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James A. SmithEngineering professor takes Cavaliers' Distinguished chair

James A. Smith, associate professor of civil engineering, has become the fifth faculty member awarded the Cavaliers' Distinguised Teaching Professorship, his two-year term approved by the Board of Visitors in June.

Richard W. Miksad, dean of the Engineering School, said he nominated Smith because of his efforts in developing the environmental engineering program, as well as his contributions to teaching and scholarship.

Smith, who will also work with the Teaching Resource Center to promote the enhancement of teaching at U.Va., was a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow in 1993 and received an Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award in 1997. His teaching interests include ground-water flow and solute transport and environmental chemistry. He is a member of U.Va.'s Program of Interdisciplinary Research in Contaminant Hydrogeology.

The Cavaliers' Distinguised Teaching chair was established in 1991 with a $200,000 gift from the Athletics Department's proceeds from the previous Sugar Bowl and has since been supplemented with receipts from three other bowl games. The professorship recognizes eminent scholars who excel in teaching undergraduates.

Economics professor Kenneth G. Elzinga was the first to be appointed to the endowed chair. Chemistry professor Dean Harmon, English professor Karen S. Chase and psychology professor Dennis Proffitt have since received the professorship.



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