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Health Sciences

Stephanie Baller
Contact Info

Stephanie Baller joined the Department of Health Sciences at JMU in the Fall of 2010. She completed her Ph.D. in Health Education and Health Promotion at the University of Alabama and has been previously employed at the University of Mississippi as well as Northwest University. Her primary research interests include the interpretation of space and place and the impacts of materialism and physical activity as they relate to health and quality of life. Originally from Bellingham, Washington she enjoys reading, movies, outdoor pursuits and horseback riding.

Early, Elementary and Reading Education

Nancy Barbour
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Nancy Barbour joined JMU in the fall of 2012 as the department head of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education in the College of Education. Nancy received her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Human Development and Family Studies. She came to JMU after 27 years at Kent State University as both an Early Childhood faculty member for 20 years and as the Associate Dean for seven years. Her scholarly interests and publications have focuses on parent-child relationships (particularly adolescent mothers and their children), authentic assessment of young children, and early childhood professional development, particularly in relation to laboratory school programs. In her free time, Nancy likes to read, garden, listen to all kinds of music, and travel. She lives in Harrisonburg with her husband, Phil.

School of Communication Studies

Tim Ball
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Tim Ball is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies and the Basic Course Director, overseeing the Fundamental Human Communication courses in the General Education Program. He earned a B.A. from Iowa State University, an M.S. from Eastern Washington University, and a Ph.D. from Washington State University. In addition to teaching Fundamental Human Communication courses, he teaches courses in organizational communication and pedagogy. Dr. Ball’s research interests include the development of pedagogical assignments and tools that aid student learning as well as the assessment of cognitive, behavioral, and affective measures on communication competence. As a Madison Collaborative Fellow, he works with Cluster One colleagues to develop discipline-appropriate assignments and assessment tools. He lives in Harrisonburg with his wife, Joan, and their three cats.  Tim enjoys cooking, reading, and listening to indie rock and classical music.


Elizabeth Edwards
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Elizabeth (Liz) Edwards is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology in the Department of Kinesiology and the Executive Director of the Morrison Bruce Center at James Madison University. She joined the faculty of JMU after completing her PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Miami in 2011. Under her direction, the MBC engages in numerous outreach and research programs designed to enhance the well-being of girls and women through physcial activity and healthy lifestyles, as well as better understand the effects and determinants of physical activity behaviors in these populations. Her primary teaching interest is in the causes and treatment of obesity through physical activity and nutrition.

Adult Degree Program

Jackie Rufo
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Jackie Rufo came to JMU in May 2005 as a part-time, temporary assistant to then College of Business Dean, Dr. Robert Reid. That fall she enrolled into the JMU Adult Degree Program where she graduated with her Bachelors of Individualized Study in Adult Education and Human Resource Development in May 2008. After working fulltime as an assistant in the Learning Resource Center and Major Advising, she accepted a position as an Executive Assistant with Dr. Daniel Wubah then Special Assistant to the President for Diversity. In 2011, she graduated with her Master’s in Education from the Educational Technology program. Currently, Jackie is working in the JMU Adult Degree Program as the Student Services Coordinator and adjunct faculty. In addition, she is taking classes for the Higher Education Assessment Specialist Graduate Certificate program and utilizing these new skills to assess the Adult Degree Program. 

Political Science

Howard Lubert
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Howard L. Lubert was born and raised in Schenectady, New York, and attended Rutgers University, where he received his B.A., studied Political Science and English, and was a member of the Henry Rutgers Honors Program. After graduating from Rutgers he attended Duke University, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science, with a focus in political philosophy. He has held full-time teaching positions at Alma College (in Alma, Michigan) and Rutgers (New Jersey). He came to James Madison University in fall, 1999 as an Assistant Professor of Political Science. Dr. Lubert has taught courses in American constitutional law, American political thought, political philosophy, federalism, race and politics, and politics and literature. He was the recipient of a 2004 National Endowment for the Humanities award for his ongoing study of federalism in the American Founding. His publications include essays on the political thought of James Otis and Thomas Hutchinson (American colonial leaders) and Benjamin Franklin, as well as an essay on the New York State Constitution.

Community Service-Learning

Misty Newman
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Misty earned her B.S. in Business Administration and Public Relations from Heidelberg University and M.Ed. in College Student Personnel Administration at James Madison University. Before coming to JMU, she worked at Ashland University and the Ashland County Council for Drug Abuse and Alcoholism. Misty has worked at JMU for 10 years. She has worked in the Office of Residence Life, Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, and for the past 4 years in the Community Service-Learning Office with Alternative Break Programs. She has also been adjunct faculty for Psychology, Social Work, Individualized Study, and University Studies teaching one class per semester. She has also really enjoyed her roles with Homecoming Student Spirit Committee, Civic Mentoring, Sigma Alpha Omega, and Women of Change. Outside of work, Misty enjoys serving the community, leading worship, live music, Latin dancing, and fun runs that end at a local vineyard or cidery.

Health Sciences

Kathy Ott Walter
Contact Info

Kathy Ott Walter received her B.A. in Psychology from Kent State University (1995), M.S. in Community Health Promotion from West Virginia University (1998) and her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion from Kent State University (2009). Before coming to JMU she worked at the Cleveland Clinic as a Substance Abuse Trainer/Educator from 2006-2008. Kathy also worked at Ohio University from 2000-2002 at the Assistant Director for Health Education and Wellness for Substance Abuse Prevention. Prior to that she worked as a Community Development Specialist for Substance Abuse Prevention at Westbrook Health Services in Parkersburg, WV (1997-2000). Her research interests include sexuality and substance abuse/use among college students.