Around Mason: Week of Sept. 19, 2023


Faculty/Staff Announcements 

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Campus Updates

Mason Rock the Block with Fairfax City

Join the annual Mason Rock the Block at the City of Fairfax Old Town Square on Friday, Sept. 22. This event features live music, a beer garden, food vendors, Mason giveaways, and more. Mason activities start at 5:45 p.m. and the music starts at 6:30 p.m. 

Mason Rock the Block is an annual community welcome event for Mason students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The event will include welcome remarks from the Mayor, Braddock District Supervisor, and Mason Student Government leadership, along with the annual corn hole game between community and student leadership prior to the main stage concert.

Come dressed in your best Mason gear. Learn more and RSVP on Mason 360 or Facebook.

Rock the Block happens every fourth Friday of the month in Old Town Square from May to October.

Fall Flu Shot Clinics

Stay healthy and protect your community this flu season with the convenience of our on-campus flu shot clinics. Let's keep our campus safe and thriving! Sign up today to receive your flu shot at one of our on-campus events.  

Appointments for the COVA flu clinics are available at SciTech (Thursday, Oct. 5), Fairfax (Thursday, Oct. 12), and Mason Square (Thursday, Oct. 19).  

Employees with Kaiser should register for the Kaiser clinic on Thursday, Oct.19, at Fairfax, or visit to find an in-network provider. 

Flu shots are fully covered for those with COVA, Kaiser, or Student Health Insurance. Visit the Human Resources website for more information, including student flu shot information. 

Roger Wilkins Lecture to feature Matthew Desmond 

The 2023 Roger Wilkins Lecture will feature Pulitzer Prize winner and poverty researcher Matthew Desmond. A professor of sociology at Princeton University, Desmond is the principal investigator of the Eviction Lab, which compiles data on the 3.6 million eviction cases a year in the United States. 

2023 Roger Wilkins Lecture: Matthew Desmond 
Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 4 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theater 

This event is free and open to the public. Desmond’s new book, Poverty, By America, is a deep and compassionate dive into the persistence of poverty in the United States and the policies that have been shown to be effective in abolishing it.

The Wilkins Lecture is named for the late Wilkins who was a civil rights activist, the first Black U.S. assistant attorney general, and a Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at Mason for 20 years. Learn more.

Amy Takayama Perez: Celebration of Life 

All are invited to celebrate the life of Amy Takayama-Perez on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. on the Fairfax Campus in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. 

Amy, a Mason alumna, served the university in many different roles, most notably as the Dean of Admissions from 2012 to 2020. She was so much more than what she endured over the past two years while fighting a courageous battle against breast cancer. To know Amy was to be invited into a community of abundance and light. She had a unique way of building a longer table, always making room for more. Her commitment to inclusivity and access will forever endure at Mason. 

Contact Elena Johnson, Office of Admissions, at 703-993-7094 for more information. 

Well-Being Wednesday and Happy Heart Walk Event on Sept. 27

Dedicate some time to nourish your well-being! Join the Faculty and Staff Engagement team for Well-Being Wednesday on Sept. 27. Activities include the Happy Heart Walk, a mindfulness meditation session, and making smoothies with the Blender Bike.  

Virtual and in-person options are available at the Fairfax, Mason Square, and SciTech campuses. Register today. Contact with questions.

Brand Review and Guidelines for Marketing Materials

Creative Services provides brand reviews of materials produced by Mason colleagues across the university. Formalized in University Policy 1111, one of the core functions of Creative Services is to confirm that all university marketing materials, websites, and advertising follow Mason's visual and editorial style guidelines. This policy helps ensure consistency across materials and that all units are distributing materials that support Mason's brand. 

Mason departments should proactively share their projects with Creative Services for review prior to release. Submit a request for Admin 1111 review for: 

  • Publications: Newsletters, annual reports, magazines, and other short- and long-format pieces 
  • Advertising: Print ads, billboards, posters, social media ads, commercials, and other media 
  • Websites: New websites and marketing landing pages 
  • Marketing: Program flyers, brochures, postcards, emails, and other recruitment or promotional materials 

To request a review of your product, submit an email request to and include "Admin 1111" in the subject line. Please allow a minimum of three business days for review and feedback for graphics, posters, and ads, and a week for publication and multi-part or multi-page projects. More information is available on the Creative Services website.

