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Haynes Scholars

Haynes Scholars is a residential learning community for incoming first-year STEM majors at JMU who identify as Black, Indigenous American, Latinx/Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or as part of other underrepresented groups in STEM fields. All students are welcome to apply to be Haynes Scholars if they feel that they can contribute to and benefit from the goals of the program. Haynes students will live together in or near Hoffman Hall while taking Calculus classes in cohorts, learning skills for success in college STEM courses, and making student and faculty connections that help them become leaders in their departments. The 2021-2021 program will have openings for 16 Haynes scholars.

Students in the Haynes program will also participate in early, exploratory undergraduate research projects, and have opportunities to connect with STEM faculty and campus facilities early on. For example, students will have the opportunity to use 3D printing and other digital fabrication technologies to design and create mathematical objects in our JMU Math MakerLab and JMU Library Makerspaces, and will be able to tour labs and facilities in other STEM departments to get acquainted with opportunities for research and scholarship in their own departments.

The Haynes Learning Community is named after Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, who in 1943 became the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Dr. Haynes later chaired the Washington, D.C. Board of Education and helped end the tracking system that discriminated against poor and minority students in DC.

Student Advisory Committee

The Haynes Scholars program is led by JMU students. Over a dozen current STEM majors and campus leaders are helping us develop and plan for the first incoming class of Haynes Scholars this fall! 


Haynes Program Student Advisory Committee
Madison Bennett, Biology/Pre-Med
Kianna Butts, Biology/Pre-Dental, Honors
Luis Estrada, Engineering
Mya Fife, Special Education
Ajah Harris, Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics, Honors
Shreyas Khera, Mathematics, Secondary Education
Pierre Mbala, Engineering, AAAD Studies, Mathematics, Honors
Julia Merrell, Biology/Neuroscience, Honors
Gabriella Newsome, Biophysical Chemistry/Pre-Med
Deaquan Nichols, Biophysical Chemistry/Pre-Med, Mathematics, Honors
Umayr Obaid, Biotechnology
Maxine Payton, Computer Science, Mathematics
Yuliiza Salazar, Biotechnology
Micah Swaby, Biology/Pre-Medicine
Tesha Yeboah, Computer Science, Mathematics

The Haynes Seminar

The Haynes Seminar is a new series of public STEM lectures that will feature invited speakers from the scientific research community that bring a more diverse representation of scholars to the university. The seminar series is open to all JMU students and faculty, as well as the local community, and will be held in Paul Jennings Hall. The Haynes Seminar will begin in Fall 2021. 


Applying to be a Haynes Scholar

Students of all mathematical levels are encouraged to apply! Most Haynes Scholars will take either MATH 231-232 or MATH 235-236 in their first year, according to their JMU placement scores. 

All prospective STEM students are encouraged to apply to join the Haynes community for the 2021-22 academic year, including majors from Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or other STEM-related disciplines.

For more information about Residential Learning Communities in general, and to apply to be a Haynes Scholar, visit the JMU Residence Life website.

Applications for the Haynes Scholars Learning Community will be available from April 1 to May 14, 2021. 

Why should you apply to be of the 16 Haynes Scholars for Fall 2021? 

  • You’ll live together in Hoffman Hall with the rest of the Haynes Scholars, and form a community that starts with your first day on campus, and provides a support network for your entire time at JMU.
  • You’ll meet and work with over a dozen current JMU STEM Students of Color from various majors who will be involved in the program as mentors, tutors, and part of the Haynes community.
  • You will get to take your required Calculus classes together with the rest of the other Haynes Scholars, in the same section of either MATH 231 or MATH 235. You’ll have a study group from the first day of class, right in your dorm!
  • During the year, you will get to take a special course just for Haynes Scholars in which you’ll explore early, creative research projects and leadership opportunities. 
  • You’ll get to meet scientists and mathematicians of Color from the community and across the country, as part of the Haynes Seminar.
  • As a group, you will also be taking tours of campus and Harrisonburg, traveling together to DC, and enjoying cookouts and other fun community building activities throughout the year.
  • This fall will be the very first year of the Haynes Residential Learning Community, and you’ll have a chance to build the Haynes community from the very beginning.
Steering Committee

Primary Contacts
Elizabeth Arnold, Mathematics and Statistics
Laura Taalman, Mathematics and Statistics

Department Liaisons
Celes Woodruff, Mathematics and Statistics
Kyle Gipson, Engineering
Tehani Finch, Physics & Astronomy
Shane McGary, Geology
Casonya Johnson, Biology
Bisi Velayudhan, Biology
Oleksandr Kokhan, Chemistry
Nathan Sprague, Computer Science

University Liaisons
Tripp Purks, JMU Office of Residence Life
Art Dean, JMU Campus and Community Access and Inclusion
David Owusu-Ansah, JMU Faculty Access and Inclusion

Statistical Consulting
Beth Cochran, Mathematics and Statistics
Ben Ward, Mathematics and Statistics

Sponsors and Grants

The Haynes Scholars program is supported by a Tensor SUMMA grant from the Mathematical Association of America, for projects designed to encourage the pursuit and enjoyment of mathematics by students who are members of groups historically underrepresented in the field of mathematics:


This year we are also supported by funding from the following internal JMU program development grants:

Provost's Faculty Diversity Curriculum Development Grant, 2021
Faculty Senate Mini-Grant, 2021

The program is also supported by many departments and offices at James Madison University: 

JMU Residence Life
JMU Office of Access and Inclusion
College of Science and Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics


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