Students
President's Report: 2005-2006 University of Virginia
From the President
A Year at a Glance
Achieving Vision through Leadership
Students: Minds of the First Order
University of Virginia
International Experience: A Global University
A Faculty of Distinction
Research and Public Service: Remaking the World
Health System: Designing the Next Decade of Health Care
University of Virginia
Athletics: Striving for Excellence
2005-2006 Financial Report
Credits
University of Virginia
Students: Minds of the First Order
Students have many opportunities to develop their intellectual passions.

Sanda Lliescu's collage, For Annie-Mae, 2005

Architecture professor Sanda Iliescu's collage, "For Annie-Mae, 2005," composed of scraps from an in-class demonstration on color theory for her course, Lessons in Making. Born in 1928, Annie-Mae Young was a quilt maker from the Gee's Bend community in Alabama.
Thomas Jefferson's ideals were tempered by pragmatism. One reason why he valued democracy above other forms of government was because it was more efficient, drawing as it did on the talents of the many, rather than the privileged few. Throughout his life, he advocated a system of public education as a way of marshalling the talents, the energy, and exemplary character found in all corners of society, and he placed universities at the apex of this system. In his words, universities "would prepare a few subjects in every State, to whom nature has given minds of the first order."

Jefferson based the University of Virginia on these principles, and its success can be properly measured by the degree to which it fulfills them. The University is certainly more representative of the society at large than it has ever been in its history. In 2005–06, 54 percent of its students were women, and 23 percent of its total undergraduates were African American, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic. While 69 percent of undergraduates are Virginia residents, the remainder comes from 49 states and 109 foreign countries. By any standard, these students possess minds of the first order. A full 86 percent of the incoming class of 2009 were in the top 10 percent of their class, and their average SAT scores totaled 1320.

Finding New Ways to Reach More Students
The University takes seriously its obligation to make the Grounds welcoming to students from all walks of life. This year, the University signed a landmark agreement with the Virginia Community College System guaranteeing admission for its students to the University's College of Arts and Sciences on the basis of clearly enunciated requirements. This agreement makes the University more accessible to qualified students who chose not to enroll in a four-year institution after completing high school.

To ensure that qualified transfer students can take advantage of this agreement, the University has expanded its AccessUVa financial aid program to VCCS students. AccessUVa features caps on need-based loans, loan-free packages for low-income students, and a commitment to offer 100 percent of every student's demonstrated financial need. All told, the University makes an annual commitment of $20 million in need-based grants to undergraduates through AccessUVa.

Students in a Sustained Dialogue group.
What's your Stereotype?
Students in a Sustained Dialogue group handed out 1,000 T-shirts to their peers, who were encouraged to write stereotype-shattering messages on their back and wear them on April 26. Nneoma Amadi-Obi (College '09) wrote, "I am Nigerian and I speak proper English." Muslim student Alaa "Lulu" Buhisi (College '09) wrote, "I have Jewish friends." Sustained Dialogue is a campus organization dedicated to improving relationships strained by ethnic and racial divisions.
Opening doors, of itself, is not enough. Students in high school must be aware that a college degree is a financial possibility. With funding from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the University created the College Guide Program to do just that. This year, the program teamed fourteen recent University graduates with guidance counselors in school districts throughout Virginia. Their purpose was to inform students about initiatives at Virginia colleges such as the University's AccessUVa program and to encourage them to take the necessary steps to prepare for college. This pioneering initiative has already increased the percentage of students enrolling in college from these school districts and has been expanded to serve community colleges in Virginia.

The University also took steps this year to increase the diversity of its graduate students. It appointed Cheryl Burgan Evans to the newly created post of director of Graduate Student Diversity Programs. She will oversee activities to enhance recruitment, retention, and mentoring of graduate students from underrepresented groups and will be responsible for developing ties between the University, historically black colleges and universities, and other minority institutions.

Our efforts to provide a more welcoming and supportive atmosphere for African American undergraduate students in particular are producing results. For the twelfth straight year, the University posted the highest six-year graduation rate for African American students—86 percent—among major public institutions, according to an annual survey published by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Our focus now is to continue to close the gap of 5 percentage points—the smallest among our peers—separating the graduation rates between white and black students. Additionally, Black Enterprise magazine named the University one of the 50 Top Colleges for African Americans.

The University has also taken steps to enroll more nontraditional students. The School of Continuing and Professional Studies has launched a new Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program for adults seeking admission to medical school. This intensive program enables students to complete all science prerequisites in a year, while providing opportunities to shadow local doctors. It is the only program of its kind in the Commonwealth for those who did not take pre-med courses as undergraduates.

