COB LEARNING COMPLEX OPENS 8 DANCING WITH THE STARS 34 JMU TO STANFORD 38 M
THE MAGAZINE OF JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY
A D I S O N
WI NTER 2022
MAN IN MOTION What economist J. Barkley Rosser can teach us about how we adapt to a changing world
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INSIDE: THE KING HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
F U L L
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PH OTO G R A PH BY ST E V E A D E RTO N (‘ 1 9)
Grand illumination on campus Light Pavilion, by Edwin Baruch (‘13) and Michael Draeger (‘13), appears as a hologram of a former structure. Previously installed at the Georgetown waterfront in Washington, D.C., Light Pavilion was installed at JMU in the summer of 2021 and celebrated with a special event on Oct. 1, 2021.
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L E T T E R
F R O M
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Adaptation is the name of the game
Life will never be the same. Several aspects of our everyday lives won’t return to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the use of technology has exploded. Our computers have been our portals to teaching, learning and connecting with others while being housebound. The theme of this issue, “Adapting to a Changing World,” touches on the many ways that the JMU Family has acclimated to the ground shifting beneath them. On Page 15, read about Bridge to Madison, a partnership between JMU and Blue Ridge Community College that serves students in new and innovative ways and helps meet the Commonwealth of Virginia’s changing workforce needs. Meet a media arts and design professor studying how Black women are represented in an evolving media landscape on Page 17. Also on Page 17, find out how a JMU expert on sport psychology is shining a light on the importance of athletes’ mental health as the issue, mercifully, continues to be destigmatized on a national level. Mental health, which for many of us has suffered during the pandemic, also is one of the numerous conversation topics on the Well Dukes podcast, which helps JMU students lead healthy, well-rounded lives. Learn more about Well Dukes on Page 42. And get to know Betsy Kauffman (’97), a leader who coaches organizations to be agile and change-driven, on Page 55. JMU alumni who embrace change, like Kauffman, are thriving. According to a new report based on earnings data provided by Equifax, JMU gradu-
ates experience increased earnings over time. This speaks to both the earning power of the JMU degree as well as the capacity of our graduates to be productive citizens. Median earnings from bachelor’sdegree graduates rise by 138% after 15 years from their JMU graduation. Over time, JMU bachelor’s degreeholders consistently and exponentially outperform the national benchmark. Myriad factors affect earnings, and it is not the only measure of their success—but it is an important puzzle piece. That JMU graduates have competitive incomes and see increased earnings for several years after graduating tells us that alumni outcomes remain strong. If you’re a prospective JMU student, you could be the next success story. As I shared in my testimonial with future Dukes, the Madison Experience will change your life forever. When the inevitable bumps in the proverbial road happen—as they have for all of us over the last couple years—lean on your JMU support system. You can read other alumni advice for new and future Dukes at https://j.mu/advice. As Heraclitus posited, “The only constant in life is change.” Go Dukes! Sincerely,
The Jessica Nickels story on CISR and how JMU students are benefitting from the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship has a unique connection to my family and JMU. Joe Kruzel was my brother-in-law, and married to my sister, Gail, on that tragic day that took the lives of these
M AG A Z I N E
Khalil Garriott (’04)
S E N I O R E D I T O R - AT - L A R G E
MANAG I NG E DITOR
Jim Heffernan (’96, ’17M) EDITOR
Amy Crockett (’10) C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R
Carolyn Windmiller (’81) A D M I N I S T R AT I V E A S S I S TA N T
D E S I G N A S S I S TA N T S
Emily Dodge Hannah Phillips
E D I T O R I A L A S S I S TA N T S
Kristen Essex Emma Loscalzo
C R E AT I V E M E D I A T E A M
Steve Aderton (’19) Justin Roth Cody Troyer Julia Weaver (’21)
AT H L E T I C S P H O T O G R A P H Y
Cathy Kushner (’87)
Alumni Relations Athletics Donor Relations Parent Relations University Communications and Marketing F O R A D D R E S S U P D AT E S , E M A I L :
Email: email@example.com or call 540-568-2664
executive editor, Madison magazine @khalilgarriott
fine individuals. I graduated from JMU in 1984, my wife, Karen, in 1986; Joe and my sister, Gail, were godparents to our daughter, Kristine (’16, ’17M), and our son, Jac (Joseph Albert Chipman) (’19), is named after Joe Kruzel. Thanks for publishing the very well written and informative article. — Bill Chipman (’84)
Madison magazine, JMU, 127 W. Bruce St., MSC 3610, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 For Class Notes, go to jmu.edu/alumni.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE ... The old adage is true: “Nothing changes, yet nothing stays the same.” People no longer dot the hillside to watch JMU football games. The iconic, round dining hall no longer stands. The swimming pool at Godwin Hall is no longer the newest place to get in your laps. And the tunnel is no longer the most direct route to the basketball games. And yet ... the stately Quad remains dotted with students; professors remain dedicated to their students’ successes; academic excellence remains the CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 >>>
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C O N TA C T T H E M A D I S O N S TA F F :
Khalil Garriott (’04)
EDITOR’S NOTE: CISR managed the fellowship from 1999 to 2021. The program continues through the U.S. Department of State.
Vol.45, No. 1
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-568-4483
Letters to the Editor UNIQUE CONNECTION
Madison is an official publication of James Madison University and is produced by the Division of University Advancement for alumni, parents of JMU students, faculty, staff and friends of JMU. Editorial office: JMU, 127 W. Bruce St., MSC 3610, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: James Madison University does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race or color, height or weight, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation or belief, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, parental status (including pregnancy), marital status, family medical or genetic information, in its employment, educational programs, activities and admissions. JMU complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination, affirmative action, and anti-harassment. JMU prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault, and other forms of inter-personal violence. The responsibility for overall coordination, monitoring and information dissemination about JMU’s program of equal opportunity, non-discrimination, Title IX, and affirmative action is assigned to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX. Inquiries or complaints may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX: Amy Sirocky-Meck, Title IX Coordinator, 540-568-5219, www.jmu.edu/oeo, email@example.com. (REVISED JANUARY 2020)
G A R R I OT T ( ’ 04) PH OTO G R A PH BY H A LLE FO R B E S (‘ 1 9)
Melvin Petty’s (‘84) dream of being a business owner led him to launch an award-winning government consulting firm.
Contents Full Frame
BY STEVE ADERTON (‘19)
Letter From the Editor
In 25 years at JMU, Charlie King oversaw the university’s tremendous growth while managing to retain its strong sense of community.
BY KHALIL GARRIOTT (‘04)
Contributors, Staff Soundbites
Get to know the people behind the stories
The JMU Family adapts to a changing world
President Alger on how JMU is being recognized for what we have become
CoB Learning Complex grand re-opening; small animal data station gets backing from Madison Trust; alumna scholarship recipient pays it forward
Ari Garcia (’19) is excited for the opportunity to fulfill the promise of Dukes Pay It Forward.
12 News & Notes
Diana Kiser (‘18M) and USA Dance member Greg Riddle waltz for the judges in Dancing With the Stars of the ’Burg.
Hologram exhibit lights up Duke Lawn
Building rededication ceremony; grant to help extend access to preschools in Virginia; alumnus to become next VA attorney general; Mineral Museum re-opens following mega gift; Bridge to Madison transfer program; board extends Alger’s contract; Bluestone Seed Fund launches
15 Brag Sheet
”Talking points,” a way to brag about JMU
PE T T Y PH OTO G R A PH BY J I M E LL G R E E N E ; K I S E R BY H A N N A S E A R FOS S; K I N G BY J U LI A W E AV E R ( ’ 2 1 ); G A RC I A BY T H E D OW N TOW N C R E AT I V E
Emily Baker (’21) worked under the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry as a Governor’s Fellow this past summer.
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Before he kicked his way into the record books, Ethan Ratke nearly quit football.
18 JMU Nation
Jeff Bourne on JMU’s move to the Sun Belt Conference; storied placekicker stumbled before finding his game; men’s basketball’s huge win over UVA; softball coach signs extension; Kuster wins CAA inspiration award
22 Bright Lights
Melvin Petty (‘84) wins Mid-Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year BY AMY CROCKETT (‘10)
24 Man in motion
Professor Barkley Rosser has been on the cutting edge of economics for decades BY JIM HEFFERNAN (‘96, ‘17M)
28 The King has left the building
Retiring senior VP for administration and finance leaves a legacy of leadership, customer service
34 Dancing for the day care Ballroom competition benefits local children since 2010
>>> FROM PAGE 2
Letters (cont.) standard; and students remain proud to be associated with a school full of genuinely encouraging people. I am grateful that my life has been surrounded by this stellar institution of learning. My first photograph of me at JMU is as a baby at my father’s graduation on the Quad in 1969. My earliest memories of JMU include attending my dad’s “Star Talks” at the planetarium, being haunted by the specimen jars and tanks in Burruss Hall, and hearing the pride in my dad’s voice as he drove us past the new 4
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46 Alumni for Life
Longtime bus driver returns for 50th class reunion; JMU food and beverage startups; Homecoming poetry contest; Dukes Against Childhood Cancer; new JMUAA board members; MAC chapter award winners; leader coaches organizations to be agile
42 Well Dukes
Podcast serves as important health resource for students
Emily Baker (‘21) gains firsthand experience in government as a Virginia Governor’s Fellow
BY EMMA LOSCALZO
Stanford professor draws on her Madison Experience to champion environmental causes, sustainability BY KHALIL GARRIOTT (‘04)
BY AMY CROCKETT (‘10)
BY ANDY PERRINE (’86)
32 ‘Ms. Madison’ goes to Richmond
38 Finding her calling
BY KRISTEN ESSEX
56 Class Notes
Scholarship thank-you letters; Staff Emeriti Association update; celebrations; Faculty Emeriti news; playwright became a curious thinker at JMU
44 Writer’s block
Religion class uses JMU makerspace to practice the ancient art of Buddhist printing BY EMILY BLAKE
sign along Main Street pointing out the change from Madison College to James Madison University. Later, as a high school senior, I didn’t have to do a “college search.” I submitted only one application—to the only school that felt like home. After graduating from JMU, I began to reflect on my years there. It was the outreach of JMU that affected me the most—the connection between JMU and the community. Like when Dr. Violet Allain invited our methods class to her home for dinner and when Hank Bowers took the first group of us from JMU on a teaching exchange program
64 By the Numbers
Quick facts about JMU Libraries
(L-R): Mother Kathy Chaplin Suter (‘86), alumna Angela S. Osinkosky (‘90) and daughter Andrea Osinkosky (‘21)
to Cardiff, Wales, U.K., intermingling JMU students with yet another community. This is one of the magical traits about
JMU—that sense of belonging to a community. “JMU Nation” didn’t come about as simply a tagline. It is the essence of that feeling of belonging that JMU endows to everyone who is connected to the university. My parents (dad [’69, ’71] and mom [’86]) felt it; I (’90) felt it; my brother (’96) felt it, as well as many other family members; and our daughter experienced it. My greatest hope is that as a community member, I can help perpetuate that legacy of connection. This is definitely a connection you want to make and will be grateful that you did. – Angela S. Osinkosky (’90)
R AT K E PH OTO G R A PH BY C AT H Y K U S H N E R ( ’ 87 )
2.22.22 Dukes 2gether
#JMUGIVINGDAY | givingday.jmu.edu
C O N T R I BU T O R S
SOUNDBITES This issue’s theme is “Adapting to a Changing World.” What is your advice to JMU students on how to adapt to the now normal? “Stay confident, learn from mistakes and have lots of grace to give.” STEVE ADERTON (’19) creative media producer
“The only certainty is change. With that knowledge, keeping an open mind and an open heart are helpful traits for adaptability.” AMY CROCKETT (’10) editor
“While you adapt to this now normal, don’t let your authenticity get lost behind a screen or mask.” HALEY GARNETT administrative assistant
CORRECTION CORNER The Fall 2021 issue of Madison contained the following errors: n An article about musician Willis Landon (’20), who goes by the pronouns they/ them/theirs, referred to one of their musical projects as involving “two of his roommates.” Madison regrets the error. For more on this story, see Page 11. n On Page 3, Linda Thomas was mistakenly referred to as director of The Graduate School. She is the school’s new dean. n Donna Harper’s (‘77, ‘81M, ‘86Ed.S.) class years were missing from an article on Page 9. Her correct title is vice president for access and enrollment management. n Board of Visitors student member Xaiver Williams’ first name was misspelled on Page 6.
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WINTER 2022 Vol.45, No. 1
Ginny Cramer is JMU’s assistant director for media relations. She works to garner press attention for the research and learning happening on campus. Cramer brings years of experience to the role and an appreciation for the power of the media to engage hearts and minds with JMU. Cramer wrote several News & Notes items for this issue, which begin on Page 12.
Jimell Greene is a freelance photographer whose passion for helping others tell their stories through the camera lens was born from years of study and apprenticeship at a family-run studio. Based in Washington, D.C., his experiences are as eclectic as his portfolio, but his goal remains constant: to help clients capture their narratives through authenticity. Greene’s portrait of Melvin Petty (‘84) for the Bright Lights section appears on Page 22.
BOA R D O F V I S ITO RS 202 1 –22
Lara P. Major (’92, ’20P), Rector Deborah T. Johnson (’78), Vice Rector Vanessa M. Evans-Grevious (’93, ’97M) Christopher Falcon (’03) Frank T. Gadams (’93) Jeffrey E. Grass (’92) Matthew A. Gray-Keeling (’05) Maribeth D. Herod (’82) Lucy Hutchinson (’06) Maria D. Jankowski John C. Lynch (’91) Maggie A. Ragon (’82) John C. Rothenberger (’88) Kathy J. Warden (’92)
Craig B. Welburn (’96) Xaiver Williams, Student Member Donna L. Harper (’77, ’81M, ’86Ed.S.), Secretary PRESIDENT
Jonathan R. Alger PRESIDENT’S CABINET
Vice Provost, Faculty and Curriculum (interim)
Emma Loscalzo, an editorial assistant in University Communications and Marketing, is a senior double majoring in public policy and administration, and writing, rhetoric, and technical communication. She’s been active in SafeRides and the 2019 & 2020 Orientation teams. After graduation, she will begin a career in federal consulting. Loscalzo contributed a feature story about Dancing With the Stars of the ‘Burg, which benefits the HarrisonburgRockingham Child Day Care Center, found on Page 34.
Andy Perrine (’86) is associate vice president for Communications and Marketing at JMU. Perrine has been with the university since 2000 after a stint on Madison Avenue and owning a boutique branding agency. In 2003, Perrine helped to start Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. His piece on retiring JMU Senior Vice President Charlie King’s legacy begins on Page 28.
Hannah Phillips, a design assistant in University Communications and Marketing, is a senior majoring in graphic design. She is actively involved with her photography business and loves traveling to new places for inspiration. She will pursue a career in graphic design and continue photography in Florida after graduation. Take a look at her By the Numbers infographics on Page 64.
Director of Athletics
Special Assistant to the President, Strategic Planning and Engagement
Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
Executive Advisor to the President
Arthur Dean II (’93, ’99M) Executive Director, Campus and Community Programs for Access and Inclusion
Donna Harper (’77, ’81M,
Andy Perrine (’86)
Associate Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Caitlyn Read (’10, ’18M) Government Relations Anthony Tongen Research and Scholarship
Director, Communications and University Spokesperson VICE PROVOSTS
Faculty and Curriculum (interim)
Linda Cabe Halpern University Programs
Rudy Molina Jr.
Student Academic Success and Enrollment Management
Anthony Tongen Research and Scholarship DEANS
’86Ed.S.) Vice President, Access and Enrollment Management
Charles King Jr.
Arts and Letters
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance
Visual and Performing Arts
Senior Assistant Attorney General and University Counsel
Nick Langridge (’00, ’07M,
’14Ph.D.) Vice President, University Advancement
Associate Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Affairs
Dean, Professional & Continuing Education
Associate Vice President, Wellness, Orientation and Multicultural Engagement
Integrated Science and Engineering Education
Sharon Lovell (’85)
Health and Behavioral Studies
Professional & Continuing Education
Bradley Newcomer Honors
Bethany Nowviskie Libraries
Science and Mathematics (interim)
Tim Miller (’96, ’00M)
Vice President, Student Affairs
The Graduate School
Rudy Molina Jr.
A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N OFFICER
Vice Provost, Student Academic Success and Enrollment Management
Dave Urso (’03, ‘05M)
Jim (’89) and Cathy (’89) Dotter (’21P)
Associate Vice President, Business Services Associate Provost, Diversity
PA R E N T S C O U N C I L CHAIRS
C R A M E R PH OTO G R A PH BY J U ST I N ROT H ; LOS C A L ZO A N D PH I LLI PS BY H A N N A S E A R FOS S; PE R R I N E BY J U LI A W E AV E R ( ’ 2 1 )
P R E S I D E N T I A L
Being seen for who we are
he State Council of Higher Education for Virginia recently released the results of a first-of-its-kind survey of alumni from all 16 of Virginia’s public colleges and universities. The study, “Virginia Educated,” is based on 15,348 survey responses, statistically representing 499,665 graduates who earned an undergraduate degree from a Virginia public institution between 2007 and 2018. The survey aimed to investigate various aspects of the undergraduate experience, including reason for attending college, student debt, employment, community engagement and satisfaction. Overall, the news is good for Virginia. Graduates report high satisfaction in most dimensions studied. For James Madison University, the news is exceptional. Among respondents from all 16 public institutions, JMU alumni agree with “I am satisfied with my life” at the highest rate! What’s more, JMU tied for the second-highest rate of alumni who are satisfied with “longterm career progress since undergrad” and came in third for “satisfied with how your undergrad prepared you for the workplace”—not bad considering the competition. SCHEV’s promising findings came in the same semester as other good news for JMU, including:
P E R S P E C T I V E
n making Newsweek’s list of the top 200 “Best Maker Schools” in
the world, n landing in the top 100 schools nationally, as ranked by Forbes, n earning Virginia’s “Best School for Getting a Job” for the third year running, based on Department of Education data, n moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision and joining the Sun Belt Conference, n surpassing all the goals in Unleashed: The Campaign for James Madison University, n seeing a 41% jump in early applications to the university from 49 states and many countries, n and being notified that JMU will be reclassified from a “master’s level” to a “high research” institution by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.
“The vision guiding The Madison Plan was to become a national model, and the leap is evidence that we are making solid gains toward that vision.”
A LG E R PH OTO G R A PH BY CO DY T ROY E R
With all these successes coming in Fall 2021, you might wonder, “Has JMU suddenly become something it wasn’t before?” And, “Is it serendipity that all of these accomplishments would come now?” The answer to both questions is no. These recognitions are catch-
ing up to what JMU already embodies. And they are the result of a years-long concerted effort to achieve excellence. Truly, JMU is now being seen for who we already are. Of course, our recent rise to such levels of recognition is based on decades of excellent teaching, passionate support for our students, relentless focus on measurable learning outcomes and diligent planning. Most recently, however, The Madison Plan—the university’s strategic plan in place from 2014 to 2020—set out five bold initiatives, and we accomplished most major objectives in all five. So, in a very real sense, we did what we said we would do. And here we are enjoying the fruits of our very focused and purposeful efforts. Importantly, moving from a “master’s level” to a “high research” institution as classified by the Carnegie Commission carries with it numerous benefits to our students and faculty. Already known for an unusually high level of research opportunities for undergraduates, as well as a university where faculty who want to do research and teach will thrive, this reclassification will consolidate and strengthen our unique position. What’s more, this reclassification triggers our move from the regional to national rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.” The vision guiding The Madison Plan was to become a national model, and this leap is evidence that we are making solid gains toward that vision. Finally, and as always, this issue of Madison provides voluminous evidence of why JMU is accumulating such accolades. You will see that we recently held a grand reopening of the stunning new Hartman Hall, completing the expansion of the cutting edge College of Business Learning Complex. World-renowned economists Barkley and Marina Rosser are featured in this issue for their decades-long careers at Madison. How many people do you know have an equation named for them? If you know Barkley, you know of at least one! Jason Miyares (’98), Virginia’s new attorney general, describes how his Madison Experience helped form who he is today. These stories and so much more affirm why JMU is the place to be. If you’re a prospective student reading this complimentary issue of Madison, we’d love to have you join the JMU community and be seen for who you are, too!
