Accolades: Catherine Foster Site Added to Virginia Landmarks Register

The Catherine “Kitty” foster site was discovered and carefully preserved as part of the South Lawn Project.

The site of a free black household at the University of Virginia’s South Lawn that dates to the pre-Civil War period is now part of the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources added five sites to the list on March 17 and approved forwarding them to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

The nearly three-quarter-acre Catherine “Kitty” Foster site, discovered during a preliminary excavation for the South Lawn Project in 1993, contains archaeological features and artifacts associated with the family of Foster, a free African-American seamstress, who purchased the residential property in 1833.

As part of a free African-American community called “Canada,” the Foster family occupied the site until the land sold in 1906. The Foster site contributes to the history of the service-based commercial relationship between free African-Americans and the University community during the pre- and post-Civil War eras.

In April 2011, the University installed a memorial park dedicated to informing the public as part of the South Lawn Project. The park preserves the outline of Foster’s home with a structure that casts its shadow, plus the location of the cemetery and some of the original cobblestones.

Neurosurgeon Kassell Appointed to Blue Ribbon Panel for Cancer Moonshot

Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery Dr. Neal F. Kassell, who chairs the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, has been selected to serve on the National Cancer Institute’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Kassell joins a group of 28 luminaries in science and medicine who will help the NCI inform the scientific direction and goals of the initiative.

“This Blue Ribbon Panel will ensure that, as NIH allocates new resources through the Moonshot, decisions will be grounded in the best science,” Biden said. “I look forward to working with this panel and many others involved with the Moonshot to make unprecedented improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

“I am proud to represent the focused ultrasound community on this panel,” Kassell said. “This early-stage technology is already approved in regions of the world to non-invasively destroy tumors in the kidney, liver, pancreas and prostate. But the technology truly has the potential to help meet the goals of the Moonshot by transforming cancer treatment through enhancing immunotherapy and localizing the delivery of chemotherapy to improve efficacy and minimize systemic effects.”

Stanford Center Selects Four UVA Faculty Members as Fellows, Scholars

Three UVA faculty members are among 38 new fellows at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and a fourth was chosen as one of two visiting scholars.

According to Stanford’s announcement, the center’s incoming class represents a diversity of fields within the social and behavioral sciences: anthropology, communication, earth sciences, education, geography, history, language and literature, law, medicine, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, public policy and sociology. More than 20 U.S. and six international institutions and programs are represented.

Deborah Lawrence, professor of environmental sciences; Jennifer Petersen, associate professor of media studies; and Allison Pugh, associate professor of sociology, were all selected as fellows. In addition, Hector Amaya, professor and chair of the Department of Media Studies, will serve as a visiting scholar.

Pugh also was named one of 69 fellows of the American Council of Learned Societies, chosen from a pool of nearly 1,100 applicants through a rigorous, multi-stage peer review process. ACLS Fellowships allow scholars to spend six to 12 months researching and writing full-time. The program awards fellowships of up to $70,000 each.

Pugh’s project is titled “On the Cutting Edge of Intimacy: Children, Parents, and Institutions Negotiating Cultural Change.”

Rita Dove Picks Up A Pair of Honors

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at UVA, served as honorary chair of the bi-annual National Black Writers Conference, held March 31 through April 3 at the City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. There, she received the John Oliver Killens Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other former honorary chairs include Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, after whom the college is named.

“Black American literature is at its most exciting ever,” Dove said. “I had dreamed but never imagined it possible that in my lifetime I would be witness to such a glorious panoply of Black artistic expression – from lyric to polemic, confessional to experimental, page to stage and everything in between, Black American literature today celebrates the beautiful complexities of racial identity.” 

The following weekend, Dove received the third Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement at Oregon State University in Portland. The Stone Award honors a major American author who has created a body of critically acclaimed literary work and has been a dedicated mentor to succeeding generations of young writers.

Dove is the first poet to receive this award; the previous winners were novelists Joyce Carol Oates and Tobias Wolf.

