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Honors College Monthly Newsletter: October 2020

Homecoming 2020

The Honors team is so excited to share our Honors Homecoming and Home Cooking Cookbook! The cookbook will be available online beginning Friday, November 6 just in time for the “Home-gating” Cooking Class. We would love to see photos of your cookbook creations; tag us with #jmuhonorshomecoooking and #jmuhonorshomecoming2020! Bon appetit!

Honors College December 2020 Celebration

Congratulations to the December 2020 Honors graduates. You have worked so hard and the finish line is in sight!

The Honors College plans to confer medallions in person to students as well as share a virtual celebration on December 18. Graduating seniors have been sent emails regarding the ceremony and we hope to have finalized details and information to share in early November. We will be virtually celebrating our seniors on Friday, December 18 through social media.

Student Programming

Student programming continues to be exciting in the Honors College. Here are quick updates on a sampling of our program offerings:

  • We are moving into the busy season of admissions recruitment, and Honors Ambassadors are making themselves available during drop-in Zoom sessions and 1:1 conversations with prospective students. Dr. Alysia Davis was able to feature the contributions of Honors Ambassadors in weathering changes wrought by the pandemic in a presentation at the fall conference of the Virginias Collegiate Honors Council (VCHC) in late September. If you know a prospective student interested in learning more about the Honors College, please reach out to Dr. Davis at davis4am@jmu.edu
  • The Madison Honors Leadership Council (MHLC) recently completed a successful fall recruitment, and are in the midst of planning virtual programs for the rest of the semester, including social, professional development, and service events. MHLC has partnered with United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County this year, and are hosting a Tiktok challenge to raise money for this community partner. The theme of the challenge is “Zoom University,” and MHLC is seeking fun Tiktoks that demonstrate what it’s like to “go to school” virtually. Anyone is welcome to participate - for more information on this fun project email tiktoksforuw@gmail.com.
  • Honors conversations about the book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things are Better Than You Think have continued, both in the Book Club and in monthly Zoom conversations. Our September session applied Factfulness to COVID-19, and featured guest presenters Dr. Louis Kudon, Program Manager, Georgia Department of Public Health, and Meghan Jones, Director, Global Patient Safety, Pharmacoepidemiology at Eli Lilly and Company. Our October session applied Factfulness to the issue of climate change, and will feature Honors alumnus Dr. Craig Ramseyer (’09), assistant professor of geography at Virginia Tech.
  • The Toolbox Workshop series continues to offer our student the “soft skills” they need to succeed. Our October sessions included a discussion of Online Professionalism featuring JMU alumna Emma Maynard (’07, ‘16M). Ms. Maynard previously worked at JMU focusing on developing employer relationships to benefit students and alumni and currently she works as a Student Success Advisor for the MBA program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Coming up later this month, MHLC will co-host a Toolbox Workshop featuring a panel of Honors alumni hoping to Demystify Graduate School.
Please note this photo was taken by JMU Communications & Marketing prior to COVID-19.

A Preview of What's to Come

November and December will be busy wrapping up the semester and preparing for Spring 2021. Here’s a look at some of the student-centered events:

Fall Family Fridays

In lieu of an on-campus Family Weekend, Honors is excited to partner with the Office of Parent Relations to participate in Fall Family Fridays. Through November 20, check out Honors offerings in a fun and informative line-up designed with family members and friends of Honors in mind. Below are brief descriptions of what is in store. Please email Alysia Davis at davis4am@jmu.edu to get instructions on how to RSVP for particular programs.

Friday, October 23, 12:00 p.m. – SYNCHRONOUS

  • Public Policy & Leadership – A New Opportunity: The Honors College is proud to announce a new partnership with UVA’s Batten School of Public Policy & Leadership. The partnership will afford JMU Honors students and alumni with a number of benefits: the Batten School will waive application costs to current and former JMU Honors students, and all Honors students admitted to the Batten School for graduate study will receive a guaranteed fellowship. Join this session to learn more about the Batten School from a number of panelists, and to discover why an MPP in Public Policy & Leadership is an excellent choice for students from many majors.

