Profile of a Senator September 2020

Meet Staff Senator Kimberly Shaw-Mack, Office Manager, Human Resources & Payroll

Kimberly Shaw-Mack/ Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

Roles: My role in Human Resources and Payroll and the Staff Senate Events Committee have allowed me the pleasure of participating in several events here at Mason, such as the 2020 Winter Warm-Up Staff Appreciation Event, 2019 Holiday Toy and Pantry Drive and 2019 Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day as well as flu shot clinics and several Employee of the Month celebrations.

Mason journey: I’ve been at Mason since September 2018 and it’s been quite a ride. During these last two years, I have witnessed several transformations in various departments with the change of leadership and policies.

Diverse and inclusive culture: I continue to look forward to positive changes to come with the arrival of President Washington. I am particularly excited to see how the diverse and inclusive culture of Mason will be enhanced. The current programs for the Mason LGBTQIA community are great, but I would like to see more opportunities for Patriots to be educated and become allies. I am also looking forward to the projects and initiatives that will be rolled out by the new Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence. As a person of color, I am affected by the current state of our nation in more ways than one. Now more than ever it is paramount that all minorities feel seen and supported by their employers. I have high hopes that Mason will be a great example of this moving forward.

COVID-19 transition: During this pandemic, I have been extremely proud of my Human Resources and Payroll colleagues. They did not miss a beat! Despite the uncertainty and anxiety brought on by COVID-19, we came together to support the university and each other. For a department that operated 99% physically in the office on desktops to suddenly go 100% remote on laptops without any disruptions, that’s pretty remarkable. I am beyond impressed with the adaptability I witnessed from my team.

Best thing about working at Mason: The best thing is the Well-Being University Initiative. It’s the push for Mason to be a place where everyone can thrive, regardless of your background. The first time I participated in meditation was during a “Mindful Tuesday” session and it changed my life. I now use meditation regularly to take a breather from the craziness of life – it’s like a magic reset button. I have learned several other tips and techniques for mindfulness that have helped me with my work/life balance as well. I have also had the pleasure of attending several seminars on well-being – “Re-learn to Relax,” “Faculty Staff Enrichment Day” and “Overcoming Burnout,” just to name a few. And I received Mental Health First Aid Training and certification. All of this was provided to faculty and staff free of charge showing that well-being is important to the university.

Why serve on Staff Senate: I hope I can support my colleagues and ultimately help Mason become an even better place to work.