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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 Naming and Memorials Committee invites members of the University of Virginia community to join a listening session on the future of the Frank Hume Memorial. This call-in session will take place Wednesday, April 21 from 6:00-8:00 pm ET.

Minority Rights Coalition calls for removal of Frank Hume Memorial Fountain - The Cavalier Daily - University of Virginia's Student Newspaper




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

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

"Everything I wanted, everything I waited for, is here. I am a stand-up comedian who won an Oscar! [laughs] Oh, baby, I did it, me! You know, this role was so not about my acting career. This role has shaped my life and allowed me not to judge and to love unconditionally. If that goes into my career, great, but if it doesn't and I'm just the dynamic person that I strive to be every day, then I've won, baby!" -- Monique

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Faculty Spotlight: Sergeant Edward Thompson

Sergeant Thompson was born in the city of Petersburg VA, attending school there and graduated from Petersburg High in 2007. He started his career working in private security. Now he is a seven-year Law Enforcement veteran. In July of 2016 he began his career here at The University of Virginia Police Department. During his time here he has been assigned to the Patrol Division. Sergeant Thompson is an experienced Field Training Officer, a member of the Peer Support Team, a certified Trike Operator, and Crisis Intervention Team member. Thompson looks forward to a long rewarding career serving the University Community.

Quote's Corner

Monique Angela Hicks (born December 11, 1967), known professionally as Mo'Nique, is an American comedian and actress. She first gained recognition for her work in stand-up comedy, debuting as a member of The Queens of Comedy. In 2002, she received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Comedy Album. Mo'Nique began her transition into mainstream film and television having a starring role as Nicole "Nikki" Parker in the UPN series The Parkers from 1999 to 2004, as well as having roles in films such as Phat Girlz in 2006 and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins in 2008. In 2009, she garnered critical acclaim for her performance in the film Precious, for which she won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the fourth African American woman to win the award. The role also won her the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize and the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Best Supporting Actress Award – with first ever unanimous vote in an acting category. Moreover, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award, Independent Spirit Award, and the BAFTA Award – as well as “Best Supporting Actress” awards from the Stockholm International Film Festival and 16 different Critics Associations from across the county. She has since hosted The Mo'Nique Show from 2009 to 2011, and starred as Ma Rainey in the HBO biopic Bessie in 2015, for which she earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Monique currently has a discrimination lawsuit against Netflix. Mo'Nique, claims the streamer discriminated against her on the basis of her race and gender when they offered to pay her $500,000 in 2018 for a comedy special, a fraction of the tens of millions of dollars Netflix paid for specials from other. Mo'Nique further alleges Netflix retaliated against her when she complained about the "discriminatory low-ball offer" by refusing to negotiate fair pay with her. Mo’Nique started off 2020 with a new comedy special called “Mo’Nique & Friends: Live From Atlanta,” which was filmed at the city’s Variety Playhouse. The premiere date was on Feb. 7. It is Mo’Nique’s first major comedy special in a decade.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Econ Majors Diversity Cohort Focus Group
Coordinated by the Economics Career Office Student Advisory Board (ECOSAB) The ECOSAB is seeking Black, Latinx, APIDA, and FGLI students, who are currently Economics majors or planning to declare, to share their feedback and experiences with the Economics Department in a focus group. You’ll contribute to developing a diversity cohort aimed to increase diversity within the major and support Economics students from underrepresented groups to be successful now and beyond graduation! Contact: Dazzelle Bagtas to express interest or any questions.

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 for30 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,


Ridley Scholarship Fund Awards Available to Non-Ridley Students Available
Ridley scholarships that extend beyond current scholars:

The Sylvia V. Terry Scholarship
Named for legendary OAAA Dean Sylvia Terry, the Terry Scholarship recognizes the scholastic and community achievements of Black or African-American students at UVA. The scholarship provides two years of full tuition-and-fees support for the recipient. Ideal applicants are rising Third Year students with strong grades, leadership activities, and community service. Because of Dean Terry’s pivotal role in creating the Peer Advisor Program, preference is given to academically-strong candidates with significant experience as mentors. 

The Gregory Ledford Endowed Fund
In 2007, McIntire School of Commerce graduate Gregory Ledford established the Gregory Ledford Endowed Scholarship to benefit a rising third year African-American Commerce School student. This scholarship provides full tuition-and-fees for two years for an African-American student who has been admitted to the School of Commerce. Preference is given for students concentrating in Finance. The chosen scholar must have a high grade point average and must demonstrate involvement in University, community or other individual extracurricular pursuits.

Ravenell “Ricky” Keller III Memorial Fund
The Ravenell (Ricky) Keller III Scholarship Award was established to perpetuate the memory of Ravenell “Ricky” Keller. Ricky was a 1985 Honors graduate of the College, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the IMP Society of Leaders, the University Guide Service and the Board of Trustees for the Class of 1985. Upon his passing, it became known that he was also a member of the Seven Society. Ricky participated in the First Years Seminars program and received the First Year Academic Achievement Award, the Afro-American Scholars Award, the Fraternity Leadership Achievement Award, and the John Kenneth Crispell Memorial Award. He participated in the Study Abroad Program, which afforded him the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics. The Keller Scholarship is available to all African-American UVA students who qualify. Students are eligible to receive a one-time grant to supplement a study abroad experience during a semester, summer or J-term.

