Madison Family Newsletter: January 2023

Madison Family Newsletter: January 2023

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.

Helpful Resources for Parents & Families

Do you have questions or are unsure where to look or what to search for? The Office of Parent Relations is here to help and have updated our "Helpful Resources" page. JMU's website is full of information, and we hope this will help you navigate to find what you are looking for. If you have questions, please contact our office parent@jmu.edu or 540-568-3190.

Parent & Family Resources

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Dear JMU families,

Happy new year and welcome to 2023!

I hope you all are having a wonderful break with your Duke and that you’ve been able to spend some quality time together. We’re looking forward to having them all back on campus and the fresh start that a new semester brings.

I have several updates in this letter and ways I am hoping we can partner together to support your student's success at JMU and beyond.


Important Dates this Spring

There are some key dates in the spring including Assessment Day, Spring Break (March 13-17) and of course May Commencement. You and your student can check the academic calendar for more specific information.

Working on campus

One of the most valuable things I did at JMU was work a regular job as an RA my sophomore year and in JMU Dining for three and a half years. Little did I know that job would lead me to a career at JMU but it did. One of the best things I learned was how to manage my time. When I came to college I really struggled with the freedom and lack of structure college provided and I did not do well in my classes my first year. 

I know that many families don’t want their kids to work because they are worried about time and adding this to their schedules, but for many students, the structure of an on-campus job and the responsibility to pay for some of their regular expenses is exactly what they need. For students who are still trying to find their community on campus, a job is a great way to accomplish this goal as well. Many offices will be posting jobs for the Spring semester and with minimum wage increasing to $12, this is a great way to make some money and help with the daily costs of college. Students should check Joblink to see what’s available and apply for jobs that interest them. These will require interviews too so make sure they bring back some interview clothing in January.

Rebound after a tough academic semester

I know that some students struggled this fall, and it can be an especially challenging time for first-year students managing the many transitions that come along with life at JMU and college in general. Some of your students may have ended up on academic probation based on how they performed in the classroom this fall and we want to help. The Rebound program in the Dean of Students office is hosting a program to help students find their success at JMU through a weekly set of meetings throughout the spring semester. I am excited to partner with them in this effort and plan to attend many of the sessions and personally mentor several students. 

We believe that a student who fully commits to this curriculum, attends every week, and is willing to make some significant changes in their lifestyle and approach will find real success. In the past, most students showed an improvement in their time management, their performance in classes, an increase in their GPA, and their overall enjoyment of the JMU experience. This program will not be easy, but we believe it can make a difference for students who commit to it. We hope you will encourage your student to engage in this program and I hope they will sign up to join us this Spring. 

Have them sign up for this opportunity HERE. 

Madison Cares

There are a variety of obstacles your student may face during their time at JMU. These may be academic challenges, struggles with their mental/physical health or social matters. If you become aware that your student is struggling in any way and could use some help, please refer them to Madison Cares. Our Dean of Students team will reach out to your student to offer support and connect them with the appropriate resources. We will follow up with the person who submits the referral after our outreach as well. 

If you contact me directly about a concern for your student, I will often refer you to Madison Cares to submit a referral. This team is set up to help manage these concerns and can often move more quickly than me and it’s also important for us to collect these concerns in one place. If you have questions about Madison Cares or how to best support your student, please call 540-568-6468 or email madisoncares@jmu.edu.

Weather in January

If this is your student’s first year living off-campus, they may be surprised after the first snow to find that the parking lot where they live hasn’t been plowed or that their car was buried by the snowplow. My recommendation is to send them back with a snow shovel, they may quickly become the most popular person in their complex. I always feel bad when students are using pots and pans to clear out their vehicles. You may hear from their student that their car is “buried” but if the roads are clear they can expect that we will still hold classes. And don’t forget gloves, boots and a heavy coat. The weather can be unpredictable, but I can almost guarantee there will be cold and snowy days ahead. 

Emergency Notifications

As we have seen in our community as well as others, emergencies happen and it’s important that we can connect with our students in these moments to make them aware of how to keep themselves safe.  We have seen some students opting out of these notifications, so I want to ask you to remind them how important it is for them to be aware of what’s going on when emergencies occur and not opt out of these messages from the university. They, and you, should have the LiveSafe app downloaded on your phones so you can both receive updates when there are emergencies that impact our community.

Questions to ask your student

Here are some check-in questions and conversations you may want to be having with your student.

  1. What are your goals for this semester?

Tip: This can lead to more in-depth conversations about finding their place, grades or plans for the future. I encourage you to get them past the one word or “I don’t know” answers. Many of our students only come up with goals after things go badly; let’s set goals for success, before we struggle.

  1. Where do you plan to live next year?

Tip: Living on again is an option. Do your research before signing a contract off campus. Off-Campus Life has some helpful tips.  Many students have already signed leases but make sure you do your research before your student signs.

  1. What are your plans for Spring Break?

Tip: Some may be planning a trip with friends, some may plan to stay here if they live off campus, some will be coming home.  It’s important for you all to talk about this before they commit to anything, especially flights, hotels, etc. I will always encourage you to have them pay for much of these activities.  They will value it more and it gets them prepared for the future. Don’t forget to have them check out our Alternative Breaks program as well.  These were some of the most impactful parts of my JMU experience and I highly recommend them for all students.

Upcoming Events

A full week Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week events are planned for Jan. 16 – 20.

BeInvolved has information about Weeks of Welcome for our incoming students, as well as events for all students on the event calendar.

One event is Student Org Night on Jan. 19, which is open to all students and is a great way to find out about the many groups on campus. This can be a great start for students who want to meet new people and learn about different ways to get involved.

Safe travels to you and your Duke. Here’s to an exciting and successful 2023!

