'It's unusual to have three majors, but my professors offer a lot of support, I'm super organized, and never lose sight of my main objectives.'
- Christa Brown ('12) Brown decided to major in political science with a concentration in pre-law. at JMU, she participated in "Take Your Professor to Lunch day" and got one-on-one time with a professor who also served in the Virginia House of delegates. "it was an amazing experience," Brown says. "i was eating lunch with him, and i remember thinking, 'yes, this is what i want to do.' This is why i came to JMU." From then on, she joined every related program available to her including the student government association and the Judicial Council - a group with authority to judge its campus peers. Brown says the Judicial Council is a particularly good fit because she is "drawn to law and order, and maintaining order." Those skills were then strengthened during a junior-year internship with Harrisonburg Mayor Kai degner ('03, '05M). The "mini-internship" was part of a class project helping degner with his Harrisonburg summit series, an open space Technology chain of meetings where participants create an agenda on the fly. Brown worked on the intercultural/ interfaith summit where several bunn PhotograP h by Cathy kushner ('87) breakout sessions focused specifically on immigrant communities, a topic she plans to study further. "Christa illustrates a common experience at JMU," degner says. "students get out of the classroom and into the real world." now, Brown is gearing up for her next out-of-classroom experience: a study abroad program in germany. Her primary goal is to build language skills through immersion, but she also hopes to absorb a good deal of culture as well: "i enjoy philosophy - Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu - and i want to study german philosophers like Kant, Hegel, schopenhauer and nietzsche." she'll also try to see as many opera houses as possible, a nod to her third major - theater and dance. Though people often ask how theater and dance fits into her legal and political plans, Brown calls the JMU theater department her true home. "it's where i am most me, where i am allowed to relax," she says. "i'm not a party person or a socialite. instead, i use theater to relieve my stress. it's therapeutic." This philosophy was partially inspired by scott zane smith, her favorite professor. "The relationships students have with JMU professors are amazing," Brown says. "i've been privileged to really get to know a professor who also instructs and inspires me like no other. Professor smith expects a lot out of his students, and i push myself to meet his expectations." smith says all voice students must quickly learn to set priorities because they practice on the Honor system, logging their time spent, goals accomplished and personal evaluation. "students Continued on Page 45 >>> Elle Bunn ('11)
Sports management major holds court
BY KATIE HUDSON ('10) Some may say elle Bunn ('11) has a contradictory lifestyle. She lives for sports and is often taking in the intensity of her two favorites, hockey and football. But while she was working on her sports management major during her freshman year at JMu, she was also busy being crowned Miss teen Virginia united States. Bunn is a graduate of Kellam High School in Virginia Beach where she excelled in both sports and pageantry. Her two passions may seem polar opposites, but Bunn says that the two are much more similar than one may think. "Pageants really are mentally grinding, just like any sport," she explains. and with the swimsuit portion of the competition, the physicality is not far behind. Bunn has spent 10 years of her life competing in pageants, all without a coach. instead, her success in pageantry simply comes from learning from her own mistakes. after she was crowned Miss teen Virginia united States, she then competed for Miss teen united States where she received first runnerup and Miss Congeniality honors. in spite of her impressive run, Bunn has decided to focus on her love for sports at JMu. "i've been in front of the camera before, and now it's my time to be more behind the scenes," she says. not only will she be using her sports marketing major, but she will also use her business minor during an internship with the JMu athletics department this fall. Bunn will be working with alyssa gerlando ('07M), director of athletics marketing. gerlando became familiar with Bunn's work ethic after having her as a student in introduction to Marketing in the Sports industry. ger-
'She also brings a high level of professionalism, poise, energy and the ability to interact with our fans.'
- ALYSSA GERLANDO ('07M) Elle Bunn ('11) has turned her sports management classroom skills into a fun way to engage JMU Dukes fans during halftime. lando hired Bunn as the in-game hostess for JMu men's and women's basketball games. a first for JMu athletics, Bunn helps emcee contests and keeps the crowd revved up during half- time shows. "given the uniqueness of her position as an in-game hostess, she also brings a high level of professionalism, poise, energy and the ability to interact with our fans," gerlando says. Bunn says her work as a hostess for the games has been a trial-and-error run, but gerlando is satisfied with the positive feedback from fans. Bunn also helps JMu with recruitment of prospective JMu athletes. this summer, she worked as an intern at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in sports marketing. the Purple Pride running through her veins comes naturally. Bunn is a JMu legacy. Her father and mother - david a. ('83) and Wendell Smith Bunn ('83) - are JMu graduates, and her sister, april Bunn, is a 2005 alumna. M F a LL 2010 39