Human Resources and Payroll

Reward and Recognition



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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

Departmental Recognition

Various departments and schools throughout Mason recognize faculty and staff with their own awards. These awards are funded by the department and aligned with the culture and strategic objectives within that unit.

If you’d like your department or school’s award listed here, please let us know. If your school has a monetary award that needs to processed and paid through HR & Payroll, please complete and submit the Departmental Monetary Award form.

Show Us Your Team Spirit

To empower teamwork and collaboration at Mason, we’re asking departments to Show Us Your Team Spirit.

Academic Advisor of the Year Award

Sponsored by the Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions and the Mason Academic Advisor Network (MAAN).

The purpose of this award is to promote and recognize excellence in undergraduate academic advising at George Mason University. Each year students, faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate an undergraduate academic advisor who has had a positive impact on students. The award is open to full-time faculty or staff members who have undergraduate academic advising responsibilities.

The recipient of this award will be evaluated according to the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrates a caring, helpful attitude toward students.
  • Provides accurate information regarding university academic requirements.
  • Makes themselves available to students, faculty and staff.
  • Has knowledge of George Mason University regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Makes appropriate referrals.
  • Supports student development and student success through advising.

Nominations are accepted every spring semester through on-line voting on the website of the Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions.

A committee of faculty and staff, including the previous year’s award recipient, reviews the nominations. Decisions are based on the quality and quantity of the nominations. The award, including $500, will be presented at the annual Academic Advisor of the Year Luncheon at the end of March.

The Distinguished Library Faculty Award

The Distinguished Library Faculty Award is an annual award presented to a library faculty member in recognition of his/her sustained and outstanding contribution to the Mason Libraries’ mission and to his/her field of expertise.


Members of the University Libraries’ administrative and professional faculty who have been at Mason for at least five years, as of the beginning of the nomination period.


Library faculty are considered by the performance of their professional duties foremost, as well as by their scholarly and service contributions to the academic research library field and to higher education. Award recipients will exemplify this threefold role; have a strong reputation among their colleagues at Mason and outside the institution; and actively foster the teaching, learning, research, and public service mission of the Libraries. Recipients will also embody organizational values such as innovation, collaboration and leadership.

Nomination Procedure:

A call for nominations will be made annually by the Office of the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian in mid-January. Complete nomination packets must include a nomination letter, a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference supporting the nomination. References should represent faculty colleagues from the University Libraries, from Mason’s instructional faculty, and from colleagues in the wider professional community. One reference from each of these categories is ideal, but depending upon the nominee’s role may not be practicable and, in such cases, two nominations from one category are acceptable. Nominated individuals are considered only for one award cycle and nominations must be resubmitted each year. The due date for nominations occurs around the end of February and the committee submits its recommendation to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian by mid-March.

The Dean of Libraries and University Librarian forms a selection committee each year consisting of five faculty members: two selected from Librarians’ Council by its membership; two selected from the Management Advisory Council by its membership (excluding members of the University Librarian’s Council); and one selected from the University Librarian’s Council by its membership. The Dean of Libraries and University Librarian appoints the Committee Chair.


Recipients receive a $2,000 award and framed certificate.

The award recipient will be recognized publicly as part of Mason’s annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence event.

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!

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!

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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







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