Madison Family Newsletter: January 2022

Madison Family Newsletter: January 2022

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.

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello everyone,

Happy new year! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful break and were able to spend quality time with your Duke. We’ve been busy here planning and preparing for our students’ return and are looking forward to having them all back on campus.

As your student packs up to return, be sure they’re bringing warm clothes, jackets and boots. We’ve had some cold, snowy weather lately so even those of you from up north may need to bundle up.  We also want to make sure every student is returning to campus with a self-care kit with OTC medicines (Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen, decongestant, throat lozenges) they understand and know how to use.  A thermometer, tissues and hand sanitizer are also helpful. Please take a few minutes to review our self-care guides with your student before they leave.  It is always hard to be sick but it is even more challenging for our students when it happens for the first time without their most important support system, you.

We sent an email to students and parents on Jan. 10 with our plans for spring semester but here is a quick overview:

  • Classes begin as scheduled on Jan. 18 in person. Temporary shifts in modality (in-person, hybrid, virtual) may occur as needed due to faculty members who may be positive or exposed.
  • COVID testing is available on campus (including weekends) for students with symptoms or who have been exposed. Please encourage your student to utilize on-campus testing so off campus testing is available for the local community.
  • Students who test positive are to follow CDC guidelines and these isolation and quarantine guidelines if they live on campus. We recommend you have a plan in place now regarding what you will do if your student or their roommate tests positive.
  • Masks are still required while indoors. Please be sure your student has plenty of new masks that fit well and are in good shape.
  • Everyone is highly encouraged to get the booster and both vaccines and boosters are available on campus.
  • Visit the Stop the Spread website for more information.

I also wanted to make a request of parents as your students return to campus for the Spring semester.  I know that some of you are used to accessing your student’s accounts and systems using their login and password.  I want to encourage all of you to start transitioning out of this over the course of their career at JMU.  You would need to have conversations with your student about what you expect them to share with you and that you expect them to keep you in the loop.  It’s a valuable lesson for them to start learning this responsibility and there are also options for students to give you guest access to many different systems so you can stay in the loop on their life at JMU. 

I encourage you to do this for a few reasons.  First, we want our students to start learning about managing their private information and logins.  This will be something they will need to do for the rest of their lives and learning it now is invaluable.  Second, they need to learn how to keep you all informed about what is going on for them at JMU and this isn’t possible when you are able to get the information yourself.  Please consider when this type of transition is right for you and your student and help them with this growth opportunity and learning to manage more aspects of their lives so they are ready to “adult” by the time they graduate.

We know this will be another interesting semester and we are prepared to handle whatever comes our way. We’re asking everyone to treat each other with grace, respect and courtesy as we continue to navigate the challenges. As always, I am confident that together we will have a successful semester full of amazing experiences and making memories.

It may be hard to say goodbye to them, but I personally cannot wait for them all to be at JMU again. So send them off with your love and best wishes for an amazing semester. We’re here waiting for them.

Take care, and Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

COVID-19 Testing for Spring Semester

Submitted by: University Health Center

With COVID-19 on everyone’s mind, here are helpful links to share with your student. It is important for JMU students to use the on-campus resources whenever possible so the local facilities are available when needed for the most serious cases.

JMU Stop the Spread FAQs address many questions we’ve received and are updated regularly.

Where to go to be tested for COVID Please do not go to the hospital or Urgent Care locations for testing. If students living on campus need testing or medication when the testing site and UHC are closed, have them contact their RA.

What to do if you tested positive for COVID

Where to go to get food (for students living on campus who are isolating or quarantining)

What to do if a friend or roommate tested positive

Tips for taking care of yourself when you’re sick

If you need medical care, make an appointment at the University Health Center If visits are full try scheduling a nurse appointment or talk to a nurse. Your insurance company may offer telehealth appointments as another option. You should only go to the hospital if you have shortness of breath or other emergency warning signs.

If you cannot find the information you need in the FAQs, the HelpLine is available at 1-888-886-3131 or covid19@jmu.edu. They are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. If the university is closed the HelpLine will also be closed.

Working together, we can get through this latest challenge. We’re looking forward to welcoming your student back to campus!

Dukes 2GETHER on February 22!

Submitted by: Nora Sutton, Assistant Director, Office of Annual Giving

#JMUGivingDay is one day where Dukes across the world join 2GETHER for 24 hours to support students and programs all across campus. Mark your calendars for this year's Giving Day on 2.22.22! Watch for more information on how you can get involved.

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Applying for Scholarships at JMU

Submitted by: Steven N. Cox, Assistant Director for Scholarships, Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Madison Scholarships Hub is the application center for all scholarships at James Madison University. Students can sign in at the link below using their JMU eID and password. Qualifications for the majority of our scholarships are based on the general application information as well as information pulled directly from your student's academic record. Most scholarships do not require additional application materials beyond the general application. Deadlines vary across departments so be sure to complete the general application as soon as possible to receive full consideration. Students should review the criteria carefully for any recommended scholarship opportunity they are presented with and if they meet the qualifications, they can click apply to submit additional required information. Scholarships will become available beginning in January, although some may have later start dates so be sure to check back in February and March to potentially see additional scholarship opportunities.


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Tip: Keep up with important dates and deadlines by bookmarking the Academic Calendar

SLC Offers Advanced Leadership Development Experience

Submitted by: Michael McCleveAssociate Director for Leadership, Student Leadership Center

During the Spring 2022 semester, the Student Leadership Center (SLC) will launch another program to their slate of interactive leadership workshops. The Leadership in Action program is a workshop unlike anything else on campus. This twelve-week program uses the CliftonStrengths assessment, research around the four basic needs of followers, and a peer-to-peer coaching experience. Students will be guided through a hands-on leadership development experience and give them the opportunity to put practical concepts and skills they learn in workshops to the test within an environment where they are a leader. Students will focus on any aspect of their leadership responsibilities they feel would benefit from focused attention and work. They will set goals and meet one-on-one with a coach to be held accountable, get feedback, and seek to continuously improve.

