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Since his undergraduate years at JMU when he was the first student appointed to the JMU Board of Visitors, John has shown a keen interest in the inner workings of the university, an innate talent for leadership and a knack for building strategic alliances. "My connections with the community were forged early in my career here and are now embedded in my philosophy of education and my work," he says. In his current position as vice provost for research and public service at JMU, he has spearheaded projects that promise lasting benefits for Madison and its surrounding communities. Recently, his efforts helped bring SRI International, one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations, to Rockingham County to build the Center for Advanced Drug Research, or CADRE. "Having SRI locate here is a transformational event," John says. "We will see opportunities for enrichment for faculty by doing summer programs, collaborative grants, having students work there." He modestly describes it as evidence of the continuing "evolution of the university," but it is progress he has worked hard to nurture -- an environment of undergraduate research, involved students and professors, innovative companies and a responsive community that work together to transform the future for the betterment of all.
"The reason most of us work at a university or become parents is that we believe in young people. That is why we are in this business of higher education. We are all committed to making JMU and Harrisonburg a better place for our students and children. The future will be here before you know it, and we must be ready."