MADISON family newsletter August 2019

In this issue:

  • Career Events for your Duke
  • Center for Global Engagement International Week 2019
  • Handling Common Student Stress Experiences: Homesickness
  • Arc of Citizenship: Family Weekend
  • Helping Students Be Well, Stay Well and Do Well: University Health Center
  • Rebound: Helping Students Respond to Setbacks and Failures
  • Financial Aid for Degree Requirements
  • Dukes First Day Pictures
  • Life-Changing Service Opportunities
  • Dining on Campus: Bundle a Meal Plan with a Job!
  • Student Travel: Getting your Student Home to NY, NJ & PA for the Holidays
  • Career and Academic Planning: Internships
  • JMU Athletics Updates
  • 2019-20 Academic Calendar

Family Weekend 2019: October 11-13

Join us this fall on campus for Family Weekend! As you build a community of JMU friends, take part in traditional events! From dining experiences to family activities at UREC, there's something for everyone to take part in during Family Weekend. Find more information by visiting the link below.

Center for Global Engagement

International Week 2019 – September 23-28

Building Understanding, Breaking Down Barriers: 40 Years of Global Engagement at JMU

Submitted by: Judy Cohen, Director of Communications and External Relations, Center for Global Engagement

International Week, held annually the last full week of September, honors the cultural diversity we enjoy at JMU. We invite our JMU family and the greater community of Harrisonburg and beyond – also rich in many languages and cultures – to participate in programs and events to celebrate our varied cultural identities.

Committed to the principle that international experiences and perspectives are essential to any education, the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) promotes and encourages critical awareness of world issues; knowledge of and appreciation for other cultures, languages, and belief systems; global community; and engagement at the international level, so that we may educate active and responsible global citizens. Though JMU has hosted international students since the 1940s, a watershed moment in the history of international education here was the 1979 establishment of Semester in London, which launched international programs for the university. Since then, JMU has worked to expand programming for studies abroad; increase the presence of international students, scholars, and staff on campus; and make international opportunities available both in Harrisonburg and around the world. Join us for International Week 2019 to celebrate four decades of building understanding and breaking down barriers!

The Center for Global Engagement is committed to supporting and further encouraging cross-cultural learning and collaboration. With our 2019 International Week theme in mind, we invite you and your students to join us in presentations, panels, workshops, performances, readings, and more.

Here’s a preview of events during that full and stimulating week:

  • International Bazaar
  • Democracy in Peril: Britain Since 1979
  • Fulbright Program Presentation and Workshop
  • Photo Contest Reception
  • Keynote Speech: Wajahat Ali – journalist, writer, lawyer, and award-winning playwright –addressing the multifaceted American experience, covering our growing need for cultural unity, racial diversity and inclusion
  • Deep Impact Presentation
  • Center for International Stabilization and Recovery: Barriers to Peace: The Deadly Legacy of Landmines and Other Weapons in Post-conflict Societies
  • Study Abroad Fair – an opportunity to learn about all our offerings
  • Reading by Five Poets from Eswatini in collaboration with JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center
  • Harrisonburg International Festival

We hope you encourage your students to take in as much as their schedules allow. Anyone interested in studying abroad should certainly come to the Study Abroad Fair – on Thursday, September 26th, from 11 am to 3 pm in the Festival Grand Ballroom.

All events are free and open to the public. If you live nearby or are visiting our neighborhood, please join us.

Check the I-Week schedule at www.jmu.edu/global/iweek for ongoing updates.

Handling Common Student Stress Experiences: Homesickness

Submitted by: Alicia Lamb, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Residence Life

August is such an exciting month here on campus! We hope your student is jumping right in and embracing all the wonderful things that JMU has to offer. As students get adjusted, be on the lookout for certain stressors that students may experience. Part of the new adventure of moving to college is adjusting to a new "home away from home," complete with a new bed, new schedule, new friends, challenges, and opportunities. Often, however, this adjustment period can lead to feelings of homesickness.

While your student is now technically an adult and on their own, your guidance and comfort is still imperative to your student’s growth and development. Preparing now will help you know what to say when the “venting" call or text pops up on your phone. Remember, sometimes all your student needs to do is get something off their chest. They may not want you to do anything, but listen for those moments in the conversation where you can drop your pearls of wisdom!

