U.Va. Politics Undergraduate Receives Warner Leadership Award

April 22, 2010 — James Linville, a third-year student in the politics honors program at the University of Virginia, has received the Senator John W. Warner Public Leadership Award.

The annual award is given by the U.Va. provost's office to a third-year undergraduate who exhibits a serious ambition to seek public office in the future, whether it is a part-time city council position or a full-time legislative or executive office.

"I am honored to receive an award named for such a dedicated public official," Linville said. "Senator Warner's commitment to public leadership, both through his five Senate terms and his service in the Naval Academy, and outstanding educational background are inspiration to us all."

Linwood, 22, of New York City, has served as an intern in the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and as a volunteer in Barack Obama's presidential campaign. He plans to use the $3,000 award to research whether people will change their minds about moral questions after being given an opportunity to deliberate about them.

"This project comes from a deep interest in how individuals perceive morality and the extent to which these perceptions define their civic engagement with others, and create the participatory public essential to strong democracies," Linville said.

While a student at U.Va., Linwood has served as a resident adviser in the first-year dorms. A member of the Raven and Jefferson societies, he also competes on the varsity rowing team and is an elite amateur triathlete.

"James stands out because of his intellectual ambition," said George Klosko, Henry and Grace Doherty Professor of Politics. "He is always eager to push the discussion into areas not yet considered, to find out more about the subject. He consistently asks challenging questions and is not afraid to take intellectual risks."

Linville plans to pursue a Ph.D. in political theory and then enter public life, possibly as an elected official. He also wants to work in academia.

The Senator John W. Warner Public Leadership Award is funded through an endowment from Warner. This is the third year that U.Va. has presented the award.

— By Matt Kelly