In the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, undergraduate students are expected to declare a major in spring semester of their first year. However, with little exposure to the different engineering majors, many students enter a major without a reasonable understanding of their new disciplines. In an effort to allow underclassmen to make more informed decisions within the engineering program and with funding from the Jefferson Trust, engineering students developed the Daedalus Project. Led by program director Jean Salac, a fourth-year Computer Science student, Daedalus aims to aid students in discerning their academic interests through a network of hands-on, project-based seminars led by upperclassmen across the engineering departments.
When the Trust asked Jean how the idea for the program arose, she explained “The Daedalus Project was largely a result of my confusion and frustration as a first-year when I could not decide which major to pick and felt that I did not have enough resources. I soon found that other students felt the same way, so in the spring of 2015, we decided to start the Daedalus Project to help future first years with their major decisions.” Daedalus captures the spirit of student self-governance on Grounds, as students recognized the issues within the current engineering system and took active measures to correct them. The seminars are student-led sessions where first-years get to hear the honest perspectives of upperclassmen deep in their majors.
Members of the Daedalus team are excited to expand the program. Salac reported that over 150 students have attended seminars and that “with funding from the Trust, we hope to grow our seminars to include more interesting and innovative hands-on projects. We also hope to expand beyond in-class seminars and include lab and company tours as well.” By enabling students to explore companies and labs, first-years can develop a better understanding of the various majors in applied settings. Students can learn about the professions tied to each major, and how different engineering disciplines can serve as a platform for launching a career. The Trust is excited to see this program grow with greater funding, impacting more first-years annually.
“Sometimes giving the money [to an organization] is the end of a process; but with the Jefferson Trust, it really was just the beginning for me …. and I’ve enjoyed it immensely”. Alumnus and donor John Harris (COM ’82) recently participated in a panel of pan-University supporters, where he described the Trust as a “unique model across the country” that allows him to feel that his gift to the University through the Trust “really has legs” in providing important financial support to a wide variety of UVA schools, programs and initiatives.
With a desire to provide UVA students, faculty and other leaders with the tools and resources necessary to promote excellence in all areas of the University experience, donors to the Jefferson Trust represent a community of alumni and parents that are investing in the University’s future … and seeing the direct and tangible result of those investments. You can hear more from John about his experience with the Trust, by watching this short video:
Please visit our website for a comprehensive description of all of the 141 grants that donors to the Trust have funded over the past 10 years, and for more information about starting your own, special relationship with the Jefferson Trust!
Co-create UVA is a 2016 Jefferson Trust grant that began as a collaboration between the Center for Teaching Excellence and ReinventED Lab, a student-driven CIO for creative problem-solving in education. Students at UVA take pride in their value of student self-governance and this program helps to provide dialogue between students and professors to enhance teaching and learning on grounds.
With a movement toward fostering more student-faculty partnerships, the group hopes to mirror Mr. Jefferson’s original vision for the Academical Village, with regard to creating more interactions between students and their teachers. At one event this past fall, Co-Create members shared lunch and ideas with new faculty during faculty orientation. Program director Jacob Hardin, a second year History major, noted that there are several events lined up for the spring semester to raise awareness about collaboration at the University, along with ongoing, undergraduate student consultations. Co-Create hopes to document a significant number of exemplars in student-faculty partnerships in 2017. He stated, “We want to see student-faculty partnership become a part of every UVA student’s core values during their time at the University.”
Today’s student grant spotlight: Jefferson Literary and Debating Society President Jack Chellman discusses the Society’s archives project.
What is the Jefferson Society Archives (JSA) project?
The Jefferson Society Archives Project aims to organize and digitize the approximately 30,000-item archival collection of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. As the oldest student organization at the University of Virginia, the Jefferson Society has played an important role in the development of student life and intellectual culture on Grounds. The JSA Project seeks to reunite the University with a critical piece of its own history by making the Jefferson Society’s archives accessible and enduring.
How did the Jefferson Society come up with the idea for the project?
We were inspired to create this project by the concerning conditions of the Society’s archives. Prior to the start of this project, the Society’s archives had no system of organization, nothing was housed in archival-quality materials, and we had no digital backups whatsoever. While the collection includes fascinating items like meeting minutes written by Woodrow Wilson, the state of the archives was such that these valuable items were in danger of being lost.
What are your future goals for the project?
