Human Resources and Payroll

Reward and Recognition



Thrive Graphic

George Mason University values a culture of recognition to appreciate, motivate and retain its faculty and staff. The Human Resources and Payroll Reward and Recognition program creates and implements recognition opportunities that are fun, meaningful and linked to the values and mission of Mason.

Purpose of Recognition

The George Mason University Rewards and Recognition program’s purpose is to recognize individuals and teams for contributions to their department, school or the University as a whole. Mason faculty and staff are encouraged to use the recognition tools and resources available to them to foster an environment of shared success and commitment. The program provides various opportunities to acknowledge other’s contributions from gift cards and non-monetary awards to events that celebrate the achievements of Mason’s faculty and staff.

Types of Awards

Recognition is most effective when it takes place on a regular basis in a variety of different ways. Mason’s Reward and Recognition program provides a continuum of opportunities for recognizing colleagues across the University.

Formal Recognition - this type of recognition occurs on a regular basis and is delivered by HR & Payroll, The Commonwealth of Virginia or in schools or departments.

HR & Payroll Awards

  • Employee of the Month
  • Faculty Staff Book Scholarship
  • Outstanding Achievement Awards
  • University Day Service Awards

Departmental Awards

Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Awards for Public Service

Informal Recognition - this type of recognition includes on-the-spot and day-to-day recognition and is typically administered by HR & Payroll but delivered by departments and schools.

eCards - electronic greeting cards that anyone can send to congratulate, encourage or send some cheer.

Monetary Awards

  • Gift Cards - for request for peer-to-peer recognition
  • Impact Awards

Non-Monetary Awards – awards that are material goods, such as non-refundable gift certificates, plaques, trophies, desk items, clothing, tools, electronics or sports equipment.

  • Mason Flare – fun, informal awards for request for peer-to-peer recognition
  • Student Employee Recognition – for request to recognize Mason’s student employees
  • Presidential Citation

Recognition Leave

Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship

Upon receiving a $25,000 endowment in 2010, Mason decided to establish a competitive $250 book scholarship for eligible full-time and part-time Mason faculty and classified staff who are enrolled in a degree or graduate certificate program at Mason.

The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage, support and advance continuing education for Mason faculty and classified staff, while recognizing that the pursuit of an education is a life–long process. The book scholarship will be awarded on a competitive basis each year.

Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship Selection Criteria:

  • Full-time or Part-time George Mason University faculty and classified staff enrolled in a degree or graduate certificate program at Mason
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 or above
  • Satisfactory performance evaluation
  • Complete the nomination form and attach a written essay (250 words or less) telling us about yourself and your educational goals.

The scholarship award recipient is chosen by the Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship Selection Committee. All applications are redacted for any personal identifiers (e.g., name, department, title) before review by the Selection Committee. Representatives from the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Financial Aid and Human Resources & Payroll Department comprise the Selection Committee.

The scholarship is based upon the market performance and investment results of the endowment, hence it is a sustainable program designed to be awarded every year. In addition, to support the scholarship, people may choose to donate to the scholarship fund by visiting Click on the “Give” tab, select “Click here to select other funds or support multiple designations,” and scroll to the bottom to select “Other (fund not listed)” and fill in account #160013, Raise the Rate.

Nomination Form


What is the timeline?

Applications are due in mid-June and the recipients are notified late-July.

Who is eligible?

Full-time and part-time faculty and staff who are enrolled in a degree or graduate certificate program at Mason and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 with a satisfactory performance evaluation.

I applied last year, can I apply again?

Yes, as long as you were not awarded the scholarship and still meet all of the criteria, you are welcome to apply.

I have been admitted to a Mason degree or Graduate certificate program, but have not yet started classes, can I apply?

You must wait until you’ve completed at least one class and therefore have an established GPA.

Previous Recipients


Sandra Price, Kellar Institute for Human Disabilities


Laura Wolfe, History & Art History

Johanna Koh, English Language Institute


Ryan Piluzza, Admissions

Rebecca Stone, ITS


Joanne Carter, Office of Sponsored Programs

Daniel Seals, ITS


Amanda Myers, Criminology, Law & Society

L. Allan Weiss, Global & Community Health


Jessica Massie, Global Affairs Program

Laura Titkemeyer, HR & Payroll


Jari Fofana

College of Education and Human Development


David Corwin, Program Coordinator

Women and Gender Studies

Do It Yourself (DIY) Recognition

We encourage Mason employees to print and use the meaningful and instant appreciation cards and labels on this page to recognize others. You can also check out our Pinterest page for more inspiration, ideas and free recognition!

Recognition Mini-Notes

Make someone’s day with an encouraging message! Colorful and fun, these small note cards feature messages like, "Fabulous!" and "Consider this a Citation for Excellence” on the front and are blank on the back to give you room to write a note of praise to a colleague. Each pack includes 2 designs of 12 cards for a total of 24 cards with envelopes.

Please email with your request indicating how many packs you would like and to which mail stop your request should be sent.



Be Kind - Bingo

Play a game of Be Kind - Bingo to show others how much you appreciate them!

Recognition Post-It Notes

...are provided upon request! They come in packs of 25, 3x4” post-it notes. Please email with your request indicating style, number of packs and to which mail stop they should be sent.


Post It Graphic 1 Great Job Stickies


Thank you and congratulations cards

Can be printed on 8.5x11 (letter) or on 5x8 index cards in color or black and white. Be sure to choose the appropriate size (after you choose print, click on properties, then click on the paper quality tab and scroll through the menu to pick the correct size).

Instant Employee Appreciation

Just print, cut and share!

Recognition Phrases image placeholder Recognition Phrases image placeholder

These stickers could be used alone...

But were designed to put on the bottom of Hershey Kisses or Rolos for some really “sweet” recognition. Avery ¾” round labels are recommended.

Looking for a little reward & recognition inspiration?

This sheet provides 50 reasons for showing your appreciation to another Mason employee. 50 reasons to appreciate image placeholder

Sympathy Cards

Are provided upon request. Please email with the number of cards you’d like and to which mail stop they should be sent. sympathy card image placeholder