The Fellows mission is to enhance and advance the academic experience and careers of the IRC students. The Fellows are grouped in three categories:
(2nd or 3rd years, as coordinated by the Director of Studies) with informal meetings
each semester .
and are willing to interact with IRC students.
and design academic events for IRC students each year.
The 2013-2014 IRC Fellows are listed below with Faculty Fellows bios thereafter.
Nathaniel Howell, Director, Institute for Global Policy Research and Former U.S. Ambassador
Julie Roa, Program Coordinator: Latino, Native American & Middle Eastern Students
Ruth Walkup, International Development Consultant, and Public Health Specialist
Professor of English
Prof. Arata has taught and published extensively on English literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to producing classroom editions of novels by William Morris, George Gissing, and H. G. Wells, he is Co-Editor of the Blackwell Companion to the Novel and General Co-Editor of the 38-volume Edinburgh University Press edition of The Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. Prof. Arata was a Fulbright Lecturer in India and also held the NEH Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship at the University of Virginia. His other honors include the Alumni Board of Trustees Outstanding Teaching Award, the American Council of Learned Society Fellowship and the Lilly Teaching Fellowship.
Silvia Salinas Blemker
Commonwealth Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Prof. Blemker is a leading researcher and scholar in the area musculoskeletal biomechanics. The goal of her large research group is to identify the principles of muscle design and to apply these findings to understand and improve treatments for musculoskeletal impairments associated with movement disorders, such as cerebral palsy. Prof. Blemker has received several recognitions including the Hartwell Biomedical Research Award, the Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology Award, and the Journal of Biomechanics award from the American Society of Biomechanics.
Associate Professor of the McIntire School of Commerce and
IRC Founding Fellow
Prof. Brown teaches and researches in the areas of management, sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, microfinance, and corporate social responsibility. He is renowned for his international commerce expertise and business experiences (including 15 years in management before joining academia), and is on the editorial boards of Corporate Reputation Review and Multinational Business Review. Professor Brown has led a wide variety of international student-integrated UVA programs (including short courses in Nicaragua, Bangladesh, and elsewhere) and has been honored with visiting faculty appointments in Europe and Asia. He is also the founder and first Principal of the International Residential College, where he spearheaded the development of a highly collegial student community.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Prof. Canfora specializes in architectural design studios and founded initiative reCOVER, a program established to assist disaster recovery efforts and underserved populations through partnerships with humanitarian, community-based organizations, professional firms and manufacturers. The reCOVER "Breathe House" won 1st place in the Housing and Health in Haiti international design innovation competition and will be built for the community of St. Marc, Haiti later this year. His recognitions include an American Institute of Architects Education Honor Award for reCOVER's primary school project in Uganda, the Donna M. Salzer Award of Teaching Excellence, and the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. He has been twice honored by the ACSA with the Faculty Research/Design Award and the Collaborative Practice Award.
Professor of Environmental Sciences
Prof. Lerdau is an organismal ecologist with interests in both the ecosystem implications of physiological processes and the evolutionary underpinnings of these processes. His research centers on fundamental question of resource acquisition and allocation in plants and touches upon such topics as herbivory and tri-trophic interactions, atmospheric chemistry and air pollution, community and ecosystem impacts of biological invasions, and organismal controls over element cycling. Prof. Lerdau has served as a Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and as a consultant to the New York State Department of Transportation. He has published in Nature, one of the most prestigious journals, and is one of the most cited authors for impact of emissions on species.
Associate Professor of Biology and Assistant Dean
Prof. Seidel teaches several courses including: Human Biology and Disease, which investigates practical applications of human anatomy and physiology as they relate to disease; What Makes Us Tick, a College advising seminar with components of academic advising and content that studies cardiovascular physiology; and Science with no Borders, a course that examines interdisciplinary connections between big ideas in science. Prof. Seidel has traveled to Copenhagen to visit study abroad partner Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) and is an advocate ofeducation abroad programs in the sciences. She works with College Council and serves the IRC as an Association Dean for College students. Her outside interests include reading, yoga, meditation, dancing to live music, and her cats Duke and Kitty.
Lisa Russ Spaar,
Professor of English and Creative Writing
Prof. Spaar is the Director of the Area Program in Poetry Writing at the University of Virginia, an Advising Fellow, and the winner of an All-University Teaching Award (2009), a Mead Honored Faculty Award, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award (2010). Her widely read list of publications includes Vanitas, Rough: Poems (2012), Satin Cash (2008), Blue Venues: Poems (2004), and Glass Town: Poems (1999), for which she received a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Women Writers in 2000. Prof. Spaar has also been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and by the Academy of American Poets, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Library of Virginia Award for Poetry, and well as the Carol Weinstein Poetry Prize.