National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
Students have the opportunity to embark on a fully funded wilderness expedition, and leadership training through the NOLS Gateway partnership. Since its founding in 1965, the National Outdoor Leadership School has aimed to provide the environment and training necessary to help participants discover their full leadership potential. Through the NOLS Gateway partnership, the organization has had the opportunity to collaborate with organizations across the country to award full-tuition scholarships to exceptional youth who would otherwise not have access to NOLS expeditions. Each summer, up to 150 youth from up to 50 official partner organizations expand their leadership and wilderness skills at one of NOLS' seven domestic operating locations. Thousands of Gateway Partner Program graduates are now leading others in industries from conservation to software development.

Ridley-Sabato Capitol Hill Internship Stipend (Not Yet Awarded)
At least one student will be provided with a $5000 stipend as they pursue experiential learning in the fields of politics, government, and public service. The intent of this stipends is to relieve some of the financial burden associated with the acceptance of a political or governmental internship, and as such, recipients may use it to cover housing, transportation, food and business clothing expenses associated with said internships.

 The Dr. Derek E. Brown Scholarship 
The Dr. Derek E. Brown Scholarship was created to remember Dr. Brown’s dream of helping African-American male students seeking admission to medical or dental school.  This award is designed to help qualified male students defray the high cost of applying to medical or dental school. Ridley is currently in the process of restructuring this award to benefit recent UVA graduates.

The Paige Pre-Medical Fund
This scholarship is designed to help pre-med students defray the high cost of applying to medical school. The applicant must be a fourth-year African American student at the University of Virginia who has taken all pre-medical requirements and the MCAT. Applicants must be planning to enter medical school immediately after graduating. One winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship (non-renewable), which they may use to pay for medical school application fees and interview expenses.

Truist Ridley Leadership and Financial Education Academy (Set to Begin in January 2022)
Partnering with the BB&T Leadership Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the UVA Career Center, the academy program will feature participation by Truist executives in teaching students about financial services, asset management and advisory services, technology, data sciences and operating careers, as well as participation by partners from consulting, legal, financial planning, accountancy and related fields.  It will also feature leadership and well-being course instruction from the Leadership Institute’s award-winning faculty. The initial funding will provide for two summer’s worth of 3-to-4 cohorts of 15 students to participate. Over a two-year period, the pilot program will support up to 120 African-American students at UVA. This will provide these rising second year students with an early experience of Truist’s commitment to teammates and diversity and inclusion, and a valuable addition to career resumes.  For Truist, it provides a remarkable opportunity to connect with high-quality cohorts of students in an authentic setting and create brand awareness of the opportunities Truist is committed to providing. 




This Week in Black History

Did you know?  Kevin Fredericks also known as “KevOnStage” is a comedian, actor, speaker, producer, director, content creator, social media influencer, husband, and father. He has become a household name for his viral videos and stand-up comedy that is deeply rooted in faith, family, and over-all relatability. KevOnStage honed his comedic skills while growing up as a military kid. Today, his hilarious content across the various platforms has garnered him millions of fans. The multi-faceted comedian has been able to grow a booming digital media company, develop and host several popular podcasts, and even independently produce The Real Comedians of Social Media tour which sold-out over 50+ cities, worldwide, 2 years in a row. In 2020, the comedian launched KOS APP, everything from full length television quality shows, stand-up comedy specials short films, features, and animated series can be found on the app. KOS is designed to be a platform for those who are supremely talented, but have been mostly overlooked by traditional Hollywood. KevOnStage currently host the bi-weekly virtual comedy show, Keep Your Distance, a show for comedians to stay fresh and sharpen their craft during COVID with a small, socially distanced, live crowd. At the same time, fans are able to live stream or watch on-demand from the comforts of their home. Keep Your Distance averages 10,000 live viewers and has sold over 100,000 tickets since it launched. In 2021, he was nominated for a NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Social Media Personality. Kevin will be back on the stages with his new tour Slightly Problematic with Tahir Moore and Angel Moore as host.

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

The Ridley Scholars Program Presents: Grad School 101
Friday, April 23 – 3:00 pm –
Register Here
The Ridley Scholars Program, will be hosting a conversation with Kimberly Sauerwein from the UVA Career Center, discussing all things graduate school—including how to decide between master’s and doctoral degrees, application best practices, and tips for a successful graduate school experience. Interested students can register and submit questions here. For additional question submissions, or questions about the event in general, please feel free to reach out to Trayc Freeman.

Wellness: Live Amphitheatre Event
April 25, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., (McIntire Amphitheatre)
Together with partners across the University, CSC will co-host this in-person celebration of Spring featuring live music from the UVA community and yoga and meditation instruction for all levels!  As we enter the last phases of the semester, please join us in the fresh air to lift your spirits, rejuvenate your body, and restore your mind. Masks required. Social distancing guidelines will be strictly observed. For more information:  Jessica Liu (Contemplative Sciences Center) Contact Email:

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.