Around Mason: Week of Feb. 27, 2024


Faculty/Staff Announcements 

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

Campus Updates 

March Staff Senate Meeting 

The March Staff Senate meeting will feature George Mason University Rector Horace Blackman, who leads the university’s Board of Visitors.  

March Staff Senate Meeting
Wednesday, March 6, 10 a.m. to noon 
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 represents all classified and non-student wage employees at Mason. Working closely with university administration, they address concerns that have an impact on the quality of work-life for the Mason community.  

Take Your Junior Patriot to Work Day 

Take Your Junior Patriot to Work Day is Thursday, April 25. Faculty and staff may invite the youth in their life to campus to learn what it's like to work at Mason. All participants must complete the consent form prior to the event. 

Activities are being planned for Fairfax, Mason Square, and SciTech. If you or your department are interested in leading an activity, reach out to the Faculty and Staff Engagement team at

$5 First Fridays and 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. The Spot is located on the Fairfax Campus near the Hampton Roads residence hall and Rappahannock River Parking Deck.  

First Fridays: Faculty and Staff Feast for $5  
Visit any Mason dining hall and show your faculty/staff Mason ID for a $5 meal the first Friday of the month. The next opportunity is Friday, March 1. Visit to view the daily menu and learn more about each dining hall. 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.  

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   

Fellowship Fest: March 13–15 

Join the Office of Fellowships for Fellowship Fest from March 13–15 to hear about external awards that provide students study abroad, research, internships, or fully funded graduate school opportunities. Register on Mason 360 for the events that interest you. Reach out to the Office of Fellowships for a personalized, tailored appointment to review opportunities specific to your needs. View the complete list of events

Events include: 

Transit Driver Appreciation Day: March 18 

Mason Shuttles will celebrate Transit Driver Appreciation Day on Monday, March 18. This is a wonderful time to celebrate our dedicated Mason Shuttle drivers. Help us say “thank you” by sending us your kind words about your experiences on Mason Shuttles. Your email compliment will enter you into a drawing for a $20 Starbuck’s gift card. For details, visit the Mason Transportation website

Training and Professional Development

ARIE National Conference

Mason will host the Access to Research and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) National Conference from March 18–19 on the Fairfax Campus. Join a transformative experience where scholars, researchers, and practitioners from many sectors come together to build and strengthen inclusive communities around research, innovation, and educational excellence.

Registration is free for Mason students, faculty, and staff, and the deadline is Friday, March 8. 

Crucial Conversations: Mastering Dialogue  

Discover the art of effective communication. Join Human Resources for "Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue" on March 5–6, led by certified trainers Robyn Madar and Andria Rollinson. Break through communication barriers, turning crucial conversations into pathways for success. Enhance your skills to navigate challenges, transform disagreements, and engage in constructive dialogues. This engaging classroom course includes real-time practice, group discussions, and expert coaching.  

Elevate your communication prowess—register now in MasonLEAPS. Don't miss this opportunity to master the art of dialogue. 

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. 

Flexible Work Sessions 

Join the Faculty and Staff Engagement Team for an upcoming session on flexible work. This session is intended to provide an introductory overview of flexible work at Mason. Participants will discover the variety of flexible work options, recognize the benefits of flexible work, identify best practices for engaging remote or hybrid teams/employees, and examine flexible work required forms and processes.  

Flexible Work Sessions 
Monday, March 11, or Thursday, March 14 
9:30–10:30 a.m.  
Fairfax Campus, Merten Hall, Room 2001 and Virtual 
View upcoming sessions and register in MasonLEAPS

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.  

Mental Health First Aid 

Complete Mental Health First Aid training to learn how to help someone suffering from a mental health crisis, increase your mental health literacy, and dismantle the stigma associated with mental health and substance use challenges. Register for the training at Mason on April 23–24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

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.    

