Madison Family Newsletter: February 2021

Madison Family Newsletter: February 2021

Brought to you by the JMU Office of Parent Relations


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The Madison Family Newsletter is created each month by the Office of Parent Relations in partnership with many members of the JMU community. For more family resources, visit our website.

Free COVID-19 Testing for Off-campus Students

JMU is now providing free COVID-19 testing for students living off campus. A weekly testing clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays beginning Feb. 11. These will be self-administered rapid tests, utilizing the BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag testing kit (the same ones that were used for entry testing). Sign up is required.

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello JMU Parents, 

I am writing this as I look out my window and watching your young people enjoy an incredible day on the Quad. While I know we are still in a pandemic, watching our students enjoy being outside together gives me hope for the rest of this semester and for our in-person fall semester. I almost wish I could go out and have each of them take a video of themselves enjoying their time here and ask them to send it to their parents so you could know that things are better.   

I can remember a year ago when things changed for all of us and when the experience students desired and that we want for them was stolen from them. It didn’t matter if they were first year students or seniors, this virus took something from them. Our students persevered and became stronger through this experience.

Lately I have had the opportunity to get lunch or dinner with over a hundred students and we talk about their lives and how they are doing. I am constantly amazed at the hope I hear in their voices. They are sad about what they lost but they are excited about the possibilities ahead of them this fall when we are all back together again. We will need to re-orient our first-year students again while also welcoming the Class of 2025. We will also have to help everyone transition back to what may be “normal” but will feel strange and new to many of them.     

For parents of graduating seniors, thank you for your support through the years. I came to realize the other day that I have had the privilege of being with this group of students for three years of their careers. I have watched them grow and learn since their sophomore year. I am so proud of what they have accomplished and celebrate their successes with you. We hope both you and they continue to stay involved in JMU because this is a community for life.

We are also planning to offer both testing and vaccination clinics as we come to the end of the semester. We are hopeful that anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one and those people who want tests before they leave JMU will also have that opportunity. Please remind your student to check their JMU email for the Health Update that is sent out each day as we will share information about each clinic in these updates. 

This is also a good time to remind them that if they want to be eligible to receive the vaccine while still here in Harrisonburg, they should register with Vaccinate.Virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA and use their local address.

If you ever want to take a quick look at what’s happening on campus, you can enjoy a virtual visit on the JMU Quadcam. You may even see me with my own dog Duke enjoying the weather on a walk with Jamie and me!

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President of Student Affairs

UREC Intramural Sports and Special Events

Submitted by: Kaitlin Pomerleau, Assistant Director for Marketing and Social Media, UREC

UREC has an exciting line up of Intramural Sports tournaments this month to allow for some in-person recreation and competition! Offerings include a lacrosse challenge, disc golf tournament, soccer challenge, home run derby, sand volleyball tournament, ultimate frisbee challenge and a virtual triathlon challenge. Encourage your Dukes to visit https://bit.ly/SpringIMSports for more information and to register!

Learn More

Family Weekend October 8-10 2021

A Letter from Dr. Heather Coltman

Dear Duke Families,

I’m delighted to welcome your students back to campus for Spring 2021. Their classes began virtually, and some have moved to meeting in person or in a hybrid format. I hope that they – and you – are as excited about this semester as their faculty are. We’re ready for another semester of innovative teaching, learning and research, leveraging all learning formats.

While classes are meeting in person, all members of the JMU community are responsible for helping to ensure each other’s safety. We depend on each other to maintain the preventative measures – wearing a mask, socially distancing, washing your hands frequently – that we did in the fall. Thanks to these actions, there were no known cases of the virus transmitted in the classroom. We can’t, however, be complacent, so students must continue to follow the Stop the Spread guidance.

While the health and safety of our community remain our top priorities, students’ learning experiences and degree progress are crucially important to Academic Affairs. All of our faculty and staff are committed to assisting students in meeting their educational goals.

If your student has concerns about an academic matter, like an issue in the classroom, with a syllabus, or with a faculty member, there are multiple options for addressing them:

  • We always encourage students to first contact their instructor directly and talk about any issues. Urge your student to take advantage of faculty office hours and to email or call their instructors with questions.
  • If that is not possible, students should contact the academic unit head of the area offering the class. A list of academic unit heads is available online so they can find the appropriate person.
  • If your student needs additional assistance, ask them to send an email from their JMU account, including their name and identifying the course, that describes their concerns to provost@jmu.edu.

Please remember that if any student has an academic concern, we are here to help. I wish you and your family the best for a successful semester.


Dr. Heather Coltman, D.M.A.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

We LOVE Having Your Student...

Submitted by: Alicia Lamb, Social Media & Marketing Coordinator, Residence Life

It's true! We love having your student and we would love to have them live on campus with us next year as an upperclass student as well!

We are pleased to offer first year students priority access to a limited number of binding Live On Again! Housing Contracts for next year. That means more time with fellow Dukes!

