As always, final exams meant a relatively peaceful time around Grounds (outdoors at least; not for the libraries). The University Communications staff snapped a few Instagram photos during the week to capture the feel. Click for bigger versions.
U.Va. Today’s Robert Hull Reports:
For two months, U.Va. students met with Buford Middle School students in Desmond Cormier’s art classes to develop ideas for a garden-themed mural design for the side of Buford’s gymnasium, facing the school’s garden.
This creative exchange had been established through a partnership between the U.Va. Student Arts Committee, Buford Middle School, the Charlottesville Mural Project and City Schoolyard Garden solely to plan a 2,200 square-foot mural adjacent to Buford’s garden.
Based on the conversations with students in the art classes at Buford, U.Va. first-year student Mary Kate Bailey designed the mural – with Photoshop assistance from second-year student Monica Mohaparta – as an intricate and geometric depiction of a garden landscape. Using a digital projector and a boom lift, the design was traced onto the wall at night.
For a month, students and teachers diligently worked at painting a colorful mural that would serve as a cornerstone of the arts and natural sciences for the students and faculty of Buford Middle School. They used over 25 gallons of paint in the creative process.
On Friday at 12:30 p.m., the garden-themed mural will be dedicated at Buford Middle School in a formal ceremony that will include Buford’s principal, teachers and students; U.Va. Student Arts Council students; Ross McDermott, director of Charlottesville Mural Project; Jody Kielbasa, U.Va. Vice Provost for the Arts; Sarah Lawson, director of Piedmont Council for the Arts; and many other local community leaders in the arts and education.
All visitors should access the school from Cherry Avenue, and sign in at the office before walking down to see the mural.
The Buford mural project will continue to expand the mission of the Charlottesville Mural Project, helping to facilitate the talents of local artists and designers while creating a more interesting visual landscape for the Charlottesville community. It also creates a model for more school-based murals that instill a sense of artistic sensibility and community collaboration.
UPDATED, May 3, 5:05 p.m., to reflect “U.Va. Speaks” as one of two student-led projects receiving 2013 Jefferson Trust grants, and to correct the link to the UVA Today story on the 2013 Jefferson Trust grants.
The University is nothing if not a center for sharing ideas, information and knowledge.
Most often, this happens in classrooms. But there are other common forums for such exchanges: speeches and panel discussions, staples of academic life. (If you lump together enough speeches and panels, you can call it a “conference” or a “symposium.”) Even casual followers of UVA Today or the University calendar know that these things happen on Grounds pretty much on a daily basis. Even a person of independent means, with unlimited time, would have to clone him- or herself to be able to get to everything.
Typically, a professor or someone prominent in a field will come to town, share some wisdom for an hour or so, stimulate a lot of thought and discussion, and then … everyone leaves. Maybe someone took a few notes; maybe the speaker saved her text on her laptop; less often, someone may have audio- or videotaped the proceedings. But usually, the event is lost to the historical record.
That’s where Adair Zeigler comes in.
UVA Today’s Matt Kelly reports:
The last scaffolding encasing the Rotunda at the University of Virginia is coming down.
The scaffolding, erected around the building last May, was part of the first phase of extensive renovations and restorations to the centerpiece of the University. Workers replaced the leaking roof and the oculus skylight, and repaired the exterior brick walls, windows and ornamental sheet metal.
The scaffolding is coming down ahead of schedule. The exterior restoration work was to continue into the summer, and workers planned to remove the scaffolding for graduation and then re-erect it. But construction crews have finished the bulk of the work and once the scaffolding is down, it will remain down.
The calendar has flipped to May, and there on May 19, in big red letters, is “GRADUATION.” (Or, as well call it here on Mr. Jefferson’s Grounds, “Final Exercises.” Like the British, we seem to have a fancier way of describing things that have perfectly good names elsewhere.)
Assuming the fourth-year students (no “seniors” here, either, unless you’re over 65) pass all their final exams, there will inevitably arise a need for more information, i.e. “Can anyone go to Stephen Colbert’s talk?”
UVA Today will be publishing a lot of words about Final Exercises in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, there is one central resource that you should bookmark: The 2013 Final Exercises homepage.
The page is maintained by the pros at the Office of Major Events, headed up by Pam Higgins, who has been running graduations for a long time. (Clearly, she was a child prodigy.) When the site offers “Frequently Asked Questions,” it really means “frequently asked” — as in, asked hundreds of times over many, many years. So definitely take advantage and check out that site.
UVA Innovation’s “What’s Next?” blog has the story of a fantastic new app developed by U.Va. engineering students:
Have you ever promised to let a friend know when you arrive home and forgotten to do it? There’s an app for that, and it was developed by U.Va. engineering students!
The app, called “WalkBack,” ingeniously uses smart phones’ built-in GPS to notify members of a group when their friends have made it home. Also, “Colleges can also anonymously use the data collected from WalkBack to make informed decisions on student safety.”
The app, created by fourth-year Duylam Nguyen Ngo and 2012 graduate Ashutosh Priyadarshy, is available for download from iTunes.
It’s supposed to be a pretty nice weekend in Charlottesville. The Dogwood Festival and Tom Tom Founders Festival will be going on, in addition to a long list of other fun and educational activities. Ahh, spring.
