Madison Family Newsletter: September 2022

Madison Family Newsletter: September 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.

Family Weekend: Sept 30-Oct 2

Planning your trip to Harrisonburg for Family Weekend? Be sure to check out all campus has to offer throughout the weekend! Join us for our traditional dining events, College of Business Open House and Tours, Family Game Night at X-Labs, Friday Night Flights, Womens Soccer, and more! Wilson Hall will host the improv comedy tour, Whose Live Anyway? Saturday includes JMU Football, Men's soccer, dining events, and a variety of other experiences! Sunday includes Women's Soccer, Field Hockey & an A Cappella Thon Concert.

Find More information

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello JMU families,

The new academic year is underway, and it has been amazing to see so many of your students in the first few weeks. Every student manages this transition differently and whether this is their first year or their last, there is always a lot to manage as they return to JMU. I am so excited about this year and all the promise it holds, and I want you to know we are dedicated to making it their best year yet.

We know that there are some inherent challenges to the process of growing up, doing things for themselves, and finding their place here at JMU. The most powerful gift you can give them is perspective. You have lived through many challenging moments that are still ahead of them, so I want to encourage you to help them to realize that most of the obstacles in front of them right now are valuable learning experiences. Their interests, friend groups, majors, and even their plans for the future will change multiple times during their time at JMU. Help them to realize that this is a completely normal part of growing up and becoming their best selves.

Just a few weeks ago I shared some tips and resources for the families of our newest Dukes, but I’d like to expand upon that to include information for all our students.

Checking in
Students are now entering their second full week of classes and they will start having assignments and papers due as well as their first few tests. I want to encourage you to talk with them about progress and experiences in classes in ways that avoid the typical, “classes are fine” response we usually receive. I recommend asking slightly different questions about what they have enjoyed in class, if they have a professor they really like, have they connected with any other students in their class or created a study group, and/or when they have tests or papers coming up. These types of questions will show your interest but will also help them to focus in on what can sometimes be a new experience, scheduling their time and responsibilities.

Explore Madison
This program will help any student find the communities that will help them to find a sense of belonging and home on campus. Students can fill out the form at the link above and we will then meet with them to match them up with the best possible opportunities for their JMU experience.

I believe this program is the best possible way a student can engage with JMU and become a leader in this community. This weekly program provides students a range of sessions led by leaders from across campus as well as a small group experience facilitated by an upper level JMU Leadership Counselor.  Applications are due Sunday, September 11 so please encourage your student to sign up through this link.

As I mentioned last month, JMU is offering TimelyCare as a telehealth option for free 24/7 emergency support as well as regular virtual counseling visits, health coaching and self-care content. Please encourage your student to download this app and register today so they have it if they need it this year.

Madison Cares
This a way for students, family members or other members of the JMU community to refer or consult with us if there is a concern about a student. We encourage you to express your concern to your student first and share the resources available, then submit the referral if you feel it is needed. When in doubt, I want to encourage you to submit a referral so we can help.

Welfare checks
If you are concerned about a student’s immediate safety, you can request a welfare check by calling the JMU Police Department at (540) 568-6911 (24/7). They will gather information and send an officer out to make sure the student is safe. If the Harrisonburg Police needs to be involved, JMU Police will help you through that process.

Contacting me
I also wanted to remind you that emailing VPstudentaffairs@jmu.edu is going to be the best way for the team here in Student Affairs to respond and support your students. It will be much faster than messaging me through social media or emailing me directly. While it may seem like I am always available online, even I need to sleep. My team will respond as quickly as possible and pull me in when necessary.

Getting a job
I wanted to share a perspective for you to consider when you next talk to your student. I want to recommend to you that they find a job either here on campus or in the local community. I recommend this for several reasons. First, I rarely find that students with spare time on their hands use that time productively. Second, your students grew up with a routine and a schedule that you managed for them over the last 18 years. A job adds a responsibility and a routine to their weeks that can pay dividends in other aspects of their JMU experience. Third, I think there is value in them paying for some of this experience and knowing the cost of their activities and of college overall. I know some of you might not want to add this to their lives because you may be worried about them taking on too much. Both personally and professionally I think a student working 5-10 hours a week in a job on or off campus can be a positive influence on their success. 

ACHA/NCHA survey
Here at JMU we always strive to understand the experiences of our students better. Soon all students will receive an email asking them to participate in research regarding health and wellness behaviors. Please encourage your student to complete this survey, it will help us develop future wellness programs that our students want and need.

