JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love JMU's Professors You Love

Click here to read Madison magazine's 10th anniversary issue of Professors You Love series online

Click here and read the special 10th anniversary issue of the Professors You Love series online!

Madison's award-winning Professors You Love series recognizes the special relationships among students and professors by sharing memories, written by JMU students and alumni, about the professors who have made the most impact on their lives, then, and now. What is perhaps most special of all about this series is that the sentiments expressed come directly from the alumni whose lives have been changed by those committed Madison professors.

Want to contact your former professor?

The meaningful exchange between professor and student at JMU is legend. If you'd like to contact your former professor and talk about college days and present lives, visit the JMU People Finder page and type in his or her name.

Of course, you could follow Darian Parker's ('01, '03M) example. After reading the Spring/Summer 2010 Madison celebrating the 10th anniversary of Professors You Love, Parker, a certified personal trainer and a fitness/wellness writer for Demand Studios, posted his thoughts on his blog. Check out his May 2, 2010, posting "Who inspired You?" If you feel inspired to talk about your Madison memories, let us know.

Don't see your favorite professor?

Share your story at (We can help you with editing or writing.)

professors you love

The one who started it all!

Professors You Love offers students a way to publicly say thanks — and to say so much more. It all began 10 years ago, when David Hillgrove ('79) wrote a tribute to Eileen Nelson, a psychology professor.

In this Q&A with Madison contributor Jamie Marsh, professor Nelson talks about her Madison memories.

Other ways to honor your favorite professor

Not quite comfortable with your writing skills? Get out your Flip video camera and shoot a video about your favorite JMU professor. You may see yourself on or on JMU’s YouTube “Duke Dog TV Channel.” Shoot and post your video to your Web page or Facebook page. Then, e-mail with the Web link and your contact info.

You may also honor your favorite professor in a way that makes a lasting difference. Make a gift to JMU in honor (or in memory) of your favorite professor. Support a JMU scholarship or professorship, or create a new gift. Call the JMU Office of Development at (800) 296-6162, or visit

  1. Photo: Bennie Bauman

    Bauman, Bennie

    Computer science's gentle giant

    "Computer science professor Bennie M. Bauman and I started at JMU the same year — 1974. I was assigned to help him in the spring of 1975 through the work/study program, in which I provided secretarial services to two professors." …Read more

  2. Photo: biology professor Stephen Bocskey

    Bocskey, Stephen

    Even his pop quizzes didn't stop us from loving him

    "Surely, some still remember him. My freshman year and my Madison Experience would not have been the same without him. Quiet, humble, unpretentious Stephen Bocskey never wore his mortarboard" … Read more

  3. Photo: Professor emeritus of biology and Edith J. Carrier Arboretum educational coordinator Norlyn Bodkin

    Bodkin, Norlyn

    Professor's dream turns into an outdoor living classroom

    "I met Dr. Norlyn Bodkin in the summer of 1973 after a dismal freshman year. I needed to attend summer school, and one of the classes I took was his Biology 102. Since that seven-week" Read more

  4. Hank Bowers

    Bowers, Hank

    Shouldering burdens and sharing joys

    "More than 35 years ago I stood anxiously with several other students in a Wilson Hall hallway. We, Madison College's newly elected Class of 1973 SGA class officers, were awaiting the arrival of our class adviser." Read more

  5. Photo: Professor Bill Boyer

    Boyer, Bill

    Professor Bill Boyer was both encouraging and challenging

    "During the spring of my junior year of high school, my family encouraged me to narrow my college choices by visiting the schools I thought I might like to attend. We made our way" …Read more

  6. Photo: Professor Pat Bruce

    Bruce, Pat

    Coach Bruce was always there for me

    "Although it's been quite sometime since I graduated from JMU (then Madison College) in 1969, I still hold memories that haven't faded. After graduating as" …Read more

  7. Photo: Professor Paul Cline

    Cline, Paul

    Paul Cline rocked my world

    "Maury Hall — 2:30 each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Too tired from softball practice 6:30 that morning, too many beers at JM's the night before. It was the afternoon slump. It was Snickers time." …Read more

  8. Photo: Professor Ralph Cohen

    Cohen, Ralph

    English professor leaves an impact

    "During the fall of 1987, I fell in love with three men: Randy Cover (now my husband of 12 years and the father of my two sons), William Shakespeare, and the man who brought Will and me together, English professor" …Read more

  9. Photo: Professor Henry Converse

    Converse, Henry

    Mentor, promoter, protector and “father”

    "Here's Maudie with her bird nest, and Cappy have you finished your doughnut? They are here, we can begin." So began Dr. Henry A. Converse, our beloved mathematics professor and registrar." …Read more

  10. Photo: Professor Flip DeLuca

    DeLuca, Flip

    by Patrick Butters

    "It was the spring semester of 1982 at JMU, and I was miserable. I was clinically depressed, though I didn't know it at the time. I also I hadn't decided on my major. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I graduated" …Read more

  11. Photo: Professor Flip DeLuca

    DeLuca, Flip

    by Khalil Garriott

    "There I sat, feeling dejected and rejected, on the steps of the Anthony–Seeger Hall basement. I was a JMU junior faced with one of the hardest decisions of my life up until that point. Recently passed over for my dream job" …Read more

  12. Photo: Professor Mildred Dickerson

    Dickerson, Mildred

    Professor taught in the education department's nursery school from its inception

    "As I worked with "Mrs. D" at Anthony-Seeger teaching lab school, across the street from what was the Madison campus of the 1960s, I began a process that directly opened up my understanding of young children" …Read more

  13. Photo: Professor Z.S. Dickerson

    Dickerson, Z.S.

