Dec. 17-Jan. 13, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 22
Back Issues
Arts center tops new building list
Why charter status for the University?

Early decision offers made
Online pay slips begin next month

Students learn about poverty during study abroad in Africa
Building partners with Aboriginal artists and communities
It's the calories, not the carbs
Gov. Warner encourages Virginians to get healthy
Diversity dominates senate debate
Astronomer uncovers a baby galaxy in a grown-up universe
U.Va. a fertile ground for writers
Sowing the seeds of excellence
Staff: Learn about applying to college and financial aid at Jan. 18 workshop
Legislative forum Jan. 7

Art museum takes a break during holidays

U.Va.-Wise turns 50 this month


News briefs

Early decision applicants to the University faced slightly better odds this fall. Of the 2,317 who applied, 985 — or 42.5 percent — were offered a place in U.Va.’s Class of 2009, compared to 39.3 percent of last year’s
early decision applicants. Another 1,082 had their applications deferred and will be reconsidered during the regular spring admission cycle. Under the early decision process, applicants receive early action on their admission application in exchange for a pledge to attend the University if they are accepted. The number of early decision applications was down slightly this fall, from 2,364 to 2,318. Among those offered admission, 87 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. The middle 50 percent of those admitted who took the SAT-I test scored in a range from 1,270 to 1,410. The early decision pool was weighted a little more heavily toward Virginians over non-Virginians than last year. Out-of-state applicants made up 33.1 percent of the pool this year, compared to 35.9 percent last fall. The percentage of early decision applicants identifying themselves as a member of a minority group or declining to specify their ethnicity decreased from 25.9 percent to 24.2 percent. Eighty-seven percent of the applications were filed online, allowing the applicants to view their decisions electronically after 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, the same day the notifications were mailed.

Beginning next month, there will be no need to wait by the mailbox to get your paycheck statement. On Jan. 1, U.Va. will begin distributing statements of earnings to employees electronically. The new process will replace paper statements that are currently mailed to employees’ home
addresses. According to the human resources department, the new Self-Service Pay Slip will allow employees to access payroll data in a more timely manner from anywhere that has Internet access, avoid delivery to an incorrect address, and view and print previous online statements. Employees who do not have access to computers may get their pay slips at the Human Resources Payroll office. Department representatives feel confident there will not be an overflow of people at the payroll office on payday. To ease the transition to the new system, the University will continue to mail earnings statements in January and February. After that, only online SOE’s will be available.

Each year, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities awards fellowships for computer-assisted research in the humanities. The deadline for proposals from U.Va. faculty is Feb. 28. Faculty members involved in humanities research through any department are eligible to apply. One residential fellowship will be awarded for next year. The two-year period will include: half-time teaching release in the first year, office space, equipment and software, training, computer programming, budget resources, research assistants to raise additional grants to support the research project. Guidelines and applications are available at

U.Va. and Universitas 21 (U21) are calling for papers for the 2005 U21 Undergraduate Research Conference, to be held April 6-9 at U.Va. U21, an international consortium of leading research universities established in 1997, has 16 member universities in eight countries. Collectively, its members enroll about 500,000 students and employ about 40,000 professors. U.Va. joined the consortium in 2001 and is the only member from the United States.

The upcoming conference is to provide an avenue for undergraduates to share unique research projects with peers, faculty and the community. Institutions may send up to three students, who will present their research — on any topic — and submit it for publication. U.Va.’s Center for Undergraduate Excellence will select the U.Va. attendees. The deadline for students to submit abstract and papers via e-mail to cue/home.pcp is Jan. 21. Students will be notified by Feb. 2. For information, contact Nicole Hurd (

Other inquiries may be directed to Denise Karaoli (
Curry gets tech grant for science & math teachers The Curry School’s Center for Technology and Teacher Education received a three-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the
Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The grant comprises funding from FIPSE and nonfederal sources.

Associate professor Joe Garofalo, co-director of the center, and others are working on a project to show new secondary science and math teachers how to use interactive display systems (a projector, a tablet or laptop computer and wireless router) to enhance student learning. Education students will use the technology during their student teaching and their first year on the job.

Politics professor Steve Finkel will represent U.Va. in a project with Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh to review international Democracy and Governance Programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Finkel will team with two other researchers to link USAID expenditure data from some 100 countries during the past 25 years to those countries’ levels and growth in a number of indicators of democratic government. The project is the first effort to assess the global effectiveness of the USAID programs on target countries. It is designed to assist USAID and other international donors in the design and implementation of future programs to further the onset and consolidation of democracy around the world. Vanderbilt
received the $296,590 grant from the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development and USAID.


