In an effort to support the ongoing development of JMU faculty as teachers and scholars, the JMU professional development community offers a wide array of opportunities for faculty during the week after May Commencement. The annual May Symposium compiles a variety of experiences ranging from guest speakers to workshops on various topics such as learner-centered teaching and information literacy. The events of May Symposium are sponsored by a variety of JMU organizations and offices. This exciting collaborative effort provides full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and academic unit leaders with opportunities to focus on teaching, scholarship, service and/or leadership. The Center for Faculty Innovation coordinates publicizes and provides financial support for May Symposium.


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Morning Plenary 8:45-10:15 AM

Introducing the Madison Research Action Network (Plenary)

8:45-10:15 AM, In-person at Festival Highlands Room

The world’s most complex or “wicked” problems are best tackled by teams that skillfully combine different kinds of expertise—a collaborative effort that can also be described as transdisciplinarity. In this plenary session, JMU Research and Scholarship in collaboration with JMU X-Labs builds on the idea of transdisciplinarity to propose a new initiative called the Madison Research Action Network. This network will gather together and support strong transdisciplinary teaching and research teams to do important, grant-funded work on wicked problems that impact our region and beyond. Throughout this interactive presentation, participants will learn about the concepts of transdisciplinarity and impact networks, and how the Madison Research Action Network adapts both to build on one of JMU’s many strengths: transdisciplinary classroom-based learning. Finally, participants will collaborate with the presentation team to brainstorm possible wicked problems for future course and grant development. 

Facilitated by: Seán McCarthy, College of Arts and Letters; Keith Holland, Research and Scholarship; Tiffany Brutus, Student-Athlete Services;  Nick Swayne, 4-VA and JMU X-Labs.

Session One - 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Empowering Voices of Asian Pacific Islander and Desi Americans (APIDA) (Panel Discussion)

10:30 AM-12:00 PM, In-person at Festival Conference room 7

Since the early 1850s, when a large number of Chinese immigrants arrived in the U.S., there have been racism and discrimination against APIDA individuals. Lately, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hostility against APIDA individuals became more noticeable. The hatred against APIDA members was clearly shown in the shooting in Atlanta in March last year, when six Asian descendants were killed. Despite the condemnation toward the society and support of APIDA communities from the current U.S. government, attacks on innocent APIDA members, especially, toward the elders and women, have not stopped. APIDA scholars at JMU will share their research on culture, communication, and education, followed by panel discussions on how to understand APIDA members and the ways to empower their voices in higher education.

Keywords: Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American, Diversity, Engagement

Facilitated by: Isaac Woo, College of Arts & Letters; Smita Mathur, College of Education; Nanfei Liu, CGE & University Programs; Yiingjiu Nie, College of Health & Behavioral Studies.

Getting Serious with Your Fulbright Application (Workshop)

10:30 AM-12:00 PM, In-person at Festival Conference room 5

Fulbright grant awards are for seasoned faculty scholarly sojourners as well as fresh, curious globalists. Doing a Fulbright usually requires about 2-3 years of advanced planning. If you have every intention to apply to the faculty Fulbright Program at some point in the future, this coaching workshop is for you. Join your JMU Faculty Fulbright Campus Representative Ed Brantmeier and JMU Fulbright Alum Dr. Michelle Cude to explore the application process for the Fulbright Core Scholars Program, Fulbright Specialists Program, or Fulbright International Education Administrators Program. Gather insightful tips and clarity as you move through your application process.

Keywords: International faculty development, Fulbright grant

Facilitated by: Ed Brantmeier, CFI and College of Education; Michelle Cude, College of Education.

Assisted Grading and Inclusive Teaching: Better Together (Workshop)

10:30 AM-12:00 PM, In-person at Festival Allegheny room

Inclusive teaching best practices encourage and support all students to succeed. It can be difficult and time-consuming for faculty to implement these best practices, especially determining what to do, how and when. Software tools that assist with grading assignments can be used to give students timely, targeted and inclusive feedback more efficiently than traditional grading mechanisms and reduce instructor workload. Specialized feedback can support all students in better learning outcomes. This session will demonstrate how faculty can use tools such as TurnItIn's GradeScope, and Canvas in any course to implement more inclusive feedback.

Keywords: Active learning, inclusion, grading, feedback

Facilitated by: Amy Connolly, College of Business; Dee Weikle, College of Integrated Science and Engineering.

