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Olivia Adams

Hometown: Stephens City, VA

Classification: Senior

Major: Communication Studies with a concentration in Health

Minor: Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication and Women’s and Gender Studies

Hobbies: Reading poetry, public speaking, hiking, enjoying time with friends

Other JMU involvement: Co-Captain and undergraduate assistant for the JMU speech team, Editor of JMU’s feminist discourse page, “ShoutOut!”

Communication Center Favorite: While I love all working through all the phases of developing a presentation, I am very inclined towards working through the delivery process. Public speaking is not an effortless skill set but it does present us with visible results of improvement and that is something I love watching! 


Lauren Blitz

Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD

Classification: Junior

Major: Communication Studies with a concentration in Interpersonal

Minor: Music

Hobbies: Singing, dancing, puppies, lounging on the quad

Other JMU involvement: 

Communication Center favorite: This is my first year working for the center, and I am thrilled to be able to meet and help so many different students!


Julianna Boettger

Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA

Classification: Sophomore 

Major: Communications, Concentration in Advocacy

Minor: Political Science and Non Profit Organizations Studies

Hobbies: Volleyball, Puns, Yoga, Free Things, 90s Alternative Rock, Podcasts, and Cheeseburgers

Other JMU involvement: Class of 2019 President, Student Ambassador, Best Buddy Peer Member, Intramural Volleyball


Alex Conis

Hometown: Harrisonburg, VA

Classification: Junior

Major: Communication Studies and Modern Foreign Languages

Minor: East Asian Studies

Hobbies: Every handicraft/creative project(from ceramics to sewing to drawing, and more)! I enjoy hiking trails, traveling with friends, cooking delicious food, baking bread, learning languages, and writing snail mail!

Other JMU involvement: Marching Royal Dukes, JMU Pep Band, Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Fraternity)


Emily Cyr

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Classification: Senior

Major: Communication Studies with a concentration in Interpersonal

2nd Major: Theatre

Hobbies: Acting, dancing, reading, watching movies and HGTV, crying over dogs

Other JMU involvement: Weird Cousins Improv Troupe, Stratford Players, House Manager Forbes Center for the Performing Art


Ronne Kent

Hometown: Chantilly, VA

Classification: Sophomore

Major: Economics

Minor: Chinese Language

Hobbies: Yoga, writing, hiking, photography, and watch TED Talks

Other JMU involvement: JMU madison Honors Leadership, Student Alumni Associaiton, Student Athlete Tutor


Nikki Kniley

Hometown: Ashburn, VA

Class: Senior

Major: Creative Advertising in the School of Media Arts & Design

Minor: Communication Studies

Hobbies: Coffee dates, working out, hosting events, eating cookie dough

JMU Involvement: InterVarsity Hospitality Team Leader, Transfer Orientation Peer Advisor

Communication Center favorite: I have a passion for encouraging people to be the best that they can be! One of my favorite things is seeing people make the most of their time here at JMU and coming to the Communication Center can be a part of that. I hope that students will learn more about themselves here and reach new goals that will help them grow and flourish. 


Sophie Lex

Hometown: Vienna, VA

Class: Junior

Major: Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations

Minor: Non-profit Studies 

Hobbies: Hiking, petting dogs, watching netflix and traveling

JMU Involvement: Student Ambassadors, Club Lacrosse, Valley Ambassadors, Peer Instructor 

Communication Center favorite: I'm so excited to start my first semester working at the communication center! I'm looking forward to meeting and helping a wide variety of students. 


Rachel Mangan

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Class: Senior

Major: Communication, advocacy concentration 

Minor: Music industry

Hobbies: Discovering new music, watching classic movies, puppy watching on the quad, smiling, spending hours on end in Carrier

JMU Involvement: Member of the Panhellenic Council, Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices volunteer, Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity

Communication Center favorite: Recognizing that I'm helping students reach their full potential! 


Catherine Pierce

Hometown: Arlington, VA

Classification: Junior

Major: Graphic Design, Design and Society, SMAD

Minor: Creative Writing

Hobbies: Painting, listening to podcasts, and trying to pet the quad cat 

Other JMU involvement: Social Chair of Doghouse, Art Director of Ad Club, Historian of Madison Honors Leadership Council, and the Art Frat

Communication Center favorite: I love listening to and helping prepare for speeches and presentations. Its so much fun to learn about different topics and perspectives through the people that come in and share their speeches!


Anna Stackhouse

Hometown: Culpeper, VA

Class: Senior

Major: Communication Studies (Organization), and Media Arts and Design (Journalism)

Hobbies: Iced coffee, photography, traveling, religiously eating out, enjoying feminist rhetoric, and shopping

JMU Involvement: Facilitator for the Institute of Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue, member of Gamma Sigma Sigma

Communication Center favorite: Communicaiton research is my favorite part about tutoring, because you come across so many interesting subjects and dive into someone else's ideas! This is my first year with the center and I'm extremely excited to share my knowledge from SCOM with fellow JMU students, while futher expanding upon my own skill set. 


Melissa Swan

Hometown: Arlington, VA

Class: Senior

Major: Communication Studies

Hobbies: film photography, hiking, yoga, traveling, and watching Fixer Upper! 

JMU Involvement: JMU Competitive Cheerleading Team, Club Tennis, PRSSA, Alpha Phi Fraternity, intramural sand volleyball

Communication Center favorite: I'm new here at the center and am so excited to work with and help fellow students! 


Sydney Thier

Hometown: Chesterfield, NJ

Classification: Junior

Major: Independent Scholars, (Storytelling Concentration) and SMAD (Journalism)

Minor: Music Industry, Creative Writing & WGS

Hobbies: Writing, directing and producing short films, reading, maintaining a photojournalism blog, playing guitar, watching TV and movies, obsessing over "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and training in the ways of The Force

Other JMU involvement: VP of Doghouse Productions, Contributing writer for HerCampus JMU, Reduced Pulp Magazine, The Breeze Broadcast


Rachel Wingo

Hometown: Warrenton, VA

Class: Senior

Majors: Communication Studies (Generalist)

Minors: Human Resource Development

Hobbies: Cooking, Pinterest, Singing, Working out, Reading, Watching cati videos

Other JMU involvement: Into Hymn A Cappella

Communication Center favorite: I really enjoy seeing people leave an apppointment feeling more confident in their abilities, and excited about their project! Speeches can be intimidating, and the Communication Center is a great way to ease some of those nerves by getting your ideas out to someone who isn't grading you. 

Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistant

Michael Clay

Hometown: Penhook, VA. 

Class: Graduate

Program: Masters in Communication Advocacy

Hobbies: I love PC video gaming specifically Dark Souls and Borderlands. I also enjoy reading fantasy novels and books written about philosophy and communication theory. My favorite authors are Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, and Jim Butcher; my favorite philosophers are Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Michel Foucault. I enjoy playing basketball and hiking on the weekends and nothing can beat having a pipe at the end of the day with a good book!

Other JMU Involvement: Previous co-president of the JMU chapter of the Phi Sigma Tau philosophy honor society and still attending meetings. Graduate assistant at SCOM.


Communications Center Coordinator

Paul Mabrey
Contact Info

Hometown: Manhattan, KS

Hobbies: quality time with family & friends, traveling, concerts, food, watching sports and most forms of pop culture

Other JMU involvement: collaborate with and mentor faculty through CFI, CARS, CIT and University Studies; advise first-year nursing students; public debate

Communication Center favorite: Really looking forward to working with an excellent group of students and seeing what kind of exciting tutoring and programming opportunities we can offer JMU and the Harrisonburg community