“Art has a way of confronting us, of reminding us, of engaging us, in what it means to be human,” author Junot Díaz has written, “and what it means to be human is to be flawed, is to be contradictory, is to be often weak, and yet despite all of these what we would consider drawbacks, that we’re also quite beautiful.”

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Editor’s note: This is another installment in an occasional series profiling members of a generational wave of new faculty members at the University of Virginia.

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On any given day, Amanda Panarese and Liz Sprouse might Skype with an alumnus planning a career switch, review personal statement drafts with graduate school applicants or film a webinar coaching baby boomers who are starting their own businesses.

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A new year has dawned, a new president is about to take office and many Americans are wondering how 2017 could affect their bottom line.

Predictions abound for the stock market, the housing market, trade and more. The upcoming presidential inauguration brings its own set of question marks, as Wall Street financiers and politicos anticipate changes from President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.

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The identification by a research team that included University of Virginia religious studies professor Benjamin Ray of the execution site of 19 suspected witches more than three centuries ago has been named one of the top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2016 by Archaeology magazine.

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The University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science’s online graduate engineering program has been named one of the 15 best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 rankings of online higher education programs, released Tuesday.

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For media and entertainment, 2017 is bringing with it exciting new opportunities for growth as well as challenges.

We asked three key players in those industries – all graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law – what they are anticipating in the New Year.

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Philip E. Bourne, a leading “big data” researcher and administrator at the National Institutes of Health, has been named the Stephenson Chair of Data Science and director of the University of Virginia’s Data Science Institute. He also will serve as a professor of biomedical engineering.

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On Tuesday, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center released the eighth volume in its far-reaching First Year Project, an ongoing initiative to provide nonpartisan, history-based insight into major issues facing the next president during his first year in office.

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Selfies taken at the most flattering angles and enhanced with just the right filters abound on the Instagram accounts of everyone from the Kardashians to President Obama to the students who roam the University of Virginia’s Grounds.

UVA English professor Lisa Spaar said this kind of visual portraiture isn’t a new phenomenon, though. In fact, it dates back thousands of years.

“Portraiture has been around since antiquity,” Spaar said. But portraiture’s place in society has continually evolved throughout history, Spaar added, particularly the art of self-portraiture.

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The 115th United States Congress came into session last week, taking the reins of a country still sharply divided along partisan lines after a contentious presidential election. As they take their seats, new members of Congress in particular face an uphill slope when pushing through legislation that is most important to them.

Craig Volden, a University of Virginia professor of public policy and politics, recently returned from a retreat for new members of Congress, where he advised them on strategies for becoming effective lawmakers.

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It’s been 60 years since William Faulkner first came to the University of Virginia as the Balch Writer-in-Residence. In February, the University is marking the diamond anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning writer’s arrival on Grounds with an exclusive new exhibition.

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library will open “Faulkner: Life and Works” on Feb. 6.

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Day in and day out, the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education strives to instill in its students the skills that will transform them into thought-provoking and innovative teachers and leaders.

But even as those students earn their degrees and venture beyond Grounds, members of Curry’s faculty become equally concerned with assessing just how effective those newly minted educators are inside their own classroom walls.

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“A time comes when silence is betrayal,” the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967, speaking out against the war in Vietnam.

Those words serve as the theme for the 2017 Community MLK Celebration. More than 15 events at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville between Jan. 16 and Jan. 30 – from films and music to national speakers on issues of social justice and equality – will explore the concept of “Silence as Betrayal.”

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The University of Virginia’s new multidisciplinary Brain Institute, established last spring, already has begun establishing the University as a national and state hub for basic and clinical brain research and education, and as a treatment center for brain diseases and disorders.

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Take a look around; virtual reality lets you see the entire space. George Kliavkoff, a member of the University of Virginia School of Law’s Class of 1993, can see the space, too – because he’s helping to pioneer it. In September, he was named CEO of Jaunt VR, a media company headquartered in Palo Alto, California that has blended proprietary technology (including the Jaunt ONE camera) and studio facilities in Santa Monica to position itself as the industry leader in cinematic virtual reality content.

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Amid uncertainty about how President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will address climate change and the Paris Agreement struck last spring, many of those concerned about climate change are debating how to move forward, both within and outside the political arena.

Thomas Bateman, a professor of management in the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, offers insight into leadership strategies that are not only effective, but required when facing big, complex issues like climate change.

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe chose the University of Virginia as the place to hold a Thursday press conference announcing an executive order barring state contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We want to keep Virginia open and welcoming to everyone,” McAuliffe said in the auditorium of UVA’s Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture and Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

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Alexis de Tocqueville, the French writer, political theorist and politician, has helped Americans see themselves since 1835.

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University of Virginia alumni Bradford and Bryan Manning knew they were going on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday, but they did not know exactly what the host had in store for them.

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