Michael J. Weber, 78, former director of the University of Virginia Cancer Center, died Feb. 11 at home in Albemarle County. He was well-regarded for helping establish the UVA Cancer Center, and later as its director, for guiding it into the 21st century.

“Mike was the heart and soul of the cancer center,” Dr. Thomas Loughran Jr., the current director, wrote in email. “Under his direction, the cancer center was recognized as a national leader in cancer discovery.”

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She recently gave an online presentation on race and racial equity to a college athletics department, speaking to administrators, coaches and student-athletes. That was nothing new for Deborah Stroman.

But this was different. This was the University of Virginia.

“It’s definitely a blessing for me to be able to speak to the alma mater,” Stroman said on a Zoom call last week. “I speak to so many schools, cities, organizations, and to finally go back and do this was really, really moving.”

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For the third year in a row, a discovery from the University of Virginia School of Medicine has been selected as one of the year’s most significant biomedical discoveries. The finding – identifying the gene responsible for one of the deadliest cancers – is among 64 contenders fighting it out to win the public’s votes in an online bracket tournament. 

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After 10 days of enhanced public health measures, the University of Virginia saw a measurable decline in positive COVID-19 cases, allowing University leaders to ease some of those restrictions Friday while keeping other limits in place.

The day after President Jim Ryan and his leadership team implemented enhanced restrictions on Feb. 16, UVA registered 229 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily total of the year by far.

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Poet and University of Virginia English professor Kiki Petrosino has been named the winner of the University of North Texas’s 2021 Rilke Prize, worth $10,000, for a poetry collection she penned about what it means to be Black in America and to search for one’s ancestors.

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The temperature peaked at 40 degrees on Jan. 22 in Abingdon.

University of Virginia first-year student Spencer Buddington and three of his hometown buddies had gotten together for one last outing before returning to their respective universities for spring term.

They hit their favorite antique store, Zephyr Antiques, on Main Street. Like many small historic towns in Virginia, Abingdon’s once-bustling main street had been recreated into a quaint shopping and strolling place filled with shops and restaurants with names like Mamma Mia Italian, Chef Heathers and The Tavern.

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For years, Zuhayr Shaikh volunteered with free clinics, helping provide quality health care to uninsured and under-insured patients.

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Nate French, a 2012 Duke University political science graduate, decided to become a doctor after working as an emergency medical technician in his hometown of Rochester, New York. 

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The University of Virginia’s Department of Biology and the larger scientific community is mourning the death this month of recently retired professor Michael Menaker, an internationally renowned researcher and a generous mentor.

A giant in the field of circadian rhythms, Menaker was widely considered one of the pioneers in the physiological analysis and identification of circadian pacemakers in the vertebrate nervous and endocrine systems.

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A native of Cameroon, Fri Forjindam came to the University of Virginia on a F-1 visa with the intention of becoming a doctor – until an introductory drama course changed everything.

One day, Forjindam volunteered to do an improvisational scene in front of the class in which she had to befriend, then antagonize, her professor, Richard Warner.

“His reaction to me was way more moving than the actual improv,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘If that’s acting, I want in!’” 

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“Feeling as though you are contributing to such a powerful movement while indoors [in quarantine] is an incredible opportunity that Professor LeFlouria gave each one of us,” University of Virginia student Jalecia Wright wrote about her experience in Talitha LeFlouria’s course, “Black Women and Mass Incarceration.”

How can courses with elements of community engagement continue when students are supposed to avoid others due to the coronavirus? It’s not easy, but some things are possible. Here, two faculty members share some strategies that worked in their classes.

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In September, the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors endorsed several goals articulated by UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force and requested that UVA leadership develop a plan for funding, implementing and measuring progress toward those goals.

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The University of Virginia is one of 150 institutions selected for inclusion in the first edition of a new college guidebook, “Colleges Worth Your Money.”

According to a press release, each college profile contains more than 75 data points, including admission statistics, salary and return-on-investment figures, information on companies that recruit on campus, where students land internships and jobs, and more.

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The University of Virginia Police Department has hired its first-ever diversity, equity and inclusion manager, reflecting its commitment to peace and justice.

“One way to really transform the way we do business is to be intentional in the way we recruit people and how we develop policies and how we engage the community,” Associate Vice President for Safety and Security and Chief of Police Tim Longo said. “I thought one really effective way to do that was to create such a position within my command structure to keep me on track.”

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The Criterion Channel on Tuesday will showcase a series of short films about African American student life at the University of Virginia as one of its highlights for Black History Month.

The film series, “Black Fire,” is an ongoing collaboration that UVA history professor Claudrena Harold and art professor Kevin Everson, an experimental filmmaker, have worked on for about a decade – always involving students – to focus on different aspects of Black experience on Grounds.

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Building a rock wall and fire pit area can sound like a fairly simple home-improvement project, right? You do a little Googling and find some names of landscapers or stonemasons who seem to have received good customer reviews, and who perhaps have some impressive photographic evidence of previous work on their social media pages.

Voila! You’re roasting marshmallows, making S’mores and singing campfire songs with your kids in no time, all while patting yourself on the back about how much value you’ve added to your home when it comes resale time.

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On Friday, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and the University’s executive leadership team hosted a virtual town hall addressing the University’s response to recent increases in COVID-19 cases in the UVA community.

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After roughly seven years in the trenches, business for BetterWorld was slow, and the long-term prospects for the platform, which offers a suite of digital fundraising tools, were foggy.

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Where do America’s two leading political parties go from here?

How might things change as the presidency and the U.S. Senate shift from Republican to Democratic control?

And how, after the violent events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, can we return to even marginally more civil dialogue and bipartisanship?

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