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Registration for DMAD 2024 is open!

Incoming First-Year and Transfer Students, we have a program just for you!

Dukes Making a Difference (DMAD)

  • Make new friends
  • Volunteer with local non-profits
  • Make Harrisonburg your new home
  • Move in early

Cost: $75, includes housing, meals, and transportation (scholarships available!)

DMAD brings New Dukes together before Weeks of Welcome to:

  • Volunteer with a non-profit partner in a small group led by CEVC student leaders
  • Meet other service-minded New Dukes
  • Learn about Harrisonburg's most pressing social issues
  • Interact with some of the amazing individuals and organizations making your new home a better place for all of its residents

Jump start your JMU journey with DMAD!

Registration is open from May 1 to July 24. For more information, please email

  1. Because you want to volunteer 
  2. Because you want to learn about and explore Harrisonburg 
  3. Because you want to meet a bunch of other New Dukes who also care about serving their community 

DMAD will begin on Wednesday, August 14 and end on Friday, August 16. As a DMAD participant, you’ll move into your residence hall early. DMAD ends in time for you to fully participate in all Weeks of Welcome events - you’ll just have a head start in making friends, getting involved, and making campus and Harrisonburg home. 

DMAD participants will be able to move in to the residence halls from 9am-Noon on Wednesday, August 14. 

The participation fee includes early access to your residence hall, some meals, transportation, and all volunteering costs. The cost is $75. Need-based scholarships are available! 

We’ll eat some of our meals on campus and some in the community. Harrisonburg is full of great restaurants. Lots of them have relationships with local farmers and seek to highlight Shenandoah Valley produce. Thanks to our diverse local population, we also have great options featuring cuisines from around the world. In the past, participants enjoyed a meal at these locations:

In your own bed! DMAD programming will typically end in the early evening. You’ll have some free time before heading back to your residence hall to rest up. 

All New Dukes (incoming first-years and transfers) are welcome! 

Our service will address one of five social issues that are priorities for our office: 

  • Ending hunger and homelessness 
  • Promoting health and well-being
  • Protecting the environment 
  • Supporting youth and education 
  • Welcoming immigrants and refugees 

We’ll finalize our community partners (that’s what we call the non-profit organizations we volunteer with) by mid-July, and they’ll let us know how we can be most useful to them. For a sense of what we might be doing, previous local projects have included: 

  • Cleaning at a local homeless shelter 
  • Building raised beds for a community garden 
  • Removing litter from a local waterway 
  • Sorting and arranging donations at a thrift store 
  • Providing critical home repairs or modifications for a low-income homeowner 
  • Cleaning the barn of a local therapeutic riding center 
  • Performing trail maintenance at a nearby state park 

Previous volunteer locations:

140 New Dukes will participate in DMAD, and we’ll spend some of our time together in a large group. On service days, we’ll split into small groups and head to different community partners (i.e., local non-profits) to volunteer. Each small group will be led by CEVC student employees. CEVC professional staff will also participate in portions of the program. In other words, you'll have the chance to meet other New Dukes, returning students and staff in a variety of settings.


TENTATIVE schedule for DMAD 2024

Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning Morning Morning
  • Move into residence halls (9am-Noon)
  • Lunch on your own
  • Breakfast on your own
  • Depart for service
  • Community Partner Orientation
  • Education and Service
  • Lunch
  • Breakfast on your own
  • Depart for service
  • Service
  • Lunch
Afternoon Afternoon Afternoon
  • Community-building
  • Introduction to Harrisonburg
  • Prepare for service
  • Community Partner panel
  • Ask a DMADvisor
  • Volunteer fair and closing
Evening Evening
  • Dinner on campus
  • Dinner at local restaurant
  • Freestyle Fun at Funkys

Each small group will have at least two leaders: typically, two JMU students who are employed with CEVC (e.g. student coordinators, previous participants, etc. )

We strive to make DMAD accessible and invite you to discuss your needs and potential accommodations with our office as soon as possible so that we can take the information into account when finalizing our plans for service, meals, transportation, and other activities.

We are committed to diversity and social justice and strives to be accessible to and inclusive of students of all abilities. If you have a documented disability (or think you may have a disability) and as a result may need reasonable accommodations to participate in DMAD, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible. To receive accommodations, you must be appropriately registered with ODS. The ODS works confidentially in partnership with students, faculty, and other University departments to ensure equal access through Universal Design and reasonable accommodations. The office is located in the Student Success Center, Suite 1202. You may contact them by phone at 540-568-6705 or through email at

We take the pandemic seriously in order to keep one another safe and to reduce the risk of exposing the vulnerable communities we work with. We will follow all university policies related to COVID-19. Additionally, some of our service sites may have more restrictive policies – like requiring up-to-date vaccines or masks – that we’ll abide by while we’re on-site

Yes! We can’t help you get to Harrisonburg, but once you’re here, we’ll get you everywhere you need to be. 

No! DMAD will end before Weeks of Welcome programming begins on Friday.

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