Homesickness is about more than just missing home: it's the longing for what is normal and comfortable. For your student, everything is new, and adjusting to a new life away from home and family can be challenging. Feeling homesick is just part of the learning process.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if your student is experiencing homesickness:

  • Know that homesickness is a normal part of change!
  • Acknowledging homesickness helps students begin dealing with new feelings.
  • Exploring the many coffee shops, art galleries, events and functions on campus, in Harrisonburg, and in the Shenandoah Valley can help a student feel at home in their new space.
  • JMU offers many clubs, organizations, intramural sports, volunteer opportunities, cultural events, and outdoor activities, where students can begin lifelong friendships.
  • Creating a space for themselves at school helps fight feelings of homesickness. Ask your student about new experiences and help the conversation stay positive.
  • Remember to help your student look past their homesickness: remind them of times when they have overcome other challenges and how it led to where they are now!

Your student has access to many resources on campus that can help with homesickness! Encourage your student to talk to other students who might have similar feelings - opening up about current experiences can be a great way to start friendships. Students can also talk to their resident advisor (RA). RAs are upper-class students who live in the same Residence Hall with your student: they love connecting with students on campus and helping make healthy transitions! The Student Success Center is also a great place for students to go and speak to a trained counselor in JMU’s Counseling Center. The counselors are great at helping students express what they are feeling and creating success plans.

A major part in getting over homesickness is finding stability. All of our tips are centered on your student becoming more comfortable in their new environment and truly finding a "home away from home."

Most students will express some level of homesickness, however, it is important to listen for signs of something more:

  • Has your student been homesick for more days than not over the last six-week period?
  • Is your student able to do what they need to do (go to class, meetings, eating, exercising, sleeping, etc.)?

If you get the feeling that what your student is sharing with you is more than homesickness, there is help available. Encourage your student to make an appointment at the Counseling Center. There is no weakness or stigma in getting help.

As you and your student talk about their transition to life at JMU, consider planning ahead to relieve future stress points. The Office of Residence Life is excited to be able to offer contracts for the 2020-2021 school year right now, allowing you and your student to have the peace of mind of knowing where they will live next year.

Ask our office today to see if a 2020-2021 contract is right for your student!

Other common stressors may include: homesickness, initial adjustments to a new academic environment, values exploration, social life adjustments, initial social reflections, becoming familiar with campus, long distance relationships, feeling inadequate, and/or financial adjustments.

Short articles on these and other topics can be found throughout the year here.

We look forward to getting to know your students and are available to help with the transition to JMU. If you have any questions about anything related to residence life, feel free to check out our website at www.jmu.edu/orl, give us a call at (540) 568-HOME, or email us at res-life@jmu.edu.

#DukesLiveSupported #DukesLIVEON

Arc of Citizenship: Family Weekend

Submitted by: Carah Ong Whaley, Associate Director, James Madison Center for Civic Engagement

In line with JMU’s vision to be a national model for civic engagement, the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement and the Office of the President will provide JMU students and their families with an opportunity to experience James Madison’s Montpelier on Saturday, October 12 during Family Weekend 2019. As the university named for the “Father of the Constitution,” JMU students and their families have a special obligation to know something about the Constitution and our namesake because, as patriotic philanthropist David Rubenstein noted in a speech on Constitution Day 2018 at JMU, “people who are more knowledgeable about our government, more knowledgeable about our Constitution, will be better citizens, vote more intelligently and be more engaged in our country.”

The Madison Center will prepare background information on James Madison, his life and legacy, as well as the history of James Madison University to be shared with participants on the bus ride to Montpelier. At Montpelier, JMU students and their families will join a guided tour and have the opportunity to explore the exhibits and grounds. Following the tour, we will have a lunch and discussion with UVA Professor Dr. Patrice Grimes, a member of Montpelier’s enslaved descendants’ community. On the return bus ride to JMU, we will facilitate a discussion about Madison’s contributions to American democracy, social and political life, and prompt participants to consider how they can be more informed and engaged citizens.

RSVP required. Questions? Contact: Dr. Carah Ong Whaley, whaleycl@jmu.edu.

Helping Students Be Well, Stay Well and Do Well

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, University Health Center

Welcome to a new school year! All of us at the University Health Center are looking forward to the energy and excitement that a new year brings. And while no one wants to think about being sick (especially away from home), here are some tips for you to share with your student when they’re not feeling well:

  1. Have them go to the Health Center website and check out the self-care guides. They may be able to get better without even needing a visit.
  2. If they need more than the self-care guides, they can make an appointment online with one of our doctors, physician assistants or nurse practitioners through MyJMUHealth or call our Talk to a Nurse line to speak with a registered nurse. There is no charge for most visits to the UHC. When there is a charge, it is minimal.
  3. The UHC pharmacy fills prescriptions (see the website for a list) and also has a variety of over-the-counter items like ibuprofen, cough syrup, vitamins and allergy medicine.
  4. For more urgent needs like stiches, sprains, minor fractures or allergic reactions they can go to our Urgent Care Center – no appointment needed.