This individual coaching aspect of the Leadership in Action program is exactly what makes it so unique. It is tailored specifically to helping students in their individual roles as leaders to help them achieve their goals and improve their interactions with those they are leading. Their coach will encourage them, challenge them, and support them through the entire program by meeting with them every other week with to discuss their progress, whether their goals are working or not, and devise plans to rework or refocus as the program continues.

In between meetings with their coaches, students participating in the program will learn about the four needs of followers and how to apply their own strengths to uniquely meet those needs. The knowledge they will gain and the conversations they will have with their peers will accelerate their learning and help them better understand how to apply them in their own leadership roles. Most of the work, however, is done outside of the workshops and bi-weekly coaches meetings. Students will constantly be honing their skills between meetings, testing what they learn regularly in the leadership roles they choose.

The program is open to all students on-campus looking to become better, more engaged leaders. The only requirement is that students choosing to participate must be able to identify how they are acting as a leader with a consistent group of students. It can be a formal leadership role, or an informal leadership role.

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Peace Corps Prep at JMU

Submitted by: JMU PC Prep, Coordinator, Center for Global Engagement

Students may apply by March 1 for the PC Prep Certificate Program to prepare for potential Peace Corps service and other international development careers.


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Women's Self-Defense Series for Students

Submitted by: Veronica JonesAssociate Director - Health Promotion, UREC

UREC is partnering with the JMU Police Department to offer the R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) System, a non-credit, 6 week-long, 12-hour series designed to teach realistic self-defense techniques. Participants will learn self-defense instruction that is easy to learn, easy to retain and relatively easy to deploy during a real confrontational situation. While not a martial arts program, this course begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance; it then progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. Attendance at all sessions is required as the learning is cumulative. Register for R.A.D. by Friday, January 28. Sessions meet Tuesdays from 7-9pm starting February 1 through March 8.

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Listen to the Best of JMU Civic's Democracy Matters Podcast from 2021!


Submitted by: Dr. Carah Ong WhaleyAssociate Director, JMU Civic

As a nonpartisan entity, JMU Civic emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge to make one a more informed participant in our democracy, skills to make one a more effective participant, and values that embrace pluralism, open-mindedness, empathy, respect, diversity and inclusion.

You can subscribe to Democracy Matters on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, Stitcher and Spotify.

Listen to the Best of JMU Civic's Democracy Matters Podcast from 2021:

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry A. Dunn, JMU ‘05 Health Sciences and JMU Football Champion, shared his experiences defending democracy on January 6, 2021. https://bit.ly/dmdunn21

Carolyn Quilloin Coleman who started her activism work as a teenager protesting segregation in Savannah, Georgia, shared about the movement for the 26th Amendment and giving 18-20-year-olds the right to vote. https://bit.ly/cqcdm

Jim Acosta, CNN anchor for weekend programming and the network's chief domestic correspondent and JMU alum, discussed the critical role of a free press as necessary noise in a functioning democracy. https://bit.ly/dmacosta

Walter Shaub, who leads the Ethics and Accountability Initiative at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and a JMU History alum, discussed what elected and other government officials and the public can do to implement long-lasting reforms to shore up the barricades against authoritarianism. https://bit.ly/dmshaub

David J. Toscano shared why Fighting Political Gridlock Starts with States. https://bit.ly/dmtoscano

David Wasserman discussed the enormous stakes politics of redistricting. https://bit.ly/dmredistrict

Drs. Laurie Rice and Kenneth Moffett discussed their research about rise of political engagement among young adults. https://bit.ly/dmpvgzmr

Tamara White, Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, discussed the state of democracy in Africa. https://bit.ly/twdm1201

JMU professors Dr. Carole Nash (Integrated Science and Technology), Dr. Tobias Gerken (Integrated Science and Technology) and Dr. Greg Wrenn (English) discussed the urgent changes that need to happen at the systemic level and impactful ways individuals can contribute to addressing climate change. https://bit.ly/dmca21

Christy Vines, President and CEO of Ideos institute, discussed the importance of empathy ahead of the National Day of Dialogue on January 5, 2022. https://bit.ly/dmvines

Joshua Dratel discussed the impacts of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the criminal legal system. https://bit.ly/dmdratel

Steven R. Shapiro, the former Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, discussed the consequences of the U.S. response to September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for civil liberties. https://bit.ly/dmshapiro

Dr. Philip Zelikow, who served as the executive director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the "9/11 Commission," shared how we might make sense of collective mass trauma. https://bit.ly/dmzelikow

JMU alum shared their experiences serving in the Global War on Terror as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. https://bit.ly/911at20

Dr. Stephen C. Poulson (Sociology) discussed his new book, Racism on Virginia Campuses: A Visual Study. https://bit.ly/dmpoulson

Dr. Shah Mahmoud Hanifi (History) shared his expertise on the history of Afghanistan in order to better understand the present moment. https://bit.ly/dmhanifi

Dr. David Trouille (Sociology) helped us understand the nuances and complexities of the Latino immigrant experience and the importance of vibrant public spaces where people can gather and strengthen social ties. https://bit.ly/dmtrouille

Julio Rank Wright, Deputy Regional Director for Latin America at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), discussed the growing humanitarian crisis in northern Central America. https://bit.ly/dmwright

Jana Mason, Senior External Relations Advisor at the Washington, D.C. office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees discussed the root causes of forced migration and the global refugee crisis. https://bit.ly/dmwrd

And more in your feed! 

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Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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