Around Mason: Week of Feb. 14, 2023


Faculty/Staff Announcements

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

Campus Updates

Guidance on Upcoming Performance Evaluations

As a reminder, the new employee performance evaluation cycle is fast approaching, with the A/P faculty self-evaluation launching Feb. 20, followed by the classified staff self-evaluation on March 1.  

To help you prepare, Human Resources will host four virtual sessions of Performance Management Updates for 2023 to provide an overview of the procedure, new forms and revised rating scale: Outstanding, Successful, Developing, and Unsatisfactory.  

Reminder: Regularly check the Performance Management website for guidance, due dates, resources, training opportunities and frequently asked questions. Continue reading this announcement on the Human Resources website

Outstanding Achievement Awards: Nomination Deadline Approaching

The deadline to nominate your colleagues for Outstanding Achievement Awards is fast approaching on Feb. 25. There are 16 award categories, 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, Mason alumni, and more.  

Visit the Outstanding Achievement Awards website for more information.

Homecoming 2023

Homecoming is here! 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

Hosting a Camp or Youth Program at Mason

Spring semester is the time of year when departments plan their summer camps and other programs serving minors. If you are planning a program or camp involving minors, you must follow University Policy 1138, which governs such events. Review additional information about programs involving minors on campus.  

All internal programs, events, or camps (PEC) involving minors must complete the registration form. Completing the registration initiates the PEC process and alerts policy stakeholders of an incoming minors events.

PECs where Mason staff will be in care, control, or custody of minors will need to work with Human Resources to complete background checks for those staff members. Risk Management reviews operation plans and provides various resources such as medical, photo release, and pick-up/drop-off forms, while those PECs collecting funds for their programs can set up an e-commerce store with Fiscal Services via Mason Marketplace. The PEC registration process also alerts University Events, Mason Dining, Residence Life, and other service providers that may be needed.

For questions about the PEC process, contact Buz Grover, Operations and Business Services, 703-993-5784.

Nominations for the Jack Wood Award for Town-Gown Relations

The Jack Wood Award highlights the outstanding contributions of faculty, staff, students, businesses/not-for-profits, community members, and elected officials/staff who demonstrate leadership fostering mutually beneficial relationships between the university and the community.  

This award honors former Mayor Jack Wood, who played an instrumental role in establishing Mason in Fairfax and establishing positive town-gown relations.  

Awardees will be notified by April 10. The Board of Visitors will honor awardees on May 4.  

Nominations are due March 24. Self-nominations are welcome. Community relations/outreach professionals are not eligible. Questions? Contact Traci Kendall, Government and Community Relations.

Grad Fair

The George Mason University Bookstore will host a Grad Fair from Feb. 28 to March 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. Encourage your graduating students to stop by for all things grad-related! Contact the bookstore with questions at 703-993-2666. 

MyHub for Office 365

Information Technology Services (ITS) recently introduced MyHub, a tool within the Office 365 environment, as the standard way to create new workspaces. To begin using MyHub, see Getting Started: Creating a Workspace with MyHub. To learn about the different workspaces you can create, see MyHub Team Types.  

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or  

Intentional Acts of Kindness Day

Celebrate kindness with Mason Chooses Kindness on Thursday, Feb. 16, Mason's Intentional Acts of Kindness Day. Enjoy flowers, treats, and prizes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Johnson Center kiosks A, B, and C. Then, enjoy warm drinks and sweet snacks from 3–4 p.m. in Northern Neck. RSVP.  

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.

Training and Professional Development

Apply to the Leadership Legacy Program

Applications are now open for the 2023–24 cohort of the Leadership Legacy Program. This program 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. For more information, visit the website.

Toastmasters Open House

George Mason Toastmasters invites you to an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at noon in Merten Hall, Room 3300 or via Zoom. Toastmasters provides an opportunity to practice your speaking and leadership skills. 

George Mason Toastmasters is now hosting hybrid meetings for both in-person and online participants, offering an equally positive experience to both audiences. 

The open house is a great opportunity to learn more about Toastmasters and see a meeting in action. Participants will have a chance to participate in Table Topics, impromptu speaking practice, and ask questions about the club.  

To know more about our club, see the scheduled meetings, and get the zoom link for virtual attendance, visit

Faculty Matters Workshop Series 

The year-long Faculty Matters Workshop Series, a collaboration between Faculty Affairs and Research Development Service, is designed to address key issues central to faculty development and success.  

The next workshop, Writing Workshop for Teaching and Mentoring Statements, focuses on how to convey the impact and effectiveness of your teaching and mentoring for renewal, tenure, and/or promotion. Join the workshop on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 1:30–3 p.m. on Zoom.

Resources for You

Working Moms Group: 20th Anniversary Event 

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, Feb. 21, at noon in Merten Hall, Room 1202. Jaime Lester, associate dean in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will be the guest speaker. Refreshments will be served. RSVP

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

Contact Heather Aleknavage with questions. 

First Gen Affinity Group Meeting 

All first-generation faculty and staff are invited to attend a virtual First Generation Affinity Group meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. This is a meeting to build community and discuss what Mason’s first-generation faculty and staff would like this group to do and be—e.g., sharing information, advocacy, support first-gen students and the First-Gen+ Center, etc.  

If you have previously participated in activities with the First-Gen+ Center, you will likely have received the Zoom invitation. If you wish to receive the Zoom link or be added to the first-generation faculty and staff list, email Millie Rivera

shopMason Valentine’s Kiosk Day

Stop by the Johnson Center on Tuesday, Feb. 14, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for sweet treats and giveaways. Engage with shopMason units and ask any questions you may have for different campus service units.

Mason Square Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop

Treat yourself to special pop-up holiday shopping this Valentine’s Day at Mason Square, featuring gifts by Made in Arlington vendors. Discover unique items by local artisans and makers.  

