December 2014

Toys For Tots Annual Toy Drive

The Staff Senate, Office of Military Services, and Parking Services are again hosting the Toys for Tots toy drive.  All offices are encouraged to gather donations from now until the University Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 17.  Toys should be new and unwrapped and can be dropped off at the Holiday Party.

Help spread the word by posting the flyer in your office or on your public bulletin board.

Toys For Tots (Logo)
Toys For Tots (Logo)

If you have any questions, contact Nicole Roth,

December 2014

University Holiday Parties

Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

The dates of the season’s University holiday parties have been announced.  Be sure to attend the festivities at your campus:

Arlington Campus:  Monday, December 15, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., Founders Hall, Multipurpose Room
Prince William Campus: Tuesday, December 16, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., Bull Run Hall, Atrium
Fairfax Campus:  Wednesday, December 17, 2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall



December 2014

Discounts and Life/Work Benefits to be Highlighted at December Staff Senate Meeting

Wednesday, December 3
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Fairfax Campus: Research Hall, Room 163
Arlington Campus: Founders Hall, Room B119 (videoconferenced)
Prince William Campus: Bull Run Hall, Room 254 (videoconferenced)

Guest Speakers:
Janet Walker, Life/Work Connections Manager, Human Resources and Payroll, will discuss the many discounts and benefits available to Mason staff. Find out how you can save, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Rick Holt, Trainer, Human Resources and Payroll, will highlight professional development programs and opportunities available to staff.

Guest speakers begin at noon, followed by time to ask questions, express concerns, or offer accolades about issues concerning the Staff Senate. The Staff Senate business meeting begins at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome, and registration is not necessary.

December 2014

Save the Dates – Staff Appreciation Events

Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University
Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Mark your calendar for this winter’s upcoming Staff Appreciation events at the Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William Campuses.

Arlington Campus
Monday, January 26, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Founders Hall, Room 125/126
Snow Day: Tuesday, January 27

Prince William Campus
Wednesday, January 28, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Bull Run Hall, Atrium
Snow Day: Thursday, January 29

Fairfax Campus
Tuesday, February 3, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
SUB I, Patriot’s Lounge
Snow Day: Wednesday, February 4

December 2014

From Our Friends in Human Resources and Payroll

Faculty-Staff Enrichment Day: Registration Now Open!

Registration is open for Faculty-Staff Enrichment Day at

Join us on December 2 as we feature each of the Mason values through speakers, breakout sessions, and an expo. The day will open with two keynote speakers – Wendi Manuel-Scott on how to live your values and Mandy O’Neill on companionate love in the workplace. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter @MasonFSED.

If your department is interested in participating in the Expo, please contact for details.

Deadline Extended: Entertainment Books

Entertainment coupon books are available for purchase online at a discount through Friday, December 5!  Books are available for cities across the nation or close to home.  They make great gifts!  Books start at $25 each using the link below. will donate 25% of the cost of each book purchased by December 5, 2014 to the Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship Fund.  And shipping is free!  Share the link below with family and friends.

Visit Mason’s Entertainment Book site at to order and support the Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship.

Financial Well-Being Seminar Series

December financial education classes are just a click away!  Please review the diverse learning opportunities available on-campus or online throughout this academic year. Topics include budgeting, saving, individual planning, investing, and retirement.  This month, on-site classes, held at noon (and videoconferenced to Arlington and Prince William*) include:

December 3: Managing Your Money in Tough Times with a representative from Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program

December 8: Shifting from Savings to Spending with Jeff Jones from Fidelity

For a description of each session and to register, visit  To review the entire financial well-being program, visit Financial Well-Being at Mason (

Holiday Schedule for the Remainder of 2014 and All of 2015

The holiday schedule for the rest of 2014 and all of 2015 is available on the Benefits website or directly at Holiday Schedule.

Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC)

The 2014 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) is under way.  Contact Helga Yunker at for pledge cards or additional information.  Online giving is available for both payroll deduction as well as one-time credit card donations at eDirect (

A list of charities can be viewed at

December 2014

From the Staff Senate Chair

Winter is finally here! While most of the campus is preparing for course finals and wrapping up the academic year with winter convocation, I find December to be a time of reflection and refocus. This year with a  few extra days off, I am excited to be able to spend even more time focused on my well-being both at work and at home.

As this is also a season of thanksgiving and appreciation, I wanted to take a moment and truly thank you for all you do here at Mason. I am astounded at all the accomplishments by our staff on a daily basis. YOU make a difference here at Mason for every student and college you interact with, and even those you don’t! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping make Mason my home this holiday season.

Stephanie Payton

Chair, Mason Staff Senate

December 2014

Mason Basketball Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day: Get Your Free Tickets

George Mason University will honor faculty, staff, and retirees at Faculty/Staff and Retirees (FSR) Appreciation Night at a Mason basketball game on Wednesday, December 3, when Mason hosts a basketball doubleheader. The women’s team will face East Tennessee State University at 5 p.m., followed by the men’s team versus Old Dominion University at 7:30 p.m.

The Patriot mascot gets the crowd hyped as the George Mason Patriots play against Fordham Rams in the Opening Round of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Craig Bisacre/Creative Services/George Mason University
The Patriot mascot gets the crowd hyped as the George Mason Patriots play against Fordham Rams in the Opening Round of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Craig Bisacre/Creative Services/George Mason University

All full-time faculty/staff and retirees are eligible to request up to four free tickets. All requests must be submitted online. The deadline to request tickets is Sunday, November 30. Submit requests here.

For questions, contact

December 2014

Senator Highlight: Susan Brionez, Office Manager, Assistant to Associate Dean, Volgenau School of Engineering

After a successful career in headhunting and then 10 years at home raising our children, I took a position at the elementary school in our neighborhood. When our youngest moved on to middle school, I craved a change to an environment that would build on my skills and challenge me. However, I felt a strong need to work close to home so I could be available to my family if needed. With Mason only 4 miles down Braddock Road, it seemed the likely choice.

Susan Brionez and Dr. Angel Cabrera at the November 2014 Annual Award Ceremony.  Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University
Susan Brionez and Dr. Angel Cabrera at the November 2014 Annual Award Ceremony. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

What I didn’t know then about Mason, and of the Associate Dean who hired me, is that this is the best place to work if you are family-oriented. Hands-down! I came to Mason because it was convenient geographically. I stay at Mason because this has become my home and I enjoy my job, co-workers, and colleagues across campus.

I joined the Staff Senate because of the opportunities to network across campus. Here in the Student Services Office we serve our students by helping them navigate the policies and procedures associated with special requests. At times it is necessary for students to be referred to other academic, service, or administration offices across campus. As a Staff Senator, I have had the opportunity to work beside individuals who later serve as a resource for our students.

Currently I serve on the Education and Outreach Committee. Our responsibility is to communicate and educate Mason staff about campus policies, programs, and services. We do this via a monthly newsletter, on our web page, and through email when necessary. In addition, I have served for several years on the University Dining Committee.

Outside of my day job, my daughter and I have a shop on Etsy, BBsBanners, where we sell one-of-a-kind custom and ready-made fabric banners, canopies for infant car seats, and Twirly Girly skirts. My daughter does the marketing and posting; I am the seamstress.

When I’m not working at Mason, or sitting behind my sewing machine, I enjoy the company of my husband, our four children, and five grandchildren (#6 will be here in March).

December 2014

Last Chance for On-Site Flu Shots for COVA Participants

An on-site flu shot clinic will be offered for COVA Care, COVA HDHP, and COVA HealthAware participants in conjunction with Faculty-Staff Enrichment Day on Tuesday, December 2, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Gold Room.

To make an appointment, call 1-877-728-6655, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

For details, view Flu Shot Information. Contact Life/Work Connections at 703-993-2600 with additional questions.