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.


JMU Students Participate in VCGS Graduate Student Research Forum

Posted: March 6, 1007

On February 6, in Richmond, six students from James Madison University assisted in bringing graduate student research to the forefront. Among more than 60 students from around the state, they presented their work at the Virginia Council on Graduate Schools (VCGS) Graduate Student Research Forum.

A Ph.D. student in assessment and measurement, Pamela Kay Kaliski understood the importance behind presenting her research which compared the motivations for achievement of students from low-income families to students from higher-income families. She says, “I believe that understanding college students’ reasons for being motivated to achieve is important for educators. Awareness of the nature of college students’ achievement goals has implications for how to best prepare college students for the workforce.” Patsy Salyers-Baugh, an M.S. student in integrated science and technology, shared work which hit a little closer to home for her. Researching the catalysts behind a water shortage that occurred in Wise County in October 2005, she says, “Big Stone Gap is my hometown, so the water shortage that happened there was personally significant, in addition to the significance of any community that runs out of water.”

Attending the forum, students were able to present their research to state professionals, hoping to receive support for catapulting further extensions of their work. As an Ed.S. psychology student studying the role of parents in the education of children with limited English proficiency, LeAnne Rawls Parr says “I was very honored to be selected and excited to be able to share research that could lead to better funding for programs designed to help diverse parents.” Pamela’s similar hopes were met, discovering enthusiasm for her research at the forum: “Everyone I talked to was interested in my topic. Many people had suggestions, and were curious about whether or not my results would replicate on different college campuses.”

Back at JMU, Patsy is already working on extending her research to other areas: “I am currently in the process of model development and testing. I am also trying to connect with local government or organizations like the Appalachian Regional Commission to see if there is interest in applying this model to other rural communities.” LeAnne is not finished spreading the word either: “I will be presenting [my research] at the spring convention of National Association of School Psychologists and providing feedback to the district where the program is conducted.” Looking towards future endeavors, Pamela plans on submitting her study for publication.

Other students who presented at the VCGS Graduate Student Research Forum include Rebecca Moore (M.S. student in kinesiology-exercise physiology), Abigail Lau (Ph.D. student in assessment and measurement) and Robert Lawton Fathke Jr. (M.S. student in biology).