May 5-11, 2000
Back Issues
Sessions on new pay plan scheduled
Study shows internal body clocks become desynchronized under jet-lag conditions
U.Va. motion lab yields new data on muscle function

Diagnosis of doctors' teaching: infectious enthusiasm

Graduate teaching assistants honored by Seven Society
William Styron to appear at the University Bookstore

"Give Air a 'Brake" on May 10

2000 Jefferson Symposium to focus on Jefferson and slavery
Melvin Cherno to head Hereford College
Electronic archive project cancelled
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Vinegar Hill history takes center stage
Arts & Sciences faculty face up to spiraling journal costs
Womack gains perspective on U.Va.'s international efforts
Hot Links - Health Sciences Library calendar

Diagnosis of doctors' teaching: infectious enthusiasm

These two winners of the Alumni Association's All-University Outstanding Teaching Awards are physicians who uphold and demonstrate the highest standards of their profession in terms of knowledge and compassion, inspiring their students. The testimonials of students and colleagues show that the professors' belief in their students' capabilities leads the students to believe in themselves.

Dr. Julia Iezzoni

Tina Brashers

Associate professor of nursing Dr. Valentina L. Brashers says she thrives on her daily interactions with students.

"Nothing could take [their] place in my life," she wrote in a statement about her teaching. "My students are brilliant, insightful, genuine and funny. They challenge me in so many ways, and honor me in so many more."

Brashers' students return her devotion, praising her ability to present complex material in pathophysiology courses in a lively yet accessible way, as well as the support she gives them outside the classroom.

"Dr. Brashers has a way of taking extremely technical, complicated information and bringing it to a level that students understand and relate to, a student wrote on a course evaluation.

Brashers, who came to U.Va. in 1988, is constantly revamping her teaching. "While her evaluations from students are consistently excellent, she is never complacent about teaching," wrote Jeanette Lancaster, Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and dean, and Doris S. Greiner, associate dean. "She actively seeks new ideas and makes herself available for new learning opportunities."

As a physician who left her private practice to teach, Brashers was particularly sensitive to the need for doctors and nurses to understand each other's roles. Among the teaching projects she has developed is a collaborative patient care skills course for nursing and medical students that allows each group to learn about the other's responsibilities.

She also goes out of her way to encourage students individually.

When nursing student Lucy Deivert told Brashers she was interested in doing an independent study in pathophysiology, Brashers asked if she would like to assist her in researching a chapter for the textbook she was writing, Clinical Application of Pathophysiology: Assessment, Diagnostic Reasoning and Management (which was published in 1998).

"This was an entirely new subject to me, so there were many hours of teaching on her part for each hour of research I was able to accomplish," Deivert wrote.

Cam-Hang Thi Pham, a transfer student from a small community college, said Brashers "never let me give up and made me feel that I belonged.

"She has a beautiful human spirit and it reflects in everything she does her passionate way of teaching that makes students eager to learn more, her optimism and her wonderful way of cheering others up by a friendly smile or a word of encouragement," Pham wrote.

-- By Nancy Hurrelbrinck


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