Call for Proposals for RPE First Year Advising Seminars

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Race, Place, and Equity SARC SEM Courses. Due date April 18, 2022

UVA has been awarded a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build equity-minded, anti-racist, place-based educational and post-doctoral programs. One component will be a series of one-credit COLA + SARC SEM classes for incoming undergraduate students. Faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Architecture are encouraged to submit a proposal to teach a COLA or SARC SEM class in this series with the goal of introducing places, their histories, and their legacies that have shaped Charlottesville and central Virginia while also teaching the fundamentals of place-based and community-based learning. The proposal to Mellon included a number of community organizations as partners in and beneficiaries of the grant. We expect that each faculty member will build a curriculum that will include sustained engagement with a community member from one of these partnerships and a number of fully-funded on-site engagement opportunities (COVID conditions allowing). This program presents many important opportunities: on-site learning about the intersections of race and democracy; dialogue and reflection in small groups with a faculty member; and an introduction to fundamental principles of community engagement. Over the summer, faculty directors who have agreed to lead cohorts of students will be compensated to convene for a workshop where a suite of opportunities developed by an expert advisory group will be introduced and each faculty member will work with those experts to design the syllabus for their course.

Submission Guidelines

(NB: The application period for COLAs for fall 2022 has passed; we will announce those courses soon)

SARC SEM courses are one-credit, graded seminars that meet once each week for 75 minutes in the fall semester. Student enrollment is capped at 18 first-year students, all of whom are assigned to the instructor for their advising. The SARC seminars are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member. Ideally, they pay special attention to the relationship of the topic to the School of Architecture curriculum as a whole, allowing faculty to teach students how to discuss important issues, how to read critically, and/or how to relate real-world issues to the kinds of courses they have an opportunity to take. SARC SEM courses should have rigorous reading and other assignments in keeping with the one-credit format. Students meet for the course weekly and some significant portion of time during the course of the semester (~20%) should be devoted to advising issues (e.g., selecting and declaring a major, study abroad opportunities, career services, undergraduate research, etc.).

Submitting a SARC SEM Proposal

Please submit the following materials in a single .pdf file to Catherine Walden in the Office of the Provost (

1. Title of the class
2. Description of the SARC SEM, which includes how the class fits into Race, Place & Equity
3. A statement indicating your willingness to meet the criteria (e.g. engaging the community, speakers, field trips, etc.)

4. The application should indicate whether you would be available to participate in a fully funded summer workshop over a period of 3 – 5 half days towards the end of May.

5. The application should also indicate whether you would be available to participate in the orientation day.

Faculty will receive compensation in the form of a research supplement.

For questions about the Mellon grant, please contact Catherine Walden ( For questions about SARC SEMs, please contact Anselmo Canfora (