September 2018

Message from the Chair

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

I am extending a THANK YOU to all classified and non-student wage staff who have spent a massive effort making each of the Mason locations ready to receive new and returning students. Welcome to academic season 2018–19!

We heard from Stacey Remick-Simkins at our September General Meeting about the benefits of becoming a member of the Virginia Government Employees Association (VGEA). There will be a follow-up presentation available in Around Mason in the coming weeks regarding all the different causes VGEA supports to benefit staff throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information about how to join VGEA, check out or email

The Staff Senate is looking forward to reviewing nomination forms for the Outstanding Supervisor Award. This year, we asked nominators to provide feedback on how their supervisors promote diversity, inclusion, well-being, civility, respect, and restraint in their work units. We are excited to review the range of possibilities, as these answers may help guide Mason into developing new and upcoming policies.

Members of the Staff Senate Executive Committee sat down with the consulting firm in charge of locating J.J. Davis’ replacement as senior vice president for administration and finance. The Staff Senate provided feedback based on a set of questions. The goal was to define underlying themes that best represent additional qualities of our future senior vice president, beyond the basic requirements of this position.

The search for a new vice president of Human Resources has been placed on hold, pending the outcome of the upcoming senior vice president search. In the interim, Shernita Rochelle Parker has assumed the role of acting vice president of HR/Payroll and faculty/staff life, and Sue Tinsman is serving as acting deputy director of HR/Payroll.

For those of you who have asked, stay tuned in the near-future for an update from the President’s Office regarding the potential for bonuses and/or raises over the next year.

Thank you!

Very Respectfully,

Christopher J. Maier
Chair, Staff Senate, George Mason University

September 2018

Mason’s 9/11 Day of Service

9/11 Service Day
Student volunteers, Fairfax City firefighters, and Mason Police officers pose with thank you cards written by children from the Child Development Center students at a Thank You luncheon on 9/11 Day of Service. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

The annual Mason Nation 9/11 Day of Service will take place on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. We encourage all Mason students, faculty, staff, and alumni to participate!

If you are interested in volunteering for a service project on the 9/11 Day of Service, click here.

The deadline to register is Friday, September 7.  If you would like to register after that date, check-in on September 11 as a “walk-in” and register for an open project.

Check-in for service projects will take place in the Johnson Center Bistro, starting at 9 a.m.

September 2018

Mason Administrative Professionals (MAP) Meeting

The next Mason Administrative Professionals (MAP) meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in SUB I, Room 3A.

Our guest vendor will be P.F. Chang’s!


The MAP group welcomes anyone working at George Mason who considers themselves to be in an administrative professional role.

September 2018

New Exhibition Opens: Rethinking Lines

Fenwick Gallery is pleased to host Mel Parada’s Rethinking Lines, an exhibition of typographic prints and paintings. The exhibition is open through Saturday, October 6. An artist’s talk is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 at 11 a.m. in the Fenwick Main Reading Room.

Rethinking Lines examines the possibilities of meaning making and attempts to remove narrative from communication design through visual treatments that involve the deconstruction of typography, reconfigured grid systems, scale, and color theory. The work embodies theoretical approaches found in the Minimalist movement as well as abstraction movements like De Stijl and Constructivism.

Mel Parada holds an MFA from the School of Art at George Mason University, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in graphic design.

For more information, visit

September 2018

George Mason Toastmasters Celebrates 10 Years

Toastmasters is for everyone! Whether your public speaking skills are at the beginner’s stage or you are a seasoned professional, you can benefit as a member.

More than two dozen Mason faculty, staff, and students, joined by several community members, meet for an hour each week to learn and practice communication and leadership skills. The best way to learn more is to experience a Toastmaster Meeting in action, and guests are always welcome to attend.

Check out the meeting calendar at

For additional information, contact Club President Ben Morley or VP of Membership Joan Stahle. 

September 2018

Support Group for Working Mothers

Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

The Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason is one way Mason faculty, staff, and students can come together, discuss the issues confronting working mothers, and perhaps motivate changes on campus.

The group hosts brown bag lunch meetings at noon in the Women and Gender Studies Center, Room 240K of the Johnson Center.

Upcoming fall meetings are set for September 20; October 3, 18 and 30; November 14, and December 6.

If you are interested in sharing stories and being part of an informal organization of working mothers, join us, and feel free to visit our website for additional information.

