Formed in the summer of 2016, the Engagement Advisory Group leads, aligns, facilitates and supports so that incremental and measurable progress is made toward the university’s vision to be the national model for the engaged university.

In doing our work, we align ourselves with the "I am Madison's Legacy" Framework:

  • We learn from and with others - we’re open to input and feedback from a wide variety of people, including and especially each other.
  • We foster collaboration - as a team, we need to work well together, as do our sub-teams. Anything we can do to influence people working together toward the pursuit of the vision is a positive.
  • We embrace complexity - We have a challenge in front of us and it involves lots of moving parts that are interconnected as well as lots of people who deserve to know and understand what we are doing. We know that’s part of it and we’re OK with that.
  • We value pragmatism - We know we won’t be perfect but we don’t want to get frozen in place. Instead, we’ll be decisive and action oriented so at some point in the future we’ll echo Madison and say “it is impossible to consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle.”
  • We advance the public good - We care about the vision critical work in pursuit of our mission and we’ll make decisions for the good of the university, its mission and vision.
  • We lead.
Engagement Advisory Group Leaders

Brian Charette
Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning and Engagement

Heather Coltman
University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Tim Miller
Vice President of Student Affairs

Civic Engagement


  • Abe Goldberg, Executive Director of the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement


  • Terry Beitzel, Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence and Associate Professor of Justice Studies
  • Lori Britt, Director of the Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue/4C Initiative and Associate Professor of Communication Studies
  • Melody Eaton, Associate Director of Graduate Programs and Professor of Nursing, founding member of the Health Policy Collaborative
  • Mike Gubser, Professor of History
  • Kevin Hardwick, Professor of History
  • Gwyn Mellinger, Department Head of the School of Media Arts and Design
  • Dena Pastor, Associate Director of Assessment Operations in the Center for Assessment and Research Studies and Professor in Graduate Psychology
  • Marshall Pattie, Associate Professor of Management and Faculty Advisor for College Republicans
  • Kristen Shuyler, Director of Outreach and Partnerships for Libraries and Educational Technologies
  • Jordan Todd, Student Learning Initiatives Coordinator in the Office of Residence Life
  • Emma Thacker, Assistant Professor of Early, Elementary and Reading Education
  • Laura Trull, Assistant Professor of Social Work
  • Jamie Williams, Associate Director of Community Service-Learning
Engaged Learning Consortium


  • Andrea Adams, Interim Associate Dean of Libraries and Educational Technologies and Adjunct Faculty in Integrated Science and Technology
  • Dayna Henry, Faculty Associate for the Center for Faculty Innovation and Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences, College of Health & Behavioral Studies
  • Felix Wang, Senior Associate Executive Director of Center for Global Engagement

Guidelines and Criteria Task Force: Provost Coltman and Academic Deans

Engaged Learning Emphasis Members: 

  • Randy Budnikas, Director of Digital Marketing
  • Jennifer Coffman, Associate Executive Director (AED) of the Center for Global Engagement and Professor of Integrated Science and Technology
  • Laura Hickerson, Assistant Director of Employer Engagement and Adjunct Management Faculty
  • Val Larsen, Professor of Marketing and Speaker (Pro Tempore) for Faculty Senate
  • Sarah Sunde, Director of Orientation
Community Engagement


  • Steve Grande, Director of Community Service Learning
  • Carol Fleming, Assistant Dean of Professional and Continuing Education


  • Emily Akerson, Associate Director of Clinical and Interprofessional Programs, Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services
  • Sam Collier, Director of the Office of Professional Development and Engagement
  • Kerry Cresawn, Director of the Center for STEM Education and Outreach, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Michelle Cude, Associate Professor of Middle, Secondary and Math Education
  • Kyle Gipson, Associate Professor of Engineering
  • Kim Hartzler-Weakley, Associate Director of Research and Public Health for the Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services
  • Lisa McGuire, Department Head and Professor of Social Work
  • Jennifer PeeksMease, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
  • Karin Tollefson, Associate Director of the School of Art, Design and Art History
  • Jennifer Rupert, Internship Coordinator for Career and Academic Planning
  • Mary Hope Vass,  JMU Communications Media Relations Manager
  • Bev Walker, Adjunct Faculty Member Integrated Science and Technology
Promotion and Communication

Andy Perrine, Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing


The Office of Strategic Planning & Engagement serves to lead and coordinate the university’s strategic planning efforts overall as well as its vision to be the national model for the engaged university. The office provides structure and resources for all university strategic planning and coordinates engagement efforts with a focus on each area of engagement: Engaged Learning, Community Engagement and Civic Engagement.

Brian Charette
Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning and Engagement

Cindy Chiarello
Strategic Planning and Engagement Coordinator

Liv Stephens
Strategic Planning and Engagement Communications and Administration Assistant

Bronwyn Neal
Engagement Fellow - Student Connection with Engagement

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