Linda Irwin-DeVitis Becomes Dean of the Darden College of Education

Linda Irwin-DeVitis, former dean of the Lounsbury School of Education at Georgia College & State University (GCSU), has become dean of Old Dominion University’s Darden College of Education. Provost Carol Simpson announced the appointment in March 2010, effective June 25.

Irwin-DeVitis succeeds William Graves, who is retiring after leading the college for nine years.

“Dr. Irwin-DeVitis is a highly accomplished academic administrator, who brings a record of successful leadership, has a wide range of hands-on classroom experience, and is very familiar with education program accreditation requirements,” said Simpson. “She will be a terrific asset to the college’s goal of becoming one of the top 50 education schools in the country.”

Dean at GCSU since 2003, Irwin-DeVitis has spent more than 40 years in the education field. During her tenure, the GCSU School of Education was awarded the 2008 Wisniewski Award by the Society of Professors of Education and was a finalist for the 2009 National Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teaching Award.

She previously served as associate dean for programs at the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development and held faculty positions at SUNY Binghamton and Oneonta and the University of Tennessee. Additionally, she spent 10 years as a middle and high school teacher in rural school districts in Florida and Louisiana.

Irwin-DeVitis is the co-author of two books, “50 Graphic Organizers for K-8 Classrooms: Templates and Strategies” and “Graphic Organizers: Strategy for Authentic Learning,” and co-editor of the book series “Adolescent Cultures, School and Society.” Additionally, she is co-editor of “The Adolescent Education: A Reader,” published in the spring of 2010. She has written numerous articles for a variety of refereed publications, including the English Journal, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of Educational Studies, Middle School Journal and Reading Research and Instruction, among others.

She has served as the principal or co-principal investigator on a number of research grants, including a $1.24 million U.S. Department of Education grant for a teacher recruitment and retention transition to teaching project and a $2.1 million DOE service grant with the Binghamton City School District to increase preparation for and interest in postsecondary education.

Irwin-DeVitis holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a doctorate in education from the University of Tennessee, and received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans.

Blue Crab Bowl, Science and Technology Competitions Bring Hundreds of State’s Brightest Students to Odu Campus

A team of ocean science whiz kids from Bishop Sullivan High School in Virginia Beach swamped the competition Saturday, March 6, to win the school’s third straight Blue Crab Bowl. The annual event was for teams from throughout Virginia and was the first of three such events that brought very bright young students to the Old Dominion University campus in spring 2010.

Senior Christine Chesley, in her fourth year as a member of the Bishop Sullivan team and in her second year as the team’s captain, led the victors to one lopsided victory after another in the double elimination competition.

Bishop Sullivan defeated Grafton High School 87 points to 36 in the final round before an audience of more than 200 in the Batten Arts & Letters Building auditorium. Grafton, which finished second, defeated St. Christopher’s School of Richmond (fourth place) and the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School of Warsaw (third place) to reach the finals.
The Bishop Sullivan march to victory impressed Richard Zimmerman, chair of the ODU
Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who was a judge for the event. “I did the first round with Bishop Sullivan this morning and they didn’t let the other team answer even one toss-up question,” Zimmerman said.

Victoria Hill, a research assistant professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences at Old Dominion, was a coordinator for the event. She said more than 40 ODU faculty members, staffers and students served as Blue Crab Bowl volunteers.

The bowl kicked off a series of weekend events that brought hundreds of the brightest high school and middle school students in the state to the ODU campus, and kept dozens of ODU volunteers busy. The Tidewater Science Fair attracted 350 students on March 13 and the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair April 2-3 drew 300 students.

M.B.A. Program’s Global Management Emphasis Cited by Princeton Review

The Princeton Review has recognized Old Dominion University’s M.B.A. program among the top 15 in the nation for its global management emphasis.

In its “Student Opinion Honors for Business Schools” listing, the Princeton Review cited the top graduate business schools, as rated by some 19,000 students who evaluated their program’s preparation in specific categories. The listings included the top 15 schools in each of six different emphasis areas, including global management, accounting, finance, general management, marketing and operations.

“This recognition is affirmation of our emphasis on a global perspective in all our programs,” said Nancy A. Bagranoff, former dean of ODU’s College of Business and Public Administration. (She became dean of the University of Richmond School of Business in mid-2010.)

“With one of the most diverse campuses in Virginia and a thriving international community, Old Dominion is uniquely positioned to offer our students the academics and experience that give them an advantage in the global marketplace.”

Dayanand Naik Elected an American Statistical Association Fellow

Dayanand Naik, professor of mathematics and statistics at Old Dominion University, has been elected a 2010 Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), an honor bestowed annually on no more than one-third of 1 percent of the association’s membership.

