State of the University: Runte says a shared, compelling vision will help Old Dominion face challenges that lie ahead

President Roseann Runte opened her Aug. 21 State of the University address by recalling the pain of state budget cuts and ended it on a positive note with her take on a quote about the future from Winston Churchill.

In between, she thanked and recognized dozens of members of the university community for their achievements and contributions over the past year, and collectively thanked everyone for their loyalty, support and understanding during the period of budgetary crisis.

“In our state the wealth is not commonly held, at least among institutions of higher learning,” Runte said.

She noted that many members of the university family worked hard to convince legislators that Old Dominion should not be cut as much as other state schools, since a two-year-old study concluded that the university is seriously underfunded when compared to other doctoral-level universities in Virginia.

“The victory was real and the cut of 21 percent could have been greater,” she noted. “It was, however, one of the most painful victories I have experienced in 21 years of academic administration. No matter one’s perspective, we must all agree that 2002 was a dismal October in Virginia.”

Runte went on to praise the campus community for its “hard work and imagination” in the face of such a steep cut. “Old Dominion is, despite our name, young and energetic, open to new ideas, willing to experiment, to cooperate with our peers, prepared to step forward with social conscience to serve our region, our state and our nation.”

Reminding those in the audience of the university’s proposal to add 10,000 additional students over a five-year period to help the state accommodate the forthcoming boom of high school graduates, Runte further challenged the campus community to help the administration make its case in Richmond. “I would ask each one of you to contact your local representative to let her or him know that this is a formula for success for our institution, for the region and the state.”

Runte also thanked those who played a role in promoting the higher education bond referendum, which will provide the university with $44 million for renovation and new construction over the next few years. She recognized John R. Broderick, vice president for institutional advancement, and Elizabeth Wallace, government relations coordinator, for their special efforts in the campaign.

Also among the many members of the university family Runte singled out was Old Dominion’s first rector, Frank Batten, who earlier this year donated $32 million to the university. “I would like to thank Dr. Batten for having the prescience to make his gift just when he did. I believe that his leadership made us realize just how precious our community of scholars is and what incredible potential we have.”

Among the improvements and additions that will greet students this semester include two mega-labs for computing in Perry Library and Webb Center, a new classroom in Kaufman Hall and renovations in Rogers and Whitehurst halls, Runte noted.

Speaking of progress in the University Village, she reported that the first phase of residences has been completed and that a second set of apartments will be completed next year. “In addition, the plans for research buildings and a shopping center are coming together in a most exciting way. There will be more space for research, housing and shopping. There will be a lovely Village Square, additional parking, a hotel and an impressive frontage along Hampton Boulevard.”

Runte also mentioned plans for a “beautiful Alumni Welcome Center” in the building that will be vacated later this year by the Office of Public Safety.

Commenting on the progress and future plans for ODU’s University Village, Runte said she was reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s “academical village.”

“He wanted to create a place which ‘would afford that quiet retirement so friendly to study.’ He envisaged small living units and a mixture of functions. I believe we have achieved the 21st century version of his utopian dream.

“Old Dominion will truly provide the kind of atmosphere which is conducive to learning. I hope our commuter students will be so delighted with the results of our labors that they want to spend their every waking hour on campus!”

Also on the horizon for ODU are better recreational facilities. Runte said the university has hired a consulting firm to determine the needs of the campus community.

Coming up this year in the academic arena, Runte cited an impressive list of Presidential Lectures and a Japan Forum, which promises two days of lectures, concerts and exchanges among well-known Japanese and American scholars. She announced that work will begin soon on a new strategic plan and that a financial campaign is scheduled to be launched in the spring.

Referencing the humble beginnings of Old Dominion’s parent institution, the College of William and Mary, Runte noted that the university “does not need three centuries of history to succeed.”

“We will succeed because we have the right team dedicated to supporting exciting teaching and cutting-edge research in an international, diverse and metropolitan milieu. We share a compelling vision which will move us ahead no matter what challenges lie before us.

“Churchill said that the ‘empires of the future are the empires of the mind.’ For Old Dominion, the university of the future, our empire knows no limits.” Back to top

Distinguished authors headline President’s Lecture series this fall
Three distinguished authors will kick off the award-winning President’s Lecture Series for 2003-04.

