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October 2021

Meet Kristen Wever: Staff Senator and Assistant Director of the GeorgeSquared Advanced Biomedical Sciences Program

Kristen Wever, Staff Senate. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

Role: GeorgeSquared (G2), housed within the College of Science and located on the SciTech Campus, is a partnership between George Mason and Georgetown universities. It offers a nine-month pre-health preparatory, graduate-level program designed to help qualify students for medical, dental, or other health professional schools. I advise prospective, current and former G2 students and assist them on their journey to becoming health professionals. In addition, I assist with program development, recruitment, administrative duties, and much more!

Mason journey: I previously worked for Mason as an academic advisor for the School of Business from 2014 to 2016, left and worked with online Medical Laboratory Science programs for George Washington University for a few years and then found my way back to Mason in June 2019 when I started my current role. I love working in higher ed, especially in an advising role, and really enjoy making a difference in the lives of students and their academic and professional journeys.

Getting back to campus: When COVID started, I was pregnant with my second daughter so the shift to working from home with one child out of daycare and another on the way was quite a challenge, as it was for many. I have enjoyed being back on campus this fall (and having the kids back in daycare 🙂 ) and can say that I really did miss the routine! Most importantly, I missed seeing my colleagues and students. I am really proud of how Mason has handled the pandemic and I look forward to seeing the community work together in our “new normal.”

Best thing about working at Mason: This has been said countless times, but it’s true! The people I work with, the people I meet, are what make working at Mason so exciting. I love the diversity, the innovation and collaboration.

Why serve on the Staff Senate: I love being connected to various offices, campuses, etc. and seeing what else is being accomplished at Mason by the wonderful staff members. I enjoy being a part of a supportive group that is helping to ensure that all voices are being heard, especially during these unprecedented times.

At the end of the day: I love my family and friends and I love my job. Working with students day in and day out, hearing about different life stories, helping others on their journey towards becoming a health professional — someone who will really make a difference in this world — is very rewarding. Oh, and go Washington Football Team, Nats, CAPS, and Wiz!

Categories
Profile of a Senator September 2021

Meet LaTisha Elcock: Staff Senator and Administrative Assistant, Helen Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities

LaTisha Elcock, Staff Senate. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

Mason journey: I came to Mason in April of 2019 as a part-time employee. Since then, my duties have expanded and now include editorial assistant on an academic journal, early researcher on an Institute of Education Sciences grant, and most recently, student. I am currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Education Policy and, honestly, I could not be happier.

COVID-19 transition: Like most of the university, my team transitioned to remote work in March of 2020 and I am just beginning to return to the office. I was initially very nervous about the remote transition but everyone on my team was able to adjust in record time. My dining room table is now my office desk, and while my family no longer has a designated location for formal, in-house dinners, I can say that I have been super productive in my work-from-home space. My work is both rewarding and relevant.

Best thing about working for Mason: The people, including the staff and faculty, as well as all of the work that everyone is doing here at Mason. It inspires me so much. I believe that the university’s potential is limitless and I am beyond excited to see where GMU will be in 10 years.

Unique fact: Few things make me happier than creating a new recipe and baking a decadent dessert. When I am not working or shuttling my two active high schoolers from one event to another, I can be found in the kitchen working miracles with butter, sugar, and eggs.

Why I serve on the Staff Senate: As an undergraduate at Howard University, I became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In doing so, I pledged to provide service to all mankind. Whether I am volunteering at my kids’ school, serving on the board of my neighborhood pool, or presenting an issue to the university’s administration on behalf of my peers here at GMU, I believe strongly in working with and advocating for those whose voices may not always be heard.

At the end of the day: I love my job and am proud to be a Patriot. I am especially proud of the work that the Staff Senate does and hope to continue serving in this capacity for years to come.

Categories
September 2021

September General Meeting Recording

The September Staff Senate meeting featured guest speaker Paul Allvin, vice president of strategic communications and marketing, who discussed the university’s rebranding campaign as Mason approaches its 50th anniversary as an independent institution.

