December 2021

Updates from Parking & Transportation


Ridesharing Campaign Evaluation Survey
With holiday shopping in full swing, a $100 Visa gift card could come in handy. Any of Mason’s faculty or staff that completes this survey will be placed in a raffle to win a $100 visa gift card while helping Mason Transportation Services and Vanpool Connect evaluate the recent ridesharing communication campaign.

The results of this survey will be used to develop new services that will improve transportation communication and services for Mason’s faculty and staff. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Please take the survey here.

Mason Shuttles and Winter Break
Winter Break brings some major changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules.  Find more details here.

Commuter Choice Benefit Increasing in 2022
Beginning in January 2022, the maximum Commonwealth Commuter Choice benefit at Mason will increase by $10 to $280 per month. Currently, an Executive Order gives full-time state employees in Northern Virginia up to $270 per month to commute by public transit or vanpool. This is a tax-free benefit paid by the University. To take advantage of this increase beginning with the January benefit, be sure to submit your “Commuter Choice Monthly Benefit Request” by Friday, December 10. If you are new to the program, please also submit an Enrollment Form. More information and the forms available here.

Vanpool Survey: Woodbridge to the Fairfax Campus
Are you a full-time faculty/staff member who lives in the Woodbridge area and works on the Fairfax Campus?  Would you like to have your commute costs reimbursed up to $270/month tax-free, not have to do all the driving, park free at Mason, and reduce carbon emissions?  If so, consider vanpooling.  Parking and Transportation is continuing its vanpool outreach and has developed a short vanpool match survey for a possible Woodbridge to Fairfax vanpool.


Parking and Transportation 2021 Holiday Donation Drive
Would you like to help someone in need?  For the 14th year, Parking Services is hosting a holiday donation drive.  Through Wednesday, December 15, make an in-person donation at any Parking Services office to benefit Patriot Pantry and reduce the cost of an outstanding parking citation by $15, $20, or $30. For important details, including the donation/credit framework, visit here.

December 2021

Announcements from Human Resources & Payroll

Encouraging Empathy and Gratitude in Young Children Bright Horizons Webinar
Thursday, December 9th, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

Empathy and gratitude are skills that can lead a child to live a full, joyful, successful life. This Bright Horizons webinar help you understand the milestones of empathy development, explore how to boost your child’s empathy skills, and provide strategies for helping your child when they struggle to feel empathy or gratitude.

Register online on this page.

MINDFUL MONDAYS: Guided Meditation—Mindful Pause Webinar
Monday, December 13th, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m.

Join this Kaiser Permanente Webinar for the benefits of learning and practicing the mindful pause. It is a way to check in with feelings, emotions, and principles and make thoughtful decisions for ourselves and others around us.

Register online on this page.

WELLBEING WEDNESDAYS: Healthy Holidays Webinar
Wednesday, December 15th, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m.

The holidays can be stressful. Healthy eating, exercising, and managing stress can be a challenge. Join this Kaiser Permanente Webinar to learn tips that can help make the holidays more enjoyable.

Register online on this page. 

Timesheets Due Early
Winter break is near! Please be aware that timesheets need to be submitted and approved early due to winter break.

For pay period ending December 24, 2021, and pay date on December 31, 2021:

    • Submission: December 14 before noon at 11:59 a.m.
    • Approval: December 15 before noon at 11:59 a.m.

If appropriate, please record anticipated hours for December 15 through December 24.

For pay period ending December 18, 2021, and pay date on December 24, 2021:

    • Submission: December 12 before midnight at 11:59 p.m.
    • Approval: December 13 before noon at 11:59 a.m. (Final deadline)

If appropriate, please record anticipated hours for December 13 through December 18.

Accommodations, Adjustments, Modifications (AAM) Process Guidance for Spring 2022
As Mason plans for the spring semester, the health and safety of the entire community remains a priority. We want to remind faculty and staff of the Accommodations, Adjustments, Modifications (AAM) Process as there may be continued need for some type of AAM for the spring semester.

Please review the full AAM Guidance for Spring 2022 announcement.

Flexible Work Agreement Guidance for Spring 2022
As Mason plans for the spring semester, the health and safety of the entire community remains a priority. We want to provide guidance around flexible work agreements for the spring 2022 semester.

Please review the full announcement for guidance.




Profile of a Senator December 2021

Meet Hugh Bayard, Staff Senator and Grants Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs

Role: I assist in facilitating all aspects of the proposal submission process to ensure proposals meet federal, sponsor and university guidelines. When Mason receives an award, I conduct initial reviews to certify that all aspects of the award execution are handled in a timely manner. I get the opportunity to work with research faculty and administrators conducting world-class research, scholarship, and creative work. It is gratifying to gain first-hand experience in supporting the university’s strategic goal of $225 million in sponsored research expenditures by 2024.

Why I love Mason: While my Mason journey officially started in June 2019 at the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), it really began years earlier during a campus tour as an undergraduate McNair Summer Scholar at the University of Delaware. This is when I was initially exposed to Mason’s thriving research community, and this experience led me back to Mason as a young professional. Working in OSP, I love being a part of one of the most critical aspects of the university’s purpose and mission – research of consequence.

Fun facts: I am an ultra-marathon runner who has also maintained a plant-based diet for nearly four years. I, however, have a great weakness for Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, and it should come as no surprise why eating Whoppers tend to keep me running. I love exploring the DMV area, jaw-dropping hiking trails, and cycling in my free time. As a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc., I enjoy serving my community and providing advocacy.

