September 2017

Faculty Staff Lounge Relocated

As of September 5th our Faculty/Staff Lounge has relocated from the Bistro on the first floor to Room 118.

September 2017

Questions for President Cabrera

President Ángel Cabrera. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

You are invited to attend when Dr. Cabrera meets with the Staff Senate on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 11:00 am.

Fairfax: Merten Hall, 1201
Arlington: Founders Hall, Room B119 (video-conferenced)
SciTech: Colgan Hall, Room 221 (video-conferenced)

Questions for our guest speaker:

This is your opportunity to ask university leadership about things that are important to you as Mason staff!

All who attend the Staff Senate meeting are welcome to ask questions in-person, during the session.

You can also submit your question in advance using the online submission form or email your question to You can include your name, or you may ask to remain anonymous.

Staff Senate reserves the right to determine which questions are asked during the meeting. Any selected questions that could not be asked during the session due to time constraints will be emailed to the guest speaker, and their response will be published in the Staff Senate newsletter at a later date.

September 2017

From Our Friends in HR

Reminder: Need some extra hands?

Talent Acquisition is happy to provide Mason Talent Temps, an alternative to recruiting wage or seasonal employees through eWork and available at a reduced cost compared to external temp agencies. Talent Acquisition manages a vetted and on boarded (yes, that means no EPAFs) pool of ready employees with skill sets ranging from reception and administrative support to financial and technology professionals.  Mason Temps can provide temporary help for a few days, or up to 40 hours per week for up to 9 months.

Have questions? Please take a look at our Q&A.
To request a Mason Talent Temp, please complete the electronic form.

Call for Nominations: Outstanding Achievement Awards

Nominate a colleague for the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Awards.  The nomination deadline is September 29, 2017 and there are guidelines to help you prepare a nomination.  Join us for the 20th anniversary of this awards ceremony on November 2, 10:30 a.m. – Noon in Dewberry Hall.

Questions?  Please call Beth Baroody at 3-2739.

World Gratitude Day: September 21

Join Beth Baroody, Reward and Recognition Coordinator, on World Gratitude Day, September 21 from noon-2pm in Merten Hall, Room 1201.  Beth will help you enhance your gratitude practices towards your Mason colleagues with some resources and information.  Make a point to express gratitude to one of your colleagues with a heart-felt thank you on World Gratitude Day or any day.

Save the Dates: Healthy Campus Week

As part of University’s collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America, Mason will be celebrating Healthy Campus Week from September 25-October 1.  It’s a terrific opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to connect with making the healthy choice, the easy choice!  A schedule is available on the Wellness by Mason site; please check back as events are being added.  Events include:

  •  Physical Well-Being Seminar Series: CommonHealth, Think About It

Join Amy Moore, from CommonHealth, as she shares what you can do to keep your brain healthy. Keeping your brain healthy isn’t hard. It involves living intentionally and caring for your brain and your body every day. CommonHealth has broken it down into 5 easy steps: learn more, get moving, stay connected, eat right, and take charge.  The session will be held on Monday, September 25 at noon and will be videoconferenced to Arlington and SciTech.  For locations and to register, please visit

  • Mindfulness Practices for the Mason Community

Join leaders from University Life, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Human Resources & Payroll as they facilitate a variety of mindfulness practices each Tuesday from noon-12:45pm through December 19 in SUB I #3309.  For more information, please visit the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.

  • The Move to Improve Challenge

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), Charity Miles and Meredith Publishing Company have launched the Move to Improve Challenge with a goal of achieving 20.17 million miles of movement in 2017! Charity Miles raises support for PHA’s mission for every mile logged.

This Challenge is free for Mason and is underway right now. It will run through the end of 2017. The school with the most miles logged during Healthy Campus Week will be recognized across PHA’s channels!  We hope you’ll help Mason help others.  For details on how to join, please visit

9/11 Day of Service, Women Giving Back Clothing Drive

Between now and September 11, as part of the 5th Annual Mason Day of Service, a clothing drive is being held on behalf of Women Giving Back, a local non-profit that provides free clothing to women and children in Northern Virginia homeless shelters.

