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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. 
  • 2/26: Black Bottom Saints: A Playlist. Carter Little is a music supervisor who helped curate the Black Bottom Saints playlist. 
  • 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

“Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.”Will Smith

Quote's Corner

Willard “Will” Smith Jr. was born September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an American actor, rapper, and film producer. His mother, Caroline, was a school board employee, while his father, Willard was a refrigeration company owner. Smith’s middle-class upbringing allowed him to attend Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, a private elementary school, and later attend Overbrook High School. He was a good student whose charming personality and quick tongue were renowned for getting him out of trouble, a trait for which he soon gained the nickname "Prince.'' At the age of 12, Smith began rapping. By the age of 16, Smith meets DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince was born; they produced clean curse-free style rap that middle-class America approved. The pair's first single, "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble," was a hit in 1986. Their 1987 debut album, Rock the House, hit the Billboard Top 200, and made Smith a millionaire before the age of 18. In 1988, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince continued their success with the album He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper. Featuring the radio-friendly singles "Parents Just Don't Understand," "Brand New Funk," and "Nightmare on My Street," the album won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance. In 1990, Smith began his crossover into acting. He would debut in his first sitcom on NBC called, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, which drew on his own life; the show was a huge success which ran for six seasons. Meanwhile, Smith and Towne continued producing music, their 1991 album Homebase producing the hits "Summertime" and "Ring My Bell." Their final album together, 1993's Code Red, was notable for "Boom! Shake the Room." Following his crossover into television, in 1992 Smith began acting in movies. Small roles in the drama Where The Day Takes You (1992) and the comedy Made In America (1993) were followed by a critically acclaimed lead in Six Degrees of Separation (1993). Smith's first steps into superstardom came with his next film, Bad Boys (1995) which starred Martin Lawrence. Smith is the only actor to have starred in eight consecutive films which grossed over $100 million in the United States box office, eleven consecutive films which grossed over $150 million internationally, and eight consecutive films which opened at the number one spot in the US box office tally. Smith has been ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes. For his performances as boxer Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001) and stockbroker Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Smith received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards. In relation to Smith’s personal life, he married Sheree Zampino in 1992. On November 11, 1992, Smith’s first son Willard “Trey” Smith III was born. However, in 1995 Zampino and Smith divorced. Following this in 1997, Smith would marry his second wife Jada Pinkett; together they would have two children – Jaden and Willow. Outside of the entertainment sphere Smith has other business endeavors. Smith and his brother Harry own Treyball Development Inc., a Beverly Hills-based company named after Trey.

Opportunites with Deadlines

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!

WTJU Spring 2021 Internship Program
Ready to develop some audio production chops and apply those skills? WTJU is currently accepting applications for our Spring 2021 internship program audio production / podcasting interns -- up to 5 students. Interns write for the ear, conduct interviews, edit audio, and produce a variety of segment types for broadcast and podcast. From 45-second interstitial sound portraits to long form interviews to NPR-style features, WTJU interns produce audio content heard by thousands of listeners each week. No previous experience is required, though it doesn’t hurt. But if you’ve never done media production before, we’ll teach you. The main requirements for these internships are that you are dependable and genuinely curious. Interns should be available 3-5 hours per week. These are unpaid internships. We’re glad to work with UVA professors on independent study course credit if your department offers it. Internship work will be predominantly remote, though interns may use WTJU’s production studio, following Covid-19 safety protocols. Interns will help produce the following: 2-3 minute classical musician interview segments that air each weekday at 8:20 a.m., 1.5 minute daily news segments that air each weekday at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 30-minute biweekly local news magazine called Charlottesville Soundboard. Publishes as a podcast on Fridays, airs Saturdays 6 a.m., and <1 minute audio interstitials that air throughout WTJU’s program schedule. To apply resume and cover letter explaining why you’re interested in this internship. Optional: you may also submit writing and/or audio production samples for our consideration. Complete your application using this form.



