UVA Faculty Strike Communal Tone, Hit the WTJU Airwaves in New Outreach Effort

Illustration of the Rotunda, a cellphone tower, and a mountain.  A line connects them all

(Illustration by Alexandra Angelich, University Communications)

“It’s a really exciting time to be at UVA,” says Barbara Wilson, a professor of urban and environmental planning in the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. “We’re at this moment where our university president is really thinking about how the University can be a better neighbor.” 

Wilson makes that declaration in one of 31 new radio spots being broadcast on WTJU, UVA’s radio station.

Text reads: Meet more UVA bridge Builders

The audio bytes began airing throughout the station’s broadcast day in mid-December and feature a diverse group of faculty members, many of whom have been engaged in community-related work for decades.

Louis Nelson, UVA’s vice provost for academic outreach, said the new effort is part of “Engaged UVA,” a relatively new program billed as the front door to community partnerships. “Our tag line is ‘Building Bridges with Communities,’” said Nelson, who is also UVA’s primary representative for community engagement.

“UVA faculty have been building bridges with communities for decades,” he said. “Some of these projects are many, many years old, and this is a great opportunity for us to tell the story of the work that we’ve already been doing around building bridges with communities and how we hope to expand this kind of work in the future.”

Nelson and WTJU’s general manager, Nathan Moore, first discussed the radio spots last fall, and before long, members of the faculty were invited to WTJU’s studios to record their pieces. Topics range from how the community is joining UVA to help create a more equitable environment to how Charlottesville and UVA can thoughtfully rebound from the events of Aug. 11 and 12, 2017. “A number of listeners have told me they really enjoy the stories,” Moore said.

See for yourself with this sample of the new audio spots.

Suzanne Moomaw, Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning

Moomaw discusses the resilience of cities.

Dr. Cameron Webb, Professor of Medicine

Webb discusses the importance of equal access to health care and other community resources.

Melissa Levy, Co-Director, Young Women Leaders Program, Assistant Professor and Program Area Director of Youth and Social Innovation 

Levy talks about the empowerment that comes from youth in the community working with UVA students.

Andrew Kaufman, Russian Literature Scholar

In this clip, listen to Kaufman discuss the role of compassion in building community.

Becca Dillingham, Director, Center for Global Health

Dillingham talks about the important role of good health in nurturing communities, including those surrounding family, school and workplaces.

Vikram Jaswal, Professor of Psychology

In his class, which blends UVA students with college-aged people with autism, Jaswal hosted a discussion about how they can be welcoming to all sorts of people, including refugees, LGBTQ people and those from different races or ethnicities.

Andrew Kahrl, Professor of History

Kahrl talks about the importance of civic engagement to a vibrant, healthy community.

Barbara Wilson, Professor, Urban and Environmental Planning

Wilson discusses how to think about building an environment that “better brings together coalitions of people.”

You can listen to all the spots, or simply tune into WTJU to enjoy the community discussion as well as all of the radio station’s programming.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

Office of University Communications