chosen for Zintl Award
biology professor and the University's head of public relations
share the 2000 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award, which recognizes
their high degree of service to U.Va.
Claire Cronmiller, associate professor of biology,
and Louise Dudley, assistant vice president for university
relations, will be honored at a cermony Feb. 23.
The U.Va. Women's Center created the award three years ago in
memory of Elizabeth Zintl, a writer and journalist who served
as U.Va.'s chief of staff in the President's Office until her
death in 1997. The award honors Zintl's high degree of professionalism,
creativity and commitment to the University. It also recognizes
that such leadership is found in many areas throughout the academic
are honored to present the 2001 Zintl Leadership Award to two
women who have contributed so generously to the University community.
They are both extraordinary leaders, but represent excellence
in two very different ways. Claire Cronmiller's mentoring of University
women in science--both students and faculty -- has been remarkable,
and Louise Dudley, who is often the spokesperson for the University,
has helped to shape this community in powerful and humane ways
both in front of and behind the scenes. Both Claire and Louise
are wonderful representatives of the excellence and service embodied
by Elizabeth Zintl," said Sharon Davie, Women's Center director.
who nominated both women repeatedly cite the exceptional efforts
they make in quiet, steady ways -- Cronmiller in being a mentor
and role model, especially as a woman scientist, to countless
students, and Dudley for being calm and trustworthy with all parties
as a liaison between the University and the media.
As the University's spokesperson, Dudley is a virtual repository
of U.Va. history, noted her supporters, but more than that, she
is known for her integrity in communicating information, especially
on important issues or crises. Recently promoted to assistant
vice president, she joined U.Va. as news director in December
1989 and less than two years later was named director of University
can think of no better person than Louise to speak for the University.
No matter how well we perform our duties, if the public cannot
trust the messenger, the message will be lost," said Leonard W.
Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
"The University is doubly indebted to Louise, for helping us make
the right choices on important issues and for communicating those
choices to the public."
Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award
Feb. 23, 4:30 p.m.
McGregor Room, Alderman Library Because space is limited,
those wishing to attend should call the Women's Center at
addition to being part of many committees and giving advice on
strategies and responses, Dudley extends the same expertise to
students in need. When the chair of the Honor Committee, Hunter
Ferguson, faced several difficult meetings with national reporters,
Dudley helped prepare him for the interviews, taking time to explain
different approaches reporters use and answering his questions.
"Through her patience, she displayed a high level of commitment
to the accurate portrayal of the Honor System in the press,"
Ferguson noted. She also showed that she had confidence in his
ability to speak on behalf of the Honor System.
"In all her activities," wrote Robert Sweeney, vice president
for development, "I have noticed several distinguishing characteristics:
grace under pressure, a steady and thoughtful approach to working
with the media (often under highly charged circumstances), loyalty
to the institution, a remarkable work ethic, responsiveness at
all times, an unselfish tendency to deflect compliments to her
staff, and the ability to maintain sound and productive relationships
with internal and especially external constituencies."
Cronmiller also displays a selfless dedication to the University
through her work with students that goes far beyond normal expectations.
A researcher in fruit fly genetics, Cronmiller joined the biology
department in 1990. She applies creativity and care in all her
interactions, according to her supporters, in ways that promote
student success -- in life as well as in the classroom.
is not an easy subject, but Cronmiller has enlivened the large
lecture format with activities such as having students act out
the process of cell division and using a rap song to make genetics
more accessible. Although the class enrollment tops 300, she invites
the students to brunch at her house at the end of the semester.
"At the party, I had the chance of getting to know her family
and learning more about her love for nature and animals. For me,
it was an opportunity to witness a woman scientist's life among
her family beyond her professional career," wrote third-year biology
student Samar Yegenh, who described Cronmiller as a role model
who "looks at her teaching position as a path to connect the human
mind and soul."
not only tutors and advises students in biology, "she helps the
whole person, not just the student' part of the person," said
Ray Keller, the department chair. In addition she has participated
in the Office of African-American Affairs mentoring program since
it began almost six years ago. She makes a point of taking the
students she is mentoring to her lab and to biology department
functions, as well as attending the program's activities. All
of the students paired with Cronmiller have had "a very positive
identification with the University community," said assistant
dean Peter Yu.
award carries a $1,000 prize, made possible by a gift from alumnus
David A. Harrison III, which the honoree may use for her professional
or personal development.
Previous Zintl Award recipients include Dr. Sharon Hostler, medical
director of the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center and McLemore
Birdsong Professor of Pediatrics, for 1999; and Sylvia Terry,
associate dean of African-American affairs, and Patricia Lampkin,
associate vice president for student affairs, in 1998.