Quarterly Quill May 2020


If you haven’t already, please take a moment to congratulate the winners of the  

Fall 2019 University Life Awards.  

Outstanding Service Award - SSAC Courtney Diener
Outstanding Service Award- HRLChristian Suero
Outstanding Service Award- OIPSChristine Bodziak
Outstanding Service Award- ADVANCERita Snyder-Furr
Outstanding Service Award- WGST David Corwin
UL Partnership AwardCaitlin Shear


Although COVID-19 has impacted many areas of our lives, students continue to have access to health and mental health resources through Student Health Services (SHS) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). SHS remains open, offering appointments for sick and injured students in-person at the Fairfax campus and via telehealth. To reduce the risk of community spread of the virus and to protect patients and healthcare workers, some changes have been implemented. Students must call SHS to schedule an appointment or to request a prescription refill. Routine appointments are not being scheduled, and students cannot walk in without an appointment. Students with questions about immunizations or health insurance should also callIn addition, SHS providers and nurses are engaged in the vital work of protecting the Mason community from COVID-19. Our staff of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians are educating students and staff with current information; updating protocols according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health guidelines; screening students for infection; directing sick students to self-isolate; and contacting others who may have been exposed so they can quarantine and monitor for symptoms.   

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is operating remotely, providing crisis services, virtual counseling appointments, daily virtual workshops focused on healthy coping, and virtual support spaces.  Learning Services is also providing virtual academic coaching appointments and academic success workshops. To access counseling and learning services, students can call CAPS. In addition, students can connect with free, online psychoeducational services through Therapy Assisted Online (TAO) via a link on the CAPS webpage. More information about all of these services as well as additional resources for sustaining mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the CAPS website. 

 Because of state licensing laws, SHS and CAPS can offer telehealth services to students located in Virginia. Students living outside of Virginia are encouraged to connect with their local providers and to contact SHS or CAPS if they need help with referrals in their local communities.  

Student Health Services, Fairfax Campus: 703-993-2831
Immunization Office: 7039932135
Insurance Office: 7039932826 

Counseling and Psychological Services: 703-993-2380
Learning Services: https://learningservices.gmu.edu/ 


JIRA is University Life (ULife)  Communication and Marketing's new project management tool, and an important part of Phase 1 of ULife’s Communication and Marketing Shared Service project. JIRA is a cloud-based platform, and if you've made a request of Technology Services in the last several months, you've already used it. But this platform was developed with a more interactive experience in mind.  We have developed a program within JIRA that  allows users to make requests for communication and marketing materials, track their requests, share feedback on drafts, and keep everything in one place with full transparency. It will be a cleaner, more efficient method to request, track, and produce communications and marketing projects. No more emails back-and-forth!     

Another important aspect of JIRA is its intricate reporting capabilities. By tracking tasks in one place, ULife Communications and Marketing will be better able to identify marketing trends, streamline processes, and use reporting tools to find gaps or challenges in efficiency and resources. Also, clear documentation of our projects makes collaboration more  straightforward.  

JIRA is currently being piloted in University Career Services, Mason Recreation, and Housing and Residence Life. The pilot will last one month, and then we will review feedback, adjust and correct any issues, and assess usability. The goal is to launch JIRA across the division by mid-July.  When JIRA is fully launched the University Life Division and all units will get  access to training and documentation on how to set up your account, as well as use of the platform. 


Academic Integrity
Sara Amiri, Graduate Professional Assistant 

Contemporary Student Services
Louise Higgins, Administrative Assistant/Office Manager

Counseling and Psychological Services
Shannone Bellflower, Counselor
Alexander Harrison, Coordinator, Clinical Services
Tory Dorfman, Staff Clinician
Emily Rieve, Counselor

Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education
Alejandra Ortiz-Marcano, Marketing and Communications Specialist 

Early Identification Program
Aaron Muz, Coordinator for Outreach, Engagement, Student Transition
Jhessyka Vargas, Assistant Director, College Readiness 

Housing and Residence Life
TJ Carney, Coordinator for Residential Academic Engagement
Jermain Hill, Groundskeeper
Kenia Jewell, Assistant Director of Community Standards
Dae Lee, Project Coordinator Analyst
Indira Terrones Manosalva, Housekeeper
Olivia Thompson, Administrative Specialist  

International Programs and Services
Chelsea Thornton, Immigration Specialist
Yali Pan, Assistant Director
Nelcy Rocha Meneses, Program Assistant
Sai Saahil Shaik, Graduate Professional Assistant 

