Around Mason: Week of Feb. 13, 2024


Faculty/Staff Announcements 

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit through the online form.

Campus Updates

Nominate Today: Outstanding Achievement Awards

The Outstanding Achievement Awards celebrate the hard work, dedication, and achievements of Mason’s faculty and staff across several awards categories in support of the university's values and mission. Nominate a colleague today!   

Deadline to submit nominations is Monday, Feb. 19, at 9 a.m. Contact Stacey Ellis, faculty and staff engagement, with questions.  

Nominations for the Jack Wood Award for Town-Gown Relations

The Jack Wood Award highlights the outstanding contributions of faculty, staff, students, businesses/not-for-profits, community members, and elected officials/staff who demonstrate leadership in fostering mutually beneficial relationships between the university and the community. This distinction honors former Mayor Jack Wood, who played an instrumental role in establishing Mason in Fairfax and town-gown relations between the university and the community.

Nominations are due March 15. Self-nominations are welcome. Community relations/outreach professionals are not eligible. Awardees will be notified by March 29. The Board of Visitors will honor awardees on May 2. 

Questions? Contact Traci Kendall, Government and Community Relations. 

New Snap Frame Advertising Available in Student Centers  

Registered Student Organizations and Mason departments may reserve snap frames in the Johnson Center, SUB I, and the Hub to promote events or services. Replacing the current easel advertising option, the 24” x 36” snap frames offer sleek and eye-catching promotional opportunities to engage with the Mason community.  

All current easel reservations will be honored through the spring 2024 semester, but new easel requests will not be accepted. Up to three snap frame locations can be reserved for up to 14 consecutive days, and all reservations are submitted through 25Live. Visit the Student Centers website to view all snap frame guidelines and locations. For questions, contact Student Centers

Mason Shuttle Schedule Changes for Spring Break 

Spring break will bring significant changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Details are available at A spring break schedule summary is available. If you have any questions, contact 703-993-2828 or  

Training and Professional Development 

Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference: Call for Proposals 

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning invites Mason faculty, staff, administrators, and graduate/postdoctoral students to submit proposals and volunteer as reviewers for the 16th Annual Innovations in Teaching and Learning (ITL) Conference. The conference will take place Sept. 19–20.  

This year’s conference has a hybrid format with a range of options for sharing your teaching strategies, experiences, and teaching-related research. View the ITL Session Proposal Guide for details on session types to help you create your proposal. The proposal deadline is March 4. Read more details

Upcoming Writing Center Workshops  

The Writing Center is hosting a series of workshops for Thesis/Dissertation Week. Workshops are open to Mason students, faculty, and staff. Topics include:  

  • Writing Your Way into Your Research: Writing an Introduction for Your Dissertation  
  • Strategies for Getting Started on a Draft  
  • Common Questions about the Thesis and Dissertation Process  
  • Graduate Student Panel: Grad Students Reflect on the Thesis/Dissertation Phase  

Visit the website for workshop dates, times, and registration. Contact the Writing Center with questions.  

Safe Zone+ Program Workshops 

Registration is now open for the spring 2024 Safe Zone+ Program. The primary mission of Mason’s Safe Zone+ Program, like the LGBTQ+ Resources Center, is to create a safer, more welcoming and inclusive campus environment, to strengthen community, and encourage networking among faculty, staff, and students toward the goal of supporting the well-being of LGBTQ people.

Workshop dates and registration are now available. Contact with questions. 

Volunteers Needed for ARIE Conference

The ARIE planning committee is seeking volunteers to help at the second annual ARIE National Conference from March 18–19 on the Fairfax Campus in the Johnson Center. 

Volunteers make this event possible. Join in person or online for a day and a half of interactive workshops, panels, networking, research presentations, and a poster reception. This hybrid conference format will include livestreaming options. 

Volunteers are needed to host sessions, help with registration, setup, cleanup, and more. Sign up to volunteer by Feb. 16. Contact with questions. 

University Life Supervision Collective: Supervising Introverts and Extroverts in the Workplace 

Join the University Life Supervision Collective for the Manager Meetups series. These virtual discussions connect managers and aspiring managers on topics related to supervision. All faculty and staff are welcome. The next topic will be: 

Supervising Introverts and Extroverts in the Workplace 
Thursday, March 14, at 2 p.m. 

Resources for You

Mason Night with the Washington Capitals  

Celebrate Mason Night with the Washington Capitals. The Mason Nation will fill Capital One Arena to watch the Caps take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, March 20. Join an optional pregame reception at Yard House from 6–7:30 p.m. before attending the hockey game at 7:30 p.m.  

