University of Virginia President's Report 2001-2002 Report
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2001 - 2002 Report
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Race Memory and the Cultural Landscape

ow do buildings and urban spaces carry memory, and how is that memory passed on from one generation to the next? Craig Evan Barton is considering these and other questions as he studies African-American communities around the country, especially those that figured prominently in the struggle for civil rights.

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Craig Evan Barton

 

Director of the American Urbanism Program in the School of Architecture, Mr. Barton is exploring this territory in a project for the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama, and as a fellow of the new Center for the Study of Local Knowledge in the Construction of Race, Gender, and Nation. Launched by the University's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and made possible by the Ford Foundation, the center looks at how the cultural, economic, political, and social relationships in a community affect the everyday ordering and reordering of society.

This is a dominant theme in Mr. Barton's acclaimed book Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Architecture and Race. Published by Princeton Architectural Press and recipient of the Society of Architectural Historians' 2001 Essay Author Award, the collection of articles grew out of a national symposium that convened at the University in March 1999.

In his own contribution to the volume, Mr. Barton examines "the separate, though sometimes parallel, overlapping, or even superimposed cultural landscapes" occupied by black and white Americans in the wake of Jim Crow laws and the Supreme Court's 1896 "separate but equal" ruling in Plessy vs. Ferguson. Quoting Ralph Emerson's novel Invisible Man, Mr. Barton observes that African-American cultural landscapes have remained invisible through much of the nation's history. He wants to ensure that the memory of these spaces is not lost - not out of sense of nostalgia but out of a desire to inform the work of future architects and planners.

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The Faculty
shapers of our culture and our society


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In this era of highly specialized knowledge, our scholars are earning well-deserved distinction in their "respective lines," but some have achieved wider fame.
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Charles Wright and
Jerome McGann

This year Charles Wright, one of the country's most eminent poets, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Holder of the Souder Family Professorship in English, Mr. Wright is a past winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a National Book Award. In 1995, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, one of the highest honors for a creative artist.

Other University faculty singled out for recognition this year include

• Lester Hoel, the L. A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering, who was awarded the 2001 Wilbur S. Smith Distinguished Transportation Educator Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

• Jerome McGann, the John Stewart Bryan Professor of English, who received the first Richard W. Lyman Award for using digital technology to expand traditional notions of humanities teaching and scholarship.

• Linda K. Bunker, the William Parrish Professor of Education and a tireless advocate for girls and women in sport, who received the Women Faculty and Professional Association's Woman of Achievement Award.

• Ladislau Steiner, the Alumni Professor of Neurosurgery, who received the Sugita Award for his work on the Gamma Knife, a neurosurgical tool that allows a physician to perform brain surgery with gamma rays rather than a scalpel, obviating the need to enter the skull.

• John Monahan, the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor of Law, who won the American Psychiatric Association's Manfred S. Guttmacher Award for 2001 in recognition of his book Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence.

Scholars of Exceptional Promise

In the long term, the vitality of our faculty will depend on a core group of scholars who spend the majority of their careers at the University. Accordingly, our deans and department chairs are working to recruit exceptional young teachers and researchers and to support their scholarship from the outset. The success of these efforts is evident in the number of young faculty who have received major grants and awards for their work. Some examples:

• Barry Condron, assistant professor of biology, is one of five people nationwide selected for the William Keck Foundation's Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research Program. Mr. Condron will use his $1 million award to further his investigation into how neurons form connected networks in the brain, basic research that eventually could lead to new therapies for brain injuries or Alzheimer's disease.

• Filmmaker and photographer Kevin J. Everson, assistant professor of art, received a 2001-2002 Rome Prize, which enables artists and scholars to pursue in-depth projects at the American Academy in Rome.

• David Wotton, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, was selected for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His nomination was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

• P. Todd Stukenberg, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, is one of twenty promising biomedical researchers who were named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences in 2001 by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew program received nominations from more than 120 institutions.

Chosen to Serve

Committed to serving the public interest as well as their academic disciplines, University faculty are often tapped for positions of responsibility in federal and state government and in their professional organizations.