Recipients of the Stone Literary Award give readings, master classes and lectures in both Corvallis and Portland, highlighting the value of creative communication in contemporary American culture. In conjunction with the prize, an “Everybody Reads” program features a selected book by the writer, with events at libraries, book clubs and independent bookstores.

Dove also will be the keynote speaker at UVA’s Final Exercises on May 21.

Bonnie to Receive APA Commendation for Contributions to Law, Psychiatry

School of Law professor Richard Bonnie has been awarded the American Psychiatric Association’s Special Presidential Commendation for his contributions to the field of law and psychiatry.

Bonnie will receive the award at the 169th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, scheduled to be held in Atlanta on May 14-18, at which he will also deliver a lecture titled, "The Sudden Collapse of Marijuana Prohibition: What's Next?"

Bonnie is the Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law and the Class of 1941 Research Professor of Law. He is also a professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences, director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, and a professor of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

In recent years, Bonnie has been involved in educating, researching or helping to inform policies related to gun policy, juvenile justice, mental health services, tobacco policy and drug addiction.

UVA Army ROTC Inducts Inaugural Class for New Hall of Fame

UVA’s Army ROTC program is creating a Hall of Fame to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Army ROTC nationwide.

The first inductees will be former Board of Visitors member Gordon Rainey and Brig. Gen. Charles N. Pede, commander of the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School located at the UVA. They are to be honored Tuesday afternoon at an awards ceremony involving members of the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs. Individual awards will to be presented to about 40 cadets and midshipmen from the three ROTC programs.

The new hall of fame will honor graduates of the UVA Army ROTC program. Pede graduated and received his Army commission from UVA in 1984, and then attended the UVA School of Law. He holds a LL.M in military law and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies.

Rainey graduated in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in English and was commissioned through ROTC. He served as an artillery officer in South Korea and after his service he graduated from the UVA School of Law. He is chairman emeritus and partner at Hunton & Williams, a former Board of Visitors member and former rector of the University.

“We have a history of leadership and excellence in our program and have had numerous graduates who have gone on to do great things in both the military and civilian sectors,” said Lt. Col. Mark Houston, commander of the Army ROTC unit at the University. “We want to honor the graduates who have gone on and served our nation in various roles with distinction.”

The Army ROTC unit also will be honored for receiving the MacArthur Award, presented each year since 1989 by Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation to the top programs across the nation. The award recognizes a top Army ROTC program as it best represents the ideals of “duty, honor and country” as advocated by MacArthur. Army ROTC programs are assessed yearly on a combination of achievements, including meeting or exceeding the school’s commissioning mission, its cadets’ performance and standing on the command’s National Order of Merit List, and its cadet retention rate.

Also being presented that day will be the Captain David J. Mehlhop Memorial Award, to the third-year Air Force ROTC Cadet who embodies the Air Force core values, and the Naval ROTC Richard E. and Mary E. Williams Scholarship, presented to the midshipmen demonstrating strong academic and military performance.

Law Student Team Earns Way to National Moot Court Competition

A team from the UVA School of Law recently won two awards at a LawMeets moot court competition on transactional law, advancing to the finals in New York City.

First-year law student Willard Younger, second-year law student Yue Wang and third-year law student Eddie Sniezek won best overall performance and best brief at the competition, held Feb. 26 at Drexel University in Philadelphia. They negotiated a hypothetical merger between two fictional companies marketing related technologies. The UVA Law team, sponsored by the Virginia Law & Business Society, moved on to the national meet, hosted by Sullivan & Cromwell, held April 1. 

This is the first year that UVA Law participated in the annual competition. Prior to the regional event, teams prepared a proposed draft agreement and provided markups on agreements submitted by teams from other law schools. They also had the opportunity to communicate with mock clients, which helped the students gain insight into transactional concerns and managing client needs. At the meet, students participated in two negotiation sessions, judged by a panel of practicing experts.

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

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