Accolades: UVA Again Ranked on ‘Beautiful College’ List

Academical Village fall scene
November 18, 2015

Great Value Colleges has ranked the University of Virginia No. 4 on its 2015 list of the 40 Most Beautiful College Campuses in Rural Areas.

The website looked at schools in areas of fewer than 50,000 in population – Charlottesville has about 44,000 residents – and used a point system to rank the schools that took into account the number of awards and recognition the campus has received; notable features, such as significant architecture, botanical gardens, etc.; campus locations; student retention rates and affordability.

Great Value Colleges cites the American Institute of Architects’ 1976 assessment of UVA’s Thomas Jefferson-designed Academical Village as “the proudest achievement of American architecture in the past 200 years,” and notes UVA is the only American university to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The top three institutions on the list were Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia; Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio; and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Four other Virginia schools made the list: the College of William & Mary (No. 9), Sweet Briar College (No. 13), Washington & Lee University (No. 26) and Virginia Tech (No. 35). The complete list can be found here.

Michael Gilbert Receives Student Council’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Law professor Michael Gilbert has received the UVA Student Council’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He received 30 letters of recommendation from students and is the first law faculty member to be selected for the honor.

In addition to the Distinguished Teaching Award, the council also bestowed the Leonard W. Sandridge Student Partnership Award to undergraduate biology professor Sarah Kucenas and the Student Council Superlative Teaching Assistant Award to Anna Eisenstein, a graduate student in anthropology. The awards were made during an Oct. 12 ceremony at Newcomb Hall.

The Distinguished Teaching Award is given annually to recognize a teacher who makes a positive and lasting impact on the University by developing relationships with students through the creation of an engaging and challenging classroom atmosphere.

“I’m surprised and a little embarrassed to be singled out,” said Gilbert, the Sullivan  & Cromwell Professor of Law. “But I’m also gratified and deeply honored.”

Recipients are chosen by a selection committee composed of undergraduate and graduate students who consider both quantity and quality of nominating letters, said Shelbey Keegan, co-chair of the Student Council Academic Affairs Committee.

Health System’s Cancer, Orthopedics Programs Listed Among Best in U.S.

Becker’s Hospital Review recently recognized a pair of UVA medical clinics as being among the nation’s best.

The health care publication named the UVA Cancer Center to its 2015 list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs and listed the Department of Orthopedic Surgery among its “100 hospitals and health systems with great orthopedic programs.

UVA is the only health system in Virginia named to the 2015 oncology list, and this marks the third consecutive year that Becker’s has selected UVA for that list.

In honoring the UVA Cancer Center, Becker’s noted that UVA is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center – one of just 69 in the U.S. – and has been selected by health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield as a Blue Distinction Center for caring for patients with complex and rare cancers.

“Receiving this honor from Becker’s Hospital Review reflects the commitment of our team at the Cancer Center and our colleagues at the Health System to provide excellent care to all of our patients while researching improvements in cancer treatment,” Dr. Thomas P. Loughran Jr., director of UVA Cancer Center, said.

UVA Orthopedics is rated as “high-performing” by U.S. News & World Report and also is recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In its description of UVA’s orthopedic care, Becker’s highlighted the comprehensive services available, including pediatric orthopedics, a spine center, a musculoskeletal center, a sports medicine clinic, total hip and knee replacements, bone cancer treatment and finger implants.

Dr. Bobby Chhabra, chair of UVA’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery, said the award is a tribute to a team effort to provide high-quality care to patients across Virginia. “This reflects the hard work of so many people to provide the full range of specialized orthopedic care to our patients,” he said.

Becker’s also highlighted that in 2015, UVA joined approximately 7 percent of U.S. hospitals in earning “Magnet” recognition from the American Nurse Credentialing Center for its quality patient care and innovative nursing practice.

The Becker’s lists are presented in alphabetical order; the publication does not rank the programs named to its lists.

Law Professor’s Work on History of Secession Earns Cromwell Fellowship

School of Law associate professor Cynthia Nicoletti recently earned a William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Research Fellowship for her work on the legal history of secession.

