Accolades: Nursing School’s Sim Lab Earns National Endorsement

February 21, 2023 By Dan Heuchert, Dan Heuchert,

The University of Virginia’s School of Nursing’s Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center is one of just 14 simulation labs from across the country to earn an endorsement from the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

The honor, said assistant professor Ryne Ackard, the lab’s director, is a testament to the skill, creativity and commitment to excellence of simulation faculty and staff.

“While simulation was once thought of as ‘see-then-practice,’ today’s professional academia recognizes the deeper level of conceptual and practical understanding that simulation enables,” said Ackard, who also directs the UVA Healthcare Simulation Collaborative between the schools of Nursing and Medicine. “Our small but mighty team is committed to ensuring students take part in the most interesting, most robust, evidence-based scenarios possible in our lab. We’re proud of this endorsement, and of the work we do.”

The honor recognizes excellence in applying the association’s four core standards of simulation: pre-briefing, debriefing, facilitation and professional integrity.

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Two nursing students check a monitor
School of Nursing students check a monitor attached to a mannequin “patient” in the school’s Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center. (UVA School of Nursing photo)

Simulations are a growing part of both undergraduate and graduate nursing students’ experiences. Thanks to a $2 million capital expansion project, part of Joanne and Bill Conway’s record-setting $20 million gift to the Nursing School in 2020, the lab’s capacity grew from 7,200 square feet to more than 13,100 square feet. Today’s sim lab boasts three times its previous student capacity, with three new medical/surgical simulation rooms, debriefing rooms and work stations.

Its high-tech spaces also include all the bells and whistles of a typical hospital room; a phalanx of more than one dozen programmable mannequins, including several premature infants and several adults; a wearable birthing simulator; and several infection-control spaces where students practice safety procedures. More than 35 cameras throughout the lab assess students’ skills for review by their professors and peers during post-simulation briefings.

“We rely on our sim lab to provide students with rich, meaningful, applicable clinical experiences that prepare them to think on their feet when transitioning to care for real patients and across real scenarios,” Nursing School Dean Marianne Baernholdt said. “While that’s always been the case, Ryne and his team’s consistent creative approach to simulation has really upped UVA’s clinical game in a moment when nursing and medical schools increasingly rely on simulation to ready a generation of care professionals for the realities of today’s clinical environments.”

VBA Honors Professor With Highest Award

School of Law professor A.E. Dick Howard, a scholar who helped draft Virginia’s current constitution, has received the Virginia Bar Association’s top award.

Portrait of Dick Howard

A.E. Dick Howard, the School of Law’s longest-tenured professor, won the Virginia State Bar Association’s highest award. (Photo by Ian Bradshaw)

The Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award, renamed in 2008 for the former governor and 1967 UVA Law graduate, recognizes and appreciates exceptional service and contributions to the bar and public at large, according to the VBA.

Howard is the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law and an expert in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism and the U.S. Supreme Court, where he clerked for Justice Hugo L. Black.

Howard was executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia’s current constitution and directed the successful referendum campaign for its ratification. He has been counsel to the General Assembly and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1982 to 1986, he served as counselor to the governor of Virginia, and he chaired Virginia’s Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

The state bar’s annual award recipients were recognized Jan. 20 during the association’s annual meeting in Williamsburg.

“It could not be more fitting than to honor professor Dick Howard in this manner,” UVA Rector Whittington W. Clement said. “His writing of the 1971 Virginia constitution and his commentaries about the document over the years have had a profound influence upon the legislature, state judges, lawyers and millions of Virginians.”

In his acceptance speech, Howard lauded the lawyers he worked with throughout his career, including Black and Virginia’s constitutional commissioners. He also thanked and celebrated the students he has taught and collaborated with in 60 years of teaching.

“My students have gone on to be Supreme Court law clerks, governors, appellate court judges, ambassadors, academic stars,” Howard said. “I do not take credit for their accomplishments. But I thank them for reminding me why I love the classroom – why teaching is at the heart of my professional life.”

In January 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Howard one of the most respected educators in the nation. In 2007, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Library of Virginia included Howard on their list of the “greatest Virginians” of the 20th century.

In 2013, UVA recognized Howard with its Thomas Jefferson Award – the highest honor given to faculty members at the University.

After his experience with Virginia’s constitution, Howard was often consulted by constitutional draftsmen in other states and abroad. He has compared notes with revisers at work on new constitutions in Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Albania, Malawi and South Africa.

