November 2022

November General Meeting Recording


The November Staff Senate meeting featured Sharnnia Artis, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer. She provided updates from the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, following the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Conference.

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

November 2022

Staff Senate December General Meeting Announcement


The December Staff Senate meeting will feature David Burge, vice president for enrollment management, to discuss the higher education market in Northern Virginia.

Wednesday, December 7
10 a.m. to noon
10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Guest Speaker
11:00 a.m. to noon – General Business Meeting
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.

Profile of a Senator November 2022

Meet Ashley Marshall-Lanier, Staff Senator and ADVANCE Academic Coach, Office of the Provost

Ashley Marshall-Lanier

Role: In my current role I serve as an academic coach for the ADVANCE program. The ADVANCE program is a Mason partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). ADVANCE streamlines the pathway from associate’s degree to bachelor’s degree by aligning courses to ensure that credits transfer toward the student’s selected degree program. ADVANCE saves students time and money, and the academic coaches work with students when they start the program at NOVA and complete their associate’s degrees. We also help transition them to Mason to work with the success coach team at Mason, and continue the goal of graduating from Mason.

I work with nearly 500 students at the community college level and assist them in completing degree pathways that will bring them to Mason after they graduate from NOVA. ADVANCE is receiving a lot of attention nationwide. PBS NewsHour recently aired a report on the program. You can watch it here.

Mason journey: My journey began in 2007 in Mason Athletics where I served as the assistant director of compliance. I enjoyed working with athletes and coaches, and the pulse of athletics. I moved into the Admissions department as a transfer admissions coordinator, which eventually led me back to the work I do for ADVANCE. I love watching students transition from one goal to the next. Each semester, we admit students to the ADVANCE program and it has grown over 200 percent in the last five years. We also matriculate students to Mason from NOVA each semester, including summer.

Best thing about working at Mason: The absolute best thing about working at Mason is the diverse group of people. There are so many cultures represented to learn from and so many opportunities to have great dialogue.

Why serve on the Staff Senate: One of the reasons I chose to serve on the Mason Staff Senate is because I believe in advocacy in all forms. I also believe it’s important to use my voice in any way I can to support the staff that helps the university function day to day. Your voice is only as good as you use it and I want to use mine to make Mason the best place possible for the all staff.

At the end of the day: I love helping and offering support more than anything. There’s always a great feeling when you give back to someone. In this role I am able to work with a variety of students, from first-generation to student-parents. Coaching not only gives me the ability to offer academic guidance, but also resources outside of academics. I’m grateful that Mason allows me many opportunities to provide that support.

November 2022

Updates from Parking and Transportation

Sandy Creek Shuttle Stop at Fairfax Campus. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University
Potential New Vanpool from Gainesville on the I-66 Corridor 

Are you a faculty/staff member who commutes from Gainesville? Come to the Johnson Center, Kiosk G, on Thursday, Nov. 10 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to learn how riders in new vanpools of five or more pay only $150 per month through March 2023. Plus, if you are a full-time Mason faculty/staff member, Mason picks up the monthly $150 vanpool fare to make your commute trip free 

All I-66 commuters to Mason from outside the Beltway are welcome to attend. For details, call 703927-1046 or email 

For questions about how Mason supports vanpooling for full-time faculty and staff, contact Mason Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or  

Commuter Choice Benefit Increasing in 2023

Beginning in January 2023, the maximum Commonwealth Commuter Choice benefit at Mason will increase by $20 to $300 per month. Currently, an executive order gives full-time state employees in Northern Virginia up to $280 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 Thursday, Dec. 8. If you are new to the program, please also submit an enrollment form. For more information and the forms, please visit the website. 

Share the Ride Using

Travel on I-66 to get to Mason? When the Transform 66 project is completed (scheduled for December 2022), there will be HOV-3 express lanes. Ride for free in HOV! How? Rideshare! Line up your carpool now. Save money, save time behind the wheel, potentially reduce the length of your commute, and reduce your carbon footprint—all by deciding not to drive alone.

Find potential rideshare partners by creating an account at Other financial incentives to carpool are sponsored by the Transform 66 project. Learn more.  

Mason Shuttles 2022 Thanksgiving Service Changes

The Thanksgiving holiday will bring changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Details are posted on the Mason Shuttles website at

Thanksgiving 2022 Regional Transportation

Mason offers affordable transportation for the Mason community to regional cities for the Thanksgiving holiday. Destinations include Virginia Beach, Richmond, Philadelphia, New York City, and more. Buses will leave on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and return on Sunday, Nov. 27.

For a complete list of destinations, departure times, and pickup locations, visit or view the schedule. 

