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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

2022-2023 Peer Advisor Application is now available
Application Deadline: Friday, January 28, 2022 at 11:59 pm 

Apply Now to be a 2022-2023 Peer Advisor! Late applications will not be accepted. We look forward to reading your applications! What Is the Peer Advisor Program? Nationally recognized for "exemplary practice in achieving campus diversity," the Peer Advisor Program was established by the University of Virginia's Office of African-American Affairs in 1984. It assists Black first-year and entering transfer students with their college transition by providing personalized, sensitive support and counseling. In addition, the program offers a wide range of activities from orientation to workshops and seminars to academic recognitions. What is a Peer Advisor? Peer Advisors are a select group of University of Virginia second-, third-, and fourth-year students chosen to serve as mentors and advisors to the entering class of first-year and transfer students throughout their first year at the University. All Peer Advisors undergo an extensive training to ensure they are prepared to assist entering students with common issues faced by new students to the University. To learn more


OAAA Trivia Tuesday returns this week!
Be on the lookout!

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


Spring 2022 Academic Calendar

Dates Vary by school:

(Go to Add/Drop/Withdrawal Dates)
March 5 – March 13:   
Spring Recess
May 3:    
Courses End
May 5 – May 13: 
(Go to Exam Schedule)
May 8 – May 11:   
Reading Days
May 20 – May 22:  
Finals Weekend
(Go to Finals Weekend)

Quote of the Week

​"As Black women, we're always given these seemingly devastating experiences—experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point." Viola Davis (August 2011 issue of Essence)

Spotlight on Student Achievements

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

Viola Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress and producer. Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, Davis began her acting career in Central Falls, Rhode Island, starring in minor theater productions. After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, she won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby. She played minor roles in several films and television series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Tonya in the 2001 Broadway production of August Wilson's King Hedley II. Davis's film breakthrough came in 2008 when her role as a troubled mother in the film Doubt earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Davis won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for playing Rose Maxson in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's play Fences. For starring as a 1960s housemaid in the comedy-drama The Help (2011), Davis received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2014, Davis began playing lawyer Annalise Keating in the ABC television drama series How to Get Away with Murder, and in 2015, she became the first Black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In 2016, Davis reprised the role of Maxson in the film adaptation of Fences winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to receive a BAFTA nomination for her performance in Steve McQueen's heist film Widows (2018). In 2020, Davis garnered universal acclaim for her performance in the titular role of the film adaptation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for which she received an NAACP Image Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. With that nomination, Davis became the most nominated Black actress in the history of the Academy Awards, with four acting nominations, and the first Black actress to have been nominated for Best Actress more than once. Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, are founders of a production company, JuVee Productions. Davis is also widely recognized for her advocacy and support of human rights and equal rights for women and women of color. In 2019, she became a L'Oréal Paris ambassador.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Batten Virtual Application Assistance

Are you applying to the Bachelor of Arts, Public Policy & Leadership Minor, or Accelerated MPP program for next fall and have questions about the applications? The Batten Admissions Office and our team of Batten Ambassadors are on hand through Friday, January 28 to answer your questions and provide feedback on your materials virtually! After filling out the registration form, the Admissions team will connect you with an Ambassador. For More Information Contact Name: Courtney Leistensnider

Full-time UVA Presidential Fellowship for 2022 Graduates

The Presidential Fellow is a full-time administrative position for a student who will receive an undergraduate degree from UVA in Spring 2022 or a person who has recently received a UVA undergraduate degree. As a staff member in the Office of the President, the Presidential Fellow works on initiatives related to the President’s current, highest priorities while carrying out other essential duties related to the activities of the President’s staff. The Presidential Fellow will conduct research, coordinate outreach and communications, and manage special projects as assigned by the President, Chief of Staff, and other members of the President’s Office team. The Presidential Fellow reports to the Special Advisor to the President for External Affairs. For More Information Contact Name: Ashley Cochran, Senior Recruiter

