Read below to discover Mason's resources to help you connect and engage.

Holiday Schedule


The 2018 Holiday Schedule is available. This should give you plenty of time to plan your vacation for next year!


Protect Your Information


The holidays may be a time for tidings of comfort and joy but they're also a prime time for increased cyber-attacks. Recently, some Mason colleagues had their personal data compromised. We don’t want that to happen during a break when your troubles should be miles away. Please know HR & Payroll and other central departments will never send emails requesting your sensitive information.


What You Can Do:


  • Be vigilant for angry elves
    • Examine email content carefully. Fraudulent emails often:
      • Pretend to be from university leadership or IT support
      • Pretend to be from Amazon, PayPal, UPS, FedEx or your bank
      • Contain misspelled words and improper grammar
      • Request passwords and immediate action
  • Checking links (twice)
    • Hover your mouse over the top of the link to see if the addresses match. If it is not a match, the link is likely malicious.
  • Not a creature was stirring, not even a (computer) mouse
    • Before leaving for winter break, turn off non-essential devices, including computers, servers, printers, and monitors.
  • It's the most wonderful time to review your:
    • Direct deposit information
    • Paystubs on Patriot Web
    • Passwords and security questions to make sure they are difficult to guess!




Please review these two documents to learn how to protect yourself and others:


If you have questions or concerns about an email, please contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or


Community Well-Being


Mason has many groups gather to share issues of mutual interest. These include:

• Adult Caregivers

• Mason Administrative Professionals

• Educators and Employees of Color

• Toastmasters

• Vegan Society

• Working Moms

• Working Dads

• And more!


For additional information on each group, please visit


Caregiving Support for Adults, Children, and Pets


Do you need extra help at home? Faculty, staff, and graduate students at Mason have a complimentary subscription to Sittercity's comprehensive database of in-home caregivers for child care, special needs care, care companions, and pet sitters. Plus a complimentary subscription to YearsAhead, a senior care resource that can assist you in developing a plan to care for an aging loved one.


Register at


Important note: Mason does not own, sponsor, or endorse Bright Horizons Care Advantage. It is your responsibility to carefully screen and check the references of any caregivers before you retain their services.


2018 Physical Well-being Seminars


Start your new year on the path to well-being with the HR & Payroll Physical Well-Being Seminar Series. All classes take place at noon and are videoconferenced to Arlington and SciTech unless otherwise noted.


Upcoming Seminars:


• January 24 – Foundations of Well-being: Mindfulness and Meaning

• February  21 – Metabolism Makeover

• March 21 – Compassion in the Workplace


For details and to register, please visit


The 2018 DMV2Go schedule


During the spring semester, the DMV2Go bus will be on the Fairfax Campus in the Merten Hall Parking Lot from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. on:


  • Tuesday, January 9
  • Tuesday, February 6
  • Tuesday, March 6
  • Tuesday, April 10
  • Tuesday, May 8


DMV services are available near the SciTech Campus and Arlington Campus:


For the full schedule, click here:


Expecting or Adopting?


If you are planning to have a baby or adopt a child in 2018, please contact the Benefits team at or 703-993-2600. We would like to share a hand-made Mason baby hat (custom made by Mason Needleworks) and information on how Mason can lend a hand at this special time. Let us help you with the details while you enjoy this wonderful new chapter in your life.


Please also visit our new parent guide for helpful Mason resources.

Note:  Interested in joining Mason Needleworks? Email


Extended Absences


There are resources available for benefits-eligible employees if the employee will be out for an extended period due to a serious or chronic medical condition or they need to take care of an immediate family member (e.g., child, spouse, parent) with such a condition.


These resources vary depending on your start date, employment classification, and the choices you have made on voluntary benefits. The Benefits team is happy to help you navigate the procedures and rules for the use of Family Medical Leave (FMLA)* and the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP). Contact us at 703-993-2600 or

* FMLA is available to any employee who has worked at Mason for one year and worked 1250 hours during that year.


Feeling Overwhelmed?


The holidays can be a happy and enjoyable time but can also be a time of stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, you may want to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program. To utilize these services, you must be enrolled in COVA Care, COVA HealthAware or Kaiser Permanente.


Faculty and staff can also reach out to the Employee Relations team at 703-993-3878. Year round, Employee Relations is a resource for all faculty and staff. Team members are available to listen, recommend, problem solve, lend support, and help make your situation just a little bit better.


Qualifying Events: Making Changes to Your Health Insurance or FSA


With supporting documents, certain qualifying events allow you to make mid-year changes to your health insurance and flexible spending accounts. For example, if you are:

• Having a baby

• Planning to adopt

• Getting married

• Getting divorced

• If your child is becoming self-supporting


Please submit your enrollment or election change request within 60 calendar days of the qualifying mid-year event.


For questions regarding any changes, please contact


Virginia College Savings Plan


A 529 College Savings Plan allows you to put aside money for future higher education expenses! Money invested in an Internal Revenue Code Section 529 plan grows tax-free and may be withdrawn tax-free if used for qualified higher education expenses.


For more information, please visit the financial page of the Life/Work Connections website. For details and enrollment materials, please visit the Virginia 529 PrePAID site and review the program overview. This program overview describes the Virginia 529 PrePAID program and the other 529 savings programs.


Notes: Open Enrollment dates for the Virginia 529 PrePAID program typically run from December 1-March 31. Open enrollment this year is from 12/1/17 through 3/31/18.


Workplace Coaching


Organizational Development, Learning, and Coaching (ODLC) offers faculty and staff the opportunity to work with a coach. The Workplace Coaching Program provides trained peers from the Mason community to work with you on a variety of issues in areas where they have identified a need for support.


We can help you with:

  • Professional/leadership growth and development
  • Personal and professional well-being goals
  • Building on and working with Strengths
  • And more!


Coaching can help you to clearly identify the issue, clarify perceptions, identify potential solutions, and develop a way to implement them.


For more information or to sign up with a coach, please contact


Resilience Modules


As part of the Well-Being University Initiative, nine resilience modules (PowerPoints) are available for the Mason community to use in classrooms, workshops, or other group settings.


The presentations highlight practical and evidence-based techniques to increase resilience and well-being. Choose from topics like Best Possible Self, Problem Solving, and Willpower.


Visit to download the slides and notes for each module.


Working with Your Strengths


StrengthsFinder helps you find your strengths! This resource may help increase individual and team performance and satisfaction.


To take the assessment, visit and click on Take the StrengthsFinder Assessment to create a new account. The current agreement with Gallup allows faculty and staff to take the assessment for free through June 2018.


To learn more about helping you and your team work on strengths, please contact Organizational Development, Learning, and Coaching (ODLC) at


Military Family & Medical Leave Act


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to permit a "spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin" to take up to 26 workweeks of leave to care for a "member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness."


The NDAA also permits an employee to take FMLA leave for "any qualifying exigency (as the Secretary [of Labor] shall, by regulation, determine) arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation."


For more information on FMLA, please see University Policy #2215, Family Medical Leave Policy.


Note: Information on how leave, benefits, and pay are affected by military service is available on the military leave page of the Benefits website.


Please contact with any questions.



Email with questions. We'd love to help you out!

Human Resources & Payroll | George Mason University Alan and Sally Merten Hall Mailing Address: 4400 University Drive, Mailstop 3C3 | GPS Address Only: 4441 George Mason Boulevard Fairfax, Va. 22030 Voice: 703.993.2600 | Fax: 703.993.2601