George Mason University


News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of Sept. 1, 2020

August 31, 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

September Staff Senate Meeting to Address Telework Culture

The September Staff Senate meeting will feature Kevin W. Rockmann, professor of management and dean’s scholar, School of Business. Dr. Rockmann will share thoughts on telework culture and its effect on employee well-being.

Staff Senate September Meeting
Wednesday, Sept. 2
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
(General Meeting will follow from 11 a.m. to noon)
Zoom link
Passcode: SS123

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at Mason. Working closely with university administration, the senate addresses 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.

Contact with questions.

New Hours of Operation Website

Check out the new Hours of Operation website, which lists in-person, virtual, and phone contact hours for Mason offices and services. Visit

Don't see your department listed, or need to submit a change? Share your department's contact hours using this form.

Only one person needs to submit the form for each department.

Please share the link with your students to help them connect with the services they need.

For questions, contact Lauren Reuscher, University Information, at

College Colors Day: Wear Green. Wear Gold.

College Colors Day celebrates and promotes school spirit by encouraging fans to wear apparel of their favorite college on Friday, Sept. 4. 

Show your colors wherever you are—school, work, or home! College Colors Day also kicks off another school year of Spirit Fridays at Mason, where everyone shows school pride by wearing Mason gear. 

Haven’t gotten your Mason gear yet?  Find local and online retailers to get your green and gold. Remember, wear your colors on Sept. 4!

Compensatory Leave Reminder

Have you earned compensatory leave? Make sure you are aware of the compensatory leave limits and expirations:

  • Employees are limited to 96 hours of accrued compensatory leave
  • Per State Policy 3.10, accrued compensatory leave expires one year from the pay period in which the hours are accrued, regardless of the 96-hour limit
  • Compensatory leave may not be used once hours expire or lapse

You can review your leave balance by visiting Patriot Web. If you have questions, contact

Mason International Collaborative Survey

The Mason International Collaborative (MIC) is a two-year initiative to review and strategize on-campus internationalization efforts. The areas of comprehensive internationalization being addressed are: curriculum, enrollment management and partnerships, education abroad, faculty development, students and campus life, and research.

The goal is to create strategic cohesion across the span of Mason’s global efforts. Institutions accomplish this by having a multi-dimensional, comprehensive internationalization strategy including involvement and collaboration with faculty.

Faculty are encouraged to participate in a survey on campus internationalization. Take the 20-minute optional survey.

Contact the Mason International Collaborative at and reference IRBNet #1601043-1 with questions.

Update from University Records Management

As we begin a new academic year and continue in an increased virtual environment, University Records Management would like to remind the Mason community that any records created by employees are a compliance area for the university at large.

During this time when many of the ways we conduct business have changed, we are still subject to the records regulations set forth by the Library of Virginia under the Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA), as well as other laws and agreements.

See the August 2020 memo regarding Records Management regulations and practices for more information. Contact with any questions.

Parking and Transportation Resources for Fall 2020

COVID-19 has necessitated a number of changes within Parking and Transportation. We have some resources to assist as you return to campus, including:

Reach out to 703-993-2828 or with any questions.

No Mason Shuttle Service on Labor Day

There will be no Mason Shuttles service in observance of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 7. For details, visit the Mason Shuttles website. Contact or 703-993-2828 with questions.

Training and Professional Development

Webinar: Forming Successful Learning Pods – Insights from Public Health and Education Technology Experts

As K-12 students head back to school in the coming weeks, many families are exploring the pros and cons of “learning pods” or “bubbles.” What should families take into consideration—from a health and a learning perspective—when deciding whether to pod or not?

Forming Successful Learning Pods: Insights from Public Health and Education Technology Experts
Thursday, Sept. 3
Noon to 1 p.m.
Register here

Panelists will include:

  • Jered Borup, associate professor, Division of Learning Technologies, College of Education and Human Development
  • Amira Roess, professor, Department of Global and Community Health, College of Health and Human Services

This webinar is offered as part of the COVID-19 College of Health and Human Services Webinar Series.

Contact Michelle Thompson at with questions.

George Mason Toastmasters Continues to Zoom

George Mason Toastmasters continues to Zoom! Following guidance from Toastmasters International, we were able to move our weekly meetings to an online format. We have made the most of the current situation and continue to practice our speaking and leadership skills while developing new skills using a virtual format. Guests are welcome to join.

Meeting details are available at

Learn more about Toastmasters at a virtual open house on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at noon. This will be a great chance to see our meeting in action and participate in Table Topics, impromptu speaking practice, as well as ask questions about our club.

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

Polarity Thinking Certification

Discover how to apply well-being science to your leadership during this challenging time. Learn how to deal successfully with polarities (interdependent forces that create tension in complex situations) in the Polarity Thinking certification program offered by the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.

The “both/and” thinking you will learn can help you succeed despite stress, change, and uncertainty.

Register now for the live, virtual program beginning in October. Questions? Contact

Resources for You

University Life Website Maintaining Repository for Messages Sent to Students

Faculty and staff interested in reading emails sent to students from different sources on a variety of subjects can find them in the Official Message log compiled by University Life.

Change Your Commute: Vanpool

Looking for a new way to get to work? Consider vanpooling.

Travel with the same group of Mason colleagues. Reduce the time you spend driving. Plus, for full-time faculty/staff, the cost of your commute can be subsidized by Mason up to $270/month.

Seats are currently available from the Fredericksburg area (work hours 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Or, start your own vanpool with four coworkers. Visit the vanpool website for details. Contact Parking and Transportation at for assistance.

Try Going Car-Free

It’s always a good 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 to receive promo codes for discounts and be entered into a raffle for some great prizes.

If you are a full-time employee, remember that public transportation costs are subsidized up to the IRS limit of $270/month. Details on the Commuter Choice Program are available at

Contact Mason Transportation at for more information.

Connect Your Students with the Writing Center

The Writing Center is open and operating fully online this term. Students can book free, 45-minute appointments to meet with a tutor on Zoom, or submit a draft for written feedback.

Promote the Writing Center to your students using a syllabus blurb, embedding or showing our video in your online course, or inviting a tutor to join your synchronous class meeting on Zoom, Webex, or Collaborate Ultra.

To access our syllabus blurb, video, or to invite a tutor to your synchronous class meeting, click here.

Contact with questions.

Mobile Commuter Store: Arlington Campus

Drop by the Mobile Commuter Store in front of the Arlington Campus each Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (3301 Fairfax Drive).

The Mobile Commuter Store brings commuter information and fare cards right to you. The full schedule for the Mobile Commuter Store is available here.

Contact with questions.