Jonathan R. Alger president, James Madison University
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CoB Learning Complex ‘open for business’ Hartman Hall, newly renovated Showker Hall serve as cornerstones of college’s impressive new facility
he photographs from a decade ago are vivid evidence of how the rapid growth of James Madison University’s College of Business was straining the capacity of the classrooms and offices in Showker Hall. Named for Zane Showker—entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder and owner of Harrisonburg Fruit and Produce (now Sysco Food Services of Virginia)—the building was designed in 1991 to accommodate 2,400 JMU business students. Twenty years later, the student census in the College of Business was more than double that, and something had to be done. By the summer of 2020, the answer had arrived in the form of Hartman Hall, a new $66.5 million, 115,000-square-foot building that interconnects with Showker Hall. At that same time, Showker itself began to undergo a $19.9 million expansion and modernization. With the Nov. 5, 2021, grand re-opening, the two buildings now formally take their place as the cornerstones of the JMU College of Business Learning Complex. “We’ve had a high-quality College of Business for some time— including top-notch faculty and students—and now we have the facilities to match,” said JMU President Jonathan R. Alger in his remarks at the ceremony. “We are open “We are open for business, and we are for business, open to the world,” Alger declared. Many thanks go to the nearly 2,500 and we are open individuals and companies who made to the world.” gifts of financial support. Among — PRESIDENT ALGER them are the “CoB 2020 Visionaries,” each of whom had contributed at least $2,020 by the time Hartman Hall was ready to be occupied. At last count, total private giving for the Learning Complex project totaled some $19.7 million. The completed complex boasts more than 200,000 square feet of new or renovated space. Classrooms are modernized and include desktop cameras, 4K projection screens and confidence monitors. The eye of an arriving visitor is immediately drawn to the Gaglioti Capital Markets Laboratory. Originally installed in Showker in 2011, it has received a
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(Above): The Madison Singers, under the direction of Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy, provide a musical interlude during the ceremony from Hartman Hall’s second-floor mezzanine. (Left): CoB Dean Mike Busing welcomes attendees at the special event.
comprehensive makeover in the process of being moved to Hartman. Seating capacity has more than doubled, and the lab now includes an attached boardroom that can also function as a multi-use area. It features 40 computer stations, eight 55-inch flat-panel displays and a 96-inch smart board. Other highlights of the complex include the Major Innovation, Collaboration, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Lab; a professional sales suite; a spacious first-floor atrium; a fourth-floor oculus with 360-degree views of the surrounding campus; and state-of-the-art collaborative learning spaces and study rooms throughout. The complex “is a launching pad, sending students into internships, careers and a community of alumni,” said Mya Baptiste, a student speaker at the grand re-opening. Baptiste, a Centennial Scholar, member of the College of Business Student Advisory Council, JMU Honors scholar and president of JMU Women in Business and the Madison Venture Group, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Then she is on to New York City to begin work as an analyst in Citi Financial’s Global Capital Markets group. Citing the spiral staircase at the east end of Hartman’s atrium as her personal favorite among the building’s many attention-grabbing archi-
CO B PH OTO G R A PH S BY C A R R I E C H A N G ( ’ 20) A N D H A N N A S E A R FOS S; G A RC I A BY T H E D OW N TOW N C R E AT I V E
UNLEAS H E D
Paying it forward
Alumna scholarship recipient gives back to JMU to help even more Dukes
Carolyn (‘00P) and Jim (‘70, ‘00P) Hartman made a $3.7 million gift to name the complex’s new building.
tectural features, Baptiste said she has already experienced myriad “notable moments” in the complex’s special spaces—moments that will “continue to resonate throughout my life.” Following her to the podium was Jim Hartman (’70, ’00P), whose family’s $3.7 million donation to name the new building stands as the largest single cash gift in JMU’s history. It was secured by close teamwork between University Advancement and Charlie King, senior vice president for adminstration and finance. Hartman, who received his BBA from JMU in 1970, said he regards his years at the university as having been critical to the success of his family’s truck-dealership business because they “gave me a foundation.” He said the 50 years since his graduation— years in which he has witnessed the College of Business “grow in substance, stature and esteem”—have brought both change and an unwavering embrace of what matters most: professors who care about and push their students. However, the definitive proof of the value of the JMU enterprise, Hartman said, resides with the university’s alumni. “Today we have graduates making their mark in business and corporations around the world,” he said, noting that many of them are occupants of impressive C-suites. “We also have successful entrepreneurs, and small- and family-business owners … all of whom are making our economy and society grow,” he added. For the Hartmans and their children, Scott and Jennifer (’00), “it feels like a give-back situation,” Jim said, “for all my JMU education did for me and our business.”
ri Garcia (’19) is fulfilling the vision of the Dukes Pay It Forward scholarship initiative by financially contributing to a scholarship for a future Duke. “I’ve experienced the impact that a scholarship can make,” Garcia said. “[Giving back] is an opportunity for me to not only show my gratitude … [but] to help others.” Garcia, who immigrated to the United States with her family when she was in the eighth grade, made education her priority when she settled in Roanoke, Virginia. But it wasn’t until her senior year that she decided she wanted to pursue college. She remembers hearing from people who went to JMU and how excited they were to share about their alma mater. “No matter how much time it had been, they were so excited to tell me about JMU,” Garcia said. She has that same feeling now and even visits campus whenever she’s driving on Interstate 81 to go back to Roanoke from her current home in Northern Virginia. “JMU has always had a really special place in my heart,” Garcia said. But her journey to stay a Duke wasn’t always easy. A scholarship helped Garcia achieve her dream of earning a college degree—and land a promising job at Booz Allen Hamilton.
Garcia’s decision to pursue college meant she’d be paying her own way. So she found a few grants and an on-campus job to help make ends meet her freshman year. But as those grants ended, she was left, once again, at the drawing board. “After that first year, you start realizing, ‘I have three more years, and it’s expensive,’” Garcia said. “So that summer before my sophomore year, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to go back [to JMU].” Garcia decided to apply for additional scholarship opportunities, hoping for the chance to finish her degree and received a Dukes Pay It Forward scholarship, made possible by Mike (’76, ’77M, ’07P, ’10P, ’15P) and Kathy (’78, ’07P, ’10P, ’15P) Thomas, during the first semester of her sophomore year. “Getting the news that I was going to be able to get additional support through a scholarship, and that it was renewable for the duration of my college years … it was a big sigh of relief,” Garcia said. “It really gave me reassurance that I could continue my education and continue on the path ... to achieve my goal of graduating.” “[As] a first generation student, that was huge for me to have the assurance that this was possible for me and that I could continue,” she said. What Garcia didn’t know at the time was how much the Thomases, whom she met when receiving her scholarship, would end up meaning to her, too. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 >>>
— By David Doremus
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Professor’s animal monitoring innovation earns patent with donor assist
iology professor Katrina Gobetz received a U.S. patent for her Animal Monitoring Data Station, a novel idea developed at JMU and supported by donors from Madison Trust. Gobetz’ invention allows scientists to observe the tiniest of animals without injuring or stressing them in a trap. During a JMU study-abroad trip to Ireland, Gobetz spent much of her time close to the ground, where she saw how inadequate the standard metal trapping boxes were for fragile pygmy shrews—barely the size of a peanut. “I had been excited. I had never seen one before,” she recalled, but her first subjects struggled to survive when trapped. “We lost two. One was too tiny to handle, and one catapulted over my shoulder and escaped. I felt terrible.” But what seemed like failure became an epiphany: She wanted to capture the data, not the shrew. “I knew I had to figure out how to do something differently.” When she returned to campus, Gobetz collaborated with biology professor Bryan Cage to build a new kind of trap, one the animal was free to leave. Using 3D-printed plastic, she equipped it with scales, cameras, a Raspberry Pi computer and a USB drive. The animal could enter, eat sunflower hearts or other bait, and then simply run back out. Every whisker would be captured on high-resolution video. Her idea is working, with applications beyond academia. Gobetz and Cage presented the device to Madison Trust, a group of JMU donors who provide seed money for innovative faculty ideas. “I really felt uplifted by the energy and support of the investors we met,” she said. They suggested the data station could be of interest to backyard wildlife enthusiasts as well as scientists, and fully funded the concept. “They believed in our project and its potential. They were really part of the reason this could take off,” Gobetz said. The Madison Trust investment supported her IGNITE MORE INNOVATIONS work of perfecting prototypes, earning a U.S. LIKE THIS ONE patent in 2020, and envisioning a future route to Attend the next mass production. Gobetz’ innovation will allow Madison Trust in researchers, school children and citizen scientists person or online around the world to catch a glimpse of the deliMarch 11, 2022: https://j.mu/ cate ecosystem underfoot by simply uploading madisontrust. videos to their iPads. Already, the incoming data excites biology graduate student Shannon Gillen. From bait stations placed in the Edith J. Carrier Arbore-
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The North American least shrew (Cryptotis parvus) in an Animal Monitoring Data Station placed in the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum. For context, the bait container the female shrew eats from is only about 2 centimeters from the floor.
tum, Gillen is able to identify individual creatures by physical traits, record their dramatic winter weight changes and research how supplemental food—and possible pilfering by birds—affects them. “Prior to Dr. Gobetz inventing this device, the main way to study these animals was through trapping them. This requires constant checking of the trap, and it becomes dangerous, particularly in very cold or very hot conditions,” Gillen explained. “Even an hour or two in a trap can kill them if they didn’t have enough food prior to entering it.” Now, she can collect data-rich videos not just of shrews but anything that ventures inside. “We have also gotten mouse species in this unit and once a bird,” she said. Gobetz agrees. “So much of the early data has been unexpected and edifying,” she said. “And I could not have done this without JMU. The resources available to us here, anytime, those have been so incredible to me.” Now she’s ready and watching, sharing her budding knowledge of what even the tiniest creatures can teach us. — Jamie Marsh
G O B E T Z A N D G I LLE N PH OTO G R A PH BY J U ST I N ROT H
Paying it forward >>> FROM PAGE 9
“They invited [the other recipients and me] out to dinner in Harrisonburg, and they were very interested in truly getting to know us, what our interests [were] … what we were studying, and getting to know about our families and our journeys,” Garcia remembered. She said the Thomases also shared their journeys as Dukes and their vision for their scholarship initiative, which they started in 2016 as a way to support current students, who they hope will pay it forward by supporting future Dukes. Garcia double majored in international affairs and economics, and also completed a research assistantship in the College of Business, where she worked alongside a JMU professor and several other professors from Japan to study if and how customer preferences are passed down from parents to children. “I think it was one of my favorite parts about the major,” Garcia said. “It was incredible … having that opportunity … [and] to get to have that hands-on experience.” Garcia said it was her time at JMU that really allowed her to develop the skills and form the connections that have led to a promising career. “My education and my experience at JMU really gave me a good foundation to be able to explore different things and open myself up to different career paths,” she said. Garcia is now a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she works with the Department of Labor—a position that combines her interests in policy and data science. “Since graduating in May 2019, my career has just really evolved, really grown, which is kind of amazing to reflect back [on] and see how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve changed, too,” Garcia said.
Garcia says she’s thankful to JMU and the Thomases for helping her get to this position. “Without the opportunity to be at JMU, I don’t know if my experience would have been the same—not only ... my education, but the people that I met here, the people who supported me to be here, and the people who helped me to transition out of JMU,” Garcia said, referring to the Thomases, who she says have continued to help her with their advice and guidance. “I think all of those things really came together and ultimately really formed my experience.” She said she’s excited for the opportunity to pay it forward and help fulfill the Thomases’ vision. “Being able to give back to JMU has really allowed me to see myself as part of the
“Being able to give back to JMU has really allowed me to see myself as part of the Dukes Pay It Forward scholarship vision ... [and] that really means a lot to me.” — ARI GARCIA (’19)
Dukes Pay It Forward scholarship vision … [and] that really means a lot to me,” Garcia said. “I know firsthand how much the scholarship meant to me, so it’s really exciting for me that now I’m able to be in a position where I’m potentially helping another student in that journey for themselves, and hopefully, that they also will be able to see themselves as part of that vision.” “I think education, ultimately, has been the key for me in my life,” Garcia said. “So I’m happy to play a part in helping [another] student succeed … who may have the same aspirations, the same dreams, the same passion to continue.” — Sarah Featherstone (‘13, ‘19M)
To hear more about Ari Garcia’s journey in her own words, go to https://j.mu/garcia.
Apology about Fall 2021 issue
n adapting an online feature story about musician Willis Landon (’20) for the Fall 2021 issue, the Madison staff made the decision to replace some uses of Landon’s preferred pronouns (they/them/theirs) and reword other references to Landon, as an attempt to avoid possible confusion. However, we got it wrong. The bottom line is that we over-edited and made changes to the copy that did not need to be made. We recognize that the changes to the published article in Madison, “Nurturing inclusive communities through hip-hop,” could be viewed as transphobic and/or discriminatory. It was never the magazine’s intention to misgender them nor to make LGBTQ members of the JMU Family feel invisible or unwelcome. In retrospect, the published article should have retained their personal pronouns as they appeared in the original story on JMU’s Independent Scholars website. It also should not have introduced an error by using “his” as a pronoun. (See correction on Page 6). Madison regrets these errors. In November 2021, the online PDF version of the Fall 2021 issue was updated to reflect Landon’s personal pronouns. Additionally, an Editor’s Note was added at the end of the piece to explain the changes and apologize for the oversights. Madison has a unique opportunity to help educate our readers on gender identity and expression. You might be wondering, “What changes has the magazine made as a result of this scenario?” As of this writing, there are a couple: 1) Moving forward, we are asking story subjects if they’d like to share their preferred pronouns with us. That way, we don’t assume what they are— and don’t run the risk of getting them wrong; 2) We are including staff from JMU’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression office for consulting, as needed, about best practices for identifying people in future stories. Madison is fully committed to justice, equality, diversity and inclusion in our storytelling about JMU. The entire staff is completely open to learning about editorial usage of preferred pronouns and hopes to be part of progress and solutions.
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News&Notes WINTER 2022
A lasting tribute to their efforts JMU community gathers for jubilant rededication ceremony of three campus buildings
(Left): Sheary Darcus Johnson (‘70, ‘74M), in all pink, Madison’s first Black student and graduate, with family and friends. (Above): JMU professors Alexander and Joanne V. Gabbin with their new plaques. (Right): Descendants of Robert Walker Lee.
(Below): JMU historian Meg Mulrooney welcomes attendees. (Right): Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed (fourth from right) and the Algers had front-row seats for the Sept. 24, 2021, ceremony on the Quad.
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Miyares to become Virginia’s first Latino attorney general
V Quality, affordable preschool Grant provides 300-plus new slots in Virginia
MU received a $3.6 million grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation to increase access to early education in cities and counties in Virginia. The grant will provide 314 preschool slots for 3- and 4-year-olds currently facing barriers to formal school entry, at no cost to families. “This is an historic time for our community to create equitable access to highquality early childhood education for all children and families across the commonwealth,” said Maryam Sharifian, director of early childhood initiatives at JMU. Sharifian oversees the project, with the support of coordinators Stacey Bosserman and Yvonne Frazier. The one-year grant from VECF builds on existing efforts to increase access to high-quality preschool through public-private partnerships. JMU early childhood initiatives include projects and grants to address racial inequity, lack
$2 million grant to help secure digital future for Black poetry at JMU
he Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded JMU Libraries and the Furious Flower Poetry Center $2 million to expand the digital future of the nation’s first academic center devoted to Black poetry. This grant will support the center’s internationally
of access, increas- (Above, L-R): ing quality, teacher Maryam Sharifian, Stacey training, leaderBosserman and ship and family Yvonne Frazier engagement. Twenty-three child care providers are currently participating in the effort, which will cover Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah and Rappahannock counties as well as the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester. JMU has been working closely with a network of community partners, including local public school systems, United Way of Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro, Transport Services, the Child Learning Center, Virginia Quality and Smart Beginnings Greater Harrisonburg, to connect child care providers with eligible families and to ensure the grant reaches those with the greatest need. — Ginny Cramer
recognized leadership and provide for archival description, digital preservation and global access to an extensive archive of poetry and spoken-word performance videos held by Special Collections. “It is really gratifying to know that this grant from the Mellon Foundation will help us to nurture, recognize and support Black poets by building a sustainable digital framework for the Furious Flower archive,” said Joanne V. Gabbin, Furious Flower executive director.
PR E S C H O O L I N I T I AT I V E G RO U P PH OTO G R A PH BY CO DY T ROY E R
irginia’s next attorney general is proud of his Cuban-American heritage, proud of his record of public service and proud to be a JMU Duke. Jason Miyares (’98), a Republican who defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Herring in the Nov. 2 election, will be sworn in as the state’s first Latino attorney general on Jan. 15. A former commonwealth’s attorney and state delegate from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Miyares said he will be impartial in upholding the law. “I want to be an attorney general who will call balls and strikes,” he said, adding, “My allegiance will be to the U.S. Constitution, the Virginia Constitution and the people of Virginia.” Miyares said he “loved every minute” of his Madison Experience. He studied business administration and took a handful of political science classes. He also served as Jason Miyares (’98) chair of the College Republicans and was active in the campus faith community, including InterVarsity and Cru. But it was the relationships Miyares built at JMU that have stayed with him. “I would not be the attorney generalelect if it wasn’t for the relationships that I built at JMU,” he said. Two of his closest political advisers during his campaign were fellow Dukes Gary Marx (’97) and Dave Rexrode (’01). As attorney general, Miyares has promised to be a voice for victims and to crack down on human trafficking. He will be the first Duke to hold the office in Virginia and the highestranking state government official in the university’s history. — Jim Heffernan (’96, ’17M)
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Mineral Museum re-opens
Rare collection sure to ‘wow’ visitors, enthusiasts
the jmu mineral museum re-opened its doors and offered “This year marks 45 years The JMU Mineral Museum now the public a first look at the extraordinary collection of mineral since the opening of the Min- houses the Peter L. Via Collection, featuring 378 specimens specimens in the Peter L. Via Collection. Very few people had eral Museum. In that time, from 24 states and 39 countries. seen the collection, which, though well-known within the miner- it has become an important alogy community, was previously privately held. destination for serious mineral enthusiasts and inspiration for the “For those who are familiar with the science of mineralogy, curious. We hope that everyone will come experience the wonder of you will see many things of interest; for those of you not so heav- this collection,” JMU President Jonathan R. Alger said. ily invested in mineralogy, you will see beauty, color, shape that Through the years, the museum has worked closely with and been you never dreamed possible coming from the earth,” said Lance supported by active mineralogy societies, including the Shenandoah Kearns, museum curator and retired JMU geology professor. Valley Gem and Mineral Society, the Gem and Mineral Society of The Peter L. Via Collection, which has 378 individual speci- Lynchburg, the Roanoke Valley Mineral and Gem Society, The mens from 24 states and 39 countries, is one of four collections Micro-mineralogist of the National Capital Area, the Mineralogical on display at the Mineral Museum. Overall, the museum holds Society of the District of Columbia, the Northern Virginia Mineral more than 1,770 cataloged Club, the Gem, Lapidary and specimens from f ive difMineral Society of Montferent collections, includgomery County, Maryland, ing Via’s. It is home to the and the Southern Maryland definitive Virginia Mineral Mineral Club. Collection. Admission to the museum Whether drawn by the is free. Information on crystallography and assemplanning a visit, includblages or the beauty of the ing location, parking and gems, visitors can experience tours, ca n be found at the collection in the new, Cindy and Lance Kearns (seated, front) led the celebration at the Oct. https://j.mu/minerals. 29, 2021, grand re-opening of the museum. larger museum space. — Ginny Cramer
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R E- O PE N I N G PH OTO G R A PH S BY J U LI A W E AV E R (‘ 2 1 ); G E M BY J E FF S COV I L ; B RCC PA RT N E RS H I P BY ST E V E A D E RTO N ( ’ 1 9); A LG E R BY CO DY T ROY E R ; FA LL C A M PU S BY T R E Y S EC R I ST ( ’ 1 5)
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Alger’s contract extended five years
A JMU, BRCC launch Bridge to Madison program
new joint program between Blue Ridge BRCC President Community College and JMU is opening John Downey and JMU President doors for future students. The Bridge to Jonathan R. Alger Madison transfer program provides aca- sign the transfer demic and social support to help students from BRCC agreement. gain admittance to and succeed at JMU. Under the agreement, students who applied to JMU but have not been accepted through the regular admissions process can be considered for selection into the program. These students will be able to live on the university campus while taking their first year of college course work at BRCC. The arrangement lowers the cost of tuition for these students and provides academic support from both institutions. Students successfully completing the program will be able to attend JMU full time beginning in their sophomore year. BRCC and JMU expect to support approximately 50 students through the Bridge to Madison program in the first year.
t its regularly scheduled board meeting in September, the JMU Board of Visitors voted to extend President Jonathan R. Alger’s term as president for five years. “The board appreciates President Alger and the growth the university has experienced under his leadership,” said Lara Major (’92, ’20P), the board’s rector. “Jon’s commitment to student success and academic excellence has been instrumental in maintaining JMU’s high graduation and satisfaction rates, outstanding post-graduation employment levels and continued affordability.” “I am honored and humbled to continue my service at JMU and lead a place with such extraordinary talent,” Alger said. “In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing more of our vision for the near and distant future of the university.” Alger became the sixth president of JMU in 2012. His new contract will begin July 1 and run through June 30, 2027. — Ginny Cramer
— Ginny Cramer
As loyal Madison readers, you can use this to brag about JMU and spread the word!
