Around Mason: Week of Feb. 20, 2024


Faculty/Staff Announcements

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

Campus Updates

President’s Town Hall Meetings Scheduled for the Spring Semester 

George Mason University President Gregory Washington will host two 90-minute town hall meetings to discuss the state of the university and to engage with faculty and staff. 

The first town hall, for Mason employees working in non-academic units, will take place on Tuesday, April 9, at 2 p.m. on the Fairfax Campus in the Hub Ballroom. The second town hall, for employees working in academic units, will take place on the Fairfax Campus on Tuesday, April 16, at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Center Bistro. 

For those unable to attend in person, both town halls will be livestreamed on Zoom. Please contact your respective unit leadership for Zoom links and passwords. 

Captioning will be available on the livestream. If you are in need of sign language interpreters for this event, please reach out to the Office of Disability Services.

Mason Basketball Watch Party

Grab some colleagues and head to P.J. Skidoos on Saturday, Feb. 24, for shopMason's basketball watch party. Enjoy 10% off with your Mason ID and get a chance to win prizes when you RSVP.    

Mason Men’s Basketball at Loyola Chicago
Saturday, Feb. 24
4 p.m. – Watch party opens  
4:30 p.m. – Tipoff  
Location: P.J. Skidoos (9908 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax, Virginia)  

Enjoy Plant-Powered Dining at The Spot 

Discover a sustainable dining experience at Mason Dining's The Spot, where plants power you! Faculty and staff can enjoy an array of delectable vegan and vegetarian options for just $5 on the first Friday of each month. The Spot is located on the Fairfax Campus near the Hampton Roads residence hall and Rappahannock River Parking Deck. 

As an extra treat, enjoy Mason's other dining halls—including The Globe, Southside, and Ike's— for the same price on the first Friday of the month. Mark your calendars for a delightful dining experience, celebrating great food and good company with Mason Dining. Byte plans are accepted at all dining halls. 

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.  

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. 

Upcoming Writing Center Workshop 

Have you ever noticed that some writing just sounds more academic? Sure, some of this has to do with vocabulary and the topic of the writing, but another element comes from the adept use of scholarly language. In this Writing Center workshop, participants will gain tips and strategies for using language, grammar, and style to their best advantage as they work to elevate the level of formality in their academic writing.  

From Casual to Scholarly: Strategies to Elevate and Formalize Your Writing 
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 4:30–5:45 p.m. 
Register on Mason360 

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

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.  

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

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   

COVID Test Kits Available on Campus 

Mason faculty, staff, and students can get a free COVID at-home test on-campus with a valid Mason ID. Test kits are available at One Stop or Express convenience stores on the Fairfax Campus and Student Health Services Clinics during operating hours. Pick up a free test kit and be prepared before you need it. Student Health Services is partnering with Mason Dining to provide these tests to the Mason community. Contact Student Health Services with questions. 

Create an Account: 

What is It’s the go-to site for planning your commute to Mason. Looking for someone with whom to share a ride? See who might live in your general area and coming to campus at similar times. Looking for a biking buddy? Want to track your commutes and see how much CO2 you’re reducing? Check it out. Create an account today! Contact Mason Transportation with questions. 

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, Extractive Colonialism, and Performative Anti-Racism in Academia” on Friday, Feb. 23, from 1–2:30 p.m. on Zoom. 

Upcoming Performances at Mason  

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, de Laski Performing Arts Building, 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 United States 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. 

Gerson Lanza 
Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 1:30 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Gregory Family Theater 

Honduran tap dancer and choreographer Gerson Lanza captivates Hylton Center audiences in his love letter to the American percussive art form of tap, during an afternoon of syncopated rhythms and intricate footwork. For his Matinee Idylls debut, he will be joined by his jazz quintet featuring some of the best musicians on the East Coast.

Mason Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band: Persichetti's Symphony No. 6 
Dewberry School of Music 
Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

The Mason Symphonic Band will open the concert with traditional and contemporary works for wind bands composed by a variety of composers. The Mason Wind Symphony will present one of the cherished historical works for wind band, Vincent Persichetti’s Symphony No. 6. Other selected works in this concert include the Mason Wind Symphony premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s Voices Shouting Out.  

University Singers: The Soundscapes of Austria 
Dewberry School of Music 
Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Harris Theatre 

Experience the majestic melodies and rich harmonies created by the cultural heritage of the Austrian choral tradition. Austrian composers have made significant contributions to the sacred and secular choral canon, creating pieces that are cherished and performed by choirs worldwide. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Marianna Martines, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, and Franz Schrecker are a part of this rich choral history.