November 2016

Winter Graduation: December 21

President Ángel Cabrera speaks at Winter Graduation at the Fairfax Campus. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Winter Graduation
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
EagleBank Arena at George Mason University


9 a.m. ceremony: College of Humanities and Social Sciences / College of Science / Schar School of Policy and Government / Antonin Scalia Law School / School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

1 p.m. ceremony: School of Business / College of Health and Human Services / College of Education and Human Development  / Volgenau School of Engineering / College of Visual and Performing Arts

Each graduate is permitted a maximum of eight guest tickets; each guest must have a ticket. All tickets are free and general admission. For additional information, visit the Winter Graduation website.

November 2016

Gowns for Grads

Winter Graduation at the Fairfax campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University
Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Graduation regalia can be expensive! Bachelor’s regalia was priced at $62.98 and Master’s regalia at $107.98 this spring. This could be the cost of an electricity bill, two trips to the grocery store, a new interview outfit, or three tanks of gas for a student.

Students in need can apply to borrow a free, gently used cap and gown, kindly donated by a Mason alum, for their ceremony. Students are selected to borrow regalia based on their need, so not just anyone gets a gown—only students expressing significant need. Last year, approximately 80 students borrowed regalia!

Please consider posting the attached information about this helpful program in your office and/or sending it to your student listserv. You never know which students may be struggling financially. Read more about the program.


November 2016

From Our Friends in Human Resources and Payroll

Next Steps: Plan for Your Retirement
Next Steps: Plan for Your Retirement is an all-day seminar on the Fairfax Campus that covers Social Security, Medicare, state health insurance for retirees, and information about the retirement plans (VRS, TIAA CREF, and Fidelity). Held twice each year, the fall seminar will take place on Friday, November 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Merten Hall, Room 1201.

Register online. For questions, contact

Financial Well-Being from TIAA
Bring financial education to your desktop with TIAA webinars! Sessions are scheduled through the end of 2016 and include:

  • Social Security Planning
  • Financial Planning for the LGBT Community
  • Halfway There: A Retirement Checkpoint
  • And many more!

For details, click here.

Exciting Pilot Opportunity: Helping Faculty/Staff Manage Student Loan Debt
Human Resources and Payroll is partnering with one of Mason’s retirement vendors, Fidelity Investments, on the very important topic of employee student debt. Fidelity Labs has developed a pilot Student Debt Tool for faculty and staff, which is available through November 14.

If you have not had a chance to use the tool, you could be missing out on an opportunity to learn more about your loans, repayment opportunities, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness—a program that faculty and staff who work 30 or more hours per week may be eligible to enroll in. Already checked out the Student Debt Tool? Fidelity would love to hear your feedback.

For additional information on this opportunity, visit Note: This is a voluntary program for all faculty and staff to test Fidelity’s new website and gain insights into managing student debt. There are no sales involved, and you will not be contacted by Fidelity regarding any of their other products. You do not have to be a Fidelity member to participate. For questions, contact the Benefits team at

Financial Well-Being Seminar Series Continues in November with a Session from ICMA-RC
It is important to continue saving for retirement, even when other financial needs crop up. Join Steven Scott, Certified Retirement Counselor from ICMA-RC, for Looking Ahead: Building Retirement Security, where he will address how to ensure that your future remains a priority even when life gets in the way. The seminar will discuss protecting your finances, saving for college, and other goals.

The session will be held on Thursday, November 10, at noon in Fairfax, videoconferenced to Arlington and SciTech. You do not have to be an ICMA-RC member to participate. Register online.

For more upcoming sessions and addition financial education resources, visit the Human Resources and Payroll Financial Well-Being Portal.

November 2016

Gobble, Gobble: Thanksgiving Timesheet Guidance

conucopiaCheck out Human Resources and Payroll’s annual timesheet guidance for the Thanksgiving holiday. It incorporates the additional holiday leave granted by Mason for benefited employees.

Enjoy the holiday break!

November 2016

Outstanding Achievement Awards: Thursday, November 3

ribbonThe Outstanding Achievement Awards ceremony, hosted by Human Resources and Payroll, will be held on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 10 a.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall.

You are cordially invited to come and support your Mason colleagues who are being recognized in such categories as customer service, civility, distance education, and academic advising (to name just a few). For a complete list of 2016 awardees, visit the Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient webpage.

Congratulations to all the awardees, and a big thank you to all who submitted nominations.

November 2016

Mason Administrative Professionals (MAP) Meeting

The next Mason Administrative Professionals (MAP) meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hub, Room 1. Guest speakers will include:

  • Hyatt Regency Fairfax sales team
  • David Long, Associate Vice President, Office of University Advancement and Alumni Relations

The MAP group welcomes anyone working at George Mason who considers themselves to be in an administrative professional role. For questions, contact Lynne Paraggio at 703-993-3844 or

November 2016

October Employee of the Month: Andrea George

Andrea George, Employee of the Month. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
Andrea George, Employee of the Month. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

Heartfelt congratulations to Andrea George, office assistant for special projects in the College of Science, for being selected as the October 2016 Employee of the Month award winner. Read more about Andrea 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.