Category Archives: Events


Several Batten MPP students volunteered to play Bingo with residents at The Cedars Golden Living Center on Friday afternoon of March 22nd. We brought t-shirts to give out as prizes to the winners of Bingo games, which were a huge hit when we volunteered there during Batten Builds in the fall. The residents of the assisted living center were really excited when they saw the prizes we brought with us!


As the Batten students spread out and sat at different tables, everyone listened eagerly to the numbers skillfully called out by Solomon and Kaitlin. The rest of the Batten crew, Kaycie, Patrick, Gina, Matt W., Kelly D., and Katy, listened carefully and helped out the skillful Bingo-players at their tables when needed. The residents thanked us for coming to play with them, but I think that we got the better end of the deal, getting to play Bingo with such wonderful people!


– Post by Katy Lai, MPP’13


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Up to Us: Our Nation’s Rising National Debt

Up To Us is a student-led campaign to engage the University of Virginia and Charlottesville community about our nation’s rising national debt and its effects on our generation now and in the future.

Led by five fourth-year students (including three Batten students), the Up to Us campaign, began on January 22 and runs through March 2. It is part of a nation-wide campus competition among 10 colleges to develop outreach regarding the nation’s fiscal status and future. The campaign has included over 20 events, ranging from academic (such as Flash Seminars) to social (ex: a national-debt themed trivia night at Mellow Mushroom). Such events aim to increase students’ awareness and knowledge about the national debt.

An event held on January 25th, titled “HOOs Talking about the National Debt”, featured three distinguished professors from various schools: Tom Massaro, Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law Emeritus, professor of pediatrics emeritus, and an expert on national health care systems; Craig Volden, professor of public policy and an expert on American political processes; and Herman Schwartz, professor of politics and expert on debt and political economy. Each professor shared their viewpoints on the United States budget deficit and its relevant consequences with, despite the snowy weather, over 60 students.  With lunch kindly provided by the Batten Council, the students were extremely engaged, asking thought-provoking and introspective questions throughout the discussions.

One of the centerpieces of the campaign was a speech by Virginia Senator Mark on February 11. Introduced by University President Teresa Sullivan, Senator Warner spoke to an audience of about 500 members of University of Virginia community regarding our nation’s debt crisis. Senator Warner has played a crucial role in addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges. Last year, Senator Warner helped organize a bipartisan coalition consisting of 45 Senators and 100 members of the House of Representatives to urge action on the debt. The former Virginia governor has been active on the issue of fiscal responsibility. A video of his talk is available online.

Throughout the campaign, Up to Us has received generous support from Batten’s community of faculty and students, with numerous sponsorships of events and aid in planning. The Up to Us team is extremely grateful to attend a school where all are so supportive and engaged in such an important issue as the national debt.

Upcoming events include:

Feb 28: How Students Can Save and Build Their Own Financial Future

Professor Karin Bonding

6:30 PM

Robertson 120

March 1: TEDTalk of “Final Thoughts”

Professor Mary Margaret Frank (Darden), Stuart Wolf (Engineering), and a Board of Visitors member will drive home the main take-away points of our national debt issue, why it’s important for students to get involved, and how UVA will be affected.

1:00 PM

Garrett Hall

March 2: Closing Reception

Location TBD

Reception for all the attendees, professors, deans, community members, etc. who were involved in our campaign or who have attended any event

Serves as a closing opportunity for networking to continue work around the national debt

Please visit for more information.

– Post by Ryan Singel, MPP ‘14

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Dumpling Party to Celebrate the Year of the Snake!


The Batten School hosted its first-ever dumpling party in the Great Hall on Monday, February 11, 2013, to celebrate Chinese New Year. Headed by the Career Services Team with the help of four Batten students from the first- and second-year MPP cohorts, the event attracted more than 50 people. The event was open to the entire University community; both Batten and non-Batten students and faculty attended.  In addition to being able to appreciate the lunar year celebration, students had the opportunity to learn how to make dumplings with homemade fillings made by Batten students and Dean Rockwell. Then of course, they were able to enjoy their hard work! A big thanks to the Career Services Team and everyone else who helped make the event happen! Happy belated Chinese New Year!


-Post by Katy Lai, MPP’13

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Panel Discussion: Why Do Leaders Act Unethically?

The inaugural panel discussion for the UVA Leadership Working Group brought two thought-provoking speakers to the Batten School to talk about ethics and leadership. The Batten School’s Professor Benjamin Converse moderated the discussion. The first speaker was one of UVA’s own R. Edward Freeman, an Olsson Professor of Business Administration in the Darden School of Business. The second speaker was Max H. Bazerman, a Straus Professor of Business Administration in the Harvard Business School. Both speakers brought a different perspective of ethics – philosophical and psychological.

Professor Freeman questioned what defines the ethics we as individuals hold. For many, our philosophical beliefs shape how we define ethical behavior. He continued by pointing to the fact the ethics than an individual follows may allow him to sleep at night may indeed cause the rest of us nightmares. It is through these different lenses of ethical views that we judge leaders. However, we need to realize that many individuals can become enmeshed in situations that do not allow for ethical decisions. Therefore, the situation plays a greater role in ethical behavior than we ascribe to it.

Professor Bazerman brought us the ethics of leadership from the psychological standpoint discussed in Blind Spot: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It, a book he co-authored with Ann E. Tenbrunsel. Bazerman agreed with Freeman that many people would characterize themselves as ethical. However, this characterization breaks down when individuals make decisions for “the business.” He called this ethical fading. Bazerman gave three organizational examples of how the strong desire to maintain the status quo can lead to initiatives that encourage unethical behavior through inaction. He believes that the field of psychology can be used to help shortcut the need to accept the status quo.

– Post by Ammy George, MPP’13

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Batten Election Night

After camping out all night in the Great Hall, many of the Batten students erupted in cheers with the victories of Barack Obama and Tim Kaine. Batten students were also very excited for the reelection of Gerry Connolly to the House of Representatives, father of current Batten student Caitlin Connolly.  At the peak of the night, Garrett was filled with over 60 students watching the election, pouring over their computers searching for the latest news (and trying to get the rest of their homework finished), and chowing down on some delicious snacks.  


Thanks to everyone who came out to watch the election in the Great Hall!


-Post by Aaron Chafetz

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Filed under Batten Council, Events, News/Opinion, Students, Uncategorized

1st Annual Batten Powder Puff Game

On a crisp, Friday afternoon four Batten cohorts united to play in the first ever Batten Powder Puff game.  While we had planned on a battle between the classes, we ended up dividing up between Accelerated and Post Grad students.  It was a mighty fight between the two teams. Both sides kept the fans involved with some great runs, some trick plays, and some stellar defense.   Although the Post Grads ended up winning 14-0, everyone out on the field did a great job.  A big thanks goes out to Scott and Byron who did a great job coaching  (and looking stylish while doing so), Kaitlin for designing some great shirts and helping put this event together, and all the fans who showed up to cheer on the women of Batten.

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Posted by Aaron Chafetz

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Happy Halloween!

Tommy Getting Tugged at Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn

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