Professor of History and Economics
Prof. Thomas specializes in a celebrated teacher and researchers in International Economics, especially with respect to Britain and Australia. He has written several books and book chapters, and has been published in a wide variety of journals, including the Journal of Economic History where he was awarded the Arthur H. Cole Prize for best article of the year. Prof. Thomas has received a number of other acclaims including the John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship in History, the T.S. Ashton Prize for best article by a young scholar in Economic History, the Alexander Gerschenkron Prize. He has also received a Summer Research Fellowship at Stanford, a Heyworth Memorial Fellowship at Oxford, an American Political Economy Fellowship at Cornell University , a Leverhulme visiting Professor at Warwick, a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University, and a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge.
Professor of Politics
Prof. Womack is renowned in the areas of asymmetric international relationships, the relationship of public authority and popular power in China; foreign policy of Vietnam; and China's relations with Southeast Asia. He is the author of more than one hundred journal publications, including articles in World Politics, World Policy Journal, China Quarterly, Pacific Affairs, and China Journal. He is also author of several books including most recently China among Unequals (2010) as well as Politics in China, now in its 3rd edition. Prof. Womack has been honored as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Munich, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Mellon Fellow; as well as two honorary professorships in China and a visiting faculty position at the University of London.
Louis T. Rader Professor and Dean of Engineering
Dean Aylor has been an active researcher in the area of complex computer system design including computer technology for persons with disabilities. His most significant accomplishments include participating in the development of the VHSIC Hardware Description Language, and the development of a new "mixed-level" modeling technology to support the early phases of the computer systems design process, and the development and implementation of automatic test pattern generation techniques. Through his research efforts, he has guided more than 45 graduate students in their master's and doctoral thesis work and published over 145 research papers. Professor Aylor was instrumental in the founding of the Center for Semicustom Integrated Systems within the School of Engineering and Applied Science and served as its first Director. Under his direction, the Center was established as one of the first Technology Development Centers of the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology. The Center focused on the design and implementation of complex electronic systems. Dr. Aylor served as the President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society and served as a Division Director of IEEE. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and past Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Computer, the flagship magazine that is received by the more than 100,000 IEEE Computer Society members. He served as President of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department Heads Association.
The Aerodynamic Professor of University of Cambridge & Director of Studies at Magdalene College
Prof. Babinsky’s main areas of research are in the field of experimental aerodynamics and associated measurement techniques. In particular, he has investigated supersonic flow related to aerodynamic surfaces in terms of fundamental science and for applications military and commercial supersonic aircraft for Airbus, NASA, Northup-Grumman and the Air Force, via work at Wright–Patterson Air Force Base and Eglin Air Force Base. His book on Shock Wave- Boundary-Layer interactions has been acclaimed as the best new text in this area. His other research includes is the aerodynamics of micro-air vehicles and analysis of bird flight, Formula 1 racing cars (including consulting contracts with Ferrari), wind turbines in metropolitan areas and flow control for transonic aircraft wings and supersonic engine inlets. He is Head of the Fluids Group in the engineering department, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and a member of several RTO advisory groups.
Dr. Babinsky also worked at the Shock Wave Research Centre of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and is an editor of Experiments in Fluids. Prof. Babinsky is also a Director of Studies and Fellow at Magdalene College, one of the oldest colleges in Cambridge (one of their students was a founding father of Harvard). Cambridge and Oxford are universally recognized as the world’s best residential college systems, which is a reason why they are also among the world’s best universities.
Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor & Dean of Nursing
Prof. Fontaine’s distinguished career stems from a passion for critical care nursing where she has led as a clinician, a scholar, a researcher, a educator, and administrator. As dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. Fontaine has implemented Appreciative Inquiry methodology as the basis for the School’s strategic planning and launched an interdisciplinary process to create a transformational model to provide compassionate end-of-life care across the health care spectrum. Dr. Fontaine’s teaching has centered on issues related to critical care, including sleep promotion, pain relief, and family presence at the end of life. Most recently, she has investigated strategies to promote nursing education partnerships, diversity, and inter-professional education in university settings. Prior to her appointment at UVA, Dr. Fontaine was an associate dean at the University of California San Francisco and at Georgetown University School of Nursing. She also served as president of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. That association recognized her contributions with its Lifetime Member Award. Prof. Fontaine was also inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 1995, has received the Presidential Citation from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. Her alma mater, Villanova University, honored her with a Medallion for Contributions to the Profession in 1999.
