Around Mason: Week of Aug. 29, 2023


Faculty/Staff Announcements 

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Campus Updates

Fall Parking and Transportation Updates 

As the fall 2023 semester begins, Mason students, faculty and staff are reminded that traffic on and around the Fairfax Campus greatly increases, especially during the first few weeks of the semester. This campus parking and transportation guide with information on Mason Shuttles, visitor and non-permit parking options, biking, carpooling and other transit options will help minimize potential parking and traffic delays. 

Mason Nation 9/11 Day of Service 

Join the 11th Annual Mason Nation 9/11 Day of Service on Monday, Sept. 11. A variety of service projects are available for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Registration is now open. RSVP for a service project(s). For program highlights, including details on service projects, the Service Fair, blood drive, opening ceremonies, and lunch for first responders and veterans, visit Contact Lisa Snyder with questions.

Fresh New Features from Mason Dining

As Mason starts the fall 2023 semester, get ready for new culinary adventures with Mason Dining—fresh dining options, sustainability initiatives, and fun events. 

Check out the top five food-related experiences to try this fall: Read more.  

Staff Senate Election Results and September Meeting

The Staff Senate election took place in July, and the results are in. Check out the list of new and re-elected Staff Senators

The September Staff Senate meeting will feature guest speaker Andrew Lane, director or performance management and employee engagement, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m. in Merten Hall, Room 1204, or via Zoom

College Colors Day Is Almost Here 

Let the countdown begin: College Colors Day is approaching on Friday, Sept. 1! Wherever you are, show your Patriot pride by wearing your green and gold.  

You can receive a free Mason rally towel with your branded merchandise purchase at the bookstore, while supplies last. Follow @wearmason to also claim a free tote bag from the Wear Mason table in front of the Fairfax Campus bookstore in the Johnson Center on Sept. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

You also might just get a photo with the Patriot and be able say hello to the Mason cheerleaders and dance team. Remember, wear green and gold on Friday, Sept. 1, and every Friday after that for Spirit Fridays.

Mason Now: Power the Possible—Faculty and Staff Reception

The Mason community is celebrating the launch of the biggest, boldest campaign in the university’s history. Join us for an afternoon of food, fun, and giveaways as we get ready to make a difference—together! 

Mason Now: Power the Possible—Faculty and Staff Reception 
Thursday, Sept. 28, 4–6 p.m. 
Merten Hall Lawn, Fairfax Campus 

If you are joining from another campus, parking will be available in the Rappahannock Parking Deck.  Shuttles to the Fairfax Campus are also available. 

Fall Shuttle Schedules Available

The fall 2023 shuttle schedules are available at An overview of schedule updates is available. Note: There will be very limited service on Mason Shuttles on Labor Day. Check the details.   

If you have any questions, reach out to or call 703-993-2828.  

Mason Nation Thriving Together 5K and 1-Mile Run/Walk

Registration is now open for the 2023 Mason Nation Thriving Together 5K and 1-Mile Run/Walk. The event will be hosted on the Fairfax Campus on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 9 a.m. on the Merten Hall lawn, or virtually from any location that weekend. Register today

Registration for the 5K is $15 for Mason students and $35 for everyone else. Registration for the 1-Mile Run/Walk is $25 for all participants. Race proceeds will support Mason students in need.  

LGBTQ+ Student Showcase and Call for Proposals   

This fall, the LGBTQ+ Resources Center, Women and Gender Studies Center, and Graduate Student Life are sponsoring Mason’s first LGBTQ+ Interdisciplinary Showcase. This event will spotlight Mason’s graduate and undergraduate students’ outstanding scholarly, research, and creative works through posters, oral presentations, and creative, visual, and performing arts that highlight the work of our LGBTQ+ students.  

The event will take place Monday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fairfax Campus, Merten Hall. RSVP.  

