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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

Special Announcement – 2018 BPC Survey Winners!

The third winner of the BPC Survey Lottery is Shemya Key, a 1st-year student in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has won a pair of Black Beats Studio3 Over-Ear Headphones!

The fourth winner of the BPC Survey Lottery is Kianna Rollins, a 4th-year student in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has won the fourth of many prizes, a $25-dollar VISA Gift Card.




Visit: FAFSA EVENT for more information. This deadline impacts financial aid eligibility for the entire academic year, including January Term and Summer Session.  For more information please visit: Student Financial Services.


OAAA Academic Support – 2018 Spring Semester

Raising-the-Bar Open Study Sessions with Peer Advisors – LPJ Black Cultural Center
Sunday through Thursday nights - 5:00-8:00 pm

Thursday: SPAN 1020, 2010, 2020 & Career Services Support – with Career Peer Educator &

Focused Study & Tutoring Sessions - WEB DuBois Conference Room & Hallway

MATH 1190, 1210, 1220, 1310: Tuesday, 4:00-7:00 pm & Thursday, 4:00-6:00 pm

BIOL 2200: Thursday 6:00-8:00 pm

CHEM 1420: Friday, 2:00-4:00 pm

For questions, contact Dean Grimes (

RTB 4.0 – It’s Not Just for First Years’ Anymore!


The Office of African-American Affairs Black History Month Calendar is now available. Keep up-to-date about upcoming Black History Month event dates, times, and locations in the OAAA E-Weekly Newsletters - Have an item you'd like in the next newsletter? Submit it here!


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



Mark Your Calendar

Friday, March 2 - Last Day of Classes before Spring Recess

Saturday, March 3 through Sunday, March 11 - Spring Recess

Friday, March 9 - Class Search Available For Summer and Fall 2018 Classes

Monday, March 12 - Classes Resume

Wednesday, March 14 - Last Day to Withdraw from a Course

Friday, March 23 – Fall 2018 Course Shopping Cart Opens to Students

Monday, March 26 through Friday, April 6 - Advising for Fall Semester Course Selection

Tuesday, April 17 - Last Day to Withdraw from the University & Return for Fall 2018 Semester; Last Day to Apply for Readmission for the Summer 2018 Term

Wednesday, April 25 - Last Day to Request Change in Examination Schedule

Tuesday, May 1 - Classes End

Wednesday, May 2 - Reading Day

Thursday, May 3 through Friday, May 11 - Course Examinations

Sunday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 9 - Reading Days

Friday, May 18 – Donning of the Kente Ceremony

Saturday, May 19 - Final Exercises

Quote of the Week

"Life is the harmonious organization of events, the resultant of a communion of structures and reactions." - Ernest Everett Just

Freda Assuah

Spotlight on Student Achievements

This week, we highlight one of our OAAA / Project Rise (PRISE) Peer Counselors: Freda Assuah. Freda is from Accra, Ghana, and graduated in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the College of Arts & Sciences. Her Interdisciplinary major was Cognitive Science, with a concentration in Computer Science. As a PRISE counselor, Freda provides free, one-on-one, and confidential services to students dealing with a range of academic, personal, and social issues. In this University-sponsored program, created by Black students for Black students, Freda has been a valuable resource to the OAAA and UVA communities. She shared that, “I have found that one of the most beneficial ways of helping people is by listening to them in times of stress or confusion.” Congratulations to Freda on her graduation, and best wishes on her future plans in the medical / health care field!

Nominate a student to be featured in an upcoming OAAA Student Spotlight! Send your nominations to:
Dean Patrice Grimes (mail by Thursday at 12 noon.


Quote's Corner

Earnest Everett Just, was an African-American biologist, scientist, educator (1883–1941) known for his pioneering work in the physiology of development, especially in fertilization. Just graduated from Dartmouth University (Phi Beta Kappa) and moved to Washington D.C. to teach at Howard University, where he became head of the biology and zoology departments. In 1911, Just and three other students established the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at Howard University. In 1916, he earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago, a year after being awarded the very first Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. He pioneered research in many areas on the physiology of development. His findings were published in his famed work, Basic Methods for Experiments on Eggs of Marine Animals, and gave birth to a new scientific area - ecological developmental biology. However, racism and discrimination against black scientists were prevalent at the time and Just believed he would never achieve a tenured position at a major American university. In 1929, he went to Europe and conducted research and experiments in Naples, Italy and France. Following a brief internment in World War II prison camp in 1940, he returned to the USA in 1941, where he died of pancreatic cancer in Washington, DC.

