Around Mason: Week of Sept. 20, 2022


Faculty/Staff Announcements

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Campus Updates

Food Trucks at Fairfax Campus Every Thursday

Don't miss out on a variety of food truck options at the Fairfax Campus every Thursday afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. in front of Starbucks at Northern Neck. Visit Goodfynd to view the schedule to see which trucks are going to be on campus. You can place an order in advance on Goodfynd or in-person at the food truck.


The next time you order coffee or pizza on campus, consider donating to Coins4Change. 
Mason Dining has partnered with the Student Support and Advocacy Center to create a donation program that is easy to participate in and has far-reaching impact. 

Donating just a few coins at the register supports the Patriot Pantry, and money collected is converted into meal swipes for Mason students experiencing food insecurity. Coins4Change is available at most retail locations across campus and accepted with Mason Money, credit/debit cards, and cash.

Rock the Block on Sept. 23

Get ready for a great evening of entertainment at Rock the Block! George Mason University and the City of Fairfax come together for this annual tradition to celebrate the start of another academic year. Mark your calendar for Friday, Sept. 23, from 5:45 to 9:30 p.m. at Old Town Square in the City of Fairfax (10415 North Street). 

Mason activities begin at 5:45 p.m., and the music begins at 6:30 p.m. There will be welcome remarks from the mayor, President Washington, and the student government president, as well as the annual corn hole game between city and student leadership prior to the concert. Look for Mason giveaway tables and a visit from the Patriot while enjoying music from the U.S. Army Band Downrange. 

Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. This event is free and open to the public. 

Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinics

Register today to receive your flu shot at a Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinic on campus. Clinics will be hosted on the Fairfax Campus, SciTech Campus, and Mason Square. Clinic tips:  

  • On the day of your appointment, wear a mask and short sleeves. 
  • Complete and bring the consent form to ensure a faster process. Bring your health insurance card and a valid form of ID. 
  • Plan to spend 10–15 minutes at the clinic after your shot to ensure there is no adverse reaction. 

 View the FAQ flyer for more details. Clinics are open to COVA Care and Kaiser Permanente members.

Questions? Contact the Faculty and Staff Engagement Team at

Religious Holidays and Inclusive Scheduling

As part of Mason’s commitment to inclusive excellence, be sure to consult University Life's Religious Holiday Calendar when scheduling important activities. Use this resource to avoid scheduling events, meetings, or major deadlines on religious holidays that many individuals across our campuses observe. 

We encourage you to share this resource with those in your department with scheduling responsibilities so we can all work together to ensure a workplace and learning environment where we thrive together. Contact with questions.

shopMason Presents AMPLIFY

Join shopMason for a festive new celebration this fall: AMPLIFY. This exciting outdoor event will be hosted on the Merten Lawn on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

AMPLIFY will feature food trucks, games, giveaways, music, bike rides, and more. Engage with shopMason units including the Mason Bookstore, Dining, Card Office, Parking and Transportation, Student Centers, Wells Fargo, and several off-campus Mason Merchants and Patriot Perks members. We can't wait to see you there. RSVP for a chance to win a bonus prize.

Family Weekend: Oct. 14–16

At Mason, we believe family is made up of many different people—parents, siblings, cousins, roommates, classmates, best friends, significant others, children, and more. Family Weekend is an opportunity to come together to connect, have fun, celebrate, and make new memories. 

Family Weekend, from Oct. 14–16, features events for all ages. From the Fall Family Carnival to Mason’s Got Talent, New Student and Family Programs is excited to connect with our awesome Mason families. 

For more information, including pricing and a complete schedule of events, visit 

Virtual Graduate Fair

The Office of Graduate Admissions invites prospective grad students to attend a Virtual Graduate Fair. Explore more than 127 different degree programs Mason offers at the master’s, doctoral, and professional levels, as well as our 100+ graduate-level certificates. 

Representatives will be in attendance to discuss various graduate programs, as well as how you can further your studies and continue to work while pursuing your degree. Sign up today because you don’t want to miss this informative event. 

Virtual Graduate Fair 
Thursday, Oct. 6 
5:30 to 7 p.m. ET 

This event will take place online via Zoom. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon to reserve a spot. 

13th Annual Happy Heart Walk 

It's time for our annual Happy Heart Walk on Wednesday, Sept. 28! This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Happy Heart Walk. Join your fellow employees and students in promoting heart health. 

No need to register. Simply join the walk in-person at one of the starting locations on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at noon. Share your Happy Heart Walk photos on Twitter or Instagram with #HappyHeartWalk. 

Can't make it on Sept. 28? Visit the American Heart Association's website to search for a heart walk near you.

Tiny Stage on the Plaza at Mason Square

Hear music by local acoustic talent at Tiny Stage, a performance series on the plaza at Mason Square every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your lunch or purchase from the food truck parked on Fairfax Drive. 

Did you know that free community events happen every weekday on the plaza at Mason Square? Check out the full schedule.

