Apply to JMUTeach Exec


JMUTeach is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Executive Board.

JMUTeach is not a student organization, but rather a department under University Studies. You would have the opportunity to directly impact the functionality of this nontraditional educational program.

Now hiring:

Executive Director: The ED serves as the head of JMUTeach. Working as the main liaison with faculty, this position ensures the day to day needs of JMUTeach are met. (Currently: Alicia Pettis,

Director of Program Advancement: As JMUTeach is getting closer to exiting the experimental phase, the DPA is looking into the structure and daily functions of similar programs at other universities. They work to create a plan for the prosperity of JMUTeach in the future. (Currently: Nick Maggio,

Director of Special Events: The DSE focuses on the programs JMUTeach puts on throughout the year. Aside from the in-class side of JMUTeach, we host Duke Talks, Lunch with 12 Strangers and the Final Fifteen throughout the year. This position serves as the point person, planning and implementing these events and any future ones. (Currently: Molly Jacob,

Director of Marketing: The DM runs all media efforts. They deal with maintaining the website, with running Facebook, Twitter, the email and corresponding with various people to ensure all media is up and running smoothly. (Currently: Taylor Vollman,

 Due March 28, 2014.

Any additional questions can be sent to

Lunch with 12 Strangers!


Lunch with 12 Strangers (LWTS) presents a unique opportunity for 9 students and 3 professors to come together to discuss various topics. This October 10, we are excited to present the next LWTS!

The theme of the lunch: “Is Morality Objective?”

We aren’t looking for one distinct type of person, but varying viewpoints from various disciplines. The idea is to make this discussion as varied and diverse as possible. The issue of morality is prevalent in every field of study, from science to English to history. Nothing in this world escapes the notion of morality!

Don’t be afraid to take part in this great learning experience. Any frame of mind is welcome and you are provided with free lunch!



How to sign up for a JMUTeach Class

All sections of JMUTeach classes are now full. If you have any questions regarding registration email

Step One: Got to and login as you normally would.

Step Two: Go to the “Add Class” function and type in “UNST” under the course subject


Add the class using the course #

  • Assassination of JFK: Cameron Carey (75681) UNST Section 001 (FULL)
  • Body Image: Anna Keiter (75678) UNST Section 002 (FULL)
  • Why do We Make Music: Daniel Singer (75679) Section 003 (FULL)
  • Motivational Entrepreneurship: Gilbert Welsford (75680) Section 004 (FULL)

Step Three: Add the class to your cart and follow the normal steps for enrolling in a class. After that you’ll be all done. Tell your friends to sign up and take a class with you too!

If you have any problems enrolling in a course email

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Graduate Student Apply as Course Facilitators?

During the pilot phase of the program, we cannot accept graduate student applicants as facilitators. An instrumental part of the program is the course development program which is given for academic credit on the undergraduate level. And as graduate students, you  may not enroll in undergraduate classes. We are exploring further possibilities for future cohorts. We welcome participation and leadership in other aspects of the program from graduates.

Can I propose a two credit or eight week course?

During the pilot phase of the program, we aim to offer only one credit classes that meet for one hour each week throughout the semester. However, we will consider flexibility for some session (eg. visiting a lab or facility on campus for a special purpose) but ask that facilitators consider their course in the one hour, 16 week, framework.

Do I need to develop my entire syllabus before submitting a proposal?

Of course not. JMUTeach is designed specifically to provide facilitators with knowledge regarding pedagogy through University Studies, the Center for Faculty Innovation and faculty mentors. We employ a reverse-syllabus design process wherein you develop your syllabus during the semester prior to implementation.

Do I need a faculty mentor before I submit my proposal?

We highly encourage you to have an endorsement from a faculty member to be your mentor upon submitting proposals. If not confirmed, have a list of several faculty members you would approach that bare relevance to your course content area and/or you have past experience with (eg. a class, independent study, advisor).

Can I (We) Team Teach a Course?

We are considering “team teaching,” having two facilitators as a choice for future cohorts but not during the pilot phase of the program. While it may be intimidating to take on a class all on your own we provide a great deal of resources to help you throughout the process. We also encourage you to examine the viability of having the class more than once and passing down the course concept to another individual later on.

Why We Make Music: Daniel Singer (UNST 101: Section 004)

Section 3: Why We Make Music?

Course Description: This course will seek to answer that question in many different ways. It is a course centered on exploring the reasons why humans make, listen to, and love music; the communities that form around music; the influences that music can have on a person’s life; and finally, the social role of music. In order to accomplish this, we will have a multifaceted approach to understanding, including (but of course, not limited to): reading excerpts from articles and books, such as Musicophilia, which shows how the brain is changed by music; student and faculty musicians sharing their experiences; videos from lecturers noting the role of music, such as the TED Talks by Benjamin Zander and Ken Robinson about the power of music and creativity in schools; analyzing and assessing music/arts based project such as El Sistema, the youth orchestra project of Venezuela that is changing lives (including the life of Dr. Pedro Aponte, a faculty member) and the Silk Road Project, Yo-yo Ma’s personal project to bring passion-driven

education to schools; and opportunities in real schools in the Harrisonburg area that we can apply our understanding. Students who take this course will be able to provide their own answer for “Why do we make music?” and gain an appreciation for the value of music in human life.

Student Facilitator: Mr. Daniel Singer
Faculty Instructor of Record: Dr. Pedro Aponte, School of Music
Day/time/room: TBA


Program Directors

If you are interested in joining the Student Leadership Board (SLB) for the 2011-2012 academic year, please follow this link.

Dan Smolkin, Co-Director:
Dan is a senior Public Policy and Administration major from Asheville, N.C. Dan first learned about the concept of student initiated courses while visiting the University of California, Berkeley. Email

Sandra Tran, Co-Director:
Sandra is a junior Marketing major from Northern Virginia.  She was first captivated by the idea of “student-facilitated classes” when visiting the Carnegie Mellon campus and discovering their unique and innovative take on education. Email

Both Sandra and Dan, both members of Student Government Association at the time, were looking to initiate a similar program at James Madison University which led to the development of JMUTeach starting in the fall of 2009.

Leadership Team