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

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

RA Application Deadline!

Submitted by: Sydney Wood, Social Media and Marketing Manager, Residence Life

The deadline to apply to be an RA is January 29. The benefits are tremendous and the skills gained are even better. Not to mention, it looks great on a resumé!

Apply now!

The 2023-24 Scholarship Application Cycle Has Arrived!

Submitted by Steven Cox, Associate Director of Scholarships, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Madison Scholarships Hub is the application center for all JMU Foundation scholarships at James Madison University. To log in to Madison Scholarships Hub, students go to MyMadison and under the Student tab click on the logo for Madison Scholarships Hub. 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. Deadlines vary across departments so be sure to complete the general application as soon as possible to receive full consideration. Review the criteria carefully for any recommended scholarship opportunity your student is presented with and if your student meets the qualifications, click apply to submit additional required information. Scholarships primarily open in January for the upcoming award year. Many scholarships require financial need, so if you have not done so, make sure to file the 2023-24 FAFSA at this time as well. Your student may be prevented from qualifying/applying for recommended scholarships without the FAFSA on file.

Learn More

Exclusive Offer: New Commuter Meal Plan Holders

Submitted by: Jenna (Maroney) Gray, Director of Student Engagement, JMU Dining Services

Sign-up early and get rewarded! JMU Dining has an exclusive offer for new Commuter Meal Plan Holders that sign up by 2/3/23. When your commuter purchases a NEW SPRING 2023 MEAL PLAN they get a Foodie Fam coupon book filled with free food and beverages valued at $60. You're Duke will automatically be entered to win FREE Starship Delivery Services (no fees) for the spring semester. Fifty lucky winners will be announced on Feb. 7th. This exclusive offer is only valid through the link below.

Sign up today!

At JMU Dining, we have a meal plan to fit every need. We make eating easy with more than 28 locations on campus. To learn more, visit jmu.campusdish.com.

Learn More

Sun Belt Conference Play Has Begun!



Submitted by: Melissa Wyant, Assistant AD for Creative Services & Fan Engagement, Athletics

Dropping your student off from winter break? Have plans to be in Harrisonburg this winter? Join us and your student at the Atlantic Union Bank Center for men's and women's basketball! The Dukes are in the heart of their season as Sun Belt Conference play has begun. Tickets for all remaining games are available for purchase at JMUTickets.com or by calling 540-568-3853.

Learn More

2023 Proud & True Benefit Chart: Duke Club

Submitted by: Ashley Doyle, Director of Special Events & Donor Stewardship, JMU Duke Club

As we build upon the success of our transitional FBS season in 2022 and first Sun Belt campaign, it's clear that interest in JMU Athletics has never been greater. It's a critical time as we are already turning the page to our winter and springs sports along with preparation for the 2023 fall season. As we look ahead, it's important that we maximize our revenue potential, balance supply with demand and honor our normal four-year intervals for pricing and benefit changes.

With demand for attending JMU football increasing and coinciding with the rising cost of operations, there are increases to giving levels within our Duke Club benefits chart for the Proud and True Fund. These giving levels determine eligibility for various seating and parking locations as well as added benefits of giving to JMU Athletics. The 2023 season falls within our normal rotation of four years for updates to this chart and for fans to select new seats and new parking. While many giving levels have increased for the 2023 season, there are also new donor benefits to accompany increased giving.

Learn More

Reaching New Heights: Amazing Things Happen When Dukes Aim High

Submitted by: Jennifer Dehoff, Assistant Director, Advancement Marketing

In honor of JMU’s recent achievements, we’re doing something new this year: a flash campaign called Reaching New Heights, February 19-24, 2023. Instead of focusing giving on just one day, you can choose your day to give during a weeklong celebration. Watch your inbox Feb. 19-24 to celebrate with us!

Learn More

Madison Trust: The most intriguing event your Duke probably hasn’t told you about

Submitted by: Karen Risch Mott, Grants & Communication Strategist, Corporate & Foundation Relations

Think of a certain TV show but without “sharks” and instead JMU family members, friends, and alumni who believe in and are ready to back their fellow Dukes. It’s about Being the Change on campus, in our community and around the world.

Every year the top 10 faculty and student innovation teams seek seed money from Madison Trust to secure proof of concept, launch programs, conduct novel research, develop inventions and more.

On Friday, March 10, you can join Madison Trust's 2023 panel of philanthropic investors. If you are interested in seeing the depth and breadth of your Duke’s Madison Experience — and in helping to spot then support the most promising JMU innovations — then this visionary event is for you.

Come be part of an enterprising group of donors and campus leaders who foresee the local, regional, national and/or global impact of exciting JMU projects, programs and research.

Together, we bring imagination and insight to life. Innovation ignites in Madison Trust and grows in service to the world.

Join us on campus or via Zoom for JMU’s most innovative event of the year!

Learn More

Spring Break Travel Home - PA, NJ & NY

Submitted by: Amy Sfaelos, President, CollegeTransit

CollegeTransit will be offering student only travel for Spring Break departing campus on March 10th and returning Sunday, March 19th. We drop off in Allentown, Morris Plains, Teterboro and Huntington. We tend to sell out so please don't wait, reservations can be made directly on our website.

Learn More

Study Abroad in Summer 2023

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

Is your student looking to add to their resume or complete additional coursework this summer? The Center for Global Engagement is accepting study abroad applications on a rolling basis for over 45 summer programs!

Students can:

Your student can visit the link below for a full list of programs accepting applications and find information on how to apply.

Learn More

Peace Corps Prep Certificate

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

JMU has a Peace Corps Prep Certificate program for undergraduate students. The next rolling deadline to apply is March 1st. More information on the PC Prep website!

Learn More

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Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2023

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