In this issue:
- Family Weekend Info
- Personal Training at UREC
- Flying In & Out of the Valley
- JMU Football Tickets
- Community Service-Learning
- Federal Student Aid
- Study Abroad
- Career & Academic Planning
- University Health Center: Self-Care
- Roommate Conflicts
- Choosing Housing Next Year
- Getting Home for Breaks
Welcome to Harrisonburg, JMU Families!
This weekend is Family Weekend! Find events and information on parking and more at the link below! There are all types of events happening on campus, including:
- Build, Make & Create with Department of Engineering - Friday, Oct. 11, at 12pm in EnGeo 1138 - Are you curious what it’s like to think like a designer, and build like an engineer? If so, come visit the Madison Engineering Department (MADE)! Our student Engineering Ambassadors and faculty will guide you through an activity designing an autonomous art robot, and you’ll also get an inside look at our state of the art and recently renovated engineering spaces. Registration is required and space is limited, so sign up today! Please pre-register here: https://forms.gle/gzahuzpVkt6xkqDr9
- The Makery Sideshow - Saturday, Oct. 12, 9am - noon on the Bookstore Sidewalk, Carrier Drive - The Makery Traveling Sideshow gives families an opportunity to get their hands on some of the technologies we use in JMU Libraries to encourage creativity, exploration, problem-solving and curiosity. Come play with virtual reality, 3D printing, light and sound, cardboard toys, and more!
- Family Weekend Picnic On Hanson Field - Saturday, 10 AM - 2 PM - Adults $15 - Students free with meal punch | Children (6-12): $8 | Kids 5 & Under: Free - If inclement weather, tickets may be used at D-Hall and E-Hall.
- Field Hockey vs. Drexel - Field Hockey Complex, Free, Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 pm - Make your way to the Field Hockey Complex across from Rose Library as the Dukes take on CAA foe Drexel at 6 pm! Admission is free for all fans!
- Experience the Wonders of Wilson - Saturday, 10 AM - 3 PM, Wilson Hall, Free - Make history with us in the newly-renovated Wilson Hall! Celebrate the past and envision the future in JMU’s newest, state-of-the-art learning environment. Check out our interactive classrooms and explore digital history in our innovative History Lab.
- A Cappella Thon Concert - Sunday, 2 PM - Memorial Hall Auditorium - $5/person Cash or Check - Concert featuring JMU's award-winning, student-led a cappella groups. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions regarding the event.
- ...and many, many more events! Click the link below for more information on these and other events!
Getting Started at UREC with a Personal Trainer
Submitted by: Kristin Gibson, Associate Director for UREC Services, University Recreation
Have you checked in with your student on their exercise routine and encouraged them in making time for this in their schedule? If your student is looking for direction in starting a fitness plan, to gain confidence in using fitness equipment properly, or to reach new fitness goals, the UREC Personal Trainers are ready to help wherever they are on their health and wellness journey. New personal training participants start with the Personal Training Total Package, which includes a health screening, consultation, fitness assessment, and two one-on-one training sessions ($50). Total Packages can be purchased on URECregister.jmu.edu. Questions can be directed to the UREC Coordinator of Fitness Programs, Steph Goetz at email@example.com.
Duke Dog Approved Flights For JMU Families
Submitted by: Heather Ream, Director of Marketing & Communications, Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD)
For JMU Dukes and Duke Parents, traveling to and from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley has never been easier. Whether it’s getting your student home for the holidays or planning a visit to campus yourself, Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) can help make travel to JMU stress-free. SHD is located just 15 minutes from campus and offers reliable, convenient, and affordable United jet service to two major hubs, Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Both hubs provide travelers with seamless connections to and from thousands of domestic and international destinations while taking advantage of the perks of flying local.
Two of the biggest advantages of flying with SHD are cost savings and unparalleled convenience. Rather than spending extra time and expense driving to/from an out of town airport, SHD has a record number of travelers choosing the benefits of flying local. Perks like FREE parking, on-site rental car options, a door-to-door shuttle service to and from the JMU campus, and free booking assistance for all your travel needs, means a more enjoyable travel experience for students and parents alike. To calculate the overall travel savings of flying with SHD, check out our True Cost Calculator at the bottom of our homepage. This tool compares the cost of mileage, parking, time, and airfares with surrounding airports in one simple place to make sure you are getting the best deal.