If you missed the session, you can watch or listen to the recording.

 

Categories
August 2021

Meet Anthony DeMaio: Staff Senator and Office Manager, Office of Undergraduate Education  

Role: I provide logistical and financial support to the Office of Fellowships, the Office of Academic Advising, the Office of Community Engagement and Civic Learning (CECL), the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR), UNIV courses and programs, and the Mason Impact initiative. I get to work across all of these teams that work separately and together to make the undergraduate experience at Mason truly one-of-a-kind.

Mason journey: I came to Mason late in 2017 after spending 10 years running movie theaters in Florida, Maryland, and Virginia. When I started, we were a team of seven full-time employees, and half of the offices mentioned above did not exist. Since then, we have grown to a team of 18 employees, with a growing number of graduate assistants and undergraduate student workers.

Getting back to campus: Like many of you, I am trying to plan for the “next normal” that the fall semester brings for myself and my team. The last year has taught us that we can function entirely virtually, so we are taking those lessons to try and be as innovative with our approach to daily work as we are with developing transformational curricula and programs. I am excited to see how a hybrid approach to achieving our mission can allow us to pick the best outcomes from both in-person and virtual work environments.

Best thing about working at Mason: Seeing how much effort faculty and staff put in to try and provide a unique experience at Mason. Our office provides close to $1 million in grant funding to undergraduate students each year, and I know that there are countless others on campus who are trying to find engaging ways to challenge our students and enhance the impact they will make in the world.

Why serve on the Staff Senate: I have gotten to meet so many people working so hard to raise the profile of classified and wage employees through Staff Senate, and I am hopeful that I can bring a little bit of an outside perspective to our work. It’s been wonderful seeing so many people attend our monthly meetings and engaging in the events we have been able to put on this past year. Hopefully we will all be able to safely get together real soon!

At the end of the day: I enjoy spending time with my family, playing soccer, and playing every kind of board/card/video/dice/tile/miniatures game you can imagine. I am so thankful for the work-life balance Mason provides so that I can indulge in all of my hobbies!

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Profile of a Senator July 2021

Meet Erin Iacangelo Rogers: Staff Senate Chair and Event Coordinator, SciTech Executive Office

 

ROLES: I manage SciTech event requests through 25Live, handle contracting with non-Mason event clients, give tours of the event spaces, provide logistical support to event clients, and provide coordination services for special events. This position allows me to be more connected with our Mason community and the surrounding community.

COVID-19 TRANSITION: The transition to telework and virtual programming was hard on events. We had to act fast in the event office to pivot and support virtual events. This meant doing industry research to find and purchase the best equipment to support this new virtual world. As restrictions reduced we also had to adapt to hybrid events and what that would look like for us and our clients. I’m thankful for the opportunities this presented me. I was able to learn a lot about managing virtual and hybrid events and expanded on my skill set as an event coordinator.

MASON JOURNEY: I began my Mason journey as a freshman in fall 2008 in the young degree of tourism and events management. In early 2010 I started working for University Life SciTech as the assistant special event coordinator then moved on to Artist Services with the Center for the Arts and Hylton Performing Arts. I briefly left Mason after graduating in 2012 then returned in 2015 in my current position as event coordinator. I just couldn’t stay away from the Mason Nation community! In my time at Mason I was nominated to serve on the Staff Senate in 2016, became co-chair to the events committee, nominated as vice chair in 2019 and as of this month have begun to serve as chair. I’m excited to see how my journey continues.

WHY I SERVE ON STAFF SENATE: Working out of the Executive Office provides numerous opportunities to collaborate with Mason leadership and VIPs outside of the university. I saw the senate as a great opportunity to expand my Mason knowledge, network, advocate, and be more in the pulse of the university.

AT THE END OF THE DAY: I am a Mason Patriot whether on the clock or at home. I am always finding myself working Mason into conversation. When I do disconnect from work I enjoy spending time with my two bunnies, new puppy, and going on hikes with my husband.

 

Categories
May 2021

People Finder: Adding Pronouns to Your Listing

People Finder, Mason’s online directory, can 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 masondir@gmu.edu.