NAMIWalks Mental Health Festival and Walk 

Mason is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to host the NAMIWalks Northern Virginia mental health festival and walk on the Fairfax Campus on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Break stigmas, spread hope, and promote mental health. 

Host a table: Mason offices and departments are invited to host free exhibit tables.  

Join the walk: Walk with your colleagues, family, and friends in support of mental health. There is no registration fee. Read the FAQs and create a team.  

Learn more about NAMIWalks Northern Virginia. Contact NAMIWalks with questions.

Outdoor Freestanding Display and Posting Procedure Update 

An updated Poster Posting Procedure under University Policy 1109 has been implemented, outlining guidelines for displaying outdoor signs that are freestanding, such as sandwich boards, easels, advertising flags, and lawn signs.  

Lawn signs may be posted in mulched or non-grassy areas, except for tree rings, for up to two weeks. Signs must be removed one business day after the event date or two-week deadline. It is the responsibility of the sign owner to remove or repair damaged, outdated, or fallen signs. Signs not removed or discovered to be damaged will be discarded.  

Special Campus Areas have specific procedures and guidelines for postings. Review the full policy/procedure for details. For questions, contact Student Centers.

AMPLIFY with shopMason

Join shopMason for AMPLIFY, an exciting outdoor event on Wednesday, Sept. 20, on the Fairfax Campus, Merten lawn.  

Stop by between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a festive celebration with a variety of shopMason units, campus partners, and off-campus Mason Merchants and Patriot Perks members.  

Food trucks, free swag, and prizes will be available. RSVP for a chance to win a bonus prize.

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.

Shuttle Schedule During Fall Break  

An abbreviated Mason Shuttles schedule will be in effect during Fall Break, Oct. 8–9. For details, visit Contact or 703-993-2828 with questions. 

Patriot Green Fund Deadline

Do you have an idea for how to make your workspace, projects, or operations more sustainable? The Patriot Green Fund (PGF) can help. The PGF from Mason Facilities finances infrastructure improvements and student research efforts that reduce Mason’s environmental impact.     

Any current student, faculty, or staff member may apply for funds to support a sustainability project, and quick fund applications can be submitted any time. The next deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 22. Learn more.   

Check out the PGF-supported recycling station at the Center for the Arts and enhancements to the Green Studio, a permaculture garden and outdoor studio and lab space. 

New Aunt Flow Dispensers

Aunt Flow Dispensers, which provide free period products, have been installed in select restrooms on the Fairfax, Mason Square, and SciTech campuses. Mason Facilities and Student Health Services collaborated with The Patriot Period Project, Mason NAACP, and Mason Student Government to install the dispensers in 12 different buildings. Check the list of locations.

Training and Professional Development

IT Security Awareness Training Deadline is Oct. 31

All Mason employees are reminded to complete their mandatory 2023 IT Security Awareness Training assigned to them in MasonLEAPS.

The training was assigned by Information Technology Services (ITS) to employees, including contractors, affiliates, and student wage workers, to equip them with knowledge about cybersecurity risks and online safety and security.  

Employees must complete the training by Tuesday, Oct. 31, to avoid having their NetID disabled, which interrupts access to Mason’s IT services.  

If you have problems accessing the training, contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or

Writing Center Workshop: Strategies for Getting Started on a Draft 

In this workshop, participants will learn and practice a variety of strategies for coming up with ideas and structuring those ideas into a rough draft. Techniques include free-writing, sketching webs and maps, composing rough "discovery" drafts, and outlining.  

Strategies for Getting Started on a Draft 
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 4:30–5:45 p.m. 
Hosted on Zoom 

Leave this workshop with concrete verbal and visual tools for getting started on a writing project, as well as some strategies for dealing with writers' block. Learn more and register

Writing Center Workshop: Everyone Speaks with an Accent—Strategies for Improving Understandability of Speech 

This workshop draws on research in the field of second language pronunciation to show that speaking English with an accent does not necessarily mean you are not as intelligible as a native speaker. You will learn strategies to improve the intelligibility and comprehensibility of your speech and will be introduced to resources and activities to help you communicate more effectively.  

