YAC Members

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Executive Team

Christine Pajewski, Educ ’14, President

A native of Charlottesville, I graduated from the Curry School of Education with a BSEd in Kinesiology and minor in Sociology. I graduated from Clemson University with a Master of Education recently began a position as an Account Executive with UVA Communications.

As an undergraduate, I held many leadership positions across all realms of the University. I am a member of the 2014 Trustees and served as a co-chair for the 2014 Class Giving Campaign in which our class reached an unprecedented 81% participation rate, led the Virginia Women’s Club Water Polo team as captain for two years, and served as recruitment chair and chapter president of Alpha Chi Omega. Additionally, I interned with both the office of the Board of Visitors and the Virginia Athletics Foundation, served on the committee to plan Lighting of the Lawn for a number of years, and worked Reunions weekend.

In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family, complete in triathlons, learn to cook new dishes, and cheer on the ‘Hoos! Born and raised a Wahoo fan (seriously, I attended my first football game when I was two months old), I bleed orange and blue! I am ecstatic to be a member of YAC, and am excited to serve the diverse needs of the young alumni community.

Tamira Roberson, Col ’09, Vice President

Tamira-RobersonI graduated from the University in 2009 with a degree in Foreign Affairs and a minor in Sociology. While on Grounds, I participated in the IMP Society, Alpha Kappa Psi, Madison House, Orientation Leader Program, Trustees, and worked at Newcomb Hall. Following graduation, I attended George Mason School of Law  part-time and worked at DC Superior Court.   I have remained involved with the University by volunteering on the board of the UVaClub of Washington, DC ,  4AG, and the Bicentennial Commission.  In my free time, I enjoy creative writing, anything sports related, and traveling. I am looking forward to assisting this Council in enhancing the postgraduate experience.

2017–2018 Members

Khaosara Akapolawal, Col ’16

YAC Khaosara Akapolawal

“I am a graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences, with degrees in African American and African Studies and Government. Originally from the Bronx, NY, I was raised in Richmond, VA, but also heavily identify with my Nigerian heritage. Currently, I am in law school.

While at the University, I strongly advocated for economic, social, and cultural diversity, and strived to align my extra curricular activities promoting these ideals…while also having some fun, of course. Some of these organizations and activities include: Co-Presiding and volunteering with Fashion For A Cause, dancing for the Organization of African Students, serving as an Orientation Leader, as well as serving as a Peer Advisor for the Office of African American Affairs. I also was fortunate enough to take part in Madison House’s Bridging The Gap program, and intern at the Legal Aid Justice center in Cville. When I wasn’t engaging in these activities and a few others, I spent a lot of my time working. Funny enough, many of my jobs at UVa centered around the same ideals YAC heavily values…keeping Alumni informed and engaged with the University.

In my free time I love to write about music, dance, travel, learn about various cultures, and spend time with loved ones.”

Ashley Berrang, Col ’10

Ashley Berrang went to UVA for undergraduate and graduate studies. After earning her B.A. with Distinction in Government, she took a year off to try teaching. Ashley taught preschool at a small private school. Falling in love with teaching, she went back to UVA and got her Masters in Teaching and English as a Second Language endorsement. Ashley has been teaching public school for six years. She is also an early childhood preparedness consultant for parents. In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as friends and family, and loves to be active with tennis and fitness. She is very excited to give back to the University that she called home for nearly a decade of schooling, and will always remember it as home.

Adib Choudhury, Com ’18

I graduated from UVA in 2018 with a major in Commerce, but have been visiting Charlottesville and the University ever since I can remember. My parents immigrated from Bangladesh and had their first home in Copeley Hill as my dad did his graduate studies in the E-School. Soon afterwards, they had my brother at UVA Hospital (SEAS ’16) and the family has been tied to UVA since.

As an undergrad, I was involved with College Council, the University Guide Service, Class of 2018 Trustees, and the Jefferson Trust, having served as an intern for three years at Alumni Hall. I’m grateful to have YAC as a way to stay connected with the University community and participate in alumni self-governance.

I grew up in South Riding, VA and currently live in Charlottesville where I work for Investure, the investment office for a consortium of non-profit foundations and college endowments.

