Spotlight: The Office of Admission Outreach Team

Kelsey

Kelsey

Hometown: Goochland, Virginia

How You Started at UVA: I graduated from U.Va. in 2012. Initially, I did not want to go to a school close to home. However, when I came to visit I fell in love with the school, the people, and the overall environment (as cliché as that might sound)! To this day I love the energy of the U.Va. Community; which is one of the many reasons why I still love it as much today as I did when I was a student!

Favorite UVA Moment: This is an impossible question… Most of my favorite moments revolve around the tremendous group of friends I gained from U.Va. One memory that comes to mind occurred in December of my 3rd year. A snowstorm had come through the day before (it wasn’t that big of a storm, but still) and a group of friends and I were camped out in someone’s apartment studying for Finals. And when I say studying, I mean drinking hot chocolate in slippers, exchanging jokes, talking about life, and studying. It was a great moment and a great example of how U.Va. students work just as hard as they play.

Favorite Place in Charlottesville: I love food. So any restaurant with good food and a patio is a favorite place of mine. That being said, U.Va.’s Gardens was always my favorite place to study or read a book when I was a student.

Hobbies / Interests: I’m a social butterfly! I love meeting and getting to know new people – one of the many reasons why I love this job! I am also very passionate about equity within the higher education system. Nothing makes me happier than helping diverse students navigate the college admissions process.  I also love to be outside, exploring new towns, and trying new foods!

DG

Valerie

Hometown: Dover, Delaware

How You Started at UVA: If you are talking about starting this position – by accident! Coming from being a Principal of an elementary school to the Office of Admission was a temporary project that turned into a life calling.

Favorite UVA Moment: Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn.

Favorite Place in Charlottesville:  The trails around Monticello and Michie Tavern.

Hobbies / Interests: Cooking, traveling, movies, music (all kinds), crocheting, and being a mom.

Jana

Jana

Hometown: Tiffin, Ohio; Bogota, Colombia

How You Started at UVA: When considering where our next adventure would be, my husband and I were drawn to the U.Va. community and greater Charlottesville area from the start. Coming from the Midwest, we wanted to have a totally new experience in a place that we could truly call home and thrive as young professionals. The energy, history, culture and beauty of Charlottesville were a big selling point for us. Professionally, we were blessed to have the opportunity to work for an institution that is recognized for its innovation, strong academic programs, outreach, and public mission.  The decision was pretty easy, so we packed up our bags and moved down here in July of 2014. We have loved it ever since!

Favorite UVA moment: One of my favorite memories thus far has been sitting in the amphitheater on grounds listening to all the different musicians that come to play there in the evening. It truly feels magical and is a great venue to meet different people!

Favorite Place in Charlottesville: I love spending time around the Downtown Mall area and hiking up Humpback Rock! For a beautiful view, the best time to go is around sunset…especially in the fall.

Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy the outdoor scene, so I spend most of my time running, hiking or cycling with friends or family. Also, I love cooking, learning about photography and discovering great places throughout the area to take in nature or read a book.

Christian

Christian

Hometown: Louisa, Virginia

How You Started at UVA: I started at U.Va. in 2005 as an undergraduate student. I was drawn to the University because of its proximity to my hometown, beautiful grounds, broad academic offerings, and most importantly the price! After graduating in 2009, I went on to work for a few different universities in Student Affairs, most recently in Southern California, before U.Va. finally brought me back home.

Favorite UVA moment: This is hard one to narrow down but 2008’s Lighting of the Lawn was very special and is one of my favorite U.Va. traditions. After serving on the planning committee for the event, it was amazing to see almost the entire University community coming together to celebrate the end of a great semester, sing along to a Capella groups, laugh at the hilarious poem we wrote, and finally light up the Lawn with the more sustainable lights we had donated.

Favorite Place in Charlottesville: Hands down, Scott Stadium. I am very proud to say I never missed a home football game during my entire four years as an undergraduate. The school spirit, energy from the student section, and singing the Good Ol’ Song on the hill is an amazing environment to be a part of.

Hobbies/Interests: Finding new places to eat in Charlottesville, traveling (often times for the Office of Admission), reading, and extreme couponing.

Outreach Team

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Hispanic Community

By Ana Derrick

Coming from the small country of El Salvador, I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived at UVA. I grew up inside a “bubble” where I felt secure, comfortable and happy surrounded by familiar faces. That bubble was about to pop. As I began my first semester at UVA, I was amazed by the diverse student population, variety of clubs and activities on grounds, incredible professors, beautiful architecture, etc. I was overwhelmed by my newly found freedom and responsibilities that came along with it.

Just like every other college student, I had to learn how to balance my academic, social and personal life which was a very difficult thing. Luckily, I found a great, supportive Hispanic community that helped me with the transition process to UVA. I was able to find this community through my involvement with PMP (also known as the Hispanic Peer Mentoring Program).

Within my first week at UVA, I walked into my dorm room to find a gift bag filled with goodies and a friendly welcome note from a mystery PMP “mentor.” After meeting her for the first time on reveal day, we began to develop a great friendship which continues today.  My mentor would always text me to ask how I was doing, offered me advice on college life, and hung out with me. It was very comforting to have someone to turn to for guidance. Besides the wonderful bond I developed with my mentor, PMP had even more to offer. The program constantly sponsors fun social events like apple picking, hiking, karaoke, ping-pong tournaments, s’mores nights, etc. Getting involved with PMP enabled me to meet fantastic people and become part of the Hispanic community.

After my first year at UVA, I decided to stay involved with PMP because I wanted to give back to the community and facilitate the transition to college for a new student just as someone had done for me. I have been a mentor for over a year now and it has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my college career. It feels great to know you are making a difference by helping out new students. Whether it’s grabbing lunch at the Corner or just hanging out, the friendships you create with other fellow students in the program are priceless.

PMP

Student Spotlight: Events on Grounds

Drag Bingo


Hello friends! As I write this, my name is Trisha Hongcharti, a third year female student in the College of Arts and Sciences. Sometimes though, my name is Dave Versity. Dave is my drag king persona and the person I become when I perform drag.

Every semester, Queer Student Union hosts Drag Bingo, their biggest fundraising event. When people pay for their ticket, they get all the Skittles they could want, a chance to play 3-5 rounds of bingo, be entertained by drag performers, and possibly win some cool prizes. The event consists of rounds of bingo with performances by drag kings and queens in between. These performers are UVA students from all backgrounds and levels of experience who just want to dress up and have a good time.

 

We have local businesses donate prizes for the winners of bingo and also pick volunteers from the audience to perform in amateur drag. This semester’s winner of Amateur Drag was Scarlet Fever.

 

Drag Bingo brings visibility to the LGBTQ community and challenges the restrictive view of gender. It is a fun opportunity for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to come together to play with gender and play some bingo.

drag bingo