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Apply for LAs for Fall 2024

STEM Accelerator is now accepting course proposals to work with Learning Assistants (LAs) in Fall 2024. LAs are undergraduates who work in College of Science courses to facilitate student learning in a variety of settings. All first-time LAs participate in a weekly pedagogy seminar, and all LAs meet regularly with course faculty to prepare for the upcoming content in the course and discuss how everything is going with the students.

Learning Assistant at the 2022 Poster Session

Maria Dworzecka Mentorship Award fund

Brilliant physicist, courageous leader, and outstanding mentor, Dr. Maria Dworzecka died peacefully on January 16, 2023 at the age of 81. To honor her countless contributions, the college established the Maria Dworzecka Mentorship Award endowment fund, and will be developing criteria and inviting applications in Spring 2024. The first award will be presented in the summer of 2024 (for academic year 2024-2025).

Maria Dworzecka

For you to know

University makes changes to the academic calendar

After a thorough and collaborative process led by the Office of the University Registrar and the Faculty Senate, George Mason University has modified its four-year academic calendar, delaying the start of the fall 2024 semester by one week, among other changes. 

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Canvas chosen as Mason’s new Learning Management System

After a multi-layered and comprehensive process, the university is happy to announce the selection of Canvas by Instructure as George Mason University's new Learning Management System (LMS).  

An implementation team of diverse members of the Mason community has been established to ensure a smooth transition. Because this shift in LMS providers is a major change for the entire university, a phased approach will be utilized to aid with the rollout and adoption of the new platform. The implementation phase is scheduled to officially kick off in January 2024. 

Canvas logo

New resources on mental health and student accommodations now available

Accessibility, wellness, and mental health for our faculty, staff, students, and community members are top priorities for George Mason University. We are committed to educating the Mason community about inclusivity, accessibility, and mental health; providing resources for faculty, staff, and students; and connecting those in need with clinical care. Community support for students with disabilities is core to Mason’s values of including a multitude of people and respecting differences. View the two new important resources now available.

On campus meditation garden

Mason offers three free therapy sessions to all faculty and staff

Individuals within the George Mason University community are not immune to mental health struggles and have learned that finding the right place for treatment can be difficult. As such, all faculty, staff, and contractors have the opportunity to receive three free hour-long telehealth intervention sessions with the university’s Center for Community and Mental Health (CCMH).

Center for Community Mental Health

Resources

Syllabus Guidance

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning continues to collaborate with units across campus to support you in whatever modality your teaching occurs this semester. We invite you to review our updated Syllabus Guidance information this spring. Even if you are familiar with most of Mason’s start-of-semester policies and procedures, we encourage you to take a few minutes to check this page for overviews and for links to updated course policies, technology guides, and resources.

Stearns Center First Year Five

The First Year Five is program for new faculty run by the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. George Mason University has a deep commitment to inclusivity in all aspects of university life, and faculty’s work in designing and teaching courses is a fundamental aspect of that dedication. Stearns Center, with support from the ARIE Project, the Inclusive Excellence Council, and the Diversity Office, invites new faculty to join this endeavor, increasing their own capacities as teachers while building a network of like-minded peers across the university, starting in their very first weeks at Mason. 

Career Influencer Network

The Mason Career Influencers Network is a nationally recognized model for providing career development support to students through their relationships with professors, advisors, success coaches, supervisors, community directors, and many other roles at the university. Learn how to join.

Student Evaluations of Teaching

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning invites faculty to visit the Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) website to learn more about the SET process and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Well-Being Resources

The Patriots Thriving Together website presents quick summaries of those resources, with links to learn more in-depth information on other Mason sites, such as The Center for the Advancement of Well-being. Discover which resources are most interesting and helpful for you. Get started now.

Faculty Study Leave

Some projects require extended time away from the university. Mason and the College of Science understand the importance of field research, writing, and study.

In the fall and spring semesters of each academic year, eligible term and tenured faculty at Mason are provided an opportunity to apply for a study leave to advance their scholarly research, teaching, and/or creative activity, including the development of innovative teaching approaches and methods. Leaves are for one semester at full pay and full benefits or an academic year at half pay that can be supplemented with sponsored project funding.

Addressing the Mental Health Crisis on College Campuses

Addressing the mental health crisis on college campuses: Practical strategies for higher education leaders

During the 2020–2021 school year, more than 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem. In another national survey, almost three quarters of students reported moderate or severe psychological distress. The number of students seeking help at campus counseling centers increased almost 40% between 2009 and 2015, and continues to rise. Compared with past generations, we are seeing more students on campus today have accessed mental health treatment before college. Stigma around mental health issues also continues to drop, leading more people to seek help instead of suffering in silence. However, campus resources can be limited. 

View these slides and watch this webinar to learn about strategies that can be applied by university leadership, administration, faculty, staff, frontline college health professionals, department level, campus level, student body, campus community, parents, etc. 

Employee Health & Well-Being

Mason’s Employee Health and Well-Being program is committed to providing occupational and individual health services to George Mason University employees in a convenient and affordable manner. Employee Health and Well-Being, started in the spring of 2022 will offer a variety of well-being focused services and resources to support Mason faculty and staff in their occupational role and personal health goals.

FAFSA Simplification Act

The FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress is introducing several changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the 2024-25 aid year. These changes affect all current and prospective students. The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) and Integrated Enrollment Marketing (IEM) are working together with several other departments to provide details about these changes to students, faculty, and staff as they become available.

The extent of these changes is still being determined but are known to include:

  • Updates to how aid is calculated
  • The implementation of a revised, streamlined application
  • The introduction of the “contributor” role

As a result of these updates, the 2024-25 FAFSA will not open on October 1, as it usually does. It is projected to become available in December 2023.

The central resource for this information is the FAFSA Simplification page. This page will be updated throughout this year’s FAFSA process and can be linked to in all communications about the 2024-25 aid year.

Mason Alert

Mason Alert is George Mason University’s emergency notification system that is used to send emergency notifications and timely warnings to the university community via text, email, telephone call, and digital signage.

Visit the Mason Ready Faculty and Staff page for information and resources to help you prepare yourself, colleagues, students, and office for an emergency at George Mason University. If you have any questions about emergency preparedness, please contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office (EHS).

Mason's Low-Cost/No Cost Textbook Options

To be in line with Mason’s mission of inclusive support of students, the university has taken steps to help reduce those costs and ease students’ financial burdens, improving the likelihood that they possess course materials. Mason Libraries not only adds curriculum-relevant materials to its collections, such as course-adopted e-books available to unlimited simultaneous users (with support from VIVA in AY2022-23), but it also promotes the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) – freely-accessible textbooks, modules, videos, tests, assessment tools, and software – that can be implemented across the colleges. 

Fast Facts

516

total faculty

57%

women and minority leadership

#180

best employer for diversity