Community with IDEAS: March 2022

Community with IDEAS: March 2022

The Student Affairs Newsletter


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Tim's Letter

Hello and welcome to March!

As we’re approaching the mid-point of the semester I want to thank you for all you are doing to provide a great experience for our students. While we have lived in unimaginable circumstances, I am proud to have done this with all of you. When I spoke to the Board of Visitors last week I outlined the different public incidents that have occurred this semester. What I can’t tell them is what each of you do every day behind the scenes. Every day each of you makes a difference in our students’ lives and I want you to know that I appreciate it. As I told the Board, this has been one of the hardest periods in my career, but there is no group I would have rather had around me as we faced it together.

As we continue to address mental health concerns, the Counseling Center has developed a guide to help you determine what to do if someone is expressing mental health distress. We’ll be providing this information via email very soon. We hope this tool will help you feel more prepared as we continue to support the JMU community. We also have this page for anyone looking for additional information regarding our Mental Health and Wellness Initiatives. There is an opportunity at the bottom of the page where you can submit your questions or feedback either anonymously or with contact information.

I am also pleased to welcome Lee Dyer as our first Director of SOGIE and Dr. Hollie Hall as our new Dean of Students. They both started mid-February and have quickly become integrated into our community. Please welcome them both as they join us in doing important work for the JMU community.

We also have several searches in progress. We recently sent an announcement about our first ever Cohort Hire. Right now, we’re collecting applications and are excited to meet the candidates that will be our future colleagues. Thanks to everyone who has invested in this new and innovative way of hiring. We’ll learn from this experience and become better in the way we do things. Another important search is for the Associate Vice President for Health and Well-being. Carson Lonett and Mandy Vitale are leading this search so if you have any questions, please reach out to them. Information about these openings is listed on the Student Affairs Employment Opportunities page. If you have any openings you would like to feature please let Carson know.

It has been great to see so much engagement in our Friday Professional Development Sessions. This is a great resource for us to stay connected with our SA committees and councils as well as learn from the experts within our areas. As a reminder, it is from 10 to 11 a.m. every Friday morning.

Thank you to everyone who gave, helped with and promoted JMU Giving Day. Over $1 million was raised to support our students and programs!

With Spring Break coming up, I hope you get a chance to take some time for yourself. Please take some time during that week to honor yourself and your needs.

Thanks again for all you do every day. I continue to be inspired by your dedication and passion.

Take care,

Dr. Tim Miller

Welcome new staff!

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE)

We are excited to welcome Lee Dyer (he/him) as our first-ever Director of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE). Lee comes to us having most recently served as the Associate Director of LGBTQ Campus Life at the University of Richmond and has expertise in LGBTQIA+ advocacy and DEI. Welcome Lee!

Dean of Students

The Dean of Students Office wants to warmly welcome Dr. Hollie Hall to our team as the Dean of Students. Hollie brings many gifts and fresh ideas and we are so thankful to have her lead our team. Welcome Hollie, we are so glad you are here!

Taquon "Ty" Middleton will be joining our staff to assist with DOS programs and outreach. Ty's background in Student Affairs at SUNY Alfred State includes Health and Wellness Services, DEI and Residential Life. Since graduating he has worked as an Architectural Illustrator in New York. We welcome Ty to the Dean of Students office.

Student Life

The Student Leadership Center is pleased to announce the addition of Emily Allen, Nornye Douglas, Charlie McIntyre and Caroline Stoaks to the LEAD Team. We are also excited to have Michael Barnes and Bella Cabaccan-Picart as the Student Directors for MYMOM for 2022. Each of these students brings amazing talents and abilities to our Center and we look forward to the phenomenal work they will do.

The Student Life department is very excited to announce the arrival of Pam Steele, the newly hired Associate Director overseeing Fraternity and Sorority Life. The Fraternity and Sorority Life Office strives to cultivate a community that values brotherhood/sisterhood, leadership and involvement, academic interest, serve and social responsibility.  Pam joined Student Life on January 25th and has jumped in with infectious positivity. Pam came to us from Longwood University as their Director of Student Conduct and Integrity. She is actually returning to JMU after having served in the Office of Residence Life as an Area Director.  

“Family, a fiancée and an amazing opportunity to serve the fraternity and sorority life community bring me back. As a sorority woman myself, who currently volunteers with her national headquarters in various capacities, wants to share the lessons learned and gained through the fraternity experience. I am most excited about helping create connections amongst individuals through the fraternity and sorority and proactively developing leaders within our community.”

Pam has extensive Panhellenic and Interfraternity chapter advising experience, served on the Fraternity and Sorority Life advisory board and assisted in an office program review committee at JMU. She has also volunteered for many years on a national level with her own Panhellenic sorority. Pam is bringing a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, leadership, commitment and experience to the fraternal experience at JMU. 

Office of Disability Services (ODS)

We would like to give a very warm welcome to our new staff members!

Susan Czyszczon joined the ODS staff in the role of Administrative Assistant in the Fall 2021 semester.

Jonathan Atkins joined the ODS staff in the role of Exam Accommodation Coordinator at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester.

Tina Fultz joined the ODS staff in the role of Exams/Notes Accommodation Assistant at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester.

Mary-Abbott Pearson joined the ODS staff in the role of Social Work Intern at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester.

University Health Center (UHC)

We have a new wage Medical Assistant, Olivia Ziegler. Recent Graduate of JMU juggles working with us when we need and is an ED Tech at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Special Announcements

Community Service-Learning (CS-L)

Jenna Piersol from Community Service-Learning and her partner Trevor welcomed Noemi Isabel Piersol in the fall of 2021!



