Doing business online isn’t new. But for many rural businesses, building a website or developing a social media presence simply hasn’t been necessary – until the era of COVID-19.

The pandemic also changed life for University of Virginia students, who lost summer internships they had hoped would propel them to a great start in their careers.

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Chemical engineering major Karl Westendorff is the University of Virginia’s latest Astronaut Scholar.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships for third- and fourth-year students at 38 different universities across the country who are studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics with the intent to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degree. This year, it awarded 52 scholarships to students who show initiative, creativity and excellence in their chosen field.

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Given the uncertain prospect of universally accessible, reliable and equitable SAT/ACT testing in the next admission year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Virginia will not require that applicants submit standardized testing to be considered for admission for at least the next application cycle.

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The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors voted today to rename Ruffner Hall in honor of Walter Ridley, the first African American to earn a doctoral degree from UVA.

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UVA Health has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health and other hospitals around the state to determine how many Virginians have been infected with COVID-19 – and how many remain at risk.

The Virginia Coronavirus Serology Project will test the blood of 5,000 patients for COVID-19 antibodies to determine if they have or have had the virus. That will help the Virginia Department of Health estimate how many people have had the virus without showing symptoms, or went untested, and better predict how COVID-19 may affect the state in the future.

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Two University of Virginia scholars will continue their studies at Peking University, a major research institution in Beijing, as Yenching Academy Scholars.

Olivia Moffett of Northern Virginia, an economics and Chinese language and literature double-major who graduated in 2019, and Jacob Libby of Houston, a Spanish and a foreign affairs distinguished majors program student who graduated this spring, are the University’s first Yenching Academy scholars. Scholars receive a full-tuition fellowship for their first year, with the option of applying for a one-year renewal.

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People have taken to the streets in cities around the country and the world over the past week – with some demonstrations peaceful and some becoming chaotic and violent – to protest recent killings of black Americans and racial injustice.

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The following message was delivered on June 3 from University of Virginia President Jim Ryan to the University community:

 

To the University community,

On Sunday, I offered some brief reflections on social media regarding the death of George Floyd. Those reflections and that medium were inadequate to the topic, which is why I am writing you today.

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If Grant Frazier zones out in the classroom, it’s probably not the professor’s fault. Chances are he’s writing his next great hit.

Frazier, who graduated from the University of Virginia last month with a degree in Spanish and a minor in biology, wrote an ode to his home state, “Welcome Home, Virginia,” during a neurobiology lecture.

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A recent gift of $1 million from the Manning family, strong supporters of the University of Virginia, established The Manning Fund for COVID-19 Research, designed to support the University’s practically oriented research on COVID-19-related topics that can be acted upon quickly and have commercial potential.

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What we eat can affect the outcome of chemotherapy – and likely many other medical treatments – because of ripple effects that begin in our gut, new research from the University of Virginia suggests.

Scientists found that diet can cause microbes in the gut to trigger changes in the host’s response to a chemotherapy drug. Common components of our daily diets (for example, amino acids) could either increase or decrease both the effectiveness and toxicity of the drugs used for cancer treatment, the researchers found. 

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Editor’s note: Ian Solomon, dean of the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, wrote the following commentary for Medium. It appeared on the site Tuesday.

 

T

oday, again, I am overwhelmed with grief and rage.

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An idea that arrived while doing taxes is now helping college instructors create more successful courses – and to become the teachers they dream of being.

Michael Palmer, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Teaching Excellence, who developed “c3Design” with other faculty members in the center, wrote in email, “It’s been a labor of love for over five years” to create an online program for creating courses “grounded in learning-focused, evidenced-based principles.”

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The Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law has joined an effort to protect a historic African American schoolhouse and surrounding property, which community members say are threatened by a proposed landfill. 

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In a time of crisis, the University of Virginia’s radio stations have rekindled their mission.

Radio has not suffered the same blow as many other artistic industries in this time of COVID-19 closures. According to Nathan Moore, general manager of WTJU 91.1 FM and staff adviser to WXTJ 100.1 FM, the opposite has actually occurred in his line of work.

“In this era of social distancing, radio is kind of like Netflix: it’s still there,” said Moore. “Radio listenership is even up a bit.”

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With so much misinformation surrounding obesity, Dr. Catherine Varney is careful with her words. First of all, she clarifies that her patients are not obese, but rather have obesity, which is a disease and not a lack of willpower.

What is clear: Obesity can make us sick and make it harder to fight COVID-19.

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Biomedical scientists working with COVID-19 have a new tool to help them better understand the virus and feel confident about the structural models they are using in their research.

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Talking with her friends about their post-graduation plans, 2020 University of Virginia graduate Kavya Ravikanti quickly realized that one topic – personal finance – sparked a lot of confusion, misinformation and anxiety.

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The University of Virginia is developing plans for the fall semester that assume classes will begin on time in August and that in-person instruction will conclude by Thanksgiving.

UVA leaders shared those and other initial decisions Thursday in a message to the University community, outlining key assumptions about operations for the coming academic year while emphasizing that many details remain to be sorted out – all of which remain contingent upon the guidance of health experts and subject to changing conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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