About News UVA Honors Its Leading Researchers at Boar's Head Banquet Jan 31, 2020 Meredith Cole UVA Honors Its Leading Researchers at Boar's Head Banquet The winners of UVA’s inaugural Research Achievement Awards pose with President Jim Ryan, Provost Liz Magill and Vice President for Research Melur Ramasubramanian. (Photo by Amanda Maglione)The University of Virginia’s top leaders gathered Wednesday evening at the Boar’s Head Resort to honor faculty members from across Grounds for their outstanding contributions to their fields of study and societal impact through their research and scholarly activities. University of Virginia President Jim Ryan presented the 2019 Research Achievement Awards to 13 UVA faculty members at the dinner event. “This is the first year of the Research Achievement Awards,” Vice President for Research Melur “Ram” Ramasubramanian said. “We believe that as a university, we are what we celebrate. We want to acknowledge the talented UVA faculty who are leaders in their fields and are impacting the world in positive ways.” Provost Elizabeth “Liz” Magill said, “We’re delighted to have a chance to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of our faculty. From education policy to precision medicine to police-community relations, there are many different fields and individuals being honored by these awards.” “I’m awed and immensely grateful for the contributions the award winners have made to their respective fields and to the University of Virginia,” Ryan said. “Our strategic plan focuses a good deal of attention on supporting research. ... Our ultimate goal is to make it possible for researchers at UVA to do their very best work.” The awards covered excellence in research, collaboration, mentorship, public impact and innovation. Research Excellence Awards Daphna Bassok, associate professor of education and public policy, Curry School of Education and Human Development and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)Bassok’s work is in early childhood education, and her focus has been to find a way for it to both meet high standards and make a difference in the lives of young children. To do this, she has partnered with policymakers and school districts in Virginia and Louisiana to study how early childhood education opportunities can happen at scale. In the past four years, her work has accelerated. She has published 16 articles and received more than $6 million in grant funding. In 2017, Bassok was honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. “Daphna Bassok has raised the bar for the field and will motivate other scholars to do more insightful and rigorous work,” said Katherine Magnuson, director of UVA’s Institute for Research on Poverty. Public Impact-Focused Research Award Brian Williams, associate professor, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)Williams only arrived at Batten two years ago, but after the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 he was able to immediately show the value of his research and public service engagement to the University community. Starting before he came to the University, he has spent two decades doing research in the field on police-community relations around racial profiling, community policing and the need for law enforcement officers to work with their community on issues of public safety. In all his work, he strives to make an impact on communities by building relationships and tackling problems wherever they crop up. “Dr. Williams consistently uses his knowledge, experience and passion for the good of our city,” Mindy Goodall, executive director of the Charlottesville Police Foundation, said. “Charlottesville is fortunate to have gained him as a citizen and champion of police and community reconciliation.” Read full article in UVA Today Daphna Bassok Daphna Bassok is an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia and is also the Associate Director of EdPolicyWorks a joint collaboration between the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Read full bio Brian N. Williams I am an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, after previous faculty appointments at Florida State University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Georgia (UGA), as well as administrative appointments at UGA and Vanderbilt. My research centers on issues related to demographic diversity, local law enforcement, and public governance, with special attention devoted to the co-production of public safety and public order. Read full bio Related Content Daphna Bassok Measuring the Quality of Teacher-Child Interactions at Scale: The Implications of Using Local Practitioners to Conduct Classroom Observations Research Are Parents’ Ratings and Satisfaction with Preschools related to Program Features? Research This study examines whether parents’ overall satisfaction with their child’s early childhood education (ECE) program is correlated with a broad set of program characteristics, including (a) observational assessments of teacher-child interactions; (b) structural features of the program, such as teacher education and class size; (c) practical and convenience factors (e.g., hours, cost); and (d) a measure of average classroom learning gains. It then describes associations between parents’ evaluation of specific program characteristics and externally collected measures of those features. With a Kindergarten Teacher’s Perspective, Professor Pushes Early Childhood Education News Daphna Bassok first became acutely aware of the importance of early childhood education when she taught in a kindergarten classroom. The difference in readiness between the children who came into her classroom with preschool experience and those without was striking, she said. Batten Faculty Dominate the University's New Public Service Awards Program News UVA’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost created a new awards program to commend faculty for the contributions their public service makes to student learning, the advancement of scholarship and creative activity, and the University’s own public mission. Brian N. Williams Where Do We Go From Here? News “We’re at the intersection of past and present—and we're teetering a bit,” Batten professor Brian N. Williams told an online audience last week. “Evolution or revolution? Reform or riot? Progress or more protests? Should we defund and divest or deconstruct and reconstruct?” What Colleges and Universities Can Do to Improve Police-Community Relations News What can America’s higher education system do to reduce the use of excessive force among police? As a public policy scholar who examines the interplay between race, policing and public governance, I see multiple things that colleges and universities can do to make a difference.