December 2022

Staff Senate Sustainability Tip

A green lightbulb with a seedling inside, on a darker green background. The logos of George Mason University and the Staff Senate.

Remember, you can ‘Buy Less, Buy Better‘ at home as well as at work this holiday season! Why not try to choose durable instead of disposable, and compostable instead of plastic?
Season’s Greetings from the
Staff Senate’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability ad hoc committee
December 2022

Announcements from Human Resources and Payroll

Nominations Now Open: Outstanding Achievement Awards

The Outstanding Achievement Awards honor Mason’s faculty and staff across 16 award categories and celebrate their hard work, dedication, and contributions to the university. You are invited to nominate a colleague for an award by the deadline of Feb. 25, 2023. (Note that departmental awards may have different deadlines.) 

The Outstanding Achievement Awards ceremony is scheduled for April 25, 2023, from 10–11:30 a.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. 

For more information, visit the Outstanding Achievement Awards website or email 

Deadline Extended: Apply to the Emerging Leaders Supervisor Series

The deadline to apply to the Emerging Leaders Supervisor Series (ELSS) has been extended to close of business on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. ELSS is a 15-month cohort program designed to provide support as you develop and practice new leadership skills with your team while deepening your understanding of Mason policiesThe goals of ELSS are to support participants as they: 

  • Develop a leadership mindset 
  • Create and implement a vision for their own leadership and their team 
  • Lead a high-performing team 
  • Learn tools and strategies to grow their self-awareness, relationships, and communication skills, which will support the objectives above. 

In addition to the curriculum, participants work with assigned workplace coaches to set goals related to their growth as a leader. Each participant will complete a developmental project and will have the opportunity to work with peers across the university to learn more about the institution and to build a network of fellow supervisors. 

Applicants must be Mason faculty or classified staff and must supervise at least one employee who is faculty or classified staff. This cohort will run from February 2023 to May 2024. All sessions will be held in person; fully remote applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

To apply, visit Human Resources and Payroll’s Organizational Development and Learning page. 

Self-Evaluation Learning Labs

Did you know Human Resources and Payroll offers self-evaluation learning labs? Gain the tools and knowledge to strategize your career growth, advocate for your workplace wins, and foster a collaborative and constructive relationship with your supervisor. Sessions are available on Jan. 11 (SciTech Campus) and Feb. 1, 2023 (Fairfax Campus). Register in MasonLEAPS. 

December 2022

Announcements from Information Technology Services

ITS Support Center Winter Break Hours

In observance of Winter Break, the Information Technology Services (ITS) Support Center will close on Friday, Dec. 16, at 5 p.m. and will reopen and resume modified business hours on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 at 8 a.m. If you have an emergency while the ITS Support Center is closed, please call 703-993-8870 and listen to the prompts to be connected to a representative. Up-to-date information regarding ITS alerts is posted on the ITS website.

Zoom Link Safety and Zoom Bombing Prevention

ITS has recently seen an increase in Zoom meeting links and event passcodes for Mason-hosted events posted to Twitter. Posting this information, even for a matter of minutes, opens the event up to vulnerabilities and unintended guests (aka Zoom bombing). Please always remember when using Twitter or other social media platforms to promote events hosted via web conferencing tools such as Zoom, do not share the meeting link or passcode.

To learn more about mitigating vulnerabilities and how to remove disruptive attendees, see Securing Zoom Meetings and Classes and Getting Started with Zoom Security and Privacy.    

If you experience inappropriate activity in a Zoom meeting, you can report the incident to Zoom’s Trust and Safety Team.    

For questions about securing web conference meetings, contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or or submit a ticket.    

New Telecommunications Vendor Update

In August, ITS announced the selection of Mason’s new telecommunications vendor, Vonage, Inc. Since the announcement, ITS has successfully rolled out the new system for all Mason Call Centers and is moving into the next phase of the project: faculty and staff phones.

ITS has met with Telecom Coordinators to coordinate a phased-approach implementation, which will kick off in early 2023. In the coming weeks, Telecom Coordinators will validate details with phone users (work location, phone numbers, etc.) in preparation for switching to the new system. ITS will provide additional updates and resources in January 2023. 

Mason’s current telephone system is end-of-life, and with a workforce increasingly dispersed, the new solution delivers advanced features (e.g., mobile applications, ring/accept calls on any device, presence awareness) and integrates into Mason’s tools (e.g., Office 365). 

December 2022

Men’s Basketball Spring Watch Parties 

Patriot Perks watch party graphic has photos of basketball players

Patriot Perks is excited to present four opportunities to watch the Mason men’s basketball team play at some fantastic local restaurants! Visit here to see the Watch Party schedule and RSVP.

