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2013 Stories

Challenge, yes, but also support

Caitlin McAvoy rehearses for the JMU production of All Shook Up

Caitlin McAvoy says studying musical theatre at JMU challenges students with intensity but provides plenty of encouragement.
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Interdisciplinary focus on peace

Emily Spiwak, international affairs and interdisciplinary religion major

Research on the Bosnian War reinforces JMU senior Emily Spiwak's conviction that interdisciplinary efforts are needed for peace.
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Understanding the Peace Process
Jan Lodal provided a senior official's perspective on the Bosnian conflict.

Navigating from War to Peace
President Alger challenged attendees to understand how ethical reasoning can influence national decision-making.

Art education program partners with local schools
JMU students get hands-on opportunities teaching art skills during art nights

Filling a blind spot
JMU senior James Prince applies religion studies to intelligence analysis.

Professor reporting from Winter Paralympic Games
Dr. Joshua Pate plans to use the experience to inform his teaching and research at JMU.

Maximized potential
What can prepare intelligence professionals to make critical decisions in complex scenarios? Justen Silva shares his experience.

Collaborative science
Biotechnology major Joe Balsamo is researching auditory system development in hopes of finding better ways to address hearing deficits and hearing loss.

Bonding Over Music
What could make chemotherapy treatment a better experience?

JMU double Fulbright awardee teaches in Korea
Professor Sang Yoon, JMU's first two-time Fulbright award winner, shares her talents and knowledge with students in Korea.

Finding out what's at the end of the universe
How do you get a head start on graduate school? Physics major Emily Dick has a plan.

The lure of undergraduate research
What nations will dominate the world stage in the future? JMU senior Zachary Ochoa researches the rise of superpowers.

Living the education
Can we preserve what is left of the world's rainforests? Biology major Emily Thyroff ('15) is getting a chance to address the problem.

Challenged, but not alone
Honors student Michelle Amaya ('14) says involved professors have helped make her academic career a success.

Professors and the road to success
Mentorship goes beyond labs and classrooms. It opened the door to Carly Starke's future.

Predicting sports success
JMU undergrad research offers a host of possibilities. Basketball fan John Ellis used his math research to predict sports success.

Engineering a robot
Summer research at JMU opens unexpected pathways of discovery. Lisha White got to collaborate with students with different majors and class years while building a robot.

On to the next chapter
A Madison Forever Scholarship is allowing her to finish at JMU and pursue her dream of making a mark in the graphic design world in a big way.

Caring is the goal
Madison Forever Scholarship donors helped keep Jared Farnsworth a Duke, and he plans to make the most of that assistance.

Saving the day, and career
A Madison Forever Scholarship saved her JMU academic career and put this health services administration major on the path to help others.

The science of problems and solutions
An unprecedented volume of information and high-risk scenarios face graduates entering the intelligence field. JMU gets them ready for the challenge.

Realizing your dreams
Hillcrest Scholarships unleash honors students full potential and vault them into promising futures.

Ethics or the bottom line
Business decisions often affect the environment and the community at large. College of Business Dean Mary Gowan offers insight on making informed decisions.

Creating world citizens
We live in an increasingly complex global community. That's why JMU programs help students become enlightened world citizens.

It's complicated
The Madison Collaborative, JMU's breathtaking new endeavor, aims to instill in every student a competency for making ethical decisions.

Honors Seminar Abroad
Getting a globally minded perspective of the world, building independence, gaining confidence—all part of JMU Honors seminar abroad.

A chance to discover
A Hillcrest Scholarship gave honors student Carly Starke the chance to conduct vaccine research for the U.S. government, to share her findings with leaders in the field and to catch a glimpse of her future.

Modeling monarchs' lifecycle
Is the monarch butterfly at risk of extinction? Math major Emily Hunt conducted research in Mexico to learn more about the monarchs' lifecycle.

Cross-disciplinary locomotion study
JMU undergrad research offers a host of possibilities. Jeff Kopsick's research on microscopic organisms combines biology, math and 3D printing technology.

A Moment in the Spotlight
A master class experience with Tony Award winner Patti LuPone gives JMU students a chance to learn and perform with the best.

JMU changed my life
Getting involved changed her Madison Experience and her life. Better yet, it helped her make a difference for school students at home and abroad.

Embracing and empowering difference
Tom Moran, assistant professor of kinesiology, is helping meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities through innovative community outreach in sports and recreation.

Kenyan connections
Want to learn about the politics of land access and ownership, sustainable food production, and resource distribution? Consider the JMU Field School in Kenya.

Influencing global political discourse and bringing it to class
History professor Shah Mahmoud Hanifi teaches students to think critically.

Getting kids healthy
Convinced that healthy kids make for a better future for everyone, Shannon Dougherty, a kinesiology major, helped develop programs geared specifically to local children with disabilities.

