2023 All Together Green Facilities Management News On-Campus Solutions Sustainability

Facilities Fall Prep 2023

During the summer months, in preparation for the start of the fall semester, Mason Facilities runs through an extensive checklist to get all campuses ready.  From landscaping upkeep to classroom refreshes to updating signage, Facilities ensures that each experience on campus is one of quality.  Below are just some examples of how Facilities handles the operations of making Mason run smoothly.

2023 Facilities Management News Uncategorized

Adding New Aunt Flow Dispensers to Mason

This Summer 2023, Mason Facilities installed Aunt Flow Dispensers on the Fairfax, Mason Square, and Sci-Tech Campuses. This was done in partnership with The Patriot Period Project, a student-run organization that provides free feminine products in a few locations on Mason’s campuses. Mason Facilities collaborated with The Patriot Period Project and provided Aunt Flow dispensers as a way to provide free feminine care products across all three main Mason campuses. 

The project was started in Fall 2022, with initial plans to only install a couple of units on the Fairfax campus, but the project expanded to 15 dispensers. Although they’ve only recently been installed, they have already made a positive impact across our campuses. 

“We've heard so many positive comments about this project,” Said Sophia Nguyen, Student Body President of George Mason University and a member of the Patriot Period Project.  “Many students came to us saying how these dispensers saved their lives when they forgot their menstrual products at home as well.”

The current locations of the dispensers can be seen below:


  • JC – 1st floor (East/David King side)
  • JC – 3rd floor (West/PAB side)
  • Exploratory – 1st floor gender inclusive (near room 1102/JC side)
  • Peterson – 1st floor women’s (restroom between elevators and classrooms)
  • Engineering – 2nd floor women’s (near room 2247)
  • Horizon – 2nd floor gender inclusive (near room 2206)
  • Fenwick – 2nd floor gender inclusive (near Dissertation Services)
  • HUB – 2nd floor women’s (near Student Involvement Office)


Mason Square (Arlington)

  • Van Metre – 1st floor women’s room
  • Van Metre – 2nd floor gender-inclusive restroom (near room 211)
  • Van Metre – 3rd floor women’s room
  • Scalia – 1st floor women’s room (near elevators)


Sci-Tech (Manassas)

  • Colgan – 1st floor women’s (near room 115)
  • Katherine Johnson – 1st floor women’s room (near room 150)
  • Hylton - This location is still being finalized and approved by Hylton, but it most likely will be the first floor, main women’s room.

Additional contributors to the project:

  • Student Health Services
  • Mason NAAPC
  • Mason Student Government
2023 Culture Change Facilities Management News On-Campus Solutions Uncategorized

Launching Custodial Pilot Program

Mason Facilities is excited to announce the Custodial Pilot Program launching this fall on the SciTech campus and in Merten Hall on the Fairfax campus.

This pilot program is part of Facilities’ ongoing efforts to establish new service models that enhance Mason’s sustainability, efficiency and service delivery.

The Custodial Pilot Program will impact the following services:

  • Centralized Trash Cans: Centralized trash cans in common areas standardize cleaning protocols and resources
  • Focus on High Traffic Areas: Common spaces and high traffic areas will be cleaned daily
  • Bi-weekly Private Office Cleaning: Offices will be cleaned to the same standard, under a new two-week frequency*

We will begin the transition to centralized trash repositories October 1, 2023.  During the pilot, data from SciTech and Merten will be routinely collected and assessed through Fall and Winter 2023.  We will be analyzing the data and each of the differences and successes of the pilot programs.

SciTech Campus - Pilot Green
  • All personal trash cans in offices will be removed.
  • Click here for a list of communal trash can locations.
  • Download and share Pilot Green details.
Merten Hall - Pilot Gold
  • Personal trash cans will remain in offices, though office occupants will be responsible for emptying those trash cans into the larger trash receptacles in common areas.
  • Trash can liner dispensers will be installed in breakrooms so office occupants may replace liners whenever needed.
  • Do not place food waste into personal trash cans in offices. Place all food waste into the large, centralized trash receptacles within common spaces as soon as possible.
  • If you would like to voluntarily opt-in to having your personal trash can removed, email to let our Customer Service Center know.
  • A complete list of centralized trash can locations is coming soon.
  • Download and share Pilot Gold details.

Thank you for your partnership to improve Mason’s sustainability and efficiency -- together we can make a difference! As always our mission is to create a safe, healthy, and high-quality, physical environment for all members of the Mason community.