University Health Center (UHC)

Lacie June Turner was born February 10, weighing 8 lbs, 5 oz.  Parents are Adam and Stephanie Turner, son of Laura Turner(UHC) and husband Charles, they are over the moon excited about this new addition to the family! 


Office of Disability Services (ODS)

We are very thankful to Jen Gulliver for all of her work as the ODS Exam Accommodations Coordinator for the past two years. We will miss her and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors!

Orientation (O-Team)

Orientation and Community Service-Learning are swapping office spaces within the Student Success Center. This move is scheduled for March 3 and 4. Orientation will be located in Suite 2100 and CS-L will be in Suite 2200.

Effective immediately, transitional programming for new Dukes held in August/September and January will be called Weeks of Welcome, dropping 1787 from the title. This has been updated on Orientation's websites and publications, as well as in Guidebook for this coming fall. Please update any of your digital or print materials accordingly to reflect this change.

JMU Libraries

$2 Million Grant from Mellon Foundation in the News

The $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to support our partnership with the Furious Flower Poetry Center was recently featured in Library Journal, The Citizen, and WHSV. Learn more on the Furious Flower Poetry Center website or on our Flowerings Project at JMU: Phase 2 page.


Scanned Articles and Chapters Delivered to Your Inbox

If you thought you needed to be on campus to access physical items in the JMU Libraries collection, we have good news! You can request scanned/digital copies of articles and book chapters to be delivered directly to your email inbox! Submit a request by logging in to your Interlibrary Loan account. This Scan and Deliver service is provided at no charge. Learn more about Staff Services at JMU Libraries.

New Access to Diverse Libraries Collections Thanks to Statewide Partnership

We are excited to announce that the JMU community now has access to six new collections of primary source materials related to gender diversity, African American history and Indigenous history and culture. Learn more.

Introducing the JMU Libraries Magazine

Our first-ever JMU Libraries Magazine celebrates the staff, students, scholars and donors who worked together to help the JMU Libraries thrive over the past two years. Check out our 2020-2021 magazine.



In-Person and Virtual Workshops in The Makery

Have you always wanted to learn podcasting, painting, sewing, 3D printing or electronics? This spring, join one of our virtual or in-person workshops in The Makery—a makerspace with locations in Rose Library and Carrier Library. No experience is necessary. Our helpful and knowledgeable staff will walk you through the process from start to finish. Visit our website to sign up or learn more about workshops in The Makery.

We Want Seeds from Your Garden

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. 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.


Community Service-Learning (CS-L)

CS-L hosted a Day of Service with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham NAACP on Saturday, January 29. The NAACP connected students with Our Community Place to install cabinetry, ceiling fans and bathroom fixtures, clean, do final paint touch-ups and deliver furniture. The final preparation provided our unhoused neighbors the opportunity to get into their new home more quickly.

Upcoming Events

Office of Disability Services (ODS)

Disability Awareness Week (DAW) is March 21 through 25. Check out the DAW website for event information! 

Student Life will be holding an exciting new awards ceremony to recognize student-led organizations and their outstanding leaders on the evening of Wednesday, April 13 in the Festival Ballroom. Refreshments provided. Look for nominations to open soon!

Conferences and Presentations

University Recreation (UREC)

On February, four student affairs professionals attended Green Dot Institute to become trained facilitators: Laura Blazewicz-Miller, Student Learning Initiatives Coordinator (ORL), Sonia Doulamis, Assistant Director for Substance Misuse Prevention (UREC), Rebecca Lebedun, Interim Coordinator of Sexual and Relationship Health (UREC) and Pam Steele, Associate Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life (OSL).

About Community with Ideas

The masterminds behind the scenes.

Community with Ideas is your monthly newsletter.

We welcome all comments and suggestions. Please contact a Community with Ideas committee member to submit content, photographs or announcements. We look forward to hearing from you!


Marsha Mays-Bernard | AVP Liaison | maysbeme@jmu.edu 
Dawn Miller | Chair | mille2da@jmu.edu 
Ann Simmons | Student Affairs Communications and Marketing (SACM) | simmonae@jmu.edu 
Angela Ritchie | Student Affairs Communications and Marketing (SACM) | ritchiac@jmu.edu 
Eliza Moreno |Student Affairs Communications and Marketing (SACM)–GA | morenome@jmu.edu 


Ann Simmons | UHC | simmonae@jmu.edu
Brent Lewis | Student Affairs Diversity Council | lewis2be@jmu.edu
Brittany Dioszeghy | Office of Disability Services | dioszebd@jmu.edu
Dylan Sorkin | Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices | sorkindj@jmu.edu
Daerenz Lyons | VP-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | lyonsda@jmu.edu
DaNae Peterson | AVP-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and CELT | petersda@jmu.edu
Leslie Bailey | AVP- Health and Well-Being and AVP Student Life and Involvement | baile2la@jmu.edu
Shae Powell | Student Life | powel3sd@jmu.edu
Dawn Miller | VP Student Affairs | mille2da@jmu.edu
Dianne Nibblins | CMSS | nibblidk@jmu.edu
Emily Higham | Office of Residence Life | barkerec@jmu.edu 
Heather Reid | UREC | reidhy@jmu.edu 
Cassidy Mechalske | Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Programming | mechalcn@jmu.edu 
Emily Blake | Library | blakeed@jmu.edu 
Jill Staley Wade | Dean of Students | stakeycj@jmu.edu 
Lindsey Richards | Community Service-Learning | richa2lm@jmu.edu 
Mollie Zenz | Orientation | zenzmj@jmu.edu
Moriah Fallon | Counseling Center | fallo3mj@jmu.edu
Tam Nguyen | University Career Center | nguyendx@jmu.edu

Photo contributions from JMU Creative Media