James Madison University

Joel D. West Senior Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes seniors who reflect commitment to the field of psychology through their service activities.

2017 Award Recipient

Maria Camilla Restrepo Chavez

PHOTO: Maria Camilla Restrepo Chavez
  • Currently completing an honors thesis on JMU's Centennial Scholars Program under the supervision of Dr. Jaime Kurtz.
  • Has presented research on perceptions of student well-being at UVA's L. Starling Reid Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference.
  • Was awarded the Rogowski Award in 2016.
  • Has served as a teaching assistant for Social Psychology and Honors 100.
  • Is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Psi Chi honors societies.
  • Has volunteered with SafeRides, the Reading Road Show, Psychology Service Organization, has attended two Albternative Spring Breaks, is a brother of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and has completed a practicum at the counseling center.


2016 Award Recipient

Eliana Segal

PHOTO:Eliana Segal

Eliana has been active across a variety of service activities both on and off campus. She has been involved in the Big Brothers Big Sister's "We Read to Succeed" program since the Spring of 2014. In this program she serves as mentor to an 8-year-old child for whom she facilitates reading support, bilingual literacy, and participation in social experiences in the community.  She served as the Fundraising and Sponsorship co-chair for MadiTHON, JMU's 12-hour dance marathon, that fundraises for our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, the UVA Children's Hospital that helped raise $89,000 dollars this year. Eliana also volunteered in Peak View Elementary school where she utilized translation and tutoring skills to assist Spanish-speaking English Language Learner students. During her semester abroad, Eliana volunteered in an elementary school where she provided small-group assistance in a 6th-grade English class, facilitated group recreational educational activities in after school Pre-K English class, and aided with classroom management in the Pre-K class. Eliana also worked for JMU's Academic Success Program as a Peer Instructor co-facilitating and co-designing classes on how to be successful in college to JMU students on academic probation. She has worked as a counselor at social skills day camp for children and adolescents with social cognitive deficits and has worked as a one-on-one to a child with autism and Fragile X Syndrome as a part of an overnight family camp. In addition, since her sophomore year, Eliana has contributed valuable time and skill to assist in assessment and therapy services for children with autism and their families, who have been served through the Baird Attention and Learning Disabilities Center.