Professional Staff

Diane Strawbridge

Mrs. Diane Strawbridge
"I have devoted my professional life helping to empower students to fulfill their dreams and to attain the goal of a college degree. It is my passion!"

Executive Direction, Student Access and Inclusion

Diane began her Madison Experience with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and later earned her Master's degree in Adult Education/Human Resource Development. Today, she is James Madison University's Executive Director for Student Access & Inclusion, and oversees both the Centennial Scholars and the Valley Scholars Programs. Diane has been a part of the Harrisonburg community for 35+ years. During those years, she has dedicated herself to mentoring JMU students from under-represented backgrounds and feels that her leadership, problem solving and critical thinking skills are vital components in her role.

The Centennial Scholars Program provides the opportunity to offer financial help, academic encouragement and campus involvement to promising freshmen and transfer students. In addition, the program offers support and guidance to our graduate assistant mentors who provide mentorship, leadership and encouragement to the CSP undergraduate students.

Diane attributes her interest in supporting students to lessons learned during her undergraduate studies in Psychology. Diane's caring assistance has made a difference in the lives of students and prepared them for the opportunity to Be the Change in their own lives.

Amanda Yankey
Picture of Dr. Amanda Yankey
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  Thomas A. Edison

Assistant Director

Amanda has seven years of experience working in the public school education system.  She has taught in both West Virginia and Virginia during her tenure as a mathematics educator.  Additionally, she teaches eLearning course through the West Virginia Department of Education.

Amanda’s educational career started with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an Add-on Endorsement of Algebra I from Bridgewater College.  While teaching in the classroom, she earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Mathematics Education as well as a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction.  Both her Master’s and Doctoral degree were earned through the University of Phoenix.  She plans to continue her education with a second Master’s from James Madison University in the near future.

Denise Cooper
Mrs. Denise Cooper
"I believe in life-long learning, and encouraging others to overcome obstacles, knowing a person can accomplish whatever they set their minds to do."

Program Administrator

Denise has over 15 years of experience at JMU, with a work background in Sponsored Programs, Orientation, and in her current position as Program Administrator for CSP.

Her education from Davis & Elkins College includes Associate's Degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration, and from JMU she has earned her Bachelors of Individualized Study with a focus on Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communications, Art, Communication Studies and Learning, and Technology & Leadership Education. Currently, Denise is enrolled in the Master's of Education - Educational Technology program at JMU, where she plans to continue her knowledge and skills in classroom and instructional technology.

As Program Administrator, Denise is responsible for supervising the Program Graduate Assistants and managing the CSP reception area, the department's website (Cascade), file management (Sharepoint), and the academic files (Canvas). In addition, she oversees the budget, coordinates the undergraduate and graduate interview processes, and plans all major CSP events.

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