Community with IDEAS: April 2022

The Student Affairs Newsletter


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Tim's Letter

Hello everyone,

Welcome to spring! Although the weather may not show it, the calendar tells us it is indeed April and we all know that means a month full of year-end events and celebrations.

I want to start off by recognizing the great work by everyone involved in the construction and Grand Opening of The Yard. It’s an amazing space to recognize our Black Greek letter organizations, Latinx fraternities and sororities and Asian interest fraternities and sororities, all of which have an emphasis on academic excellence, service and brotherhood/sisterhood. The speakers did a wonderful job acknowledging the work of those involved. The highlight for me was the recognition of each organization’s members and those who came before them. Thank you to everyone who made this a reality and created this forever home for these chapters and individuals at JMU.

It looks like we had a great response to our hosting Open Doors last week, it’s great to see so many come together for this cause. And the 10th Annual Walk for Hope was well attended despite the snow squalls that hit right before the walk began. The dedication of so many of you to these important events makes me incredibly proud to be part of your team.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which began with the Clothesline Project in the Union and continues with Green Dot Overviews and Action Day, Men and Violence Panel and Take Back the Night speak out and flower release. Thank you to everyone involved in doing this important work. For more information on these events, you can go here.

These are just some of the amazing things happening right now and please know that even if I didn’t mention your work specifically, I see the impact you are having and appreciate each of you very much.

I also want to let you know of a group we are creating to help us provide greater support and flexibility to our staff regarding how we ask our folks to work. More info will come as we begin to work this out but once developed this should make us more supportive and appealing to our current and future employees.

And finally, this is a reminder of the last presentation of the Campus Climate survey results:

  • Monday, April 11, 12–1:30 p.m., virtually on YouTube

I am looking forward to how we can all come together to review the report once we receive it next week and think through what we can learn from this process to make JMU a better place.  I hope each of you will take the time to read the final report and come with ideas and thoughts at our upcoming discussions.

Thanks for all you’re doing, I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester and the celebrations of the Class of 2022 in May!

New staff

Dean of Students 

The Dean of Students Office has been busy onboarding two new professionals, Dr. Hollie Hall, as Dean of Students and Taquon Middleton, as Interim Coordinator to the Dean of Students.

Student Life

Student Life would like to welcome Allyse Dillard to the team as our new Fiscal Technician. Allyse was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley. After graduating from Virginia Tech with her Marketing degree, she moved to Charlotte, NC to start her sales career. Upon returning to the valley, Allyse has held part time positions as an administrative assistant within Student Affairs and is a local Realtor in the area. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping and spending time with family and friends.


Dean of Students 

The Dean of Students Office is here to support all students at JMU and has been actively working on achieving this goal by staying attentive to the daily needs of students who seek out our services. Madison Cares continues to be a great referral source for us. Students who are connected to our office through this program are paired with caring and attentive mentors who meet students where they are at in their JMU experience and through relationship building to help them navigate through whatever challenges they are dealing with. The Rebound program has also been a great source of support for our students. It is an opportunity to recover and move forward and as the testimonials show, many students do exactly that with the support of this program.

We are also planning to do more programming and outreach in the residence halls and student programming spaces. Some initiatives we are adding to our arsenal of services in order to further extend the support of the Dean of Students Office is the development of a peer-to-peer support program. Two undergraduate students are in the process of being hired to lead this effort. Taquon Middleton has been working closely with ORL to create a presence for the Dean of Students in the residence halls on campus. Two outcomes from this work are a poster series throughout each residence halls so that students can visually see the resources available to them on campus. The Dean of Students Office is also planning to launch a “Let’s Talk” with the Dean of Students program where all Resident Advisers will be in attendance. This will provide opportunities for RA’s and other students in attendance to learn about the Dean of Students Office and share ideas on how we can better support them.

The Dean of Students is also working with the Violence Prevention Committee to review and revise policies. This group is committed to meeting weekly to complete this process and from this work, there will be changes made to both the Behavior Assessment Team (BAT) and the Threat Assessment Team (TAT). Several professionals from across divisions are working on this collaboratively and are looking forward to implementing new procedures once completed.

Finally, the Dean of Students is currently searching for the Coordinator for the Dean of Students Office position and will be posting the new Associate Dean of Students position next week.

Center for Multicultural Student Service (CMSS)

During the month of April, CMSS recognizes and celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month while students are still on campus. We honor the many students, faculty and staff of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. Join us for a Kickoff Celebration and dialogues throughout the month by following our Instagram account. The Asian American Pacific Islander organizations on JMU campus include Asian Student Union, Filipinos at Madison, Indian Student Organization, Vietnamese Student Association, Mozaic Dance Team, Chinese Student Association, alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority, Inc., Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity Inc.

In April, we also honor and recognize Muslim students in celebration of Ramadan. The Muslim Student Association will host various events to celebrate the breaking of fast each Friday evening in CMSS and a Grand Iftar Gala on April 15.