Being sick is no fun, but the University Health Center is here to help them feel better soon.

And just a reminder of the other services offered by the University Health Center:

  • Nurse Clinic - allergy and vaccine injections, wound care and more
  • Women’s Health Clinic - women’s health issues and contraception
  • International Travel Clinic - vaccinations, prescriptions and other resources for students traveling abroad
  • Registered Dietitian - nutrition counseling
  • The Well: Health Promotion and Well-Being - alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and early intervention, healthy sexuality, SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) programming, power-based personal violence prevention, and survivor advocacy

Rebound: helping students respond to setbacks and failures.

Submitted by: Josh Bacon, Dean of Students

At JMU, we want to create a culture that values setbacks and failures as a vital part of the learning and growth process. We want to find ways to use failures to learn, grow, restore ourselves, and rise stronger.

That's why we have launched Rebound, a community that aims to create a space for us all to share our Rebound stories, learn from each other, serve others and rise stronger.

If your student is experiencing setbacks and failures during their time at JMU and you think they could benefit from this program please encourage them to go to the website (jmu.edu/rebound). REBOUND uses best practices to grow your student's resiliency and grit. Not only can this process help them rise from their presenting struggle it teaches them a life long approach to rise stronger from the inevitable setbacks and failures in life.They can simply view some of the videos, read about the Rebound community and decide for themselves how deeply they want to get involved. As you can see from the Rebound website there are opportunities to work with a Rebound mentor, join a Rebound small group, or engage with the online Rebound community for support.

Check us out at jmu.edu/rebound. If you have questions or want to know more please feel free to call Josh Bacon, Ph.D., Dean of Students at 540-568-6468 or email baconjj@jmu.edu.

Financial Aid for Degree Requirements

Submitted by: Brad Barnett, Financial Aid Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal regulations stipulate that schools can only consider classes that count toward a student’s degree requirements when awarding financial aid. Classes that can be counted when determining financial aid eligibility are those that:

  • Count toward a student’s declared Degree or General Education requirements
  • Are required for a declared major
  • Are required for a declared minor
  • Fulfill elective hours to attain a minimum of 120 credit hours

Students will see a “Yes” or “No” under the “Eligible for Financial Aid” Column in “My Class Schedule” in MyMadison. If they see a “Yes” next to one of their classes, then this course will be considered when their financial aid eligibility is calculated. If they see a “No” next to one of their classes, then this class cannot be counted as part of their attempted credits when their financial aid eligibility is determined.

For example, if a student is registered for 12 credits, with 9 having a “Yes” and 3 having a “No,” then the student will be considered as only enrolled for 9 hours for the purposes of developing a financial aid package.

If students are taking at least a full-time load of classes (i.e., 12 undergraduate credits) that are eligible for financial aid consideration, then taking additional classes that are not eligible for consideration will have no impact on their financial aid eligibility.

We invite you to view the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about this rule. Students also have access to see their course eligibility when viewing their financial aid in MyMadison.

Dukes First Day Pictures

Tell your Duke about the opportunity to capture their first day of class with a photo! There will be photo stations on August 26th in front of Wilson Hall and near Festival Patio from 9AM - 3:30PM. Photos will be available for download at jmu.edu/parents.

Life-Changing Service Opportunities

Submitted by: Misty Newman, Associate Director, Community Service-Learning

Welcome to JMU from the Community Service-Learning team! Our mission is to cultivate positive social change through mutually beneficial service partnerships, critical reflection, and the development of engaged citizens through our values of intentionality, learning, service, humility, accountability, relationships, and equity. Bottom line: We want students to connect with the community both on and OFF campus in very meaningful ways. We create these networks through a variety of programs that your student(s) can get involved with NOW! Students can get connected locally, nationally, and globally in a variety of ways! Currently, we’d like to highlight the Alternative Break Program and some associated leadership opportunities.

Annually hundreds of JMU students choose one of the following life-changing student-led service breaks in the United States or abroad:

Weekend Breaks: A team of 10 students depart on a Friday afternoon for a rapid service immersion before returning on Sunday. Students can stop by the office beginning the SECOND WEEK of classes and sign up for any of our fall weekend breaks! To see a list of all the breaks for the fall, students can check out our website: jmu.edu/abp

Winter/Spring Breaks: A group of 10-12 students tackle a social issue head-on with a week of service, capacity building, and advocacy.

