Connect with the Admissions Team This Fall

With summer break coming to a close, the Admissions team is busy preparing for the fall semester. We are excited to offer some great ways to connect with our team in-person and virtually, no matter where you are. Before we outline the different ways for you to visit Batten, we will introduce ourselves.

Meet the Admissions Team

headshot of Jeff Chidester

Jeff Chidester is the Executive Director of External Affairs, where he oversees admissions, strategic partnerships, and the broader external affairs portfolio. He is the main admissions contact for the postgraduate Master of Public Policy, five graduate dual degree programs, and two graduate certificates. From 2003 to 2016, he held various posts at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, most recently as Director of Policy. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Grove City College (Pa.), an M.A. in International History from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in Politics from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is currently completing his Ed.D. in Higher Ed Leadership from UVA. He is the co-author of The Reagan Years (2005) and At Reagan’s Side (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), and co-editor of Reagan in a World Transformed, 1981-2014 (Harvard University Press, 2014) and Crucible: The President’s First Year (UVA Press, 2018).

headshot of Anne Carter Mulligan

Anne Carter Mulligan joined Batten in January 2019 as Director of Undergraduate Admissions.  She is the main admissions contact for the Bachelor of Arts of Public Policy and Leadership and the Accelerated Master of Public Policy programs, but she is happy to talk about our two minor programs as well. She is a 2012 recipient of the Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award, the highest honor staff receive for their dedicated service to the University. Born and raised in Blacksburg, Virginia, with a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from UVA, Anne has equal affinity for each alma mater… except during football season.

Headshot of Estrella Burks-Parra

Estrella Burks-Parra is the Admissions Coordinator handling many admission operations at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including planning recruitment events and prospective student visits. She is the main admissions contact for the Public Policy and Leadership Minor and Social Entrepreneurship Minor but is happy to talk about any of Batten's programs. Born and raised in Southern California, Estrella is a recent graduate of Washington and Lee University where she majored in politics and theatre, with a law, justice and society minor.


Visiting Batten

One of the best ways to experience our programs and community is to visit the Batten School. Below are different resources for you to visit our school, including a number of ways to connect with our office virtually. 

If you are a current UVA student, you can experience Batten even before you apply! Throughout the fall, we host many different admissions events and information sessions, including a Chattin’ with Batten meet and greet on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 and regular program information sessions throughout the Fall. If you have a quick question, you are welcome to drop by our weekly Friday Open Office Hours in Garrett Hall room 203 from 2-4 PM beginning 9/1, but if you seek a more individualized or in-depth conversation, we encourage you to make a virtual appointment with Anne or Estrella.

Another great way to see if Batten is a good fit is to take a Batten class before applying! While students interested in our Bachelor of Arts program have to take LPPP 2200: Introduction to Public Policy as a prerequisite, there are additional options for students interested in our other programs. If you are considering the Social Entrepreneurship minor, you could take LPPS 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (a required course) before taking ENTP 1010: Start-Up. If you are looking at either the BA or Minor in Public Policy and Leadership, there are a number of open electives or special topics courses this fall that would allow you to explore a more discreet policy issue. Finally, later this semester, there will be additional opportunities to connect with our Batten Ambassadors, current Batten students who want to share more about their experiences with prospective students.

If you are interested in our traditional two-year Master of Public Policy program, we have several ways to connect with our team. First, Jeff offers daily virtually appointments (all in Eastern Time); if you cannot find a time that works for you, please email him at to set up an appointment that works with your schedule. Second, we offer a number of events throughout the year (both virtual and in-person) as a school and an admissions office. We encourage you to attend any and all events that are of interest to you, including events led by our faculty! Please mark your calendars for our annual Fall MPP Open House on October 28 (registration link to be distributed shortly!). Can’t make the Open House but still want to spend a day in the life of a Batten student? You can email Estrella Burks-Parra ( to set up a personalized weekday visit of Batten, including sitting in a class! Additionally, we will be on the road some this fall, so keep an eye out on your email for an announcement of when we may be near your hometown!

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at or review our FAQs. And, if you do not currently receive our emails, be sure to fill out our quick interest form to begin receiving regular emails from our team.