CMSS closes the month with the CMSS Leadership Banquet for CMSS Exec Boards of Multicultural Organizations on April 26 to celebrate their advocacy, intention and community at JMU.

CMSS will host Donning of the Kente, a graduation ceremony and reception on May 3, in the Festival Ballroom at 6 p.m. The Donning of the Kente recognizes the accomplishments of graduating students who have engaged in CMSS student organizations, programs and services while at James Madison University. Graduates are encouraged to attend this event held in their honor and receive a traditional cultural Kente stole which may be worn at JMU commencement exercises.

Student Life 

Be Involved has changed! The new platform will allow student organizations to easily update their rosters, advertise events, and interact with their membership. More opportunities to learn about the platform will be offered his summer. For now, log in and poke around, and email Jess Beverly ( if your department would like a page created!

JMU Libraries 

Advising Community Conversations - May 3 Event

If you help with advising students, join us for an hour-long conversational workshop, hosted by the Advising Resource and  Collaboration Network at JMU with support from University Advising, Academic Advising Board and JMU Libraries: Exploring Canvas as an Advising Tool on May 3, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Zoom. Sign up here.

Social Justice and Disability Book Display

Social Justice and Disability in Academia is our newest book display, now online and in Carrier Library. Selected by the Office of Disability Services, this display educates the JMU and Harrisonburg community about accessible learning materials, universal design and the intersection of social justice and disability in academia. Learn more about the display here

Borrow multimedia equipment from the Libraries

Did you know you can borrow equipment from the Libraries? From tripods to portrait light kits, our equipment will help you create and polish up your multimedia projects. Request equipment online three weekdays before you need it, then pick it up at The Makery in Carrier Library. Pro tip: check the Carrier Makery’s hours before stopping by! Please contact with questions or find more info here.

Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP)

Robby Smith and Wendy Lushbaugh co-presented “Developing a Restorative Program for Incidents of Sexual Harm” at the NASPA conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This program shared practical considerations, strategies and lessons learned from OSARP’s creation and implementation of its Adaptable Resolution process.  

Wendy Lushbaugh presented her doctoral research entitled “Predicting Attrition of New Professionals through Perceptions of Work-Related Quality of Life” at the NASPA conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The research examined pre-pandemic new professionals’ intentions to leave the field due to concerns with their work-related quality of life as it related to career and job satisfaction, general well-being and control at work. 

Cover Heishman (OSARP) and Dr. Ben Selznick (School of Strategic Leadership Studies) presented research they co-authored at NASPA in Baltimore, MD. Their study was entitled “I Can’t Stop the Spread: Mid-Level Student Conduct Professionals Sensemaking through COVID-19” and focused on understanding the leadership experiences of these individuals during the global pandemic.”

Special announcements

University Health Center (UHC) 


Terra Daniel, RN (University Health Services), UHC's Occupational Health Nurse and Dr. David Daniel (Psychology Department) welcome their new grandson, Chaske’ Shilo Brings Three White Horses Whetstone. Born on February 4, 2022, at 9:18 p.m. He weighed in at 8 pounds 5 ounces and 21 inches long.


Deborah Hoover, Assistant Director of Nursing, welcomes her newest member of the family, Cosmo. Born on December 19, 2021 and brought home on February 5, 2022. 


Center for Multicultural Student Service (CMSS)

Four of Sharon Purzycki’s Grandsons of Chattanooga Tennessee:

The Uhorchuk name is well-known atop Signal Mountain. It’s a story of four brothers that are leading the way. Three of the four brothers (Daniel, Caleb, Ethan and Joseph) brought back state titles last year. The oldest, Daniel, now wrestles for Army after winning state four years straight. The youngest, JoJo, was named middle school *national* champion. Signal Mountain’s wrestling team is ranked second in the (TN) just a few short weeks away from the state tournament.

Warrior is in the entire family’s blood. Rob, their Dad wrestled in high school and Shannon, their Mom beat cancer. Being a warrior poet, being good at school, staying focused on school and sports is what their Mom and Dad have instilled in each of their boys daily. Watch their interview with WDEF-TV Angela Moryan here.


Counseling Center (CC) 

Please help us in congratulating one of our staff clinicians and Victim Advocates, Kristen Inouye, M.A., for passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE)! 

Center for  Multicultural Student Services (CMSS) 

We would like to recognize three student staff who will be graduating: Graduate Assistants, Meshayla (Shay) Lumpkin and Chloe Dauer; Student Assistant, Rachel Janney. 

University Recreation (UREC) 

UREC is pleased to announce that the Well Dukes Podcast, put on by UREC’s Health Promotion Team, has just received the 2022 Compass Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Visionary category. Those who are awarded within the visionary category are described as forward thinking, innovative and/or have created new programming or progressive initiatives.