Fight the BURNout: Development of a Student Guided Wellness Curriculum (Scholarly Talk)

10:30 AM-12:00 PM, In-person at Festival Conference room 4

In this session, presenters will discuss evidence-based burnout research regarding graduate students and strategies to promote wellness in graduate school. Presenters will guide the audience through the steps for development of a wellness curriculum for their programs, using the wellness curriculum developed for the PA program as an example. Participants will learn how to design and implement a student-guided wellness curriculum including involvement in three mock wellness activities for an immersive learning experience.

Keywords: student wellness, graduate programs

Facilitated by: Abby Massey, College of Health and Behavioral Studies; Ashley Skelly, College of Health and Behavioral Studies; Whitney Simmons, College of Health and Behavioral Studies.

Envisioning Just Futures: Integrating Science and the Humanities (Online Workshop)

10:30 AM-12:00 PM, On Zoom

In this workshop, faculty will engage with each other in a fun and interactive process designed to enhance interdisciplinary connections between the sciences and humanities around the shared theme of envisioning just futures. Based on a yearlong pedagogical research project* involving faculty and undergraduate students from Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT), Foreign Languages & Literatures, Justice Studies/Disability Studies, and Biology, this session will give participants the opportunity to explore a set of tools and strategies for developing collaborative, integrated pedagogies that connect science, technology, and society in their courses. Blending scenario analysis, design fiction, and ethical reasoning, this process facilitates interdisciplinarity and creative, critical thinking in multidisciplinary teams, providing a foundation for faculty from diverse teaching areas to identify points of resonance and dissonance. For the purposes of this workshop session, our topic will focus on envisioning just futures in the context of higher education, so that everyone has relevant expertise to bring to the experience.  *The “Imagining a Just Future” project and the “Collaborative Research and Education Architecture for Transformative Engagement with STS” project were funded by the Madison Trust and the National Science Foundation, respectively.

Keywords: Integrative pedagogy; Justice and Ethics

Facilitated by: Daisy Breneman, College of Arts & Letters; Emily York, College of Integrated Science and Engineering; Shannon Conley, College of Integrated Science and Engineering; Christine May, College of Math & Science; Holly Yanacek, FFLC; Cindy Klevickis, College of Integrated Science and Engineering.

Evidence-based Advocacy Module for First-year Student Projects (Online Workshop)

10:30 AM-12:00 PM, On Zoom

According to research from colleges and employers gathered by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, fewer employers are screening job candidates based on GPA which makes it important for college students to capture evidence that demonstrate transferrable skills. Key attributes that the companies surveyed deem important for potential new hires are teamwork and communication skills  – verbal.  These transferrable skills are typically communicated by graduates through describing experiences and approaches in course-based or independent projects. The working question that stirred curiosity was, “Could a highly intentional, combined pedagogical approach to teaming and communication result in an increase in student awareness of their transferrable skills?” This session will highlight some insights of creating and facilitating a combined pedagogical approach within a STEM course which shared a process of debate and evidence-based argumentation to advocate for making project decisions to foster communication skills.

Keywords: team projects, decisions making, collaborative learning, advocacy framework

Facilitated by: Kyle Gipson, College of Integrated Science and Engineering; Callie Miller, College of Integrated Science and Engineering; Paul Mabrey, The Learning Centers; Macon Thompson, College of Arts & Letters.

Keynote Speaker and Conference Lunch- 12:00-1:45 PM

Straddling Class in the Academy

Keynote presentation will be streamed to the in-person conference lunch at Festival Highlands room, or you may join online.

Social class identity and class carry a complexity of obscure definitions, fluidities, and a sense of taboo while impacting most any area of a college campus. Class involves forms of capital beyond the financial, even though that is often the start- and end-point when learning about and discussing it in any formal way. This plenary will encourage participants to consider concepts and lived experiences related to class; recognize exclusionary practices, procedures, as well as written and unwritten norms; and explore ways to engage class in more equitably.

