Office of the Dean
A native of Ohio, Dr. Phil Wishon's professional work experience includes having taught elementary school in inner-city Columbus for three years, and preschool for a year at Ohio Wesleyan University's child development center. Phil received his doctoral degree from Ohio State University in child development and early childhood education. His professional interests include education and conscience, children and families at risk, curriculum and program development and assessment, education foundations, performance assessment, play intervention, literacy development, and Japanese-American internment. Over the years, Phil has published widely in these and related areas, including over 100 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books. Phil's contributions to professional associations include tenures as President (and prior to that, Treasurer) of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators, Treasurer of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, Consulting Editor for the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Editorial Board Member for the journal Young Children. Phil currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board for School Psychology Quarterly, and Executive Editor of the Colorado Early Childhood Journal. Phil comes to James Madison University from the University of Northern Colorado where he served most recently as Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher and Professional Education.
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Shaeffer is an Associate Dean in the College of Education at James Madison University. She taught for 10 years in Head Start and kindergarten in schools in the upper Midwest. For over 20 years, Dr. Shaeffer has been involved in higher education, specializing in early childhood education. After completing her PhD in Teacher Education/Early Childhood from the University of North Dakota, Peggy moved to Wyoming and for the next ten years was an assistant and associate professor of early childhood/early childhood special education at the University of Wyoming. In 1996, she returned to the University of North Dakota and for the next ten years served as associate professor in early childhood special education, served as department chair for special education and most recently was the Director of Teacher Education at the University of North Dakota. Her professional interests are in program development in teacher education, promoting the development of partnerships in education and supporting the active engagement of families in the education of their children. She has presented numerous papers at international, national and regional conferences and been actively involved in special grant projects such as the preparation of Native American teachers and Parent Education programs.
Dr. Margaret "Maggie" Kyger is an Assistant Dean in the College of Education at James Madison University. She worked for 16 years in public schools as a special education teacher and administrator. Dr. Kyger has worked at James Madison University for the last 13 years, first as a coordinator at the VDOE Region 5, Training and Technical Assistance Center, and more recently as an assistant and an associate professor in the Exceptional Education Department in the College of Education. She served as the Exceptional Education department head for three years prior assuming her present job July of 2008. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing student affairs and advising functions for the College of Education, and field experiences and assessment efforts for the College and the Professional Education Unit. Her professional interests are in the areas of resiliency and retention of teachers, teacher education program development, and effective mathematics instruction for students who struggle with learning. She has co-authored a book, book chapter, and several articles. She has presented her work at numerous national and international conferences.
Joyce Conley joined the Office of the Dean in the College of Education in November 2004. Her previous employment includes 27 years in manufacturing in a variety of areas including assembly line, quality control, team leader, warehouse attendant, receptionist, and human resource assistant. In July 2006, Joyce completed the Administrative Assistant Certification Program offered through JMU’s Training and Development Department. Joyce says the best part of her position here at JMU is the daily interaction with students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Joyce is a native of Greene County. Away from work Joyce enjoys gardening, spending time with family, and cruising the areas country roads in her Miata convertible.
A Shenandoah Valley native, Vickie Kinkead joined the Office of the Associate Deans’ in the College of Education in June 2012. New to higher education her previous careers in the private sector encompassed IT support, event planning, travel management, administrative support and finance coordination. The majority of which took place in the book manufacturing and language learning software industries. Vickie loves spending time with family and friends. An avid albeit novice gardener she also enjoys entertaining, photography, traveling and reading. She also takes pride in being a bit of a Ms. Fix-It which comes in handy when helping her husband Rick keep their renovated log farmhouse in good repair. They share their Augusta County homestead with two very spoiled blonde tabby cats, Alexie and Holly(wood).
Yvonne S. Miller's employment with James Madison University began in September 1998, in the Office of the Director of the School of Education. Two years later, Yvonne assumed her current position with the Office of the Dean, in the College of Education. Her previous employment includes five years of office related experience in the medical/plastic surgery field and three years of experience in the civil engineering field. Yvonne earned an Associates Degree from Blue Ridge Community College and a Bachelor of Individualized Study from James Madison University. She is a Certified Professional Secretary through the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Currently, Yvonne is pursuing a Master of Science in Education in Adult Education/Human Resource Development with a concentration in Higher Education. Yvonne is a native of the Shenandoah Valley. Away from work, she is an active 4-H Leader and Horse Judging Coach. Her county horse judging team has earned multiple state championships. She has served as co-coach of the VA State 4-H Horse Judging Team for many years which has earned multiple national championship titles. Yvonne is a carded horse show judge who owns and shows Arabian horses.
Violet began her career with James Madison University in 1984 when she was hired as a part-time secretary in the Department of Business Education. In September 1989 she joined the Dept. of Speech-Language Pathology (now know as Communication Science and Disorders) as a full-time administrative assistant where she worked for the next seventeen years. On April 1, 2006, she accepted a position in the Office of the Associate Deans’ in the College of Education. Working at James Madison University has given her the opportunity to learn much about the university and the realm of higher education in general. Working with students is truly one thing that she enjoys about her job.Violet has two grown sons and four grandchildren – Faith, Hope, Eli, and Daniel all under the age of 5. In her spare time she loves to work in her flower beds and rock gardens surrounding the home she and her husband Paul just recently built and share with with Abby, a Shih-Tzu, and Callie, a calico cat. A new hobby for her is helping her husband restore a 1949 Ford coup her husband started working on many years ago and going to car shows.
The College of Education at JMU
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Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807