In 2020, Jordan McCann, the Assistant Director for Sexual and Relationship Health at UREC, created the Well Dukes Podcast. Since its inception, the podcast has collaborated with numerous organizations and guests to include SOGIE, the Counseling Center, the University Health Center, Shades of Pride and a variety of students who have a passion for wellness topics. Be sure to check out the award winning Well Dukes Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Horace Moody Award congratulates Chris Jones, Assistant Director for Sport Clubs and Inclusive Recreation, for being recognized with the 2022 Horace Moody Award from Leaders in Collegiate Recreation (NIRSA). The Horace Moody Award honors an outstanding professional who has made significant contributions to student development.

Over 10,000 students have participated in the Sport Club Program during Chris’s time here with 14 National Championships in Softball, Basketball, Gymnastics, Soccer, Field Hockey and Archery. Under his leadership, the program has grown from 30 to 52 clubs but he has also led true impact off the field. In Chris’s tenure, the Sport Club Council has created service events like Fall in Love with Harrisonburg that help connect clubs to community organizations and club members have logged over 50,000 hours of community service over these years.

One of the nominators said of Chris, “Chris provided unwavering support at all times to me during my graduate assistantship. I knew that I could come to Chris with any question, problem or idea and that we could have open, honest and productive dialogue. In reflecting on the growth that I’ve experienced in my career, Chris is one of the few people who allowed me to be myself, accepted my thoughts and ideas and helped me build the confidence that I’ve struggled my whole life to find.” Congratulations Chris!

Conferences and Presentations

University Recreation (UREC) 

Virginia Recreational Sports Association State Workshop In February, several UREC professional staff, graduate assistants and undergraduate students attended the Virginia Recreational Sports Association (VRSA) State Workshop in Richmond, VA hosted by VCU. Several of them presented as well including:

  • Lauren Shutt, undergraduate Marketing Assistant presented with Brittanie Naff from ODU on
    "Gen Z: How to Market to a Generation of Digital Natives”
  • Candace Brendler, Graduate Assistant for Adventure and TEAM Programs hosted a Roundtable on Adventure Training Programs.
  • Dr. Julie Wallace Carr, Senior Associate Director and Professor of Sport and Recreation Management presented both “Is Graduate School Right for you...An Insider's Perspective” and “Supervising The Next Generation of VRSA Professionals: Gen Z”

Virginia Adventure Education Conference

This month, Sasha Griffith, Trey Smith and Candace Brendler attended the Virginia Adventure Education Conference (VAAEC) hosted by Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Sasha Griffith, Assistant Director for Adventure and TEAM Programs presented “Path to Professional: Next Steps to your Next Job” and Candace Brendler, Graduate Assistant for Adventure and TEAM Programs facilitated the “Wilderness Medicine in the Collegiate Setting Roundtable”. Association for Challenge Course Technology Sasha Griffith, Assistant Director for Adventure and TEAM Programs attended the Association for Challenge Course Technology International Conference and Expo in Cleveland, OH. She also presented a session at the conference entitled, “Open Forum: DEI Post-Pandemic.”

Center for Multicultural Student Services (CMSS) 

On Thursday, April, 14, Chloë Dauer (CMSS Graduate Assistant) and Mary Tolentino Baéz (D.E.E.P. Impact Diversity Educator) will be sharing an overview of the DEEP Impact Program during the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance virtual ECHO Clinic. ECHO is an international evidence-based model for training and peer-to-peer learning, originally developed at the University of New Mexico. In this ECHO program titled ECHO@edu: Campus Violence Prevention, staff at colleges, universities and community colleges are invited to present challenging cases to each other, gather feedback and recommendations and discuss new developments and best practices for primary prevention and peer educator programs. Chloë and Mary will share the general function and infrastructure of DEEP Impact and highlight a few of the nuances of identity, privilege and oppression within dialogue facilitation. If you are looking for more information about the DEEP Impact program, click here.

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 | 
Dawn Miller | Chair | 
Ann Simmons | Student Affairs Communications and Marketing (SACM) | 
Angela Ritchie | Student Affairs Communications and Marketing (SACM) | 
Eliza Moreno |Student Affairs Communications and Marketing (SACM)–GA | 


Ann Simmons | UHC |
Brent Lewis | Student Affairs Diversity Council |
Brittany Dioszeghy | Office of Disability Services |
Dylan Sorkin | Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices |
Daerenz Lyons | VP-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion |
DaNae Peterson | AVP-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and CELT |
Leslie Bailey | AVP- Health and Well-Being and AVP Student Life and Involvement |
Shae Powell | Student Life |
Dawn Miller | VP Student Affairs |
Dianne Nibblins | CMSS |
Emily Higham | Office of Residence Life | 
Heather Reid | UREC | 
Cassidy Mechalske | Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Programming | 
Emily Blake | Library | 
Jill Staley Wade | Dean of Students | 
Lindsey Richards | Community Service-Learning | 
Mollie Zenz | Orientation |
Moriah Fallon | Counseling Center |
Tam Nguyen | University Career Center |

Photo contributions from JMU Creative Media