Around Mason: Week of Jan. 31, 2023


Faculty/Staff Announcements 

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Campus Updates 

February Staff Senate Meeting: University Ombudsperson 

The February Staff Senate meeting will feature Kimberly Davidson, university ombudsperson. 

Wednesday, Feb. 1 
10–11 a.m. – Guest Speaker 
11 a.m. to noon – General Business Meeting 
Hosted on Zoom 

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at Mason. Working closely with university administration, the senate addresses 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 general meetings

Mason Releases Mandatory Emergency Preparedness Training for Faculty and Staff

In accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Governor, Executive Order 41 (2019) requirement that all personnel and faculty of state agencies must complete emergency management training annually, Mason has designed a customized Emergency Preparedness Training that is designed to give Mason faculty and staff a foundation of practical competencies and resources needed for emergency preparedness and crisis response so that you can protect yourself and others during an emergency on or off campus. 

On Monday, Jan. 30, Human Resources and Payroll assigned Emergency Preparedness Training to employees' MasonLEAPS account. To access MasonLEAPS and take this training, visit Training must be completed by April 1. For new employees, training will be required within 90 days of hire.

For more information about Mason’s emergency management and emergency preparedness programs, visit

Deadline Extended: Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award 

The Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award honors Rick, the "Mason Bike Dude,” who passionately advocated for and encouraged active transportation at Mason and beyond. The recipient will be recognized at the Outstanding Achievement Awards in April.   

If you know a faculty or staff member who embodies Rick’s enthusiasm and commitment, we encourage you to submit a nomination. The deadline has been extended  to Friday, Feb. 24. Important details are posted on the Mason Transportation website.   

Contact Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or with questions.

Spring Hours of Operation for Mason Dining 

Mason Dining has posted its spring hours of operation. Also, check out the grand opening celebration for Halal Guys and FLIP Kitchen in the Johnson Center on Monday, Feb. 6, from noon to 2 p.m.

Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition 

Mason's Department of Statistics is holding a prediction competition to see who can determine when the cherry trees will bloom. The entry period begins Feb. 1. Complete entries submitted by Feb. 28 are eligible to win up to $5,000 in cash and prizes! See for details. 

Homecoming 2023: Registration Open 

Celebrate Mason during Homecoming from Feb. 10–18. Registration is now open for a series of exciting events. Show your school spirit, reminisce, and share experiences with your friends and family. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 703-993-8696 or

$5 Fridays at Ike’s and Southside 

Every first Friday of the month, Mason Dining offers a discounted $5 lunch to faculty and staff at Ike's and Southside. The spring semester dates are:  

  • Feb. 3
  • March 3 
  • April 7 
  • May 5 

New Mason Web Location for COVID Information 

Mason’s “Safe Return to Campus” website content has been moved and now resides on the Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management website at Old and bookmarked links will automatically redirect to this new permanent location. Information and other details regarding COVID-19 resources are available.

Love to Bike? Winter Bike to Mason Day is Feb. 10 

Winter Bike to Mason Day is the Friday before Valentine’s Day. Join Parking and Transportation on Feb. 10 for a little bike love!  

Stop by the Merten Hall lawn between 7:30–9:30 a.m. with your bike for a beverage and some biking-related giveaways. Contact for more information.

Training and Professional Development 

Sign-Up for Mason 101 

New to the Mason community? Looking to update your Mason knowledge? You are invited to sign up for Mason 101! 

Mason 101 is a one-time, two-hour session that shares the history, organizational structure, and resources of George Mason University, including a virtual tour of all Mason sites and updates on the future of Mason. Upcoming training dates: 

  • Friday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon, Merten Hall, Room 2001 (in-person) 
  • Friday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to noon (hosted on Zoom) 
  • Friday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to noon, Merten Hall, Room 2001 (in-person) 
  • Friday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to noon (hosted on Zoom) 

To register: 

  1. Go to 
  2. Log in with your MasonID credentials 
  3. In the search bar in upper right corner of the page, search for “Mason 101” 
  4. On the screen that opens, click “Mason 101” 
  5. Available Mason 101 dates will appear 
  6. Click on the “Request” button next to your preferred training date 

With questions, contact Philip Stamper at 703-993-5308.

Faculty and Staff Can Apply as Teacher-Mentor for UNIV 100 Courses  

University Studies within the Office of Undergraduate Education is Mason’s one-stop center that offers transition courses to students throughout their college years. These courses provide the support students need during the various phases of transition from matriculation to graduation.   