Mason community members will receive exclusive discounts at each location with their Mason ID. We will also have prizes and giveaways! So grab your colleagues, your friends or your family and come on out to our 2023 Patriot Perks Watch Parties. Go Mason! 

December 2022

Well-Being Leadership Webinar: Beating Burnout and Boosting Resilience as a People Leader

Graphic for the Leading to Well-Being speaker series. Photo of the speaker and text with the date and time.Learn three key, science-backed steps to address burnout and increase resilience in your people in a free webinar from Jacinta Jiménez, author of The Burnout Fix. Join the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from noon to 1:15 p.m. for “Beating Burnout and Boosting Resilience as a People Leader, part of Mason’s Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series 

Register todayContact with questions. 

Profile of a Senator December 2022

Meet Rachel Spence, Staff Senator and Academic Coordinator, International Enrollment Partnerships, Enrollment Management

Rachel Spence

Role:  I manage the course mapping and degree planning components of all new partnerships for the International Enrollment Partnerships (IEP) team. I coordinate between Mason academic departments, Transfer Services, and our international partners to develop programs and pathways for international students to earn Mason degrees.

I also support students in our China 1+2+1 program. C121 is a longstanding undergraduate dual-degree program for students from China. Students spend their first undergraduate year at a partner university in China, transfer to Mason for about 2 years, complete their Mason degree requirements, and graduate from both universities. I assist with all the academic components of their experience – from transfer credits, registration, academic advising, and graduation. About 35-40 students earn their Mason degree through this program every year!

Mason journey: As a military spouse, I don’t always get a say in where I live, so I am thankful to have been a Mason employee for more than 5 years and a Virginia state employee for 12. Prior to coming to Mason, I worked at Old Dominion University for 7 years, and joined Mason Nation in 2017. I started working in the Global Education Office and transitioned to IEP in 2018. Since July 2021, I have worked fully remote from Southern California!

Best thing about working at Mason: I truly love the diversity of the faculty, staff, and students I get to interact with. I know it’s a cliché, but “our diversity is our strength” should be the official university motto.

Why I serve on the Staff Senate: I joined the Staff Senate as a direct result of the Governor’s telework policy earlier this year. As I was worried about being able to keep my remote job, I appreciated how the Staff Senate was advocating and positioning itself as the voice of all classified staff on this issue. I was so thankful for the various speakers and special sessions they held in the spring that I decided to give back and serve as a senator this year.

At the end of the day: Despite working more than 2,600 miles from Fairfax, I still feel connected to the campus. I am thankful for the tools the university offers to stay connected and the willingness of my colleagues and students to accommodate my non-standard work hours!

December 2022

Shop on AmazonSmile and Support Mason’s Patriot Pantry


Shop through Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your eligible purchases to support the Patriot Pantry. Be sure to search and select “George Mason University Foundation” as your charity of choice, and funds donated will be routed to the Student Food and Housing Insecurity Fund. Find out more

How to get started

  1. Visit  
  2. Click “Get Started”  
  3. Choose “George Mason University Foundation” as your charity 
  4. Check box that says, “Yes, I understand that I must always start at to support George Mason University Foundation, Inc..” 
  5. Start shopping! 



December 2022

Updates from Parking and Transportation

Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services
Spring 2023 Parking Passes

Spring 2023 parking pass permit sales begin online only on Wednesday, January 4, at 10 a.m. on the Parking and Transportation website. Faculty and staff using payroll deduction for their parking permits do not need to take any additional action.

Parking and Transportation Holiday Donation Drive

Would you like to help someone in need? Parking Services is holding its annual holiday donation drive through Thursday, December 15, at 4 p.m. You can reduce the cost of an outstanding parking citation by making a donation at any Parking Services office to benefit Patriot Pantry. For important details, please visit the Parking and Transportation website.

Reminder: Mason Shuttles and Travel for Winter Break

Winter Break brings some major changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Details for both Mason Shuttles and travel options for Winter Break are posted on the Parking and Transportation website. Spring Shuttle schedules will be available after the New Year. Please note, we are not operating regional shuttles for Winter Break.


December 2022

December General Meeting Recording

The December Staff Senate General Meeting featured David Burge, vice president for enrollment management, to discuss the higher education market in Northern Virginia.

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

December 2022

Staff Senate General Meetings Resume in February 2023

Enjoy your Winter Break! The Staff Senate will resume its general meetings in February 2023.

February Staff Senate Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
10 a.m. to noon
Hosted on Zoom
Passcode: SS123
Call in: 301-715-8592 or 267-831-0333
Webinar ID: 975 1903 7430/ Passcode: 078091

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. Find more ways to engage with the senate before, during, and after our general meetings.