News & Announcements

Central Virginia Writing Project will offer a summer institute to RPS Teachers

Natasha Heny, Curry School of Education, UVA, will teach an 8-day summer institute starting Monday July 29 through Thursday August 9, 2019. The institute will focus on supporting and empowering teachers, and developing their knowledge and skills in writing and writing instruction. The institute is sponsored by Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and we hope to enroll one teacher each from 9th, 10th and 11th grade, from each RPS High School. We are so excited to get to work with RPS again this summer – please stay tuned for more details.

CLA April program explores “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Spanish”

On April 28, 2018, CLA Project Director Prof. Gustavo Pellón brought together experts to share ideas and knowledge with 70 eager and enthusiastic Spanish teachers from 35 school divisions of Virginia. Teachers welcomed Prof. Hector Amaya and Prof. Ruth Ferree of UVA, Prof. Pedro Larrea Rubio and Prof. Eunice Rojas of Lynchburg College, and Allison Carneiro da Silva of Hanover County Public Schools. The evaluations subsequently described the speakers’ “thought-provoking insights” provided “new resources and things to think about, while incorporating interdisciplinary goals in lesson planning.” Teachers also gave thumbs up to having the opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues and to immerse themselves in a Spanish language experience.

Inside UVA features March 17 CLA program on teaching US history of race

CLA Saturday program focuses on “Teaching the History of Race in US”

March 17 program on “Resources for Teaching the History of Race in the U.S.” was a record-breaking success, thanks to all who contributed to its making and the 100 teachers who attended. Maureen Costello and Monita Bell from Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project began the program by launching the remarkable “Teaching Hard History,” a framework for teaching about slavery. James Perla from the Carter Woodson Institute and Prof. Lisa Woolfork from UVA’s Department of English introduced the online resource “Illusion of Progress,” which explores the history of white supremacy in Charlottesville. Teachers left feedback noting “the presenters’ honesty, humor, facts and sensitivity were inspiring and so helpful to witness” and “I got so many ideas and strategies to take back to my classroom.”

Summer 2018 NEH Institute on Thomas Jefferson, led by CLA Project Director Lisa Reilly

Prof. Lisa Reilly of the UVA Department of Architectural History will lead a two-week summer institute, Thomas Jefferson: The Public and Private Worlds of Monticello and the University of Virginia, from July 8th to July 20th, 2018. Participants will visit Monticello, Poplar Forest, and the Jeffersonian architecture of UVA and meet with some of the foremost scholars on Thomas Jefferson. The institute will introduce various evidence of Jefferson’s public and private life and promote discussions and explorations to see the contradictions between his being both a champion of liberty and a slave owner.

For details and application information, please go to

CLA selects teachers to serve as jurors for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

CLA, as manager of the Central Virginia Writing Project, is once again recruiting and selecting jurors for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious awards to recognize and celebrate creative art and writing works by teens in grades 7-12. Jurors look for “originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision,” all of which represent the Awards’ core values. The judging, for which teachers will be paid stipends, will occur during January 2018.

CLA and Arthur Vining Davis Foundations offer November programs at Howard and UVA

On November 4th, Virginia and Washington DC teachers gathered at Howard University for a Classics Workshop which focused on the influence of Classics in the US. Prof. John F. Miller from UVA and Prof. Hunter R. Rawlings III of Cornell University joined two professors from Howard –Prof. Johnson Olusegun Ige and Prof. Caroline Stark – to discuss classical and contemporary texts, African-American poetry, and the influence of Classics on the Founding Fathers. The workshop drew enthusiastic praise: “The diversity of topics and approaches was phenomenal, as was the variety of teaching and presentation styles!” and “This information will help me a lot in teaching American Literature as well as Humanities courses…I can’t wait to explore the ideas of truth and rhetoric in my humanities classes!”

On November 11th, at UVA’s Miller Center, Prof. Marc Selverstone, Chair of Presidential Recordings Program, and Prof. Herbert Braun from the UVA Corcoran Department of History, organized the “American Migrations” Workshop. Prof. Carl J. Bon Tempo of the University of New York, Albany, and Jennifer Sublette-Williamson, Assistant Principal of Western Albemarle High School, joined Prof. Elena McGrath of UVA to offer rich perspectives on the humanity of migrants throughout the Americas, a broad context within which to teach these stories, and the history of U.S. immigration policy. All teachers who attended and filled out evaluations gave this workshop’s content and speakers the highest possible rating, noting that it “provided multiple viewpoints – Latin American, USA and K-12 – helped to frame the topic” and “gave us a great strategy to use in our classrooms.” One teacher described it as a “totally wonderful day” where “the speakers filled me with a sense of the power of democracy.”