Professor Chosen as One of Six to Present Art Installations on the National Mall

Ashon Crawley, an associate professor of religious studies and African American and African studies, joined the UVA faculty in 2017 with a scholarly focus on Black religious and sacred performance practices. Along with that, he embarked on new paths in creative writing and art.

Portrait of Ashon Crawley

Ashon Crawley has been invited to create an original art installation to be displayed later this year on the National Mall in Washington. (Contributed photo)

Now, as one of six artists chosen nationwide, Crawley will create an art installation for the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as part of an initiative, “Beyond Granite,” to explore what is commemorated in the public space marked by monuments.

The Trust for the National Mall, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, is partnering with the National Capital Planning Commission and the National Park Service to present “Beyond Granite,” including exhibits, performances and programs, later this year. This inaugural project seeks to promote “a more inclusive, equitable and representative process for commemoration” in the nation’s capital city.

Although the individual works are going through an approval process, Crawley said this project builds on previous installations he has done and will be part of a larger project he is working on that includes two books, one fiction and the other nonfiction.

Crawley described his work as “exploring the intersection of performance, Blackness, queerness and spirituality.” He uses audio, visual and choreographic methods, clapping his hands with paint and dancing on paper and canvases, in creating his art.

Founder of the Otherwise Arts Lab, an integrative arts practice and space, he has held several art fellowships, including at the Dumbarton Oaks Museum and Library, Yaddo artists’ retreat and the MacDowell arts organization. His audiovisual art has been featured locally at Second Street Gallery and in the California African American Museum, among other places.

UVA Professor Named Among Top 1% of Computing, IT Peers

The Association for Computing Machinery has chosen 57 of its members for its most recent class of ACM Fellows, a program that recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their accomplishments in computing and information technology. Sebastian Elbaum, UVA’s Anita Jones Faculty Fellow and Professor of Computer Science, received this elevation “for contributions to the analysis and testing of evolving systems and robotic systems.”

Portrait of Sebastian Elbaum
UVA’s Sebastian Elbaum is one of the top 1% of members of the Association for Computing Machinery. (UVA Engineering photo)

According to Elbaum’s website, “My research aims to build dependable systems through domain-specific and mostly automated analysis techniques, with the current focus of analysis being autonomous systems. My teaching centers on instilling cost-effective software development principles.”

He is a founding member of LESS, UVA’s Lab for Engineering Safe Software.

Fellows are nominated by their peers, with nominations reviewed by a selection committee.

HEED Award Offers More Applause for Nursing School’s Diversity Journey

For the third time since 2018, the School of Nursing earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, an acknowledgement of the continued strength, focus and progress of its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

The HEED Award is the only national honor to recognize diversity and inclusion efforts among American colleges and universities with health professions majors.

The latest HEED Award celebrated three specific diversity “points of light” from the 2021-22 academic year, including the unveiling of a new nursing student pledge that deepened nursing students’ explicit commitment to equity, respect and diversity; the school’s citation as an exemplar to students, faculty, staff and its broader community of constituents for its public response to George Floyd’s murder; and the arrival of a new cohort of exceptionally diverse Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, a new transfer pathway established as an avenue for students with diverse educational needs who are critical to the development of a more diverse health care workforce.

‘Some see a palm tree. We see a wind energy revolution.’ | Eric Loth, Professor of Engineering, Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | To Be Great and Good in All We Do
‘Some see a palm tree. We see a wind energy revolution.’ | Eric Loth, Professor of Engineering, Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | To Be Great and Good in All We Do

“This recognition sets us apart,” said Melissa Gomes, the school’s associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, “and demonstrates what it is like to work, learn, and live in an environment that holds inclusivity, humility and equity as core principles. While we are proud of our impact, we also know that there is so much more to do. This recognition pushes us to keep going because anti-racism and inclusivity is hard, important, and will never end.”

PKD Foundation Names UVA Health as Center of Excellence

The PKD Foundation, dedicated to battling polycystic kidney disease, has named UVA Health as a Center of Excellence for providing patient-focused, comprehensive care for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, or ADPKD. UVA Health is one of just 28 centers nationally to earn this honor.

ADPKD is a common, life-threatening genetic disease that occurs when fluid-filled cysts form and grow in both kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure. UVA Health treats patients with ADPKD at its Charlottesville clinic, where comprehensive care includes patient education, genetic counseling, clinical trials and, when needed, access to dialysis and kidney transplants.

Ecologist To Take Reins of Academic Journal

The Ecological Society of America named ecologist Manuel Lerdau, who holds faculty appointments in UVA’s departments of Environmental Sciences and Biology, as editor-in-chief of its open-access journal Ecosphere.

