Around Mason: Week of Dec. 7, 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

Faculty and Staff Holiday Parties: Jingle and Mingle

Join your fellow faculty and staff for Mason’s 2021 holiday parties, hosted at each campus. Enjoy food, music, games and prizes!


Arlington: Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

SciTech: Wednesday, Dec. 8, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Fairfax: Thursday, Dec. 9, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Winter Graduation Ceremonies

The Mason community is invited to attend the 2021 Winter Graduation Ceremonies for George Mason University on Thursday, Dec. 16, in EagleBank Arena. To accommodate all graduates and their families, two ceremonies will be held:

  • 10 a.m.: College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Schar School, Carter School, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Antonin Scalia Law School
  • 2 p.m.: School of Business, College of Engineering and Computing, College of Health and Human Services, College of Education and Human Development, College of Science

The Doctoral Ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The Patriot Procession will also be hosted on Dec. 14–15 at EagleBank Arena.

Please consider signing up as marshal/greeter for the graduation ceremonies and/or Patriot Procession. Sign up as a volunteer by Friday, Dec. 10. Thank you for supporting our newest Mason graduates!

Participation Requested in Strategic Planning Survey

Over the past several weeks, the university has engaged the Mason community as part of the strategic planning initiative to gain insights and perspectives on the strategic direction of the university.

Take a moment to provide your feedback and input via this survey. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and will be open for participation through Friday, Dec. 10.

Survey results will be combined with insights gathered from interviews and focus groups to inform the components of Mason’s five-year strategic plan.

Parking and Transportation Holiday Donation Drive

Would you like to help someone in need? For the 14th year, Parking Services is hosting a holiday donation drive. Through Wednesday, Dec. 15, make an in-person donation at any Parking Services office to benefit the Patriot Pantry and reduce the cost of an outstanding parking citation by $15, $20, or $30.

For important details, including the donation/credit framework, visit the website.

Fall Virtual Celebration of Student Scholarship: Dec. 9–10

Set aside time on Dec. 9–10 for the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research’s (OSCAR) Fall Virtual Celebration of Student Scholarship. Support Mason’s student scholars who have been working hard all semester by viewing their pre-recorded presentations and asking them questions.

Students represent colleges and programs across the university and have been working on faculty research questions, as well as their own research. View the presentations and leave comments on the OSCAR website.

Welcome2Mason Funding Requests Due Jan. 5

Hosting an event during Spring Welcome2Mason is a great opportunity for your office to meet new students, showcase your department, and inform students of changes. The Welcome2Mason committee is now accepting funding requests for events held from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5, 2022. If your department is hosting an event or would like to submit a funding request, complete this form.

The deadline to be considered for funding is Wednesday, Jan. 5, at 5 p.m. Units will be notified of funding the week of Jan. 14.

Mason360 will be our students’ primary resource for information about events. All events wishing to be included in the Welcome2Mason schedule and included on the website must be added in Mason360 and include Welcome2Mason a “co-host." Read more details.

Updates can be found on the Welcome2Mason website. Email questions to

Mason Shuttles and Winter Break

Winter Break brings major changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Check out the details, and contact with questions.

Training and Professional Development

Mini Course: Designing Your Syllabus   

In this mini course, faculty will design a syllabus that promotes student success and engagement by making goals and assignments clear and relevant for students. Faculty will create or revise existing student learning outcomes, align them with clear grading criteria, and organize course content to maximize student learning.

Mini Course: Designing Your Syllabus   
Jan. 5–14, 2022
Noon to 1 p.m.
Online Facilitator: Crystal Anderson, Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning

Participants can earn a Level 2 credential for Educational Resource Development in the Stearns Center's Continuing Professional Development program.

Resources for You

Arlington Pop-Up Holiday Shopping

Enjoy special pop-up holiday shopping at the Arlington Campus, featuring gifts by Made in Arlington. Discover unique items by local artisans and makers for your holiday shopping.  

Stop by vendor booths in the lobby of Van Metre Hall this Tuesday to Thursday, Dec. 7–9, from 4–7 p.m.

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.

Ridesharing Campaign Evaluation Survey: Win a Visa Giftcard

With holiday shopping in full swing, a $100 Visa gift card could come in handy. Faculty and staff who complete the Ridesharing Campaign Evaluation Survey will be placed in a raffle to win a $100 Visa gift card while helping Mason Transportation Services and Vanpool Connect evaluate the recent ridesharing communication campaign.

The results of this survey will be used to develop new services that will improve transportation communication and services for Mason employees.

"It's Mason's Time" T-shirts Available for Purchase at the Bookstore

Straight from President Washington’s investiture speech, a limited run of “It’s Mason’s Time” t-shirts are now available for purchase in-store only at the campus bookstore. Get them while they last!

Contact Aliya Rinaldi, Operations and Business Services, at with questions.

Upcoming Performances at Mason

American Festival Pops OrchestraHoliday Pops: Songs of the Season
Friday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m., Hylton Performing Arts Center
Saturday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m., Center for the Arts

Ding-dong, ding-dong, Christmas bells are ringing! Gather with the American Festival Pops Orchestra and special guests for its annual Holiday Pops concert, which is sure to make spirits bright. A beloved tradition with our audiences, this heartwarming evening of holiday favorites includes a festive audience sing-along. Maestro Anthony Maiello leads Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra as it ushers in the season with a lively performance filled with musical goodwill and cheer.

Mason Artist-in-Residence: Camille A. Brown & Dancers
Saturday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts 

Called “one of the most sought-after choreographers of her generation” by The New York Times, Camille A. Brown is reclaiming the cultural narratives of African-American identity through dance. Her Bessie Award-winning company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, take the stage at the Center for the Arts for the first time. Her bold work taps into both ancestral stories and contemporary culture, capturing a range of deeply personal experiences. A pre-performance discussion will take place in Monson Grand Tier (located on the third level of the Center for the Arts Lobby) 45 minutes prior to curtain. 

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Fantastic Fantasies
Sunday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m.
Center for the Arts

Take an extraordinary journey through classical music with this family-friendly Keyboard Conversations® performance. Learn the compelling stories behind each piece and then enjoy each work played in its entirety. An interactive question and answer session will conclude this program. 

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, music director
Kian Soltani, cello
Saturday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m.
Center for the Arts 

Celebrate the diamond jubilee anniversary of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) with a program featuring one of the world’s most sought-after cellists, Kian Soltani. Under the direction of Vasily Petrenko, RPO is recognized as one of the world’s most forward-thinking and boundary-pushing symphony orchestras. This stunning concert of cherished works is the perfect performance to reconnect with live, classical music. A pre-performance discussion will take place in Monson Grand Tier, (located on the third level of the Center for the Arts Lobby) 45 minutes prior to curtain.