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Office Of African-American Affairs Recognizes Top Mentors

May 7, 1999 -- The Office of African-American Affairs recently recognized faculty members who have made an important contribution to its mentoring program.

The 1999 Outstanding Faculty Award, and an engraved crystal plaque, was presented to William E. Jackson, associate professor and chair of the German Literature Department, for his numerous contributions to the program and to the support of African-American students at U.Va. over the past three decades.

"Professor Jackson has served as an important role model for our students, not only in terms of his professional achievements but also his personal character," said M. Rick Turner, dean of African-American affairs. "William Jackson has spent many hours with African-American students, time that has paid off in their successful academic careers here and after leaving U.Va."

Mentor of the Year awards were presented to David H. Perrin, professor and program area director in the department of human services at the Curry School of Education, and Laura F. Hawthorne, public services and programs coordinator in the Office of Vice President for Research and Public Service. Recognized for their longstanding support of the mentoring program were J. David Deck, associate professor of cell biology, and Bernard D. Mayes, assistant dean and director of media studies in the English department.

The Office of African-American Affairs launched its Mentoring Program in the fall of 1995 to provide a supportive and caring environment to students of color. The program is open to second- and third-year students who are paired with faculty members on the basis of common academic interests. It offers students intellectual stimulation, academic support, career guidance, and friendship. The program, directed by Peter Yu, an assistant dean in the Office of African-American Affairs, has helped create a welcoming climate for minority students, who make up about 10 percent of the undergraduate population at U.Va.

The University posted a graduation rate of 85.4 percent over six years for African-American undergraduates who entered the school in 1992, the highest graduation rate for African-American students at a public university in the country.

For more information about the Office of African-American Affairs, call M. Rick Turner at (804) 924-7923. For more information about the Mentoring Program, call Peter Yu at (804) 924-7923.

Contact: Katherine Jackson, (804) 924-3629.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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