JMU earned recognition as a 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education institution. The Tree Campus USA program, launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, helps colleges and universities around the country establish and sustain healthy community forests. JMU met five core standards for effective campus forest management.
For the third straight year, JMU is the best college in Virginia for getting a job. The Zippia ranking is based on Department of Education data.
Arts and culture
The Harrisonburg International Festival was recognized with the 2021 Circle of Excellence in the Arts award by the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, the Arts Council of the Valley and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Top sports venue
Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field was voted by Virginia Living’s readers as one of the Best Sports Venues in the Shenandoah Valley region in its 2021 Best of Virginia issue.
JMU earned the No. 7 ranking on Niche.com’s 2022 Best Food rankings list. Niche analyzed meal-plan costs and student reviews.
The JMU chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, a business education honor society, earned Highest Honors Chapter recognition. BGS is comprised of top-performing business students.
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Support for startups
Gilliam Center launches seed fund for investing in new JMU businesses
During National Small Business Week in September 2021, the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship at JMU launched the Bluestone Seed Fund, a donor-backed investment fund that provides equity investments in student- and alumni-owned businesses. “This is not a student scholarship competition,” said Suzanne Bergmeister, executive director of the Gilliam Center. “Students will be pitching their real, legal businesses and raising real seed capital for their startups. On the investment side, students will be gaining unique experience in venture investing.” JMU first lady Mary Ann Alger helped develop the concept, which is unique
because of the large number of students who can get involved. Startup selection is highly competitive. Student founders apply and pitch to the Bluestone Seed Fund’s investment commit-
tee made up of JMU alumni, donors, faculty and community experts. Three student-owned startups were selected to receive $5,000 each in exchange for a 5% equity stake in their companies as part of the fund’s inaugural investment cycle. Beginning in the Spring 2022 semester, the opportunity will be extended to alumni who graduated within the past five years. — Ginny Cramer
Remember when you were in CoB 300?
Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Business Plan Competition March 25, 2022 at 3 p.m. in the new Hartman Hall. A reception will follow.
We welcome competition alumni to engage with the event further. Reach out to Judy Onestak for details at 540-568-3264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FACULTY FOCUS Spotlighting JMU professors through the lenses of scholarship, awards and service Ashleigh Baber
CHEMISTRY & BIOCHEMISTRY
Baber was recognized as a 2022 Rising Star by the American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee. This distinction recognizes “exceptional, early-to-midcareer women chemists across all areas of chemistry on a national level.” The award was established in 2011 to help promote retention of women in science. Baber was one of nine chemists from industry and academia recognized this year. Heather Coltman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at JMU, called it “a wonderful accomplishment and recognition for Ashleigh!”
Bob Harmison SPORT PSYCHOLOGY
Harmison, director of sport psychology and the Kibler professor of sport psychology, began a term as president-elect of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology in October 2021. His résumé includes stints with three U.S. Olympic snowboarding teams, the Kansas City Royals’ minor league organization and four Division I universities. According to Harmison, openly talking about mental health and how to cope with various stressors is becoming more common among college athletes. At JMU, student-athletes face plenty of demands. “The real-
ity is, athletes have to make sacrifices because they don’t have enough time in the day to be a full-time athlete, a full-time student and then a full-time person,” Harmison said. Opportunities for student-athletes at JMU to discuss mental health have been increasing for several years, including through the launch of a program called “Dukes, Let’s Talk.” Following a year as president-elect of AASP, Harmison will be president for a year and then serve another year as immediate past president. “It’s an honor. I’m humbled by it,” he said.
Bernie Kaussler POLITICAL SCIENCE
Kaussler developed The Yemen Human Security Project at JMU with funding from the Betty Coe (’64) and Paul J. Cinquegrana Presidential Chair of Faculty Teaching Excellence and Research award. The grant allowed him to conduct research on proxy war and civilian victimization in the civil war in Yemen, during which he interviewed government ministers, officials and politicians. He had
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planned to begin gathering field data in the Persian Gulf in January 2020 but could no longer travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From his research, he uncovered that the Yemeni Civil War has caused “the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time,” with children being the greatest victims of the conflict. For the second part of his project, students in Kaussler’s course, International Security and Conflict Management, launched an interactive map during the Spring 2021 semester. Users can search through more than 22,000 data points of air strikes during the war, allowing viewers to see the impact on Yemeni civilians over a six-year period. “I am glad that I was able to build the Human Security Map with my students in order to visualize the extent of civilian victimizations and ultimately raise awareness of the plight of Yemenis,” said Kaussler, an expert on the Middle East. The Yemen Human Security Project is hosted by the College of Arts and Letters and is accessible to the public: https://bit. ly/3D55Ozp.
Scott Milliman ECONOMICS
In the Spring 2021 edition of Social Science Quarterly, Milliman published “Racial Exclusion in the Antebellum North: An Analysis of Indiana’s 1851 Vote to Ban African American Immigration,” the findings of which show how a racially charged 1851 vote
“I am glad that I was able to build the Human Security Map with my students in order to visualize the extent of civilian victimization and ultimately raise awareness of the plight of Yemenis.” — BERNIE KAUSSLER
BA B E R PH OTO G R A PH BY ST E V E A D E RTO N (‘ 1 9); H A R M I S O N BY C AT H Y K U S H N E R ( ’ 87 ); K AU S S LE R BY M I K E M I R I E LLO ( ’ 09 M )
depended on economic and social factors that varied across Indiana’s 91 counties. Milliman’s article is the first econometric analysis of a statewide referendum on Black immigration. The article points out that even though slavery was being phased out or outright banned in the North, Black residents still faced pervasive social, economic and political restrictions. Milliman’s research began with the painstaking assembly of a historical database on 19th-century Indiana. He collected a variety of demographic and economic variables, including religious affiliations. His quantitative methods have helped unlock Indiana’s racial history.
MEDIA ARTS AND DESIGN
Smalls was awarded a University of Maryland, Baltimore County Inclusion Imperative Visiting Faculty Fellowship to research popular culture as an entryway to conversations on race, class, gender and power in television and digital media spaces. The fellowship is awarded to scholars committed to diversity and to the advancement of groups historically underrepresented in academia. Smalls is spending the Spring 2022 semester in residence at the Dresher Center for the Humanities at UMBC, where she is conducting research that explores “HBO’s Insecure and Black Women in the Media.” She is examining if and how shows like Insecure, which focuses on two millennial, Black female best friends, challenge stereotypical portrayals of Black women. In addition to representation, the project deals with the convergence of media, integration of technology and the use of social television in an evolving media landscape.
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Bourne Dialogue: Sun Belt membership
BY JEFF BOURNE, director of athletics
MU Nation, I’m excited for the future that sits in front of us as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, and I truly believe that it’s the right fit at the right time for James Madison University. We have evaluated opportunities over a long period of time and have always approached a move to the Football Bowl Subdivision level as one that would be carefully evaluated. In the past, the circumstances have never been perfect. Even heading into the current round of realignment in July 2021, we didn’t know if the ideal scenario was there. But as the Sun Belt emerged in a position of strength with its current group of institutions, particularly in the East Division, we knew this was it—this was JMU’s opportunity. Many individuals put in a lot of work to make this possible. I particularly want to thank JMU President Jonathan R. Alger and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Charlie King for their commitment to this process and for seeing the value to the entire institution, even beyond athletics. I want to thank our athletics administration, which worked with urgency to review and validate our earlier work. And I particularly want to thank our student-athletes and coaches. It is because of them that JMU was such a desired brand during this round of realignment. There’s so much information I could share in this piece. Instead, I will hit a few key points.
Why the Sun Belt? Many factors are to be considered with a conference move, including perception of the conference, a profile of institutional peers, geography, sponsored sports, revenue sources, media agreements, evidence of success and more. Ultimately, a few key benefits stood out as JMU made this decision.
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Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill (right) was present at the Nov. 6, 2021, news conference announcing a new chapter in the illustrious history of JMU Athletics.
The Sun Belt provides significant competitive opportunities for JMU’s sports programs. While football benefits from the move to FBS level, nearly every sport by association steps into a higher level of visibility and stature. We take pride in our approach to fully fund all 18 sports programs and equip each with the resources to be successful. n As a university, JMU has been on a trajectory to increased national reach, particularly with its expected transition to R2 (high research activity) status in the Carnegie Classification. The Sun Belt is a natural fit to boost such aspirations and thrust our university into the national dialogue. n
n The Sun Belt is composed entirely of like-
minded institutions. While the Colonial Athletic Association is filled with universities of all different sizes, structures and aspirations, the Sun Belt contains large, public institutions with significant athletic investment. n The Sun Belt, and particularly the East Division, offers a natural opportunity to build rivalries within a geographic footprint. College sports are built on rivalries. It infuses energy and passion into games, increases overall interest, boosts ticket sales and more. Several of these institutions were past JMU rivals or frequent opponents, and we’re excited to renew these relationships.
PH OTO G R A PH S BY C AT H Y K U S H N E R ( ’ 87 )
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JMU TO THE SUN BELT: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Why is this a good decision for JMU? Most significantly, 1) it allows JMU student-athletes across all sports to compete at the highest level; 2) it aligns JMU in a conference with institutional peers among a group of primarily large, public universities; 3) it offers the opportunity to build regional rivalries within a geographic footprint that also makes financial sense for the university; and 4) it allows the athletics program to align with the university’s expected transition to R2 (doctoral university – high research activity) status in the Carnegie Classification. When will JMU officially join the Sun Belt? JMU will transition most of its sports to the Sun Belt on July 1, 2022. It is working with the Sun Belt to formalize the transition as early as possible. Can JMU still compete for Colonial Athletic Association championships the rest of the year? JMU was extremely disappointed to learn, just prior to finalizing its agreement with the Sun Belt, that its sports programs would be prevented from competing for CAA championships for the remainder of JMU’s membership in the CAA, beginning with the men’s soccer championship that JMU was scheduled to host. While a bylaw stating such has been on the conference’s books for many years, much has evolved in the overall landscape of intercollegiate athletics since that time. In an era emphasizing student-athlete welfare, this recent vote of the league’s presidents runs counter to such emphasis. Eight other Division I conferences currently contain full members that have officially declared they are moving to a different league. All eight conferences still allowed departing schools and their student-athletes to compete for their league’s championships this fall. By extension of the CAA’s decision, JMU will not host the four championships it was scheduled to host (men’s soccer, women’s basketball, lacrosse and softball). Additionally, the league elected to
remove JMU from any conference games in its package of national men’s basketball broadcasts on CBS Sports Network. JMU made an impassioned plea to the CAA’s council of presidents arguing why it was justified and appropriate to allow JMU studentathletes to compete, but instead the league’s presidents made a self-serving decision for the sole benefit of their own institutions. Will all sports move up a division or just football? This can often be a misunderstanding in the public eye. JMU is already an NCAA Division I institution. The division is subdivided into three groups: FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, or the highest level), FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) and institutions that do not sponsor football. All JMU sports continue to be Division I and can compete in the NCAA Championship for Division I as before. The football subdivision is the only change. How long will it take to fully transition to FBS? Currently, the NCAA requires a two-year period for an institution to fully transition from FCS to FBS. The notification must occur by June 1, meaning that JMU’s transition would officially begin on July 1, 2022, and end on June 30, 2024. So JMU would be fully FBS, including bowl eligibility, for the 2024 football season. All other sports would be immediately eligible for postseason play upon joining the Sun Belt. Will JMU add women’s sports in order to meet Title IX compliance? No, a previous FBS feasibility study in 2013 declared that JMU was not required to add women’s sports. The department closely evaluates its Title IX compliance on a regular basis with the help of a national consultant. JMU is in good shape because it fully funds all of its sport programs in the areas of scholarships, coaching staffs and cost of attendance.
SHOW YOUR COLORS PROUD AND TRUE, WE ARE THE DUKES OF JMU.
NEW PLATFORM FOR JMU STUDENT-ATHLETES, PAST AND PRESENT. JOIN: HTTPS://J.MU/ATHNET
JMU ATHLETE NETWORK
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Kicker Ethan Ratke nearly quit football before breaking records
BY ETHAN RATKE (’20)
n December 2017, the Weber State game defined my career. I never imagined that my sixth game starting would end the way it did. However, my career leading up to that moment was far from perfect. Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, my confidence in my abilities were low. I considered leaving the sport multiple times. I spent most of my first year as the backup’s backup. As the third- or fourth-string kicker, opportunities to set yourself apart become limited. The biggest reason I stayed was because of a moment in the weight room. Twice a week, the freshman players lifted at 5:30 a.m. Before college, I had barely touched a weight. Even though I was lifting lighter than others, each rep was hard. To succeed in the weight room, it was all about effort. After a workout, our strength coach Big John singled me out. I thought he was going to give me a hard time, but instead he was praising me. “If you all worked as hard as Ratke, we would win a national championship,” he said. I hadn’t felt that good in months. On the field, I felt invisible, but finally someone noticed my effort. After that moment, I decided to stay for the spring season. We had finally made it to my first fall camp in 2017, and I was ready to start fresh. The morning we were to begin, I received a message to meet Coach Mike Houston before practice. He gave the news to me straight: Our team had reached capacity with the number of players for fall camp in accordance with NCAA guidelines. Someone on the team needed to leave camp until further notice, and that someone was me.
As a backup kicker, I understood. Immediately after, I was taken back to the dorm to pack my things. I was numb. This felt like confirmation that I was the least essential player out of over 100 guys. When I got home, I talked to my parents, who encouraged me to be positive. I decided I would let it go if I wasn’t brought back in two weeks. After five days, I got the message that someone on the team had left. I promptly got my stuff and moved back to the dorms. Being pushed so close to the edge of quitting changed my mindset completely. I wanted to play the game I love. I was done worrying. This fearless mentality improved my kicking. I swung my leg carefree. I started hitting kickoffs into the end zone and making more field goals in practice. My timing improved too. We had made it halfway through the season to our matchup against William & Mary. As we ran up the score, Tyler Gray attempted one of his many kickoffs. In the middle of his backswing, he collapsed. His season was over. I was the next man up. I played well going forward. Coach Houston, the special teams coach, Gray and all of
the other players were Ratke kicks the encouraging. With ball during a game against the first field goal of New Hampshire the Weber State game, in November I felt locked in. When 2019. the snap came, I swung, and the ball went right down the middle of the uprights. The clock was stopped with one second left, fourth down. When we jogged out to the field, I knew it was going in. Every hardship in the past year led to this moment. I was the least essential player, and now I had the opportunity to win this game. Since then, my career changed. In 2018, I earned all-conference accolades, but that year ended with a coaching change. Under the new head coach, Curt Cignetti, and the new special teams coach, Grant Cain, I was propelled farther in 2019. They helped push me as we made a return trip to the FCS National Championship. I ended the season as an All-American and broke records I never thought possible. I would have given up if it wasn’t for the team, the specialists, Houston, Roy Tesh, Gray, J.C. Kimes, Big John, my family and my friends. I stood on the shoulders of those who kept me in the game.
“Being pushed so close to the edge of quitting changed my mindset completely. I wanted to play the game I love.” 20
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Kuster wins inspiration award
om Kuster, James Madison associate athletics director, is one of two win-
ners of the Colonial Athletic Association’s 2021 John H. Randolph Inspiration Award. The award recognizes people who, through strength of character and human spirit, serve as inspirations to all to maximize their potential and ability for suc cess. It is named after former William & Mary Athletic Director John Randolph, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1995. “I can’t imagine another individual who better epitomizes this honor than Tom Kuster,” said Jeff Bourne, director of athletics. “He has been an inspiration to all of us in JMU Athletics during the most difficult and
Men’s hoops makes history in win over UVA
ames Madison men’s basketball made history on Dec. 7, 2021, knocking off Virginia for the first time in program history in front of a raucous, sellout crowd. In a thrilling game that went down to the wire, the Dukes used outstanding defense and clutch shots to top the Cavaliers, 52-49. The Dukes held the Cavaliers to just 14 points in the first half. JMU withstood a late charge from the Cavaliers to pick up its first win in 12 matchups vs. UVA.
The teams traded the lead four times in the final two minutes, before Takal Molson sunk consecutive jumpers to put JMU on top for good. After UVA’s half-court heave at the buzzer missed, JMU students rushed the court and the arena became a sea of purple euphoria. The win marked the program’s first win over an active ACC team. It also was the first victory over a Power 5 program since the Dukes beat Penn State in 2001. The game was televised nationwide on CBS Sports Network.
challenging time in our history during the COVID-19 pandemic.” When the pandemic struck in March 2020, Kuster, who has been a member of the JMU sports medicine staff since 1999, devoted countless hours to creating a plan that would enable JMU student-athletes, coaches and staff to return to activity in a safe manner. In the midst of that work, Kuster began dealing with health challenges, and doctors discovered he had advanced-stage colon cancer. He immediately began an aggressive schedule of treatments, but he has continued to stay engaged with implementing JMU’s pande mic strategies.
L aPORTE S IG NS EXTE NS ION TH ROUG H 2029 JMU softball head coach Loren LaPorte signed a new eight-year agreement in August 2021. Her new contract runs through the 2029 season. “What Loren achieved this spring with her staff and our student-athletes was one of the greatest accomplishments in our department’s history,” said Jeff Bourne, director of athletics. “Beyond the on-field success, our softball players are model citizens who care about being engaged in the world around them. There is endless opportunity for this program to build off the Women’s College World Series appearance, and we’re excited to have Loren at the helm to do that.” In her fourth season at the helm of the program, the Dukes made their first Women’s College World Series appearance, becoming the
first unseeded team to win the first two games to advance to the semifinals. JMU finished with a record of 41-4 and the program’s highest rankings in the national polls at No. 4. “I am extremely thankful for the commitment of our administration to this program and our staff,” LaPorte said. “We are dedicated to helping our student-athletes become better, stronger versions of themselves, both on and off the field. We were surrounded by the support of JMU Nation, not only at the Women’s College World Series, but throughout the season, and we could not be more grateful.” In four seasons, LaPorte has compiled an overall record of 148-32 while going 56-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The program has made two NCAA Super Regionals and one WCWS. LaPorte and her staff were named the 2021 National Fastpitch Coaching Staff of the Year after their outstanding season.
