Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration
Director of the Master in Public Administration (MPA) Program
Dr. Swartz’s research is quite broad and interdisciplinary in nature. His most recent research efforts have focused on local and regional economic development, community engagement, university-community partnerships, and quality-of-life. While at JMU he has made a commitment to improving his local and regional community. His work through this vein has included the creation of Economic Development Plans for the Towns of Dayton, VA and Elkton, VA; program evaluations and strategic planning sessions for various non-profits and local governments located throughout the Shenandoah Valley; the creation of reports and evaluations for various public and private sector organizations to help improve regional economic development throughout the Harrisonburg region; and the impacts (both pro and con) of municipal incorporation of Massanutten Village, VA. Dr. Swartz has also recently spent a significant amount of time, alongside his colleague, Dr. Lili Peaslee, working on their upcoming book on Public Policymaking and Politics in Virginia. Dr. Swartz incorporates as many JMU undergraduate and graduate students in his research as possible. His belief that students learn best by doing has touched more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students in the Public Policy and Administration Programs located in the School of Public and International Affairs.
Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Technology
Director of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Lab (AFV)
A passion for motorcycles and classic cars combined with advanced coursework in engineering led Chris to a research focus on alternative fuels in the transportation sector. Since coming to JMU, more than 80 students from a diverse array of disciplines (ISAT, Engineering, Business, Industrial Design, Arts and Communication) have participated in AFV research projects. He has worked with small-scale biodiesel processors, cellulosic ethanol, and hydrogen fuels as well as electric propulsion systems. Chris' most recent efforts involve a partnership with Harley-Davidson Motor Company and MillerCoors brewing that highlight American ingenuity and the potential to transform portions of our current waste-stream into clean, renewable fuels.