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Engagement @ WRTC

WRTC provides students with the opportunity to apply discipline-specific knowledge beyond the classroom through community partnerships and special projects. 

Local History Comes to Life

A collaboration between a team of JMU students and the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project has reanimated history at the local Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center.

Together, the partners created a permanent history display featuring 59 panels and more than 100 photos at the center, which honors the life and legacy of Harrisonburg’s iconic African-American educator and the school named in her honor.

“Celebrating Simms” is the first permanent exhibition dedicated to African-American history in the Shenandoah Valley.


Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Students in WRTC 318: Intercultural Professional Communication collaborated with JMU's International Study Group students in American College Life II to complete an assignment designed to facilitate cross-cultural communication. In groups of four or five, the students gathered for a social outing. Sharing a meal was the most popular choice. During their time together students set aside some time to conduct and record an interview. They were then required to submit a written report on their experience, including excerpts from the interview.


Less Stockings, More Radios

In the spring of 1941, the women of Madison College organized a strike that led to the lifting of some of the rules of conduct governing campus life. The dignity of higher education and the imagined visibility for women mandated the wearing of formal clothing and stockings for evening meals. Yet, the women resisted these and other rules.

The "Less Stockings" exhibit documents, discursively and representationally, a war period; a time of interrogating their locations, and crafting identities as students, women, and citizens. At once progressive and conventional, the women engaged their historical contexts and, most notably, the administration. 

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Teaching an Old Culture New Tricks

During a 2015 summer study abroad trip, JMU professors and students used new media to help the Clare Oral History and Folklore Group preserve the rich oral history of County Clare, Ireland. Participants in the short-term study abroad program “Ireland: Text, Image and New Media” worked with the Clare Oral History and Folklore Group to train volunteers to record local stories that have been passed down through the generations.


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