Six faculty members from across Grounds gathered in Newcomb Hall Theater on Feb. 26 to share their thoughts on the role of liberal arts at a research institution. Student Council sponsored the event, called “Ed(You)Cation: Liberal Arts at a Research Institution.” (Check out the “fun” promo here.)
There was one other event on Grounds that was notable in its own right, and probably would have been bigger news on many other days: Daphne Koller, the co-founder of Coursera, spoke at the Curry School about the online revolution in higher education. (In fact, U.Va. sometimes feels like Ground Zero for that revolution.)
Realizing that many of you could not sit at speeches all day, here’s the complete video of Koller’s talk.
Ruffner Hall was probably considered to be quite handsome when it opened as the home of the Curry School of Education in 1973, after more than a dozen years of planning and construction.
Four decades later, it feels more than a little dated. When Bavaro Hall was built on the parking lot that separated Ruffner from Emmett Street, more than a few people commented on how it improved the views for passing motorists and pedestrians. Like its 1970s-era cousins University Hall, the Alderman Road residence halls and the pre-renovation Law School, the fairly funky Ruffner feels, well, a little out of place.
That doesn’t prevent Ruffner’s denizens from reminiscing a bit as the building closes for 18 months of renovation and modernizing.
It’s often said in the newspaper world that “news is what happens in the editor’s backyard” — suggesting that whatever an editor is personally experiencing at any given time is likely to find it’s way into print soon thereafter.
Well, this editor has been hip-deep in alumni magazines lately, having volunteered to help judge an awards contest. (Helpful hint: Never volunteer to judge a magazine awards contest, unless you have hours upon hours to kill.)
So when I came across a note about the latest edition of Curry School of Education‘s alumni magazine, it did pique my interest a little bit.
Here’s why: Unlike the mags I have been poring over, it’s all online. Yes, untold numbers of trees are still alive because the school chose to render its feature stories, news briefs and even its alumni notes in pixels instead of print.
Check it out, and then let us know what you think. Are you more or less likely to read an alumni magazine online? How is the experience different?
Just in case you haven’t yet had your fill of political drama …
A couple of U.Va. alumni are behind the local performance of “Stanley Ann,” a one-woman show that will be staged Thursday, Friday and Saturday at The Bridge PAI in Charlottesville.
The play, penned by 1994 U.Va. graduate Mike Kindle, draws from President Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” and other sources to tell the story of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. The show’s press release lays out her remarkable life: “She married first a Kenyan, and then an Indonesian student at a time when interracial marriage was illegal in many states. She then moved to Indonesia, later sending her son back to the U.S. to be educated. Later she returned herself to study anthropology, and went on to become one of the developers of microfinance, small loans given to village women in the Third World.”
Ruffner Hall, before Bavaro Hall blocked the view.
Ruffner Hall is certainly not one of U.Va.’s architectural marvels. Born in the same era that brought us the (old) Alderman Road dorms, many were relieved when the handsome new Bavaro Hall largely blocked its view from Emmett Street.
Lack of aesthetic appeal aide, though, it’s a critically important facility for the Curry School of Education. So when it closes in January for an 18-month, $20 million renovation (Ted Strong of the Daily Progress did a nice piece on the plans here), Curry is going to face a little chaos. In fact, the chaos is already starting, as people and offices begin to move out of an 84,000-square-foot building they have called home since the early ’70s.
While U.Va. alumna Katie Couric was researching some themes for the commencement speech she gave on Grounds last Sunday, she stumbled on a new book, “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now,” by clinical psychologist and Curry School of Education faculty member Meg Jay.
“It seemed like something I should read before speaking to a bunch of newly minted college grads about to enter the ‘real world,’” Couric blogged on “Katie’s Take,” a new weekly original digital video series featuring Couric, special correspondent for ABC News and host of the upcoming syndicated daytime talk show “Katie.”
Not only did Couric read the book, she interviewed Jay from the Lawn while here last weekend. Among the points Jay made during their talk: 80 percent of our defining decisions are made before we’re 35, and 70 percent of lifetime wage growth happens in the first 10 years of our careers. Jay’s book branches into personal life issues, as well.
Twice in one night the fan section from U.Va. went crazy in the College of William & Mary’s Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall. Last weekend, U.Va. brought home not one, but two trophies and $1,000 apiece from the first Nach Ke Dikha dance competition.
The competition, part of a “Voices of South Asia” conference hosted by William & Mary’s South Asian Student Association, pitted six college teams against each other in two categories – Bhangra and Fusion dance – along with three non-competitive exhibition acts. Routines were generally about eight minutes long.
The event coordinators aimed to provide “a unique competition that increases cultural awareness and serves as entertainment for VOSA attendees, the William & Mary and Williamsburg community, and South Asian dance fanatics across the East Coast,” according to the event’s Web page.
This just in from UVA Today science correspondent Fariss Samarrai:
The UVA Bay Game, a large-scale interactive game simulation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, will be a featured panel discussion/demonstration Tuesday at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. SXSW, as it’s dubbed, is a 10-day trade show/music and film festival that highlights cutting-edge innovations and attracts about 100,000 attendees.
It’s not often that an academic and a pop star’s work crosses paths. But that’s what happened last week when Lady Gaga invited University of Virginia education professor Dewey Cornell, an authority on bullying and school violence prevention, to participate in the launch of her Born This Way Foundation.
“There was no singing or dancing” at the symposium, Cornell said, “but a great deal of passionate language about improving the world.”
Curry magazine, the alumni publication of U.Va.’s Curry School of Education, has gone digital. The fall issue of the magazine is now online, featuring alumni, faculty and student profiles, plus the winners of an alumni writing contest. Check it out!