Jennifer Hoffman, associate director of University Career Services, won the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers 2004 Award for Innovation for developing a training DVD for college students’ use in preparing for job interviews. The award recognizes an innovative system, program, method or procedure related to the common interests of the association.

Matthew Neurock, professor of chemical engineering, has been selected as the winner of the 2005 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis. Neurock’s studies have shed light on the roles of surface structure, crystallite size, surface coverage and alloys.

Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English and newly appointed poet laureate of Virginia, read her poem, “This Life,” at the dedication of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas Nov. 18.

The University swept this year’s 7th annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards, announced this fall. The winners all have some affiliation with U.Va. Debra Nystrom, associate professor of creative writing at U.Va., won in the poetry category for her second book, “Torn Sky.” Edward P. Jones, a Washington, D.C., resident, earned his master’s degree from the University. His novel, “The Known World,” won the fiction award and also took the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year.

Another alumna, Suzanne Lebsock, won in the non-fiction category for “A Murder in Virginia.” Lebsock, who earned her master’s and doctorate in history from U.Va., examines issues of race and gender in this book about a gruesome 1985 murder on a quiet farm. The Literary Lifetime Achievement Award went to George Garrett, retired Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing. In addition, history professor Edward Ayers, dean of Arts & Sciences, was a finalist in non-fiction for his book, “In the Presence of Mine Enemies.”

It may be hard to look ahead to spring when winter has barely begun, but it’s registration time for the Teaching Resource Center’s annual January Teaching Workshop. The workshop will be held on Jan. 18 in Ruffner Hall and will reiterate the basics of teaching while exploring new boundaries. The format of analyzing teaching issues with your colleagues is a constructive way of getting energized for next semester. Those who register before Jan. 13, 5 p.m., will receive a free lunch.

For a schedule of sessions or to access the complete program, visit

For many parents of sons and daughters who are deployed in Iraq, the best gift of the holiday season would be to see their child smile. Thanks to U.Va. Medical Center and a nonprofit group called Freedom Calls Foundation, families may visit the hospital and use equipment that allows them to do just that —see and talk to their family members in Iraq.

Hospital officials are using videoconferencing equipment — meant for doctors to examine patients in other towns — to allow military families to communicate. According to Eugene Sullivan, director of the Office of Telemedicine, there are two operational sites in Iraq — Camp Cooke and Camp Fallujah — and more may become available in Iraq and in Afghanistan. U.Va. employees and faculty are welcome to participate, Sullivan said. Employees should find out if their deployed service member has access to either of the locations, and then either call or e-mail the telemedicine office at 924-5470 or to schedule their video call.

Some communities that are seeking to restore contaminated sites may soon get some help from U.Va. The Institute for Environmental Negotiation has received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Andrus Family Fund to provide consensus-building and facilitation services for such communities. The first project is the Money Point Revitalization Initiative on the Elizabeth River. IEN, with the assistance of the Community Mediation Center of Southeastern Virginia, will be working with the Elizabeth River Project, industrial landowners, residents, the City of Chesapeake, state and federal interests, civic groups and others for the environmental restoration and redevelopment of Money Point.

IQ Health of Virginia/Occupational Medicine has a new name and a new home. UVA-WorkMed continues to provide comprehensive services — health and wellness, occupational health, work injury management and reduction and pre-employment/return to work physicals. On Dec. 6, UVA-WorkMed relocated to 545 Ray C. Hunt Drive in Fontaine research Park. According to WorkMed representatives, this new location enhances accessibility and ensures prompt care. Parking is free, and a shuttle service from Hospital West and University Hospital is available at no charge. Employees with work-related injuries or tuberculosis surveillance may be served at one of the following locations: UVA-WorkMed or U.Va. Employee Health. For more information visit

Considering buying a Linux cluster? Another option is available. Information Technology and Communication is planning the purchase of a 32- to 48-node Linux cluster. Researchers and faculty considering their own purchase of a cluster are invited to consider the purchase of nodes on the ITC Linux cluster instead. The nodes would be housed and maintained by ITC for a three-year period. Among the benefits are: free system administration, timely security updates, housing in ITC’s machine room and the ability to use more nodes than purchased during periods of nonpeak demand. ITC plans to have the cluster ready for production runs no later than March 30, 2005. The department would like to know if there is interest from researchers and faculty before the winter break begins. For information, visit:, or contact Tim Tolson at or 243-6592.


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