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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

OAAA/GradSTAR Lunch Series: Tuesdays @ DuBois
Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday – 12:00 pm-2:00 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Conference Rm #2 Dawson’s Row
Space is limited. You must RSVP to reserve your spot.


Black Fridays
Every Friday - 1:30 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Conference Rm #2 Dawson’s Row
Come & join us for food & fellowship!


The Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) is on FACEBOOK!
LIKE US to keep up-to-date with events and more info about OAAA!




Fall 2021 Academic Calendar

October 9 - October 12:             Reading Days

October 22 - October 24:           Family Weekend (Go to Family Weekend)

November 24 - November 28:   Thanksgiving recess

Quote of the Week

 “We don't ride the wave, we create it.” – Tobe Nwigwe

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Mario Jones

Mario (he/him/his) is a 4th year Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizens Leadership Fellow in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy pursuing a double major in Public Policy and Leadership and African-American and African Students on the pre-law track from Newport News, VA. Around grounds he serves as the President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Chair of Big Events for the 4th Year Trustees, Vice President of the Undergraduate Black Law Students Association, Peer Advisor, Recipient of the Gus Blagden 'Good Guy' Room, and member of the IMP Society. In his spare time Mario likes to cook and is a fan of the performing arts. Following his undergraduate career, he will be taking a gap year to explore other career opportunities before going to law school.


You can nominate someone (not yourself) to be in the Spotlight. Send your nominations to Dean Antoinette Thomas ( every Thursday by 12 noon.

Quote's Corner

Tobechukwu Dubem Nwigwe, who also goes by Tobe Nwigwe (born March 8, 1987), is a Nigerian-American rapper and singer from Houston, Texas. Nwigwe is of Nigerian descent, and hails from the Igbo ethnic group.  Since August 2016, he has posted an original song and video every Sunday across social media. He began to gain a following through his Instagram and YouTube posts and videos. Nwigwe collaborates with his wife, Fat (born Martika Ivory Rogers – they have three children together), and sister and producer/rapper LaNell "Nell" Grant, also known as The Originals. Nwigwe founded the nonprofit TeamGINI, a name derived from “Gini Bu Nkpa Gi?” which translates to “What’s your trouble?” in the Igbo language. TeamGINI aims to help families in need by giving them gifts that aid them in gaining financial literacy and independence. Nwigwe appeared on the BET Hip Hop Awards 2018 Cypher. Nwigwe and The Originals performed on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series with a backing band, and in 2020, Nwigwe went viral on digital platforms for his song "I Need You To (Breonna Taylor)". He said God gave him a vision to do the song as a public service announcement. He performed his songs "Try Jesus" and "Eat" at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards. "Try Jesus" reached No. 4 on the Billboard R&B Digital Song Sales chart.  Nwigwe's The Pandemic Project was released in 2020. The Monumintal Tour will begin later this year.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Truist Leadership Academy

Register by Sunday, October 3

The Truist Leadership Academy is a fully-funded, immersive, living and learning experience designed to support African-American/Black students in exploring career interests, developing skills, and growing their leadership skills. It features career exploration workshops, a fully-funded trip to Greensboro, NC, and personalized career guidance. There is NO COST to participate in this program. Register Here!

Ridley Scholarship Fund Awards Available to Non-Ridley Students Available

Ridley scholarships that extend beyond current scholars:

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.

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. 

Richmond Ridley Clarence Cain Endowed Fund
The Ridley Club of Richmond, Virginia sponsors a full tuition-and-fees award for an exceptional African-American student from the Richmond, Virginia area. This scholarship has been the result of the collective efforts of Richmond area alumni and businesses, and will provide four years of financial support for one of the Richmond area’s best scholars. Richmond area alumni continue to raise funds toward this geographic scholarship – the first of its kind for the Ridley Fund – and encourage others to support this effort.

Michael Russell Engineering Scholarship
In 2007, School of Engineering and Applied Science alum Michael Russell of Atlanta, GA established a scholarship fund for African-Americans pursuing a degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UVA. They are expected to possess the leadership and scholarship qualities that typify all Ridley Scholars.


