UEDA 2021


September 19 - 22, 2021



Transformation: Forward Thinking in a Changing World


2021 UEDA Summit Speakers

Nicholas Swartz

Nicholas Swartz

Associate Dean, James Madison University School of Professional & Continuing Education

I began my career at JMU in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Public Policy & Administration in the Department of Political Science. Prior to this role, I worked in commercial real estate development for several years, as well as positions in local government, public policy, and consulting organizations. While at JMU, I’ve enjoyed serving in various positions including Director of the nationally accredited Master in Public Administration Program, Founder and Director of the Madison Center for Community Development, and Associate Vice Provost of Research and Scholarship. I enthusiastically joined JMU’s Outreach and Engagement as Associate Dean in 2017 and I continue to serve as a core faculty member in the Master in Public Administration Program. I have a Doctorate Degree in Public Policy, a Masters Degree in Public Administration, and an Undergraduate Degree in Political Science.

In my role as Associate Dean, I, in partnership with Dr. Melissa Lubin, manage PCE’s economic and community development efforts locally, regionally, and state-wide and serve as a member of PCE’s leadership team where I represent JMU and PCE with a variety of internal and external groups. I either lead or am directly involved in several economic and community development initiatives—both internal to JMU and in our community. I work very closely with our economic development colleagues with the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, and the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center.  In addition to serving as Director of the Madison Center for Community Development, I also coordinate PCE’s Scholarship of Engagement initiatives including journal publications, conference presentations; develop and disseminate high need, on-demand community-based research; build relationships with faculty and academic units to promote community-based engagement services; manage PCE’s graduate assistantship cohort; and coordinate PCE’s advancement and fundraising efforts.

My passion is community engagement and my job as Associate Dean enables me to better connect JMU students, faculty and staff to a variety of stakeholders at the local, regional, state and national levels. I spend a lot of my time identifying and developing partnership opportunities that are linked to academic programming. Providing community engagement activities, like applied academic coursework, internships, graduate assistantships, training, or fellowships, helps JMU achieve our mission of “preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.”





University Economic Development Association

PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
216.200.UEDA (8332)