May Break: Every year since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, CS-L has maintained a commitment to serving affected communities with high-impact projects following JMU Commencement.

Break for New Dukes: A group of new first-year and transfer students begin their JMU experience connecting with other new students serving even before classes begin. It’s a great way for your student to create a foundational network and assimilate to the culture of service on campus. In July, a group traveled to New Bern, NC and spent their week rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Florence in partnership with Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders. One participant said:

“It really was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad I did it. The reflections were definitely thought-provoking and helpful in group bonding and understanding our service work, and were absolutely meaningful. I think the group leaders did a wonderful job educating us and facilitating our service projects every day, and I’m very happy I went on this break because I made so many new friends and feel much more a part of JMU. I would absolutely participate in an alternative break again. I felt so connected to everyone else around me.”

If your student is passionate about service, eager to grow as a leader, and ready to represent James Madison University, they should apply to lead an Alternative Break!

They can learn more at one of our info sessions (pizza provided, as supplies last):

  • Wednesday, 8/28, 12:15-1pm, Community Service-Learning (SSC 2100)
  • Monday, 9/2, 7-7:45pm, Community Service-Learning (SSC 2100)

Applications are online now and are due by 11:59 on Sunday, September 8th.

Have your student visit us on campus or online to get involved in meaningful service!

Student Success Center Suite 2100 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)

(540) 568-6366



Dining on Campus: Bundle a Meal Plan with A Job!

Submitted by: Nicole Jackson, Marketing Manager, JMU Dining

Does your student need a flexible job while on campus? Encourage them to join the JMU Dining team as a student employee! Our new student wage is $9.50 per hour, and they are eligible for the following perks if they also purchase a meal plan:

  • Free shoes/uniform
  • 10 Guest Meal Coupons
  • 6 National Brand Combo coupons
  • Continued support and training for resume enhancement
  • Reusable Mug from one our Coffee Partners on Campus
  • Entered to win ONE YEAR FREE PARKING (one lucky person will win!)

Offer good for new student employees who live off campus and purchase a commuter meal plan for the 2019/2020 academic year. Offer expires Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. Students can purchase a meal plan at anytime, but this special offer ends Sept. 30.

Student Travel: Getting your student home to NY, NJ & PA for the holidays

Submitted by: Amy Sfaelos '98, President, CollegeTransit

You just finished taking your student and a car full of clothes, tiny refrigerators and crates to JMU. Even though the goodbye was difficult, fear not – Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how your child will get home for the holidays. CollegeTransit can transport your students directly from the JMU campus to strategic areas in PA, NJ and NY.

CollegeTransit was founded at JMU in 1992, on the 4th floor of Eagle Hall, as a way to get out of state students home for the school holidays. Over 25 years later, we're still running buses directly from campus to strategic destinations in PA, NJ and NY. This service gives JMU families a reliable option in getting students home for the holidays that is both convenient and cost efficient.

Our buses do sell out quickly so be sure to visit CollegeTransit for more information and to make your reservations today.

Welcome to the JMU family!

Jason ('96) & Amy ('98)

CollegeTransit LTD


JMU Athletics Updates

Submitted by: Alli Pinello, Graduate Assistant, Duke Club

As students return to campus for the 2019-2020 school year, JMU Athletics is gearing up for another exciting year. Whether you are purchasing tickets for family weekend or Friday Night Flights, signing your student up for the Student Duke Club, or supporting our student-athletes with a gift to the Proud and True Fund – check out all of the information below for your go-to guide for the coming season!

Family Weekend Tickets

Join us at Bridgeforth Stadium for the Family Weekend football game on Saturday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m. as the Dukes take on the Villanova Wildcats! Tickets are available at JMUTickets.com and parking is available on a first come, first served basis. Interested in a reserved game day tailgate parking spot for family weekend? Make a gift to the Proud and True Fund to support JMU student-athlete scholarships and the general operating budget. Donors receive access to game day experience benefits related to hospitality and parking. For more information on how to join the Proud and True Fund, visit the JMU Duke Club at JMUDukeClub.com.

Student Duke Club

Does your student bleed purple and gold? Do they have a passion for JMU Athletics? If so, then the Student Duke Club is the organization for them! The Student Duke Club is the student group that supports JMU Athletics and our 450+ student-athletes both at sporting events and philanthropically. Members receive exclusive access to apparel, giveaways and events. For more information, visit JMUDukeClub.com/sdc.

2019-2020 Academic Calendar

Don't forget to bookmark the 2019-2020 academic calendar! This calendar includes holiday information, Commencement dates and more.


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