The Jepson Update

The Jepson Update

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Jepson School • Fall 2023

From the Dean

Sandra Peart

At the midpoint of this busy, productive semester, we pause to reflect. Even as we celebrate our accomplishments, we also extend our care and support for those in our community. Never has the Jepson School's mission to educate effective, ethical leaders been more relevant than it is in today's troubled world.

At Reunion Weekend in early June, we recognized two such effective, ethical leaders for their contributions to the greater good. Lacie Leming, ’13, who is helping to transform healthcare utilization management, received the school’s 10th-Year Reunion Recognition Award. Christopher Poulos, ’97, who is serving in the Connecticut House of Representatives, received the school’s Alumni Award.

Rapid globalization underscores the need to study leadership in international contexts. This semester, more Jepson students are studying abroad than ever before, and we welcomed two faculty members who bring international perspectives to the school: Vladimir Chlouba researches traditional leadership in sub-Saharan Africa, and Guzel Garifullina researches municipal governance in Russia.

Jepson Hall reverberates with the voices of students and faculty engaged in dynamic class discussions. Recently, six alumni joined in by sharing their graduate school experiences with Dr. Kerstin Soderlund’s internship class. A record thirty-six students are participating in the McDowell Institute Student Fellows Program, which fosters the study and discussion of diverse viewpoints across the political spectrum.

The school’s two public lecture series are drawing large crowds. The 2023-24 Jepson Leadership Forum features experts speaking on topics related to the theme “Masculinity in a Changing World.” On Sept. 28, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley kicked off the annual McDowell Institute Lecture Series with a discussion of American economist Thomas Sowell.

I invite you to join us for the remaining lectures in these two series. I also hope to see many of you Oct. 27 – 29 for Spider Day and Homecoming and on Feb. 18 for the Jepson EDGE Institute, an alumni-led professional development program for our juniors. In the meantime, keep up with the latest school news by reading this issue of the Jepson Update.

Best wishes,

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

headshot of News Corp chief information security officer Billy O'Brien, '01

Protecting a media heavyweight from cybercrime

As chief information security officer for News Corp, Billy O’Brien, ’01, oversees the cybersecurity of Rupert Murdoch’s global media conglomerate.

“The most important part of my job is leadership, especially forming and optimizing a team that is best positioned, prepared, and equipped for success,” the Spider alumnus said. “Cybersecurity is a team sport—we win or lose as a team, and we have to win.”

Connecticut State Representative Christopher Poulos, '97, seated in the chamber of the Connecticut House of Representatives

Bridging the gap between teachers and policymakers

Christopher Poulos, ’97, won the November 2022 general election for the Connecticut House of Representatives District 81 by one vote. During his inaugural General Assembly session, the award-winning high school Spanish teacher served on the education committee, where he brought his working knowledge of public education to bear on policy discussions.

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

Alum recognized for servant leadership

She learned about servant leadership during her undergraduate years at the Jepson School. At Reunion Weekend, Lacie Leming, ’13, was recognized for her transformative work in healthcare management and her service to the school. 

Assistant professors of leadership studies Vladimir Chlouba and Guzel Garifullina in front of Jepson Hall

New faculty bring international perspective

During an era of increasing globalization, two new assistant professors of leadership studies bring an international perspective to the study of leadership. Vladimir Chlouba, a native of the Czech Republic, researches traditional leadership in sub-Saharan Africa. Guzel Garifullina, a native of Russia, researches Russian regional and municipal leadership. 


The 2023-24 Jepson Leadership Forum

The last few decades have seen rapid changes in gender relations and norms—in the household, in the workforce, and in government. The 2023-24 Jepson Leadership Forum invites speakers to discuss masculinity in the context of these recent cultural changes.

Specific topics include the role of hormones in gender identity and behavior, status competition and violence, challenges facing men as a result of the changing nature of the family and the economy, Black masculinity in the United States, and the past and future of patriarchy globally.

Jason Riley presenting "Why Thomas Sowell Matters" at University of Richmond on Sept. 28, 2023.

McDowell Institute Lecture Series

The McDowell Institute Lecture Series hosts speakers who examine and discuss the problems and prospects of leadership, constitutionalism, political economy, politics, and ethical reasoning.

Speaking to a capacity crowd on Sept. 28, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley presented "Why Thomas Sowell Matters," a discussion of the impact of the well-known American economist. Next up on Nov. 9, sociologist Angel Parham defends the classics as a critical component of a liberal arts education. 

Spider Day Homecoming logo

Join us for Spider Day and Homecoming!

Calling all Spiders! Start Homecoming Weekend with Spider Day on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. Come together with fellow students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends and celebrate: "Once a Spider, Always a Spider!"

School Stories

Best alumni network
October 2, 2023
University News
Making web connections
Town & Country magazine recently selected UR as one of The 15 Colleges with the Best Alumni Networks.
Trevin Stevens, '24, shaking the hand of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
August 23, 2023
Trevin Stevens, ’24

Virginia Governor's Fellow focuses on city revitalization initiative during his summer internship.

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