Around Mason: Week of Nov. 23, 2021


Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit through the online form.

Deadline is close of business Wednesday for inclusion in the following Tuesday's edition.

Campus Updates

50th Anniversary Fund Idea Submissions Needed

As part of Mason’s 50th anniversary, Giving Day will focus on raising funds for a strategic initiative at Mason.

Do you have an initiative or project that could be completed (start to finish) with $75,000–150,000 and would impact faculty, staff, students, or alumni? Tell us about it!

University leadership will review all entries, and the top ideas will be put to a vote by the Mason Nation. The winning idea will be supported during Giving Day.

Complete the form with your recommendations by Nov. 30.

December Staff Senate Meeting: President Gregory Washington

The December Staff Senate meeting will feature Mason President Gregory Washington. The Staff Senate will collect questions for consideration in advance. Please provide your comments or questions using the form on the senate website no later than Tuesday, Nov. 23. If time permits, the Staff Senate will take questions during the live session.

Wednesday, Dec. 1
10 a.m. to noon
Dr. Washington will present from 10 to 11 a.m. (general meeting to follow)
Hosted on Zoom
Passcode: SS123
Call in: 301-715-8592 or 267-831-0333
Webinar ID: 939 9974 9658/ Passcode: 224754

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at Mason. Working closely with the 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. Contact for more information.

Nominations Accepted for the Online Teaching Excellence Award

The Online Teaching Excellence Award recognizes teaching excellence in faculty members who have been teaching fully-online courses at Mason. Faculty may be full-time or part-time and need to have taught online courses for at least four complete semesters at Mason to be eligible.

Students and/or employees may submit nominations. Self-nominations are not accepted. Read more about qualifications and the nomination process.

Submit a nomination using the online form by Dec. 3. The form requests information about the nominee, along with a few paragraphs of recommendation.

Questions? Contact the Stearns Center at

Thanksgiving Service Changes on Mason Shuttles

The Thanksgiving holiday will bring changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. View the modified schedules.

Find more information about Mason Shuttles at Contact with questions.

Training and Professional Development

Mason Career Influencers Network

University Career Services will offer Career Influencers Network training in January and March. The Mason Career Influencers Network is a nationally recognized model for providing career development support to students through their relationships with professors, advisors, success coaches, supervisors, community directors, and many other roles at the university.

Sign up for an upcoming cohort:

January Cohort (in-person): Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (lunch included)

March Cohort (virtual during Spring Break Week)

  • Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2022, 1–2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022, 1–2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Mar. 17, 2022, 1–2:30 p.m.

Register today.

Resources for You

Commuter Choice Benefit Increasing in 2022

Starting in January 2022, the maximum Commonwealth Commuter Choice benefit at Mason will increase by $10 to $280 per month. Currently, an Executive Order gives full-time state employees in Northern Virginia up to $270 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 Friday, Dec. 10. If you are new to the program, also submit an Enrollment Form.

Find more information and the forms on the Parking and Transportation website. Contact with questions.

Vanpool Survey: Woodbridge to the Fairfax Campus

Are you a full-time faculty/staff member who lives in the Woodbridge area and works on the Fairfax Campus? Would you like to have your commuting costs reimbursed up to $270/month (tax-free), not have to do all the driving, park free at Mason, and reduce carbon emissions?

If so, consider vanpooling. Parking and Transportation is continuing its vanpool outreach and has developed a short vanpool match survey for a possible Woodbridge to Fairfax vanpool.

Mason Recreation Power Meet: Dec. 4

Join Mason Recreation for the 2021 Power Meet on Dec. 4, featuring three types of lifts: squat, bench, and deadlift. Each lifter will have three attempts to achieve the greatest possible weight for each designated lift.

View more information and register.

The meet will be hosted at the Recreation and Athletic Complex (The RAC). Contact Emmanuel Agyemang at or 703-993-5622 with questions.

Upcoming Performances at Mason

Canadian Brass: Making Spirits Bright
Saturday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts
Back by popular demand! The internationally acclaimed Canadian Brass returns this holiday season for an evening of impeccable music and witty repartee, perfect for your whole family. Renowned for joyous performances and their iconic white running shoes, this quintet will warm your heart with sparkling brass standards and toe-tapping holiday favorites. 

Family Series: Lightwire Theater's A Very Electric Holiday
Sunday, Nov. 28, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Center for the Arts

Gather the whole family for this imaginative story cleverly told with cutting edge electroluminescent puppetry, live dancers, and a lively mix of classical, jazz, and pop music. Follow a young bird, Max, who gets separated from his flock while flying south for the winter during a snowstorm. Lost and alone in the North Pole, Max embarks on an odyssey to be reunited with his family, and along the way encounters dancing poinsettias, caroling critters, Nutcracker soldiers, mischievous mice, and an evil rat king. Lightwire Theater has been featured as semi-finalists on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Chanticleer: A Chanticleer Christmas
Sunday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center

It would not be the holidays without Chanticleer gracing the stage at Merchant Hall with their singular harmonic blend of 12 male voices ranging from soprano to bass. Welcome back our favorite holiday treat, spreading peace, joy, and a cappella with their festive holiday program, featuring American hymns, Christmas carols from around the world, Gospel melodies, and Renaissance motets.

Mason Jazz Workshop: Fall Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts

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. This concert is free and open to the public.

Jazz Combos and Steel Pan Ensemble Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts

Join the Mason Steel Pan Ensemble, directed by Victor Provost; the Braddock Road Brass Band, directed by Graham Breedlove; and the Latin American Ensemble, directed by Juan Megna in their Fall 2021 concert. This concert is free and open to the public.

Mason Dance Innovations Concert
School of Dance
Friday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dance Innovations is a showcase of new dances by George Mason University's School of Dance. 

Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is Here
Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts

Dianne Reeves, “the most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday” (The New York Times), shares her timeless voice and improvisational prowess in an exceptional holiday program of seasonal sounds. Adored by audiences and critics alike for her powerful voice, vivacious personality, and captivating performance, Reeves is considered one of the world’s preeminent vocalists.

Mason Symphony and Choirs Holiday Concert
Dewberry School of Music
Sunday, Dec. 5, 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.

Jane Lynch’s A Swingin’ Little Christmas
Featuring Kate Flannery, Tim Davis, and the Tony Guerrero Quintet
Sunday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m.
Hylton Performing Arts Center

What if two of your favorite comedy mavens decided to partner up for a hilarious, surprisingly tuneful Christmas cabaret spectacular? Genius! A Swingin’ Little Christmas stars Jane Lynch (Glee’s Sue Sylvester, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Sophie Lennon) and Kate Flannery (The Office’s Meredith). This holiday edition of their hit New York cabaret show Two Lost Souls is basically the Rat Pack with a couple of broads. Accompanied by Tim Davis and the Tony Guerrero Quintet, these longtime friends and performing partners share their uniquely hysterical take on everything from Broadway classics to the Barry Sisters to Nicki Minaj.