JMU Research, Scholarship & Creative Endeavors
Volume 3, Issue 1

While a new year brings new goals and renewed focus, we did want to share a few Research & Scholarship highlights from 2017. Below is an infographic showcasing achievements coordinated and led by Research & Scholarship staff . These programs and accomplishments would not be possible without our regional partners, and we look forward to strengthening and building new partnerships in 2018. 

While on the topic of collaboration, we'd like to share an opportunity from GENEDGE, Danville Community College, and the Danville Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers. A Certified Energy Manager Training Program will run from February 26 – March 2 in Danville. This comprehensive program is ideal for building supervisors, Public Works staff, engineers, and maintenance managers to name a few professions. Visit the event page for details.     

I am always so impressed by the different ways our students and faculty make a positive impact on the community. One example is Dr. Thomas Benzing, Professor of Integrated Science & Technology and Geographic Sciences, who was recently reappointed to the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH). Located in Martinsville, the mission of the VMNH is "To interpret Virginia's natural heritage within a global context in ways that are relevant to all citizens of the Commonwealth."         

We would like to add our congratulations to the JMU Dukes football team. JMU rode an undefeated season to the national championship game in Frisco, Texas in January. Though the North Dakota State Bison edged out the Dukes, 17-13, our student-athletes fought hard and have plenty to be proud of – perhaps most notably compiling a 26-game win streak that included the 2016 FCS National Championship. Go Dukes!!

Yvonne Harris
Vice Provost for Research & Scholarship
James Madison University
Faculty Grant Awards

For a monthly listing of recent faculty grant awards, please visit the Madison Scholar website . Here are some notable awards from November and December 2017:  

Dr. Kenneth Rutherford (Director, Center for International Stabilization & Recovery (CISR); Professor, Political Science), Heather Holsinger ( Communications and Publications Manager, CISR), and Jennifer Risser (Managing Editor, CISR) received $167,012.00 from the U.S. Department of State to incorporate technology-related articles into the existing Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction.   

Dr. Rhonda Zingraff (Director, Institute for Innovation in Health & Human Services and Associate Dean, College of Health & Behavioral Studies), Dr. Cheryl Henderson (Co-Director, Region 5 Training and Technical Assistance Center) and Dr. John McNaught (Co-Director, Region 5 Training and Technical Assistance Center) received $1,801,231 from the Virginia Department of Education to support state directed and regional/local activities for the Virginia Department of Education Training/Technical Assistance Centers.   

Dr. Kenneth Barron (Professor, Psychology) received $49,237.00 from Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) to provide training and support to staff at HCPS to develop a school-wide system of vertical and horizontal alignment of motivation practices to be used across 6th and 8th grade.  

Dr. Keri Bethune (Professor, Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities) received $62,811.00 from George Mason University to maintain and implement a statewide program to meet the initial and continuing education needs for teachers of students with severe disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

Dr. Jaime Lee (Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders) received $34,294.00 from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to evaluate whether a computerized speech-language treatment delivered by a virtual therapist results in improved written communication skill of study participants with aphasia.  
Virginia is for Entrepreneurs
On December 11th, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe, Senator Mark Warner and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam launched an initiative called ‘Virginia is for Entrepreneurs’ or ‘VA4E’ , which aims to broaden access to funding across the Commonwealth and match entrepreneurs with investors and vice versa. Mary Lou Bourne, JMU's Director of Technology Innovation & Economic Development, was appointed to the board of VA4E to further develop and implement this new effort. Bourne commented, “VA4E is a first step initiative to connect capital across the state in order to build the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Virginia.” One of the ways in which the initiative works is through a simple web interface where any entrepreneur in Virginia can apply for funding and be connected with more than 75 investor partners. Read more
Impacting the Community through Music and Storytelling
Seven JMU students joined music faculty David Stringham and Jesse Rathgeber, along with social work faculty member Cindy Hunter, in an effort to bring a therapeutic outlet, in the form of music and storytelling, to formerly incarcerated individuals. Rathgeber believes that music can “convey stories that, when shared, can help foster more empathetic and caring communities.” This work follows a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study the impact of an interdisciplinary , arts-based project on former incarcerated persons, pre-service professionals and community members. This award funded the instruments that will be used during the seven-week sessions.  Participants will have an opportunity to showcase their work at a concert this spring.  