JMU Alumni Chapter Challenge
It's a form of grassroots philanthropy, and it goes by a number of titles: crowd funding, peer-to-peer, the ground game. It is a major way to raise funds and awareness for a cause. And it's arrived at a JMU alumni chapter near you.

Critical thinking beyond the classroom
Professors help students navigate their academic careers and prepare for future success. Interaction with a faculty member led Katie Sensabaugh down an unexpected, but welcome, path.

Seeing beyond boundaries
JMU senior Michelle Amaya came to a full realization of the value of an expansive worldview in an unlikely place—a Bolivian orphanage.

Why I teach the way I do
Psychology professor Matthew R. Lee tells why he brings a passion for social justice to his JMU classroom discussions.

A passion for social justice
Want a world free of discrimination? Professor Matt Lee teaches students how to create the type of society they want to live in.

Hidden in History
Can the history of a forgotten neighborhood shape the future? JMuse's "Remembering Place" series gives the Harrisonburg community a forum for reflection and discussion.

Built for Learning
Study, interact and research in an inviting atmosphere full of natural lighting and beautiful views—how the Rose Library connects people and ideas.

A year of living bravely
A Study Abroad experience is much more than studying. Morgan Robinson ('13) says that "it's living like you've never lived before."

Diving into Honors challenges
Despite a rigorous athletics schedule, JMU student-athletes have a drive to also excel in academics and organizations outside of their sport. Camilla Czulada is one of them.

A winning combo
Despite a rigorous athletics schedule, JMU student-athletes have a drive to also excel in academics and organizations outside of their sport. Shannon Rano is one of them.

Embracing Honors challenge
Despite a rigorous athletics schedule, JMU student-athletes have a drive to also excel in academics and organizations outside of their sport. Sierra Hahn-Ventrell is one of them.

Winning spirit for Honors
Despite a rigorous athletics schedule, JMU student-athletes have a drive to also excel in academics and organizations outside of their sport. Jacqueline Crawford is one of them.

Becoming a 'citizen leader'
Actor, stagehand, playwright are just a few of theater major George Dippold's experiences in a program that merges the economic and creative sides of theater.

New fund created for JMU donors to support university innovation
James Madison University is seeking support for an innovative micro-incubator program to launch viable startup companies with products invented by JMU faculty, staff and students.

Strong showing for CSI products
Strength and conditioning products invented at JMU get glowing reviews at trade show.

Wall Street success with some alumni networking help
Come to JMU and you're part of the Madison family. Professors invest in your success; alumni mentor and network in your behalf. Read J.P. Kril's story and see how it works.

When dreams become real
Critical thinkers, problem solvers, good communicators—they're all in high demand. Devin Buennemeyer is a good example of how a JMU education helps develop those skills.

Being a part of something bigger than myself
Dance major Kenisha Washington says JMU professors have been invested in her success. Their support coupled with an innovative and wide-ranging curriculum have prepared her for a professional life.

Alumnus accepted into FoodCorps
Our interdisciplinary approach to education opens doors. Nick Geer took the Arabic language skills, international affairs and food expertise honed at JMU to the FoodCorps, teaching school kids the value of healthy food.

Ready for the future
JMU's emphasis on hands-on learning and problem solving gives graduates the skills they need in the workplace. Just ask social work major Tara McGrath.

Embracing a global community
One key to success is a college experience that makes you draw on wide-ranging, even global, connections to make decisions. Read Brian Caperton's account of his "refreshingly different" Madison Experience.

A passion to help others learn
Find something you're interested in and embrace it. That's what Deserae Barney ('14) has done—wholeheartedly.

Working with Pulitzer pros
JMU "Breeze" editors shadow Pulitzer-winning news professionals including alum Jeff Gammage ('82) and get real-world journalism experience.

Love of hellbender fuels graduate student's desire to aid amphibians
The best way to catch a hellbender salamander is to get as many people as you can to lift rocks

Building global officers
How do you mold future military officers to have the global awareness and language proficiency so crucial in today's world? Take a look at JMU's Army ROTC Project GO-Nenda Alliance.

HP executive returns to JMU to connect with students
Alumni stay connected to Madison. And that provides an added benefit for JMU students. One example—getting advice on career decisions from one of Silicon Valley's most sought-after executives, John Hinshaw ('92).

Doing for Others
In Harrisonburg, around the country and as far away as South Africa, the JMU family devote a day to community service as part of the third annual Big Event.

Clinic helps children develop and learn through play
It looks like fun, yet beneath the surface of the interaction, JMU students get valuable practical experience in kinesiology and occupational therapy. And children of all ages develop and learn. JMU programs bring it all together.

Never-ending search for answers fuels Constantin
Undergraduate research with astrophysicist Anca Constantin puts students to work with data from the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes exploring the mysteries of space.

Amazing megamasers: JMU researcher pursuing 'holy grail of astronomy'
Scientists are on the verge of unlocking answers to two of astronomy's biggest questions and a JMU researcher is right in the middle of it.

