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The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Fall 2020

The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Fall 2020

The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Fall 2020

The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Fall 2020

From the Dean

The orange and yellow hues spreading through the trees outside my Jepson Hall office window mark the passing of the midpoint of the fall semester. It is a good time to pause and thank all those who have contributed to the success of our residential semester thus far: the Jepson faculty and staff who implemented a hybrid teaching model that reaches our students in person and remotely; the faculty, staff, and students committed to protecting all Spiders by following University of Richmond COVID-19 protocols; and our alumni who faithfully share their time and resources. I am truly grateful.

We have much to celebrate this semester. The Gary L. McDowell Institute continues the John Marshall Center legacy of exploring democratic thought and governance. Our new assistant professors, Olga Chykina and Lauren Henley, bring their respective expertise on educational inequalities and the history of violent crime in America to our interdisciplinary study of leadership. In July, our inaugural Jepson Scholar completed her University of Oxford master’s degree with distinction.

Our robust programming—including an alumni-led discussion of leadership during times of crisis, a Marshall Center webinar on Frederick Douglass’ leadership, and our Leader-in-Residence brown bag on racial equity in K-12 education—has engaged people on and off campus. More than 300 people registered to attend our October book launch and discussion on how we can reimagine and reinvigorate our democracy.

You’ll find all this news and more in this issue of The Jepson Update. Thank you for being caring, contributing members of our vibrant, intellectually curious community. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a healthy, fruitful fall.


Sandra J. Peart
Dean and E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies
President, Jepson Scholars Program

Leadership in times of crisis

Few would argue that 2020 has been one of the most tumultuous years in the last century. A global pandemic, racial and social unrest, and high rates of unemployment have roiled the country and disrupted the lives of ordinary Americans. Jepson alumni Raegan Williams Morris, ’99, Greg Efthimiou, ’99, and Ken Anderson, ’17, ’L20, share their insights on the leadership challenges and opportunities during this historic time.

Read more. 

Alumna champions kidney health

Raise public awareness. Facilitate the creation of innovative technology. Convene diverse stakeholders. Melissa West, ’97, draws on these three principles daily in leading the fight against kidney disease.


Jepson scholarship recipient earns distinction at Oxford

Earning a master’s degree from the venerable University of Oxford is cause for celebration. All the more so when graduating free of debt and with distinction—a recognition granted those with the highest grades. Such is the case of inaugural Jepson Scholar Sabrina Escobar Miranda, ’19, who completed a Master of Science in Latin American studies in July.

Read more. 

The Gary L. McDowell Institute

The Jepson School proudly announces the formation of the Gary L. McDowell Institute, named in honor of a revered professor of leadership studies emeritus. The Institute, which subsumes the John Marshall Center, will focus on discussions of political thought and governance and offer a student fellows program. 

Read more.

Watch the Marshall Center webinar on Frederick Douglass. 

Leader-in-Residence Rodney Robinson

2020-21 Leader-in-Residence Rodney Robinson visited Jepson School classrooms and led a brown bag webinar, "From Racism to Justice: What Our Children Deserve," last week. The 2019 National Teacher of the Year and Richmond Public Schools senior advisor is a passionate advocate for underprivileged and underrepresented students. 

Read more. 

Can we make American democracy work?

This October, Jepson School of Leadership Studies associate professors Thad Williamson and Julian Hayter; Melody C. Barnes of University of Virginia; and Corey D. B. Walker of Wake Forest University led a virtual discussion and launch of their book, Community Wealth Building and the Reconstruction of American Democracy: Can We Make American Democracy Work? 

Alumni Voices

Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement and Inclusion Initiatives, College of William & Mary Watch Video
Consultant, Bain & Company Watch Video
Senior Product Manager, Accolade, Inc. Watch Video
International Program Manager, United States Department of Defense Watch Video
Attorney and Judge Advocate, United States Navy Watch Video
Attorney and President, Asurest Watch Video
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Watch Video
Third-year medical student, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Watch Video
Director of Global Philanthropy, Global Citizen Watch Video
Stay in touch

Keep up-to-date: Send us the latest news about your promotion, new job, relocation, honors, family, or educational advancement, and connect with the Jepson School on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Contact Us

Jepson School of Leadership Studies
221 Richmond Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173

General Information:

Phone: (804) 289-8008
Fax: (804) 287-6062