2023 Employee of the Month Facilities Management News Uncategorized

June 2023 Facilities Employee of the Month – Abu Monjer


Celebrating Abu Monjer as the June 2023 Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Abu Monjer, Mgr. Projects, Construction, Infrastructure, for being recognized as the June 2023 Facilities Employee of the Month! Monjer was nominated by Construction Superintendent, Christine Power. According to Power, since Abu joined the Mason team, he has fully utilized his Master HVAC skills, creativity, and ingenuity to find innovative solutions to a variety of University maintenance issues. 

The most recent contributions include projects at Whitetop & Rogers and The Mathy House:

  • At the Whitetop and Rogers housing buildings Monjer designed a system that when the domestic water heaters overheated, which could cause a scalding potential, these systems would be de-energized. Additionally, when this happens, he also set up the system to trigger an alarm that would be sent to the Central Heating & Cooling Plant and the Building Automation departments. 
  • At the Mathy House where the University President resides, he is contributing his knowledge, skills, and abilities to address the need to replace the HVAC Air Handlers and boiler.  This is no easy task due to a variety of elements; some of which include utilizing commercial equipment in a residential setting. 

"I can’t speak highly enough of Abu’s collaboration skills when he works with all members of the Facilities Management, admin teams, and the many university clients that we serve.  Abu recently took it upon himself to assist Rod Billones with a variety of large complex projects. He is also assisting DJ Spaulding, who is fairly new to the University, with Energy projects and to help him become better familiar with the buildings and their systems," said Power.

Abu's colleague spoke very highly of his ability to be a team player and provide detailed, intelligent, and thoughtful recommendations and actions. "This includes proper direction, technical information, and providing others with the resources they need to be successful. When Abu is working on a project or assisting others, he makes all involved parties feel that each project is equally important and that all of his attention is directed at providing a quality finished product. The Facilities Management department and the University as a whole is a better place because of Abu Mohammad Monjer’s contributions. I am honored to work alongside such a quality human being." 

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

2023 All Together Green Culture Change News On-Campus Solutions Sustainability Sustainable Innovation

2023 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition  

George Mason University Sustainability Competes in National Wildlife Federation’s 2023 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition via Green Game 2023.

George Mason University Sustainability joined more than 3.4 million college students and staff across the country in a competition to reduce the campus waste footprint through minimization efforts by donating, composting and recycling more than 29.4 million pounds of waste. As a result, collectively, we have kept more than 200 million single-use plastic containers out of landfills and prevented the release of 29,108 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 6,128 cars.  

 “The impact these colleges and universities have on reducing their waste footprint is tremendous and almost hard to comprehend. To prevent the release of more than 29,000 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and more than 200 million single-use plastics out of landfills is staggering and truly something to be proud of,” said Kristy Jones, director of higher education programs at National Wildlife Federation. “The collective efforts to minimize waste and reduce stress on natural resources is inspiring and creating a better world for wildlife and the environment.”  

“Congratulations to all participating campuses,” says Stacy Wheeler, president and co-founder of the competition. “Annually the Campus Race to Zero Waste competition provides key tools and opportunities that inspire, empower and mobilize colleges and universities to improve their efforts to benchmark and promote their zero waste practices.” 

2023 Campus Race to Zero Waste – Game Day Basketball Competition Results  

The 2023 Green Game was held on January 25, 2023, during the George Mason Patriots Women’s Basketball team vs. University of Rhode Island game with 868 fans in attendance. With the help of 21 volunteers, who completed 66 hours of service learning, Mason successfully achieved an 84.2% diversion rate, or the portion of weight not sent to the incinerator, (i.e., 41.6% compost and 42.6% recycling) through a post-game waste audit. 

Green Game was Mason’s official entry into the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Race to Zero Waste GameDay Basketball competition. The results are in! 

George Mason University (among 23 participants) for the Campus Race to Zero Waste GameDay Basketball Competition: 

  • 4th place Waste Diversion (84.2% diversion rate) 
  • 11th place Per Capita Recycling (0.078 lbs. per person) 

University Sustainability partnered with Mason Athletics, EagleBank Arena Operations and Events, Mason Dining (Sodexo), V&G Cleaning SVSC, Facilities Recycling and Waste Management, and volunteers at Green Game 2023. The full story can be explored here. 

Learn more about George Mason University Sustainability’s waste minimization efforts at: 

For more details about Campus Race to Zero Waste categories and winners, please visit the 2023 Scoreboard 

About Campus Race to Zero Waste 

Campus Race to Zero Waste – formerly known as RecycleMania – is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities, managed by National Wildlife Federation, and governed by RecycleMania, Inc. Campus Race to Zero Waste has been helping campuses minimize waste and improve their recycling efforts, since its launch in 2001.  