Friday, October 30, 12:00 p.m. – SYNCHRONOUS

  • The First Year Honors Experience: HON 100 is an introductory experience in the Honors College undertaken by most incoming first year students. The course exposes first year students to Honors activities and goals and introduces leadership, research, study abroad, and service opportunities. A unique attribute is that each course section is taught by two upper-level Honors students, who grow as educators, mentors, and leaders. Tune into this session to dive deeper into the Honors first year experience, and to hear from faculty and Teaching Fellows about the value of this innovative program.

Friday, November 6, 12:00 p.m. – SYNCHRONOUS and on FB Live

  • Hillcrest Declassified: Honors Survival Guide: This session is brought to you from the Madison Honors Leadership Council (MHLC)! Student panelists will share their tips, tricks, hacks and advice about how to excel in JMU Honors. As extraordinary student leaders, these panelists understand the demands of college and will share exactly how JMU Honors helps them pave a road for success.

Friday, November 13, at your convenience - ASYNCHRONOUS

  • A Talk about White People, or Whiteness… Wait, What’s the Difference?, MADTalk Lecture presented by Dr. Jennifer PeeksMease, School of Communication Studies, September 2018: Take time today to like and follow JMU Honors social media – it’s the best way to stay informed on what’s going on! You can find Honors on Twitter (@Madison Honors), Facebook (@JMUHonors), and Instagram (@jmuhonors). While you are exploring JMU Honors on Facebook, take time to watch this MADTalk. This lecture is an example of the Honors College’s ongoing commitment to exploring issues of racial equity, and we are proud to have Dr. Jennifer PeeksMease as a member of our Honors faculty! The MADTalk public lecture series is organized by the Madison Honors Leadership Council (MHLC), a student organization.

Friday, November 20, at your convenience – ASYNCHRONOUS

  • Alumni Advice, Orientation webinar: While many of this year’s Orientation activities were virtual, a silver lining was the opportunity to involve members of the Hillcrest Club, the JMU Honors young alumni network, in creating this wonderful webinar. For a short half-hour time investment, you can hear alumni pearls of wisdom first-hand about how to succeed in Honors and JMU.
Please note this photo was taken by JMU Communications & Marketing prior to COVID-19.

Spring Course Highlights

"Leadership in Times of Change"

Dean Newcomer will be offering a course titled “Leadership in Times of Change.” This seminar will study leadership topics in the context of uncertain times and leading change efforts.

“Disability and the Human Experience: ‘Enabling’ the Humanities”

Please note this photo was taken by JMU Communications & Marketing prior to COVID-19.

Dr. Danielle Price from the English department will be teaching “Disability and the Human Experience: ‘Enabling’ the Humanities.” This course examines disability and its connection to the human experience; in particular, the representation of disabled people in books, art, and movies.

“Gender Issues in Science”

Please note this photo was taken by JMU Communications & Marketing prior to COVID-19.

Dr. Louise Temple from Integrated Sciences and Dr. Alysia Davis from the Honors College will be team-teaching “Gender Issues in Science.” This course will explore intriguing questions relevant to culture and gender.

Honors Students in the News

Emily Thompson ('21)

Emily Thompson, a senior Biology Major, won JMU Dining's art contest to celebrate National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day. Her painting was inspired by her view from Shenandoah Hall, where she lived for three years, as a resident and Resident Advisor. Her work will be displayed as 4 x 6 foot canvas in D-Hall! Emily said she has been doing art throughout her life, and hopes to eventually turn her talent into a small side business. After graduation, Emily would like to get an internship in wildlife biology or conservation and eventually go to graduate school. Check out more of Emily's work at her Instagram @emilythompson_art.

Elizabeth Moore ('22)

Please note this photo was taken by JMU Communications & Marketing prior to COVID-19.

Elizabeth Moore, a junior Physics major, is currently conducting research into electrons and liquid hydrogen. Check out the full JMU News story on Elizabeth here.

Have a story to tell?

Are you a current student or alumni that has a unique story to share? If so, please email us at honors@jmu.edu. We would love to hear from you and share your news!

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