Post managing editor tapped as commencement speaker
Honorary doctorate will go to first rector, Frank Batten
Two media titans Washington Post Managing Editor Steve Coll and Landmark Communications founder Frank Batten will take part in commencement at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. The program for more than 2,000 graduates will be the first held in the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Coll will deliver the commencement address and Batten, retired chairman of the board of Landmark Communications, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
Batten, who began his career in the 1950s, inherited two local newspapers, The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, and built them into Landmark Communications Inc., a privately held media company with national and international interests in newspapers, broadcasting, cable programming and electronic publishing. The company employs more than 5,000 people and also owns fixed wireless companies and a career schools division. In 1998, Batten passed control of Landmark to his son, Frank Batten Jr., and currently serves as chair of the boards executive committee.
With a long history of support and service to Old Dominion, Batten was a member of the advisory board to the Norfolk Division of William and Mary, and became the first rector of the Board of Visitors of the independent Old Dominion College in 1962. In 1972, the Batten Arts and Letters Building was dedicated in his honor. His financial support to Old Dominion earned him the distinction as the universitys most significant and enduring contributor, and in 1995 ODU initiated the Batten Award to recognize and encourage others who have demonstrated outstanding charitable support.
Coll, who has served as managing editor of The Post since 1998, has been a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor at the newspaper since 1985. He joined The Post initially as a feature writer in the Style section.
Early in 1987, after writing his second book, about the oil industry and the world of hostile corporate takeovers on Wall Street, he returned as The Posts financial correspondent in New York, where he covered the stock market crash, the Ivan Boesky-Michael Milken investigations, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. A series about the SEC that Coll wrote with David A. Vise won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.
In 1989, Coll moved to New Delhi, India, to become The Posts South Asia correspondent. His dispatches from there won the 1992 Livingston Award for outstanding international reporting.
That year, Coll became The Posts first international projects and investigative correspondent, based in London. For the next three years he traveled from Kazakhstan to Panama to report and write for the newspaper on subjects such as nuclear proliferation, money laundering, terrorism, the international economy, political changes in the post-Cold War world, and news from Asia to the Balkans to Northern Ireland.
In the summer of 1995, Coll was appointed editor of The Washington Post Magazine. In 1996, he was named publisher of the magazine as well. In 1998, he became managing editor of the newspaper.
Coll received the 2000 Overseas Press Clubs Ed Cunningham Memorial Award and the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy International Print Award for reporting on the civil war in Sierra Leone.
He is the author of four books: The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986); The Taking of Getty Oil: The Full Story of the Most Spectacular & Catastrophic Takeover of All Time (1987); Eagle on the Street: Based on the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Account of the SECs Battle With Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1990); and On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia (1994).
Coll graduated Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude from Occidental College, Los Angeles, with a degree in English and history. Back to top
Outstanding scholars announced
Six graduates will be recognized as the universitys outstanding scholars during commencement Dec. 15.
James Poland of Norfolk, a psychology major, with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average, was named Old Dominions overall University Scholar.
The students will receive trophies as recipients of the Alumni Association Outstanding Scholar awards at a campus luncheon on Dec. 14. The awards are given to the student with the highest grade point average in each of the colleges. Faculty members chosen as most inspirational by these top students also will be recognized.
The top scholars and their inspirational faculty members are:
Navy officers to take part in virtual ceremony
BY JENNIFER MULLEN
How do you put a cap and gown on a television monitor? That will be the question when the first Navy nuclear officer graduates of Old Dominions unique Masters of Engineering Management (MEM) degree program take part some in person on campus and several via broadcast from around the country in the programs inaugural virtual commencement ceremony Dec. 15.
Connecting the universitys TELETECHNET and the Navys USN-USMC VTT distance learning networks with two-way audio and video broadcast via satellite, President Roseann Runte will confer degrees upon 10 Navy officers present in the universitys television studio and 14 other officers located from San Diego, Calif., and Bangor, Wash., to Newport, R.I., and Kings Bay, Ga., and points in between, including Phoenix, Ariz., Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Greensboro, N.C. A Navy aircraft carrier at sea is also expected to be linked to the event. The remote graduates will be present via in-studio television monitors and able to fully participate in the entire ceremony by being seen and heard by campus attendees, with whom they can interact. The virtual graduation will be the first of its kind within Navy education.
The MEM program for Navy officers was designed so that personnel could earn degrees at any time in any place, said Runte. Likewise, our graduation for this program enables naval officers, their families and colleagues, to take part, wherever they may be, in this most significant occasion in their lives.
Beginning at 11 a.m., the ceremony will be held in the Gornto TELETECHNET Center. It will feature university administrators and faculty in full academic regalia, and videotaped remarks will be given by Adm. Frank L. Bowman, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Vice Adm. John J. Grossenbacher, Commander, Naval Submarine Forces, will give remarks from campus, and Vice Adm. Alfred G. Harms, Jr., Chief of Naval Education and Training, will offer remarks via satellite from his Pensacola headquarters. Back to top
Bill Quinn appointed interim campus police chief
William Quinn, ODUs assistant campus police chief, has been appointed to serve as interim chief following the retirement of Chief Cliff Rice on Nov. 22.
