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The 2024-2025 application period is closed. These positions have been filled for the 2024-25 academic year.

Innovation and Impact Fellowship Program Overview

JMU X-Labs offers five one-academic-year fellowships for students to work with the X-Labs team and their industry partners. The fellowship program provides valuable leadership and career experience, focused on innovation and collaboration, and allows students to serve as ambassadors of JMU X-Labs. 

Hours: approximately six hours/week    

Compensation: Students receive a stipend of $2500 for the academic year.   
Deadline to apply: Closed. Application deadline for 2025-2026 will be announced later in the year. 

Purpose of the Fellowship

To offer a unique and practical learning experience to a diverse group of students while also advancing JMU X-Labs' mission. Innovation and Impact Fellows will have the chance to work on a variety of projects and initiatives with the guidance of the JMU X-Labs' team, gaining valuable experience and exposure to real-world tasks. 

Program Goals
  • Develop student leaders  
  • Provide meaningful learning opportunities and support professional development 
  • Expose students to industry experts   
  • Gain experience in an innovation and entrepreneurial space  
  • Encourage peer learning and knowledge sharing through group and collaborative projects 
  • Cultivate and grow student leaders' professional networks   


Applications are open to all JMU undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants with previous involvement or affiliation with X-Labs or the Esports program are encouraged to apply; however, this is not a requirement for an application to be considered. 

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by the X-Labs staff and scored by the following criteria:   

  • Meets eligibility requirements   
  • Demonstrated experience of curiosity   
  • Motivated to learn leadership skills or demonstrated leadership experience   
  • Motivated to learn cross-disciplinary skills or demonstrated cross-disciplinary experience   
  • Willingness to work in a collaborative environment   
  • Experience in or motivated to work in an innovation space   
    The ideal objective of the hiring/selection committee is to choose a single fellow for each college. However, if the applications are only from a few colleges or the candidates' abilities warrant selecting more than one fellow per university college, the hiring committee has the authority to make such a decision. 
Roles and Responsibilities of all Innovation Fellows
  • Perform individual roles while having awareness of the team's goals and objectives: while each fellow has a unique role, they must perform their duties with an awareness of their team's broader context and JMU X-Labs' mission. 
  • Ambassadorship: represent JMU X-Labs by giving tours, engaging with prospective students during Academic Open House and Choices days, and working at various events in X-Labs, like the Innovation Summit and Esports open houses.    
  • Project planning and presentations: prioritize and develop projects to provide innovative and cross-disciplinary feedback and solutions. Projects may involve research, data analysis, report drafting, or contributing to ongoing initiatives. 
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration: encourage peer learning and knowledge sharing through group and collaborative projects. JMU X-Labs believes that collaboration is crucial for fostering innovation and achieving collective success. Interns are encouraged to contribute their diverse perspectives and ideas. 
Positions to be Filled:

Marketing and Engagement (1): Create effective marketing strategies and media content to engage university stakeholders, promote campus initiatives, and showcase the impact of JMU X-Labs' programs and courses. 

Communications Support for JMU X-Labs

  • Create social media campaigns, develop digital content, design promotional materials, and prepare targeted presentations to support JMU X-Labs' communications efforts. 

Social Media Content Creation and Captioning 

  • Produce digital graphics and captivating captions using JMU and JMU X-Labs' branding. 

Newsletter Story Development 

  • Suggest and draft outlines for compelling stories that will capture the interest of the JMU campus, community, and stakeholders. 

Required skills  
The applicant should be proficient in design creation software/applications such as Canva and basic Photoshop and skilled in Microsoft Word/word processing software. 


Technical Writing and Communications (1):
Increase awareness and understanding of JMU X-Labs programs and initiatives through strategic, effective and inspiring writing and digital content. 

 Content Creation 

  • Highlight the growth, accomplishments, and benefits of JMU X-Labs' programs, student stories, initiatives, impact, and courses designed for the following digital and print platforms: 
    • Newsletters  
    • Invitational and program information emails  
    • Post-event website writeups  
    • Email marketing communications  
    • Professional marketing materials 

 Stakeholder and Partner Digital Communications 
Alongside the assistance of JMU X-Labs' staff and fellowship interns, create engaging and informative content for a print and digital publication that will be shared with shareholders, current and former students, faculty, and industry partners during JMU’s spring and fall academic semesters. 

Required skills
Must possess strong writing and editing skills, experience with various forms of media, and knowledge of, or proven interest to learn, marketing and communication strategies. 


Technology Assistant (3): Provide technical support and assistance to users of equipment in X-Labs' Tank, Lab, and Esports Arena; perform routine maintenance checks of equipment and technology for optimal performance and safety standards; work closely with operations manager to optimize the technology and set-ups in each of X-Labs three spaces.  

Once trained to use JMU X-Labs' laser cutter/engraver, vinyl cutter, soldering station, and projectors, this role will be responsible for leading demonstration tours, providing safety training and appointment oversight during Open Lab hours. 
Required skills  
The candidate must be able to work with design software, computer systems, lead equipment demonstrations, and possess troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.  

Additional requirements 
Candidates must be available during at least one 3-hour block of time Monday through Friday between 1pm-5pm in the fall and spring semesters.   

Application Process

Applications will be submitted to JMU’s official student employment portal, Handshake

The following three documents are the requirements for the application:

  1. A max 2-page cover letter that addresses the following:
    • What position/s are you applying for?
    • What interests you about X-Labs?
    • What X-Labs experiences have you been a part of (including esports if applicable)? 
    • Briefly describe who you are as an innovator
    • Describe how this fellowship program will be of value to you while you are a student at JMU and in your chosen career path 

  2. Resume that includes three references and their contact information. At least two of the references should be JMU professors.

  3. In a separate document, respond to two of the following writing prompts: (500 words max) 
    • Describe a time that you developed a curiosity and then pursued it. What was the outcome and how did it play into where you are today?
    • Describe a time that you had to work hard to learn something. How did you handle it? Honesty is key here. If you didn't handle it well, own it. 
    • If you were coaching a team that seemed to have great talent but was flailing, what would you say or do to get them to maximize their potential? 
    • The word "innovation" gets used so often that it becomes almost meaningless. What word or phrase would you "swap" for innovation and why?
    • Describe a time that you did not agree with feedback you received. How did you deal with the situation? 

When applying for the position on Handshake, please note that the cover letter, resume, and writing prompts should be uploaded as three separate electronic documents.

University Resume Resources

Need help creating a professional resume? JMU’s University Career Center, located in the Student Success Center, offers student career and resume resources.


For questions regarding the application process or the Fellows Program, please contact JMU X-Labs:   


2024-2025 Fellowship Cohort
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Regan Elmore

Innovation & Impact Fellow

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Faith Forman

Innovation & Impact Fellow

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Gavin Greygor

Innovation & Impact Fellow

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Diego Navia Sejas

Innovation and Impact Fellow

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Luke Saunders

Innovation & Impact Fellow

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