Makerspace & Events Manager

George Mason University   Fairfax, VA   Full-time     Administration / Clerical
Posted on September 15, 2023
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Makerspace & Events Manager

The George Mason Innovation Exchange (MIX) is seeking a Makerspace & Events Manager.

Northern Virginia’s tech economy is booming, and George Mason University is in the heart of the activity. For decades Mason has seen its role as an economic driver through entrepreneurship and small business support. George Mason University’s Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation (OEI) resides within the Provost’s Office, and works collaboratively with stakeholders across the university and in the community.

The MIX is the common ground on Mason’s campus that teaches and shows that everyone at Mason can be an innovator and entrepreneur. The Makerspace, Fabrication Lab, Media Lab, and Incubator spaces provide training and equipment, and encourage creativity, discovery, and innovation for every member of the George Mason community.

This leading position will oversee Mason Innovation Exchange (MIX) programming, with principal responsibility for the implementation and growth of maker/innovator programs. The MIX is a maker space in the center of the Fairfax campus in a beautiful new innovation space ready to be programmed. The MIX Makerspace & Events Manager will:

  • Take the lead on recruiting, coordinating, and supervising MIX staff and students;
  • Work closely with Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI) leadership in the development of the operating budget and ensure budget compliance;
  • Collaborate across Mason’s 3 campuses to ensure smooth operation of the MIX facilities, as well as events and programs hosted by Mason;
  • Serve as the MIX curator, working to showcase entrepreneurship and innovation taking place across the university; and
  • Collaborate with OEI leadership to continue building awareness and strengthen the Mason brand and communications efforts.

The MIX Makerspace & Events Manager serves as a resource to students and faculty members by providing instructional, technical, and administrative services. The Manager works under the supervision of the Senior Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, but exercises discretion and independent judgment in managing the day-to-day operations of the makerspace. The Manager ensures that supplies are stocked and all equipment is in good working order; oversees safety policies and practices in the makerspace; manages the budget, including purchasing; collaborates with various instructors to encourage student and faculty workflow between departments and the MIX facilities; supervises student workers, including organizing regular staff meetings, hosting regular safety and training sessions with student instructors overall, and working with faculty, speakers, and other instructors on programming and makerspace maintenance.

Essential Duties of the MIX Makerspace & Events Manager

Oversee MIX Programming:

  • Coordinate with Senior Director of Entrepreneurship Programs on all aspects of MIX Maker/Innovation programming for students, faculty and staff, including development and implementation;
  • Engage and work with faculty to support multidisciplinary research, experiential learning courses, develop programming, and build community;
  • Ability to lead instruction on more advanced equipment and higher-level workshops and courses;
  • Develop a robust course and workshop agenda for the different spaces of the MIX;
  • Work with faculty to adapt course curricula to MIX usage;
  • Assist students and faculty with projects and class work;
  • Give advanced level workshops on specific topics or classes hosted at MIX;
  • Stay current on internal/external trends and best practices to help consistently inform and improve our offerings;
  • Own overall responsibility for ensuring execution and quality of programs; and
  • Collaborate with the OEI staff on efforts to cross-pollinate, facilitate, and support the building of programs and research in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Manage MIX Maker Human and Physical Capital, and Operations:

  • Hire and train MIX employees on all aspects of MIX work, including equipment usage, workshop delivery, student and faculty interaction;
  • Define MIX staff roles and responsibilities, including the creation and maintenance of position descriptions;
  • Collaborate with OEI to ensure smooth recruiting, onboarding, payroll processing, and termination of MIX staff, including student wage employees;
  • Oversee the creation and maintenance of MIX staff scheduling and approve biweekly timesheets;
  • Work with OEI team to ensure that appropriate key and access controls are issued to MIX staff and revoked as appropriate;
  • Develop, implement, and maintain policies and procedures for maintenance and safe use of maker equipment;
  • Develop, track, and report on appropriate metrics;
  • Responsible for purchasing of new equipment and capital improvement of MIX; and
  • Recognize and coordinate facility maintenance/repair needs.

Develop and Manage MIX Maker/Innovation Program Budget:

  • Assist with establishing and maintaining the budget for Maker/Innovation programming;
  • Provide regular budget reports;
  • Determine goods and service needs with MIX staff; approve staff expenditures ensuring they support the goals of the program and are within budget guidelines; and
  • Work collaboratively with OEI Finance to process purchasing of goods and services required for the MIX.

Build Awareness and Strengthen MIX Branding:

  • Collaborate with OEI and MIX staff to promote collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship across the university and in the community;
  • Foster a culture of risk-taking, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking;
  • Represent Mason at internal and external events;
  • Participate in MIX branding efforts;
  • Oversee website development and collaborate with OEI/MIX team on communication strategies and execution; and
  • In line with our mission, facilitate collaborative collisions and support the resulting outcomes as it relates to innovation.

Events Management:
The MIX Manager is the primary contact for scheduling and coordinating events happening at the MIX. The duties and responsibilities include:

  • Managing calendar and schedule of events; and
  • Update the MIX website and calendar with event schedules and details.

Other duties as needed for development and running of the MIX Essential.

Required Qualifications / Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Applicants must possess the following:

  • Demonstrated relevant experience; supervisory experience desirable;
  • Experience collaborating with multiple teams;
  • Experience developing programs, recruiting and running events. Experience with hands-on education, project-based learning, or prototyping;
  • Experience teaching or tutoring others in a way that would have applicability to the makerspace;
  • Experience helping students or others design hands-on projects; and
  • Demonstrated ability to engage well and collaborate with others in this public-facing position with regards to:
    • Makerspace programs;
    • Developing, overseeing, and teaching workshops;
    • Purchasing and managing budgets;
    • Event planning and management;
    • Hands-on education, project-based learning, or prototyping;
    • Teaching or tutoring others in a way that would have applicability to the makerspace; and
    • Helping students or others design hands-on projects.
  • Familiarity with some of the following technologies, processes, and tools:
    • Gas-shielded arc welding;
    • Sewing/weaving;
    • Electronics;
    • 3D printing;
    • Composites;
    • Laser cutters;
    • Video and still cameras, microphones, and studio lighting;
    • Wood- and metal-working;
    • Design principles, including human-centered design and graphic design;
    • Hand tools; and
    • Power tools (e.g., drills, drivers, reciprocating saws, chop saws, grinders).
  • Demonstrated ability to learn technologies, processes, and tools;
  • Basic understanding of and skills related to mechanical, construction, engineering, and prototyping processes;
  • Entrepreneurial initiative toward creating and implementing new processes and systems within a dynamic university setting under pandemic and post-pandemic conditions;
  • Demonstrated ability to engage well and collaborate with others in a public-facing position;
  • Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills that are necessary for interactions with students, faculty, staff, and community partner;
  • Must be an independent worker who can multitask, is self-motivated, and well-organized;
  • Ability to learn tasks quickly and willing to take on new projects;
  • Budget management capabilities; and
  • Adept with Microsoft business products.

Required Education:

  • Vocational or technical training in related field.

Preferred Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

For full consideration, applicants must apply position number 03078Z at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

Equity Statement:

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.