Mason Care Network
Meghan Davis, Graduate Professional Assistant for Student Success
Kye Hopkins, Success Coach
Christina Koroma, Success Coach
Nikki Taylor, Success Coach 

Mason Recreation
David Kading, Senior Facilitator, EDGE Scheduler
Catherine Rodman, EDGE Program Coordinator 

New Student and Family Programs
Eddie Higginbotham, Associate Director 

Student Health Services
Crystal DeJesus, Clinic Nurse
Erin McCall, Clinic Physician
Tung Phan, Laboratory Manager
Stephen Wintermeyer, Associate Medical Director 

Student Involvement
Tisheika Snow, Office Manager 

Student Support and Advocacy Center
Shayna Marlowe, Assistant Director, Sexual and Interpersonal Violence and Student Support
Aripra Mohan, Graduate Advocate
Elizabeth Portaluppi, Office Manager
Shannon Osbourne, Assistant Director for Financial Well-Being
Aina Ramiaramanana, Graduate Advocate

University Life Assessment
Eunkyoung Park, Director 

University Life & Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
Katie Clare, Associate Director of Resilience Programs 

University Life Communications and Marketing
Sanglin Chang, Assistant Director of Communications 

University Life Project and Process Management
Daehan Lee, Project Coordinator 

University Life Technology Services
Amritjot Kaur, Applications Analyst
Skyer Murphy, Application Analyst 

Please join us in welcoming colleagues from the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being as they join the University Life team. 

Dr. Nancy Lucas, Executive Director
Melissa Schreibstein, Director of Well-Being Programs
Vanessa Thompson, Office Assistant
Mary Horner, Administrative Assistant
Debra Schuman, Finance Coordinator
Whitney Hopler, Communications Director 


Over the last few weeks, New Student and Family Programs staff and University Life leadership explored alternate plans for Summer Orientation given the evolving coronavirus situation. The recent decisions from the state of Virginia regarding stay at home orders until June 10, the University’s plan to not hold events prior to July 1, and conversations with institutions around the state and region were all taken into account.  

With the health and safety of the University community being paramount, the decision has been made to move Orientation online for Summer 2020 and to cancel our Quill Camp programs. The decision was not made lightly, but the University is committed to producing a high-quality virtual experience to help students and families transition successfully into Mason.  

In this new format, students will continue to register for an Orientation date. Students who have already registered will keep their spot. Some aspects of the virtual Student Orientation will still occur on the same day as their scheduled in-person program, while other content will be pre-recorded and available to view at their own pace. More information about the Orientation process and next steps will be communicated with students via email as they become available.   

Additionally, the University recognizes the important role families play in their student’s development and success as Mason, which is why a virtual Family Orientation will be offered at no charge and all guest fees will be refunded.  

As to not overwhelm students and families, content and engagement points are being prioritized and timely and relevant information will be provided throughout the transition. First-year programming, including the Preamble and Welcome2Mason events, is still being planned for the first weeks of classes and will account for many elements taken out of the traditional orientation schedule. 

The University’s goal is to support our incoming students and families and provide an exceptional virtual experience. Many of the details are still being worked out, so your understanding and patience during this expedited planning process is greatly appreciated. 

If you have questions regarding these changes to Summer Orientation, visit orientation.gmu.edu, or contact our office at (703) 993-2475 or orientu@gmu.edu. 


The University Life Marketing and Communications team is creating a student resource webpage to support the First Year Communications division of the Student Experience Redesign (SER) initiative. The website is designed to support incoming students during their transition to George Mason University by offering information and resources that they may not be exposed to as a new student.  

Collecting resources for the website started with compiling existing sites that felt relevant and useful for first year students. Then, a card sorting exercise was conducted with a small focus group of current students. During the exercise, the students grouped related resources together and prioritized each resource from most important to not relevant. Through this process, extraneous information was eliminated, content category names were revised, and the resources students valued most were identified.   

Post Covid-19, a second focus group was conducted by sending the updated, reorganized list to a larger number of students, a group facilitated by the New Student and Family Programs unit.  These students reviewed each link and provided feedback on the usefulness of each site as well as recommendations, as they saw applicable, for updating the resource webpage’s layout as well as proposed updates to existing sites they reviewed.  

To support the on-boarding process, the website includes links and descriptors to resources such as PatriotWebmyMason, and MasonLive. Other links available on the website include compilations from organizations across the university ranging in content including resources aimed at helping ease the college transition, academic support resources, and the encouragement of student involvement, engagement, and growth. 

 We are excited to monitor the website’s performance throughout Orientation 2020 and look forward to keeping the site updated to evolve with changing students’ needs in support of the incoming generations of George Mason Patriots.