Resources for You

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

Having a Healthy Lunch Just Got Easier 

Indulge in a fresh, sustainable, and healthy eating revolution with Wellfound Foods. Elevate your on-the-go dining experience at our newest locations on the Fairfax Campus: the first floors of the Johnson Center and Merten Hall. With seasonal and collaborative menus, Wellfound Foods isn't just a vending option—it's a movement dedicated to bringing better, healthier, and more accessible meals to your busy lifestyle. View the menu

Bioengineering Department is offering BioE Buzz Summer Camp 

Mason's Department of Bioengineering is launching a four-day experiential summer camp, BioE Buzz, for rising high school juniors and seniors from June 17–21 (no camp on June 19 for Juneteenth). The deadline to apply is March 19. Visit the website for more details and to apply. Contact with questions. 

Save the Date: Bicycle Commuting 101 

Bicycling to campus can be fun and great for your well-being. Join Delia Johnson, a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor, for Bicycle Commuting 101. During this session on Monday, April 22, at noon via Zoom, Delia will share information to help you feel more confident about getting to campus on two wheels. This session is open to faculty, staff and students. Register today

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 Theories of Anti-Work” on Friday, March 1, from 1–2:30 p.m. on Zoom.  

Upcoming Performances and Arts Events at Mason   

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. 

Visiting Filmmakers Series: NANNY with Nikyatu Jusu 
Wednesday, March 13, from 5–7:45 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center Cinema 

The Visiting Filmmakers Series is pleased to welcome award-winning filmmaker and Film at Mason Professor Nikyatu Jusu to campus for a free public screening of her psychological horror film, NANNY, followed by a post-screening discussion with Mason film student James Bah, president of the Black Filmmakers Association. A psychological horror film, NANNY tells the story of immigrant nanny Aisha (Anna Diop) who is forced to confront a concealed truth that threatens to shatter her precarious American Dream while caring for the child of a New York City upper east side family. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

J2B2 (John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band) 
American Roots Series 
Saturday, March 2, at 5 and 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Gregory Family Theater 

Four bluegrass giants make up J2B2 (John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band), a quartet that delivers fresh interpretations of bluegrass classics combined with the stylings of west coast folk rock. Experience American roots music at its finest. 

Camerata Ireland  
Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

Camerata Ireland, a groundbreaking chamber orchestra, has delighted audiences across Ireland and worldwide since 1999. In this program, enjoy a nocturne by John Fields, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, selections from Mozart’s most beloved operas, and a genre-defying musical collaboration between Barry Douglas (pianist and conductor), Eimear McGeown (Irish flute and whistle), and Celine Byrne (soprano). 

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Chopin and Liszt  
Sunday, March 3, at 7 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

In Chopin and Liszt, Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel explores the virtuosity of the two Romantic-era superstars. Both composers created impressive catalogues of melodious works and achieved a level of popularity not experienced by the virtuosos who preceded them. A masterful performer and communicator, Siegel demonstrates the Nocturnes of Chopin and the Hungarian Rhapsody by Liszt, while sharing stories about the lives and times of these 19th century legends.  

Artist-in-Residence: PHILADANCO! 
Friday, March 15, at 8 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

The Philadelphia Dance Company, known as PHILADANCO!, is widely recognized for its artistic integrity, superbly trained dancers, and electrifying performances. Witness one of America’s top dance companies share stories through movement. “If there’s fun to be had, PHILADANCO! will have it. But if there’s deeper purpose, these performers will clarify it, underscore it, and make you pay attention” (Dance Magazine). 

Virginia Opera: Madama Butterfly 
Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. 
Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m. 
Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts 

Virginia Opera’s season concludes with one of opera’s most beloved works, Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, a haunting score filled with unforgettable music of unparalleled beauty that will stay with you long after you’ve left the theater. This ever-popular opera will feature an all-female, Asian creative team, bringing a new lens to this tragic tale. Sung in Italian with English surtitles.    

Eileen Ivers: Raw Roots Tour 
Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. 
SciTech Campus, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall 

Grammy award-winning Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers continues to push and transcend the boundaries of folk music with performances that are playful, passionate, and a foot-stomping good time. You won’t want to miss “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” (New York Times), performing a fresh mix of Celtic classics and music that celebrates the Celtic roots of Americana music.