A state organization has recognized two University of Virginia physicians and a Piedmont Virginia Community College English professor and writing instructor as outstanding faculty members.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia named Dr. Taison Bell and Dr. Andrew Wolf, of UVa’s Medical Center and School of Medicine, as well as PVCC’s Jennifer Koster as among the dozen faculty members to win the state’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities.
Institutions submitted 72 nominees, who were then reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. The group was first narrowed to 20 and then to 12 winners.
Koster is the only winner this year from a community college, according to SCHEV.
Bell has helped to lead UVa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit. He has cared for COVID patients in UVa’s specialized units and has assisted long-term care facilities.
He helped to lead an effort to create and distribute personal protective equipment to frontline care providers and has won multiple awards for his teaching.
Wolf helped to develop better guidelines for cancer screenings and led the development of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer screening guidelines by the American Cancer Society. He also helped with setting screening guidelines for lung, breast and cervical cancer.
“Dr. Wolf and Dr. Bell are incredible servants not only to their patients and students, but to the entire commonwealth of Virginia,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, UVa’s executive vice president for health affairs. “They represent the incredible talent that is pervasive amongst our clinicians at UVa Health.”
“I benefited so much from great educators that have always felt the most powerful tool I have is an ability to impart lessons to my team,” Bell said in a statement. “I’m humbled and honored to be recognized for something that is so important to me.”
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be recognized for what brings me such great joy every day,” Wolf said in a statement. “I am also particularly grateful to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia for honoring a primary care physician-educator — there are many like me on the front lines of both health care and medical education who are equally deserving of this award.”
An English professor and coordinator of PVCC’s Writing Center, Koster is the founder of the Virginia Community College System’s Learning Assistance Professionals Peer Group and coordinator of the Virginia chapter of the Southeastern Writing Center Association. This year she initiated Virginia’s first statewide tutor collaboration, TuColla-VA.
“Professor Koster is a talented, dedicated faculty member who is committed to providing opportunity for students. She goes the extra mile to help all students succeed. She epitomizes the quality of faculty that students encounter at PVCC,” said Frank Friedman, PVCC president.
“I am honored to have been selected for this award,” Koster said. “I’m lucky to work in the [state community college system] and especially at PVCC, where I’ve been provided with resources to grow as a teacher and person, and with the support to undertake new ventures. I am continually inspired by my colleagues, our students and the PVCC Writing Center staff.”
Winners each receive a $7,500 cash award underwritten by the Dominion Foundation, as well as a commemorative engraved award.