Opportunites with Deadlines

UVA Summer Diabetes Research Internship
Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 28, 2018
This ten-week sponsored program, led by Dr. Oberholzer, Chief of Transplant and Director of UVA transplant center, focuses on diabetes research and treatment, and is the first of this kind at UVA. Students will earn a $3,000 stipend over the course of the ten-week program. Students from traditionally underrepresented racial, gender, and ethnic groups in the STEM and biomedical research fields are encouraged to apply. The following items are required: application form, essay, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Internship application and essay can be accessed by logging into your Handshake account and job posting #635148 ("Diabetes Research Summer Internship Program, Dr. Yong Wang, UVA, Director of Translational Research at Dept. of Surgery and Transplant").  All documents should be sent to Dr. Yong Wang.

Deans’ Scholarships
Application Deadline: Starts Thursday, March 1 & Ends on Sunday, April 15
Deans’ Scholarships are completed through AcademicWorks (an online scholarships management system).
If you have any questions, please contact Sean Reed via email at Students with a 3.4 GPA or higher to apply. Since students now complete a generic application, we do recommend that if they are interested in a particular scholarship that has specific criteria (record of service to others, career in public service, etc.), they should include details about qualifications (interest in public service, record of service, etc.) in their statement.

Mellon Museum Internship Program
Application Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2018
This program offers grants to students from underrepresented backgrounds, students interested in Indigenous arts, cultures, and histories & students interested in working at the UVA Museums: The Fralin or the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. $3500 Grants for Museum, Archive, and Historic Site Internships. For more information, visit the program website or contact Amanda Wagstaff, Program Coordinator, at For more information.

The UVA Parents Fund Scholarships
Application Deadline: Closes early March - Recipients announced at Parents Fund Committee 2018 Spring Meeting
The Gilbert J. Sullivan Scholarship and the Gordon C. Burris Scholarships are awarded to rising Third year students who have a demonstrated record of citizenship, leadership, academic achievement, and financial need. These two $7,500 annual scholarships cover a portion of tuition and fees for the recipients’ third and fourth years. Students should submit an application, resume and a letter of recommendation to Letters of recommendation may come from anyone, however, we recommend asking a UVA professor or dean to write about your citizenship, leadership, and/or academic achievement. If selected, applicants should attend a reception. Email Jennifer Huebner, UVA Parents Fund Specialist, with questions.

The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) Summer Workshop Program
Application Deadline: Sunday, April 1, 2018
The IRT Summer Workshop selects 35-40 interns for an intense four-week summer workshop at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Interns will attend discussions, lectures, conferences, and debates in the disciplines of education, the humanities, and social sciences that one may encounter throughout graduate study. The Summer Workshop Program is for college juniors and seniors who intend to pursue graduate study upon completion of their undergraduate degree. Summer workshop participants will receive a stipend, travel expenses, and room and board. Application is open! To apply, click here for more information.

UVA Summer Medical Leadership Program (UVA-SMLP)
Application Deadline: Sunday, April 15, 2018 for the summer of 2018 – Program dates: Saturday, June 2 – Thursday, July 14, 2018
UVA-SMLP builds on the success of the previous summer medical academic enrichment programs [Medical Academic Advancement Program (MAAP) and Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP)]. The goal: to expose the participants to the “real world of medicine” to prepare them for medical school admission & future leadership positions in medicine/biomedical field. For more information, visit the homepage

Sign up for Jopwell to get a job and internship refferals! Jopwell is the leading career advancement platform providing Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals with support for jobs and internships at 80+ partner companies including Facebook, Goldman Sachs, the NBA, and Pfizer. In addition, there is a digital magazine, The Well, with career advice from people of color for people of color. Two UVa alumni have been featured in the digital magazine.

Apply for a Serpentine Society Internship
Position expected to be in Spring 2018 Semester
The Serpentine Society is pleased to announce the creation of an internship for a person who will work closely with the board to connect the Society with UVA students and administrators in Alumni Hall. Subsequent intern appointments will run for the entire academic year, beginning in the fall of 2018 (see job description). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for one professional (or academic) reference. Applicants should incorporate answers to the following questions in their cover letter: What do you hope to gain personally from this experience? How would you like to use this opportunity engage the UVA LGBTQ student population?

