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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

A Time for Saints: Black Bottom Saints 
Black History Month 2021 

There are a few major Black History Month events: 

  • All Month: A Community Read of Black Bottom Saints. RSVP for a Chance to receive free copies of the book for you and a family member. One Chapter, Night Train Lane, is provided free by the author to our community.
  • 2/5: A Time for Saints Kickoff with the author, Alice Randall, the music artists Louis York, and the Chief Curator at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Nwaka Onwusa. This event is an important conversation with the author and guests about the importance of this era and community of Saints. It is a reminder that we have people who we can call on in difficult times for reminders that we will get through crises in good form. We hope to be inspired to celebrate our own Saints in time.  
  • 2/26: Black Bottom Saints: A Playlist. Carter Little is a music supervisor who helped curate the Black Bottom Saints playlist. He will join us for a presentation, discussion of the music and cultural climate that produced it, then a Question and Answer segment about his continued work in the industry with many Grammy-nominated artists to celebrate their music and impact. 
  • 3/1: Women’s History (Black Women’s History) Month will have Ms. Randall giving a keynote address focused on the impact of the women Saints in her book.



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.



Feb. 1: Spring courses begin
Feb. 17: No classes
March 9 and 29: No classes
April 15: No classes
May 6: Spring courses end
May 7-15: Exams
May 9 and 12: Reading Days
May 21-23: 2021 Finals Weekend
May 28-30: 2020 Finals Weekend

Add/Drop/Withdrawal Deadlines


Quote of the Week

“Civil rights is unfinished business. Make it your business.”   Marcia Fudge, nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Quote's Corner

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge is a committed public servant who brings a hard-working, problem-solving spirit to Congress and to the task of creating jobs, protecting safety net programs, and improving access to quality public education, health care and healthy foods.  First elected in 2008, she represents the people of the 11th Congressional District of Ohio. Congresswoman Fudge serves on the Committee on House Administration, House Committee on Agriculture and House Committee on Education and Labor.  She is the Chair of the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and Chair of the Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations.  She serves on the Subcommittees on Conservation and Forestry (Agriculture), Civil Rights and Human Services (Education & Labor) and Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (Education & Labor).

In the 115th Congress, the Congresswoman served on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions.  She also served as Ranking Member on the House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry and a member on the Subcommittee on Nutrition.  She is a member of several Congressional Caucuses and past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Congresswoman Fudge consistently fights for voter protection, equitable access to a quality education from preschool through post-secondary programs, child nutrition, food stamp (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients, access to locally grown, healthy foods, fair labor practices, and civil and human rights, among other issues.  Additionally, she remains a steadfast advocate to strengthen and preserve Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Congresswoman Fudge earned her bachelor’s degree in business from The Ohio State University and law degree from the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.  She is a Past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of its Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter.


On December 10, 2020, President Joe Biden announced his plan to nominate Rep. Marcia Fudge, to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Before her election to the U.S. House in 2008, she was the first Black person and first woman to be mayor of Warrensville Heights, a community outside Cleveland.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Peer Advisor Application is now available
The application deadline for the OAAA Peer Advisor Program is Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:59 pm.  Late applications will not be accepted.
We look forward to reading your applications! What Is the Peer Advisor Program? 
 Apply Now to be a Peer Advisor

Nationally recognized for "exemplary practice in achieving campus diversity," the Peer Advisor Program was established by the University of Virginia's Office of African-American Affairs in 1984. It assists Black first-year and entering transfer students with their college transition by providing personalized, sensitive support and counseling. In addition, the program offers a wide range of activities from orientation to workshops and seminars to academic recognitions.

To learn more


Black College Women leadership application
Monday, February 1st by 11:59 pm (EST) submitted online

Black College Women (BCW) was created in 2015 as a platform for all Black women across campus to unite to work towards the elimination of historical race, gender, class, cultural, and religious barriers to success for young Black women. The goals of the project include (a) nurturing an internal love and respect for Black women’s lives and bodies (b) engaging young women in advocacy for one another, (c) building capacity for sustained personal, academic, social, and emotional growth and (d) connecting Black women to growth opportunities across grounds and globally.  