Key words: social class identity, straddling class, forms of capital, academy, higher education

becky martinez is a Mixed Race, Mixed Class Woman of Color and engages the dynamic of both/and living in these particular identities. She is a proud aunt, friend, learner, person that likes to run, student of nature, fan of ice cream and hopes to always be in process. She is a consultant and trainer with an emphasis on social justice, leadership and organizational development. becky strives to create space for critical reflection and learning to increase self-awareness and create sustainable change. Her work focuses on engaging individuals and groups to recognize systems of privilege and oppression for more inclusive and equitable policies, practices, norms, and structures. She works with a range of groups within higher education and with non-profit organizations. She is a faculty member with the Social Justice Training Institute, a Co-Lead Facilitator for LeaderShape, a board member with Class Action, a Foundation Board member with the American College Personnel Association, a former certified trainer for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and counselor-advocate through Peace over Violence.


dr. becky martinez MS20-Straddling Class book cover
Session Two - 2:00-3:00 PM

Let's do this (and not do that): Service-Learning success (Roundtable)

2:00-3:00 PM, In-person at Festival Conference room 7

This practical session led by a panel of faculty members and community representatives will provide a set of strategies to integrate or enhance Service-Learning. Faculty often report the rewarding nature of involving students in meaningful projects that make genuine impacts while enlivening course content and facilitating deeper student connections to the curriculum. Nonetheless, Service-Learning can be complex, demanding, and “messy” to implement. When we are already juggling multiple demands, how do we take on this innovative and refreshing approach? Participants will leave the session with a set of strategies to employ and ones to avoid—do’s and don’ts—to successfully incorporate this promising pedagogy. Sponsored by Community Service-Learning.

Keywords: Service-Learning; Experiential learning; Reflection; Pedagogy; Community

Facilitated by: Steve Grande, Student Affairs and University Planning; Kerry Cresawn, College of Science & Mathematics; Michelle Cude, College of Education; Sabrina Burress, ARROW Project.

So, your project's on life support.  When do you pull the plug? (Roundtable)

2:00-3:00 PM, In-person at Festival Conference room 5

Many scholars face rejection in their research publication quest and are often faced with the decision of whether to continue life support for the project or pull the plug. How do scholars handle rejections of their research? How can scholars tell if the paper is not going to make it no matter what they do?  How do scholars deal with the separation from a project for which they have devoted so much time -- and so much of themselves? This session will focus on dealing with spotting the signs of life in your research and how to know when to shift to another line of research.

Keywords: publication; rejection; editors

Facilitated by: Pamela Drake, College of Business

Citation Needed: Amplifying Voices in Our Scholarship and Syllabi (Scholarly Talk)

2:00-3:00 PM, In-person at Festival Allegheny room

The politics of citation illuminates whose voices are heard and valued by the academic community through citational practices that have either been uplifted or excluded. Citations ascribe value and there continues to be a gap between citations of white men and those of women and BIPOC scholars. In this session, participants will explore the foundation of citational politics and current efforts to make scholarship more inclusive and equitable through citation practices aimed at uplifting the experiences, knowledge, and works of BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ scholars. This session aims to support faculty both as researchers engaged in citation with their own work and as teachers who instruct students in citational practices.

Keywords: Citational politics, scholarly conversation

Facilitated by: Liz Chenevey, Libraries

Inclusive Engagement of Students in Research and Fellowships (STAIR) (Online Scholarly Talk)

2:00-3:00 PM, On Zoom

Student Awards, Initiatives, and Research (STAIR), housed in Research and Scholarship, encourages student development through mentored research and competition in external (often highly competitive) scholarships, fellowships, and awards. In this presentation, participants will explore the resources available in STAIR, as well as how to effectively identify and mentor historically excluded students in research, fellowships processes, or, ideally, both. This session will highlight how student involvement, specifically student research, can lead to successful student grant applications, from Fulbright to Mitchell.

Keywords: mentorship, student research, national/international student scholarships

Facilitated by: Meredith Malburne-Wade, Research & Scholarship; Dayna Henry, College of Health & Behavioral Studies, CFI, and Research & Scholarship.

Constructs of Local Knowledge (Online Scholarly Talk)

2:00-3:00 PM, On Zoom

In Constructs of Local Knowledge, Nicholas Brinen presents project-based research that bridges local material streams from the Virginia State Forestry Department with JMU Students and design-build projects for the local community.  This local wood, infested by the Emerald Ash Bore, would typically be slated for the landfill, but through grant funding, mobile mills are easily able to cut building lumber on-site.  The lumber is now a resource for the community and an opportunity for Architecture students to elevate ordinary lumber into something extraordinary.  By teaming up with Harrisonburg Public Works and VA Forestry, an ongoing, symbiotic relationship between city, academia, and community is creating meaningful public projects.  In addition, resources are being rescued and students are engaged as activists in their local community.

