Class of 2018

Tyler Ambrose, Ridley Flagship Scholar

I am a Ridley Flagship Scholar from Roanoke, Virginia, where I attended William Fleming High School and the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School. I am a Politics Honors major and History minor. Over the past summer, I participated as a Training and Recruitment Initiative for Admission to Leading Law Schools (TRIALS) Fellow at Harvard and New York University. On Grounds, I am the Co-Chair of the Resident Staff Program and President of the Black Male Initiative. I also serve on the Class of 2018 Trustees Council. Upon graduation, I plan to pursue a law degree.

Bianca Decatur, Holland-Blackburn Scholar

I am an Echols and Holland Blackburn Scholar from Durham, North Carolina, where I attended Northern Durham High School. I am currently pursuing a double major in Spanish and Cognitive Science. I spent my summer interning with Vice President Lampkin’s office through the Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership. I am heavily involved in the Black Women’s initiative, serve as the current Outreach Chair for the University Guide Service, and plan to continue working with the Meriwether Institute for the next two years. I also work in the newly renovated Rotunda as a Student Ambassador.

ridley16016testStephanie Durham, Ridley Flagship Scholar

I am a Flagship Ridley and Echols Scholar from McLean, Virginia. This year, I will be wrapping up my double major in Environmental Science and Physics. I am a complete tree hugger and spent my summer as a data mining intern for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. On Grounds, I am the Co-Executive Director of Green Grounds, a project-based sustainability organization. I unwind on the weekends by DJing for WXTJ, UVA’s student radio. I am also involved in Alternative Spring Break and student mentoring on Grounds. .

Micah Watson, Holland-Blackburn Scholar

I am a Holland Blackburn Scholar hailing from Wichita, Kansas. I am majoring in Drama and the African-American and African Studies Distinguished Majors Program. Additionally, I am a Miller Arts and Echols Scholar. As a playwright and filmmaker, I am working towards a career in the film and television industry, particularly as a screenwriter.  Outside of my coursework, I am the founding producer and director of The Black Monologues and currently serve as the President of OneWay InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Jasmine Zollar, Richmond Ridley Clarence Cain Scholar

I am a Richmond Ridley Cain and Echols Scholar from Mechanicsville, Virginia. I am majoring in Global Development Studies & African-American and African Studies. I am also pursuing my Master of Teaching in Elementary Education in the Curry School’s five-year B/MT program. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am currently the President of the Kappa Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. After graduation, I intend to become an elementary school teacher in the public school system.


Class of 2017


Kiera Givens, Holland-Blackburn Scholar

Kiera was an Echols and a Ridley Holland-Blackburn Scholar from Takoma Park, Maryland. At UVa, she double majored in Environmental Sciences and Anthropology. She conducted research on oyster filtration at the University of Maryland Horn Point Laboratory, and was a member of Hydra, the Women’s Club Ultimate Frisbee Team. Kiera also served as a tour guide for the University Guide Service. Additionally, she was the assistant stage manager for the Black Monologues, and mentored advisees from the OAAA Peer Advisor Program.  After graduation she planned to work for a year and then attend graduate school in Marine Science and Marine Policy.


ridley16008testJacob Uskavitch, Inaugural Sylvia V. Terry Scholar & Paige Pre-Medical Scholar

Jacob was an Echols Scholar, Sylvia V. Terry Scholar, and Paige Pre-Medical Scholar, majoring in Chemistry and African-American & African Studies.  Jacob’s thoughts his Ridley experience: “Coming from out of state, I was able to find my home on Grounds due in large parts to the OAAA Peer Advisor Program. A resident advisor in my dorm, who was also a PA, became a great mentor and now my best friend. Since becoming PA, I have greatly appreciated my experience of giving back to underclassmen in the same enriching way I was able to receive. Being the inaugural recipient of the Ridley Scholarship named in honor of Sylvia V. Terry, who created the PA Program, I have enjoyed being apart of the Ridley family. I will be attending Meharry Medical College with a passion for primary care in serving the underserved.”


ridley16023testDominique Willis, Gregory Ledford Scholar

Dominique was a Gregory Ledford Ridley Scholar from Baltimore, Maryland. She studied at the McIntire School of Commerce where she concentrated in Finance. She was also a Cognitive Science major, concentrating in Cognitive Psychology. During her time at UVA, she participated in the costume department of First Year Players, volunteered at a local preschool through Madison House, acted as a DJ on WXTJ student radio station, and worked at Morven Farm. In the fall semester of her Second Year she studies abroad with Semester at Sea, and after her third year studied abroad for three weeks in China learning about Chinese economics, business, and culture. Additionally, she interned at Facebook for two summers on the Global Marketing Solutions team. In regards to her future professional pursuits, she would like to either intersect business and technology or finance and real estate.