Quinn joined the Office of Public Safety in 1989 as a police officer and rose quickly through the ranks. He has served as assistant chief for more than three years.
Bill Quinn is very experienced in all aspects of the departments policing and security programs, said Robert L. Fenning, vice president for administration and finance. He has served us well, understands the mission of a campus police department, and demonstrated his capacity for meeting the diverse needs of the institutional community and our neighbors.
Quinn will oversee a campus police force of 36 members.
Before coming to Old Dominion, Quinn served 20 years as a detective with the New York City Police Department.
Rice joined ODUs Office of Public Safety 1987 and served as chief since 1992.
As a campus community, we are indeed fortunate to have individuals of the character and professionalism of Chief Rice and Assistant Chief Quinn, Fenning stated in a Nov. 19 campuswide announcement. Through their leadership and the daily activities of the department, the Norfolk and other campuses of Old Dominion University remain among the safest and well served in the commonwealth by all current measures. Back to top
Isenhour play takes third in one-act competition
Dad, a play by Thomas Isenhour, dean of the College of Sciences, was selected as a third-place winner in the 17th annual Henrico Theatre Company One-Act Playwriting Competition.
Isenhour will receive a $200 check and a videotape of the production, which will be performed 13 times by the company from Feb. 14 through March 2. Some 179 plays were submitted in this years competition.
Dad, a serious comedy, is the story of a woman who believes her father should be in a rest home where he would receive better care. But the father, a retired widower, would rather sit in front of the television drinking beer and cursing the local baseball team. When the daughters second husband, a lawyer, gets a court order to force the issue, the retiree decides, I aint going to no rest home, Isenhour said.
An accomplished actor and playwright, Isenhour appeared in 35 plays in the Pittsburgh area from 1994 to 2000 and was named among the best supporting actors and ensembles in the city by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . His play Quantum Cat, a scientific comedy, was produced at the Penn-Ave Theatre in 2000. George and Martha, a one-act romantic comedy, was produced at the American University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, in 1993. Back to top
Committee meetings are scheduled as follows:
Profs elected fellows of American Physical Society
Two physics professors have been elected as fellows of the American Physical Society.
Rocco Schiavilla was honored for advancing the theory of nuclei as systems of nucleons bound together by two- and three-body forces, and particularly for studies of their electroweak interactions. He is closely associated with the Jefferson Laboratory, where he is interim head of the theory group.
Leposava Vuskovic was awarded her fellowship for important and sustained work on electron collisions with ground state and excited atoms by creating a number of remarkable experimental techniques.
An experimental atomic physicist, Vuskovic leads a group at ODU with a wide range of interests, from studying the effects of weakly ionized gas on propulsion and aerodynamics to studying collisions involving laser excited atoms. The group is also working on the development of new, more sensitive real-time techniques for ambient measurements of chemically significant trace gases, which is being used to develop a gas-trace analysis of the human breath for lung cancer studies.
This is a great achievement, said Colm Whelan, chair of the physics department. Only one-half of 1 percent of the membership of the American Physical Society are elected as fellows in any one year.
This years election brings to seven the number of fellows from Old Dominions physics department. Back to top
Accompanying the review of the book in the HBC catalogue is the following quote by distinguished Civil War historian William C. Davis: This magnificent study ... is going to be a classic in industrial as well as Civil War history. Back to top
Two one-hour sessions 2-3 p.m. Jan. 9 and 9-10 a.m. Jan. 10 will start in room 151 of Perry Library, followed by tours of selected library service areas.
Economic Outlook Conference is Jan. 15
Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Regional Financial Association, will be the featured speaker at the Economics Club of Hampton Roads annual Economic Outlook Conference and Luncheon Wednesday, Jan. 15.
ODU professors Vinod Agarwal, Mohammad Najand and Gilbert Yochum will also present their economic forecast.
Co-sponsored by the College of Business and Public Administration, the conference will be held from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk. Reservations are required (683-4058); the cost is $30 for nonmembers. Back to top
Faculty in demand by Portsmouth Kiwanis Club
ODU scored a hat trick of sorts last month when three faculty members appeared as guest speakers at the weekly meetings of the Portsmouth Kiwanis Club, reports Frederick W. Culpepper, professor emeritus of occupational and technical studies and a member of the organization.
Larry Filer, assistant professor of economics, addressed the group Nov. 6 on Economics of the Region. He was followed by Fran Hassencahl, assistant professor of communication, on Nov. 13 (Changing Middle East) and Shabbir Akhtar, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies, on Nov. 20 (Islam). Back to top
President Runtes contribution of first years raise will fund gift certificates for 300 employees
MacArthur Center mall adds $5,000 to the total
Between now and the next calendar year, 300 hard-working Old Dominion employees will be awarded $100 gift certificates to the MacArthur Center, thanks to President Roseann Runte.
Nearly three months ago, Runte announced that she would donate her first years raise of $25,000 (approved by the Board of Visitors on Sept. 13) for a special employee recognition fund.
