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JMU Launches New Center for Civic Engagement

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, National Voter Registration Day, James Madison University officially launched it’s new James Madison Center for Civic Engagement.

The James Madison Center for Civic Engagement will provide critical support for the University’s efforts to be a national model for civic engagement and to advance the legacy of James Madison; ensure strategic visibility for the University’s civic engagement efforts; track and record curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular civic engagement activities; funnel data to and from different units on camps as a one-stop civic engagement resource center; and disseminate information broadly to both internal and external constituents.


More than 50 guests — faculty, staff and students — gathered in Madison Union to hear remarks from inaugural executive director and associate professor of political science Abe Goldberg; JMU president Jon Alger; ADP’s Jen Domagal-Goldman; the Center’s associate director, Bill Wilson; and student Samantha Cantrell from the student government association. Samantha and President Alger then registered a student to vote during the ceremony.

JMU has played an increasingly prominent role in our American Democracy Project and is being awarded one of AASCU’s three inaugural Civic Learning and Community Engagement Awards this fall. We look forward to continued collaborations with JMU and its new Center.

JMU and the new James Madison Center for Civic Engagement truly are Madison’s legacy. He was an ardent advocate for higher education and wrote in an 1822 letter, “Learned institutions throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty….What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable than that of liberty and learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support.”

Liberty and learning do indeed go hand-in-hand and we at ADP look forward to watching both flourish at JMU.

ADP in the News | July 14, 2017 Edition

ADP in the News is a compilation of brief updates about American Democracy Project (ADP) activities at participating colleges and universities and is a semi-regular news feature on our blog. Below you will find the latest edition of this series.

If you have an ADP event you’d like posted in this format, please email

Grand Valley State University Professor Granted John Saltmarsh Civic Engagement Award
Danielle Lake, a professor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), was recently awarded the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement by AASCU’s American Democracy Project. Professor Lake teaches in the liberal studies department in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and specializes in public philosophy, feminist pragmatism and transdisciplinarity. Faculty, staff, and students of GVSU worked together to nominate Professor Lake for the award and she expressed her immense gratitude towards their faith in her: “I am by far most honored and humbled by the support of my students, community partners, faculty and staff at GVSU. I was also blown away to be acknowledged by the American Democracy Project. The words they (have) written on my behalf and their belief in me and the work we have done together will be a source of deep joy, comfort and motivation as I move forward.” Read more here.

Fort Hays State University and ADP Schedule “Times Talks”
Fort Hays State University (FHSU) plans to host a series of “Times Talks” this fall in partnership with ADP and sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership. The subjects of these short presentations, based on relevant and recent New York Times articles, will range from civic engagement to political engagement to education on specific social or political issues. FHSU’S ADP already has several speakers scheduled but is looking for more ideas for presentations. Find out more here.

Barbara Burch Award Winner and ADP National Steering Committee Member Joins The State University of New York at New Paltz
Dr. Shala Mills, recent recipient of the AASCU’S Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement will be joining The State University of New York at New Paltz on August 28 as their new Assistant Vice President for Graduate and Extended Learning. Dr. Mills is currently the Director of Liberal Education and both chair and professor of political science at Fort Hays State University. She has taught courses in law and courts, political issues, sustainability, food and politics and global challenges and has been involved in a wide range of service both at FHSU and in higher education as a whole. Dr. Mills “look[s] forward to helping the university expand its reputation for excellence by increasing opportunities to better meet the needs of students.” Read more here.

William M. Plater Award Winner, UMBC at CLDE 2017
Philip Rous, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) was granted the William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting in June. Rous created courses at UMBC that challenged the barriers between a university and the outside world and encouraged civic engagement. President Freeman Hrabowski was also in attendance at CLDE, delivering the opening remarks, as well several other UMBC faculty, staff, students, and alumnae. UMBC’s strong presence at CLDE demonstrates its passion for ADP and civic engagement. Learn more here.

Campus Spotlight: James Madison University
Margaret M. Mulrooney, Associate Vice Provost for University Programs and Professor of History at James Madison University wrote a blog post about civic engagement and the importance of James Madison’s legacy to her institution. Read the full post here.




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