Melanie McClure (’83)

Iraqi students receive school supplies 061031-...

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a new nomination from Lt. Col. Nick Swayne, director of JMU’s Reserve Officers Training Corps. Here’s what Nick has to say about alumna Melanie McClure and how she is changing a part of the world…..

Melanie McClure is an elementary school principal and a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.  She was deployed to Iraq to provide leadership in logistics and transportation.  Not one to just do the job, Melanie quickly realized that Iraq’s education system had broken under the strain of war — and that long-term peace hinged on an educated and engaged citizenry.  She met with U.S. military and State Department officials, Iraqi government officials, teachers and university faculty to develop a system to get the education system working again. When it looked like she might get the right team together in Iraq, she reached back to her college at JMU to provide some help.  Ultimately she pulled together a team of educators and education policy folks in Iraq and experts at JMU.  It took months of work and several near failures, but her diligence paid off.  Thirty-five Iraqi faculty and educators risked reprisals and triple digit heat to participate in a four-week seminar to discuss the process of creating a student-centric, constructive model of adult literacy.  The seminar started the week her tour in Iraq concluded, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience for 35 Iraqis and a handful of JMU faculty.  As one participant put it, “We have been cut off from our field for 25 years and we needed this experience.”  Melanie literally risked life and limb to pull this together which reflects her vision and commitment to education — an enduring JMU tradition.

Continue to check our blog for more updates on Melanie and other Be the Changers.


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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