February 2023

February General Meeting Recording

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones

The February Staff Senate meeting featured Kimberly Davidson, university ombudsperson.

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

February 2023

March Staff Senate Meeting Announcement

The March Staff Senate meeting was originally scheduled to feature a Strategic Plan Update from Ken Walsh, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff. Due to a scheduling conflict, this session will be postponed until a later date.

The Staff Senate will now host a panel to discuss prevention preparedness, response plans and mental health/well-being resources for employees, featuring Dr. David Farris, Executive Director, Safety and Emergency Management, and Angela Chezem, MD.

Wednesday, March 1
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – General Meeting
11:15 a.m. to Noon – Guest Panel
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.



February 2023

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.

Did you know? You can volunteer in Mason’s Greenhouse and Gardens Program all year round!

Learn about sustainable food production and help grow produce for Mason’s dining rooms and the online store. No experience is needed, training and tools are provided.

Find out more about the hydroponic greenhouse, the food forest, and the organic garden, and sign up for volunteer shifts, on the website.




February 2023

Announcements from Facilities

Mason Welcomes New Fleet of Vehicles

Mason Facilities has a new fleet of flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) on the Fairfax Campus. Nine new vehicles were added this winter to the Facilities inventory. Both efficient and practical, these new vehicles are required for large, heavy-duty work including hauling, snow plowing, fuel and material deliveries, and much more. To learn more about them, click here.

New Lighting at the Rappahannock River Parking Deck

Mason Facilities transitioned to LED lighting at the Fairfax Campus’s Rappahannock River parking deck – replacing over 600 fluorescent light fixtures. Mason’s new LED lighting offers consistent illumination, glare control, and significant energy savings. To learn more, click here.

Recycling Through the Years

Mason Facilities’ waste management and recycling (WMR) operational processes have undergone significant changes over the last two decades. During this time, Mason Facilities identified several ways to streamline processes and workflows to improve efficiency of Mason’s waste management and recycling efforts.

To learn more about Mason’s WMR team, click here.

February 2023

Announcements from Human Resources and Payroll

New Classified Staff Performance Management Cycle

As a reminder, beginning in 2023, Mason will transition the classified staff performance management cycle to an April 1 to March 31 cycle. 

Implementing this new cycle has several benefits, including: less disruption to the beginning of the new academic year, increased efficiency for managers and staff with the aligning of classified staff and administrative/professional (A/P) faculty evaluation timelines, and alignment of the university’s performance cycle with the state’s budget approval timeline.  

For classified staff, this transition will result in a shortened evaluation period of October 25, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Evaluations will open in MasonLEAPS around March 1, 2023 to kick off the new cycle. The new anticipated performance evaluation timeline for classified staff and A/P faculty will then take place from March 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023. We recognize that this will result in many classified staff and A/P faculty experiencing multiple evaluations and ratings in a 12-month period. We view this as a positive in that employees will experience increased communication and understanding about job expectations and performance – which is responsive to the feedback so many of you have offered.  

Information sessions regarding these changes will be held virtually on February 16, February 23, February 28, and March 6. A/P faculty and classified staff are invited to sign up for these sessions via MasonLeaps.

For more information, read the full announcement from Human Resources.

Outstanding Achievement Awards: Nomination Deadline Approaching

The last day to nominate your colleagues for Outstanding Achievement Awards is Feb. 25. There are 16 award categories open, including excellence in customer service, diversity and inclusion, and teamwork, as well as special awards for outstanding members of the adjunct faculty, Housing and Residence Life, and Mason alumni. 

Visit the Outstanding Achievement Awards website for more information. 

Apply to the Leadership Legacy Program

Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 cohort of the Leadership Legacy Program. Leadership Legacy is designed for full-time 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. 

The deadline to submit applications is March 20, 2023. For more information, visit the Leadership Legacy website. 

February 2023

Announcements from Operations and Business Services

Mason Dining Launches Kosher Program at Southside

Mason Dining has worked closely with Mason Hillel and the Chabad at GMU to provide students and faculty/staff with an eclectic mix of Kosher cuisine that will be served at Southside, enabling Jewish students to easily follow Kosher dietary rules. Read more…

Men’s Basketball Watch Parties Take Place at Patriot Perks Locations

Cheer on the Mason men’s basketball team at the Patriot Perks Basketball Watch Parties, hosted at off-campus locations during away games this spring. Bring a Mason ID or Alumni Association Member Card to receive exclusive discounts. Plus, there will be free Mason spirit items and giveaways provided by the Patriot Perks program. RSVP today…

Faculty and Staff Receive Free Delivery on $18+ orders with Grubhub

Mason Dining has partnered with Grubhub to provide easy online ordering of food and drinks for pick-up or delivery through their mobile app nationwide. Download the Grubhub app, set up your account (it’s called Grubhub+ Student but is applicable for faculty/staff), follow the prompts to sign in through your NetID and begin ordering to your office, your home, or even while you’re on vacation. To learn more about how to redeem the perks, visit the Mason Card Office Grubhub+ Program. 

