2011 in Review: Accolades Were Plentiful for Faculty and Students

December 16, 2011

As the year draws to a close, UVa Today will look back at milestones, achievements, trends and big stories of 2011. To share your 2011 thoughts, visit the UVA Today News Blog or send us a tweet @uva using hashtag #uva2011.

December 16, 2011 — The University of Virginia's class of 2011 included a Rhodes Scholar, a Udall Scholar, four winners of Davis Prizes for Peace and four Goldwater Scholars. Also this year, several faculty were elected to scholarly academies and received national recognitions. Here's a compilation of some of just some of the honors bestowed upon members of the University community in 2011:

U.Va.'s Brantly Womack Receives China's Friendship Award
Oct. 5 — Foreign affairs professor Brantly Womack was given the China Friendship Award as part of China's Oct. 1 National Day ceremonies in Beijing, led by Premier Wen Jiabao. The award is China's highest honor for foreigners who have "made outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social progress" and is comparable to France's Legion of Honormedal."

U.Va. Music Professor Wins Technology Award for Telematic Opera
Oct. 4 — Music professor and composer Matthew Burtner is among the winners of 2011 IDEA awards for an innovative opera that uses advanced networking technology to connect audiences and performers spread around the globe.

Seven U.Va. Scholars Receive Fulbright Awards
Sept. 27 — Seven scholars – two graduate students and five recent graduates – have received Fulbright Scholarships to study abroad.

U.Va. Biomedical Engineering Major to Receive Astronaut Scholarship
Sept. 16 — Biomedical engineering major Hannah Meredith is the first University of Virginia student to receive a scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

U.Va. Professor is First Woman to Win International Mathematics Prize
June 7 — Irena Lasiecka, professor of mathematics in the College, has been selected by her peers worldwide to receive  the 2011 W.T. and Idalia Reid Prize, one of the top prizes in the field of differential equations and control theory, joining "a very distinguished list of winners dating back to the inception of the prize in 1994."

Darden's Chen Becomes First U.Va. Professor Elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management
May 12  — Ming-Jer Chen, a professor at the Darden School of Business, has been elected as a fellow of the Academy of Management and was formally inducted Aug. 16 at the academy's annual conference dinner in San Antonio, Texas.

Jahan Ramazani's Book Wins Comparative Literature Prize
April 22  — Jahan Ramazani, an English professor in the College, won the Harry Levin Prize for "A Transnational Poetics," recognized as the best book in comparative literary history published in the years 2008 to 2010.

Three U.Va. Professors Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships
April 25 — Three professors from the College – historian Alon Confino, environmental scientist Paolo D'Odorico and anthropologist Kath Weston – have been awarded Guggenheim fellowships to further their research.

U.Va.'s Gallagher, Guyenet, Ravichandran Named Distinguished Scientists
April 20 — Three of U.Va.'s most accomplished faculty researchers – physicist Thomas F. Gallagher, pharmacologist Patrice G. Guyenet and microbiologist Kodi S. Ravichandran – have been selected to receive the University's 2011 Distinguished Scientist Awards, which honor longtime faculty members who have made extensive and influential contributions in the sciences, medicine or engineering.

U.Va. English Professor Chip Tucker Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
April 19 — Herbert "Chip" Tucker, John C. Coleman Professor of English in the College, is among the 212 new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

University of Virginia Student Sarah Kim Receives Goldwater Scholarship
April 8 — Undergraduate Sarah Kim has received a research scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation for 2011.â�¨Kim, 20, of Annandale, is a third-year biology major in the College.

University of Virginia Student Ben Wallace Selected as Truman Scholar
March 31 — Ben Wallace, a third-year student at the College, is a 2011 Truman Scholarship winner, receiving a scholarship worth about $30,000 given to college juniors who exhibit exceptional leadership potential and who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service.

U.Va. Duo Receives Davis Projects for Peace Grant
March 29 — Two U.Va. students have been awarded a 2011 Davis Projects for Peace award for their program to create a business training curriculum in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Robin Kendall, 22, a fourth-year global development studies and finance double major, and Sarah Munford, 21, a fourth-year global development studies and foreign affairs double major, will share the $10,000 prize.

U.Va.'s Deborah Eisenberg Receives 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
March 15 — Deborah Eisenberg's "The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg" has been selected as the winner of the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. A faculty member in the Creative Writing Program, Eisenberg has taught fiction workshops since 1994.

Rita Dove Elected to American Academy of Arts and Letters
March 14 — Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English, has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dove, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is among 10 new members of the academy, an honor society founded in 1898 that has a core group of 250 artists, musicians and writers.

Architecture School Dean Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
Feb. 7 — Kim Tanzer, dean of the School of Architecture and Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture, has been elected to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the national professional association of architects.

U.Va.'s Kodi Ravichandran Named One of Virginia's Outstanding Scientists
Jan. 27 — Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and Richard Conti, director and chief executive officer of the Science Museum of Virginia, have named Kodi S. Ravichandran, Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Microbiology, as one of four Virginia Outstanding Scientists of 2011.â�¨

U.Va.'s Beatley, Ryan Named Winners of State's 25th Annual Outstanding Faculty Awards
Jan. 26 — Two professors – Timothy Beatley of the School of Architecture and James Ryan of the School of Law – are among a dozen faculty members from Virginia's public and private colleges and universities selected as recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Awards.

U.Va.'s Barbara A. Spellman, Psychology and Law Professor, Named AAAS Fellow
Jan. 12 — Barbara A. Spellman, professor of psychology and professor of law, has been named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

— By Matt Kelly