Mason E-Files

Where Innovation Is Tradition

Posted January 7, 2013


Patriot Circle between Mason Pond Drive and Aquia Creek Lane Closed January 7 - 11

Patriot Circle between Mason Pond Drive and Aquia Creek Lane will be closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic January 7 - 11 from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm. The Mason Shuttle stop at the RAC will be closed all week.

See for more information.


Fiscal Cliff Impact on Pay

Although there have been some compromises with regard to the Fiscal Cliff, the 2013 employee FICA rate was not part of the deal. As a result, the payroll tax holiday of 2011 - 2012 has ended. Beginning with all pay received in 2013, the employee FICA withholding rate will revert back to its original (e.g. pre-2011) rate of 6.2% (up from 4.2% in 2011-2012).

Faculty and staff will see and feel the immediate 2% reduction in take home pay. New federal tax withholding tables have not been issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) yet so it is unclear what the ultimate impact may be. Check the HR & Payroll homepage for updates as information becomes available.


HR and Payroll

Call for Leadership Legacy Nominations: 2013 - 2014 Cohort Deadline Extended to February 1. Applications for the 2013-2014 Leadership Legacy Program (LLP) are currently being accepted.  This program is designed for Mason faculty and staff who are committed to furthering their leadership development. Applications need to be submitted online no later than Friday, February 1.  Your name, title, and position along with your current CV or resume, a statement of interest, and any additional information for the selection committee is required for the application process.  In addition, applicants need to have two completed online recommendations. More information and details for application requirements, process and recommendations can be found at


Commuter Choice Benefit Increased to $240 per Month

Congress increased the Commuter Choice benefit from $125 per month to $240 per month through the end of 2013. Starting on February 1, full-time eligible employees will be able to receive up to $240 per month for public transportation and vanpooling.

Submit your Commonwealth Commuter Choice Request for Monthly Benefit by January 12 to receive the benefit for February. If you have already submitted your monthly benefit request form for February but would like more than $125, submit a new copy of the form by January 12.

If you have any questions about your fringe transit benefit, contact Parking and Transportation at or 993-2828. Forms are available at:


Mason Shuttles Service Updates

From Monday, January 7 - Friday, January 18 the last departure for the Prince William shuttle will be at 7:10 pm from both the Fairfax and Prince William campuses. The last departure for the Mason to Metro shuttle will be at 7:00 pm from both the Fairfax Campus and the Metro Station. For a detailed schedule and more information on other routes, visit

Winter Beak Shuttle Schedules
Fairfax to Prince William:
Prince William to Fairfax:
Mason to Metro:
Metro to Mason:

If you have additional questions, email


Apple Federal Credit Union

Drive Smart with an Apple Auto Loan. When you finance a new or used auto or refinance* an existing auto loan from another lender, you’ll enjoy rates as low as 1.99% APR* with up to 115% financing.

You’ll also enjoy:

  • Flexible terms: up to 84 months (New); up to 72 months (Used)
  • No early payoff penalties
  • On-site financing at Partner Dealerships -
  • Online payments in NetBranch

HELOC Rates Frozen Until 2014. Credit card bills can add up, medical bills come due or major home repairs arise, but a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) could help restore your financial footing. Apply online at, January 1 – March 31, and you’ll lock those funds at rates as low as 3.99% APR* until January 2014.

For details, visit or the Johnson Center branch. *Restrictions apply; see or branch for details. Federally insured by NCUA. EOL.


Mason Dining

The Rathskeller is open Monday - Friday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

For all other dining locations and hours of operation visit the Hours tab at


University Hall Information Desk Opening January 14

University Information, a department within the Office of Communications and Marketing (formerly University Relations), is happy to announce the opening of the University Hall Information Desk. Opening of the information desk on the first floor lobby of University Hall is scheduled for January 14.

The new information desk will provide general information on all aspects of Mason including event information, directions, directory information, lost and found services, and a central location to file building related maintenance concerns for common areas.

