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Professors in Residence Program (PIR)


The Presidential Commission on Diversity at JMU was created in the fall of 2003 to design a university blueprint for the enhancement of diversity that would be consistent with the institution′s mission. As part of the conversation on diversity, the JMU Faculty Senate, on October 2, 2003, endorsed the establishment of a high school program that would ″enable the opportunities for attending university of underrepresented and underserved Virginia students.″

Approved by President Rose, the Professor-in-Residence (PIR) program is an integral part of the JMU diversity plan and therefore consistent with the university′s mission.

JMU Defining Characteristics to which the PIR Program Contributes:

  • The university will be in innovative in programs and services.
  • The university will be a diverse community whose members share in, and contribute to a common JMU experience.
  • The university will serve our state, region and nation, and will be recognized on a national basis.
  • The university will maintain our heritage of nurturing and cultivating enduring relationships with its constituencies.

The PIR program is designed for the purpose of providing academic support to a select number of participating Virginia Middle and High Schools. Host schools are usually diverse, have a high percentage free lunch student population, and desire support for educating students and parents about post-secondary educational opportunities.

Role of the PIR:

Faculty members serving as PIRs for the program serve in a selective role as ambassadors for the university and the academic division and must be approved by both the college and academic unit for participation. PIRs, their home academic units, and the PIR Program form a partnership in support of the university′s diversity goals.

Professors and Partner Schools:

JMU has many dedicated professors and Graduate students, each representing a different discipline who are instrumental to the program. They spend at least one day per week visiting one of the partner schools. View partnering high schools and middle schools. The program also has a relationship with middle schools in Virginia, helping students establish a plan for their future.

Additional Information:

For additional information you can visit the PIR website or contact Dr. David Owusu-Ansah, Professor of History and Executive Director, Faculty Access & Inclusion, at


Dr. Michele Kielty, in partnership with Lucy Addison Middle School in Roanoke, was recognized by her colleague, Dr. Karen Santos in this essay. Dr. Michele Kielty's work is also noted in this article

What Sustains Me Project features noted work by Chapman Frazier, Cynthia Klevickis and Michele Kielty.

Congratulations to Dr. Uchenna Onugulike for winning the outstanding dissertation award from the National Communication Association's African American Communication and Culture Division. The award will be presented to Dr. Onugulike on 22 November 2014 at the 100th anniversary convention to be held in Chicago.Dr. Onugulike was a 2013/14 James Madison University Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) fellow from Howard University. He team-taught classes at our School for Media Arts and Design (SMAD), he was mentored and was also allowed research time to complete the dissertation titled "Ethnic and Transnational Identities in the Diaspora: A Phenomenological Study of Second-Generation Igbo Americans."

Dr. Melbourne Cummings, Dr. Alem Hailu and Dr. Chuka Onwumechili constituted the Howard dissertation committee for Uchnna Onugulike.

Department of Integrated Science and Technology, Professors in Residence


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