April 28 - June 1, 2006
Vol. 36, Issue 8
Back Issues
'Living wage' debate
State of U
Tuition to increase
All aboard! the National LambdaRail
Researchers' treatment reverses Type 1 diabetes
Katherine Shirey wins award
Block scheduling
Great teachers
Uncovered cistern gives clues of early Lawn life
Commuting makes cents
Lowering barriers
Diversity post
Are your lights on?

22nd Annual telethon set for June 3 and 4

Know anyone interested in working at U.Va.?
Lorna Sundberg International Center
Leading the way


Great teachers
Passion for teaching, love of research, connection to students, mark this year’s winners

It is commonly acknowledged that to transmit knowledge is to influence eternity,” U.Va. President John T. Casteen III wrote in a program recognizing this year’s outstanding teachers.

“Those who learn from us in turn will teach. In the transmission of knowledge, generations are woven into an historical fabric that connects us all. This is teaching as a great cosmic quilting bee.

“Congratulations to colleagues who in their work transmit and create knowledge, and in doing so link the generations one to the other. All of us mindful of the past, concerned about the present, and invested in the future, owe you a debt of gratitude.”

U.Va. honored 24 teachers — professors, teaching assistants and fellows — at a dinner in the Rotunda on April 26.

Comments from the award-winners, their colleagues and students follow, which show how these teachers “influence eternity.”

Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Fellowship
Two-year appointment, which includes up to 2/9ths salary and $2,000 research fund annually

Debbie RoachDeborah A. Roach
associate professor of biology

Teaching Statement • My lectures are more like conversations, where I begin by asking questions and then, the students themselves begin to ask questions. The fun thing is that they ask good questions, and this helps me to become engaged and to raise the intellectual interaction within the classroom.

Her Nominators Said …
• “…the comment from students and her faculty colleagues are unanimous in their respect and admiration for Debbie’s teaching. In addition, Dr. Roach is not a one-hit wonder. She gets these reviews in every course she does!”
– Douglas R. Taylor, chairman and professor of biology

• “Professor Roach has given me invaluable advice and taught me many important skills, and I view her not only as an outstanding teacher, but also as an excellent mentor and role model. Professor Roach’s energy and enthusiasm toward teaching, and her abilities to understand and engage students make her an extraordinary teacher.”
– Maho Shibata, U.Va. alumna (College 2005); currently a graduate student in molecular biology and genetics, Cornell University

Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award
A $2,500 award goes to a faculty member who has shown unusual concern for students and made significant contributions to University life for at least a decade

BeVierLillian R. BeVier
John S. Shannon distinguished professor and sullivan and cromwell research professor of law

Teaching Statement • … It is only after I have [my students’] trust that the real work of teaching begins … to offer them ideas that will resonate, that will remain triggers to thought in the years to come.

Her Nominators Said …
• “She is a model, not only of classroom success but also of the value of taking teaching seriously. … As a teacher and as a person, there is no one I admire more.”
– John C. Jeffries Jr., dean, School of Law
• “Her door is always open to discuss anything, from law school registration to life and death. Had I never had her in class, I would still have considered her one of my favorite
– Leslie Kendrick, law student (Class of 2006)
• “… How much fun it has been for me over the past few months to see Professor BeVier’s name repeatedly on the shortlist for the Supreme Court. That would be a huge loss for U.Va. but a huge gain for the country. … She’s a wonderful teacher, and a wonderful person, and really the best of what U.Va. is all about.”
– J. Scott Ballenger, U.Va. alumnus (College 1993, Law 1996)

Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award
One outstanding teacher each year receives a $2,500 award, one semester of research leave at full pay and a $1,500 research award.

Robert CrossRobert L. Cross
assistant professor of commerce, mcintire school of commerce

Teaching Statement • My goal is to create a classroom environment that enables students to push themselves and to take what they consider to be a risk … I firmly believe it is my responsibility to earn my students’ attention and willingness to learn. This means being able to establish the relevance of what I am covering and why the students should care.

