Newsletter Profile of a Senator February 2022

Meet Taylor Griffin, Program Manager for Executive Development, School of Business

Role: We partner with organizations to offer training for their teams and we also host several open-enrollment programs. In part, I also serve as the main social media and marketing coordinator for our team. I’m looking forward to hosting in-person events again once it is safe to do so. For now, I’m working on perfecting my online delivery skills.

Mason journey: My first experience at George Mason University was for the Washington Journalism and Media Conference in 2016. I was a rising senior in high school, and the conference, hosted by Mason, was formative for my writing and journalism skills and also led to me falling in love with DC.

After graduating from American University in Fall 2020, I knew that my previous skills in residence life and campus leadership would make higher ed the ideal place for my career. As my first full-time job out of college, I could not think of a better place to work. All of the people I have met at Mason have gone to great lengths to help me succeed and grow as a professional. I’ve also recently started the master’s program in higher ed here at Mason. I hope to continue learning how to serve our community.

Getting back to campus: I was a student for the first half of the Covid pandemic. Not being on a campus with friends and mentors was difficult, especially in my senior year. From the few times I’ve been able to walk around campus during the day, it feels like a relief to envision that this life-altering pandemic is hopefully ending soon. I think about the memories I missed out on but also the memories I made. It’s been a strange time but getting to spend it growing closer to my family makes it seem bittersweet.

Best thing about working at Mason: I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t strive to create a more welcoming and student-centered university. There are so many ideas and great initiatives. Working at Mason gives me hope for the future that there are better days ahead where we can learn to support others.

Why serve on the Staff Senate: I have always strived to be an advocate for others. When I see injustice or hurt in any community, I never hesitate to address it. Life is too short to let the discomfort of confrontation get in the way of equity. The Staff Senate is a place where I can speak for those who cannot and create an environment where we can all thrive.

At the end of the day: I take great pride in doing a job with my best effort and leaving nothing untouched. I am excited about where this job at Mason will lead me. I would not be surprised if I worked in many different offices over my time at Mason. I enjoy new tasks, people, and roles to continue to learn and develop my skills. Where I am needed, I will go, and I rarely say no to a new experience. The more lives I can positively impact, the better.

February 2022

Climate Action Plan Town Hall #4 

The Mason community and members of the public are invited to virtually attend the university’s fourth Climate Action Plan (CAP) Town Hall on Friday, February 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. 

A new CAP impacts all Mason Patriots and the communities the university is a part of. It will detail a strategy for the Mason community and members of the public to work together to decrease the university’s environmental impact and take action in response to the climate crisis.   

During the Town Hall, the Mason Sustainability Council’s Carbon Neutrality Task Force, Dumont Janks, and Arup will provide an overview of the CAP process and share updates about the current development of the new CAP.

Everyone’s input is essential to create an actionable and impactful CAP. Mason Patriots and members of the public are encouraged to suggest ideas, offer feedback, and ask questions during the Town Hall and by making submissions through the CAP Feedback Form.

Climate Action Plan Town Hall #4
Friday, February 18
Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Presentations and recordings of all prior Town Halls can be viewed here. Review a two-page summary of the CAP for a quick overview, and learn more about the planning process on the CAP website. 

Contact Ben Auger (he/they), Communications Specialist, Mason Sustainability Council, at with questions. 

February 2022

GMU Toastmasters Open House 

George Mason Toastmasters (GMUT) invites you to a regular meeting or open house. You will have an opportunity to practice your speaking and leadership skills.

GMUT is now hosting hybrid meetings. The meetings combine both in-person and online participants, and offer an equally positive experience to both audiences. 

This will be a great opportunity to learn more about Toastmasters and to see a meeting in action. You will also have a chance to participate in Table Topics and impromptu speaking practice, as well as ask questions about the club. 

To learn more about the club and see the scheduled meetings, visit the Toastmasters Club website.

GMUT Hybrid (in-person and online) Open House
Wednesday, March 2, at noon
Fairfax Campus, Merten Hall, Room 3001
Zoom link   

Note: George Mason Toastmasters are limiting the in-person count to eight attendees. If you are interested in attending in-person, kindly sign up here: Toastmaster Open House. 

