JMU Academic Advising Team

As a Pre-Professional Health student, you have an academic advising team! At minimum, you have two advisors. One advisor for your major and another advisor for your Pre-Professional Health (PPH) Program (e.g. Pre-Medicine, Pre-Physical Therapy). If you are a first-year or transfer student, you will have a First-Year or Transfer Advisor to uniquely focus on your transition to the university before moving to a major advisor; though, typically your First-Year or Transfer Advisor is an advisor within your major. If you have additional majors, minors, or are a varsity student-athlete, then you will have additional advisors. Your advisor for each academic program will serve as a resource to help you with academic planning and decision-making regarding the declared academic program to which they are assigned as your advisor.

All of your academic advisors are listed in your "Student Center" within MyMadison. To view contact information for your advisor, search your advisors name on the JMU Campus Directory.

Madison Advising Peers (MAPs)

In addition to academic advisors of record, JMU also has peer advisors that are part of your advising team. MAPs are fellow students that work in conjunction with faculty advisors to provide supplemental academic advising information and assist JMU undergraduate students who have general advising questions. Some MAPs provide peer advising for any JMU student; other MAPs specialize with certain student populations (e.g. Pre-Professional Health Advising, Honors College). The MAPs that specialize in supporting PPH students are located within PPH Advising (Roop Hall G24) and provide drop-in advising (a.k.a. no appointment needed!) during the fall and spring semesters. Find their hours in the PPH Advising footer at the bottom of this webpage.

Picture of Kyle Cicalese
Kyle Cicalese

Major: Biology and Sociology
PPH Program: Pre-Medicine
Campus & Community Engagements:

Picture of Lexa Charlton
Lexa Charlton

Major: Health Sciences with a Health Studies concentration
PPH Program: Pre-Physician Assistant
Campus and Community Engagements:

Pre-PT Advisors

Photograph of Dr. Louise Gilchrist
Louise Gilchrist, Ph.D., P.T.

Dr. Gilchrist serves as the primary academic advisor for Pre-PT students at JMU. Dr. Gilchrist works part-time as a Pre-PT advisor at JMU, because in addition to serving as the Pre-PT advisor she is a full-time PT at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH). Dr. Gilchrist received her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, specializing in biomechanics. Prior to moving to Virginia, she served as the PT Program Director at the University at Buffalo where she taught both graduate and undergraduate students. Her clinical experience is mainly in acute care.

Photograph of Dr. Heather Patterson
Heather Patterson, Ph.D.

Dr. Patterson serves as the primary advisor for all pre-professional health (PPH) students in their first- and second-year at JMU. She also is the primary advisor for new PPH transfer students, regardless of their academic year, and is the primary PPH contact for all prospective JMU students interested in PPH programs. She supports students' development and strengthening of their academic and experiential plans. She completed her Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership with a concentration in Postsecondary Analysis and Leadership from James Madison University. She earned her M.S. in Higher Education Administration at Syracuse University and her B.A. in Psychology at The Ohio State University.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilchrist or Dr. Patterson, contact Pre-Professional Health Advising by calling 540-568-6652, emailing, or visiting the office in Roop Hall G24.

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