The end of Spring Break 2017 marked the close of a four-year renovation that impacted the high school years of no fewer than eight classes of TJ students. At the April 18th PTSA meeting, held on the first day of school after Spring Break, Dr. Glazer announced to applause that the new courtyards and front patio were open for outdoor learning, activities, and lunch, and that it had been TJ’s first day without trailers. The removal of the trailers (aka “learning cottages,” a euphemism that has been abandoned along with the temporary classrooms it referred to) truly marks a new era in TJ’s history, as several alumni sources peg the first appearance of trailers behind TJ to 1987.
UVA Backs Students’ Research Projects, from Cancer Treatments to James Joyce
From examining how James Joyce’s work relates to civil unrest to quantitative eco-labeling schemes, and from researching Roman property law to analyzing the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, 50 University of Virginia undergraduates will pursue 46 grant-funded research projects this summer.
Forty-five proposals involving 49 students received Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards and another student has had his research underwritten by the Stull family of Dallas. This marks the 17th year of the program, which helps further a key component of the UVA student experience: pursuing hands-on research.
The research awards support students who present detailed plans for projects that have been endorsed by a faculty mentor. In February, a Faculty Senate committee selected the winners, who receive up to $3,000. Faculty mentors who oversee the projects receive $1,000.
“The Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in a core purpose of the University by creating and advancing new knowledge,” said Brian Cullaty, director of undergraduate research opportunities at UVA’s Center for Undergraduate Excellence. “The program aspires for these student-faculty collaborations to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.”
The center received more than 70 grant applications, which were reviewed by nearly 50 faculty members, including the members of the Faculty Senate’s Research, Teaching and Scholarship Committee.
“The winning applications were those that addressed an important societal problem, addressed a clear question and described a well-designed research approach,” said Silvia Blemker, Commonwealth Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and chair of the Faculty Senate’s Research, Teaching and Scholarship Committee. “It was a very competitive selection process; the committee was extremely impressed with the creativity, passion and depth illustrated by all the applications.”
The research awards open new avenues of learning for the undergraduates.
“The Harrison Award is a unique opportunity for students to work intimately at the edge of knowledge, defining their own research direction while being closely mentored by faculty members,” Blemker said. “Many Harrison awardees go on to present their findings at national conferences and publish their work in peer-reviewed journals.”
Cullaty added, “Undergraduate research has been identified as a high-impact educational practice, and a number of studies have cited its role in cognitive development, building skills and knowledge, and leading to a sense of accomplishment. The process moves students away from passive learning and furnishes them with the ability to demonstrate mastery of disciplinary concepts and then apply their knowledge to the process of research and discovery. This type of work prepares students effectively for their future endeavors, including graduate study and careers that require innovative leaders.”
More than half of UVA’s undergraduates engage in some form of research during their time at the University, including classroom and independent work. Students who conduct research make better candidates for fellowships, graduate and professional school admissions and career placement, Cullaty said.
“I’m grateful to the Harrison family for supporting this wonderful program, and providing a valuable opportunity for students to pursue their scholarly inquiries,” Cullaty said. “The Stull family is also an important supporter of making research an integral part of undergraduate education.”
This year’s Harrison Undergraduate Research Award winners and their research topics includes Saehee Jung, TJ class of 2014:
Saehee Jung of Woodbridge, a second-year chemical engineering major, is researching the surface modification of graphene for polymer composites, focusing on the effects of grafting polymers on mechanical properties, which may allow for industrial applications.
Akin Gump today announced the election of 12 new partners, effective January 1. The 12 individuals and their respective office locations are John A. Bain (Dallas), Daniel L. Cohen (Hong Kong), Sophie Jermine (London), Brad M. Kahn (New York), Andrew B. Lehman (Houston), Rubén H. Muñoz (Philadelphia), Rosemarie Paul (London), Dennis P. Pereira (New York), Ivana K. Rouse (Houston), Elizabeth M. Scott (Dallas), David N. Sewell (London) and James E. Tysse (Washington, D.C.).
“With a true passion for our clients and the law, these 12 talented lawyers represent the very best of the legal profession,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “I am delighted to welcome them to the Akin Gump partnership and look forward to many significant contributions by them in the years ahead.”
As a member of the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice, Mr. Tysse has extensive experience handling complex matters, including developing strategy and authoring briefs, both on appeal and in high-stakes trial litigation. He has prepared more than 50 briefs in cases at every appellate level, with more than 25 at the merits and certiorari stages at the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Tysse received his J.D. and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Jordanna Brodsky, TJ Class of 1994, has published her first novel – The Immortals. The book was published February 17, 2016 and is praised by the Library Journal as a “wonderful choice for fans of Greek mythology and urban fantasy readers looking for something different.”
Want to know more? http://www.jordannamaxbrodsky.com
Want to know more? https://activities.tjhsst.edu/physics/MechanicsBook.html
In January, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Partnership Fund, Inc. (PF) announced the five recipients of its first TJ Community Grants, given to TJ’s clubs, organizations, and boosters for activities that support the School’s mission. Academic Boosters, which raises funds for several of the School’s academic teams, is perennially underfunded, forcing many of those teams to make hard choices. Moreover, there are numerous worthy non-academic teams, clubs, and groups with no booster support. The PF sees its new program as an important expansion of its direct support for community activities that will fill a growing need.