His Nominators Said …
• “Rob is an outstanding academic who brings a passion for teaching and his scholarship into the classroom. He teaches what he researches, and he researches what he teaches … I, for one, am truly amazed at his teaching efficacy and research productivity, and the synergy he creates between the two.”
– Richard G. Netemeyer, chairman of the McIntire Teaching Awards Committee
• “The students love him as a teacher and mentor (they often go to him for career advice). He is much more than friendly and fun and eager to instruct — his courses are jam-packed with content and fresh material. He is constantly innovating, never quite satisfied, and always wanting to improve.”
– Thomas S. Bateman, Bank of America Professor of Commerce, McIntire School of Commerce

All-University Teaching Awards
Nine faculty members receive a $1,000 prize for excellent undergraduate teaching.

Reid AdamsDr. Reid B. Adams
associate professor of surgery

Teaching Statement • To teach is to learn. … At the end of the day, if I have done my job well, the students’ curiosity is piqued and an insatiable appetite for the truth has been stimulated. These are the thrills of teaching. Full circle, from teacher to learner and back again.

His Nominators Said …

  • “Dr. Adams is considered one of the ‘go to’ guys in our department, not only for his ability to listen, but because he can solve problems and bring people together … Students have consistently rated his overall performance as a teacher as a ‘nine out of nine’ for the past five years.”
    – Doug Newburg, educational coordinator for the Department of Surgery
  • “Reid has taken an active role in creating a daily ‘morning report’ conference for the residents and students that now is ranked by them as their best learning experience.”
    – Dr. Bruce Schirmer, Stephen H. Watts Professor of Surgery
  • “Dr. Adams makes his clinic and ward patients feel … he truly cares for them, teaching his residents that bedside manner and patient contact are as important as surgical skill and medical knowledge.”
    – Dr. Leo M. Gazoni, resident

Ira BashkowIra R. Bashkow
assistant professor of anthropology

Teaching Statement • I have found that the most important of all my techniques is the simple one of modeling, in my own conduct and attitude, those qualities of careful reading and thinking, empathetic listening, and above all love of learning that I see it as our highest goal to nurture in our students.

His Nominators Said …

  • “Students find their worldview dramatically transformed and their vision of what they want to do in their lives often profoundly transformed….Inside the classroom, it is clear that the manner in which he challenges his students — to read and write extensively, critically and persuasively — is matched by his own engagement with, and respect for, his students’ work.”
    – Susan McKinnon, associate professor and acting chairman of anthropology
  • “Ira is a teacher: this is not a role, but a defining personal quality…In the classroom, he leads by example, creating an atmosphere in which he and his students can think out loud, take chances and share a learning process…I have never seen a more engaged classroom than during my class with Ira.”
    – Mary Lindsay Van Tine, former student

Mary BeckMary P. Beck
lecturer, school of engineering and applied science

Teaching Statement • I never intended to become a teacher. My first teaching jobs were a means to an end rather than the realization of a long-term dream. … The most valuable lesson I learned, and one that forms the basis of my teaching philosophy, is that my best resource is my own students. … The tricks I used 20 years ago to cover my inexperience I now employ to encourage participation and enthusiasm for the material.

Her Nominators Said …

  • “Based on letters from parents, students and faculty, it
    is our belief that Mary is responsible for the retention of more students in the school than any other faculty
    – P. Paxton Marshall, associate dean for undergraduate programs, SEAS
  • “I know of no other instructor as dedicated and caring as Mary. … She has implemented … invaluable changes in the applied math program … [including] a ‘pre-calculus’ course which she teaches on her own free time and without pay! This course meets three days a week … [and] she has taught [it] now for three years.”
    – Matthew Neurock, Alice M. and Guy A. Wilson Professor, chemical engineering and chemistry
  • “I would not be a civil engineer today if I hadn’t listened to that girl in the hall and demanded to be put in Prof. Beck’s course my first year of college.”
    – Khaduja Abdur-Rahman, “very grateful former student” (SEAS 2004)
  • “We are amazed at how much we enjoy learning calculus. … [Prof. Beck’s] attention to detail has helped some of us ‘get it’ for the very first time.”
    – Emily Morgan Rush, SEAS student

Stephen BorowitzDr. Stephen M. Borowitz
pediatrics and health evaluation sciences

Teaching Statement • Early in my career, I focused on being sure my students … had the information they needed to ‘pass the test.’ … I have gradually shifted my teaching focus away from mastering a fixed body of material to having my students identify the problems at hand, frame those problems as questions and then try to answer those questions as best we can while keeping the perspective of the patient we are caring for in mind.