 

Categories
Profile of a Senator May 2021

Meet Stephanie Zeher: Staff Senator and Office Manager/Executive Assistant in the School of Integrative Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Stephanie Zeher, Office Manager/Executive Assistant, School of Integrative Studies. Photo by Creative Services

ROLES: I wear many hats in the School of Integrative Studies (SIS) and love each one. SIS enables students to design an individualized course of study or choose from many concentrations. I help faculty with the promotion and tenure process, run our website and social media accounts, execute all the hiring contracts for full-time faculty and adjunct faculty, and serve on our scholarship committee, among other things!

One of my favorite parts of my job is planning our SIS Degree Celebration Ceremony, annually held in the Center for the Arts. The past two years have been a much different experience but I truly believe the university has done its best to make it as special as possible for the students. The logistics of planning a graduation event range from student awards, live and streamed music, program creation, day-of timelines, scripts, and so much more! I love seeing it all come together and the joy in the students’ faces when they cross the stage.

I’ve been working a 32-hour-a-week schedule since 2015, which contributes to a wonderful work-life balance.

MASON JOURNEY: This September will mark my 15th year at Mason. My first job was in the Office of the Registrar at the ripe age of 21. I spent seven years in the degree compliance section, still some of my fondest memories at Mason. I also took advantage of the staff tuition waiver and completed a graduate certificate in higher education administration. I then spent two years in the College of Education and Human Development as the advising and outreach coordinator within the Academic Affairs Office. I went back to the Registrar’s Office for another two years as the consortium coordinator before taking my current role in the School of Integrative Studies four years ago.

You might say I’ve been around the block! My hope is that the variety of my work experiences lends itself to being a successful Staff Senator. This is my second time serving on the Staff Senate. The first was from 2011 to 2013.

BEST THING ABOUT WORKING AT MASON: The people! I’m always blown away at the amazing things faculty are researching and accomplishing in their fields. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest staff around! I’m so grateful for the friendships I’ve developed over the years. I love making new staff connections across campus. The students at Mason are so inspiring, especially during this past year. They are so resilient and carry so much more on their shoulders than I did when I was their age.

WHY I SERVE ON THE SENATE: I am one of the biggest cheerleaders Mason can have! I’m always singing the praises of the amazing environment this campus provides to all its constituents. On the flip side, if I feel as though a process or policy can be done better or is lacking a staff point of view, then I’m also the first to use my voice. I tend to get pretty passionate about issues as well. A few things I’m currently working on are implementing a flexible plastic recycling program (Trex’s “Bags to Benches”), encouraging the university to divest from fossil fuels, increasing child care options on campus for students, making senior leadership aware of the new software platform fatigue that staff are feeling, and bringing my 15 years of experience to the newly formed Faculty and Staff Experience (formerly called the Quality Work Life) Committee.

UNIQUE FACT: I’ve made 464 wreaths since the summer of 2019! I’ve sold 393 and given away 71. I do all the holidays and mostly use burlap and florals in my designs. I am so grateful to have a craft and hobby that has kept me entertained, especially with all the time we spent indoors in 2020. But don’t be surprised if you catch me on the soccer field watching my two boys (ages 5 and 7) play while also building a wreath.

AT THE END OF THE DAY: I have every intention of retiring from Mason. Something that I’d really like to do before I retire is to attend a study abroad trip with Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL), housed within the School of Integrative Studies.

 

Categories
March 2020

Coronavirus: Mason Creates Website to Inform University Community

The CDC advises routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, remote controls, desks, countertops, and doorknobs. Offices might consider providing disposable wipes so employees can wipe down these surfaces before each use. Photo by Getty Images

The Staff Senate continues to closely monitor the university’s directives and response to the coronavirus outbreak. The situation is evolving rapidly. We strongly encourage all staff members to visit the Mason coronavirus website. The site includes an extensive FAQ section, including information related specifically to staff.

Please check the site frequently for university updates related to the coronavirus and continue to monitor university emails and alerts through the usual Mason channels.