Accolades: Rankings Laud UVA’s Online Education Programs

Accolades: Rankings Laud UVA’s Online Education Programs
January 24, 2018

AffordableCollegesOnline.org, which provides resources and rankings for online education programs, lists the University of Virginia as the “Best Online College in Virginia” and the No. 13 online college nationally.

UVA also ranks No. 2 nationally in the “Most Affordable Online Colleges” category and No. 29 in the “Best Education and Online Teaching Degree” category.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranks only public, not-for-profit institutions that offer online education programs – even if they are primarily residential institutions, like UVA – according to a news release. Its “primary data points” included regional accreditation, in-state tuition and fees, percent of full-time undergraduate students earning institutional financial aid, number of online programs offered and student-to-teacher ratio, according to the release.

The website also includes a “Peer-Based Value” metric, which “compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score.”

Inaugural Richard Guy Wilson Prize Goes to English Ph.D. Alumna

Claire Eager, who earned a Ph.D. in English from UVA in 2017, is the first recipient of the Richard Guy Wilson Prize for Excellence in the Study of Buildings, Landscapes and Places.

The $5,000 annual prize – named in honor of Wilson, Commonwealth Professor in Architectural History at UVA’s School of Architecture – provides students, both undergraduate and graduate, with an opportunity to examine and reflect upon the value of place and the diverse ways through which we all contribute to the shaping of the built and natural environment.

“It is an honor to receive the first Richard Guy Wilson Prize.”

- Claire Eager

The prize encourages students from any discipline at UVA to participate; submissions include, but are not limited to, writing, design, poetry, painting, legal/business briefs, scholarly research and essays, film, and photography.

One of Wilson’s former students, Mallory Walker, an alumnus of the College of Arts & Sciences, endowed the prize in Wilson’s honor with a $100,000 gift.

A panel of faculty judges awarded Eager the inaugural honor for “Complicit Paradise: Invasive Species and Collaborative Design in Donne and Bedford’s Twick(e)n(h)am,” a chapter from her dissertation.

“It is an honor to receive the first Richard Guy Wilson Prize,” Eager said. “It will allow me to continue my ongoing field research investigating how the sensory effects of paradisal settings in texts accord with the physical experiences of extant and restored period gardens in the U.K. and elsewhere.”

Eager, now an assistant professor on the general faculty in UVA’s Department of English, received the award in December at a dinner hosted by Dean of the Library John Unsworth and his wife, Maggie, in Pavilion II on the Lawn.

Matthew Scarnaty, who received master’s degrees in architecture and landscape architecture in 2017, was awarded an honorable mention for his submission, a cultural landscape analysis of the history of local food production in downtown Charlottesville, incorporating diverse sources – oral history, cartographic interpretation and contemporary diagrams – to reveal unexpected insights into Charlottesville’s socio-ecological history.

Submissions for the annual prize are reviewed by a rotating panel of UVA faculty members from various disciplines. Last year’s reviewers included faculty from creative writing, American studies, landscape architecture and architectural history.

Entries for the 2018 Richard Guy Wilson Prize are due in May.

History Chair Awarded Prestigious Mathematics Award

The American Mathematical Society has awarded its 2018 Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Prize to Karen Hunger Parshall for her groundbreaking work in the history of mathematics. Established in 1998, the honor recognizes notable exposition and exceptional scholarship in the history of mathematics.

Parshall, chair of the Corcoran Department of History and Commonwealth Professor of History and Mathematics, was recognized for her work on the evolution of mathematics in the United States and on the history of algebra, as well as for her contribution to the international life of her discipline through her teaching, editorial work and conference presentations. She received the prize Jan. 11 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego.

“I have continually benefited from my daily bouncing back and forth between conversations with colleagues in both of my departments.”

- Karen Hunger Parshall

Parshall said she was honored and humbled. “Since 1988, when its then-dean of the faculty, the physicist Hugh Kelly, made possible a completely unheard of 50-50 joint appointment for me in history and mathematics, the University of Virginia has provided a challenging but supportive environment,” Parshall said. “I have pursued my research, trained graduate students in the history of mathematics, and introduced undergraduates to the amazingly rich histories of science and mathematics. 

“I have continually benefited from my daily bouncing back and forth between conversations with colleagues in both of my departments.”

DesignIntelligence Names UVA’s Robin Dripps as ‘Most Admired Educator’

DesignIntelligence has named Robin Dripps, T. David Fitz-Gibbon Professor of Architecture, one of its 25 Most Admired Educators for 2017-18.

