Peter Montwill profile image image


Engagement Fellow for the Office of the President
Contact Info

Peter is a recent “Double Duke” from Fairfax, Virginia, having graduated from JMU with his Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor Coaching Education in May of 2021, and his Masters of Art in Psychological Sciences in August 2023.

During his time as a student at JMU, Peter worked in a variety of roles on campus, serving as a Resident Advisor, First Year Orientation Guide, and Orientation Peer Advisor. He was also a part of a Behavioral Research Lab, working with pigeons in his junior and senior year, caring and running tests on the birds in Miller Hall. In his Master's program, Peter was able to serve on the Institutional Review Board, helped lead the Terror Management Research Lab with his advisor, Dr. Lindsey Harvell-Bowman, run several experiments, prepared posters and students for local, national and international conferences, conducted his own thesis research, and even presented his research at local and international conferences. Through these experiences and more not mentioned, Peter has a deep appreciation for the opportunities JMU provides students, and seeks to continue serving this community by providing the same dedication, service and hard work as during his time as a student. He is excited to bring his background of involvement and research to the Office of the President as an engagement fellow, and is looking forward to making new connections and deepening existing bonds between students, faculty, administration and the Harrisonburg community, all while promoting the mission, vision and values of JMU.

When not working or in his office in Burress Hall, Peter enjoys playing sports, going to UREC, reading on his front porch, and watching the Washington Commanders beat the Eagles. Left hand up!

Interested in Applying to this Fellowship Position?

JMU Presidential Engagement 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 and Vision and a sense of responsibility and obligation within the community and organization 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. Uphold meaningful and productive connections between the university and community, and be alert to possibilities for expansion.
  4. Explore personal strengths and improve upon weaknesses, with particular emphasis on developing career options and exploring life plan goals through experiential learning.
  5. Display an understanding of organizational communication and interconnectedness and how entities work together to solve larger community-based problems.

In addition to meeting the specific job description/expectations for the respective department, the 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 2 hours of weekly program activities:
  • Participate in all professional development activities organized by the program;
  • Attend 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.


The Position: 
The Engagement Fellow acts as the boots on the ground supporting President Alger’s key strategic goals and university engagement initiatives as well as assisting in the creation and distribution of engagement messages from the President's office, accompaning the President and executive advisor to engagement events, working with other engagement fellows to ensure coordination of university engagement efforts, and providing support for campus-wide engagement initiatives.

The President's office engagement fellowship requires someone who is a self-starter, and is passionate about civic engagement, engaged learning, and community engagement. The position also requires flexibility, resilience, and teamwork, due to a heavy emphasis on tackling 'other duties as assigned'. This person should also be a 'people person' who asks questions and isn't afraid to take on new challenges. This person must also have Cascade 8 experience, or a willingness to learn Cascade 8. 

The President's Office Engagement Fellow Qualifications:

  • Be a recent graduate of James Madison University
  • Have an understanding of communication tools and strategies, including web and mobile technology and social media
  • Have some institutional knowledge of JMU's engagement efforts
  • Have effective interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Have leadership and in-team effectiveness

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