February 2022

Upcoming Performances at Mason

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
Center for the Arts Family Series: Saturday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Hylton Family Series: Saturday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Direct from the Vegas Strip, it’s Popovich Comedy Pet Theater! The whole family will be awestruck by the juggling feats of Gregory Popovich, along with the circus tricks of his adorable and spotlight-stealing furry and feathered friends. Voted the “Best Family Attraction in Las Vegas,” it’s absolute circus fun. Recommended for all ages. Note: Face coverings are required indoors for patrons ages 2 and up.

Ballet Hispánico
Saturday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. 
Hylton Performing Arts Center 
Founded by National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramírez, Ballet Hispánico is a renowned Latinx dance organization, recently recognized by the Ford Foundation as one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latinx cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: Jason Vieaux and Aaron Clay
Saturday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. 
Center for the Arts 
Grammy winner Jason Vieaux is “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone). NPR wrote Vieaux is “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” Mr. Vieaux joins Aaron Clay in a performance of the U.S. premiere of “Bruromano,” by Czech composer Sylvie Bodorová. Clay serves as principal bassist for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. He commands great respect as a performer in both the classical and jazz worlds.    

Pilobolus: BIG FIVE-OH!
Sunday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. 
Center for the Arts 
In their 50th anniversary celebration, Pilobolus turns their traditions sideways in a thoroughly engaging new way. Pilobolus puts the “Oh!” in BIG FIVE-OH!, as they continue to morph into audiences’ hearts and minds. From the vintage and visionary to the recent and electrifying, Pilobolus continues to wow audiences with its irresistible mix of wit, sensuality, and stunning physical acumen. This performance contains partial nudity.

Mason Jazz Festival 
Saturday, Feb. 26 
Fairfax Campus (multiple locations) 
The Mason Jazz Festival is an invitational event open to middle school, high school, collegiate, and community jazz ensembles. This festival will take place Saturday, Feb. 26, on the Fairfax Campus. Sponsored by Mason Jazz Studies and the Jazz Education Network, participating groups will perform a 20- to 30-minute set, followed by a clinic by Mason Jazz faculty and special guests. The closing festival performance ensemble will be the United States Army Blues Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. in Harris Theatre. All performances are free and open to the public.

Mark Morris Dance Group
Saturday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Featuring the MMDG Music Ensemble, the ever innovative and compelling Mark Morris Dance Group is on every arts lover’s must-see list. They return to the Center with a medley of lively works with an exuberant evening of dance created by “the most successful and influential choreographer alive” (New York Times).

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sunday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Sharing a heartfelt message of love, peace, and harmony, Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs an uplifting concert showcasing traditional South African vocal styles. Grammy-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s richly harmonious vocals take inspiration from isicathamiya, a traditional music that developed in the mines of South Africa. This performance is family friendly.   

Matinee Idylls: Lena Seikaly Trio
Tuesday, March 1, at 1:30 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Called “one of Washington’s preeminent jazz singers” and “brightest voices in jazz” (Washington Post), jazz vocalist and Washington, D.C.-area native Lena Seikaly performs a sumptuous afternoon of jazz standards. Her rich mezzo-soprano voice is not only making waves locally, but Seikaly is also growing a following outside the Beltway. 

Dewberry School of Music: Mason Wind Symphony
Tuesday, March 1, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Come watch the Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band present their winter concert, conducted by Professor Mark Camphouse and doctoral student Samantha Clarke. The George Mason University Wind Symphony, led by composer-conductor Mark Camphouse, is comprised of outstanding wind, brass, and percussion players. 

Studio Series: Eurydice
Mason School of Theater
March 3–6, multiple performances
Center for the Arts, Theater Space
Eurydice reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, not through Orpheus’s infamous pilgrimage to retrieve his bride but through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she begins to discover that the cost of living again can sometimes exceed the cost of staying dead. Full of dark humor, lyrical beauty, and wit, Sarah Ruhl’s play transforms a traditional myth into a visceral, contemporary meditation on love worth grieving for.

