June 17 - 30, 2005
Vol. 35, Issue 11
Back Issues
The plan's working
Board approves first phase of dormitory replacements
Renowed engineer joins U.Va. faculty
Headines @ U.Va.
A new understanding of jet lag 
Pediatricians honored with award
Artifacts found on University property once belonging to free African-American family

Event offers opportunity to heal and remember those touched by cancer

New online collection features letters to doctors
Lessons from a playwright
Employees broaden their minds


Headlines @ U.Va.

At the Major League Baseball draft on June 7, the Washington Nationals, choosing fourth and making the first pick in club history, chose third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who grew up in Chesapeake, and attended U.Va. The Nationals thought highly enough of Zimmerman that they began meeting with him this winter, and Zimmerman said June 6 that he knew he would go to Washington with the fourth pick. The team announced that it had agreed to terms with Zimmerman almost immediately after the draft, and he signed his contract — for a bonus that baseball sources said is worth $2.975 million — at a news conference June 8 at RFK Stadium. Zimmerman, 20, said he was excited to be chosen by his new local team. He’ll begin his career at Class AA Harrisburg within the next two weeks. “They’re close to home,” Zimmerman said in his conference call with reporters. “It’s a perfect fit. . . . It’s almost too perfect to be true.” (Washington Post, June 8)

Three universities have unveiled technology that would tell emergency-services operators the physical locations of people who use Internet telephones to call 911. Columbia University, Texas A&M University at College Station and U.Va. were joined by Internet2, Cisco Systems Inc. and Nortel Networks Limited in developing the system. The advance, which would plug a significant hole that the spread of Internet telephones has opened in emergency-services networks on campuses and elsewhere, was developed with help from technology companies and state agencies. The technology would send emergency dispatchers not only information about the caller’s location, but also, in some cases, a video image of the caller. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 8)

Researchers scouring images of Mars’ surface say they have found evidence of ancient heavy rainfall or sudden snow melt on the red planet. A team from U.Va. and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Center for Planetary Studies discovered 21 river channels in valleys on the planet. The width of the channels provides clues for how much water flowed through them. On average, the channels are roughly the same size as river channels in dry regions on Earth that are etched by sudden downpours or snow melt. The images, taken by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft currently orbiting the red planet, bring to 29 the number of river channels researchers have spotted. The team notes that
it’s likely the planet once had a climate similar to the desert in the southwestern United States, where long dry spells are punctuated with shorter periods of wet weather. (Christian Science Monitor, May 27)

A recent U.Va. study found one in five of Virginia’s children lack the basic skills they need to enter kindergarten. Gov. Mark Warner wants to change that. The governor and the General Assembly approved a $50 million increase in a program that targets at-risk 4-year-olds. Now, the governor is kicking off a new early education summit. Over the next six weeks, state educators will come up with a plan for improving pre-school education. (NBC12 News, May 27)


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