Fall Issue II, November 2022

Advising Updates

Happy November, CHSS Advisors and Directors! We hope that you have the time this week to read through our updates and information below, prepared especially for you. We welcome your feedback and questions, as always! 
Winter is Coming...
Registration for Winter 2022-23 Orientation opens November 1. As incoming students sign up for Orientation, they will be informed that they can request pre-orientation advising starting November 15. If you need changes to what is posted on our pre-orientation advising contact page, please email Erin McSherry ( Lists of students registered for orientation will be posted to our Winter 2022-23 Orientation OneDrive folder beginning the week of November 7.
  • Fall 2022 graduation reviews: in reference to the October 19 email from our colleagues in Degree Compliance, the Met/Not Met report for graduating students is updated daily as issues are addressed. Be sure to review your major’s report, if you have not already. If you need help obtaining the report, please contact us. 
  • Spring 2023 graduation application: students may begin to apply for Spring graduation on November 1. Find more information on graduation timelines on the Registrar's website
New in CHSS Undergrad-Team GRP:
  • SAM holds and major lists: Major lists and the *new* form are available in the SAM Form folder. Reminder: SAM forms come to
  • Return from Suspension major lists: available in the Eligible to Return - Spring 2023 folder. Reminder: Advisor Approval forms come to
  • Patriot Success Survey data: we received data from the survey, which was distributed end of September – early October, that is relevant for academic units to consider outreach. Major lists of students who indicated difficulty in courses or concerns about their major is available in the Patriot Success Survey Outreach folder as well as templates for outreach. This is a new outreach campaign for us, so feel free to email Erin if you have questions! 

Contact Us

We welcome your feedback! Email us ( with your comments and suggestions.

Professional Development  

Join MAAN's Developing Advisor Practice (DAP) Team!
Tues, Nov 15 @12pm

Attend this virtual interest session to learn more about how to become involved in DAP, as a committee member or instructor. Zoom link to be shared.
Virginia Tech "Advising Matters" Conference
Deadline to submit a proposal for this Spring 2023 conference is Thurs, November 27. For more information, click here.
Career Influencers Network
Fri, Nov 4 @9am-2:30pm Virtual session

RSVP here
Have you heard about TimelyCare?

Spotlight on Student Success 

“I Already Met with a Success Coach” 
It’s been a very busy time for advisors and students at CHSS. Recently, our students were invited to schedule appointments with their academic advisors. Most understand that academic advising is one of the most crucial resources they have during their academic journey. Students who are in touch and meet with their advisors have a better understanding of the reasoning behind course requirements, and they play a more active role in the interactive process of making decisions and tailoring choices for their programs. But despite all the benefits of meeting with an advisor, some students still wonder why they need to meet with one. 
A reason shared by students has been confusion with the purpose of the meetings, especially when they “[have] already met with a success coach.” In an article published last year as part of the collection, “The Elevation of Advising as a Promising Practice,” authors Alexa Wesley Chamberlain and Omari Burnside, talk about the importance of thoughtful collaboration and integration of student supports within institutions, as a core aspect of an ideal advising experience. They also describe how uncoordinated student supports can leave students feeling confused and how this compromises students’ trust.  
What are your thoughts about this topic? How do you think we could better coordinate our efforts with other campus offices that offer advising and coaching services. Click here to participate in a brief survey.  
An excerpt from the article: 
Student supports are often uncoordinated and in silos
Student supports managed in silos and in isolation from advising can leave students with conflicting or incomplete information. In decentralized models, advising units may also face barriers that prevent certain information about students from being easily shared. Advisors may have different reporting lines, job responsibilities (e.g., faculty advisors and primary role advisors), required processes, data systems, and levels of access to training and professional development. A lack of collaboration and accountability –regardless of advising structure– can result in students having confusing and disjointed advising experiences. For example, being redirected from one office to the next in order to have questions answered is a common (and frustrating) experience for students. Moreover, faculty advisors that do not have regular communication with other student services offices may result in missed opportunities to refer students to relevant resources when needed most.
Institutional models also may structurally keep advising discussions about academic supports separate from those about financial needs or career goals. Such systems can unintentionally create conditions in which students have to retell stories about various life circumstances to multiple offices to receive support. A student may have more of an established relationship with someone at an institution, and a clumsy handoff to another advisor may exacerbate discomfort levels or compromise student trust. Institutions that provide more consistent holistic advising experiences for students recognize the importance of senior leadership creating formal and informal opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration and also clearly outlining role expectations. 
Works Cited 
Chamberlain, A. W., & Burnside, O. (2021). A theory of change for advising in the 21st century. New Directions for Higher Education, 2021, 11– 21. 

