Categories
June 2021

Patriots at Work: June 2021

 

As I come to the end of my term as chair of the Staff Senate, I am reflecting on the past two years. Serving in this role has been the greatest privilege of my time at Mason.   

Out of the turmoil and challenges of the past year, we have crafted new ways to live and work. As our lives start to feel a little more “normal,” many of us are trying to find our way back to a baseline of well-being.  

The continuation of flexible work is an important way to support staff well-being. Though a return to campus is exciting, many staff want to balance their time on campus with a flexible schedule or regular telework days. In the post-pandemic workplace, this is an essential practice to recruit and retain talent.

In the context of a university, we must resist the idea that telework is contrary to a vibrant campus culture. We’ve proven over the past year that we can connect with each other no matter where we are. At Mason, we have always existed together across campuses and distances. We can certainly modify our work schedules to ensure both in-person activity and telework. Flexible work options positively impact employee well-being and also reduce our carbon footprint. Mason strives to be innovative. To be seen as a leader, we must continue to use telework as a means of supporting employee well-being and protecting our planet.

As Mason shapes its plans, it is vital that staff be included in these discussions. Last year, the senate submitted a proposal to the Board of Visitors (BOV) requesting the addition of a nonvoting staff liaison to the board membership. The BOV unanimously approved this change in December 2020. The inclusion of a nonvoting staff liaison establishes a permanent seat for staff at the highest table of university decision-making. 

Staff are motivated and committed to Mason’s success. In our annual Staff Senate election last year, we received more nominations than any other year in recent memory. This was remarkable, considering the context of that engagement. The extreme demands of life and work during the pandemic drove Mason staff to become even more involved in the university’s organizational success.

Mason staff have worked incredibly hard—whether on campus or at home—to keep Mason safe and operational over the course of the pandemic.

As my term comes to an end, I am thrilled to pass the baton to Erin Iacangelo Rogers, incoming chair of the Staff Senate. I am grateful that this recurring column was published on the Mason News website during the past year. Future columns from the chair will be posted on the Staff Senate website 

This summer and fall, I hope we can all work toward that baseline of personal well-being. Let’s apply the lessons we’ve learned to build a new, and even better, “normal” at Mason.

Lauren Clark Reuscher
Chair, Staff Senate 

Categories
June 2021

Announcements from Human Resources and Payroll

Supervisor Boot Camp

Supervisor Boot Camp is a program designed to provide essential information, resources, and contacts to supervisors. The updated, virtual format includes five three-hour sessions, over 10 weeks, from 9 a.m. to noon, presented via Zoom.

Registration is now open for summer and fall cohorts.

For session schedules and information, visit our Supervisor Boot Camp website.

Participants must supervise at least one employee. Space is limited and registrations are first come, first served. For additional questions, contact Margaret Vu at mvu20@gmu.edu.

Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship

Faculty and staff who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program at Mason can apply for the competitive $250 Faculty/Staff Book  Scholarship.

The application deadline is June 11. For details and to apply, visit the Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship webpage.

 

Categories
Profile of a Senator June 2021

Meet Alyssa Goff: Staff Senator and Administrator, Freshman Programs, Global Education Office

Meet Alyssa Goff: Staff Senator and Administrator, Freshman Programs, Global Education Office

ROLES: My primary role is to recruit, retain, and engage our ever-growing 200+ freshmen Global Gateway students who study abroad their second semester at Mason through the Global Education Office (GEO). This position has allowed me to grow in many of my strengths from social media management to building a rapport with our cohort via engagement programs to teaching UNIV-108, a specialized transition to Mason course. Teaching UNIV-108 is my favorite duty because it keeps me connected to the students.