Vendors include Northside Social, Village Sweet Bakery, Karina Gaull Handmade, Kingsbury Chocolates, Devine Healing, Soul Good Kitchen LLC, Fast Snail Creative Greetings & Design, and Trapillo Art.  

Stop by the Van Metre Hall lobby on Feb. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. 

Mindful Mason Moments

Mindful Mason Moments sessions for the spring semester will take place online via Zoom. Take a well-being break while facilitators hold space for you to slow down and reconnect with yourself, so you can move through your day with more awareness, connection, and ease.   

Sessions will take place from February through April, on the following dates and times:  

  • Mondays and Tuesdays from 4–4:20 p.m. (No session on April 25)   
  • Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 12:20 p.m. (No session on April 12)   

Note: There will be no sessions during Mason’s spring break (March 13–17). For more information about Mindful Mason Moments, contact Katie Clare

Alternative Career Paths: Mason Enterprise Center Workshop

While the art director of the Washington Post, Smithsonian, and Preservation magazines, Brian Noyes baked pies and breads on weekends in his Virginia piedmont farmhouse and sold them out of an old red truck he bought from designer Tommy Hilfiger.  

The bakery now has two locations, ships thousands of baked goods nationwide, and has earned accolades from Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and many national publications. Noyes has also written two cookbooks. 

Noyes will speak about his experiences at an in-person workshop on Wednesday, March 1, at 9:30 a.m. at the Mason Enterprise Center of Fauquier in Warrenton. A book signing will follow (books need to be purchased ahead of time for signing). Registration required. Contact Danyelle St.Germain to RSVP.

Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group  

The College of Visual and Performing Arts welcomes the Mason community to the Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group, which meets on Fridays from 1–2:30 p.m.   

The group holds a commitment to relationship-building, awareness, reimagining, transformation, and action around anti-racist practices, racial justice, the creation of conversations, as well as systems of compassion and healing. The group continues to focus on anti-Black racism and its effects on society.  

Join the meeting on Friday, Feb. 17, for the following topic: “What Can We Learn from the History of Activism and Organizing?" Spring semester meetings will occur through March 31 (no meeting March 17). This event is free and open to the public. 

Artist Workshop: Love Letters to Nature 

Join Mason Exhibitions on Valentine’s Day to learn more about Nicole Salimbene’s artistic practice relating to the lost art of the letter and how letters can be used for metaphysical transformation. Guests will participate in a letter-art workshop inspired by the natural world.   

Artist Workshop: Love Letters to Nature  
Feb. 14, Multiple time slots (updated): 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.   
Fairfax Campus, Art and Design Building, Gillespie Gallery   

Contact Yassmin Salem with questions.

Upcoming Performances at Mason

Mason Jazz Festival  
Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre  

The Mason Jazz Festival is an invitational event open to middle school, high school, collegiate, and community Jazz ensembles. Featured performances include the Ben Patterson Group (1 p.m.) and the Mason Jazz Ensemble and U.S. Navy Band Commodores (7 p.m.). No tickets or registration required to watch performances.   

Visual Voices Lecture with Jaewook Lee  
School of Art  
Thursday, Feb. 23, at 4:45 p.m.  
Hosted via Zoom; registration required  

Visual Voices is an online artist presentation and Q&A that provides exposure to a variety of practicing artists. Jaewook Lee is an artist, writer, amateur scientist, semi-philosopher, and sometime curator. Lee is the founder and director of Mindful Joint, an annual symposium that focuses on non-hierarchical knowledge sharing in contemporary art. 

Jane Franklin Dance Response to Bennie Herron Artworks and Poetry  
Saturday, Feb. 25, 1–4 p.m.  
Mason Exhibitions Arlington 
Dancer Jane Franklin will perform a dance response to Bennie Herron’s Origin Stories exhibition. 

American Roots Series: Artist-in-Residence Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience  
Saturday, Feb. 25, at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.  
Hylton Performing Arts Center, Gregory Family Theater  

Welcome Hylton Center Artist-in-Residence Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience for the soulful, rootsy sound born in South Louisiana. Performing two shows in the intimate Gregory Family Theater, the Zydeco Experience will be an unforgettable event from one of the most accomplished artists in American roots music today. As a Hylton Center Artist-in-Residence, Simien will also work with the community through classes and workshops during the week leading up to the performance. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

Chloé Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies LIVE!  
Saturday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.  
Center for the Arts  

Viral tap dance phenomenon Syncopated Ladies LIVE! is the brainchild of D.C. native and Emmy Award-nominated tap dancer and choreographer Chloé Arnold. This fierce all-female troupe of hoofers has amassed more than 100 million video views online for their hypnotic and rhythmic performances. These ladies are reinvigorating the artform of tap. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

L.A. Theatre Works – Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom  
Sunday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m.   
Hylton Performing Arts Center  

Stroll down memory lane in this behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s best-loved TV shows of all time. From 1951 to 1957, America tuned in to see what crazy plans Lucy concocted with her bestie, Ethel. L.A. Theatre Works’ radio-style production of Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom presents the hilarious true story behind America’s beloved comedy. This performance is appropriate for all ages.  

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Musical Valentines  
Sunday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.   
Center for the Arts  

In this stirring Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel, be swept away with music of infinite passion, poetry, and longing by Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, and Chopin, and learn how the composers were inspired by the loves in their own lives. A delight for experienced and novice classical music appreciators alike, Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations® are a unique concert going experience. An interactive question and answer session will conclude this program. This performance is appropriate for all ages. 

Mason Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band Concert
Dewberry School of Music 
Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. 
Center for the Arts 

Come see the Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band, directed by William L. Lake Jr., perform a variety of band repertoire.