University Studies is now accepting applications from Mason staff to teach and serve as a role model for first-year students in UNIV 100: Introduction to Mason courses for fall 2023. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, Feb. 24. Apply today. Email questions to University Studies.  

Faculty Engagement Series to Address Career Success   

The University Life Faculty Engagement Series is designed to provide information about Mason students and services, hear faculty perspectives and insights from the classroom, and identify the ways our collective work in student success intersects and overlaps.   

The next session in the series will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 2–2:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room A, and via Zoom. Saskia Campbell, executive director, University Career Services, will address the topic of career success. For details on each session, visit the website or email Alissa Karton.

Resources for You 

Hayden Center Event – 2023's National Security Challenges: Open Forum  

Join the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. in Van Metre Hall at Mason Square for an open forum looking ahead at 2023's national security challenges. The panel includes: 

  • General (retired) Michael Hayden, former director of both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency; 
  • Michael Morell, former acting director and deputy director of CIA; 
  • David Priess, publisher of Lawfare, chief operating officer of the Lawfare Institute, and former CIA analyst and briefer; and
  • Andrew McCabe, former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Larry Pfeiffer, director of the Hayden Center, former senior director of the White House Situation Room, and former chief of staff at the CIA, will moderate the conversation. A reception with complimentary food and drinks for all in-person attendees will be held after the event in the adjacent Multipurpose Room. 

All are welcome. Registration is required. Join in-person or via livestream on YouTube. 

Working Moms Group  

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. This spring, the meetings will be a mix of in-person and virtual formats. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 8, at noon on Zoom. 

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

Contact Heather Aleknavage with questions. 

All Adjunct Faculty Invited to Social Hour on Feb. 13 

All Mason adjunct faculty are invited to attend the Adjunct Faculty Social Hour on Monday, Feb. 13, from 5–6:30 p.m. in Merten Hall, Room 1201. Meet Provost Ginsberg and mingle with fellow adjuncts in this community-building event. RSVP to Shannyn Snyder, co-chair of the Adjunct Faculty Committee.  

Faculty and Staff Meal Plans 

Faculty and staff can purchase meal plans, too! Faculty and staff Byte Plans are available with the following options for the spring semester:  

  • 50 Meal Swipes: $395 ($7.90 per meal)  
  • 25 Meal Swipes: $215 ($8.60 per meal)  
  • 10 Meal Swipes: $95 ($9.50 per meal)  

Door prices (without meal plan):   

  • Breakfast: $9.50  
  • Lunch: $11  
  • Dinner: $12  

Swipes can be used at Southside, The Globe, and Ike’s. Byte Plans can be purchased in person in the Mason Card Office located in SUB I, Room 1203 (bring your Mason ID) or online.  

Note: Byte Plan balances carry over from Fall 2022 to Spring 2023. The remaining swipes expire May 17. All balances will be zeroed out and are not refundable. 

Patriot Perks Basketball Watch Parties 

Support the Mason Men’s Basketball team at the Patriot Perks Basketball Watch Parties this spring. Cheer on the Patriots from these Patriot Perks locations during the team’s away games:   

  • Feb. 4: Dave & Buster’s Fairfax, 2 p.m. (Mason at Loyola)   
  • Feb. 25: Patriots Pub & Grill, 5:30 p.m. (Mason at Dayton)   
  • March 4: Velocity Wings Fairfax, noon (Mason at Richmond)   

Bring a Mason ID or Alumni Association Member Card to receive exclusive discounts at each location. Plus, there will be free Mason spirit items and giveaways provided by the Patriot Perks program. Grab your friends, colleagues, or family to come celebrate and cheer on the Patriots! RSVP today.

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 twice a week, you always have a ride backup with Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH).  

Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, it is free to sign up and free to use GRH. 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 is a good idea to sign up before you need it. Conditions apply; for details and to register, visit the Mason Parking and Transportation website (scroll down to Guaranteed Ride Home). Contact with questions.

Upcoming Performances at Mason

The Mason Cabaret – Baby, Dream Your Dream: The Women of Broadway  
School of Theater  
Friday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. (ASL interpreted performance, Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre)  
Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre)  
Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. (SciTech Campus, Hylton Center, Gregory Family Theater)
A perennial favorite, the Mason Cabaret returns with a fresh line up of stellar vocalists offering showstoppers, ballads, and duets. As Sondheim once wrote, “Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone . . .” This “fun-raiser” will have you dancing in your seat and humming all the way home. Ticket sales will support the Mason Players.  