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“Witnessing these things over 40-plus years makes Melvin one of the brightest lights I’ve ever known.” — CHARLES MAY (’83)
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Melvin Petty (’84) wins prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award
BY AMY CROCKETT (’10)
aised on a tobacco farm near Danville, Virginia, Melvin Petty (’84) always knew he wanted to be a business owner, but he had no idea exactly what that business would end up being. An accounting major, Petty left JMU prepared for a career in that field, which also ultimately opened the door to opportunities in entrepreneurship. “JMU’s integrated campus life provided me with exposure to extraordinarily successful families and professionals, which allowed me to envision my future,” Petty said. After a successful career as a government consulting executive, Petty launched ERP International in 2006 alongside his wife, Sandra, from their dining table with a year of savings. It grew into a government-consulting firm that provides information technology, cybersecurity, big data and other strategic sourcing solutions for the Department of Defense, militaryhealth care organizations and federal agencies in more than 40 states. With headquarters in Maryland, ERP employs approximately 700 people across the nation. In August 2021, Petty received the Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Mid-Atlantic Award from the accounting firm Ernst & Young. The prestigious award recognizes bold visionaries who lead and sustain dynamic, successful businesses around the world. Petty considers the honor to be a team award. “I couldn’t wait to share this achievement with them as a symbol that all our hard work has been recognized,” he said. “And even today, I am still in awe.” For the past two years, The Washington Post has named ERP as a Top Workplace in the Washington, D.C., area. Like most company leaders, Petty said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its remote-work business model. “The leap was not so great for us, since we had already partially implemented virtual work and created a performance-based work culture,” he said. Friend and former Dukes teammate Charles May (’83) attributes Petty’s success, in part, to his competitive drive. Their paths first crossed in 1980, when Petty arrived at JMU as a student-athlete, having transferred from Norfolk State University. May and Petty spent a lot of time together on the football field playing the same position and discovered that they brought out the best in one another. May calls Petty the best competitor he knows. “He plays to win but does it honestly, in focused fashion, and uses setbacks as fuel for greater victories,” May said.
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Petty values hard work, commitment and dedication, which carry over into his steadfast relationships with family, friends and business. “Most importantly, Melvin can be counted on for whatever is needed, required or desired,” May said. “He comes with a plan and determination to make things better.” Petty uses his professional success to uplift others and position them for success, working to bridge the gap in minority wealth. He mentors Black and minority-owned businesses and launched that into a joint ventures network with a revenue stream of approximately $50 million going back into Black and minority communities. “Witnessing these things over 40-plus years makes Melvin one of the brightest lights I’ve ever known,” May said. In the 2021 Madison Vision Series panel “Sharing Stories of Success and Triumph: Black Alumni Through the Decades,” Petty shared how creating a holistic and diverse environment can pave the road to success in today’s business world. For companies or leaders who want everyone in the workplace to contribute and have a fair shot, Petty advises making diversity, equity and inclusion a part of their core values and including a strong diversity statement on all internal and external communications. “I would suggest integrating the DEI objectives into all leadership-performance assessment and incentive plans,” Petty said. Purple and gold run through the Petty family veins, trickling down through the generations. Daughter Erika Johnson (’13) majored in media arts and design and is vice president of business development at ERP. In addition, Petty’s niece and nephew, Nicole Richmond and Daegal “Deek” Richmond, respectively, became Dukes, and his great-niece, Arianna Petty, is a first-year JMU student. Since graduating from JMU, Petty has remained active in the Madison community, lending his talent to many groups. He currently volunteers as a member of the Executive Advisory Board for the Department of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics. Petty also supports and offers his time to JMU via the Ole School Alumni Group, a group of Dukes dedicated to the diversity and enrichment of the JMU student body. The group nominated Petty for the 2021 Ronald E. Carrier Alumni Achievement Award. “He is genuinely a good man,” May said.
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Rosser’s rebellious spirit helped make him a world-renowned economist
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for hundreds of years, from the dawn of the Industrial Age through the middle of the 20th century, economics was considered a closed system operating in equilibrium, with humans making purely rational decisions in their own narrow self-interests. By the 1960s, however, a new way of thinking about economics—as a system in motion, one that is continually reinventing itself and involves interaction between many dispersed, heterogeneous agents—was emerging. John Barkley Rosser Jr., then a student of economics at the University of Wisconsin, was among the proponents of this new heterodox school, which employed research methods and tools from disciplines such as psychology, physics and ecology. His undergraduate honors thesis, written in 1969, correctly predicted the stabilization of global oil prices. He stayed in Madison for all three of his degrees, earning his doctorate in 1976 while studying under economist Eugene Smolensky, known for his work detailing the impact of economic and demographic changes on the distribution of income among various social groups.
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The son of a prominent mathematician, Rosser, who goes by Barkley, initially majored in physics. “It’s almost a cliché that most of the work in mathematics and economics was originally done in physics,” he said. “There’s a certain highway between people doing physics and doing economics, and I sort of made that move like a lot of other people.” Rosser wrote the entry on “econophysics” for The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics; Rosser is senior co-editor of the forthcoming fourth edition. The award-winning publication contains entries written by the world’s most influential economists, including 36 Nobel laureates, dating to the 1890s. Rosser inherited his father’s talent for mathematical models and computational analysis, which has proven valuable for analyzing how modern economic structures form, reform and interact with human behavior. “Some of the mathematical interests that I have, and have had, are actually some of the things that my father did,” he said.
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M A N A legend in the making One of JMU’s longest-serving faculty members, Rosser joined the economics department in 1977 and became a full professor in 1988. He has been the Kirby L. Cramer Jr. Professor of Business Administration since 1996. During his tenure, he has published several books and more than 200 journal articles, book chapters and book reviews in a variety of subfields of economics. “I love scholarship, but I also love teaching, and JMU has allowed me to do both,” Rosser said, adding he takes pride in helping students understand economic theory and applications. His first book, From Catastrophe to Chaos: A General Theory of Economic Discontinuities (1991), challenged established economic thinking that the world is fundamentally continuous. Rosser made the case for discontinuities, including catastrophe theory, chaos theory, synergetics and fractal geometry. The book was rejected by 13 publishers before finally appearing in print. “At the time, it was seen as a very odd book,” Rosser said. “A lot of the things I was talking about then were not really accepted.” From Catastrophe to Chaos has since been re-printed several times and is now used as a reference. Rosser has been a visiting professor around the globe; he’s taught and studied in Italy, Ecuador, Germany, Japan, France, Australia and Sweden. He has published extensively on the subject of behavioral economics. He was editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from 2001 to 2010, and in 2012 became founding editor-in-chief of the Review of Behavioral Economics.
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“The foundation of behavioral economics is that people are not perfectly rational, and we need to study how they actually behave,” he said. “And they behave on the basis of all sorts of oddball things. Over the years, we’ve gotten a lot better understanding about what some of those oddball things are.”
Popping bubbles of conventional wisdom Rosser has also furthered the study of speculative bubbles—such as the one that led to the housing market crash in 2008 and subsequent global recession—by providing a mathematical model for predicting if and when they might burst.
“The foundation of behavioral economics is that people are not perfectly rational, and we need to study how they actually behave.” – Barkley Rosser, professor of economics and international business
“There was a period of time, not that long ago, when the established thinking was that these bubbles can’t exist,” Rosser said. “[Traditionalists] would tell you, ‘Rational agents will not participate in speculative bubbles. People know what the true value of a stock or a house is. Somebody is not going to buy something just because it’s going up in price.’ … Of course, we now know this not to be true.” It’s easy to get caught up in speculative
investment, Rosser said. “People will say, ‘Oh, prices are rising. I’ll buy and make a bunch of money.’ And of course, if you play it right, you can. People do make money in bubbles. They’re the ones who buy low and sell high. But then you have the poor suckers who come in, buy at the peak and they’re stuck, especially if they borrow a lot of money to do it.” In 2004, Rosser answered some of the critics of modern economics, arguing that the profession was “moving away from a strict adherence to the holy trinity [of] rationality, selfishness and equilibrium” and toward the “four Cs of cybernetics, catastrophe, chaos and complexity.” A co-author at the time informed Rosser that although he might have once been a rebel, his ideas were becoming mainstream. “It was not a question of me moving toward orthodoxy as it was the profession moving closer to me,” he said. Rosser even has an equation named after him that can be used to forecast ratios of future Social Security benefits to current ones in real terms. He developed it in 2005 in response to public debate about whether Social Security, which was created to provide partial replacement income for qualified retirees and their families, was in danger of going bankrupt. Rosser’s equation suggests it is not. In fact, it shows that future recipients actually will receive more in benefits, after inflation, than those who are retiring today. Economist Bruce Webb declared the equation “something between an inside joke and a tribute to professor Barkley Rosser.” Rosser used the public hysteria surrounding Social Security as a teaching moment, encouraging JMU students to be more aware of issues regarding the federal budget and to identify and sort through media bias.
The equation, which Rosser developed in 2005, can forecast ratios of future Social Security benefits to current ones in real terms. It suggests the government program is solvent. Future recipients will receive more in benefits, after inflation, than those retiring today.
Marina Rosser’s impact For all of his scholarship and professional accolades—a fellow of Economists for Peace and Security; recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia; ambassador of the University of Urbino, Italy; president of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences—Rosser said his proudest achievement is having helped establish legal precedent giving individuals the right to marr y whom they choose, across national boundaries. On Aug. 15, 1984, Rosser became legally engaged to the former Marina Rostislavovna Vcherashnaya, whom he met during an exchange trip to Moscow organized by Elizabeth Neatrour, JMU professor emerita of Russian. The couple was scheduled (Above): Barkley and to be married Nov. 13, 1984. But Marina Rosser married in 1987 after after Barkley returned to the U.S., nearly three years of Marina was forced to resign from diplomatic entangleher position as senior researcher at ments between the the Institute of World Economy and U.S. and the Soviet Union. (Right): Breeze International Relations, and he was article from 1987. not granted a visa to return to Moscow to marry her. Their blocked marriage programs, helping participants gain global case violated the Helsinki Accords signed by awareness and multicultural affinity. the Soviet Union in 1975. After diplomatic Marina said she tried to be a role model efforts linked to the emerging perestroika for young women, in particular, looking to program of former Soviet leader Mikhail make their mark. “The world is big, and it Gorbachev, their case was finally resolved belongs to them,” she said. “If they really when Marina was allowed to travel to the know what’s out there, then I have fulfilled U.S. They married May 24, 1987. my duty.” That fall, Marina Rosser, a renowned She, too, appreciates the opportunities economist with a long list of publications, available to JMU professors. “You go to a bigjoined the economics faculty at JMU. She ger [school], and there is a race for research later became the first female economist grants,” she said. “But this is a very balanced with a doctorate from Moscow State Uni- atmosphere. Research. Teaching. Service. versity to be granted tenure in an Ameri- The faculty here appreciate that. And the can university. She retired in 2019. leadership has a very favorable view.” Over the years, Marina taught multiple Together, the Rossers have co-authored classes in comparative economics, help- a number of important works in the field. ing broaden students’ understanding of In their widely used comparative economthe diversity of economic and societal sys- ics systems textbook, whose first edition tems. She also led numerous study-abroad was published in 1996, they coined the
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phrase “new traditional economy.” This type of economy is rooted in the customs, traditions and beliefs of a society—especially its religion—but now incorporates modern technology to produce goods and services, and deliver them to market. With fellow JMU economics professor Ehsan Ahmed, the Rossers were the first to argue for a two-way, positive link between income inequality and the size of an underground economy in a nation. Marina Rosser describes her husband as a “rebel” in the field. “Barkley has always had an incredible sense of where the cutting edge is, and he was always pursuing it, against the odds of the mainstream,” she said. “His books have gone in many different directions, but he has always remained true to himself.”
Rationality at the heart of economics W hy should students study economics in the 21st century? In addition to understanding how economies work, Rosser said economics teaches a balance of approaches. “On the one hand, you develop some quantitative ability, but at the same time you’re studying people and how they behave.” Marina added that the study of economics supports logical thinking. “Cost-benefit analysis is important, but it doesn’t apply to everything,” she said. “It gives you a framework. There are certain patterns of logical thinking that should go together with ethical considerations and cultural affinities.” Which brings the Rossers back to the concept of rationality. “To some degree, rational decision making is a virtue,” Barkley said. “It’s useful for people to think about what is really rational to do in a situation. It involves thinking about other people, and how they are affected by what you and I do, and so on and so forth.”
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Servant leadership, customer service emphasis define retiring SVP’s career
THE KING HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
hir ed by t hen-pr esident rona ld e. c a r r ier in 1995, Charles W. King’s first major capital outlay undertaking at James Madison University was to construct the physical manifestation of Carrier’s academic vision to integrate science and technology in a new college at JMU. Apart from the Convocation Center, this began the university’s giant leap across Interstate 81 and the development of JMU’s bustling East Campus. No fewer than 48 campus projects later—and after King ran most of the university’s physical operations for 25 years—the JMU Board of Visitors voted in November
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2021 to rename the Integrated Science and Technology building as King Hall to honor his retirement in December, a most fitting tribute. After the unanimous vote, which was followed by a sustained standing ovation in the board room, BOV member John Rothenberger (’88) remarked, “If anyone deserves to have a building named for him, it’s Charlie. But, really, way beyond building buildings and running this huge operation that is JMU, Charlie’s biggest impact is cultural. It’s really cultural. Much of the positive experience everyone agrees is the JMU experience comes from Charlie’s leadership.”
Charlie King’s impact is felt all over campus. (Above): The development of the ISAT-CS Building on East Campus. (Left): The I-81 overpass under construction. (Right): King with his wife, Sherry, President Alger and Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne at halftime of the 2021 Homecoming football game.
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(Left): King walking on campus in 2002 with former President Linwood H. Rose (center) and then-Provost Doug Brown. “Lin taught me how important it is to walk campus often,” King said. (Bottom left): King in the Virginia Speaker of the House’s office celebrating JMU’s football championship victory in 2016 with John Putney (‘92), President Alger, then-Speaker Kirk Cox (‘79) and Josh Humphries (‘15). (Below): Breaking ground on the Atlantic Union Bank Center.
“Charlie’s biggest impact is cultural. Much of the positive experience everyone agrees is the JMU experience comes from Charlie’s leadership.” – John Rothenberger (‘88), Board of Visitors member
JMU, known widely for putting students first and having an unusually close and welcoming atmosphere, has somehow remained so even after nearly doubling in size during the last 25 years. Some believe King deserves a great deal of the credit for such management wizardry. “People are amazed and talk a lot about how much the university has grown and certainly has changed since our daughter, Tara, arrived on campus in 1995. And Charlie deserves a lot of credit for that,” said Jim Riley (’99P, ’05P), former chair of the JMU Parents Council. “But I think I’d rather talk about what hasn’t changed. Even though there’s new people who have come and many who have left over the years, the relationships have always been wonderful.” Riley, who has grown close to King over the years, continued, “So when you talk about that JMU spirit not changing after so much change and growth, you have to recognize that it takes tremendous leadership to trickle down through everybody.” 30
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Riley has a point. During JMU’s major growth, King was responsible for running just about everything at the university that was not part of academic affairs and student affairs. This included campus operations, dining services, facilities management, human resources, information technology, budget and finance, intercollegiate athletics and many more units that reported to King as the senior vice president for administration and finance. About the only portion of the physical campus infrastructure that King did not oversee was the residence halls. But even there, the maintenance teams and housekeepers who keep those facilities running reported to King. The housekeepers, especially, provide evidence of King’s inf luence: Every year, the university receives messages of thanks from parents about how their students were encouraged during Finals Week by their residence hall housekeeper or shown kindness when their student was sick. That sort of “going above
and beyond” exemplif ies the cultural impact Rothenberger referred to. And that sort of organizational ethos doesn’t just happen—especially in an operation as large as JMU. It must be cultivated. It must be led. At his division’s annual meeting, where the thousands of employees who make JMU’s campus the Most Instagrammed landmark in Virginia by CBS News, King ritually read those thank-you messages from parents aloud and acknowledged the folks responsible in front of their peers. That’s creating culture. “I guess my north star has always been to look at it from a student’s perspective,” King said. “You know, they’re paying a lot of money. And I worked my way through school. So I’ve always thought it was important for us to make sure they got what they were paying for. My job, and in the role of the area supervisors, was to provide service to everybody else. And so, I worked real hard when I got here to instill that customer service attitude. I’m not saying it wasn’t here already. But I put a focus on it.
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From elevating JMU Athletics to the Football Bowl Subdivision to government relations and many other duties in between, King has had a direct hand in JMU’s success.
“In fact, it was so important to me, that we instituted an annual customer service award that we gave somebody in the division who demonstrated excellent customer service. And I’m real proud today because I hear people all the time talking about customer service. And so, I think it’s worked,” he continued. Shortly after arriving at JMU, King created the Division of Administration and Finance Scholarship to assist the children and relatives of employees within the division to attend JMU. Since its inception, the scholarship has provided nearly $400,000 to employees’ children who might not have been financially able to attend. So it’s no wonder King’s team shows a special loyalty toward him and his leadership. Another hallmark of King’s run at JMU is that no employee was laid off during economic downturns. He reflected, “My philosophy was that the academic mission of the university was first and foremost; we had to protect that at all costs. And I think if you go back and look at my tenure here, that’s what we’ve done. And we’ve done it in some very tough times. You know, the Great Recession was the big-
gest. COVID-19 has been a big test, too. But, you know, we’ve never laid off a person. Nobody’s ever missed a paycheck. We cut some budgets but in a very quick timeframe. We usually put people’s budgets back to where they were or even grew them.” King’s responsibilities also included running the university’s government relations effort, and his reputation in Richmond as an advocate for efficiency in higher education is well known among legislators. Former House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (’79) released a statement about King shortly after he announced his retirement. “Legislators in Richmond, regardless of party affiliation, will agree that Charlie is a true, level-headed professional. We can rely on Charlie for complete and honest answers to questions we ask. Charlie has always put the university’s best interest first.” That deep trust and confidence with stakeholders in Richmond is important to the Board of Visitors as well. “Knowing that Charlie is always careful gives us, on the board, confidence that the priorities he’s taking to our legislators have been thoroughly thought through from the perspective of the taxpayer and that we’re very
thoughtful stewards of the commonwealth funds,” said Lara Major (’92, ’20P), BOV rector. From the perspective of tuition payers, Major added, “We’ve obviously been highly focused on keeping our tuition low. And any time we have thought about raising our tuition, Charlie has brought that to us with a viewpoint that is incredibly mindful of the challenges families face with increased tuition prices.” Reflecting on his greatest accomplishments at JMU, King’s modesty is obvious. While overseeing intercollegiate athletics during a time of incredible success across all sports, constructing many capital projects and playing an instrumental role in JMU being ranked often as a best value, it was elevating JMU to join the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and other Virginia research universities to Level III administrative autonomy which he is proudest of. “I think there was reluctance to give that opportunity to a comprehensive university like JMU, because it wasn’t one of the research doctoral schools. And so, I’m real proud of the Level III [autonomy], but it was a team effort,” King said. “A lot of people worked on that one.” W I N T E R
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The Virginia Governor’s Fellows program places participants in different positions throughout the administration.