We are happy to announce our Spring 2021 applications are now LIVE! We are looking to fill THREE Chair positions which will start with shadowing this semester. Our hope is to achieve a smooth transition after the current position holders graduate. The three positions include: ITCOMS, Sisters Get Fit, and BCW Chair and the application has more details on the responsibilities for each position. You should apply because getting more involved with BCW is such a rewarding experience and it helps you feel more connected with your fellow Black queens. This is a great way to get involved with the black community at UVA and make your mark! If you are interested or know someone that might be interested feel free to share this opportunity! Any questions can be directed to our current BCW Chair Bryana Jefferies ( or our ITCOMS Chair Allejah Kerr (


Student Member of the Board of Visitors
Monday, February 8 by 11:59 pm (EST) submitted 
TBD – Interviews of semi-finalists by Student Member of the Board Selection Committee 

Wednesday, March 3 – Interviews of finalists by the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors

The 2021-2022 Student Member of the Board of Visitors application is now open Paper applications will not be accepted. All candidates should plan to hold the interview dates as noted. Please continue to visit this page for interview and selection schedule updates. Additional information is available from Susan Harris, Secretary to the Board of Visitors, at 434-924-7120. Students who apply for this position are encouraged to review the Manual of the Board of Visitors. The current Student Member, Mazzen Shalaby, also would be happy to answer specific questions about the position. Please do not hesitate to reach out to VPSA Program Coordinator Morgan Stearns with any issues accessing the form.

Summer Research Opportunity for Undergraduates at Rice University

Priority Deadline: Friday, February 15

We are now accepting student applications for Summer 2021 REU opportunities! Interested students should visit: to begin their application.  Priority consideration will be given to students who apply by our, though we will review all applications received by Monday, March 1. The goal of these programs is to provide early stage students first-hand experience with cutting-edge research in a range of departments, including Biology, Chemistry, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, and more. These summer research experiences for undergraduate's (REU)'s are ten-week research-immersion internship programs at Rice University during the 2021 summer that provide research interns full-time financial support.  Students need not have prior research experience to be considered for these summer research opportunities.

2021 UVA Summer Diabetes Research Internship

Application Deadline: Monday, February 15

Summer Diabetes Research objectives are to train the next generation of scientists and engineers to build an interdisciplinary research pipeline in the field of diabetes research and treatment through participating in challenging diabetes- related projects supervised by research mentors from UVA. Specific emphasis is given to students from traditionally underrepresented racial, gender, and ethnic groups in the STEM and biomedical research fields. Participants must be at least eighteen years old and a U.S. citizen/permanent resident. Each participant will receive a $3,000 stipend. Participants cannot receive funding from other sources and must have health insurance during the internship. A strong background and interest in biological, bioengineering, and clinical research, good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better, strong interest in pursuing either graduate or professional study in the field of diabetes research and treatment, members of racial, ethnic or gender groups underrepresented in STEM and biomedical research (African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, and female), families meeting criteria for low socioeconomic status, 1st through 3rd year University of Virginia students, in partnership with other UVA departments, programs, and student groups, the program information will be disseminated throughout the University. Recruitment and publicity will begin in September. Notification of application decision will soon follow the February application deadline. Questions, contact: Nilgun Guvener Demirag, MD.

Summer 2021 C-StREAM internship opportunities

Application Deadline: Saturday, February 20 by 11:59 PM

Reference Forms (follow instructions on site): Thursday, February 28 by 11:59PM

We are excited to open our application period. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, we have not yet determined if these internships will be offered as virtual or in-person experiences. We are preparing for both and regardless of format, are committed to providing safe, enriching and worthwhile experiences to all of our summer 2021 C-StREAM Fellows.  The 2021 C-StREAM program will offer eight summer internship opportunities. Five of these opportunities will be hosted by our partners at the Chesapeake Bay Program Office and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. These management-based experiences will provide C-StREAM Fellows with a unique opportunity to contribute to large-scale, long-term natural resource management and policy development. Three internship opportunities will be hosted by three of CRC’s member institutions and will provide students with direct experience supporting research activities that contribute to the understanding of the Bay’s natural systems and species. Additional information can be found by visiting . We look forward to another great summer of learning!  We thank you in advance for sharing this opportunity with your networks.