John Minor Maury, Jr. Professor of Public Affairs
Ambassador Howell is Director of both the Institute for Global Policy Research and the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf Studies Program. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, Dr. Howell served as Ambassador to the State of Kuwait (1987-1990) during the Iraqi invasion of that country. As a result of his actions during and after the invasion, Howell was awarded the Kuwait Decoration with Sash of the First Class by the Amir of Kuwait. Before his appointment to Kuwait, Dr. Howell served as Political Advisor (POLAD) to the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy in Algiers, Algeria (l983-85). From l979 to l982, he was Director of the Office of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria Affairs (NEA/ARN) in the State Department, prior to attending the National War College in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Howell also had assignments in Cairo (as Executive Assistant to the Ambassador), Paris, Brussels and Beirut (as Political Officer with the U.S. Mission to the NATO) as well as serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs. Ambassador Howell is the recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award for members of the Senior Foreign Service and has also been twice awarded the Secretary of State Award for Valor, the Department of State Superior Honor Award and the Meritorious Honor Award. He is also the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal and co-authored a strategy essay that won an award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Randolph P. Compton Professor of Politics
and Vice-Provost for Global Affairs
Vice-Provost Legro is a co-founder and faculty associate of the Governing America in a Global Era Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs. He is a specialist on international relations and author of Rethinking the World: Great Power Strategies and International Order and Cooperation under Fire: Anglo-German Restraint during World War II and the editor of To Lead the World: U.S. Strategy after the Bush Doctrine and In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11. Prof. Legro chaired the American Political Science Association (APSA) Task Force on U.S. Standing in the World and is past president of APSA’s International History and Politics section. His articles on American foreign policy, international cooperation and conflict have appeared in Foreign Policy, The American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security, American Journal of Political Science, European Journal of International Relations, and Perspectives on Politics. He is on the editorial board of the Washington Quarterly. He has been awarded fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. Institute of Peace, The Ford Foundation, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, Institute for the Study of World Politics, and Harvard University’s Olin Institute and Center for Science and International Affairs. He has also been a Fulbright professor at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.
Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Former NASA Astronaut
Prof. Thornton served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and as a Professor in Systems and Information Engineering. Prior to teaching at UVA, Dr. Thornton was selected by NASA in 1984 for their astronaut corps, and is a veteran of four space flights: STS-33, STS-49, STS-61, and STS-73. She has logged over 975 hours in space, including more than 21 hours of extravehicular activity. Dr. Thornton has served as co-chair of the National Research Council Study on Science Opportunities Enabled by Constellation, and on the NASA Return to Flight Task Group which evaluated NASA’s progress towards resumption of Space Shuttle flights after the Columbia Accident . She also served for several years on the National Research Council Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and was a physicist at the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center. Prof. Thornton is a member of the Board of Director of the Space Foundation and a co-author on Pearson’s Interactive Science, a K-8 science program. Thornton is the recipient of numerous awards including NASA Space Flight Medals, the Robert J. Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautics Association, the Explorer Club Lowell Thomas Award, the UVA Distinguished Alumna Award, the Freedom Foundation Freedom Spirit Award, and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and is only the third woman to hold this honor.
Carl Zeithaml ,
F.S. Cornell Professor of Free Enterprise and Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce
Dean Zeithaml specializes in the field of strategic management, with an emphasis on global and competitive strategy. He conducts research on international expansion strategies, knowledge-based sources of competitive advantage, corporate political activity, strategic decision making, the strategic role of the board of directors, the implementation of acquisition and diversification strategies, and organizational transformation. Dean Zeithaml has led the implementation of McIntire’s strategy to achieve a position of global preeminence in business education. Since the 2006 introduction of the Bloomberg Businessweek ranking of undergraduate business programs, the School’s B.S. in Commerce Program is the only program in the nation to be ranked either first or second each year. Dean Zeithaml has published his research in academic and professional journals and presented at numerous professional meetings. He co-authored several cases on global strategy issues as well as cases focused on firms in China and Southeast Asia in publications such as the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Executive, Organization Science; and the Asia Pacific Journal of Management. Dean Zeithaml’s recent presentations at the Academy of Management national meetings, served on editorial boards, received two teaching awards, and has been active in professional associations. Dean Zeithaml has been a regular participant in executive education programs, particularly for global firms and health care organizations.
