November 2018

Missed the VGEA Information Session? View it here!

If you missed the Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA) information session on October 31, watch it here. Representatives from the VGEA discussed the benefits of joining their organization.

November 2018

Half-Price Men’s Basketball Tickets 

Jamal Hartwell IIMason faculty and staff receive 50 percent off the single game price for reserved and upper reserved seats for all weeknight (Monday–Friday) home games.

Tickets are available for purchase at the EagleBank Arena box office with valid Mason ID. Limit of six discounted tickets per ID.  

November 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Outstanding Supervisors 

Amy Takayama-Perez, Outstanding Supervisor Award winner, Office of Admissions

Congratulations to Amy Takayama-Perez, dean of Admissions, and Dr. Ivory Berry, director of student success in the College of Education and Human Development, for being selected as the 2018 Outstanding Supervisors. Amy and Ivory were selected from nearly 30 incredible nominations of diverse candidates from varying departments and campuses. A seven-person committee of Staff Senators evaluated the nomination forms submitted by classified staff and non-student wage employees.

These two candidates stood out among their peers and were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their departments and in the following areas:

  • Acknowledging exemplary performance 
  • Supporting innovation and soliciting input from employees 
  • Being fair and flexible 
  • Encouraging and providing opportunities for professional growth 
  • Promoting an environment of diversity and inclusion, well-being, civility and respect, and/or restraint 
Ivory Berry, Outstanding Supervisor Award winner, College of Education and Human Development

According to Amy’s nominators, she supports their team through “trust, open communication, and empowerment. Amy is always happy to provide guidance, advice, and the support and tools that we need to fulfill our tasks and meet the department’s goals. She places a great amount of trust in us and makes us feel empowered to take on new challenges and find creative solutions that work for us as long as they respect our policies and meet the department and university’s goals. She seeks, listens to, and digests feedback. She is always looking for ways to improve our productivity and support our well-being.”

Susan Wiedman gave an example of how Amy is receptive to employee ideas and engages them in the department and/or university goals. “A few months ago staff members suggested ideas for increasing employee engagement including a department mentoring program, and a group that meets directly with her to discuss articles on leadership. Amy was very excited about these programs, and both have been implemented already. She has also started meeting with all new staff members over coffee to get a chance to meet them, find out what their goals are, and let them know more about the goals of the department as a whole.” 

According to Dr. Berry’s nominators, “Ivory has such a calming demeanor and treats every person with the same respect and dignity. He’s very cognizant of making sure everyone is given the same opportunities without criticism or judgment and realizes that we all may have different backgrounds, values and/or lifestyles, but that we should appreciate what each employee brings to the table.” His nominators also noted, “In a staff meeting at the end of the academic year, Dr. Berry included an agenda item titled, ‘We Did Dat!,’ where as a team we shared both personal and team accomplishments. This presented an opportunity for him to not only highlight the work we accomplished, but for the team to acknowledge each other for our exemplary performances. This moment of reflection and praise facilitated great team-building and office morale at the end of an academic year when everyone was exhausted. When Dr. Berry facilitates moments like this, we as staff not only feel appreciated on an individual level, but gain a greater sense of unity as a team, and appreciation for the collective hard work and efforts of all staff.” 

Amy and Ivory will be recognized at the Outstanding Achievement Awards on November 15, 2018.  

The Staff Senate will accept nominations for the 2019 Outstanding Supervisor Award during August 2019. Visit our website to learn more about the criteria and nomination process. 

Congratulations to those Outstanding Supervisor Nominees who were nominated but not selected this year! The Staff Senate is very encouraged by the number of supervisors who promote collegiality in their department, reward and acknowledge exemplary behavior, and promote well-being in the workplace. Supervisors like these make Mason such a great place to work! 