The conference planning committee invites Mason students to submit abstracts for consideration. Students are encouraged to submit current and/or in-progress work they are interested in sharing with the Mason community. The deadline is Oct. 1. Learn more

Training and Professional Development

Dreams Come True with You 

Mason faculty and staff are invited to participate as mentors in the 23rd year of the Mason Dream Catchers, 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.  

More information about Dream Catchers, events, and a mentor application can be found at If you are interested in participating in this program or would like additional information, contact Julie Rouge.

University Life to Host Workshop on Jewish Identity and Antisemitism on Campus

University Life will host a professional development workshop for faculty and staff regarding Jewish Identity and Antisemitism on Campus on Friday. Oct. 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Fairfax Campus in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall.  

The workshop will address the intersection between racism and antisemitism; understanding the relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism; and how antisemitism plays out on college and university campuses today. Space is limited so RSVP today. Email questions to Alissa Karton

Anti-Racist and Inclusive Teaching (ARIT) Campus Champions Group Applications  

Applications are open to join the 2023–24 Anti-Racist and Inclusive Teaching (ARIT) Campus Champions Group, organized by the Stearns Center. Applications are due Aug. 31. View program details and application

The AI Salon Series 2023 Coming to Fenwick Library

Join University Libraries this semester for the AI Salon Series, including sessions on: 

  • AI in Business and Government 
  • AI, Ethics, and Academic Integrity 
  • AI in the Arts and Humanities 
  • AI in the Social Sciences and STEM  

For more information, contact Heidi Blackburn

Immersive Technologies Conference at Mason Square 

On Sept. 7, a new immersive technologies conference, “The Learning Multiverse: Immersive Technologies (IM-TECH) in Training and Education,” will take place at at Mason Square in Van Metre Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Hosted by the Institute for Digital Innovation and the Division of Learning Technologies at the College of Education and Human Development, the conference aims to address the applicability of IM-TECH, also known as Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Extended Reality (XR), to workforce education in industry and higher education. 

Throughout the day, a variety of panel discussions, real-time demonstrations, and keynote speakers will discuss several themes, including the infrastructure needed to adopt IM-TECH in workforce training and education, how AI can impact the design and implementation of IM-TECH, and how IM-TECH can support accessible and hands-on learning experiences, social learning, and safe environments for learning. 

The conference is sponsored by Leidos, IEEE, and C2 Technologies. Registration closes Aug. 31. Learn more and register

Lunch and Learn Series: Positive Leadership 

Join Miles Lowe, trainer and organizational development consultant, for a bite-sized workshop and unpack Kim Cameron's positive leadership tools—research and industry-leading practices for fostering resilient, productive, and well-being-focused teams across Mason.  

This session will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2:05–2:55 p.m. on the Fairfax Campus. Registration is limited. Email with questions.  

UndocuAlly Training

The Mason community is invited to participate in UndocuAlly Training, which teaches the history of undocumented communities and helps participants understand past and present legislation, as well as the realities and barriers they face. Register at attend training on Friday, Sept. 29, Friday, Oct. 27, or Friday, Dec. 1. 

Resources for You

Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason

The Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason is one way faculty, staff, and students can come together, discuss the issues confronting working mothers, and perhaps motivate changes on campus.  

The group will kick off fall network meetings on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at noon in the Women and Gender Studies Center (Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Room 240K) or via Zoom

If you are interested in sharing stories and being part of an informal organization of working mothers, please join us. Visit the website for additional meeting dates and more information.

Recognition and Appreciation Toolkit

As part of Mason's comprehensive employee recognition program, a refreshed Recognition and Appreciation Toolkit is available to all Mason employees. The revamped toolkit includes: 

  • Tips for celebrating an employee using their workplace appreciation language 
  • Virtual appreciation tools, including Pats for Patriots, printable cards, e-cards, and virtual backgrounds for all occasions 
  • And more 

Every day is a great day to appreciate a colleague. Start today by utilizing the resources in the toolkit!