Jill Ker Conway, author of the autobiographies “The Road from Coorain” and “True North: A Memoir,” will discuss “When Memory Speaks” Sept. 9.

Author and social observer Sarah Vowell, known for her monologues and commentaries on the National Public Radio program “This American Life,” presents “A Partly Cloudy Patriot: An Evening with Sarah Vowell” Oct. 2.

Norma Field of the University of Chicago will discuss “Japanese Women’s Pursuit of Global Justice” Nov. 6.

Lectures begin at 8 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building Auditorium. All are free and open to the public; seating is first-come, first-served.

The first female president of Smith College in Massachusetts, Conway was born in Hillston, New South Wales, Australia, in 1934. She lived in the Australian outback until the death of her father in 1945. At that time, Conway, her mother and two brothers moved to Sydney, an industrial seaport city.

Conway graduated from the University of Sydney in 1958. In 1960 she moved to the United States and received her doctorate from Harvard in 1969. She taught at the University of Toronto from 1964 to 1975, serving as vice president from 1973-75.

She has received 16 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities around the nation. Her success and personal definition are shaped by her childhood experiences and are detailed in her autobiographies. Back to top

University names dean of graduate studies
Philip J. Langlais, former associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has been named dean of graduate studies and associate vice president for research at Old Dominion, Provost Thomas Isenhour announced recently. The appointment will be effective Aug. 25 pending Board of Visitors approval.

“Phil Langlais is an exciting individual. He has an excellent career as a scientist and many innovative ideas for building graduate programs and interdisciplinary research,” Isenhour said. “People all across campus are anxious to work with him. He is the latest of several outstanding additions this year.”

Langlais joined San Diego State in 1988 as an associate professor of psychology and became professor in 1991. He became associate dean for research and graduate studies in 2001.

With more than 30 years of academic experience, Langlais has also taught at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, Northeastern University and the University of Texas Medical Branch. He served as an assistant research neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego.

He has published more than 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals, more than 90 abstracts and nine invited book chapters.

Langlais received his bachelor’s degree from Salem State College, a master’s in physiology from University of Texas Medical Branch and a doctorate in experimental psychology from Northeastern University. After completing his doctorate, he was a research fellow in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and later served as an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard.

He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Society for Neuroscience, British Brain Research Association, European Brain and Behavior Society, American Society of Neurochemistry and International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism.

Langlais, who has served appointments as a research biologist and health care scientist at several Veterans Administration hospitals and medical center facilities, was honored by the Veterans Administration five times with commendations, special achievement awards, and outstanding and superior performance awards. He received the outstanding faculty award from SDSU and Psi Chi SDSU chapter outstanding professor award in 2001. He was also named Phi Beta Kappa University lecturer in 1994. Back to top

University Theatre wins “Best Season” award
The University Theatre, under the direction of Christopher Hanna, won the “Best Season” award at the 18th Annual Port Folio Awards for Theatrical Achievement program Aug. 4.

The program’s production of Brian Silberman’s (assistant professor of English) “Manifest” also won “Best Ensemble Cast.”

Woody Robinson, director of theatre facilities, won the “Best Scenic Design” award for his work in “Saint Joan,” a production that also featured “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama” winner Denis Malone. Back to top

Freshman Convocation is Aug. 24 at Constant Center
Freshman Convocation, the traditional program to welcome incoming students, will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. President Roseann Runte and motivational speaker Marlon Smith will address the new students. Back to top

New course looks at communication and 9/11
“Communication and 9/11” is the title of a new course this fall taught by William B. Hart, assistant professor of communication and theatre arts.

“After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, many communication researchers carried out a wide variety of 9/11 research studies, focusing mainly on the role communication played in the reactions to the attacks,” Hart said.

“This class will review and evaluate many of these studies, including how TV covered the crisis, the portrayal of the enemy in editorial cartoons, reactions of children, the role of the Internet, and the role popular music played in coping with 9/11 events, among other similar analyses.”