Items they need:

Suits, separates, business attire, shoes, jewelry, coats, unopened makeup and toiletries, purses and business accessories. Also, children’s clothing, shoes, books and toys.

Boxes are now available in:

  • Child Development Center
  • CHSS, Buchanan 201 (formerly Mason Hall)
  • Colgan Hall 217, SciTech
  • Founders Hall 220, Arlington
  • Freedom Center Lobby, SciTech
  • HR & Payroll, Merten, Suite 4100
  • ITS Support Center, Innovation Hall 226
  • Patriot Tech, Johnson Center, Room 133
  • Collaborative Learning Hub, Johnson Center, Room 311
  • Aquia, Room 349

If boxes are full prior to 9/11, please contact Whitney Sublett at or Janet Walker at and they will stop by to collect the donations.  Otherwise, volunteers will stop by on 9/11 to pick up the boxes and their contents.  Questions?  Please contact Whitney or Janet.

Smoking at Mason

A gentle reminder that, as a state agency, Mason abides by Commonwealth policy on smoking.  Please do not smoke within 25’ of any building, including parking structures.  Additionally, please dispose of cigarette butts properly by putting them in a receptacle designed for this purpose.  Please do not litter.

Mason’s smoking/vaping policy is available at Please remember that courtesy can help bridge differences.  Let’s work together on this one.

September 2017

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

As a qualified public-service employer, Mason’s salaried faculty and staff who work more than 30 hours per week may be eligible to participate in the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If you think you may be eligible, please complete the PSLF Employment Certification Form. Mason will need to complete a section of the form; please email the form to or fax to 703.993.2601.

September 2017

Message From Our New Chair: Chris Maier

Christopher Maier, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Welcome back everyone as we begin a new academic year. Your Staff Senate, advocating for over 3,200 Mason employees, is engaging more and working to cultivate a stronger Mason community. This academic year will bring about some interesting changes. Our administration is revisiting portions of the Strategic Plan, and adding clarity and further details to the University’s stated goals. The refreshed plan is scheduled for completion prior to the Board of Visitors meeting in December.

There will be opportunities for Staff input during the Strategic Plan Refresh. The Staff Senate will hold meetings and report back to four committees related to Staff: 1) Employee Engagement, 2) Community Involvement, 3) Research/Scholarship Agenda, and 4) Student Success. Be on the lookout for emails and further information about how the Staff Senate, and Staff in general, can play a meaningful role in this process.

Starting this year, the Staff Senate has been invited to attend the President’s Council meetings. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with University administrators. We attended the annual Planning Conference in July and gained greater perspective on university achievements, challenges, and strategies. The “refresh” will require the most attention for the remainder of this calendar year, as the University recalibrates its goals. We are thankful for the opportunity to provide assistance to this effort.

At our August meeting, the Staff Senate voted and approved the use of Cisco Spark (online team-messaging used by George Mason). As we look to streamline our processes and better serve the Staff, Spark will be a crucial tool for effective and efficient interaction among your Staff Senators.

Also at the August meeting, Staff Senators were tasked with two goals for this academic year, in addition to our annual objectives. Each campus has Staff Senate representation (Science and Technology, Arlington, Fairfax, and At-Large) and will work to improve Staff engagement, with at least one objective serving each specific campus. In addition, the Staff Senate will work together on at least one additional overarching project. We adjourned our Sept. 6 meeting after brainstorming and discussing what we would like to achieve this academic year. More information will follow in next month’s newsletter.

In other news, the Science and Technology Campus will hold a Town Hall later this month to discuss Staff improvement and engagement ideas with Human Resources. We will advertise this meeting in the coming weeks. Please plan to attend if you work at Sci-Tech. We are looking to hold similar events at other campus locations in the near future.

Staff Senate meetings are open to all Staff members. We would love to see you there. Plan now to attend our next meeting on October 4th, in Merten Hall 1201, Founders Hall B119, and Colgan Hall 221.Frank Neville, Vice President for Communications and Marketing, will present to the Staff Senate from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Then from 11:00 AM to noon, President Cabrera will present to the Staff Senate. This is an opportunity to ask university leaders about any Mason topic or to share a suggestion or make a comment. We have a voice as a representative body, and we have voices as individual Staff members. Let’s use them.

