The University strives to promote the success of faculty and staff who contribute and support the University through their daily interactions, research, and commitment to JMU. In support of the Governor's Award program, JMU has established the President's Purple Star Awards to recognize the contributions to the University made by faculty and staff. The yearly recipients receive recognition at the President’s Opening Address ceremony and a certificate commemorating the award.

Submit a Nomination

About Purple Star Awards

Career Achievement: The employee nominated has a record of consistent achievement over time that has made JMU a better place to work, learn and live.

Star Duke: This award goes to the person who is committed to fostering the university’s mission with consistent excellence, going above and beyond what is expected, innovating, demonstrating significant commitment to the university and its success.

Unsung Hero: This award recognizes an employee who usually toils out of the limelight with excellence and dedication, an employee who would never seek an award or recognition but strongly deserves it.

Embracing Innovation and Change Award: This individual or team demonstrates purposeful creativity through collaborative processes, leading to knowledge creation, learning and excellence. This award recognizes that we reflect on our past to innovate toward a better future. This value comes from the quote “old ways cannot open new doors”, which evolved to the idea that we need to come up with new, innovative ways to modify what we are doing and what we are trying to do in the future to have new and greater options for all. This includes shifting some of the “JMU Way” and transforming some of our traditions while also creating some new ones.

Leading Together Award: This individual or team leads purposefully, intentionally, and with integrity to enact needed long-term change with the guidance and voices of all constituents. The award recipient fosters a culture of inclusion and belonging. They demonstrate skills in creating spaces that allow faculty, staff and students at various levels to contribute meaningfully to university initiatives. This award recognizes that as a university, we are constantly looking for ways to be better than we were yesterday for our faculty, staff and students. We want to make sure leadership includes all leadership styles, at every level, because we acknowledge that reaching these goals is not a solo job, but one that needs everyone. This award recognizes that anyone can “lead from where they are”, and (the award) should not be limited to title or positions.

Student Focus - Success & Learning Award: This individual or team engages with and actively listens to all students with their learning and development in mind, and provides experiences that challenge and support students. This award recognizes that we take our students’ needs and success into mind when thinking and providing developmental opportunities. We recognize that we cannot just make decisions based on what we think is best for students, but we must listen to what they need to find success and growth during their time at James Madison University. This award seeks to recognize those who accomplish a significant achievement that leads directly to greater student success, with a focus on student learning.

Nominations may be submitted anytime throughout the year. The lengthy nomination period provides nominators with the opportunity to submit nominations after performance evaluations are completed each fall, when employee accomplishments are still top of mind.

View the nomination guidelines and procedures.

Recipients are selected as the result of a review by the Purple Star Awards Committee, which consists of employees and leaders from across the university.

Purple Star Award recipients are honored at a the President’s Opening Address to faculty and staff.

Previous Awardees

Career Achievement:

David Owusu-Ansah


Star Duke Award:

Cannie Campbell


Unsung Hero:

Misty Newman


Academic Quality - Transcending Boundaries:

East Campus Hillside Team

Amanda Bodle

Robert Brent

Dale Chestnut

Jennifer Coffman

Amy Goodall

Christie-Joy Harman

Abe Kaufman

Carole Nash

Mike Renfroe 

Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh

Ali Sloop

Kyle Snow

Wayne Teel

Bobby Whitescarver

Dhanuska Wijesinghe


Community - Creating Belonging:

University Recreation Center, Center for Multicultural Student Services, & Student Leadership Center Partnership

Sasha Griffith

Trey Smith

Rebeca Barge

Gabriel Driver


Advancing Inclusive Excellence:

Mollie Godfrey

Seán McCarthy


Embracing Innovation and Change:

Admissions Office Team

Andrew Austin

Amy Barden

Bonita Borden

Mahaley Reyns Broughman

Steven Buchanan

Roger Burke

Dona Bussard

Paul Campbell

Chris Carlberg

Erin Conley

Kendall Cray

Darla Cuellar

Stephanie Fergenbaum

Kylie Gorton

Chris Gothard

Donna Gray

Ellen Hedrick

Glen Hollowood

Kristi Huffman

Andrew Johnson

Ashley Lindquist

Joe Manning

Monyette Martin

Michele Murphy

Allison Powell

John Pulley

Karyn Ritchie

Adam Robb

Wendy Rosson

Grady Ruckman

Diane Scheidt

Keyvon Scott

Alice Shaffer

Cathy Vaught

Alexandra Wassily

Sandi Welsko

Kerri Wilson

Melinda Wood

Tiffany Woolley


Integrity - Leading Courageously:

Aaren Bare


Student Focus - Success & Learning:

Chen Guo


Lauren Allyene

Career Achievement:

