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Jennifer McCabe: University Star
by John McGehee

On March 24 Jennifer McCabe, Health and Human Services Librarian, was awarded the 2006 Madison Award for University Star. This competitive award is presented annually to the JMU employee who, through their work, best jenne mccabeexemplify the mission, vision, and values of the University. Jennifer has been nominated on behalf of the President's office as one of JMU's nominees for the Governor's Public Service Awards.


Beyond her exceptional librarian service to the faculty and students of the Health Sciences, Nursing, and Social Work departments, Jennifer has made several non-traditional, innovative, and valuable contributions to the University that made her a contender for this award.


For example, Jennifer taught a class for the Health Sciences and Nursing departments on Healthcare Informatics and led an effort to secure a collection of hand-held computers (PDAs) for use in the class. Students were required to learn how to use the devices (which are ubiquitous in health care practice) and to report on the ways in which their use impacts health care. For this work, Jennifer was named an affiliate faculty member for the Health Sciences Department, a rare honor for a university librarian.


Last year, Jennifer was awarded a prestigious $158,593 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop online games for teaching health literacy and general information literacy. Jennifer is serving as principal investigator for the project and leading a development team of programmers, librarians, faculty, and graphics specialists to create interactive games to improve health literacy and skills and to identify and use citations.


The appropriate use of technology in instruction has been an ongoing theme in Jennifer’s library career; this is further demonstrated by her work in developing online training modules for nursing students. A set of federal regulations (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or “HIPAA”) recently mandated health care providers to obtain training before working in a clinical setting. JMU Nursing students are required to work as interns and are therefore need to undergo HIPAA training. Jennifer collaborated with Health Sciences and Nursing faculty to create a series of online training modules for the students that met the training requirements of the regulations without committing faculty to hours of training each semester. This project had a direct positive effect on the nursing department.


Jennifer serves as a faculty member of the JMU Honor Council. She has also been a member of the Freshman Reading Program Book Selection Committee and annually acts as a facilitator for the program. She teaches numerous library instruction classes per semester and regularly has students in her office consulting on library research issues. Her work has always been focused on the University’s mission of “preparing students to become educated and enlightened citizens who will lead meaningful and productive lives.”  Among her other accomplishments Jennifer’s work with her departments’ faculty and students have made her truly one of the stars of the Library and the University.

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