Jefferson Scholars Foundation Selects 15 Graduate Fellows

May 15, 2012 — The Jefferson Scholars Foundation has selected 15 incoming graduate students to receive Jefferson Fellowships, the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia.

The foundation seeks to attract Ph.D., M.B.A. and J.D. candidates to the University who "show outstanding achievement and the highest promise as scholars, teachers, public servants and business leaders in the United States and beyond," according to the foundation's announcement.

"Jefferson Fellows enhance the quality of the undergraduate learning experience, play a pivotal role in the recruitment and retention of superior faculty and make a contribution to the University's intellectual vitality in a unique manner," the foundation's announcement said.

Including holdovers, the Jefferson Fellows program will support 38 students in 2012-13, the highest total in the program's 12-year history.

Ranging in age from 22 to 42, the Jefferson Fellows represent 15 departments in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, plus the Darden School of Business, the School of Law and the School of Applied Engineering and Applied Science.

Currently, four Jefferson Fellows are studying in the Corcoran Department of History and at the Darden School. There are three Jefferson Fellows each in biology, English, religious studies, Spanish and law.

The incoming fellows are:

• Roberto Armengol, anthropology (Dissertation-Year Fellow): 1999 B.A. from the University of Delaware (liberal studies), 2005 M.A. from the University of Virginia. Studies sociocultural anthropology with a focus on Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America. Former freelance writer and culture editor for The Hook.

• Charles Cotherman, religious studies: 2006 B.A. from Grove City College (English), 2012 M.A. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Intends to examine the relationship between conservative religious movements and mainstream American society; more narrowly, he hopes to study the "neo-evangelical" movement as it transcends the mindset of reactionary fundamentalism.

• Adam Fallon, physics: 2012 B.A. from the University of Oklahoma (physics, mathematics). Intends to study atomic, molecular and optical physics.

• Ben Gorham, art history: 2008 B.A. from the University of North Carolina (classics, Latin), 2012 M.A. from the University of Arizona. Intends to study Greek ceramics and sacred space as well as Roman architecture and sculpture.

• Jonathan Grinspan, history (Dissertation-Year Fellow): 2006 B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, 2005 M.A. from the University of Virginia. Studies youth voting in the second half of the 19th century. Interests also include Civil War humor.

• Ashley Hurst, religious studies: 1993 B.A. from the University of Florida (political science), 1996 J.D. University of Florida, 2012 M.Div from Yale University. Former partner at Rogers & Hardin LLP, intends to work primarily on a multi-disciplinary undertaking; will take courses throughout the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the Law School to study bioethics, paying close attention to the way that different views of the human relate to ethical decision-making.

• Katie Koopman, Darden: 2008 B.A. from Harvard University (psychology). Served as regional coordinator for the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and was a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean.

• Andrew Kritzer, Darden: 2008 B.A. from the University of Michigan (finance, accounting, CIS). Senior consultant, FTI Consulting, New York.

• Chase Levinson, economics: 2012 B.S. from the University of South Carolina (economics). Interned with the Center for American Progress and the Council of Economic Advisors. Intends to study government (fiscal/tax) policy.

• Ben Mohlie, Darden: 2007 B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (physics). Works for Ratheon BBM Technologies. Interested in space exploration and space technology.

• Alicia Nobles, Engineering: 2007 B.S. from theGeorgia Institute of Technology (civil engineering). Interested in an interdisciplinary opportunity to work/use the application of planar laser induced fluorescence/particle image celocimetry techniquest to understand the impact of bed surface structure on nutrient and pollutant transport across the sediment-water interface.

• Sarah Nolan, Law: 2009 B.A. from the College of William & Mary (music), 2012 M.A. University of Wisconsin (music theory). Is interested in the role that government regulation plays in protecting the health and safety of citizens and non-citizens in the home and workplace. Intends to focus on public-service law.

• Matthew Oreska, environmental sciences: 2007 B.S from the College of William & Mary (geology, economics), 2009 M.S. University of Cambridge (biology). Interned at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. His research recognizes the importance of sustaining the delivery of ecosystem services – the benefits that humans receive from ecosystems – in assessing environmental change impacts.

• Aaron Reedy, biology: 1999 B.A. from Southern Illinois University (zoology), 2009 M.A. from National-Louis University. Former Peace Corps volunteer, Chicago Public Schools teacher. Kayaked down the Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans. Intends to study the dynamics of natural selection in wild populations of vertebrates.

• Scott Remer, Engineering: 2010 B.S. from George Mason University (civil and infrastructure engineering), 2012 M.S. from George Mason (engineering). Intends to study the socio-economic impact of domestic and international water resource uses and policies.