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

Employee of the Month

George Mason University’s Employee of the Month highlights the hard work and achievements of a Mason faculty or staff member who embodies the values of the University. Since 1991, each Employee of the Month has been honored with a special ceremony in the Office of the University President. In addition to a personalized plaque and photo taken at their ceremony posted on the Mason Career Opportunities website, each Employee of the Month receives an array of items generously donated by various University departments.


Do you have a colleague who deserves the special recognition of being named Mason’s Employee of the Month? Download and complete the Nomination Form. Then, submit it via email to or mail it to the Employee of the Month Coordinator, Mailstop 3C3, Human Resources and Payroll.

The nomination form must be signed by the supervisor and department head of the unit in which the nominee works. Three or more support letters for the nomination are suggested. The criteria used in the nomination is up to the discretion of the department and could include such qualities as professionalism, customer service, integrity, enthusiasm, or any of the Mason values demonstrated by the nominee. A selection committee composed of members of various University departments reviews the nominations and selects each month’s recipient.

Previous Recipients

Current Recipient

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November 2020

Congratulations to Haley Smyser

Center for the Arts

Past Recipients

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January 2020

Marcel Assink

Disability Services

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February 2020

Virginia Steele

Facilities Planning and Design

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March 2020

Stacy D’Angelo

Office of Communications and Marketing

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April 2020

Stephanie Kuhta

Sport Recreation and Tourism, CEHD

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May 2020

Christie Michals

University Career Services

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June 2020

Donna Fulton

School of Kinesiology

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July 2020

Silva Pecini Morris

Schar School of Policy and Government

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August 2020

Jenny Young

Office of University Registrar

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September 2020

Caitlin Shear

Integrated Enrollment Marketing Communications

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October 2020

Kate Bryan

Department of English

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!

Recognition Mini-Notes

Make someone’s day with an encouraging message! Colorful and fun, these small note cards feature messages like, "Fabulous!" and "Consider this a Citation for Excellence” on the front and are blank on the back to give you room to write a note of praise to a colleague. Each pack includes 2 designs of 12 cards for a total of 24 cards with envelopes.

Please email with your request indicating how many packs you would like and to which mail stop your request should be sent.



Praise Pads

These note pads are a creative way to thank your colleagues and give them a pat on the back for their hard work and dedication. Each pad has 50 sheets of the same design.

Please email with your request indicating how many packs you would like and to which mail stop your request should be sent.

Be Kind - Bingo

Play a game of Be Kind - Bingo to show others how much you appreciate them!

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.

May You Be Grateful

May 4 – 8, 2020

May You Be Grateful is being celebrated during the first week of May to encourage expressing gratitude and promoting positivity at Mason.

May You Be Grateful Messages

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This email portal is open to all Mason faculty and staff during our “May Your Be Grateful” promotion, May 4 – 8, 2020. We encourage you to send notes of appreciation to your colleagues this week.

See myMasonHR


May You Be Grateful Calendar

Use this calendar to guide you through your week of gratitude.

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May You Be Grateful Postcards

These postcards can be downloaded and printed for mailing, or sent via email for a fun, happy message.


May You Be Grateful Journal

Print this journal and write down specific things that you are grateful for each day.