I have the distinct honor and privilege of presenting the “All Together One” award to Carroll Ward, part time faculty member in the Nursing Department. She embodies the all-together one spirit at JMU in all that she does. Although she may be “part-time” faculty, her contributions to the JMU community are full time. She has a commitment to the university that excels beyond most others.
Carroll was recently awarded the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising. This award is presented to a JMU Faculty member who advises within their undergraduate department and has made significant contributions. As a freshman advisor Carroll exemplifies what is most important at JMU - she cares first about the welfare and personal development of the student and, only then, about the mundane matter of registering for classes. She pours her heart and soul into her students, ensuring that they feel as if they matter at JMU and that they sense that their success is as important to her as it is to them. Simply put, she treats every student the way she would want her own two college-aged students to be treated - she challenges students to be personally responsible for their choices and she supports them as they learn and grow.
One student stated, “I had a great experience with Prof. Ward. She was a great help and helped me to believe in my ability to make decisions regarding my academic life.” Another student commented, “Carroll Ward was an amazing advisor, the best about providing useful information in a comfortable atmosphere; very personable and really enjoyed my time with her.” Another colleague stated, “Carroll is sensitive to diversity issues, deeply cares about her students, and is very knowledgeable about academic policies and resources. She is a true example of developmental advising as she goes way beyond helping students to choose classes.”
Another way Carroll Ward goes beyond being a part time JMU faculty member here at James Madison is her highly active involvement in Pi Mu, at large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, which is the honor society for nursing. Carroll currently serves as the faculty counselor mentee for the ’11-’13 term as well as the JMU Eligibility Faculty Counselor. In addition to this position, Carroll is a co-chair for the Recruitment Fair Committee. This committee works with the JMU academia committee, solicits students to help, keeps faculty aware of dates, times, and needs for the ’10-’12 term. She also serves on the committee that selects which students will be admitted to the nursing program. She prepares her students for clinicals and goes the extra mile in the classroom so that they will be successful in the nursing profession. Professor Ward is a freshman advisor and regularly meets with students to help with their transition through the program. She strives to make sure her students excel. Her desire to help serve the JMU community is never ending. She is well known and respected among her colleagues and students. Professor Ward is a team player in the nursing program and helps out wherever she is needed. This flexibility that Carroll demonstrates is something that shines in all aspects of her life.
In addition, I have had the pleasure of leading an Alternative Spring Break trip with Professor Ward was a learning partner. The trip focus was working with adults and children with disabilities. Although Professor Ward holds a nursing degree, her background and first degree is in special education. While on the trip it was clear to see the passion that she has for this population. Professor Ward went above and beyond what it ordinarily means to be a learning partner. She had additional meetings with my co-leader and me, came to almost all of the group meetings and even came to one of the Monday night training sessions that the leaders must attend. Carroll had a way of embracing the entire group and taking on a mentoring role as opposed to simply a “mother role” (although she did that as well!) Almost everyone on the trip was a stranger, but Professor Ward had a way of connecting everyone to create strong group cohesion. Her multiple alternative spring break trips speak volumes about her character and commitment to the James Madison University students. Similar to the students, she gives up a “traditional” spring break and goes out and serves others. Carroll Ward’s compassion for others shines through. She not only shows compassion for the individuals at the agency, but also for EVERY participant on the trip. She shares stories of her past experiences, and helps form a sense of family on the trip. It is evident how extremely close Carroll is with her own family, and although it may be difficult to be away from them, her passion is serving others. Something else on the trip that speaks to her character was the fact that she received several e-mails for reference letters. Professor Ward immediately responded yes to each request she received. She wanted to let the students know that she was going to help each of them out. Having Carroll on the trip, to put it simply, made our trip a great experience!
Just in the short time that I have known Professor Ward I can see the impact she has on the JMU community. I know for me personally, she is the mentor that I have been searching for three years. Her commitment and passion for JMU are like no one else I have seen. She strives to be the best member of the community she can be. Professor Ward is truly the embodiment of “All Together One”. And it is with great pleasure that today I present to her the All Together One Award.