Accolades: Architecture Professor Among American Academy Rome Prize Winners

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August 06, 2021

Michael Lee, the University of Virginia’s Reuben M. Rainey Professor in the History of Landscape Architecture and director of the graduate landscape architecture program, is among 40 recipients of the 2021-22 Rome Prize.

Lee, author of “Ganymede’s Garden: Homoeroticism and the Italian Landscape,” received the Prince Charitable Trusts/Kate Lancaster Brewster Rome Prize in landscape architecture.

Covering 11 disciplines ranging from architecture to preservation and conservation, the American Academy in Rome presents the 2021-22 Rome Prize and Italian Fellowships to 35 American and five Italian artists and scholars.

The prizes help support the independent work and research of individuals within the arts and humanities. Each award recipient receives a stipend, workspace, in addition to room and board at the American Academy’s campus in Rome, beginning in September.

Prize winners are selected annually by an independent jury. This year the Rome Prize Competition received a total of 874 applications from 46 U.S. states and 22 countries.

Howie-Esquivel Tapped as Associate Editor of Heart Failure Journal

Nurse scientist and associate professor of nursing Jill Howie-Esquivel was named associate editor of the Journal of Cardiac Failure, the official journal of the Heart Failure Society of America and the Japanese Heart Failure Society.

Howie-Esquivel – who created and is currently studying the effect of an iPad-delivered gentle exercise class designed for heart failure patients to ease symptoms and improve physical and psycho-social wellbeing – is one of just two nurses to serve on the 13-member international board.

In addition to being a nurse scientist, she is coordinator of the adult gerontology acute-care nurse practitioner program.

UVA Health Named Center of Excellence for Treating Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

The Angioma Alliance has elevated UVA Health to its highest designation as a Center of Excellence for its care of cerebral cavernous malformations – irregular collections of blood vessels in the brain that can cause seizures, paralysis and bleeding.

The alliance initially recognized UVA Health as a Clinical Center in 2018 after creating a multidisciplinary treatment team dedicated to the disease.

UVA Health is the Angioma Alliance’s only Center of Excellence in the southeastern U.S., and one of just eight centers nationally. The alliance is an international organization for patients, clinicians and researchers dedicated to improving the treatment of cerebral cavernous malformations.

“Being recognized as a Center of Excellence took a lot of hard work and collaboration from many people here at UVA Health,” said Dr. Min Park, a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon and medical director of UVA’s cerebral cavernous malformation program. “I appreciate everyone on our team who works to provide high-quality care for patients with these malformations.”

To earn this honor, UVA’s team met criteria from the Angioma Alliance that include seeing more than 50 patients with cerebral cavernous malformations annually and offering a team of experts that specialize in caring for these patients. UVA recently added two specialists – pediatric neurologist Dr. Erika Axeen and neuro-ophthalmologist Dr. Nancy Vilar – to its care team. The full UVA care team includes cerebrovascular neurosurgeons Park and Dr. Ryan Kellogg, vascular neurologists Dr. Brad Worrall and Dr. Andrew Southerland, dermatologist Dr. Barrett Zlotoff and medical geneticist Matthew Thomas.

Centers of Excellence must also be home to an active research program that is working to improve care for patients with these malformations. Ongoing research at UVA Health includes testing focused ultrasound, a scalpel-free alternative to traditional brain surgery that focuses sound waves inside the body, as a potential treatment. UVA researchers are also studying calcium signaling in endothelial cells derived from cerebral cavernous malformations.

Mila Versteeg’s Co-Written Book Wins Public Law Society’s Top Honor

Law professor Mila Versteeg’s book, “How Constitutional Rights Matter,” received the International Society of Public Law prize for best book published in 2019 or 2020, an honor that she shared with her co-author, Adam Chilton.

Their book, released last summer by Oxford University Press, examines whether including rights in constitutions actually improves their protection. Chilton, a University of Chicago law professor, has been one of Versteeg’s frequent collaborators.

The book was awarded the prize July 9 during the closing ceremony of the society’s annual conference, which featured 272 sessions and some 1,500 public law scholars from around the world. Competition among members, who also represent expertise in the social sciences and humanities, was steep because two years of entries were combined due to the pandemic.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” Versteeg said. “I am particularly grateful to the intellectual community at UVA that has helped me develop the ideas articulated in the book over the years.”

Among insights shared in the book, Versteeg and Chilton showed that the willingness of groups to organize and push back against the erosion of constitutional rights resulted in stronger protections. Their investigation solicited survey experiments, statistical analyses and case studies from around the world to better understand levels of rights enforcement.

The research benefited from Versteeg winning a $200,000 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, some of which she put toward her expenses in researching the book.

Versteeg is director of UVA Law’s Center for International and Comparative Law and Human Rights Program. Her research and teaching interests include comparative constitutional law, public international law and empirical legal studies. She has published more than 50 articles and book chapters, in both legal and social science journals, and is considered a pioneer in applying empirical research methods to studying constitutions.

Incoming Law Professor Named Greenwall Faculty Scholar

Professor Craig Konnoth, who is joining the School of Law faculty this summer, has been named a 2024 Greenwall Faculty Scholar.

Considered one of the top fellowships in the field, the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics “helps build the next generation of leaders by supporting early-career faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research,” according to the organization’s website. Since 2002, the Greenwall Foundation has supported more than 60 scholars from 40 different institutions.

For a term of three years, the award will fund Konnoth’s project, “Bioethics in Movement Advocacy.”

Konnoth will examine how activists, including those associated with LGBT, religious and racial justice movements, use medical frames and terms to bolster their claims, such as describing gender dysphoria as a disability, or racism as a virus.

“This project considers how these medically inflected ethical arguments relate to bioethics, whether and when they count as bioethics, how social advocates and bioethicists might influence each others’ arguments, and the ethical concerns of such techniques,” an abstract about Konnoth’s proposed research states. “By considering when ethical arguments grounded in medical frames count as bioethics, this project raises vital questions about the nature of bioethics itself.”

Konnoth works on issues pertaining to health and civil rights, law and sexuality, and health data regulation. His scholarship examines how medicine can be used to make normative claims and produce social change. He is also active in LGBT rights litigation and has filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on LGBT rights issues.

“Engaging in social justice advocacy, I realized that movements and individuals draw on many traditions beyond the law to produce change,” Konnoth said. “As medicine increases in importance in our everyday lives, it is important to understand how it plays a role in movement advocacy. I thank the Greenwall Foundation for this opportunity and am excited to join the Greenwall community.”  

Konnoth formerly was an associate professor at the University of Colorado, and was a Sharswood and Rudin Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and New York University Medical School. He has also served as a deputy solicitor general with the California Department of Justice.

Federalist Society Honored

The Federalist Society at UVA Law was named winner of the James Madison Award for National Student Chapter of the Year, the first back-to-back recipient.

Among the “Feddie” Awards announced April 12, the student organization was also co-winner of the Samuel Adams Award for membership growth.

Programming in the past year included 26 speaker events – including the annual originalism symposium in February – six faculty lunches, six professional development panels and 28 social events. A Q&A discussion the chapter hosted on abolishing the death penalty aired on C-SPAN.

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

Assistant Director of University News and Chief Copy Editor, UVA Today Office of University Communications