Maeve Curtin, Col ’18

A proud Double Hoo, I graduated from the College in 2018 with a degree in Global Development Studies and Government and from the Batten School in 2019 with a Master of Public Policy. Beyond academics, my involvements at U.Va. were related to community engagement and mentorship. I held various positions within Student Council, Best Buddies, Green Dot, and Sustained Dialogue. I also served as a Class of 2018 Trustee, a Student Ambassador, and an RA. When not in Charlottesville, I spent most of my time internationally interning, taking classes, and doing research focused on economic development, early childhood education, and disability advocacy. I currently work as a policy analyst in Glasgow, Scotland specializing in social enterprise and market development. Some of my favorite stories about U.Va. involve spontaneously meeting up with other alumni in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Edinburgh and I look forward to many more global gatherings in years to come.

Anant Das, Com ’19

I am a proud Class of 2019 graduate – I majored in Commerce (Finance, Management, and Real Estate) and also studied Computer Science. I served as President of the Commerce Council my fourth year, as well as President of Athletes for Equality, a minority athlete advocacy organization. I was actively involved with the Madison House CASH program throughout my four years, serving as Program Director. I was also a marketing chair on Class Council for two years, a member of Student Council, a Big Sib in numerous Asian organizations, and a member of both the Beach Volleyball Club and the Fitness Commission. I am excited to continue my involvement with the University through YAC, acting as an alumni advisor for the Broadway Talks Back program, and by serving on the McIntire Young Alumni Council.

Hailing from Centreville, Virginia, I’m excited to move to New York City to work as a Financial Valuation Associate at PwC.

Outside of school and work, I love musical theatre, watching and playing sports, trying new restaurants for my food blog, and volunteering as a film critic.

Rory Finnegan, Col ’18

I graduated from UVA in 2018 with a degree in Poetry Writing. When not lounging on the Lawn or sleeping too late, I could probably be found eating out (favorite restaurants are Bang!, Lampo, Beer Run, and Lemongrass). Beyond that, I devoted much of my time to improving the Greek system (Inter-Sorority Council and Kappa Delta), editing creative pieces (Virginia Literary Review), and pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors (HackCville, Promotions). I spent my summers writing poetry and taking photos – first on the beaches of New Jersey (my home state!) and then abroad in Ireland, Scotland, France, and England. I love to travel and eat – preferably combining both by food markets around the world (my favorites are Borough Market in London and Reading Terminal in Philly).

I now live in New York City and work as a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company. I love the art, theater, and restaurant scenes, but the highlight of my first year in the city was cheering on UVA basketball (hot take, I know) with fellow NYC ‘Hoos!

Paddy Foss, Col ’15

I am a proud double ‘Hoo, graduating from the College in December of 2015 and the Curry School in December of 2016. During my time on Grounds some of my involvements included serving as a Green Dot Facilitator, President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and kicking soccer balls for fun in my spare time. Upon graduating I refused to leave Charlottesville, and currently work in development for the Virginia Athletics Foundation. In my free time I enjoy coaching, golfing, pretending to work out, watching Netflix on my couch, and debating whether we should have more disdain for the Terps or the Hokies.

Elizabeth Foster, Col ’12

YAC Elizabeth Ross

I graduated from the College in 2012 as an American Government and Sociology double major. During my time at UVA I was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, a Lifeguard at the AFC, and worked with Semester at Sea both studying abroad on the Summer 2011 Voyage as well as working in their Charlottesville headquarters. I currently work as an Associate Director of Regional Engagement & Professional Network Initiatives at William & Mary. Outside the office, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Scott and our English Setter, June. I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the University that has given me so much by volunteering on the Young Alumni Council and am looking forward to one more reason to get back to Charlottesville! Go Hoos!

Shikha Gupta, Col ’10
Luke Holman, Com ’06

Profile Pic_Luke HolmanA native of McLean, VA, I graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce in 2006, with concentrations in marketing and management. While at UVA, I was a leader of Resident Staff, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the UVA Triathlon Club, a member of the inaugural Hoo Crew, a Commerce mentor, and a member of Professor Jack Lindgren’s Promotions team that won the 2006 American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition national championship. After graduating from Dear Old UVA, I spent two years in consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton and three years in project management at Clark Construction Group. I received my MBA from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2013, with concentrations in entrepreneurship, operations management, and marketing, and went on to work as the Affiliate Marketing Manager at Alarm.com for three years. I currently live in Arlington, VA, and work as the Washington Nationals’ Senior Manager of Sales Analytics & Optimization, overseeing the club’s digital strategy, with a particular emphasis on Nationals.com and the MLB Ballpark app. Outside of work, I compete nationally in Pentathlon competitions (fencing, swimming, horseback riding, shooting, and running) and I am actively involved in McLean Bible Church.