COVID-19 TRANSITION: Like all Mason offices, GEO had to pivot our programs from in-person to virtual as much as we could, given study abroad is all about the experience. Our team had to find creative alternatives such as virtual internships and virtually attending a school abroad. Global Gateway was able to send 35 freshmen to Mason Korea for the Spring 2021 semester, and COVID-19 certainly added another level of stress for their transportation. Six hundred students studied abroad, interned abroad, or enrolled in virtual international experiences. It has been a busy time transitioning to telework and monitoring the pandemic around the world but it has also shined a light on many new online opportunities!

MASON JOURNEY: I began my Mason journey as a freshman in fall 2014! Time truly flies seven year later. My professional journey started in 2018, and I started my graduate coursework with the Tuition Exemption Benefit offered to all Mason staff. I completed my M.A. in Higher Education this year. In my three years, I have worked in a variety of offices within the university, and I am so grateful for the unique experiences contributing to where I am today in GEO. From undergraduate student to the role I have now, I hope my mix of experiences leads to being a successful Staff Senator offering a different perspective.

WHY I SERVE ON STAFF SENATE: I wanted to be a voice for the new staff who are finding their place at Mason and connect with more colleagues across campus. Staff Senate is a great place to remember why we work here and help each other out.

AT THE END OF THE DAY: I am a young professional, new dog-mom, and excited to see where Mason will take me! I wear many hats on and off campus, and I look forward to this new opportunity to improve Mason for our staff. GEO is a place for students to have a study abroad experience and also a place for individuals to grow and prosper. Mason has given me so much since I was a student, and I enjoy being able to give back through my work with Staff Senate.

Fast Facts about the Global Education Office

  • Students can choose from among more than 220 programs.
  • GEO maintains more than 100 partnerships in over 60 countries.
  • Each year GEO offers $500,000 in scholarships for study abroad.
  • Pre-pandemic, more than 1,750 students studied abroad during the academic year.
  • The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and South Korea are among the most popular destinations.
  • Global Gateway has become a signature program for GEO and Mason, currently enrolling more than 200 students for the new academic year.
  • Some students participate in multiple programs and even graduate early.

Follow GEO and the Global Gateway

Categories
June 2021

Mason Kids Club Summer Camp 

Mason Kids Club Summer Camp is a school-age, full summer program for rising first- through fourth-gradersStudents may register for particular weeks or for the full summer (June 14 to August 20). 

Each year, a new and exciting theme guides the interactive summer activities. The theme for summer 2021 is “STEAM, Exploration, Friends, and Fun.” 

View pricing information and register. 

Contact cdc@gmu.edu with questions. 

 

 

Categories
June 2021

Summer Dining Options   

 

This summer, limited dining options will be available on the Fairfax Campus. See the current options and hours of operation. 

Looking for more choices? Check out the list of Mason Merchants, local businesses that accept Mason Money for purchases. 

At the SciTech Campus, Mum Mum Thai and The Spice Route are open in Beacon Hall. Randall’s Café is currently closed. 

Off-campus dining options are available near the Arlington Campus. Au Bon Pain remains closed for summer. 

Check dining.gmu.edu for updates. For questions, contact Mason Dining. 

Categories
June 2021

Financial Wellness Resources from the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) 

Check out this month’s flyer and the new items below: 

  • CommonHealth Bite-sized Learning Videos. Click to Learn How To Relieve Financial Stress! 
  • BB&T/SunTrust is now Truist Bank! You are cordially invited to participate in a financial wellness virtual presentation on Thursday, June 24th at 5:30 p.m., titled “Your @Work Financial Wellness Benefits.” 
  • VACU Creative Ways to Save (CWTS) Program. A new savings initiative to encourage establishing emergency savings. Newer/younger employees and new families are encouraged to participate. Click Here To Start Saving! Employees can now join Virginia Credit Union online with no funding needed. In just a few easy steps: Visit www.vacu.org/partnerjoinus. Referral Code: 4842
  • Want to learn more about saving with Virginia529? Get your education savings questions answered through live informational webinars, or get hints, tips, and strategies from Virginia529’s on-demand video library. The Virginia529 Smart Savers Academy offers free segments to help you understand the ins and outs of 529 plans, including how to use your account when you’re ready.  
  • VRS Financial Wellness Resources. Making a move can have a major impact on your finances. Check out the myVRS Financial Wellness Start Here Guide to save money and lower stress before, during, and after move-in day. Available to you through your myVRS account. 
  • Virginia Department of Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division. Tasked with reuniting citizens with their lost funds. Unclaimed property can include dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, refunds, and more. One in four Virginians has missing money. Visit our free search site, www.vaMoneySearch.org to check your name and start the claim process. 

