Sociology Presidential Internship in the News

May 1, 2014

Arts & Sciences Faculty Forward discusses Sociology major's internship in the President's Office.

Laura Gaul

Laura Gaul transferred into UVA as a third year from Northern Virginia Community College. Although she found the transition to be challenging at first, she has really appreciated the encouragement from her professors, advisors, deans, and the JMW transfer community. Now, in her 4th year, she is working hard to pass on the favor and support the next round of transfer students. Laura is studying toward a double major in English and Sociology. She finds a connection between these two subjects by reading and writing fiction as if it were a kind of sociological experiment. After all, the author can control all the variables, but the characters still seem to take on life of their own! In and around her studies, Laura volunteers as a search and rescue field team member with the Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group. She enjoys hiking, running, and trying new foods.


Akil Mitchell

My name is Akil Mitchell, a fourth year from Charlotte, North Carolina. I was born in Panama City, Panama and I still hold my dual citizenship. I have one younger brother Akim, who is a junior in high school. I graduated from Charlotte Christian School with honors in 2010. In high school I was a part of national honor society, and a three year member of the varsity basketball team. Along with my major in Sociology I am pursuing a minor in Global Culture and Commerce. I am a two year captain of the men’s basketball team here at UVA and I have achieved academic honor roll for the previous three semesters. I have been involved in Athletes in Action, Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Black Student Alliance. Along with basketball I am interested in soccer, all different types of music, and traveling.  


Emily Renda

My name is Emily Renda and I am a fourth-year student majoring in Sociology. My interests in the field are centered around gender, violence and the law. For the Distinguished Major Program in Sociology I completed a thesis on issues of sexual misconduct adjudication in American higher education in policy and practice. Outside the classroom I am involved in the peer educator group One Less, serve as co-chair of Sexual Assault Leadership Council, intern for the UVa Women's Center and distance road cycle.


Alexandra Valdez

I am a fourth year student majoring in economics and sociology. Although I was originally born in Fairfax, Virginia, my dad’s job in the State Department has had me moving to a new country almost every three years. In fact, going to school at UVA has been my first experience with actually living in the US. During my semesters here, I have been involved in volunteer work and the UVA Library Council. I currently work at the UVA Special Collections Library. During the summer following my third year, I was fortunate enough to work as an intern at the State Department in Washington, DC. As of yet, my plans for after graduation are uncertain, but I intend to use the learning experiences this internship will provide to my full advantage moving forward. I am therefore extremely grateful to have been given this incredible opportunity.



For more information on President Teresa Sullivan, view the President's webpage.