May 19-25, 2000
Vol. 30, Issue 18
Back Issues
United they stand - BUCKS photo
Sullivan Award winners show deep commitment to caring
Here's the youngest 'Hoo
Wagner exemplifies value of mentoring

Rector unearths love for human evolution

Dyslexia forced graduate to create own path for success
Boiler passes a special test
Already a pioneering online journalist, graduate plans to take on TV reporting
Student's mentoring program takes root
Medical student with passion for public health earns second master's degree
Groundskeeper has watched U.Va. and its landscape grow
Help wanted: not just for high-tech fields, but for teaching jobs, too
BUCKS' vision to give back to community will continue
Watson discovers teaching and takes history to the Web
Seeing double
Heard's degree painted with broad strokes
May graduate's dream shows how education transforms lives

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THE UNIVERSITY'S CLASS OF 2000, which comprises approximately 5,360 students, is full of outstanding students who bring bright promise to the new millennium. Some of them have kept their eyes on a single target, some have gone through a period of soul-searching before they figured out where to set their sights. We feature here a small selection of graduates whose struggles and accomplishments have helped prepare them for the future.

Stephanie Gross

United they stand

The members of Brothers United Celebrating Knowledge and Success, who founded the mentoring group in 1998, are serious about encouraging U.Va. students to help African-American youths in Charlottesville. They graduate this weekend, but their organization will go on. From left: Ryan J. Wallace, Leslie H. Williams Jr., Ryan F. Coleman-Ferebee, Aaron A. Lockhart, Cameron D. Wadley, Marc K. Carroll and John T. Green III. See BUCKS' vision to give back to community will continue.

Stephanie Gross
Pooja V. Sukhwani

Sullivan Award winners show deep commitment to caring

By Charlotte Crystal and Katherine Jackson

The University will bestow three Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards at Valediction Exercises May 20. The awards, which recognize excellence of character and service to humanity, will be presented to Annette Gibbs, a long-time University administrator who was instrumental in transforming U.Va. into a coeducational institution, and two graduating fourth-year students, Pooja V. Sukhwani and Leslie H. Williams Jr.

Pooja V. Sukhwani

Pooja V. Sukhwani of Miami, Fla., plans to express her caring for people through a career in medicine. She's already well on her way.

While at the University, she co-founded the March of Dimes Collegiate Council to promote that organization's mission of raising funds to prevent birth defects. She also helped organize the recent National Bioethics Conference, which U.Va. students hosted.

Supplementing her course work -- a major in bioethics and a minor in biology -- Sukhwani served as an ethics intern with the U.Va. Teen Health Center and as a research assistant for the Institute for Practical Ethics.

In Florida, Sukhwani served as an emergency room technician at the Baptist Hospital of Miami in the summer of 1998 and last summer worked as a liaison with parents and children from low-income households for the University of Miami's Pediatric Mobile Clinic. She also served as a cabin counselor for the Boggy Creek Gang Camp in Eustis, Fla., a summer camp for chronically ill children.

"Students, faculty and administrators express their amazement at and admiration for all that Pooja Sukhwani does to help others, both individually and in organizations, and the wonderful, caring spirit in which she does it," said James Childress, the Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Medical Education. "She does so much but always with a smile and a sense of joy that is infectious. As one student put it, Pooja has a heart of gold and a dedication to all that she is involved with.' She invests her time, energy and leadership in various organizations 'because she truly cares about what they stand for and wants to help them achieve all that they are capable of achieving,'" he said.

Stephanie Gross
Leslie H. Williams Jr.

Sukhwani has deferred her acceptance into Tulane University Medical School for a year to spend some time on service projects, one of which is going to the Dominican Republic to help children learn to read.

Leslie H. Williams Jr.

Leslie H. Williams Jr., an honor student from Alexandria, is the living definition of a well-rounded student. A Rodman Scholar, he majored in mechanical engineering, while acting in plays and mentoring others.

Despite the Engineering School's rigorous program, Williams strived for fulfilling experiences outside the classroom. "I think engineers should be well-rounded individuals with the ability to interact with anyone," he said. Full story.

© Copyright 2000 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

Managing Editor
Anne Bromley

Online Web Editor
Karen Asher

Staff Writers
Rebecca Arrington
Dan Heuchert
Nancy Hurrelbrinck

Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
Liz Iracki
Katherine Jackson
Jill Johnson
Ida Lee Wootten
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