February 2023

Updates from Parking and Transportation 

Deadline Extended: Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award

The Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award recognizes a Mason faculty or staff member committed to utilizing, promoting, and advocating for the use of active transportation as part of their daily commute life. The award is named for Rick Holt, “the Mason bike dude,” who was a trainer in Human Resources and Payroll for 14 years, retiring in 2021. Rick contributed his expertise on a regular basis, teaching classes, serving on committees, and encouraging the Mason community to try active commuting.

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, February 24. The award winner will receive $200 and be recognized at the annual spring Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration. For more information, including award criteria and nomination instructions, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Parking and Transportation at 3-2828 or via email at 

Love to Bike? Winter Bike to Mason Day on February 10

Winter Bike to Work Day is the Friday before Valentine’s Day. Join us on Feb. 10 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. 

Guaranteed Ride Home

If you’re a faculty or staff member who bikes, carpools, vanpools, uses mass transit (e.g. bus, Metro) or walks to work at least two times per week, Parking & Transportation wants you to know that you always have a ride backup with Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH).

Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), it’s free to sign up and free to use. Once you register, you can use GRH up to six times per year. If a qualifying emergency arises, call Commuter Connections and they will arrange transportation for you (e.g. taxi, car rental, transit). It’s a good idea to sign up before you need it. Conditions apply; for details and to register, visit the website (scroll to Guaranteed Ride Home Program). 

Mason Shuttles Spring Service

Spring shuttle service is underway. Schedules are posted at There have been some changes to the shuttle service:

  • Fairfax/Arlington Route: A second shuttle bus has been added to the route. Service will be hourly.
  • Sandy Creek/Metro Route: A third shuttle bus has been added to the route from 4–11 p.m. Service remains every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. From 4–11 p.m., service is every 20 minutes. Note: The last three departures from Sandy Creek (10, 10:20, and 10:40 p.m.) will travel to Vienna Metro as they always have, but will return to campus via a different route. They will stop at the CUE Bus stop by Fairfax Square on the return trip.

If you have any questions, email or call 703-993-2828. 

Profile of a Senator February 2023

Meet Jacquelyn Sims, Staff Senator and Senior Operations Specialist in the Office of the University Registrar


Role: My position allows me to interact with the Mason community at large. As a senior operations specialist, I have the pleasure to work with students, faculty and staff.

Mason journey: My journey at Mason began in 2017 in the Office of the University Registrar as a registrar assistant.

Best thing about working at Mason: The people. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people while working at Mason. People who really care about how their personal contributions affect everyone in the Mason network.

Why serve on the Staff Senate: I joined the Staff Senate to connect with and advocate for my fellow colleagues. I want to advocate to ensure that we all have an equitable voice.

At the end of the day: I love working at Mason. I am proud of the work we do supporting and preparing students to meet their educational goals. I’m also proud to work for an institution that sets the standard and is willing to push further.

February 2023

Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason 

The Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason is one way faculty, staff, and students can come together, discuss the issues confronting working parents, and perhaps spur changes on campus. The group is celebrating its 20th year of meetings with a special event on Tuesday, February 21 at noon in Merten 1202. Jaime Lester, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, Strategic Initiatives, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will be our guest speaker. Refreshments will be served.

This spring, the meetings will be a mix of in-person and virtual formats. 

For the full schedule, visit our website or join the Microsoft Teams group for more information.   

Contact Heather Aleknavage with questions. 

February 2023

TimelyCare provides 24/7 mental health support for students

We are spreading the news about Mason’s partnership with TimelyMD to deliver TimelyCare – a virtual mental health and well-being platform crafted specifically for college students.   

The TimelyCare platform augments the in-person and virtual mental health services that remain available to Mason students through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Health Services (SHS).  

With TimelyCare, Mason students will have access to many virtual mental health and well-being resources that are free and available 24/7. Students have access to TimelyCare services 365 days a year, including breaks, after hours, and any time they need support.

Find out more about TimelyCare resources online at