The following are the hours of operation when classes are in session:

  • Monday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday - Thursday, 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Friday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Saturday/Sunday, Closed

Raymond E. Harris, Information and Facilities Coordinator, will provide a high level of direct customer service in addition to campus information and visitor services to students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and guests visiting University Hall. Information desk staff can be reached at 993-5600 or


Environmental Health and Safety Office Annual Elevator Inspections

The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) will conduct annual elevator hoistway and pit inspections at the Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington campuses between January 2 and January 15. Inspections will occur between 6:00 am and 2:00 pm. During inspections the elevators will be taken out of service. Notices will be posted on the front doors of each building and in each elevator lobby notifying occupants that the elevators are temporarily out of service. Every effort will be made to follow the schedule however, issues may necessitate a modified schedule. 

This inspection is mandated by the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, and your cooperation in this process is appreciated. If you have any questions contact EHS at 993-8448.


SMS in Conservation Studies Openings and Scholarships Available for Spring 2013

Do you have students who are:

  • Excited about the environment, animals, and the outdoors?
  • Interested in exploring careers related to conservation, biodiversity, or sustainability?
  • Ready for the conservation challenge of a lifetime?

Then the Smithsonian-Mason Semester in Conservation Studies is right for them.

Student will receive:

  • VIP access to a learning community within the world-famous Smithsonian Institution
  • The opportunity to learn from scientists and educators at the cutting-edge Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute research center
  • Outdoor, hands-on experience with animals, plants, and landscapes

The Smithsonian-Mason School (SMS) of Conservation is offering scholarships to students applying to the undergraduate spring 2013 semester. 

For further information and to apply, go to or email These funds are appropriate for students interested in Environmental Science & Policy, Sustainability, Conservation, Nature Photography, Communications, Global Affairs, and Biology.


The Writing Center Reopens January 28

All Writing Center locations will be closed during the winter break. Roadshows will commence the first week of classes. Tutoring will resume on January 28.

To schedule a roadshow, faculty may email a request to Include Roadshow Request in the subject line, course and section number, location, and two preferred dates.

The tutoring schedule will be available prior to January 22. To make an appointment with a tutor, go to


Need Any Branded Promotional Items?

Real Access LLC, a Mason licensed vendor, was awarded a Promotional Items - Multiple Term Cooperative Use Contract (# UCPJMU3966) by the Commonwealth of Virginia which means that Mason can also purchase using this contract rather than having to bid with multiple vendors. The contract allows buyers at Mason to purchase promotional items to market the university. Typically, items will contain a logo or branding that identifies it as Mason and is free of charge to recipients as an incentive to learn more about the university or a specific program. Discount offered is based on next column pricing for quantity ordered or 10% off items purchased. Pricing for embroidery and screen printing is offered at wholesale. Electronic proofs will be provided at no extra charge. Set up fees will not be charged on repeat orders of the same product. Samples, towards an incoming order, costing $10.00 or less will be provided free of charge.

Real Access LLC, located in Fairfax, Virginia is a Certified Minority Owned Business and in eVA, a registered US Fair Labor Association company and, accredited by The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). Featured products can be viewed at or at

For other Mason licensed vendors visit:


Potomac Arts Academy Spring Class Registration

Do something creative and new this spring. Music, theater, and visual art classes for kids and adults start in February with Potomac Arts Academy. Programs are for all ages, from kids to senior citizens, including piano, theater, guitar, steel pan ensemble, voice, and more. Easy online registration is available at or for theater. Call 993-9889 to register and receive your 10% discount for Mason faculty & staff. Classes start in February, so register now.


Linden Van Pool

The Linden Van Pool is seeking riders for its commuter van. The van leaves the Linden Park and Ride Lot weekdays at 6:45 am and leaves from Mason at 4:30 pm. 

If you live in Front Royal, Bentonville, Linden, Strasburg, Stephens City, Winchester, Berryville, Luray or anywhere in the Shenandoah Valley, join us.

You can use your monthly $240 commuter benefit and need only ride two times per week. If you have any questions, contact Rodger Smith at 993-3473 or


2013 Mileage Rate Increases

Effective January 1, 2013, the personal vehicle usage mileage reimbursement rate increased one cent to $0.565 per mile in conjunction with an IRS rate change. The personal mileage rate is generally reimbursable when a personal vehicle is used for business travel of less than 100 miles per day.  Mason’s electronic travel resource, the Travel Request System ( has been updated to reflect the rate change.