For further questions, contact the Mason Facilities Customer Service Center at

*Note: If office cleaning is needed outside of the new frequency, submit a work order.


2023 All Together Green News Sustainability Sustainable Innovation

Elevating Mason’s Green Studio with the PGF

Jennifer Ashworth, manager of the Green Studio, along with a group of volunteers planting 100 native trees on Fairfax campus. This project is a socially engaged performance action, accompanying several artworks by Kehoe in the public art exhibition, Approaching Event Horizons: Projects on Climate Change, presented by Mason Exhibitions. Photo by: Sierra Guard/Creative Services/George Mason University"

Jennifer Ashworth, manager of the Green Studio, received Patriot Green Fund support to revamp the garden in preparation for the new academic year.  
The Green Studio, located on the grounds of George Mason University’s School of Art, was founded by Professor Mark Cooley in 2010 as a permaculture garden and outdoor studio and lab space dedicated to hosting ecological art and design projects by students from across the arts and sciences. It has been home to numerous projects over the years and is a campus space where students can volunteer to support its operations while learning about Mason’s natural environment. 
Ashworth, who was hired in 2022, wanted to elevate the space in preparation for more student projects in the future. She applied for funding through University Sustainability’s Patriot Green Fund, a $100,000 per year sustainability fund, provided by Mason Facilities, to make Mason’s campuses more sustainable through infrastructure improvements and student research projects. In May 2023, the PGF Committee, which consists of students, staff, and faculty, approved the application and awarded $1,200 towards the acquisition of new soil and plants for the garden. 

An overarching goal of the project was to support the garden as a thriving ecosystem that could provide a sanctuary for native wildlife. Ashworth selected native species that would combat overgrowth and facilitate maintenance of the space while also crafting a visually appealing garden.  
Beyond the immediate benefits, Ashworth has a long-term plan for the garden. She envisions it as a living, learning laboratory that fosters educational workshops and projects. By collaborating with campus classes including those in the Arts, Environmental Studies, and Civil Engineering, she wants to create opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning experiences, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the ecosystem and sustainable practices.

I’m excited for the next generation of students to explore the Green Studio," said Jenn.  "It’s their space - an open studio space for research, experimentation, expression, or just a space to absorb. It’s wild and beautiful and worth discovering” 

To get involved and volunteer in the garden, interested individuals can visit University Sustainability’s volunteer portal or reach out to Jenn Ashworth at 


2023 All Together Green Construction Facilities Management News On-Campus Solutions

Mason’s Ready for Pickleball

In Summer 2023, Mason Facilities and Mason Recreation completed new pickleball courts next to the Recreation Athletic Complex (RAC) field on the Fairfax campus!

As “America's fastest growing sport,” pickleball has taken the DC metro area by storm, including George Mason University. These new pickleball courts have given a new life to the once-there tennis courts, which were rarely used.

The new court also features ROTC pull-up bars, learn-to-play sessions, drills, and open play. More information can be found here.

Shout out to all those who were involved with the project:

Christy Hogan, Sr. Director of University Asset Management
Lee Ann Houston, Assistant Director of Facility Operations from Mason Recreation
Paul Bazzano, Assistant Director of Competitive Sports and Athletic Training, from Mason Recreation
Erich Miller, Grounds Program Manager, Grounds, from Facilities Management
Abu Monjer, Mgr, Projects, Construction, and Infrastructure, Zone 6, from Facilities Management

2023 All Together Green Facilities Management News On-Campus Solutions Sustainability

Revamping Recycling at the Center for the Arts


The Center for the Arts at Mason (CFA) on the Fairfax campus is proud to announce the successful revamp of its zero waste infrastructure, thanks to the support of University Sustainability's Patriot Green Fund. The initiative implemented sleek new waste and recycling stations to improve Mason’s diversion rate, aiming to reach Mason's zero waste goal of diverting 90% or more of waste from the trash.   

While digital event programs are readily available for patrons at CFA, the need for paper programs and the subsequent recycling of them still exists. Maura Glascock, Production Coordinator, recognized the potential for increased waste diversion and spearheaded the effort to enhance the zero-waste infrastructure. She applied for funding through University Sustainability’s Patriot Green Fund, a $100,000 per year sustainability fund, provided by Mason Facilities, to make Mason’s campuses more sustainable through infrastructure improvements and student research projects. In May 2023, the PGF Committee, which consists of students, staff, and faculty, approved the application and awarded $17,500 towards the acquisition of these new waste stations.    

