Visiting Writer Wins the PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction

“Common Grounds ?,” a documentary produced by interns at the UVA Center for Politicswas recognized as the Best Short Film at the March 2022 Political Feedback Festival, a film festival showcasing political films from around the world.

The interns brought together student leaders from a wide spectrum of political ideologies to see if they would be willing to talk about those beliefs in an effort to understand one another. Directed by Raed Gilliam, the film is available on the Center for Politics’ YouTube channel and the Center for Politics website.

“All of us at the Center for Politics are thrilled to learn that our student-directed film, ‘Common Grounds?’, Is receiving so many awards and acknowledgments,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics. “There is a hunger for reconciliation, and the fact that this ‘come together’ movie is being received so well in so many different areas – and winning top prizes, no less – proves it.”

“Common Grounds?” also is an official selection of the Oregon Documentary Film Festival, where it is a finalist for Best Documentary Film and Best Cinematography.

The film was also named as a Finalist Documentary Short at the February 2022 Emerging Artists Film Festival, and it won an Award of Merit in the March 2022 Best Shorts Competition.

Physician-Leader Named to ’40 Under 40 ‘List

Dr. Taison Bell, assistant professor of medicine in the divisions of Infectious Disease and Pulmonary / Critical Care Medicine, was recently selected for the National Minority Quality Forum’s 40 Leaders Under 40 Award.

The National Minority Quality Forum is a research and educational organization seeking to ensure that high-risk racial and ethnic populations and communities receive optimal health care. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization integrates data and expertise in support of initiatives to eliminate health disparities.

Since 2016, the organization has selected 40 minority health leaders under the age of 40 “who have been leading the charge to better patient outcomes and build sustainable healthy communities,” according to the announcement. “These leaders are clinicians, patient advocates, researchers and policymakers. Despite the unexpected trials in health care during the past couple of years, these 40 leaders persevered in strengthening their communities and reducing health disparities. ”

Bell directs both UVA Health’s Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Summer Medical Leadership Program, a medical school preparatory program for under-represented and disadvantaged students.

He joined the faculty in 2017 after completing a critical care fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Bell also co-founded Owl Peak Labs, a Charlottesville-based biotechnology startup working to create innovative in-home colorectal cancer screening solutions.

The National Minority Quality Forum will recognize the award winners during the forum’s Summit on Health Disparities and Spring Health Braintrust, set for April 25 and 26.

Law Professor Wins Emerging Scholar Award

Professor Payvand Ahdout of the School of Law has won The Yale Law Journal’s inaugural Emerging Scholar of the Year Award.

The award recognizes the achievements of early-career academics who have made significant contributions to legal thought and scholarship, according to the journal. It seeks to promote scholarship that has the potential to drive improvements in the law and to spotlight the exceptional work of its honorees. The journal’s editors selected the winner.

“Professor Ahdout’s scholarship uncovers judicial practices and procedures that have important implications for our understanding of federal courts as critical fora for the vindication of constitutional rights,” the editors said in a statement.

Ahdout joined the UVA Law faculty in 2021. Her research centers on modern uses of judicial power through the lens of federal courts. Her current projects study the phenomena of litigating federal powers disputes as well as judicial agenda-setting outside of the federal courts.

She graduated with highest distinction from UVA, where she was a Jefferson Scholar, with a BA in economics and government. She holds a law degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar and a recipient of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Prize.

Before joining the faculty, she served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to Judge Debra Ann Livingston on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She also has held fellowships at Columbia Law School and New York University School of Law, and litigated in private practice.

2 From UVA Among Dozen National Stroke Research Leaders Honored

Twelve scientists leading the way in stroke research – including two from UVA – were recognized for their achievements during the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in February.

Among the honorees were Dr. Karen C. Johnston, who received the William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke; and Dr. Bradford B. Worrallwho received the Stroke Research Mentoring Award.

Johnston is the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Neurology and associate vice president for clinical and translational research. She is the immediate past chair of the Department of Neurology and currently directs the integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia.

The Feinberg Award recognizes significant contributions to the investigation and management of clinical research in stroke. Johnston’s research has focused on treatment and outcomes in acute ischemic stroke, including a recently published trial that demonstrated the best treatment of hyperglycemia in acute ischemic stroke.

Worrall is a vascular neurologist and Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Neurology and Public Health Sciences, and vice chair for research in the Department of Neurology.

The Stroke Research Mentoring Award recognizes outstanding achievements in mentoring future generations of stroke researchers in the field of cerebrovascular disease. Worrall directs UVA’s two-year Vascular Neurology Fellowship program. He also actively mentors in numerous programs across the spectrum of academic medicine, including the Undergraduate African American Mentoring program, the Medical Student Summer Research Program, the National Institutes of Health funded Summer Research Internship Program and Summer Medical Research Internship, and the general neurology residency , in addition to mentoring junior faculty locally, nationally and across the globe.

University of Pennsylvania Honors Darden Dean

Scott C. Beardsley, dean of the Darden School of Business and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration, has received a 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to his duties as dean, Beardsley teaches courses in strategy, leadership, global business and general management.

Under his leadership, Darden has boosted the academic quality and diversity of MBA students; appointed top staff and 37 new, full-time faculty who have increased the size, strength and diversity of talent; doubled financial support for faculty research, improved research productivity, secured 28 new faculty chairs through philanthropy, and launched initiatives on diversity, equity and inclusion, venture capital and artificial intelligence; expanded the school’s infrastructure, including growth and redesign of the executive MBA program and launching a part-time MBA at a new facility in the Washington, DC, area, plus a joint Master of Science in Business Analytics program with UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce; and led four consecutive years of record fundraising, including the largest gift in Darden history ($ 68 million), which created the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Poets & Quants named Beardsley “Dean of the Year” in 2020 for his leadership, compassionate approach to the pandemic and introduction of test flexibility, noted as one of the “10 biggest business school innovations of the decade.”

In May 2015, he earned a doctorate in higher education management with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania.

Laycock Receives Honorary Degree at Michigan State

School of Law professor Douglas Laycock received an honorary degree in laws from Michigan State University, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He addressed the colleges of Arts and Letters, Communication Arts and Sciences, and Social Science at the school’s fall commencement Dec. 18, saying his proudest career achievement has been defending “the rights of all sides in America’s culture wars.”

“I defend the rights of people that I think are profoundly wrongheaded on fundamental matters,” he said. “I often oppose those people politically, but I defend their right to live their own lives by their own deepest values.”

Laycock has served as lead counsel in six cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, and is a life member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Laycock’s writings have been republished in a five-volume collection, “Religious Liberty.”

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