JMU Alums with Cool Jobs

Alums from James Madison University have excelled in vastly different areas. They’ve gone on to do some amazing things!

Emily Lewis Lee- graduated in 1943 from Madison College with a home economics degree. Little did she know that she would go on to use those skills to serve her country. During World War II, Lieutenant Lee supervised nearly 60 employees who nourished wounded military personnel.

Dr. Marcia Angell- graduated in 1960 with undergraduate mathematics and chemistry degrees. In 1997, she was named in Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential Americans. She furthered her education, and, with hard work, became the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. Angell’s a published author and currently a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Philip Bigler- graduated in 1974 with a degree in history. He earned his masters in secondary education and history in 1976. Bigler became a high school teacher as well as a historian and author. His interactive, hands-on approach to teaching earned him the title of 1998 National Teacher of the Year. He’s also the director of the annual Virginia Teachers of Promise Institute.

Steve Buckhantz- graduated in 1977 with a degree in communication arts. Buckhantz is a four-time Emmy winner and is one of the longest-tenured sportscasters in the D.C. Metro area. He’s worked on radio shows, was the official play-by-play announcer for Navy football and was a freelance play-by-play announcer for professional and college teams. Buckhantz is the spokesman for the Steve Buckhantz/St. Jude Celebrity Golf Tournament, which has raised millions of dollars to benefit research at the children’s hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Charles Haley- graduated in 1987. Haley made Madison history with a record breaking 506 tackles during his college career. Haley became the highest-selected player ever at JMU when the San Francisco 49ers chose him in the fourth round of the NFL Draft in 1986. A two-time All-American and a three-time Defensive MVP, he had three seasons of more than 100 tackles and was named the Virginia Division I defensive player of the year in 1985. Haley’s the only player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings. He has played in five Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, as well as the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Tracey Neale- graduated in 1989. Neale’s a nine time Emmy-award winning news reporter. She made a documentary on AIDS in Africa and won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award in 2000. During filming, Neale was significantly influenced by unadoptable HIV-positive children whom she met in orphanages. She received the Award for Excellence in International Reporting, and used her award money to create the Africa Action Fund to benefit Pediatric AIDS clinics and orphanages. Neale also created the organization Veronica’s Story, dedicated to preserving the memory of a little girl she met in Africa.

Lindsay Czarniak- graduated in 2000 with a degree in online journalism. Czarniak began her career as an intern for WUSA in Washington, D.C. She has worked for CNN, NBC4, and was the co-host of The George Michael Sports Machine. Czarniak has covered the 2006 Winter Olympics and the NASCAR Nationwide Series races among other famous sports events. Last year, Czarniak debuted at ESPN’s Sportcenter.

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