August Is National Make-A-Will Month

August is National Make-A-Will Month. This awareness event is a helpful reminder to update your will, if needed, or create your will if you do not have one already. Did you know that 56% of Americans either do not have an estate plan or have one that needs to be updated to meet their current circumstances? 

To assist you in the process, consult with an estate planning attorney. A complimentary brochure, "Your Will: A Powerful Tool," is available through Mason’s planned giving website. Contact Aquanetta Betts, director of planned giving, at 703-993-6971, or email at with questions. 

All health plans offered to state employees and their dependents have employee assistance programs (EAPs), which include limited sessions for legal services such as estate planning. For information, visit the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) website.

Mason Night at Nationals Park

Let's play ball! Mason Night at Nationals Park is Wednesday, Sept. 6. The Mason community is invited to purchase access to a pre-game reception and discounted game tickets, which include a new, limited-edition Mason/Nats branded quarter-zip pullover. Learn more.  

Veterans and the Arts Initiative: Upcoming Workshops 

The Veterans and the Arts Initiative at the Hylton Performing Arts Center serves as an arts and community hub for military-connected people. The program offers free, hands-on workshops, art exhibitions featuring veterans’ artwork, and concerts for local veterans, servicemembers, and military family members.  

The program is offering two upcoming Ukulele Workshops: Hum and Strum for the following dates and locations: 

  • Saturday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. Register 
    Offsite: Central Library in Manassas, Virginia 
  • Saturday, Sept. 23, at 11 a.m. Register 
    Offsite: Potomac Library in Woodbridge, Virginia 

The workshops are open and free to veterans, servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers.

Transportation Resources 

Try Going Car-Free in ’23 
It’s always a great idea to have more than one way to get to Mason. Car-Free Day on Friday, Sept. 22, is an opportunity to try a new way to commute. Take the Car-Free pledge at and receive a $30 special offer from Nift 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 eligible transit and vanpool costs are subsidized up to the IRS limit of $300/month. Check the details on Mason’s Commuter Choice Program

Change Your Commute: Vanpool 
Looking for a new way to get to work? Consider vanpooling. Travel with the same group of Mason colleagues. Reduce the time you spend driving. Plus, for full-time faculty/staff, the cost of your commute can be subsidized by Mason up to $300/month. Seats are currently available from the Fredericksburg area (work hours 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Or start your own with four coworkers. Get the details. Contact Parking and Transportation at

Patriot Bike Check Out Program
A reminder that you can check out a bike with a valid Mason ID from either the Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC) or the Aquatic and Fitness Center, and return it to either location at no cost for one day. Check it out on a Friday and have it all weekend. You’ll receive the bike, a helmet, and lock. For details, visit

Commute Together with
What is MasonCommutes? It’s the go-to site for planning your commute to Mason. Going home for the weekend? See if others want to join you. Looking for someone with whom to share a ride? See who might live in your general area and come to campus at similar times. Looking for a bike buddy to ride with? Want to track your commutes and see how much CO2 you’re reducing? You can do all this on Create an account and check it out.

Upcoming Performances at Mason

Film at Mason: Best of Film at Mason Showcase 2023
Friday, Sept. 1, at 4:30 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center Cinema 

Best of Film at Mason is a showcase of recent notable and award-winning films. This year's program captures student work ranging from documentary filmmaking, fiction film directing, and senior thesis films. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. 

Visual Voices with Giovanni Aloi 
School of Art 
Thursday, Sept. 7, at 4:45 p.m. 
Virtual via Zoom 

Giovanni Aloi is an author, educator, and curator specializing in the representation of nature and the environment in art. Aloi is the editor in chief of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture and co-editor of the Art after Nature book series published by University of Minnesota Press. He is the author and editor of many books on art and nature. Aloi lectures on modern and contemporary art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. 

