James Madison University

NEW COLLEGES FORMED A plan to reorganize the College of Integrated Science and Technology into two colleges took effect July 1, 2012. The new colleges are the College of Health and Behavioral Studies and the College of Integrated Science and Engineering.

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Study Abroad Program Turns Domestic

By: Amanda Rivera
Posted: October 30, 2008

GlonaSigning up for a study abroad program in Ghana, JMU psychology students were unaware that the experience would extend well beyond the usual three week session.  Along with taking classes to fulfill six college credits, students logged in three hours a day volunteering their time at two local schools in Ghana.  Working with children who attend one of the schools, Glona Healthcare and Vocational Academy, the JMU students were amazed at their determination to pursue an education despite considerable odds and inspired to create the Glona Charity Group.

A non-governmental organization, the Glona Academy offers a literacy program and basic healthcare to underprivileged children in the community.  Providing the local youth with the resources to fuel a healthy mind and body, the academy lacks sufficient funds to support further expansion of the organization.  Returning from the trip, JMU students received letters from the children, which they expected would be generic thank you letters; however, primary organizer Christina Wolf says, “What we got was further than you could imagine. These children were begging for our help. They asked for food, clothing, school books, even bibles.”  By partnering with KIVA, a microfinance loan organization, the JMU group hopes to aid Glona in acquiring zero percent loans. “We are working to help Glona become self-sustaining and in particular to help them build their own schoolhouse,” as stated in the group’s proposal.

GlonaThe Glona Charity Group hopes to bring awareness to the JMU campus with their plans for fundraising.  On November 7, during International Week, the group will unite with the Asian Student Union to sell t-shirts and collect donations on the Commons.  Enlisting another student-based organization, Circle K will be donating proceeds from their work in the concessions at the JMU homecoming football game.  Senior Psychology and Sociology major, Christina says, “They need our help, and we are more than capable of giving it. We simply want to be the change that they so desperately need. This is a cause that any person can wrap their arms around and say, ‘Hey, I can do this, this is possible.’ What is so great about this project is that we will be able to SEE the results of our efforts. It is a tangible nearer than anyone could possibly realize. These children, this community need our help.”

Recalling her experience abroad, Christina says, “It is so difficult to sum up in only a few words what we learned and what we took away from this trip.”  Nevertheless, the group strives to impress upon the JMU community the pressing needs of the Glona Academy.  The group states, “Our organization is confident these efforts will be continued by fellow students in years to come, but we need to start somewhere! We need to start today.”   If you would like to make a donation to the Glona Charity Group, contact Christina Wolf at wolfclghana@yahoo.com