University Sustainability provides leadership in environmental, social, and economic stewardship for the Mason community. As a part of Mason Facilities, we work to advance the standard for sustainability on all our campuses.  

We invite you to join us as we work towards out sustainable goals like: 

  • Eliminating single use-plastics 
  • Contributing to food security 
  • Boosting sustainable infrastructure or research projects
  • Expanding strategic sustainability initiatives (i.e., compost and solar), programs, and partnerships
  • and MORE! 

 Visit to explore how you can get involved and make a difference! 

2023 Facilities Management Human Resources News On-Campus Solutions

Mason Custodial Pilot Program Launches at Mason Square Campus

Mason Facilities is excited to announce the expansion of the Mason Custodial Pilot Program to the Mason Square campus.

In Fall 2022, Facilities launched the Mason Custodial Pilot Program at the SciTech Campus, which has since thrived.  This pilot program is helping Facilities determine whether moving to a Mason-staffed, custodial team is a more sustainable, efficient, and fair use of resources.

Facilities team members who are part of the pilot program have also seen a positive change.  “Working at George Mason University has changed my life for the better. Mason offers a great workplace environment with great benefits,” said Claudia Flores, Housekeeping Supervisor at SciTech.  “This position also offers a life insurance and 401k plan, among other benefits. I feel blessed to have a job here.”

The new, internal custodial members joining the Facilities team will start in late May.  This team will be dedicated to keeping Mason Square buildings up to cleanliness standards.

Please join us as we welcome these new team members to Facilities!

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Earth Month 2023 Recap

In April 2023, Mason Facilities, University Sustainability, and their university partners celebrated Earth Month! Here are a few highlights from the events that took place during the month. Remember that you can celebrate the Earth, all year round – not just in April! Thank you for helping us #sustainMASON

Earth Month 2023 Highlights: 

  • Planting Pollinators at Honey Bee Apiaries: A University Sustainability and Patriot Green Fund-financed project from the EVPP 480 STAR Sustainability in Action class planted perennial and flowering plants in a campus garden.
  • Tree Planting behind Peterson Hall: Hosted by Mason Facilities, University Sustainability, and members of the University Arboretum Board, the April tree planting added additional specimens to Mason’s internationally accredited University Arboretum boasting more than 100+ woody plants and trees.
  • The Shape of Water: Multiple waste audits and a campus clean-up contributed an estimated 1,555 single-use plastic items, weighing 58.4 pounds to Celia Ledón’s The Shape of Water installation.
  • Farmer's Market: A Farmer's Market featuring a variety of local and regional vendors, student groups and organizations tabling to educate Mason Patriots about appropriate waste disposal.
  • Gardens and Community for your Health: As part of Spring into Well-Being's Mental Health Day programming, community members learned about the benefits of gardening for creating community and taking care of mental health.
  • Mason's Solar Greenhouse Team: The Solar Greenhouse Student Team posed for a group photo at the Presidents Park Hydroponic Greenhouse.
  • Earth Month Tabling Events: Lakshita Dey, Civic Fellow for University Sustainability, presented on Plastics-Free initiatives throughout the month of April.
  • Sustainable Cooking Event: University Sustainability offered a hands-on, Global Rice and Beans cooking event in April. The Art as Social Action class, taught by Ben Ashworth in the School of Art, hosted the event during their class, made benches, chalk art and more for the event!
  • Weigh the Waste (WTW) Events: WTW is a partnership between Mason Dining, Student Government, and University Sustainability to educate Mason Patriots about food waste, ongoing composting efforts, and overall zero waste action at Mason. 
2023 Facilities Management News On-Campus Solutions Sustainability

Facilities Spring Campus Cleanup 2023

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, our Facilities Management (FM) team members hosted its annual Campus Cleanup at the Fairfax, Mason Square and SciTech campuses. Mason’s Campus Cleanup occurs on an annual basis – an event to remove trash and debris that has been deposited around the campus grassy and wooded areas. Although keeping the campus clean throughout the year is routine practice, FM finds “hidden” debris that gets trapped in parking lot perimeters and other areas around the university. The objective of the cleanup was to safely remove all trash visible to pedestrians and drivers throughout high traffic/high visibility areas across Mason’s campuses. As a steward of our properties and the Earth, FM strives to keep these areas clean and separate all the materials retrieved into groups: Items to be recycled and those that can be disposed of as waste.

