April 2016

April Staff Senate Newsletter

The April 2016 Staff Senate newsletter is now available!

Students walking to class on the North Plaza. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

April 2016

April Staff Senate Meeting: Campus Planning

Wednesday, April 6
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Fairfax: Merten Hall, Room 1201
Arlington: Founders Hall, Room B119 (video-conferenced)
SciTech: Bull Run Hall, Room 254 (video-conferenced)

Guest Speaker:

  • Cathy Pinskey, Director of Campus Planning, will discuss recent and upcoming changes across Mason’s campuses. The Office of Campus Planning oversees strategic land planning, campus master planning, long-range utility planning, exterior architectural standards, landscape architectural standards, space standards and guidelines, and campus art standards. This is a chance for staff to ask questions and learn about the campus planning process.

Guest speaker begins at noon, followed by time to ask questions, express concerns, or offer accolades about issues concerning the Staff Senate. Contact with questions.

April 2016

Go Gaga for Green!

GO-GAGA-2016-graphicGo Gaga for Green and celebrate sustainability at Mason’s Arlington Campus on Saturday, April 30, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This family-friendly community event celebrates Earth Day with fun activities, green refreshments, and live entertainment including the Green Machine Brass Band and a Lip Sync Battle.

Go Gaga for Green features the Arlington Green Patriot Awards and showcases Operation Rain Barrel, where 37 artistic rain barrels decorated by Arlington Public School students are displayed in the Founders Art Gallery and sold via silent auction.

Proceeds benefit George Mason’s Early Identification Program, the Arlington County Council of PTA’s Scholarship Fund, and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment’s Energy Masters Program.

For more information and to purchase your ticket, visit the website. Questions? Contact Toni Andrews at

April 2016

From Our Friends in Human Resources and Payroll

Health and Flexible Reimbursement Account Open Enrollment Dates Announced
Health and Flexible Spending Account (FSAs) Open Enrollment is scheduled for May 1-23, 2016. More information will be sent to employees in the coming weeks. Continue to read Around Mason and check the Benefits website for additional details as they become available.

You Have the “Write” Stuff Award
Do you know a Mason employee who has the “write” stuff? Reward them with a black, 8.5″ x 11″ portfolio, which has a pad of paper, pen loop, and pocket. Request yours here. Contact Beth Baroody at 703-993-2739 or with any questions.

Recreation Survey: Win a FitBit!
Mason Recreation, in collaboration with the Quality of Work Life Task Force, is committed to helping you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. To help us serve you better, we invite you to take a brief 2–3 minute survey. Even if you do not currently use Mason Recreation services, this valuable feedback will help us know more about what activities you like to do, what facilities you might need, and what may be keeping you from using our facilities, programs, and services.

Click here to access the survey. To thank you for your time, we have a drawing to win a FitBit courtesy of Mason Rec! Use the link at the end of the survey to enter the drawing. Your contact information will be kept separate from your responses, so your anonymity is assured. Contact Ryan Bradshaw, Mason Recreation, at 703-993-5819 with any questions.

Reminder: Westminster School/George Mason Collaboration Merit Scholarship
In the spirit of collaboration with George Mason University, Westminster School is offering a scholarship opportunity to the children/grandchildren of Mason faculty and staff. The renewable Merit Scholarship is in the amount of $8,000 per year and is open to students entering grades 3-7. 

Westminster School is an independent school located in Annandale, Virginia, just minutes from the Beltway. To find out more about this opportunity, visit

April 2016

Spring into Well-Being: April 6-13

SpringIntoWellBeingThe daffodils are blooming, so it must be time for Spring into Well-Being! This year it runs from Wednesday, April 6, through Wednesday, April 13. The theme is “Six Days/Six Domains of Well-Being.” Events and opportunities will lead up to April 6, and a host of exciting opportunities will occur throughout this annual celebration and awareness campaign. 

For a schedule of events, visit the Well-Being University website or click here. Human Resources/Payroll is delighted to participate in this event, and we hope you will extend an invitation to all your faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Well-Being means something different to each of us. Spring into Well-Being is designed to highlight some of the well-being programs, activities, and resources available to the Mason community that help build individual and collective capacities for increased vitality, purpose, resilience and engagement. Well-being is for everyone!  It is a way to put some tools in your toolbox and help build your capacity to manage life’s ups and downs, both at home and at work.

You are cordially invited to sample what the Mason community has to offer you. And the menu is astonishing; here’s a sample:

Financial Well-Being Seminar: Building a Better BudgetThursday, April 7, 12p.m. to 1 p.m.
Join Human Resources/Payroll for the Financial Well-Being Seminar Series at Building a Better Budget with Sarah Lieu of Apple Federal Credit Union.  A budget is the most powerful tool available for establishing financial control. After identifying short, mid-, and long-term goals, participants will learn how to design realistic spending plans to live within their means and savings plans to reach their goals. The session will address different options available for getting and staying out of debt. This session will be videoconferenced to Arlington and SciTech. Register online.