VJ Jain, Com ’10
Nicole Johnson, Col ’17

Hailing from McLean, Virginia, I graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2017 with a degree in Foreign Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. While at UVA, I was a member of the Women’s Varsity Soccer team, served as the Vice President of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and served as a committee member for the University Board of Elections. After graduation, I moved to DC where I work as a Senior Consultant for IBM, specializing in Homeland Security and National Security engagements. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family boating on the Rappahannock River, cheering on all UVA teams, and coaching a McLean girls travel soccer team. Go Hoos!

Martese Johnson, Col ’16

I am a proud south side Chicago native and resident, currently finishing up my time as an administrator at a local public charter school. As a 2016 graduate from the College, I received my BA degree in Italian Studies, using additional credit space to pursue varied academic interests of mine. In the same spirit of casting my net wide, I became involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities during my time at UVA. I served as a Vice Chair of the Honor Committee, Leadership Development Chair of the Black Student Alliance, Chapter Vice President of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, an Orientation Leader for incoming first years, a Moderator for Sustained Dialogue groups, and a Peer Advisor for incoming African-American students. Throughout my time at the University, I felt incredibly privileged to be able to navigate and bring together diverse communities for genuine, positive human connection — it is one of my proudest experiences to look back on as an undergraduate student. Since graduating, I have continued to maintain a passion for transcending difference to find mutual connection.

I will be heading back to school in the Fall of 2018 to pursue a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Michigan. It is my hope that upon graduating, I will be able to use the law to create a more egalitarian society that champions unity rather than division.

In my spare time I enjoy breaking down the latest rap album lyrics, having ~almost~ intellectual conversations over beer, watching Instagram comedian videos, visiting friends in different cities, and attempting to get big at the gym. Please hit me up if you would like to join me for any of these things (or contribute to making UVA a better place)!

Amolak Kahlon, Com ’16

I graduated from the University in 2016 with concentrations in Marketing and Management in the McIntire School. Starting in August, I am going to be working for a company called Red Ventures in Charlotte that specializes in sales and marketing. Like many YAC members, I was active in several organizations during my time at UVa and I am an avid supporter of the Hoos. I attended every home football game, and almost every home basketball game (Winter Break made it a little tough). I also enjoy traveling and being outdoors.

Sydney Kastner, Col ’12

Sydney is a 2012 graduate of the College where she majored in Sociology and minored in Leadership. She works with social-justice minded educational entrepreneurs who are starting community-run schools, after school programs, educational technology, and everything in between in her role at 4.0 Schools. Her focus is on the personal and professional development of the 4.0 community. Following graduation, Teach for America brought her to New Orleans where she taught 5th grade for three years and worked with multiple youth-focused non-profits before joining the team at 4.0. She is currently finishing her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she has focused on how to facilitate spaces and experiences to ensure well-being through connection. Sydney has a deep appreciation for delicious food, (the feeling after) strenuous workouts, puns, and human connection.

Jake Kenneally, Col ’14

Jake Kenneally

I graduated from the College in 2014 and majored in Computer Science. I recently moved from DC to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I work remotely as a Software Engineer for CCRi, a data science and software engineering company based in Charlottesville.

At UVA, I joined Theta Chi Fraternity, served as an RA and SR in Residence Life, worked as the Webmaster for the Class of 2014 Trustees, helped plan a light show for Lighting of the Lawn, and recognized student leaders in the National Residence Hall Honorary.

In my free time, I love seeing live music (favorite band: Vulfpeck), trying new beers (favorite beers: Biggie S’mores from Three Notch’d and Big Papi from Commonwealth), and finding flight deals to travel to new places (favorite place I’ve visited: Porto, Portugal).

Olivia Kroenig, Col ’10

Oliva Kroenig graduated from the University in 2010 with degrees in Psychology and Government while minoring in Leadership. While on Grounds, Olivia was a part the UVA Varsity Cheerleading squad, Resident Assistant program, and Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED). Since graduation she has worked as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative in Women’s Health and Dermatology and as an NFL Cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens. Currently, Olivia is on the board of Blue Igloo Playgroup in Washington, DC. She lives in Georgetown with her husband, daughter, and dog Lulu. Since the birth of Olivia’s daughter, she has dedicated most of her time to raising the next generation of Hoos!

Gabrielle Kulcsar, Col ’08

Hello! I grew up in a military family in Virginia Beach, VA and graduated from The University with a degree in Psychology in 2008. I knew that I wanted to be a Wahoo as early as my freshman year of high school when I learned about the strong traditions at UVA, the academic rigor and the beauty of Charlottesville. UVA was the only college I applied to because I knew it was where I wanted to be.