David Taylor

Community Service and Volunteerism:

Karina Kline-Gabel

Customer Service:

Finance Office

Robbie Campbell

Jill Dean

Olivia Fulk

Christine Jones

Cindy Mathews

Kristi McDonnell

Danelle Ross

Barbara Shepherd

Randy Shiflet II

Sherry Willis 

Glenn Wayland


Valarie Ghant 

Brent Lewis

Ritter Clevenger

Urs von Rotz

Angela Ritchie

Jonathan Stewart

Chervon Moore

DeAndre Powell

Gary Shears

Mike Derrow

Anna Campbell

Jared Combs

Sam Hottinger

John Khamphavong

Victor McManaway

Kirk Morris 

Agency Star: 

Residence Life

Laura Miller-Blazewicz

Hugh Brown 

Holmes Browne 

Michael Busch 

Sam Butler 

Kathleen Campbell 

Stephanie Carr

Jennifer Dodson 

Chris Ehrhart 

Emily Higham 

Jason Jones

Alicia Lamb

Mariea McNeill 

Kevin Meaney 

Dee Nilsen 

Liz Odermatt

Dawn Ohanessian 

Tripp Purks 

Karen Sampson 

Courtney Samuleu 

Brenda Smith 

Kelsey Snyder

Sam Squyars 

Jon Strine 

Garrett Suhr 

Justin Tarbell 

Jordan Todd 

Stephanie Williams 

Career Achievement: 

Glenn Hastedt 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Lisa Porter 

Customer Service: 

Whitney Sajko

Sheila Smith 


Becky Davis 


Office of Financial Aid

Shari Arehart 

Brad Barnett 

Claire Bergan 

Anne Callahan 

Jessica Cortes 

Steven Cox

Brandon Crenshaw 

Andrea Dyjak 

Rick Gardner 

Judy Hensley 

Jessica Hopkins 

Brice Hostetler 

Ashley James 

Brooklyn Kier 

Christi Knight 

Colleen McAvoy 

Donna Marie McMillian 

Susan Moyers 

Adrianna Penn 

John Michael Schott

Klaudia Sheffer 

Timley Simmons 

Shana Smith 

Amber Weaver-Shifflett

Workplace Safety and Health: 

Olivia Hale

Jon Leonard 

Agency Star: 

Andy Guertler 

Kristina Blyer 

Career Achievement: 

Marilou Johnson 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Covid PPE Response Team

Carlson Jenkins

Kevin Hegg

Eric Stauffer 

Amy Russel Yun 

Dave Wang 

Kathleen Conery 

Laura Atkins 

Laura Lambert 

Rebecca Field 

Jordan Brink 

Jamie Calcagno-Roach 

Gover Saunders

Dan Easley 

Art Pekun

Kirsten Mlodynia 

Laura Taalman 

Adrienne Hooker 

Customer Service: 

Admissions Office 

Freshman/Transfer Recruitment 

Visitation Team 

Telephone Reception/Correspondence Team 

Application Processing Team 



University Recreation 



Center for Faculty Innovation 

Office of Disability Services

Information Technology 

Workplace Safety and Health:


Frankie Lucas 

Carolyn Armentrout

Chrissy Estep 

Cynthia Harris

Diana Taylor 

Heather Baker 

Kay Lam 

Kim Collier 

Debbie Morris 

Vickie Raynes

Yolanda Morris 

Melissa Gaylor 

Russell Gambino 

Tiffany Mayhew 

Holley Carter 

Bryan Falls 

Steven Brubaker 

Terry Lindsey

Agency Star: 

RJ Ohgran


Career Achievement: 

David Onestak


Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Jennifer Taylor 


Customer Service:

Print Services Team

Heather Wilharm

Lisa Rhodes

Connie Fulk

Sherry Brooks

Laurie Brinkley



Williams Yates



Green Dot Campaign

Lorie Miller 

Holly Bailey

Destiny Savage

Elizabeth Chenevey 

Sarah Blackstone

Jamie Williams

Jessica Weed

Tiffany Brutus 

David Chew 

Jennifer Principe 

Megan Driver

Misty Newman

Jacqueline Hieber

Arianna Sessoms 

Jordan McCann

Paige Hawkins 

Angela Ritchie

Ann Simmons 


Workplace Safety & Health

Matthew Lovesky 

Agency Star: 

Debbie Pine

Career Achievement: 

Sharon Gasser 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Carlos Aleman 

Customer Service: 

Kimberly McGivern 


Nick Swayne 


Human Resources Benefits Team 

Julie Byers

Tiffany French

Gina Holloway

Raven King

Kristi Moon

Tara Roe

Meghan Schaeffer

Workplace Safety and Health: 

