Lynch, Sabato win
top teaching awards
Lynch -- "A legend in the making"
Though she's only been here for two
years, assistant professor of business administration Luann Lynch
has made a tsunami-sized splash among Darden
students and faculty.
is an excellent professor who shows genuine enthusiasm for the
course she teaches," a student wrote in her evaluation of
Lynch's accounting course. "She has an amazing ability to
keep the class focused on and interested in a potentially boring
of business administration E. Richard Brownlee II, who acted as
Lynch's mentor in his accounting teaching team, wrote that it's
been "an absolute joy" to work with her in his letter
recommending her for the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award.
Given to an assistant professor for demonstrated skill in teaching,
the award carries a $1,000 prize, with $1,500 in additional support,
and offers a semester's research assignment.
combination of keen intellect, thorough preparation, thoughtful
insights and suggestions, good humor and charismatic personality
set her apart," he wrote, adding that he frequently found
himself modifying his own teaching plans based on suggestions
Lynch goes to great lengths to prepare for classes, observing
other professors' accounting courses whenever possible, "not
to better understand the material, but to better understand the
students," she wrote in a statement about her teaching.
strive to create a supportive environment in which students are
encouraged to share their ideas and in which they feel safe in
doing so," she wrote. "Into that environment, I introduce
opportunities for students to practice decision-making, which
will be central to their future success as managers."
repeatedly expressed gratitude for her willingness to let them
figure out problems for themselves, her "waiting for the
light bulb to come on rather than simply providing answers,"
as one wrote.
Scott Walsh said her obvious concern about students' learning
inspires them to work harder, less because they're worried about
their grades than because they want to make her proud of them.
who has written three academic papers since coming to U.Va. that
are currently being reviewed by prestigious accounting journals,
usually begins class by sharing a story about her 2-year-old twin
boys, which she then links to the day's accounting lesson.
Kerry S. Davenport said students found these stories relaxing
and engaging, adding, "Luann made accounting seem easy by
breaking each concept into manageable parts and emphasizing underlying
themes throughout the course, such as the premise that accounting
is about Śreaching the truth' where everything must balance."
Edward A. Snyder cited Lynch's teaching evaluation ratings, which
place her in the top 10 percent of Darden's faculty, and called
her "a legend in the making."
votes are in -- Sabato selected
By Charlotte Crystal
J. Sabato does it all. He's a prolific scholar, a quotable academic,
an effective administrator and a gifted teacher. For those reasons
and more, Sabato has received this year's Alumni Association Distinguished
The annual award, which includes a $2,500 honorarium, recognizes
a faculty member who has excelled as a teacher, shown unusual
concern for students and made significant contributions to University
life for at least a decade.
professor of government
and foreign affairs since 1978, Sabato has taught more than
13,000 students and was recently named by the U.Va. Alumni Magazine
as one of the alumni's 10 most memorable and inspirational teachers.
Sabato recently established his Center
for Governmental Studies, alumni sent contributions to support
the project, along with letters describing his influence on their
understanding of politics and on the development of their critical
thinking skills, noted James Sofka, a lecturer in the government
after year, students rank Sabato as the best teacher in the department,
said government chair Robert Fatton Jr. Sabato's classes are intellectually
rigorous, he noted, and his lectures meticulously prepared and
delivered with "style, rhetorical skill and a wonderful sense
high profile in state and national politics also enable him to
bring an impressive roster of guest speakers -- top government
officials, senators, congressmen, governors, political pundits
and journalists -- to his American Politics 101 class. Fatton
believes that Sabato's 101 class could double its enrollment of
more than 500 students if a larger room were available.
Ernst, a graduate government student who has been a teaching assistant
for Sabato, pointed to two reasons for Sabato's popularity with
students: his teaching style and his personal interest in students.
"Even in his large Government 101 course, students are called
on to participate in a lively exchange of ideas."
a personal basis, Sabato has helped myriad students. He has spent
long hours with Ernst, though not his designated adviser, offering
"sincere and indispensable academic counseling," according
to Ernst. Sabato also made a number of phone calls on Ernst's
behalf during the student's successful search for a tenure-track
director both of the undergraduate program and the Honors Program,
Sabato has had a huge impact on the popularity of the government
major at U.Va. and on the achievements of the handful of students
accepted annually into the Honors program.
director of the undergraduate program, Sabato "has succeeded
not only in servicing and advising our students with unflagging
dedication, he has also improved the undergraduate program itself,"
Fatton wrote. "His directorship of the Honors Program has
been an unqualified success; students in that program have won
a disproportionate share of the University's major national awards
Marshall, Rhodes and Truman fellowships."
Carr, a member of the Government and Foreign Affairs Honors Program,
summed up his professor's many contributions best: "the University
of Virginia is a better place because of Larry Sabato."