Madison Family Newsletter: October 2022

Madison Family Newsletter: October 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.

Thanks for a great Family Weekend!

We're so grateful for everyone who was able to join us for Family Weekend and missed those who weren't able to attend! Thousands of families joined their students on campus for a winning football game, on-campus dining events, Friday Night Flights, and more! Each year during halftime of the Family Weekend football game, the JMU community recognizes an outstanding parent or parents based on student nominations. This year, 120+ students nominated their parent(s) for this award! We’re pleased to present the 2022 Parent of the Year Award to Kaaren Jurack, who was nominated by her son, Joshua '23. Visit our website for more Family Weekend information, photobooth photos, and more.

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello JMU families,

It was great getting to see so many of you here this past weekend, I hope you had a good visit with your Duke. I know your students were excited to have you here and share their JMU lives with you. 

I had the opportunity to meet with the Parents’ Council last Friday. In one of the sessions, we talked about communication with both students and parents. It was great to hear all the feedback on our communication and how we can assist you as our partners. I am trying out some new things in this newsletter so please let us know what you think.



We are entering midterm season and students are looking forward to Fall Break (Oct. 12-14). We are sending all students a message that includes academic resources and a list of many de-stress events. We’re hoping this will help support students and provide some self-care opportunities.

Living options for next year

This tends to be the time students are thinking about living arrangements for next year. Take some time to talk with your student about what will work best. There are many options including on-campus housing through Live On Again. Since students may be approached about signing leases for the upcoming year already, our Off-Campus Life office has collaborated with local complexes for a Fall Housing Fair on Oct. 19. This is a great place to learn about different options. The office also hosts several Leasing 101 sessions. Many of the off-campus options have already begun pressuring your students to sign leases and telling them that spaces will run out. This is not accurate as there are always plenty of spots in the many off-campus complexes in both the city and county. There is time to figure this out, find their friends to live with, and lower the stress about this decision. 

Social Media

As most of you know, I have maintained an active presence on social media through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, BeReal and TikTok. I currently operate two pages on Facebook (Dr. Tim Miller and Tim Miller) and we will be transitioning the Dr. Tim Miller page to a JMU Student Affairs page shortly.  This will allow you to receive more regular updates from our team and help me to only have to manage one Facebook account. My team and I will be managing the JMU Student Affairs page so now there will be seven people working on your behalf on this page instead of just me. I hope this will be another way we can connect and support you with everything we are doing here at JMU for your students and you. 

Questions to ask your student

Each month, we hope to provide you with some check-in questions and conversations of important upcoming topics or trends. We will also add a resource that can help guide your conversation with your student.

  1. With registration coming up next month, what’s your class registration day and have you gone on MyMadison to make sure you don’t have any holds on your student account?  

Tip: They can check their MyMadison account following these instructions.

  1. Let’s talk about how you are doing with your classes so far this semester. Let’s look at Canvas and see how things are going so far. (I do not believe checking in on this aspect of their lives is helicopter parenting, I believe it is just parenting.)

Tip: This is an opportunity to identify any areas of concern in their progress so far and highlight areas of success in classes.

  1. What events have you attended and what organizations have you joined?

Tip: Encourage your student to read the Dukes Weekly email that comes out every Monday at 1 p.m. and download the BeInvolved app

  1. Where do you go when you are trying to find out information and answers to your questions about JMU?

Tip: The Student Gateway is a one-stop shop for resources on campus.

  1. What do you want to do during Fall Break?

Tip: For many of you, this will be the first time your student has come home, and they have been living the JMU life so it’s valuable to agree on the plans and expectations before they arrive. Curfews, spending time with family, and other topics are worth discussing ahead of time.


DukesSafe (previously LiveSafe) is available to students and parents for download. DukesSafe shares emergency and safety information with the campus through app alerts and email.

Registration for spring semester 2023 begins on Nov. 7. Review the full academic calendar for all dates.

The University Health Center has the COVID-19 booster. Students can call 540-568-6178 for an appointment.

A flu shot clinic will be held Oct. 25 and 26 in the Student Success Center.

