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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NSNA Prom Shows That Age Is Just A Number

By Amanda Rivera
Posted: October 18,2007

PHOTO: NSNA Senior PromJMU’s National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) took a spin on the concept of prom this fall, replacing high-school seniors with senior citizens.  On October 3, vans full of members from senior centers as far north as Winchester and as far south as Waynesboro poured in front of the Festival ballroom for the organization’s much-anticipated Senior Prom.  Dr. Martin, a JMU Nursing Professor and NSNA advisor, recalls when the frenzy began: “The first one was fall 2005 and we developed it as a one-time thing…and it was such a hit, that before people even left, they wanted it again…and now it’s become an annual event.”  Numbers don’t lie; with around 300 attending the first prom, the event has grown to include almost 500.  The affair has also received a positive response from the community, receiving funding from Elder Alliance and Augusta Medical Center (AMC).

Fulfilling the prom-goers’ previous request for a Country Western theme, nursing students dusted off their cowboy boots to join in on the festivities.  However, this would not be the first time they would be acquainted with the prom’s honored guests.   This event allowed many of the students to meet up with their older cohorts, who they have visited several times throughout the semester during their gerontology practicum, NSG 370.  A proud advisor, Dr. Martin says that she was excited for the students to become so involved:   “They took on a bigger role this year.” 

PHOTO: NSNA Senior PromFor the seniors, they showed that they remain young at heart.  With a line-dance caller, clogging performance, door-prizes and bountiful opportunities for photo-ops there was no time to slow down.  “These are folks that are not necessarily very active in the community as a whole, they’re a little more chronically ill, a little more physically impaired, so they look forward to going to the senior centers anyway and then to have a big event like this is very exciting for them,” says Dr. Martin. 

Looking to next year, Dr. Martin expects that the prom will continue as an annual event.  “I think we’ve got the system down now to where it’s not so hard to pull off anymore… the students enjoy it, the seniors enjoy it, so it’s kind of a win-win situation,” she says.  The nursing professor divulges that seniors may even have a chance at another line-dance, due to the overwhelming response to this year’s theme.  With NSNA’s Dolley Award for event of the year this past spring however, it would be hard to put an end to the event: “It’s a class act,” says Dr. Martin.