George Mason University

News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of Feb. 18, 2020

February 17, 2020

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

Staff Appreciation Winter Warm-Up

Enjoy donuts, warm beverages, enter the raffle for a variety of prizes, and receive some special giveaways at the Staff Appreciation Winter Warm-Up, presented by the Mason Staff Senate!

Save the date for the event at your campus:

  • SciTech: Thursday, Feb. 20, from 1 to 2 p.m., Katherine Johnson Hall Atrium
  • Arlington: Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 1 to 2 p.m., Van Metre Hall, Multipurpose Room
  • Fairfax: Thursday, Feb. 27, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. A departmental information fair will be held at the Fairfax event only.

The Staff Appreciation Events are open to classified staff and non-student wage employees.

For questions, contact

The George Mason Homecoming Celebration Has Begun

Join your colleagues and the rest of the Mason Nation this week by participating in the George Mason University Homecoming celebration!

Enjoy engaging events like the annual Beer and Wine Tasting, Regional Happy Hours, and the Homecoming basketball game against St. Joseph’s University.

Be sure to show up in your most Patriotic green and gold attire. Check out to be part of the fun.

Homecoming Headliner: Colin Jost (Faculty/Staff Discount)

Student Involvement Presents
Colin Jost: Homecoming Comedy Headliner 2020
Thursday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts

Colin Jost serves as a head writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). He started writing for “SNL” in 2005 and has been co-anchor of “Weekend Update” since 2014. 

Jost has won four Writers Guild Awards, a Peabody Award, and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for his writing on “SNL.” 

Special ticket discount available for Mason faculty, staff, and alumni ($5 off). Purchase tickets online or at the Center for the Arts Box Office. 

Visit the Homecoming website for more details. 

Nominations for Jack Wood Award for Town/Gown Relations

In honor of former Mayor Jack Wood, the driving force for town/gown relations between Mason and the local community, the Office of Government and Community Relations presents the Jack Wood Award for Town/Gown Relations.

This award program recognizes 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 community.

To nominate yourself or someone else, submit the online form by March 20.

Award recipients will be notified by April 8, with an award ceremony to be held May 6 in conjunction with the Board of Visitors meeting.

Questions? Contact Traci Kendall at

Reminder: Windows 7 Upgrade

On Jan. 14, Microsoft ended support for its Windows 7 operating system and no longer provides critical security updates.

Mason-owned computers running Windows 7 pose a security risk for users and the Mason network.

Starting Friday, Feb. 21, any remaining Mason-owned computers running Windows 7 will be unable to access the Mason network until they are upgraded to the Windows 10 operating system.

If you have a Mason-owned computer running Windows 7, contact the ITS Support Center at or 703-993-8870 to schedule the upgrade.

Off the Wall: Family-Friendly Digital and Fine Arts Festival

As part of Homecoming, the College of Visual and Performing Arts will open the Art and Design Building to alumni, parents, prospective students, and the public to celebrate the visual arts at Mason. Tour 15 open studios and hands-on exhibits with student and faculty artists and designers, enjoy the music, and create your own art!

Off the Wall
Saturday, Feb. 22
2 to 5 p.m.
Art and Design Building

This year's festival will feature creative cuisine and local brewery and distillery tastings.

Discounted tickets are available for Mason faculty, staff, and alumni. Children ages 13 and under are admitted free. Find more information and purchase tickets at

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

Spring Career Fair: Over 140 Employers Each Day

Spread the word to your students: The Spring Career Fair is coming up on Feb. 19–20 in the Johnson Center (lower level) from 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day.

Registration is not required. Students are encouraged to attend both days, as each day features many different employers. 

Contact Bernadette Davey at 703-993-2372 or with questions.

Mason Jazz Festival

The Mason Jazz Festival is an invitational event open to middle school, high school, collegiate, and community jazz ensembles. 

Mason Jazz Festival
Saturday, Feb. 29
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre

All performances are free and open to the public. No tickets or registration required.

Sponsored by Mason Jazz Studies, National Jazz Workshop, and the Jazz Education Network, the closing festival performance will be the United States Air Force, Airmen of Note, at 7 p.m.