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.

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 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.

Annetta Thompson Fund
Family and friends honored the life of the first full-time administrator for the Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Fund by establishing this fund in 1999. The Annetta Thompson Scholarship is awarded to a deserving 4th-year Ridley scholar who exemplifies Annetta Thompson’s commitment to education. Annetta Thompson received her bachelor’s degree in education from UVA in 1973. She valued the role of education and the importance of creating opportunities for young people pursuing an education. Annetta’s hard work and diligence during her tenure as the fund administrator contributed to the tremendous growth and success of the Ridley Fund.

This Week in Black History

 Did you know? Earl Lloyd Becomes the First African-American in NBA. Lloyd, (April 3, 1928 – February 26, 2015) born in Alexandria, Virginia was an American professional basketball player and coach. An All–American player at West Virginia State University, Lloyd helped lead West Virginia State to an undefeated season in 1948. As a professional, Lloyd helped lead the Syracuse Nationals to the 1955 NBA Championship. Lloyd was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. The first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in October 31, 1950, ranks as a largely overlooked pioneer. Lloyd forged a path that is now profitably traveled by the NBA’s legion of African-American stars. He walked a path that has since been traveled by Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Dave Bing, Michael Jordan and now, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire. Regarding the racism black players faced in the early years of the NBA, Lloyd recalled being refused service multiple times and an incident where a fan in Indiana spit on him. However, Lloyd persevered and said that these instances only pushed him and made him play harder Lloyd was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.


Did you know?  Joseph W. Hatchett sworn in as the first Black Supreme Court Justice.  Hatchett (September 17, 1932 – April 30, 2021) was an American lawyer and judge. In spite of a racial segregation he fulfilled his dream to become a lawyer. In 1956 Florida still lived under the rule of Jim Crow, as a black man, Hatchett was not eligible to enter Florida's white law schools. He attended the prestigious Howard University law school in Washington. He went on to become a distinguished attorney and, in the 1970s, was appointed by Governor Reubin Askew to fill a vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court -- the first black ever to serve there. In 1976, Hatchett achieved yet another first: he became the first African-American elected to statewide office in Florida and the South when voters returned him to the Court. Then in 1979, Hatchett became the first black man appointed to the federal appeals court for the Deep South. On September 2, 1975, he made history, becoming the first Black Supreme Justice in the South in the twentieth century.

OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Tutoring for Fall 2021 Contact: Dean Thomas for more information

OAAA tutors meeting dates & times via In-Person & Zoom

OAAA Calculus & Statistics Tutoring with Travis Elliott
Tuesdays – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Thursdays – 2:00 pm-4:30 pm – Zoom Room Passcode: 082999

OAAA Chemistry Tutoring with Yvette Gamor
Thursdays - 5:00 pm-7:00 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Email for Zoom appointments if needed.

OAAA Biology & Chemistry Tutoring with Kamryn Crowder
Tuesdays – 11:00 am-1:00 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Email for Zoom appointments if needed

OAAA Organic Chemistry Tutoring with Heran Tadesse
Mondays – 12:00 pm-2:00 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Email for Zoom appointments if needed



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

Mindfulness Meetups
Mondays (Now - Dec 6) – 7:00-8:00pm & Fridays (Now – Dec 3) -- 10:00 am-11:00 am
We welcome all UVA undergraduate and graduate students to join one of our Mindfulness Meetup groups co-hosted by CSC and CAPS. Groups meet for one hour each week to learn about and practice mindfulness in a safe and supportive space. Currently, groups meet on Mondays and Fridays. New dates and times available based on student input. Learn more and register

Goldwater Scholarship Information Session
Monday, September 27 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)
Do you love research? Are you considering pursuing research science, mathematics, or engineering as a career? Are you simply a STEM student and want to at least explore an exciting opportunity? Come learn about the award and the process for nomination by the University of Virginia. Apply as a second or third year – so first years should definitely come!

In Person Meet and Greet
Thursday, September 30 – 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
Our EHD Student Ambassadors are hosting an in person meet and greet on. Learn more about our majors (Teacher Ed, Kinesiology, Speech Communication Disorders, and Youth and Social Innovation) Sign Up Here!