Victoria Chiou

Harrison Research Award recipient Victoria Chiou studied the health benefits for patients who write about their illnesses.
Taking Intellectual Risks
The four years that undergraduates spend at the University are precious. During this interval, students have many opportunities to discover and develop their intellectual passions, to master a body of knowledge, and to prepare for their life's work. While at the University, they begin to develop the qualities that will enable them to make lasting contributions to society as adults.

In an effort to extend and enrich the classroom experience so that students make the most of these four years, the University encourages them to participate in research. Faculty members in the humanities as well as the sciences regularly enlist undergraduates as part of their research teams. Undergraduates can also tap a variety of funding sources expressly designated for student research, including the David A. Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards; the Double Hoo Awards, which pair undergraduate and graduate students; and the Walter R. Kenan Awards, which fund travel, equipment, materials, and laboratory time.

The research our students conduct reflects the great diversity of talents and interests that marks this University. Victoria Chiou (College '06) gained her first exposure to scientific investigation as part of neuroscience professor Jeffrey Corwin's research team. Thanks to a summer research fellowship from the Lions Club of Virginia, Ms. Chiou was able to assist Professor Corwin in his efforts to restore hearing and balance by stimulating the regeneration of sensory cells. Ms. Chiou's interests are not confined to developmental biology. She later won a Harrison Award to investigate the short-term health benefits that patients experience after writing about their illness. A dual major in human biology and psychology, Ms. Chiou worked with English professor David B. Morris on this project.

Eugene Otto

Eugene Otto received a National Science Foundation research grant to study thermal control processes for computer chips.
Jake Davenport

Jake Davenport gained clinical experience studying chemicals used to target only cancer cells during chemotherapy.
Eugene Otto (Engineering '06) joined computer science professor Kevin Skadron to develop methods to control heat buildup on computer chips, a problem that has increased dramatically as chips become smaller and more powerful. Professor Skadron gave him a specific task—to adjust the Linux operating system scheduling so that heat management is less likely to disrupt high-priority or interactive tasks. Mr. Otto's work was funded by a Research Experience for Undergraduates grant from the National Science Foundation.

Another undergraduate, Jake Davenport (College '06), joined Cassandra L. Fraser, the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor, in her lab as part of an effort to find ways of targeting cancer cells during chemotherapy. With support from a Harrison Research Award, Mr. Davenport studied polymeric metal complexes, one of Professor Fraser's specialties, that are considered candidates for delivering therapeutic drugs with pinpoint accuracy.

Acting on Their Convictions
Each generation of students who attends the University participates in a special community, one that is defined by honor and by public service. As part of the greater world, the University is touched by the crises that affect the larger society. Students feel a responsibility to respond—and the University supports and encourages their efforts.

As part of the greater world, the University is touched by the crises that affect the larger society. Students feel a responsibility to response—and the University supports and encourages their efforts. Students played an important part in the University's response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. In addition to raising funds for Katrina relief, the two dozen students in architecture professor William Williams' January Term class immersed themselves in the complex decisions that individuals and government officials grappled with as they attempted to devise an effective recovery strategy. They traveled to New Orleans, helping high schools start the new year and gutting and cleaning houses. They then returned to the University to conduct research on their experiences and to lead symposia and similar events related to disaster recovery in New Orleans.

Members of the ecoM0D2 team.

Project director and architecture professor John Quale (far right) with several members of the ecoMOD2 team. Architecture and engineering students worked together to design and build a prefabricated house for the Gautier, Mississippi, area. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, aided in part by a gift from author John Grisham and his wife, Renee, sent seven houses to Mississippi communities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Students also explored ways to apply their growing technical skills to the reconstruction effort. During the spring semester, students from the School of Architecture and the School of Engineering and Applied Science designed preHAB, a Habitat for Humanity home that they then shipped to Gautier, Mississippi, and assembled in May. This is the second house in ecoMOD, a multiyear research and design/build/evaluate project at the School of Architecture under the auspices of architecture professor John Quale. In creating preHAB, students tackled issues related to high winds, humidity, moisture, and hurricanes, and employed passive and active solar technologies.

Justin Laskin and Kathleen Mark, two graduate students in the School of Architecture, also took on the challenge of creating new housing for New Orleans refugees. When Architectural Record in partnership with Tulane University's School of Architecture announced an international design competition to develop housing ideas for New Orleans, theirs was among the 275 entrants. Their proposal for a small, high-density housing community was recognized as one of the top five in the competition.

A Record of Exceptional Leadership
The validity of Jefferson's vision for the University—as a place where the finest young minds from all walks of life receive an education that prepares them for the challenges they encounter during their lifetime—is confirmed only as each generation of students reaches maturity. The recognition that students attain while on Grounds, however, provides a reliable indication that our current group of students will produce the leadership our nation and, indeed, our global society require.

