Janae Haaland is August Employee of the Month

president washington with the august EOTM
Janae Haaland (right), associate director of technology services in the division of University Life and August Employee of the Month, and President Gregory Washington. Photo by Cristian Torres/Strategic Communications

Janae Haaland, associate director of technology services in the division of University Life, has been a part of Mason Nation since 2015, starting out as the assistant director for technology with Mason Recreation.

“I was looking for a family-friendly job that was in close proximity to my home and my kids' schools,” she said. “I wanted to remain highly involved in my children's lives, and I felt confident that Mason's flexible work policies and focus on staff well-being would allow me to do that.

Haaland’s versatile skillset is a key strength for managing departmental software systems and associated hardware for Mason Recreation, which is her primary client. Haaland is responsible for ensuring all of Recreation’s systems meet internal guidelines and industry best practices.

She also supervises IT staff within University Career Services, Student Health Services, and University Life Technology Services, and provides consultations and back-up support for those positions as needed.

In recognition of her hard work, Haaland is August Employee of the Month.

“Janae is extremely conscientious of the resources provided and how best to use them to benefit the majority,” said Connie Benson, director of Mason Recreation. “In today’s world technology rules and having a person like Janae keeps us at the forefront in our industry of collegiate recreation.”

The feeling is mutual when it comes to Haaland’s appreciation of her peers.

I have experienced some personal ups and downs, and my supervisors, staff, and other colleagues have never failed to support me through those challenges,” she said. “I strive to do the same for my colleagues.

Said Danny Anthes, director of University Life Technology Services: “While Janae has worked for University Life Technology Services, she has demonstrated her professionalism, dedication, commitment. I have been continually impressed with her skills as well as her growth in this position. She throws herself into these systems and their integrations to make sure she can troubleshoot all aspects of these systems and their integrations, which is no small feat.”

This is not Haaland’s first award for her inspiring efforts at Mason. She also received an Outstanding Service Award in July for her amazing work ethic.

I choose to stay at Mason because I take great pride in its mission to include all and to create a more just, free, and prosperous world,” she said.

How she got to Mason:

While a graduate student and graduate teaching assistant for George Washington University’s Women’s Studies program, I took two courses at Mason through the Washington Consortium program. I remember being impressed by my professors' commitment to their students, and by Mason's vibrant and diverse student body. That was my first experience with Mason.

Many years later, after working for several nonprofit organizations and one for-profit tech company, I was hired to support technology needs for Mason Recreation. I have been a Mason employee for seven and a half years now, and have been privileged to work with many caring, intelligent, talented and hard-working colleagues.

What she likes best about working at Mason:

My favorite part of working at Mason is that I wear many hats. This keeps me learning, staves off boredom and makes the time fly. I enjoy being challenged by the need to adapt quickly to changes in technology. I feel most rewarded when colleagues tell me that I have made their jobs easier by solving a persistent problem, or by improving their business processes. I like to introduce tools that promote efficiency and accuracy.

What she does when not working:

When I am not working, I am often cooking for my always-hungry teenagers. I am pretty adventurous with regard to the recipes that I try, and mostly with success. I hate careful measuring. According to my kids, I consider recipes to be “only suggestions” and “do a lot of improvisation,” which is definitely true. I also love music and art, so try to attend fine arts performances and exhibitions whenever I can.