    Dr. D turned bad days into happy ones

    "When President John F. Kennedy was shot in November of 1963, we Madison College freshmen who had just left the security of our homes were especially devastated and" …Read more

  14. Photo: Professor Raymond Dingledine Jr.

    Dingledine Jr., Raymond

    His enthusiasm for history was contagious

    "It was only happenstance when — as a sophomore at Madison College with a history and library science major — I selected Dr. Raymond Dingledine Jr.'s U.S. History" …Read more

  15. Photo: Professor Lynn Fichter

    Fichter, Lynn

    Geology professor made a lasting impression

    "He breezed into the classroom, toting a thick binder of course notes. Finding his place immediately, he’d glance at his notes, look up at his students and plow head-on into stratigraphic" …Read more

  16. Photo: Professor Judi Flohr

    Flohr, Judi

    Professor's challenge inspired my best work

    "I was a junior physical education major in the fall of 1986. My academic history up to that point was an all too common tale: good high school grades, a very bumpy first year, followed by improving grades and a vow" …Read more

  17. Photo: Professor Otto Frederickson

    Frederickson, Otto

    Dr. Freddie made a deep impression

    "Dr. Otto Frederikson, or "Dr. Freddie" as we called him, was a short, stocky man who loved teaching young women. He had a good, strong voice, and he made a deep impression upon me. Especially since he told us that it was important that marriage occur within five years of graduation or we would end up old maids." …Read more

  18. Photo: Dr. Joanne Gabbin

    Gabbin, Joanne

    Making writing a reality

    "I remember the class when Dr. Gabbin read The Wrong Kitchen by Nikki Giovanni, a poem that captured me more than others. You could tell Dr. Gabbin loved the poem too — it was in" …Read more

  19. Photo: Professor Susan Ghiaciuc

    Ghiaciuc, Susan

    Dr. Ghiaciuc inspires creativity

    "I have many people to thank for their support and encouragement during my Madison Experience. I graduated in May 2008, and one professor really stood out during my undergraduate career." …Read more

  20. Photo: Professor Clive Hallman

    Hallman, Clive

    His best teaching tools were his sense of humor and generosity

    "When I think about great JMU history professors who had a positive impact on my education, it is difficult to choose only one. However, Dr. Clive Hallman is the one who most stands out" …Read more

  21. Photo: Professor Rich Harris

    Harris, Rich

    Community Service-Learning and Rich Harris in Thailand

    "In January 2007, as JMU students trekked back to Harrisonburg after a month-long winter break, some were readjusting and settling back into their dorm rooms or apartments while others were simply trying to come to grips" …Read more

  22. Photo: Professor David Herr

    Herr, David

    David Herr, a professor to emulate

    "During spring semester of my junior year, I took a block course for my minor in special education because I had heard it was a good course to take. Well, that class not only met my expectations" …Read more

  23. Photo: Professor JoAnne Holman

    Holman, JoAnne

    She prepares students for real-world experiences

    "I can still hear JoAnne Holman's words echoing in my head: "Remember numbers one through nine are written out, and 10 and above should be in numeric form." There I was, a lowly" …Read more

  24. Photo: Professor Pam Johnson

    Johnson, Pam

    She opened my eyes to the world

    "How many professors can you say truly changed the way you look at the world? Every time I look at a theater set, costume or even a magazine advertisement, I find myself evaluating the use of line, color, symbolism and" …Read more

  25. Photo: Professor J.J. Leary

    Leary, J.J.

    Brutal honesty leads to treasured friendship

    "Come in my office, Clary! " My heart sank through my toenails as I wondered what I had done to warrant a summons into the office of "J.J.," as Dr. James J. Leary preferred to be addressed. Dr. Leary was my analytical chemistry professor, and" …Read more

  26. Photo: Professor John  Little

    Little, John

    Lessons of a lifetime

    ""Just a minute" rings out in a clear tenor voice in my memory, as I'm sure it must for all previous students of Dr. John Little. As a timid freshman, I knocked on his door" …Read more

  27. Photo: Professor Conrad Logan

    Logan, Conrad

    Professor, employer, friend and mentor

    "Conrad Travis Logan, who was my English professor from 1926 to 1930, was more than a teacher. He was also my employer, friend and mentor. I was 16 years old when I entered what was then known as State Teachers College at Harrisonburg." …Read more

  28. Photo: Professor Virginia Mathie

    Mathie, Virginia

    A legacy of grace

    "It seemed like a relatively insignificant object — a bookmark. This particular bookmark, however, was anything but insignificant: it was momentous. I carried it in numerous books" …Read more

