YAC Members

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Executive Team

Shikha Gupta, Col ’10, President

A Virginia Beach native, I graduated from the College in 2010 with dual BA degrees in Political Theory and Spanish and a minor in Biology. During my time at the University, I was a member of the Mock Trial team, Resident Staff, the University Guide Service, Madison House, Class Council and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. After graduating, I reluctantly left Charlottesville to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate in pre-medical sciences and move to New York City to work on an NIH grant at Columbia University Medical Center. I am currently completing a combined MD/MPH program at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, VA with a focus in medically underserved populations, women’s health and process-driven research. I am serving as the Young Alumni Council’s Vice President for the 2017-2018 term, and I also have the privilege of serving as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Managers.

Christine Pajewski, Educ ’14, Vice 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.

Jonathan Unterseh, Col ’14
I graduated from the College in 2014 with a degree in Psychology and coursework focusing on neurobiology. While at UVA, I was very involved with my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, and I was an Operations Assistant/Lead Student for the Football Office. After that fateful day in May that we all face, I moved to Virginia Beach for a year before returning back to Hooville. Currently I am the Assistant Director of Development for Need-Based Scholarships at the University. Here I get to raise money to help make sure that every student that is qualified to attend UVA is able to afford it. When I am not working or traveling for work, you can usually find me walking my dog, Gus (short for Caesar Augustus of course), or hiking in some obscure spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am truly living a dream getting to work and volunteer for this incredible institution. Wahoowa(h?)!

2017–2018 Members

Isaac Agbeshie-Noye, Col ’06

Greetings! I am a 2006 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, where I majored in sociology. While on Grounds, I was heavily involved in the Black Student Alliance, Brothers United Celebrating Knowledge and Success, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Class of 2006 Trustees. I also found homes in the Office of African-American Affairs and the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs. Currently, I reside in Arlington, VA, which is not too far from Hyattsville, MD (where I grew up) and Fredericksburg, VA (which is my current hometown).

Professionally, I serve as the Director of Orientation and Family Programs at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Over the past 12 years, I have in higher education in a variety of roles, including student activities, orientation, residence life, diversity programs, and retention strategy, which has been extremely rewarding. Outside of work, I am pursuing a doctorate in education at the George Washington University, researching organizational culture and branding at Virginia’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In my free time, I enjoy learning everything about the 90s, watching documentaries, eating brunch, running, and spending time with friends and family. I am excited to represent the Class of ’06 and the College on the Council!

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. I currently am working in DC as a Legal Assitant at Covington and Burling LLP, with hopes to attend 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 for music blogs, dance, travel, learn about various cultures, and spend time with close family and friends.

Maeve Curtin, Col ’18

I am a proud member of the Class of 2018, and just graduated with majors in Global Development Studies and Government. Beyond academics, my involvements centered on 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 as an RA. To combine my interests in community development, global education, and disability policy, I spent my breaks away from Charlottesville interning, taking classes, and doing research internationally that focused on economic development, early childhood education, and disability advocacy. In my free time while traveling, I love spending time on and by the water, visiting places of worship, and taking the opportunity to meet UVA alumni all over the world.

I grew up in Falls Church, Virginia and spent a lot of time in Washington, which sparked my interest in policy and eventually led me to pursue a Master of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School. I am excited to have one more year in Charlottesville as a graduate student and look forward to many new opportunities to serve the University during the upcoming year.

Jenna Dagenhart, Col ’13

Jenna DagenhartJenna Dagenhart is a Bloomberg TV Producer and Reporter in New York City. Previously, she was a Reporter and Anchor at NBC29 in Charlottesville, VA. Jenna graduated from the College in 2013 and went on to get her M.S. in Journalism at Columbia. While at UVA, Jenna co-chaired Lighting of the Lawn, served on the executive board of WUVA Media and Trustees, was active in her sorority, and taught cooking classes at the International Center.

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. After graduation, I worked for Habitat for Humanity for one year before going to William and Mary to pursue a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration. I currently work as an Assistant Director of Regional Alumni Engagement at The College of William & Mary, where I manage Alumni Chapters in Virginia and the Southeast. Outside the office, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Scott and our English Setter, June. We spend our free time fishing, sailing, cooking, and working on our fixer upper home. 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!

Jessica Foster, Arch ’08

I graduated from the School of Architecture in 2008 with a BS in Architecture, Urban Studies Minor. While at UVA, I was in leadership positions in Black Voices Gospel Choir and Impact, now One Way, Large Group. I volunteered with BigSibs and Mission:Admission through MadHouse. I was also in United Sisters, BUCKS, BEATS, NOMAS, and helped with the first “de-stereotype” day through my small group in Sustained Dialogue. While at UVA, I worked at Newcomb, Qdoba, McDonalds, Harris Teeter and through jumpstart, and I credit the work study positions provided through University Career Services and Access UVA with my ability to matriculate through the University as I would not have been able to attend otherwise.

I am originally from Las Cruces, NM. The youngest of three and the first in my family to graduate from college, get an advanced degree or commission in the Army. I have a Masters in Human Services: Executive Leadership from Liberty University and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Management and Public Policy from UNCC. I currently serve as a Captain in the Army National Guard.

