Profile of a Senator March 2023

Meet Susan Brionez, Staff Senator and Office Manager, School of Dance, College of Visual and Performing Arts


Role: One of the most exciting opportunities we offer dance majors at Mason is the experience of performing in significant dance works of master choreographers. I am fortunate to work closely with these world-class guest artists to book travel and housing arrangements, blending their busy schedules with the classes and rehearsals of our dance majors.

However, working with our own full-time and adjunct faculty is a joy and the highlight of my daily life here. School of Dance faculty have danced on Broadway, in the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, in the “Romeo and Juliet” rock musical, with the preeminent male classical dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and around the world, including Germany, Italy, London, New York City, Hawaii, and many more places. I assist faculty in a plethora of ways using known skills and learning new ones as needed.

Mason journey: My Mason journey began in July 2005 as the administrative assistant to the associate dean of undergraduate programs/Student Services in the engineering school. I learned much during those 13 years and served on Staff Senate for nearly half of that time. In 2018, I took a job in industry before returning to Mason in 2021. Returning to Mason was a Best. Decision. Ever. My supervisors, mentors, and co-workers are problem solvers, enthusiastic and energetic, and totally committed to the mission of Mason.

Best thing about working at Mason: It’s not easy choosing just one “best” thing. Here are a few of my favorites: The people, including faculty, staff and students; our beautiful campus (especially in spring); education benefits; exposure to new situations and responsibilities; and access to cultural offerings. Mason always has things going on for those of us who work here as well as for the surrounding community. Living less than 5 miles from campus certainly ranks high on my list of best things.

Why I serve on the Staff Senate: The Staff Senate helps shape the future at Mason. It provides networking opportunities with people who can help in my role. I enjoy collaborating with other senators to work for the benefit of all staff at Mason.

At the end of the day: … as I leave the deLaski Performing Arts Building, I see the smiling faces of our dancers who are anxiously awaiting their evening rehearsals (sometimes until 9:30 p.m.) and I wish them well. I hope they know from my interactions with them that day that I believe in them.