Stringham stated that “what we’re going out there to do is not what some may see as mainstream music education. We’re not primarily concerned with these guys developing a sense of tonality or a sense of meter. Will they develop their musicianship through doing this? Sure. Will they probably also experience some sort of non-musical benefit from processing their story through these arts-based lenses? Absolutely.”  Read more
Marine Corp Veteran excels in Accounting program
Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient, William Chapman, is now a junior accounting major at JMU. While serving in Afghanistan, Chapman sustained major injuries, including broken bones, a ruptured spleen and a severe concussion, ending his lifetime dream of becoming a member of a special operations unit. Realizing that he had a passion for academia, Chapman applied to JMU in 2014. In spring 2017, Chapman made the president’s list.  

Aside from being a student, Chapman is a volunteer for the Skyline Literacy program, serves on the board for the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices, is an executive member of Beta Alpha Psi (an international honor organization for accounting, finance and information systems), and tutors fellow students in accounting. More recently, Chapman was awarded the Medal of Inspiration from the American Institute of CPAs. Chapman credits the military veterans in his family and his own military training for his success as a student.  Read more  
JMU Research goes International
Michael Gubser poses with his conference hosts in Prague, Czech Republic.
While in Harrisonburg, Professor of History Michael Gubser teaches classes on European history, international development and inequality, but his work extends much further than the JMU community. Gubser recently ventured to Prague, Czech Republic, to present on his book, The Far Reaches , at the Czech Academy of Science’s Institute of Philosophy. While in Prague, he also presented on his book, Times Visible Surface , at the Czech Academy of Science's Institute of Art History. In the upcoming months, Gubser is scheduled to travel to Mexico City and Gdansk, Poland for another keynote address and book panel. Gubser says the study of history is valuable because it helps people appreciate those who may be different than them and serves as a reminder that “the way we think and do things now is not the only way they can be done.” Read more

JMU Research & Scholarship is providing funding to support Dr. Gubser’s upcoming travel to Poland.  
Q&A with the College of Education
Memorial Hall, formerly Harrisonburg High School, houses the JMU College of Education.
Continuing our research and scholarship question & answer series with JMU's deans, our second installment features College of Education Dean and Professor Phil Wishon. Dr. Wishon provides a sampling of the scholarly activities taking place in the college, highlighting Dr. Noorie Brantmeier's scholarship on housing and food scarcity in Native American communities, engaging students in literacy research, educational technology research and how technology will continue to transform educational practices in the 21st century. The College of Education houses: Early, Elementary & Reading Education; Educational Foundations & Exceptionalities; Learning, Technology & Leadership Education; Middle, Secondary & Math Education; and Military Science. Read more
Psychology Faculty attend Education Summit in Utah
JMU psychology faculty Suzanne Baker and Krisztina Jakobsen were selected, along with 70 other educators, to participate in the American Psychological Association (APA) Summit on High School Psychology Education this past summer. The week-long summit was held at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah and focused on strengthening the value, reach, delivery and assessment of high school psychology. By the end of the summit, working groups had developed more than forty recommendations for students, teachers, administrators, the American Psychological Association, and the general public. Outcomes of the summit will be broadly circulated among psychology teachers, school administrators and the public.  Read more
Biology Faculty receive NSF Grant for Algae Research
Two JMU researchers and assistant professors of biology received $430,000 from the National Science Foundation to conduct a three-year study on the bacteria that live with the harmful cyanobacterium, Microcystis. Aside from being eyesores, harmful algal blooms discourage people from water recreation, release toxins that can kill animals and cause people to become sick, consume oxygen from the water, and can block sunlight from reaching underwater vegetation. Morgan Steffen and Louie Wurch seek to determine if it is more than just an abundance of food and favorable environmental conditions that are fostering the harmful algal blooms. Students will partake in the research by helping to identify the bacteria living with the harmful algae and trying to determine the existence of a beneficial relationship. Steffen, Wurch and students will also travel to China in June to do research at Lake Taihu, where harmful algal blooms occur year-round. Read more
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