2024 JMU Chemistry REU

[Feature image text description: The above image shows a scientist wearing goggles and gloves while holding a beaker of bubbling liquid. The text reads "May 20 - July 26. Summer 20204 Chemistry REU program. ASL Lunches, Research, Science communication." The text is accompanied by three inforgraphics representing sign language, chemistry research, and science communication.]

   The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at JMU hosts an REU site that integrates Deaf, hearing and sign language interpreting students in chemical research. This program is funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry (CHE-2150091). Participants include Deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) students, underrepresented minority students and first-generation college students, primarily from institutions with limited research infrastructure. In addition, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting students are immersed in the Science community, expanding the pool if interpreters who are comfortable in a STEM setting. Through the REU, both Deaf and hearing participants learn together, removing communication barriers in the scientific research environment, fostering cultural awareness, and growing a more inclusive scientific community. 

   JMU faculty, along with Dr. Adebowale "Debo" Ogunjirin, a visiting faculty from Gallaudet University, provide research opportunities in all major sub-disciplines of chemistry, with expertise centered in synthesis, biophysical chemistry and materials. (See this partial list of mentors and project descriptions.) In addition to conducting research, REU students will also participate in professional development activities aimed at enhancing effective science communication. Adrienne Hooker, a faculty member from JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design (SMAD) co-hosts workshops on the use of visual communication to inform both scientific and non-scientific audiences about the impacts of the research conducted at JMU on science and society.

Curious to learn more about this program? Check out our informational Removing the Barriers video. Demograpic information of our participants, as well as program assessment, assessment tools, and other data can be found on our Open Science Framwork (OSF) site.

Interested in applying? 

  • Applications for Summer 2024 are now closed
Student Participation

Each summer positions are available for undergraduate students in chemistry (or a related discipline) and undergraduate students in American Sign Language (ASL). Students in ten week positions (Chemistry & ASL interpreting students) will receive a stipend for full participation. Housing and food is available for all positions. Students traveling a great distance to the program may also request funds to defray travel expenses.

Past REU Experiences

During the 2019 and 2021 REUs, our students were challenged to develop an "elevator pitch" to describe their research. Students and faculty voted on the videos. The winners are posted below and they are not only great pitches, but they are a testament to the breadth of research done at our REU.

REU Publications

For a complete list of all publications produced from our REU program, click either of the links below. 


Please email the JMU REU directors, Dr. Christine Hughey (hugheyca@jmu.edu) and Dr. Isaiah Sumner (sumneric@jmu.edu).  Questions about the ASL positions may be directed to Judy Johnson Bradley, RID Certified Interpreter and ASL-interpreting mentor (bradlejj@jmu.edu). 

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