First Year Five

Join us for the inaugural year of


A program for new faculty run by the
Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning


Register Now!


George Mason University has a deep commitment to inclusivity in all aspects of university life, and faculty’s work in designing and teaching courses is a fundamental aspect of that dedication. Stearns Center, with support from the ARIE Project, the Inclusive Excellence Council, and the Diversity Office, invites new faculty* to join this endeavor, increasing their own capacities as teachers while building a network of like-minded peers across the university, starting in their very first weeks at Mason.

Faculty who participate in First Year Five will be invited to identify and participate in five hours of work that is intended to improve the anti-racist, inclusion, and equity strategies they use to teach at Mason.

To start, faculty will be asked to identify, complete, and log their five hours, which could include but are not limited to:

  • Attending relevant departmental workshops, field workshops, orientation sessions, or Stearns Center workshops
  • Reading journal articles or chapters that discuss inclusive pedagogical practice
  • Reading books or participating in discussions or conferences dedicated to inclusivity in their fields
  • Taking any other action that asks the faculty member to consider the work they do to strengthen their inclusive teaching
  • Reflect briefly in writing on each of the five hours and how their pedagogy is evolving or might evolve because of it

Once the five hours are complete, faculty will submit their reflections to Stearns Center to earn their completion certificate.

In return, faculty will:

  • Enjoy support in the form of a kick-off meeting in September, a mid-year meeting, and end of the year celebration of success
  • Receive a newsletter not only with suggestions and communication from Stearns Center, but also with and from each other
  • Benefit from other forms of support/engagement as needed

This program, the origins of which are steeped in relevant research, will help new faculty engage with other new community members from across departments and colleges at Mason and connect with resources and programs as they begin their journey at our university.

*Please note that while “new” faculty can be defined as you wish (so faculty who have joined our community in the past year or two are quite welcome!), a separate program for experienced faculty will open soon as well.

Reporting Form

Downloadable Faculty Log: Coming Soon!

Downloadable Faculty Final Reflection Guide: Coming Soon!

Recommended readings bibliography: Coming Soon!

Support for experienced Mason faculty: More options coming soon!