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The Haynes Scholars Program

The Haynes Scholars Program is an academic residential learning community for incoming first-year STEM majors at JMU who identify as Black, Indigenous American, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or as part of other underrepresented groups in STEM fields. All students are welcome to apply to be Haynes Scholars if they feel that they can contribute to and benefit from the goals of the program. Haynes Scholars live together in or near Hoffman Hall while taking Calculus classes in cohorts, learning skills for success in college STEM courses, and making student and faculty connections that help them become leaders in their departments. 

Haynes Scholars participate in exploratory undergraduate research projects in mathematics in the JMU Experimental Mathematics Lab, and have opportunities to connect with STEM faculty and campus facilities early on. Students in the program have a chance to use 3D printing and other digital fabrication technologies, tour labs and research facilities in STEM departments, and get acquainted with opportunities for research and scholarship in their own departments.

The Haynes Learning Community is named after Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, who in 1943 became the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Dr. Haynes later chaired the Washington, D.C. Board of Education and helped end the tracking system that discriminated against poor and minority students in DC.

The 2021 Haynes Scholars

We are happy to welcome 17 JMU freshmen to this year's inaugural class of the Haynes Scholars Program! 



About half of this year's Haynes Scholars have already declared STEM majors in the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), and half have declared STEM majors in the College of Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE):

Alexis Alston - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Bryce Anderson - Haynes Scholar in Engineering
Brevin Bugauisan - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Mikiela Campbell - Haynes Scholar in Computer Science
Eliana Diaz-Aceituno - Haynes Scholar in Chemistry
Marvin Fuentes - Haynes Scholar in Engineering
Amaya Hamilton - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Jada Marie Herrera - Haynes Scholar in Computer Science
James Love - Haynes Scholar in Physics
Jordan Milton - Haynes Scholar in Engineering
Valeria Moscote Rodriguez - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Derrell Plair - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Serena Sharma - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Jayme Stevenson - Haynes Scholar in Biology
Chayse Tucker - Haynes Scholar in Computer Science
Jasmine White - Haynes Scholar in Engineering
Jada White - Haynes Scholar in Engineering


This year the Haynes Scholars will pursue exploratory mathematical research about stick knots and knot determinants. Their goal will be to produce new physical models of minimal stick knots using Processing code and 3D printing, in the JMU Experimental Mathematics Lab


The 2021 Haynes Program Student Advisors

Over a dozen JMU students in CSM and CISE majors work with the Haynes Program as mentors, advisors, tutors, and program leaders. The Student Advisors help guide the direction and goals of the program. We are especially grateful to this year's group of Student Advisors, for their work in guiding the development and goals of the inaugural year of the Haynes Program.


Haynes Program Student Advisors
Fareeha Ahmed - Biology/Pre-Med, Honors
Madison Bennett - Biology/Pre-Med
Kianna Butts - Biology/Pre-Dental, Honors
Luis Estrada - Engineering
Mya Fife - Special Education
Ajah Harris - Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics, Honors
Shreyas Khera - Mathematics, Secondary Education
Pierre Mbala - Engineering, AAAD Studies, Mathematics, Honors
Julia Merrell - Biology/Neuroscience, Honors
Gabriella Newsome - Biophysical Chemistry/Pre-Med
Deaquan Nichols - Biophysical Chemistry/Pre-Med, Mathematics, Honors
Umayr Obaid - Biotechnology
Maxine Payton - Computer Science, Mathematics
Yuliiza Salazar - Biotechnology
Micah Swaby - Biology/Pre-Medicine
Tesha Yeboah - Computer Science, Mathematics

Haynes Lecture Series

The Haynes Lecture Series of public STEM lectures will feature invited speakers from the scientific research community that bring a more diverse representation of scholars to the university. The lectures are open to all JMU students and faculty, as well as the local community, and will be held in Paul Jennings Hall. The first Haynes Lecture will be announced in late Fall 2021. 


Applying to be a Haynes Scholar

All prospective STEM students are encouraged to apply to join the Haynes community for the 2022-23 academic year, including majors from Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or other STEM-related disciplines.

Students of all mathematical levels are encouraged to apply! Most Haynes Scholars will take either MATH 231-232 or MATH 235-236 in their first year, according to their JMU placement scores. 

For more information about Residential Learning Communities in general, and to apply to be a Haynes Scholar, visit the JMU Residence Life website.

Applications for the 2022-23 Haynes Scholars RLC will be available in April, 2022. 

Why should you apply to be part of the new group of Haynes Scholars for Fall 2022? 

  • You’ll live together in Hoffman Hall with the rest of the Haynes Scholars, and form a community that starts with your first day on campus, and provides a support network for your entire time at JMU.
  • You’ll meet and work with over a dozen current JMU STEM Students of Color from various majors who will be involved in the program as mentors, tutors, and part of the Haynes community.
  • You will get to take your required Calculus classes together with the rest of the other Haynes Scholars, in the same section of either MATH 231 or MATH 235. You’ll have a study group from the first day of class, right in your dorm!
  • During the year, you will get to take a special course just for Haynes Scholars in which you’ll explore creative mathematical research projects and STEM leadership opportunities. 
  • You’ll get to meet scientists and mathematicians of Color from the community and across the country, as part of the Haynes Seminar.
  • As a group, you will also be taking tours of campus and Harrisonburg, attending social events, and enjoying cookouts and other fun community building activities throughout the year.


Steering Committee

Primary Contacts
Elizabeth Arnold, Mathematics and Statistics
Laura Taalman, Mathematics and Statistics

Department Liaisons
Celes Woodruff, Mathematics and Statistics
Kyle Gipson, Engineering
Tehani Finch, Physics & Astronomy
Shane McGary, Geology
Casonya Johnson, Biology
Bisi Velayudhan, Biology
Oleksandr Kokhan, Chemistry
Nathan Sprague, Computer Science

College Liaisons
Samantha Prins, College of Science and Mathematics
Bob Kolvoord, College of Integrated Science and Engineering

University Liaisons
Tripp Purks, JMU Office of Residence Life
Art Dean, JMU Campus and Community Access and Inclusion
David Owusu-Ansah, JMU Faculty Access and Inclusion

Statistical Consulting
Beth Cochran, Mathematics and Statistics
Ben Ward, Mathematics and Statistics

Sponsors and Grants

The Haynes Scholars program is supported by a Tensor SUMMA grant from the Mathematical Association of America, for projects designed to encourage the pursuit and enjoyment of mathematics by students who are members of groups historically underrepresented in the field of mathematics:


This year we are also supported by funding from the following internal JMU program development grants:

Provost's Faculty Diversity Curriculum Development Grant, 2021
Faculty Senate Mini-Grant, 2021

The program is also supported by many departments and offices at James Madison University: 

JMU Residence Life
JMU Office of Access and Inclusion
College of Science and Mathematics
College of Integrated Science and Engineering
Department of Mathematics and Statistics


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