Pre-General Assembly Briefing and Brown Bag Lunch

The University Community is invited to join the staff of the Office of State Government Relations for a briefing in advance of the opening of the 2013 Virginia General Assembly Session.  You will learn about our plans to gather input from the University Community on bills that may impact Mason's operations.  Bring your own lunch, but drinks and desserts will be provided. Join us today, Monday, January 7, at The Hub, Rooms 3-5 at 12:00 pm.  Contact Sabena Moretz with questions at or (703) 389-1980.


University Services - Career Fair

On February 20 and 21, University Career Services is hosting a campus-wide career fair, free and open to all students and alumni of George Mason University. The career fair is open both days from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm in Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. Up to 180 international, national and local employers are expected to attend. Over 2,500 students have attended each of Career Services’ past six career fairs.

This is a general career fair not limited to any industry or sector. It will feature for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations including General Dynamics, AOL, Macy’s, The Institute of World Politics, and The Urban Teaching Center.


Canning Workshop

Have you ever wondered what the process is for canning your own food? Join instructors Diane Blust and Katie Strong on Thursday, January 24 for the third Mason Sustainability Institute workshop on the basics of food preservation. The workshop will cover such topics as canning methods, safety precautions, and other food preservation methods. In addition, we will discuss jar and equipment preparation, including sterilization of jars, heating lids, which pieces of equipment can be reused, and much more.

Date: Thursday, January 24 (Snow date February 7)
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: 10th floor of the Pennino Building at the Government Center: 12011 Government Center Parkway, Room 1032, Fairfax, VA  22035-1115
Register at:


Life Planning Seminar: Growing Younger: Healthier at Any Age

Join us January 16 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm to learn how to maximize your physical and mental health, so you can make the most of your life. Presented by CommonHealth, this program will cover staying mentally sharp, eating right as we age, finding meaning and joy at all ages and much more. Program participants will receive a colorful booklet full of information, resources and activities to assist you in living a healthier life, regardless of your current age.

For more information visit the HR Learning website. This session will be videoconferenced to the Prince William and Arlington campuses.



Faculty and Staff, It’s That Time Again - BYTE Week

Build Your Technology & Teaching Expertise (BYTE) is Monday, January 14 through Friday, January 18 and includes workshops in Adobe Creative Suite 6; Courses 9.1; Microsoft Office 2010; and so much more.

Check the website for the list of workshops and to register:

For additional information or questions, email Training & Certification at: or call


Office of Sponsored Programs Workshops

PI Report Workshop. Wednesday, January 16, 9:30 am – 11:00 am, University Hall, Room 2001.  This hands-on workshop is intended for George Mason University sponsored project Principal Investigators (PI), faculty, and grant administrators. The session provides an overview of the Discoverer PI Reports used to view financial information for sponsored projects. The session will include:

  • An overview of the PI Reports and PI Reports by Month Range which display Banner financial data for sponsored projects.
  • A hands-on demonstration of viewing the reports and drilling for details for all charges including personnel charges.
  • Each participant will receive PI Report Quick Guides.

Time is available for questions and answers and for each participant to view the report(s) related to his/her project(s).

Contact Pat Sperry at 993-8929 or for additional information about Office of Sponsored Programs Training or visit us at: Register online at


Budget Office Walk-in Assistance

The Budget Office will begin providing walk-in assistance on Thursdays from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm starting on Thursday, January 10.  The location for the walk-in assistance will be University Hall, Suite 3600.  No appointment is necessary. Topics will include:

Budget Management
Budget Planning and Development
Budget Trends and Analyses

Systems and Reports
Workflow (New Org Creation, Existing Org Title Change or Deactivation)
Banner Self-Service
Budget Unit Development System (BUDS)
Discoverer Reports
ePrint Reports

Processes and Procedures
Position Control

Faculty and staff are welcome to stop by for assistance with budget issues related to Non-Sponsored Program activities.


HR Learning

Understanding eWork. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn the hiring steps and how to use the eWork system successfully. Join us January 9 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Customer Service Certificate Program: Professional Communication (Verbal). Practice your verbal communication skills so you can deliver exceptional customer service with each interaction us on January 16 from 10:00 am - 11:30 am.