Virtual Meditation on the Lawn 2021 Fall
Most Monday mornings (starting October 4 – December 20) – 7:45 am–8:00 am ET.
Virtual Meditation on the Lawn will be led by Leslie Hubbard, CSC’s Program Director for Student Engagement and Contemplative Instruction. Join us 10/04 and most Mondays, 7:45-8:00am (ET). Learn more & Register! Contact Email

Designing Activities for Awareness & Connection
October 5 – 1:00 pm-2:30 pm (ET) - New Cabell Hall-Language Commons, For UVA graduate students only
For UVA graduate students: How can taking a contemplative pause enhance your students’ engagement with course material and with one another? In this first of two in-depth workshops led by the Contemplative Sciences Center’s Karolyn Kinane, instructors explore how to incorporate a contemplative pause in service of desired learning outcomes. For more information Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

University-Wide Majors Fair
Monday, October 18 – 1:00 pm-4:00 pm – Newcomb Ballroom
Drop by to meet with representatives from more than 40 majors and programs! If you are not sure what you plan to major in, this will be a great place to explore your options. If you already know, then it will be a good time to meet department representatives and make sure you are on track to declare. See at for details and the list of participating majors and programs. Hosted by the Georges Student Center. For more information. Contact Name: Katie Densberger

The Body Positive Team at the Women’s Center Presents: Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride
Tuesday, October 19 – 5:30 pm-7:00 pm – REGISTER
The Body Positive Team at the Women’s Center is excited to announce that we will be bringing Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride to UVA, virtually to give a talk on Historical Trauma and Eating Disorders. For the past 30 years, eating disorders have been represented as a white, middle-class phenomenon. Due to the lack of representation of people of color and indigenous populations with troubled eating have suffered from high rates of undiagnosed conditions, inaccessible treatment, and culturally insensitive practices. In this presentation, participants will have the ability to evaluate eating disorders through a social justice lens that centers the experiences of people of color and indigenous descent people. Participants will learn about historical trauma, and the legacies of colonialism on self-esteem, body-image, and food

Breath and Body Work for Brothers
Mondays – 7:00 pm-8:00 pm (ET)
Register! On Zoom or in-person in McLeod Room 2010 Instructor: Carringon Kernodle Learn more Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

One-On-One Office Hours Sign-Up
Tuesdays – 9:00 am-11:30 am EST & Wednesdays – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm EST with Ryan Sherman, Academic Coordinator / Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9 AM - 12 PM EST with Jessica Livingston, Direction of Student Affairs
Meet with us to discuss our majors and get specific questions answered about transfer credits, academic requirements, recommended courses and more

Peer Financial Counseling Available!
Tuesday-Thursday – 1:00 pm-5:00 pm – Georges Student Center Room 245
Peer Financial Counseling offers all UVA students one-on-one help from trained peer counselors on a variety of topics including budgeting, student loans, personal credit, basic investing, and more. Our counselors understand the stresses that come with being a college student and want to help you better manage those factors while in school. Write to us at to schedule an appointment! For More Information! Contact Name: Dustin Ciraco

Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Series
Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday – 4:00 pm – Clemons Library Room 204
We will have a workshop to support undergraduate research and creative inquiry. Every first Wednesday is a session entitled, ‘Getting Started in research and creative inquiry.’ Schedule: (full schedule to be posted by September)

Santosha for Sisters
Wednesdays – 7:00 pm-8:00pm (ET)
Register! On Zoom or in-person in McLeod Room 2010 Instructor: Carringon Kernodle  Learn more  Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

Connect with the School of Education and Human Development (EHD) – Zoom and In Person Opportunities!
EHD offers majors that lead to careers in teaching, public health, speech pathology and audiology, research, education policy and more. Connect with us by signing up for our mailing list or attend one of the upcoming events.

Walking Tour Sign Up
Open to current students, prospective students and families – get a tour of our buildings and meet with one of our EHD Student Ambassadors! Sign Up Here!