The Capitals are offering an array of special ticket pricing options, along with a Mason and Capitals co-branded baseball hat. Get more information and purchase tickets.

Game Mason 2024 

Game Mason 2024 is coming up on Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus. The event will feature: 

  • Guest speakers from the industry and educational sessions with Mason faculty, staff, alumni, and business leaders  
  • Free arcade play, tabletop and console gaming, augmented reality/virtual reality demonstrations 
  • Artist alley, featuring work by Mason students and featured artists 
  • Vendors and businesses from across the game industry 
  • And more 

The keynote speaker on Friday, Feb. 23, will be Jennifer Hale, voice actress and Guinness World Records holder for “Most Prolific Video Game Voice Actor (female).” On Saturday, Feb. 24, collegiate esports teams from across the region will compete in tournaments. Learn more and get tickets

Faculty/Staff Choir Information Session

Mason faculty and staff are invited to an information session about the new Faculty/Staff Choir on Friday, Feb. 16, from 9:30–10:30 a.m. on the Fairfax Campus, de Laski Performing Arts Building, Room 323. If you are interested in joining the choir, please complete this interest form

Attendees will gather to sing and share the goals of the choir. You do not need to audition to be a member, other than to identify your voice part. Following the first meeting, the group will select the best rehearsal time for the majority of the group.

Lisa Billingham, School of Music, will lead the choir, along with an optional Austria/Czechia Tour in summer 2024 for students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition

Mason's Department of Statistics is holding a competition to find out who can accurately predict when the cherry trees will bloom. Entries submitted by Thursday, Feb. 29, are eligible to win up to $5,000 in cash and prizes. Visit the website for details. 

Spring Break Shuttles for Students, Faculty, and Staff 

Want to get away? Jump on board the Mason Regional Shuttles for a spring break of your own for as low as $35 one way! Whether you're planning to explore new cities or reunite with loved ones, your travel needs are covered.  

Take advantage of this exclusive offer and embark on a journey to destinations like New York City, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, and more. Book your ride now and make your spring break memorable. Don't forget your Mason ID. 

Galileo's Science Café 

Hear about the latest hot topics in science and medicine at Galileo's Science Café. The next discussion, "AI Meets Nanotechnology," will feature Ethan Ahn, associate professor of electrical engineering. 

Join the event at the SciTech Campus in Colgan Hall's Verizon Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. Light dinner and beverages provided. Virtual attendance is also available. Get more information and register

Save the Dates: Spring Bike to Mason Days 

Spring will be here before we know it! Save the date for Bike to Mason Day at your campus: 

  • SciTech: Tuesday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Colgan Hall, front patio 
  • Fairfax: Wednesday, April 24, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Merten lawn 
  • Mason Square: Thursday, April 25, 3–7 p.m., Plaza 

For additional information and to register, visit the Mason Transportation website

Scalia-Ginsburg Colloquy to Examine SCOTUS Hearing on Trump Ballot Eligibility

The Scalia Law School’s third Scalia–Ginsburg Colloquy will feature a discussion of Trump v. Anderson, a case the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the former president’s actions prohibit him from seeking re-election.

The colloquy follows the example set by the strong friendship between the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a friendship as legendary as their sharp disagreements on the bench. It brings together distinguished scholars for a series of substantive—yet civil—discussions of both sides of important legal issues.

The colloquy will be held online on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 5–6:30 p.m. and will feature:

  • Lisa Marshall Manheim, University of Washington School of Law
  • Derek T. Muller, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Adam J. White, Antonina Scalia Law School (moderator)
  • Ilya Somin, Antonin Scalia Law School, who filed an amicus curiae brief in Trump v. Anderson, will pose questions

Registration is free and available online.

Film Screening: ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’  

The College of Science STEM Accelerator, Women Leaders in STEM, and the Visiting Filmmakers Series are pleased to collaborate on a free screening and discussion of the feature film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.   

Monday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Cinema  

The film tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman from Roanoke, Virginia, whose cells were used without her consent to create the first immortal human cell line. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more.  

Songwriting Series for Military Kids 

Students will explore the techniques of recording, producing, and performing original music at home in this four-week virtual series designed for military kids. Learn songwriting skills in a collaborative, virtual environment led by instructors from Mason Community Arts Academy and the Veterans and the Arts Initiative. 

This workshop series is open and free to military kids between the ages of 9–12. Space is limited.

Sundays, Feb. 25 to March 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. 
Online via Zoom 
Learn more  

Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group 

The Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group will meet on Friday afternoons this spring. Kritikos engages in discussions on writing about the arts, critical studies, translation, the artist in society, and art as speech. Learn more.     

