First-Generation College Graduates on Faculty at UVA

Every year, the University enrolls a number of students who are the first members of their families to attend college. It so happens that many of our faculty members, including a former president of the University, were the first members of their families to attend college. In an effort to help first-generation college students at UVA connect with members of the faculty who have had the same experience, the following faculty members have self-identified as first-generation college graduates.

Note to faculty members: You may add your name to this list by emailing the Provost's webmaster your name and school/department affiliation.

  • Kathleen M. Acevedo, School of Medicine

    “Education is an honor and privilege that opens the door of opportunity!   Pride was the sentiment of my parents since I was the first in my family to attain a graduate degree.  As the daughter of parents who had an eighth grade education, I feel blessed and deeply grateful for being instilled with a passion and appreciation for education.  Being an administrator in the School of Medicine has enabled me to support the academic mission of the University and the advancement of knowledge which leads to a better tomorrow for us all.”

    Kathleen M. Acevedo
    School of Medicine

  • LaVae Hoffman, Curry School of Education

    “My father did not go to high school, and my mother didn’t finish it. They divorced before I have a memory of their marriage.  I am the eldest of all of my full- and half-siblings.  Until I left for college, I didn’t know anyone who had been to college… except, of course, the teachers at school.  For me, going to college was like traveling to the moon.  It was exciting, but absolutely everything was unfamiliar. At the time, I didn’t realize how stacked against me the odds were… but the long-term payoff is worth the effort to beat the odds.”

    LaVae Hoffman
    Curry School of Education

  • Photo of Paul Martin, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

    Universities need people like you and me.

    “I didn’t expect to be unusual when I went to college, and I was embarrassed to be one of only two in my hall whose parents hadn’t gone to college. I was the youngest of five and the first to go straight to a 4-year college. My dad finished a GED in the Air Force and my mother had a high school degree. I struggled with money, I didn’t have a lot of support, and my fellow students found my background exotic. I dropped out after my first year. That was depressing.

    I took a semester off, went to community college for a semester, and transferred into another school seeking a second chance. Friends, mentors, and sympathetic faculty and staff helped enormously, reminding me that I belonged at the university. I graduated magna cum laude and was awarded Phi Beta Kappa.

    I still feel like an outsider at times. But I’ve come to embrace that as a good thing. It means I bring a different perspective – to research, to teaching, to leadership – and universities need more of this.”

    Paul Martin
    Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

  • Photo of Kevin Sauer, Athletics Department

    "My father returned from World War II and started attending Purdue University under the GI Bill.  Although he did not finish, it inspired me to attend college rather than work in construction as I did throughout high school summers. It was a great decision, as it expanded my horizons immensely."

    Kevin Sauer
    Athletics Department

  • Photo of Phillip Pfeifer, Darden School of Business

    “Although my father did graduate from high school, neither parent had the means to attend college. I was fortunate to attend a wonderful public high school, and with good grades, test scores and financial aid, I just sort of copied everyone else and went to college. Although I was out of my element socially, I adjusted and did pretty well and never really left.”

    Phillip Pfeifer
    Darden School of Business

  • Photo of Susan Kools, School of Nursing

    “My father was a janitor, and my mother was a waitress at a country club in the wealthy neighborhood across the street from my working-poor neighborhood. Neither graduated from high school. I am not sure what propelled me to college. Perhaps it was the teacher who, when he heard that I was thinking of applying to nursing school, told me that I would not make a good nurse. I had something to prove. Maybe it was that my more economically privileged friends were all going to college. I should go, too. Once a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, I was in foreign terrain. I did not know how to study. I didn’t understand the academic culture. My first grades were embarrassingly poor. But I persevered, and you can, too.”

    Susan Kools
    School of Nursing

  • Photo of Stefano Grazioli, School of Commerce

    “At the end of World War II, both of my parents were 14. Things were tough in Italy at that time, and they both had to start working early to help their families. Their strong belief in hard work and the value of education motivated the sacrifices necessary to send three kids to college. As I still enjoy the enduring benefits of my degree, I do not think I thanked them enough.”

