Around Mason: Week of Jan. 23, 2024


Faculty/Staff Announcements

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Campus Updates

February Staff Senate Meeting

The February Staff Senate meeting will feature guest speaker Mary “Missy” Cummings, director of Mason's Autonomy and Robotics Center, to discuss her work in artificial intelligence. 

Wednesday, Feb. 7 
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Guest Speaker 
11 a.m. to noon – General Meeting 

Constituents are invited to attend in person on the Fairfax Campus in Merten Hall, Room 1201, or join the meeting via Zoom. The Staff Senate will collect questions in advance for consideration. Submit a comment or question by Wednesday, Jan. 31.  

DocuSign Service for Faculty and Staff Expanded 

Information Technology Services (ITS) recently expanded the DocuSign service for business and administrative needs at Mason. Previously, Mason had a limited number of envelopes (i.e., digital signature requests) for sending. With this expansion, the service now includes unlimited envelopes for sending and is available to all faculty and staff. Read more information about DocuSign on the ITS website. Contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or with questions.

Mason Basketball Watch Parties

Join fellow Patriots for discounted bites, thrilling hoops action, and epic giveaways at the next Mason Basketball Watch Party. It's a slam dunk event you won't want to miss, hosted by Patriot Perks Members. Check out the full watch party schedule.  

Mason Men’s Basketball at Saint Joseph's 
Wednesday, Jan. 31 
6:30 p.m. – Watch party opens 
7:00 p.m. – Tipoff 
Location: Banditos Tacos & Tequila (10621 Braddock Road, Fairfax, Virginia) 

Reminder: Fairfax/SciTech Shuttle Survey 

Parking and Transportation, in partnership with the Shuttle Advisory Committee, invites faculty, staff, and students to complete a short survey on the Fairfax/SciTech Shuttle. They are interested in hearing from those who currently use the shuttle, as well as those who live in Prince William County or points further west and do not currently use the shuttle.   

The survey should take less than five minutes to complete. This is purely informational; no changes to the route are currently in development. The survey will be open through January. Complete the survey.  

View the Mason Shuttle schedules at Contact Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or

Homecoming is Here!

Celebrate Mason during Homecoming from Jan. 19–28! Register today to show your school spirit as we invite you to reminisce and share the experiences with your friends and family. For more information or questions, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 703-993-8696.  

Crave: A Late-Night Dining Spot 

Crave is for anyone with the human instinct to grab a late-night bite. Mason Dining’s newest location is located on the Fairfax Campus in the Hub, serving fried favorites and satisfying snacks that will crumble your cravings. Stop by between 5–11 p.m. for a juicy burger, warm pretzel, crispy cheese sticks, and more. Cash, credit/debit, Bonus Funds, Freedom Funds, and Mason Money are accepted at this location.  

Resources for You

Explore Discounts with Patriot Perks

Unlock exclusive savings with your Mason ID through Patriot Perks. Dive into a world of discounts at local businesses—all you need is your Mason ID for a shopping spree filled with savings. Check out the list of participating merchants at

Guaranteed Ride Home

If you're a faculty or staff member who bikes, carpools, vanpools, uses mass transit (e.g., bus, Metro), or walks to work at least two times per week, you always have a backup ride with Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH).  

Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, it’s free to sign up and free to use. Once you register, you can use GRH up to six times per year. If a qualifying emergency arises, call Commuter Connections, and they will arrange transportation for you (e.g., taxi, car rental, transit).  

It’s a good idea to sign up before you need it. Conditions apply. For details and to register, visit the Mason Parking and Transportation website (scroll to Guaranteed Ride Home Program). Contact or 703-993-2828 with questions. 

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 its spring meetings on Teams and in a hybrid format, including the first meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at noon in the Women and Gender Studies Center located on the Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Room 240K. 

If you are interested in sharing stories and being part of an informal organization of working mothers, please join, or feel free to visit the website for additional meeting dates and more information. Contact Heather Aleknavage with questions. 

Advertise on the Braddock Road Marquee

Looking for another way to promote your Mason event? If the event is open to the public, post it to the Braddock Road Marquee. Guidelines and a template are available on the website. Contact with questions.

Mason Community Arts Academy: Summer Arts at Mason

Registration is now open for exciting summer camps and workshops at Mason Community Arts Academy (MCAA) in music, acting, visual art, film and video, and professional development for students ages four through adult.  

