• What does a brighter future mean to you?

    Connect with James Madison University and learn more about how our people and programs are making positive change in the world

    Subscribe to Madison; share your thoughts about the future on the Be the Change blog; or perhaps you'd like to nominate a world changer to be featured on this site.

    Consider this your invitation to
    Be the Change.

Join us to Be the Change

Dr. Joann Grayson

Psychology professor

Photo: Dr. Joann Grayson

Dr. Joann Grayson is a champion for abused and neglected children. She has initiated more than 11 prevention programs in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham community, including a tutoring program that partners JMU students with at-risk children. Her voice has reached thousands of people, advocating for children before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on Education and as past chair of the Governor's Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect in Virginia. She publishes the "Virginia Child Protection Newsletter" and has been recognized for outstanding teaching during her 30-year career in JMU's department of psychology. "For me, teaching, scholarship, integration of knowledge and service are blended activities," she said. That's why she supervises more than 100 students each year as they give over 9,000 hours of service to the community. "The service-learning model that I embrace has the potential to change students' perspectives and is a powerful learning tool," she said.

"I have hope because I've witnessed gradual change. People are more aware of what it means to be a good parent. Society is setting higher standards, and I believe people will rise to meet them."