April 27, 2012 — The University of Virginia Student Council has selected George Sampson, research associate professor of arts administration and design thinking in the School of Architecture, as the recipient of its 2012 Leonard W. Sandridge Student Partnership Award.
The Student Council established the award in 2010 to recognize faculty and administrators for their "continued dedication to working with students." As the council's Academic Affairs Committee co-chair Niklaus Dollhopf noted, the Sandridge Award is especially reflective of influence on and connection with students because "it's an all-student process, from the nominations to the selection committee."
The council selected Sampson for his commitment to establishing personal connections with students, supporting the thriving student arts community and connecting students with networks, both on-Grounds and off, that have led to numerous internship and job opportunities, according to the council's announcement.
"I'm honored to have been selected for the award from among the outstanding faculty and administrators here at the University," Sampson said. "I see this as an opportunity for greater awareness of the Arts Administration program."
The arts administration program, which Sampson initiated in 2006, offers courses in the administration of and engagement with the products of human creativity in all fields and disciplines. As of this semester, 1,250 students from all undergraduate schools at the University have enrolled in these courses. Arts administration students are encouraged to actively engage with the arts in the classroom, in the University community and beyond.
The program's graduates have gone on to hold positions at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Sotheby's, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera.
Sampson has played an integral role in the U.Va. arts scene since 1994. Prior to taking a faculty position, Sampson was director of development for the arts, where he was responsible for initiating the campaign to build and expand what is now the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. As a faculty member, he has not only taught an expanding number of courses in arts administration and design thinking, but has coordinated several artist residencies and performances at the University. Included among these have been a 2008 residency with world-renowned dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, as well as a series of jazz concerts in the U.Va. Chapel.