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OAAA E-Weekly Newsletter

The Office of African-American Affairs  Newsletter Highlighting Events and Opportunities for OAAA Students

"Young, Gifted & Black:

40 Years of Preparing Students for the Quest"

Special Announcement

Dear Students:

As we resume the Fall Semester in the midst of challenging times, we care about your well-being and are here to support you as many of you make plans to return to Grounds. While many of us still feel uncertain due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus, we are hopeful that things will continue work out in time. As the Dawson’s Row office is preparing to reopen, we have implemented physical distancing guidelines to better assist your engagement and utilization of OAAA’s spaces in the midst of the unpredictable COVID-19 virus. While we cannot go back to the way things were, one constant remains, the OAAA Deans and staff are committed to helping you navigate this school year and to reach your personal and academic goals. 

One of the main recommendations to slow the spread of Covid-19 is wearing a mask or face covering. When entering OAAA, all students will be required to wear a mask. This is for your safety and ours. Please help in keeping our community and grounds safe from outbreak. One of the services that our office provides is free printing. In order to reduce the risk of exceeding the max capacity, the Office has created an email for you to send print requests. Click here to get more details about printing.

Also. to maintain social distancing and safety guidelines while still supporting you, OAAA will only be able to host a very limited number of persons by appointment only. Students will be able to reserve study space for 60 minutes each day.  Click here to get more details and to make a reservation for study space.

Since we are all returning to Grounds, you may call our main number (434-924-7923), however sending an email to Ms. Carter ( is the still best way to reach our office. If you cannot reach Ms. Carter via phone or email, you can contact Mr. Smith ( or Ms. Comfort ( to assist.

While we are in anticipation of returning to in person appointments, we still have to be cautious. For this semester, any face to face appointments will be left to urgent or crisis situations and that decision will be at the discretion of the Deans and staff. As an alternative to our regular in-person meetings at OAAA, appointments can be scheduled via Zoom and phone calls by Ms. Carter. She can schedule your appointment with Dean Bassett (1st years), Dean Thomas (2nd years), Dean Mason (3rd years) or Dean Apprey (4th years).  Please follow the link to website for more detailed information regarding COVID-19 changes. Let us continue to work together, staying focused and hopeful along the way and in ways that would enable us to do our best work in the midst of crises. We look forward to working with you this semester.


Dean Apprey, Associate Dean Thomas, Associate Dean Bassett, Associate Dean Mason, Ms. Comfort, Ms. Carter and Mr. Smith


Virtual Meet the OAAA Deans

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - Zoom
Time: 5:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting here

Come and meet the Deans and staff of OAAA. 
We will introduce ourselves, discuss our programming and services, and answer any burning questions. 
We can’t wait to connect with you!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


The UVA Parents Fund has launched the Student Enrichment Fund, which provides grants to current undergraduate students who lack the resources to participate in professional development and academic enrichment experiences, such as studying abroad, taking J-Term classes, or pursuing internships. Read more about it here 



The University is closely monitoring key metrics and has developed a COVID-19 dashboard that will be shared and will track key metrics like the rate of infections and our operational readiness to respond to the virus. We stand ready to alter our operations and plans based on these metrics. We are grateful to all members of our community for their diligence in following the guidelines outlined below. A printable copy of the UVA COVID-19 Prevention, Detection, and Response Plan is available. 




FALL 2020

Tuesday, August 25                                                 Courses begin

Add/Drop/Withdrawal                                              Vary by school

No Fall Break                                                            Reading Days
(will remain in session)

Friday, October 30 - Sunday, November 1             Family Weekend        

Tuesday, November 24                                            Courses end
(No in-person instruction or assessments after November 24)

Monday, November 30                                              Reading Days

Tuesday, December 1                                                Reading Days

Wednesday, December 2 - Friday, December 11     Examinations
(administered on-line only)     

Sunday, December 6                                                  Reading Days

Wednesday, December 9                                           Reading Days

Fall degrees conferred                                               To Be Determined

Quote of the Week

“Confidence comes from creating something and knowing what I'm supposed to be doing and feeling like I'm good at what I'm supposed to be doing.” - Issa Rae