SHD travelers also enjoy benefits like TSA-PreCheck on select flights to expedite the check-in process. United’s MileagePlus program allows you to earn and use miles for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. If you or your student are already a member of another rewards program, you can easily get a status match through United’s MileagePlus Premier Status Match Program. Not only will United match your miles and status from another airline, but you’ll keep the rewards you’ve already earned through the other program.
SHD is committed to making travel for JMU students and their parents easier than ever. We welcome you to experience the SHD difference for your next flight! For more information about JMU travel with SHD, click the link below to visit our special JMU transportation page. You can also reach Heather Ream, Director of Marketing & Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 234-8224 with any questions you have about SHD travel. Complimentary booking assistance is available by calling (540) 234-8304.
Solutions in Our Community
Submitted by: Misty Newman, Associate Director, Community Service-Learning
As your student is approaching mid-terms and beginning to think about registering for classes next semester, they can consider taking a service-learning course. As they take full advantage of their educational experience, Community Service-Learning continues to focus on connecting them with the community both on and OFF campus in very significant ways. For instance, your student is able to take courses and get hands on experience with the world beyond the classroom while addressing specific needs identified by a local community partner. Your student can email email@example.com to learn about service-learning courses that are typically held in the spring.
There are dozens of JMU courses where students serve a local community partner and integrate their service with what they are learning in class. More than 80% of students agreed or strongly agreed their service-learning course helped them develop a clearer understanding of their values, citizenship and social responsibility, connect their service to course content, and allowed them to engage with the community in a way they would not have done otherwise.
Some thoughts from students who participated in service-learning courses:
“My most valuable experience to my learning was being able to go out into the community and do service; learning about engaged service-learning and the multiple facets of poverty helped me grow so much.”
“Having this service opportunity helped connect me to so much more and allowed me to give back to the community. As a JMU student, we owe the Harrisonburg community.”
There is a list of some of our community partners below if your student wants to see the variety of connections they can make.
Your student can also make a semester or year-long commitment to a community partner without enrolling in a course and begin to gain many of the same benefits.
If your student is looking for another opportunity to connect in a transformational way, please encourage them to check out our website (www.jmu.edu/csl), stop by our office (2100 Student Success Center) Monday – Friday between 8am and 5pm, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020-21 FAFSA Available Now!
Submitted by: Jessica Hopkins, Assistant Director of Compliance, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
The 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available now. To ensure you receive priority consideration for all types of financial assistance, the federal government must receive your 2020-21 FAFSA by March 1, 2020. This is JMU’s priority filing date. In some cases, filing later can reduce your chances of receiving certain types of financial aid, including state grants.
Please note that meeting the priority filing date does not guarantee that you will receive university or state grant dollars. The number of eligible students and the size of our annual funding allocations are significant factors in determining whether sufficient funds are available to award all those who qualify.
If you filed a FAFSA before, make sure it includes your current email address. Otherwise, you may not receive important information from the Department of Education regarding your ability to submit a renewal FAFSA for the 2020-21 school year. Since the renewal FAFSA includes many of the answers that you provided on your prior year application, you will have fewer questions to answer.
Submitting a FAFSA comes with no strings attached. The application is free and available online at www.fafsa.gov.
The Center for Global Engagement Invites You and Your Students
We hope you marked your calendar . . .
Submitted by: Judy Cohen, Director, Communications and External Relations, Center for Global Engagement
The Center for Global Engagement welcomes you and your students, family, and friends to a Family Weekend Breakfast Reception on Sunday, October 13th. Come join us in the Hall of Presidents in JMU’s new D-Hall from 9:30 to 11 am. On hand to greet you and talk about JMU’s 90+ study abroad programs will be our Study Abroad staff, Global Dukes (study abroad alums), and Semester Program Directors. A world of experiences awaits, and we can help your students find their direction.
