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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


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

“I was built this way for a reason, so I’m going to use it”Simone Biles

Quote's Corner

Simone Arianne Biles (March 14, 1997 - ) in Columbus, Ohio, to Shannon Biles; she was the third of four siblings. Sadly, her mother was unable to care for her and her siblings so they were in and out of foster care. However, in 2000, Biles’ grandfather Ron began temporarily caring for them. Biles holds Belizean citizenship through her mother and refers to that country as her second home. Biles first tried gymnastics at 6 years old as part of a day-care field trip. Biles soon enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon's Gymnastics; at age 8 she began training with coach Aimee Boorman. Biles began her elite career at the age of 14 on July 1, 2011, at the 2011 American Classic in Houston. She placed third all-around, first on vault and balance beam, fourth on floor exercise, and eighth on uneven bars. Later that month, Biles competed at the 2011 U.S. Classic in Chicago, Illinois, where she placed twentieth all-around, fifth on balance beam and floor exercise. In 2012, the Biles made the choice to switch from public school to home schooling, allowing her to increase her training from approximately 20 to 32 hours per week. In the June of 2012, she made her second appearance at the U.S. National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. She finished third all-around, first on vault, and sixth on uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. After this performance, Biles was named to the U.S. Junior National Team. In 2013, at the age of 16, Biles became the seventh American woman and the first African American to win the world all-around title. In event finals, she won silver on the vault, bronze on balance beam, and gold on the floor exercise. However, she finished fourth in the uneven bars final. On September 17, 2014, Biles was selected to compete at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China. She dominated the preliminary round despite a major error on the uneven bars, qualifying in first place to the all-around, vault, beam, and floor finals in addition to contributing to the U.S. team's first-place qualification into the team final; During the team final, Biles led the United States to its second consecutive world team championship. Biles did homeschooling for her entire secondary education, graduating in the summer of 2015. Biles verbally committed to UCLA on August 4, 2014. However, on July 29, 2015, Biles announced that she would turn professional and forfeit her NCAA eligibility to compete for UCLA. At the 2015 U.S. National Championships, Biles secured her third all-around national title. Biles went into the 2016 season as a four-year senior and the reigning National Champion. On December 17, 2015, USA Gymnastics announced that she would compete at the 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, in April 2016 in Everett, Washington. Biles was named Team USA Female Olympic Athlete of the Year in December 2015, making her the fourth gymnast to win the honor. At the 2016 U.S. National Championships, Biles won the all-around title by a wide margin of 3.9. Additionally, she won the gold medal on vault and floor exercise, receiving scores of at least sixteen all four times. She also won the gold medal on balance beam and placed fourth on uneven bars. On July 10, Biles was named to the team for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, alongside Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman. On August 7, 2016, Biles competed in the Women's Qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Along with helping the US team qualify in first place to the team final with a score of 185.238, she individually qualified as the top gymnast into four of the five individual finals. On August 9, Biles won her first Olympic gold medal in the gymnastics team event. In September 2016, Biles opened up about having ADHD after being leaked online; in addition, she revealed how she was allowed to take Ritalin during competitions to combat this condition. In December 2016, Biles was chosen as one of the sponsors of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, she also won the Glamour Award. After the 2016 Rio Games, Simone co-wrote an autobiography with journalist Michelle Burford, Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance; it hit number one on The New York Times best sellers Young Adult list the week of January 8, 2017, and was turned into a Lifetime biopic. Biles also competed on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars. In 2017, Biles won the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete, Shorty Awards for the best in sport, favorite female athlete at the Teen Choice Awards, and the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. In January 2018, Biles was reported to have enrolled at the University of the People, an online college, to study business administration, where she would become the university's brand ambassador. During Biles’ comeback to gymnastics in 2018, her first competition of the year was the U.S. Classic in July, where she won the allaround title and also won the gold medal on floor and balance beam and recorded the highest single vault score. In August, Biles competed at the 2018 National Championships where she placed first in every event over the two days of competition, the first woman to do so since 1994. She set a record for the most national all-around titles with five; this placement marked her fourth national vault title, third national balance beam and floor exercise titles, and first national uneven bars title. In 2018, Simone Biles was named one of the most influential people in the World list by Time Magazine, awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and named ESPN The Magazine's most dominant athlete of 2018. In early March of 2019, Biles competed at the Stuttgart World Cup, her first World Cup appearance not on American soil; she finished in first place. During qualifications at the 2019 World Championships, Biles helped the USA qualify to the team final in first place. Individually, she qualified to the all-around, balance beam, and floor exercise finals in first place, the vault final in second place, and the uneven bars final in seventh place. Biles debuted two new eponymous skills: the Biles II, a triple-twisting doubletucked somersault on floor exercise, and the Biles, a double-twisting double-tucked somersault dismount on the balance beam. Both elements were given the highest difficulty rating of all elements on their respective apparatus. In the team final, Biles led Team USA to its fifth consecutive team title. During the first day of event finals, Biles won the gold medal on vault. On the second day of event finals Biles scored 15.066 on the balance beam earning the gold medal. On floor exercise Biles won gold with a score of 15.133. In 2019 Biles was named Laureus' Sportswoman of the Year for the second time and the People's Choice Award for The Game Changer of 2019. The following year in February 2020, Biles was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year for the second consecutive year and third time overall. Some of Biles’ sponsorship deals include: Octagon sports agency, Nike, Core Power, Kellogg’s, Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, United Airlines, Mattress Firm, Spieth America, Beats by Dr Dre, and Caboodles.