The composition of materials collected at the Fairfax campus are as follows:

  • Trash Total Weight – 285 LBS
  • Recycle Total Weight – 40 LBS
2023 Employee of the Month Facilities Management News

May 2023 Facilities Employee of the Month – Arnell Burke


Celebrating Arnell Burke as the May 2023 Employee of the Month

Arnell Burke, General Maintenance Technician III, was recognized as the May 2023 Facilities Employee of the Month! Burke was nominated by Jose (Ray) Lopez, Zone 3 Supervisor, Facilities Management. “It is a great honor for me to nominate Arnell Burke as the Facilities Employee of the Month. Having worked up-close with Arnell, I can say with certainty that he is always going the extra mile to do his job. Whatever it takes to finish a task, even if it means ordering some parts, Arnell will do that to customer’s satisfaction,” said Lopez.

According to Lopez, the Mason Facilities team member always ensures to complete work orders in a timely manner, collaborating effectively with management. He is a valuable resource to Zone 3 and is always willing to train new employees and take on leadership roles within the department! “When the supervisor is on vacation, Arnell takes over the supervisory roles and handles those responsibilities admirably!” Burke’s recognition as Employee of The Month is well-deserved.

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

2023 Facilities Management Human Resources News Uncategorized

Outstanding Achievement Awards 2023 Recipients

Mason Human Resources is excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 Outstanding Achievement Awards! In a year where we received a record number of nominations, we want to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of our Mason community and encourage you to continue to focus on faculty and staff appreciation, recognition, and engagement as we “thrive together."

Congratulations to our Facilities Management award winners!

Exceptional Support Award
Erich Miller, Facilities Management

Goldie and Dianne Hattery Award for Excellence
Man-Shik Lim, Facilities Management

2023 Facilities Management Human Resources News Sustainability

Susie Mueller is Mason’s 2023 Sustainability Hero!


Congratulations to Susie Mueller, Mason's 2023 Sustainability Hero!

My Mason working career started as a work study student for the School of Art (2008); while I was working on my BIS in Wellness Studies. I was then hired full time for the Front Desk. Working with artists changed my life. Artists see the world in a big picture, creative way, and they inspired me to do the same.

My MAIS is in Consciousness and Transformation. I was privileged enough to be one of the first graduate students at the Center of Consciousness and Transformation (CCT), which has since morphed into the Center for Well Being. The courses I took encouraged me to look deeply within myself to find my passion and my purpose in life. What I found by going inward was my deep love for nature and that I wanted to be a steward of the Earth.

All roads lead to my current position at Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) in Front Royal. SMSC is located on the 32,000-acre endangered species site owned by the Smithsonian Zoo. Mason and Smithsonian teamed up to create a unique program where conservation students can interact daily with nature. I am privileged to be a part of this wonderful program which focuses being mindful of our impact on the planet.

Susie Mueller

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Arboretum Tree Planting


In celebration of Earth Week, Mason’s Arboretum Board hosted a community tree planting event at Peterson Hall on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Student volunteers came together to help plant flowering, dogwood trees (Cornus florida), which are native to the region and aid local wildlife and pollinators.  

The trees and supplies for the event were donated by Facilities Management’s Grounds Department in support of the Arboretum’s mission: “To cultivate curiosity, education, and wellbeing through stewardship of its trees, gardens, and other natural spaces.”    

Certified Arborist and Grounds Program Manager, Erich Miller, led the event while teaching students about the arboretum collection and the benefits that tree cover provides to Mason’s campuses. The new trees were planted along University Drive and are visible by the greater community to enjoy.  

This event helps uphold the accreditation of the George Mason University Arboretum - a collection of trees and woody plants, which can be spotted on Mason’s campuses with labeled signs that include scannable barcodes to its online catalogue. 

The event aligned with the second anniversary of the arboretum’s accreditation, which was certified on Earth Day, April 22, 2021.  Since then, the arboretum board - which consists of Facilities staff, campus faculty, and student arboretum interns - meets semesterly to discuss the maintenance of the arboretum collection and to plan engagement events for the campus community.  
You can support future tree planting events at Mason by donating or giving your time to help. Reach out to learn more at    

Story: Sarah D'Alexander
Photo Credit: Evan Cantwell

2023 Facilities Management Human Resources News

Patriot Pathbreaker Awards

The following Mason Square employees were nominated and selected for the Patriot Pathbreaker Award in recognition of their collaborative work to activate and promote the Mason Square plaza programming:

Colin Stucki – Facilities/Mason Square Admin Unit
Kenny Darby – Facilities/Mason Square Admin Unit
Molly Duke – Facilities/Mason Square Admin Unit
Sara Hawes – Facilities/Mason Square Admin Unit
Melissa Thierry – University Life Mason Square
Sophie Gorshenin – University Life Mason Square
Cathy Pinskey – Facilities
Toni Andrews – Community and Government Relations

The pathbreakers were recently featured in Mason's, "These pathbreaking teams give a new look and feel to Mason’s public spaces" article. Learn more.