  • Giovanna Chesler, director and associate professor, Film and Video Studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Ronald Carmichael, director of administration and operations, SciTech Campus, Executive Office 
  • Patrick Buchanan, university energy manager, Zone 6, Facilities Management 
  • Alex Iszard, director of contracts and capital finance, Facilities 
  • Jesse Guessford, associate director, Undergraduate Education, Office of the Provost 
  • Ken Elston, director, School of Theater, College of Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Josh Cantor, director, Parking and Transportation  
  • Angela Railey, research administration manager, Office of Sponsored Programs  
  • Teri Vanderberg, senior associate director, Admissions 
  • Jason Kinser, associate professor, Computational and Data Sciences 
  • Ann Ludwick, assistant dean, Schar School of Policy and Government  
  • Christal Ferrance, instructional design librarian, Gateway Library, University Libraries  
  • Courtney Ashmore, lead benefits coordinator, Human Resources/Payroll  
  • Bethany Usher, associate provost for undergraduate education, Office of the Provost  
  • Sharon Cullen, director of presidential administration, Office of the President 
  • Heather Strange, director, fiscal policy and communication, Fiscal Services  
  • Caitlin Shear, director, integrated enrollment marketing communications, Office of the Provost
November 2018

Become a Certified Leadership and Well-Being Coach

Become a certified leadership and well-being coach! Join the professional certificate in Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program, designed for professionals working for positive change. This program is accredited by the International Coach Federation.  

The program takes place in five modules over five months. Applications are now being accepted for for Cohort 6 (February to June 2019) and Cohort 7 (September 2019 to January 2020).

Mason employees and alumni receive a 10 percent discount on tuition.  

Learn more about the program by reading coaching alumni stories. Questions? Contact or 703-993-6090.

November 2018

Host an INTO Mason Student for Thanksgiving Dinner

INTO Thanksgiving
INTO Thanksgiving. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Many international students stay on campus during the Thanksgiving holiday and would love to have the opportunity to experience this holiday with a local family.

If you would like to host an international student for Thanksgiving dinner, submit your information via this online form.

Additionally, if you know of anyone in the community who might like to participate, feel free to pass along this information!

Contact Cassie Larson, INTO Mason, at 703-993-5435 or with questions.

November 2018

Outstanding Achievement Awards: Nov. 15

Image result for awardsJoin us for the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Awards ceremony on November 15 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall.

See your Mason colleagues honored for their exceptional contributions to Mason!

Congratulations to all of the awardees.

Questions? Contact Beth Baroody at

November 2018

December Staff Senate Meeting: Inclement Weather Procedures

David Farris
David Farris, Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS). Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

The December Staff Senate meeting will feature guest speaker Dave Farris, executive director of safety and emergency management in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Dave will discuss Mason’s inclement weather policies and procedures.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
10:30 a.m. to Noon
Fairfax: Merten Hall, Room 1201
Arlington: Founders Hall, Room B119 (video-conferenced)
SciTech: Colgan Hall, Room 221 (video-conferenced)
Front Royal: Academic, Room 219 (703-249-8067)
WebEx: / Meeting Number (access code): 648 314 965  / Meeting password: 2ktMam99

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at George Mason University. Working closely with university administration, we address concerns that have an impact on the quality of work-life for the Mason community. The work of the Senate is accomplished through open and continuous communication with its constituents.

All are welcome to attend the Staff Senate general meeting.

Submit your questions for the Staff Senate:
To promote dialog at the Staff Senate general meetings, the Senate is collecting questions/comments from constituents. Submit your question using the online submission form or email your question to You may include your name, or you may ask to remain anonymous.

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

For questions, contact

November 2018

October Employee of the Month: Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe receives his Employee of the Month award from University President Ángel Cabrera on Oct. 3, 2018. Photo by Lathan Goumas.
Chris Thorpe receives his Employee of the Month award from University President Ángel Cabrera on Oct. 3, 2018. Photo by Lathan Goumas.

Heartfelt congratulations to Chris Thorpe, electrical supervisor with Facilities Management, for being selected as the October 2018 Employee of the Month. Read more about Chris in this Mason News article.

Do you know a superstar? Make sure they receive 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 website.

Contact Reward and Recognition at with questions.