In his first address to the Class of 2022 as the University of Virginia’s president, Jim Ryan had some advice for UVA’s newest students. 

“When in doubt, build a bridge,” he said.

He urged students to live connected lives. He asked them to reach out to each other, to professors, to UVA employees and to Charlottesville’s neighboring communities.

“Don’t be afraid to engage with people or ideas that are different from you. It is one of the best ways to sharpen your thinking and even change your own mind,” he said. “When in doubt, build a bridge, even if you are not sure where it is going.”

This idea isn’t limited to new college arrivals: faculty members reach across disciplines to solve complex problems, students make connections across cultural divides, staff members make a difference in our local communities. 

Here, find just a few of these stories. Know of someone who is building a bridge at UVA? Let us know at uvatoday@virginia.edu.

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Katie Kishore lost her husband, Kris, to cancer two weeks after their second daughter was born. Kishore is starting Kindness Cafe + Play to honor her husband and employ people like her daughter Kiran, who has Down syndrome.
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UVA’s Democracy Initiative, founded to promote open and honest conversations about the challenges and questions facing American democracy and democracies worldwide, is sponsoring two events on Monday.
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The President and Provost’s Fund for Institutionally Related Research will support faculty research on topics that could improve quality of life and learning for the UVA community.
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Classmates at UVA have forged a new collaboration between graduate engineering students and aspiring engineers at CHS, focused on finding cyber-physical systems solutions to benefit the community.
The four fellows, partnering with UVA’s Equity Center, work on projects focused on African American-owned small businesses, financial literacy for girls and young women, mental health care and African American history in Charlottesville.
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“Streaking the Lawn,” a UVA fan site started by alumnus Brian Leung, donates profits to groups serving the UVA community. This year, they chose Thursday’s Heroes, UVA football’s popular program for local residents facing medical challenges.
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People with autism have much to offer in the workplace, and Britney Huff is helping them unlock that potential.
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How an orange-and-blue tie and one man’s impulse sparked a new UVA friendship.