Office of the Dean of Students
Julie Roa is the Program Coordinator for Multicultural Student Services at UVa's Office of the Dean of Students. She was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia and has also lived in Dortmund, Germany and Shenzhen, China, but now she calls Charlottesville home.
In her role, she empowers students to educate, support and collaborate with one another to promote intercultural dialogue, awareness and celebration. Through internships, peer mentoring and leadership guidance, students are connected to resources (including each other), informed and encouraged to engage with the wider U.Va. experience. Julie works primarily with the Middle Eastern, Hispanic/Latino and Americna Indian populations of the University.
Director, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia
Margo Smith (BA William & Mary; MA, PhD U.Va) is the director and curator of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia. She has a PhD in anthropology from U.Va. and conducted fieldwork in central Australia form 1991-1993. She co-edited Art from the Land: Dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Aborigianl Art with Dr. Howard Morphy published by the University of Virginia in 1999. Smith has worked with the Collection since 1995 and has taught various courses on Aboriginal art at U.Va. since 2003.
Mara Sprafkin has a BA from Bowdoin College and an MFA from Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Sprafkin has exhibited extensively in her home city (at Concrete Utopia, MARCH and Oliver Kamm 5BE Gallery, among others) and has mounted major installations at Vanderbilt University, the Coleman Burke Gallery in Portland, ME and here in Charlottesville at Second Street Gallery. Sprafkin's window drawings can also regularly been seen at Sustain on West Main Street. The feminine is a central theme in the course of art history as both a subject as well as an idea that currently impacts how woman exist and are viewed by men as well as by other women. Sprafkin uses scrapbooking and craft as well as gossip rags, glossy fashion magazines and romance novels to create patterns and open up meaning in the female experience. She is constantly printing, drawing, gathering and collecting in small and large series. These prints and drawings then become building blocks for larger site-specific installations.
Denise Stewart is a wellness coach, motivational speaker, playwright, and actor. Over the past three years she has spoken to groups and events including Blogville, CASA State Conference, AORN Nurses’ Conference, the Women’s 4-Miler Training Program, Charlottesville Rotary Club, Martha Jefferson Hospital, and NRVCares of Blacksburg. Her corporate clients have included Real Estate III, Crutchfield Corp., MicroAire Surgical, CFA Institute, and Martin Horn, Inc. Stewart holds a master’s degree in playwriting from U.Va. and a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Catawba College. She is the executive director of Wellness Charlottesville, LLC. She also teaches wellness and self-esteem workshops for teenage girls, and recently toured her one-woman show, Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales, in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Edinburgh, Scotland
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program
Yuri Urbanovich was born in Tbilisi, the capital city of the Republic of Georgia. He received his M.A. in International Relations (IR) from the Moscow State University of International Relations in 1972 and his Ph.D. in International Relations (IR) from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1984.
After graduating from the Ph.D. program, Dr. Urbanovich was invited to teach at the Diplomatic Academy. His academic interests were focused on disarmament issues, theory and technique of international negotiation, and conflict resolutin. From 1986 to 1987 he served as consultant to the Soviet Delegation at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.
In 1992, Dr. Urbanovich was invited by the University of Virginia's Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction (CSMHI) to participate in and coordinate a multi-year project in the newly independent Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This project was aimed at promoting Russina-Baltic dialogues, defusing detrimental nationalistic tendencies, and enabling a "velvet divorce" from the Soviet Union.
In 1995, Dr.Urbanovich was invited by President Jimmy Carter to serve as a consultant of his representative on a trip to the Republic of Georgia for preliminary assessment of the relations between the opposing sides (Georgians and Abkhazians) after the brutal conflict of the early 1990's.
Since 2002, Dr. Urbanovich has served as Lecturer in the Departments of Politics, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the School of Continuing & ProfessionalStudies at the University of Virginia.
Mark Walkup (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Florida) helps humanitarian and development organizations improve their organizational fitness using applied research, introspective analysis, communication, and collaboration. With over two decades of service advising senior policy makers and managing field programs, he has worked in forced migration and post-conflict assistance operations worldwide. Employed by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Organization for Migration, and various NGOs, Dr. Walkup has a healthy appreciation of bureaucracy, international diplomacy, policy analysis, and strategic planning. He is particularly interested in how the unique culture of humanitarian organizations inhibits their ability to incorporate evaluation research, to coordinate with partners, and to learn from mistakes. He loves his time in the woods as a volunteer Trail Overseer for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.