Jonathan "Todd" Shifflett Making a difference with music
Jonathan "Todd" Shifflett, a staff housekeeper in Wampler Hall, does more than whistle a tune while he serves JMU students. Since 2003 Todd has been sharing an inspirational and positive musical message with students during concerts each fall and spring semester. "It's all about encouraging people to make a difference." He was inspired to share his talents with students because of how kind they were to him. "I just wanted to give something back," he says. Todd, who plays the guitar and sings, invites students to participate in the musical messages by joining in and performing skits. His fall 2010 concert included a song and skit about helping the homeless. "Love can make a difference," Todd says, "and I want to share that with the students." More than 100 students attend each of the concerts, and Todd plans to continue performing as long as the students want him. "Many students think, 'I don't know if my love can make a difference or not,'" says Todd, "So, I tell them that when we actually do something, and we put our whole heart into it, it can make a big difference. Then they see their fellow students making a difference, and they are encouraged to do the same." It's quite the Madison melody.
"When we actually do something, and we put our whole heart into it, we can make a big difference."