Dedicated, inspiring, passionate, hard-working, loyal, ambitious, intelligent, tenacious, devoted, strong, outstanding, and empowering are just a few of the words that can be used to describe our next recipient of this year’s prestigious All Together One award. My name is Naomh Stewart, and as the upcoming Secretary for Omicron Delta Kappa honor and leadership society, I have been given the distinct honor and pleasure of introducing Mrs. Julie Carr, the senior associate director of programming at the University Recreation Center at JMU.

Julie began working at James Madison University in August of 1991 and has had a huge impact on the JMU community ever since. Throughout the entirety of her time with JMU and specifically UREC, she has embodied all facets of UREC’s mission, mottos, values, and culture by advancing healthy lifestyles through participation opportunities, educational experiences and supportive services, all while “Motivating Madison into Motion.”  Julie has served on numerous UREC committees, including the Community Coalition Committee, Impact III presidential leadership program steering committee, and most recently the Madison Commission to provide leadership and vision to the institution's growth and development. Additionally, Julie is in charge of supervising the eight Graduate Assistants at UREC. However, the Graduate Assistants see Julie as more than a boss, they see her as someone that enriches their graduate experience by organizing one-on-one mentoring sessions, advice, semester coffee talks, and moral support. Julie’s other colleagues also express their appreciation and admiration for Julie, stating that “Julie has been an integral part of creating the University Recreation Center, and it's values and culture. She is an exceptional teammate and leader, with a great deal of integrity and is someone that I would trust with my life.”

However, Julie’s influence is not limited to UREC alone. Julie is recognized as an extremely high rated teacher on the JMU campus, teaching a plethora of classes ranging from Health 101 to Human Resource Development. Her students have consistently praised her as an excellent teacher, giving her the highest marks for her dedication and eagerness to instill knowledge on the JMU student body. Furthermore, Julie is the interim director at the University Health Center in addition to serving on a variety of hiring committees campus-wide.

While she has an extensive list of accomplishments within the JMU community, Julie’s good deeds and self-less nature transcend the barriers of campus and into the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community.  Julie presents herself as a JMU ambassador in the Harrisonburg community by servings as an exercise consultant at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital Women’s Health focus. Julie also gives presentations at Timberline Women’s ski clinics and is deeply involved and invested in the Harrisonburg Junior Women’s Club. Moreover, Julie finds time to volunteer as the leader for her Relay for life team and serve as a social mentor and grant writer for the Community Coalition on Alcohol Abuse.

Due to her dedication and ambition, Julie has also made an influence on a national level. She has published two pieces, entitled “Strength Testing Protocols and Norms for College Age Females” and “Fitness Counseling for College Women.” Furthermore, Julie makes presentations throughout the nation. By publishing these works and presenting across the country, Julie is spreading her wisdom and expertise on a national level. In doing so, she is serving as an ambassador to JMU and associating her strong, respectable character with the university, thus creating a prestigious name for James Madison University nationally.

As seen by the extensive list of accomplishments I have just described, it is no surprise that Julie’s friends, family, and colleagues have identified her as a prominent female role model in her community and a renaissance-woman. She is accomplished in her field, has recently earned a doctoral degree, volunteers her time to worthy organizations, serves on a plethora of committees, is a published author, an admired professor, is well liked and respected by her peers, is a caring wife, and a loving mother. By simply being herself, she encourages women to aspire to their fullest potential. But Julie does more than sit back and be herself. She reaches out to fellow females, encouraging them to make the most of themselves and giving the confidence and guidance they need to feel empowered. One of Julie’s co-workers and best friends recently shared with me how Julie had inspired her, she said “When I went for my promotion, I was hesitant. But Julie inspired and encouraged me the most to apply, accept the offer, and continue the new job. She is my biggest cheerleader professionally and personally. I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Julie has also been identified as the original “Woman of Distinction,” an award presented by the Women’s Health Center to female role models on the JMU campus. I could keep talking about Julie forever, but instead, I would like to share some more words that her friends, family, and colleagues have shared with me:

“On a professionally male dominated campus, Julie has emerged as a female role model, breaking the gender barrier and encouraging other women to follow in her path.”

“Julie is and always will be a lady in the truest and most complimentary sense. She has a quiet grace and femininity that can be neither taught nor learned… it was born to her.”

“Julie is always juggling all these balls in the air, but she keeps them there, beautifully balanced, with grace and integrity. She truly is one of the most beautiful woman I have met, both inside and out.”

“Julie, is a concept...a wonderfully conceived concept...you have to be around her...watch her...and listen to her to be able to understand who and what she is....and then...then you will admire her as I do.”

And in light of it all, the most noble and admirable aspect about Julie Carr is than she demands nothing in return. Her good deeds, while overwhelmingly appreciated by all of those around her, have flown under the radar due largely in part to her modesty and humble nature. Today, we would like to change that. Please join me in honoring Mrs. Julie Carr, recipient of this year’s All Together One award.

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