CLA has busy summer of programs in 2017

The Center for the Liberal Arts sponsored the American Shakespeare Center‘s visit to work with teachers in the Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium in June, is assisting Project Director for Sciences Edward Murphy with a series of programs around the state helping teachers prepare for the big August 21 eclipse, and is joining other colleges and universities in developing professional development for teachers of writing in the Richmond Public Schools. For more information on these programs, write to

More than 60 schoolteachers from around the country headed to UVA and Monticello

More than 60 schoolteachers from around the country headed to UVA and Monticello during the summer of 2016 to learn more about unique digital resources that put Thomas Jefferson’s extensive records and papers directly in the hands of students across the country.

Natsuko Rohde joins CLA as Interim Associate Director

The Center for the Liberal Arts is delighted to announce that Natsuko Rohde became its Interim Associate Director on April 10, 2017. Ms. Rohde joined the CLA team after moving from Pittsburgh, where she worked as a writer and researcher for an Energy/Environmental Policy consulting firm. “My fields of interest are expanding, though, to Education and Social outreach,” she says. “I hope to promote CLA’s continuous efforts to provide lifelong learning opportunities for K-12 teachers and to support diverse communities through the program.”

CLA begins AVDF-funded work at other universities with programs at UNH and Howard

U.Va. Chosen to Host ‘Priceless’ Shakespeare Folio 400 Years After Bard’s Death

One of the most famous books in the world, the collection of plays will be on view at the University of Virginia – the only location in the commonwealth – as part of a 2016 national traveling exhibition, “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.” The Folger Shakespeare Library Association, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is taking the tour to all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico in 2016, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Dr. Cheryl Ayers is new CLA Associate Director:

The Center for the Liberal Arts is delighted to announce the hiring of its new Associate Director, Dr. Cheryl Ayers. A former high school teacher, Dr. Ayers has more than 15 years of experience in K-12 teacher education and professional development. She recently earned a Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in curriculum and teaching with an emphasis on teacher education and development. During the absence of the CLA Director, Dr. Ayers will serve as CLA’s acting director during part of the Spring 2016 semester. Under the auspices of the Curry School of Education, Dr. Ayers also serves as an advanced research specialist for the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education.

CLA to host Prof. Deborah Parker’s Dante workshop for teachers in June 22-July 10, 2015

Center for the Liberal Arts receives third grant from Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

The Center for the Liberal Arts is delighted to announce that it has, for the third time, received funding from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. The new three-year grant will allow CLA to refine the one-day and one-credit professional development programs it has offered for many years, targeting subjects that particularly require fresh professional development for teachers in Virginia; it will also give CLA opportunities for disseminating its model to other institutions, by inviting visiting faculty to participate in CLA programs at UVa and sending CLA faculty Project Directors to assist in the replication of these programs at the visiting faculty members’ home institutions. Workshops and courses under the new grant will be offered beginning in Spring 2016.

CLA, Biology prof. Barry Condron, awarded grant by College of Arts and Sciences.

UVa’s College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has awarded a grant to the Center for the Liberal Arts to work with Professor Barry Condron of the Department of Biology and adapt his popular “Survival Biology” course for K-12 teachers. The project is being supervised by CLA Project Director for the Sciences Edward Murphy, with the assistant of Professor Frackson Mumba of the Curry School of Education. The College’s internal funding internal funding for science public outreach projects is supervised by Michelle Prysby, Director of Science Education and Public Outreach.

Dante workshop director’s new book is Inferno Revealed.

Prof. Deborah Parker, whose CLA workshop on Dante teachers will remember from 2009, has published Inferno Revealed: From Dane to Dan Brown (Palgrave Macmillan) with Professor Mark Parker of James Madison University. UVa Professor Jerome McGann says this about the Parkers’ new book: “In a prose that is arresting because it is so lucid and direct, Deborah and Mark Parker have written a book that explains the magic of Dante’s famous Inferno. Their discussions of Beetlejuice, Seven, and Sandow Birk’s illustrated Inferno are especially fine, as is their assessment of Dan Brown’s recent best seller, which climaxes their book. What they write of Dante might well be adapted and applied to their own book: ‘Part of Dante’s genius lies in his extraordinary ability to reduce a complex situation to gestures that are still understood today.'”

First ever History Specialists receive certificates

FLAVA highlights CLA Spanish workshop

The Foreign Language Association of Virginia site provides this account of the CLA 2013 Spring Spanish workshop on teaching poetry.

Congratulations to David Gies

Recipient of the first annual Distinguished Service Award by the Virginia Chapter of AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Cine Con Clase Website

We’re delighted to report that Cine Con Clase has been selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to be part of Edsitement.

Tribute by David Gies for Marilyn Barruetta