    Stefano Grazioli
    McIntire School of Commerce


  • Photo of Ana Abad, School of Continuing & Professional Studies

    “Being a first generation college graduate and now faculty at the University of Virginia has been transformative in my life, providing me with opportunities within both healthcare and higher education to provide service and impact the lives of both my pediatric patients and healthcare students. While my parents were born in the rural and agrarian provinces of Cuba and did not have the opportunity to pursue a college education, they encouraged me to excel academically, obtain a college degree and succeed in my chosen field of practice.”

    Ana Abad-Jorge.
    School of Continuing & Professional Studies

Athletics Department

  • Art Markos
  • Kevin Sauer
  • Dom Starsia

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

  • Kimberley R. Barker

College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

  • Mills Aaron
  • Manuela Achilles
  • Paul Adler
  • Joe Allen
  • Stephen Arata
  • Jennifer Bair
  • Marina Ballesta
  • Brian Balogh
  • Linda Blum
  • John Casteen
  • Griff Chaussee
  • Barry Condron
  • Cristian H. Danna
  • Dean Dass
  • Stephan De Wekker
  • John Dobbins
  • Kenneth Elzinga
  • Nichole Flores
  • Gerry Fogarty
  • Greg Schmidt Goering
  • Ira Herbst
  • Gonzalo Hernández-Baptista
  • Bob Hirosky
  • Jay Hirsh
  • Ricardo Huamán
  • Robert Hueckstedt
  • Jeffery A. Jenkins
  • Kelsey Johnson
  • Barry Johnson
  • Raymond Keller
  • Andrew Koch
  • Foteini Kondyli
  • David Kovacs
  • Kevin Lehmann
  • Hoitung Leung
  • Noel Lobley
  • Steven Majewski
  • Kim Brooks Mata
  • Stella Mattioli
  • Deborah McDowell
  • Deborah McGrady
  • George Mentore
  • David Vander Meulen
  • John Miller
  • Rachel Most
  • Luis Nunez-Betancourt
  • Eyleen J. O'Rourke
  • Dennis Proffitt
  • Dickon Reppucci
  • Joel Rini
  • Mohammed Sawaie
  • Bellave Shivaram
  • Michael Smith
  • Anthony Spano
  • Paula Sprague
  • Kelly Sulick
  • Patricia Sullivan
  • Mark Thomas
  • Stephen Thornton
  • Chip Tucker
  • Denise Walsh
  • Steven Lewis Warner
  • Michael Wiener
  • Michiko Wilson

Curry School of Education

  • Robert Berry
  • Carolyn Callahan
  • Lysandra Cook
  • Dewey Cornell
  • Sara Dexter
  • Mumba Frackson
  • Juan Carlos Garibay
  • Joe Garofalo
  • Latisha Hayes
  • Jay Hertel
  • LaVae M. Hoffman
  • Coby Meyers
  • Luke Miller
  • Tonya R. Moon
  • Ji Hoon Ryoo
  • Christian Steinmetz
  • Susan Thacker-Gwaltney
  • Wanda Weaver
  • Arthur Weltman
  • Dian Whaley

Darden School of Business

  • Sam Bodily
  • Bob Conroy
  • James Freeland
  • Ed Freeman
  • Luca Cian
  • Tim Laseter
  • Phillip Pfeifer
  • Elliott Weiss
  • June West

Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese

  • Esther Poveda

Elson Student Health Center

  • Jamie Leonard
  • Rafael Triana

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

  • Gary Nimax

Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

  • Gerard P. Learmonth Sr.
  • David Leblang
  • Christine Mahoney
  • Paul Martin

Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

  • Susan Bruce

McIntire School of Commerce

  • Tony Baglioni
  • Stefano Grazioli
  • Cyndy Huddleston
  • Robert Kemp
  • Derick Davis
  • James Maxham
  • Robert Patterson
  • Susan Porter
  • Patrik Sandås
  • Rob Tharpe

