November 2018

November Staff Senate Newsletter

The November 2018 Staff Senate Newsletter is now available. Check out the latest news for Mason Staff!

November 2018

Message from the Chair

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

This fall has been crazy-busy for everyone, in many good ways. Mason is changing, very much like the leaves on the trees: right before our eyes. In a short-period of time, you’ll be able to tell others that you were a part this transition, a participant in the transformation process. Even if you don’t know what that is just yet. You will soon enough.

Now that annual reviews are over, take time to remember and celebrate the successes you’ve accomplished throughout 2018. If you’re looking for that inner-drive, some pepping up, a renewal of purpose, or continual motivation, please come to Dewberry Hall for the Outstanding Achievement Awards on Thursday, November 15, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. You will have an opportunity to hear some of our best inspirational speakers, such as Dr. Ángel Cabrera, Dr. David Wu, Shernita Rochelle Parker, and many others. We are going to praise others for their outstanding achievements over the past year. This is a lot like the lottery; you must play to win. Today is their special day of recognition; tomorrow can be yours. Come out and support those who have been acclaimed for their actions as Mason Patriots and learn how they did it. You could be next!

Rose Pascarell, vice president for University Life, presented at our November 7 general meeting. In the 20 minutes of conversation and 10 minutes of questions and answers, it was incredible to hear how much Rose is personally responsible for at Mason. We will like to host Rose again soon, in a more town hall-style setting. Please stay tuned.

A few Staff Senators attended the ADVANCE Launch on Monday, October 29, in the Center for the Arts. We were in good company with Governor Ralph Northam, Sharon Bulova, Atif Qarni, and many others. I would like to send a special thanks to Michelle Marks, vice president for Academic Innovation and New Ventures, for making this event happen. Thank you to Staff Senate Vice Chair Jenna McGwin and Senator Stacy Wilson for attending this event with me.

On October 31, the Staff Senate hosted the Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA) in Research Hall. We learned about the changes that have occurred within VGEA in the past few months, and we look forward to learning about how the Staff Senate can engage more with VGEA and our state legislators.

I want to recognize the efforts of one of our Staff Senators for spearheading the challenges of our website, social media, and newsletter causes. We are looking internally at possible changes to reach more staff and update our image. Lauren Reuscher has done so much in the past few months that I would feel bad if I didn’t say “Thank you, Lauren!”

In an effort of November “thanks and praise,” I will be meeting up for lunch with a few of your Staff Senators soon. If you know Senators Christina DiCicco, Lauren Reyna, Sean Cox, or Liam Dillon, and you have issues, comments, questions, or anything else you’d like to pass along, please get in touch with them over the next two weeks. I’m meeting with these four individuals from late November to mid-December to get to know them better, find out what they will like to do on the Staff Senate over the next semester, and help them accomplish their personal goals.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends. Safe travels to all!

Thank you!

Very Respectfully,

Christopher J. Maier

Chair, Staff Senate
George Mason University

November 2018

Updates from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

MicroStrategy User Session

Friday, December 7
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Merten Hall, Room 2001

This is an open forum user session for MicroStrategy reporting. The goal of this group is to allow MicroStrategy users to drop-in to bring questions, report challenges, frustrations, report tweaks, tips, tricks, most useful reports, etc.

The session is open to all MicroStrategy users but will emphasize sponsored reporting. This is not meant to be a MicroStrategy training. 

RSVP to Kimberly Maze at

Additional OSP Training

OSP training provides PIs and unit administrators with updated information about sponsored project management. Training sessions are available throughout the year based on needed information and upon request.

Note: The workshop registration system will transition to a new platform and will be unavailable from Wednesday, November 14, through Tuesday, November 27.

Anyone interested in attending an OSP training during that time should email Pat Sperry ( directly.  

Coming Spring 2019: Advanced Research Integrity Certificate Program

Application information will be available soon for the Advanced Research Integrity Certificate Program for those interested in expanding their knowledge around research administration.

For more information, visit the OSP website 

November 2018

2019 Holiday Calendar

Snow at the Fairfax CampusPlan your vacation for next year! The 2019 holiday calendar is available now.

November 2018

Happy Heart Walk Awards

Happy Heart WalkMason Nation had a great time participating in the Happy Heart Walk in September. The results are in for the Largest Team award and the Heart of Gold award!

