Nicole Hillman profile image image


Engagement Fellow for Valley Scholars
Contact Info

Nicole Hillman is from Denver, Colorado. She graduated from JMU in May 2023 with her Bachelors in Social Work with a minor in Family Studies. During her time at JMU, Nicole served as a leader for the Alternative Break Program, Co-President of JMU’s Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, and Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Kappa Alpha Theta. Additionally, she worked as a student employee at UREC and completed internships through Church World Service Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Public Schools. Through these roles, she has gained valuable experience working within the Harrisonburg community and a passion for serving others. She is excited to bring her energy and background of involvement to the Valley Scholars Office as an engagement fellow. 

When Nicole is not working in her office or with students, she enjoys running the hills of Harrisonburg, socializing with friends, exploring new places, and coaching a softball team!

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:

Each day is a little different for the Valley Scholars fellow. Nicole's week consists of some days in the office where she is helping plan programs for the Valley Scholar's students, updating reports, and doing other administrative tasks. Other days are spent at partner schools throughout the region, either mentoring 8th grade students or serving as an academic coach for 9th through 12th grade students.

For partner schools, the fellow will prepare a brief lesson about extracurricular skills, check grades, and help with homework. The fellow is responsible for managing approximately 25 middle and high school students work at partner schools alongside a Valley Scholars Social Work Intern. The fellow will also conduct individual and group meetings with mentees. They will work together to plan lessons and to visit schools each week. Additional duties include helping to plan and execute program days on campus and working as a member of a team with Valley Scholars GAs and Staff.  Being able to accommodate each student's changing needs with equal diligence is paramount. Good communication and organization are key. The fellow will also assist with various service and activity days for the scholars hosted at JMU and with the continued assessment of the program for efficacy and impact in addition to planning and coordinating community service opportunities for Valley Scholars.


The Valley Scholars Engagement Fellow Must:

  • Have event planning skills.
  • Be patient, flexible, and positive.
  • Serve as a role model for their students and other students within the program.
  • Demonstrate our University's values and mission.
  • Be comfortable working with and mentoring middle-high school students.
  • Have excellent time management skills and the ability to manage multiple projects at once.

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