Jia, the Joseph Chappell Hutcheson Jefferson Scholar, came to U.Va. from Houston, Texas in 2005 after being nominated by her high school for, and ultimately winning, the Jefferson Scholarship. She quickly made a mark on the University community, joining the First Year Players, serving as musical director, tour manager and webmaster for The Virginia Belles, writing as a columnist for The Cavalier Daily and The Declaration, and as a fiction contributor for 3.7 Magazine, Virginia Literary Review, and Rag & Bone. She was also a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, involved in Alternative Spring Break and served as campus campaign manager for Teach For America. In addition to being a Jefferson Scholar, she was an Echols Scholar, a recipient of the Waggenheim Memorial Scholarship in English and a member of Pi Beta Phi.
Today Jia is trailblazing her way through the ever-changing world of online media as a writer for NewYorker.com, the former deputy editor of Jezebel, and former contributing editor of the women’s blog, The Hairpin. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Pitchfork and many other publications and online outlets. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation is delighted that Jia’s talents and formidable spirit have been recognized by Forbes and wishes her continued success in her writing and career.