Everyone Speaks with an Accent: Strategies for Improving Understandability of Speech  
Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 3:30–4:45 p.m. 
Hosted on Zoom 
Learn more and register.

Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series: Leading Multiple Generations 

Mason's Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series presents Growing Leaders founder and CEO Tim Elmore, author of A New Kind of Diversity, in the next free webinar:  

Leading Multiple Generations
Thursday, Oct. 12, from noon to 1:15 p.m.   

Today’s workplace has four to five generations working together. Far too often, we collide instead of collaborate. Elmore’s presentation will explore the characteristics of each generation working today and how to leverage them to your competitive advantage. This webinar will offer practical strategies to bring out the best in each generation. 

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

Resources for You

Student Loan Repayment Information Session for Faculty and Staff 

Human Resources and the Student Support and Advocacy Center have partnered to present an information session on student loan repayment to help Mason faculty and staff get ready for the upcoming October repayments.  

This event will take place on Friday, Sept. 22, at noon on the Fairfax Campus in Merten Hall, Room 2001. Zoom is also available.  

All attendees, including those planning to attend in person, should register via Zoom to ensure they receive a recording of the session. 

Questions? Email the Financial Well-Being team at

Washington Commanders: Virginia State Employee Day and Discounted Tickets 

The Washington Commanders will celebrate Virginia State Employee Day at FedExField on Sunday, Nov. 19, against the New York Giants. Bring friends, family, and colleagues to enjoy a fun-filled day at the stadium. 

Discounted tickets are also available for games against the Chicago Bears (Oct. 5) and Philadelphia Eagles (Oct. 29). Learn more and purchase discounted tickets

$5 of the proceeds from each ticket will be donated directly to the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC), the Commonwealth's only annual workplace giving program. 

Ticket Discount: Cirque du Soleil, Echo 

Virginia state employees are eligible for discounted tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Echo at Under the Big Top in Tysons through Oct. 22. Learn more and purchase tickets.

Reminder: Take the Car-Free Pledge

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; see a list of all promotions and raffle 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. Get details on the Commuter Choice Program. Contact with questions.

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 the following upcoming workshops, open and free to veterans, servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers:    

Upcoming Arts Events and Performances at Mason

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.   

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Glorious Impromptus of Chopin and Schubert 
Sunday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m. 
Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

Welcome back Jeffrey Siegel for the return of Keyboard Conversations with a program featuring impromptus that are among the most beloved in the piano repertoire. In Glorious Impromptus of Chopin and Schubert, Siegel invites you into the 19th century to discover these compositions. Hear the backstory to the featured pieces and then enjoy Siegel’s performance of the full works.  

Best of Film at Mason Showcase  
Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. 
Mason Exhibitions Arlington (3601 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia) 

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. 

Virginia Opera: Siegfried 
Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. 
Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts| 

Reenter the fantasy realm of gods, heroes, and an epic quest for true love in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (the “Ring” cycle) with Virginia Opera’s production of Siegfried. The most lighthearted of the four epic operas tells of Siegfried’s journey into adulthood. Infused with Wagner’s ingenious short musical themes (leitmotifs) to weave together the tale, this is a must-see event in Virginia Opera’s grand multi-year experience. Sung in German with English surtitles.   

Mason Symphony Orchestra Concert 
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music  
Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

The Mason Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Soo Han, comprises outstanding string, wind, and percussion players from throughout the School of Music.

Visual Voices with Aimée Beaubien 
Mason School of Art 
Thursday, Oct. 12, at 4:45 p.m. 
Virtual via Zoom 

Aimée Beaubien reorganizes photographic experience while exploring networks of meaning and association between the real and the ideal in collages, artists books and immersive installations. Her work has been exhibited widely. Beaubien is an associate professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Coco in Concert 
Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

Disney and Pixar’s award-winning film, Coco, thrills the whole family when shown with a 20-piece Latin music ensemble performing the soundtrack live in Coco in Concert. The movie follows 12-year-old Miguel, an aspiring musician who wants to take the stage and astonish crowds like his musical idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. The music from the film includes the 2018 Oscar-winning Best Original Song “Remember Me” by songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and make new family memories this year with Coco in Concert.