To optimize their strategy and encourage behavioral change, CFA collaborated with University Sustainability staff members, including Colleen Regan, Zero Waste Specialist, and Amber Saxton, Program Manager - Campus Efficiency. They also sought the expertise of Kevin Brim, Supervisor for Recycling and Waste Management at Facilities Management. Together, they identified the most effective layout for recycling and trash stations, ensuring proper restrictive lid openings and other zero waste design standards were included to discourage contamination. The team also prioritized the aesthetics of the design and selected stainless-steel materials for the bins, ensuring their recyclability at the end of their long lifespan, estimated to be 20 years or more.  

As part of the installation, University Sustainability conducted a volunteer waste audit over the summer to establish a baseline contamination rate (9%) and will use this to evaluate improvements in recycling over this academic year. Colleen Regan recognizes the impact this project can have for improving waste diversion across campus.  

“CFA’s installation aligns with Facilities' current effort to improve zero waste design standards and guidelines across the University. Collocating waste streams and standardizing bins’ appearance through consistent labeling and color coding are all key design improvements for increasing the University community’s access to recycling. This PGF project provides a blueprint for implementing upgrades that support everyone’s ability to contribute to our zero-waste goal.” 
The new recycling bins have already been successfully utilized during summer orientations for the influx of new students, demonstrating their immediate impact in fostering sustainable practices. 

Learn how to dispose of your waste appropriately to make Mason even more sustainable! Your actions help the university achieve its zero-waste goal of diverting 90% (or more) of all waste items away from the trash through reuse, recycling, and composting.  

Individuals with innovative ideas to further enhance sustainability at Mason are encouraged to reach out through the Patriot Green Fund interest form. 

2023 Employee of the Month News On-Campus Solutions Sustainability

August 2023 Facilities Employee of the Month – Colleen Regan


Celebrating Colleen Regan as the August 2023 Employee of the Month

Colleen did an outstanding job organizing and executing the Patriot Pack-Out (PPO) event this year, which captured unwanted items left by students as they moved out of residence halls.

  • She organized space to collect (and allow students to drop off) items during the week-long move-out period
  • She worked with the CVPA faculty to gain access to the Gillespie Gallery, where she compiled and sorted items
  • She organized faculty, staff, and student volunteers to help
  • She collaborated with 8 on-campus partner organizations that received redistributed goods for students in need; and
  • She hosted sessions for current and incoming Mason students and staff to claim goods to meet their own
  • Finally, she worked with 5 off-campus partners to receive the small number of items that campus partners and denizens did not claim.


Colleen's work avoided significant waste: PPO diverted over 5500 pounds of useful items from the campus waste streams at Mason's Fairfax and SciTech campuses. Almost 90% of those goods were reclaimed by members of the Mason community.

Colleen’s donation initiative – reduced Mason’s waste, decreased overall costs to Facilities and the university, and redistributed donated items to Mason students in need.

Some highlights:

  • PPO 2023’s donation collection lasted from May 1 – May
  • For the first time, Colleen expanded the event to include the Science and Technology Campus and the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, in addition to the Fairfax Campus.
  • During this year’s event, Colleen and her colleagues and volunteers collected over 5,500 pounds of useful items for redistribution to folks in need.
  • PPO 2023 hosted Mason’s first-ever Free Redistribution Event over June 26th and June 27th, where over 1,800 pounds of items were claimed by 110+ Mason students, faculty, and staff members to meet their basic needs.
  • Over 4,900 , or about 90% of the total donated items, were redistributed to Mason Patriots, to our on-campus resources, and to 5 off-campus donation partners who redistributed donated items for free to the populations they serve.
  • PPO 2023’s success is the result of Colleen’s long-term, comprehensive, and strategic redesign of PPO, which she began in spring 2022.

Colleen took the initiative to completely redesign PPO for 2023.  PPO also educates Patriots about acceptable donation items and proper waste disposal. This protects Facilities and Housing and Residence Life staff members from improper and hazardous waste disposal and prevents negative environmental impacts (such as refrigerant leakage from small refrigerators).


More than 50 volunteers participated in donation collection, organization, and inventorying, to support PPO 2023.  Donated and redistributed items included clothing and shoes, cookware and dishware, books and educational supplies, household goods and supplies, and much more!