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This past year, President Bush appointed Philip Zelikow, director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs and the White Burkett Miller Professor of History, to serve on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. This is a critical appointment in our post-September 11 world. The board's mission is to assess the quality, quantity, and adequacy of intelligence collection and analysis and has the authority to review the performance of all agencies of the federal government engaged in intelligence work.
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George Garrett

Other recent appointments include

• George Garrett, the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus, who was named poet laureate of Virginia by Governor Mark Warner.

• Christoph Leeman, an internationally renowned physicist, who was appointed director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News.

• R. Scott Jones, M.D., the S. Hurt Watts Professor of Surgery, who became the eighty-second president of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Jones chaired the Department of Surgery from 1981 to 2001.

Support for Our Intellectual Work

Another indicator of the faculty's leadership and the quality of their intellectual activity is the support their work receives from foundations and other outside agencies. In 2001-2002, our faculty attracted $262 million in research grants, a University record. Furthermore, the School of Medicine now ranks among the top thirty in the nation in funding awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The diversity of grants coming into the University highlights the broad strengths of our faculty.

• The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the University Library a three-year, $1 million grant to further research on the digital library. The grant will enable the library's digital library research and development group, in collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University, to build a sophisticated digital repository system that will provide streamlined access to the growing collections of electronic texts, digital images, video and audio files, and social science and geographic data sets. The Mellon Foundation also awarded the library a $300,000 grant to build an American studies electronic databank.

• The Institute for Environmental Negotiation received a $375,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to coordinate the work of the national Community-Based Collaboratives Research Consortium. The consortium serves as a forum for sharing research findings and promoting a collaborative approach to environmental management.

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• The University was a partner in a $1.8 million grant from Virginia's Commonwealth Technology Research Fund to investigate how vaccines and therapies for infectious and autoimmune diseases can be engineered for delivery through plant consumption.

• Thanks to a $379,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Charlottesville will become the home of the South Atlantic Regional Humanities Center, which is dedicated to preserving the distinct historic and cultural character of the southeastern United States. A collaboration of the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the center is one of eight regional centers being established around the country by the NEH.

• The Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation has made a four-year, $400,000 challenge grant to the Department of Environmental Sciences to endow an educational outreach program on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Income from the fund will be used to hire an educational specialist to work as a liaison between the Northampton County schools and the University scientists who conduct coastal research in the department's Long-Term Ecological Research program.


Joining the Ranks of Genius

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Brooks Pate

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annual awards conferred by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are commonly referred to as the genius awards and considering the list of recipients, rightly so.

MacArthur Foundation Fellows have ranged from poet John Ashbery to physiologist Jared Diamond to Marion Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund. In 2001 and 2002, two University faculty members, chemist Brooks Pate and epidemiologist Janine Jagger, joined their ranks. Each received a $500,000 unrestricted stipend that is in effect an investment in their originality, insight, and potential to bring about positive change. Mr. Pate is at the forefront of what is called the "new chemistry." A physical chemist, he uses a spectroscope to tease out the basic reactive properties of molecules. Although spectroscopy is a relatively mature methodology, Mr. Pate transcended technical and conceptual hurdles previously thought insurmountable to reveal new insights into chemical reactions of excited molecules. At low-energy states, chemical reactions can be studied by observing the interactions of electrons around relatively stationary and insulated atomic nuclei. But at high-energy states, the realm in which Mr. Pate works, it is the motion of nuclei that plays an important, if not determinate, role in the stability and shape of the resulting molecule.

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Janine Jagger   

The Becton Dickinson Professor of Health Care Worker Safety, Ms. Jagger has raised worldwide awareness of the risk of blood-borne diseases in the clinical workplace. She developed the Exposure Prevention Information Network to track the occurrence of needle sticks and similar incidents among workers in hospitals and clinics, and she has promoted the redesign of syringes and other sharp medical instruments to reduce exposure to blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis. In the 1980s, she and her colleagues were awarded some of the first patents for new safety needle devices. Ms. Jagger, who holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the University, founded U.Va.'s International Health Care Worker Safety Center in 1994.


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