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Make Your Next Move Award

Congratulations to our 2015 award winners!

Make Your Next Move Winners

Paula McMahan and Cindy Allen

2015 Quotes from Nominations

About Paula: "I never knew what direction I wanted to take when it came to career choices. Paula helped me realize my passion for the sports world and how I wanted to make it my life.  She has made a lasting impression on me and I can never thank her enough for all that she did for me during my four years at JMU."

About Cindy: "Cindy truly dedicates her profession to showing students their potential in their future careers, and helping to utilize and advance upon the tools they need after graduating."

Have you been inspired by someone at JMU in deciding what to do after graduation? If so, you can show your appreciation by nominating him or her for the Make Your Next Move Award! This can be an advisor, instructor, supervisor, or any JMU faculty/staff member. The next call for nominations will be in January 2016.

Since 2012, the Make Your Next Move Award has been recognizing faculty and staff members each year for their “outstanding work helping students move forward with their career goals and plans”, whether those plans have included finding an internship, deciding on a major or career path, or graduate school.  

Career & Academic Planning solicits nomination of individuals who exhibit the following characteristics when working with students:

  • Nominees are passionate about and invest time in supporting students in their professional growth
  • Nominees help students make connections to prepare them for life after JMU.
  • Nominees provide opportunities for students to develop the skills they need to make their next move.
  • Nominees see potential in their students and provide support and opportunities for reaching that potential.

Prior to 2012, the Career & Academic Planning (CAP) department knew that faculty and staff were helping students in these ways, but there was not an award or acknowledgement in place for their efforts. CAP staff members established the Make Your Next Move Award to celebrate and formally recognize individuals who help students with their career plans. The final decision is always difficult to make, as all the nominations are inspiring and everyone nominated is very deserving.

The award is presented in April each year as a surprise to the winners. Career & Academic Planning gives each award recipient a plaque that reads, “For your outstanding work for helping students to move forward with their career goals and plans”.

Who is Eligible

Any person in the JMU community that demonstrates a devotion to helping students make their next move in their career development. This could include major, career field, graduate school or other post-graduation plans. However, no member of Career & Academic Planning can be nominated. CAP will award one faculty member and one staff member with a Make Your Next Move award each year.

Completing the Nomination Form

The nomination form will become available in January 2016. It is important that you provide as much information as possible about the nominee. Please be as specific as possible when describing his/her contributions to students in helping them make their next move. 

Selection Process

Nominees will be reviewed by staff from Career & Academic Planning. Each nomination will be evaluated based on the comments provided by the nominator.


The next call for nominations will be in January 2016.

Conferring of Award

The nominator(s) of the award recipients will be notified once a decision has been made. The Make Your Next Move Award recipients was announced in April 2015. The award recipients were honored publicly with a plaque and presented with the award at this time.

Questions? Contact Laura Yu Hickerson at

Congratulations to past year's recipients of the Make Your Next Move award!

2014 Winners


2014 Quotes from Nominations

About Robert: “His passion for the novelty of research was contagious and I started seriously considering going to graduate school.”

About Frank: “I can honestly say that this job has prepared me better for life after graduation than any classroom experience thus far.” 

2013 Winners


2013 Quotes from Nominations

About Bill: “I myself have had the opportunity to travel to Uganda with him, and experienced first-hand the wonderful work that is being done there. As a result of that trip, I have decided to pursue a career in counseling.”

About Holly: “She always makes the time to sit down and talk about my future plans and concerns. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate her help and guidance.”

2012 Winner


2012 Quotes from Nominations

About Ramon: “Overcoming a challenge knowing that he believed in me was very rewarding. This wouldn’t have been possible without his support and encouragement.”