Nena Evans - Website Nena Evans, Richmond Ridley Cain Scholar, 2016

Nena was a Ridley and University Achievement Scholar from Mechanicsville, VA. She pursued a major in Statistics with and Actuarial Finance concentration and a minor in Psychology. On Grounds, she was the Head Program director at Madison House for English Speakers of Other Languages. Nina was also a statistics tutor and a group exercise instructor at the UVA Aquatics and Fitness Center. She also interned at Genworth Financial in the Actuarial Department where she further developed her technical, quantitative, and analytical skills while enhancing her insurance and product knowledge. Upon graduation, her plans were to pursue a career that focuses on quantitative business analysis an strategic planning.

Ravynn Stringfield - Report Ravynn Stringfield, Ridley Reid Scholar, 2016

Ravynn was a University Achievement and Ridley-Reid scholar from Suffolk, Virginia. She double majored in French (in the Distinguished Majors Program) and Comparative Literature, and completed a Foreign Affairs minor. Through Ridley she was able to travel to France to study twice, the second time to begin researching francophone “bande-dessinee” (graphic novels), which were the subject of her thesis. Ravynn also worked as a volunteer intern with the Office of Admission Outreach Team and was involved in the Language Houses community. She was the RA of the French House, where she lived as a resident for two years.

Timothy Kimble, Ridley Flagship Scholar, 2015

Tim was an Echols, Ridley, and University Scholar from Rustburg, Virginia. He majored in Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law, as well as Biology. He served as Chair of the University Judiciary Committee and a Resident Advisor in Housing and Residence Life. He is pursuing work in campus life, and eventually plans to pursue a law degree.


Taylor JordanTaylor Jordan, Gregory Ledford Scholar, 2015

Taylor was an Echols, Ridley, and University Scholar from Sterling, Virginia. While at UVa, she pursued concentrations in Accounting and Marketing with a Business Analytics track in the McIntire School of Commerce, as well as a minor in Religious Studies. She was the Chief Operating Officer of an investment organization called Smart Woman Securities, and the Madison House head program director of Hoos Assisting with Life Obstacles (HALO). She interned in Ernst & Young’s risk advisory group out of the McLean, Virginia office. Upon graduation, she has accepted a management consulting job with Kurt Salmon.


scholar_chelsea-stokesChelsea Stokes, Richmond Ridley Cain Scholar, 2015

Chelsea was an Echols and Ridley scholar from Richmond, Virginia. She majored in Political and Social Thought (Distinguished Majors program) and African-American Studies, while being enrolled in the Batten School of Public Policy’s Accelerated Master’s in Public Policy program. She studied abroad in Australia, and interned with Verizon, which directly influenced her thesis which investigates the net neutrality debate in relation to African-Americans. On Grounds, she served as Chair of the Black Leadership Institute and Sexual Misconduct Board. Upon graduation in 2016 with her MPP, she hopes to enroll in law school part-time while working on the Hill to begin her career in policy.

scholar_alyssa-hesterAlyssa Hester, Ridley Flagship Scholar, 2014

Alyssa Hester graduated as a Biomedical Engineering major and Engineering in Business minor. She was a Rodman Scholar as well as Ridley Scholar and past Virginia Space Grant Consortium Bridge Scholar. During the summer of 2012 she participated in the University of Virginia Research Experience for Undergraduates researching phage display-based functional proteomics. She participated in the International Summer Program at the Technische Universität Dortmund taking classes and conducting a microfluidics based research project. At the University she was active in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) where she served as Finance Chair for two years as well as Madison House as a volunteer soccer coach. She plans on pursuing a M.S. in Systems Engineering.



Molly Jones, Ridley Flagship Scholar, 2014

Molly Jones graduated with a double major in Spanish and Foreign Affairs. She was an Echols Scholar, in addition to being a Walter N. Ridley Scholar. She spent the spring of 2012 studying abroad in Valencia, Spain with the U.Va.’s Hispanic Studies Program. Following this experience, she spent the summer of 2012 in Washington, D.C. interning at FINCA International, a non-profit organization that provides microfinance loans to women in the developing world. On Grounds, she was a volunteer with Madison House’s Latino/Migrant Aid Program and a member of the Black Student Admissions Committee. She hopes to be able to work abroad in various parts of the Spanish-speaking world.