Study Abroad applications are due November 1st for Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 programs. Tell your students: Apply Now! Go to www.jmu.edu/global/abroad
5 Reasons Your Duke Should Log In to Handshake Today
Written by: Courtney Pelfrey, Career & Academic Planning
Is your Duke using Handshake? Handshake is a free online platform available for use by all JMU students and alumni. It’s a great way to connect with jobs, internships, career fairs, events, an employers across the globe.
These are the top 5 reasons we encourage students to use Handshake:
- Let Employers Find You! To get started, you’ll need to log in and answer some questions about your interests and career goals so that you can start seeing relevant internships and job postings. You can even upload your resume and add information to your profile about your education, experiences, and coursework so that employers can reach out if you are a good fit for a position. Just make your resume “public,” and the employers can start to do some of the work for you!
- Schedule an Appointment in CAP. Use the “Career Center” button at the top of your screen to choose “Appointments” and schedule a 1:1 meeting to discuss things like deciding on a major or career, writing a resume or cover letter, practicing your interviewing skills, and more.
- Search for Jobs or Internships. While you may not be looking for a job yet, it’s never too early to get internship experience and learn about your career options! Once you’re logged into Handshake, you can click on “Jobs” at the top of your screen and then use filters to search for full-time, part-time, in-state, or out-of-state positions! Many of the positions actually let you apply directly through Handshake by uploading your resume!
- Learn About Employers! Maybe you’re not quite ready to begin the job or internship application process yet and that is totally fine. But it’s a great idea to at least get a feel for what types of employers, organizations, and companies are out there looking for students just like you! If you want more information about specific employers, you can search for them in the “Employers” section of the “Jobs” tab and learn more about who they are, what they’re all about, and who they’re looking to hire. You can even “favorite” employers so that you can go back and look for new job postings as often as you’d like. The more you know about a potential future employer, the better prepared you are to write an amazing cover letter/resume and blow them away in an interview!
- Discover Upcoming Events! Maybe you’ve heard about our career fairs or other events to help you practice your interviewing and networking skills. If not, you can find out when those types of events are taking place by clicking on “Events” at the top of your Handshake screen. This page will also show you upcoming events that employers are hosting to meet JMU students like you! Maybe you’re interested in learning more about an organization and can attend their Information Session to get your questions answered. RSVP’ing through Handshake lets employers know that you’re attending and may even encourage that employer to check out your Profile.
Sometimes the best care is self-care.
Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, University Health Center
Many illness are self-limited, meaning they are healed by the body's immune system. They can still be contagious and make you feel quite sick, but can be treated at home without seeing a medical provider. Treatment for these illnesses include self-care for symptoms, limiting spread to others and understanding when to seek care from a medical provider.
The Self-Care Station is located in the UHC Pharmacy, on the first floor of the Student Success Center. Students can purchase over-the-counter medications, speak with our pharmacist and pick up tissues, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. Self-care guides are also available on the UHC website.
Common Student Stress Experiences: Roommate Conflicts
Submitted by: Alicia Lamb, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Residence Life
Residence hall and campus apartment living affords the chance to meet and live with others who are different than ourselves, who share common aspirations, and have the opportunity to work together to build a community of learners. Once positive roommate relations have been established, the enthusiasm and excitement can spread to the rest of the residence hall community.
While roommates don't have to be best friends in order to live together, courtesy, consideration, understanding, listening, and time that building a good friendship is required. Friends occasionally have misunderstandings, as do roommates. You can help your student discover new ways to solve their roommate issues.
Handling roommate conflicts begins long before a conflict occurs. From the start, roommates should talk about basic issues college roommates face such as, study times, friends versus privacy, drinking/smoking, neatness of the room, and sleep habits. Here are some starter topics that could lead to discussion generating questions: study and sleep habits, guest tendencies, cleanliness and "off limits" items and habits.
It's important for your student to discuss arising issues with their roommate. When roommates disagree it doesn't mean they can no longer live with one another. It just means there are areas/items requiring some compromise and discussion should occur about how the compromise can be reached should happen. Reaching compromise and realizing successful living require sensitivity and understanding.
