From enriching socioeconomic diversity on Grounds to strengthening relationships between student groups here, Jefferson Trust grants are once again set to encourage creativity, innovation, leadership, community and an enhanced student experience.
The Jefferson Trust, an initiative of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, awarded 19 new grants totaling $700,000 on Friday, April 13, on the South steps of the Rotunda. Once again, student organizations made a strong showing this year, garnering 8 of the grants and securing more than $109,000 in funding.
Many of the grants this year sought to strengthen communities, whether it was Hoos First Look, which brings socioeconomically disadvantaged high school juniors to Grounds in order to enhance socioeconomic diversity here, or the Queer Student Union Community Partnership program, which seeks to foster positive relationships throughout the University. Amy Bonner, Associate Director of the Jefferson Trust, said, “One trend the Trustees saw in this year’s pool of proposals was an interest in community-building—student groups seeking to work more closely with other groups to break down barriers, faculty focused on positive interactions for students, even two groups seeking to improve diversity at the University. Many of those were projects chosen for funding this year. The Trustees are always interested in making a positive, and broad-reaching, impact at the University and specifically to students.”
Established by the Alumni Association in 2006, the Jefferson Trust has invested in 179 initiatives, representing over $7 million, brought forth by students and faculty representing all 11 schools and a myriad of programs and organizations at UVA. With grant awards ranging from as little as $2,500 to as much as $100,000, all of these seed-funded projects add exceptional value to the UVA experience. Many evolve to become a permanent part of the fabric of the University’s life and legacy.
The 2018 grants include:
Science Delivered: $19,000. The program brings scientists from UVA straight into the classroom to provide engaging, hands-on science enrichment for local students in grades K-6.
UVA Financial Education and Wellness Program: $57,900. Student Financial Services is expanding the University’s financial literacy efforts, developing relationships, conducting programming and research, and sharing resources with offices such as the Dean of Students, the Career Center, and the Office of African American Affairs.
UVA-SWO Partnership for Rangeland Ecology Research and Education: $67,800. This project combines environmental sciences research, educational exchange, and community health, within the context of a rangeland ecology/bison grazing experiment on the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeastern South Dakota.
Student Flourishing Initiative-Platform Development: $100,000. The Student Flourishing Portal is a digital platform of vast and diverse content, exploring student flourishing in theory and practice to support curricular, co-curricular, and research activities enhancing student lives, skills, experiences, and wellbeing.
Presswork: A Program for Hands-on Historical Printing & Research: $69,865. The project will establish a permanent printing lab and exhibition space in UVA’s Harrison Institute, where visitors and students alike would engage in hands-on printing activities, as well as learn about a range of printing processes—from technologies integral to Thomas Jefferson’s work to modern-day 3-D printing.
A Virtual Exploration of Central Grounds Through Time and Space: $35,100. This program will use Geographic Information System and Virtual Reality technologies to reference, spatially and temporally, all the relevant documents, images, photos, and models from many different efforts to create an engaging learning environment for future generations.
QSU Community Partnership Program: $6,000. A 2-year plan to foster an extended and positive relationship with fellow community groups by holding a series of networking programs with African-American, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Military communities; as well as with the Honor Committee and the University Guide Service.
Hoos First Look: $10,479. UVA’s first ever fly-in program aimed at bringing socioeconomically disadvantaged juniors in high school to Grounds, with the mission of increasing socioeconomic diversity at the University, and encourage undergraduate students to foster a more inclusive community on Grounds through active participation in the program.
Virginia Women’s Chorus Bicentennial Commission: $8,000. Funding allows the Virginia Women’s Chorus to commission a piece of original choral music composed by renowned composer Ola Gjeilo that will simultaneously celebrate the University’s Bicentennial and the history of women at the University.
Civil War Era Charlottesville: $26,400. Funding will support a pair of new digital projects examining the lives of University of Virginia students and African-American men from Albemarle County who served in the Union army or navy, including creation of a website dedicated to telling the stories of UVA Unionists.
Words on paper: art to engage science and policy: $38,923. This new class, melding experiment with performance art, will bridge the divide between arts and science, reflection and action, UVA and the world off Grounds.
Profit with Purpose: $4,000. Profit with Purpose educates, connects, and empowers students to think about investing differently through workshops, building relationships, and providing experiences.
TRANSFERmational Project: $15,300. This initiative creates a disciplined approach for the support of transfer students to the University of Virginia.
Strategies of Interpretation II: Highland: $17,837. The program for a course and accompanying public lecture series will create the opportunity for the University and Charlottesville community to interrogate further the issues of historical interpretation and its public presentation.
Hoos Connected: $39,000. Hoos Connected is a University-wide campaign designed to help UVA students build cohesive and supportive peer connections that demonstrate the value of forming deep, caring relationships with others who are different from themselves.
Language Forward Initiative: $50,770. A real-time immersive online program that aims to expand opportunities for UVA students to interact with native speakers.
The Ridley Scholars Outreach Video: $10,000. The Ridley Scholars will produce an outreach video during the 2018 calendar year that will target prospective African-American students and is estimated to impact 20,000 prospective students and their families.
The Jefferson Trust Daniel S. Adler Student Award
The Human Library: $36,626. Striving to tackle stereotypes and prejudice through conversation, the Human Library allows individuals to share the unique story embedded in the threads of their lives and bridges the gap between the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community.
The Jefferson Trust Global Initiatives Award
Community Resilience & Global Engagement: Disaster Preparedness in Nursing: $87,000. Within a global context of increasing need for community resilience post-disaster, this program wraps student educational and research experiences around sustained UVA faculty research with long-term community partners in Bluefields, Nicaragua.