Velocity Irish Dance
Sunday, March 6, at 4 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Get ready for Velocity Irish Dance, a high-octane celebration of the past, the present, and—most especially—the future of Irish dance. In their exhilarating performance, it features dance at lightning-fast speeds and nearly impossible scuffles and shuffles. It’s heart-pounding entertainment, with an extra helping of soul. This performance is family friendly. 

February 2022

Rx Racial Healing Circle

Rx Racial Healing Circles cropped

Be part of a powerful well-being conversation in Mason’s next Rx Racial Healing Circle, happening Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. online. The circle is open to all Mason students, faculty, and staff. Learn more and register.


February 2022

Announcements from Human Resources and Payroll

Final Call for Outstanding Achievement Awards Nominations

The 2022 Outstanding Achievement Awards nomination deadline is fast approaching. If you’d like to recognize a faculty or staff member’s dedication and contributions to Mason, be sure to submit the nomination by Feb. 25. (Note that the departmental awards may have different deadlines.) 

Visit the Outstanding Achievement Awards website for more details. 

The ceremony will be held on April 7, 10–11:30 a.m., in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. 

Questions? Contact 

Call for Applications: 2022–23 Leadership Legacy Program

Applications are now accepted for the 2022–23 Leadership Legacy Program (LLP). The program is designed for Mason faculty and staff who are committed to furthering their leadership development, whether they are newly entering a leadership role, wish to prepare for alternative positions, or simply wish to strengthen their capacity to lead from their current position.

A major goal of the program is to develop and strengthen the leadership culture at Mason. The program curriculum provides opportunities for participants to advance their conceptual and experiential understanding of leadership in the context of university settings. 

For details about the program curriculum and application requirements, visit the website. Application materials are due March 18.

February 2022

Updates from Parking and Transportation

Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
Arlington Campus: Get $100 Monthly After Starting a Sustainable Commute

Mason’s Arlington Campus has joined Sustain & Save, a regional program available to those who switch from driving alone to a sustainable option for most of their monthly commute. Faculty or staff who currently drive and pay tolls along I-66 to get to the Arlington Campus can receive $100 each month they choose to take public transit, vanpool, carpool, walk, or bike into work. 

The enrollment process is quick and easy. Start by reaching out to Mason’s Sustain & Save rep, Katie Thompson, to see if you qualify. 

Reminder: Winter Bike to Mason Day on Feb. 11

Winter Bike to Mason Day is the Friday before Valentine’s Day! Join us on Feb. 11 for a little bike love. Stop by the Merten Hall Lawn between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. with your bike for a beverage and some biking-related giveaways. 

Deadline Extended to Feb. 28: Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award 

The Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award honors Rick, “the Mason bike dude,” who passionately advocated for and encouraged active transportation at Mason and beyond. Nominations are open for this new award, and the recipient will be recognized at the Outstanding Achievement Awards in April.

If you know a faculty or staff member who embodies Rick’s enthusiasm and commitment, we encourage you to submit a nomination. View important details.

February 2022

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Evening of Reflection

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening of Reflection Event Logo

The Mason community is invited to celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Evening of Reflection with Mason’s Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment (CCEE) and The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee. 

Martin Luther King Evening of Reflection
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 6–8 p.m.
Hybrid event (The Hub ballroom and GMUTV)

This year’s theme, “Dangerous Unselfishness,” reflects on Dr. King’s last iconic speech, “Mountaintop.” This year, our hope is to center coalition-building while reflecting on the work that still needs to be done on our campus and in our communities and nation to reach Dr. King’s idea of the “promised land.” 

February 2022

Homecoming 2022: Brave, Bold, and BACK

Homecoming, Feb 4-13, Patriots Brave & Bold, #MasonHC22, Mason participants smilingLet’s join together for Homecoming 2022, which kicks off Mason’s year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary! 

Upcoming event highlights: 

For complete event details and registration/ticket information, visit 

February 2022

Faculty/Staff Spouse and Dependent Tuition Benefit Survey

In response to the Faculty Senate’s and Staff Senate’s joint resolution supporting tuition benefits for spouses and dependents of Mason employees, Human Resources and Payroll is working toward understanding the implications and developing an implementation plan. Take this brief survey that will allow the university to gauge the degree to which this benefit might be used.