Career Bulletin

What's new from Career Services? Please share the following with your students:
Creative Careers Week, November 14-17
For students interested in a career in the arts, media, communications, or design. Click here for event list.
Be sure to direct students' attention to this featured event:
Writing & Publishing in the Gig Economy 
Tuesday, November 15 @12pm 
Johnson Center, Meeting Room C 
Explore freelance career options in writing, publishing, and editing. Learn what to do now to generate paid gigs later. 
UNIV 220, Decide/Confirm Majors 
Sections available in Spring 2023
  • Learn more about the majors and career opportunities available to you.
  • Pick your path - identify your interests and strengths. Find chances to try them.
  • Spend class time learning about ways you can use your degree to plan your goals after Mason. 

Davids N' Amanda Corner - Notes from Academic Affairs 

TransferVA Portal
Friendly reminder to please submit your department's academic program narratives for the TransferVA portal survey: If you need assistance with completing the survey, please contact

Meet a CHSS Advisor

Mary Getsey Bernier, Economics
Prior to joining George Mason University's Department of Economics as an Undergraduate Coordinator, my professional work spanned international economic development program management, private sector and non-profit organizations, youth environmental and conservation initiatives, national campus safety campaigns, and equestrian sports photojournalism. I am thankful to have life experience, travel, and work experience in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. 
My upbringing in a military family meant most of my elementary and high school years were spent abroad, living in Taiwan, Senegal, England, and traveling throughout Asia, Sub-Saharan West Africa, and Europe. My earliest school memories were in multicultural and international schools. 
During my high school years living in Dakar, Senegal, I learned (immersion method!) to speak French, and it was at this formative time I developed my interest in international economic development and international relations. The following year I lived and studied in England. As a young American student in the UK during the Reagan/Thatcher/Andropov years of the Cold War, it was an eye-opening experience that no doubt influenced my education and career aspirations.
I earned a BA French (additional areas of study in US economic and foreign policy) at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, in Lynchburg, Virginia. During that time, I also spent my junior year of college in an advanced French language program in Paris, taking classes at the Alliance Française, the Institut Catholique de Paris, and the Sorbonne, alongside French university students.
I completed my MAIS degree at George Mason University in International Transactions, a professional degree in international affairs focusing on international trade. As an interdisciplinary degree, it was a groundbreaking Mason graduate program, considering how the world was changing in so many ways in 1992.
This program made me realize the extraordinary opportunities Mason had to offer, back then, and to this day. I still tap into the groundwork of my Mason graduate program to help my undergraduate economics students understand how events of the past very much impact our world today, and to explore economics electives and other interdisciplinary programs (minors, concentrations, international education opportunities and study abroad internships) to enhance their degree plan.
I feel like a Mason “time traveler.” I started my graduate studies at Mason in 1992, and my first job at Mason was in 1994, with the team that started the Center for Global Education (housed in a trailer at the time, in a large parking lot where Merten Hall now sits…). I left Mason in 1997 after finishing my graduate program and returned to Mason study abroad in 2014. It was amazing to see how much Mason had grown and expanded in just under 20 years. Following that position, I worked as an undergraduate academic advisor in Criminology, and in Government and International Politics. I joined the Economics Undergraduate Advising Team in 2019, where I continue to support and guide our students, and work with my colleagues in the Mason Advising community, with ECON staff and faculty, as well as with CHSS staff. 
As a Mason alumna, a Mason staff member, but also the proud Mom of two Mason students (son graduated in 2022, and daughter is currently a student), Mason has been, and remains, a hub in my life. When not working at Mason, I spend time with my children or playing with our one-year-old puppy (Leonard). I relax with gardening and landscaping, hone my gastronomy skills, enjoy medieval art and history, occasionally play my violin, and ride and train horses–a sport I started as a child which allowed me to horseback ride all over the globe! 

Academic-ish Opportunities

GradGuard Tuition Insurance
Help your students protect themselves from the unexpected with GradGuard. During your registration advising, please remind students of the availability of GradGuard, which serves as tuition insurance in case of emergency. Every semester, the Dean’s office sees requests for non-academic withdrawals due to out of class issues. Frequently, students expect a refund and Student Accounts considers GradGuard to be the primary option for tuition reimbursement. 
For a percentage of their tuition (around 1%), students can insure themselves for up to $40,000 worth of a refund. At the time of registration, students receive a pop-up offering Tuition Protection. In this example, for $82.50, students can get reimbursed for up to $7,500 if they must withdraw from school for reasons such as injury, mental or physical health. Please consider recommending that your students opt in for tuition insurance, or at least provide the space for a conversation. We can help our students be prepared and provide guidance that they may not receive otherwise. 
Deadline to sign up for GradGuard is the last day to add classes each semester.