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Faculty Spotlight

Antoinette R. Thomas is the newest Dean to join the OAAA family. Dean Thomas is currently an associate professor in the Curry School of Education and Human Development. Early in her career she worked as a school counselor and school psychologist before earning a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then joined the psychology faculty at James Madison University. During her time at UVA Dean Thomas has served as the Director of the Doctoral Program in School Psychology and has been affiliated with the clinical and school psychology program as well as the counselor education and teacher education programs. She has also had a joint appointment with Curry and UVA Athletics where she focused on student athletes’ adjustment to college. As a clinical psychologist, Dean Thomas has also provided therapy and psychological assessments in the Sheila Johnson Center. Dean Thomas’ area of expertise is multicultural counseling and therapy. She is passionate about facilitating the learning and increased awareness, knowledge, and skills of counselors, psychologists and educators as they strive to be more culturally competent in the services they deliver. Dean Thomas has consulted nationally and internationally and continues to supervise and teach courses that address the development of culturally responsive clinical skills. Dean Thomas is excited to be joining OAAA as the Director of the GradSTAR program and Coordinator of the Faculty-Student Mentoring Program. She is looking forward to supporting students in their successful matriculation at UVA.

Quote's Corner

Jo-Issa Rae Diop (born January 12, 1985) known as Issa Rae, is an American actress, writer, and producer. She first garnered attention for her work on the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. Since 2011, Rae has continued to develop her YouTube channel, which features various short films, web series, and other content created by people of color. She subsequently gained further recognition for creating, co-writing, and starring in the HBO television series Insecure. For her acting work on Insecure, she has received two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy and two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Rae has released one memoir, titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Rae co-starred in the comedy Little (2019) and in 2020 starred in the drama The Photograph and the romantic comedy The Lovebirds.

Opportunites with Deadlines

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship

Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 14
The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a premier U.S. Department of State program created to attract diverse talent to its Foreign Service. The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need. The fellowship seeks individuals committed to promoting positive change in the world as U.S. diplomats for the Foreign Service. Selected fellows will receive support for graduate school, internships, and professional development. The fellowship provides a pathway to a uniquely rewarding career as a Foreign Service Officer representing the United States of America. Applicants must be college seniors or graduates, can come from any academic discipline and must be seeking entry into graduate school in fall 2021. Eligibility Requirements: U.S. citizenship, seeking admission to graduate school in fall 2021 for a two-year program in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service at a U.S-based institution, cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application. For tips to submit a competitive application: Applications Tips. Review the FAQs page for details about grad school, the application and more. Visit: Program Contact:



This Week in Black History

Did you know that?  Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History on September 9, 1915. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is the oldest and largest historical society established for the promotion of African American history.  Founded by Carter Godwin Woodson as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), the name was changed in 1972. The Association’s mission statement describes its purpose “to promote, research, preserve, interpret, and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.”  The Association’s vision statement still refers to itself as “the premier Black heritage learned society which will continue the Carter G. Woodson legacy.” In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience. In honor of the work that Woodson has done to promote the study of African American History, an ornament of Woodson hangs on the Christmas tree at the White House each year.

OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Virtual Office Hours

Monday with Dean Bassett
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 104941

Tuesday with Dean Bassett
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 864290

Wednesday with Dean Thomas
9:30 am – 11:00 am
Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 692599

Thursday with Dean Mason
11:30 – 1:00 pm
Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 605279

Friday with Mason/Thomas (Alternating)
9:30 am – 11:00 am
Zoom Meeting - 
Passcode: 474974


OAAA Tutoring for Fall 2020 - To Be Announced

Contact: Dean Thomas for more information


Contact: Dean Mason for more information on:

  • Black College Women (BCW) Book Club
  • Black Male Initiative (BMI)
  • Black President’s Council (BPC)
  • Black College Women (BCW) - In the Company of my Sister



Upcoming Events

*ONLINE* Soros Fellowship Information Session

Monday, September 14 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans provides up to $90,000 of funding for immigrants and children of immigrants for one to two years of graduate study (any field of study) in the US. Register here

*ONLINE* Truman Information Session

Monday, September 21 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
Are you a dynamic leader? An activist dedicated to positive change? Committed to public service? If you answered 'yes' to any of those questions, you should consider the Truman Scholarship, which provides $30,000 toward graduate school and access to a network of incredible leaders. Come even if you aren’t sure about the graduate school part. Apply as a third year. Register here

*ONLINE* Goldwater Information Session

Monday, September 28 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
Do you love research? Are you considering pursuing research science, mathematics, or engineering as a career? Are you simply a STEM student and want to at least explore an exciting opportunity? Come learn about the award and the process for nomination by the University of Virginia. Apply as a second or third year – so first years should definitely come! Register here 

*ONLINE* Gaither Junior Fellows Information Session

Monday, October 5 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars working on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace programs. They will have the opportunity to conduct research for books, co-author journal articles and policy papers, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony, and organize briefings. Register here 


*ONLINE* Critical Language Scholarship Information Session

Monday, October 12- 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Zoom
The Critical Language Scholarship is a fully-funded, in-country intensive language and cultural immersion program. It is part of an effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages such as Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. Come learn more. Register here

*ONLINE* Beinecke Scholarship Information Session

Monday, October 19 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
The Beinecke Scholarship provides funding for master's and doctoral degrees in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, neuroscience excluded. Come even if you are not sure about graduate school at this time. Apply as a third year. Register here 

*ONLINE* Intro to Office and Q&A

26 October - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
Haven't heard of the Office of Citizen Scholar Development? Don't know what fellowships are? Come listen to a brief introduction of the office followed by a time for Q&A. This session is helpful for students and alumni who have yet to interact with the Office of Citizen Scholar Development. Register here

*ONLINE* Yenching Academy Information Session

Monday, November 2 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
The Yenching Academy of Peking University is a fully-funded residential program offering an array of interdisciplinary courses as part of a one-year master’s program in China Studies. Students from all fields are encouraged to apply and take advantage of one of six academic concentrations. Register here

*ONLINE* Boren Awards Information Session

Monday, November 9 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
Interested in studying abroad? Learning a language crucial to US national security? Come learn about the Boren Awards, which fund the study of less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Come learn about the opportunity and the internal process for applying. Register here 

*ONLINE* Davis Projects for Peace Information Session

Monday, November 16 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
The purpose of the Davis Projects for Peace is to spark initiatives for building prospects for peace in the world. Each year, the University of Virginia nominates one project and an alternate for the $10,000 prizes to actually complete the project. Come explore how your vision for peace could be funded by Davis. Register here:


The Office of Citizen Scholar Development
*ONLINE* Intro to Office and Q&A

Monday, November 23 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
Haven't heard of the Office of Citizen Scholar Development? Don't know what fellowships are? Come listen to a brief introduction of the office followed by a time for Q&A. This session is helpful for students and alumni who have yet to interact with the Office of Citizen Scholar Development. Register here

*ONLINE* UK Fellows Information Session

Monday, November 30 - 4:00 pm-5:00 pm - Zoom
The United Kingdom Fellows Program allows graduating University of Virginia students the opportunity to teach and live abroad in a boarding school in the UK for the year following graduation. Come learn about the different schools with which we have a relationship and how to apply. Students in all fields welcome! Register here

Around the Charlottesville Area Community

Charlottesville Community Cares – Emergency Funding for Households
Apply Mondays thru Fridays between 9:00 am-5:00 pm by calling (434) 234-4490

If you are having economic hardship due to the COVID-19 virus, and live in the City of Charlottesville or Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, or Orange Counties, call today. Multiple languages are available. Thanks to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Cville Community Cares, United Way of Greater Charlottesville, City of Charlottesville, and the County of Albemarle for sponsoring this effort to support our community!

Filing for Unemployment [Video] – Virginia Employment Commission
Visit for help to file in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“In My Humble Opinion”– 101.3 Jamz -- Charlottesville’s Own Talk/Radio
Every Sunday 12 noon – 3:00 pm

Hosted by Charles Lewis, Max, and Razor, along with special guests. Listen online at, or download the free TuneIn app for iPhone and Android to get the latest local news in Charlottesville’s Black community.