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, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m., you can reduce the cost of an outstanding parking citation by making a donation to any Parking Services office to benefit Patriot Pantry. For important details, visit 

Route Planning: Biking to Mason

Live within biking distance of Mason? Planning a commute for this autumn or maybe next spring? We have volunteers who can assist you in finding a biking route that is comfortable for you. For details and regions covered, visit the biking resources webpage and choose the Bike Volunteer Program. 

Faculty/Staff Bike Commuter Choice Program

Like to bike? Live within biking distance of the Mason location where you work?  Thinking that maybe it’s time you changed up your commute to include a few days of biking per month? Consider the Faculty/Staff Bike Commuter Choice program and find joy in commuting to campus on two wheels! 

  • Four tiers of financial support tied to the number of rides per quarter. Join the program for as few as 5 rides per quarter.
  • Earn complimentary parking passes 
  • Ride more than 10 miles each way to work to earn a distance bonus
  • Ride at Tier 2 or Tier 3 all year to receive funds for a complimentary bike check 
  • Can be used in conjunction with Commuter Choice 

Conditions apply—the big one is that the program, unlike Commuter Choice, is taxable per the IRS. But don’t let that stop you; check out the details at   

Staying Safe: Traveling at Dusk

A reminder from Parking and Transportation that the days are growing shorter and it’s getting darker earlier. Now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, please keep in mind that it is difficult to see and be seen at dusk. Exercise care whether you are driving, biking, or walking. 

November 2022

Announcements from Human Resources and Payroll

Photo by Sierra Guard/Creative Services/George Mason University
Apply to the Emerging Leaders Supervisor Series

Applications for the sixth cohort of Emerging Leaders are being accepted from now until November 18 at 5 p.m. Applicants must be Mason faculty or classified staff and must supervise at least one employee who is faculty or classified staff. 

The Emerging Leaders Supervisor Series (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 policies. The 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. 

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

Employee Engagement Workshops for Supervisors

Human Resources and Payroll is excited to offer two standalone interactive sessions focused on faculty and staff engagement for supervisors. Participants will contribute to discussions surrounding Gallup survey engagement data and current best practices as well as learn new strategies to enhance the faculty and staff experience at Mason. 

Sessions will be offered on the following dates: 

  • Wednesday, November 16, 2–3:30 p.m. (Fairfax Campus) 
  • Friday, December 2, 9–10:30 a.m. (Virtual) 

For more information, visit the website. 

November 2022

Announcements from Information Technology Services

IT Security Awareness Training Due Wednesday, November 16

The deadline to complete your IT Security Awareness Training is Wednesday, November 16. The training is assigned to all Mason employees in their MasonLEAPS accounts. 

Employees who do not complete their training by the deadline will have their accounts disabled, and their supervisors or managers will be notified. If your account is disabled, you will need to contact the ITS Support Center to re-enable the account to take the training. 

In addition, employees who handle sensitive information are required to take additional role-based training. That training is also assigned to employees in MasonLEAPS and due Wednesday, November 16.  

For more information, visit this webpage.

November 2022

Police Advisory Board Community Forum and Listening Session

The Mason community is invited to a Community Forum and Listening Session on Policing hosted by the George Mason University Police Advisory Board, an Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) initiative. This is an opportunity for the Mason community to learn about the Advisory Board’s work and share feedback. Come elevate and activate your voice!

Tuesday, November 15, from 4–6 p.m.
Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall, or remotely via Zoom
RSVP required  

For more information, visit the website.  

November 2022

Supervision Collective Panel Presentation

Join the University Life Supervision Collective for a panel conversation:

Change Management: Helping Your Team Thrive While Growing Your Team
Thursday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Bistro

Leaders from across University Life will share experiences, strategies, and best practices for supporting and growing their teams in times of change. The panel will be immediately followed by a lunch and learn with small group discussions focused on aspects of change management.


  • Naomi Martinez-Jones, Director of Disability Services
  • Julie Choe Kim, Director of Graduate Student Life
  • Joan Bushore, Associate Nursing Director Student Health Services
  • Rick Gray, Director of New Student and Family Programs
  • Christian Barber, Director of Residence Life

Session Goals:

  • Help participants identify at minimum one strategy to support their team during a period of growth
  • Assist participants with identifying at minimum one growth mindset practice to implement within their teams
  • Engage participants in dialogue with colleagues

For questions, contact Louise Higgins, University Life.

