Cover Photo Image
February 14, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

Coaches Perspective - JMU Softball

Presenter:  Loren LaPorte

Loren LaPorte, completed her 10th year with the softball team at James Madison University and fifth year as head coach in 2022. Coach LaPorte is always quick to credit her staff with accolades and appreciation for the hard work required to accomplish as much as the team has during her tenure. In her five seasons as head coach, she has guided the program to its first-ever Top-25 ranking, earn eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three NCAA Super Regional appearances in 2016, 2019 and 2021 and a historic Women’s College World Series appearance. Across her full 10 years at JMU, the Dukes have racked up a 385-90 mark, including an 144-13 record in conference play. Prior to coming to Harrisonburg, LaPorte was an assistant coach at Radford University with her predecessor Mickey Dean. As a player, LaPorte enjoyed a highly successful four-year career in a at Roanoke College. The four-time First Team All-ODAC shortstop left Roanoke ranked in the top ten in sacrifice hits (2nd, 41), batting (5th, .383), assists (5th, 233), hits (7th, 180) and runs (7th, 135). A mainstay in the starting lineup, LaPorte was a key factor in Roanoke winning a pair of ODAC championships (2005 & 2006) and earning NCAA regional bids both seasons, reaching the finals in 2006.

February 28, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | Ice House - Room 117

What You Need to Know About Your Ears

Presenter: Kristin Quesenberry

We will provide an overview of the different types of hearing loss, how it relates to other diseases of the body, treatment options, and assistive devices and programs.

Kristin, originally from Wheeling, WV, is a graduate of West Virginia Universit and James Madison University.  Having grown up with an aunt who was diagnosed with hearing loss duing childhood, Kristin has always had an interest in hearing loss and the impact it has on people's lives.  This lifelong exposure to hearing loss has given Kristin compassion for those with hearing impairment and helps her to treat each individual's hearing loss on a personal level.  Kristin and her husband have two sons and a dog.
March 14, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

Scams Against Seniors

Presenter:  Riley Ginger

Older adults are consistently some of the most at-risk demographics when it comes to falling victim to scams. In this program, BBB will discuss what makes older adults more vulnerable to scams, the types of scams that target older adults and how to spot them, as well as scam prevention tips and resources.

Riley Ginger is the community outreach and marketing director of the Better Business Bureau serving Western Virginia from headquarters in Roanoke.

March 28, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

The Wonders of Chocolate

Presenter: Matt Sibley

Chocolatier, Matt Sibley, will discuss the history of the cacao plant, the historical and current use of cacao in Mexico and Latin America, along with a brief talk about the bean to bar process of making chocolate.

Matt Sibley is a JMU alum (2011) who decided to make the valley his home after moving back to the area in 2015. He is a former Spanish teacher and medical interpreter who became a self-taught chocolatier along the way.

April 11, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

Woodrow Wilson: His Health and Presidency

Presenter:  George Gruner

President Woodrow Wilson faced more than being president during World War I and the influenza pandemic of 1918 - 1920.  He suffered from multiple health issues including a massive stroke during his second term. We will look at the role of his second wife, Edith Wilson and why many historians consider her the first woman president.  The fate of the League of Nations and world peace hung in the balance while he struggled to recover.

George Gruner is a local historian and educator with over 40 years of teaching experience.   He worked as a docent at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum and in Guest Services at Monticello. George also served in the Vermont House of Representatives. 

April 25, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

Diamonds in the Fluff

Presenter:  Karen Mercer

Diamonds in the Fluff is a small alpaca farm in Elkton, VA – we raise alpacas for their luxury fiber and sell yearlings.  We will talk and learn what IS an alpaca, difference between alpacas and llamas, what they are used for, learn their eco-friendly green earth impact, differences between alpaca and sheep fiber / wool and much more. Our farm name speaks to the luxurious nature of alpaca fiber and products.  I will bring samples of alpaca and llama fiber as well as the finished yarn and knitted or woven products. 

Karen Mercer (head alpaca farmer) is a retired commonwealth of Virginia employee, 33 years state service in areas of accounting and financial / business management.  I’m an Air Force Veteran and have lived in the Shenandoah Valley over 34 years.  I’m part-time alpaca farmer and part-time tax accountant and loving retiree life on our farm.   See more on our website

May 9, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

All You Want to Know About an E-Bike

Presenter:  Thomas Jenkins

Thomas will talk about eBikes; the types of eBikes, how they are powered, local laws that impact eBikes, costs, eBike safety on roads and in traffic, trails, and the health benefits of riding. The following day, May 10 Thomas will lead a team offering rides on eBikes in Hillandale Park. The park is in the center of Harrisonburg’s latest paved multi-use trail, The Bluestone trail.

There will be an actual eBike ride in Hillendale Park, Harrisonburg, VA on May 10, 2023!

Thomas Jenkins, along with Tim Richardson, opened the doors of the Shenandoah Bicycle Company in May of 1999 and has been working full-time at the shop ever since. As a child in the 70’s, Thomas spent his early years riding bikes all around McLean, VA on a Schwinn Scrambler. After forgetting about bikes for a few years (that is what a driver’s license will do!), the two wheel passion was reborn with discovering mountain biking in the late 80’s. After graduating from Radford University (BBA-Accounting) Thomas traveled for several years racing mountain bike for Gary Fisher and Breezer. It was during this time that he made Harrisonburg his home. He originally landed in Harrisonburg for the great riding then never left due to the great community. Thomas lives only a few blocks from the shop with his wife Julie and two sons Ethan and Carter. Anytime out of the shop is usually spent playing ball sports with his sons or being active in the trail-building community of Harrisonburg. He looks forward to future bike touring in Europe with his wife!

May 23, 2023 | Noon - 1:15 PM | JMU Ice House - Room 117

Five Wishes

Presenter:  Joyce Nussbaum

Becoming seriously ill is not something we like to talk about, but if it happens, it is important that your loved ones know your wishes and have them in writing.  Five wishes is a living will that directs your health care decisions as you see fit in the event you become unable to speak for yourself.  Making these choices in advance can greatly reduce the burden for your loved ones if you are seriously ill or injured. With this respectful, easy-to-use form, you can share your decisions about medical care, surroundings, visitors, comfort, how you wish to be treated, what you want your loved ones to know and more.  Participants will receive a copy of the Five Wishes document to complete at home.


Joyce Nussbaum serves as Program Director for Valley Program for Aging Services. She is a 2010 graduate of the Adult Degree Program at JMU, where she earned a degree in Social Sciences with a concentration in Gerontology and Family Studies.

Looking for all the presentations from the semester to watch again or share with friends?


Click the YouTube button and enjoy!




Back to Top