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Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award

2018 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award Winner Deborah McDowell

About the Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award

The Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award is presented in memory of Elizabeth Zintl, an accomplished writer and journalist who served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at the University of Virginia. The Zintl Award celebrates the leadership that is found in many areas and positions at UVA and the recipient receives a $1,000 prize for her professional or personal development. The award is made possible through the generosity of the late David A. Harrison III, a devoted friend of Elizabeth’s and a great benefactor of UVA’s Law School, School of Medicine, University Library, Athletic Department, and numerous other entities and initiatives on Grounds.

The Selection Process

The Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award uses a pan-university nomination and selection process. We publish an open call for nominations in March. Our selection committee chooses the nominee whose high degree of professionalism, creativity, and commitment best reflect Elizabeth Zintl’s significant contributions to the University. The award is presented in the fall.


  • A woman employed in any area of the University.
  • Excellence in work that makes a direct and significant impact on the core academic enterprise of the University.
  • Unusually high degree of service to the University, within and beyond the expectations of the woman’s position description. Being superb in the position is not sufficient.

Nomination Packets:

  • Letter of nomination from an individual at the University.
  • Current resumé or vita.
  • No more than three (3) letters of support. It is strongly recommended that one of these letters come from outside the area or department of the nominee.
  • Packets with more than 3 letters of support and/or additional materials will not be considered

Please Note:

  • Nominating and supporting letters should be concise and specific.
  • The nominator takes responsibility for shaping the style and tone of the nominating packet.

Questions? Check out our FAQ here.


2018 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award

Deborah McDowell (pictured above)
Deborah McDowell is an internationally recognized scholar of African-American literature, and has been a member of the English faculty since 1987. She was named the Alice Griffin Professor of English in 2000. Since 2008, McDowell has directed UVA’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, shepherding its undergraduate major and its world-renowned fellowship program and serving as editor of the Carter G. Woodson Imprint sponsored by the University of Virginia Press.

Learn more about all of her accomplishments UVA Today's coverage of our award here.

Past Recipients of the Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award

Recipients of the Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award, along with their title at the time of their award, include:

1998    Sylvia Terry, Associate Dean of African-American Affairs
1998    Patricia Lampkin, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
2000    Sharon Hostler, Medical Director, Kluge Rehabilitation Center
2001    Louise M. Dudley, Assistant Vice President for University Relations
2001    Claire Cronmiller, Professor of Biology
2002    Shirley Menaker, Former Associate Provost for Academic Support
2002    Marva Barnett, Professor of French, Founding Director of the Teaching Resource Center
2003    Patricia Werhane, Former Ruffin Professor of Business Ethics
2004    Karin WittenborgUniversity Librarian
2005    Karen Rheuban, Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education, Professor Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Office of Telemedicine
2006    Shamim Sisson, Former Senior Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Life
2007    Carolyn M. Callahan, Professor in the Curry School of Education
2008    Yvonne B. Hubbard, Director of Student Financial Services
2009    Marcia D. ChildressAssociate Professor of Medical Education and Co-Director of the Humanities in Medicine Program
2010    Karen Van Lengen, Professor of Architecture and former Dean of the School of Architecture
2011    Carol S. Wood, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs
2012    Anda L. Webb, Vice Provost for Administration and Chief of Staff
2013    Meredith Jung-En WooBuckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences
2014    Jane Miller, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Programs
2015    Farzaneh Milani, Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures
2016    Pamela Norris, Frederick Tracy Morse Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
2017    Rachel Most, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs and Professor of Archaeology