Graduate Student Life Events

In collaboration with partners across campus, Graduate Student Life will present a number of events throughout the 2017-18 academic year. Events include academic, career, and professional workshops, Graduate Outdoor Adventures, Write-In Days, and Grad Nights In, and much, much more! See below for event details and relevant registration information; check back regularly to find out about updates and new events. 

View the Graduate Student Life Event Calendar for Spring 2018 (pdf).

Grad Student Welcome Days 

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Grad Student Welcome Days feature events and workshops designed to facilitate students’ successful transition to graduate and professional education at Mason. These programs have been designed to connect new and continuing graduate and professional students to key information, strategies, and resources to promote their success and well-being within the first six weeks of the semester.



Friday, Sept. 8, 2017

Johnson Center Meeting Rooms (third floor)

The Hub (Lawn, Patio, and Indoor Spaces)

All new and continuing Mason graduate students are invited to Gradstravaganza, Mason’s annual graduate student welcome event! Join fellow Mason grad students for FREE food, mini-workshops highlighting strategies for success in graduate school, connections with campus resources, and giveaways, including t-shirts! Families are welcome! Remember to bring your Mason student ID with you. For more information, visit Gradstravaganza. Mini-workshops for graduate student success will be held 3:30-5:00pm in the Johnson Center meeting rooms on the third floor. The picnic will be held 5:30-7:30pm at The Hub, including the Lawn, Patio and indoor spaces. Brought to you by Graduate Student Life, Student Involvement, the Office of the Provost, mason Recreation, Mason Parking Services, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA).

Maximizing Productivity During Graduate School Workshop Series

Learning Services and Graduate Student Life present “Maximizing Productivity During Graduate School,” a workshop series designed specifically for Mason graduate students. We know you have limited time and are balancing school along with multiple life commitments. In these workshops, learn how to make the most of the time and energy you have while working toward your graduate degree.

We are offering the following workshops during the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Graduate School Reading Strategies: Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, 3:00-4:15pm
  • Overcoming Procrastination: Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 12:00-1:15pm
  • Improving Concentration: Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, 10:30-11:45am
  • Motivation and Goal Setting: Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 10:30-11:45am
  • How to Manage a Large Project (a part of GRADReCon): Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, TBA
  • Scheduling and Time Management: Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, 10:30-11:45am

For more information, including online registration, visit our Workshop Series page.

Fenwick Open House For Graduate Students

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, 4:00-7:00pm
Fenwick Library, Room 2001 and the whole of the second floor

Mason graduate students are cordially invited to the Fenwick Library Open House! Meet research librarians, area experts and fellow grad students and learn how we can help you succeed at Mason. Join us for refreshments and enter the Open House Drawing – you could win a reserved Graduate Study Carrel in Fenwick for Fall 2017! See you there!

Building Community: A Networking Event for Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff of Color

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 3:30-5:00pm
SUB I, Patriots Lounge

Graduate Student Life, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education, African and African American Studies, and the Office of the Provost invite graduate students, faculty, and staff of color and other interested Mason community members to this networking event to foster inclusion and graduate student success on campus.

For more information, please contact Graduate Student Life at

Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference: “Learning in a Digital World”

Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 8:00am-6:00pm
Johnson Center

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning invites graduate student instructors, faculty, and staff to the 2017 Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference addressing the theme, “Learning in a Digital World.” Find out more and register by Sept. 18. Graduate students may apply for a limited number of free admission scholarships. To apply, send a brief statement explaining how attending this conference will support your career goals to the Stearns Center no later than Thursday, Sept. 14; approved applicants will be given a one-time-use discount code. For more information, check out the Innovations in Teaching and Learning conference webpage.

Graduate Life Outdoor Adventures

Graduate Outdoor Adventures (GOAs) has become not only a stable of Graduate Student Life activities, but is also one of our signature events. Graduate Student Life and Mason Recreation: Outdoor Adventures have partnered to bring four outdoor adventures for the year. This year, all trips are being funded in-part by the Parents Fund, in an attempt to facilitate more adventures for as many Mason graduate students as possible.

We are offering the following trips:

  • GOA: Shenandoah Canoeing: Saturday, Sept., 23, 2017, 7:30am-4:00pm
  • GOA: Billy Goat Trail Hike: Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, 8:00am-4:00pm
  • GOA: Great Falls Rock Climbing: Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018, 7:45am-4:00p
  • GOA: Stand-Up Paddleboarding at Fountainhead: Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018, 8:00am-2:00pm or 11:30am-5:00pm

For more information, including online registration, visit Graduate Outdoor Adventures!