Join them for the topic, “Racial Capitalism and Extractive Colonialism in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” on Friday, Feb. 16, from 1–2:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Upcoming Performances at Mason 

Mason Jazz Festival 
Saturday, Feb. 17, all day 
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre 

The Mason Jazz Festival is an invitational event open to middle school, high school, collegiate, and community jazz ensembles. Festival performances include the Mason Jazz Ensemble, the JazzWorx Big Band, The Hot Lanes Big Band, and a special Mason Jazz Faculty All-Star Concert. All performances are free and open to the public. No tickets or registration required. 

Mason Artist-in-Residence: A.I.M by Kyle Abraham 
Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

MacArthur Genius Award-winning choreographer Kyle Abraham has developed a dance aesthetic that defies genre, mixing and morphing from social dance to classical dance styles and back again. The center presents his visionary works using various dance and music styles to uncover the relationships between identity, history, and geography. This Black-led contemporary dance company aims to create a body of dance-based work that is galvanized by Black culture and history. 

Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

With its attitude, thrilling footwork, and powerful drumming, Argentinian sensation MALEVO draws heavily from the Argentinian folk dance malambo to create an exhilarating, innovative experience. MALEVO was named “Cultural Ambassadors for the National Identity of Argentina” and have been seen on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Don’t miss their electrifying Hylton Center debut. 

Mason Symphony Orchestra: A Tribute to Professor Anthony Maiello 
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 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 Dewberry Family School of Music. This concert features winners of the the school’s student concerto competition. 

Visual Voices Lecture with Maria Gaspar 
Mason Exhibitions and Mason School of Art 
Thursday, Feb. 22, at 4:45 p.m. 
Virtual event via Zoom 

Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist negotiating the politics of location through installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Gaspar’s work addresses issues around spatial justice to amplify, mobilize, or divert structures of power.  

Mason School of Theater: Twelve Ophelias 
Feb. 22–25, multiple performances  
Fairfax Campus, TheaterSpace 

Shakespeare’s Ophelia rises out of the water dreaming of Pop-Tarts and other sweet things. She finds herself in a neo-Elizabethan Appalachian setting, where Gertrude runs a brothel, Hamlet is called a Rude Boy, and nothing is what it seems. In this mirrored world, Ophelia cuts a new path for herself.  

Giraffes Can’t Dance 
Hylton Family Series 
Saturday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

The beloved storybook Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees celebrates its 20th anniversary with this imaginative musical adaptation told with puppets, African rhythms, and dancing. With a resounding message of the power of self-acceptance, Giraffes Can’t Dance will have everyone in the audience on their feet, confidently showing off their moves. 

American Roots Series: Tray Wellington Band 
Saturday, Feb. 24, at 5 and 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Gregory Family Theater 

Banjo virtuoso, two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Award winner, and 2019 Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year, Tray Wellington leads the high-energy acoustic newgrass sensation, the Tray Wellington Band. The quartet pushes the boundaries of bluegrass music, incorporating bossa nova, jazz, and blues elements to create an exciting new sound that also honors traditional bluegrass roots.  

Carlehr Swanson: Growing Pains EP Release Concert  
Saturday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre  

Join Mason alumna Carlehr Swanson for a concert of her newly released EP, Growing Pains. Growing up, Carlehr was enamored by the musical aspects of a church service. Sonically, this EP combines jazz, R&B, and gospel music genres. Lyrically, these tracks chronicle the slight discomfort one feels while arriving at adulthood. This EP invites conversations about love, faith, and mental health, and is dedicated to those 20-somethings who are just trying to figure “it” out. Swanson will participate in a pre-performance discussion from the stage. Swanson won the 2023 Young Alumni Creative Development Award from Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Young Alumni Commissioning Project. 

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine  
Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

The Kyiv-based National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine has been one of the most distinguished orchestras in eastern Europe. The official orchestra of Ukraine returns for its first tour in the U.S. since conflict in its country began. Grammy Award-winning Ukrainian conductor Volodymyr Sirenko leads the orchestra, along with Tchaikovsky Competition winner, cellist Natalia Khoma. 

Mnozil Brass: Jubilee 
Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

Hailed as one of the world’s premier brass ensembles, Austrian septet Mnozil Brass seamlessly combines slapstick comedy with classical, jazz, folk, and pop. Mnozil Brass takes its name from Gasthaus Mnozil, a restaurant across the street from the Vienna Conservatory, where seven young music students met and began playing at a monthly open mic in 1992. Thirty years later, Mnozil Brass performs for sold-out houses around the world.