Thank you all for continuing to be partners in our shared work to guide your children through their time at JMU and into a bright future. I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks as you visit for Family Weekend, football games and to support your students and their lives here at JMU!

Take care, and Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

Financial Aid Disbursements and Starting Classes

Submitted by: Brad Barnett, Associate Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management Financial Aid Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Fall Financial Aid Disbursements:
Financial aid disbursements generally occur during the first week of each semester if all paperwork has been submitted in a timely fashion and the student is registered for the amount of hours used to determine financial aid eligibility. If you want to learn more about the disbursement process, timeframe, and financial aid refunds, you can read Section 8: Financial Aid, Disbursements, Your Bill, and Refunds of the Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document on our website.

Beginning Enrollment:
It’s important to note that students must begin attendance in the classes for which they receive financial aid. Reading the “Beginning Enrollment” portion of Section 1: How Financial Aid is Awarded at JMU and General Eligibility Requirements of the Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document at www.jmu.edu/financialaid will explain what constitutes “attendance” for the purposes of meeting this eligibility criterion. Students who do not begin attendance in classes for which financial aid is awarded may be subject to a reduction or cancellation to their financial aid package.

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Live On Again Housing Contracts Open September 15, 2022
Roommate Conflict? Need a Room Change?


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

If your student is having any roommate conflict, we encourage them to reach out to their RA (Resident Adviser) or HD (Hall Director) for assistance. We know that not all relationships will work out! If your student does end up needing a room change, they must be the one to communicate this to the Office of Residence Life.

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Fall 2022 Wellness Resource

Submitted by: Nina Critz, LPC, Associate Director for Administration, Counseling Center

Welcome to September!

As your student adjusts to their class schedule and weekly routine, we wanted to share some information about an exciting new resource that’s available to all JMU students. JMU has partnered with TimelyMD for students to have access to virtual mental health and well-being services for free through TimelyCare. Students do not need insurance and do not need to visit the JMU Counseling Center to access TimelyCare services. Through this partnership, each calendar year students will have access to a variety of mental health and wellness support services including:

  • Unlimited TalkNow support offering 24/7, on-demand access to a mental health professional to talk about anything at any time (i.e. anxiety, relationships, depression, school-related stressors, etc.).
  • Up to 12 Scheduled Telehealth Counseling visits annually with a licensed mental health provider. Choose the day, time, and mental health provider that best works for you.
  • Psychiatry: Scheduled appointments available through referral by a TimelyCare provider. TimelyCare providers are not able to prescribe controlled substances, see FAQ for more information). For more information about prescriptions, please call TimelyCare 833-4-TIMELY.
  • Health Coaching: Schedule virtual appointment(s) with a certified health coach to talk about: nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, mindfulness, and/or goal setting to enhance health and well-being.
  • Self-Care: Visit the “Explore” page within TimelyCare for guided self-care videos, including yoga and meditation sessions, as well as group conversations with our providers on a variety of health and well-being topics.

Students can visit: timelycare.com/jmu to learn more, sign up, and start receiving support services through TimelyCare today!

As your student starts the new semester and settles into a new routine, it’s also a great time for them to include time for those healthy activities and relationships that help them recharge. Along with classes and assignments, it’s important to build in time for: sleep, physical activity, meals, fun, and time to connect with others. Direct your student to the Counseling Center’s self-help resource pages for more strategies to take care of themselves.

Wishing your student a great start to the Fall semester!

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Football Is Back In The 'Burg!


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

Don't miss out on a new era of JMU Football! Single-Game Tickets for the inaugural Sun Belt Conference season are still available for purchase through JMUTickets.com or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (540) 568-3853. A summary of important game day policies and information can be found by visiting JMUSports.com/GameDay

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Core & Connect – Where Social and Physical Wellness Meet

Submitted by: Veronica Jones, Associate Director for Health & Wellness Promotion, UREC

Meeting new friends and developing connections is an exciting part of the college experience; and sometimes a little help is needed when it comes to finding others who share similar interests.

Core & Connect is a program designed specifically for students to meet others, experience a variety of recreational activities, and challenge themselves to go outside of their comfort zone – in a supportive environment.

Core & Connect is a 6-week program and participants meet twice a week. Each session begins with an intentional icebreaker followed by activities such as pickleball, rock climbing, and group exercise. At the close of each session students engage in a facilitated discussion designed to build community and connection. The core of this program is relationships, with the added benefit of recreation.

