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Affinity groups are loosely structured employee resource and recreational groups meant to encourage engagement and community among faculty & staff. 

If you are interested in participating in any of these groups, contact the person listed below. 

If you would like to start a new affinity group, or if you would like to promote your existing group on our page, please email Tara Torkelson – 


Dukes 4 Trees

Dukes 4 Trees is a group for fellow tree lovers, walkers, and nature enthusiasts. We will do tree focused walks covering different parts of campus once or twice a month, depending on the season. You may learn a new tree fact, identify a bird (or two) that call campus trees their home, meet fellow Dukes who share these similar interests and get some exercise. We can’t wait to take a walk with you!

Contact: Ali Sloop, | Katie Rankin,

New Moms

Are you a new mom? Would you like to find support from other news moms on campus? If you are interested in participating in an affinity group for new moms working at JMU to share stories, ideas, pumping advice, as well as a safe space to ask questions and find community, please email

Contact: Kathleen Sensabaugh,

Page & Shenandoah County Faculty & Staff

Connect with other JMU staff and faculty who live in your home county! We welcome JMU staff and faculty living in Page and Shenandoah Counties to become acquaintances and share JMU with their home communities through the Page and Shenandoah County Affinity Group. Along with meeting new neighbors and friends, the group will discuss and share service projects, carpooling, and other activities.

Contact:  Margaret Sloan,

Tennis Group

The tennis group will meet up and play sets/matches on the JMU tennis courts. This is a great way to get practice playing with different people and to challenge and improve your individual skills. Ideally, the faculty and staff that participate in this affinity group will have experience and some level of skill with tennis, as well as a passion and love for the game.


Contact:  Priscilla Jones,


UNWIND is a fiber arts affinity group for members of the JMU community. We represent all skill levels and many crafts, including knitting, crochet, Tunisian crochet, cross-stitch, and more. We meet to chat and work together on our ongoing projects. No matter your experience level or your craft, join us for friendly conversation and sharing!

UNWIND meets every other Thursday from 5-7 p.m. We meet on-campus during the school year and casually in Downtown Harrisonburg through the summer.

Contact:  Liana Bayne, | Tanya Laffler,

Walking Groups

Several walking groups have formed on campus at various times. Please reach out to the contact listed below to get the schedule for the walking group that works best for you:

5:30am | Linda Plitt

10:00am | Katrina

12:00 (noon) | Rachel


Affinity groups are not supported or sponsored by JMU, the Human Resources Department, or any other university office. HR’s purpose in promoting these groups is to facilitate connections between JMU employees for their mutual enjoyment. JMU assumes no responsibility for the actions of the individuals who have organized the affinity groups, and specifically has no liability for any affinity group activities. Individuals joining the group or taking part in the activities do so at their own risk.

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