*Drum roll, please!*

The Science and Technology Campus team won the Heart of Gold award, and the Child Development Center won the Largest Team award!

Thank you to all who participated in the event, and congratulations to our winning teams!

November 2018

For VRS Hybrid and 457 Account Members

Are you currently enrolled in the VRS Hybrid retirement plan or have a 457 account? Register for a free, 30-minute individual counseling session with ICMA-RC to review your account!

The final day available for sessions in 2018 is November 15, anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Merten Hall, Room 4100. At this meeting, you can discuss:

  • Your role in saving for your future
  • How plan features can help you reach your goal
  • How to choose the right investment
  • How to manage your retirement account

To register for a session, visit the Benefits site.

November 2018

Thanksgiving Timesheet Guidance

Image result for thanksgiving graphicThanksgiving break is around the corner! Reference the Thanksgiving Timesheet Guidance for information about:

  • Holiday hours
  • Requirements to receive holiday pay
  • Rate of holiday pay
  • How the holiday may affect alternative work schedules

For questions, contact Human Resources and Payroll at 703-993-2600.

November 2018

Upcoming Performances at Mason 

Chanticleer: A Chanticleer Christmas

Sunday, Nov. 25, 2 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall

Begin the Christmas season with a sumptuous concert of seasonal favorites and classical standards performed by “the world’s reigning male chorus” (New Yorker). The Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer is loved around the world for its seamless blend of 12 male voices, ranging from soprano to bass, and is often described as “an orchestra of voices.” Boasting an impressive repertoire of vocal literature, the program includes everything from Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and Romantic art songs to contemporary music, jazz, world music, and spirituals. Chanticleer has sold well over a million albums and won two Grammy Awards.

Tickets: $55, $47, $33   

Mutts Gone Nuts

Sunday, Nov. 25, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall  

Prepare to be bow-wowed! Husband and wife duo Scott and Joan Houghton bring a comedy dog-thrill show like none other. From frisbee and barrel tricks to dance and jump rope routines, these canines rescued from shelters will win you over. These talented canines even include two world record holders. Feather, a greyhound, set the standard for highest canine jump and cattle dog mix Geronimo holds two world records in double-dutch jump rope. Experience in person the incredible talents of these furry friends you may have seen on television’s The View, Ellen, or The Late Show. Plus, you can immortalize the fun with a picture! After the show, an adorable canine cast member will be available for a photo opportunity on stage. Photos are $10 each and all proceeds support Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Fairfax Station. 

Tickets: $15 for adults and $10 for children  

November 2018

Thanksgiving Shuttle Schedule and Regional Transportation   

Mason ShuttleThe Thanksgiving holiday will bring changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Details are posted on the Mason Shuttles website.

Thanksgiving holiday transportation to regional cities is also available. For details, click here.

Questions? Call 703-993-2828.   

November 2018

Parking and Transportation Updates

Can-structionCanned Food and Toy Drive to Benefit INOVA Children’s Hospital 

Would you like to help someone in need? Parking Services is collecting toy and food donations at the Parking Services offices at the Arlington, Fairfax, and SciTech Campuses beginning Monday, November 12. Donate a toy or food and reduce the cost of your parking ticket by up to $20 for one ticket and up to $60 for a maximum of three citations. Or, if you prefer, use the $20 credit toward a permit upgrade.   

Donations benefit INOVA Children’s Hospital and the Patriot Pantry. 

For important details, including deadlines and the donation/credit framework, click here.

Share the Ride with Zimride: Be Entered for Prizes During Zimsgiving  

Hitting the road for Thanksgiving? Want to save a few extra bucks by driving others along the way, or do you need to find a ride? Mason partners with Zimride to make it easy to catch a ride or fill the empty seats in your car.   

Post your ride in November and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $250 Amazon E-Gift Card or one of nine $50 Amazon E-Gift Cards, courtesy of Zimride by Enterprise. After posting, Zimride will match you up with others heading the same way. 

Visit to get started. Official contest rules are available here.

Shuttle Reminder: Have Your Mason ID Ready  

A gentle reminder that a valid Mason ID is required to ride the Mason Shuttles from certain stops. This is to ensure that the shuttles are available for use by the Mason community only. For a list of stops where the driver will ask to see your Mason ID, visit Questions? Email or call 703-993-2828.