The JMU Center for Inclusive Music Engagement Fellow
Contact Info

Lou Veramessa

Lou is a graduate of the vocal music education program at JMU. After attending 6 different schools throughout West Virginia and Ohio, Lou moved to Rockingham County in 9th grade where she discovered JMU. Lou views music as an innate, preverbal, multi-sensory way of knowing and expressing and she aims to cultivate musiking as an accessible and multifarious catalyst for social justice and reform. As engagement fellow, Lou is looking forward to collaborating with community partners to develop meaningful, inclusive, and engaging music experiences. She will serve as an administrator and facilitator in existing and emerging musical initiatives as well as provide research, website, and social media support. As the inaugural fellow for the Center, she will lead a music engagement needs assessment in the James Madison University and Harrisonburg, VA - Government communities.

Interested in Applying to this Fellowship Position?

JMU 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.

  • 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.
  • Approach complex problems through the practice of interpersonal skills that promote teamwork and acceptance of diversity of thought regarding goals and priorities.
  • Uphold meaningful and productive connections between the university and community, and be alert to possibilities for expansion.
  • Explore personal strengths and improve upon weaknesses, with particular emphasis on developing career options and exploring life plan goals through experiential learning.
  • Display an understanding of organizational communication and interconnectedness and how entities work together to solve larger community-based problems.
  • Recognize how personal and career goals can include responsiveness to community needs and be rewarding to self and others.

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.

The Position

  • A developing fluency in vernacular music styles, and music instruments including bass, digital technologies, drums, guitar, keyboard, and ukulele

  • Experience working with diverse populations

  • Experience with event planning and administration

  • A working knowledge and ability (or willingness to develop) to use research and analysis software (e.g., Qualtrics, SPSS, NVivo)

  • A Working knowledge and ability (or willingness to develop) Skill using Cascade web development and social media platforms

  • A Working knowledge and ability (or willingness to develop) grant writing skills.

  • Skills and knowledges for facilitating adaptive, flexible, and engaging music experiences with diverse populations.
  • Skills for developing and nurturing partnerships within and beyond the university

  • Exemplary written and verbal communication skills

Duties include:

  • Providing administrative and facilitation support to existing and emerging initiatives (e.g., JMUke, Engaged Musicking for Inclusive Communities, Community Based Songwriting Collaborations, Dance for PD, Music for PD)

  • Leading a needs assessment in order to understand needs and desires for inclusive, engaging music experiences in the JMU and Harrisonburg communities.

  • Collaborating with community partners to ideate, develop, facilitate, and evaluate innovate musicking opportunities for all persons to create, perform, respond, and connect with, in, through, and around music in ways that are meaningful and add richness to individuals' lives and our broader communities.

  • Updating CIME’s website and social media platforms

  • Providing research and administrative support to CIME director and staff.


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