Students' project chosen to help fight human trafficking
Four SMAD majors developed an interactive concept design selected by mtvU for "The Backstory" campaign rallying support for human trafficking surviviors.

Behind the scenes: From IDEA grant to reality
Each year at JMU, creative and multidisciplinary ideas to enhance diversity come to fruition thanks to the Innovative Diversity Efforts Award (IDEA) Grants program. One example: Dress and Identity in African Cultures exhibition.

Dress and Identity in African Cultures: A great IDEA
A JMU IDEA grant bolsters a professor's vision for an exhibit highlighting cultural diversity. And JMU students get hands-on gallery and museum experience bringing the idea to reality.

Undergraduate research put Wallace on path to medical school
Looking through a microscope and figuring out the mysteries is what Matt Wallace likes best

Absolute Value
Physical attributes are often given inordinate value. How can people develop healthy behaviors and perceptions about their bodies? These JMU programs shed light on what really matters.

Professor to put rational thinking to the test
When asked a simple word problem involving the costs of a bat and a ball, most people come up with the wrong answer. JMU's Dr. Richard West is researching why rational thinking often proves elusive.

Student Ambassador and 'typical Duke'
"Professors aren't just here to fulfill research or just to instruct," says psychology major Rachel Rosenberg. "They are here for students, and they make you feel that way."

2013 Virginia Center for Wind Energy update
A little more than two hours west of Harrisonburg, on the mountain ridges of Greenbrier County, W. Va., wind turbines are churning out enough electricity to power about 30,000 homes a year

Found in translation
JMU's International Student Center combines coursework with study skills, cultural integration and English language training to help fully prepare international students for degree-level study.

JMU Outreach program gives high school students taste of college work
Getting to school early to count cars, and then staying after school to do the same thing may sound like an odd way to prepare for college

Breaking Tradition
Instead of returning home to their families and celebrating over turkey and mashed potatoes, JMU students will help mentor at-risk children, support America—s veterans and spend time with patients living with HIV/AIDS.

Intervening for success
Illiteracy dooms people to failure; literacy breeds success. This JMU professor helps schools learn how to intervene early to ensure students' success.

Student films document Bosnia's struggles with reconciliation
For five weeks, eight JMU students traveled through Bosnia and Herzegovina to learn how documentary films can be tools for social and political change.

Welcome to Madison
It's not always easy to get consensus. Not unless you're making a list of favorite Madison traditions.

Staying where she's meant to be
For this student, Madison Forever epitomizes JMU's welcoming spirit

Handing down an artistic tradition
His magnificent photography is the result of a lifetime perfecting his craft under the mentorship of Ansel Adams and other creative giants. Now JMU professor Gary Freeburg shares those lessons with his students.

Why Madison matters to me
The "Why Madison?" Listening Tour offers JMU alumni the opportunity to share with President Jon Alger their thoughts on why Madison matters. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jeff Gammage ('82) and Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award recipient offers his response.

Making a case for alumni involvement
Alumni award winner Mike Thomas ('76, '77M) is convinced that JMU is a special place and that there's power in giving back to Madison.

Let your conscience be a guiding force
In only 11 days, a thriving city became a grave. JMU SMAD students help survivors tell the story.

A lesson in the sun
Madison Forever made a huge difference for Ericka Welsh, and she's determined to make a difference for others

Start something that matters
When you're convinced that there is no better place to learn and grow than the JMU campus, it shows!

A scholarship with teeth
What has opened the door to possibilities, changed the future and helped dreams come true? Madison Forever.

Making a memorable senior year possible
What has opened the door to possibilities, changed the future and helped dreams come true? Madison Forever.

Anna Young ('14)
Working as a medical interpreter is just one way that Anna Young's academic career has gone beyond the classroom and into the community.

Kim Chidubeme Okafor ('14)
Rigorous classes, high expectations and demanding work haven't deterred this pre-med student. Involved professors, inspiring service projects and the chance to help others make it worthwhile.

JMU chemistry lab to Bristol-Myers Squibb
More than 1,500 Americans will die of cancer today. When 2012 is over, more than 500,000 people will have been beaten by cancer. Erik Stang ('06) is working to change that.

A world-changing tool for type 2 diabetics
According to the CDC 8.3 percent of Americans, more than 26 million, have diabetes. JMU alum Suzanne Clough ('93) aims to change their lives.

Disaster relief: All in a day's work
Restoring order after a natural disaster is no easy task, but it's all in a day's work for JMU alum Jon McNamara ('05).

JMU's friendly inclusiveness and Alex's success
What comes with the Madison Experience? For Alex LaMar, exceptional education, a friendly, inclusive environment, and an awesome job after graduation.

Detectives scour rare periodicals for clues to 20th century life
Can a better understanding of the past inform our future? Students in Dr. Brooks Hefner's American Pulp course scour popular literary genres including Black Mask magazines to reveal the full gamut of cultural anxiety and aspiration.

