Dan Easley

Makerspace Manager

About me

I manage the The Makery, a makerspace in Rose Library.  We maintain a collection of tools and resources for people to make things themselves, and provide instruction, consultation, and assistance in using those tools and resources.  In doing so, we promote collaborative, non-structured, cross-disciplinary education, encouraging creativity, problem solving, synthesis of new ideas, and engagement across the various colleges and departments that make up JMU.

In addition to managing the space and its operations, equipment, stock, and safety, I love directly helping students, faculty, and staff with their projects, and the myriad challenges involved in those projects.  I hope to help people find solutions and workflows, while also helping them to develop their own skillset and techniques for design and troubleshooting.  Schedule an appointment with me or email me and we’ll figure whatever it is out.

My areas of interest and/or expertise include audio/video production; photography; basic 3D design, scanning, and printing; rudimentary electronics design and repair; linux administration, basic computer programming (shell scripts, Arduino/C, and Python); woodworking; gardening; and various small arts and crafts.  If you need help with something not on this list, reach out anyway, and I can help find someone who can help you.


Before joining JMU Libraries, I was Operations Manager and IT Manager at WMRA-FM, Harrisonburg’s NPR station, where I configured and maintained the station’s broadcast automation system, was responsible for the operations of three dozen computers across multiple sites, engineered interviews that were broadcast both locally and internationally, and was the local host of All Things Considered.  I also worked in the engineering and production departments of WVPT-TV, Harrisonburg’s PBS station, doing, among other things, technical direction for a nightly live call-in show, and audio engineering and camerawork for a nationally distributed show on farming.

In my early thirties I took a sabbatical from full-time work in public media to pursue music semi-professionally and to reduce the amount of time I spent looking at a computer screen.  I lived within a small community of like-minded musicians in a nominally self-sufficient fashion, living six years without running water, and relying heavily on gardening and dumpster diving for food.  For the last two years of that phase, I lived in a yurt that I built from scratch, using locally-sourced bamboo, according to a design I found on a website.  It wasn’t particularly comfortable, I wouldn’t do it again, but I’m grateful for the experience.  One of the many lessons learned was the value of creating tangible items – the value of both the creations and the act of creation itself.  Most of my prior products would disappear if the power went out, and served no physically functional purpose.  Turning idea into object is an edifying and empowering act.

During that interregnum, as an independent contractor I produced and edited tens of thousands of audio recordings for Rosetta Stone’s Dari, Pashto, Iñupiaq, and Spanish products.  I also spent a year working in the kitchen of the Little Grill Collective, where I gained some basic awareness of and appreciation for consensus-based decision making and feminist principles of management.

As a hobbyist, I write, record, and produce traditional and original music for myself and friends.  I’ve been lucky enough to do so in a variety of environments, including Ketchikan, Alaska; Rincón, Puerto Rico; and Real World Studios in Box, UK; as well as in our beautiful valley.  I am apparently the first person in the world to set the entirety of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses to music.  I don’t recommend it.  Influences include Robert Wyatt, The Pentangle, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Marcel Duchamp.



About Learning Innovations & Design

We create virtual and physical spaces, programs, and services for the JMU community to enhance, experiment with, and innovate in their teaching, learning, and scholarship.

Departments in this unit include Classroom Technology Services, Educational Technology Services, Instructional Design, Learning Technology Services, and Media Production & Makerspace Services.

To get started using our services, visit the Learning Innovations & Design Desk online or in Rose Library.

About Media Production and Makerspace Services

Through spaces such as The Makery and production studios we encourage creativity, brainstorming, exploring, rethinking, problem-solving and curiosity by providing the JMU and local community with access to expertise, cutting-edge technologiesmultimedia equipmentworkshops, and events.