Miller Center for Public Affairs

  • Sidney M. Milkis
  • Barbara A. Perry

Office of the Dean of Students

  • Charles Walcott

Office of the Vice President for Finance

  • Melody Bianchetto

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

  • Milton Adams
  • Dudley Doane
  • Margaret Harden
  • Cliff Maxwell
  • Rachel N. Miller
  • Michael Palmer
  • Maurice Walker
  • Anda L. Webb

Office of the General Counsel

  • Beth Hodsdon
  • Pamela Sellers
  • Robert Tyler

Office of the President

  • Larry Sabato

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

  • Greg Roberts

School of Architecture

  • Anselmo G. Canfora
  • Ryan Carbone
  • Phoebe Crisman
  • Jorg Sieweke
  • Carmen Trudell

School of Continuing & Professional Studies

  • Ana Abad-Jorge
  • Angela Orebaugh

School of Engineering and Applied Science

  • Jack Davidson
  • Bob Davis
  • Todd DeLong
  • David Green
  • Deborah Johnson
  • Stephen J. McDonnell
  • Pam Norris
  • Jason Papin
  • Yanjun (Jane) Qi
  • Rita Schnipke
  • Mary Smith
  • Alfred Weaver
  • Joe Campbell
  • Jack Dorning
  • Joanne Bechta Dugan
  • Roger Fittro
  • Gianluca Guadagni
  • Harry Powell
  • Rob Kelly
  • Richard Kent
  • Mike Mohajeri
  • John R. Scully
  • John Stankovic
  • Haydn Wadley

School of Law

  • Stephen Braga
  • Douglas Laycock
  • Paul Mahoney
  • John Monahan
  • Frederick Schauer
  • Mila Versteeg

School of Medicine

  • Kathleen Acevedo
  • Mazhar Adli
  • Michelle Bland
  • Thomas J. Braciale
  • David L. Brautigan
  • Ian E. Burbulis
  • Jeannean Carver
  • Jeffrey T. Corwin
  • Daniel Cox
  • Janet Cross
  • Douglas DeSimone
  • Gerald Donowitz
  • Nathan Fountain
  • Jeanette Frye
  • Preston Grice
  • William H. Guilford
  • Ann Hays
  • Joel W. Hockensmith
  • Alan Rick Horwitz
  • Karen Ingersoll
  • Erin Jeffery
  • Irving Kron
  • Donna Landen
  • John Lukens
  • Aaron J. Mackey
  • Barbara J. Mann
  • Jaime Mata
  • Lynn McDaniel
  • Jack McKeen
  • Maria Moreno
  • Robert Nakamoto
  • Juan Olazagasti
  • Diane Pappas
  • Shawn Pelletier
  • Melinda (Mendy) Poulter
  • Denia Ramirez-Montealegre
  • David Rekosh
  • Karen Rheuban
  • Mitchell Rosner
  • David Schiff
  • Jeffrey Siebers
  • Nina Solenski
  • Gloria Talley
  • Paul Targonski
  • Novella Thompson
  • Stephen Turner
  • Mary Vance
  • Mark Wick
  • Nengliang (Aaron) Yao

School of Nursing

  • Joel Anderson
  • Amy Boitnott
  • Richard M. Carpenter
  • Sarah W. Craig
  • Deborah Dillon
  • Elizabeth E. Friberg
  • Christine Guarnera
  • Rebecca Harmon
  • Susan Kools
  • Pamela Kulbok
  • Kathryn Laughon
  • Barbara Reyna
  • Rafael D. Romo
  • Vickie Southall
  • Michael Swanberg
  • Sharon Veith
  • Kenneth R. White

Student Financial Services

  • Steve Kimata
  • Scott E. Miller
  • Melvin Miller

University of Virginia Health Foundation

  • Karen B. Rendleman

University Human Resources

  • Bryan Garey

University of Virginia Library

  • Dave Ghamandi
  • Ervin Jordan
  • Jane Penner

Vice President & Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity

  • Marcus Martin

Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Virginia E. Carter
  • Everette Fortner

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

  • Karenne Wood