Collaboration and planning key to Rembrandt exhibit
Collaboration and planning key to Rembrandt exhibit

When Scott Rogers ('00,'02M) teamed up with a friend to help a Harrisonburg family, they ended up with a program that has helped thousands in times of grief and joy.

Challace McMillin made me a better person
JMU alum Darian Parker says Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology Challace McMillin is one of the special people who helped shape his life.

Bringing stability post-conflict
Too often the high cost of war is ignored. Kenneth Rutherford brings the reality of civilian casualties and disablement caused by landmines to the front of international attention.

Changing war's aftermath
After conflict and trauma, how do people find the resilience to build a better life? Professor Kenneth Rutherford works to help post-conflict communities recover and rebuild.

The joy of scholarship
Summa cum laude 2011 graduate Eden Parks says that her Phi Beta Kappa induction was the capstone of an already cherished Madison Experience.

Making Precious Time
Families with special needs children can feel that the demands on their time and resources are overwhelming. JMU students are giving them much needed respite through this innovative program.

Students Go MAD for Madison
A 7% alumni giving rate? JMU students (future alumni) are looking to change that reality.

Employing a competitive edge
It's real world learning at its best. The JMU Capital Markets Lab gives students access to real-time Wall Street financial data and information technology.

Cecilia McGough's Pulsar Discovery
Dr. Adriana Banu says Saturday Morning Physics at JMU allows area students to explore cutting-edge research topics. One student used the experience as foundation for a special scientific achievement, discovery of a pulsar.

Ray Sonner Story
Even without the help of a guardian angel like Clarence, it's easy to see the profound impact Ray Sonner has had on JMU.

America's Strongest Man
Former No. 1 U.S. amateur strongman, and now a procard holder, Mike Jenkins ('04, '05M) remembers his first Madison Experience. After making a trip to Harrisonburg, meeting football coach Mickey Matthews and seeing campus, he fell in love with Madison.

Video game medicine
Hand-held video games can be a much-needed distraction for children dreading a looming procedure like the discomfort of a CAT scan or the pain of a burn dressing. So Mike Miriello ('09M) founded PlayTime to 'help kids be kids' when they're in the hospital.

Rosan Tomaino Hunter ('76) and Robert S. Hunter ('74, '76M) enjoy the duality of making and teaching art. Their combined list of art awards and accolades is as long as their love for each other. They recently celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary.

Cracking the Case
"CSI...makes me laugh," says Michelle Waldron ('00), a criminalist and latent print examiner. Real life work is not as dramatic as television, but cracking a cold case is especially satisfying, Waldron says. It's a chance to see victims get justice.

Phi Beta Kappa and love of learning
"I came in as a media arts and design major, and added a Spanish major and a minor in political communications. People ask me how I have managed...I just say,'I love to learn,'" says Allison Gould, an inaugural member of JMU's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Bob Gordon honored for 50 years at JMU
He's described as the kind of professor who "is exactly what universities need more of." Professor Bob Gordon's exceptional, and continuing, career at JMU is honored by the J. Robert Gordon Scholarship given to a freshman with a declared major in physics.

Helping secure the vote in Afghanistan
Army 1st Lt. Tyler Moyer ('08) served a 10-day mission to recon and secure the polling sites in Afghanistan from the Taliban during the presidential election.

The heart of all things Madison
Going to college, an exciting time for students and their families, can also be downright anxiety-ridden. It would be nice to have advice and reassurance from parents and students who have made the transition. The solution? First-Year Send Off picnics.

Coached by experience
It was a chance to be coached by those with experience, including two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists. JMU student journalists joined 40 students from around the world honing their writing, photojournalism and online video skills in Urbino, Italy.

A springboard for career and mission
JMU values service and so do our students. Christine Bolander took skills learned in the occupational therapy master's program to a developing country to help with healing and rehabilitation.

Speaking the same language
Can higher education meet the demands of the future? In this Q&A, President Jonathan Alger explains why the JMU model of an "engaged university" is vitally important in developing the kind of citizens the 21st century needs.

The Rose legacy
"We are a community committed to preparing educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives." The mighty sentiments of that mission statement have powered the 14-year tenure of retiring President Linwood H. Rose.

Learning in a community
Can where you live change your college experience? JMU pre-med student Michael Rudloff ('15) says living and learning in the Huber Residential Learning Community with like-minded students has been transformational.

A community of similar interests
"Living with people that have the same interests is a real benefit. Discussions in class carry over outside of class," says athletic training major Andy Russo ('15). His home in the Huber Learning Community offers a transformational experience.

Building connections at home
Pre-vet student Clayton Poffenberger says living in JMU's Huber Residential Learning Community offers many advantages. "You build relationships with professors who will offer you guidance as you progress in your field. You learn a lot."

Changing the world one person at a time
It's not just a slogan. It is Madison—a living, evolving university where change is the status quo. Equipped with the power that knowledge gives, JMU students, faculty and alumni work toward a brighter future in nearly every sector of global society.

