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Two projects at James Madison University honored with prestigious technology awards

Crystal Graham
JMU aerial
Photo courtesy City of Harrisonburg

Two projects at James Madison University received Commonwealth Technology awards recently at the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium held in Richmond.

These are the first Commonwealth Technology awards for the Harrisonburg-based University since 2017.

‘Histories Along the Blue Ridge’

The “Histories Along the Blue Ridge” project received the “Innovative Use of Technology – Education” award.

“Histories Along the Blue Ridge” is a database of digitized historic records stored at the Rockingham Circuit Court. The goal is to make the historical records more accessible to the public including genealogists and involves the work of graduate history students at JMU, JMU Libraries and the Rockingham Circuit Court.

Learning Access Through Universal Design

The “Best Customer Experience Initiative – Education” award went to a program called Learning Access Through Universal Design, or LAUD.

LAUD is a multi-year collaboration between the College of Health and Behavioral Studies, JMU Libraries and the JMU College of Education, which started in May 2021. The initiative teaches JMU faculty about the principles and practices of universal design for learning, or UDL. Using UDL can enable faculty to create learning experiences that are accessible and broadly applicable, meeting the diverse needs of more students, regardless of ability status, learning preferences, situational challenges or diverse identity.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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