Institute for Public History Summer 2021 Internships
Application Deadline: Friday, March 5 by 11:59 p.m.
The Institute for Public History offers paid internship opportunities to undergraduates, May graduates, and graduate students at the University of Virginia. Students may apply from any major, department, or field. Applications, instructions, and a list of summer 2020 internships are now available on the Institute's website here. New internships will continue to be added before the application deadline. The applications committee will match the best qualified students with the available internship opportunities. Students can indicate three preferences, but will be considered for other possibilities as well unless they indicate otherwise. Interns are expected to devote approximately 300 hours over a roughly ten-week summer period; work schedules are negotiable with some but not all employers. Internships for undergraduates pay between $7.25 and $12.50 an hour; unless specified otherwise, graduate students will be paid between $12.50 and $16 an hour, unless specified otherwise. See individual listings for wage details. FICA benefits will be deducted from all wages. Submit one email with all required materials to Lisa Goff at ALL INTERNSHIPS MUST BE COMPLETED OVER THE SUMMER, BEFORE CLASSES BEGIN AGAIN IN THE FALL. Click HERE for a full list of available internships. 

The New Innovative UVA Medical Academic Enrichment Program
Virtual SMLP 2021 Applications are OPEN

The University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVASOM) is conducting a new virtual innovative medical academic enrichment program, the Summer Medical Leadership Program (SMLP). The number one goal of SMLP is to expose the participants to the “real world of medicine” to prepare them not only for admission to medical school but to assume future leadership positions in medicine/biomedical field. SMLP is an intensive six-week residential summer medical academic enrichment program for 30 undergraduate students from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine, and chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants. SMLP is under the direction of Dr. Taison Bell. Dr. Bell is the Assistant Professor of Medicine in the divisions of Infectious Disease and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine as well as the Assistant Director of the Medical ICU. Apply Here!


This Week in Black History

Did you know?  Robert Johnson was the first African American billionaire. Johnson was born in Hickory, Mississippi, on April 8, 1946. He spent the majority of his childhood in Freeport, Illinois. Johnson graduated from Freeport High School in 1964, and studied history at the University of Illinois. While at the University of Illinois, Johnson became a member of the Beta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He then earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Princeton University in 1972. Johnson married Sheila Johnson in 1969 and they had two children. After graduating from Princeton, Johnson found a job in Washington, D.C., that introduced him to the television industry. He served as the public affairs director for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In this position is where he learned of the power and untapped potential of television. Around the same time, he also worked as the director of communications for the Washington, D.C. office of the National Urban League. Johnson worked as a press secretary for Congressman Walter E. Fauntroy. He later became vice president of government relations at the National Cable and Television Association (NCTA). In 1979, Johnson and his wife Sheila founded Black Entertainment Television, the first cable network targeting the African American market. It was launched in January 1980, initially broadcasting for two hours a week. In 1991, BET became the first African American-owned company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The network has continued to grow since that time, reaching tens of millions of homes and expanding to include other traditional and digital channels. In 2000, Viacom announced plans to purchase BET. The sale was finalized in 2001 and Johnson’s majority stake earned him more than $1 billion, making him the richest African American in the United States at that time as well as the first African American billionaire. Following the sale of BET, in 2002 Johnson and Sheila divorced; she would receive one of the largest documented settlements in United States history. Johnson continued to be the company’s chairman and CEO for several years before leaving BET to lead the RLJ Companies; he developed the RLJ Companies following the sale of BET. RLJ is a holding company and asset management firm handling a portfolio of companies in the financial services, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, automotive and gaming industries. Johnson refers to RLJ as his second act. Johnson has invested in several notable companies and organizations beyond the reach of RLJ. He was the first African American principal owner of a North American major-league sports franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats. In 2006, Johnson founded Our Stories Films with partner Harvey Weinstein. The company focuses on family-friendly movies intended for African American audiences. In 2011, Our Stories released the romantic-comedy feature Jumping the Broom. In 2016, Johnson finalized a partnership agreement with AMC Networks through his RLJ Company after launching his own video on demand streaming service Urban Movie Channel in 2014. In addition to his business ventures, Johnson has involved himself in politics. In 2007, Johnson organized a tour of African American business leaders to Liberia. This trip led to the creation of the Liberia Enterprise Development Fund. Johnson publicly called for African American support of Liberia, on the model of Jewish support for Israel. Johnson received criticism for his rebuke of Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary election, in favor of Hillary Clinton. In 2011, Johnson worked with Morgan Freeman to raise funds for hurricane preparedness in the Bahamas. Johnson released a neckwear line in coordination with PVH and The Ella Rose Collection, the RLJ Ella Rose Africa Tie Collection, in 2012 to benefit the charitable organization Malaria No More.

OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Announcements & Services – Spring 2021

OAAA Virtual Office Hours

Monday with Dean Bassett  
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm –
Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 903022

Tuesday with Dean Bassett
11:30 am – 1:00 pm – Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 621470

Wednesday with Dean Thomas
TBA – Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 412435

Thursday with Dean Mason
11:30 – 1:00 pm – Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 536215

Friday with Mason/Thomas (Alternating)

9:30 am – 11:00 am – Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 763369


OAAA Tutoring for Spring 2021 Contact: Dean Thomas for more information

OAAA tutors meeting dates & times via Zoom:

Calculus & Statistics Tutoring

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

Every Thursday – 2:00 pm-4:30 pm – Travis Elliott @ Zoom Room

Organic Chemistry Tutoring

Every Monday6:30 pm-8:30 pmSarah Weisflog @ Zoom Room

Chemistry Tutoring

Every Tuesday5:00 pm-7:00 pmYvette Gamor @ Zoom Room

Biology Tutoring

Every Thursday – 5:00 pm–7:00 pmTBA



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

Upcoming UVA Virtual Events, Learning & Services
Fellowships Series
Every Monday –
4:00 pm – Full schedule available here

There are introductory sessions each month, which are great for first and second year students and a good first touchpoint with our office for anyone else. There are a number of sessions dedicated to those fellowships that have a deadline in the fall. It is important that students start considering those opportunities early so that they can take advantage of our summer advising programming and be well prepared. We encourage third and fourth years, graduate and professional students, and area alumni to attend those sessions on the UK Awards, Foreign Service Awards, Asia Awards, NSF GRFP, and the Fulbright US Student Award this spring. Second years will want to note the Udall, Gilman, Truman, and STEM Awards (includes Goldwater) sessions.


Multicultural Student Services Present: Making Sweet Tea: The Lives and Loves of Southern Black Gay Men Documentary Screening and Conversation with E. Patrick Johnson
Now – Thursday, February 4 - Watch the Free Documentary (at home)
Thursday, February 4 – 7:00 pm (EST) - Join us for a Virtual Conversation with the Co-Executive Producer

Join Multicultural Student Services as we watch “Making Sweet Tea,” a documentary about the lives and loves of southern black gay men, and engage in a conversation with the co-executive producer, E. Patrick Johnson. Johnson is the Dean of the School of Communication and the Annenberg University Professor at Northwestern University. A scholar/artist, Johnson performs nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality and performance. Johnson is a prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, Performance studies, and Gender and Sexuality studies.  Read more about Johnson’s work. Register Here This program is made possible due to the generous support of our partners: The Serpentine Society, the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, The Carter G. Woodson Institute, and the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Please contact Alex Winkowski, Program Coordinator - LGBTQ Student Services, if you have any questions.


2021 Yoga Kick-Starter
February 7-9, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m, exclusively for UVA students

UVA Students: Get happier and healthier this year! Join the Contemplative Sciences Center’s Yoga Kick-Starter workshop to begin (or renew) your Ashtanga yoga practice. Beginners encouraged! All levels welcome!
The workshop is led by John Bultman, certified Ashtanga teacher and Ashtanga Yoga Program Manager for the Contemplative Sciences Center.
For more information:, Contact Name: Jessica Liu (Contemplative Sciences Center) Contact Email:


PwC Financial Literacy Event
Tuesday, February 9 –
6:00 pm-7:00 pm (EST)Register Here
PwC is hosting an exclusive information session for UVA students on financial literacy. Topics will include budgeting, credit scores, debt management, and more!  This is an opportunity for you to learn or brush up on some personal financial well-being skills.  Attire: Smart Casual. We hope you can join us! Questions? Reach out to PwC Recruiter Meredith TenHoeve

Fulbright Forum
Tuesday, February 16 – 6:00 pm –
Register here
The Fulbright Forum is a great opportunity to hear about the experiences of some UVA Fulbright recipients, and it is the kick-off for the coming application cycle. The Fulbright US Student Award is an excellent fellowships for any US citizen willing to spend a year abroad after graduation. There are awards for graduate study, research, service, teaching, creative arts, and more.

Research About Volunteers
Student Research About Volunteers

Have you volunteered as a college student? Do you have a few minutes to share
your experience with a student researcher? A UVA student researcher is interested in how college student volunteers
understand and make meaning of their community engagement experiences. This study is confidential and does not ask for your name. You must be 18 or older
to participate. If you are interested, please click here to take the 10-15 minute survey. If you have any questions or concerns about the study, reach out to Caroline
Hallowell at

For more information:, Contact Name: Caroline Hallowell,