Profile Image

Laura Miller, PhD
Executive Director

Laura Miller directs the Learning Centers and conducts research on peer education, assessment, and learning assistance programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Composition and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Laura teaches for the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, and she consults with students and faculty on all kinds of writing. She is currently working on the third edition of her first-year writing textbook, co-authored with Kurt Schick, titled So What? The Writer's Argument.

Contact Info

Joan Fahrney

Joan Fahrney
  Executive Assistant to the Director

Joan Fahrney is the Executive Assistant in the JMU Learning Centers.  Her primary duties include administrative support to the Executive Director, fiscal support, hiring, and payroll.

Contact Info



Alex Fletcher
Technology and Program Support Technician

Alex Fletcher provides administrative and informational technology support for the Learning Centers. His role is to assist program coordinators, peer educators, faculty, and staff on use of technology and the Learning Centers space, to troubleshoot and maintain equipment, and to oversee the Office Assistant team. He graduated from JMU in 2016 with a Major in SMAD's Converged Media branch and a Minor in English.

When not working on computers for work, he enjoys working on them at home with his hobbies of writing, game deisgn, and front-end web design.


Contact Info

Jared Featherstone

Jared Featherstone, MFA
Associate Director of Writing

Jared Featherstone directs the University Writing Center and teaches courses in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

His interests include mindfulness, contemplative writing, personal technology, metacognition, and reflective writing. He is a facilitator for the Koru Mindfulness program.

Contact Info


Lucy Bryan Malenke, MFA
Writing Center Liaison

Lucy Bryan Malenke is the Writing Center liaison to the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. She also serves as outreach coordinator for the UWC and a writing consultant for students and faculty. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Penn State University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her personal essays, short stories, reviews, and journalism have appeared in Nashville Review, Sojourners magazine, The Georgia Review, and other literary journals and magazines. In addition to all kinds of writing, her interests include wilderness preservation and philosophy, sustainable agriculture, and service learning..

Contact Info

Image preview

Kevin Jefferson
Writing Center Faculty Associate

Kevin Jefferson (he/him) is a Faculty Associate from the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Techincal Communication. He has a background in 19th - and 20th-century British and American literature and a history of long road trips. His teaching and research interests include first-year composition and editing; rhetorics of place, the environment, and the West, and publishing student writing. He works with the student editors and faculty reviewers of the James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal (JMURJ) to promote, publish, and share undergraduate scholarship from all JMU dsciplines.


Contact Info


Rodolfo "Rudy" Barrett, MS
Writing Center Specialist

Rodolfo "Rudy" Barrett is a Writing Center Specialist who assists with coordinating the day-to-day operations of the University Writing Center, holds writing consultation hours, and also teaches in the department of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.

He is a student-centered educator with a focus on writing coaching. He has served as a writing tutor since his time as an undergraduate student, taught first-year composition courses, and been a fellowships advisor in collaboration with the Honors College.

His research interests include composition pedagogy, intercultural communication, rhetorics of race and identity, and game theory.

Mary Tam

Mary Tam, PhD
Interim Associate Director of the SMLC

Mary Tam splits her time between tutoring in the Science and Math Learning Center and teaching in the Department of Chemistry. She is passionate about helping students develop an appreciation for chemistry and succeed throughout their educational journey at JMU.

In her free time, she is active supporter of greyhound rescue and enjoys spending time with her husband and two young boys.

Contact Info


Beth Cochran, PhD
Statistics Coordinator

Beth Cochran is the Statistics Coordinator in the SMLC, and she teaches courses in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She graduated from the Univeristy of Nebraska-Lincoln in August 2017. She is passionate about encouraging students and supporting them in their introductory statistics courses.  

Contact Info


Jason Sterlace
Physics Coordinator

Jason Sterlace is the Physics Coordinator for the SMLC and is an Instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He is a STEP UP Ambassador for the American Physical Society, and has an interest in Physics Education Research. He is a 2002 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Contact Info


Jenna Guenther
Online Tutoring Coordinator

Jenna Guenther is the Online Tutoring Coordinator in the Science and Math Learning Center.  She also tutors in the math area of the SMLC.  Jenna graduated from the JMU College of Science and Mathematics in 2019 with a B.S. in Math and from the JMU College of Education in 2020 with her M.A.T focused in math secondary education.  She began working in the SMLC as a peer math tutor in 2016, served as a graduate assistant in the SMLC for the 2019-2020 academic year, and has been a member of the Learning Centers faculty since 2020.  Jenna is passionate about tutor training and professional development, supporting students in STEM courses, and coaching cheerleading and gymnastics.

Paul Mabrey

Paul Mabrey, PhD
Communication Center Coordinator

Paul E. Mabrey III is the Communication Center Coordinator and a faculty member in the School of Communication Studies. He brings a passion for communication, collaboration and advocacy to the Communication Center. 

Paul’s research interests include learning and leadership across higher education. He has had essays published on communication education, digital literacy, civic engagement, and campus climate. Visit his faculty page.

Contact Info


Kristen Kelley, PhD
Multilingual Student Services Coordinator

Kristen Kelley, Ph.D., provides language and academic cultural support for multilingual faculty, staff, and students in consultations and through group programs. She holds a PhD in social psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, an MA in TESOL from the University of Delaware, and a BA from JMU in Modern Foreign Languages.

Kristen’s scholarly interests include translanguaging, linguistic justice, and assessment. She teaches in both the graduate and undergraduate Teaching English as Second Language programs, the Equity and Cultural Diversity M.Ed. program, and the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.

Contact Info

Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction (PASS), Instructor

Matt Trybus, M.Ed
Peer Assisted Study Sessions Coordinator

Matt Trybus is the Coordinator of PASS. He holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Administration from the University of Vermont, a teaching license from Saint Michael’s College, and a B.A. in History from the University of Montana. Prior to coordinating the PASS program, Matt served as Assistant Director of James Madison’s Office of Disability Services for 7 years.

In addition to working with members of the JMU community to realize their potential, Matt is passionate about his family, friends, cycling, food, and balance.

Contact Info


Darius Green, PhD 
Peer Assisted Study Sessions 
Assistant Coordinator

Darius is the Assistant Coordinator of the PASS Program. He earned his M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health and Addictions Counseling at The College of William and Mary and his doctorate in Counselor Education at James Madison University. His interests include wellness, diversity, social justice, and enhancing teaching pedagogy. 

Contact Info

Back to Top