Staff Matters: Spotlight on A&S Staff Senators
The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is fortunate to have four staff members serving terms currently on UVA’s Staff Senate, which represents staff across the University’s entire academic division. Created in 2014, the Staff Senate works to address staff concerns, advance their interests, and integrate staff into University decision-making.
The Senators hold a monthly virtual informational meeting to update everyone on their work and to hear feedback from constituents. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 30, from 11 a.m–noon. Here is the Zoom link. Among the issues under current consideration:
- The Staff Senate is wrapping up a report and proposal for the Health Benefits Survey that was distributed in May 2023. Upon completion it will be sent to UVA President Jim Ryan and his leadership group. The Senate has been working over the last two years to improve health benefits, including expanding the in-network providers and improving the plan options for University employees.
- A collaboration with Parking & Transportation to work through issues they are facing, including the projected shortfall of available parking spots for UVA employees.
- Working with UVA HR to improve the University’s recruitment and onboarding processes, as well as systems training for all employees and training for managers and supervisors.
“The Staff Senate plays a critical role in advancing the University’s mission and in ensuring that our staff members’ contributions are valued and supported. The Arts & Sciences community is fortunate to have four staff members who have taken on the responsibility of serving and representing their colleagues,” A&S Dean Christa Acampora said. “We are grateful to Megan Champion, Elizabeth Jackson, Adam Richard and Victoria Valdes for their time and dedication.”
If you are interested in learning more about and/or joining the Staff Senate when elections are held in the spring, please reach out to one of the current Senators listed below. You can also find more information here.
Graduate Program Coordinator & Assistant to the Chair, Department of Biology
Staff Senate term: 2022-2024
Megan Champion has been with the University of Virginia for a little over 6 years and loves working in the Department of Biology as their graduate coordinator. The culture and devotion to the student experience and education within her department fuels her passion for higher education. She joined the Staff Senate last year because she was interested in finding networking opportunities and expanding her knowledge of the way other departments function. She was pleased to find that the senators do so much more than this. She appreciates that by improving staff experiences, they can better student experiences and serve the university mission with greater energy and purpose.
Assistant to the Chair, Department of Environmental Sciences
Staff Senate term: 2021-2024
Jackson first came to UVA in 2014 as a temp, working for the School of Medicine’s diversity office for the summer. Six months later, she found permanent employment in the Office of Sponsored Programs as an administrative assistant. Two years after that, she found a home in the Department of Environmental Sciences where she spent five years at the front desk doing event planning, course scheduling and acting as the building coordinator. As of 2022, she acts as assistant to the chair, much like her counterpart Megan Champion. In her spare time, she attends Hoos Well classes, plays video games, reads books and listens to true-crime podcasts.
Undergraduate College Operations Finance & Administrative Manager
Staff Senate term: 2022-2025
Richard joined UVA in November 2017 after working in student affairs and athletics & recreation at Johns Hopkins University for 11 years. He has spent the past six years working in the A&S Undergraduate College and has been a part of Staff Senate for the past four. Richard served as the co-director of the Staff Senate Advocacy Committee from 2020-2023 and is now in the first year of a two-year term as the Staff Senate co-chair.
Fabrication Art Lab Coordinator, Department of Art
Staff Senate term: 2022-2025
Valdes manages the 3D design lab in Ruffin Hall. After receiving her master’s degree in art history from UVA in 2012, she was hired as assistant director of the Visual Resources Center, where she spearheaded a full-service 3D modeling program for the art department. In spring 2023, Valdes moved to Ruffin Hall to create a dedicated 3D lab and take the position of lab manager. The lab’s output includes large and small art pieces, digital environments, multimedia collaborative works, replicas, architectural models and other works.
If you know of staff and/or staff initiatives that deserve recognition, please reach out to Debbie White, director of staff affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.