Accolades: Third Nursing Professor Elected to Lead a Professional Association

October 09, 2015

Emily Drake, associate professor in the University of Virginia School of Nursing, has been elected president of the American Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, a professional organization that is the voice for more than 350,000 nurses and promotes the health of women and newborns. Her three-year term begins Jan. 1.

Drake joins two other UVA colleagues who head national professional nursing associations: American Nurses Association President Pam Cipriano and American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ President-Elect Clareen Wiencek.

Drake, a maternal and child health professor, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UVA and a Ph.D. in nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her scholarship focuses on high-risk pregnancies, infant development, breastfeeding and technology, and she holds a clinical position in labor and delivery at the UVA Medical Center. In addition to teaching, she has served as a lactation consultant, an in-patient obstetrics expert and a clinical nurse leader.

“Emily is one of our most creative and gifted educators and mentors,” Dean Dorrie K. Fontaine said, “and she truly inspires students and colleagues with her natural ability to lead without needing to ‘take charge.’ Frequently, others follow her because she is already headed in the right direction and her way is so clear. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Darden Student Wins Emmy for Outstanding News Coverage

Journalist Mayra Rocha believed that winning an Emmy Award might help her get into a top business school. She recently won that hoped-for accolade, but as luck would have it, she was already well into her studies at the Darden School of Business.

A student in the Global MBA for Executives format who anticipates graduating in 2016, Rocha and her news team received the television industry’s highest honor on Sept. 28, taking home an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in Spanish for her work reporting on a massacre of students in Mexico for the Univision news program “Aqui y Ahora (Here and Now).”

Rocha said the honor was particularly validating given the gravity of the work. “It puts into perspective all that journalism stands for, which is to give a voice to those who don’t have it,” she said. “If I never win an Emmy again, this one will always be close to my heart, because it’s the reason I studied journalism.”

The story, which Rocha produced, focused on a mass killing in the Mexican city of Iguala, in which 43 students were kidnapped and murdered at the hands of a drug cartel. A subsequent investigation revealed corruption and complicity in the murders among local police and the mayor of Iguala.

UVA Recognized as Diversity Champion

The Sept. 24 Accolades roundup reported that, for the fourth consecutive year, UVA’s School of Medicine received a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

As it turns out, there’s even better news. The entire University received a separate award – also for the fourth straight year.

“The HEED Award is the only national recognition honoring colleges and universities that exhibit outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion throughout their campuses,” wrote Holly Mendelson, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, in her letter notifying the University of the honor. “The application was rigorous and comprehensive and you should be very proud of the work you are doing to promote diversity and inclusion among your students, faculty, staff, and community.” 

“We have received this recognition as a result of the University-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion and our outreach to the community,” said Dr. Marcus Martin, UVA’s vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity. “There was not any one or new thing this year that helped us achieve the recognition; recognition has come about because of the many things we currently do and ongoing efforts to make the climate welcoming and inclusive at UVA.”

UVA Librarian to Lead Virginia Library Association

Keith Weimer, research librarian for history, politics and religious studies at the UVA Library, has been elected as vice president/president-elect of the Virginia Library Association.

Weimer will serve a three-year term, first as president-elect in 2016, then president in 2017 and past president in 2018. He will be the first UVA librarian to lead the association, which states its purpose as “to develop, promote, and improve library and information services, library staff, and the profession of librarianship in order to advance literacy and learning and to ensure access to information in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Newsweek’s ‘Top Cancer Doctors 2015’ List Features 16 UVA Physicians

Sixteen University of Virginia Cancer Center physicians were named to Newsweek’s “Top Cancer Doctors 2015” listing.

Newsweek developed the list in partnership with Castle Connolly Medical LTD, which publishes “America’s Top Doctors.” According to Newsweek’s website, a Castle Connolly team led by physicians reviewed nearly 100,000 nominations, then talked with hospital leaders and cancer specialists to develop the list of top cancer doctors.

“This national honor for our physicians not only recognizes the excellent care they provide their patients, but the comprehensive, specialized care provided to patients at UVA Cancer Center,” Dr. Thomas P. Loughran Jr., the center’s director, said.   

The UVA physicians honored are Reid Adams, Surgical Oncology; Christiana Brenin, Medical Oncology; Robert Dreicer, Medical Oncology; Linda Duska, Gynecologic Oncology; William Grosh, Medical Oncology & Endocrinology; Ziv Haskal, Vascular & Interventional Radiology; James Larner,  Radiation Oncology; Christine Lau, Thoracic Surgery; Paul Levine, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery; Stacey Mills, Pathology; Susan Modesitt, Gynecologic Oncology; Mark Russell, Dermatology; David Schiff, Neuro-Oncology; Mark Shaffrey, Neurological Surgery; Craig Slingluff Jr., Surgical Oncology; and Michael Williams, Hematologic Oncology.

