April 27-May 3, 2001
Back Issues
Casteen rallies U.Va. community to work toward future excellence
Jefferson Scholars Foundation offers graduate fellowships
In Tune -- Dave Matthews Band Concert photo
Faculty Senate lectured on book-buying economics

Economics professor designs auction to reduce irrigation

General Faculty 2001-02 Council
Characteristics of the University in 2020
In Memoriam
Area code 434 starts June 1
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Hot Links -- Finals Weekend schedule
Important academic dates

Systems engineering students analyze Charlottesville's voting procedures

Jefferson Scholars Foundation
offers graduate fellowships

By Anne Bromley

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, the parent of U.Va.’s successful undergraduate pro-
gram, has launched a new effort to attract top-notch graduate students. This fall, the first three graduate students will join the U.Va. community.

“We want to take what we do at the undergraduate level and enrich the University community of scholars with the most promising Ph.D. candidates,” said Byron Hulsey, assistant director of the foundation. The University’s Jefferson Scholarships, offered since 1980, support about 30 to 35 undergraduates a year.

Arts & Sciences Dean Melvyn P. Leffler approached the foundation a few years ago with the idea of a joint venture to improve graduate funding, as well as to attract outstanding graduate students. Donors interested in supporting the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences have anted up $10 million — half the new program’s fund-raising goal, Hulsey said. As the fund increases, the foundation hopes to offer 10 to 12 fellowships a year and to extend them beyond the three years. Other schools may get involved eventually, but the major initiative is focused on Arts & Sciences.

At $16,000 a year, plus tuition and fees, for three years, and a one-time $3,000 research stipend, this is the most lucrative fellowship offered in Arts & Sciences. Previously, the President’s Fellowships have been the most elite, at $14,000 a year.

Two of the Jefferson fellows will be in history — Jaime Martinez, a senior at Penn State University, will study the Civil War and popular music of the time, and Andrew Witmer will focus on late 19th- and early 20th-century American cultural history. Witmer graduated from Taylor University and has worked at National Public Radio and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The third fellow, Dana Wheeles, who graduated from the University of North Carolina, is an art historian who is interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

Through a competitive process, applicants who’ve been accepted to U.Va. are invited to come for an interview and to learn more about the respective departments. The committee of faculty and alumni consider two main criteria — scholarship and teaching potential. In one part of the interview, candidates conduct a mini-class about an idea important to them, Hulsey said.

One of the Jefferson fellows turned down an offer from Yale — which is just the pool of students from which the committee of faculty and alumni want to draw. “We want to be successful at luring the very best graduate students,” Hulsey said.


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of the University of Virginia

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