JMU Research, Scholarship & Creative Endeavors
Volume 2, Issue 2
Greetings from the Shenandoah Valley!

I’m pleased to announce that local startup company Blue Vigil was selected by a corporate review committee of the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) as a top 40 “Best University Startups of 2017”.  This recognition demonstrates significant growth of the Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and a keen ability by our academic, government, and industry partners to work collaboratively to advance creative business ventures.  Special thanks to Mary Lou Bourne, Director of JMU's Office of Technology Innovation and Economic Development, for successfully mobilizing the necessary JMU resources.  Check out Blue Vigil’s website to learn about their tether power system for drones:

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Paul Bogard, JMU Assistant Professor of English.  Dr. Bogard was selected by a committee of his peers to receive the 2017 Provost Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship. His writings on the night sky and natural darkness have had a significant impact on the literary community and JMU students.  His most recent work -- The Ground Beneath us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are -- was published by Little, Brown and Company on March 21st. 

I would also like to recognize the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery on delivering yet another successful Senior Manager’s Course (SMC).  This training program brings together leaders in humanitarian mine action from around the world and teaches them skills to more effectively and efficiently clear their lands of landmines and other remnants of war.  The 2017 SMC was held in Biograd na Moru, Croatia.  We can’t thank the CISR team enough for their work assisting the world's most vulnerable populations.


              Yvonne Harris
                                 Yvonne Harris, Ph.D.
                                                                   Vice Provost for Research & Scholarship 
 CISR faculty and staff with the 2017 Senior Managers’ Course participants.
  Center Spotlight: Virginia Clean Cities
 Alternative fuel vehicles on the track and lining up to enter the raceway. 
Rally at the Raceway

VCC hosted its annual fundraiser -- Rally at the Raceway -- at the Richmond International Raceway on April 6th.  More than 120 attendees representing fleets, government, academia, and the alternative fuel industry participated in workshops, test drove alternative fuel vehicles on the racetrack, and learned about the latest developments
in the industry.  In recognition of VCC’s efforts, Richmond Mayor (and JMU alumnus) Lever Stoney issued a proclamation declaring April 6th “Green Transportation Day”
in the City of Richmond.

Green Travel Award

On February 17th, VCC was honored at the Virginia Green Travel Conference and Travel Star Awards Celebration, hosted in Charlottesville at UVA’s Darden School.  First Lady of the Commonwealth Dorothy McAuliffe presented VCC Executive Director Alleyn Harned with the “Green Supporting Partner of the Year” award.

Staff Profile: Deputy Director Matt Wade

JMU’s Office of the Provost recently shared a feature story on VCC Deputy Director Matt Wade.  Matt joined the VCC team in 2013 and is currently pursuing an Executive Leadership MBA from JMU’s College of Business. Learn more about Matt’s journey to the world of alternative fuel vehicles 

JMU Takes Creative Steps to Support Innovation and Entrepreneurship
 Historic machinery at Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing.
JMU's Office of Technology Innovation and Economic Development (TI-ED) enables students to gain hands-on business and innovation experience in three main ways: 1) through university-organized internships, 2) business-sponsored classes and class projects, and 3) one-on-one consultations for student entrepreneurs interested in patents and developing investment pitches. Within the last year, TI-ED has experienced successes through all three avenues, including exciting partnerships with start-up companies like the observational-platform developer Blue Vigil and collaborations between students and local businesses, such as jewelry designer and manufacturer Hugo Kohl. Read more 
Lisanby Scholar Series: Manoa Bell

