7 Famous UVA Professors
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Politics and Activism

7 Famous UVA Professors

Check out some of UVA's most powerful movers and shakers!

7 Famous UVA Professors

With the University of Virginia consistently being ranked as one of the top universities in the nation, with the most recent ranking coming from Forbes Magazine naming U.Va. the No. 2 Public University in America, one can only ask where these rankings are coming from. For many, they would say the incredible faculty that are recognized internationally as leaders in their field. The following seven University of Virginia faculty are consistently being honored and recognized for their work and are leading our students into the future.

Larry Sabato

Dr. Larry J. Sabato is the founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. He is also the University Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, and has had visiting appointments at Oxford University and Cambridge University in Great Britain. A Rhodes Scholar, he received his doctorate from Oxford, and he is the author or editor of two dozen books on American politics. He also directs the Center for Politics’ Crystal Ball website, a leader in accurately predicting elections since its inception. In 2004, the Crystal Ball notched a 99 percent accuracy rate in predicting all races for House, Senate, Governor and each state’s Electoral College outcome. In 2006, the Pew Research Center and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Project for Excellence in Journalism recognized the Crystal Ball as the leader in the field of political predictors, noting that the site “came closer than any other of the top ten potential predictors this cycle.”In 2013, Prof. Sabato won an Emmy award for the television documentary "Out of Order," which he produced to highlight the dysfunctional U.S. Senate. In 2014, Prof. Sabato won a second Emmy award for the PBS documentary "The Kennedy Half-Century," which covers the life, assassination, and lasting legacy of President John F. Kennedy.

Robert Chapel

Robert Chapel is professor of Drama and former chair (1990-2005) of the University of Virginia’s Department of Drama. He has also been with the Heritage Theatre since 1987, first as a stage director, then as managing and stage director and, since 1995, as its producing artistic director. Robert Chapel holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Bob has directed over 130 plays and musicals and has acted in over 60 more in New York, Los Angeles, regional, and university theatre. Prior to joining the U.Va. faculty, he taught and directed at San Diego State University (head of MFA Musical Theatre Program and recipient of an outstanding teaching award), New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (coordinating director of the MFA Musical Theatre Composing and Writing Program), the University of Michigan (head of BFA Musical Theatre Program), and the University of Alabama (assistant professor in Theatre). In December of 2007 he received a Fulbright Emeritus grant to create a Broadway musical revue, "Broadway X 3," which he toured with three singers and an accompanist to eight cities, traveling over 6,000 miles in Russia over a period of 14 days and, in the spring of 2008, he was summoned back to Moscow by the U.S. Embassy there to give a lecture and teach a workshop in musical theatre performance at an international theatre festival. Bob’s biography is included in "Who’s Who In America."

Rita Dove

Rita Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995 and as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She has received numerous literary and academic honors, among them the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and, more recently, the 2003 Emily Couric Leadership Award, the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award, the 1997 Sara Lee Frontrunner Award, the 1997 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, the 1996 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, and the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton. In 2006 she received the Commonwealth Award of Distinguished Service, in 2007 she became a Chubb Fellow at Yale University, in 2008 she was honored with the Library of Virginia's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2009 she received the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal and the Premio Capri. President Barack Obama presented her with the 2011 National Medal of Arts, which made her the only poet with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts to her credit. To date, 25 honorary doctorates have been bestowed upon Rita Dove, most recently in 2014, by Yale University, and in 2013, by Emerson College in Boston and Emory University in Atlanta.

Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History. He has also served as the dean leading the University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He began his professional career as a trial and appellate lawyer. He was a career diplomat, posted overseas and in Washington, including service on the NSC staff for President George H.W. Bush. His Ph.D. is from Tufts University. Since leaving government service in 1991, he has taught and directed research programs at Harvard University and at the University of Virginia, where he directed the Miller Center of Public Affairs from 1998 to 2005. In addition to service on government advisory boards and as an elected member of a local school board, he has taken two public service leaves from academia to return full-time to government service, in 2003-04 to direct the 9/11 Commission and in 2005-07 as Counselor of the Department of State, a deputy to Secretary Rice. He has been a member of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board for President Bush (2001-03) and for President Obama (2011-13) and is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board advising Secretary Carter. He has also been an adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s program in global development.

John D'earth

Born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1950, he studied with saxophonist Boots Mussulli (who performed with Stan Kenton, Charlie Ventura, and Teddy Wilson); John Coffey (principal trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra); and arranging with Thad Jones. He attended Harvard University and later moved to New York City, where he studied with Carmine Caruso, Vince Penzarella, and Richie Beirach. His career in music is documented in the "Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz" by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler (Oxford Press). John D’earth has performed and recorded internationally, appearing on well over fifty CDs, and has worked with Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Tito Puente, Bruce Hornsby, Emily Remler, Bennie Wallace, Eddie Gomez, The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, The Great American Music Ensemble, Bob Moses, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Robert Jospe, Dave Matthews Band, Anthony Wilson, Alan Dawson, Cyrus Chestnut, Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Ray Anderson, Marc Johnson, Cecil Bridgewater, Claudio Roditi, Tom Harrell, Bob Berg, Dawn Thompson, David Valentin, Mel Torme, and many others.

Elizabeth Meyer

Elizabeth Meyer, a landscape architect, theorist, and critic, joined the UVA faculty in 1993, and has served as Landscape Architecture Department Chair and Director of the Graduate Landscape Architecture Program. Previously, Meyer taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Cornell University. For the last three years, "DesignIntelligence" has recognized Meyer as one of the most admired design educators in the United States. Her teaching and scholarship have garnered honors, grants, and awards from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Graham Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Virginia. In 2012, President Obama appointed her to the US Commission of Fine Arts, the design review board for Washington, DC’s monumental core as well as major public buildings and public spaces within the boundaries of the 1902 McMillan Commission plan for the District of Columbia.

Carl Zeithaml

Carl Zeithaml is serving his fourth term as the Dean and F.S. Cornell Professor of Free Enterprise. Dean Zeithaml joined the McIntire School in 1997 after spending more than a decade at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to UNC, he served on the faculties of Texas A&M University and the University of Maryland. Over the past 18 years, Dean Zeithaml led the implementation of McIntire’s strategy to achieve a position of global preeminence in business education. Since the 2006 introduction of the "Bloomberg Businessweek" ranking of undergraduate business programs, the school’s B.S. in Commerce Program is the only program in the nation to be ranked either first or second each year. The McIntire School’s M.S. programs in Accounting, Commerce, and the Management of Information Technology are also ranked consistently among the top programs nationally. The McIntire School provides all students with opportunities to study at many of the best business schools in the world and to visit important global centers of commerce and industry. He focuses much of his research agenda on global firms, high-technology industries, the energy industry, and the healthcare industry.Dean Zeithaml has been a regular participant in executive education programs, particularly for global firms and healthcare organizations, and he serves as a Director of Dollar Tree Inc.

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