News

August ’18 Newsletter: Web Application Announcement

(Back to newsletter)

2018-19 Grant Proposal Now Available

The Jefferson Trust is excited to announce our new web-based grant proposal form is now available! Visit our Apply page to learn more about the application process and view the form.

Also, make plans to attend our applicant information session on Wednesday, September 5th at 4 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

Proposal submission deadline is October 1, 2018.

August ’18 Newsletter: Announcing the new Vice-Chair of the Jefferson Trust

(Back to newsletter)

With the start of the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Jefferson Trust is excited to welcome James Aldige as our new Vice-Chair. Although new to the Trust, James has been an active alumnus since his graduation from the College in 2003. He is a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Managers, sits on the reunion giving committees (additionally serving as his 15th Reunion co-chair), participates in the Jefferson Scholars National Selection Committee and the Advisory Board for the UVA Licensing and Venture Group seed fund, is Co-chair of the David Magoon Jefferson Scholarship Initiative, and guest lectures at the Darden School of Business.

James considers his time at UVA impactful in helping to shape who he is today. “It gave me a chance to pursue a variety of interests, take on leadership roles, and make great friends. I believe in the mission of the University and its strong commitment to a campus-based undergraduate education and student self-governance.” As an undergraduate student, he was an Echols Scholar, lawn resident, a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, IMP Society, TILKA Society, 13 Society, and the Raven Society. Other involvements included Fourth Year Trustees, Inter-Fraternity Council community service chair, Big Sibling program director at Madison House, and Habitat for Humanity house coordinator.

After UVA, James went on to earn an MPhil in Economic History from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has worked in multiple capacities in the investment field, and currently is a Managing Partner of Clio Asset Management, an investment advisory firm based in Charlottesville. James is excited to be joining the Jefferson Trust.  “Having been a part of the Jefferson Scholar interview process for many years now, I always come away from those weekends with a renewed sense of optimism about our collective futures, based on the exceptional achievements and aspirations of the applicants. At the Trust, I am excited to see what talented students can achieve now that they are on Grounds and have the opportunity to put their ideas into action for the betterment of the community, and I look forward to playing a small role in that process.”

August ’18 Newsletter: Words on Paper: Combining Science, Policy, and the Arts!

(Back to newsletter)

Words on Paper, a 2018 grant, is the brain child of Environmental Sciences Professor Deborah Lawrence. The concept involves undergraduate students studying the development of climate science history and climate policy history. With this knowledge, students create interactive art of key texts (“engagement experiments”) to share with the community on Grounds and eventually in Charlottesville high schools. Combining experiment with performance art, students will guide others through our country’s climate story, ultimately curating a series of art shows based on these shared experiences. The project has already started on Grounds, but funding from the Jefferson Trust will aide in taking the concept into area schools.

This past spring, tables were setup around Grounds asking people to participate in writing about the climate story, choosing from various prompts such as sharing a fact about the history of climate science, policy history, why they care about climate change, or how they are modifying their effect on climate change. Then, the class displayed these written responses in the Mural Room at Clark Hall, encouraging people to continue to add their thoughts on climate policy and change as the art was on display. Environmental Sciences Professor Scott Doney commented that the exhibit was “a good way of engaging people in an optimistic way and breaking down the polarizing debate that often surrounds discussions about climate change.”

The art installation was only the first step in this project according to Professor Lawrence. Next, the class took the pieces of paper from the exhibit in Clark and created art as a group project. “We’re going to show the potential impacts of climate change if action isn’t taken,” shared one student. Along with the art, the class participated in the Earth Week Expo, and the project will be taken off Grounds to work with area high schools to further share the climate story. “So far, we’ve touched 1,000 people, and we hope to go even further,” commented Professor Lawrence.

August ’18 Newsletter: Developing Design Thinking at the Medical School

(Back to Newsletter)

UVA’s Medical Design Program addresses the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare by teaching medical students design thinking as a framework for developing and leading new approaches to patient care throughout their careers.

“It’s more than a design course. You learn how to listen and what it means to truly empathize with a patient.”
— DHRUV DESAI, SMD’19

Design thinking is a structured, team-based approach to problem solving and innovation that is widely taught, primarily in business schools. At UVA, the Medical Design Program offers first-year medical students the opportunity to use design thinking to improve patient care. Through a series of monthly hands-on ‘sprint-style’ design workshops and structured research experiences, students learn design-based approaches to clinically relevant skills like patient interviewing, synthesis of quantitative and qualitative research data, and use of prototypes to rapidly test and refine ideas in context of team-based healthcare environments. Students work directly with faculty physicians, patients, nursing, and other healthcare team members.