And Colleen does all of this with compassion and a smile. During PPO thousands upon thousands of items were donated, collected, organized, and inventoried before being redistributed.

Interested in submitting a GMU Facilities Employee of the Month nomination? Check out the new process here!

2023 News On-Campus Solutions Sustainability

OLLI & Greenhouse and Gardens Program Summer Partnership



In Summer 2023, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) partnered with University Sustainability to participate in the Greenhouse and Gardens program via a 6-week Sustainable Food Production class. Class instructor and Greenhouse and Gardens program manager, Donielle “Doni” Nolan designed this class alongside Potomac Heights Organic Garden coordinator Sven Jansen, to educate participants on sustainable agriculture. Topics included composting, plant identification, harvesting, and pest management! 

OLLI offers intellectual and cultural experiences in a welcoming atmosphere to Northern Virginia residents in their retirement years.  Members seek to enrich their lives through continued learning. OLLI offers daytime academic courses, special events and cultural activities in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

When asked about her experience, OLLI participant Ednamae Trevey said “I was totally unaware that Mason had such a space here [as well as] projects and education programs. It’s been fascinating to see!”

To gauge interest, Nolan discussed the partnership with OLLI and conducted a tour of the greenhouse located near Ike’s. Nolan will also be hosting a virtual lecture about GMO’S and sustainable agriculture in this Fall, so keep an eye out for more information. She plans to continue educating OLLI participants in the upcoming years. 

“It's typically folks who are already retired and many of them are very knowledgeable and passionate,” said Nolan  “It's an incredible group and the staff are super friendly.”

To learn more about OLLI or to get involved, click here!

2023 All Together Green Facilities Management News Stable Partnerships

Giving Surplus Furniture a New Life at Another State University

Mason Facilities and Housing & Residence Life (HRL) have recently partnered with HBCU school Virginia State University to transfer surplus furniture from Mason Housing buildings. Over 850 pieces of furniture were moved to Virginia State University to furnish newly acquired spaces for the student body.

In Summer 2023, George Mason University redistributed 855 pieces of surplus furniture to Virginia State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Along with being an HBCU, Virginia State is also a Publix State Agency. 

This effort was orchestrated and supported by the following Mason staff:

  • Dr. Shannon Jordan, Associate Dean & Chief Housing
  • John Rogers, Associate Director of Housekeeping from Housing and Residence Life (HRL)
  • Steven Pulis, Facilities Purchasing Manager 
  • Kevin Brim, Facilities Recycle/Waste Management Supervisor 
  • Daniel Castillo, HRL Procurement & Housing Operations Administrator

“As the Surplus Property Manager, any surplus property needs to be managed appropriately. This process is classified as ‘Re-Use’ and I am always looking to divert anything from a landfill,” said Pulis. “Finding a way to transfer the property from one agency to another as a viable solution and a ‘Win-Win’ for both Universities.” 

The redistribution of furniture was surplus from Mason Housing buildings and consisted of couches, dining chairs, coffee/end tables, and other dorm furniture. 

”Being able to repurpose materials versus landfill or incinerator is always best practice towards our Zero Waste Goals,” said Brim  “Supporting [an] HBCU school was just the icing on the cake, with the cherry on top.”

Jane Harris (Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Capital Outlay) from Virginia State University responds to the donation, “Thank you for thinking of VSU!”

Pulis looks forward to seeking additional opportunities “to assist agencies in the future in the appropriate handling of surplus property.”

Dr. Shannon Jordan is pleased with the partnership stating, “I am so happy the furniture could be given a second life at Virginia State!”

2023 All Together Green News On-Campus Solutions

Mason’s new Fuse building will be like Main Street, architect says

By Damian Cristodero

The Fuse building being constructed on George Mason University’s Mason Square in Arlington, Virginia, is to be a melting pot, of sorts, for students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and scientists.

Rob McClure seated
Fuse architect Rob McClure

At 345,000 square feet, the building will house R&D labs, classrooms, offices, corporate innovation centers, incubators, accelerators, convening spaces, and retail

With that in mind, architect Rob McClure, of the firm Page, said the core of the building was designed to feel like a Main Street.

“The planning we developed was really to encourage people to mix together in that Main Street spine with collaboration spaces on both ends,” McClure said. “So when an industry partner comes up the elevator, they don’t go straight to their space. A Mason student doesn’t go straight to their classroom. They mix together in that Main Street spine.”