Your student should avoid the temptation to put off discussing things. Discussing what is happening in the room is not a sign of unfriendliness. It shows your student thinks the relationship is important enough to spend time and effort clearing up anything that could damage it.
Set up an uninterrupted meeting time for at least an hour so there is time to discuss what is going on. Encourage your student to talk with and not at their roommate. They should explain the root of the problem and then work together as roommates to reach a compromise. Hopefully they will listen to each other to get the maximum understanding of the situation. After meeting, the roommates should create a written agreement that can be used as a resource at a later date. They should clearly articulate what was decided during the meeting and post the document somewhere they both can see it daily. When your student takes the time to get to know their roommate and come up with some basic agreements about the living space, they will be prepared when conflict occurs.
Rooming with someone in the residence halls can be one of the best experiences of college life for your student. The outcome of the experience depends on communication, a willingness to share feelings and concerns, and finally being willing to work through conflicts as they arise. Encourage your student to talk to their roommate, develop a good roommate agreement, and when there are any issues to talk through them as soon as possible. If all else fails, ask your student to contact their Resident Advisor (RA) to help them mediate a solution.
Take Your Time When Choosing Your Housing for Next Year
Submitted by: Dave Barnes, Director, University Unions, and Kevin Meaney, Director, Office of Residence Life
Dear JMU Family Member,
The pressure students face in making the decision to live on or off campus their second year starts early in the Harrisonburg community. Off-campus apartment complexes and rental companies start their lease signing process for the coming year in early October, and the marketing aimed at students is designed to create a sense of urgency to a sign a lease quickly. However, your student can take their time to make an informed decision.
The Office of Residence Life (ORL) and the Office of Off-Campus Life (OCL) encourage students to live on campus for at least two years. Research shows that compared to college students who live off campus, students who live in the residence halls are more likely to graduate, more involved in extracurricular, social and cultural events on campus, more positive about the social climate and interact more frequently with faculty members and peers.
Living on campus has particular benefits that should be carefully considered in making this critical decision. Live safe, in an environment with only other Dukes, access that is restricted to residents, and facilities that meet all state mandated fire codes. Live close, where all of campus is a short walk or bus ride from your residence hall, and parking is never a concern. Live supported, with Resident Advisers and Hall Directors who are there and available to help you with everyday life. Live engaged, with frequent hall programming and opportunities to interact with fellow residents, students are a part of a healthy and connected community. You can find out more about living on campus at www.jmu.edu/orl. While we know that every successful JMU student will need to live in off-campus housing at some point in their college career, there are several considerations that all students should consider before they make the decision to move off-campus:
- Be confident moving off campus is the right decision for them
- Understand the legally binding nature of a lease and how to read one
- Know their future roommates very well – hopefully more than just a few weeks
- Have a solid understanding of how they will budget their money
- Know how they will travel to and from campus
- Have researched all of their options and feel confident in their housing decision
Off-Campus Life offers workshops, resources, and one on one counseling to help address all of these critical areas. We encourage students considering moving off-campus to come and talk with us in the Office of Off-Campus Living and to peruse our website at www.jmu.edu/ocl for all kinds of information about how to make this decision.
We hope this information is helpful to you and your student as you begin to think about student housing for 2020 - 2021. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to ORL or OCL if we can help in any way.
Thanksgiving & Winter Break: Getting your student home to NY, NJ & PA
Submitted by: Amy ('98), President, CollegeTransit
Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks are coming faster than you think! Your student will be coming home for some well deserved rest and parenting. CollegeTransit's bus routes cater to students from the northeast by departing campus the Friday of break at 2pm and stopping in Allentown (PA), Morris Plains (NJ), Teterboro (NJ) and Huntington (NY).
The Thanksgiving bus has a few seats remaining while the Winter Break bus just recently became available for reservations. This service gives JMU families a reliable option in getting students home for the holidays that is both convenient and cost efficient.
Schedules, fares and reservations can be found on our website: CollegeTransit.com. Go Dukes!
The Madison Family Newsletter is put together each month by the Office of Parent Relations in partnership with many members of the JMU community. It's designed to help parents & families keep up with what's going on here at JMU! Please email Heather Davis at email@example.com with any questions regarding the newsletter.