Grad Night In

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, 4:00-9:00pm                    Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, 4:00-9:00pm
Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, 4:00-9:00pm                     Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018, 4:00-9:00pm
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 4:00-9:00pm                     Thursday, Apr. 26, 2018, 4:00-9:00pm
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, 4:00-9:00pm                       All Grad Night Ins will take place in
                                                                                          Fenwick Library, Room 1014B.

Need a break while on campus? Want to meet with your cohort? Working on a group project? Want to meet other Mason grad students and also get some work done? Join Graduate Student Life at Fenwick Library for Grad Night In, a monthly collaborative study date just for Mason grad students! We will provide caffeine and snacks; come with your work and a friend! Come by Fenwick Library, Room 1014B, and stay for a minute or stay for a while — we hope to see you there!

Graduate Student Career Workshop: The What, Why, and How of Résumé and CV Writing

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 12:30-2:00pm
University Career Services Resource Room (SUB I, Room 3400)

When you apply for jobs and internships, you need to be able to communicate your skills, experiences, and qualifications effectively to prospective employers; whether you use a résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) to do so depends on your career goals and the kinds of positions you seek. Join Graduate Student Life, University Career Services, and the Stearns Center for Teaching & Learning for a Graduate Student Career Development Workshop on résumé and CV writing. Learn what résumés and CVs are and how they differ, why you would use one or the other, how they are used in academic and non-academic hiring, and what you can do to craft the strongest document for your future job search.

Raechel Timbers, Associate Director of University Career Services, and Dr. Laura Lukes, Assistant Director of the Stearns Center, will provide an overview of résumés and CVs and lead break-out sessions so participants can learn the specifics of writing a résumé or CV and have an opportunity to write and/or peer review drafts. Please bring a draft of your résumé or CV, if you have one.

Register for the Résumé and CV Writing Workshop now. 

Please note: You will only be able to attend either the résumé writing or CV writing break-out session. If you are interested in learning about both documents, plan to attend one of these upcoming opportunities:

  • Résumé Clinic
    • Monday, October 2, 11:00am- 5:00pm, SUB 1, 3400
    • Tuesday, October 3, 1:00pm-7:00pm, SUB 1, 3400
  • Preparing for Careers in the Academy Workshop: Basics of Preparing an Academic CV and Cover Letter (pre-registration requested)
    • Friday, October 13, 1:30-2:45pm, Fenwick Library 1014B


Preparing for Careers in the Academy Workshop Series

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and Graduate Student Life present “Preparing for Careers in the Academy,” a workshop series that provides an opportunity to gain knowledge about the nature and expectations of career paths in higher education.  The workshops feature a series of guest speakers that share insights about the academic career path experience (traditional, alternative academic), as well as what sets application materials and job candidates apart in the hiring process.  These workshops are free and designed for Doctoral or MFA graduate students who are interested in a career in higher education and will be on the academic job search next year or are currently on the market, but anyone interested is welcome.

We are offering the following workshops during the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Understanding the Academic Job Search Process: Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Basics of Preparing an Academic CV and Cover Letter: Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement: Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Designing a Course: Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, , 1:30-2:45pm
  • Work-Life Balance in Academia: Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My First Faculty Job: Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm

For more information, including online registration, visit our Workshop Series page.

GRADReCon: Graduate Student Research Connections Day

Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, 9:00am-5:00pm
Fenwick Library

Build your productivity, research, and writing skills at GRADReCon! Graduate Student Life and University Libraries have partnered with other offices to provide a day of workshops on topics essential to your success in grad school. For full details including the schedule, visit GRADReCon.

Pride Is Classy

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, 2:00-5:00pm
SUB I, Patriots Lounge

Pride is Classy is an academic open house sponsored by LGBTQ Resources, Women & Gender Studies, and Graduate Student Life. At the event, students can meet staff and professors who teach courses on gender and sexuality and find out what courses are available to take on those topics in the Spring semester and Summer sessions. All are welcome to attend, including those who do not actively teach classes, but who may identify as or work closely with LGBTQ+ identities, including graduate students with research interests related to LGBTQ+ identities. The event will be held on Oct. 25, 3:00-5:00pm in Patriots Lounge in SUB 1. Refreshments will be served.

Check out the full LGBTQ History Month calendar online.

Graduate Student Life Write-In

Fall 2017: Saturday, Nov. 4, 8:30am-5:00pm
Spring 2018: Saturday, Apr. 14, 8:30am-5:00pm

Looking for a way to make progress on your dissertation, thesis, or paper? Graduate Student Life’s Write-In Day will give you group accountability and a space to write with other Mason graduate students who are also serious about getting writing done. Graduate Student Life will provide the space, coffee, meals, and snacks. You need to bring your computer, any other necessary materials, and most importantly, your personal commitment to working diligently and productively.