I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, nor do I ever want to actually grow up.

William Hill, Col ’12
YAC William Hill

I am a double ‘Hoo, as I graduated from the college in 2012 and the School of Medicine’s Masters of Public Health program in 2015. While on grounds I was a student-athlete (captain-football) and was involved in numerous organizations. I double majored in Biology and African American Studies. I’m currently a medical student in Washington, DC and try to get back to Charlottesville as regularly as I can. I am humbled to be apart of this council and look forward to serving the young alumni. Wa-Hoo-Wa.



Luke Holman, Com ’06

Profile Pic_Luke HolmanA native of McLean, VA, I graduated from UVA’s 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. 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. I currently live in Arlington, VA, where I am working as the Affiliate Marketing Manager for Alarm.com, the leader in Smart Home technology. 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 and the Washington DC Triathlon Club. I also serve as a leader of the UVA Club of Washington and as the Rules & Recruiting Chair for McIntire Young Alumni Council. I enjoy volunteering, outdoor activities, and attending Major League Baseball games (Go Nats & O’s!) and NCAA sports (aside from the Hoos, I also cheer for my grad school alma mater UNC, and my family’s other alma mater Syracuse).

VJ Jain, Com ’10
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

YAC Amolak Kahlon

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 a the College where she majored in Sociology and minored in Leadership. She currently works in power with educational entrepreneurs around the country through directing the 4.0 Schools Essentials Fellowship. These amazing folks are starting new schools, after school programs, camps, educational technology, and everything in between. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Teach for America brought her to New Orleans where she taught 5th grade for three years and worked with multiple youth-focused non-profits. This Fall, she is starting the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology program at The University of Pennsylvania while continuing to work full time at 4.0 Schools in New Orleans. She is hoping to learn more about creating opportunities for youth (and the adults who serve them) to thrive. When she’s not in the office, you can find her eating Mexican food, listening to the Revivalists, or, preferably, doing both at once.

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: Punch Brothers), trying new beers (favorite beers: Biggie S’mores from Three Notch’d and Bell’s Two Hearted IPA), and finding flight deals to travel to new places (favorite place I’ve visited: Porto, Portugal).

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. I most recently moved to New Haven, CT, to pursue my MBA at the Yale School of Management as part of the Class of 2019. At Yale, I am a leader of the Economic Development Club and co-founder of the Infrastructure Group. I am a traveling junky and have been to over 30 different countries. I love to be active and spend my time hiking, camping, running and doing yoga. I also see family and friends as often and much as possible.

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!

Grace Lefebure, Engr ’12

YAC Grace Lefebure

After graduating from UVA, I moved across the country to pursue a position at Boeing, working as an engineer on the 777X. Life in Seattle is much different from Charlottesville and West Chester, PA (where I grew up), but I’ve done my best to stay connected to the University; in addition to serving on YAC, I help plan service events for the UVaClub of Seattle.

I wholeheartedly believe in Thomas Jefferson’s “never stop learning” mentality and have carried that philosophy into leading the Pacific Northwest Section of the Society of Women Engineers. Both our professional development and outreach events and activities bring people together over learning something new. That philosophy also holds true in my work, where I am constantly building upon the fundamentals I learned at UVA.

I spend most of my free time exercising – right now, I’m into cycling, yoga, and hiking/backpacking.

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 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.


Christina Polenta, Com ’09

Christina PolentaI graduated from the University in 2009 with concentrations in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School and a major in Foreign Affairs from the College of Arts & Sciences. While at UVA, I served as Class President and as one of the McIntire representatives to the Honor Committee. I was also active in Madison House, the Raven Society, ODK, Delta Gamma, and Project SERVE. After graduation, I worked as an l Analyst in the J.P. Morgan M&A group in Manhattan. I spent a little over seven years at JHL Capital Group, a Chicago-based hedge fund, most recently serving as a Managing Director. I am currently living in Minneapolis and working as a Senior Analyst on the Corporates team at Värde Partners, a global alternative investment firm.

After graduation, I enjoyed serving as a Co-Chair of the Class of 2009 5-Year Reunion Giving Committee, the Co-Chair of the McIntire Young Alumni Council, a member of the University of Virginia Alumni Association Presidential Search Committee, University of Virginia’s Young Alumni Council President, and on the University Alumni Association Board of Managers.  I am currently a member of the University Bicentennial Commission and serve as the Class of 2009 10-Year Reunion Giving Committee.

Tamira Roberson, Col ’09

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.

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!

Brittany Shearer, Col ’13

I am a 2013 alumna from Norfolk, VA with a degree in Government in the College of Arts and Sciences. I transferred to UVA as a third-year and was a member of the Washington Literary Society and Debating Union. After graduation, I earned my M.S.Ed in Educational Leadership from Old Dominion University and now work there as an Academic Advisor in the College of Sciences. Outside of work, I am actively involved in local and Virginia Politics. I serve on the executive board of the Norfolk City Democratic Committee and graduated from Emerge Virginia and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. UVA was an incredible opportunity for me and I love having the opportunity to give back to the university that started me on my path toward civic engagement and public service. Wahoowa!

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.

Gabrielle Strickland, 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.

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
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!)