‘Ms. Madison’ goes to Richmond
Emily Baker (’21) learned firsthand the inner workings of Virginia’s executive branch as a Governor’s Fellow By Amy Crockett (’10) t was in her political science and english classes at JMU when Emily Baker (’21) first felt compelled to leave her footprint in state government. With extra encouragement from her professors, she applied to the Virginia Governor’s Fellows Program in Spring 2021 and was selected. The fellowship, from June 1–July 30, places participants in different positions in the Governor’s Office and in various agencies throughout the administration. The program attempts
Madison magazine: How did you hear about the fellowship opportunity? Emily Baker: I heard about the Virginia Governor’s Fellows Program during my sophomore year through older JMU students who had participated. [Last] year, I heard about the program and application because two of my wonderful professors, Dr. Carah Ong Whaley and Dr. Allison Fagan, directly emailed me and told me that they thought I would love this opportunity. They were completely right, and I feel so lucky to have [had] such wonderful professors and mentors at JMU.
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to match Fellows with compatible assignments according to their backgrounds, interests and goals. Shortly after the fellowship wrapped up, Baker, who earned President’s List distinction at JMU, began pursuing a law degree from the College of William & Mary, where she plans to earn a J.D. in 2024. Madison connected with Baker to hear her ref lections on the very selective fellowship, highlights from her time in Richmond and much more.
“I was very inspired by my colleagues, empowered by the work I saw happening in Virginia, and overall felt incredibly lucky to be there.” – Emily Baker (’21)
Madison: How long has the fellowship been around? Baker: Former Gov. Chuck Robb established the program in 1982 to give rising college seniors, graduating seniors and graduate
students an opportunity to gain firsthand experience working in an administration alongside staff and under cabinet secretaries. Madison: Talk about the application process. Was it arduous or highly selective? Baker: Every year, there are hundreds of applications, and [last] year they selected 25 of us to be Fellows. To be eligible, you have to be a rising college senior, graduating senior or graduate student enrolled in a Virginia college, or a Virginia resident enrolled in an out-of-state college. They are looking for people who are committed to excellence PH OTO G R A PH S CO U RT E SY O F E M I LY BA K E R ( ’ 2 1 )
G OV E R N O R ' S in academics, demonstrate leadership ability, and who are involved in extracurricular activities and community service. If any of those traits sound like you, I highly encourage you to apply! I applied in the beginning of March of my senior year, interviewed in the beginning of April and was notified at the end of April. Madison: What projects did you get to work on in the Governor’s Office? Baker: I had the opportunity to work with Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring (’01M) and Heidi Hertz (’06M), assistant secretary of agriculture and forestry. In the Secretariat, we had three main policy focuses: rural economic development, farmland and forestland conservation, and food access. Madison: Did you have a favorite field trip during the fellowship? Baker: I loved getting to go to Richlands Dairy and Creamery to talk about the issues facing dairy producers and family farmers around the state (and eat ice cream flights). Another one of my favorites was seeing the Port of Virginia in Norfolk to learn how large-scale shipping works, how integrated technology is part of the process, and to observe how the port protects jobs and worker safety as automation increases. Madison: Did you get to meet the governor? Baker: I actually got to be with the governor with surprising regularity! One of my favorite experiences was when we went to Fresh Impact Farms in Arlington—a recipient of the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund—and did a tasting of the many varieties of hydroponic plants, including Sichuan flowers that somehow felt like eating Pop Rocks and not plants. We also debated if Sheetz or Wawa is better, but I won’t reveal his stance. Madison: What were some of the challenges you faced in the program? What were the highlights?
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“The fellowship has really shaped my next steps by exposing me to policy areas that I had never thought about.” – Emily Baker (’21)
Baker: It definitely is a fast-paced environment because we were juggling many tasks while traveling around the state with many important deadlines to meet. But I am a person who really enjoys being busy and getting things done, so I found it to be a great fit. I was very inspired by my colleagues, empowered by the work I saw happening in Virginia, and overall felt incredibly lucky to be there and see everyone’s efforts toward solving the problems the commonwealth is facing for the public good. Madison: Have you always had an interest in political science and state government? Where did that spark begin? Baker: My first real exposure to state government was in one of [my favorite] political science classes: [the late] Pete Giesen’s Practical Politics in Virginia. Professor Pete’s stories made me recognize the importance of state government, and many of those stories still make my classmates and me laugh. This course taught me the rich history of Virginia politics, and I realized I was eager to contribute to the betterment of the commonwealth. Practical Politics in Virginia gave me a very solid, contextual understanding of Virginia politics and the importance of state government. Madison: What was your Madison Experience like overall, and how did that education prepare you for the fellowship? Baker: I was lucky enough to find my home in so many places at JMU, with people who supported me and every single one of my interests, and formed me into a leader, especially Phi Mu and the Panhellenic community, Student Government Association, and the political science and
English departments. I went in feeling completely overwhelmed as a freshman and left as “Ms. Madison.” Additionally, I had some amazing professors who encouraged me to branch out beyond my comfort zone and was lucky enough to take some very handson political science classes that prepared me for day-to-day life in the administration, especially Media and Politics with Dr. David Jones and Political Campaign Communication with Dr. Dan Schill. However, I also really valued the experience and perspective I took away from my English classes, which showed that political decisions have human consequences. While political science helped me understand systems and trends, English helped me understand and tell the individual stories that operate within those systems. Madison: How has the fellowship shaped your next steps? Baker: The fellowship has really shaped my next steps by exposing me to policy areas that I had never thought about, like agricultural policy and food insecurity. I think the fellowship really has broadened my horizons in ways that I am really grateful for, and I will approach my next steps following law school with a profoundly different view. Madison: Do you see yourself working in government again one day? Baker: I still have three more years left of school, but I hope to work in government in any capacity, and I am excited to continue exploring ways to help people! Madison: Would you recommend other JMU students apply to the fellowship? Baker: I wholeheartedly recommend that other JMU students apply! It was absolutely the best way to enter the working world and state government. Everyone in the administration, including many JMU alumni, was willing to help me out at every step. We had almost daily brown-bag lunches with cabinet members and senior members of the Northam administration, including the governor and first lady. W I N T E R
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DANCING FOR THE DAY C A R E
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Dancing With the Stars of the 'Burg benefits the Harrisonburg–Rockingham Child Day Care Center. Over the past 11 years, the event has raised more than $500,000 for the center.
By Emma Loscalzo
When it comes to raising a family, it can take a village. Without support from the community, finding quality, affordable child care can be daunting. Diana Kiser (’18M) understands this challenge. “I needed to have day care because I was a single mom, and for me, it was always a challenge,” said Kiser, associate director of strategic gifts at JMU. “You really want to know they’re being well cared for, and there’s a lot of disparity in people’s ability to have good day care.” In November 2021, Kiser was among the local “celebrities” who participated in Dancing With the Stars of the ‘Burg, an annual fundraiser benefiting the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care Center. Aside from the occasional wedding and a few classes, Kiser had not had much opportunity to dance since her time on her high school’s drill team. Although she was excited to put on her dancing shoes again, Kiser said that being a contestant was about more than the chance to win the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. She was motivated by the meaning behind the moves she learned alongside her dance partner, Greg Riddle.
Team Dancing Di earned a perfect score from the judges in the 2021 Dancing With the Stars of the ‘Burg event.
Competition photographs by Hanna Searfoss
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C O L L E C T I O N Local ”celebrities,“ many with ties to JMU, compete at the anticipated event. It’s a night to remember for the performers and spectators alike.
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D A N C I N G A longtime resident of nearby Bridgewater, Virginia, Riddle has seen how the needs of families and the availability of child care in the Shenandoah Valley have changed over the last several decades. “I grew up in the valley and both my parents did as well, so we had family members to pick from [who] we trusted,” Riddle said. “That’s not exactly how it is anymore. People move around, and you don’t have family close by. You need an organization that you can count on like the [HRCDCC].” As a member of USA Dance, Riddle has been a part of Dancing With the Stars of the ‘Burg since it began in 2010. The ballroomdancing event consists of seven teams, each comprised of a local “celebrity” paired with a member of the Shenandoah Valley chapter of USA Dance, who compete to raise money for HRCDCC while also getting a shot at various awards given by judges. Dancing With the Stars of the ‘Burg was created to support the growing financial needs of HRCDCC, as it looks to serve more families. Over the past 11 years, the event has raised more than $500,000 for HRCDCC’s building fund, giving the center the ability to purchase its own building downtown and begin renovations. The space will give the center more financial autonomy and room to grow. “To be able to use something we really enjoy and something we are really excited about as a vehicle to make that impact is just an amazing opportunity,” said the event’s
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co-founder and producer, David Taylor (’85). “It’s an amazing number of people and businesses who have been a part of the success of the fundraiser.” More than 100 contestants have competed in the event, and JMU has had a “star” participate every year, dating to President Ronald E. Carrier’s appearance in 2010. In addition to Kiser, other JMU alumni participants in the 2021 event were Rebecca Holloway (’18M), Libbi Fitzgerald (’97) and Nick Gardner (’16). Since it was founded 50 years ago, HRCDCC has been providing a village to families in the valley. As child care has changed, HRCDCC has continued evolving to help those it serves. “We adapt and change to the world around us,” executive director Delores Jameson said. “The more we learn about children and their needs, we continue to adapt our program to meet the needs of those children.”
C A R E Jameson said one goal for the day care is to expand into infant care. “With the new building, that is the plan, to be able to eventually open up an infant and toddler classroom so we can serve the community in that way,” she said. The day care’s sliding-scale tuition allows families of all incomes to receive high-quality, reasonably priced child care. “It’s not just for high-income families or low-income families,” Jameson said. “We offer diversity on a first-come, first-serve basis. We do all that so we can make it affordable.” Thanks to Dancing With the Stars of the ‘Burg, HRCDCC has been able to do just that. This year’s event netted $159,052 for HRCDCC, with Team Dancing Di contributing $24,276. Team Swecker, led by Gardner, took home the Mirrorball trophy, was the People’s Choice winner and fundraised a staggering $43,603 for HRCDCC. Before the sold-out crowd in the Festival ballroom, Team Dancing Di earned perfect “10s” for their waltz and was named the Judges’ Choice winner for their performance. Although they did not take home the Mirrorball trophy, for Team Dancing Di, there was no better prize than the opportunity to help support the children of the valley. “Everything else is a means to an end,” Kiser said. “The day care is a beautiful example of how we can all come together and create a solution that helps so many families.”
Diana Kiser (’18M), associate director of strategic gifts at JMU, and USA Dance member Gred Riddle accept the Judges’ Choice Award for their waltz.
DAY C A R E C E N T E R PH OTO G R A PH BY DA N E M M E R M A N
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FINDING HER CALLING 38
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Alumna’s JMU education, worldview shape her impact as Stanford professor
By Khalil Garriott (’04)
how does someone who grew up overseas then majored in French at JMU go on to earn an Ivy League Ph.D. and become an award-winning professor in the Graduate School of Education at a world-renowned private research university? Well, that’s only part of Nicole Ardoin’s (’93) story. One’s
chosen major doesn’t always determine their career field, and success is rarely a straight line. Along the way, she has used her varied interests and acute expertise to carve out her own niche.
(Opposite): Nicole Ardoin (’93) distributing surveys during nature-based tourism research. (Right): Ardoin on a whale-watching research trip.
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(Top left): Ardoin (middle) poses with her students while in the Galápagos Islands. (Top right): The Stanford professor (back row, second from left) with her lab group at the Stanford Social Ecology Lab. (Left): Ardoin makes notes during a course at a beach in the Grand Canyon.
Ardoin spent part of her junior year studying abroad in Paris. French was one of her two majors at JMU; international business was the other. The combination of language and business gave her a global perspective of the myriad challenges that exist beyond U.S. borders. “I appreciated the complementary worldviews offered through French and international business, and through my minor of art history, all of which emphasized the importance of diverse perspectives,” Ardoin said. “I also appreciated that my majors and minor positioned me well to take on unique
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internships on and off campus. In the summer, I worked at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and on campus at JMU’s student gallery—all of which provided me with leadership experience and a connection to a broader, culturally diverse world.” After leaving Harrisonburg, Ardoin went on to earn a master’s degree in natural resource management from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and later a doctorate in social ecology from Yale University. She has taught at Stanford University for 13 years. “Nobody is ever an ‘empty vessel,’ so at each stage of the educational endeavor—
whether you’re starting primary school or your Ph.D.—you come in brimming with a whole wealth of life experiences,” she said. “As a professor, I try very hard to honor that. … The experiences I encourage my students to have—while theoretically grounded—are connected to, and in service of, larger-world concerns and issues.” The Stanford associate professor is active in environmental causes. She’s also skilled in collaborative learning, grant writing and community outreach. She is helping to solve the world’s most significant environmental and resource-sustainability challenges.
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Ardoin said, “We all live, constantly and “Climate change is a insights to bear on pressing sustainability inextricably, in complex interaction with With increased attention on the people problem, and challenges. other living and nonliving parts of the broader urgency of climate change, Ardoin believes it because it is human- is a full-on crisis that requires adaptation to a ecosystem(s)—so each action has consequences. Paying attention to those ripples changing world. caused, people are helps us learn, change and shift our actions “Climate change is perhaps the single also at the core of over time—and, in that way, we influence the greatest threat we face as humans—and have the solution.” world just as the world influences us.” faced historically,” Ardoin said. “Climate Ardoin credits her time at JMU for moldchange is not a single issue, but rather is a ‘cri— Nicole Ardoin (’93) ing the personal and professional life she sis multiplier,’ in that it not only causes, but enjoys today. She forged “remarkable, lifelong & Environmental Sciences. Stanford Earth also exacerbates, threats from related chalfriendships” here and still stays in contact develops the knowledge, talent and leader- lenges such as droughts, floods, wildfires and with longtime philosophy and religion profes- ship to understand and help solve the chal- other extreme weather events. sor William O’Meara. She’s married to fellow lenges facing the planet. “Yet despite those incredibly overwhelmDuke Gregory Hawkins (’95), who earned “I worked as an interpretive ranger at Grand ing aspects, climate change is not an intraca bachelor’s degree in geology. Though they Canyon National Park, where I led hikes into table problem. Climate change is a people aren’t able to return to campus often because the canyon and helped develop exhibitions problem, and because it is human-caused, of the 2,814 miles from here to there, the cou- in their main visitor center,” she said. “While people are also at the core of the solution. By ple’s Purple Pride nevertheless runs deep. there, I found my calling. My love for the envi- working together, through policy, enhanced “We’ve only been back to campus a cou- ronment and environmental causes grew, and technological and scientific approaches, and ple of times since graduating, but when we I realized the power of education to engage individual and collective actions, we can— did, it still felt close-knit—even with all the people in complex conversations about issues and indeed must—make a difference. Our growth,” she said. “We especially love the related to sustainability and conservation.” individual actions, combined with those of vibrancy of downtown Harrisonburg and Being a professor with a joint appoint- others, can make a difference in terms of lowhave a fondness for the charming historic ment, endowed chairholder and ambitious ering our carbon footprint.” homes and gorgeous old trees.” scholar is impressive enough. But Ardoin’s She stays curious, ref lects often and 2016 was a big year for Ardoin. She was service to the field doesn’t stop there. She focuses on actionable knowledge—all with promoted from assistant professor to associ- also chairs the Education Advisory Council a rare humility that belies her lengthy curate professor at Stanford that year, earned of NatureBridge, formerly Yosemite Insti- riculum vitae. With more than two decades tenure and promotion, and became the senior tute, a nonprofit that connects more than of experience in environment, sustainability, fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the 35,000 students and 600 schools yearly to behavioral science and community-based Environment, the institution’s hub for envi- the wonder and science of the natural world. learning/education, Ardoin is Being the ronmental studies faculty and a cross-disci- Additionally, she runs the Stanford Social Change through her service-oriented career. plinary research lab. Ecology Lab, which brings social science The world is a better place because of her She reflected, “I hope to be equally skills in championing social causes, enthusiastic about, curious about and research design and implementation, motivated by my research questions, assessment and evaluation, philancolleagues, places, issues and opporthropic strategy, program design and tunities decades from now, as I was writing/editing for impact. in 2016, and as I am today! A career Education. Engagement. Earth. in academia is, as they say, a journey Energy. Environment. Ecology. and not a destination. Thankfully, I What could be more noble? am motivated and energized by my “We can all make a difference in area of scholarship, and I am grateour own community every day,” ful every day for the dedication and Ardoin said, “and, being lifelong vision of my lab members, students, learners, it’s never too late to learn colleagues and our alumni.” more, tr y something new, and Since 2019, she has been the become involved in important issues Emmett Family Faculty Scholar at Ardoin with her family while hiking along the Califorto make the world a better place for Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy nia coast. Her husband, Greg (’95), is a JMU alumnus. today and tomorrow.”
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Self-care for your ears
Health and well-being podcast helps Dukes stay well
jordan mccann first had the idea of a health and wellness podcast in summer 2020. McCann, the assistant director for sexual and relationship health at the University Recreation Center, wanted to offer students an alternative to traditional health promotion programs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. UREC Health Promotion—formerly known as The Well—created the Well Dukes podcast as a resource for disseminating health information and to encourage further exploration of topics, ranging from sleep and eating disorders to sex education and demystifying sexually transmitted diseases. McCann and this year’s co-host, MaryGrace Johnson, emphasize that the topic of health and well-being on college campuses is about more than just “sex and drugs.” For example, a podcast
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episode titled “Self-Care and Self-Medication” covered the differences between the two and how self-care is an important area to develop, especially in our current times with mental health being so important. The podcast helps Dukes adapt to a changing world by making health-related information available anywhere, anytime. “I am excited that my position allows me to provide credible information and education on the wellness topics [that] college students want to learn,” said Johnson, UREC’s graduate assistant for health promotion. New episodes of Well Dukes air every other Wednesday and can be found on popular podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Information can be found on UREC’s Instagram account (@jmuurec), where the team posts updates and takes episode requests through direct message.
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“The podcast does an amazing job breaking down complex health information into simpler bits of knowledge that can help me improve my own health.” — Carly Sines, senior
(Above): UREC Health Promotion offers many services for students to live healthy and productive lives, including the Green Dot bystander intervention program. (Right): Jordan McCann, assistant director for sexual and relationship health at UREC.
Often, students who share a passion for wellness are featured on the podcast. Other guests are pulled from different areas of campus, including faculty members, the University Health Center and the Counseling Center. “I enjoy chatting with professionals and students about their passion areas. I learn something new every episode as well!” Johnson said. Well Dukes has made it possible to stay informed about health-related subjects during a time of uncertainty, when many people’s well-being has suffered. Johnson stressed the importance of college students obtaining credible information on their interests. It is easy to get “lost in Google sources,” she said. The podcast is designed to help JMU students understand that there are many resources available to them. Well Dukes has created a safe space to cope with difficult issues that a student might not want to have a conversation about or admit that they are struggling
with, which is why a podcast can be the perfect platform. JMU senior Carly Sines said, “I love the Well Dukes podcast! The podcast does an amazing job breaking down complex health information into simpler bits of knowledge that can help me improve my own health.” In addition to the Well Dukes podcast, UREC Health Promotion offers wellness services and programs such as the 21st Birthday Program, Green Dot bystander intervention and wellness coaching. The primary goal is prevention. Programming aims to educate students to make healthy decisions to avoid pitfalls like substance misuse. The hosts promote proactive measures and ensure that their services are nonjudgmental, useful resources. “With health promotion, it is important to acknowledge that students know themselves best,” McCann said. “We are here to provide information and resources that
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can assist and equip JMU students with the knowledge they need to make their best-informed decisions. This includes conversations that can challenge how they think and what they do around their own health and well-being.” Well Dukes’ mission is to “provide information, programming and services to JMU students that help them lead healthy and productive lives,” which is a direct correlation to JMU’s mission statement. Both emphasize students leading productive lives. Well Dukes hopes to grow its audience and continue the conversation about these important issues. UREC Health Promotion intends to expand its reach to the student body and ensure students understand that its services are inclusive and open to all. Listen to the Well Dukes podcast at https://j.mu/welldukes.