Arts Alive! at the Hylton Center 
Sunday, Sept. 10, noon to 5 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center

Arts Alive! at the Hylton Performing Arts Center is an annual, family-friendly arts festival featuring Prince William County Arts Council members and other community performers and fine artists. Enjoy activities for all ages, multiple stages of performances (indoors and out), and more. Arts Alive! includes:   

  • Live performances and exhibits by local artists and art organizations   
  • Visual art on display and for purchase   
  • Local authors reading and selling their work   
  • Hands-on activities and live demonstrations for all ages   
  • Food and beverages available for purchase   

Come celebrate your local arts community. This event is free; no tickets required. 

Grand Piano Celebration 
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music 
Sunday, Sept. 10, at 3 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

The Grand Piano Celebration opens the fall 2023 performance season and honors Mason's All-Steinway School. This concert of student and faculty artists will be led by Linda Apple Monson, International Steinway Artist and director of the Dewberry School of Music. Exciting and dramatic solo piano, duo-piano, and collaborative piano works will be performed. Mason's faculty piano ensemble (eight hands) will also be showcased.  

The Mason Players: The Originals! 
Sept. 15–16, multiple performances 
Fairfax Campus, de Laski Performing Arts Building, TheatreSpace 

Join an evening of original new works featuring Mason School of Theater’s talented student playwrights and students. The Originals! offers Mason’s creative artists the chance to share their work in a variety of forms. Whether it’s a musical or the traditional 10-minute play structure, explore the brilliant imaginations of our students as they present this year’s originals. 

Visual Voices with Jen White-Johnson
School of Art 
Thursday, Sept. 21, at 4:45 p.m. 
Virtual via Zoom 

Jen White-Johnson is an art activist, designer, and educator whose visual work explores the intersection of content and caregiving with an emphasis on redesigning ableist visual culture. As an artist-educator with Graves disease and ADHD, her heart-centered and electric approach to disability advocacy bolsters these movements with invaluable currencies: powerful, dynamic art and media that all at once educates, bridges divergent worlds, and builds a future that mirrors her autistic son’s experience. 

Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center 

Experience the delightful harmonizing of musical arrangements from some of your favorite hit Broadway musicals, Disney films, and jazz standards. Since forming in 2015, this a capella ensemble has rocketed to international fame through its live performances and popular recordings. Voctave’s 11 members possess a wealth of diverse musical experiences from musical theater, contemporary Christian music, and barbershop to pop and choral music.  

Mason Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band: FUSION 
Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

The Mason Wind Symphony opens the 2023–24 performance season with its first concert titled FUSION, celebrating the unique ways artists draw inspiration from different sources to create a masterpiece that goes beyond its parts. The Mason Wind Symphony is excited to welcome the Fairfax Wind Symphony, a community band directed by Stan Schoonover, to share the Center for the Arts stage for this season opener.  

ARTS by George!  
Saturday, Sept. 30, at 5 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts
This annual benefit event supports student scholarships at Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Mason Community Arts Academy, Green 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 alongside a delicious buffet dinner and drinks and culminates with a performance by Renée Elise Goldsberry in the Center for the Arts. The Presenting Sponsor for ARTS by George! is Sandy Spring Bank.  

Renée Elise Goldsberry in Concert 
Saturday, Sept. 30, at 8:30 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

Tony, GRAMMY, and Emmy Award-winning star of stage and screen Renée Elise Goldsberry takes centerstage as the 2023 ARTS by George! headliner in a dazzling concert featuring Broadway hits and American songbook classics. Goldsberry is best known for her Tony Award-winning portrayal of Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton. As a member of the original cast, she also received a GRAMMY Award when the original cast album won Best Musical Theater Album in 2016, featuring her show-stopping rendition of “Satisfied.” In addition to her Broadway appearances in The Color Purple, Lion King, and Rent, audiences will also recognize Goldsberry for her many television roles on shows including ABC’s One Life to Live, CBS’s The Good Wife, Peacock’s Girls5eva, and Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law