November 2022

Upcoming Performances at Mason

View the complete schedules for the Center for the Arts and the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

The United States Army Band Pershing’s Own Salute To Veterans 
Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center 
The U.S. Army Band presents a patriotic Salute to Veterans on the eve of Veterans Day. Enjoy the music of John Williams and other greats in this inspiring and reflective program. This performance is sponsored by the Veterans and the Arts Initiative at Hylton Performing Arts Center.

Fall: New Dances
Mason School of Dance
November 11 and 12 at 8 p.m.
Harris Theatre
Step out of this cool autumn weather and into the theater for a performance filled with diverse choreography and talented dancers from the School of Dance.

Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Salute to the Military 
Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. 
Hylton Performing Arts Center 
Celebrate Veterans Day with Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra’s Salute to the Military. Vocalist Darden Purcell, Mason director of jazz studies and jazz voice, joins artistic director and virtuoso saxophonist Jim Carroll and his Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra for an unforgettable evening of jazz standards celebrating our veterans, servicemembers, and their families. Founded by Carroll, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra comprises the finest jazz performers in the metro region and is always a treat for our audiences. This performance is appropriate for all ages. 

Virginia Opera: The Pirates of Penzance  
Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m.  
Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m.   
Center for the Arts  
The Pirates of Penzance has everything—whimsical melodies, hilariously memorable characters, and one of the most terrific earworms of all time, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.” Frederic is ready to resign from his life of piracy, but fate is determined to alter his course. Add the affection of a girl, a long-winded but well-intentioned father, a band of merry pirates set on finding sweethearts, and the resulting confection is pitch-perfect pandemonium. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

SUGAR SKULL! A Día de los Muertos Musical Adventure 
Presented by Mexico Beyond Mariachi 
Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  
Hylton Performing Arts Center 
Vita Flores thinks her family is loco to be planning a party for the dead. But things change suddenly when her abuelita’s candy skeleton jumps to life, launching her into a magical world. SUGAR SKULL! is a perfect family outing, whether you’re new to the Day of the Dead or have celebrated the holiday with your loved ones for years. Recommended for ages 4 and up. 

Mason Jazz Vocal Night 
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music 
Monday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. 
Center for the Arts 
Join Darden Purcell, the Mason Jazz Voice studio, and the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble for an evening of swinging standards and classic hits from the Great American Songbook. 

Jazz Workshop Concert 
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music 
Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. 
Harris Theatre 
Jazz faculty member John Kocur directs the Mason Jazz Workshop big band in their concert. The Jazz Workshop performs music by Thad Jones, Mike Tomaro, Alan Baylock, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Neal Hefti, and many others.  

Jazz4Justice™ Concert: Jazz and Blues in America 
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music 
Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. 
Center for the Arts 
George Mason University’s Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music presents the 21st annual Jazz4Justice™ concert and fundraiser. The event raises funds to directly support vital legal services for low-income Northern Virginians, as well as financial support for the Mason Jazz Studies department, including scholarships, trips, recordings, and student projects. This year’s concert, Jazz & Blues in America, explores the roots and development of America’s greatest contribution to the arts—Jazz. Jazz4Justice™ is presented in partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia, a nonprofit legal aid organization that has served the region for more than 40 years.

Workshop: Exploring Innovative Collage Techniques through Botanical Imagery 
Veterans and the Arts Initiative  
Friday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m.  
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2 p.m.  
Off-campus: Haymarket Gainesville Library
Collage is a versatile art-making technique that combines various things together to create a work. This workshop starts with historical botanical imagery combined with 21st-century mediated imagery. Participants will learn how to incorporate a range of materials and methods to produce contemporary imagery that can be both a vehicle for storytelling and decorative innovation. Free and open to veterans, servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers.

Mason School of Theater: Sutta 
Nov. 18–19, at 8 p.m.   
Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. 
It’s 2017, and a young doctoral candidate is in the final throes of his dissertation on ancient religious traditions in the modern world. His research takes him to a Buddhist monastery where he grapples with identity, history, culture, and ultimately with who is entitled to enlightenment. Sutta combines movement, music, and text as theatrical language, and this production marks its world premiere.

American Roots SeriesThe Seldom Scene 
Saturday, Nov. 19, at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
Hylton Performing Arts Center 
The Seldom Scene, Washington, D.C.’s favorite bluegrass band and pioneers of the “new-grass” movement, are back for an encore set of American Roots Series performances. Their time-tested sound stretches and blends seamlessly in the realm of country, rock, pop, and jazz and has led to a devoted local and international following. This performance is appropriate for all ages.

