Accolades: ‘Milestone, Not Tombstone,’ Dove Says of Lifetime Honor

October 2, 2023
Portrait of Rita Dove

Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing Rita Dove is the fourth poet to win the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

The National Book Foundation will present its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, the University of Virginia’s Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing. She is just the fourth poet to be honored since the award was first presented in 1988.

Dove joins a list of literary icons that includes Toni Morrison, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Judy Blume and Maxine Hong Kingston. She will receive the medal Nov. 15 during the annual National Book Awards ceremony in New York.

The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, “is presented each year to a person who has enriched our literary heritage over a life of service, or a corpus of work,” according to the foundation’s announcement.

Professional learning, without pause. University of Virginia, Northern Virginia
Professional learning, without pause. University of Virginia, Northern Virginia

While Dove appreciates the honor, she told The Associated Press, “I want it to be a milestone, not a tombstone.” At 71, she feels she still has much to explore artistically, she said.

Dove has been a published author for a half-century and won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection, “Thomas and Beulah.” While best known for her poetry, she also has worked in several genres, including short fiction, a novel, drama and music.

She served as Poet Laureate of the U.S. from 1993 to 1995 and Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She has received honorary doctorates from 29 institutions, among a long list of honors.

Other poets who have earned the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters are Gwendolyn Brooks (1994), Adrienne Rich (2006) and John Ashbery (2011).

Nursing Dean Emerita Named a ‘Living Legend’

Dean Emerita and International Council of Nurses President Pamela F. Cipriano, currently a research associate professor of nursing at UVA, will be honored as one of six “Living Legends” by the American Academy of Nursing – the group’s highest honor – at its annual policy conference in October.

Pamela Cipriano
Former School of Nursing Dean Pamela Cipriano is a “living legend,” according to the American Academy of Nursing. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

Cipriano – renowned for raising the voice, visibility and stature of nurses over the course of her more than 40 years as a nurse – has held leadership positions in a variety of academic, organizational and health-care organizations, including three years at the helm of UVA School of Nursing and chief nursing officer at UVA Health, which earned its initial Magnet designation during her tenure.

Currently president of the International Council of Nurses and two-term president of the American Association of Nursing, Cipriano is a leading advocate for safe, supportive nursing environments, and champions the well-being of the global workforce of 28 million nurses.

“Her exceptional ability to link the advancement of the profession to health security, quality of care, economic growth, and improved health outcomes has transformed health delivery around the world,” the American Academy of Nursing said in a statement.

Cipriano, a fierce advocate for nursing education at UVA and around the world, served as the school’s sixth dean beginning in mid-2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic upended teaching, learning, practice and living patterns around the world. She stepped down at the end of the academic year in mid-2022 when Marianne Baernholdt, the school’s seventh dean, was appointed.

“Pam is extraordinary for many reasons,” Baernholdt said, “but her advocacy work is her greatest strength, and connects her to nurses and policymakers worldwide. We couldn’t be more proud of, and grateful for, her work and the example she sets for our students. She, and her fellow honorees, are examples for all of us.”

Education Professor Lauded for Advocacy on Behalf of Youth

Voices for Virginia’s Children, a policy organization advocating for positive and equitable outcomes for children and youth, named Linda K. Bunker Professor of Education Nancy Deutsch as its 2023 Amplify Established Advocate Award winner.

Deutsch is the director of the Youth-Nex research center and associate dean for faculty affairs at UVA’s School of Education and Human Development. She was recognized for her decades-long career dedicated to improving outcomes for young people across Virginia, including her involvement in policy discussions about positive youth development and her commitment to equity and inclusion.

Nancy Deutsch
Nancy Deutsch, director of the Youth-Nex research center and associate dean for faculty affairs at the School of Education and Human Development, was honored for her advocacy on behalf of Virginia’s children. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

In their joint nomination letter, Stephanie Rowley, dean of the Education School, and associate professor Bethany Bell wrote about Deutsch’s work as a citizen and scholar to improve the lives of adolescents.