Rescuing failing readers
Illiteracy dooms people to failure; literacy breeds success. Yet students from low socio-economic backgrounds are often the very ones struggling to meet educational objectives. But one JMU grad student, a professor and an elementary school beat the odds...

Hello Hollywood
You might find Jay Leno standing at your apartment door, asking you to be on his show. You research stories for good movie material. Your office view is the iconic Hollywood sign. It's daily life for students in JMU's L.A. Study Program.

Jumping off a cliff
Want to be a successful entrepreneur? Students in Bill Wales' class get to unleash their creativity, start ventures, solve problems and learn from failure. The result? Students have created thriving ventures that prosper long past the end of the course...

Madison World Changer Sarita Hartz and the Zion Project
In 2006, Sarita traveled to Uganda and witnessed the effects of a war that coerced children to be soldiers, abducting them from their families and forcing them to fight against the government and civilians. She decided to make a difference in their lives.

Virtually everything JMU
Fifteen imaginative JMU students. One innovative professor. A huge hands-on learning project. One semester. The result? A virtual mixture that gives a marvelous view of the Madison Experience you can take in from anywhere.

Harnessing the Kenyan sun
There's a critical need for access to sustainable energy in developing countries. Unfortunately many solutions are incredibly expensive. Yet JMU students found a way to introduce affordable and easy access to solar energy in rural Kenya.

Facing AIDS
In many ways, HIV/AIDS is still an anonymous disease, even 30 years after Americans first heard of it. Through the Valley AIDS Network, JMU faculty and students are shedding light on the disease on campus and in the community...

Goodness is powerful
On the 2007 International Day of Peace, the JMU Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence presented its highest honor to Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. In accepting the award, he shared his thoughts on the power of goodness.

A Virginia Woman in History
When an elementary school class embarked on an Internet search for the name of a Virginia woman who made a difference in the lives of children, one name came up over and over again, Joann H. Grayson, JMU professor of psychology.

Student research, scientific breakthrough
For these students, the college experience offered the opportunity to research and discover a scientific breakthrough for a multitude of industries from biomedicine to computer chip manufacturers.

When global becomes local
As America's Latino population grows, their children face special challenges in balancing heritage, culture and language differences with their peers. JMU professors and their students reach out to help.

Putting the "super" in mileage
"Our goal was to achieve a fuel economy between 700 and 1,000 mpg," says J.T. Danko. He helped construct a supermileage vehicle in JMU's Alternative Fuels Lab as part of a senior thesis project with plenty of hands-on experience.

Removing roadblocks
Called 'America's outcasts,' homeless children are innocent victims of economic downturns, cutbacks in social programs, and lack of affordable housing. But JMU's innovative approach to solving problems that seem to have no simple solutions...

Leave home, find yourself
Arts, science, politics and humanities, coupled with a manageable size, make Florence popular with students, who can traverse the city in less than 30 minutes by foot.

Stewards of Planet Earth
From No Drive Days to composting in their own eco-friendly residence hall to competing with other residence halls to use the least amount of electricity and water, JMU students are leading the charge to live a more sustainable lifestlye.

Being part of the future
She was an anomaly for her time, a double major in biology and chemistry aiming for scientific research. "We women...'persuaded' companies to hire us," she said. Yet her NASA career included the dramatic Apollo 13 and Skylab space rescues.

Getting personal
Carly Starke knows firsthand that genetic variations can lead to disease. She's hopeful that the research she began as a JMU freshman using molecular biology and biochemistry techniques put her on a path to finding cures through genetic research.

Spraggs receives BEYA award
"Madison allowed me to challenge myself and not be afraid to try new things," says Paul Spraggs ('78), a mathematics major and physics minor at JMU. Spraggs was named one of the Black Engineers of the Year for 2009.

JMU biology research lending insight into amphibian extinction crisis
In a JMU biology department laboratory, researchers focus on a perplexing problem: why are species of frogs and salamanders disappearing in seemingly pristine areas around the world?

Venture and gain
The new industrial revolution. A push to a knowledge-based economy where highly skilled workers implement and manage technology. How can higher education prepare those workers? Ask JMU alumnus Paul Holland ('82).

Is green living practical?
Many people want to live a greener lifestyle, but an eco-friendly home seems out of reach for the average consumer. Often, green-housing requires deep pockets, and compromising spaces and house designs. JMU alum Zach Fettig ('06) had a solution.

Crystal clear
Debates over religion, culture and ideology grow increasingly divisive. Yet some JMU professors and students are quietly, and effectively, pouring their energy into honing cross-cultural communication, and they're seeing results.

How a table, a "Kate" and a "Charles" changed one student's life
A life-changing opportunity. Art and art history major Josh Smead's curated the collection of Charles Alvin Lisanby, the only production designer ever inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Living the dream
Julie Bragg Sheppard ('94), who majored in mass communication and political science at JMU, says she's living her dream of being a news anchor. Her ties to Madison helped land her first job.