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey SiegelImmortal Impromptus 
Sunday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m.  
Center for the Arts 
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel is for both music aficionados and those that aspire to be so. He will draw you into the composers’ lives by sharing details about their creative processes. In Immortal Impromptus, Siegel explores Romanticism with passion-filled, freestyling impromptus by Chopin, Schubert, and Fauré. Learn more about the artists and how they expressed the ideals of an era through their musical compositions. An interactive question and answer session will conclude this program. This performance is appropriate for all ages.

Symphonic Band Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Monday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
The Mason Symphonic Band presents an evening of historical and contemporary works for wind ensemble featuring Malcolm Arnold’s Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo and Fisher Tull’s Sketches on a Tudor Psalm. This concert opens with a unique juxtaposition of winds versus brass with Andrew Blair’s anti-FANFARE for winds and Katahj Copley’s Song for Ursa for Brass Choir. Washington, D.C. native Shelly Hanson’s Islas y Motanas, a musical rumination about Cuban composer, Alejandro Garcia Caturla, concludes this concert.

The 5 Browns: Christmas with The 5 Browns
Saturday, Nov. 26, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
The 5 Browns, a quintet of talented pianists and siblings—Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra, and Desirae—all simultaneously attended Juilliard. This “Fab Five” rose to acclaim in the early 2000s after being featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes. Indulge in a festive celebration of the piano that New York Post calls “the biggest classical music sensation in years.” This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

Family Series: The Queen’s Cartoonists – Holiday Hurrah!
Sunday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Welcome to The Queen’s Cartoonists holiday special! This festive performance is set to live projected clips in sync with the music, and it runs the gamut from traditional holiday vocal numbers such as “White Christmas,” “Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah,” paired with jazz arrangements and classic cartoon characters including Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Popeye the Sailor Man, Porky Pig, and more! Join us to experience your holiday favorites anew in Holiday Hurrah! Recommended for all ages.  

Chanticleer: A Chanticleer Christmas
Sunday, Nov. 27, at 4 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Join us in our tradition of ushering in the holiday season with peace, joy, and a cappella! Chanticleer’s 12 male voices, from soprano to bass, blend together perfectly in spellbinding harmony. Since forming four decades ago, Chanticleer has sold more than one million albums and won two GRAMMY Awards. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

Steel Pan Ensemble and Braddock Road Brass Band Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Join the Steel Pan Ensemble (Director Victor Provost), Latin American Ensemble (Director Juan Megna) and Braddock Road Brass Band (Director Graham Breedlove) for an evening of music from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans! 

Jazz Combos Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Professor Wade Beach directs the Mason Jazz Combos in their fall 2022 performance.

Wind Symphony Concert: Music for Uncommon Times
Thursday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.
Dewberry School of Music
Center for the Arts
Over the past two years, society has experienced a collision of significant events and phenomena unimagined by previous generations. COVID-19 and social unrest are two experiences that have impacted how we live today and dream of tomorrow. In this concert, the Mason Wind Symphony presents works by living composers Valerie Coleman, Katahj Copley, and Joel Puckett that respond to these uncommon times with remembrance, reflection, and hope. There will be a 7:30 p.m. pre-concert discussion. 

Mason Opera presents Amahl and the Night Visitors
Dewberry School of Music
Dec. 2 and 3, at 3 and 8 p.m.
Gregory Family Theater
This celebrated operetta by Italian-American composer and librettist Gian Carlo Menotti tells the classic story of the Magi’s journey to Bethlehem.  

Fall: Dance Innovations
School of Dance
Dec. 2 and 3, at 8 p.m.
Harris Theatre
Step out of this cool weather and into the theater for a performance filled with diverse choreography and talented dancers from the School of Dance.

Soweto Gospel Choir: HOPE – It’s Been A Long Time Coming
Friday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Direct from South Africa, welcome the three-time GRAMMY Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir for an exuberant night of African Gospel, spirituals, reggae, contemporary pop, and holiday music. For more than 20 years, Soweto’s awe-inspiring 20-member ensemble has spread its earthy rhythms, rich harmonies, brilliant costumes, and infectious spirit around the globe. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

Mason Symphony and Choirs Holiday Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. 

Center for the Arts
Join us for a joyous concert celebration by the Dewberry School of Music as we ring in the holiday season! Showcasing Mason’s Symphony Orchestra and Choirs, this evening will feature holiday favorites and festive new works performed by extraordinary student artists.


November 2022

Webinar on Employee Well-Being

Join Jessica Grossmeier, author of Reimagining Workplace Well-Being: Fostering a Culture of Purpose, Connection, and Transcendence, on Thursday, Nov. 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m. for the free webinar, “Addressing the Heart and Soul of Employee Well-Being.”

This webinar is part of Mason’s Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series, presented by the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Learn more and register.