Free parking will be available in Lot K. Paid parking will be available in the Mason Pond Parking Deck.

Visit the website for more information. 

Training and Professional Development

Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education

Join Michelle Marks, vice president for academic innovation and new ventures, as she leads Joshua Kim and Edward Maloney in a conversation on how to make and sustain real change in higher education.

Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education
Tuesday, Feb. 25
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Merten Hall, Room 1201

In their new book, Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education, Kim and Maloney discuss the difficulties of translating learning science advances into organizational change. How does it make its way into our classrooms and teaching practices? What steps should higher education leaders take to match how students learn with the research on how students learn best?

RSVP today. Contact Teresa Finn at 703-993-5114 or for more information.

Mental Health First Aid: Spring Break Session

Student Health Services is pleased to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to members of the university community this March.

MHFA provides participants with basic skills to help someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. MHFA focuses on risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns. The session covers depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

The next session will be offered on March 11–12, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Participants must attend both days.

Register here. Contact Katie Clare at with questions.

Call for Leadership Legacy Program Applications

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 2020–21 cohort of the Leadership Legacy Program are due March 5.

For more information and to apply, view the flyer and visit

Contact with questions.

Well-Being University Reading Group

The Well-Being University (WBU) Reading Group is back for spring 2020!

Join us for discussions on The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal. The group will meet from noon to 12:45 p.m. for five consecutive Thursdays:

  • March 19
  • March 26
  • April 2
  • April 9
  • April 16

Each session will begin with a short movement practice, and our final session will include a campus walk. The overall experience has the potential to benefit your well-being and productivity.

Register for the reading group at your campus location:

Contact Katie Clare at or 703-993-1177 with questions.

2020 Ventures for Well-Being Pitch Competition

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship invites students and recent graduates from all Mason schools and programs to participate in the 2020 Ventures for Well-Being Pitch Competition on April 23.

Well-Being is a $4.5 trillion marketplace. Early-stage concepts are encouraged to compete for $10,000 in prizes.

View more information and eligibility guidelines.

Application deadline is Friday, March 20. Apply here.

Contact Becky Howick, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at 703-993-9663 or with questions.

Resources for You

People Finder Update: Adding Pronouns to Your Listing

People Finder, Mason’s online directory, can now display pronouns for faculty, staff, and affiliates. Mason employees may choose to add this information to People Finder by using the online form to update their listing.

Adding pronouns to People Finder helps build an inclusive and welcoming community at Mason and supports university initiatives recognizing chosen names and pronouns.  

For questions related to People Finder, contact

Staff Senate: Latest Announcements

The Staff Senate started the new year with discussions on lactation support and administrative faculty representation. Our three committees, Awards and Engagement, Communications, and Events, met to discuss upcoming initiatives.

Learn more about our recent announcements and the work we have been doing to serve our constituency.

Staff Senators are ambassadors for George Mason University classified and non-student wage staff, providing service through advocacy, education, and appreciation.

We value the importance of and encourage dialogue with our constituents, the administration, Faculty Senate, and student government. Contact with questions or ideas.

Vanpooling Drop By: Transform 66 Incentives and Free Commuting Options

Are you commuting on I-66 outside the Beltway? Traveling from Winchester, Front Royal, Haymarket, or other western locations?

Traffic on this corridor has been greatly impacted by the Transform 66 project. With road construction increasing, Mason employees need solutions.

Consider vanpooling. On Wednesday, Feb. 26, stop by Kiosk F in the Johnson Center from noon to 2 p.m., or the Sandy Creek Transit Center from 4 to 6 p.m. Representatives from Parking and Transportation and the I-66 project will share information and help those interested sign up for a vanpool.

Financial incentives are available for full-time faculty and staff to vanpool through the Commuter Choice Program and Transform 66.

You might not be able to avoid heavy traffic, but you don’t always have to be driving! 

Visit the Mason Transportation website for more information.

On-Campus Bike Maintenance from The Bike Lane

Get your bike ready for spring with The Bike Lane! They will be on the Fairfax Campus the first Wednesday of the month at the Recreation and Athletic Complex (the RAC).

You can set up an appointment for two different tiers of service. Keep in mind that appointments are required, and payment is made in advance of service.

For details, visit