  29. Photo: Professor Robin McNallie

    McNallie, Robin

    A reason not to cut class

    "It was the '70s, and my friends and I had been known to cut classes, especially in the warm Shenandoah Valley summers.we would gather at Blue Hole, the girls in leopard bikinis and the boys in" …Read more

  30. Photo: Professor Robin McNallie

    McNallie, Robin

    Serious about writing

    "When I began writing The Way I Saw America during the summer of 1981, a good friend suggested that I approach the JMU Department of English to inquire about getting credit for my writing." …Read more

  31. Photo: Professor Geoffrey Morley-Mower

    Morley-Mower, Geoffrey

    Morley-Mower’s energy captured our attention

    "As I reflect on my own four years at James Madison University, I am always reminded of that scared country girl leaving home for the first time. I grew up in Luray, which is" …Read more

  32. Photo: Professor Leotus Morrison

    Morrison, Leotus

    She got game

    "I had no business being a physical education major. On my best day, with all systems go, I was a mediocre athlete with few visible skills. As a bonus, I was slow." …Read more

  33. Photo: Professor Carole Nash

    Nash, Carole

    Carole Nash encouraged me to think critically

    "The JMU professor who has made a lasting impact on my life is Carole Nash, professor of anthropology." …Read more

  34. Photo: Professor Alan Neckowitz

    Neckowitz, Alan

    Saving my skin

    "It was the spring semester of 1982 at JMU, and I was miserable. I was clinically depressed, though I didn't know it at the time. I also I hadn't decided on my major. I didn't know" …Read more

  35. Photo: Professor Eileen Nelson

    Nelson, Eileen

    I am human

    "I am personally responsible for Eileen Nelson's retirement, and I feel terrible. No one should be expected to run as hard or do as much as I have asked of her, and yet she continues to give. And I" …Read more

  36. Photo: Professor Cameron Nickels

    Nickels, Cameron

    Beyond teaching and mentoring

    "I remember well the first day that I met English professor Cameron Nickels. It was not among the offices of Keezell Hall; it wasn't even on the JMU campus. I encountered him at" …Read more

  37. Photo: Professor Helen Poindexter

    Poindexter, Helen

    Sparking a passion

    "Her boots were the first thing a new student noticed. They were rubber rain boots that reached almost to her knees— an accessory that most students would immediately poke fun at" …Read more

  38. Photo: Professor Eric Ruple

    Ruple, Eric

    The motivation within

    "'Undecided.' That's what it read on the top of my freshman orientation packet, next to my name. Only it wasn't true. I wasn't undecided. I knew exactly what I wanted to do" …Read more

  39. Photo: Professor Dorothy Savage

    Savage, Dorothy

    She never got in the water

    "I loved Miss Savage. She taught me how to swim, yet she never once got in the water! Dorothy L. Savage was an associate professor of physical education in 1948. She wore slacks and knelt at the edge of the pool to show" …Read more

  40. Photo: Professor Elmer Smith

    Smith, Elmer

    What you can learn

    "College, I was forewarned, meant elephantine textbooks, rapid note taking, library research papers and brain-defying tests and exams. My freshman year I walked" …Read more

  41. Photo: Professor Laura Taalman

    Taalman, Laura

    "Smartest ever"

    "Without a doubt, associate professor of mathematics Dr. Laura Taalman is the best teacher I ever had. She was not only my academic adviser, she also taught four of my" …Read more

  42. Photo: Professor Crystal Theodore

    Theodore, Crystal

    Recognizing passion

    "I had art professor Crystal Theodore for various art classes on my way to my B.A. in art education. But I remember best her class on art history. I admired her" …Read more

  43. Photo: Professor William Voige

    Voige, William

    William Voige: A professor to remember

    "In spring 1978, I was nervous and even a little scared when I first set foot in the classroom of JMU chemistry professor William Voige, now faculty emeritus. I had never taken chemistry before" …Read more

  44. Photo: Professor Mark Warner

    Warner, Mark

    Lessons on a meaningful life

    "I remember the first day that I met this special man. During my freshman year, my best friend and I were working out in the Godwin gym. Dr. Warner came over to say hello" …Read more

  45. Photo: Professor Steve Welpott

    Welpott, Steve

    Never business as usual

    "From the first day I stepped into professor Steve Welpott's General Business 160 course, I knew he was going to be an amazing professor. He started each class with a joke," …Read more

  46. Photo: Professor Dave Wendelken

    Wendelken, Dave

    Saving my skin

    "It was the spring semester of 1982 at JMU, and I was miserable. I was clinically depressed, though I didn't know it at the time. I also I hadn't decided on my major. I didn't know what I wanted" …Read more

  47. Photo: Professor George West

    West, George

    A backstage pass

    "It was the fall of 1982. I was a freshman music major enrolled in the scariest class of my life—freshman theory with music professor George West. I had heard the stories. He was tough" …Read more

  48. Photo: Professor Kent Zimmerman

    Zimmerman, Kent

    Be a swan

    "Of course, he always helped students after class and gave one-on-one conferences. But where I truly learned and cheered for more was in my chair each day in Management and" …Read more