Admissions & Aid Admissions Blog Why Did I Choose Batten, Part 1 July 10, 2023 R.J. Rhodes Why Did I Choose Batten, Part 1 Admissions Blog Tags Alumni Curriculum Student Life Batten Ambassadors BA Each year, Batten admits high caliber, diverse students into a community grounded in academic excellence, evidence-based decision making, and the integration of multiple lenses and perspectives, towards the ultimate goal of cultivating ethical and enlightened leaders who are catalysts for positive, lasting change. Lead Ambassador RJ Rhodes sat down with a few recent alums to see why they chose the Batten School and the BA program. Keep an eye out for Parts II and III in the weeks to come! Abigail Thomas As a graduate of the 2023 undergraduate cohort, Abigail Thomas is one of Batten’s most recent alumni! While at Batten, Abigail served as an Ambassador, helping prospective students with any questions or inquiries they had about the school. It was also common to catch her studying or hanging out in Garrett Hall, bringing wonderful energy to the building and the overall Batten community. Like many Batten students, Abigail was drawn to the versatile academic program that Batten offers. Let’s read a little bit of her “Why Batten” story below: “I chose Batten because I loved the interdisciplinary nature of the major. As someone who didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do as a career, I knew the variety of courses Batten had would give me a range of skills that could apply in so many different fields. Without a doubt, it was definitely the right choice for me and has played a huge role in the well-rounded education I received at UVA. My favorite aspect of Batten was the community. Being in a cohort of about 90 students really allowed us to get to know each other and build meaningful relationships, which truly made the experience all the more special.” Austin Orfield Austin Orfield is a 2023 BA undergraduate alumnus, and a person that will make a lasting impact on anyone he meets. He always greets everyone with a smile as big as his home state of Texas! Austin is a huge baseball fan, and was a member of UVA’s club baseball team. He also serves as a little league coach in his community. Inside the classroom, Austin was just as engaged. You could always count on him to ask meaningful questions and pitch in thoughtful comments to move class discussions forward, including his creative way of bringing the Astros into Research Methods and Data Analysis [RMDA] discussions. Enjoy reading about why Austin’s great passion led him to Batten: “Throughout my adolescent life, I found one of my best skills to be helping others find their own meaning (a hype man, of sorts). When looking for potential majors, I realized the best way to do this work moving forward is to fight for economic and social policies that provide others with the proper resources and support to find their own life’s meaning—outside of the labor they provide. Batten has given me the tools to navigate these difficult policy challenges, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful.” Jimmy Flood Jimmy Flood is one of the newest editions to Batten’s most recent class of undergraduate alumni. If there was a person in Batten I wish everyone could meet, it is Jimmy Flood. The smile you see above is always there. Jimmy’s presence in the Batten community was always felt in the best way. He was the 2023 Virginia Pilot Intellectual Curiosity Legacy Award winner for the BA undergraduate cohort. He was also nominated by his peers to be the undergraduate student speaker for the Batten 2023 Regalia Graduation Ceremony. One could count on Jimmy to bring positive energy and great spirit to any setting, and he was surely one of Batten’s most engaged students, in and out of the classroom. Let’s read about why he chose the Batten School below: “I chose Batten because I had been interested in politics my whole life and grew up in an area with a lot of people in the policymaking space. Going into college, I had a sense that I wanted to go into policymaking so when I saw that the Batten School had a curriculum which could teach me the real-world skills I needed, I was on board. On top of getting a great education, the Batten School introduced me to a lot of wonderful people. I’m glad I applied.” Think Batten might be the place for you? Make an appointment with a member of the undergraduate admissions team or make a plan to attend one of our fall Open Office Hours every Friday from 2-4 PM in Garrett Hall 203 to learn more about our BA program!