Portrait of Manuel Lerdau

Manuel Lerdau has taken the reins of the Ecological Society of America’s open-source journal, Ecosphere, as editor-in-chief. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

With more than two decades of editorial experience, Lerdau assumes editorial leadership and oversight for the journal, which publishes research over a broad range of areas ranging from agroecosystem ecology and disease ecology to eco-education, statistical theory and methodology.

“I am excited to help lead Ecosphere,” Lerdau said. “It is a young but already successful journal that has expanded the breadth of ESA’s coverage and given authors a venue for publishing some very exciting research that pushes the boundaries of ecology. I’m looking forward to working with the editorial team to continue growing and improving the journal and to serving its readership within and beyond the society.”

Lerdau previously has served in editorial roles for several ecology, biology and earth science journals, including Quarterly Review of Biology, Oecologia, Journal of Geophysical Research –Biogeosciences, Biology Letters and Northeastern Naturalist, and he was also the natural sciences editor for the University of Virginia Press.

In addition to his research and editorial activities, Lerdau serves as a member of the UVA Global Infectious Disease Institute, as a mentor for the UVA Office of African-American Affairs’ GradSTAR Faculty Student Mentoring Program and on UVA’s Title IX Hearing Panel.

Lerdau started his new position as editor-in-chief on Feb. 14.

Portrait of Danielle Citron

Amazon said UVA law professor Danielle Citron’s book, “The Fight for Privacy,” is one of the best business and leadership books of 2022. (UVA Law photo)

Amazon Recognizes Citron Book recognized law professor Danielle Citron’s latest book, “The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity and Love in the Digital Age,” as among the best business and leadership books of 2022. The book makes the case for understanding intimate privacy as a civil and human right, and offers a roadmap for law, industry and individuals to protect those rights.

Citron is the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law, the Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law and director of the school’s LawTech Center.

Two Law Professors Lauded for Scholarship

The Association of American Law Schools recognized law professors Douglas Laycock and Bertrall Ross for their scholarship. Laycock won the remedies section’s Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award, and Ross was runner-up in the election law section’s Distinguished Scholarship category.

Laycock, also a professor of religious studies, is the Class of 1963 Research Professor in honor of Graham C. Lilly and Peter W. Low, and the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law.

Portraits of Bertrall Ross, left, and Douglas Laycock, right
The research of law professors Bertrall Ross, left, and Douglas Laycock earned plaudits from the Association of American Law Schools. (UVA Law photos)

He is perhaps the nation’s leading authority on the law of religious liberty and also on the law of remedies. Laycock has taught and written about these topics for more than four decades at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas and the University of Michigan, as well as at UVA.

He has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has served as lead counsel in six cases and has also filed influential amicus briefs. Laycock is the author (co-author in the most recent edition) of the leading casebook “Modern American Remedies,” the award-winning book “The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule,” and many articles in leading law reviews. His writings on religious liberties were recently republished in a five-volume collection.

Ross, who joined the faculty in 2021, is the Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law and a director of the school’s Karsh Center for Law and Democracy.

He teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, constitutional theory, election law, administrative law and statutory interpretation. Ross’ research is driven by a concern about democratic responsiveness and accountability, as well as the inclusion of marginalized communities in administrative and political processes.

Ross’ past scholarship has been published in several books and journals, including the Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review and the University of Chicago Law Review.

Ross has also been awarded the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, the Princeton University Law and Public Affairs Fellowship, the Columbia Law School Kellis Parker Academic Fellowship and the Marshall Scholarship. Ross currently serves on the Administrative Conference of the United States and recently served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. He is also a member of the American Law Institute.

Winners were acknowledged Thursday during an awards ceremony at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting.

European Institute Taps Law School Duo

Law professors Quinn Curtis and Cathy Hwang were appointed research members of the European Corporate Governance Institute on Jan. 5. The 56 new members will be eligible to publish their academic work on corporate governance and stewardship in the ECGI Working Paper Series (Law and Finance). The institute draws on academics worldwide to tackle issues confronting business and governments. Law professor Michal Barzuza is also a research member.

Portraits of Cathy Hwang, left, and Quinn Curtis, right
As new research members of the European Corporate Governance Institute, law professors Cathy Hwang, left, and Quinn Curtis are eligible to publish their academic work in the ECGI Working Paper Series. (UVA Law photos)

Curtis is associate dean for curricular programs and The Honorable Albert V. Bryan Jr. Research Professor of Law. Hwang is the Barron F. Black Research Professor of Law and director of the school’s John W. Glynn Jr. Law & Business Program.

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Dan Heuchert

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