James Madison University announces Public Service Awards winners

JMU Headlines

Harrisonburg, Virginia — The Public Service Awards at James Madison University, sponsored by the JMU Master of Public Administration graduate program, has announced the 2023 honorees, recognizing four Valley residents for their exemplary public service work in regional government and nonprofit organizations.

Since 2009, the Public Service Awards at JMU has recognized more than 40 individuals across the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia region for their excellence in public service as part of the national Public Service Recognition Week.  Honorees are nominated and selected by their peers and colleagues, facilitated by the JMU MPA program.

The 2023 Honorees are as follows:

Career Achievement in Public Service Award

Joyce Krech, director (retired), Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Director (SBDC)
Ms. Krech is being recognized for a career of mentoring and supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners, with more than 20 years working through the SBDC. Her work played a key role in shepherding many small and emerging businesses through the pandemic, leveraging federal and state dollars to improve business sustainability and resiliency.

Excellence in Public Service Award

Joyce Nussbaum, director of programs, Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS)
Ms. Nussbaum is honored for her service promoting health and wellness for older adults in the Shenandoah Valley.  Building partnerships and collaborations with a range of public, private, and other nonprofit organizations, she has expanded essential support for older adults in often unserved or underserved communities.

The John B. Noftsinger Alumni Award for Public Service Excellence

Alexander Wilmer, assistant town manager, town of Bridgewater
Mr. Wilmer receives this honor for his collaborative work serving the residents of Bridgewater to improve their quality of life with entrepreneurial and visionary thinking. He has demonstrated servant leadership in moving the Roscoe Burgess Riverwalk to completion and launching the ‘Bridgewater Buzz’ to provide direct, accurate town government information to residents.

Public Service Student Leadership Award

Angelina Clapp, JMU (’20, ’23M), Madison Center for Civic Engagement
In both her undergraduate and graduate student careers, Ms. Clapp has worked with and for the Madison Center for Civic Engagement at JMU to elevate voting levels of JMU students well above national campus averages, assisting first time voters as well as seasoned voters with education about changes in voting laws, voting precincts, and candidate information. She led the innovative ‘Traveling Town Hall’ to bring candidates to student voters as part of this effort.

Award descriptions are found below and images available upon request.

Contact Dr. Rob Alexander at alexanrw@jmu.edu for Awards program information and Ginny Cramer, cramervm@jmu.edu, for general JMU press and media contact.


Career Achievement in Public Service
This award recognizes an individual with 20+ years employed by a government or non-profit organization who has advanced the public interest by actively engaging with the community, strengthening social equity, demonstrating personal integrity, promoting ethical standards of public service, and advancing professional excellence in his/her career serving the Shenandoah Valley, broadly defined. The recipient may be either retired or still active in the workforce.

Excellence in Public Service
This award recognizes an early to mid-career individual employed by a government or non-profit organization in the Shenandoah Valley for a particular instance of exemplary public service in their professional role.  This example should demonstrate high public impact that elevates community social equity, the application of skilled professional expertise, and the utilization of a strong public service ethic.

The John B. Noftsinger Alumni Award for Public Service Excellence
This award recognizes a JMU alumnus/a of the Department of Political Science employed in a public service role who shares the same ideals of public and community service as its namesake. The recipient is dedicated to servant leadership, collaborates across organizations and sectors, demonstrates entrepreneurship and forward thinking, and mentors and supports others in pursuit of public service excellence.

Public Service Student Leadership Award
This award recognizes a member of the James Madison University undergraduate or graduate student body who has demonstrated commitment to serving the public interest through meaningful commitment to addressing a public need, advanced the public good by creating opportunities for campus and community to actively participate in civic and community life, and developed the public service leadership capacity of their peers.

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Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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