 

 

Categories
June 2021

How to Prepare for the MasonLive Migration to Office 365 

As Mason prepares for MasonLive student email to migrate to Office 365 this summer, there are a few things faculty and staff can do to prepare:  

  • Student email will no longer be @masonlive.gmu.edu. When communicating with students, begin using @gmu.edu to ensure they receive your messages.  
  • Update any listservs to ensure contacts are up to date and reflect the new @gmu.edu addresses.   
  • With students transitioning to the Office 365 system, it will be much easier to collaborate as you can now automatically share documents and files with your entire organization instead of specific addresses. Now is a great time to review your files and permissions you have set up in applications such as Microsoft Teams and OneDrive.   
  • To learn how more about how this project impacts you, see the Migration Role Matrix. 
  • To find the latest details on the change, visit the Student Office 365 Migration Roadmap

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or support@gmu. 

Categories
June 2021

Updates from Parking and Transportation

 

No Mason Shuttles Service on Juneteenth (Observed)  

There is no Mason Shuttle service on Friday, June 18, in observance of Juneteenth.  If you have any questions, please contact shuttle@gmu.edu or 703-993-2828. 

Summer 2021 Faculty/Staff Parking Information  

A reminder that all members of the Mason community and visitors should follow parking guidelines when visiting one of our campuses. Permits are required in all locations unless one uses visitor parking.  You have a number of different choices depending on the frequency of your campus visit. 

Summer parking permits went on sale May 10 (online purchase only). Visit the Parking and Transportation website for information on permits and short-term parking choices, or purchase a permit. If you have any questions, email parking@gmu.edu  

Transportation Options to Campus  

As the fall semester quickly approaches, Parking and Transportation wants to ensure that faculty and staff are aware of transportation options available to travel to campus safely with ease and flexibility. Whether you are working at the Fairfax, Arlington, or SciTech campuses, ridesharing is a commuting option you will want to consider.   

Mason offers various programs for car/vanpool, along with complimentary parking for vanpools and rebates for carpool (conditions apply). When choosing to vanpool, you can also utilize Mason’s Commuter Choice subsidy that provides up to $270/month for vanpool monthly costs.   

Questions? Reach out to transpo@gmu.edu.  

Survey Still Open: Vanpool Formation – Fredericksburg, VA Area  

Are you a full-time faculty/staff member who lives in the vicinity of Fredericksburg, Virginia?  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 starting with the Fredericksburg area and has developed a short vanpool match survey

More detailed information is available about vanpooling at Mason. If you have any questions about vanpooling—whether you live in the Fredericksburg area or not—reach out to transpo@gmu.edu.   

Categories
June 2021

May in Review

Categories
June 2021 July 2021

Staff Senate Fall Meeting Schedule

The Staff Senate will be in recess during the month of July while we focus on our Staff Senate Election. During August, we will have a closed session to welcome newly elected senators and plan for the new academic year. Our meetings occur the first Wednesday of each month (excluding July and January) from 10 a.m. to noon. You can add a hold to your calendar by clicking here. We are determining the format of our meetings, but our virtual option will continue. See below for Zoom access information:

Zoom Meeting: https://gmu.zoom.us/j/93999749658?pwd=UGRZMXdJbFpXaXpRdmRhdG1wMXMyZz09
Passcode: SS123
Call in: 301-715-8592 or 267-831-0333
Webinar ID: 939 9974 9658/ Passcode: 224754