As a student, I worked in several psychology labs which gave me access to some great places in Gilmer and meant I was the person who paid you in chips, soda or credit to come in and participate in experiments (thank you to everyone that signed up, it was incredibly helpful!) I was also a biology peer teacher, helping to guide underclassman through electrophoresis and dissections. Outside of those activities, I found a deeper passion for the University (and fundraising) through my work as a student caller at the Phonathon. I spent many hours in Barracks listening to why alumni chose the University as students, and why they still chose the University by continuing to support the institution through donations. It was that job that led me to pursue a career in fundraising and gave me the experience to join one of the leading phone fundraising companies in the country, where I still am today nine years later. I work from home 60% of the time and spend the other 40% traveling to different colleges and universities across the country.

I’ve recently moved to Alexandria, VA after living in the northeast for six years and am excited to be much closer to grounds! As a new member of the YAC, I can’t wait to get started and help to foster a strong relationship between alumni and the University.

Alexandra Lauzon, Engr ’12

I graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2012 with a BS in Civil Engineering and minors in Engineering Business and Architecture. During my time at UVA, I was a Vice President of Delta Delta Delta sorority, member of the Engineering Student Council, a Jefferson Public Citizen, and a contributor at Madison House. After graduating, I transitioned into the finance industry and worked for Investure, an investment management firm, located in Charlottesville. In 2014, I moved to Richmond to accept an opportunity working for the state government in the Virginia Office of Public-Private Partnerships. In May 2019, I graduated from the Yale School of Management as part of the MBA Class of 2019. At Yale, I was a leader of the Economic Development Club and co-founder of the Infrastructure Group. I am currently an Operations Associate with McKinsey & Company located in Washington, DC. I am an avid traveler and have been to over 45 different countries. I love to be active and spend my time hiking, camping, running and doing yoga.

Kathleen Lavelle, Arch ’14

Originally from New Jersey, I graduated from the University in 2014 with a degree in Architecture and a minor in Civil Engineering. When not living in Campbell Hall, I invested my energies into the university’s Greek community and Charlottesville’s Habitat for Humanity. Beyond that, I valued my time spent running with Club Cross Country, coordinating Building Tomorrow events like Bike to Uganda and mentoring children with art through Early Visions. I have since moved to Washington, DC to pursue a job that allows me to sport a hard hat daily. Working as a general contractor with Clark, I have contributed to a number of large-scale projects – including the newest Smithsonian museum on the National Mall! Although missing Charlottesville dearly, I have enjoyed my time spent as an alumni. Most days, you might find me hiking, running, traveling or cooking vegetarian dishes. I look forward to this unique opportunity to support the Young Alumni community! Wahoowa!

Faith Lyons, Com ’16

YAC Faith Lyons

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, I graduated from the University in 2016 with majors in Commerce and Global Development Studies, with a focus on economic development and microfinance. Outside of the classroom, I served as Chair of the Honor Committee and on the executive committees of Student Council and Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED). I was also a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and a Class of 2016 Trustee. I moved to Atlanta, GA after graduation where I worked as a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company. I now live in Boston, MA and attend Harvard Business School. In my spare time, I enjoy running, adventure dining with friends, traveling to new cities and cheering on the Hoos!

Joy Omenyi, Col ’15

Originally from Ellicott City, MD, I graduated from the College in 2015, with a degree in African & African-American Studies, with a minor in history. While at the University, I served as the President of the Black Student Alliance for two years, was a 2015 class trustee, and worked for both the Law and Commerce schools, as well as the Office of African American Affairs (OAAA). I currently live in Durham, NC and work as a Product Manager for IBM. Within YAC, I co-chair the Young Alumni Service Award.

In my free time (and when my vacation days and bank account magically align), I love traveling! My goal is to visit 30 countries by 30 – I’m nearly halfway through and have 6 more years to go!

This is my fourth year on YAC and I look forward to all the great things the Council will accomplish this year!

Meghan Overend, Educ ’16

A proud Double Hoo, I graduated from the Curry School of Education’s BA/MT program in 2016 with a degree from the College in psychology and a Masters in Teaching in elementary education. While at UVa, I was involved in many aspects of student life, including serving as team captain for the Women’s Club Water Polo team, working as a team leader for the Days on the Lawn program and a teaching assistant for the Curry School’s Saturday Enrichment Program, and being a Trustee for the Class of 2015. I’m currently a fifth grade teacher at Churchill Road Elementary in Fairfax County. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, cheering on the ‘Hoos and Washington sports teams, and coaching swimming. I am excited to be a member of YAC and look forward to the great work we do this year!

