George Mason University


News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of July 14, 2020

July 13, 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 Senate Election

Voting in the Staff Senate Election started July 13 and ends on July 24 at 5 p.m.

Ballots will be distributed to constituents’ email inboxes. Each ballot can be completed only once. Click here for more details.

Good luck to everyone seeking election! To learn more about candidates running in the election, visit our Facebook page, where we will highlight candidates during the election weeks.

Contact with questions.

Fall for the Book Partners with City of Fairfax to Support Local Businesses

With COVID-19, social distancing, and canceled summer vacations, Fall for the Book is finding new ways to have fun and support our community.

Along with bringing the entire festival online this fall and extending from September through November, Fall for the Book is hosting online Trivia Night fundraisers during the months of June and July. Thanks to the generous support and partnership with the Fairfax City Economic Development Authority (EDA), gift certificates to local businesses will be awarded to trivia winners.

“Fall for the Book has made its home in Fairfax for 22 years. Even though we’re moving our events online this fall, we still want to lend a hand to the local businesses and community members who have supported us for so long,” said Suzy Rigdon, the festival manager.

Local Fairfax establishments included in this support are Coyote Grille, Auld Shebeen, Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolate, and Dante Salon & Wellness.

Visit for more details.

Training and Professional Development

Free Course: COVID-19 and the Mason Impact

UNIV 391: COVID-19 and the Mason Impact is a free, one-credit course being offered during July’s Summer Session C that runs from July 6 to Aug. 5.

Though the course is now full, videos of the class will be available on the course page.

A different Mason faculty or staff member is featured for each class, each highlighting an aspect of COVID-19 that has intersected with their particular scholarly work to help provide a better understanding of the pandemic.

Each virtual presentation will be followed with a Q&A between faculty and students. The recorded presentations will be made available to the general public via YouTube after the live session is completed through the course page.

Questions about the course? Email

Resources for You

Support for Mason Families: Access to Babysitters, Pet Care, and More

Mason faculty, staff, and graduate students are eligible for a free membership to Bright Horizons, which provides access to sitters, virtual sitters, housekeepers, and pet care.

For more information and to activate your free membership, visit the membership website.

Questions? Contact

Reminder: Expanded CARES Act

On June 19, 2020 and June 23, 2020, the IRS expanded provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

Effective June 23, 2020, 403(b) plan participants financially impacted by COVID-19 may roll 403(b) funds taken at 70 ½ as Minimum Required Distribution (MRD) back into their retirement account. Interested participants must contact TIAA or Fidelity to initiate this process.

Effective June 19, 2020, the CARES Act expanded the eligibility to include participants who experience the following situations:

  • A job offer is rescinded or the start date for a job is delayed due to COVID-19
  • Pay or self-employment income is reduced due to COVID-19
  • A business owned or operated by the employee is closing or the business hours are reduced due to COVID-19

For more information, see the CARES Act provisions or visit Human Resources and Payroll’s COVID-19 page.

BurnAlong Virtual Summer Camp

BurnAlong officially kicked off their Virtual Summer Camp last week to help you and your family stay active and healthy during the summer. With your free BurnAlong account, you can invite up to four immediate or extended family members to join you!

There are kids’ programs and classes in categories like mindfulness, nutrition, yoga, as well as traditional exercise. Additionally, BurnAlong will host more fun activities throughout the summer, such as scavenger hunts.

Visit the Summer Camp weekly schedule to get started.

If you need a BurnAlong account, go to to get your login details. Questions can be sent to