The Office of African American Affairs at the University of Virginia has begun a new “strategic leadership” initiative as part of its Cornerstone Plan of academic advising, career advising, coaching, and networking with alumni to prepare Black students to become leaders in society once they graduate from the university.
Students can take four or five workshops over the course of a semester for which they will receive a certificate of completion. The goals of the program are to help Black students:
- Understand their personal and ethnic identity and how that plays into developing a professional identity;
- Learn about the history of African-American student leaders at the University of Virginia to provide a context for their own activities and the meaning of civic responsibility; and
- Develop community-building and networking among student associations and with alumni.
Maurice Apprey, a professor of psychiatric medicine and dean of the Office of African American Affairs said that “we want to train our students to have multiple and nimble skill sets so they can go from one employment to the next more easily and seamlessly. We want to be intentional about this alignment of skill-building with liberal arts and science education. The more engaged Black students become with our office, the more prepared they become for the world.”