This Week in Black History

 Did you know?  Percy Julian discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone. Percy Lavon Julian was born April 11, 1899, in Montgomery, Alabama. He was born as the grandson to former slaves. Julian went to school through eighth grade, but there were no high schools open to Black students. Instead, he applied to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he would take high school courses at night to gain the academic standing of his peers. Julian graduated first in his class with Phi Beta Kappa honors. After college, Julian accepted a position as a chemistry instructor at Fisk University. In 1923, he left when he received a scholarship to attend Harvard University to finish his master’s degree, but Harvard would not allow Julian to obtain his doctorate after completion of his master’s. So, he traveled for several years teaching at Black colleges before receiving his Ph.D. in 1931, at the University of Vienna in Austria. After graduating, Julian would return to DePauw to continue his research. Julian met his wife, Anna Roselle, while employed at Howard University and would marry her in 1935 having two children together. Also, in 1935, Julian would earn the international acclaims by synthesizing physostigmine from the calabar bean to create a drug treatment for glaucoma. However, despite his success, the university refused to make Julian a full professor because he was Black. Due to his setbacks, Julian wanted to leave the world of academia. So, he applied for jobs at prominent companies but was repeatedly rejected after hiring managers realized he was a Black man. Finally, Julian would secure a position at Glidden Company as the lab director; while here he would invent the Aero-Foam, a product that uses soy protein to put out oil and gas fires widely used in World War II. Julian continued his biomedical work as well and discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone. He was also lauded for his synthesis of cortisone, which became used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In 1950, Julian and his family moved to Oak Park, Illinois. After purchasing their home but before moving in, the house was firebombed on Thanksgiving Day. It was attacked again in June 1951. Julian left Glidden in 1953 and established his own laboratory, Julian Laboratories, in 1954. He sold the company in 1961, becoming one of the first Black millionaires, before founding Julian Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that he ran for the rest of his life. In 1973, Julian became the first Black chemist elected to the National Academy of the Sciences. In 1990, he was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and in 1999 his synthesis of physostigmine was recognized by the American Chemical Society as “one of the top 25 achievements in the history of American chemistry.” Percy Julian lived a life dedicated to chemistry in which he died of liver cancer on April 19, 1975.


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OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Announcements & Services – Spring 2021

Harambee II Virtual Resource Fair

The Office of African-American Affairs held its first virtual Harambee II Virtual Resources fair. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were unable to host the fair in person. Below are the recorded sessions Zoom links, passcodes, and contact information for each of the speakers in order to learn more information about each topic.

Political and Social Thought:
Zoom Link – Passcode: qQ$n1?RR – For More Information Contact: Michael Smith

McIntire School of Commerce
Zoom Link – Password: 4ww%$3Y. – For More Information Contact: Sonia Jimenez

Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy 
Zoom Link – Password: 8g$#eEec – For More Information Contact: Anne Carter Mulligan

African and African American Studies:
Zoom Link -- Password: vi=CGS7y – For More Information Contact: Kwame Otu

School of Education and Human Development
Zoom Link – Password: *F82wKck – For More Information Contact: Jessica Livingston

Echols Scholars Program Resources
Zoom Link – Passcode: TBA -- For More Information Contact: Kelsey Johnson

UVA Education Abroad
Zoom Link – Password: #4wyEA3c – For More Information Contact: TBA 

The Struggle is Real: Work Smarter, Not Harder (Online)
Zoom Link: TBD – Password: TBD – For More Information Contact: TBA

Citizen Scholar Development
Zoom Link – Password: 3iV72Y!+ -- For More Information Contact: Andrus Ashoo

Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Zoom Link – Password: B.Tz8D&d – For More Information Contact: Andrus Ashoo

SEAS Summer Opportunities
Zoom Link – Password: gd33^+f^ -- For More Information Contact: Blakeley Calhoun ; James Bland

Summer Research Opportunities (STEM)
Zoom Link – Password: TBD -- For More Information Contact: Jasmin Crenshaw (Office of Diversity Programs); Kristine Morgan (VA-NC Alliance); Marya Johnson (SRIP)

Resilience Bouncing Back
Zoom Link – Password: ?Wf^mw7S -- For More Information Contact: Dean Bassett (

Thriving on the Pre-Health Track
Zoom Link – Password: 2%NT*1%M – For More Information Contact: Dean Apprey ; Dean Bassett


OAAA Virtual Office Hours

Monday with Dean Bassett 
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm –
Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 984107

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

Wednesday with Dean Thomas                                           
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – 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 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

OAAA Tutoring for Spring 2021 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

OAAA Black History Events:

Week 1: February 1st - February 7th, 2021


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.