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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

Week 3 (February 15 -  February 21, 2021)


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, If you missed the Black Bottom Saints kickoff event, feel free to check it out here at your leisure. It was a great time for all!
  • 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.


Sales Leadership Program sponsored by Paycom and the GradSTAR Program, OAAA

2020 was a difficult year for each of us but the Office of African American Affairs is determined to kick 2021 off right by offering a Sales Leadership Program sponsored by Paycom. Paycom is a multi-billion dollar software company that employs one of our own! Matt Manley is a regional sales manager at Paycom who graduated from the UVA Engineering School in 2012. He will be hosting a speaker series in which he will teach fundamental business skills such as: Interviewing, overcoming fear, and professional time management.  Matt will also cover sales specific topics such as: Cold calling, economics of sales income, and psychology of sales. If you are interested in learning more about this speaker series and how you can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity please complete the application here by February 15, 2021. Once we have received your application we will follow-up with more information including the date and time of the Introductory session.

Check out this video to learn more about Matt, Paycom, and this exciting new opportunity!



As we resume the Spring Semester in the midst of challenging times, we care about your well-being and are here to support you. The Dawson’s Row office is now open, 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.

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.

You may call our main number (434-924-7923) for assistance, however, sending an email to Ms. Carter ( is still the best way to reach our office. If you cannot reach Ms. Carter, you can contact Mr. Smith ( or Ms. Comfort ( to assist you. 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.


The Office of African-American Affairs



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.




Spring 2021

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

"Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” — Earl G. Graves, Sr.

Quote's Corner

 Earl Gilbert Graves Sr. was born January 9, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York was an American entrepreneur, publisher, businessman, philanthropist, and advocate of African-American businesses. Graves graduated with a B.A. in economics from Morgan State University; upon completion he was a member of Omega Psi Phi and an ROTC graduate that did Airborne and Ranger schools. Graves became a volunteer for the 1964 campaign of Lyndon B. Johnson after writing a letter to the Democratic National Committee. In 1965, due to his work with the party Graves was given the opportunity to serve as administrative assistant to newly elected Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Following the assassination of the senator, Graves would land a seat on the advisory board of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1968. During his time serving on the SBA's advisory board and his direct work with the agency Graves believed in the need for advice to businesses in economic development and urban affairs. This convinced him to create an annual newsletter that would chronicle issues relevant to black business people, and raise awareness of the importance of black consumer power. With the backing of SBA Director Howard J. Samuels, Graves would expand the concept of the newsletter into a full-fledged magazine. So, Graves started Earl G. Graves, Ltd, and under that holding company he began the Earl G. Graves Associates management consulting firm. August of 1970, the first issue of Black Enterprise magazine would hit newsstands. Earl G. Graves, Ltd would grow to include a number of divisions including publishing, marketing, radio, television and event coordinating arms. The firm is the co-owner of the private equity fund Black Enterprise Greenwich Street Corporate Growth Fund, an equity partnership formed with Travelers Group, Inc. The fund aims to invest and promote minority operated businesses. In 1988, Graves received the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America and served as the national commissioner from 1985 to 1994. From 1990 to 1998, Graves was CEO to Pepsi Cola bottling franchise in Washington D.C. and also a General Partner of Egoli Beverages, L.P., the Pepsi-Cola franchise bottler of South Africa. However, Graves board and director memberships didn’t stop at Pepsi Cole, he also led positions in AMR Corporation, Daimler AG, Federated Department Stores and Rohm and Haas, as well as board member of the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Additionally, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University; in his honor, Morgan State University's business school was named Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management opening in 2015. In 1999, Graves received the 84th NAACP's Spingarn Medal, the highest achievement award for African Americans. Following this in 2002, he was named as one of the 50 most powerful and influential African Americans in corporate America by Fortune magazine. On April 26, 2007, Earl G. Graves Sr. was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame. In 2009, he became the recipient of the 2009 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Graves was named one of the Top 100 Business News Luminaries of the Century, and his book "How to Succeed in Business Without Being White" was listed among the New York Times and Wall Street Journals Business Best Sellers. Before passing away he lived in White Plains, New York, with his wife, Barbara, of 37 years with whom he had three sons. Graves died on April 6, 2020, from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 85.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Summer Research Opportunity for Undergraduates at Rice University
Priority Deadline: Monday, 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.

Virginia Progressive Leadership Project (VAPLP)
Application Deadline: Friday, February 26; Cohort Begins: Friday, April 9

The Virginia Progressive Leadership Project (VAPLP) is the leadership development project of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table (VCET). VCET has been committed to building progressive power in Virginia that prioritizes economic, social, environmental, gender, and especially racial justice. VCET envisions a multi-racial democracy, where the full diversity of our Commonwealth is included, actively participating, and represented.  The purpose of VAPLP is to identify and foster progressive leaders in the Commonwealth, with a special emphasis on Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities, women, and young people. The alumni that graduated from VAPLP go on to run for office, build their own nonprofits, or grow into leadership roles in their respective communities/organizations to build a more progressive, diverse, and inclusive Virginia. VAPLP is the only leadership development program of its kind in the whole state and our alumni continue to do incredible work each year.  Completely virtual program, training workshops are only offered ONE weekend a month, no cost, each participant is given a mentor to support them in achieving their leadership goals, and upon graduation, all alum are given access to skill-up workshops to support their current work. Interviews are happening now. Apply Now! If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact or (434) 989-5356.

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?  Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an American contralto. She performed a wide range of music, from opera to spirituals. Anderson performed with renowned orchestras in major concert and recital venues throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965.Anderson was an important figure in the struggle for African-American artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939 during the era of racial segregation, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The incident placed Anderson in the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the Lincoln Memorial steps in the capital. She sang before an integrated crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. On January 7, 1955, Anderson became the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. In addition, she worked as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

Black History Month banner

OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Announcements & Services – Spring 2021
OAAA Virtual Office Hours

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

Tuesday with TBA
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 Bassett
10:30 – 12:00 pm – Zoom Meeting - Passcode: 536215

Friday with TBA (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

Virtual Financial Aid Filing Assistance Available
Friday, February 19 & Friday, February 26

How many times have you been confronted with a confusing question while completing the FAFSA or CSS/Profile? SFS is here to help. We are pleased to offer virtual Financial Aid Filing Workshops to assist prospective students, current students, and interested parents with the application process before our March 1, 2021, deadline. Virtual workshops are available via Zoom, and staff will be on hand to help with your questions about applying for financial aid. Register at the link below. If you need further assistance contact Dustin Ciraco.

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.

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.