The Jepson Update

The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Winter 2021

From the Dean

Sandra Peart

A recent snowfall blanketed our campus, transforming it into a picture-perfect dreamland. As I watched students make their way to class through the snowy landscape, I was reminded once again of how fortunate we are to be a part of the Jepson and University of Richmond communities. I am thankful for our faculty and staff who have worked together to deliver the Jepson School’s unique curriculum through a quality, hybrid instruction model, with most students and faculty participating in person, while others participate virtually this semester.

I am also thankful for our alumni, who have rallied to support our students in these challenging times by offering a virtual Jepson EDGE Institute. They will hold a kick-off event on Feb. 20, followed by workshops and mentoring sessions presented over several weeks.

Please enjoy this issue of the Jepson Update, which features stories of alumni who have applied their leadership studies education in diverse fields, from a Walgreens executive, to an NIH researcher turned medical school student, to a transportation executive, to a winery manager, to the president of a professional soccer team. Listen to an interview with Jepson School benefactor Robert S. Jepson Jr. Make plans to join us for two upcoming Gary L. McDowell Institute lectures. Last, but certainly not least, take a walk through memory lane with our Valentine’s Day retrospective of Jepson alumni couples.

Wishing you good health and happiness in 2021!

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

Ed Kaleta, ’95, at forefront of COVID-19 battle

Walgreens executive Ed Kaleta, ’95, has taken a lead in the COVID-19 testing and vaccination rollouts. "Sometimes you work your entire career for a moment like this," he says.

Leland Damron, ’18, conducts HIV research at NIH

Her Jepson internship working with HIV-positive patients at a Tanzanian hospital led Leland Damron, ’18, first to a National Institutes of Health HIV research lab and then to medical school.

Maurice Henderson, ’97, at nexus of transportation, environmental stewardship

Issues of access — access to quality education, healthcare, and transportation — have always been top of mind for Maurice Henderson, ’97. As senior director of government partnerships at the micromobility company Bird, he has been able to contribute to transportation access, while also addressing climate change.

Adrienne Smith, ’98, follows her passion to Napa Valley

First came the coronavirus pandemic. Then the economic fallout. Then the raging fires that turned the sky orange. When faced with such adversity, many would admit defeat. Adrienne (Capps) Smith, ’98, general manager of a California winery, got creative.

Tim Bezbatchenko, ’04, guides team to Major League Soccer championship

In a year when many sports were put on hold, Tim Bezbatchenko, president and general manager of the Columbus Crew SC, helped lead his team to victory in the Major League Soccer championship game.

Robert S. Jepson Jr. discusses School’s origins in interview

Jepson School benefactor Robert S. Jepson Jr. shares the School’s history from inception to the present in an interview with leadership studies professor Julian Hayter.

McDowell Institute to offer spring lecture series

The Gary L. McDowell Institute will offer a virtual lecture series this spring: On March 24, Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute will discuss the need to recommit to and rebuild America’s democratic institutions. Charles Moore, author of the three-volume "Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography," will discuss the Iron Lady’s leadership on April 14.

Check the McDowell Institute website in the coming weeks for registration information.

Student Stories

December 21, 2020
Hannah Lee, '21
Senior weighs pros and cons of using forensic genealogy to solve violent crime
December 8, 2020
Alex Beran, '21

Scholar-athlete takes a deep dive into health care with her internship and senior thesis