Flowing by design
ISAT majors Nicolas Jaramillo and Bonnie Tang helped create wetlands at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. It was one of many projects supported by the JMU-RMH Collaborative that benefit students, faculty members, the hospital and the community.

Students organize 9/11 remembrance
The Madison community gathered on the Festival Lawn for a memorial service of speeches, songs, prayers from many faiths and a candlelight vigil to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy.

A Time of Caring
Much was lost on 9/11: family, friends, a sense of security. Yet, we can find our best selves in times of tragedy as evidenced by the ways the Madison community responded following the attack. In a time of evil, people found the way to "Be the Change."

Classroom in the frozen north
Julie Schneider's journey to the arctic's edge was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and a great way to liven up science lessons for her young students. "Seeing me work as a scientist helped them realize they can grow up and do anything."

Saving Lives in South Africa
Finding serendipity in the face of crisis, Amy Porter ('88) Zacaroli and Professor Debra Sutton help children in South Africa orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic get access to health care and a good education.

Red, Blue and JMU
Virginia Republican Dave Rexrode ('01) and Democrat David Mills ('02) graduated from JMU within a year of each other and hold mirror positions as executive directors of the two primary Virginia political parties.

Samuel Page Duke
Samuel Page Duke, Madison's builder president, was an energetic blend of pragmatism and efficiency.

The biggest assist
When diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, JMU women's basketball player Dawn Evans ('11) was told the disease would take away her career as a NCAA Division I athlete. FSGS can lead to kidney failure and has no known cause or cure.

Ronald E. Carrier
Many students spent evenings at Hillcrest discussing ideas with the young president over Reuben sandwiches. His accessibility and camaraderie with students led students to nickname him 'Uncle Ron.'

Designing Sustainable Solutions
JMU's single, integrated engineering degree that focuses on sustainability, design and systems analysis is educating and training engineering versatilists who can address the wide range of ever-changing engineering challenges of the 21st century.

Energizing the future
In JMU's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Lab students and professors work to solve our nation's mounting dependence on a dwindling oil supply. Open to all majors, students from a variety of disciplines from engineering to art have all worked in the AFV lab.

Creating a mecca of life
In the face of climate change, economic disruption and oil depletion, perhaps the time is long overdue to change how we use our land. JMU alumni, Dave ('96) and Lee Sturgis O'Neill ('97), offer a new model for food production at their Radical Roots farm.

Scientist probes chance of life on Mars
Talk about a memorable classroom experience. Biogeochemist and geologist Jennifer Eigenbrode ('94) says Lynn Fichter's geology class in stratigraphy pointed her toward her research focus exploring the likelihood of life on Mars.

Madison's first eco-community
For the freshmen living in JMU's Hoffman Hall, thinking green is much more than a fad, it's a lifestyle. Students in the Madison Eco-Community learn about human effects on the environment through course work, projects and outdoor activities.

From Black Elk to Black Holes
Science and religion tell compelling but conflicting stories about our origins. Can modern scientific knowledge synthesize with time-honored wisdom?

A Priscilla's Homecoming journal
A firsthand account of an extraordinary journey Jeanine Talley

When science and dance combine
How best to understand complex scientific processes? Some JMU freshmen found the answer in a dance ensemble class. Students interpreted cellular respiration through dance movements and gained fresh perspective on the intricacies of science.

Picture perfect
Emily Street ('09) creates a prizewinning poster By Sarah Mead ('09)

Making a healthy difference
When families want better health, pediatric dietitian Dana Casendino ('06) can help. "I often see patients who just aren't aware of proper nutrition and that can lead to various health problems," she says. Nutritional education can help avoid problems.

When global becomes local
This department's professors come from all over the world, bringing the best of their cultures to students. They know from personal experience what it means to live in a foreign country, so they help the community, involving JMU students in every step.

The bridge that Community Service-Learning built
JMU service-learning programs take academics into the community. Students assist the elderly and those with disabilities, tutor children, and support non-profit organizations. Want a meaningful academic experience? Serve, learn, repeat.

Critical thinking beyond the classroom
Eighty percent of JMU undergraduates do research, a practicum, an internship or student teach. Many do more than one of these. The result? Critical thinking skills. For Katie Sensabaugh ('12), an exchange with a professor led to a long-term impact...

Alumna earns Fulbright to teach in Slovakia
Major in English, minor in anthropology and go where? For Honors graduate Traci Cox ('08), who earned a highly competitive Fulbright teaching assistantship, the path led to teaching high-school students in Zilina, Slovakia.

Iraq and back
For America's veterans the aftermath of war can be evidenced in post-traumatic stress, suicides and unemployment. Can that negative effect be reversed? Major Justin Constantine ('92) was faced with the challenge and found an answer.