Dripps teaches within the School of Architecture’s studio design sequence, lectures on architectural theory and directs a seminar on the relationship between design intent and detail manifestation. She has taught at the school since 1970.

Each year, DesignIntelligence, a company that supports architecture, engineering, construction and design businesses and institutions, names 25 exemplary professionals in education and education administration. DesignIntelligence staff selected the 2017-18 class of education role models with extensive input from design professionals, academic department heads and students. Educators and administrators from the disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture are considered for inclusion.

Dripps was recognized for “outstanding contribution to the education and development of future practitioners, and for furthering the professions of architecture, engineering, construction and design,” DesignIntelligence noted.

Architecture Dean Ila Berman added, “Always operating at the cutting edge of the discipline, Robin is not only highly creative and rigorous, but also fearless in her approach to architectural education. She is truly a prized design faculty member at the School of Architecture who has taught and inspired generations of UVA alumni.”

Dripps said, “This is a very special recognition, especially happening in the latter part of my teaching career. It does seem to validate my constant desire to remain curious about how things work.”

Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design Named ‘Top 10’

The American Society of Landscape Architects’ online blog, The Dirt, recently listed its picks for 2017’s best books on the environment, cities and landscape, including School of Architecture professor Tim Beatley’s “Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design” as one of the top 10.

In the book, Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, presents strategies that both boost biodiversity and foster deeper human connections with nature in cities. He highlights examples like the Mappiness Project in the United Kingdom, Singapore’s sky bridges and San Francisco’s Please Touch community garden.

The Dirt’s Top 10 Books for 2017 also includes “Be Seated” by Laurie Olin, recipient of the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture; and “The New Landscape Declaration: A Call to Action for the Twenty-First Century,” which features contributions by UVA landscape architecture faculty members Julie Bargmann, Brad Cantrell and Beth Meyer.

CASE District III Honors UVA Engagement Programs

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s annual District III awards competition will recognize two UVA engagement efforts at the district’s meeting in February.

University Advancement earned a grand award for its #GivingToHoosDay campaign, a fundraising appeal tied to “Giving Tuesday,” held in April.

Virginia Nursing Legacy, a biannual alumni magazine produced at the School of Nursing, earned a special merit award.

Three Law Alumni to Be Honored for Public Service

The School of Law will honor three alumni for their public service work during a Feb. 3 ceremony in Caplin Pavilion, as part of the second annual “Shaping Justice” conference.

1987 graduate Jeffrey Kerr, general counsel of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation in Norfolk, will receive the Shaping Justice Award for Extraordinary Achievement.

Kim Rolla and Jeree Thomas, alumnae from 2013 and 2011, respectively, will receive Shaping Justice Rising Star Awards. Rolla is an attorney with the Charlottesville-based Legal Aid Justice Center’s Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program. Thomas is policy director at Campaign for Youth Justice in Richmond.

This year’s conference, titled “Shaping Justice in an Age of Uncertainty,” will feature keynote speaker Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The conference is sponsored by the Law School, the Program in Law and Public Service, the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center, the student-run Public Interest Law Association and numerous other student organizations.

Kerr’s team at PETA was named Corporate Counsel magazine’s 2017 Best Legal Department, and was involved in high-profile lawsuits such as a 13th Amendment case against SeaWorld, the first two successful constitutional challenges to “ag-gag” laws, and the “monkey selfie” copyright case.

Rolla joined the Legal Aid Justice Center as a Lewis F. Powell Fellow in 2013. At UVA Law, she was a member of Virginia Law Review and received the Herbert Kramer/Herbert Bangel Community Service Award.

Before joining the Campaign for Youth Justice, Thomas served as a Skadden Fellow with the JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. At UVA Law, she was one of five second-year law students selected for the first class of the school’s Program in Law and Public Service. She was also the recipient of the James Slaughter Award and inducted into UVA’s Raven Society.

A committee comprising public service faculty, administrators and student leaders selected the awardees.

UVA Honored on National ‘100 Great Orthopedics Programs’ List

Becker’s Hospital Review has selected the UVA Health System for its list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great orthopedics programs. 

“The hospitals included on this list are national leaders in orthopedic care,” the national health care publication wrote in its introduction to the list. “Many are high-volume joint replacement centers and have earned recognition for knee and hip replacements as well as spinal procedures. These hospitals and health systems also engage in research and clinical trials to further advance the field of orthopedics.”