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Students learn ancient art of Buddhist printing in The Makery By Emily Blake, JMU Libraries communications and marketing coordinator
“i have studied block-printed texts for years as a scholar we all printed our own Buddhist (Clockwise from top left): of Tibetan Buddhism … but I had never crafted my own printing texts and images in class using Student Kat Sparagno cuts her linoleum block; student blocks before,” said Christie Kilby, assistant professor of religion the blocks they made!” Junior Garmendia rolls paint at JMU. Jenkins felt that offering the onto a printing block; ProIn Spring 2021, Kilby and her class visited The Makery, the lino-cutting and laser-cutting fessor Kilby visits a Tibetan makerspace in JMU Libraries, to embark on an unprecedented options helped students engage community; Introduction to Buddhism class displays its assignment. As part of her Introduction to Buddhism class, Kilby more with the process. “I think completed projects. asked her students to create printing blocks similar to those that the most successful part of this Buddhists have made for more than a thousand years in order to workshop was not just that the students were allowed to be creative, print scriptures. “The first printed book in world history was a but that they also had a choice in how they could do that,” Jenkins Buddhist scripture (the Diamond Sutra) printed in China in 868 said. “They could use their hands and physically carve a block print, A.D.,” Kilby said. or they can rely on software and a laser cutter to create the image. Kilby described how she developed the idea for the assign- Some people find hand tools very intimidating, or they get frustrated ment: “My goal was for students to understand the art of textual because they can’t quite seem to capture their idea with a drawing. production in Asia as well as the economics, resources, relation- Similarly, some people find learning a new software, like Adobe Illusships and mindfulness that go into this work. So, on a whim, I trator, a very frustrating process. I think that the act of choosing what attended a Makery workshop that Carlson Jenkins [educational technology to use imparts a sense of ownership over the project.” technologist in JMU Libraries] offered on laser cutting. He was While both the laser-cutting and lino-cutting options offered extremely supportive of my idea, encouraging me and engaging unique benefits, Kilby noted that hand carving the linoleum blocks in an ongoing email conversation gave students the opportunity to about how we could make my idea experience the meditative aspect of “The students who chose happen for my students. He met with ancient Buddhist practice. “The the hand-cut linoleum block this me individually to test out some laser students who chose the hand-cut workshop spoke of how cuts and find images that would work linoleum block workshop spoke of well for my class. In the end, Carlson meditative and therapeutic how meditative and therapeutic the designed and led two different workpractice was,” said Kilby. “In many the practice was.” shop series for my students—one on religious practices, there is a lot of laser cutting and one on lino cutting. repetition that can become a form of — Christie Kilby, assistant professor of religion My students loved the process, and meditation or prayer.”
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really does take a community. (And as a side note, most people don’t know that metal moveable-type printing was developed in Korea a couple hundred years before Johannes Gutenberg.)
WITH Christie Kilby
Emily Blake: Can you tell me more about the Buddhist practice of creating printing blocks? Christie Kilby: Buddhism and printing have a long relationship with one another—printing has not only been a way for Buddhists to disseminate their sacred texts but has also functioned as a form of merit making, or virtuous activity, for Buddhists throughout the centuries. Traditional xylography (the art of printing from wood blocks) involves cutting each page of text onto a wood block, backward and in relief. The inks and papers would have been handmade, and after printing a text, the blocks would be stored and used for future print runs. A tremendous amount of craftsmanship and skill goes into woodblock printing as well as hefty resources from patrons to finance book production. Traditional bookmaking brings the whole community together—patrons, artisans, scholars, scribes—quite a labor force. Our experience with Carlson at The Makery helped us see in a new way how making books the traditional way
Blake: Was this your first time making printing blocks? Kilby: Yes! I have studied block-printed texts for years as a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, and I also received a fellowship with the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, where I learned to analyze block-printed books as physical objects that carry their own histories of production, editing and distribution. But I had never crafted my own printing blocks before learning about the resources The Makery offers. Blake: What did students share about how the project was personally meaningful for them? Kilby: They enjoyed the chance to be creative and work with their hands. There are some lessons that you can only learn by doing—being humbled by the difficulty of a task or experiencing the foreignness of a type of knowledge transmission that is new to you. Blake: Has this experience given you any ideas for future class projects? Kilby: In the future, I would like to display our prints for the wider campus community in some way—a pop-up exhibit on the Quad, perhaps. I want more of the JMU community to see what we are doing in our religion courses!
WITH Carlson Jenkins
Blake: When you’re not laser cutting Buddhist printing blocks, what do you do at JMU Libraries? Carlson Jenkins: I am an educational technologist with JMU Libraries, meaning that I help students, faculty, staff and anyone else with all kinds of software and machines, from Canvas workshops for professors to sewing a shirt on a sewing machine. A lot of what I do is focused on bringing access to creative technology and related expertise to classrooms, but I also work very closely with The Makery, where a ton of tools, software and equipment are available to anyone on campus to come and use. Blake: How do you hope that access to technologies through The Makery can make a difference at JMU? Jenkins: The Makery is a place where students, faculty and staff can engage with creative technologies for any reason. Some people come in to work on a personal 3D-printing project right next to people working on their School of Media Arts and Design projects that are due that week. The Makery is a
place where students can be selfguided in their learning; they can be very hands-on with the technology and create connections that they would not have otherwise been able to make. As a person who spends most of my time on creative projects, I really value a place like The Makery where anyone can come and be creative. You can come here with any level of experience and receive the help and access to technology you need to do whatever project you’re interested in.
Blake: What did you learn as part of this process? Jenkins: This workshop was the first big workshop we coordinated during the pandemic. The Makery was not open to the public at this time, and everything was offered virtually or in one-on-one appointments. We were able to work in a series of small groups rather than having everyone come in one big group. That approach worked well for this project since there were so many different approaches to the assignment, and it allowed each group/individual to get more focused instruction. Blake: What else would you like faculty and students to know? Jenkins: There are so many different technologies and services available at The Makery and the Libraries in general. If you would like to visit The Makery to work on a project, you can check out the website for more information. Learn more about JMU Libraries’ makerspace at https://j.mu/makery. W I N T E R
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Alumni Life for
On the road again
BY SHAYLA BROWN (’20), alumni relations graduate assistant
ob Hume (’72) started his Madison career as a student and went on to work at the university as a driver. After making his mark in Harrisonburg, he’s heading back this spring for his 50th Bluestone Reunion. A s a student at Madison College, Hume (’72) majored in political science and originally wanted to be a school principal in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His first job out of college was with JMU Buildings and Grounds. It was during this time that he was assigned as a driver for President G. Tyler Miller— before there was even an official transportation department at the college. Since then, Hume has chauffeured four of JMU’s six presidents, including Jonathan R. Alger, whom Hume admits was his favorite. “He always interacted with me more as a person than an object.” Hume has stayed connected to the university throughout his life. In 1980, he and his wife-to-be put together a few bus trips to make some extra money. They drove groups to Busch Gardens, King’s Dominion, churches and schools, and led bus tours all over the country. They eventually expanded their motorcoach business and opened Travel Mates of Virginia Inc. in 1980, which lasted 28 years. Hume off icially started driving for JMU part-time in 2009 after men’s head basketball coach Charles G. “Lefty” Driesell convinced the school to buy buses for the athletics department. Travel Mates was asked to provide most of the transportation for the university until it hired its own bus system. Over his career, Hume has driven for every JMU sports team. His relationships
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with the student-athletes and the coaches are something he holds dear. After his retirement from the motorcoach industry in 2008, Hume was hired at JMU as a part-time driver and then went full time in 2016. Hume chauffeured such big names as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, author John Grisham and musician Peter Yarrow from the airport to campus. I n 2 017, J M U h i re d t r a n sp or t ation supervisor George Yocum. Hume remembers work ing with Yocum on a daily basis. “George really got the department squared away and running smoothly. He valued my 28-year experience with buses. I trained many drivers and assisted with trip routing and time
schedules. His support Bob Hume (’72) of the drivers rea lly took the wheel for every JMU made the department sports team. what it is today.” (Inset): Hume‘s H u m e m e n t o r e d 2018 lacrosse many fellow transpor- team champ ionship ring. tation employees, and his impact is still evident on campus today. “Bob is just one of those unique individuals who loves to talk to people, and they love to talk to him,” said Charlie King, senior vice president of administration and finance. “We need more ambassadors like Bob. I’m real proud I had a chance to work with him and that he remembered me.” Hume has driven for countless JMU events. One yea r, while driving the Americans with Disabilities bus during PH OTO G R A PH S BY J U ST I N ROT H
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“It’s not just a school; it’s a family. People make connections on this campus that you don’t see at a lot of large universities.” — BOB HUME (’72)
C HOIC E S , Hu m e c a m e across a mother and daughter who were torn between JMU and another university. “When people came to CHOICES and the open houses, if they were riding the accessible bus, I would always recommend that they eat at the East Campus dining hall.” Hume’s kindness helped sway them in JMU’s direction. His recommendation was so appreciated that day that the parent wrote to President Alger about the experience. For his efforts, Hume w a s re c og n i z e d w it h t he Caught in the ACT award. ACT stands for faculty and sta f f accou ntabi lit y, cu stomer service, and teamwork throughout JMU’s campus. He received this award twice. Hume said his proudest moment at JMU was driving
the bus for the lacrosse team when it won the 2018 national cha mpionship. Hume got to celebrate with the team, which showed its appreciation by granting him his very own championship team ring with his name on it. “We would get requests in the transportation office from athletics teams that Bob would specifically be the one to drive the bus that takes the teams to different competitions,” King said. Now retired and living in Georgia, Hume has a plethora of hobbies, including volunteering as a medic with the Louisa Rescue Squad and Towns County Fire Department, a s wel l a s a mateu r radio. “It doesn’t surprise me that Bob’s still doing lots of good things out there in his retirement,” King said.
They’ll soon be one of us
ost of the 2020-21 academic year was filled with uncertainty and learning the true meaning of the word pivot. It also inspired innovation, creativity and new levels of involvement across the JMU Alumni Association. As an alumni association, it’s often assumed that our sole focus is on the alumni experience. What I have found, however, is that the uniqueness of our Madison Experiences lies in being “Dukes from day one, alumni for life.” It won’t be long before they’re one of us. One of the opportunities afforded to the alumni office by the COVID-19 pandemic was to build relationships with JMU students. We pushed our creative boundaries to host a number of studentfocused events outdoors on campus. The number of students who showed sincere gratitude and enthusiasm for the chance to experience a sliver of the true Madison Experience inspired us to continue finding ways to bolster our interaction with students. I’m proud to say that we re-envisioned our student organization and launched the JMUAA Student Committee during Fall 2020. This student group works to represent JMU’s current student population within the JMUAA and lay the groundwork for lifelong commitment and engagement with JMU. Currently, we have more than 20 active members who participate and provide insight and feedback for major events like Homecoming, Giving Day and more. As we look toward spring, I encourage you to take time to find a way to engage with fellow alumni or current students. I am proud of the ways we continue building on the vision of our founders. We have adjusted, re-imagined and created ways to support a truly hybrid and diverse engagement strategy that provides opportunities to connect—whether you make the trip back to Harrisonburg or Zoom in from the comfort of your couch and purple sweatpants. We hope to see you on campus or online soon. Go Dukes!
Car r ie Comb s ( ’ 07, ’ 0 9M ),
J M U Alumni Association executive director
DUKE DOG COMIC STRIP IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES FROM JOHN ROSE (’86).
CO M BS PH OTO G R A PH BY CO DY T ROY E R ; D U K E D O G CO M I C ST R I P BY J O H N ROS E ( ’ 8 6)
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During the first week of November, JMU welcomed Dukes from around the globe, both virtually and in person, for Homecoming 2021. The week was filled with many traditional activities plus some newer events. (Counter-clockwise from top): Dukes get JMU souvenirs and sample food during QuadFest; alumni tailgate before the football game; The Jangling Reinharts play for the crowd during the Bagels & Beer event; the JMU community displays creativity in the Duke Dog Alley yard sign contest; JMU Dukettes raise Madison spirit; and alumnae show their Purple Pride during the Duke Dog Dash. 48
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PH OTO G R A PH S BY J U LI A W E AV E R ( ’ 2 1 ), T R U ST E N M U R R A H , C A M E RO N H O U C K A N D CO U RT E SY O F T H E O FFI C E O F A LU M N I R E L AT I O N S
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HOMEcoming Poetry Contest
in collaboration with the Furious Flower Poetry Center
he word home can hold a mu lt it ude of mea nings : Maybe you’ve moved around a lot and have lots of places that you could call home; or maybe, for you, home isn’t a house at all, but your favorite spot under that shady tree by the creek. Home is truly where the heart is, and poetry is the language of the heart. To celebrate Homecoming 2021, poets were invited to share a poem describing what the word home evoked in them. Included on this page are a few poems that were submitted by students, faculty and alumni. To read all of the poem entries, visit https://j.mu/poetry.
Homecoming: When he returns, the house itself is displaced, roots removed. Chairs kicked over. The olive table split. A spilt glass of dried wine. Unfamiliar footprints
What happens to your body when you’re not with the person you call “home”: Where is the sunrise and kiss-filled bliss, The muscular tubes of our bodies pretzeled? My fingertips buzz, unable to dance little flowers on your spine. My skin has become a timeless tundra, As I long to feel warm breath circling on my neck. My voice wavers, unsteady without your ears to travel through. My legs ache with the want to walk to you and the corner of my lips point downwards as if To apologize to my heart. — ALLISON SELZNICK (’22)
Many a Home Inside My Head: I have lived in a thousand homes. I revisit them often — and over again. Happy homes, comforting homes; both temporary and unabridged; I have many a home inside my head.
across the tile floor. The proud walls
In a blink I can travel
of the upper halls peel with pictures
back to a home not measured in miles;
of some strange family. The un-
smell the carpeted seats of my mother’s old car
welcoming made sharp, set like knives
stitched with vanilla; stacked CDs in a visor — always having a hand to hold.
in a drawer thrust open, fallen off track. Nothing turns toward him, not the dust-covered blades of the fan, not the heads of ragged dolls, not the rusted knobs of cobwebbed cabinets, nor the ghost of a woman he believed would stay. The bedroom door a wooden hand pushing him in. The vanity stiff with years. The mattress cover tossed about like a map for exiles.
And tomorrow I’ll be visiting grandpa again; tar and nicotine lining the walls; the welcoming riverbed greets me like an old friend, and we can live forever in the piecemeal of moments I keep. I can reminisce whenever I please. I could spend another night in my white, block-lined dorm, a passing conversation with a roommate; the laughter of people I used to know — I pull the sheets up over my ears and pretend that I’m still 18.
Before he can close his eyes, the house
I open my eyes and see the home that surrounds me now;
itself falls asleep, shuts him in the eaves
the four walls of my people, the place I lay my head, my body, the life I’ve built; it all reminds me:
of an uninhabitable dream.
how lucky it is to be somewhere and everywhere
—M ICHAEL TROCCHIA, instructor of philosophy
all at once. — NOELLE DONDERO (’20) W I N T E R
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Alumni-owned businesses: Food edition
t JMU, we love holding the door open, throwing streamers at sporting events and enjoy ing good food! The AlumniOwned Business Directory was created for alumni who are business owners and want to support other alumni-owned businesses. Here are five such businesses in the food and beverage industry. From chefs who challenge cultural boundaries to internationally renowned beers, Dukes sure know how to please the palate!
For the love of chocolate/por amor al chocolate A self-taught chocolatier, Matthew Sibley’s (’11) first passion was Spanish. He studied Latin culture at JMU and was introduced to freshly made hot cacao (the plant’s seeds are used to make chocolate) in Puebla, Mexico. In 2019, Sibley launched Apalache Chocolate. What began as a hobby turned into a home business. As his business grows, Sibley strives for direct trade by forming personal relationships with farmers in Central and South America. Currently, Sibley buys from Terrasoul Wholesale, which sources its beans through cooperatives made up of small family farms in Tocache, Perú. A customer can anticipate adventurous flavors from Sibley’s craft chocolate. “I enjoy developing fun flavor profiles, such as Ghost Pepper/Chile Fantasma and Toasted Rice and Matcha/Arroz Tostado y Matcha,” he said.
In May 2019, Curtis Perry (’02) pur chased a family-favorite restaurant, The Desserterie, in Richmond, Virginia. A few months later, he had to adjust the business for to-go orders in the COVID-19 pandemic. During those unpre dictable times, Perry’s main focus was keeping the restaurant afloat for his employees and maintaining a space fre quented by locals. For Perry, his joy is sharing life with clients. He provides a space “to give some comfort during hard times or to celebrate together during good times.” The restau rant is currently becoming more winefocused with seasonal cocktails.
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Mashita means ‘delicious’ Chef Mikey Reisenberg’s (’09) cuisine combines bold Korean-inspired flavors with refined French cooking techniques. For Reisenberg, a native of South Korea who was adopted by a Harrisonburg family when he was 2 months old, it all started in 2013 when he opened the Mashita food truck in the Friendly City. “Korean street food became the focal point, as it was a way for me to explore my Korean identity,” Reisenberg said. After six years in business, Mashita, which means “delicious,” opened as a full-service restaurant in downtown Harrisonburg in October 2019. The space includes additional seating, a large outdoor deck and full-size bar, and features seven free Multicade arcade machines!
African food is not a monolith Manny Baiden (’17) grew up in Accra, Ghana, a vibrant West African nation known for its lush biodiversity and welcoming society. When he was 19, Baiden left home and arrived at JMU to pursue a hospitality degree. From a young age, he has been passionate about foods and cultures. After a few years in the restaurant industry, Baiden moved to Rich mond, Virginia, in 2019 and established Manny Eats, a private-chef ser vice that delivers beautiful sensory-engaging food that pays homage to its cultures and origins. “What I want to do with Manny Eats is share with others that African and African American foods are not a monolith,” he said. “There is variety in the cooking.” He draws inspiration from many cultures and uses bold flavor profiles and ingredients. “Being a part of the international community at JMU, I learned how different foods were sup posed to taste,” he said.
A toast to Port City Brewing Company
Bill Butcher (’88) and his wife, Karen, are trailblazers in the craft beer industry. In 2011, they opened Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria, Virginia, which is now the longestoperating craft brewery in the Washington metro politan area. Port City offers an impressive lineup of awardwinning beers and seasonal specials. Butcher most cares about creating an enjoyable work environ ment and developing an eco-friendly business. Recalling a conversation with President Jonathan R. Alger, he said his time at JMU encouraged him “to be an optimist and see what’s possible.” Being a Duke broadened his worldview and gave him the confidence and vision to pursue his passion.
