Student Activities

Student Self-Governance and the Echols Council

The Echols Scholars Program strongly affirms the University's emphasis on student self-governance. To this end, the Director and Association Dean work closely with Echols Scholars and seek their input and advice on programming, activities, and the academic and community direction of the Program.

The Echols Council serves as a representative body of the Echols Scholars Program.  Echols Council works with the Director and Association Dean to design and implement initiatives to foster a sense of community and enhance the academic experience of Echols Scholars. The Echols Council keeps scholars informed about fellowship opportunities and research funding through information sessions.  Social events planned by the Council bring together both Echols Scholars and Rodman Scholars for a bit of fun and relaxation.  In the spring, the Council is a great resource for prospective students at “Days on the Lawn” as they decide on whether to attend the University of Virginia. The Council-sponsored 4th year dinner is a wonderful way to bring our scholars' time at UVa to a close.

The Echols Council consists of an Executive Board, Committee Board, and Committee Members. Members of the Council are responsible for organizing various informational and social events for prospective and current Echols Scholars. Echols Council consists of the Executive Board, Committee Board, and Committee Members.

Among their most important and well-loved projects is the Fireside Chat Speaker Series, a series of small round-table discussions with university professors and Echols scholars. Inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats" from 1933-1944, the mission of this program is to facilitate intellectual curiosity by connecting students with professors directly. Each month, the Echols Council organizes a list of professors to discuss on a variety of topics. Food and drinks are provided at each Fireside Chat. Past Fire Chats have featured such topics as "Memory in Relationships" with Professor Gary Ballinger, "Mystery Fiction" with Professor Kenneth Elzinga, "Having it All and Leaning In: Gender and Leadership in 2014." with Professor Sarah Betzer,  "Life After Death?" with Professor Jim Tucker, and "The Value of Literature" with Professor Victoria Olwell.

The Echols Council coordinates two programs aimed at mentoring and outreach: the Echols Peer Mentoring program and the Echols Ambassadors program. The mission of the Peer Mentoring Program is to provide first year scholars with an opportunity to gain valuable insights from older more experienced students in one-on-one and small group interactions to help them quickly adjust to college life and excel at the University of Virginia. The Echols Ambassadors provide general information about the Echols Scholars Program and answer any questions prospective students and parents may have about the program.