In a letter to the campus community, she said the awards would recognize extraordinary commitment and effort, stating, This is an insufficient tribute to your fine work but I hope you will find it symbolic of the true admiration and respect I have for all of you.
Runte then went a step further by calling area malls to see if any would be willing to add to the fund. She was delighted when Ed Ladd, manager of the MacArthur Center, returned her call with a pledge of $5,000.
Because of the importance of the institution to this community and the entire state, I felt it was almost a civic responsibility to support Old Dominion in any way we could, Ladd said.
The MacArthur Center donation, combined with the $25,000 from President Runte, has resulted in the purchase of 300 $100 gift certificates to the downtown Norfolk mall, which will be distributed to classified staff, instructional faculty and faculty administrators to recognize exemplary performance and exceptional contributions.
According to the committee Runte formed to establish guidelines for dispensing the money, the gift certificates will be allocated to senior administrative areas based on the number of classified staff, instructional faculty and administrative faculty in the respective area.
Based on current campus census data, 150 certificates will be awarded to classified employees, 105 to instructional faculty, and 45 to administrative and professional faculty. The senior administrator for the area will determine how and when the certificates will be awarded.
If the area has existing recognition programs, the gift certificates offer another type of award to distribute, said Glenda Humphreys, who co-chaired the committee. If the area does not have a current recognition program, a program can quickly be implemented to award the certificates.
She added that students will be informed about the program and encouraged to let a department chair or dean know about incidents when faculty or staff provided them with exceptional assistance or service.
Also serving on the committee were co-chair ReNeé Dunman, director of equal opportunity; Paul Champagne, chair of the Faculty Senate; Phyllis F. Brown, president of the Hourly and Classified Employees Association; and Lauren Marsh, student representative to the Board of Visitors. Back to top
The College Fed Challenge consists of student teams delivering 20-minute presentations on monetary policy to economists at the Richmond Fed. Teams are scored on content, teamwork, responses to questions, presentation and style. The competition encourages better understanding of the nations central bank, the forces influencing economic conditions in the United States and abroad, and the ways the economy affects everyone.
Led by Larry Filer, assistant professor of economics, the winning team members included seniors Heather Larson, a finance major; Jason Horning, economics; Christopher Kent, decision sciences; Deron Krietemeyer, finance; and Charles Neu, economics. The team was sponsored by the Center for Economic Education and the Department of Economics in the College of Business and Public Administration.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is one of 12 District Reserve Banks that together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. Back to top
30 and 35 Years
President Runte has appointed representatives from departments around campus to collaborate on the implementation and planning for the campus portal. The Portal Leadership Team is charged with developing a high-level implementation plan, ensuring the implementation efforts meet designated time frames, fostering communication among and between supporting teams, and accomplishing the overall objectives of providing a portal for the university. An executive steering committee, a subset of the presidents senior management team, will oversee the teams progress.
The long-term vision of the project is that it enable the institution to leverage its investments in information systems, institutional processes and staff talent, as well as move toward the goal of enhancing communication and services. The first objective is for the team to better organize access to information and to enhance services through a single university-wide solution. That target alone will be a complex and difficult task since it involves different and incompatible technology systems without an easy cross-reference. Organizing current, Web-based offerings rather than developing new services or modules will be the initial focus.
Inevitably, the portal implementation project will be bigger than just installing new technology because it will introduce change to our organization. Simply moving from the current way of doing things to a new and different way of doing things will be hard. To take advantage of change rather than become victims of it, the project is structured to involve people from the beginning to openly examine the reasons for change and to respect the viewpoints of others as we adjust to a portal environment.
In her letter to the committee, President Runte asked that the team consult widely with faculty, staff, students and others. Her directive underscores the importance of the portal as a community-wide initiative.
There are lots of ways to get involved in ODUs campus portal implementation project. Whether you and your colleagues want to learn more about how portal technology can help you at work or you want to get people thinking about projects that might be implemented in your department in the future, there is something for you. The Portal Leadership Team will conduct a series of informational sessions about the project and share opportunities for involvement. If you are interested in participating in one or more of these sessions, contact any of the following team members:
Graduate Studies wins office decorating contest
The Homecoming theme was Bring the Heat! and the Office of Graduate Studies and Undergraduate Continuance did just that in winning the annual campuswide office decorating contest. The reward was a catered party by Aramark, valued at $100.
Big Blue paw prints on the floor led the way to the office, located on the second floor of Koch Hall, which was a veritable smorgasbord of ODU basketball paraphernalia from posters and photos to a mannequin dressed in Monarch cheerleader attire. The office also displayed an original oil painting of the Ted Constant Convocation Center by Sandy Waters, director of continuance and undergraduate services. Back to top
All of you have been a wonderful help in publicizing Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War (and, indirectly, ODU).
We are pleased that it was chosen as an alternate selection of the History Book Club.
Rhetta Wilson, Norfolk
In favor of a green campus
I think it would be great to see similar articles on saving energy by switching off lights, etc., in future editions. Lets make our campus greener!
Martina Doblin, Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences