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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

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 still the 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 you.

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 the website for more detailed information regarding COVID-19 changes. Let us continue to work together, staying focused and hopeful along the way 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



OAAA PAA NOVA/DC/MD Chapter 2020 Scholarships
Application Deadline: Monday, October 5

The UVA OAAA PAA NOVA/DC/MD Chapter is pleased to announce that the application period for its 2020 scholarships is now live. Unlike previous years, the scholarships are now available to all students (1st-years are eligible this year in addition to 2nd - 4th-year students). Please review the respective application and submit your response by October 5, 2020. Apply Now or for more information contact: Mark Kieffer




The University is closely monitoring key metrics and has developed a COVID-19 dashboard that 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, October 13
Last Day to Drop a Class

Tuesday, October 20
Last Day to Withdraw from a Class (via SIS)

Will remain in session
No Fall Break                                     

To Be Determined
amily Weekend        

Monday, November 4 - Friday, December 13
Apply for May 2021 Graduation

Friday, November 13 
Last Day to Withdraw from the University and Return for Spring 2021

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

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

Monday, December 14 
Undergraduate Enrollment for Spring 2021

To Be Determined  
Fall degrees conferred

Quote of the Week

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”  - Michelle Obama

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Lauren A. Cochran is a third-year in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy from Stafford, Virginia, double Majoring in Public Policy and Leadership (Batten) and African-American & African Studies, on the Pre-law track. Lauren is a Fellow of the Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership (MLI), a counselor for the University Judiciary Committee (UJC), Student Advisor on the UVA Democracy Initiative Student Advisory Board, Director of Undergraduate Relations for Black Student Leaders in Public Policy (BSLIP), Peer Advisor and Tri-Chair of Selections for the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) Peer Advising Program. She is also an Affiliate of the Undergraduate Black Law Student Association, Rotunda Student Ambassador, and a former Summer Orientation Leader. Lauren’s future endeavors include attending law school to study and further understand the extent of Constitutional interpretation on contemporary issues of civil rights and liberation. She intends to become a Civil Rights and Trial Attorney who understands the intersection between democratic principles and people-oriented solutions in the context of justice. She would like to transition into congressional policy on Capitol Hill to promote initiatives, and reform that preserve democracy for all individuals, especially those from marginalized communities.

Quote's Corner

Michelle Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American attorney and author who was the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. She was the first African-American first lady. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In her early legal career, she worked at the law firm Sidley Austin where she met Barack Obama. She subsequently worked in non-profits and as the associate dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago as well as the vice president for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Michelle married Barack in 1992, and they have two daughters. Obama campaigned for her husband's presidential bid throughout 2007 and 2008, delivering a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She has subsequently delivered acclaimed speeches at the 2012, 2016, and 2020 conventions. As first lady, Obama served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She supported American designers and she has been considered a fashion icon. Her documentary, Becoming, is available on Netflix, which gives an intimate look at her life as she toured with her book of the same name. She also has a podcast available on Spotify, The Michelle Obama Podcast, which aired Wednesday, July 29.

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:

Jefferson Trust Annual Grants Cycle Now Open!
Applications Deadline: Thursday, October 1 by 11:59 p.m.

Whether you’re on Grounds or virtual this semester, the Jefferson Trust Annual Cycle application is open for the 2020-21 academic year! Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in February 2021. To learn more about what the Trust funds, or to discuss your potential project, please contact our Grants Administrator, Amy.



This Week in Black History

Did you know that?  On September 18, 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law as part of the Compromise of 1850. The Fugitive Slave Acts were a pair of federal laws that allowed for the capture and return of runaway enslaved people within the territory of the United States. Enacted by Congress in 1793, the first Fugitive Slave Act authorized local governments to seize and return escapees to their owners and imposed penalties on anyone who aided in their flight. Widespread resistance to the 1793 law led to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which added more provisions regarding runaways and levied even harsher punishments for interfering in their capture. The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a "slave power conspiracy". It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate. The law persisted until after the beginning of the Civil War. It wasn't until June 28, 1864, that the Fugitive Slave Acts were repealed by an act of Congress.

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

OAAA Chemistry Tutoring with Yvette Gamor

Every Tuesday – 5:00 pm–7:00 pm – Zoom Room

OAAA Biology Tutoring with Jermaine Austin

Every Thursday – 3:00 pm–5:00 pm – Zoom Room

OAAA Calculus I and Statistics Tutoring with Travis Elliott 

Every Monday - 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Zoom Room

Every Thursday - 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Zoom Room


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

OAAA-Batten Interest Session
Thursday, October 15 – 6:00 pm-7:00 pm -
Register here!

Join the Batten School Admissions team and current students from the Batten Ambassadors and Black Student Leaders in Policy to learn more about Batten’s major, minor, and Accelerated MPP!  Tune in to hear a basic overview of our programs and the application process, learn more about what you can do with a public policy and leadership degree, and ask questions about anything related to the Batten student experience.  Co-hosted by the Office of African-American Affairs.


*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 

The Office of Citizen Scholar Development
*ONLINE* Intro to Office and Q&A
Monday, October 26 
- 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.