Music Industry major Manoa Bell is one of eight freshman College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) students to have received a Lisanby Scholarship, a program established by JMU alumna Gladys Lisanby, to support incoming freshmen in CVPA. Bell has been playing the cello since age four and began learning to play bass at the age of ten. He now plays the double bass and performs with the JMU Symphony Orchestra. Read more
Expanding Your Horizons: Motivating Young Women in Science and Mathematics
JMU recently hosted its tenth annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference,
an all-day math- and science-focused event designed for girls in grades 6-9. This year,
204 students participated and were accompanied by approximately 90 parents and teachers, over 40 JMU faculty/staff volunteers, and approximately 115 JMU student volunteers.  The event featured 20 workshops designed to foster and support the participants’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields; increase the students' awareness of STEM-related careers through interaction with female
scientist role models; and empower them to see themselves as future participants in
these fields and careers. Read more
Professorship Honors
Dr. Joanne Gabbin
JMU’s Honors College was recently gifted its first named professorship—the Dr. Joanne Gabbin Professorship—endowed
by JMU alum Sean Tobin (’92) and his  wife Michelle. Tobin hopes the professorship will perpetuate in future faculty members the kind of caring and high expectations that Dr. Gabbin exemplifies. Dr. Gabbin served as the director of JMU’s Honors Program from 1985-2004, currently serves as the founding Executive Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award
by the JMU Office of Sponsored Programs
last fall. Read more  
Joanne Gabbin and Sean Tobin ('92)
JMU Accounting Students Offer Income Tax Preparation
JMU's School of Accounting partnered with the IRS to provide free income tax preparation services for low- to middle-income residents of the local community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Nine Master of Accounting students devoted about 50 hours of work each to the program. VITA also includes undergraduate students from Beta Alpha Psi, the international honors society for accounting, Computer Information Systems and Finance majors, as well as a few JMU students in the general education program, who provide support services such as translation, greeting, and interviewing. Read more
Dr. Nancy Barbour Receives Funding to Support the International Leaders in Education Program
The 2017 International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) Fellows.
College of Education Professor Dr. Nancy Barbour was recently awarded $184,953 of renewed funding from the U. S. Department of State to support the Spring 2017 International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP).  The 2017 ILEP will support sixteen secondary education teachers from nine countries (Morocco, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and the Philippines) as they enroll in specialized academic and technology-focused courses, as well as auditing courses relating to their disciplines. The ILEP participants will also spend 90 hours working in local schools while engaging in community service and cultural excursions. According to Dr. Barbour, “Our goals are well-rounded experience for the participants so that they can see American life in the schools, the university, and the community. We try to support what will be life-changing experiences for the sixteen participants.” Read more
Transportation Project Seeks to Improve Bus Wait Times
Dr. El-Tawab holding a Raspberry Pi device at a JMU bus stop.
Integrated Science and Technology faculty member Dr. Samy El-Tawab is the head of the "Improving Transit Bus Operations using Low Cost Technology" project, which started in 2015 with a 4-VA grant of $12,700. The project uses a device created out of a tiny, affordable computer called a Raspberry Pi to track bus passenger traffic. Currently installed at seven of JMU's most popular bus stations, the devices track the number of people waiting for the bus by recording the number active wifi-enabled devices, such as smart phones, that come within a certain distance of the bus stop. The goal of the project is to increase bus ridership by using the data to improve scheduling and route management. Dr. El-Tawab is currently in talks with JMU's Transportation Demand Manager Lee Eshelman to expand the project to all 18 JMU bus stations and beyond into the greater Harrisonburg area.

JMU and Sentara RMH partner on Advance Care Planning

Did you know that National Healthcare Decisions Day is a week-long initiative, running from April 16th to 22nd, and aims to educate communities about the importance of advance care planning?  In support of this effort, JMU and Sentara RMH both hosted information tables on April 17th to bring awareness and helpful resources to students, faculty, and community members on the importance of making their wishes known.  This community outreach project developed out of a decade-long partnership, the JMU-SRMH Collaborative, which endeavors to foster innovation between JMU and the Sentara RMH Medical Center.  Learn more
Voices of Scholarship: Dawn McCusker

Part of the Voices of Scholarship Series at JMU, Professor of Graphic Design, Dawn McCusker, discusses her research into letterpress and artists’ books, her award-winning published work The Prairies, and what student engagement means to her.
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