Our goal is to have our collection organized by category and chronology and relocated to the Special Collections Library. We aim to digitize approximately 5000 of our most valuable items, making the images available on the University’s Virgo catalog as well as on a project website. We’d also like a searchable catalog of the collection to be available on the website, including metadata for each item we possess. Our hope is that this project opens the door for exciting new research into the University’s history.
In 2016, the Jefferson Trust provided the Peirce-Cottler Biomedical Engineering Lab with $60,000 to develop leadership in the field of 3D-bioprinting using UVA’s two cutting-edge bioprinters.
Jefferson Trust trustee Jennings Grant toured the Peirce-Cottler Biomedical Engineering Lab with Ph.D. candidate Molly Kelly-Goss this past week. The research lab now houses two of the most sophisticated 3D-bioprinters in the world. Kelly-Goss explained the profound impact that bio printing will have in future medical innovation and the importance of training the next generation of scientists, engineers and doctors in order to maximize its potential. Areas that the lab’s scientists are currently exploring include the use of 3D bioprinting to create small muscle applications, which may be used to create therapies for muscular injury or diseases such as Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Grant noted, “While visiting the lab, I was able to observe the hard work and research being conducted by the students and professionals at UVA. As I watched the 3D bioprinter in action, I could envision a time when we are able to progress to more complex tissues and eventually organs. At UVA, we have access to state-of-the-art machines…leveraging these assets positions UVA at the forefront of leading edge technology and research in the country.”
Pictured: Molly Kelly-Goss (left) showing trustee Jennings Grant (right) the technology behind 3D-bioprinting.
Today’s student grant spotlight: Jack Brake with Seriatim
What is Seriatim?
The Seriatim Journal is U.Va.’s only forum dedicated to sharing undergraduate students’ ideas on American politics and political theory. Our mission is to serve the University of Virginia community and support an engaged citizenry by fostering an open marketplace of ideas and encouraging the productive exchange of political speech. To these ends, we publish a semesterly print journal, maintain an active website (www.seriatimjournal.com), and host various events around Grounds to encourage intellectual engagement among students and faculty on relevant political issues.
How did students come up with the idea for Seriatim?
Ian Robertson and Russell Bogue (both CLAS 2016) founded Seriatim in 2011. They recognized the need for a journal that would help to disseminate the excellent work that Politics students were doing at U.Va., most of which was never widely shared with the University community.
What are your future goals for Seriatim?
As Editor-In-Chief, I am deeply involved with most aspects of Seriatim’s work, including soliciting academic papers, setting up our events, recruiting staff members and contributing writers, and designing the print journal. My favorite part is helping to design the journal. It is inspiring to see our peers’ written work presented in a professional setting that highlights the impressive breadth and depth of their engagement with diverse issues. I always learn so much from reading through Seriatim.
Today’s student grant spotlight: Jacob Hardin with Co-Create UVA
What is Co-Create?
Co-create UVA works to support a culture of collaboration between students and faculty at UVA. We achieve this through events that raise awareness, mechanisms, like undergraduate student consultants, and by documenting the best practices and exemplars in student-faculty partnerships.
How did your team come up with the idea?
Co-create UVA actually started collaboratively between the Center for Teaching Excellence and ReinventED Lab, a student-led non-profit here in Charlottesville. Students at UVA take pride in their value of student self-governance but experience very little agency when it comes to creating their educational experience.
What are your future goals for Co-Create?
We have some events lined up for the Spring semester to raise awareness about collaboration at the university and we will continue conducting undergraduate student consultations. Co-create UVA plans to grow the number of consultations performed during the semester and have documented a significant number of exemplars in student-faculty partnerships by the end of 2017. We want to see student-faculty partnership become a part of every UVA student’s core values during their time at the university.
Learn more at http://cocreateuva.com/
Today’s student grant spotlight is with Jean Salac and the DAEDALUS project.
What is DAEDALUS?
The DAEDALUS Project is an organization dedicated to providing project-based, hands-on seminars to first-year students to allow them to explore the different majors offered in the engineering school. The seminars are upperclassmen-led so that the first-year students have an opportunity to be mentored and advised by older students in the major.
How did you come up with the idea for the project?
The DAEDALUS Project was largely a result of my confusion and frustration as a first-year when I could not decide which major to pick and felt that I did not have enough resources. I soon found that other students felt the same way so in the Spring of 2015, we decided to start the DAEDALUS Project to help future first-years with their major decisions.
What are your future goals for the project?
With funding from the Jefferson trust, we hope to grow our seminars to include more interesting and innovative hands-on projects. We also hope to expand beyond in-class seminars and include lab and company tours as well.