Since the 2015-16 academic year, teams of students have addressed topics such as: Preventing patient falls; Comfort in the Emergency Department waiting room; Transparency inpatient admissions; Reimagining the waiting room; Comfort and privacy for hallway bed patients; Empowering patients with information.  In addition to the impact on student learning, data gathered during these exercises has resulted in actions taken in patient-care and design concepts at the medical center.

The program has been highly successful and popular with students since inception, and interest continues to grow. In addition, course alumni join a growing community of medical designers at UVA. Throughout their time at the medical school, they can participate in special events on grounds and put their design training to work through summer experiences, ongoing involvement in the program as peer mentors and teaching assistants, fourth-year research electives, and work as physicians-in-training and emerging healthcare leaders.

UVA is one of only a handful of medical schools in the country offering this type of program, and is already emerging as a national leader in the concept of applying design thinking to medicine. The teaching team leading the initiative was invited to present at Stanford’s Medicine X conference in both 2016 and 2018. Jefferson Trust funding has allowed the program to get off the ground, and in 2017, additional funding was secured through the School of Medicine to develop open-access, online learning materials to bring design thinking education to a broader audience of UVA medical students as well as students and faculty at other medical schools. You can learn more about this fascinating program at uvamedical.design.

August ’18 Newsletter: Presswork

(Back to newsletter)

Through a variety of technologies and experiential learning techniques, Presswork: A Program for Hands-on Historical Printing & Research, aims to foster cutting edge student- and faculty-led printing and research at the University of Virginia. The program trains undergraduate and graduate students in the history and art of letterpress and printing, which will be demonstrated to UVA classes, alumni, the general public, and K-12 students. These demonstrations help to expand UVA’s prominence as a leading research center in the history of printing by fostering greater community and experiential learning opportunities.

Key components of the two-year program include production of a short documentary on UVA’s unique historical printing presses, printers-in-residences opportunities, and a scholarship program allowing the Rare Book School to educate UVA students interested in learning about the history of printing. More public facing components involve a permanent exhibition at the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture on the history of printing technologies and their relevance to Thomas Jefferson’s understanding, public roundtable conversations led by internationally recognized printing experts, and free public open houses.

What makes Presswork such a unique opportunity is that very few universities have printing programs in place that are focused on contemporary book arts. Also, no other university in the world has two eighteenth-century period presses positioned side by side, allowing faculty, students, and visitors to compare letterpress and intaglio printing techniques and learn in a hands-on research setting.  For more information on Presswork events, watch on the Rare Book School website.

May ’18 Newsletter: Women’s Chorus Bicentennial Commission

(Back to newsletter)

The Virginia Women’s Chorus received a 2018 Jefferson Trust grant to commission a musical piece by music composer Ola Gjeilo to celebrate the Bicentennial of UVA and to commemorate the history of women at the university. Read more about the chorus here.

May ’18 Newsletter: Trustee Spotlight: Victoria Harker

(Back to newsletter)

Victoria Harker has a long history with the Jefferson Trust. She had been a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Managers for five years when she joined the Trust – she was there at the Trust’s inception and felt that it was only natural to become a Trustee to show her support and confidence in the effort.

Victoria chose UVA in 1982, in part because she aspired to become a lawyer, and because the University had one of the top five English Departments in the nation. She pursued an undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in Economics. After graduating in 1986, she spent several years working at a law firm, where she had the opportunity to help edit a legal book on business joint ventures. That experience was so fascinating she changed gears and ultimately earned her MBA in Finance in 1990 from American University. In addition to the Jefferson Trust, Victoria has served as Chair of the Board of Managers for the Alumni Association and has served a term on the Board of Visitors for the University of Virginia.

Victoria has been able to share her positive UVA experience with her younger sister Ellen (College ‘88), as well as her sons Zach (College ‘15), Ethan (Curry ‘18), and Benjamin (College ‘20). As a student, some of her favorite memories include watching Speidel, Goodrich and Goggin perform at the Mineshaft, as well as seeing concerts and watching the basketball team play in U Hall. She also had a great deal of fun sledding down O-Hill toward the Treehouse on cafeteria trays. Another favorite UVA memory was created last fall on the steps of the Rotunda, at the announcement of Jim Ryan as UVA’s President-elect. “After serving for over a year on the search committee, this was a huge honor and very inspiring,” she said. “I know Jim will lead the University into its next century with great distinction.”