Have your student download and register on the TimelyCare app. This is a free service offering 12 telehealth counseling sessions, psychiatry, health coaching, and more.

Upcoming Events

Halftime on the Quad, Oct. 6 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the Quad

Homecoming is Oct. 21- 23

The last half of the semester goes by quickly so please continue to encourage your student, be supportive and share this information with them. They’ll be home for Winter break before you know it.

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

2023-24 FAFSA Available Now!

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

The 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available now. To ensure you receive priority consideration for all types of financial assistance, the federal government must receive your 2023-24 FAFSA by March 1, 2023. This is JMU’s priority filing date. In some cases, filing later can reduce your chances of receiving certain types of financial aid, including state grants.

Please note that meeting the priority filing date does not guarantee that you 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.

If you filed a FAFSA before, make sure it includes your current email address. Otherwise, you may not receive important information from the Department of Education regarding your ability to submit a renewal FAFSA for the 2023-24 school year. Since the renewal FAFSA includes many of the answers that you provided on your prior year application, you will have fewer questions to answer.

Submitting a FAFSA comes with no strings attached. The application is free and available online at www.fafsa.gov

More information about the FAFSA, including videos, can be found on our website.

Learn More

Anxiety Toolbox Treatment Program

Submitted by: Nina H. Critz, LPC, Counseling Center

The Counseling Center offers specialized treatment programs to assist JMU students with a variety of goals. Does your student...

• Experience excessive anxiety?
• Have episodes of abrupt and extreme discomfort or panic?
• Avoid people or situations because of anxiety?
• Have intense physical symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, or nausea?
• Worry excessively about embarrassing themselves in front of people or being criticized or negatively judged by them?
• Find it difficult to focus and have trouble relaxing?
• Find themselves worrying when things are going well and there is nothing specific to worry about?

If so, then, Anxiety Toolbox is for your student!
• Tailored specifically for JMU students
• Three one-hour sessions
• Evidence-based skills and strategies
• Designed to reduce anxiety, worry, & panic
• Quickest and most efficient way to address anxiety symptoms

If this program sounds like it would be helpful to your student, encourage them to visit the Counseling Center during our walk-in hours, Monday – Friday, 10AM – 3PM.

Learn More

Secure Your Basketball Season Tickets Today!

Submitted by: Nick Ocampo, Assistant Director of Fan Engagement, Athletics

Rise with JMU Basketball and order your 2022-23 season tickets today! Season tickets offer the best seating options and value for fans, including our affordable Family Plans.

Purchase today by visiting JMUTickets.com or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (540) 568-3853 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Learn More

RA Event & Early RA Application Opens Soon!

Submitted by: Silas Pearson, Design and Marketing Student Assistant, Office of Residence Life

Students can find us in the Festival Ballroom on Thursday, October 27 for information on becoming an RA. (Time TBD)

Applications to become an RA for 2023-24 open Thursday, October 27 for a limited time. These early applications will close Wednesday, November 2.

See our RA webpage for more information!

Learn More

Study Abroad Spring/Winter Break Deadline: Oct 15th

Submitted by: Erin Smith, Study Abroad Outreach & Partnerships Coordinator, Center for Global Engagement

Does your student plan to study abroad this winter or spring break? Applications are due by October 15th.

Programs include Geology and Ecology of the Bahamas, Wine and Culture of Napa and Sonoma, and the Role of Sport in Gender Equity in Cambodia. Browse programs and students can apply now using the link below.

Learn More

Support the JMU Family

Submitted by: Nora SuttonAssociate Director, Annual Giving

As Dukes, we're family! We strive to make JMU your Duke’s home for big ideas, collaboration and connection. Many JMU family members make charitable gifts to support all students' home-away-from-home. Please consider making a gift to the JMU Parents & Families fund. This fund supports programs that enrich your student’s Madison Experience, and was created just for you.

For this month only: make a gift of $25 or more to the Parents & Families Fund and reserve your exclusive 2023 JMU Wall Calendar. Keep track of important JMU dates and show your purple pride!

