It is my pleasure to present one of this year's All Together One Awards to Ian Spiegel-Blum
Ian is a senior Media Arts and Design major with a concentration in Digital Video and Cinema, and English, Creative Writing, and Film Studies minors. With
his rigorous course load, Ian demonstrates his desire to learning every day by going above and beyond his course requirements. He has written an unpublished book of poetry and multiple feature length screenplays, including the SMAD department's first and only student written and produced feature-length 95-minute screenplay. Additionally, Ian has been published in JMU's literary magazine as well as in other outlets, and has made significant progress in the writing of his first novel. Taking his passion for writing a step further, Ian is currently teaching a course on Writing Television to fellow JMU students.
Outside of academics, Ian has served on the executive board of his fraternity
Alpha Epsilon Pi as secretary and as president, He has served as a resident
advisor for two years. In both of these roles, he continues to foster an
environment of togetherness, a major facet of the All Together One spirit. Dr. Kevin Apple, a psychology professor and the advisor of AEPi, said that during
Ian's time on AEPi executive board, Ian was concerned more with making the right decisions rather than being well liked. Ian's commitment to making honest
and honorable decisions in his studies, on-campus activities, and daily life, serves as inspiration not only for his brothers, but the greater Fraternity and Sorority Life
community as well as the JMU community as a whole.
As an RA, Ian helped to foster community and meaningful relationships
between the residents in his building. One student - a junior at JMU - recalls her
freshman year in Gifford Hall with Ian as an RA in the building. Even though Ian was not the RA assigned to her section of the building, she said he not only
encouraged her to become more involved in the hall but also in the JMU community. She said Ian took extra care to look out for each individual resident.
Perhaps one of the best examples of Ian exemplifying the All Together One
spirit occurred last summer after a storm caused a tree to fall into a fellow student's
living room at home. The student's mother was ill, and Ian took it upon himself to raise funds to alleviate some of the hardship that was felt by the family. Through a
website that Ian designed himself, and by initiating the contact of national news outlets, Ian was able to raise $10,000 to give to the student's family in order to
lessen their burden. This is a clear example of what the All Together One spirit represents.
A dedication to learning, an attitude of kindness and compassion towards others,making an impact on the community, fostering a feeling of togetherness,
and being an inspiration to others - these are some of the qualities which comprise the unique All Together One spirit of James Madison University. Ian embodies all
of these qualities and more in his daily life, and he has clearly left his mark on JMU.
Please join me in recognizing Ian Spiegel-Blum as a recipient of the 2013 All Together One Award.