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Bleed purple, go gold
BY SHAYLA BROWN (’20), alumni relations graduate assistant
n Sept. 9, 2021, Wilson Hall was lit gold in honor Her supporters in social media have adopted the phrase “Caroof Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The line Strong.” “It kept me going. People are watching me fight, and event was hosted by Dukes Against Childhood it makes me want to keep fighting,” Laughorn said. Cancer, a student club formed in Spring 2020. Like many other organizations, DACC was impacted by the “It was really special. We were out there from COVID-19 pandemic just as it was getting started. The club the afternoon into the evening as the sun went down,” said didn’t actually hold its first in-person meeting until September. senior social work major LeAnna Headley, one of the club’s “It was so fun to see people show up and want to be a part of founders. “Some people brought picnics, some people brought it,” Headley said. “It shows that it’s not just the three of us who homework and some people just stopped by to say ‘hi’.” are passionate about the cause. There are other people who have Headley runs the club with direct connections to pediatric t wo ot her JM U st udent s, cancer or don’t but still want to juniors Caroline Laughorn and be a part of it.” Hannah Moon. In spreading awareness of Headley is no stranger to childhood cancer, DACC club childhood cancer advocacy or members made and handed building a new organization out almost 300 gold ribbons to from the ground up. She has students, each one with a fact been an advocate for the pediatattached about childhood canric cancer awareness movement cer. They hope to take advansince 2014 and is the founder tage of gold being one of JMU’s of Our Amazing Fighters, a colors and eventually host a nonprofit that has lobbied on “Gold Out” sporting event. Capitol Hill for better policy He a d le y, w ho hop e s to and legislation on behalf of kids become a child-life specialist to with cancer as well as family support families going through support programs. pediatric cancer, said she and “We deliver care packages her co-founders share a special nationwide to kids f ighting bond. “It’s cool because we cancer. We send bald Ameriall have different perspectives can Girl dolls to girls who have and experiences of how we got lost their hair. We do miniinvolved and why we’re passionwishes, gift cards and a little ate about it. The passion has financial support,” she said. been there for a long time.” Headley’s work with the Laughorn wants to be a phynonprof it is what led her to sician’s assistant in pediatric Dukes Against Childhood Cancer was built from the ground meet Laughorn, who has been up by Hannah Moon, LeAnna Headley and Caroline Laughorn. oncology. “I just want to help fighting cancer for more than These women are doing what they can in the community to people like people have helped spread awareness of pediatric cancer. 12 years. me,” she said. “I just feel like Moon, a hospitality major, became passionate about the cause I can understand the children. I can understand the families. I after rooming with Laughorn during their freshman year. “I’ve been want to help give back.” closely involved because of them. They made me passionate about The women hope to eventually pair DACC with Our Amazing it because they were, and they kind of spread that passion to me.” Fighters to continue building awareness and make the lighting of The students’ busy schedules didn’t get in the way of their goal Wilson an annual event. of spreading awareness of childhood cancer. Laughorn, a health They also hope to hold a similar event in February in honor of sciences major and four-time cancer survivor, has regular doctor International Childhood Cancer Day after seeing the hope that appointments on top of her school and club responsibilities. it brought to the JMU community. “Monday I had a doctor’s appointment in North Carolina, and “It was really cool to see JMU prioritize the cause,” Headley I didn’t get back until Tuesday morning,” said Laughorn, who said. “Obviously, there’s still a lot more work to do, and a lot more still suffers from the long-term effects of her diagnosis. fight to be had.”
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Alumni board of directors welcomes 10 new members
(Front row): Paul Pohto (’14)*, Bill Luth (’89)*, Tripp Hughes (’09), Mary Trimmer Robinson (’76, ’79M)*, Christine Cruzvergara (’05), Kaitlin Holbrook (’13), Charles May (’83), Gina Friend (’92)*, Amy Barnett (’06), Carrie Combs (’07, ’09M), Allison Brown (’92)*, Mia Brabham (’16)*, Ellen Hineman (’89), Derek Steele (’84)*; (Back row): Steve Cornwell (’90)*, Dave Urso (’03, ’05M), Wei Huang (’05)*, Carrie Hawes (’04), Michelle Turenne (’90)*, Eric Bowlin (’02), Chris Ellis (’08), Zac Hittie (’06, ’10M). (Inset}: No JMU event is complete without a streamer toss, even for the JMU Alumni Asso ciation Board of Directors. * I N D I C AT E S N E W D I R EC TO RS B EG I N N I N G T H E I R T E R M S O N T H E B OA R D
he JMU Alumni Association hosts the annual Madison Alumni Conference Awa rd s Ba nquet to recognize outstanding alumni chapters in the JMU communit y. It is because of JMU’s dedicated and exceptional volunteers that the JMU Alumni Association is able to have a presence in more than 36 regional a lu m n i c h a pt e r s , lo c a t e d worldwide. Five alumni chapters were t he recipients of $250 awards in 2021.
The winning chapters and chapter leaders were (L-R): JMU Federal Dukes (Chapter/Regional Ambassador on the Rise award); the JMU Black Alumni Chapter (Affinity Chapter of the Year award); Marcus Seiler of the Phoenix Dukes chapter (Regional Ambassador of the Year); the MetroDukes Alumni Chapter (Shenandoah Chapter of the Year); and NC Triangle Dukes Alumni Chapter (Blue Ridge Chapter of the Year).
A LU M N I B OA R D PH OTO G R A PH S BY ST E V E A D E RTO N (‘ 1 9); M AC AWA R DS BY C A M E RO N H O U C K
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MixedMedia BOOKS, MUSIC
BY MORGAN VEGA (’19M) Self-published ISBN-13: 978-1737059516 Hard-hitting yet humorous, this young-adult contemporary following a teen’s transition from foster care to college by debut author Morgan Vega is perfect for fans of What I Carry by Jennifer Longo and Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour. Exploring trauma and resilience in gritty, firstperson detail, Sleeping Around is a powerful reflection on stability, the concept of home and the heavy baggage we all must sometimes carry. This intimate coming-of-age tale highlights the impact the foster-care system can have on the mindset and psychological well-being of children and the adults they become. Driven by a complex narrator and woven together with unassuming and conversational prose, the target audience for this book is older teens moving into a new chapter of life, but the intense themes will resonate with older readers as well.
Watch Me Trick Ghosts BY ROBERT KRUT (’95) Codhill Press ISBN-13: 978-1949933130
In Watch Me Trick Ghosts, award-winning poet Robert Krut reveals a city weaving between surreal consciousnesses and concrete imagination, where speakers are fully aware that “the scars of the world are turning neon” (“Accidental Light”). Among them, spirits hide and appear in tree lines, behind bookcases, even “etching a name into a street sign pole with a knife” (“You Are the Street, You Are the Sleep”). These poems skillfully veer between lyrical moments of intimacy and urgent messages seemingly sent from the negative space surrounding a dream. It might be the case that “fear is a blade held in a lung” (“The Anxious Lever of Lowering Sky”), but in the quietest hours of night, strangers can connect through striking images that cast a spell. Watch Me Trick Ghosts is Krut’s fourth poetry collection.
BY JEREMY CHERRY (’11) Self-published http://hopeful.design Designing Hope explores creating compassionate work for humans. It defines a design framework that creates hope by practicing in an ecosystem, honoring that community with its solutions and sharing in the responsibility of its outcomes. It’s equal parts manifesto and practical guide. It strives to rise above technical theory, seeking out practical compassion. In short, if a person creates things for others (who doesn’t?), this book is for them.
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The PhD Parenthood Trap: Caught Between Work and Family in Academia BY KERRY CRAWFORD AND LEAH WINDSOR Georgetown University Press ISBN-13: 978-1647120665
In The PhD Parenthood Trap, Kerry Crawford, an associate professor of political science at JMU, and Leah Windsor offer a new examination of the challenges associated with academic parenthood based on original survey data and stories from academics across disciplines—and call on colleges and universities to implement systemic change. This book includes recommendations to help academia move beyond the starting point of existing policies, and gives advice to new and expectant scholar parents.
Get Untamed: The Journal (How to Quit Pleasing and Start Living) BY GLENNON DOYLE (’99) Clarkson Potter ISBN-13: 978-0593235652
With Untamed, Glennon Doyle—writer, activist and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People)— ignited a movement. Doyle now offers a new way of journaling, one that reveals how we can stop striving to meet others’ expectations—because when we finally learn that satisfying the world is impossible, we quit pleasing and start living. Whether or not you have read Untamed, this journal leads you to rediscover and begin to trust your own inner voice. Full of thought-provoking exercises, beloved quotations from Untamed, compelling illustrations, playful and meditative coloring pages, and an original introduction, in Get Untamed: The Journal, Doyle guides us through the process of examining the aspects of our lives that can make us feel caged. This revolutionary method for uprooting culturally-constructed ideas shows us how to discover for ourselves what we want to keep and what we’ll let burn so that we can build lives by design instead of default. A one-of-a-kind journal experience, Get Untamed proves Doyle’s philosophy that “imagination is not where we go to escape reality, but where we go to remember it.”
Moshe’s Big Day: A Lesson in Trust
BY SYDNEY COFFEY (’07) Wide Island Publishing ISBN-13: 978-1737364108 It’s no secret that the world can be a big, scary place sometimes. But there’s someone you can trust when it feels a little too big and scary. Moshe’s Big Day follows Moshe the sheep as he ventures to new places, gets a little scared and remembers he knows someone who’s always there to help. Just as Moshe realizes he can trust his shepherd, children will learn that they can trust in Jesus when they feel afraid or overwhelmed. This Wide Island Publishing release includes a back section for parents that provides an opportunity to connect the story to Scripture and point children to Christ. Perfect for family devotions or for children struggling with feelings of fear, Moshe’s Big Day will build a foundation for trusting God no matter what comes a child’s way.
To show your Madison pride wherever you drive and support scholarships for Virginia students, visit www.dmvNOW.com to get your JMU license plate today.
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Agility coach helps companies adapt to change
BY JIM HEFFERNAN (’96, ’17M)
etsy Swaney Kauffwith an emphasis on organizaman (’97) grew up in tional design. a military family. By Organizational design involves the time she arrived looking at an organization as a sysat JMU in the fall of tem. “It’s not just moving pieces on 1993, Kauffman had attended six an org chart,” Kauffman said. “It’s, schools in four U.S. states as well as ‘Do we have the right people in Japan. “My four years at JMU were place? Do they have the right skill the longest I spent in one place in sets? Can they help take us to the my life at that point,” she said. next level? Are our systems slow? No surprise, t hen, t hat her Are our processes optimized? Are career has taken a few twists and our strategies aligned across the turns as well. After graduating organization?’” with a degree in hospitality and Cross Impact Coaching helps tourism management, Kauffman organizations achieve what Kauffwent to work as a catering manager man calls “little-a agility”—being at George Mason University. Durnimble, innovative and creative, ing that time, she met her future and not being afraid to fail. “With husband, Jonathan Kauffman, that comes transparency and clarwho convinced her to move with ity, and being able to respond him to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. to customers and the changing There, Kauffman took a job with dynamics of what’s happening out Boy Scouts of America, helping in the world,” Kauffman said. lead a program to bring character Before the COV ID-19 paneducation, leadership and career demic, Cross Impact’s coaches readiness into area high schools. would conduct in-person workAfter getting married in 1999, Betsy Swaney Kauffman’s (’97) knack for agile training shops with companies, but these the couple decided on a whim and coaching led her to launch her own company. days their work is mostly virtual. to move to Charlotte, North Carolina. more agile in how they delivered products “It’s a little tougher environment to observe Once again, Kauffman needed a job, so and services. “Everybody was asking, ‘How what’s really going on and the relationshe went and knocked on the door of the do we actually change the way we oper- ships,” Kauffman said, “but the dynamics director of the Boy Scouts’ corporate sup- ate?’” she said. are still there.” ply division. The two ended up talking One day, while working as a coach at In January 2021, Kauffman hosted her for an hour. “The next day, he called me Bank of America’s corporate offices in first TED Talk, “4 Tips to Kickstart Honand said, ‘You’re a smart young woman. I Charlotte, Kauffman spoke at a local con- est Conversations at Work,” in which she need somebody like you to come in and ference. “Afterward I had a line of people. discusses why we are often afraid to speak shake up our IT department.’” The very last person that came to talk to up in a group of our peers, especially when Kauffman learned about hardware and me was a guy who was actually another it involves conflict. software systems, and soon pivoted into coach at the bank. And he was like, ‘You What’s next for Kauffman? She’s explorproject management, including a stint as need to quit your day job and take this on ing the idea of a digital publication, or a consultant. “I love project management,” the road.’” perhaps a podcast, around organizational Kauffman said. “Projects are constantly Kauffman did just that, launching design. At the end of the day, her goal is to coming and going. … Being able to change her own firm in 2014 focused on agile help create workplaces “where people wake and rapidly iterate was appealing to me.” training and coaching. A few years later, up each morning feeling motivated and In 2012, Kauffman began working with the company regrouped and relaunched inspired by their work and end their days organizations that were looking to become under the name Cross Impact Coaching, feeling fulfilled and valued.” PH OTO G R A PH CO U RT E SY O F B E TSY S WA N E Y K AU FFM A N ( ’ 97 )
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Class Notes SCHOLARSHIP THANK-YOUS 58 STAFF EMERITI 59 CELEBRATIONS 60 FACULTY EMERITI 62 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT 63
(Clockwise, from top left): JMU was the first university to install Science On a Sphere, a visualization system that uses networked projectors to display still and animated datasets onto the outside of a large, suspended sphere; Christie-Joy Hartman (right), executive director of environmental stewardship, reviews the equipment in 2006; a public demonstration was held in March 2007. Although SOS is often used for science education, the system is applicable to any discipline. It was moved to EnGeo 2207 from Memorial Hall this past summer. 56
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1958 classmates Charlotte Bailey (top row, far left) and Betty Ball Mann (bottom row, far left) hosted a Madison reunion dinner for alumni and friends at Cedarfield retirement community in Richmond, Virginia, on Aug. 6, 2021.
Ginna Bauhan (’19P) joined ladies from the Classes of 1952 through 1969 (above) for a delicious alumni (and parent/grandparent) dinner on Aug. 6, during which they provided campus updates, answered questions and enjoyed hearing about their memories at Madison. Incoming freshman Andy Tyler of Glen Allen, Virginia, was one of the servers.
Look what Michael Q. Wilder (’79) (left) started! He discovered Madison in 1975. His sister, Michelle S. Wilder (’87) (third from left), followed in her brother’s footsteps to JMU. Years later, cousin Monyette L.F. Martin (’93, ’96M) (fourth from left), decided to make JMU her home. And despite the pandemic, on Sept. 3, 2021, the family witnessed Michael’s niece, Cameron Lee Lewis (’20) (second from left), and cousin, Jasmine Yvonne Martin (’20) (right), graduate from JMU.
John Rose was honored with the Jack Davis Award for South East Cartoonist Of The Year by the South East Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society in celebration of his 20-year anniversary as the cartoonist for the popular
O P P O S I T E : S O S P H OTO G R A P H S BY B R I A N D I L L E N S N Y D E R ( ‘ 0 8 ), D I A N E E L L I OT T ( ‘ 0 0) A N D E R I C G O R TO N ( ‘ 8 6 , ‘ 0 9 M )
John Rose (’86)
Snuffy Smith comic strip, which is syndicated worldwide by King Features. The award was given at the group’s annual meeting in Salisbury, North Carolina, in August 2021. W I N T E R
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C L A SS S C H O L A R S H I P T H A N K -Y O U L E T T E R S The H.L. Harris Scholarship The scholarship was established by the H.L. Harris Foundation and Trust in Alexandria, Virginia, to provide support for deserving students from Northern Virginia. Dear donors, Thank you so very much for awarding me the H.L. Harris Scholarship. This is a grand honor, and I am so grateful. I chose to come to JMU because it is an amazing place. It is a community where I can express who I am without being judged. I am majoring in communication studies with a concentration in organizational communication and Spanish. I am also minoring in legal Spanish, and Spanish and English interpretation and translation. I am currently a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the co-president and activities coordinator for the JMU Spanish Club, and the special events and recruitment chair of Lambda Pi Eta. In regard to my future after college, I have always told myself that I want to do something meaningful. I have had the amazing opportunity to intern at Volunteers of America the past two summers, and I hope to work there after I graduate. Eventually I would like to work for The Walt Disney Co., as Disney holds a special place in my heart. I once again would like to thank you for considering and awarding me as the recipient of this scholarship. I am very appreciative that scholarships like this exist to help me with my educational dreams. God bless, Veronica Giron (’21) Fairfax, Virginia
The Anna Moffatt McCormick (‘50) Strings Scholarship Endowment The scholarship was established to support students in the strings program within the JMU School of Music, a purpose that honors McCormick’s love of classical music and passion for the violin. The scholarship may be awarded on the basis of merit or need at the discretion of the dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and, in the event that a potential scholarship recipient’s need for financial assistance is the basis for the selection, then the determination shall be made by the university’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Dear donors, My name is Brianna, and I am writing this letter to formally thank you for choosing me to receive the Anna Moffatt McCormick (’50) Strings Scholarship Endowment. I decided to attend JMU because it was the place that felt most like home. I have been visiting the campus since I was a kid, as I grew up relatively close to the campus, about 30 minutes north, and I knew it was where I wanted to be. I plan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in music industry and go on to be a music producer in one of the major music cities such as Los Angeles, Nashville or New York. I would like to be able to make a difference in people’s lives, whether that be through music I produce and make, or through donations to make a scholarship such as this one possible for someone else. I am very appreciative of this. I can barely afford school on my own, and scholarships like this are so helpful in making sure that I can attend. This scholarship means the world to me because it gives me the chance to continue doing what I love and continue my education at JMU. I am currently involved in the Marching Royal Dukes and the JMU Pep Band. I have participated in orchestra every semester so far and plan to continue. I am also interested in joining the JMU Club Swimming team. I was on the swim team in high school and absolutely loved it. Due to an injury, I was unable to swim my senior year, and I would love to eventually get back to it. I hope that this letter gives you a little more insight into who I am and the gratitude that I have for this opportunity. Thank you! Brianna Polk (’24) Quicksburg, Virginia
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Andrea Lewis JMU this fall. The family was recently celebrated with the help promoted to director of six JMU alumni and, of programs at Maryof course, Duke Dog. land Humanities. Lewis joined the staff in 2007 David Mereand coordinates litera- Andrea Lewis dith, CEO and ture programs, discussion (’90) board director of Everprograms and book festibridge, ranked among vals. Lewis’ diverse backComparably’s 2021 ground in public relaBest CEOs for Diversity tions, programming and across 60,000-plus large fundraising includes work companies. Meredith with the National Galranked alongside peers lery of Art, Folger Shakefrom industry leaders speare Library, Scholas- Yolanda including Zoom, Adobe, tic, the Public Library Darville (’94) IBM, Google, MicroAssociation and the Maryland soft, Uber and Ford Motor Co. State Department of Education, as well as 20-plus years working Pamela Rosen was prowith public libraries in Maryland moted to vice president and across the country through of finance with Nielsen Buildconsulting and committee work. ers in May. Rosen has worked She remains devoted to helping at the Shenandoah Valley genorganizations refine their image, eral contracting firm since 1996. increase funding and expand their Yolanda Darville joined Lightreach to new audiences, and she house Counsel as a communicaserves on the boards of Writers in tions manager. Darville brings Baltimore Schools and Citizens more than 20 years of experience for Maryland Libraries. n Veronica in transformational communicaPulley-Webster’s son, Jalen Webtion strategies for nonprofits to ster, a graduate of Churchland the Lighthouse Counsel team. High School in Portsmouth, VirWith the belief that every nonginia, enrolled as a freshman at profit has a compelling story to
(L-R): Valarie Hill-Coleman (’90), Veronica Pulley-Webster (’90), Jaqueline Drye (’90), Jalen Webster (incoming freshman), Dianne Boyd-Odom (’90), Pamela Word-Parker (’90) and Kathy Cousins-Gilbert (’90)
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tell, she focuses on helpLindsay N. Trout ing organizations share was named a their unique narratives Fairfax County (Virin ways that inspire their ginia) Public Schools audiences to action. In 2021 Outstanding addition to her extenEmployee. Trout’s leadersive experience working Lindsay N. ship at Terraset Elemenwith national nonprofits, Trout (’95) tary School is reflected in Darville has served in the school’s motto, “We fundraising senior leadsee you. We welcome ership roles internationyou. You belong here.” ally, including working Through authentic kindwith a food-rescue organess and a passion for nization, a private school, people, Trout cultivates a university and an educapacity among Terracation foundation. Dar- Michael set staff, children and ville holds a Bachelor of Keens (’98) families. Her leadership Science degree in comfocuses on the strengths munications with a minor in of people, a genuine sense of political science from JMU. She belonging, and a culture that volunteers with Calvary Chrisempowers adults and students to tian Academy and is an honorrecognize and reach their potenary board member for Hands tial. This year Trout created the for Hunger. concept of #TerrasetTogether to
NOT E S provide a safe place for children to be their authentic selves, for families to share their celebrations and their struggles, and for staff to elevate their passion for teaching.