Learn More

Winter Break Ski Trip for Students

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

Encourage your Duke to join UREC Adventure this January! Participants will cross country ski at White Grass Resort, ski at Canaan Valley Ski Resort and ski at Timberline Ski Resort on this 3 day ski trip in West Virginia. The group will stay in a cozy cabin located a short drive from the resorts. This trip is designed for beginners and experienced skiers/snowboarders to enjoy themselves. No previous experience required.

Registration deadline: Wednesday, 12/14 at Noon.

Learn More

Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD) Announces New Airline Partner


Submitted by: Heather Ream, Director of Marketing & Communications, Shenandoah Valley Airport

Whether it’s getting your JMU Duke home for the holidays or planning a visit to campus yourself, Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD) can help make travel to JMU stress-free. SHD is located just 15 minutes from campus and offers reliable, convenient, and affordable jet service from major hubs directly into the Shenandoah Valley.

On September 21, Shenandoah Valley Airport announced a new partnership with Contour Airlines for flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). The new carrier has an interline agreement with American Airlines, enabling travelers to purchase combined tickets on both airlines under a single itinerary. Baggage will also be transferred seamlessly between flights. American Airlines and their interline partners operate approximately 700 flights daily at the Charlotte hub.

Flights will begin on November 1, but tickets can be purchased now on Contour’s website (www.contourairlines.com) for flights to Charlotte, or American’s website (www.aa.com) for all travel from SHD connecting to another destination.

Contour will replace SkyWest/United Airlines who filed to terminate service to 29 communities, including SHD, across the country due to a severe pilot shortage earlier this year. SkyWest will continue flights from SHD to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Washington Dulles (IAD) until October 30. Any travelers with tickets purchased beyond this date can contact United customer service (1-800-UNITED-1) to alter travel arrangements or request a full refund and rebook on the new airline.

Two of the biggest advantages of flying with SHD are cost savings and unparalleled convenience. Rather than spending extra time and expense driving to/from an out of town airport, SHD has a record number of travelers choosing the benefits of flying local. Perks like FREE parking, on-site rental car options, a door-to-door shuttle service to and from the JMU campus, and free booking assistance for all your travel needs, means a more enjoyable travel experience for students and parents alike. To calculate the overall travel savings of flying with SHD, check out our True Cost Calculator at the bottom of our homepage. This tool compares the cost of mileage, parking, time, and airfares with surrounding airports in one simple place to make sure you are getting the best deal.

SHD is committed to making travel for JMU students and their parents easier than ever. We welcome you to experience the SHD difference for your next flight! For more information about JMU travel with SHD, click the link below to visit our special JMU transportation page. You can also reach Heather Ream, Director of Marketing & Communications at hream@flyshd.com or (540) 234-8224 with any questions you have about SHD travel. Complimentary booking assistance is available by calling (540) 234-8304.

Learn More


Join the Amethyst Circle: Women For Madison

Submitted by: Cannie Campbell, Executive Director, Women for Madison

The Amethyst Circle is a first-of-its-kind giving society at JMU. Together we’re harnessing the collective power of women’s philanthropy to raise $1 million every two years. Join this visionary group of 200 women by pledging $5,000 to fund scholarships and fulfill your commitment by May 31, 2023. 

Learn More

Help the JMU Community Seed Library Grow This Fall

Submitted by: Emily Blake, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, JMU Libraries

Do you have seeds left over from your garden planting this year? Consider donating them to JMU’s Community Seed Library! We are happy to accept store-bought seeds, partially used packets, or seeds saved from your garden. (Check out our website for seed saving tips!)

You can donate or pick up seeds at self-service locations in Carrier Library and Massanutten Regional Library. Envelopes for repackaging seeds are provided. For a larger donation, or if you have questions, contact seedlibrary@jmu.edu.

Learn more

Join 5,600+ fellow JMU parents and guardians in the official Facebook group! This group was created by the Office of Parent Relations in an effort to provide a safe online environment for parents to engage with one another. Request to join the group here »


Connect with the JMU Family!

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Published: Thursday, October 6, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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