Nick Swayne


Executive Director of 4-Virginia; Founding Director, JMU X-Labs
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Nick Swayne, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of 4-Virginia, the 4-VA Campus Coordinator for JMU. In his capacity as Executive Director, he leads the collaboration of Virginia’s eight partner institutions in meeting the mission to promote collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university and improve the efficiency and economic impact of higher education across the Commonwealth. He is a retired Army officer with 26 years of service, the founder of  JMU X-Labs, faculty adviser for the student-focused Stanford University Innovation Fellows, founding mentor in the Stanford Faculty Innovation Fellows program, the Executive Director of Virginia-DC FIRST LEGO League, co-chair of the Veteran Scholar’s Task Force, and co-founder of the Harrisonburg Regional Veterans Collaborative.  Nick is an alumnus of the School of Strategic Leadership, completing his doctorate in postsecondary innovation systems.  He is serving in his fourth four-year term on the Harrisonburg City School Board.

Dr. Swayne serves on the Governor’s advisory board for unmanned systems and is a board member of the Virginia Association of Unmanned Systems.  Recent publications include co-authoring a chapter on using design thinking in testing assessments of integrated experiential learning, along with several articles related to designing campus innovation spaces and transdisciplinary pedagogy. In addition, Dr. Swayne frequently serves as an invited panelist at national and international conferences on innovation in higher education, innovation ecosystems, and creating transdisciplinary, hands-on educational programming.


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