Naik, who joined the ODU faculty in 1985, has research interests in multivariate statistical analysis, linear models, regression diagnostics, longitudinal data analysis and bioinformatics.
“An award of this fellowship is a testimony to the honoree’s very high standing in the statistical community in terms of research and leadership, and an acknowledgment of his contributions to the betterment of the profession,” said Mark Dorrepaal, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Chris Platsoucas, dean of the College of Sciences, called Naik’s election a “tribute to his contributions to the field of statistics, and reason for the department, the college and the university to be proud.”

The Fellow’s award will be presented to Naik in August 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, during the annual Joint Statistical Meetings awards ceremony.

One recent research project of Naik’s explored how changes in gene expression levels can help characterize cancers. The project, “Computational Proteomics: Algorithms for Classifying Prostate Cancer,” made use of the protein signatures of mass spectra to classify prostate fluid samples into categories of health, early prostate cancer, late prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia.

ODU faculty members hold 75 fellowships in professional associations and societies in the United States and abroad.

Counseling Program Has Success In National Competitions

A team of graduate students from Old Dominion University’s counselor education program captured first place in March 2010 in the doctoral student category of the American Counseling Association (ACA) Graduate Student Ethics Competition. Teams from ODU took second place in the event for the last two years.

In a letter to ODU Professor Ed Neukrug, Stephanie Dailey of the ACA’s Office of Ethics and Professional Standards wrote: “Becky Michel, Joe Davis, Anita Neuer and Jodi Slaughter showed exemplary work in critically analyzing the case scenario and created an exceptional ethical decision-making plan to respond to the ethical situation.”

The scenario involved an elementary school counselor who was seeking professional guidance regarding her ethical responsibility to share confidential information with her principal about students and parents of students she counsels.

“The team developed a complex, thoughtful and scholarly response to a very difficult ethical
dilemma. Bravo to them for their hard work on this,” said Neukrug, professor of counseling and human services, who served as the liaison between the ODU team and the ACA.

In related developments:

• Anita Neuer, a doctoral student in the ODU counseling program, won the grand prize – and a $2,500 scholarship – in the American Counseling Association Foundation 2010 student essay competition. Neuer wrote her essay on the role of mental health services in health care reform. It was featured in the March 2010 issue of Counseling Today, ACA’s monthly magazine. “What a huge accomplishment this is for Anita, as well as the counseling program. ACA has a 16,000-plus student membership, and for Anita to be recognized in this way speaks volumes to the quality of her essay,” said Danica Hays, ODU counseling graduate program director.

• Alan M. “Woody” Schwitzer, professor of counseling and human services, received the 2010 Meritorious Service Award of the American College Counseling Association (ACCA), a division of the American Counseling Association, at the ACA Conference & Exposition in Pittsburgh March 18-22. The award is the ACCA’s highest recognition for contributions to the field of college counseling. Schwitzer was recognized for his work in advancing the ACCA’s Journal of College Counseling, which he edits.

Last year, Schwitzer received the ACA’s Ralph M. Berdie Memorial Research Award for research and scholarship in the field of college student affairs.

Roland Mielke Appointed First Chair of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering Department

Roland Mielke, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in Old Dominion University’s Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology (BCET), has been appointed chair of ODU’s new Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering.

BCET Dean Oktay Baysal recommended the appointment, which subsequently was approved by Provost Carol Simpson.

Mielke, who joined the university in 1975, has a long and distinguished academic career.
“Among the testimonials to his success, he was designated as a University Professor at ODU in 2002 and has been certified as a Modeling and Simulation Professional by a national board,” Baysal wrote in recommending Mielke for the position. “He has been one of the key individuals in building the success of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) as well as the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC).”

Mielke has previously served as ECE department chair for 15 years, and has served as both technical director and interim director of VMASC.

Mielke, who is also director of the Engineering M&S Graduate Program, is excited about the possibilities this new program creates for ODU.

“I am looking forward to working with the many individuals who will be a part of the new department or who will partner with the new department,” he said. “Old Dominion University is recognized as one of the world leaders in modeling and simulation education and research; we must strive to continue and expand this leadership position.”

The new department was created as part of an impressive period of growth in modeling and simulation education at the university. With the creation of an M&S engineering undergraduate program, ODU is the only school in the United States that offers a complete advanced education in the discipline, from undergraduate to postdoctorate.

Mielke said that in spring and summer 2010, the new department will address curriculum and course development for the new undergraduate program, create a department website, establish a student advising capability and prepare promotional and advising materials.

“In addition, we will devote considerable time and effort to develop a research agenda that is closely tied to and supports the activities of VMASC,” Mielke said, “and to develop close working relationships and partnerships with local modeling and simulation companies and organizations.”



Quest Summer 2010 • Volume 13 Issue 1