This summer, MCAA welcomes the second annual Mason Summer Band Camp, the re-imagined Mason String Camp, a new Children's Choir Camp, Acting for Young People, and more.  

A variety of full-day and half-day programs connect participants with Mason faculty, professional teaching artists, and experienced arts educators. Learn, create, and perform with other like-minded artists and make it a summer to remember. 

Reminder: Nominations for the Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award  

The Rick Holt Active Transportation Advocate Award honors Rick, “the Mason bike dude,” who passionately advocated for and encouraged active transportation at Mason and beyond. Nominations are open for this award. The awardee will be recognized at the Outstanding Achievement Awards in April.   

If you know a faculty or staff member who embodies Rick’s enthusiasm and commitment, submit a nomination. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 23. Read more. Contact Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or 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.       

Have you always wanted to try the guitar or refresh your skills? Musicians of all skill levels are invited to participate in a 10-week series of virtual lessons with Glen McCarthy, guitar instructor for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative. Workshops are offered at Level I and Level II. The workshops are open and free to veterans, servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers. 

Upcoming Performances at Mason 

Mason Cabaret Presents Over the Rainbow: The Music of Judy, Ella, and Barbra  
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre: Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27, multiple performances  
SciTech Campus, Hylton Center, Gregory Family Theater: Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m.  

The School of Theater's Mason Cabaret return with a fresh line up of stellar vocalists offering showstoppers, ballads, and duets. This year’s cabaret honors American icons Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, and Barbra Streisand. Ticket sales will support The Mason Players.  

Hamid Rahmanian’s Song of the North  
Saturday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts  

Experience “breathtaking fireworks of creativity” (La Monde) with Hamid Rahmanian’s newest large-scale cinematic shadow play, Song of the North. With more than 500 handmade puppets and an original score by renowned Iranian composer Loga Ramin Torkian, you’ll be transported to a magical and ancient landscape. This thrilling multimedia adventure combines state-of-the-art animation with the age-old art of shadow puppetry to showcase a collection of ancient Persian legends and Iranian national treasures.    

Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Carnival Celebration  
Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m.  
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall  

Celebrate Mardi Gras early with Northern Virginia’s own Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra in Carnival Celebration: Music from New Orleans to Rio to the Islands. Dress up in your Mardi Gras beads, don a mask, and enjoy a remarkably lively night of pulsating rhythms, upbeat parade brass, and plenty of improvisational jazz.  

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  
Sunday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts  

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) returns with pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. Under the direction of Maestro Vasily Petrenko, RPO plays Debussy's Danse (orchestration by Ravel) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic poem, Scheherazade.  

Just The Two of Us Film Screening with Filmmaker Jada Salter  
Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Cinema  

Join College of Visual and Performing Arts alum Jada Salter (BA Film and Video Studies ’20) for a premiere screening of her full-length documentary film, Just The Two of Us. Experience the captivating documentary that dives into the extraordinary life of William "Bill" Salter, the renowned songwriter, composer, and musician, who has earned multiple Grammy awards. Through the lens of Jada Salter, Bill Salter's eldest granddaughter, embark on a heartfelt journey as she captures the essence of her grandfather's influential legacy. Prepare to be inspired by the remarkable story of Bill Salter and his unforgettable contributions to the world of music.  

Virginia Opera: Sanctuary Road  
Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m.  
Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts  

Based on the writings of William Still, an African American leader on the Underground Railroad, Virginia Opera is thrilled to introduce the contemporary opera Sanctuary Road by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell. In a pledge to nurture the next generation of artists, Moravec and Campbell transformed these daring stories of courage, perseverance, and sacrifice into an enthralling historical oratorio. Sung in English with English surtitles.  

Cirque Mechanics: Zephyr – A Whirlwind of Circus  
Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m.  
Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m.  
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall  

Modern acrobats and aerialists Cirque Mechanics draw inspiration from the machinery that powers our world to tell ingenious stories that are eye-widening and heart-stopping. In Zephyr – A Whirlwind of Circus, Cirque Mechanics dramatizes humanity’s relationship to wind. In this exhilarating circus performance featuring a giant 20-foot-tall rotating windmill, performers embrace the energy of air to fly, balance, float, and more.