Once you sign a Live On Again! Housing Contract, you have a GUARANTEED space on campus for next year. Live On Again! Housing Contracts are now available through the Online Housing System for any current JMU undergraduate student who wants live on campus for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Learn More


Submit the 2021-22 FAFSA Before March 1st

Submitted by: Jessica Hopkins, Assistant Director of Compliance, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available now. To ensure your student receives priority consideration for all types of financial assistance, the federal government must receive his/her 2021-22 FAFSA by March 1, 2021. This is JMU’s priority filing date. In some cases, filing later can reduce the chances of receiving certain types of financial aid, including state grants. 

Please note that meeting the priority filing date does not guarantee that a student will receive university or state grant dollars. The number of eligible students and the size of our annual funding allocations are significant factors in determining whether sufficient funds are available to award all those who qualify.

Submitting a FAFSA comes with no strings attached. The application is free and there are two ways it can be completed:

  • Online at StudentAid.gov (formerly fafsa.gov)

  • Download the myStudentAid app for iOS and Android

Take a moment to view our video on the FAFSA and Priority Filing. For more information, visit the “Apply” section of our website which includes more videos (one with FAFSA tips specifically for parents), Net Price Calculators, Cost of Attendance figures and information about the different types of aid available at JMU.

University Health Center Services

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Assistant Director of Communication and Marketing, University Health Center (UHC)

The University Health Center is here to take care of our students and provide guidance as they navigate healthcare (many for the first time).

Here are some tips for you to share with your student when they’re not feeling well:

  1. Go to the Health Center website and check out the self-care guides. They cover a variety of conditions including nausea and vomiting, sore throat, pick eye, seasonal allergies, constipation and others. They may be able to get better without even needing a visit.

  2. If they feel they need more than the self-care guides, they can call our “Talk to a Nurse” line to speak with a registered nurse. After discussing their symptoms we will advise them of what type of appointment or treatment they should have.

  3. The UHC offers many appointments via a TeleMedicine option. The TeleMedicine appointments can be made online, as well as appointments for the Allergy Clinic (allergy shots), Nurse Clinic (STI testing, vaccinations), Women’s Health Clinic (contraception and other women’s health issues), the “Talk to a Nurse” line and for labwork.

  4. The UHC pharmacy fills prescriptions written on campus and can fill some outside prescriptions. It also has a variety of over-the-counter items like ibuprofen, cough syrup, vitamins, allergy medicine, thermometers and masks.

  5. Our Urgent Care Center is available for more urgent needs like stiches, sprains, minor fractures or allergic reactions. Students are encouraged to call first when possible.

  6. COVID-19 testing is available at the University Health Center by appointment. The out-of-pocket cost is $55 (maximum, depending upon the type of test) or can be billed to insurance. Please let your student know they can schedule an appointment by calling 540-568-6178.

Being sick is no fun, but the University Health Center is here to help our students feel better soon.

Learn More

UREC is Hiring!

Submitted by: Kaitlin Pomerleau, Assistant Director for Marketing and Social Media, UREC

UREC will be hiring for Summer and Fall 2021 positions between February 12-26, 2021. Encourage your Duke to apply for a great on-campus job with over 500 other JMU student employees who are committed to Motivating Madison into Motion! There are a wide range of entry-level positions as well as practicum and internships available. Learn more today!

Learn More

Save the date to come together for JMU Giving Day

Giving Day 2021

Submitted by: Nora Sutton, Campus & Parent Philanthropy Coordinator, Office of Annual Giving

Through thick and thin, Dukes are always there for each other, lending a helping hand when needed. Once a year, we celebrate this spirit of generosity on a day like no other in a special drive to support students. This year, as we look toward a brighter tomorrow, we call on Dukes everywhere to come together for JMU Giving Day.

This year’s Giving Day officially begins March 23. First launched in 2016, Giving Day is our 24-hour online event that reaches across JMU Nation to raise funds that make a difference for today’s students. Over the last year, we’ve rallied together to create change in the world around us—and now is no time to slow down. Let’s keep going, Dukes!

Peace Corps Prep Spring Application Deadline

PC Prep Deadline

Submitted by: Lindsay Aldrich, Assistant Director of International Cooperation, Center for Global Engagement (CGE)

Learn how to be a competitive applicant for the Peace Corps or other international development work through JMU's Peace Corps Prep Program for students.

Learn More

Preparing for Spring 2021 Room and Board Credits

Submitted by: Linda C. Combs, Director, University Business Office

Now is the time for your Duke to take steps to insure a quick, secure way to receive any spring semester room and board credits.

All on-campus students will receive a two week credit for room and board charges due to the delay in moving back to campus for this semester. To insure that your student receives this refund in the most efficient and secure way, they need to sign up for Direct Bank Deposit through JMU’s refund vendor – Bank Mobile. If they have already signed up with Bank Mobile, there is nothing more to do. However, if they have not taken this step, please have your student log into MyMadison, go the Student Center tab, under the Finance section they will see the link “My Refunds.” This link will take them to the Bank Mobile website where they will set up an account to verify their identity and then select “existing bank account” and enter their bank routing number and bank account number. This bank account can be any account they choose – even yours. At any time during their career at JMU, they will be able to log into Bank Mobile and change the banking information.

If you or your student have questions, please email the University Business Office at UBO@jmu.edu or call 540-568-6505.

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Published: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023

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