Justin Paxton, Col ’10

Justin graduated from the University in 2010 with a degree in Theatre and Dance. During his time there, he found a passion for production stage management. After graduating, he stayed in Charlottesville working with community theaters including the Heritage Repertory Theater Company. In 2011, Justin moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Starting as a receptionist at one of LA’s top law firms, he worked his way up to being an assistant to several attorneys that represent A-list talent. Eventually, he moved to his current position at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, L.L.P. assisting Gretchen Rush, who is a powerful female force in the entertainment industry. Justin continues to learn the ins-and-outs of Hollywood and tries to find ways to bring what he’s learned back to the University community.

Since 2014, Justin has also been the President of the UVA Entertainment Club of Los Angeles. UVAELA cultivates a strong community of professionals living in Los Angeles seeking to support, collaborate, socialize, and network with other UVA alumni in the entertainment business. When he’s not working or volunteering, he spends his free time doing research (which in Hollywood consists of watching as much tv and film as possible) or hiking with his two dogs, Bang! and Bodo.

Brendan Rogers, Engr ’17
I graduated in 2017 with a BS in systems engineering and a minor in business. While at the University, I was deeply involved with Days on the Lawn, U-Link Peer Advising, and the systems engineering undergraduate group INCOSE. During my third year, I started and co-ran an annual fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, hosted on the Corner during April Fool’s Day weekend, that raised over $1,000 during its first two years. I now work as a consultant in New York, and am involved with the Virginia Club of NY. In my free time, I enjoy running, baking, and volunteering.

Jalen Ross, Engr ’15

Jalen-RossVariety is the spice of life! So why pick one thing to study when you can have three? I graduated in 2015 with a BS in Systems Engineering, but ventured from the land of Star Wars t-shirts up to the lands of Nietzsche debates (minored in politics) and case competitions (minored in Business) whenever I could. And why pick one hometown when you can have three? I claim Chicago (where I grew up), Michigan (where I was born), and Charlotte (where my family lives now). And why pick just one industry to work in? I’m working as an Associate with Boston Consulting Group in Chicago, where I’m able to dabble in things from aerospace to healthcare. And why pick just one club at the University? (Okay, most of us didn’t.) I picked Student Council (I was lucky enough to serve as President), UGuides, and Phi Delta Theta. And why write just one bio? Because you wouldn’t read three!

Sydney Shavers, Com ’17

I am a 2017 graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce, where I concentrated in Accounting and Marketing.

In 2013, I entered Grounds as a University Achievement Scholar and became immediately engaged in a number of leadership and service roles. I interned at the McIntire Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion where I assisted with research, planning, and implementation of diversity initiatives that supported faculty and student recruitment, mentorship, and retention. I assisted the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with its recruitment efforts, tutored Charlottesville-area K-12 students in math and reading as a Madison House volunteer, served as Chair of the Executive Board of the Black Leadership Institute, President of the Black Commerce Student Network, and a member of the Luther Porter Jackson Student Funding Committee.

I currently reside in Arlington, Virginia where I work as a tax accountant. I loved my time at the University and I cannot wait to serve my fellow young alumni as a member of this council!

Julia Stotler, Com ’13

Originally from Southern California, I graduated from the University in 2013 with concentrations in Marketing and Management from the McIntire School and a second major in Economics. While on grounds, I was actively involved in Sustained Dialogue, the Honor Committee, and Student Ambassadors. Since graduation, I’ve lived in New York working in advertising at StyleCaster Media Group, BuzzFeed, and now Snapchat. In my free time, I love traveling, volunteering with the New York Junior League, and serving as a camp counselor for a week each summer at an Easter Seals camp in California.

Naveed Tavakol, Engr ’17

Originally from Vienna, Virginia, I just recently graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University. During my time at the University, I was involved in undergraduate research in the field of tissue and vascular engineering, and I was able to co-teach a student-taught course on Regenerative Medicine with one of my peers for two years. Outside of the classroom, I served as President of the Engineering Student Council, where I was extremely passionate about bridging the gap between students, faculty, and staff within the engineering community. I was also involved in the Rodman Scholars Council and Class of 2017 Trustees. In my free time, I love amateur photography and listening to music (specifically Taylor Swift, I got to teach a seminar about her at UVA). This August, I’ll be traveling to Lausanne, Switzerland to spend a year conducting research under a Whitaker Fellowship!

