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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In these stressful times, contemplative practices can improve learning, increase resilience and boost compassion for one’s self and others.
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Blood donations have decreased, in part due to the social distancing that is required by the coronavirus, but UVA alumnus James Hatcher of the American Red Cross says people can still give safely by making appointments.
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Area charities are benefitting from food donations after the University closed most of its food service outlets in response to pandemic.
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The study offers promising insight into improving care for children with autism, a population that has increased consistently over the last decade.
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Two professors at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy create international collaborations to help solve problems of crisis and conflict.
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The students find that serving the community as emergency responders adds a layer of depth and insight to their education.
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The Cavalier Daily student newspaper asked President Jim Ryan to write an essay about inclusivity at UVA. Here’s what he had to say.
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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.