Megan Ross was selected as president and CEO of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo on Sept. 9. Ross first joined the zoo in 2000 as the Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds and has held leadership positions at the zoo for more than 20 years. Ross is deeply committed to what she calls the “four Cs”: care, conservation, community and culture. These values are her platform for engaging the people of Chicago around broader issues of animal welfare, coexistence with nature in an urbanizing world, and environmental issues like climate change and conservation.
Megan Ross (’96) at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo
Michael Keens was hired as executive vice president of operations with Anju Software in September. The firm works with the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. CONTINUED ON PAGE 61 >>>
SEA celebrates the new year!
BY TINA UPDIKE (’73), SEA Steering Committee chair
n 2021, the Staff Emeriti Association welcomed more than 40 retired classified staff members into the fold, bringing the group’s total membership to just over 260. The SEA is a multifaceted organization open to retired, full-time, classified employees who have earned emerita(us) status, as approved by the president. This dynamic and fun organization, sponsored by JMU Human Resources, pro vides an opportunity for staff emeriti to continue association with colleagues and maintain ties to the university through a variety of activities. JMU recognizes the many years of dedicated service and important contributions these people have made to the institution. Retired staff members are awarded staff appropriate university activities. These emerita(us) status under JMU Policy 1318. benefits include: This status is a privilege, not a right, and it is n JACard awarded at the discretion of the university. A n JMU email account retired staff member is eligible for appoint- n use of Microsoft 365 (online versions of ment to emerita(us) status if the person served Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) full time for a minimum of 10 years at JMU, has a n emeriti parking decal record of noteworthy contributions throughout n ability to purchase a faculty/staff meal plan their JMU career and retired from the university n discounts at the JMU Bookstore in good standing. n on-campus tuition waiver Emeriti staff members are eligible to n use of recreational facilities use university facilities and participate in n library privileges
S E A P H OTO G R A P H C O U R T E S Y O F S TA F F E M E R I T I A S S O C I AT I O N
SEA members On behalf of the SEA Steering Committee, our enjoy fellowship best wishes to everyone and a delicious for a joyous new year. We meal at their holiday luncheon. look forward to planning activities and making connections in 2022!
For more information about the Staff Emeriti Association and upcoming events, visit jmu.edu/staffemeriti or email email@example.com.
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Celebrations W E DDI N G S , HO N OR S & FUTURE DUKES
5 1 Kristin Hawthorne Wolfe (’19) and Thomas Wolfe (’19) were happily married on May 23, 2021, in Richmond, Virginia. They were highschool sweethearts and have been together for eight years now. 2 Samir Suleiman (’97) married Dr. Erin Donnelly on July 10, 2021, in Sonoma Coast, California. 3 Megan Ridgway (’09, ’11M) and her husband, Alex Young, welcomed their future Duke, Michael Young, on Aug. 12. Michael is the first grandson of Frank (’80) and Suzanne (’80) Ridgway. 4 Robert Boag (’12) married Erin Boag at Elk Lake, Oregon, on June 19, 2021. Robert is the former head of photography and former multimedia director at The Breeze. He and Casey
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Templeton (’06) co-founded a media consulting firm, Stacks. 5 Lola Sizemore (’07) and Andrew Brautigan (’09) were married on Sept. 10, 2021, at Peaks Island in Maine. Many fellow alumni were in attendance, including best man Alex Cernik (’09), maid of honor Gina Mattucci (’07) and bridesmaid Katie Thierry Shaffer (’07). When the couple officially had their first date in Somerville, Massachusetts, in 2013, they realized they had met once while at JMU back in 2004 and recently discovered they actually had a class together–“History of Rock and Roll!” (Not pictured): Chiquita King (’09, ’11M) and Victor Jr. gave birth to a boy, William Knox, on May 23, 2021.
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Keens’ addition to the head of investment portleadership team strengthfolio management at ens the organization’s U.S. Bank. ability to capitalize on market opportunities to Dr. Meredith address inefficiencies conA. Bailey was Michael necting disparate data sworn in as the 158th within clinical trials and Boblitz (’00) president of the Massamedical affairs software systems. chusetts Dental Society in July, Keens brings over two decades becoming only the fifth woman of experience to the role to hold that position. and has been recogBailey is a group pracnized by PharmaVOICE tice leader in the departmagazine as one of the ment of general dentistry Top 100 Inspiring Peoat the Boston Univerple in Pharma. He also sity Henry M. Goldholds memberships in man School of Dental Jeff the American Society Kowalsky (’01) Medicine. “Dr. Bailey’s of Clinical Oncology expertise will support and the Association of Clinical MDS in continuing to advance Research Professionals. the profession of dentistry and championing Michael C. oral health in the comBoblitz, a gradumonwealth over the next ate of the Health Admintwo years,” said Kevin istration program, became C. Monteiro, executive the Tallahassee Orthopedirector of MDS. BaiMeredith A. dic Clinic’s new CEO ley served on the MDS Bailey (’02) on Sept. 1. He oversees Board of Trustees as its an estimated 350 employees, first two-year-term vice presiincluding 28 physicians at TOC. dent and as chair of the CommitFounded in 1972, the clinic is tee of District Chairs and ChairTallahassee’s first medical pracElects. She has served in various tice dedicated exclusively to capacities at the state level over orthopedics. “TOC has always the years. Notably, Dr. Bailey was been at the forefront of innovaa founding member and chair of tion and excellence in orthopedic the 14th district of the MDS, crecare,” Boblitz said. “To be a part ated in 2015. At the national level, of an organization whose physiBailey represents the first district cians are widely recognized for of the American Dental Assotheir exceptional treatment and ciation and serves as vice chair care of their patients, it’s a terof the ADA Council on Ethics, rific opportunity that any leader Bylaws and Judicial Affairs. She would welcome.” With more than is also chair of the Administrative 20 years in health care adminisand Policy subcommittee and an tration, Boblitz was most recently observer on the ADA Standards CEO at Reagan Medical CenCommittee on Dental Informatter, a full-service practice in Lawics, Working Group 13.8 Augrenceville, Georgia. mented Intelligence. Bailey is a fellow of the American College of Financial analyst Jeff Dentists, the International ColKowalsky left HSBC lege of Dentists and the Pierre Bank after 17 years and is now Fauchard Academy.
S C H O L A R S H I P T H A N K -Y O U L E T T E R S The William T. and Mildred F. Van Dyck Endowment in the School of Music
The scholarship was established with gifts from the William T. Van Dyck Family Trust and the Mildred F. Van Dyck Family Trust. This endowment will provide funds annually for the general support of the JMU School of Music. Dear Van Dyck family, My name is Irene Tsai. I am a junior piano performance major at JMU. I moved from Taiwan five years ago, and I’ve played the piano since I was 7 years old. I love the environment at JMU. The campus is appealing, people are nice, we have the best gym, and the faculty are very nice and funny, especially in our music department. As a music major, I also get to use a lot of resources and chances to help me grow my academic and performance levels, and all the piano professors are more than willing to help me when I reach out to them—something that I am extremely grateful for. I haven’t given too much thought to my career plans, but, for now, I want to have more experiences, such as studying abroad. I will also keep pursuing a higher music degree after my undergrad program. Outside of music, I like to work out to support my health and have more energy throughout the day. It also helps me control different parts of my body, which helps me discover a better way to practice and overcome the technique that I’ve been struggling with. Receiving this award from the William T. and Mildred F. Van Dyck Endowment in the School of Music wasn’t something I’d thought of since I am not very confident about myself, but being offered this scholarship and being recommended by the piano faculty means something significant to me—not only that I am doing well, but also that I have so much more potential than I thought. Also, having many expectations from others makes me want to push myself forward to not let down those who believe in me, because I really appreciate people who do that. Thank you again and again for offering me this great scholarship. Sincerely, Juichi ‘Irene’ Tsai (’24) Taiwan/Ashburn, Virginia
The Bilbrey, Busing, Reid, Tansky and Teer Endowed Beta Gamma Sigma Scholarship
The scholarship was established in 1997 by Dr. Charles P. Bilbrey, Dr. Michael E. Busing, Dr. Robert D. Reid, Ms. Judith Tansky, Dr. Faye Teer and Dr. Harold Teer. This scholarship is intended to benefit outstanding potential or current full-time students in pursuit of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with financial need. The scholarship could be renewed for a maximum of 10 full-time semesters, including any transfer credits, as long as the student remains eligible. A scholarship selection committee appointed by the dean of the College of Business will annually recommend the scholarship recipient(s) to the university’s Director of Scholarships. Dear donors, I would love to express my gratitude for this opportunity I’ve been given. Ever since 2013, I have dreamed of becoming a Duke. On Jan. 12, 2021, I found out this dream would become a reality. I would like to thank you for this generous offer through the Bilbrey, Busing, Reid, Tansky and Teer Endowed Beta Gamma Sigma Scholarship. As I move forward into my career in computer information systems, this scholarship will allow me to begin my life after college on a stronger foundation. This aid will allow me to be financially independent, which in turn will allow me to be a useful and influential community member. For this, I am truly grateful. Throughout my high school career, I was involved in many clubs and activities. I was a member of my school’s National Beta Club, US Academic Bowl and president of the Youth in Government club. I also competed at the state level in track and field as a pole vaulter. I also played soccer and ran cross-country for five years. Overall, I am proud of what I have accomplished, and I am excited for a prosperous tie at JMU and a stable future to follow thanks to donors like you. Thank you again for your support. Sincerely, Luke J. Fisher (’25) Covington, Virginia
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Megan ArgenKeefe has been selected bright is now to be part of the 2021 a partner at the HarFuture Leaders class risonburg branch of on behalf of the AmerBrown Edwards. Argenican Transaction Probright, a certified pubcessors Coalition. The lic accountant, has been Lauren payments processing a director for four years. Gniazdowski industry, which is indel(’06) Brown Edwards has ibly imprinted on daily offices in Virginia, West Virlife, will be shaped by the leaders ginia and Tennessee, and selected for this fourhas been in business as course program. an accounting firm for more than 50 years. n Asif Charania Lauren Gniazdowski joined and Zachary Good Words LLC as Blanco (’10) were named chief operating officer. partners at Keiter, a cerIn her role, she is leading Stephen tified public accountKeefe (’06) the technical communiing firm in Richmond, cations firm into the next phase Virginia, in October. Charaof growth, focusing on scaling nia started his career with Keiter operations, expanding the staff as an associate in the Valuaand serving more clients. Gnition & Forensics Services Group azdowski is thrilled to be part in 2008. In 2019, Charania of a team that lives and acts on was awarded the Virginia Sociits values every day. n Stephen ety of Certified Public Accoun-
NOT E S tants’ Top 5 under 35 published in the CenAward. He is active with ters for Disease Control VSCPA and AICPA, and and Prevention’s Moralso serves on the finance bidity and Mortality committee and board Weekly Report. Shehu, of directors for Health a medical researcher at Brigade. Blanco joined Asif Charania Johns Hopkins UniKeiter as an audit senior (’08) versity, contributed to associate in 2012 with prior pub- articles about the effectiveness lic accounting experience at Rezof the Pfizer and Moderna vacnick Group. Over his cines against COVIDtenure, Blanco has estab19 among hospitalized lished his expertise in the adults 65 and over. emerging business and He also has been regtechnology space as well ularly interviewed by as health care, manufacTV networks in Albaturing, distribution and nia and Kosovo for Zachary retail. Blanco is also a his expertise on the Blanco (’10) member of the Startup pandemic. “He was a Virginia Advisory Council and remarkable graduate student a mentor at Startup Virginia, as who now is doing remarkable well as various other accelerator work in his first, post-graduand incubator programs. ation position at Johns Hopkins,” said Michael Stoloff, Arber Shehu’s (’20M) associate dean of The Graduate research was recently School at JMU.
Faculty Emeriti Association news
Sharon Blatz, a professor of educational foundations and exceptionalities, is the recipient of the 2021 Faculty Emeriti Association Legacy Grant. This year marks the 17th grant awarded by the association, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Established in 2004, the grant is given to a deserving, full-time, tenured faculty member to further their professional development or enhance their instruction. The grant rotates among the university’s colleges and is funded, in part, by contributions from faculty emeriti. Along with receiving the grant, Blatz is also celebrating 20 years at JMU. For the past 15 years, she has been the primary instructor for the special-education methods courses at JMU for both graduate and undergraduate students. Outside the classroom, Blatz has worked with educators in neighboring Rockingham and Augusta counties to provide training and monitoring for the efficacy map, which serves as a resource room for special-education students. Blatz will use the grant money to support her work with teachers on the map as well as to share the mapping system with others. For more information about the faculty emeriti organization, contact Sherry King, director of parent and faculty emeriti relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 540-568-8064.
Help Phi Mu sorority find two missing chapter scrapbooks from 1976-77 and 1980. If found, please email Jacqueline Painter at email@example.com. 62
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Several Virginia Beach Dukes were hard at work at Ocean Eddie’s Seafood Restaurant last summer. These employees got to work on—or should we say over—the beach every day. (L–R): Evelyn Philbrick, Katie Needham, Spencer Glatt, Jack Stephenson, Nathan Piche, Courtney Wiles, Max Colombo (‘20), Sara Albert, Parkerson Hague (‘21) and Jacob Abrigo. Not pictured: David Rhea, Zack Hudgins (‘21) and Alex Hudgins.
Engaging the audience from a global lens Playwright alumna’s foundation as curious thinker was built at JMU
BY KHALIL GARRIOTT (’04)
laywright. Television writer. Essayist. Storyteller. and we learned by immersion. It was intoxicating. I encourage Photographer. To borrow the vernacular of creatives every student to study abroad if they’re able to and even a tiny bit in Los Angeles, where she’s based, Jihan Crowther is interested in doing so.” a multi-hyphenate. Not only did she study abroad, Crowther also was a Student “My foundation of art, story, narrative and adven- Ambassador, member of the Contemporary Gospel Singers and turous thinking was, in many ways, built at JMU,” Crowther said. worked in the Office of Residence Life as a program adviser. “The first steps to getting me where I am now.” But her involvement outside of the classroom didn’t impede her Perhaps the crown jewel of Crowther’s career to date was her growth inside it; she was also very serious about her academics. role as a staff writer on The Crow ther fondly credits Underground Railroad, a her former JMU instruc10-episode, historical fiction tors Joanne Gabbin, Susan miniseries on Amazon Prime Facknitz, Roger Hall and Video released in May 2021. Jim Ruff for instilling in An adaptation of the Pulither everything from lifezer Prize-winning novel by long le a rn ing ( Gabbin) Colson Whitehead, the series and confidence (Facknitz) was directed by Academy to fe el i n g emboldene d Award winner Barry Jenkins. (Hall) and being a f ilm After debuting to plenty historian (Ruff ). of positive press, The UnderPau l a Pol g l a s e ( ’ 92 , ground Railroad received ’96M), a JMU developseven Emmy nominations. ment off icer, supervised Crowther, understandably, Crow ther when she was wishes t hat Jenk ins had a First Year Involvement won the directing Emmy— student assistant in Resibut she’s not dwelling on dence Life. She remembers it. “I t hink a nyone who Jihan Crowther is a staff writer on AmaCrowther as someone who watched even a few min- zon’s 10-episode historical fiction mini“always radiated quiet joy,” series The Underground Railroad (right), utes of the show could see which received seven Emmy nominations. with the best laugh and a sly that what he did with The sense of humor. Underground Railroad was masterful, breathtaking work,” she said. “I remember thinking that she noticed everything going on Crowther and her siblings are first-generation Americans, which around her all the time,” Polglase said of Crowther, who studinfluences the way she writes. As a child of immigrants from Liberia ied creative writing and film at JMU. “Her interests across acaand Sierra Leone, her worldview is shaped by her lineage. She has demic and student involvement really gave her great access to published articles in respected outlets like Esquire and Jezebel, includ- observing different people. She was curious, and her insights ing a 2016 first-person piece titled “What Dating Abroad Taught Me and perspectives always made our staff think. We were a better About Stateside Racism,” which has 561 article comments. staff because of her.” “Being first-generation naturally makes you keep an eye on the Crowther’s plays have been read, produced and developed at rest of the world via your parents’ cultures and beyond,” she said. venues around the world, from New York City and Los Ange“For example, we weren’t allowed to only watch and read news from les to London, Scotland and Montreal—and places in between. America; we had to know the news from different perspectives and She was selected for the New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting international news organizations. That was annoying as a kid, but I Fellowship. She’s represented by a management company, and has respect it in adulthood.” a book agent and theater agent. And with distribution giants like An English major at JMU, Crowther studied abroad in Lon- HBO and Amazon on her résumé, she’ll continue to make her don—a life-changing experience for her—then returned there to mark on Hollywood. intern at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre after graduation. “The grand hope is … to get the opportunity to run my own She said, “After that semester, all I wanted was to be in the world show,” Crowther said. “Beyond that, I’d like to start writing for film and learn everything I could. Our teachers were working artists, as well as TV.”
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QUICK FACTS FISCAL YEAR 2020
library instruction and instructional design sessions
13,655 consultations and reference questions
views of online research guides
technology classrooms supported
media production projects for faculty completed
WordPress websites created
See more JMU Libraries quick facts at https://j.mu/quickfacts. 64
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JMU Libraries nline Teaching and Learning Support
students enrolled in online learning success institute
faculty enrolled in online learning institute
10,585 course sections evaluated
Canvas courses supported
students completed 26-part digital fluency mini course
43,197 digital videos hosted
I N FO G R A PH I C S BY H A N N A H PH I LLI PS; PH OTO G R A PH S BY CO DY T ROY E R A N D J U ST I N ROT H
than 35 alumni chapters located worldwide
and Homecoming programming
Alumni by county 1–5 6–25 26–50 51–200 201–1,000 1,000–6,711 6,712–13,081
through May 2018
Total living alumni JMU Alumni Association
map by mymaps.com
To learn more about the JMU Alumni Association, visit alumni.jmu.edu or call 540-568-6234. @JMUAlumni
JMU Alumni Association
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
Division of University Advancement Madison, MSC 3603, 1031 Harrison Street, Room 3020 Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Permit 4 Harrisonburg, VA 22801
BEING THE The numbers tell the story.
When it comes to return on investment, a James Madison University degree is in a class by itself. For the third consecutive year, JMU tops the Best College in Virginia for Getting a Job list. This 2021 ranking was based on information compiled by Zippia from the Department of Education College Scorecard data and statewide job placement numbers 10 years after graduation. The Zippia ranking is one in a long line of recent mentions that make a compelling case for the high quality of a JMU degree. For the JMU Class of 2020, 98% of graduates were employed, in graduate school or pursuing career-related endeavors within six months of graduation. The average of JMU graduates meeting these criteria from the past three years is 97.6%. Earnings reports generated using the prestigious Equifax Graduate Outcomes Product reveal that JMU graduates earn
more than the national median income and earn at higher rates over time. According to the Equifax report, median earnings from degree recipients rise by 138% 15 years after graduating from JMU. Further, the Equifax findings reveal that JMU degree-earners outpace bachelor’s degree-earners nationally. According to Equifax data, the spread in earning potential is not limited to certain academic disciplines. Looking out 10 years following graduation, JMU median earnings increased for bachelor’s degree recipients from all colleges. JMU is the No. 1 most-recommended public school in the U.S. by students to their friends and family. Data from a recent Gallup-Purdue report for alumni satisfaction shows that 97% of JMU alumni are pleased with their time at the university. This combination of loyalty is another factor in measuring the quality of the Madison Experience. The value of the JMU degree speaks for itself.
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#1 graduation rate in the U.S. for large, master’s-level schools
— National Center for Education Statistics
97.6% of graduates in JMU’s past three classes have been employed, in graduate school or pursuing career-related endeavors within six months of graduation.
Best College in Virginia for getting a job
according to U.S. Department of Education statistics compiled by Zippia