scholar_martina-mitchellMartina Mitchell, Meikel Andrade Memorial Scholar, 2014

Martina majored in psychology, with a concentration in sociology. At the University, she was a member of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, Psi Chi, the Psychological Society, and a founding member of “Students Supporting Soldiers’ pSychology.” She was also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She held internships with both the Newport News Public School Division’s lead psychologist and the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton during her time at UVA. She plans to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in forensic psychology and pursue a career in the criminal justice system.


scholar_dare'ra-spraggDare’ra Spragg, Richmond Ridley Cain Scholar, 2014

Dare’ra majored in psychology. She served as a Peer Advisor and volunteered with Madison House. She also served as Second Vice President of the Kappa Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In addition, she was a member of the Daniel Hale Williams Pre-Medical Society, and sang in the a cappella group ReMix. She plans to attend graduate school in public health and/or medicine.



scholar_byron-thompsonByron Thompson, Holland Scholar, 2014

Byron was a Holland and Echols Scholar in the McIntire School of Commerce, concentrating in Finance and Management. He is a brother of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and served as President of the minority business development organization ‘Get on the Street’ and as a student panelist for the Outreach Student Admissions Committee. After gaining admission to the McIntire School of Commerce, he worked for Barclays Capital in the Investment Banking Division as 1 of 8 sophomore interns. During the spring semester of 2013 he studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark through the International Business program then spent the summer working for Lazard as an intern in the Mergers & Acquisitions group in New York. He plans to continue my interest in Investment Banking and hopefully enter the field of Private Equity.


Justin Washington, Ridley-Reid Scholar, 2014

Justin majored in Computer Science in the School of Engineering. He was a Ridley Scholar, Rodman Scholar, and a University Scholar. During the summer of 2012, he was a research assistant for the INERTIA group with the University of Virginia Research Experience for Undergraduates, where he developed a user interface for analyzing data from body sensors. During the summer of 2013, he had the privilege of interning with the mobile development section of TASC, where he developed android applications that used various parts of Google Maps. He plans to pursue an M.S. in Computer Science as well as continue to develop applications for the consumer market.


Folayemi Agusto , Ernst & Young Challenge Scholar, 2013

Folayemi, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, graduated with a major in Sociology (Honors) and a minor in French. She was also in the Sociology Distinguished Major Program. Her Thesis “Gentrification, Gated Communities and the Spatial Properties of Inequality in Lagos, Nigeria” under the advisorship of Professor Katya Makarova won the Distinguished Major Thesis Award for the best                                                 Distinguished Major paper written for the academic year 2012 – 2013.

She enjoys rowing and soccer and was involved in intramural sports teams. She also has a passion for helping others achieve their academic goals, got involved in tutoring and community service projects, and was active in the following organizations: Association Council (1st Year Vice President), The University Programs Council (4th year – Programs Coordinator on Special Events Events  & Arts and Enrichment Committees), FAME (now called Fashion Design Club) (2nd Year – Treasurer; 3rd Year – Vice President; 4th Year – Show Director). She also volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club through FAME, and received the Z Society Distinguished First Year Recognition 2010

Folayemi remained very open to new areas of study that she came across and at the end of her UVA experience, in addition to receiving an excellent education, she made great friends and left with a memorable experience.



Jean-Mary Aubourg, Batipps Scholar, 2013

Graduated with a BA in Chemistry. While at UVA, Jean-Mary was a Ridley Scholar, Echols Scholar, recipient of the Small Research and Travel Grant, Echols Ingrassia Research Fund, UVA School of Law’s BLSA scholarship, and Helping Hand Scholarship. Jean-Mary was also a peer advisor for UVA’s Office of African-American Affairs and Ambassador for UVA’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Jean-Mary went on to train at Michael Howard Studios for film and television.



scholar_zodina-beieneZodina Beiene, Keller Scholar, 2013

Graduated with a BS (with High Distinction) in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Art History. While at UVA, Zodina was a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society (Secretary, 3rd and 4th Year), recipient of Intermediate Honors, Robert W. and Eileen M. Honse SEAS-endowed Scholarship, Parents Committee Internship Grant (PCIG), and the Office of African-American Affairs’ Longevity of Excellence Academic Award for SEAS. She was a peer advisor for UVA’s OAAA throughout undergrad and pre-health committee co-chair in her fourth year, a Project SERVE site leader, and a member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She was also active in several medical device design projects, an undergraduate researcher, and a teaching fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is working as a medical scribe in UVA’s Emergency Department.



scholar_charity-harrellCharity Harrell, Meikel Andrade Memorial Scholar, 2013

Charity came to U.Va. from Chesapeake, Virginia, where she attended Grassfield High School. During her first year at the University, she was appointed to be the Vice Chair for the First Year Judiciary Committee to adjudicate cases of student misconduct committed by First Years in First Year living areas. She also tutored elementary school students through Madison House at Burnley-Moran Elementary. In the summer of 2010, she was selected for the competitive position of Orientation Leader to help acclimate First Year and transfer students for University life. In her second year, she served as Leadership Development Co-Chair of the Black Student Alliance. She was also selected to participate in the Blueprint Emerging Leadership Program to further cultivate her leadership abilities. She pursued a double major in Political Science and Spanish. Charity plans to attend law school with aspirations of becoming an entertainment and corporate lawyer.




