

The meeting will also feature a brief presentation from Adrienne Bryant Godwin, programming manager, College of Visual and Performing Arts. Adrienne will discuss the upcoming performance season at Center for the Arts and the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

Wednesday, September 4
10:30 a.m. to noon
Fairfax: Merten Hall, Room 1201
Arlington: Van Metre Hall, Room B119 (videoconferenced)
SciTech: Colgan Hall, Room 221 (videoconferenced)
WebEx: / Meeting Number (access code): 648 314 965  / Meeting password: 2ktMam99 or join by phone: 1-240-454-0879

All are welcome to attend the Staff Senate general meeting.

For questions, contact

Save the Date: Car Free Days

With construction projects on I-66 and a host of commuting challenges on the roads every day, it may be time to think about sharing your ride with others or even going car-free. Car-Free Days are a great time to try something new and establish another way to get to school or work!

Take the pledge to go car-free September 21–23 at

For those who commute via I-66, there are some incentives to drive/ride with others.

Additional resources:

Questions? Contact Parking and Transportation at

$5 Lunch for Faculty/Staff: Sept. 6

Introducing $5 Fridays for faculty/staff! 

Get lunch at Southside or Ike's between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the first Friday of every month beginning this Friday, September 6, for only $5 when you show the cashier your valid faculty/staff ID.

Enjoy lunch in the dining halls and want to receive a deal year round? Purchase a Byte plan exclusive to faculty staff by emailing the card office at

Parking and Transportation Update: Fall 2019

As the fall semester begins, Mason students, faculty, and staff are reminded that traffic on and around the Fairfax Campus greatly increases, especially during the first few weeks of classes. The following campus parking and transportation guide will help minimize potential parking and traffic delays.

A valid parking permit is required to park outside of visitor areas.

During the first few weeks of the semester, we suggest allowing an extra 30-45 minutes to arrive on campus. Though some parking spaces are more convenient to your destination than others, the Fairfax Campus has more than enough spaces to accommodate all vehicles. However, many General parking permit areas fill at peak class times.

At times during the morning, late afternoon, and early evenings, campus police cadets will be directing traffic around campus. Please be alert and follow the cadets' directions.

New this fall:  There is a dismount zone from East Building south to Enterprise Hall. Golf carts are not permitted in the dismount zone and those using bikes, scooters, skateboards, or skates must dismount and walk. This is for the safety of all.

Check out the complete Parking and Transportation Update for full details and guidance on:

  • Parking
  • Shuttles
  • Alternative transportation options
  • Construction
  • Where to find parking and transportation information

For more information on parking, shuttles, biking, and other transportation options, check out the Transportation website at

Follow Parking and Transportation on Twitter (@MasonParking or @MasonShuttles) and Facebook for updates.

Questions? Contact, or

Delegated Purchasing Authority Increase

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback regarding the delegated purchasing authority increase from $2,000 to $5,000.

The response was overwhelmingly positive and we are encouraged by university-wide efforts to remain good fiscal stewards.

The delegated purchasing authority is now capped at $5,000 for all units. A detailed breakdown of how this change effects unit business practices is available in the Delegated Purchasing Authority Guide.

For questions, contact Heather Strange, Fiscal Services, at 703-993-2089 or

Employee of the Month Nominations

Do you work with an incredible Mason administrative/professional faculty member, classified staff member, or wage employee who goes the extra mile, collaborates with their colleagues, and supports the university?

Nominate them for Mason’s Employee of the Month award

For questions, contact Reward and Recognition at or 703-993-2600.

Celebrate and Support the Arts at ARTS by George!

The College of Visual and Performing Arts presents its annual ARTS by George! on Saturday, September 28, to benefit student scholarships and community arts programs.

The event showcases Mason student artists in 10 open studios and rehearsal halls. Guests will enjoy wine, local craft beer, food stations from top area restaurants, a catered buffet, and a silent auction of 30+ packages.

Following the showcases, guests will experience a dynamite performance by Broadway’s most decorated performer, Audra McDonald, in the Concert Hall followed by an on-stage champagne toast with Ms. McDonald.

Tickets are $300 ($125 Mason alumni) and sponsorships begin at $1,800. Learn more at

Contact Ryan Braaten at or 703-993-8641 with questions.

Arts Alive! at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

The Prince William County Arts Council and Hylton Performing Arts Center invite you to Arts Alive! 2019 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the SciTech Campus. 

Arts Alive!
Sunday, September 15, starting at 1 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Free (no tickets required)

This 8th annual family-friendly arts festival features Prince William County Arts Council members and other community performers and fine artists. Enjoy activities for all ages, multiple stages of performances indoors and out, plus food and craft vendors with items for sale.

Come out and celebrate your local arts community!

Coming to the Center for the Arts: Jeffrey Siegel, Audra McDonald, and LADAMA

Upcoming events at Center for the Arts: 

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Music of Mozart and Haydn
Become a classical music insider with virtuoso pianist Jeffrey Siegel. Popular with classical music lovers and newcomers alike, his unique “concerts with commentary” format gives the story behind the music.
Sunday, September 22, at 7 p.m.