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

Applications are Open for ’23 and ’24 Study Abroad Programs


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

Is your student planning to study abroad in 2023 or 2024? Applications are now open for 75+ short-term programs running this winter break, spring break, and summer, plus semester programs running in Spring '23, Fall '24, and Spring '24!

Programs include The Role of Sport in Gender Equity in Cambodia, Culture of the Japanese Alps, Innovative Responses to Global Crises in Amsterdam and Germany, and many more. Students can browse programs online to find their perfect fit –whether it’s an experience catered to their major or minor, or designed to fulfill GenEd, elective, or internship requirements.

Still have questions? Students can chat with program directors, learn about scholarships and financial aid, and find other resources at the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, September 21st, 10am-12pm and 12:30pm-4pm in Festival Ballroom. Apply early to receive priority consideration!

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National College Health Assessment Survey

Submitted by: Chris Ouren, Associate Director of Business Operations, University Health Center

Student Affairs is working with the American College Health Association (ACHA) to administer the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey to all students this fall. This survey will cover a number of health related topics, and will allow several departments within Student Affairs to tailor their programming to meet the current needs of our students.

On Friday, Sept. 16 all students will receive an email from “National College Health Assessment <ncha-web@acha.org>” with an invitation to complete this survey. The link in their inbox will be a personalized link just for that student. The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete, can be completed on more than one device (phone, computer, etc.), and the survey will automatically save progress until it is completed to allow for the assessment to be completed over multiple sessions if needed.

Please encourage your Duke to complete this survey to help us provide programming to better serve our students with what they need when it comes to their health and well-being.

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Basketball Season Tickets On Sale Now!


Submitted by: Nick Ocampo, Assistant Director of Fan Engagement, JMU 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.

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UREC Adventure Break Trips

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

UREC is hosting several overnight adventure trips over break periods this academic year! If your Duke isn't planning on coming home, encourage them to look into going on one of these adventures:

Fall Break Trip (10/12 - 10/14): Raft, SUP and Hike the New River Gorge in West Virginia! Participants will explore New River Gorge National Park on whitewater rafts, stand up paddleboards and on foot. UREC will provide all camping gear, food and cook gear. Registration deadline: 10/05 at Noon.

Winter Break Trip (01/10 - 01/12): Three Resort Ski Trip to West Virginia. Participants will cross country ski at White Grass Resort, ski at Canaan Valley Ski Resort and ski at Timberline Ski Resort. The group will stay in a cozy cabin located a short drive from the resorts. Registration deadline: 12/14 at Noon.

Learn more about UREC's adventure trips and encourage your Duke to register!

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EJC Arboretum Fall Plant & Bulb Sale


Submitted by: Brittany Clem-Hott, Marketing and PR Specialist, EJC Arboretum

Come enjoy the beauty of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and join us for our Fall Plant & Bulb Sale and shop native plants, perennials, shrubs, trees, bulbs and houseplants!

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First Annual Dukes Making a Difference (DMAD)

Submitted by: Josh Shulruff, Assistant Director, Community Service-Learning

On August 17th, Community Service-Learning (CS-L) welcomed 100 incoming students for our initial DMAD (Dukes Making a Difference Program). Our aims were to build a sense of community amongst participants, a sense of belonging to both JMU and the broader Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community, and to pop the JMU bubble before Day 1.

Wednesday afternoon focused on community-building and preparing to serve in the community. Highlights included Jo Benjamin sharing United Way of Harrisonburg-Rockingham's work with the ALICE (asset-limited, income-constrained, employed) population in our community as well as Mayor Reed ensuring the students understand that Harrisonburg could not exist without JMU and JMU could not exist without Harrisonburg, and so she would love your student to get involved. She also reminisced about skating at Funky's Skate Center and shared her personal cell phone number with the entire group.

On Thursday and Friday, we split into smaller service teams and completed projects with 14 different community partners. Tasks ranged from accompanying seniors or adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities at the Rockingham County Fair to pulling tires and cinder blocks out of the Middle River, to painting the entire exterior of a therapy center’s building. Each night, students split into smaller groups to explore several locally owned restaurants in town.

On Saturday, Dr. Meg Mulrooney, chair of the Campus History Committee, organized an alternative tour  of the quad, highlighting trailblazing individuals - particularly employees, students, and faculty of color, and challenging students to follow their examples and "make a difference" on campus. JMU Civic ensured that all students were aware of their options for voting in November. After reflecting on what they'd learned about Harrisonburg, JMU, and themselves, students shared pizza on the quad with new friends before dispersing to join their groups with their RAs and FrOGs. Our team is excited to have your student join us for other opportunities that center around community. For instance, Alternative Fall Break is just around the corner.