“Nancy has been impacting research, public policy, service in communities, public awareness, and program development in Virginia and nationwide for more than 20 years,” they wrote. “Since her earliest days in Virginia, she has been deeply invested in using her social capital to contribute to making the state more just and equitable.”

Deutsch will receive the Amplify Established Advocate Award on Oct. 10 in Richmond.

Biomedical Ethicist Earns Distinguished Service Award

Mary Faith Marshall, the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Professor of Biomedical Ethics, director of the School of Medicine’s Center for Health Humanities and Ethics, and professor of nursing in the School of Nursing, has received the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ 2023 Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes a member of the society who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing the society’s goals.

Mary Faith Marshall
To recognize Mary Faith Marshall’s service to the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the organization gave her its Distinguished Service Award. (Photo by Cole Geddy, University Communications)

Marshall served as the society’s second president from 1998-1999. She has served on its Health Care Ethics Certification Task Force and currently serves on the Task Force to Advance Certification. She was a member of the inaugural class of Health Care Ethics Consultants, certified by the society in 2019 and serves as member of the American Journal of Bioethics editorial board.

Marshall also is a fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine, where she is the immediate past chair of the Society of Critical Care Medicine Ethics Committee, and co-chairs a panel that is writing new end-of-life guidelines. Marshall chaired the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee and served as a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Ethics for 11 years.

Anthropology Association Honors UVA’s Director of Graduate Studies

Anthropology professor Richard Handler is the 2023 recipient of the American Anthropological Association’s Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology.

The award is presented annually to “members whose careers demonstrate extraordinary achievements that have well served the anthropological profession.”

Handler is UVA’s director of graduate studies. As a cultural anthropologist who studies modern Western societies, his initial field work was in Quebec (1976-1984), where he studied the Québécois nationalist movement, which led to an enduring interest in nationalism, ethnicity and the politics of culture.

Upon coming to UVA in 1986, he pursued the latter topic by looking at history museums. Beginning in 1990, he led an ethnographic study of Colonial Williamsburg as both an outdoor museum and a mid-sized nonprofit corporation. In addition to examining the invention of history and tradition, the study focused on corporate culture, class, race and gender.

Richard Handler
Director of Graduate Studies Richard Handler has conducted wide-ranging research in the field of cultural anthropology. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

Later, he came to focus on the intersection of early 20th-century artistic modernism and the literary bent of Edward Sapir, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, leading to a broader interest in the history of anthropology – in particular, in anthropologists as critics of modernity, and the relationship of the discipline’s critical discourses to other intellectual trends.

He has published essays on Jules Henry, Richard Hoggart, Dorothy Lee, Erving Goffman, Thorstein Veblen and Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as a 1995 book-length interview with David Schneider, “Schneider on Schneider.”

Handler’s most recent scholarship concerns U.S. postage stamps – their iconographic content and indexical functioning – in relation to democratic citizenship. In 2023, with Laura Goldblatt, he published “The American Stamp: Postal Iconography, Democratic Citizenship, and Consumerism in the United States.”

UVA Health’s Care for Patients With Injured Hearts, Lungs Earns International Award

For providing lifesaving care to patients with seriously injured hearts and lungs, the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization has awarded UVA Health the Platinum Level Center of Excellence Award, the international group’s highest honor. 

UVA Health is being recognized for providing advanced life support through its Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation program. ECMO is a continuous heart-lung machine that can provide weeks of support for patients with life-threatening heart or lung conditions. Injured lungs cannot provide sufficient oxygen to the body, while injured hearts cannot provide sufficient blood flow. ECMO takes over these critical functions, keeping patients alive and enabling injured hearts and lungs to recover. UVA has used ECMO since 1991 to help save the lives of patients of all ages.

UVA Health Aerial
How do you mend a broken heart? A trip to UVA Health is a great first step, according to the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

“I want to congratulate our entire ECMO team for their outstanding work in providing the highest level of care to some of the most seriously ill patients we care for at UVA Health,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, UVA Health’s chief executive officer and UVA’s executive vice president for health affairs. “Providing the most advanced lifesaving care to all Virginians is a cornerstone of our 10-year strategic plan.”