Stephanie Renee Mitchell, Ridley Flagship Scholar, 2013

Graduated with a BA (with Distinction) in Religious Studies and English and is a member of the IMP Society and the Thirteen Society. While at UVa she was active in the Black Student Alliance (Leadership Development Chair, 1st -3rd year, President, 4th Year), Class of 2013 Trustees, Office of African American Affairs Peer Advisor Program (Pre-Law Co-Chair, 3rd Year), The Cavalier Daily (Advertising Staff, 1st – 4th Year) and the UVa Undergraduate Chapter of the Black Law Students Association (Secretary, 4th Year).




Lindsey Tyler, Ledford Scholar / Keller Scholar, 2013

Lindsey graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce. In college, she danced with the University Dance Club and Mahogany Dance Troupe. She held the positions of treasurer and choreographer in the University Dance Club. Also, at the University, she was the accounting committee co-chair for Relay for Life and mentored a young girl named Jaylyn. For her college internship she worked with TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund). Through this experience she developed an interest in working as a financial adviser and studying investments. She aspires to work for one of the “big four” accounting firms at some point in her career, and is grateful for the great opportunities afforded through the McIntire School of Commerce.


Manny AjayiMannie Ajayi, 2012

Graduated with a BA in Finance and International Business and received the Wendell Milliman Scholarship, Shrier Family Endowed Scholarship, and is a CFA Institute Partner Scholarship Recipient. Mannie was a UGuide and a McIntire Tour Guide. He joined Morgan Stanley after graduation.


Carlos Disla

Carlos Disla, 2012

Graduated with a BA (with Distinction) in Biology and Environmental Science. Carlos was elected to Phi Eta Sigma, Golden Key, Pi Epsilon, and Phi Beta Kappa Intermediate Honors. He was also an Echols Scholar and made the Dean’s List. While at UVA he was involved in the Environmental Science Organization (President 4th year; VP 3rd year), Archery Club (President 4th year), Science Fiction Club (President 3rd year; VP 4th year), and Wildlife Club and tutored at Madison House. After graduating, he enrolled in the MS program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology at the University of Maryland.


Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer Douglas, 2012

Graduated with a BS in Neuroscience (with Highest Distinction) and BA in French. She was elected to Nu Rho Psi, was an Echols Scholar and made the Dean’s List. While at UVA she was a Scribe in the Emergency Department, a member of Nu Rho Psi (VP 2011), and involved in the Student Council Academic Affairs Committee (2nd year). In addition to her school leadership participation she was a Madison House tutor and a Remote Area Medical Clinic volunteer. She went on to attend medical school at the University of Pennsylvania.



Wintre Foxworth

Wintre Foxworth, 2012

Graduated with a BA (with High Distinction) in African American Studies. She is a member of the Raven Society. She was a Peer Advisor (Selections Committee 3rd year; Senior PA 4th year), UJC, Outreach Student Admission Committee, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She was also the Program Director for the Madison House Daycare Program. After graduation, Wintre joined Teach for America.



Nesrien Hamid

Nesrien Hamid, 2012

Graduated with a BA in Foreign Affairs and was elected to Phi Eta Sigma. She participated in the UVA Women’s Center, WTJU Radio, Global China Council, and Employee Appreciation Week. She was also an English as a Second Language (ESL) Tutor through the VISAS Program.



Denson Staples

Denson Staples, 2012

Graduated with a BA (with High Distinction) in Religious Studies and is a member of the Raven Society and Z Society. While at UVA he founded the Health Professions Student Collaboration Committee. His commitment to health care continued with his participation in Alternative Winter Break in Peru and Argentina, Global Medical & Dental Brigade to Honduras, JPC Public Health research project in Guatemala, volunteering with children with autism, and the Madison House Pet Pals Program. He was the Class of 2012 resident of 1 West Lawn, the John Kenneth Crispell Memorial Endowed Room for an outstanding premedical student. He is a member of Alpha Phi Omega. Denson attended a UVA Post-Baccalaureate Program after graduation.