George Mason University


News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of Sept. 8, 2020

September 7, 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

Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinic

Mark your calendars! The annual Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinic will be held on the Fairfax Campus on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the flu shot clinic will follow all safety and social distancing protocols. Stay tuned. More details will be available soon.

For questions, contact

Grand Piano Celebration

Get ready for a fantastic afternoon of joyous music during Mason’s own “All-Steinway” event, featuring livestreamed and recorded performances. Showcasing the Dewberry School of Music's extraordinary student and faculty artists and including a tribute from President Gregory Washington, this concert celebrates the renaming of the school in honor of the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family.

Dr. Linda Apple Monson, director of the school and International Steinway Artist, and her colleagues will perform alongside gifted student artists, dedicating their performances to the family who made the “All-Steinway School” possible.

This is a free, virtual event on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m. Find out more here.

Lactation Spaces

Mason is committed to supporting lactation and providing clean, healthy spaces for nursing mothers during COVID-19.

Visit the Human Resources and Payroll parenting website for an updated list of lactation spaces and hours for the fall semester.

The lactation rooms have been equipped with cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer dispensers, and the rooms will be cleaned on a regular basis. Nursing mothers should follow current health and safety protocols by practicing proper personal hygiene, wiping down surfaces before and after use, and wearing a mask while using a lactation space.

For questions or support, contact

Training and Professional Development

Words of the Wise: Sage Supervision Strategies from Senior Leaders

Interested in gaining supervision wisdom from senior leaders at a variety of large public institutions?

Join the Supervision Collective, part of University Life Professional Development, for “Words of the Wise: Sage Supervision Strategies from Senior Leaders” on Thursday, Sept. 24, at noon. The session will be hosted on Zoom.

Senior leaders will discuss supervision strategies including best practices, lessons learned, and implementation approaches that have shaped their supervision philosophies.

The webinar will feature:

  • Rose Pascarell, vice president of University Life, George Mason University
  • Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for student affairs, Auburn University
  • Kevin Bailey, vice chancellor for student affairs, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Julie Walters Steele, director of Reynolds Homestead, Virginia Tech
  • Dave Barnes, director of university unions, James Madison University

Register today.

Senior leaders will answer questions in real time during the event. Submit a question here.

Save the Date: Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference

Join us for the Innovations in Teaching & Learning (ITL) conference from Sept. 21–25. The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning’s signature annual event brings together Mason instructors from across disciplines to share strategies for teaching through lively, virtual, and interactive workshops/panels.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Bryan Alexander, author of Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education. Access the e-book for free, courtesy of University Libraries. Dr. Alexander will invite us to reflect on how the landscape of higher education is changing and how technology can transform education, improving student experience and learning outcomes.

Register and find out more at

Records Management Fall Workshops

University Records Management is offering a number of virtual workshops for staff and faculty throughout the fall, including:

  • Records Coordinator Training
  • Building Internal Records Policies and Practices
  • Quick Retention Review sessions focused on specific records types (such as Academic and Research Records, Human Resources and Fiscal Records, and Administrative and Miscellaneous Records)

University Records Management offers these workshop to assist the Mason community, as improper handling of university records can affect audits, accreditation, litigation, and more.

Each workshop is limited to 10 attendees. See dates, times, and register at

Contact with questions.

Resilience Badge

Mason's Resilience Badge is a fully online, asynchronous learning opportunity that will allow you to further develop your resilience through content knowledge and practices, all of which are backed by the science of resilience. Enroll today to learn about resilience and how to enhance your use of this key skill.

Check out the details and enrollment instructions. New content will be released every two weeks. Module 1 was released on Aug. 31, so start today.

Content is geared toward students, but can be equally beneficial for faculty and staff. Regardless of your position, everyone can benefit from resilience training. If you complete this as a faculty or staff member, it may give you additional insight into the student experience and Mason resources available to them.

Contact Katie Clare 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

Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason

The Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason is one way faculty, staff, and students can come together, discuss the issues confronting working mothers, and perhaps motivate changes on campus.

The 19th year of group meetings will look a bit different, as we plan to meet virtually for the fall semester. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. We also adjusted the time, as the lunch hour is not ideal for working moms with young children at home!

If you are interested in sharing stories and being part of an informal organization of working mothers, join us here:

Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 910 8174 0443
Passcode: 058387

Visit our website for more information. Contact Heather Aleknavage at with questions.

Arts Classes for Kids and Adults

This fall, the Mason Community Arts Academy is offering 22 group classes in music, acting, and visual art for ages 18 months to adult.

All classes are held in a livestreamed, interactive format that connects students with Mason's teaching artists and experienced arts educators.

Some new additions include:

  • "Expand Your Musical Theater Repertoire" and "Monologue Repertoire & Audition Technique" workshops (ages 12–18)
  • New early childhood classes for toddlers and children (18 months to age 6)
  • Digital art and technology classes (ages 11–18)
  • Music and art classes (adults)

Programs are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Claim your spot today at

All Mason faculty, staff and their immediate family receive 10 percent tuition discount. To receive the discount, contact

Connect Your Students with the Writing Center

The Writing Center is 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.

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Newsletter

Sign up for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's once-a-week newsletter and find out the latest in entrepreneur and innovator news on campus. The newsletter features center programming, book club updates, Mason student and alumni highlights, community-at-large Information, and more!

Click here to subscribe.

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.