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Allison & Brooke

Allison St. Clair Schildwachter (Mother)

How did you decide to come to UVA?

I went to a large high school in Northern Virginia. When UVA began accepting women with the class ahead of me, many of us applied — we really had no clue whether we’d get in!

What did you do when you were a student at UVA?

At Virginia I became a counselor (as they were called then — now Resident Advisors) in Humphries and then became Senior Counselor of Dabney. I loved the old dorms and our Resident Staff group. I have good friends that I still keep up with from the Counseling staff. My fourth year I served on Judiciary from the Education School and I was fortunate to be able to live on the Lawn. That was a great group — I loved spending time with them.

What does the UVA alumnae community mean to you?

I love my UVA friends. I have been blessed to have some live fairly close, and I enjoy our UVA reunions. I think we all value our friendships even more as we’ve gotten older. When we are together we still have that connection because of having that history together, even though I don’t see some all that often.

If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her?

I would say to get involved. There is so much opportunity to try new things and belong to organizations at this point. Find something that you enjoy — stretch yourself and don’t stay in a safe zone just with students you know from your high school or hometown.

Brooke Schildwachter Kilfoil (Daughter)

What is your favorite UVA memory?

Walking around the Rotunda and processing down the steps with my medical school classmates is by far my favorite memory. I ran up and down those steps often as a child and heard my parents talk about graduation on the Lawn, so it was very special to be part of a ceremony that holds so much meaning.

What was your journey after leaving UVA?

I joined Jefferson Ob-Gyn in Charlottesville after graduating from my residency at the School of Medicine, so I haven’t left!

What lesson/lessons have you learned at UVA that you apply to your daily life?

Embrace the uncertainty and vulnerability of the unknown and of new experiences. It is the only way to grow.

Tell us about a woman/women at UVA who inspires you – now, or during your time on Grounds

As a student and resident at the School of Medicine, I was inspired by women conducting research, teaching students, treating patients, or on call in the hospital who also had families and fruitful lives outside of work. These women are excellent clinicians and surgeons, but they’re also mothers, partners, singers, runners – so many things beyond their jobs.

If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her?

Learn to be an excellent listener. People have such vast and rich stories and experiences. Sit down, pause, look someone in the eye and say “tell me more.” It almost always opens the door to deeper human connection.