AT&T Summer Internship Program
Start Date: Late May through early June for the next 3 summers (12 weeks per summer)
Join ATT after graduation and be a part of a team known for shaping the next generation of leaders. Click here for 2018 hiring information. You must be pursuing an undergraduate degree -- business, technology & finance majors preferred. Relocation is possible to start the internship, but not required during summer assignments. 

Cville Bio-Trek: Connect with BioTech Companies in your Backyard
Spend quality time at local Charlottesville organizations that are revolutionizing biotechnology in your own backyard! Learn how your lab and bench science skills can work, and connect with potential local employers interested in connecting with UVA students. Get insider tips on how to market your experience, and where to apply your life science skills. Learn from professionals who are on the cutting edge of BioTech and expand your network. For more information or contact Christie Julien

Learning In Action Public Service at UVA
Learning in Action is the front door to public service at the University of Virginia! It connects students, faculty, and community partners to social entrepreneurship, community engagement, and co–curricular service opportunities. There are also resources that direct users to specific programs and offices based on individual interest. Currently, the Community Service Committee of Student Council and Student Affairs Community Engagement group are responsible for all content.

Diversity in Museums & the Arts Grant for Underrepresented Students
To support students pursuing internships at museums, historic sites, or archives, a $3500 grant is awarded to applicants from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in museum careers. This includes students who identify as African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and/or individuals with disabilities. Programs also highlight museum careers and provide instruction to help students apply for internships. Students in ALL majors are eligible, not just those in Art/Art History. Visit Diversity in Museums and the Arts (panel and reception), Museum Career Panel, and Museum Interview and Application Prep for more information.

Shadow a Professional this Summer!
The Career IDEAs Externship Program aims to connect students with meaningful Externship opportunities during the summer months. Students apply to the program via Handshake and are selected for an externship site that will help them explore the industry of their choice. The program is open to all students, but the priority is for those who have not had an externship or internship experience. Second and Third years who are first-generation college students and part of under-represented populations are encouraged to apply. Contact: Christie Julien

STEM Summer Research Opportunities
Now is the time that 2018 summer research programs are posting applications. There are 699 summer research programs posted on this website, with new program dates and programs posted every day! Right now, students can find 57 summer science exposure programs for high school students, 607 PAID summer research programs for undergraduates, 30 PAID summer programs for post-baccalaureate students (including graduating seniors), and 56 PAID summer programs for graduate students. For even more search options and filters, try our advanced search.


This Week in Black History

Did you know?  Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 – February 2, 1999) invented the home security system in 1966, along with her husband Albert Brown. Brown's system had a set of four peep-holes and a camera that could slide up and down to look at each hole, and appear on a monitor. A resident could unlatch the door by remote control. The system included a device that enabled a homeowner to use a television set to view the person at the door and hear the caller's voice. Although the system was originally intended for domestic use, businesses began to adopt her system due to its effectiveness. For her invention, she received an award from the National Science Committee. Brown cited the inspiration for her invention as the long time it would take for police to arrive at a house after being called by residents.

Did you know? Janet Emerson Bashen (February 12, 1957 - ) is the founder and CEO of the Bashen Corporation, a private consulting group that investigates Equal Employment Opportunity complaints under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. She is the first African-American woman in the United States to hold a software patent. Working in the insurance industry, Bashen called for the creation of third-party teams to investigate Equal Employment Opportunity claims as they arose in her company’s workplace. She argued that third party investigators would be less subject to influence from either side in complaints.  Her CEO did not listen, but with encouragement from officials at the National Urban League, in 1994, she borrowed money from her mother to start her own EEO complaints management business. In 2001, she worked with her cousin, Donny Moore, a computer scientist from Tufts University, to develop software that could securely store information about her cases. She filed a patent for LinkLine in 2001 that was approved in 2006. Bashen was elected to the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard’s Kennedy School in 2014. She is also a member of the Black Inventor’s Hall of Fame Science Hall of Fame in 1994. 