Faculty interested in serving as guest speakers for the Comm 495/495 course should contact Hart at Back to top

BOV to meet Sept. 11
The Board of Visitors will meet at 1:15 p.m. Sept. 11 in the Webb Center Board Room. This meeting of the full board will be preceded by the following committee meetings, also in Webb Center:
  • Institutional Advancement – 8:30-9:30 a.m., Board Room;
  • Student Advancement – 8:30-9:30 a.m., Rectors Room;
  • Academic and Research Advancement – 9:45 a.m. to noon, Rectors Room; and
  • Administration and Finance – 9:45 a.m. to noon, Board Room. Back to top

Wunderlich named CMC interim executive director
Tom Wunderlich has been named interim executive director of the Career Management Center.

Wunderlich, who most recently served as the director of the center’s College of Engineering and Technology office, succeeds Suzanne Martin, who stepped down in June. A member of the career center staff since 1989, Wunderlich has held a series of progressively responsible positions, including coordinator of the cooperative education program, assistant director, associate director and senior associate director.

Under his leadership, the Career Management Center received funding for internships from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Industry Internship Grant, U.S. Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply Contact, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology Infrastructure Award, New Focus Inc.,and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Wunderlich earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in college student personnel from Southern Illinois University. Back to top

ODU cited in Black Issues in Higher Education
Old Dominion ranks 53rd in the country in conferring master’s degrees to African American students, according to the latest available statistics reported in the July edition of Black Issues in Higher Education.

The university granted master’s degrees to 139 African Americans in all disciplines combined in 2001-02, more than such institutions as the University of Maryland, Michigan State and Norfolk State. Data were culled from U.S. Department of Education preliminary reports.

ODU also ranked seventh in conferring master’s degrees in health sciences and related professions to American Indian students, ahead of Northern Arizona, the University of Michigan and Washington State.

Other ODU rankings included:

  • 22nd, African American master’s, English language and letters;
  • 26th, African American master’s, engineering; and
  • 26th, African American master’s, education. Back to top

Lt. Col. Barry Hendricks is new head of Army ROTC
Lt. Col. Barry R. Hendricks, was assigned this summer as professor of military science and director of Army ROTC .

A native of Atlanta, he previously served as staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Education, and then in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Doctrine, Concepts and Strategy, Headquarters, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), at Fort Monroe.

His extensive background also includes an assignment as an assistant professor of military science at West Virginia University.

Hendricks earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Georgia College and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in air defense artillery in 1984. He holds a master’s in education administration from WVU.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. Back to top

Winners announced in 2nd dessert competition
Five awards were handed out at the second annual dessert competition, “Just Desserts,” July 28 in Webb Center. Sponsored by the President’s Office, the event gave faculty and staff a chance to show off their culinary skills.

Jennifer Foss, Student Health Services, won the fruit fantasies category for her raspberry orange trifle. Leonthia Avery, Registrar’s Office, won the American pies and cakes category for her lemon meringue pie. Sue Parker, School of Nursing, won the chocolate seductions category for her chocolate trifle.

Norma Turner, Student Health Services, won the creative genius category for her Southern Belle cake. And Christina Upton, Student Health Services, won the grandmother’s recipe category for her grandmother’s pound cake.

Each winner received an ODU recipe box. Back to top

Workplace safety slogans sought for new contest
The University Safety Committee will conduct a workplace safety slogan contest from Aug. 25 to Sept. 26. Three slogans will be selected for display on banners across the campus. Winners will receive their choice of a $50 gift certificate from Dining Services or the University Bookstore. All members of the campus community are eligible to enter.

Slogans should represent some aspect of workplace safety at Old Dominion. Each winner’s name will appear at the bottom of his or her respective banner.

Entries may be submitted via e-mail ( or campus mail (to Doug Alexander, Office of Environmental Health and Safety). Contact information should be provided with each submission.

Winners will be announced Oct. 9. Back to top

ODU to host regional basketball tournament
The Ted Constant Convocation Center will be the host site for the Mideast Regional of the 2004 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. The games will be played March 28 and 30.


