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A&S Next

Turn Your Education into a Career with Passion and Purpose

You’re a Spider, so you dream big. You don’t want to land just any job after UR, but a purposeful career you’re passionate about.

At A&S NEXT, a career program specifically for A&S students, we aim to give you the tools to understand your personal strengths and how you can translate your Richmond education into a career that you love. Placed in the heart of the city of Richmond, you’ll meet and work alongside alumni and faculty to gain hands-on experience while leveraging your A&S education to tackle contemporary issues.

Register for A&S NEXT

Registration Ends February 19

Seek Solutions to Contemporary Issues

Arts and the City

There are many opportunities to engage with the arts at low or no cost in the city of Richmond. How do we ensure that these opportunities to experience the arts are accessible to all the city’s residents?

Faculty Facilitator

Mr. Erling Sjovold

Professor of Art
Chair, Department of Art and Art History
Alumni Facilitator

Ms. Elizabeth Schlatter

Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University Museums

Richmond’s History

In a time of vigorous debate across the country about the place for Confederate monuments, Richmond sits in the heart of this conversation. As the former capital of the Confederacy, how can Richmond progress in telling a more complete and accurate story of its history?

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Eric Yellin

Associate Professor of History and American Studies
Interim Associate Dean
Alumni Facilitators

Maria Ann Lee Strohmayer, ’12

Major: History and Anthropology
Program Manager, Montgomery County Historical Society


Schools located in urban areas are often underfunded, overcrowded, and in need of renovation, all of which have the potential to hinder students’ ability to learn. How can we work to improve the quality of urban education?

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Patricia Stohr-Hunt

Assistant Professor of Elementary Education
Chair, Department of Education
Alumni Facilitators

Schuyler VanValkenberg, ’04

Major: History
State Delegate; History Teacher, Glen Allen High School

Food Deserts

We hear regularly that nutrition is a key to health, yet the only choices that are readily available to certain populations are fast food or convenience foods. How do we break down the barriers preventing access to fresh and healthy food for all?

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Elizabeth P. Ransom

Associate Professor of Sociology
Alumni Facilitators

Emily Whitted, ‘16

Major: English
Food Access Coordinator, Fair Food

James River Conservation

As Virginia’s largest tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, the James River serves as a recreation destination, an economic catalyst, and an ecological haven. How do we reverse environmental damage to one of Richmond’s major natural resources and work to prevent future damage?

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Mary Finley-Brook

Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment
Alumni Facilitators

Keith Zukowski, ‘07

Major: English and Creative Writing
Advocacy Coordinator, Environmental Defense Fund


Those who move into and invest in an existing community can contribute to the neighborhood’s revitalization. Yet those who initially laid the neighborhood’s foundation can often be excluded. How can we ensure the city’s revitalization efforts protect the interests of all members of a community?

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Ernest McGowen

Associate Professor of Political Science
Alumni Facilitators

Will Gordon, ‘12

Major: Environmental Studies
Development Associate, Community Housing Partners

Mariah Williams, ‘14

Major: Sociology
Masters Candidate in Urban and Regional Planning, Virginia Commonwealth University; Founder, Black Girls Meet Up


Frequent and reliable public transportation in urban areas is essential for those seeking access to necessary jobs and amenities. What steps can be taken to support access, growth, and maintenance of the city’s public transportation systems?

Faculty Facilitator

Dr. Jory Denny

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Alumni Facilitators

Ross Catrow

Community Organizer, RVA Rapid Transit

Mark Hickman, ‘07

Major: Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies
Manager of Government Affairs, Commonwealth Strategy Group

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker

Laura Dillard Lafayette

A&S NEXT kicks off with a keynote from Laura Dillard Lafayette. Lafayette is the Chief Executive Officer of the Richmond Association of REALTORS® and the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service. In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of the Partnership for Housing Affordability, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring that an adequate and diverse supply of affordable housing is a public policy priority. Lafayette also is a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Housing Commission and sits on several other boards in the greater Richmond area. She received her BA in Religion from the College of William and Mary and pursued post-graduate work at both Yale Divinity School and the University of Virginia.

The keynote is open to all members of the campus community.

Join Us in Downtown Richmond

As an A&S NEXT participant, you’ll choose a topic area you’re interested in and spend the day in a small group teasing apart the issue, proposing solutions, and drawing on your personal strengths and those of your teammates. Alumni and faculty who have expertise in the chosen area will advise your group, giving you insight into their careers and research. At the end of the day, you’ll reflect on the skills you used and identify how the experience of utilizing a variety of competencies can be translated into future career endeavors. You’ll also have the opportunity to network and make professional connections with alumni that may benefit you as you plan for life after UR.

3PM – 9PM
Brown-Alley Room, Weinstein Hall

The event kicks off on campus at 3 p.m. in the Brown-Alley Room with a keynote with Laura Lafayette, CEO of the Richmond Association of Realtors and Executive Director of the Partnership for Housing Affordability. All are welcome.

At the conclusion of the keynote, participating students will remain in the Brown-Alley Room, where they will meet their group members and participate in pre-reflection exercises over dinner.

After dinner, students will take a guided bus tour through the city of Richmond led by Dr. Amy Howard, assistant vice president of community initiatives and the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.

The tour will conclude at the Richmond Marriott at 500 E. Broad Street, where students will check in and stay overnight.

8AM – 4PM
Richmond Marriott

A&S NEXT continues all day on Saturday at the Marriott with opening remarks from Dean Patrice Rankine and Delegate Schuyler VanValkenberg, ’04; small group work on case studies advised by faculty and alumni; presentations of each group’s work; reflections on the day; and closing remarks from Provost Jeffrey Legro. Following closing remarks, students will return to campus.

Food, program materials, transportation to and from downtown Richmond, and overnight accommodations will be provided to all event participants.

View detailed event schedule.

Register for A&S NEXT

Registration Ends February 19

A&S NEXT 2017
On February 11, the School of Arts and Sciences hosted A&S NEXT, a career workshop specifically designed for A&S students
Dean Patrice Rankine kicked off the day offering students advice on how to choose a path for themselves.
The event also featured faculty and alumni who shared their experiences as students and in the working world.