Undergraduate Research Symposium
Abstracts Submissions Due: Tuesday, March 1
Event Held on: Tuesday, April 12th

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is an opportunity for students to present what they have learned through their research experiences to a broad audience. It includes projects from all disciplines and encourages interdisciplinary discourse, allowing students to learn from each other about a range of topics. All UVA undergraduates involved in research and creative inquiry are welcome to register to present at this year's symposium. Please visit the Information for Students tab to learn more about the abstract submission process and presentation formats. Students, faculty, staff, and guests are welcome to attend the Symposium to learn about the research and creative projects being done by current undergraduates. We are excited to announce that in 2022 we plan to return to an in-person format for this event! Students present their work as posters or oral presentations. Details regarding individual presentations (format, time, title, abstract) will be published in the Symposium Schedule online by early April.  Details here

Associate Community Organizer
Positions begins: Monday, May 9, and Monday, August 8, 2022

Starting salary $40,500/year + benefits. Positions open in: Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Manatee County, Miami, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa; Kansas: Lawrence, Wyandotte County, Johnson County; Kentucky: Lexington; South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia; Virginia: Charlottesville, Richmond; Lead Community Organizer / Executive Director positions begin Fall 2021 in: Florida: Brevard County, Sarasota; Kansas: Wyandotte County. DART organizations are diverse coalitions that include communities of color, low-to-moderate-income communities and immigrant communities. We strongly encourage people from these backgrounds, as well as fluent Spanish speakers and DACA recipients, to apply. To apply or learn more about DART, visit or find us on Instagram and Facebook @theDARTcenter. Still have questions? Contact Moe or (602) 510-4658.


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

This Week in Black History

Did you know? Ntozake Shange’s 1975 theatre piece For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf quickly brought her fame. Ntozake Shange, original name Paulette Linda Williams, (born October 18, 1948, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.—died October 27, 2018, Bowie, Maryland), American author of plays, poetry, and fiction noted for their feminist themes and racial and sexual anger. Shange attended Barnard College (B.A., 1970) and the University of Southern California (M.A., 1973). From 1972 to 1975, she taught humanities, women’s studies, and Afro-American studies at California colleges. During this period, she also made public appearances as a dancer and reciter of poetry. For Colored Girls is a group of 20 poems on the power of Black women to survive in the face of despair and pain; written for seven actors. The show ran for seven months Off-Broadway in New York City before beginning a two-year run on Broadway. It was subsequently produced throughout the United States, broadcast on television, and in 2010 adapted into a feature film titled For Colored Girls. Shange created a number of other theatre works that employed poetry, dance, and music (known as “choreopoems”) while abandoning conventions of plot and character development. One of the most popular of these was her 1980 adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, featuring a Black family in the time of the American Civil War. Some of Shange’s other works for the stage are Where the Mississippi Meets the Amazon (1977), Three Views of Mt. Fuji (1987), and The Love Space Demands: A Continuing Saga (1992). Shange’s poetry collections included Nappy Edges (1978) and Ridin’ the Moon in Texas (1987). She also published the novels Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo (1982), about the diverging lives of three sisters and their mother; the semiautobiographical Betsey Brown (1985); and Liliane: Resurrection of the Daughter (1994), a coming-of-age story about a wealthy Black woman in the American South. In addition, Shange wrote a number of children’s books, including Whitewash (1997), Daddy Says (2003), and Ellington Was Not a Street (2004).



Did you know?  As the first African-American to become Florida’s secretary of state, Jonathan C. Gibbs also served as a minister. Born in 1827, his parents were both free people. He earned a degree from Dartmouth College, and studied at Princeton Theological Seminary. Gibbs traveled to North Carolina after the Civil War, where he created a school for slaves who had been freed. He would then move farther south to Florida to continue teaching freed slaves. Appointed Secretary of State in Florida in 1868, Gibbs, the only African-American in the cabinet, served in the position from 1869 to 1872. He would later become the state superintendent of public instruction, where he worked to help African-Americans receive an education. When at home, Gibbs would sleep in the attic of the house because of constant threats by the Ku Klux Klan. After giving a long speech in 1874, Gibbs went home for dinner and died suddenly.