My-Linh Nguyen

My-Linh Nguyen, one of two U.Va. Goldwater Scholars, plans to pursue a medical career.
Ellah Shamir

Eliah Shamir, also a Goldwater Scholar, studies biomedical engineering and is interested in immunology research.
Edward Ross Baird, a third-year student in the political honors program, was named a 2006 Truman Scholar. He is one of just seventy-five students nationwide selected each year for this honor, which is reserved for students who exhibit exceptional leadership potential and who are committed to careers in public service. A Jefferson Scholar, an Echols Scholar, and a Robert K. Gooch Scholar, Mr. Baird was inspired by the Youth Leadership Initiative at the Center for Politics to found the Georgia Project for Civic Engagement, a program that involves high school students in politics in his home state.

My-Linh T. Nguyen and Eliah R. Shamir were named Goldwater Scholars for 2006. The one- and two-year scholarships for students who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences or mathematics help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Ms. Nguyen is a third-year biochemistry major who plans to pursue a medical career and conduct research on molecular approaches to cancer therapy. Ms. Shamir, a second-year biomedical engineering major, also plans on becoming a doctor and is interested in research in immunology.

As an undergraduate at the University, Katherine Shirey double-majored in art and physics and after
Katherine Shirey

Curry graduate student Katherine Shirey received the 2006 Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowship for her innovative approaches to teaching science.
graduation held a one-year Aunspaugh Fellowship in the University's McIntire Department of Art. This year, she was recognized for her excellence as a science student, earning a 2006 Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowship. The five-year fellowship will pay for her tuition next year, her second and final year in the master's of teaching program at the Curry School of Education, as well as continuing professional development. Ms. Shirey is the fourth Curry student to win this prestigious science teaching fellowship during the last three years.

Ebony magazine named law student Raqiyyah Pippins as one of 30 Ebony Young Leaders of the Future. She serves as chair of the 6,000-member National Black Law Students Association, the largest student-run organization in America, with more than 200 chapters at law schools throughout the country.

Aaron Kurman

Mitchell Scholar Aaron Kurman will begin graduate study in peace and conflict studies in Ireland.
Margaret Brennan

With her Mitchell Scholarship, Margaret Brennan will pursue a master's degree in arts and politics.
Two University graduates were among the twelve students nationwide to receive 2006-07 George J. Mitchell Scholarships. Aaron M. Kurman (College '05) and Margaret M. Brennan (College '02) were among the 236 applicants for the award. The scholarships recognize young Americans who exhibit high standards of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. Since graduation, Mr. Kurman has worked in Washington, D.C., for an international conflict resolution organization. He will apply the Mitchell to pursue a graduate degree in peace and conflict studies at the University of Ulster. A producer and on-air reporter at the CNBC news network in New Jersey, Ms. Brennan will be working on a master's degree in arts and politics at University College Dublin. This is the fourth consecutive year that a University student or graduate has been named a Mitchell Scholar.

Third-year law student Kate Duvall was awarded the Hunton & Williams Pro Bono Fellowship, a two-year salaried position that will allow her to work in the Central Virginia Legal Aid office and assist walk-in clients through the firm's Richmond office in Church Hill, the city's oldest and most economically disadvantaged neighborhood.

Ryan Almstead (Law '06) was the second University of Virginia student to receive the Virginia State Bar Association's Oliver W. Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award. The award is given for extraordinary student achievement in the areas of pro bono publico and undercompensated public service work in Virginia.

Sullivan winners live up to a noble ideal
Alex Stolar

On Grounds or working in the Virginia state legislature, Alex Stolar excelled as a student leader.
Jessica Fowler

Jessica Fowler, one of three Sullivan Award winners, embodies excellence of character and public service.
Shamin Sisson

Shamin Sisson received a Sullivan Award for her energetic, inspired leadership in the Office of Student Life.
Created in 1925, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards are given to distinguished fourth-year students and members of the University community in memory of the award's namesake, a New York lawyer, businessman, and philanthropist. The awards are intended to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service he epitomized.
bullet Political and Social Thought major Jessica C. Fowler was cited for her stellar academic record, her commitment to the Peer Advisor Program, and her leadership in repudiating acts of hatred and racial bias on Grounds.
bullet Foreign Affairs major Alexander W. Stolar served as a student advisor to the Virginia state legislature and State Council on Higher Education for Virginia, while holding senior posts in U.Va.'s Resident Staff Program.
bullet V. Shamin Sisson, senior associate dean of students, spearheaded the Women's Leadership Development Program and directed the Office of Student Life, which she helped found. She retired at the end of the academic year.

 

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