Typically, on Family Weekend at the University of Virginia, President Jim Ryan meets with students’ families for a question-and-answer session. On Friday, on what was to have been Family Weekend, Ryan and his leadership team held a virtual town hall.

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As first-year students at the University of Virginia last spring, Pragya Chaturvedi and Charlotte Tsang could see the future.

Chaturvedi, a native of India who grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Tsang, who is from Gainesville, Virginia, recognized the COVID-related challenges that new students would be facing the following academic year on college campuses around the country.

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Across the University of Virginia, scholars with expertise in the presidency and elections have been closely following the 2020 presidential race, providing insight on how the race might unfold and how factors like the coronavirus pandemic could affect voters.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, we checked in with three of them – William Antholis, director and CEO of the Miller Center; Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the UVA Center for Politics; and Jennifer Lawless, Commonwealth Professor of Politics and chair of the Department of Politics.

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The term “ghost forests” might sound like something from a Halloween movie, but these ghosts actually exist along low-lying shores, where rising seas infiltrate coastal forests. Trees in areas along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, are dying due to the increasing salinity of the groundwater, and the landscape is slowly transitioning to salt-tolerant marshland.

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As anybody who’s seen films like “Almost Famous” might surmise, being the tour manager for a rock band can be, well, quite memorable.

That was certainly the case for University of Virginia alumnus Luke Rabin, who managed Parachute – the band founded by Charlottesville High School and UVA students that was formerly known as Sparky’s Flaw.

Rabin says there were “surreal” moments, such as when the band played Times Square on New Year’s Eve alongside big-name artists Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers.

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Democracy in danger. Climate justice in cities. Race, protest and the media. An ongoing pandemic.

Covering relevant topics like these, an innovative program of “Signature” courses for January Term – in the works as part of the University of Virginia’s academic response to the coronavirus pandemic – is coming to fruition.

Professors from across Grounds, as well as guest instructors, are teaming up to offer interdisciplinary courses designed to appeal to a range of students by addressing some of today’s most urgent issues.

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Do you have a micromanaging boss, or a leadership team who trusts you to get the job done? Do you feel safe and supported at work? Are there opportunities for leadership and professional growth?

When it comes to the major factors that influence job satisfaction, teachers are just like the rest of us.

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When it comes to divorce in 2020, don’t believe everything you read.

Headlines in newspapers across the country implying that the pandemic has led to a rise in divorces are erroneous, according to University of Virginia sociology professor Brad Wilcox.

In a recent article for the Washington Post, Wilcox wrote that divorce is actually on the decline in 2020.

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WhoWhatWhy, a New York-based online news nonprofit, has ranked the University of Virginia fourth in formal civic engagement among 76 major colleges and universities nationwide. 

Schools are ranked by several criteria, including percentage of student turnout in the 2016 presidential election, percentage of early student turnout in the 2016 election, number of on-campus polling places, voter registration drives, voter registration rate, whether student identification cards are accepted as voter IDs, and ID requirements (photo vs. no photo).

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Nurses have a lot on their minds right now, whether caring for patients with COVID-19, tracking down personal protective equipment, or worrying about their families’ safety or their children’s education.

Technology could be adding to that stress, according to a study from two University of Virginia professors.

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Can you call me?

That request landed in University of Virginia art history professor Elizabeth Hutton Turner’s email inbox shortly after she wrapped up a session of her “American Modernism” course about a week ago. The email was from Randall Griffey, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, who had just met with Turner’s students on Zoom to discuss the Met exhibition Turner co-curated about American modernist painter Jacob Lawrence.

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Cancer remodels the architecture of our chromosomes so the disease can take hold and spread, University of Virginia researchers have revealed.

This remodeling is important because the arrangement of the components in our chromosomes actually affects the workings of our genes. With these renovations, cancer begins making a comfortable home for itself inside our cells.

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Oct. 1 marked the kickoff of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign. As the state’s largest annual workplace giving drive, the CVC plays a vital role in raising donations for nearly 1,000 nonprofits in our community and across Virginia. For more than 20 years, the University of Virginia has led statewide participation in the campaign, raising nearly $1 million a year for nonprofits, the bulk of them here in our community.

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Ankur Sarker is fascinated by the power of data.

“Data collected for a while can reveal much information about the environment,” Sarker said. “It is like solving puzzles. Raw data may look very messy and meaningless, but we can extract much information after a thorough analysis.”

But you may not want some of that information extracted.

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D

r. Robert M. Carey, a University of Virginia professor of medicine and former dean of the School of Medicine, has been named a Distinguished Scientist of the American Heart Association for his “extraordinary contributions” to cardiovascular research.

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Anybody who’s ever run, at either a competitive or recreational level, knows that the mental challenges of exercise are sometimes far greater than the physical ones.

That’s just one reason why Emma Myer, a second-year University of Virginia student who is a member of the track and field and cross country teams, was intrigued by the opportunity to take part in the Citizen Leaders and Sports Ethics Community Impact Fellowship, a new leadership program for student-athletes started by UVA Athletics and UVA’s Contemplative Sciences Center.

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Live musical performances are increasingly rare during COVID-19, as communities strive to find ways to stay positive and engaged during a global pandemic. So, in a new effort, the University of Virginia is offering “Musical Care Packages” to help build community and support a local arts non-profit.

Buyers have two options. They can purchase an in-person, physically distanced performance of a song for $30, half of which will go to the Charlottesville Relief Fund for Artists. The other half will support the student group spearheading the effort, University Records.

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Start your day with five minutes of calm and reflection. Get seated comfortably in your own place. Let an experienced facilitator guide you in a morning meditation.

Whether you’re working at home, working alone or with social distancing, here’s another way to stay connected to the University of Virginia community during this unprecedented, stressful time. It’s one small effort that can yield healthy benefits: participating in a short “Virtual Meditation on the Lawn,” brought to you by UVA’s Contemplative Sciences Center and co-sponsors.

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A new discovery about how the body transports dexamethasone, a drug that can increase the survival chances of patients with severe COVID-19, suggests diabetes and other factors may reduce its potentially lifesaving effectiveness. Based on their findings, the researchers say doctors may need to rethink how they dose the drug for certain groups of patients.

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The University of Virginia announced Thursday that it will begin its spring academic semester for undergraduate students on Feb. 1, 2021 and conclude instruction on May 6.

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