His Nominators Said …

  • “His ability to teach complicated pathophysiology is mas-
    terful to observe.”
    – Dr. Mark Mendelsohn, associate professor of clinical pediatrics
  • “Steve truly delights in helping students and residents develop their skills in critical thinking, medical decision-making and information management and mastery. He strives to make them both better doctors and also life-long learners. … He is as generous and selfless as anyone whom I have encountered in my career.”
    – Dr. William G. Wilson, professor and associate chairman for education
  • “Dr. Borowitz is the best kind of teacher, one of extreme passion.”
    – Kristen Tropea, medical student
  • “Working with Dr. Borowitz … has taught me compassion, empathy and the art of medicine.”
    – Dr. Brian Belyea, pediatric resident

John DobbinsJohn J. Dobbins
professor of art history

Teaching Statement • At its best the undergraduate experience is a transformative process during which our students undergo a metamorphosis that changes them from high school kids rooted in real time and space into citizens of the world where time, space and cultures are permeable boundaries that can be traversed in literal and metaphorical ways.

His Nominators Said …

  • “His lectures, regardless of level, are organized and clear, his manner friendly and inspiring….He literally steps away from the lectern and into the picture plane, getting closer to the works in an effort to point out salient details….I was particularly struck by a job application letter composed by one of our recent Ph.D.’s … who highlighted John as the best instructor her had ever had...”
    – Tyler Jo Smith, assistant professor, McIntire Department of Art
  • “Prof. Dobbins commonly announces to the class that he and the teaching assistants ‘want to change your lives.’ This remark not only reveals Prof. Dobbins’ attitude toward his role in the classroom, but it also stands at the center of his approach to art history and to teaching, one that focuses on the exploration of foreign cultures rather than foreign objects, on ways of seeing beyond the personal…and on understanding the nature of otherness.”
    – Scott E. Craver, doctoral student/teaching assistant

Nilanga LiyanageNilanga K. Liyanage
assistant professor of physics

Teaching Statement • I was motivated to become a physicist by the excitement and the joy found in understanding the deep and simple patterns and symmetries that govern the workings of the universe…I look forward to explaining the beautiful physics concepts I enjoy so much to eager and expectant students, in a way that is inspiring and interesting, for many years to come.

His Nominators Said …

  • “Nilanga has established himself as one of the most thoughtful, dedicated and successful young instructors in physics. The hallmark of Nilanga’s teaching has been an unusual ability to connect with the students. Consequently, by all accounts he has been outstandingly successful in reaching and teaching the students.”
    – Dinko Pocanic, chairman, professor of physics
  • “He has established himself already as one of our most outstanding teachers. Students simply love him in class, and it is certainly noteworthy that the students urged the physics department independently to nominate him for a teaching award.”
    – Stephen T. Thornton, professor of physics

Allen LynchAllen Lynch
hugh and winifred cumming memorial professor of international affairs, department of politics

Teaching Statement • As important to my teaching as imparting knowledge of the subject matter is the cultivation of critical, independent thinking in the mind of the student. … Students are aware from the beginning of the course that they will be evaluated for the quality of their thinking and not just their ability to master facts, names and dates.

His Nominators Said …

  • “In lecturing and discussion, he brilliantly draws on comedic talent (his impersonations of folks like Roosevelt and Churchill are great fun), a treasure trove of historical examples (he is one of the best story tellers in the academy), and theoretical wisdom (his ability to situate Russian political development in a sweeping historical and comparative context merits comparison with the likes of Merle Fainsod and Adam Ulam).”
    – Sidney M. Milkis, White Burkett Miller Professor and chairman of politics
  • “I had hoped for a mentor – instead, I found nothing less than a hero. Office visits to Professor Lynch proved the highlight of my week, as I left each time with a new and exciting story as well as a brain busy with his sage advice.”
    – Caitlin Stapleton, current student/advisee for Distinguished Majors thesis

Mitchell RosnerDr. Mitchell H. Rosner
assistant professor of medicine, division of nephrology

Teaching Statement • … It is important to allow students to see their teachers in real-life situations, making mistakes, facing obstacles and working through difficult problems. By opening myself up to students in this way, I feel I have become a much more effective mentor. … I only hope that I give to my students some small percentage of what they give to me.