Tori Tucker, Nurs ’12

41KPgMYvRuYb7AuoCBbUkL46K0T8us1QrK0XAj4G6xM0tflAshbOnekFhxwcmvwR6Vhyc0H2rKPT34xlSYnCjo99w-s=s190My Home town is Richmond, Va., also known as the eclectic RVA. My Home town is Richmond, Va. I graduated from the School of Nursing in 2012. I am a registered nurse and currently work within Virginia Common Wealth University’s health system. My profession has allowed me to connect with strangers across various life stages and diagnoses. I remain inspired and motivated by each encounter. I returned to the University of Virginia in 2015 to pursue my PhD in Nursing. The School of Nursing has remained a special space for collaboration, building, and forging new paths . My dissertation focus is on the History of Black Nurses in Virginia, 1950s-1980s. I am interested in preserving and illuminating the vast contributions of Black nurses in both the profession and our communities.

Chéla Wallace, Col ’06

Chéla S. Wallace currently serves as the Director of K-12 Science for KIPP NYC where she is responsible for empowering the current and next generation of innovators, creators, thinkers and explorers. She was born and raised in the Hampton Roads Region of southeastern Virginia and graduated in 2006 from in the University of Virginia obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a focus in Biological Chemistry.

Chéla made a life changing decision in 2007 by accepting that her purpose as an educator was not only just to invoke passion in understanding science but, to use the classroom as a platform to empower the future generation to pursue careers in STEM fields. Her experience in the form of failures and challenges as a woman of color pursuing a STEM degree became her catalyst to mold youth with aspirations of becoming a scientist, physician or engineer. As a result of her passion, from 2009-2013, she served a founding science teacher at KIPP University Prep High School in San Antonio, TX. In 2014, Chéla earned her M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Integrated Science Teaching from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX which opened a door for her relocation to Philly to assume a role as Assistant Director of Science for grades 6-12 at a Mastery Charter Schools.

Chéla S. Wallace has over 13 years of experience in STEM education as an educator, consultant, community leader, STEM advocate and practitioner. Her passion is continuously manifested through her life by inspiring young men and women to be great scientists and engineers who will eventually discover prevention techniques and cures to many diseases. In all if she has inspired one, then she has lived out her God given purpose. As a drum major for STEM equity, the greatest gift she will ever receive is to know that her vision of STEM excellence will allow her to witness a rise of a new generation that will tackle and conquer the unseen challenges in STEM.

Christian West, Col ’09

A native of Washington, D.C., I graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2009 with a B.A. in Political and Social Thought. After beginning a career in higher education administration at several other universities, I eventually returned to work at UVA in administrative roles with the Office of Undergraduate Admission and McIntire School of Commerce. While working full-time, I completed an M.Ed. in Higher Education at the Curry School of Education & Human Development. Enjoying my return to the classroom, I decided to attain Triple Hoo status and am currently completing my Ph.D. in Higher Education with research interests in racial equity, workforce development, and critical geography.

As an undergraduate at UVA, I served in leadership roles with the Resident Staff program, Orientation & New Student Programs, and Class Councils. I also interned with the Office of the Dean of Students supporting diversity initiatives. Since graduating, I’ve served the Class of 2009 as a Post-graduate Trustee and Beta Theta Pi Fraternity as Chapter Counselor.

I currently reside just outside of Charlottesville on Lake Anna, Virginia and enjoy kayaking, gardening, and finishing my dissertation.

Ryan Whitney, Com '14

I graduated from the University’s McIntire School of Commerce in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, concentrating in Information Technology and Management. While there, I had the distinct pleasure of serving as President of McIntire’s student government organization, known as Commerce Council. I was also a member of the student-run long/short equity fund, the McIntire Investment Institute, a Transfer Student Mentor, and a McIntire Ambassador. I remain involved in the University community where I serve as Co-Chair of the McIntire Young Alumni Council, as well as Secretary and ally of the Serpentine Society, an LGBTQ student/alumni advocacy group.

After graduation, I moved to San Francisco to work on the Venture Capital Principals Group at J.P. Morgan as an analyst, managing the personal investment portfolios of ultra high net worth individuals. I’m now the Strategic Finance Lead at Virta Health, an online type 2 diabetes reversal clinic. I work alongside our Finance, G&A, Biz Ops, and Commercialization teams to further tactical growth.

Outside of work I love listening to and playing music, exploring new cities, and connecting people (especially fellow UVA grads and students!)