Anthony Lazarony and Matthew Shifflett are recipients of the prestigious Elijah Watt Sells award for 2019, which is given to those who score above 95.50% on all four sections of the Uniform CPA examination and pass all four sections on their first attempt.  They are two of the 110 who qualified for the award in 2019 out of 86,000 test takers, placing them in the .001 percentile—rare results indeed.


Christine Verderam won 2nd place and the People's Choice award at JMU's Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) for her presentation "Habitat Utlization and Impact of Flooding on James spinymussel (Parvaspina collina) Populations in Virgina Streams" sponsored by The Graduate School on January 24, 2020.


Jordan Clark (M.Ed., 2019) Will be presenting his applied research project conducted in the program at the 7th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language in Albuquerque, NM. The title of his presentation is “Motivation of Heritage Language Learners in the L2 Classroom”.

Jackelyn Benitez is finishing up her Dual Master’s and is now a first-year kindergarten teacher in a Spanish Dual Immersion school in Seattle, WA.

Kate Blevins (M.Ed., 2019) After finishing the Dual Master’s program is now teaching Spanish I and II to middle schoolers in Clarke County, VA

Olivia Ghiz (M.Ed., 2019) She is working at The SFS advising study abroad students. She helps students find the program that is a right fit for them and support them to have a wonderful experience. 

Spencer Knox, Andrew Lough, Chris McKinney, Daniel Paunovic, Alex Shafter, and Shannon Van Tol co-presented on Academic Controversy to Enhance Conceptual Understanding at the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Annual Conference in Roanoke, Virginia on November 14-16, 2019. Their session focused on how to identity and introduce controversial topics within the secondary science classroom, and these graduate students modeled and shared ideas for introducing debate via constructive, cooperative, and academic controversy.

Amanda Kousen (MEd, 2019) presented a poster at the Council for Exceptional Children - Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities International Conference in January 2020 in Sarasota, FL. The title of her poster was "Exploring efficient instructional array sizes for receptive skill instruction using constant time delay”, based on her applied thesis research at JMU.

Shea Manship (MEd, 2020) presented with Dr. Sara Snyder at the Celebrating Quality Teaching in Early Childhood Conference at JMU in January 2020.  Shea and Dr. Snyder presented to a large group of area early childhood teachers seeking professional development.  The title of the presentation was "Supporting the emotional and behavioral needs of young learners” and was based on their work on Harrisonburg-Rockingham Mixed Delivery Grant. 

Alesha Melendez co-presented a session on Actively Engaging All Learners at the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Annual Conference in Roanoke, Virginia on November 14-16, 2019. Along with her peers, she engaged her participants in ways to get every student in the classroom actively involved within the learning process by drawing from drama-based pedagogy, formative assessments, and learning cycle models.

Amber Sanders and Alex Shafer collaborated with Dr. Robbie Higdon of the MSME Department as well as Russell Kohrs of the Massanutten Regional Governors School to give a presentation entitled “ReGifted: Differentiating for Your High-Ability Students.” In their session, these students facilitated an interactive discussion on common issues in gifted education, and simple differentiation solutions that can be used in any class

Alex Shafer accompanied Dr. Robbie Higdon and other faculty and education professionals on a professional development exchange in Northern Ireland.


John Albright is presenting "‘I’ll Be Seeing You Real Soon’: The Star Body as Temporal Disruptor in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013)” at the JMU African, African American, and African Diaspora Studies Conference, February 2020. 

Tessa Crosby has presented (or will present) three papers this academic year: “The Labor Myth: False Promises of Redemption in the Capitalocene” at the English Graduate School Association Conference, at UNC-Charlotte, February 2019;  “Fallen from Grace: Glamor and Politics in Post-Independence Zimbabwe,”  at the JMU African, African American, and African Diaspora Studies Conference, February 2020; and “Eden Ablaze: Cultural and Environmental Fatalism in Melville’s South Seas Narratives,” at the College English Association Conference, Hilton Head, SC, March 2020. 

Rhys Frazier presented "When 'Feminist' Literature isn't: Reproductive Futurity at the Expense of Women in The Testament of Jessie Lamb" at the English Graduate School Association Conference at UNC-Charlotte in January 2020. 

Amy Haupt has been awarded an Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship at the Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement for 2020-22. 

Megan Medeiros is presenting "We Lived in the Gaps Between the Stories”: Narrative Structure and the Historical Narrative in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Naomi Alderman’s The Power” at the  Southwest Popular/American Culture Association annual conference in Albuquerque, NM in February 2020. 

Marina Shafik is presenting "Neo-Passing: An Application of Nella Larsen's Passing to Modern Day Code-Switching" at the College English Association conference in Hilton Head, SC in March 2020. 

Ardyn Tennyson has presented (or will present) two papers this year: “Tragic Muses and ‘Fancy Girls’: Challenging 19th Century Narratives of Passivity in Trethewey’s Bellocq’s Ophelia” at the JMU African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Conference, February 2020; and "Christian Universalism as Patriarchal Subversion in Anne Brontë's Novels” at the College English Association Conference in Hilton Head, SC in March 2020. 


Alexander Brooks presented "Under Cover of Lightness: How Mixed-Race Americans Navigated the Racial Codes of Antebellum America"  at the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) at JMU on January 24, 2020 and won third-place. 

Physician Assistant

Dan Curran was awarded the 2020 Grogan Memorial Scholarship from the AAPA Veteran's Caucus. This scholarship is provided by the members of the Veterans Caucus and recognizes the achievements of an outstanding veteran of one of the branches of the Uniformed Services who is currently enrolled in a PA program.

Psychological Sciences

Briana Craig won first place at the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) at JMU on January 24, 2020 for her presentation "Propensity Score Matching and Generalized Boosted Modeling in the Context of Model Misspecification", and "Outstanding Service

Amanda Powell, (MA in Experimental Psychology) - Received an Outstanding Scholarship Award, awarded by the Psychology Department for exceptional contribuations to research or scholarship in their field.

Taylor Stanley, (MA in Experimental Psychology) - Received a Most Distinguished Award, awarded by the Psychology Department for exceptional contributions in scholarship, teaching, and service.

Kathryn Thompson, (MA in Quantitative Psychology) - Received an Outstanding Teaching Award, awarded by the Psychology Department for exceptional contributions in the area of teaching.

Public Administration

Melody Barger was accepted as a finalist in the International City/County Manager's Association Local Government Management Fellowship on February 4, 2020. She is currently in the process of interviewing with localities for a placement. 

Strategic Leadership Studies

Kyle McCarrell (PhD candidate 2020) with K., & Selznick, B. (2020) collaborated on a study published in the Community College Review. (Re)Measuring Community College Student Engagement: Testing a Seven-Factor CCSSE Model. Community College Review.

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