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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

5th Annual GradSTAR Etiquette Dinner on Wednesday, March 24th at 6:30. 

This will be a virtual event this year which will provide you with the opportunity to learn and practice the art of fine dining and business etiquette while in the comfort of your own space. Crystal Bailey, an etiquette expert from The Etiquette Institute of Washington, and a consultant for Fortune 500 companies will be the host and instructor for the evening.

The meal for the event will be provided by the Office of African American Affairs and you will be able to dine as Ms. Bailey walks us through the social graces and rules of etiquette. More information about how to receive your meal will be available once you are registered.

Spaces are limited so please RSVP by March 18th. This is a very special event that is co-sponsored by OAAA and McIntire School of Commerce and one that will no doubt increase your executive presence. We anticipate that it will be both helpful an enjoyable so please join us.   RSVP Now

If you have questions or need additional information please feel free to contact us.



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

March 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

"We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead." Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Faculty Spotlight

Cortney Hawkins is the new Diversity Officer for the University Police Department. She recently completed the following interview with Antoinette Thomas, Associate Dean.

Where are you from and what did you do before coming to UVa?
I am from Birmingham, Alabama but I refer to it as Bombingham Alabama so that people will remember the 40 plus homes that were bombed on Dynamite Hill. Before coming to UVa I worked for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. I had a variety of responsibilities including planning special events such as Juneteenth. While there I also had the pleasure of meeting a real life super hero like Sarah Collins Rudolph. She was the 5th little girl who survived the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church (She is on Facebook. You should look her up). Prior to working at the Civil Rights Institute, I was a high school teacher at Holy Family Christo Catholic High School.  I taught English, American and World history and was the first teacher to incorporate African American history into the curriculum.  I am a proud product of the Birmingham City School and graduated from The Ramsay High School. I played basketball in high school and for Troy University where I obtained a B.S in History with an emphasis in American and European history and a minor in Human Services. I am currently in law school and will obtain my Juris Doctoral in May 2021.

Why did you decide to come to UVa?
I wanted to make help make a difference in the world and UPD provides me the opportunity to advocate for civil rights and human rights.

What are some of your goals as the Diversity Officer?
I want us to move from being in a community to being neighbors that can really make a change. A community is just a group of people who live in a certain area but a neighborhood and a neighbor is someone that you get to know and can borrow sugar from. I encourage students and faculty to use me as a resource so that together we can make a difference in our neighborhood.

Do you have any hobbies or activities that you enjoy?
I enjoy playing basketball and listening to Nina Simone, I also like to do things that scare me and push me beyond my comfort zone like shark diving.  Mind you, I haven’t done it yet but it is something I want to experience. I love cooking traditional southern food and drinking sweet tea. I also enjoying traveling, and reading history books.

Quote's Corner

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981 - ) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, director, humanitarian, record producer, clothing designer, wife and mother of three children – Blue Ivy Carter, and twins Rumi Carter and Sir Carter.  Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. During Destiny's Child's hiatus, Beyoncé made her theatrical film debut with a role in the U.S. box-office number-one Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and began her solo music career. She became the first music act to debut at number one with their first six solo studio albums on the Billboard 200. Her debut album Dangerously in Love (2003) featured four Billboard Hot 100 top five songs, including the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" featuring rapper Jay-Z and "Baby Boy" featuring singer-rapper Sean Paul. Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day, which contained her first U.S. number-one solo single "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar", which topped the charts in most countries. Beyoncé continued her acting career with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010. It spawned the UK number-one single "If I Were a Boy", the U.S. number-one single "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and the top five single "Halo". After splitting from her manager and father Mathew Knowles in 2010, Beyoncé released the album 4 (2011. She achieved back-to-back widespread critical acclaim for her sonically experimental visual albums, Beyoncé (2013) and Lemonade (2016); the latter was the world's best-selling album of 2016 and the most acclaimed album of her career, exploring themes of infidelity and womanism. In 2018, she released Everything Is Love, a collaborative album with her husband, Jay-Z, as the Carters. As a featured artist, Beyoncé topped the Billboard Hot 100 with the remixes of "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran in 2017 and "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion in 2020. The same year, she released the musical film and visual album Black Is King to widespread critical acclaim. Beyoncé is one of the world's best-selling recording artists, having sold 118 million records worldwide. Beyoncé is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, as well as the most nominated woman at the Grammy Awards and is the most awarded singer, male or female in the award show history. Beyoncé, who had nine nominations, the most of any artist in 2021, made history with her 28th win. "Black Parade" took Best R&B Performance. She also grabbed Best Rap Performance with Megan Thee Stallion. Adding to the family’s Grammy wins, Blue Ivy, 9 years old, also won her first Grammy in 2021 Grammy Best Music Video for "Brown Skin Girl." Blue Ivy received a writing credit for the song. "Brown Skin Girl" is featured on Beyoncé's "Lion King: The Gift" album.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Virtual Global Internships Summer 2021 Programs