An Evening with Audra McDonald
Tony, Grammy®, and Emmy® Award winner Audra McDonald makes her Center for the Arts debut. In this concert, McDonald performs her trademark mix of hits from Broadway and the Great American Songbook. This performance is part of the ARTS by George! benefit event to raise funds for student scholarships and Mason community arts programs.
Saturday, September 28, at 8:30 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with this extraordinary performance by the “Female Latin Powerhouse group LADAMA” (LA Weekly). 
Friday, October 4, at 8 p.m.

Contact the box office at or 703-993-2787 with questions. 

Training and Professional Development

Teaching Online Practices and Strategies (TOPS)

Need guidance to design, develop, and teach your fully-online course? 

Apply for the new Stearns Center facilitated workshop, Teaching Online Practices and Strategies (TOPS). We welcome faculty of all ranks and graduate teaching assistants who are planning to design/develop online courses that will be taught at Mason. Successful completion of TOPS will give you a great start in designing your online course! 

TOPS will be offered in a fully-online format over nine-weeks during the fall semester. The fall 2019 session runs from September 16 to November 17.

Apply here.

Questions? Contact the Stearns Center at or 703-993-6200.

Lunch and Learn: Teaching with Primary Source Databases

Digital collections of primary sources offer tremendous value, but are they being utilized to their fullest potential? The relevance of primary sources for historians seems obvious, but they can robustly support instruction and student success across the disciplines.

This workshop will offer insight into how primary sources can be used in multiple disciplinary contexts, for teaching qualitative and quantitative research methods, and for diverse projects and research outputs.

Tuesday, September 10
Noon to 1 p.m.
Fenwick Library, Instruction Rooms 1014A/B 

Attendees will learn about:

For more information, visit the University Libraries website.

Contact LeighAnn Skeen at with questions.

School of Business Graduate Programs Showcase

Learn more about the highly-ranked School of Business graduate programs. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff from each program will be available, along with representatives from Financial Aid, Career Services, and Military Services.

School of Business Graduate Programs Showcase
Tuesday, September 17, 5:30 p.m. (Registration opens at 5 p.m.)
Van Metre Hall (formerly Founders Hall), Arlington Campus

All showcase attendees will receive an application fee waiver!

Register at Contact or 703-993-8006 with questions.

Schar School Master's Open House

The Schar School of Policy and Government invites you to an open house to learn more about its master's degree programs and world-class faculty and research. Explore programs during the event's browsing session and see if there is a right fit for you! Admissions and student services staff will be on hand to answer questions. 

Schar School Master's Open House
Thursday, September 12, at 6:30 p.m.
Van Metre Hall (Arlington Campus)

This is a great opportunity for Mason staff interested in using their tuition benefits. Get more details and register for the event.

Contact 703-993-8099 or with questions.

Resources for You

Nine-Month Faculty Paychecks and Open Enrollment

Nine-month faculty who made changes during the Open Enrollment period in May might see adjustments to their paychecks on September 16, 2019.

The adjustments reflect the following:

  • To ensure there was no interruption to nine-month faculty health benefits from June to August 2019, the Benefits team double-deducted health insurance premiums from March to May 2019
  • This process did not account for any Open Enrollment changes that may have taken effect when the new plan year began on July 1, 2019
  • The Benefits team is now making adjustments to reflect the coverage during July and August 2019

For questions, contact or 703-993-2600.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Walk-In Office Hours

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) hosts walk-in office hours every Tuesday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. Faculty/students/staff are welcome to bring questions about their IRB application or discuss the details of their research project.

Office hours are held on the Fairfax Campus in Research Hall, Suite 141. To schedule an appointment outside of those office hours, contact

Tuesday Mindfulness Sessions

It’s hard to help others when you aren’t taking care of yourself. Carve out some time for your own well-being this semester by attending a Tuesday Mindfulness Session.

On a rotating basis, facilitators from different areas of the university will share a variety of mindfulness practices with you each Tuesday from noon to 12:45 p.m. These are drop-in sessions, so you do not need to commit to every week, but please arrive on time.

Sessions begin August 27 and conclude on December 17. Sessions meet in the Johnson Center, Room 234.

Contact Katie Clare at with any questions.

Fall Biking Opportunities at Mason

Parking and Transportation has teamed up with the Office of Sustainability and the Fairfax Alliance on Better Bicycling (FABB) for some biking-related opportunities this fall.


  • Abandoned “As Is” Bike Sale, September 20, 2 to 5 p.m. in the visitor section (first level) of the Shenandoah Parking Garage. Approximately 60 bikes need some TLC. See if one is for you.
  • Learn to Ride Classes with the Fairfax Alliance on Better Bicycling (FABB): September 14 or 28, 10 a.m. to noon, $10


  • Bike Skills Building Class with FABB: October 12, 10 a.m. to noon, $10
  • Social Ride with FABB from Mason to Burke Lake Park and back. October 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $10

For more information on all of these opportunities, visit

Pop-Up Poster Sale: This Week Only!

Staring at the same boring walls in your office, bedroom, or living room? Spice up the aesthetic with an assortment of posters and wall decorations!

Student Centers will host a Pop-Up Poster Sale from September 3–8 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Hub's Corner Pocket and Side Pocket.

Patriot Bike Check Out: Phase 2

Effective August 26, the number of bikes in the Patriot Bike Check Out Program increased from five to ten. And the locations have doubled, too!

Check out a bike with a valid Mason ID from either the Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC) or the Aquatic and Fitness Center, and return it to either location.

More details here. Contact or 703-993-2828 with questions.