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Honors Program Stories

Access, Opportunity, Learning

Maria Camila Restrepo Chavez

Honors Student Maria Camila Restrepo Chavez ('17) Speaks JMU's Language
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Ethics and engagement

Photo of Rosemary Girard speaking at 2015 undergraduate commencement

Rosemary Girard sums up the essence of the Madison Experience in her commencement speech...
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Finding power in performance
Caitlin McAvoy ('15) empowers young women through dance ...

Photo of Caitlin McAvoy walking with young pupils

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

Michelle Amaya, Melinda Adams and Carly Starke

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

Photo of Phil Frana and Debbie Sturm

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

Photo of Diego Salinas in a rehearsal of the production of Stop Kiss

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.

Photo of JMU senior Courtney Jamison and other performers rehearsing for Mainstage performance

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.

Joe Balsamo, biotechnology and pre-med major, with Professor Mark Gabriele

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.

JMU Honors Student Athlete Shannon Rano (¿15)

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.

Amanda Kuhnley, JMU honors student and Dingledine Scholar

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

Caitlin McAvoy rehearses for the JMU production of All Shook Up

Honors Seminar Abroad
International Seminar

JMU Honors students and faculty visiting Montjuic, Barcelona, Spain

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.

Emily Thyroff works with Professor Heather Griscom researching indigenous species of the Shenandoah Valley

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

Michelle Amaya working in Bolivian hospital

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

Zachary Ochoa, international affairs major

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

JMU Honors students and faculty visiting Montjuic, Barcelona, Spain

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

2013 Matt Wallace

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.

Michelle Amaya ('14) with Bolivian girl and boy in La Paz.

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.

JMU Honors Student Athlete Sierra Hahn-Ventrell ('15)

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.

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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.

JMU Honors Student Athlete Camilla Czulada swimming