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2020-2021 Presidential Engagement Fellows Program

In keeping with its mission to produce educated and enlightened citizens, JMU created the Presidential Engagement Fellows Program in 2016. Through this Fellowship, outstanding recent JMU graduates will have the opportunity to experience a transformational year of public service. These fellowships are a 9-month commitment, and the successful candidates will receive a living stipend and housing in a university owned residence to be shared with other Fellows. Fellows are placed with agencies, including JMU, where they work on projects designed to advance their capacity for engaged learning, community engagement or civic engagement while serving the needs of the JMU and affiliated communities. Fellows will engage in a variety of regular trainings and learning opportunities as well as serving as ambassadors and representatives at a number of university events/ functions. Please contact with any questions about the program.

Current Positions Include
  • The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Professional and Continuting Education
  • The Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • The Valley Scholars Program
  • The Office of the President
Engagement Fellows
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Allahjah Smith

Engagement Fellow for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Hayley Jenkins

Engagement Fellow for the President's Office

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Katherine Chiu

Economic and Community Development Engagement Fellow


Melody Hackett

Valley Scholars Engagement Fellow

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Molly Pirrung

Engagement Fellow for Student Affairs

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Mushanea Robinson

Engagement Fellow for Institute for the Innovation in Health and Human Services

JMU Presidential Engagement Fellows Program Overview

Fellows will represent the University and are held to the highest standards of performance and behavior. They should seek to provide quality service in their placements while growing both personally and professionally. Their past experience at James Madison University should inform their daily work as they seek to help this community grow and improve every day. They will serve as part of a cohort of Fellows dedicated to the Fellowship and James Madison University. They will also balance their commitment to the Program with the needs of their placement and the work needed for each to be successful.

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to the James Madison University Mission, Vision and Values including a sense of responsibility and obligation within the community and unit they serve.

  2. Approach complex problems through the practice of interpersonal skills that promote teamwork and acceptance of diversity of thought regarding goals and priorities.

  3. Create and maintain meaningful and productive connections between the university and community and serve as an active member of a thriving cohort.

  4. Explore personal strengths and improve upon weaknesses, with particular emphasis on developing career options and exploring life plan goals through experiential learning.

  5. Gain a working understanding of organizational communication, interconnectedness and problem solving within a community.

Duties and Responsibilities

In addition to meeting the specific job description/expectations for the respective department, the Presidential Fellow will:

  • Exceed expectations within their placement and serve the JMU community through their 25 hours average per week in that role.
  • Work in their role for the time period of August 15 – May 15;
  • Engage in an average of 4 hours of weekly program activities:
  • Participate in all professional development activities organized by the program;
  • Attend bi-weekly program staff meetings;
  • Represent the university at designated events and programs and serve as an ambassador for the university; and
  • Adhere to all JMU policies for employees; and
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

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