The members of the Class of 2020 faced an unexpected end to their time at the University of Virginia, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced an abrupt exit from Grounds and a shift to online courses. However, their contributions to UVA will last far beyond their final semester, and their contributions to the world are just beginning.

Meet some of the members of this extraordinary class. 

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Claire Janek wasn’t afraid to try new things during her time on Grounds, a mentality that will continue after she graduates from the Curry School and heads to Africa.
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The couple, who immigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo, are about to earn master’s degrees from UVA’s Clinical Nurse Leader program.
Encouraged by Darden professors, Saule Kassengaliyeva launched a small business, making and selling dumplings intended to pair perfectly with beer and tell the story of the culture from which they emerged.
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UVA ICU Dr. Taison Bell, battling COVID-19 at work daily, is still looking to the future of medicine. His company, founded with classmate Timothy Harvey, hopes to revolutionize at-home diagnostics with a pill that can scan the GI tract for colon cancer.
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She resisted going to her hometown school, and thought a career in music was unrealistic. She now happily admits she was wrong on both counts.
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Graduate landscape architecture student Andrew Spears is building a lumber kiln, advancing his vision of sustainability to include a use for trees downed on Grounds.
Sarah Doss, a fourth-year student from Richmond who helped lead the UVA squash program to new heights, will look to put some of the lessons she’s learned in her economics major to use in her new job in the affordable housing sector.
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Transferring to the Architecture School was a big shift that Seshi Konu couldn’t have imagined. “But I embraced it with open arms and I’m glad I did,” she said.