Jolie Lewis image


Director of Transfer Initiatives
Year Started at JMU: 2020
Contact Info


MFA, Creative Writing, Ohio State University
BS, Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University


Jolie Lewis joined the University Advising team at James Madison University as the Associate Director for Transfer Student Success in October 2020. She works with partners across campus to develop and support a broad range of advising and student success initiatives impacting the transfer student experience before, during, and after the transition to JMU. She also serves as a primary liaison to the commonwealth’s Transfer Virginia initiative.

Jolie came to JMU from Emory & Henry College, where she served as Associate Provost and Dean of Student Success, overseeing advising, retention, academic support, and orientation programs. She spearheaded the launch of a new first-year advising program with a focus on equity, developed new orientation programs for transfer students, and organized an outreach campaign to support students with technology access and other concerns through the transition to remote learning during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. In her years working in academic and student success, the college saw an increase in retention rates of more than 5 percent.

Before making the transition to higher education, Jolie worked as a newspaper reporter in Alaska and as an educator at High Rocks, a nonprofit youth empowerment program in rural West Virginia. She is also a writer; her stories and essays have been published in Southern Cultures, Tin House, Shenandoah, and The Hopkins Review.

Originally from Ohio, Jolie earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an MFA in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She has given presentations related to advising, retention, and open educational resources at the annual conferences of NACADA and the Appalachian College Association, and at the National Symposium for Student Retention.

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