|BROWN COLLEGE ON MONROE HILL
About 300 undergraduates live in the Brown College portals, which were constructed in the 1920s as the first University residences built after the Lawn and Range rooms. Each of the twelve portals is named after a distinguished UVa professor of the nineteenth century:
Davis Gildersleeve Harrison Holmes Long Mallet
McGuffey Peters Rogers Smith Tucker Venable
Tunnels offer convenient, all-weather passage between portals, and the Smith and Tucker lounges are popular gathering places. Private green spaces such as the Georgia Childress Garden, the Quad (which is enclosed by Smith, Mallet, Long, and Davis), and Gildersleeve Green provide locations for cookouts and other outdoor activities.
The Principals of Brown College, Professors Jennifer Geddes and Charles Mathewes, live in the historic Monroe Hill House (former home of President James Monroe), where they host numerous events throughout the year. The L-shaped range of offices beside the Monroe Hill House includes the Brown College office, where Administrator Chris Aukstikalnis works (Room 102); the offices of the Directors of Studies, Professors Karen Schmidt and Robert Watkins, and the Sara Shallenberger Brown Environmental Studies Fellow, Sean Borton. The small building at the corner of the range is the Monroe Law Office, home to resident faculty fellow, Professor Jennifer Burns.
Between the Law Office and the Hill House is the Sally Brown Reading Room, a place where small courses meet and students gather. It contains a wide variety of books, periodicals, and videos that are available for use by the University community and may be signed out on an honor basis. The collections are always growing and suggestions for additions are welcome.
Brown College has an active and multifaceted system of student governance. The governing board is comprised of the officers, the Council of Portal Representatives, and the co-chairs of the activity committees. At weekly meetings, student governance members announce news of upcoming activities, make plans for future events, share ideas, and discuss various issues facing the College.
Three officers—the Grand Poohbah, the Shama Lama Ding Dong, and the Treasurer—are elected by the entire membership at the end of the year before their term begins and play key roles in the life of the College.
Grand PoohBah: Chris Moneymaker
Shama Lama Ding Dong: Thomas Lynch
Treasurer: Elizabeth Dang
The Council of Portal Representatives is elected at the beginning of the fall semester. Each portal (between 20 and 28 students) typically chooses two members to represent them in the Council. Portal reps organize events for their portal, invite Faculty Fellows to portal activities, and arrange portal dinners at the dining hall.
Numerous committees, led by co-chairs, organize much of the programming that goes on at Brown College. Below is a list of the activity committees and the 2009–2010 co-chairs:
Academic & Cultural Events: Alexandra Chirico, Ian Nathan
Alumni: Vacant (2)
Brown Earth: Elizabeth Stoner, Vacant (1)
Community Outreach: Nicholas Vercruysse, Vacant (1)
Faculty: Jennifer Tran, Vacant (1)
First-Year Liaisons: Taylor Koerner, Charlotte Bush, Vacant (1)
Hauntings: Justin Kelley, Vacant (2)
Historians: Rebecca Edney, Bradford Slocum, Vacant (1)
Intramural Sports: Vacant, (2)
Membership: Kelsey Gustin, Vacant (2)
Newsletter: Rachel Lazarus, Vacant (1)
Public Relations: Sean Bugg, Vacant (1)
Social: Elizabeth Gwathmey, Chris Collins, Leah Paisner
Webmasters: Lesley Hogan, Daniel Epstein
Each fall the governing board drafts the activity budget for the following academic year. The governing board has a yearly budget of approximately $34,500, which is spent by the student members with the supervision of College Administrator Chris Aukstikalnis.
Resident staff are members of the College whose special training benefits residents in a variety of ways. They are knowledgeable about the range of academic and personal assistance provided by the academic deans, the dean of students, student health, and more specialized offices and programs. They are responsible for informing members about university regulations, reporting damage to the buildings, and responding to incidents endangering residents.
