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Funded by a generous gift from the late Dr. Ralph Cohen, The Cohen Center for the Humanities serves the university community with innovative programming related to interdisciplinary graduate education and the professionalization of graduate students. Through the use of speakers, workshops, roundtables and presentations, the center engages important issues that affect us in a modern, technological world, on a local, national and global level.

Mission Statement

The Cohen Center fosters intellectual engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration and a strong sense of community for all graduate students.


To be recognized as facilitating an intellectually vibrant JMU graduate community.


Student Empowerment:

  • Foster authentic graduate student agency and provide opportunities for graduate students to take control of their own intellectual pathway and professional growth
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary discussions from which topics of mutual interest emerge
  • Provide resources for increasing graduate student involvement in intellectual exchange
  • Increase outlets for student presentations and foster scholarly publications


  • Facilitate the sharing of experiences and ideas across disciplines to create a sense of belonging
  • Explore common issues and concerns through shared events and activities
  • Provide spaces for graduate students to formally and informally gather, including the Cohen Graduate Student Professional Development Center


  • Develop and promote inclusive programming that represents a wide range of ideas, backgrounds and experiences
  • Ensure physical, social, cultural and intellectual access for members of the JMU graduate community
  • Generate discussions and events that stimulate intellectual engagement across disciplines
  • Ensure appropriate technological support and other assistance for Cohen Center events


  • Provide interdisciplinary scholarly opportunities for JMU graduate students
  • Facilitate cooperative dialogues to address issues within the JMU graduate community
Cohen Center Staff
  • Dr. Michael J. Klein, Director
  • Megan Medeiros, Graduate Assistant
Cohen Center Faculty Affiliates

Faculty Affiliates support the mission of the Cohen Center by publicizing the center's programs and events to faculty and students.

  • Dr. Brooks Hefner, Department of English
  • Dr. Corey Hickerson, School of Communication Studies
  • Dr. Paul Mabrey, Communication Center

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