James Madison University

Eileen Nelson Scholarship for Senior Excellence

The Eileen Nelson Scholarship honors the contributions of emeritus faculty member Eileen Nelson, by recognizing a student who has exemplary involvement in the honors thesis program, vigor in research and service, excellence in academic achievement, and the intention to pursue graduate education in psychology. The scholarship provides financial assistance to the award winner during their senior year. This scholarship was made possible by the generous donations of the family and friends of Dr. Eileen Nelson.

You can contribute to this fund by making a donation online . When making your donation please specify that your donation is intended to contribute to the Eileen Nelson Scholarship in the "Other Designation" field on the form.

2017 Awards Recipient


Daroon Jalil

Daroon Jalil
  • Completing an honors thesis entitled The Role of Race and Empathy on Contagious Yawning under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Shoup-Knox.
  • Has worked in 3 research labs and presented research at five conferences, both regionally and nationally.
  • Served as teaching assistant for Biopsychology.
  • Psychology representative on the CHBS Dean’s Student Advisory Council.
  • Has been awarded the Whitlock Scholarship in the Department of Psychology, been on the President’s list (Fall 2013- Spring 2016), and is a Centennial Scholar Recipient.

2016 Award Recipient


Allison Piotrowski

Allison Piotrowski

Allison has been highly active in JMU’s Psychology Department in the past four years. As a Psychology Peer Advisor, she has aided at Advising Fests and worked on the “Tech Team,” which uses social media to share important information with all psychology majors. She has spent four semesters working on numerous projects in Dr. Jaime Kurtz’s positive psychology lab, and has presented her work at the National Academic Advising Association and the Virginia Psychological Association. She has also been a teaching assistant for Dr. Krisztina Jakobsen’s team-based Developmental Psychology course, where she helps create assignments and facilitate in-class activities and discussion. Allison has been named to the Dean’s List and President’s List numerous times. A member of JMU Honors Program, she is currently completing her honors thesis with Dr. Bryan Saville, which is entitled, “Does Passion Predict Enjoyment and Performance in an Interteaching-Based Course?” She will present her thesis project at the CAA Undergraduate Research Conference in April, 2016. In fall, Allison will begin graduate school at the University of Virginia for School Counseling.