Registration for the Fall 2017 Write-In Day will begin in October. For more information and online registration, visit Grad Life Write-In Day. If you have any questions, contact Julie Choe Kim, Director of Graduate Student Life, at or Austin A. Deray, G.A. of Graduate Student Life, at


Graduate Student Career Workshop: Creating a Professional Brand and Strategies for Networking 

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, 1:30-2:50pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

Looking for ways to start getting recognized in your field? Want to boost the visibility of your research or professional qualifications? Join Graduate Student Life, the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, and University Career Services for this workshop focusing on creating your professional brand and networking. In this workshop, we’ll discuss what a professional brand is and outline steps to identify and create your own professional brand plan. We will also identify resources and strategies for networking and developing professional relationships in your field both in person and virtually. There will also be an opportunity to practice your elevator pitch! Dr. Laura Lukes, Assistant Director for Teaching Excellence, and Raechel Timbers, Associate Director for Student Professional Development, will lead this workshop for graduate students interested in academic and/or industry-focused careers.

Register for the Creating a Professional Brand and Strategies for Networking workshop now. 


Graduate Student Professional Development Workshop: Planning and Writing Successful Research Grant Proposals: Getting Started

Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, 1:30-3:00pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

Join the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and Graduate Student Life for a professional development workshop for graduate students. This session will provide a “nuts and bolts” introduction to grant writing. Faculty presenters will share tips and strategies for writing successful research grant proposals by demystifying the research grant proposal process. The components of a proposal will be discussed, along with explanations of what reviewers look for in proposals.

Register for the Planning and Writing Successful Research Grant Proposals workshop now.


Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018
Founders Hall, Arlington Campus 

Plan now to join the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA), Graduate Student Life, and the Provost’s Office at the annual Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on April 7, 2018! Call for Proposals will be released in mid-January and posted here. We are seeking oral (10 minutes), poster, and visual/performing arts presentations from ALL disciplines! For more information, contact GAPSA.


Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 2018

April 2-7, 2018

Join the Graduate and Professional Student Association and Graduate Student Life in celebrating Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 2018! During this week, we honor the contributions of Mason’s 10,000+ graduate and professional students. For more information and dates, check out our event page.  


Graduate Student Career Workshop: Interview like a STAR: Tips and Techniques for Navigating a Behavioral Interview

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 1:30-2:30pm
University Career Services Resource Room (Student Union Building I, Suite 3400)

As you plan your search for an internship or new job, do you feel ready to speak about your skills and qualifications to employers? Join Graduate Student Life and University Career Services for a workshop on behavioral interviewing strategies, highlighting the STAR method. Employers widely use behavioral interview questions to assess candidates’ competencies and behaviors by asking about past performance. At this workshop, learn how to communicate your skills, qualifications, and experiences for maximum impact during these types of interviews. The workshop will also address body language, attire, and other interview etiquette.  Participants who wish to practice their behavioral interview skills are encouraged to sign up for Graduate Student Practice Interview Day on April 26.

Attendees should bring a position description or ad/announcement for a job of interest with them to the workshop.

Register for the Interview Like a STAR workshop now. 


Graduate Student Spring Picnic

Friday, April 20, 2018, 4:00-7:00pm
West Campus Pavilion 

Join Graduate Student Life, Mason Recreation, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA) to celebrate spring and the end of the academic year and unwind before finals! Featuring free food (including meat and vegetarian options), fun games, prizes and more! Families and pet dogs are welcome (dogs must be kept on a leash and off the recreation fields), so bring the whole gang! PLUS the first 20 grad students to arrive will receive a special prize pack!

West Campus Pavilion is located next to the West Campus Parking Lot. Click here to see it on a campus map.


Graduate Student Practice Interview Day

Thursday, April 26, 2018, 9:00am-4:00pm
University Career Services (Student Union Building I, Suite 3400)

Practice interviewing for jobs and internships with employers! Graduate students interested in positions in industry and/or academia (faculty or administration in a university setting) will have the opportunity to practice interviewing skills with area employers visiting campus. You will meet one-on-one with an employer for a 30-minute block for a mock interview, followed by constructive feedback and tips on how to improve and perfect your interviewing skills.

Registration is required, please follow the directions below: 

  • Login to your Handshake account
  • Under ‘Shortcuts’ on the right tool bar, click on “Campus Interviews I Qualify for” (on the right side of the screen)
  • Select either Academia or Industry specific interviews and select a time.
You may choose an industry career interview or an academic career interview. Grad students should bring a position description or ad/announcement for a job of interest to your practice interview.