Resilience Workshop, Friday, April 8, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Join the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being for a free half-day Resilience Workshop. Learn three different approaches for dealing with adversity and conflict in your life. Learn how to go beyond just “stress management,” and begin to cultivate a kind of inner development from which resilience is a natural by-product. RSVP is required

Financial Well-Being Seminar: Your Next Great Adventure – Living Well in RetirementWednesday, April 13, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
With Marilyn Brennan of TIAA. You have spent many years planning financially for your retirement. The possibilities for your next great adventures are endless and fun to imagine. Marilyn will help you:

  • Envision your ideal retirement
  • Take an honest look at what you will miss about working, and plan how you will supplant those things in retirement
  • Discover the rich possibilities inherent in retirement
  • Help remove any barriers to the retirement you want
  • Learn about how you can pay yourself once you stop working

This session will be videoconferenced to Arlington and SciTech. Register online

There are also some wonderful ways to give back on Community Well-Being Day (Monday, April 11), including:

  • Good Deeds Day
  • WAVES Cigarette Butt Clean UpWAVES is leading a cigarette butt clean-up on campus and will provide quit kits to anyone who wants one. Cigarette butts are not bio-degradable and can take an average of 25 years to break down. All the while, they leave toxic chemicals like cadmium, arsenic, and pesticide residues in the soil and waterways. The clean up runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 11. Meet at Southside. Contact Kathryn Walker at 703-993-3170 or with questions. To sign up as a volunteer, click here. 
April 2016

Summer Camps at Mason

Potomac Arts Academy. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
Potomac Arts Academy. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

Did you know that Mason hosts a wide variety of summer camps and youth programs? Check out to view the latest information for summer 2016. Choose from academic programs, visual and performing arts, recreation camps, sports camps, and more! New offerings are added regularly, so check back for new options.

For questions, contact

April 2016

Staff Appreciation Events: Raffle Winners

Tamara Schweinsberg

Kara Smith

Kuncharee Vititpongs (right)

Debbie Williams

Congratulations to the lucky winners of the raffle prizes from the March 2016 Staff Appreciation events! Thanks to all who attended and participated.


Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate: Debbie Williams
Semester of Parking: Kara Smith  
Surprise Winner (Amazon and Starbucks Gift Cards and Mason Tervis Cup): Kuncharee Vititpongs

Semester of Parking: Lauren Reuscher
Circa Gift Certificate: Erin Embrey
Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate: Pete Gentile 

Semester of Parking: Cathy Holt
Freedom Center Membership: 
Tamara Schweinsberg
Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate: Cassandra Roberts

April 2016

April 2016 Parking and Traffic Impacts: Ringling Bros. Circus

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will visit the EagleBank Arena from April 2–18. Expect traffic and parking to be affected April 4–15.

Circus tents and fencing will occupy portions of Lot A and Lot L from Thursday, March 31, at 11 p.m. through Monday, April 18. The areas to be closed have been marked with signs. Any vehicles left in these areas will be ticketed and towed at the owners risk and expense. The Circus will completely vacate Lot A and Lot L by Tuesday, April 19. EagleBank Arena has worked strategically with the Circus to minimize the impact on campus.

Lot K will no longer be used by the Circus, with the exception of Monday, April 4, for staging. Visit the website to read about expected traffic impacts and parking advice.

For questions, contact Parking Services at 703-993-2710 or

April 2016

March Employee of the Month: Erin Harpine

Erin Harpine, patient advocate and special projects coordinator for George Mason University’s Student Health Services, is the March 2016 Employee of the Month.
Erin Harpine, Student Health Services, is the March 2016 Employee of the Month. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Heartfelt congratulations to Erin Harpine, Patient Advocate and Special Projects Coordinator, Student Health Services, for being selected as the March 2016 Employee of the Month award winner. Read more about Erin in this Mason News article.

Do you know a superstar? Make sure he or she receives the deserved recognition, and submit a nomination for Mason’s Employee of the Month. Additional information can be found on the Human Resources and Payroll awards page.

Contact Reward and Recognition at with questions.

April 2016

Benefits/Discount Fair: Talk to Your Financial and Health Representatives

Health and Fitness Expo at the Fairfax campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University
Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

As part of Spring into Well-Being, Human Resources and Payroll invites you to stop by George’s in the Johnson Center on Wednesday, April 13, between 9 .m. and 3 p.m. to chat with some of Mason’s financial vendors (TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, ICMA-RC, Virginia Retirement System, Virginia 529, and Apple Federal Credit Union).

Mason’s health vendors will also be in attendance, including Anthem (COVA Care), Kaiser Permanente, Aetna (COVA HealthAware), and CommonHealth. Information about faculty/staff discounts will be on hand, as well. See you there!

Contact the Benefits Team at or 703-993-2600 with questions.