Concrete shredder
Cheaper and more portable than a bike, its practicality can't be denied. JMU history professor Howard "H" Gelfand says skateboarding offers a way to reduce our carbon footprint. He knows; he's a concrete shredder from way back.

Back in the 'Burg
Columbia Records exec shares with students By Evan Dyson ('08)

Engaging in community classrooms
Drafting economic development plans, writing grants to improve infrastructure and developing municipality safety plans are all part of the work in local governments accomplished by JMU public policy and administration students.

COB 300
In one semester JMU's COB 300 12-credit interdisciplinary class requires student teams to build a business from the ground up. Alumni say the course provided them with the skills to succeed in the real world.

Natural Selection
Finding solutions that do not come with negative economic, environmental and social consequences is a challenge for engineers. Jacquelyn Nagel, JMU assistant professor of engineering, has some innovative ideas on mimicking nature to advance technology...

For Ugandans, by Ugandans
Can we reduce poverty, create jobs and build communities in the world's developing nations? Working with the people of Gulu, Uganda, JMU sculpture major Daniel Morgan ('10) learned a valuable lesson about creating a better future, a lesson for all of us.

Saving childhood
Children's worldview is often shaped by the gratuitous offerings of TV and film, so one of the most worrisome issues for parents is their kids' entertainment. Enter Children's Playshop, offering entertainment that demonstrates a higher set of social values.

"Building the dream"
What's at the heart of change? While many seek governmental solutions, others identify volunteerism as the key to positive transformation. It happens in JMU's community every day. One example, a commitment to the area's children yielded huge results.

Play, learn, succeed
Children's museums provide a pure learning experience, a place where children follow their own interests, set their own pace, and discover new opportunities and talents. Lisa Shull ('85, '91M) and a team of volunteers brought the experience...

Validating my potential
A Q&A with Paul McDowell ('11) on his HIST 395 research project Rising junior Paul McDowell is a member of the Honors Program and the JMU Honors Learning Community. In addition to his history degree, he is pursuing a...

Making historians
Learning to conduct solid, trustworthy research is one of the rewards of this challenging history course.

The best year of my life
Caroline Braun spent her junior year studying abroad learning culture, history and language in England and Spain. "I am a stronger, more independent, confident and happier person because of my Study Abroad. It prepared me for life after JMU," she says.

Firing up the ratings
Nathan Lyon ('94) competes on the Food Network By Hali Chiet ('07)

For JMU Students, Refugee Plight Hits Home
As part of a semester-long course on genocide and refugee resettlement in the School of Communication Studies, JMU students were given the opportunity to meet and work with some of the Lost Boys of Sudan during an Alternative Spring Break trip...

CAA Champions!
The 2009-10 JMU women's basketball team overcame more than longtime CAA rival Old Dominion University to win the 2010 CAA Championship. They overcame personal illness...

Julian A. Burruss
At the turn of the century, teaching was a profession practiced haphazardly, yet Julian Burruss knew teaching was too important to remain so. He crafted curriculum that considered the whole student and the impact a teacher would have.

Sports management major holds court
Elle Bunn ('11) lives for sports and often takes in the intensity of her two favorites, hockey and football. While working on her sports management major during her freshman year at JMU, she was also being crowned Miss Teen Virginia United States.

Investment in education a must
"Investment in education is a prerequisite for the economic growth of our nation. Mastery of a shifting set of knowledge and skills is absolutely necessary as new business paradigms emerge and new fields of endeavor arise," says JMU President Rose.

Disaster and rebirth—a story of change
JMU alumna Gladys Kemp Lisanby ('49) rallies women artists of the Gulf Coast in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath By Jan Gillis ('07)

Instant results drive TV journalist
Shelby Brown McDowney ('93), Chesterfield, Va., beat reporter, says her JMU academic experience prepared her well, particularly Dr. Roger Soenksen's mass communication law class.

Learning Where You Live
Finding intellectual challenges and good friends are both important in a rewarding college experience. So what if you could eat, sleep and breathe the scholarly experience with people who share your interests? Check out JMU's learning communities...

JMU Nation, get a load of this
The Bridgeforth Stadium expansion marks a new era in JMU athletics history. The home of the football Dukes allows alumni, friends and fans to gather and make lasting memories.

Downloading Democracy
As a freshman at JMU, Koves worked from his room in Blue Ridge Hall. While most college students look for a job in retail or on campus, Koves decided to start his own Web site development firm to pay the bills.

No clowning around for this Navy 'bozo'
A leadership class at JMU influenced his decision to join the Navy. "Dr. [Mark] Warner is the type of professor that makes you want to work that much harder, not for the grade, but to make him proud," says David Bankart ('99).

An advocate for patients and lifelong learning
A JMU computer information systems major, Lt. Colonel Mary Klote's ('88) impressive list of accomplishments includes a dual board certification in internal medicine and allergy immunology. In 2010 she was named one of the military's top female physicians.