“This is an outstanding honor for our faculty, our health care team members and our partners from across the UVA Medical Center and UVA Health System who work diligently each and every day to provide the highest-quality care and service to patients throughout Virginia and beyond.”

- Dr. A. Bobby Chhabra

In selecting UVA Orthopedics to this year’s list, Becker’s highlighted its top 50 ranking by U.S. News and World Report for orthopedics care as well as low infection rates for patients receiving total joint replacements.

“UVA Orthopedics is humbled to be recognized again by Becker’s Hospital Review for our exceptional, comprehensive patient care and outcomes in all orthopedic specialties, particularly hip and knee joint replacement,” Dr. A. Bobby Chhabra, chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, said. “This is an outstanding honor for our faculty, our health care team members and our partners from across the UVA Medical Center and UVA Health System who work diligently each and every day to provide the highest-quality care and service to patients throughout Virginia and beyond.”

Hospitals named to the list by Becker’s Hospital Review are not ranked and are presented in alphabetical order.

UVA Recognized for Care of Patients With Blood Vessel Tumors

The UVA Health System has been honored as one of 12 Comprehensive Clinical Care Centers in the U.S. for von Hippel-Lindau disease, which causes blood vessel tumors, by the VHL Alliance.

UVA is the only comprehensive center in Virginia for the care of patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease. The condition is caused by a genetic mutation and leads to the development of both benign and cancerous tumors in the nervous system, kidney, pancreas and adrenal gland, as well as other parts of the body, according to the VHL Alliance.

To earn this recognition, centers must have previously been recognized as Clinical Care Centers by the VHL Alliance and have demonstrated “additional depth of expertise and experience treating VHL and their dedication to a true team approach for VHL patients,” the alliance said on its website.

“VHL is a complex, genetic tumor predisposition syndrome that affects multiple organs and may impact an individual’s life in many ways,” said Dr. Ashok R. Asthagiri, a UVA neurosurgeon and director of the UVA VHL Comprehensive Clinical Center. “At UVA, we offer well-coordinated multidisciplinary management that emphasizes close surveillance and treatments that are tailored to the needs of each individual patient. This truly represents the ‘comprehensive’ nature of the care provided by recognized leaders in VHL-related care.”

UVA’s multidisciplinary care team includes medical experts in neurosurgery, urology, endocrinology, ophthalmology, surgical oncology, radiology, palliative care and otolaryngology. Psychosocial aspects of care and living with VHL are emphasized, and support is provided through an oncology social work team. 

Architecture Professor’s Firm Takes National Design Award

Seth McDowell, an assistant professor in the School of Architecture, and his firm, mcdowellespinosa, won the 2017 Best of Design for Young Architects award given by Architect’s Newspaper.

Some of the work featured in the article includes the firm’s Design and Education Farmhouse Renovation; the winning design for the Chicago Center for Architecture, Design, and Education; and other self-built structures.

Senior Editor and juror Matt Shaw said, “mcdowellespinosa show an inventiveness about space and tectonics that roots their practice firmly in the real, even when it seems implausible.”

UVA Doctor Named Journal’s Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Jason P. Sheehan, a professor of neurological surgery and director of the Gamma Knife Center, has been named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

Sheehan is a rare “quadruple ’Hoo,” having earned four degrees from the University: a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.S. in biomedical engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, both in 1992; a Ph.D. in biological physics from the School of Medicine in 1997; and an M.D. from the School of Medicine in 1998.

He has written more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and has published several books and numerous invited manuscripts. He reviews manuscripts for the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, World Neurosurgery, Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Nature Clinical Practice Oncology. He runs an active laboratory pursuing translational and basic science research in the area of brain tumors. He also helps to oversee clinical trials for brain tumor patients.

Sheehan was named to the “Best Doctors in America” list, published by Best Doctors Inc., in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Chief Resident Earns Society’s Award

Dr. Bryce Olenczak, chief resident in the School of Medicine’s Department of Plastic Surgery, received the Bostwick Award from the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, given to the “resident with the best project in the field of aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery,” with applications accepted from all regional plastic surgery societies.

Olenczak presented his abstract, “Fenestration Improves Acellular Dermal Matrix Biointegration: An Investigation of Revascularization with Photoacoustic Microscopy,” Saturday at the 34th Annual Atlanta Breast Surgery Symposium.

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

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