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!

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,

Hoos Internship Accelerator Internship Program
Thursday, April 1, 2021:
Deadline for employers to post internships.
Sunday, April 18, 2021: Deadline for students to apply to internships via Handshake
Thursday, April 22 – Thursday, May 6, 2021: Employers offer virtual or phone interviews.
Hoos Internship Accelerator student-facing page. This program is designed to further students’ education and training.  Students will have access to paid, virtual internships. Students will also have access to unpaid, virtual internships with a stipend to offset the costs of living during an internship. The stipend for 4-week internships is $1000; the stipend for 8-week internships is $2000.  For students with demonstrated financial need, the stipend is double to $2000/$4000. Internships will be 4 weeks or 8 weeks long. Shorter-term projects will also be considered. HIA interns will have access to a wealth of professional support coordinated by the UVA Career Center and UVA Alumni Association. This will ensure a successful internship experience for both intern and employer. UVA departments are encouraged to post internship opportunities!  If you have a meaningful learning experience this summer and would like to post an internship, please fill out this online form. All students that you work with to view our to learn more about the program. We believe this new program will be especially beneficial to first-generation and low-socioeconomic students who may need financial assistance to gain experience through internships this summer.  Program Timeline: May 7–10, 2021: Students receive internship offers, May 17, 2021: Deadline for students to respond to internship offers, and June 1–June 21, 2021: Internships begin. (Start dates vary depending on the employer.) If you have any questions about this new program, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, or email our HIA team at



This Week in Black History

Did you know? Kaytranada was the first Black artist to win a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic album at the 2021 Grammys. Louis Kevin Celestin was born August 25, 1992 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Montreal, Canada. Celestin is a Haitian-Canadian DJ and producer that goes by the stage name of Kaytranada/Kaytra. At the age of 14, Kaytranada began to DJ and the following year began producing with the FL Studio. In 2010, Kaytranada started his career with two projects under the name Kaytradamus. Following this in the year 2012, Kaytranada started releasing under Kaytranada and was on the roster of HW&W Recordings, an independent label based in Los Angeles and Toronto. However, during the December of 2014 he signed an exclusive recording agreement with XL Recordings. Kaytranada released his debut album 99.9% on May 6, 2016; he won the 2016 Polaris Music Prize for this album. On December 13, 2019, Kaytranada’s second album, Bubba, was released on RCA Records. In an April 2016 article with The Fader, Kaytranada revealed that he is gay. Kaytranada has released 13 projects and 41 remixes. He has toured more than 50 Canadian, American, European and Australian cities. Since 2010, he has released two studio albums, two studio EPs, numerous singles, and at least a dozen beat tapes. He is also a prolific remix artist and has released a series of collaborative projects with The Celestics and Robert Glasper.

Women's History Month

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 – 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

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. 

Virtual Meditation on the Lawn
Monday, April 5 – 7:50 am-8:00am – Virtual via Zoom

Please join the Contemplative Sciences Center and partners for Virtual Meditation on the Lawn. This session will be led by Daniel A. Hirshberg, Visiting Scholar at the Contemplative Sciences Center. The meditation topic will be Training our Attention in a Technology-Driven World. This event is free and open to the public. For More Information or contact Jessica Liu (Contemplative Sciences Center)

Virtual UVA Summit on Radical Healing
Friday, April 9 – 12:00 pm-2:30 pm – Sign Up
The Women’s Center is organizing the first ever Virtual UVA Summit on Radical Healing. This two and a half hour event will feature Keynote Speaker Carina Buzo Tipton. Carina is a PhD student in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies who focuses on feminist institutional change and uses Black, Indigenous, and women of color and Queer brilliances to inform her work. During sign ups, you will have an opportunity to select a few topics you would like to engage in during round-table discussions with other attendees after the keynote speech. We will end with a panel on different approaches to radical healing. There will be short breaks throughout to promote self-care.  The deadline to register is by March 26th by 11:59PM. Feel free to forward any questions to Gabi Szabó.

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.