Communicating through music
"I went to JMU because of the reputation of the Music Industry Program and the trumpet teacher. Both offered a level of education that I did not feel I could get elsewhere in a similar environment," says composer and conductor Brian Balmages ('98).

The Galapagos connection
JMU alum and scientist Carole Baldwin ('81) guided Zach Foltz ('08) from a junior biology major trying to break into marine biology into a promising scientist overseeing a Smithsonian-leased island off Belize.

Back for the future
A once thriving community is robbed of its economic stability, and its people must deal with joblessness, illiteracy, poverty and a crumbling infrastructure. While efforts to revive such a community can seem insurmountable, JMU has found a way...

Talk about performance!
Dance major Kelsey Hickson ('10) combines pre-med, biology, dance and community service in her routine By Jacquelyn Walsh ('09)

Putting ideas into action
Imagine your children losing the chance for an education because you need them to work to help support the family. JMU alums Alexandra Robbins ('07) and Daniel Haney ('07) worked to fix this problem 9,000 miles around the globe in Cambodia...

Changing the world begins in the classroom
At an early age, she dreamed of becoming an educator, as a Pruden Scholar Katie Schwizer learned the lessons teachers need to know.

Under the wing
Mentoring students is important to professor, conductor and violist Amadi Azikiwe. "I am one of four JMU Faculty-in-Residence, which means I live in Eagle Hall, a freshman residence hall, where I host student events, eat meals with students...

Happy trails
Alumna turns hobby into volunteer opportunity By Amanda Atkins ('08)

A love for the learning process
Amadi Azikiwe is professor, conductor, violist and much more. "I take very seriously the idea that the teacher should be a teacher and a mentor," he says. His classrooms offer a chance to build skills and careers.

Choosing to understand
Church, temple or mosque? In today's world where controversies over religion, culture and ideology abound, it's a refreshing change to see people build positive relationships across cultures. JMU students and professors are doing just that.

JMU in Sweden
Already a national leader in study abroad participation, JMU is heading an international consortium of higher education institutions to develop new study programs and exchange opportunities, and foster collaborative research and service projects.

One foot in the door
Sports management major and avid football fan Anna Applegate was speechless. The phone call from Michael Quarshie, a defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders, invited her to complete a summer internship with the Finnish American Football League...

Academics, adventure and the Appalachian Trail
Honors students experienced a combination of seminar and geography when they studied and lived on part of the Appalachian Trail. Multidisciplinary approaches helped the students learn as they hiked and camped on nearly 70 miles of the trail

A taste of the Appalachian Trail
Take a course syllabus with elements from multiple disciplines such as economics, geography, history, sociology and psychology. Combine that with academic freedom in an adventurous setting. The result? A defining experience...

Bridging diverse interests
Jessica Lewis ('08) balances graduate studies and helping Centennial Scholars

Following his bliss
Piano performance/music composition major Andrew T. Pham ('11) chose JMU and the School of Music for its focus on performance and the approachability of the faculty. "I got such a positive feeling from the music professors," he recounts.

Creating a dyslexia friendly classroom
Alumnus overcomes for self and students

Art students design for the real (JMU) world
JMU students in an Environmental Design class collaborated across disciplines and received feedback from internationally noted artist/architect Michael Singer to create practical and environmentally sound site designs...

Unconfined challenges
She wanted a good challenge, so Amanda Kuhnley took an interdisciplinary approach. Integrated science and technology, art history, classical studies, and studio art combined into one incredible project.

A hot air balloon over Cappadocia
Spice bazaars, Turkish knots and class credits By Caitlin Harrison ('10)

A NASA researcher builds playgrounds
A dedicated NASA researcher by day, monitoring environmental changes in Central America. Child advocate and playground builder by night, weekend and any other spare time. Sound like a new superhero? The kids in Guatemala's San Andres community think so.

A cross-disciplinary collaboration makes art accessible
Teaming up to solve a problem, an art history major, an engineering major and a physics major created an iPad application that enhances visitors' experience at a JMU art collection.

Invisible Children: "Transforming Apathy Into Activism"
Madison's people are known for working for a better future. One example, the JMU chapter of Invisible Children was recognized as the No. 1 donor in the country in support of the organization's Schools for Schools program...

The Five E's of health
The CDC characterizes American society as "obesogenic," focused on food intake, nonhealthy foods and physical inactivity. How, then, do we lead children to healthy adulthood? JMU alum and pediatric dietitian Dana Casendino ('06) recommends...

Give and Surf, Inc
After putting his marketing degree to work in the business world, Neil Christiansen ('06) decided to forsake his hectic commute for his biggest passions, helping others and surfing. Give and Surf, Inc. was born.

Bridging the gap between poverty and success
Ashley Mitchell ('09) says that the JMU Centennial Scholars Program helped "bridge the gap between poverty and academic success." Now the Richmond Alternative School Teacher of the Year is helping at-risk students find their own successes.