Appointment will inspire students to explore the intersections of history, technology, race, gender, work identity and social mobility.
University of Virginia alumna and best-selling author Margot Lee Shetterly joins UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce and School of Engineering as a visiting scholar for 2019, with the goals of furthering her research into untold histories of African Americans and inspiring students to explore the intersections of history, technology, race, gender, work identity and social mobility.
“At McIntire, we believe in important scholarship, an inclusive mindset, and the responsibility to use one’s own experience and influence as a catalyst for change,” says Carl Zeithaml, Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce. “Margot embodies all of these beliefs, and I am excited to see her scholarly pursuits illuminate new stories and reshape history as we know it.”
“Margot’s work is groundbreaking because it draws attention to the importance of every person’s talents, perspectives and experiences as we strive to solve humanity’s biggest challenges and make the world a better place,” said Pamela M. Norris, UVA Engineering’s Executive Dean and co-principal investigator of UVA CHARGE, a program dedicated to increasing the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and math and social, behavioral and economic science careers.
Shetterly’s appointment coincides with UVA CHARGE’s ongoing photo and oral history project, (Re)Imaging Women in STEM, Portrait & Narrative Exhibits. “Margot will bring further visibility to UVA’s efforts,” Norris said.
Shetterly is best known for the #1 New York Times bestselling book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. The title was named a top book of 2016 by Time Magazine and Publisher’s Weekly, and in 2017 it was awarded Best Nonfiction Book at the NAACP Image Awards and Best Book at the National Academies of Sciences Communication Awards. Shetterly served as an Executive Producer for the Academy Award-nominated film adaptation of Hidden Figures, and her research has been supported by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She is a 1991 graduate of the McIntire School.
Shetterly and her husband, writer Aran Shetterly, live in Charlottesville, VA. Since the success of Hidden Figures, she committed to publish two more books in a trilogy loosely shaped around charismatic mid-century African-American figures.
Highlighting her appointment, on the evening of March 26, Shetterly will headline the inaugural installment of the McIntire School’s Centennial Speaker Series, keynotes and conversations that celebrate McIntire’s 100th anniversary in 2021. The event, an intimate conversation with Shetterly moderated by McIntire alumna Heidi Connal (McIntire ’94), will be free and open to the public.
Prior to the public event, UVA Engineering will host a panel discussion for first-year engineering students, who read Hidden Figures for their “Common Reading Experience” during the summer before their first semester. The panel discussion will feature Shetterly; NASA engineer Christine Darden, whose story was told in the book; UVA 1976 electrical engineering alumna Jill Tietjen, women's STEM champion and co-author of Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America and Hollywood: Her Story, An Illustrated History of Women and the Movies.
Both events will take place in Old Cabell Hall on UVA’s historic grounds.