UVA Named One of 11 U.S. Palliative Care Leadership Centers

The Center to Advance Palliative Care has named the UVA Health System as one of 11 Palliative Care Leadership Centers in the U.S.

According to the center’s website, leadership centers are selected for “their clinical excellence, outstanding leadership, reputation and experience,” including the use of evidence-based best practices for palliative care. Palliative care helps patients cope with pain and other symptoms from a range of serious diseases or treatments for those diseases.

“CAPC is a nationally recognized organization supporting excellence and growth in palliative care,” Dr. Joshua Barclay, a UVA palliative care specialist, said. “To be recognized as a leader in this field by CAPC is an incredible honor for us at UVA.”

UVA’s palliative care team helps patients with severe, life-limiting illnesses improve or sustain their quality of life. UVA’s palliative care providers include doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, music therapists, chaplains, massage therapists and psychologists. The team helps patients better manage symptoms ranging from nausea and nerve damage to anxiety and depression while patients are in the hospital as well as at UVA’s outpatient palliative care clinic.

History Professor Honored for Mentorship Work

Brian Balogh, Compton Professor at the Miller Center and a professor in UVA’s Corcoran Department of History, has been selected to receive the 2015 Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award from the American Historical Association.

Balogh was cited for being “deeply committed to providing immediate critical feedback to his students and other junior scholars, helping them navigate the shoals of being both academic historians and public advocates, working to create a rich and supportive network of new political historians, and creating the Miller Center’s fellowship program,” according to the members of the review committee who selected him. “Dr. Balogh has proved to be a truly exemplary mentor.”

The “20th-Century History Guy” on public radio’s “Backstory with the American History Guys” program, Balogh joined the UVA faculty in 1991. He founded, and currently chairs, the Miller Center National Fellowship.

He will receive his award at the association’s 130th annual meeting in Atlanta in January.

Law Students Selected for Leadership Positions in National Association

Four UVA School of Law students will serve in leadership positions for the National Black Law Students Association during the 2015-16 term.

Through serving on the national board, third-year law students Josephine Biemkpa, Renee Manson and Danielle Stokes and second-year student Charis Redmond will support operations for one of the nation’s largest student-run organizations, which represents thousands of minority law students.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see our student leaders tapped for these national roles because they now will have the opportunity to shape a number of important dialogues that are taking place around the country,” said UVA law professor Anne Coughlin, a member of the Law School’s BLSA chapter advisory council. “But the development comes as no surprise to those of us who have worked closely with BLSA over the years. Our BLSA leaders are among the best of the best, and the national organization is fortunate to have them on board.”

Biemkpa, the association’s national director of membership, will chair the association’s membership committee and work with regional liaisons to assist current chapters and members, while also creating new chapters, reactivating inactive chapters and compiling membership statistics and data. There are currently more than 200 chapters nationwide on the law and pre-law levels.

Manson will serve as national director of the association’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. Manson will oversee the competition, which includes six regional competitions and the final held each year during the national convention.

Redmond is NBLSA’s programming specialist and the current president of UVA Law’s chapter. She is responsible for developing and evaluating the effectiveness of the association’s existing programs. As part of her role, she will help plan activities for the group’s annual convention, slated for March 9-13 in Baltimore.

Stokes will assist in organizing the moot court competition as the national moot court specialist. Working with the moot court director and the regional directors, she will solicit sponsors and program participants.

Professor Saikrishna Prakash Receives Traynor Award for Scholarship

School of Law professor Saikrishna Prakash is the recipient of the Roger and Madeleine Traynor Faculty Achievement Award, Dean Paul G. Mahoney announced Sept. 21 during a faculty luncheon.

“Sai’s work focuses on the U.S. Constitution’s structural provisions, particularly the separation of powers,” Mahoney said.” He is one of the country’s most influential voices on the original meaning of those provisions.”

The award provides $5,000 to the recipient and is generally given every other year to a senior faculty member in recognition of his or her scholarly achievement.

Prakash, the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and the Horace W. Goldsmith Research Professor, joined the faculty in 2009.

“When I behold the scholarship my colleagues regularly produce, I am astonished by its quality and rigor. This makes this award particularly meaningful to me,” Prakash said. 

Prakash is also the author of “Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive,” published this year by Yale University Press. The book examines what the phrase “executive power” meant to the founding generation, drawing on English, colonial, state and early federal experience as well as the debates preceding the Constitution’s creation. 

The Traynor award was established in 1994 by a gift of Madeleine Traynor in honor of her husband, a former chief justice of the California Supreme Court and a visiting professor at the Law School during the 1960s.

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

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