His Nominators Said …

  • “I have been at U.Va. for over 30 years and during that time have observed three or four truly outstanding … teachers. Mitch is one. ... He has an extraordinary fund of knowledge, an encyclopedic memory and the unique gift of being able to convey knowledge and information at all levels.”
    – Dr. W. Kline Bolton, professor of internal medicine and chief of the nephrology division
  • “I had never thought of nephrology as an interesting area of medicine. Now I do.”
    – Diana Smith, internal medicine resident
  • “If there will be a clinic on how to be a superb attending on the wards, Dr. Rosner should run it.”
    – Charlene Weigel, internal medicine resident
  • “I have trained [at] … the Medical College of Ohio, Cornell’s New York Presbyterian Hospital and now here … Dr. Rosner has been the best clinical educator.”
    – Dr. Steven E. Lommatzsch, internal medicine resident
  • “He makes me a better teacher and our students are the beneficiaries.”
    – Howard Kutchai, professor and course director for physiology/CTS

William SchererWilliam T. Scherer
associate professor of systems engineering, school of engineering and applied science

Teaching Statement • Students … cannot learn by sitting in a classroom for three hours a week just taking notes. They must be actively thinking, interacting … I structure my classes in a way that requires [them] to become intellectually involved … the result is many interactive case exercises, student presentations, group work and formal group presentations. … The goal is learning and all team members, faculty and students, are valued and treated with respect.

His Nominators Said …

  • “Bill is a faculty member whose contributions to teaching excellence include his gifted classroom instruction, personalized advising that has guided many students in the start of successful careers and leadership in the design of bold new curricula.”
    – Donald E. Brown, Calcott Professor and chairman of systems & information engineering
  • “Bill deserves substantial credit for inventing our Capstone Program emphasizing solving real problems for real clients in the real world.”
    – K. Preston White Jr., professor of systems and information engineering
  • “Dr. Scherer regularly went the extra distance helping me and my classmates; furthermore he made a special effort to create a sense of community among the systems students, a community that I remain close with today.”
    – Alan C. Cline, U.Va. alumnus (SEAS 1994)
  • “I owe many thanks to him for educating me, pushing me and supporting me on my ultimate endeavor: creating a company. He is the ideal professor: a lifelong educator, confidante and mentor … I will always be indebted to him.”
    – Scott Ferber, U.Va. alumnus (SEAS 1991)

Graduate Teaching Awards

“These TAs would be surprised to discover how many students consider them the heroes of the University.”
Sarah Tweedt
Undergraduate awards coordinator

All-University Outstanding Graduate
Teaching Assistant Awards

• Anne-Marie Durocher, politics
• Raymond J. Malewitz, English
• Michael D. Smith, mathematics

Resident Teaching Award
• Dr. Brendon M. Stiles, surgery

The All-University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards and School of Medicine Resident Award recognize promising future instructors with $1,000 prizes for overall teaching excellence.

Seven Society Graduate Fellowship for Superb Teaching
A $7,000 award recognizes a graduate teaching assistant who embodies the highest ideals of teaching at U.Va.
• Matthew Hural, architecture

The 2005 Dr. Frank Finger Graduate Fellowship
A $5,000 award
• Peter J. Capuano, English

2005 Class of 1985 Graduate Fellowship for Creative Teaching
A $5,000 award
• Amy S. Wentworth, Spanish, Italian & Portuguese


University Teaching Fellows:

• Nisha Botchwey, urban & environmental planning
• Irina Mitrea, mathematics
• John Nemec, religious studies
• Todd Scanlon, environmental sciences
• Bethany Teachman, psychology
• Fernando Tejedo-Herrero, Spanish, Italian & Portuguese



SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Awards
A $5,000 stipend went to 12 honorees statewide

John Arras, the Porterfield Professor of Biomedical Ethics and professor of philosophy
José Fuentes, associate professor of environmental

News of their awards and of Arras’ essay on teaching were reported in the March 3 and March 31 issues of Inside UVA, respectively, online at http://www.virginia.edu/insideuva/.





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