“Our team is dedicated to providing the highest-quality care for every patient of any age who requires ECMO,” Dr. Nicholas Teman, medical director of UVA Health’s adult ECMO program, said. “I want to thank every member of our team for helping us earn this award.”

Law Professor To Receive 2024 Prosser Award

School of Law professor Kenneth S. Abraham will receive the 2024 Prosser Award from the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Torts and Compensation Systems. Abraham, who has taught at UVA Law since 1983, is one of the nation’s leading scholars, teachers and consultants in both torts and insurance law.

Named in honor of William L. Prosser, a seminal figure in the field of torts, the award recognizes lifetime contributions to scholarship, teaching and service in the torts field. Abraham will receive the award at the association’s annual meeting in January.

Abraham has written more than 70 law review articles and six books, and his torts treatise, “The Forms and Functions of Tort Law,” has become a basic text for first-year law students across the country. His casebook, “Insurance Law and Regulation,” has been used as the principal text in courses on insurance law in more than 100 American law schools. His first book, “Distributing Risk: Insurance, Legal Theory, and Public Policy,” written in 1986, brought modern legal theory to the study of insurance law.

Kenneth Abraham

Kenneth S. Abraham is one of the nation’s leading scholars, teachers and consultants in both torts and insurance law. (UVA Law photo)

In practice, Abraham has been consulting counsel and an expert witness in a variety of major insurance coverage cases involving commercial general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, environmental cleanup liability, toxic tort and products liability, and property insurance claims. He also served as an arbitrator for the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, resolving more than 100 claims by women seeking damages for injuries caused by the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device, both in the United States and Europe.

Abraham is a life member of the American Law Institute, and for 20 years he served on ALI’s Council, the board of lawyers, judges and academics that governs the institute. He is also an adviser to the ALI’s Restatement of Torts (Third) and was the senior adviser to the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance. He has served on other boards and commissions concerned with tort law and insurance reform and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

15 UVA Faculty, Alumni Earn VNA’s ‘40 Under 40’ Award

Clinical nursing instructors Brittany Harrison and Christoph Lecznar, postdoctoral fellow and family nurse practitioner Maria McDonald and clinical instructor and simulation debriefer Samantha Hudgins are among 15 School of Nursing alumni listed among the Virginia Nurses Association’s “40 Under 40” awardees for 2023. They were honored at a Sept. 9 gala.

Split photo of mentioned accolades
From left, Brittany Harrison, Samantha Hudgins, Christoph Lecznar and Maria McDonald are among those with UVA ties named to the Virginia Nurses Association’s “40 Under 40” list.

“Brittany, Sam, Christoph and Maria bring a unique combination of vision, intellect, astute leadership, energy and fun,” said Marianne Baernholdt, dean of the Nursing School, Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and UVA Health’s dean of professional nursing. “We are thrilled to have faculty members like them who bring vibrancy to the classroom, science and our shared profession, and such a strong showing among our exceptional alumni as well.”

The “40 Under 40” list also included Nursing School alumni and UVA Health team members Tyree Ashworth, Jermaine Clayborne, Matthew Houston, Seth McElroy and Ainsley Polson.

Nurse Scientist Jessie Gibson Tapped as Junior Editor for Academic Journal

Assistant professor of nursing Jessie Gibson, who studies mental health interventions for patients with Huntington’s disease, has been named junior editor of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science – one of two nurses on the 52-member editorial board and the only nurse among the new cohort of 14 junior editors.

Jessie Gibson

Assistant professor of nursing Jessie Gibson is one of two nurses on the 52-member editorial board of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science.

In the new role, Gibson will assist with manuscript review, developing summaries and reports from the annual Journal of Clinical and Translational Science meeting, and working with associate editors as mentors.

Gibson studies Huntington disease patients’ propensity for “interpretation bias” – the tendency to see people or situations in a consistently negative light – and whether an online brain training tool can help them reduce or eliminate negative thinking and improve their wellbeing.

Gibson’s editorial position began this summer and will extend through June 2025.

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

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