Feb. ’17 Newsletter: Co-Create Mirrors Mr. Jefferson’s Vision for the Academical Village


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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.”

Feb. ’17 Newsletter: The Jefferson Curating Society – The Virginia Magazine

Student Grant Spotlight: Jefferson Society Archives Project

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.

Grant Spotlight: Developing Leadership in 3D-Bioprinting


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.

Student Grant Spotlight: Seriatim


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 (, 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.

Student Grant Spotlight: Co-Create UVA

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

Student Grant Spotlight: DAEDALUS


Today’s student grant spotlight is with Jean Salac and the DAEDALUS project.


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.

First-years learning about the Anatomy of a Plane

First-years learning about the Anatomy of a Plane

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.

Nov ’16 Newsletter: Trustee Spotlight – Noreen Poulson

Trustee Noreen Poulson COL ’78

Trustee Noreen Poulson COL ’78

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Noreen Lavan Poulson graduated from the University of Virginia in 1978. As a member of one of the first classes to accept women in the College, she found academic, athletic and service opportunities to be readily available and exciting.  While majoring in English, Noreen played varsity field hockey, becoming a co-captain her fourth year; was briefly a walk-on for the varsity basketball team; and was selected as a member of the softball teams that represented UVA at Virginia State Tournaments, the forerunners of varsity softball teams throughout the state. Off-season, she could be found participating in intramural athletics and met her husband, John “Jack” Poulson (Com ’78), while playing water polo at Mem Gym.

Having been raised in a family where giving back was considered an integral part of daily life, Noreen became a Resident Advisor as well a tutor for the Summer Transition program. Sponsored by the Office of Admissions, this program was established to assist incoming first year students in need of pre-matriculation academic support.

As an alumna, Noreen decided the best way to continue giving back to the University was to join the Jefferson Trust. In her own words:

“One of the most intellectually exciting aspects of being a Trustee is exposure to a broad range of initiatives that arise from students, faculty and staff pan-University to enhance the student experience and strengthen UVA’s global reputation for excellence.

I have been a Trustee for six years, and it has been rewarding to see the Jefferson Trust model of providing seed money to support development of new ideas launch opportunities that have gained permanent funding from other sources because of the positive impact grant recipients have made on the life of the University.

Having served as a Resident Advisor in college and graduate school and currently working with low-income college-bound students, I have a keen interest in student-led grants. I particularly enjoy listening to students pitch a grant proposal about which they are passionate. Over my six years with the Trust, I have had the privilege of watching several student-led grants prove to be ahead-of-trend; upon achieving success, these initiatives are now having lasting impact as permanent programs with ongoing funding.

One such grant is called “Flash Seminars.” Begun in 2011, these student-driven one-time seminars are quickly organized, similar to Flash Mobs, on current events topics, drawing on speakers from around the University who are subject matter experts. Topics have ranged from “Revolutionizing Design: 3D Printing” to “The 2016 Electoral Map.”

Also, as part of the Jefferson Trust’s Trustee Mentoring Program, I have had the honor to mentor the remarkable “HeArt of Medicine” grant. Begun by a collaborative group of nursing and medical students under the guidance of Dr. John A. Owen,(EdD, MSc) the grant recipients developed an extracurricular workshop series to take an in-depth look at both the science and art surrounding death, dying and end-of-life care. A modest grant (in terms of dollar amount received from the Trust), this program now reaches 100% of medical students and a large number of nursing students and has the phenomenal ability to touch each of us in our life journeys. The HeArt of Medicine grant seeks to make conversation and medical information about death and dying more open and approachable to the nursing and medical students who are becoming our health care leaders of the future. This program has the potential to touch the lives of even more people, as it could be a replicable model for other nursing and medical schools.

 Please consider the Jefferson Trust and join us in helping to select and fund ground-breaking new ideas at the University.”

Noreen as mentor to HeArt of Medicine grant recipients

Noreen as mentor to HeArt of Medicine grant recipients

Nov ’16 Newsletter: Jefferson Trust’s innovative support for UVA attracts national attention

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The Jefferson Trust endowment was featured by the nationally published Chronicle of Philanthropy as a unique and highly successful way to support “ideas from students, faculty and administrators that get little funding from the state and heavily restricted university coffers.” Distributed to over 125,000 non-profit professionals, the article attracted national attention and interest from other state institutions of higher education, including the University of North Carolina.

View the full article.

Nov ’16 Newsletter: Record Number of Grant Proposals Received!

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This October, the Jefferson Trust received a record number of proposals – 67 to be exact – requesting
more than $3 million in combined funding.  We also had a record number of student-led submissions – 23 in total!  Proposals were received from nearly every school at the University, several related
centers, and, of course, student organizations.

Trustees have begun reading all 67 proposals, the first of several steps in the intensive review process. Next, trustees may reach out to applicants for clarification on details and will seek the opinions of top University leadership in their efforts to select the best projects. As a final step in the process, some applicants will be invited to a Q&A session with the full Trustee board, held in late January.  All applicants will be notified of funding status in February, although formal announcement of the 2016-17 grants will be made in April.

For more information on the annual grant cycle, visit our Apply page. For More information about recently funded projects explore our website.