All three Alternative Fall Break trips will depart early on Wednesday, 10/12, and travel by JMU van to the service site in time to do half a day of service. Your student will have full days of service on Thursday and Friday and will drive home on Friday evening, which means they'll still have a full weekend to rest and get homework done. AFB costs $75 - with plenty of need-based scholarships available. Your student can join a team of students to volunteer in a different community. It is a first-come first-served online registration, so encourage your student to register ASAP! Your student is welcome to stop by our office (SSC 2200), give us a call at 540.568.6366 or email us at csl@jmu.edu with any questions.

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Earn a Peace Corps Prep Certificate

Submitted by: PC Prep Coordinator, Center for Global Engagement

Through JMU's partnership as a select institution with the Peace Corps, undergraduates may apply to pursue a Peace Corps Prep Certificate while at JMU. The fall program application deadline is October 1st.

Learn more on the JMU PC Prep webpage or email peacecorpsprep@jmu.edu.

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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. 

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Student Travel Home - NY, NJ & PA

Submitted by: Amy Sfaelos, President, CollegeTransit LTD

Congratulations on safely delivering your Duke to campus - now it's time to figure out how to get them home!

It's only 2 months until your student comes home for Thanksgiving (or 1 month for Fall Break) and options are filling up quickly. CollegeTransit has been providing holiday transportation for college students for over 30 years.

Our first Thanksgiving bus to Allentown, Morris Plains, Teterboro and Huntington has already sold out, but we opened a second bus that has seats currently available. This year we also added a new route with destinations in King of Prussia and Howell Township.

In addition to new destinations, we've added a bus for Fall Break to Allentown, Morris Plains, Teterboro and Huntington. This is a Pre-Order to determine if enough students are interested to come home during the long Fall Break in October.

You can find all of these trips on the CollegeTransit website where you can also find more specific address information. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Go Dukes! Amy (‘98) & Jason (‘96) CollegeTransit LTD

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Take Our Library VideoTour
College of Arts and Letters Launches New Biannual Publication, the Arts and Letter Review

Submitted by: Siân White, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Letters

JMU’s College of Arts and Letters launches its inaugural issue of the Arts and Letters Review (1.1 August 2022), a publication featuring stories about student, faculty, and staff experiences and accomplishments – innovative classes, faculty research, community engagement.

Look for issue 1.2 in January 2023 – sign up to receive the ALReview directly! 

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Carrier Library Renovation to Begin in May 2023

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

A new and expanded Carrier Library is on the horizon!

*The Commonwealth of Virginia recently approved funding for a major renovation* and expansion of Carrier Library. This support will help us create a more welcoming, safe, inclusive campus library with modernized systems, reenvisioned services, and inspiring spaces for teaching, learning, research, and expert consultation. The renovated building will also include space for the Furious Flower Poetry Center!

*Construction will begin in Summer 2023.* Carrier Library will remain open for the 2022-23 academic year. You might see some changes in the building this year, such as new locations for furniture or collections, as we prepare for renovation. The building will then close for construction, which will likely begin soon after graduation festivities in May 2023.

*Rose Library, the Music Library, and the Educational Technology & Media Center will remain open* when Carrier is under construction. JMU is also preparing additional spaces on campus to meet your student's needs during construction.

*Carrier Library is anticipated to re-open in Fall 2026,* following the successful completion of this major renovation and expansion.

*Why is JMU renovating Carrier?* Concerns about accessibility and ADA compliance, crowding, safety, and overall navigability of the aging facility are the motivating factors. We want the new Carrier Library to be universally accessible, easy to visit, environmentally responsible, and welcoming for Dukes and local communities! This is also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to update and reimagine Carrier Library for JMU’s future as a national university. The new building will include 24-hour student study space, beautiful reading rooms, outdoor terraces and a café, consultation and group study rooms, and expanded facilities for library instruction, innovative educational technology, digital scholarship, distinctive collections, and more.

*How was the project funded?* The Carrier Library renovation is made possible by a capital project fund approved by our Virginia legislature and Governor. This means that the funding for the project has no impact on JMU’s budget, tuition, or salaries.

*How will I learn about the renovation and how my Duke will access library services?* During the renovation project, your Duke will still have access to expert help, both in person and online, and to study spaces, books, and other services and resources. Find up-to-date information on our Carrier Renovation page, in our social media channels, and in our regular messages to campus.

Please contact libraries@jmu.edu if you have questions about the renovation.

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Published: Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2022

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