The Healing Power of Rhythm and Sound: An Undergraduate’s Mission

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.                                                                                                                      -  Margaret Meade


J.P. Riley and Mark Thress, undergraduate pioneers of the iPad Music Therapy Project at JMU.

     In some cases, the treatment can be tougher than the disease.  With individuals battling cancer through chemotherapy, the long periods of silent waiting while attempting to stave off the side effects of the medicine that could save their lives can be the toughest.  As undergraduates at JMU and students of the power of music, J.P Riley and Mark Thress believe that a happy soul can heal a torn body. Continue reading

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New Tools for Researchers

The following guest piece is penned by Yasmeen Shorish, Assistant Professor and Physical & Life Sciences Librarian with JMU’s Rose Library Services.  Yasmeen serves as a liaison to the biology, chemistry, and physics and astronomy departments.

It often can seem as though it is getting harder to do research in academia. Faculty balance more classes and more students with less time and less funding, while working to stay in compliance with increasingly common funder mandates. While the library may not be able to help balance teaching and research loads, we can give faculty some tools to more easily meet funding obligations. Continue reading

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International Scholarship at JMU

The following piece was penned by Double Duke Courtney R. C. Swartzentruber in early 2013 after her experience studying internationally in Lunéville, France.  For more information on the International Society for Cultural History, visit their website.


A view of the Chateau Lunéville in Lunéville, France.

In July of 2012, I presented a paper at the annual International Society for Cultural History conference in Lunéville, France, in which the cultural history of work served as the theme of the conference.  The objective of the conference was “to reflect on the links between work and culture by starting a dialogue between several trends of historiography, at the crossroads of several fields and disciplines.” The conference papers featured interdisciplinary themes and were presented in French or English.

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James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal

In March of this year, the first issue of the James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal, or JMURJ, was published on the journal’s website and shared via various social media outlets. Since then, members of the Editorial Board and I have been working diligently to spread the word about JMU’s newest publication. We hope that hearing the title (pronounced “Jay-Merge”) will eventually become commonplace within JMU’s undergraduate research community, not for shameless validation but rather as evidence that undergraduate research is becoming more visible and viable to the student body.  Continue reading

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A Study in Parking for Downtown Harrisonburg

When I applied to graduate school, I expected long hours spent studying, tough exams, and new experiences. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at James Madison University, however, takes this a step further by allowing students to participate in more practical, hands-on projects in the surrounding communities.

From the onset, I was afforded these opportunities as I started my graduate years completing an economic development study with the town of Dayton, VA.  Despite being an integral member of the research team for that study, there were several other groups (i.e. faculty, undergraduate students, town residents/officials) that were also heavily involved.  However, that study – along with the skills and knowledge that I learned throughout my two years in the program – prepared me to go even further and take a hands-on leadership role in a parking study completed for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR). This study was completed as part of the MPA program’s final, culminating Capstone course. Continue reading

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