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2013 Stories

The tie that binds

Photo of JMU alumni Brian and Colby Trow holding fish

Twin brothers Brian and Colby Trow are building a successful business around their shared passion for fly fishing.
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Gaining a different mindset

Photo of professor Matt Lee and JMU student Ethan Bannar in CARDS lab

JMU Psychology CARDS Lab helps students challenge preconceived notions on culture and race.
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Success, their way
The multifaceted world of JMU's emerging entrepreneurs.

From Wall Street to Addis Ababa
Alpha Kiflu ('05) is playing a significant role in a new venture with the potential to help transform a nation.

Madison Trust funds innovation
Madison Trust pairs JMU innovation with private investment from alumni and friends.

The measurement man
JMU researcher Dr. Ken Newbold sharpens method for quantifying entrepreneurial learning.

Success by your own hands
JMU's Valley Scholars Program prepares youngsters for college success.

Book provides insight into the role of intelligence
A collection of papers presented at the conference is now available.

The Honors challenge
Want academic challenges? Diego Salinas ('18) says that's why he chose JMU's Honors Program.

Being the change on the other side of the globe
ISAT Geographic Science professor finds unique way to aid those in need in Cambodia.

A focus on success
Helping students succeed is a mission for this professor.

A very special Homecoming
Chiquita King's Madison Experience led to a great career, thanks to the Centennial Scholars program.

Honors and the arts
Want an academic opportunity that you can mold into what you want and need? Senior Courtney Jamison recommends exploring JMU's Honors Program.

Opening eyes and opening doors
Why going abroad can give you a leg up in your career.

The education of Dr. Woo
Is there an ideal learning environment?

Preparing for the 21st-century classroom
Exploring ways to narrow the achievement gap in our nation's classrooms.

The ethics of learning
Teachers encounter many ethical dilemmas in the classroom. How do they find good solutions?

The case for equity in education
Is education meeting the real needs of America's youth?

Finding inspiration in crisis
The premature birth of her daughters brought both challenge and positive change to JMU alum Leigh Taylor Sewell.

Reimagining reform
What can educators do to contribute to attainment of a more ideal human condition among societies the world over?

Finding the funds of knowledge
Our conclusions are often wrong. Professor Mathur teaches students to look beyond the stereotypical.

Crunch, Shenandoah style
"Support your community, satisfy your appetite," is more than a logo for these two JMU student entrepreneurs

Alumnus leads way in online education
Tony Huffman ('96), founder and CEO of Approved Colleges, advocates the value of online education services.

ROCKeD to the core
A life-threatening turn of events leads to a positive change.

Getting the best start
First-Year Send Offs are an excellent way for freshman and transfer students, and their families to be welcomed into the JMU family.

Nursing simulation employs live patient
How can health workers be trained to develop efffective communication skills?

The Ethics of Learning
Dr. Holly McCartney, an associate professor of education, recently spent time researching "What does it mean to 'Do The Right Thing' as an early childhood or elementary teacher."

Best of both worlds
A Fulbright grant gives Kelsey Nestel ('12, '14M) a chance to develop the perfect balance of teaching methods

Harrisonburg downtown redevelopment benefits community and JMU.

Will social security be around when you retire?
JMU economics professor's Rosser equation answers questions on social security.

It's not about getting rich
JMU faculty and alumni help students apply creativity and put innovation into practice.

Sometimes it takes a maverick or two
Alumni duo endows Business Plan Competition and engages students with competition and incentive.

Why does JMU plant roots in a local child care center?
The Alger family sees the local community as an essential part of their family and JMU's identity.

Will it happen again?
Can a deeper understanding of past national decision making provide a clearer perspective for our present and future actions?

Big Event 2014 yields big totals and big impact
JMU's fourth annual "Big Event" day of community service saw big results.

JMU inducts U.S. House historian into Phi Beta Kappa
Matthew Wasniewski leads the work of recording the life and times of the U.S. House.

Understanding the human element
Her Madison Experience convinced international relations major Shevy Chaganti of the value of a comprehensive view of world events.

Engineering health
JMU engineering students hope their research on artificial heart valves can lead to better medical devices in the future.

Challenge, yes, but also support
Caitlin McAvoy says studying musical theatre at JMU challenges students with intensity but provides plenty of encouragement.

Interdisciplinary focus on peace
Research on the Bosnian War reinforces JMU senior Emily Spiwak's conviction that interdisciplinary efforts are needed for peace.

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 uses Paralympic Games 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 and Honors student 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?

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

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.

Personal relationships are central to success
One of the most important lessons of his Madison Experience was that success starts with relationships.

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.

Honors Seminar Abroad
International Seminar

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.

Adult degree seekers 'Return to Madison'
A JMU outreach program's appeal to former students to come back to Madison and finish their degrees yields great results.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Making music
JMU students get advice on breaking into the music industry during country music artist Phil Vassar's master class.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.