Headlines @ U.Va.
U.VA. DOCTOR TO HELP BATTLE BIRD FLU/EXPERT HAYDEN TO LEAD WHO TEAM FOR NEXT TWO YEARS
Internationally recognized flu expert Dr. Frederick G. Hayden of U.Va. is joining the World Health Organization’s efforts against avian flu. Hayden, 58, starts his new position early next month at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. He will serve with the WHO’s Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response program, primarily dealing with Southeast Asia. Hayden, a professor of clinical virology and internal medicine and pathology at U.Va., will return to the school after his two-year service with the WHO, which he has advised for several years. “All of us at the University are proud of his contributions over many years, to combating influenza,” said colleague Dr. William Petri, chief of U.Va.’s division of infectious diseases.
“We are especially thankful for his willingness ... to lend his expertise on an international scale at this time of concern over avian H5N1 virus.” In Hayden’s newly created position, he will be one of the lead clinicians in the WHO fight against avian flu. (Media General News Service, March 26)
NEW PROGRAMS AT U.VA. TARGET UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS
Economic diversity has received growing attention in recent years as several prominent colleges and universities have announced plans to improve the representation of students from low-income families. These institutions, however, face a formidable challenge: low-income students currently are underrepresented across higher education, and the picture is especially bleak at top-tier institutions. One analysis by Anthony Carnevale and Steven Rose revealed that only 10 percent of students at the 146 most selective colleges and universities in the United States come from the bottom half of the socioeconomic scale — and only 3 percent come from the bottom quartile. At U.Va., two new programs are seeking to increase the numbers of students from low- and moderate-income families. The first of these programs, AccessUVa, focuses on affordability, providing significant financial support and guidance to students who attend U.Va. The second, called the College Guides Program, seeks to raise awareness of higher education in underserved communities throughout Virginia. The University hopes that, together, these programs will make higher education possible for many new students. (Association of American Colleges and Universities, March 17)
CAMPUS ARTISTS FINALLY GET TOP FACILITIES
The scientists got their laboratories, the jocks their plush weight rooms and climbing walls. Now, at last, the massive campus building boom of the last 15 years is getting around to the performing arts. From big, public universities to small, liberal arts institutions … schools around the country are throwing unprecedented sums at new and often architecturally striking arts venues. The big winners, of course, are student dancers, actors and musicians. Long accustomed to cramped, dark spaces, many are now enjoying more inspiring quarters, along with top-of-the-line electronics and acoustic setups. Top-shelf artists are taking their tours to campus. The result, instructors say: Students are simply performing better. … U.Va., Virginia Tech, Miami of Ohio and Sonoma State in California are among the many schools in various stages of planning and fundraising for new buildings. (Associated Press, March 15)
WEB SITE HELPS IDENTIFY PERINATAL DEPRESSION
Health care professionals have a new tool to learn how to identify, treat or refer women suffering from perinatal depression, the most common complication of pregnancy. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), in collaboration with U.Va.’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, recently launched a new Web site at www.perinataldepression.org. (New River Valley Today, March 15)