Keywords: Local material resources, community engagement, participatory knowledge exchange, grants with other institutions

Facilitated by: Nicholas Brinen, College of Visual and Performing Arts

Equity-Flagged Sections in General Education: How to Participate (Online Roundtable)

2:00-3:00 PM, On Zoom

The General Education Council is introducing a new marker or “flag” for highlighting sections of General Education courses with significant content or pedagogical practices related to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice or accessibility. The flag is voluntary and applied to sections of courses; any faculty member teaching in any area of General Education may request that their course be considered. This workshop will introduce faculty to the system and help them explore how they might revise or design a course section for the equity flag. Participants will engage with a community of colleagues from across campus who seek to recognize and include the voices, cultures, and contributions of the historically marginalized, and to understand and dismantle the systems by which marginalization is perpetuated. Instructional faculty from all departments are welcome to participate in this workshop, which grew out of conversations with multiple stakeholders including: faculty, student groups, the Anti-racist Gen Ed X-Labs Course, the Faculty Senate, the President’s Task Force for Racial Equity, the Gen Ed program’s recent APR and its summer DEIJA working group.

Keywords: General Education, curriculum, DEI,

Facilitated by: Elizabeth Brown, College of Science & Math, and General Education; Dennis Beck, College of Visual & Performing Arts.

Afternoon Break 3:00-3:30 PM
Session Three - 3:30-4:30

Faculty Roles in Early Success Systems for Equitable Student Retention (Roundtable)

3:30-4:30 PM, In-person at Festival Allegheny room

In the Early Alerts: Improving Retention and Closing the Equity Gap Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), faculty will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting student success and retention. Faculty can be essential advocates for equitable student success and retention given potential for consistent and meaningful engagement through academic classrooms. This session explores early findings of the QEP working group in researching and designing an early success system and roles that faculty might plan in supporting a culture of equitable student success and retention at JMU.

Keywords: Early Alert System, Equity, Student Success & Retention

Facilitated by: Paul Mabrey, The Learning Centers

External Funding Landscape: Find, Apply and Succeed (Scholarly Talk)

3:30-4:30 PM, In-person at Festival Conference room 7

In this session, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) Director and personnel will share strategies for finding funding, working with the OSP, and creating successful funding proposals to augment scarce resources. This session will explore key support services provided by OSP throughout the life cycle of a grant or contract, examine typical budget categories for proposals, and discuss best practices to manage external funding.

Keywords: external funding, research & scholarship administrative supports, grantsmanship

Facilitated by: Tamara Hatch, Research & Scholarship; Sally Dickenson, Research & Scholarship; Donna Crumpton, Research & Scholarship.

What’s Your Class Story? Leading through a Class Lens

3:30-4:30, Broadcast to an In-person session at Festival Highlands room

Class is woven throughout the academy, yet is rarely discussed in any meaningful way beyond financial capital. Dig deeper into your own class socialization and social class identity to better understand how you navigate class in the academy. Explore various class concepts, ways to recognize and intervene in class related moments, as well as strategies for creating inclusion through a class lens.

Key words: social class identity, forms of capital, social class concepts, self-reflection, experiencing class, storytelling

Facilitated by: dr.  becky martinez, keynote speaker.

Let's Get Together, Ya-Ya-Ya: Collaborate to Enhance Student Learning (Online Roundtable)

3:30-4:30 PM On Zoom

Students have many possible avenues to find information and it can be overwhelming for them to navigate effectively to the best sources if they do not know where to start. Lowering this barrier for students is important to help them deepen their understanding of identifying, finding, evaluating, applying, and acknowledging sources of information while in college and to develop these skills for their future careers. Collaborating with a librarian to teach information literacy skills to students can enhance the content of a course and can complement what one already teaches by connecting the students to the tools and information that practitioners use in the field. Librarians can also provide a different approach to finding information that an instructor might not realize exists, especially regarding free-to-use and open educational resources. This session will provide an example of a successful librarian-instructor partnership with space to brainstorm and discuss ways to improve classroom instruction through collaborating with a librarian or someone outside of their field.

Keywords: teaching, collaboration, information literacy, free to use or open educational resources

Facilitated by: Alyssa Young, Libraries; Chris Berndsen, College of Science & Mathematics


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