The best things about working for Mason: The university community has certainly been one of my favorite factors about working for Mason because I have met colleagues who I now consider lifelong friends. I am also constantly inspired by learning about everyone’s impact. With Mason’s commitment to an enriching work environment, I take full advantage of professional development opportunities by attending workshops, lectures and networking events. Most recently, I have been admitted to the Schar School of Policy and Government’s Master’s of Public Policy program where I hope to contribute to research more directly in one of the many research centers, institutes or initiatives.

Why I serve on Staff Senate: From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have witnessed all of us stay committed to keeping the campus community safe and healthy. I was particularly motivated by our university’s administration, faculty and staff in continuing the work of Mason during a time when emergency public health measures upended our daily fabrics of life. In the push to return to campus, becoming a Staff Senator was an opportunity taken to not only represent my peers but continue to learn about Mason and the accomplishments across our campuses.

At the end of the day: I enjoy my job as it is not only exciting to be a part of Mason’s strategic research goals but also to be a part of a community where our work is recognized worldwide. I genuinely feel that I am growing with Mason, and I know that you’ve either seen or heard about all those new Mason buildings to come. 😊

December 2021

December General Meeting Recording

The December Staff Senate meeting featured Mason President Gregory Washington.

If you missed the session, you can watch or listen to the recording.



December 2021

Next Gen eVA! and Taxation of Reimbursements 

Next Gen eVA! Transition News and Fiscal Services Forums

Virginia’s electronic procurement system, eVA, is undergoing a complete system change that will go live in early January 2022. Updates may be found on the Fiscal Services website.

Fiscal Services will host forums to discuss these changes. eVA Transition Forums will take place on the following days: 

  • Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, from 11 a.m. to noon 
  • Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, from 2 to 3 p.m. 

Registration and session information is available on the Fiscal Services calendar. Only registered participants will be sent the virtual meeting information. 

Taxability of Reimbursements

All employee travel and non-travel reimbursement requests and supporting documentation must be submitted through the Mason Finance Gateway within 60 days after the return of business-related travel or the event date (non-travel). Reimbursements submitted after 60 days are considered taxable income and subject to taxation per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Beginning January 2022, Mason will implement changes to the process for travel and non-travel taxable reimbursements. The process changes are outlined below:

Employees will receive the fully-approved reimbursement amount processed through the Mason Finance Gateway. For example, if the employee submitted $100 for a taxable, non-travel reimbursement, the employee will receive $100. However, $100 is considered taxable income to the employee.
Taxable travel and non-travel reimbursements will be processed by the Payroll Office at the end of each quarter (March, June, September, and December). The full reimbursement, as mentioned in the example above, will be reported as income and added to the employee’s W2 in the quarter received to withhold the applicable taxes from the employee’s paycheck.
Questions related to tax deductions, timing, and the financial impact may be addressed to the Payroll Office at Questions related to travel and non-travel documentation, approvals, and submission dates may be addressed with the Travel Office at 

December 2021

Sustainability Tip: December 2021 


Did you know that most wrapping paper is non-recyclable? Especially those that are metallic and glittery. This year, try alternative ways to wrap and decorate your gifts, like fabric, newspaper, or recycled wrapping paper. 

December 2021

Climate Action Plan Town Hall 

George Mason University is accelerating action in response to the climate crisis by developing a new Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP will identify the most effective actions for the university to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact as quickly as feasible by focusing on electricity and fossil fuel use across all of Mason’s campuses. 

All options are being considered to help Mason decrease its environmental impact, and now is the time to share your thoughts! 

Mason staff, faculty, students, alumni, and community members are all invited to attend the second Climate Action Plan Town Hall to suggest ideas, offer feedback, ask questions, and learn more about the CAP process. 

Climate Action Plan Town Hall #2
Wednesday, Dec. 15
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Register via Zoom

Special guest speakers to be announced.

Submit feedback and ask questions using the CAP Feedback Form. Read more on the Climate Action Plan website.

Contact Ben Auger (he/they), Office of Sustainability, at with questions. The recording of the first Town Hall can be viewed here.

December 2021

Participation Requested in Strategic Planning Survey

Over the past several weeks, the university has engaged the Mason community as part of the strategic planning initiative to gain insights and perspectives on the strategic direction of the university.

Take a moment to provide your feedback and input via this survey. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and will be open for participation through Friday, Dec. 10.

Survey results will be combined with insights gathered from interviews and focus groups to inform the components of Mason’s five-year strategic plan.

December 2021

Faculty and Staff Are Invited to Winter Graduation Ceremonies

The Mason community is invited to attend the 2021 Winter Graduation Ceremonies on Thursday, Dec. 16, in EagleBank Arena.

To accommodate all graduates and their families, two ceremonies will be held:

  • 10 a.m.: College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Schar School, Carter School, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Antonin Scalia Law School
  • 2 p.m.: School of Business, College of Engineering and Computing, College of Health and Human Services, College of Education and Human Development, College of Science

The Doctoral Ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The Patriot Procession will also be hosted on Dec. 14–15 at EagleBank Arena.

Please consider signing up as marshal/greeter for the graduation ceremonies and/or Patriot Procession. Sign up as a volunteer by Friday, Dec. 10. Thank you for supporting our newest Mason graduates!

December 2021

Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series Event 


Join Mason’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being on Tuesday, Feb. 8, from noon to 1:30 p.m. for a new Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series event featuring Brian Levenson.

Levenson, author of the book Shift Your Mind: 9 Mental Shifts to Thrive in Preparation and Performance and founder of Strong Skills, will present a session on the key mental shifts used by the world’s highest achievers.

Space is limited for this free presentation. Secure your spot now.

Learn more about the Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series.