Last year, the University asked an anonymous sample of alumni who graduated within the last 10 years to recall someone on Grounds who had made an extraordinary effort on their behalf during their time as students. Lois Myers, associate director of UVA’s Office of Institutional Assessment and Studies, which managed the surveys, thought the question would provide a more personal understanding of the residential college experience.
“We know that survey respondents report high levels of satisfaction with their education at UVA, but we’ve never asked them, ‘Who made a big difference for you, and how?’”
Myers says she often hears stories from faculty and staff across Grounds about working with individual students to improve their writing skills or teaching them how to use the library effectively—moments that are hard to capture in typical assessment tables and charts.
“We thought that asking students and alumni about who helped them, who inspired them, who cared about them, and what that was like, would help us understand their experience better,” Myers says.
More than 1,000 different faculty, teaching assistants and staff members were mentioned by alumni in the survey. Here are just a few of the people mentioned, each answering the question: Why do you help?
Professor of Bioethics
Associate Professor of Slavic Languages
Professor of Psychology
Lecturer, Department of Engineering and Society
Professor of Art
Assistant Dean of Students
Undergraduate Secretary, Department of Religious Studies
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