As a Trustee, Victoria’s favorite grants have been ones that provide seed money directly to students to help them start up small ventures and evaluate their commercial capabilities. This comes as no surprise, considering her fascination with and professional background in finance and investment. After receiving her MBA in Finance, Victoria led an illustrious career as the Chief Financial Officer for several companies. She currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for TENGA, Inc., a diversified media and digital marketing solutions company.

As she approaches the end of her six-year tenure as a Trustee, Victoria remains excited about the future of the Trust, particularly in its potential for new areas of investment and growth. “Serving on the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) Committee, I have seen what wonderful new areas investments like these can accelerate,” she said. “The Jefferson Trust is a student-facing investment fund and has great prospects to grow well into the future.” She also believes that the future investment climate will only continue to favor initiatives and organizations such as those funded by the Trust, as corporations and public institutions continue to look for areas to “put money to work,” particularly with regard to social justice and environmental conservation.

May ’18 Newsletter: The Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust Visual Arts Prize 2018

(Back to newsletter)

The annual Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust Visual Arts Prize is intended to expand students’ opportunities for creative expression and to showcase significant accomplishments in the Arts. A $2,500 award is presented through The Jefferson Trust in partnership with UVA Arts to one undergraduate or graduate student each spring. A student’s submitted work must be created while he or she is enrolled at UVA, and eligible medias include: drawing, painting, watercolor, film/video, photography or sculpture.

The 2018 Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust Visual Arts Prize was awarded to Grace Patrice Anyetei-Anum for her photograph entitled “Re-Presenting the African Woman.” This photograph is part of her thesis exhibition entitled “Re-Presenting the African Woman”, where she is hoping to use her photographs as a way of enlightening her fellow Americans about the diversity that exists on the African Continent. There are 54 different countries with over 1,500 languages spoken, but for many years Africa has been mistaken for a country. Anyetei-Anum photographed women from different countries in Africa she met at UVA to achieve her goal, with clothing serving as a way to make clear distinctions among the cultures and between being African and being African-American. Anyetei-Anum said, “Although we are all black, differences do exist in our various cultures.”

May ’18 Newsletter: The Human Library

(Back to newsletter)

The idea is simple: everybody has a story to share. Project co-leads Amy McMillen and Alicia Wang were abroad in Copenhagen when they heard about the international organization, The Human Library. “It was such a simple yet beautiful concept, we decided to bring it back to Charlottesville,” says Amy.

The Human Library at UVA is a project that enables students, faculty, and staff at the University of Virginia to verbally share their stories and engage with other community members willing to learn. Each participant is either a “reader” who will stop by to listen to a story, or a “book” who is an individual with a story they would like to share. The project has spotlighted issues that are traditionally difficult to grapple with, such as mental disorders and immigration. But the Library also lets students share unique parts of their identity through constructive dialogues and Q&A exchanges. The sheer variety of stories shared through the Human Library has led the project to immense success with their past events, including their most recent on April 6th. This event was a chance for students to hear from their peers on topics like picking a non-traditional path in the healthcare industry, overcoming breast cancer, and dealing with deafness.

We asked Amy what her goals are for the future of this project. “My hope for the Human Library is for people to continue to have the courage to tell their stories as well as listen to others who are different than themselves,” she says. The Human Library is meant to extend beyond just UVA’s Grounds to touch others in the Charlottesville community. “An overarching goal for the project is to help connect the University and the surrounding Charlottesville area, as we have so much to learn from each other. In the future, I hope that the Human Library continues to partner with the community and elevate people’s stories that otherwise may not be recognized or understood.”

Reflecting on the concept of The Human Library, Amy shares her own story with the Trust. “If I were to be a book for the Human Library, my title would be In Between. Ever since I was born to an American father and a Chinese mother, I have been a bridge between two cultures and have learned how to balance opposite entities. When I was ten years old, I went from living a highly privileged lifestyle in China to moving to the Land of Opportunity and cleaning houses with my family every weekend to keep food on the table.” Stories such as Amy’s demonstrate how narrative storytelling can build empathy and break barriers between people, making for genuine conversation and powerful dialogue that breaks through surface-level chatter.

The Jefferson Trust is excited to support such a meaningful, student-led initiative, and we look forward to continued success from The Human Library at UVA. Check them out on Facebook.

May ’18 Newsletter: Jefferson Trust Announces $700,000 in Grants to Help Foster Community

(Back to newsletter)

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.