Registration for DMAD 2023 is closed!

Incoming First-Years 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: $50, 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 and professional staff
  • 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
  • Explore Harrisonburg, including its diverse and delicious local restaurants

Jump start your JMU journey with DMAD! 

Information for DMAD 2024 will be available by early May of 2024. If you would like more information, please email cevc@jmu.edu.

  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 

(Bonus: You get to move in early.) 

DMAD will begin on Wednesday, August 16 and end on Friday, August 18. 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 16. 

The participation fee includes early access to your residence hall, some meals, transportation, and all volunteering costs. The cost is $50. 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. This year, participants will enjoy a meal with one of the following:

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 four social issues that are priorities for our office: 

  • Ending Hunger and Homelessness 
  • Supporting Youth and Education 
  • Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees 
  • Protecting the Environment 

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, recent 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 

Update - 2023 partners

Over 100 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 co-led by a CEVC student employee and a CEVC professional staff member. 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 2023

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
  • Service
  • Lunch
  • Breakfast on your own
  • Depart for service
  • Service
  • Lunch
Afternoon Afternoon Afternoon
  • Community-building
  • Introduction to Harrisonburg
  • Preparation for service
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Reflection
  • Breakout activities
  • Reflection
  • Breakout activities
Evening Evening
  • Dinner on campus
  • Dinner at local restaurant
  • Community Celebration

Each small group will have at least two leaders: typically, one JMU student who works in the CEVC office and one member of CEVC's professional staff. 

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 disability-svcs@jmu.edu.

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. Because of this, we’ll ask for – and verify – your vaccination status. If you’re not vaccinated against COVID, you can still participate in DMAD, but some service sites won’t be options for you. Changes in COVID conditions will require changes in policy. For example, we may require everyone to take a rapid test before we start volunteering. We’ll be sure to communicate all updates. 

Yes! We can’t help you get to Harrisonburg, but once you’re here, we’ll get you everywhere you need to be. JMU has a fleet of 12-passenger vans that we’ll use to get between campus and our service sites. 

You will. Our days will start early, and service will likely tire us out, but we’ll still have time to get to know each other. DMAD programming will end in the early evening, so you’ll have some free time at the end of each day. 

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