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2014

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Stories

The education of Dr. Woo

Photo of Dr. Isaac Woo with his son

Is there an ideal learning environment?
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Preparing for the 21st-century classroom

Photo of Kerry Cresawn, Leisha Martin and  Diane Secord

Exploring ways to narrow the achievement gap in our nation's classrooms.
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More Stories

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 educational 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


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?


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


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.


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


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.


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 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 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?


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.


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.


Honors Seminar Abroad
International Seminar


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


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


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.


Icebreaker
Harrisonburg downtown redevelopment benefits community and JMU.


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


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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.