Applications Deadline: Thursday, April 1
UVA Global Internships/Education Abroad and Global Studies are excited to be welcoming applications for two virtual academic internship programs for Summer 2021! This is your chance to make meaningful global connections and develop as a professional this summer! Diverse positions are available with 15+ organizations located in Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America. Engage with global themes through your work, such as: human rights, public health, women’s empowerment, leadership, commerce, development, disability, indigenous communities, and many others. EXPLORE: full details about internship partner organizations, positions, course details, scholarships, and application requirements by visiting the following program brochures in the Education Abroad online portal: Virtual Global Internships or Virtual Global Internships with the High Atlas Foundation WATCH: this 3-minute video about the two programs; READ: about past virtual global interns’ experiences in this UVA Today article, “Students Learn Unexpected Skills Through Virtual Internship program” CONTACT: Ingrid Hakala, the director of UVA Global Internships, for more information and to introduce yourself.

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. No previous experience is required, 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.

Morven Kitchen Garden (MKG) Spring Internships
MKG is hiring Spring Semester Interns.  MKG is a one-acre garden where University of Virginia students learnlead, and connect through growing food.  MKG provides an opportunity and place for students to directly participate in all aspects of sustainable food production. The internship details and application are available here. Visit our website to learn more about the garden and ways to get involved. Questions about the internship? Please contact Stephanie Meyers,

This Week in Black History

 Did you know? Bessie Blount Griffin, was a physical therapist who worked with soldiers injured in W.W.II. Bessie Virginia Blount (1914-2009) led a remarkable life that began in Hickory, Virginia, where she was born on November 24, 1914. She made significant breakthroughs in assistive technologies and forensic science, becoming a role model for women and African Americans for her pioneering work. Young Blount moved from Virginia to New Jersey to attend Panzar College of Physical Education and later, Union Junior College. It was her goal to become a physical therapist. She completed her studies in Chicago. Her war service inspired her to patent a device in 1951 that allowed amputees to feed themselves. The electrical device allowed a tube to deliver one mouthful of food at a time to a patient in a wheelchair or in a bed whenever he or she bit down on the tube. She later invented a portable receptacle support that was a simpler and smaller version of the same, designed to be worn around a patient's neck. Blount was born in Hickory, Virginia in 1914, and later moved to New Jersey. She studied to be a physical therapist at the Panzar College of Physical Education, at Union Junior College and then furthered her training as a physical therapist in Chicago. In 1951, she started teaching Physical Therapy at the Bronx Hospital in New York. She was unable to successfully market her valuable inventions and found no support from United States Veteran's Administration, so she gave the patent rights to the French government in 1952. The French government put the device to good use, helping to make life better for many war vets. Blount's patent was filed under her married name of Bessie Blount Griffin. A second career was in store for Blount in 1969, when she began working in law enforcement, conducting forensic science research for police departments in New Jersey and Virginia. She moved up quickly and, in 1977 was sent to train and work at Scotland Yard in England. Again, she was the first African American woman to be honored with such an opportunity. Next, she is said to have applied for a job with the FBI but was turned down. She then began operating her own business, using her forensic training to examine pre-civil war documents and so-called “slave” papers. She operated the business until the age of 83. And at the age of 95, Blount passed away on December 30, 2009 in Newfield, New Jersey.

Women's History Month

OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Announcements & Services – Spring 2021

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.


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 – 6:00 pm–8:00 pmMihret Niguse @ Zoom Room

Biology Tutoring
Every Sunday – 6:00 pm–8:00 pmHeather Poyner @ Zoom Room



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

Contemplative Pedagogy: Building Capacities for Awareness and Connection
Thursday, March 18 & Friday,
March 19 – 3:00 pm-4:00 pm EST – Virtual
In this discussion, Karolyn Kinane, Associate Director at the Contemplative Sciences Center, will share a few activities that build students’ capacities for self-awareness, presence, and connection to others. Participants will have significant time to create or revise assignments and activities that incorporate a contemplative pause in service of desired learning outcomes. This online workshop is open to graduate students. Registration is required. This workshop is part of the Center for Teaching Excellence’s Tomorrow’s Professor Today program. For more information or contact Jessica Liu (Contemplative Sciences Center)

UVA Women's Center Book Club: Reading in Hues
Thursday, March 25 – 7:00 pm EST –
Sign Up Here
Reading in Hues is a monthly book club hosted by the UVA Women's Center to celebrate and discuss literature by Women of Color. The selection for March is Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu. The (Zoom) meeting to discuss Aftershocks will be on and the author will be in attendance! The first 15 people to sign up will receive the book for free, courtesy of the Women's Center. 

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.