Mason Nation Thriving Together 5K

Join your fellow Patriots for the third annual Mason Nation Thriving Together 5K, which celebrates well-being and supports Mason students. Run or walk on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 9 a.m. on the Fairfax Campus or virtually from any location you choose.  

Registration is $15 for Mason students and $35 for everyone else. Proceeds will support Mason’s Counseling and Psychological Services Fund, which helps Mason students access vital mental health care. Let’s thrive together! Register today.

Patriot Success Survey Launches Sept. 26

The Patriot Success Survey helps students identify areas where they may benefit from some additional support, along with offices and other resources on campus to support their success. Specific questions about plans to return to Mason, sense of belonging, financial concerns, and involvement interests are used to inform direct outreach from relevant offices on campus. 

The Patriot Success Survey launches Sept. 26 and closes Friday, Oct. 7. The official launch party will take place on Monday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the SUB I quad. (Rain date and location: Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Johnson Center Bistro.)  

The Patriot Success Survey Leadership Team seeks volunteers to help with the launch of the program, including tabling throughout the first week in the Johnson Center and events around campus. Sign up as a volunteer. For questions, contact Adrienne White, University Life.

Mason Exhibitions: Upcoming Events

Artist Reception and Poetry Reading: Zero and One by Bennie Herron 
Mason Exhibitions will host an artist reception and poetry reading to celebrate the opening of Zero and One by artist and poet Bennie Herron. The event is Thursday, Sept. 22, from 6–8 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Read more and RSVP  

Panel Discussion on Intersectional Climate Justice 
Mason Exhibitions is hosting a faculty panel discussion about social issues exacerbated by climate change on Saturday, Sept. 24, from noon to 2 p.m. at Mason Exhibitions Arlington. Topics covered include Indigenous rights, displacement/conflict, food and water security, and more. 

The campus greenhouses and gardens will also be selling veggies and microgreens during the event. The event is held in conjunction with the current exhibition, Approaching Event Horizons: Projects on Climate Change.

Peace Week

Join the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution for Peace Week, a week-long series of seminars and events from Sept. 19–23. This year’s theme is "Rethinking Peace: 2022 and Beyond."  

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, mass migration, refugee crises, persistent violence and discrimination against minorities, and violations of civil rights and liberties undermine the stability of global society and require rethinking of the concept of peace.  

During Peace Week, we will connect research to action to shed light on the participatory processes, social change actions, and institutional frameworks that are required for fostering peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. Learn more and view the schedule of events. 

Shuttle Schedule During Fall Break

Mason Shuttles will operate under an abbreviated schedule during Fall Break (Oct. 9–10). For details, visit the website. Contact or 703-993-2828 with questions.

Training and Professional Development

Faculty-Staff Enrichment Day Microsessions: Second Chance to Attend

Missed this summer's Faculty-Staff Enrichment Day? Didn't get a chance to attend all the sessions that caught your eye? Not to worry—the Organizational Development and Learning team is bringing back a select few sessions as standalone workshops this fall. Check out the list of sessions and register today.

Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference

The Mason community is invited to the Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference on Sept. 30. Join us for a day of workshops, panels, teaching-focused presentations, and networking with colleagues.   

This conference will include a variety of in-person activities, a diverse menu of livestreaming options, and on-demand content. Visit the ITL website for more information and registration details.  

Keynote speaker Claire Howell Major, author of Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty, will share her principles of teaching students to advance learning and develop classroom engagement in higher education.

Dreams Come True with You

Mason faculty and staff are invited to participate as mentors in the 22nd year of the Mason Dream Catchers program, a university-wide partnership with the Fairfax County and Prince William County public school systems.  

Volunteer mentors in the Mason community attend monthly events held on campus to support capable alternative high school students in achieving their dreams to attend college. Read more about the Mason Dream Catchers and the planned events.  

If you are interested in participating in this program or would like additional information, contact Julie Shedd.

Bicycle Commuting 101: Online via Zoom

Bicycling to campus can be fun and great for your well-being. Join Delia Johnson from the College of Visual and Performing Arts—who is a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor—for Bicycle Commuting 101. The training will be offered on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at noon via Zoom. 

During this session, Delia will share information to help you feel more confident about getting to campus on two wheels. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome. Register and the Zoom meeting details will be sent to you.

Terms of Engagement: Understanding and Promoting Student Engagement

Student engagement is important for learning across levels and disciplines. Recent research on motivation makes it clear that for students to be successful, they must value the task, expect to succeed, and be active participants in their own learning.  

This hands-on, collaborative workshop will examine a model of student engagement and share specific teaching techniques that can motivate students to participate in the learning process.  

Terms of Engagement: Understanding and Promoting Student Engagement 
Hosted by the Stearns Center  
Facilitator: Claire Howell Major, keynote speaker for the Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference  
Thursday, Sept. 29, 3–4:30 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Research Hall, Room 163, or virtual participation  

Resources for You

Fall Art and Music Classes from Mason Community Arts Academy

Enjoy music and visual arts classes this fall at Mason Community Arts Academy. Take an oil painting class, learn the guitar, and much more. Classes are open to all members of the community, age four through adults. Mason employees and their immediate family members receive a 10 percent discount. Classes are held September through January. Contact with questions.

