Madison Center for Community Development Opens
JMU’s School of Public and International Affairs, the Office of Outreach and Engagement, and the Office of Research and Scholarship have partnered to create the Madison Center for Community Development, a resource for local governments and community organizations in the Shenandoah Valley and throughout Virginia.
The center will build on the Master of Public Administration program’s successful Partners in Community Leadership initiative, which was established in 2009. Graduate of the MPA program, Courtland Robinson, says that “There’s a lot of need out there for assistance, and I think this new center is a great resource for nonprofits and local governments.” Robinson now works for the city of Staunton and believes the center will invigorate businesses in the Valley.
Dr. Nick Swartz, associate professor of public policy and administration, is the director for the new center. The center will allow students to go beyond classroom walls and apply their knowledge in the field. "Students are able to develop more skills and gain real-world experiences" says Swartz.
Furthermore, the center “will facilitate the continued and expanded development of community-based research and learning and mutually beneficial partnerships to forge even stronger relationships between JMU and the broader community,” Swartz said. “I’m excited to move this new initiative forward.”
The new center is located on the third floor of the Ice House in downtown Harrisonburg. For more information, Dr. Nick J. Swartz at (540) 568-5272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.