Charles M. DeHority
Charles Mauzy DeHority, 87, professor emeritus of management, died July 6, 2003, in his Norfolk residence. A native of Elwood, Ind., he was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Douglas DeHority.

DeHority retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of colonel after 25 years of service. He was a World War II veteran. Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, DeHority joined Old Dominion as director of graduate business studies and retired in 1987 as a professor of business administration.

He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received his doctorate in business administration from George Washington University. He was an avid tennis player, swimmer and square dancer.

He is survived by his daughter, Mary Louise Beaulieu of Norfolk; four sons, Douglas Charles DeHority of Santa Clara, Calif., George Mauzy DeHority of Fallston, Md., Dixon Remy DeHority of Charlotte, N.C., and Kerry Christopher DeHority of San Jose, Calif.; his brother, George H. DeHority Jr. of Syracuse, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; and his caregivers and friends, Ruth Gray and Katrina Holmes.

Memorial donations may be may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Back to top

Edward D. Smith
Edward Douglas Smith, 60, of Midlothian, who served for more than eight years as Old Dominion’s director of assessment, died Aug. 2, 2003, of cancer in a Richmond hospital.

Smith was the primary architect of ODU’s assessment program. He was a nationally recognized expert in the area of student outcomes assessment and was well known throughout the university. In addition to his affiliation with ODU, Smith was director of assessment and institutional research and a psychology professor at Longwood University.

He is survived by his wife, Sherry; four stepchildren, Sarah, Adam, Jason and Meredith; and three grandchildren.

Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg College, his master’s from the University of Hawaii and his doctorate degree from Kent State University, all in the field of experimental psychology. He became a professor of psychology at Longwood in 1971 and served as department chair for six years. Smith was associate vice president for academic affairs from 1989-91. In 1997, he became the director of assessment and institutional research and also served as president of the Faculty Senate of Virginia from 1987-89.

In 1994 Smith created his own research and assessment consulting firm, Behavioral Technologies. In this capacity he worked with many colleges and universities across the country.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Back to top

Introducing MONARCHvision: Cable TV offerings, ODU channels among fare on new network

Television news, sports, drama and educational programming, with a handful of ODU channels thrown in, will be available at selected campus locations next week via MONARCHvision, the university’s new campus video network.

Wiring for the system was recently completed for all residence halls, including the University Village Apartments, as well as Webb Center and Hughes and Koch halls. All new academic buildings will be outfitted with the fiber-optic cable.

The system offers students an affordable cable TV package wrapped into their student housing fees. They now have access to more than 50 channels, including CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, Univision, the Discovery and History channels, and MTV. Sorry, but no Showtime or HBO.

Since the connections are live, users simply plug in their TV and gain access to the cable channels.

“Up to this point, students contracted with local cable companies and actually paid the base rate,” said Rick Lovelace, manager of communications research and support with the Office of Computing and Communications Services. “Between the savings and the flexibility, we decided to do it ourselves, and several people came up with the content.”

Departments and offices in buildings not currently wired that are interested in getting MONARCHvision can contact OCCS at 683-3192 or The price will depend on the building location and the work involved.

Seven TVs were installed recently in Webb Center. Those, along with existing sets in the lobby areas and game room, will also have access to the cable channels, including the four ODU-produced channels debuting this fall:

  • ODUi (channel 5), an information channel produced by Academic Technology Services that runs videos about the university and its faculty;
  • ODU Live (channel 37), produced by the Office of Student Services, which displays university events and activities in a bulletin board format. Employees may submit activities for display on the ODU Live channel at
  • Campus Movie Channel (channel 20), operated by the Office of Auxiliary Services, which shows new releases and popular titles. For a schedule of upcoming movies, go to the ODU home page, click on Current Students and scroll down to the Campus Life heading, which includes a link to MONARCHvision.
  • WODU radio (channel 51), which features the student-run station’s programming with a graphic displayed on the screen. It is hoped that an in-studio camera will be installed at WODU in the future. Back to top

Economics Club series opens with former labor secretary
Lynn Martin, former U.S. secretary of labor under President George H.W. Bush and currently a congresswoman from Illinois, will open the Economics Club of Hampton Roads speaker series Sept. 17.