It is up to the entire Staff to create the changes we want to see at George Mason University. While we have a committed and capable Staff Senate, efforts to improve working conditions and work-life balance will require additional assistance. If there is an issue we are working on that speaks to you, please consider becoming a Staff Advocate for that specific topic. The commitment is no more than what you can give. By helping out, you will have an opportunity to collaborate with a Staff Senator, serve your Mason colleagues, and contribute to the success of the more than 35,000 students at the largest public research university in Virginia.

We can accomplish so much more when we work together!

“Your life is an occasion.  Rise to it.” – Suzanne Weyn

September 2017

Suit-Up Mason Oct 1st

Suit-Up Mason

The Mason family is invited to join University Career Services at JCPenney in Fair Oaks Mall for some extreme discounts on professional wear.

After a 40% off coupon and in store sales you could save up to 70%! 

The store will be open only to Mason students, alumni, faculty, and staff during these hours. This is a great opportunity to build your business wardrobe ahead of the Fall Career Fair.

Bring your Mason ID and get there early. Upon arrival you’ll be entered into multiple raffles. We will be raffling off five goodie bags, two salon services, and two Sephora gifts! You must be present to win.

No transportation? No worries! We’ve got two shuttles leaving from Sandy Creek to take you to and from Fair Oaks Mall for this event.

Did we mention the Mason Patriot is going to be there? Get a photo with the Patriot, and participate in our Instagram challenge for the opportunity to win lunch with employers at the Fall Career Fair.

#soworthit #masonworkwear

September 2017

Welcome Mason’s Newest Staff Senators

Congratulations to our newly elected Senators and returning Senators!


  • Stephanie Atkins, Mason LIFE program (incumbent)
  • Lisa Bair, Environmental Science and Policy (incumbent)
  • Susan Brionez, Volgenau School of Engineering (incumbent)
  • Andrew Burroughs, Registrar
  • Sean Cox, Student Centers
  • Kathy Dodd, Office of Communications and Marketing
  • Jared Hagenow, Mason Police
  • Akitta Robertson, Provost Office
  • Brett Spencer, Facilities
  • Preston Williams, Strategic Communications
  • Joanne Zimmerman, Biology


  • Jennifer Gantt, Arlington Campus Administration
  • Carl Redmon, Arlington Events

Science and Technology:

  • Lindsey Olson, School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (incumbent)
  • Michael Wharton, Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center


  • Christopher Maier, Facilities (incumbent)
September 2017

20th Anniversary of the Science and Technology Campus

Prince William Campus aerial photos with student pilot Sean Graham. Photo by Craig Bisacre/Creative Services/George Mason University

Join us for a community program celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Science and Technology Campus.

Wednesday, September 20
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
SciTech Campus, Colgan Hall, Verizon Auditorium

Reception immediately to follow.

The Science and Technology Campus is located at 10900 University Boulevard, Manassas, Virginia, 20110.

RSVP online. For additional information, contact University Events at or 703-933-2853.

September 2017

Survey Opportunity: Telework!VA

Human Resources and Payroll is collaborating once again with Telework!VA to conduct a brief, voluntary, and confidential survey of faculty and staff.

The survey will ask about your current travel to work and teleworking. The online survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and will be available through Friday, September 8.

To access the survey, click here.

Contact the Life/Work Connections team at or 703-993-2600 with questions.

September 2017

Mason Discount at Modell’s Sporting Goods

Mason Recreation has joined the Modell’s Team Weeks program, giving Mason students, faculty, and staff a 15% discount on regular and sale-priced merchandise. Some exclusions may apply, and a Mason ID is required.

Modell’s will contribute five percent of these sales to Mason’s student development fund, which supports students’ career readiness. The discount is available at the Fair Lakes, Reston, Springfield, Potomac Mills, and Arlington locations. The program will run year long.

For questions, contact Stephen Kuchera at or 703-993-3921.