JMU Research, Scholarship & Creative Endeavors Newsletter

JMU Research, Scholarship & Creative Endeavors

     Volume 1, Issue 5

Hello from the Shenandoah Valley!

James Madison University has seen considerable change over the past few weeks.  We officially welcomed the 2020 class of JMU Dukes to campus.  More than 4,500 students comprise the freshman class, representing 38 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and 35 countries.  Speaking of new faces on campus, Research & Scholarship helped welcome more than 100 new faculty members during the Center for Faculty Innovation's New Faculty Orientation.  We had a full house for our workshop on research and scholarship resources, which introduced faculty to the many offices, programs, and centers that support faculty research. 

In addition to new faces we have new buildings on campus.  JMU students enrolling in health focused courses will have access to a state-of-the-art facility, the Health and Behavioral Studies Building.  With an emphasis on enhancing teaching capabilities, the brand new space includes 13 research laboratories; 17 classrooms; 19 teaching laboratories; two lecture halls with seating for 165; a speech, language, and hearing clinic; a food production laboratory; and a patient simulation laboratory.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects healthcare occupations to grow by 19 percent over the next decade, adding more jobs than any other sector.  This facility demonstrates JMU's commitment to preparing students for both the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow.

Be on the lookout for more JMU scholarly activities updates this fall!  


Yvonne Harris, Ph.D. 
Vice Provost for Research & Scholarship 

President Alger and Harrisonburg Mayor and alumnus Chris Jones ('00) lead the class of 2020 on a walk through Downtown Harrisonburg on August 27th. "Dukes Do Downtown" and the block party is a five-year-old partnership with Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance that introduces JMU students to local restaurants and other business.
SummerResearchStudents Take on Role of Full-time Scientists  

Students present their summer research projects at a two-day Summer Research Symposium held at the JMU Bioscience Building. In addition to JMU students and faculty, the summer program hosted participants from 17 other higher ed institutions, including students from California and Wisconsin. Read more
Drones JMU Hosts Unmanned Systems Summit           
David Hinton, appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to head the Virginia Unmanned Systems Commission, was the keynote speaker Aug. 17 for the opening of the two-day Virginia RoboTics & Unmanned systems Education Summit (VIRTUES). Hinton remarked that a combination of new FAA rules and Virginia legislation that is "getting regulation out of the way of innovation" makes this an ideal time to ramp up research, marketing and other efforts to attract and boost the industry. In addition to the summit, JMU support for this effort includes a drones class held during the fall 2015 semester, which paired industry experts with faculty and students to design and build drones to address real world problems.  Read more 
College of Visual and Performing Arts Students Achieve Post-Grad Success PostGrad

Sam Brackley, Taylor Huff, Donald Lee III and Lexie Thrash graduated with degrees in the visual and performing arts during the 2015-2016 school year. The four students are applying their talents in a wide range of activities, such as performing at a Tony Award-winning theater on Broadway, helping to build brand marketing at the New York Times, serving as director's assistant for a dance festival in Massachusetts, and pursuing a graduate degree on a full-ride scholarship to the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Read More.
rankin English Professor Awarded Two Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Dr. Mark Rankin, Associate Professor of English, was recently awarded over $460,000 of funding by the NEH to support two separate projects. The first, which will be completed in partnership with Dr. Susan Felch of Calvin College, aims to produce five critical editions of the prose works of William Tyndale for both print and online publication. The second is a four-week seminar for 16 college and university faculty to be held at the Huntington Library in California. The seminar will examine the early stages of the book printing and publishing industry, focusing on books produced between 1450 and 1650. Read More
Parks Virginia Clean Cities opens Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Shenandoah National Park

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers can now charge their vehicles on Skyline Drive. A public electric vehicle charging station has been installed at the Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center parking lot in the Shenandoah National Park. The Level 2 charger was installed by Shenandoah National Park and coordinated by Virginia Clean Cities through financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities National Parks Initiative. To learn more, read VCC's press release or listen to WMRA's segment on the initiative.
Education Instructor Receives Presidential AwardPresident

Eric Imbrescia, an Instructor in JMU's Middle, Secondary & Mathematics Education Department recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This prestigious honor marks Imbrescia as one of the top 213 Math and Science teachers in the nation and one of the top four teachers in the state. Winners also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington, DC for an awards ceremony.
Read more
Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves Dogs     

Dr. AJ Morey, Associate Vice Provost for Cross Disciplinary Studies at James Madison University, recently published a new book through Penn State University Press which focuses on vintage American photographs of dogs and what those photos have to say about the evolution of American Culture. The book draws from literary theory, animal studies, and visual history concepts in an attempt to explore the  complex relationship between Americans and their dogs. 
Read more 

COB College of Business Student Research Program

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, an initiative of the JMU College of Business (CoB), gives students hands-on experience conducting high-level research with faculty mentors. The program is designed to partner high-achieving students with faculty mentors in order to foster important professional skills through individualized projects. REU students spend an average of 100 hours during the academic year and 200 hours during the summer working for the program, and they receive a stipend for their work. The students are expected to perform meaningful tasks that will boost their own research skills, such as data gathering, literature reviews, and writing and editing.  Read more
Voices of Scholarship: Dr. Sara FinneyVOS 

In this Voices of Scholarship interview,
Dr. Sara Finney discusses her research on issues and techniques broadly related to measurement and statistics in psychology and education. Her scholarship focuses on the presence of less-than-ideal conditions for research, quality of measures, the measurement of academic entitlement, and test-taking motivation in situations (such as mandated program quality assessment tests) where there are no direct academic consequences for the students being polled. 
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