The $5,000 award, presented Oct. 31 at the American Society for Legal History’s conference, supports research and writing in legal history. Nicoletti is wrapping up a book manuscript, “The Fragility of Union: Secession in the Aftermath of the American Civil War, 1865-1869.”

Nicoletti’s book explores whether the Civil War really resolved the question of secession’s constitutionality.

“This question pitted the force of law against military might,” she said. “The North’s military victory established that the Union would survive, but Americans still wrestled with the legal arguments that supported the secession of the Confederate states from the Union in 1860-61.”

By examining the potential prosecution of Confederate president Jefferson Davis for treason after the Civil War, Nicoletti tells a story of how Americans struggled with the idea that brute force was used to settle a legal question.

“The broader American public, as well as Davis’ prosecutors, understood that his defense would implicate secession: his lawyers would argue that the secession of Mississippi – Davis’ home state – in 1861 had severed his allegiance to the United States,” she said. “Thenceforth, Davis was a non-citizen, incapable of betraying a duty of loyalty to the United States. Largely because his case raised such a fundamental – and potentially explosive – legal question, Davis was never tried.” 

Nursing Doctoral Student Receives Diversity in Education Award

Holly Edwards has been a lot of things. A nurse. A Charlottesville City Councilor. An advocate for patients living with HIV and AIDS. A clinical instructor. A voice for the elderly and for those in public housing. And not least of all, a wife and the mother of two sets of twins, one in college and one in fifth grade.

Now on track to earn her Ph.D. from the School of Nursing by 2017, Edwards now adds another title: educator, and recipient of the John E. Baker Community Education Award, which honors an African-American educator who creates a “love of learning in students of all abilities and backgrounds.”

Edwards was one of two local leaders honored at the recent John E. Baker dinner at Farmington Country Club.

Law Professor Honored for Decades of Immigration Law Scholarship

School of Law professor David Martin recently received the Excellence in International Migration Scholarship Award from the Center for Migration Studies in New York City. 

Martin, Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, has served the Law School for 35 years and helped shape immigration and refugee policy as an academic and by serving in several key U.S. government posts. He has published numerous books and scholarly articles, including a leading casebook on immigration and citizenship law, now in its seventh edition.

Martin’s scholarship has been informed by his government service. He was the principal deputy general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security from January 2009 to December 2010, including serving four months as acting general counsel, and was general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1995 to 1998. He has also served in posts at the Justice and State Departments. In April, Martin was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

The award presentation, held Oct. 28, was highlighted by video remarks from two of Martin’s colleagues, with whom he has worked closely for many years. 

Janet Napolitano, a 1983 graduate of UVA’s School of Law who was secretary of Homeland Security during Martin’s tenure at the department, was also a student in the first section Martin taught at UVA Law.

“My time at Virginia marked the beginning of my training in law and public service, and I can’t think of a better mentor than Dave in those early years,” Napolitano said.

Professor Hiroshi Motomura of UCLA, who collaborated with Martin on their widely used immigration law casebook “Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy,” called him a “guiding light” on the book and other projects.

“You have an enormous, unique range of vision, you have the courage to ask the essential and the hard questions, and you always brought to bear on this the intellectual and analytical precision that allows us to find the best answers,” Motomura said.

Nursing Professor Appointed to ‘Faculty Policy Think Tank’

Camille Burnett is among 11 nursing professors across the U.S. chosen to be part of the American Association of College of Nursing’s new effort to amplify academic nursing’s ability to influence American health policy.

In her new role, Burnett and her colleagues will advise the group’s Health Policy Advisory Council about the state of health policy education in undergraduate and graduate programs, with the ultimate goal of strengthening future practitioners’ understanding of the drivers impacting policy and skillfully inserting their nursing expertise at all levels.

Dove Headlines Lectures in U.K.

Poet Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English, headlined the Birmingham (England) Literature Festival on Oct. 9. In association with the festival, she also presented the annual lecture of the esteemed Poetry Society of England in London, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Edinburgh (Scotland). Dove’s Edinburgh lecture was introduced by novelist Alexander McCall Smith.

Dove received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book, “Thomas and Beulah,” and served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-1995. She recently was selected to give the main Final Exercises address to graduates of UVA’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences on May 21.

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Dan Heuchert

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