Well-Being and Mental Health Resources through Patriots Thriving Together

At Mason, we are committed to everyone Thriving Together. Find a range of resources designed to improve your well-being and mental health at 

The Patriots Thriving Together mental health and well-being resources are designed for all community members. Mason’s resources are organized under three categories: non-credited learning experiences, academic credit experiences, and general resources.  

The best well-being practices and habits are the ones that work for you. Try some of these activities and discover which ones help you on your well-being journey. 

Contact the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being with questions.

Reminder: Try Going Car-Free

It’s always a great idea to have more than one way to get to Mason. Car-Free Day on Sept. 22 is an opportunity to try a new way to commute. Take the Car-Free pledge and receive a Nift Gift with your confirmation email. You will also be entered into a raffle for some great prizes.  

If you’re a full-time employee, remember that public transportation costs are subsidized up to the IRS limit of $280/month. Details are posted on the Commuter Choice Program webpage.   

Faculty/Staff Meal Plans Available for Purchase

Faculty and staff can purchase meal plans, too! Get a BYTE Plan for fixed meal swipes, accepted in all dining halls. Choose the plan that works best for you: 

  • 50 meal swipes: $395 ($7.90/meal) 
  • 25 meal swipes: $215 ($8.60/meal) 
  • 10 meal swipes: $95 ($9.50/meal) 

For comparison, door prices are $9.50 for breakfast, $11 for lunch, and $12 for dinner. 

You may purchase a BYTE Plan online or in person at the Mason Card Office (located in SUB I, Room 1203). Bring your Mason ID.  

Byte Plan balances carry over from fall 2022 to spring 2023. The remaining swipes expire May 17, 2023. All balances will be zeroed out and are not refundable.

Mindful Mason Moments

Participate in Mindful Mason Moments this fall. These 20-minute sessions are open to students, staff, and faculty and provide an opportunity to participate in a variety of mindfulness practices.  

Sessions are held on Zoom on Monday/Wednesday at 4 p.m., and on Friday at 12:30 p.m. In-person sessions are held on Tuesday/Thursday in SUB I, Room 3B. Sessions are happening now through Nov. 18. Learn more on the website.

Change Your Commute: Vanpool

Looking for a new way to get to work? Consider vanpooling. Travel with the same group of Mason colleagues and reduce the time you spend driving. Plus, for full-time faculty/staff, the cost of your commute can be subsidized by Mason up to $280/month.  

Seats are currently available from the Fredericksburg area (work hours 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Or, start your own vanpool with four coworkers. For details, visit the Parking and Transportation website or contact

Upcoming Performances at Mason

ARTS by George!
Saturday, Sept. 24, at 5 p.m.
Center for the Arts

Don’t miss the return of ARTS by George! This annual benefit event supports student scholarships at George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Mason Community Arts AcademyGreen Machine Ensembles, and the Great Performances at Mason season at the Center for the Arts. ARTS by George! has raised more than $2 million since it began in 2006. The evening begins by showcasing the remarkable talents of Mason students amid an array of spectacular food and beverages, culminating with a performance by Kristin Chenoweth in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Kristin Chenoweth in Concert: For The Girls 
Saturday, Sept. 24, at 8:30 p.m.  
Center for the Arts 
Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover, and stage. She has received a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Pushing Daisies; a Tony Award for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; and a Tony nomination for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked. In this concert, Chenoweth will sing music from her album For The Girls, a heartfelt tribute to the great female singers throughout history.  

Mike Super: Magic and Illusion 
Sunday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. 
Hylton Performing Arts Center 
Mike Super brings his mind-blowing illusions and combined hilarity to the Hylton Center to entertain the whole family. Mike has turned the traditional magic show on its side and dumped it right into the audience—as you become his onstage assistant! Whether he is performing for stage, screen, or in-person, Mike Super transcends the “trick” and connects with his audiences, making this a Hylton Family Series event sure to leave you spellbound. Recommended for ages three and up.

Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. 
Center for the Arts 
Wish MOMIX a “Happy Birthday!” with VIVA MOMIX, a compilation of the company’s most dazzling vignettes from the past 40 years of inventive dance and acrobatics. Expect the unexpected as athletic bodies morph into wondrous shapes and create illusions. Formed by visionary choreographer Moses Pendleton, MOMIX has earned an international reputation for its ingenious, carefully crafted, and physically gorgeous productions—keeping audiences of all ages on the edge of their seats. This performance is appropriate for all ages. 

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Music for the Young and Youthful  
Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m.  
Hylton Performing Arts Center 
For the young and young at heart! This Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel concert is something the whole family can enjoy. Peppered throughout the concert, Jeffrey will share insights and anecdotes about each work and composer, deepening the concert experience whether you are 6 or 106. An interactive question-and-answer session will conclude this program. This performance is appropriate for all ages.