OAAA Announcements & Services

Black Fridays – Starts Friday!
Every Friday - 1:30 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Conference Rm #2 Dawson’s Row



OAAA Tutoring for Spring 2022 – (will resume the first week of February 2022)

Contact: Dean Thomas for more information

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

OAAA Calculus & Statistics Tutoring with Travis Elliott
TBA – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Virtual TBA – Zoom Room Passcode:

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
Wednesdays – 2:00 pm-4:00 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
Thursdays – 4:30 pm-6:30 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

Virtual Meditation on the Lawn
Mondays (January 24–May 2) – 7:45 am–8:00 am (EST)

Virtual Meditation on the Lawn is a series of short, virtual, drop-in meditation or guided reflection sessions. These 15-minute sessions are led by Contemplative Sciences Center (CSC) instructors, other experienced facilitators, or special University guests. The program is open to the UVA community and anyone else interested in pausing to cultivate mindfulness, compassion, resilience, and a sense of belonging with others so inclined. It is hosted by CSC and University partners Compassionate Care Initiative, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), FEAP, Hoos Well, Student Affairs, and UVA Clubs. For more  information Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

Values & Your PhD/Postdoctoral Journey
Monday, January 24 – 3:30 pm-5:00 pm

For those of you who are beginning your PhD programs or Postdoctoral training at UVA, it may be easy to feel the weight of your checklists, your to-dos, your calendars. But it is also critical for us to pause and reflect on what is explicitly and implicitly driving our decisions. In this session, we will discuss the definitions of values, take a values assessment, and brainstorm ways that allow us to live our lives more intentionally based on our values. All UVA Ph.D. students and postdocs are welcome to attend this workshop. For More Information Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

Scholarship and Fellowships Series
Monday, January 24 – 4:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room

The Scholarship and Fellowships Series starts again with Awards for STEM Students. **Reminder for students in their third year and older: the spring is the time to learn about and start working on fellowships that are due in the fall since many have early deadlines.

Join Our Team: Be an Orientation Leader!
Virtual Info Sessions: Monday, January 24 & Wednesday, January 26 @ 6:00 pm (EST)
Application Due: Monday, February 14 by 9:00 am

The 2022 Orientation Leader application is now open! We’re seeking caring, responsible, and open-minded rising second-year, third-year, and fourth-year students who are interested in presenting a well-rounded perspective of the University to incoming students. Our goal is to create a diverse team in terms of students’ backgrounds, experiences, activities, and interests, and we hope you’ll consider joining our team. Registration For More Information Contact Name: Orientation & New Student Programs


Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry Series
Every other Wednesday – 4:00 pm – Clemons 204

The next session on February 2 is our Getting started in research & creative inquiry session. In this session, we will equip participants with some effective thoughts and approaches to cultivate agency in research & creative pursuits. This is appropriate for students at all levels; you do not need to be actively participating in research & creative inquiry to benefit from this session. Click here for the full schedule.

Contemplative Inquiry, Pedagogy and Practice
Monday, January 31 – 3:30 pm-5:00 pm 

Navigating the various roles and responsibilities of a graduate program can be disorienting and stressful. As a result, graduate students may find themselves unthinkingly adapting to social norms, doubting their own capacities, or losing the sense of joy that comes from good work. In this interactive 90-minute workshop, we will learn how contemplative approaches to research, teaching, and daily life can enhance our well-being as scientists, scholars, teachers, and students. All UVA PhD students and postdocs are welcome to attend this workshop. For More Information Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

Peace Corps Celebrates: Black History Month
Wednesday, February 9 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Highlighting RPCVs of the African Diaspora who served in each decade of Peace Corps. Hear stories that highlight the challenging, rewarding, and inspirational moments from Peace Corps service. Recording for this event will be available upon request and not automatically distributed. For More Information Contact Name: Aaron Meadows