But a healthy portion of you will be indoors, for reasons that have nothing to do with tree pollen. Yup — Tax Day. Federal tax returns are due Monday. (Just to add to the hassle, University employees have until Tuesday to submit their forms verifying that their dependents are indeed eligible to receive health insurance coverage.)
Now imagine that you had to file, say, 800 tax forms.
This is a little old, but perhaps it’s making its way around the Web now because students nationwide are registering for fall classes. According to a 2010 Deadspin report (warning: contains naughty language), a renowned and somewhat self-important professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business was offended by a student who arrived an hour late for his first class meeting of the semester and asked the student to leave.
The student responded by emailing the professor to explain that s/he was shopping for courses in that time slot, and had spent the previous hour visiting two other prospective classes. That prompted the professor, Scott Galloway, to compose a deliciously scathing reply, which he apparently had a TA forward to the rest of the class (with the offending student’s name redacted).
So I’m curious — what do my U.Va. readers think? Was the student out of line? Did the professor cross any lines in his response? Is it common for U.Va. students to take a class for a test drive before committing? And is that fair to other students trying specifically to get into that class?
Click on the comments link below and have at it. And please, let us know if you are a student or faculty member.
Five U.Va. students shared a stage Saturday with former President Bill Clinton and received a $10,000 check for winning a nationwide competition to engage and educate college students about the federal government’s long-term debt.
The students, (left to right) Amara Warren, Alan Safferson, Ryan Singel, Josh Lansford and Lena Shi, were flanked by Clinton on the left and Peter G. Peterson, a philanthropist and founder of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which co-sponsored the six-week Up to Us competition, which challenged 10 university teams to bring the debt discussion to their peers through independently designed campaigns.
This U.Va. Today article tells all about the competition and how the U.Va. team won.
UVA Today’s Robert Hull writes:
The University of Virginia is a winner in so many areas – from business to baseball – it’s often forgotten that U.Va. excels in “The Sport of Kings.” Polo was first played in early antiquity in Persia, currently is played in 16 countries, and today, a national polo program boasts 107 teams competing at the high school and college levels.
From April 9 through 13, the University’s first-class men’s and women’s polo teams will defend their titles at the U. S. Polo Association’s National Intercollegiate Championship tournaments in Brookshire, Texas, just outside of Houston. On hand to compete will be some of the best up-and-coming talents in U.S. polo.
Make no mistake: the heart of the humanities beats strong at U.Va. Poetry and fiction readings, experimental films, performances, plays and book swaps – Humanities Week at the University of Virginia April 8-12 will be chock-full of events and ways to celebrate the strong tradition of the humanities on Grounds.
Students in a joint humanities and architecture short course will construct a humanities tent to be ground zero for the celebration. The tent will be located in front of the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, the event sponsor, located at #2 Dawson’s Row, just west of New Cabell Hall. Part shelter, part art installation, part movie screen, the tent will be a place for people to gather and engage with the humanities, humanistic social sciences and the arts.
Today’s UVA in the News listings include a piece from the CBS News “MoneyWatch” website that states that U.Va. grads have the fourth-highest starting salaries in the nation among their state flagship university peers.
The story cites a website, CollegeMeasures.org, as the source of the rankings.
Regardless of U.Va.’s high standing, those rankings are bound to be unpopular within academe. CollegeMeasures.org is what it says it is: a website that attempts to quantify the value of a college experience. Plug in the type of institution, check which data set you wish to tap into (Graduation rates? Starting salaries? First-year retention?), and hit enter. The site also includes a section on Economic Success Measures, which uses state-by-state data to compare salaries across schools and majors. (Here’s Virginia’s site.)
Our colleagues over at the Law School have the story of “How a Law Student Changed UVA’s 170-Year-Old Honor System.” Of course, Frank Bellamy didn’t change it himself — he had to convince about 5,400 of his fellow students to agree with him in voting held two weeks ago.
Anyway, it’s a good read on how the second-year law student successfully pushed an alternative to the Honor Committee’s own, even more sweeping proposal to reform a system that has resisted most attempts at altering the heretofore sacrosanct “single sanction”: permanent expulsion for an act of lying, cheatiing or stealing. You can read more details in the Law School story, but the change that the students adopted introduces an “informed retraction” option — essentially, akin to a plea deal that allows a student to take responsibility for a dishonorable act after being accused but before a trial, and serve a two-semester suspension before being allowed to return.
We now know what the students think about the idea, but we’d like to know how the rest of the University community (faculty, staff, alumni, parents, concerned others) feels about the change. Does it strengthen or weaken the honor system? Is there a place in a “community of trust” for confession and forgiveness? Or is trust absolute — once broken, never recoverable?
Looking for financial aid? The first stop, of course, is Student Financial Services, which handles all of the institutional aid for the University.
But your second stop might very well be the U.Va. Alumni Association’s Scholarships webpage. It lists 22 different endowed scholarships, with awards ranging from $750 to full tuition, that the Alumni Association administers.
Often, there are interesting conditions: the Hess-Newman-Jargowsky-Stoker Scholarship – Class of 2001 offers $2,000 for students whose lives have been touched by cancer, while the Robert Adams Bradford Scholarship offers $10,000 for intellectuals from the College of Arts & Sciences who have leadership and citizenship skills and hail from from New England or Wisconsin. There are a couple intended for surviving family members of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many of the awards are geared toward upper-class students.
Several have application deadlines in March and April, so now is the time to look things over. You can even apply online through the webpage.