The grants exclude scholarships and travel expenses, but can be used for tournament fees, equipment and technology, supplies, event costs, and just about anything else groups need. Each application must be submitted with the approval of a TJ faculty or staff member, and all applications are reviewed by a team of TJ faculty, staff, and administration, who make funding recommendations to the PF.
The first grant recipients are:
Botball Club: Regional tournament entry fees
Chess Team: State and national tournament entry fees
Product Design Club: DIY 3D printer to support club’s activities
TWIST (Tomorrow’s Women in Science & Technology): Science & Techstravaganza outreach event hosted by club
Varsity Math Team: TJIMO (Intermediate Math Open) outreach event hosted by team
The next grant cycle will begin in fall 2016. The PF hopes to double the total amount of funds distributed next year.
In addition to funding equipment for TJ’s new research labs and science classrooms, technology used throughout the school, and major athletic facilities improvements through its Campaign for TJ, the PF also supports faculty professional development and funds the One Question Grants, tjSTAR, and other school programs.
TJ 2004’s own Vlad Tenev as well as Divya Nettimi are rock stars. They are listed in the Finance section of the 2016 Forbes “30 under 30”:
Divya Nettimi is influencing billions of dollars of stock investments as a analyst at Viking Global Investments, focusing on the ecommerce and retail sectors.
Vlad Tenev, is featured as #1/30, His silicon valley startup, Robinhood, is a commission-free stock trading app available to anyone with a smartphone.
The 4th Annual TJ Teacher Hall of Fame and Alumni STARS awards winners have been selected. We had nearly 100 alumni make nominations and nearly 500 alumni vote. We are honoring teachers who made a difference in our TJ career and beyond. In addition we have alumni nominate classmates and vote in 5 categories: Service, enTrepreneurship, Arts, Research and Sports (STARS). The goal is to celebrate alumni accomplishments in many fields and then profile alumni in future newsletters. [People vote on the most “intriguing” or interesting accomplishment; we are not seeking to judge the relative merits of very different fields.] Here is the list of the latest TJ Teacher Hall of Fame and the alumni STARS awards:
2015 Teacher Hall of Fame
- Ms. Myra Spoden, Math
- Dr. Barbara Wood, Biology
- Ms. Judy Bello, English
- Mr. Tom Sleete, History
- Katie Bailey ’11, Service
- raised $1.25M for Relay for Life (American Cancer Society) and won a Community Service Award from her class at UVA
- Ines Kuperschmit ’94, Service
- co-founded Learning Rights Law Center, a non-profit providing free legal services to low-income individuals, helping thousands with training and legal assistance to advance education equity.
- David Rosenthal ’98, Entrepreneurship
- successfully founded FoundationDB, an innovative database company, which was bought by Apple in March 2015. (FoundationDB was featured in TechCrunch and Wired.)
- Sander Daniels ’01, Entrepreneurship
- Co-founder at Thumbtack.com, a website that connects people with personal services (plumber, photographer, etc.), which was recently valued at $1.25 Billion (Fortune)
- Eric Jao ’93, Arts
- Eric (aka DJ Enferno) has taken his music career to incredible heights, including touring with Madonna as her lead live concert DJ.
- Aparna Nancherla ’00, Arts
- Comedienne on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Conan, HBO
- Elizabeth Pike ’99, Research
- NIH Bioethics Fellow, her research on patients injured in biomedical research has been widely cited
- Haru Okuda ’90, Research
- National Medical Director of SimLEARN, using high-tech mannequins and virtual simulations to train doctors
- Michael Stevens ’98, Research
- MIT PhD and Harvard postdoc, who is researching for NASA to understand the complex organic chemistry and potential life in the seas on Jupiter’s moon Europa
- Thomas Woodruff ’11, Sports
- had key hits in the College World Series, leading to University of Virginia’s first baseball championship; he also won the award for the highest GPA among College World Series players.
- Mike Auerbach ’95, Sports
- Freshman football coach at TJ and wide receivers coach for the varsity team. (math teacher at TJ)
- Mark Gray-Mendes ’03, Sports
- Head coach of the TJ men’s basketball team; led team to their first post-season victory
Amy, a TJHSST graduate from the class of 2001, attended the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, Amy practiced as a litigator in a Los Angeles-based firm, Quinn Emanuel. She is currently living in LA and, when she isn’t writing, practices law as the in-house counsel for the global men’s health charity, the Movember Foundation.
Her debut novel, COLD FEET, is being published by Berkley/Penguin Random House on September 1, 2015. COLD FEET was called, “[a] solid page-turner sprinkled with clever observations about the nature of romantic love,” by Kirkus Reviews and “a heartwarming and uproariously funny debut” by New York Times bestselling author J. Courtney Sullivan.
Link to Amy’s website: http://www.amyfitzhenry.com/
Read the latest issue of the Newsworthy newsletter produced quarterly by the TJ Partnership Fund (who are now merged with the Alumni Association). It’s chock full of news about TJ Alumni!