University Health Center 

Kristina Blyer

Deborah Darrell

Halea Fansler-Rexrode

Betsy Gentry

Dr. Andrew Guertler

Brandon Hereford

Morgan Keplinger

Kristin Kirwan

Katy MacDonald

Barbara Mahaffey

Jordan McCann

Lisa Mongold

Angela Ritchie

Becky Schaeffer

Arianna Sessoms

Julie Shiflet

Katelyn Shiflet

Ann Simmons

Dr. Lee Ward

Anna Wyse

Agency Star: 

Dawn Knight

Career Achievement:

Joe Urgo  

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Delo Blough 

Customer Service: 

Jill Staley Wade 


Joan Fahrney 


East Campus Power Plant 

Steven MacRae 

Kenny Stickley

Thomas Burkholder

Aaron Carper

Cody Warlitner

Deland Morris

Alfred Miller

Randal Alger

Mark Hess

Steve Rains

Glen Smith

Brian Moshier

Reginald Lawson

Homer Whetzel

Dennis Hart

Workplace Safety and Health:

Dr. Mary Thompson

Agency Star: 

Frank Lucas Jr.

Career Achievement:

Rich Harris 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Pete DeSmit

Customer Service: 

Julie Byers


Jon Jarvis


JMU Transfer Team 

Adam Anderson

Regina Admas

Jennifer Jackson

Kate McDaniel

Shannon Mercer

Laika Tamney


Workplace Safety and Health:

Seth Arnold 

Agency Star: 

Karen Gerard

Career Achievement:

Joan Houff

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Sgt. Rodney McCarter

Customer Service: 

Darlene Quackenbush


Bill Hartman 


Kevin Carnago 


Workplace Safety and Health:

Marcella Mullenax

Agency Star: 

Debbie Pine 

Career Achievement:

Nina Stenby-Hurst 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Gerri Rigney 

Customer Service: 

Laura Brinkley 


Alvin Chao 


Kara Kiblinger

Kelly Miller-Martin

Elizabeth Thompson

Workplace Safety and Health:

Ronald Phillips 

Environmental Stewardship:

Holmes Browne

Career Achievement:

Judy Anderson

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Tracy Hakala

Amy Sirocky-Meck

Customer Service: 

Diana Little 


Carrier Library Cataloging Team 

Judy Anderson

Mark Purington

Debbie Ryman

Cindi Sandridge

Darlene Newman

Joan Bowlen (Honorable Mention)

Glenn Huffman (Honorable Mention))

Workplace Safety and Health:

Brett Sinclair 

Agency Star: 

Robert Reid

Career Achievement:


Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Charles Blake 

Customer Service: 

Wanda Layman 


Anna Lynn Bell 

Alvin Chao 

Susan Reid 


Leslie Beam

Courtney Hidges

Sheila Hopkins 

Wesley Elyard 

Workplace Safety and Health:

Leslie Bellavance

Agency Star: 

Chris Gatesman 

Michael Walsh

Career Achievement:

Jackie Ciccone 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Anne Stewart

Customer Service: 

Julie Love 


Rick Orebaugh 


Media Resources Technology Team 

Vince Drumheller

Doug Gimbert

Jeff Roadcap

Olen Siron

James West

Jackie Woolf

Agency Star: 

Dr. Newell Wright 

Career Achievement:

Fred Hilton 

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Pete DeSmit

Customer Service: 

Betty Reedy 


Interprofessional Services for Learning Assessment
Dr. Tim Schutle 


The Science and Mathematics Learning Center Coordinators and Tutors 


Workplace Safety and Health:

Dennis Hart

Agency Star: 

Jennifer McCabe

Career Achievement:

David Taylor

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Don Hobbs
Bill Baker

Frank Viscomi
Albert Buracker
Ronnie Rhodes

Sidney Monroe
Daniel King
Gregg Chevalier
Ken Fox
Jeff Smallwood
John Ventura
Frankie Lucas

Customer Service: 

Diane Puffenbarger


Rinn Siegrist


Jane Beach
Tyra Berger
Cathy Goldsborough
Diane Nash

Workplace Safety and Health:

Heather Armstrong

Agency Star: 


Career Achievement:

Shirley Cobb

Community Service and Volunteerism: 

Suzanne Vance

Customer Service: 

Phyllis Funkhouser




Summer Orientation Registration Working Group

Violet Allain

Anna Lynn Bell 

Jill Card

Steve Grande

Linda Halpern

Rene Harrell

Sherry Hood

Lisa Kiracofe

Catherine Mahoney

Joe Manning

Trisha McCoy

Karyn Sproles

Lee Ward

Michele White

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