December 7, 2020
Amanda Brosnan, '21
Experiential education deepens student’s understanding of leadership and environmental issues
November 19, 2020
Lindsay Pett, '21
Senior explores global healthcare through study abroad and honors thesis research
November 18, 2020
Three for three
Three seniors pursuing a dual-school education reap job offers from their summer internships
November 11, 2020
Will Walker, '21
Senior advocates for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented college students
Valentine's Day Gallery
  • Jepson School Valentine's Day Gallery
    This Valentine's Day, we are celebrating some of the alumni couples who fell in love while they were students at the Jepson School.
  • Jepson Class of 1994
    The Jepson Class of 1994 produced not only the School's first graduates, but also the greatest number of alumni marriages--three! Can you identify the three couples that married in this Class of 1994 photo? Read on for clues....
  • Jimmie Gahagan and Cheryl Hubbard
    Jimmie Gahagan, '94, and Cheryl Hubbard, '94, met their first week of college in a school van on the way to a tubing trip down the James River. They are pictured at the 1993 Ring Dance.
  • Gahagan Family
    Today Jimmie and Cheryl Gahagan live in Richmond, Va., with their children, Laura (18) and Mark (15). Cheryl is assistant head of the Lower School at Collegiate School. Jimmie is the director of VCU LEAD.
  • Aaron Heffron and Jennifer Chiappetta
    As members of Jepson's tight-knit first graduating class, Aaron Heffron, '94, and Jennifer Chiappetta, '94, participated in many Jepson activities that brought them together; but it wasn’t until their senior year that they finally shared a leadership class. They are pictured at their 1994 graduation.
  • Heffron Family
    Aaron and Jennifer Heffron reside in Purcellville, Va., with their daughters, Riley (16) and Tessa (14). Aaron is president of Market Connections, a market research company in Northern Virginia. Jennifer works part-time for Cigna, managing the Cigna Legal Volunteer Program, and also works for Loudoun County Public Schools.
  • Kristine Sweet and Rich Volp
    Countless group projects, late night study sessions, and good friends brought Kristine Sweet, '94, and Rich Volp, '94, together. They are pictured at the 1993 Ring Dance.
  • Volp Family
    Today Kristine and Rich Volp are happily settled in Wilmington, Del., with their daughters, Madeline (19) and Macy (17). Rich is VP of business solutions at CertaPro Painters (where he was formerly leadership director), and Kristine is a mathematics teacher at The Pilot School.
  • Elizabeth Hopfinger and Jeff Thompson
    Elizabeth Hopfinger, '00, and Jeff Thompson, '00, double majored in leadership studies and rhetoric and communication studies. They met the fall of their senior year in their Gendered Communication class and subsequently spent time together at Jepson.
  • Thompson Family
    Elizabeth and Jeff Thompson live in Durham, N.C., with their sons, Chase and Beckett. Elizabeth is the development manager at World Relief Durham. Jeff is head of skin care and body care at Burt's Bees.
  • Tim Bezbatchenko and Annie Williamson
    Tim Bezbatchenko, '04, and Annie Williamson, '04, met in their Foundations of Leadership class.
  • Bezbatchenko Family
    Today Tim and Annie Bezbatchenko live in Columbus, Ohio, with their children, Sarah (5) and Jack (8). Tim is president and general manager of the Columbus Crew SC. Annie is a program consultant at The Teagle Foundation.
  • Ryan Babiuch and Allison Kirk
    Ryan Babiuch, '04, and Allison Kirk, '05, met at a Jepson Student Government Association committee meeting.
  • Babiuch Family
    Ryan and Allison Babiuch reside in Cleveland, Ohio, with their children, Madeline (5) and Michael (3). Ryan is a litigation partner at Benesch Law Firm. Allison is an ophthalmologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Melissa Collins and Alex Cramer
    Melissa Collins, '11, and Alex Cramer, '11, were seated next to each other alphabetically in a few classes, including Group Dynamics, where a paired project somehow led to pairing up for good. The happy couple would like to thank Dr. Forsyth!
  • Cramer Family
    Alex and Melissa Cramer live in Richmond, Va., with their son, Hayes. Melissa is a recruiter for Tiffany & Co., Alex is VP of product at Goldman Sachs, and Hayes is chief troublemaker.
  • Scott Rockensies and Danielle Taylor
    Scott Rockensies, '13, and Danielle Taylor, '13, met freshman year when they joined the Mock Trial team. But they didn't get to know each other until they were paired as orientation advisors the next year - surviving the trust falls and ropes course together. They started dating around the time they were accepted into the Jepson School during the fall of their sophomore year.
  • Rockensies and Taylor Family
    Scott Rockensies and Danielle Taylor live in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is a senior manager of Enterprise Partnerships at American Express, and she is an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. They are pictured here at Horseshoe Bend, Ariz.

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

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