Head Resident: Kelly Hondula
Ji Soo Suh (Davis, Mallet)
Emily Trauernicht (Peters, Rogers)
Joshua Lesko (Gildersleeve, Venable)
Denson Staples (Holmes, Tucker)
Hannah Barefoot (Harrison, McGuffey)
Vetan Kapoor (Long, Smith)
Faculty presence has been a distinctive feature of Brown College. More than fifty Fellows maintain close contact with students by sharing meals and banquets at Newcomb Hall; hosting events and teaching Brown College courses; and taking part in the numerous activities on offer at the College. Fellows are drawn from many areas of the University community, including Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, Law, Education, and Business. While Brown College students enjoy the usual range of advising services, the day-to-day presence of faculty provides many opportunities for less formal counsel.
In addition to the Principals, several professors and scholars live on the College grounds: history professor Jennifer Burns resides in the Monroe Law Office; art historian Eric Ramirez-Weaver, his wife Liz, and their daughter Olivia live in the Tucker portal apartment; and music scholar Loren Ludwig lives in the Venable apartment.
The Brown College staff includes the Co-Principals Jennifer Geddes and Charles Mathewes, Director of Studies Karen Schmidt and Robert Watkins, Office Administrator Chris Aukstikalnis, and Sara Shallenberger Brown Fellow Sean Borton.
Principals Jennifer Geddes and Charles Mathewes have administrative responsibility for the day-to-day and long-range operation of the College, encourage the participation of Fellows in the life of the College, and represent the College to higher levels of the University administration. Directors of Studies Karen Schmidt and Robert Watkins organize and run the academic programs of Brown College and teach "Backstage," the required short course for all first-year students. Administrator Chris Aukstikalnis manages the numerous details that are required to make the College run smoothly and facilitates various dinners, discussions, and workshops. Sean Borton conducts the Brown College Environmental Literature class and schedules and hosts our visiting environmental writers.
Meals at Brown College bring members, fellows, and friends together on a regular basis. Every resident is required to enroll in one of several residential college meal plans. Faculty meals are paid for by the College. A special area of the Newcomb Hall dining room is reserved for our evening meals Sunday through Friday. Three times a semester, we gather at 5:45 in Newcomb Hall Ballroom for a themed banquet, with décor and entertainment designed to enhance the evening. Banquets provide the opportunity for students and faculty to interact, as well as an excellent venue for making announcements about upcoming events.
09/23/09 (Wed.) 02/25/10 (Thurs.)
10/14/09 (Wed.) 03/24/10 (Wed.)
12/02/09 (Wed.) 04/28/10 (Wed.)
Residents of Brown College are chosen by current students, who review the written applications. The process is overseen by the Membership Committee. We strive to maintain a diverse community that provides a welcoming atmosphere for students from all backgrounds, years, and undergraduate schools. Each year many more applications are received than we can accommodate. The only requirement of membership is the purchase of a College Meal Plan. However, we expect that members will take an active part in the life of the College. Seeking out faculty for conversation, participating in short courses and the College’s more formal academic offerings, and contributing to the efforts of activity committees are ways to make the most of the special opportunities Brown College offers. At the same time, members are encouraged to exercise their gifts in the larger University and Charlottesville communities.
Fellows of Brown College offer an array of opportunities for informal exploration of important issues, as well as credit courses designed especially for Brown College students. This fall, faculty fellows are offering the following one-credit courses. Email the professor listed to reserve a space:
Contemporary Educational Issues with Stephen Plaskon
2:00–4:00 every other Monday
Fantasy in Modern Spanish American Fiction with Donald Shaw
Evolving Darwin with Herbert Tucker
Wendell Berry and the Beginner’s Guide to Mad Farming
with Sean Borton and Nancy Takahashi
The Psychology of Electronic Language with Beverly Adams
Public Humanities and the Public University with Bruce Holsinger
12:00 –1:00 Fridays
Other courses offered by Brown College include the Sally Brown Seminar on Environmental Literature (EPT 387), led by Sean Borton, our Sally Brown Fellow for 2009–2010; and UVa Backstage (INST 274), taught by Directors of Studies Karen Schmidt and Robert Watkins, which is designed to orient first-year students living in Brown College to the variety of opportunities and resources found in the greater University community. In the spring, Brown College students facilitate a number of one-credit courses that offer a unique opportunity for learning from your peers.