Contact Heather Aleknavage at or 703-993-2295 with questions.


September 2018

Environmental Health and Safety Updates

fire extinguisher training gmuActive Threat: Awareness & Prevention (Film Premiere)

Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management and University Police invite you to a screening of a video designed to educate students, faculty, and staff about ways to prevent and respond to active threats on campus. 

The video premiere will take place on Wednesday, September 12, at 11:30 a.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium. The active threat training session will immediately follow the video premiere. The video is approximately 15 minutes long, and training is expected to last one hour.  

No RSVP required. For questions about this event, contact 

Not able to make it to Arlington for the premiere?  For more information, and to watch the film, visit If you would like to receive in-person Active Threat Response training, click here. To request in-person Emergency Preparedness training, email 

Reporting Accidents, Injuries, or Unsafe Conditions

We want to make sure the Mason community stays safe! Remember to report all accidents, injuries, or conditions that may cause harm to an individual or the university. When dangerous or potentially dangerous conditions are reported, the university can take appropriate remediation and corrective measures to protect the community from similar or future incidents. 

Report the following situations to the university: 

Accident  Submit an Incident Report form when there is an illness or injury involving a student or visitor, or an unsafe condition.
Employee Injury Submit an Employer’s First Report of Accident form when an employee is injured while at work.
Please note that injuries that result in hospitalization, amputation, loss of eyesight, or death must be reported immediately to Human Resources and Payroll Workers’ Compensation and the Environmental Health & Safety Office (EHS).

For more information on the following topics:

Register for Training

The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) provides a wide range of safety training options to help sustain a healthful and safe working and learning environment. These training courses are offered not only to meet numerous regulations, but also in an effort to encourage health and safety throughout the university community. 

For example: You might be interested in attending Fire Extinguisher training, where you will learn through hands-on practice how to properly operate a fire extinguisher. All training provided by EHS is free, and open to all members of the Mason community. 

For a complete listing of EHS training courses by category, click here. To register for training, visit the EHS training registration website. If you need assistance registering for training, contact EHS.

September 2018

From Our Friends in Human Resources and Payroll


WeightWatchers at Work

WeightWatchers at Work meetings are continuing into the fall semester! Members who join between September 4–21 will receive a free starter kit (a $70 value).

Meetings occur every Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Merten Hall, Room 2500.

In addition to the free starter kit, Commonwealth of Virginia and WeightWatchers offer eligible faculty and staff special pricing and a 50 percent reimbursement opportunity on valuable and convenient weight-loss solutions.

For more information on how to join WeightWatchers at Work, visit or email

Move More Challenge

CommonHealth, the state’s Employee Wellness Program, is challenging everyone to incorporate more activity into their day through the Move More Challenge.

Participants are encouraged to make moving a top priority, track their activity, and move every day!

Registration is now open. The challenge runs from September 5 to October 3.

Questions? Contact Mason’s agency CommonHealth coordinator, Christina DiCicco, at

Mason Needleworks

Mason Needleworks meets regularly on the Fairfax Campus for stitching and conversation!

They welcome all skill levels and types of stitching (crochet, needlepoint, sewing, knitting, etc.). Everyone is welcome to join.

Check out the fall meeting schedule. All meetings happen at noon in The MIX.

Contact Hope Miller at with any questions.

September 2018

Happy Heart Walk

Details: September 26 at 1 p.m.

  • Arlington: Founders Hall Plaza 
  • Fairfax: Merten Hall 
  • Sci-Tech: Bull Run Lobby 

It’s time for the annual Happy Heart Walk to celebrate Healthy Campus Week!

Join your fellow students, faculty, and staff for a walk across all campuses to promote heart health. An award will be given for the team with the most spirit, as well as the largest team, so encourage your colleagues to attend! 

Questions? Contact 

September 2018

Creating a Positive Work Environment Seminar

As part of the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Human Resources and Payroll is offering a Well-Being Series focused on mental health topics. The September session will discuss:

Creating a Positive Work Environment
Tuesday, September 11
Noon to 1 p.m.
Merten Hall, Room 1202

The seminar will address:

  • Ways to build trust
  • Positive communication
  • How to set expectations and needs
  • Creative ideas for recognition and rewards
  • How to build teamwork
  • Finding meaning in your work
  • Finding humor in the workplace

All employees are welcome to attend. Register online.

For questions, contact or 703-993-2600.