George Mason University


News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of Nov. 17, 2020

November 16, 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

Childcare Survey: Patriot Learning Pods

As Mason works to safely expand on-campus operations, we are looking for new ways to support our community and increase our ability to utilize the campus. With schools throughout the area providing virtual instruction, many employees and students face childcare challenges that may prevent them from returning to campus.

To help, Mason is exploring the establishment of a Patriot Learning Pod (PLP) for the spring semester, and we want to gauge our community’s interest and needs through a survey.

PLP would provide a safe, supervised space where elementary school children of Mason students, faculty, and staff could complete online schoolwork while their parents are on campus. This would be a supervised learning environment only, with no additional curricular activities, meals, or recess provided, which will operate in accordance with applicable Mason Safe Return to Campus precautions. Students will bring their own devices and must be capable of accessing their school’s learning management system. This potential program would have limited space with a fee structure to be determined.

If you are interested in participating, complete this survey by Nov. 20 to help the university assess the viability of this program.

Two More On-Campus Flu Shot Opportunities

It is important for all members of the Mason community to get their flu vaccine this year, so we can protect ourselves and each other. Getting the flu shot also helps reduce the chance that you will need treatment, keeping Student Health Services and your medical provider free to treat other illnesses.

Faculty and staff can sign up for a flu shot on these upcoming dates:

Wednesday, Nov. 18
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Fairfax Campus, SUB I, Room 2300
Giant Pharmacy on-site appointment sign up:

Thursday, Nov. 19
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fairfax Campus, SUB I, Room 2300
Giant Pharmacy on-site appointment sign up:

Students can also take advantage of these clinics. You must sign up in advance.

For questions, contact Student Health Services at

Virtual Holiday Donation Drive

Would you like to help someone in need? Parking Services has teamed up with the Staff Senate for a virtual holiday donation drive.

Starting Wednesday, Nov. 11, and running through Tuesday, Dec. 15, reduce the cost of an outstanding parking citation by $10 or $20 by making a donation to one of the charities on the Staff Senate website.

For important details, visit

Contact with questions.

Jazz4Justice™ and Justice for Jazz

Jazz4Justice is an award-winning annual concert presented by Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) and Mason Jazz Studies. The concert was established in 2001 by Fairfax attorney Edward L. Weiner and the founder of Mason Jazz Studies, Jim Carroll.

Jazz4Justice™ and Justice for Jazz
Friday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m.
Free, online event

This year's virtual celebration concert will highlight Mason Jazz students and faculty. Jazz4Justice is a truly unique event where attorneys, judges, students, and members of the Northern Virginia community gather to celebrate their love of jazz.

Proceeds from the evening benefit LSNV’s mission of service to the Northern Virginia community and provide financial support for the Mason Jazz Studies department for trips, recordings, and student projects.

For more information and to register, visit

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: David Shifrin, clarinet

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
CMS Front Row: National
David Shifrin, clarinet
Sunday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.
Free, online event

This performance features virtuosic works for clarinet played by David Shifrin and fellow CMS musicians, including Mozart’s "Clarinet Quintet in A major," Bassi’s Concert Fantasia on the Themes from Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Duke Ellington’s Clarinet Lament.

Don’t miss this sparkling performance of chamber music hosted by CMS Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han.

Details for how to watch will be updated at closer to the event date.

Training and Professional Development

Nominate Faculty for 2021 Online Teaching Excellence Award

Stearns Center Digital Learning invites Mason students, faculty, and staff to nominate faculty members for the 2021 Online Teaching Excellence Award (OTEA).

This award recognizes teaching excellence of faculty who teach fully-online courses at Mason. To be eligible, faculty may be full-time or part-time (adjunct) and need to have taught online at least four complete semesters at Mason.

Nominations are accepted through Dec. 1. For more information about OTEA, visit the Stearns Center website.

Submit a nomination here. Questions? Contact

Resources for You

Vanpool Interest Meeting

If you are contemplating your commute back to work, see if vanpooling works for you.

Join Sarah Mandel from Commute With Enterprise as she outlines how vanpooling works, along with James Davenport of Transform I-66 for an I-66 project update.

Mason subsidizes vanpooling for full-time faculty and staff up to the IRS limit of $270/month. This means your commuting cost could be zero.

The session will be hosted on Zoom on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at noon. Register here.

Questions? Contact Parking and Transportation at

The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices with Theresa Ruth Howard and Nicole Brewer

The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices is pleased to host Theresa Ruth Howard along with anti-racist theater advocate Nicole Brewer for a digital conversation focused on being change agents for diversity, equity, and inclusion within their respective fields of dance and theater.

Howard and Brewer will share insights from working with various organizations and discuss what it means to be anti-racist educators, artists, and facilitators, especially in traditionally white-dominated fields. The evening will conclude with live questions from the participating audience.

The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices with Theresa Ruth Howard and Nicole Brewer
Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m.

This conversation will be livestreamed on the Center for the Arts website, Facebook, and YouTube at the scheduled time.

Deadline Extended: Capital Bikeshare Membership Raffle

Looking for a new way to get around? Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) may be a solution for you.

Mason Parking and Transportation is raffling off up to 30 complimentary annual memberships with Capital Bikeshare for Mason faculty and staff. The annual membership begins with the first CaBi bike ride. Note: The value of the membership is $85 and due to IRS rules, recipients will be taxed on this amount through Payroll.

The Capital Bikeshare raffle is for Mason faculty and staff only.

Parking and Transportation has extended the entry deadline to Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. Winners will be notified by email after the drawing. To enter the raffle, visit

A reminder that all Mason students have an ongoing discount with CaBi. See details here.

Contact with questions.

Participate in a Research Study on Smart Home Devices

A Mason research team is conducting interviews to understand users’ needs of privacy controls in smart home devices. The interview will take 30–60 minutes, and participants will be compensated with a gift card upon completion of the study.

This study is approved by IRB (1477224). For more information and to participate, visit the website.

Feel free to share the invitation to participate with your contacts.