#EngagedJMU Fall '20 Newsletter

Pictured Above, Piano Professor Lori Piitz teaches a piano lesson with a student opposite her behind a Plexiglass screen

SUMMARY: This is your Fall '20 update on engagement-related work at JMU. In this edition, we feature the work of the Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services, learn about nursing program's pivot during COVID-19 to keep engaged learning at the center of the curriculum, and faculty innovations driving positive change in the digital space.

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Engagement in the Age of COVID-19
The JMU Supply Chain Club stands next to a shipping crate filled with supplies with sponsor Matchbox Realty& Management Services
Side-By-Side: A Look at the IIHHS in 2020

 A Healthy Families of Page and Shenandoah Counties home visitor is standing in a parking lot next to the car of a distressed mother whose child sits expectantly in the backseat. This day, the Healthy Families visitor stands in the parking lot, masked and distanced, singing through the window with the child in their car seat. They set an activity bag outside the car to be picked up after their visit. The mother thanks the visitor and tells them that this outing helped her feel “much calmer.” While this has not been a typical year for our community, acts of service like this one happen all the time at the IIHHS. Read on to learn how the IIHHS has been collaborating with community partners this year.


Pictured Above: Dr. Tammy Kiser works with Open Doors and the Suitcase Clinic at Godwin Hall
Dr. Tammy Kiser works with Open Doors and the Suitcase Clinic at Godwin Hall
Spotlight on Engaged Faculty

Professor Karina Kline-Gabel’s Spanish classes offer a rich, interactive learning environment, despite not meeting face-to-face. You can connect with Dr. Kline-Gabel here. 

Dr. Joshua Pate talks Infusion, Adaptive Sports, and Fall Family Fridays. View this Madison Magazine article to learn even more about his work in providing opportunities to engage with athletes of all abilities at JMU. 

The Engagement Hubs

The Engagement Hubs are interactive touch screens connecting students with campus events, service needs, and opportunities organized by the amount of time you are able to spend on the task (One Time and Ongoing) and by the category (Civic engagement, Community Action, On-Campus Involvement, Diversity Efforts, and Professional Development). Visit the Carrier Library lobby or the second floor of Rose Library to check them out, or visit the Ehubs to view a digital version when off-campus. Look for the big purple wall graphics that say "Be The Change."

Submit an Activity to the Hubs

For more information on the Engagement Hubs please visit the hubs page or contact Hayley Jenkins at jenki2hn@jmu.edu.  

Students sit next to the Engagement Hub in Carrier Library looking up towards the screen.
Furious Flower Poetry Center Live Readings

The Furious Flower Poetry Center had a Facebook Live Reading Series this fall, featuring the work and voices of 6 incredible Black poets. You can view these videos on their facebook page, and can visit their JMU site to learn more about their other programming. 


What We're Reading

The CFI Teaching Toolbox

Throughout the academic year, the CFI sends out the Teaching Toolbox to share ideas, resources, programs, practices, and distilled research related to teaching and learning. 

Office of Research and Scholarship

In the most recent issue of the Research and Scholarship newsletter learn about COVID-19 adjustments, faculty grant awards, and industrial hemp research!

Educating4Democracy: The James Madison Center for Civic Engagement

Check out JMU Civic's blog to learn about 2020 election outcomes and impact.

The Beacon: Spotlighting Inclusivity at JMU

Read the Beacon to stay up to date on inclusivity efforts at JMU. 

What We're Listening To

CFI's Teaching Podcast

Don't miss this monthly professional development check-in with CFI! Topics so far include Diversity in HigherEd, Group Learning, Ethical Reasoning, and What JMU Libraries have to offer faculty. 


JMU Civic's podcast interviews special guests to take a deep dive into issues threatening our democracy today, and features Abe Goldberg, Carah Whaley, and a rotating group of the center's Democracy Fellows. Listen with Apple Podcasts.

 JMU XLabs Podcasts: Just Missing U and Narratives1

Check out JMU XLabs' two stellar podcasts on your favorite streaming app.

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

Readers may remember the critical community racial justice and healing work of SADAH Professor Susan Zurbigg and Community Organizer Steven Thomas from our Spring 2019 newsletter. Professor Zurbigg recently penned the forward of the the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) project's Changing the Narrative: A Visual Art Project. Zurbigg writes that TRHT "redresses the removal of African American presence and embraces the potential of inclusion through art and creative representation. (...) Visual histories and the creative arts support the living record of ourselves. They serve as the reminder that our humanity is a complex endeavor and knowing who we are as a people necessitates reflecting upon our lived experiences." Read the full report here.

Community Activist Steven Thomas and Professor Susan Zurbigg stand next to each other.
Warm a Winter Wish

This winter, consider giving back directly to families in our community. For 25 years UREC has hosted the Warm a Winter Wish program which receives wish lists of individuals and families from First Step, Mercy House and Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley. Their wishes are hung on a tree in UREC for faculty, staff and students to fulfill. Find details about the program here. 

Choose one of two ways to Give a Wish:

  1. Take a Wish from the UREC Holiday Tree: You simply need to:
    • Come to UREC
    • Remove a wish from the tree (The Warm a Winter Wish Tree will go up in the UREC Lobby on November 1, 2020)
    • Purchase the gift
    • Return it unwrapped to UREC with the wish tag on the present (this way we know what family and individual the gift goes to) by Tuesday, December 15 at noon.
  2. Choose a wish from the Amazon Wish List: Not on campus? No problem. UREC has created an Amazon Wish List. The last day to fulfill a wish from the Amazon Wish List is Wednesday, December 2nd.


The #EngagedJMU Conversation Continues
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Check out the Engagement section of the Talent Development Resource Collection!

We've created an Engagement section within JMU Talent Development's Resource Collection, which is located on the third floor of Wine-Price. You'll find a great selection of topics covering civic engagement, community engagement and engaged learning. Do you know of a title that would make a great addition to this collection? Email us at engagement@jmu.edu or tweet a photo of the book to @JMUEngaged!



Have ideas for the next #EngagedJMU newsletter? Email us at engagement@jmu.edu or tweet us @JMUEngaged!


Published: Monday, November 9, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022

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