Did you know? Meredith Charles “Flash” Gourdine (September 26, 1929 - November 20, 1998) was a track and field athlete at Cornell University and a silver medalist in the 1952 Olympics  in Helsinki. In 1953, he entered the United States Navy as an officer. He soon returned to academia, entering the California Institute of Technology, on a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received a Ph.D. in Engineering Science in 1960. In 1964, he opened Gourdine Laboratories, a research laboratory in Livingston, New Jersey. In 1973, he founded and served as CEO for Energy Innovation, Inc. in Houston, Texas, which produced direct-energy conversion devices (converting low-grade coal into inexpensive, transportable and high-voltage electrical energy). His company performed research and development, specifically in the fields of electrogasdynamics. His most noted invention was the Incineraid system, which was used to disperse smoke from burning buildings and could be used to disperse fog on airport runways. Over his career, Gourdine held over 30 patents; many of his inventions serve as the basis for allergen-filtration devices common to households across the world. He was inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in 1994.



Black History collage

OAAA Announcements & Services

Project Rise: 4th Year Re-orientation with Dean Mason
Mondays – 12:00 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room - #2 Dawson’s Row
As the Spring semester kicks into high gear, it is increasingly important to take some time off to decompress and discuss the stresses and anxieties that come with the upcoming May graduation. To address these issues, Project RISE has brought back Reorientation! Reorientation is a social support group focused on providing African-American Fourth year students with a space to discuss the stress surrounding graduation, as well as the transition from college to the “real world.” Led by Dr. Michael Mason, Reorientation will take place in W.E.B. DuBois Center.

Black Friday – Every Friday - 1:30 pm - LPJ Cultural Center #3 Dawson’s Row
Come join us for food & fellowship!

Survival Guide to the Pre-Health Track
Sunday, February 25th to Tuesday, February 27th - 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm - W.E.B DuBois Center
Are you on the pre-health track and find it hard to do well in your prerequisites or seek out reliable resources for success? Well look no further; the Pre-Health committee of OAAA Peer Advising Program is hosting a three-day event on how to survive the pre-health track! Come out and learn more what it takes to be successful on the pre-health track. Free pizza provided! 


Upcoming Events

UVA Ruffin Distinguished Artist in Residence: Marisa Williamson
Featured now through Sunday, April 15 – Ruffin Hall Studio 323
Marisa Williamson is a New York metro area-based multimedia artist and teacher who will work with students in a variety of courses and be in residence during the spring 2018 academic semester.  Her visit is generously supported by The Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation and the McIntire Department of Art.  he Ruffin Distinguished Artist in Residence is an annual position designed to bring artists of international stature to the University’s studio art program within Ruffin Hall.

Black (Contemporary) History Month: Eyes on Activism - A University of Virginia Library
February Series: “Eyes on SNCC”
Tuesday, February 27 - 4:00-6:00 pm - The Rotunda, Multipurpose Room; Reception at 5:30 pm
Take a deep dive into the papers of the late Julian Bond and learn of his role in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Join Faith Holsaert, editor of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC; John Gartrell, Director of the John Hope Franklin Research Center, Duke University Libraries, and Krystal Appiah, Archivist at the UVA Library. UVA Professor Deborah McDowell, Department of English and Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute will moderate the panel. Registration Required. Co-Sponsored with The Carter G. Woodson Institute, the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC), the Americas Center/Centro de las Americas, the American Studies Program, the Center for Global Health, Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, and the UVA Office of African-American Affairs.

Excellence through Diversity Distinguished Learning Series: Michelle Alexander
Tuesday, February 27 - 6:00 pm - Old Cabell Hall
Michelle Alexander is a civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of highly acclaimed book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Sponsors: University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and others.

3rd Annual Fulbright Forum with the Center for Undergraduate Excellence
Wednesday, February 28th - 5:00 pm - Special Collections Auditorium
The Fulbright Forum is a panel discussion and reception with former Fulbright US Student Program participants and applicants who have completed research, studied, or taught English abroad. The forum is the kick-off event for the coming application cycle. Please RSVP here. The Fulbright US Student Program is open to students and alumni at all levels (undergraduates, graduates, professional students) and in any field. See you there!

Second Annual Liberation & Freedom Day
Saturday, March 3rd  - 9:00 am - 1:30 pm - Charlottesville (various sites)
Celebrate the 14,000 men, women and children who were freed from slavery in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, VA.
9:00 am -Liberation Service in UVA Rotunda Dome Room
10:00 am - Freedom March from the UVA Chapel to The Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center
11:00 am - 1:30 pm - Celebration & Lunch in the Jefferson School