What is your UVA story?
I was born and raised in Albemarle County and have been a big UVA sports fan (particularly women’s basketball) as long as I can remember. After college (at Tufts University, not here), I moved back to town and took a series of jobs that got me interested in the public education system and, in particular, how inequities play out there. That’s how I got to Curry’s Social Foundations of Education program. After graduate school, I started working in diversity and equity at UVA and I’ve been here since.
What does the UVA alumnae community mean to you?
As part of my job in the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I’ve been able to work with a UVA alumni group called the IDEA Fund. I have gotten to know an incredible group of alumnae who volunteer their time because they have a passion for the issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.
In your opinion, what is the legacy of women at UVA?
We shaped it and are still shaping it. We tend to want to look at progress as inevitable, but it isn’t. It was never a forgone conclusion that women would be accepted at UVA. In 1967 the Editorial Board of The Cavalier Daily is advocating for preserving the “gentleman’s club atmosphere” at UVA and sending women to a separate school located off Grounds. UVA is only what it is today because particular women knew this was wrong and persisted for over a hundred years in trying to correct it. In most instances of UVA’s history where people pushed UVA to get better, women played a substantial role.If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her? Spend less time on and thinking about social media, and more time in person with friends.