Virginia Opera: Fellow Travelers  
Saturday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m.   
Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m.   
Center for the Arts  

Virginia Opera presents Fellow Travelers by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce. Fellow Travelers follows idealistic Timothy Laughlin as he navigates through the intrigues of Washington, D.C., during the Red Scare of the 1950s. Working in a senator’s office, Timothy joins the fight against communism, but his values are put to the test when falls in love with Hawkins Fuller, a handsome State Department official. Sung in English with English surtitles.   

Machine de Cirque: La Galerie  
Saturday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m.  
Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m.   
Hylton Performing Arts Center  

In La Galerie, seven zany acrobats, one electrifying musician, and plenty of popcorn transform a black and white art exhibit into a colorful feast for the senses. Audiences of all ages will be in awe as the endearing characters defy museum etiquette and explore the exhibition from the inside out. Since 2015, this Quebec City-based circus company has dazzled audiences around the world with performances that blend acrobatics, poetry, and humor. This performance is appropriate for all ages.   

Guest Artist Series: Creating Anti-Racist Theater
Feb. 6, noon to 1:30 p.m. 

Hosted via Zoom
The School of Theater announces the spring 2023 dates for its Guest Artist Series: Creating Anti-Racist Theater with leading voices from the theatrical industry. The conversations are hosted and led by Djola Branner, director of Mason’s School of Theater. On Feb. 6, Branner will be joined by Yale's Windham Campbell Prize winner Sharon Bridgforth. Learn more here. This installment of the series will focus on theater-makers who identify as LBGTQ+ and are leading practices around inclusion and anti-racism in theatrical spaces. The conversations are free and open to the public, with registration required for access

Visual Voices Lecture with Saki Mafundikwa  
School of Art  
Thursday, Feb. 9, at 4:45 p.m.  
Hosted via Zoom   

Visual Voices is an online artist presentation and Q&A that provides exposure to a variety of practicing artists. Saki Mafundikwa is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts, a design and new media training college in Harare, Zimbabwe. Mafundikwa’s book, Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa, was the first book on Afrikan typography. His first film, Shungu: The Resilience of a People, a feature-length documentary, is an objective, in-depth look at the causes and effects of Zimbabwe’s political and economic decline through the voices of ordinary Zimbabweans.  

Poetry Night with Bennie Herron  
Friday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m.  
Mason Exhibitions Arlington  

Join artist Bennie Herron and his friends for poetry, music, and an artist talk. Origin Stories, featuring the work of Bennie Herron, is open at Mason Exhibitions Arlington through March 11. Herron’s paintings channel and concentrate the currents of his poetry. Using a consistent formal vocabulary, he depicts emotionally charged busts of figures in dramatic contours, filled with dynamic and often fractured interiors. He has characterized these larger-than-life figures as “mirrors.” Mason Exhibitions Arlington is located at 3601 Fairfax Drive, two blocks away from Mason Square.    

Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble: Pepperland   
Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m.   
Hylton Performing Arts Center  

Legendary choreographer Mark Morris celebrates The Beatles in his critically acclaimed Pepperland. Thanks to Morris’s distinctive wit, musicality, and inventiveness, Pepperland transforms The Beatles’ music into a performance that fills the stage with color and high-energy dance. Founded in 1980, the Mark Morris Dance Group is lauded as the world’s preeminent dance company. You won’t want to miss this much-anticipated cultural event of the season. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

Bay Area Children’s Theatre: Llama Llama Live   
Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.   
Hylton Performing Arts Center  

Bedtime has never been so exciting in this clever, imaginative, and heartwarming musical. Based on the beloved children’s book series by Anna Dewdney and Netflix TV series, Llama Llama Live, presented by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre, will have the whole family in stitches. Recommended for ages three and up.  

Czech National Symphony Orchestra  
Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m.  
Center for the Arts  

The acclaimed Czech National Symphony Orchestra (CNSO) returns to the Center with an uplifting program of masterworks and embraces the sheer joy and optimism of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. This good-for-your-spirit concert also showcases GRAMMY-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie, performing Brahms’s electrifying Violin Concerto in D Major (Brahms’s only violin concerto). This performance is appropriate for all ages.