JMU's Almarode earns state's highest faculty award

JMU News

by Eric Gorton


John Almarode, executive director of teaching and learning at James Madison University, is among 12 recipients of the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion Resources. 

The Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service at Virginia’s institutions of higher learning. Nominees are selected by the institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. In all, 72 nominations were received this year. This group was narrowed to a field of 20 finalists and then to the 12 recipients. 

Almarode, who has taught at JMU since 2011, is the 16th award winner from JMU since the award was first presented in 1987. Mark Gabriele, a professor of biology, and Thomas Moran, a professor of kinesiology, were the last JMU faculty to receive the award, both earning the recognition in 2018. 

Almarode said he feels “blessed and fortunate to have been picked as one of the 12” recipients for the 2021 award. And while there is personal satisfaction in winning, he credits “the environment that has been created at JMU for work that seems to matter and has an impact on people in the community and beyond the walls of JMU. I'm honored, flattered and humbled that I get to represent what is good about JMU as a community.” 

Almarode began his career teaching high school mathematics and science. He now works with pre-service teachers and devotes time to collaborating with in-service teachers in classrooms and schools across the globe. Almarode and his colleagues have presented their work to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He has authored multiple articles, reports, book chapters and more than a dozen books on effective teaching and learning in today’s schools and classrooms. 

“Most of what I do is collaborative work,” he said. “I very rarely write alone, I very rarely do research alone. I collaborate and I think that's the lifeblood of what we do.” 

Almarode received a bachelor's degree from Bridgewater College, a master's degree in teaching from Mary Baldwin College and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. 

A virtual ceremony honoring the recipients will be held March 2. Each recipient will receive $7,500 underwritten by the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources. The Outstanding Faculty Award program is administered by SCHEV and funded by a grant from the Dominion Foundation, which has fully supported the OFA program since 2005. 

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating and planning body for postsecondary education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the governor and General Assembly, and creates the statewide strategic plan, The Virginia Plan for Higher Education. SCHEV has administered the Outstanding Faculty Awards since the program’s creation by the legislature in 1986. 

The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies. Dominion and the Foundation support nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, support education and promote community vitality. For more information about Dominion (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond and one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, visit


Media contact: Eric Gorton,, 540-908-1760. 

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Published: Friday, December 11, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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