The Jepson Update

The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Winter 2024

From the Dean

Sandra Peart

Students crowded around Robert S. Jepson Jr. during his recent campus visit. When one asked the Jepson School’s visionary benefactor his thoughts on the current state of the school, he replied, “We’re always trying to get better. When you’re the lead pony, you’d better keep running fast!”

An excellent lesson in leadership, and one the Jepson School takes to heart. Indeed, we have been running particularly fast this semester.

Just this past Sunday, 40 alumni led professional development workshops for 67 juniors at our annual Jepson EDGE Institute. Some alums were back on campus Monday for the Jepson Alumni Corps meeting, brainstorming new and better ways to support the school. Still others participated in a Jepson Executive Board of Advisors meeting, also on Monday, where they discussed ongoing efforts to elevate the school’s profile.

Our alumni are making not just our school, but our world, a better place. In this Jepson Update issue, you’ll read about graduates who are transforming their local communities through nonprofit work, defending their country through military service, creating gastronomical delights, and more. Our alumni are running fast!

So too are our faculty, who regularly share their research on campus, at conferences, and with the news media. Their creative teaching ensures our students learn not just facts and figures, but more importantly, how to think critically. Faculty bring in outside experts to increase the breadth and depth of knowledge disseminated within the University and to the general public through programs including the Jepson Leadership Forum, McDowell Institute Lecture Series, and Leader-in-Residence Program.

Our students, too, create and share knowledge. I invite you to join us on April 19 when they present their research at the annual Jepson Research Symposium, always an exciting event! I also invite you to make a gift to the Jepson School during UR Here Giving Day, April 3-4. Your support will ensure we continue to get better as we run this race together.

I am so grateful to be a part of this dynamic, forward-looking community. Please enjoy this issue of the Jepson Update!

Warmest wishes,

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

Kianna Price Marshall headshot

Storytelling that drives community transformation

As a broadcast journalist in Roanoke, Virginia, Kianna Price Marshall spent 15 years interviewing luminaries, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Martin Luther King III, and John Legend, among others. Today, as vice president of advancement for the United Way of Roanoke Valley, she uses her narrative skills to tell the stories of some of the most vulnerable residents of western Virginia. 

“My desire to tell stories of the voiceless has always been part of my heart,” said the 2000 grad.

Charlotte Denoyer, '15, holds two trays of her trademark chocolates

Chocolate-making alum’s recipe for success

Charlotte Denoyer is living her dream. The 2015 grad and her sister, Carrie, always wanted to work together. So in 2019, they co-founded Cupped Desserts, a gourmet chocolate cup business. Building on their success, the entrepreneurs opened a popular French-American restaurant in a New York City suburb a year ago.

Sean Bode, '05, standing in front of a tree

Veteran’s journey led him on a path to assist others

After serving as a platoon leader in an active war zone in Iraq, Sean Bode, ’05, experienced firsthand the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life. He helped many other service members with the transition before ultimately deciding to return to military duty himself. Today he is a lieutenant colonel with the Army’s Special Operations Command South. 

Greg Efthimiou headshot

Alum brings passion for assisting entrepreneurs to GoDaddy

Coming from a line of small business owners, Greg Efthimiou, ’99, strives to give similar companies a competitive advantage. The vice president of public relations at GoDaddy, the nation’s largest website domain provider, connects entrepreneurs with digital tools to grow their businesses.

President Hallock and Dean Peart present Lacie Leming, '13, with the 2023 Tenth-Year Reunion Recognition Award

Nominate an alum!

Each year during the University of Richmond’s Reunion Weekend, the Jepson School recognizes two or more extraordinary leadership studies graduates whose achievements demonstrate a commitment to the common good through their career or profession, continuing education or scholarship, or community or public service. This year, the Tenth-Year Reunion Recognition Award will go to an outstanding alum from the Class of 2014, and the Alumni Award will go to one or more alums who graduated at least 20 years ago. 

Alison Lukan, '96, broadcasting

Jepson grad scores big in hockey analytics

Once a hockey blogger for the National Hockey League’s Blue Jackets, Alison Lukan is now an on-air analyst for the Seattle Kraken, one of the NHL’s newest expansion teams. As part of the Emmy-winning Roots Sports Network crew, the 1996 Jepson alum dishes out expert pre-game, intermission, and post-game analyses, sprinkling in some data-driven facts to decode the game for viewers.

Dan Souza, '04, whips up liquid nitrogen ice cream for "America's Test Kitchen"

Seasoned chef: Alum leads Cook’s Illustrated

Fittingly, Dan Souza prepared food while reflecting on his path to becoming editor-in-chief for the beloved America’s Test Kitchen magazine Cook’s Illustrated. On his personal lunch menu: tortilla soup, just right for a crisp fall day in Boston. 

As the publication’s top editor, Souza, a 2004 alum, specializes in helping home cooks gain confidence through science-based recipes, unbiased reviews, and trusted guidance.

Jepson alumni Benjamin Weiser and Ally Osterberg in their Oxford graduation robes

Jepson Scholars earn master’s degrees at Oxford

Ally Osterberg, ’22, and Benjamin Weiser, ’22, were all smiles on Nov. 4 as they celebrated their graduation from University of Oxford master’s programs. Their journey to Oxford began in spring 2022 when the Jepson School of Leadership Studies named the two graduating University of Richmond seniors Jepson Scholars, an honor that comes with all-expenses-paid scholarships to one-year Oxford master’s programs. 

Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    The 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute, the alumni-led professional development program for leadership studies juniors, was held Feb. 18 in the Jepson Alumni Center.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Dean Sandra Peart welcomed students and alumni at 10:45 a.m. Then alumni led the group workshop Refining and Practicing Your Elevator Pitch.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    This year, 70 alumni planned and implemented EDGE, including 40 who came to campus to lead workshops and mentor students.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Sixty-seven leadership studies juniors participated.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Alumni networked with students and answered their questions during lunch.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Students chatted with alumni who worked in fields of interest to the students.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    After lunch, students rotated through three more workshops created and presented by alumni. A panel of alumni described the many career paths open to Jepson students during the workshop Oh the Places You'll Go!
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Other alumni led small group discussions in the workshop Leveraging Your Experiences.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Students chatted one-on-one with alumni about professional case scenarios during the Working It Out workshop.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Alumni caught up with former classmates during the dessert reception at 5 p.m.
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Many thanks to the 70 Jepson School alumni who planned and/or led the 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute!
  • 2024 Jepson EDGE Institute
    Jepson EDGE Institute: Explore, Develop, Gain, Exceed

School Stories

Composite of photos of Javier Hidalgo, Jessica Flanigan, and Terry Price teaching
January 17, 2024
The Art of Thinking

Three philosophers challenge their students to become critical thinkers.

Jepson seniors Audrey Fulkerson, Mark Johnson, and Sofie Conway at the VSH office.
November 2, 2023
Ending homelessness

Jepson School alumni guide interns in understanding the causes of and solutions to homelessness.

Dr. Danny TK Avula giving a public talk on campus on Jan. 30
February 13, 2024
Come Together

Jepson leader-in-residence Danny TK Avula touts diverse communities as an antidote to combat polarization.

Ekrem Mus headshot
January 31, 2024
Turkish scholar champions democracy

Having experienced a lurch toward autocracy in his native Turkey, visiting international scholar Ekrem Mus advocates for democracy and a just legal system.

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