E-Verify Overview. Join us January 16 from 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm for an overview of E-Verify, the quick and easy way Mason verifies each new hire's employment eligibility.

EPAF Training. Walk through Banner’s hiring process for part-time employees on January 16 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

Administrative Professionals Certificate Program: Orientation Session. Administrative professionals new to the Mason community or who are looking to improve their skills are invited to join the Administrative Professionals Certificate Program, January 16 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm.

For more information, or to register, visit and click on Courses.


Fiscal Services

Fiscal Services Walk-in Assistance. Wednesdays from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm in University Hall, Room 4139. Faculty and staff are welcome to stop by for assistance with issues related to eVA, Banner Finance, food and beverage, travel, reconciliations and PI Reports. No appointment is necessary.

Basic eVA Purchasing. Monday, January 7, 12:45 pm - 3:45 pm in University Hall, Room 2001.  Hands-on workshop for utilizing Virginia's electronic procurement system to purchase most goods and services.

Travel Request System. Wednesday, January 9, 9:30 - 11:00 am. Hands-on workshop provides an opportunity to use Mason’s Travel Request System for trip planning, approval and reimbursement.

Fiscal Basics. Thursday, January 10, 9:30 am - 11:30 am in University Hall, Room 2001. An introduction to fiscal processes at Mason including purchasing, travel, and Banner Finance.

Contact Michael Wharton at 993-2089 for information or register online at:


Environmental Health and Safety Office

Registration is required. For complete training descriptions and to register, visit

January 9, Prince William, Occoquan Building, Room 110A
January 10, Fairfax, Police & Safety Headquarters, Room 230

Laboratory Safety Orientation, 9:15 am - 10:45 am
Animal & Vivarium Safety , 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Biological Safety for BSL-2 Laboratory Personnel,1:00 pm - 2:15 pm 

It is the policy of George Mason University to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. If you need assistance or accommodations to fully participate in training, contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office prior to the training date. For non-English speaking employees, interpretation services may be available upon request. Note: training starts promptly and late arrivals will not be given credit for attending.


Mason Cares Suicide Prevention Training

Each year, approximately 1100 college students commit suicide in the US. To support members of the Mason community in helping students access assistance, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Mason offers Mason Cares, a gatekeeper training. This program informs participants of the warning signs of suicide and coaches them in how to talk about suicide with and respond to students in crisis as well as how to guide them toward obtaining professional assistance. All members of the Mason community are encouraged to participate in this training.

CAPS will be offering the next sessions of this essential 2-hour Mason Cares training to faculty and staff on:

Wednesday, January 30 from 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Monday, February 25 from 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, March 8 from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

To register, call 993-2380. For more information go to:


Office of Equity and Diversity Services: Equity Training Winter/Spring Schedule

Each session is a single session (not consecutive) and approximately 1-hour in length. All employees are encouraged to register for Sexual Harassment Prevention & Equal Opportunity training especially if they are new to the University, in a supervisory role or up for promotion and/or tenure.  For details, locations, and to register visit:

The Office of Equity and Diversity Services (OEDS) offers custom training sessions for individual departments, offices or centers, contact OEDS directly at 993-8730 to schedule a custom session.

Sexual Harassment Prevention & Equal Opportunity Training
January 9 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am
January 24 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
February 11 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
February 28 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am
March 13 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
March 26 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
April 9 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
April 24 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
May 6 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am
May 23 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Diversity and Cultural Awareness
March 18 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am (new course)


Free English Language Improvement Programs – January 28

Multilingual students, faculty and staff who would like to improve their English language skills are invited to attend the English Language Institute's free support services programs:

The English Conversation Program offers participants the chance to improve their speaking skills by meeting in a small group for English conversation practice each week.  Each group is facilitated by a conversation leader.  For more information or to sign up, contact Johanna Koh at

English Workshop Program offers seven, 12-week series, each focusing on different language skills.  No registration is required for grammar, pronunciation, spelling, idiom and discussion workshops.  Registration for public speaking and graduate writing workshops will be held at the first session.  For more information, contact Melissa Allen at or go to: