October News 2012

Student, faculty research presentations kickoff Family Weekend

A project to develop urban gardens that will serve as green space for wildlife and people in Harrisonburg is among 43 faculty projects that will be presented during the annual Faculty Research Day from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5.

Posters about the projects will be on display in the first-floor hallway connecting the ISAT/CS and Health and Human Services buildings on the JMU campus east of Interstate 81. Faculty from the College of Health and Behavioral Studies and the College of Integrated Science and Engineering, will be on hand to discuss their research as well.

The garden presentation will highlight what has already been learned from a garden planted last spring at Harrisonburg's Keister Elementary School.

"The objectives of the garden are many, including the encouragement of growing gardens at home and learning science through observation," said Amy Goodall, associate professor of integrated science and technology. "From an academic viewpoint, we want to build islands of biodiversity through the city so that Harrisonburg residents can participate in a citizen science project to help monitor easily recognized species of birds and butterflies."

Another presentation will describe a new health care delivery model that addresses the unconventional and complex health concerns of homeless children and adults in Harrisonburg. “Suitcase Clinics” provide health care at the point of contact in five local shelters and human services agencies in the city. Primary care services are delivered by a nurse practitioner, and a case manager is assigned when more comprehensive services are needed, along with follow-up referrals through the Harrisonburg Community Health Center.

The program has been active since July 2011 and has already produced some good outcomes, said Linda Hulton, professor of nursing. “We completed a patient satisfaction survey this past July that was overwhelmingly positive,” she said.

Additional projects include a GIS map that will assist with making decisions regarding allocating and screening resources for children and families in Virginia; a survey of JMU faculty members’ perceptions of their roles in alcohol education and prevention; and an archaeology project at a historic Page County home located along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River near Luray.

A complete list of projects to be presented during Faculty Research Day can be found here.

Student work also will be on display Friday during the 8th Annual General Education Student Conference.

The public conference features undergraduate students who were selected based on their creative, outstanding and distinguished work. Topics range from sustainability education to 21st century political perspectives to construction contributions of the Romans.

The conference is divided into two sessions with concurrent panels. The first session is from 2:45 to 4 p.m. The second session runs from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. All sessions are held in Taylor Hall.

The complete conference program is available at http://www.jmu.edu/gened/studentconference.shtml

Visit the Family Weekend website for more information about attractions and events.