Martin also serves as chair of Deloitte and Touche’s Council on the Advancement of Women and is an adviser to several corporations, including Coca-Cola and Mitsubishi Motors. She was the first woman chosen as vice chair of the House Republican Conference, a position she held four years.

Co-sponsored by the College of Business and Public Administration, the luncheon begins at noon in the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk; the cost is $30 for nonmembers. Due to limited space, reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations call 683-4058.

President Roseann Runte was reappointed as chair of the Economics Club and Bruce Rubin, associate professor of finance and director of the M.B.A. program, was reappointed executive director and treasurer. Back to top

A banner year
Students and faculty returning to campus this weekend for the fall semester will be in for a surprise when they see the clusters of new ODU banners lining the median on Hampton Boulevard. The banners, bearing an image of the Monarch mascot and the name of the university, are at four locations – Bolling Avenue, and 49th, 47th and 43rd streets. Designed by Karen Smallets, assistant director of publications, the new banners will help “define the boundaries of the university and create a sense of place,” said ODU marketing coordinator Maria Ferguson.
Back to top

New books by faculty authors

“Loving the Self-Absorbed”
By Nina Brown, Eminent Scholar of Educational Leadership and Counseling
Loving a self-absorbed person is hard work and, author Nina W. Brown writes, a person’s own needs and desires most often take second place to their significant other’s or are ignored all together in such a relationship.

In “Loving the Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner” (2003, New Harbinger), Brown’s fourth book on what she calls the “Destructive Narcissistic Pattern,” the eminent scholar of educational leadership and counseling says it can be frustrating and demoralizing when one wants desperately to have a mutually satisfying relationship with a self-absorbed person and nothing seems to work.

Brown defines the Destructive Narcissistic Pattern as an inappropriate focus and preoccupation on one’s own needs and desires, as well as a lack of empathy and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. Her previous research has detailed the pattern in the workplace and in parent-child relationships.

In her latest book, she classifies the following types of self-absorbed partners: Hungry, Suspicious, Manipulative and Exhibitionist.

Unlike Brown’s 2002 book, “Working with the Self-Absorbed,” strategies to cope with the behavior of a self-absorbed partner might differ from those used in the workplace.

“The difference is it’s a close, intimate relationship where you’re supposed to be depending on each other,” she said. “Some techniques you can’t use because you want to preserve the relationship. You have to find a way to fulfill both of your needs in a sensitive, caring way.”

In response, Brown offers people in relationships with the self-absorbed the following advice:

  • Give up the fantasy that the partner will change;
  • Avoid confronting the partner to meet your needs;
  • Shape more realistic goals for yourself, your partner and the relationship;
  • Employ emotional insulation or boundaries to ward off the person’s projections and your own triggered feelings;
  • Avoid empathizing; it will not be reciprocated;
  • Withdraw from the struggle, conflict and battle of wills; and
  • Find someone you trust to confide in and vent to. Back to top

“Outside Shooter”
By Philip Raisor, Associate Professor of English
As a high school and college athlete, Phil Raisor was on the losing end of two of the most storied basketball games ever played.

Raisor, a longtime member of the English department, started at guard for the heavily favored Muncie Central Bearcats, who fell in the 1954 Indiana state championship to tiny Milan, the David-vs.-Goliath event that inspired the 1986 movie “Hoosiers.” Later, on a basketball scholarship to the University of Kansas, he watched his Wilt Chamberlain-led Jayhawks lose the 1957 NCAA championship in triple overtime to North Carolina.

But there is more to life than basketball, as illustrated in Raisor’s new book, “Outside Shooter”(2003, University of Missouri Press), which transcends the sports memoir genre. In it, Raisor recounts the hard knocks and hard-won triumphs of a basketball odyssey across 1950s America during an era in which a racially divided society was taking halting steps toward integration and few places held more tension than the sports arena.

Raisor saw firsthand the toll of racism on Muncie’s star player, John Casterlow, whose life followed a trajectory from playing the legendary Oscar Robertson to a virtual draw in the Indiana high school playoffs to death in the streets of Detroit at age 23. Later, at Louisiana State University, after transferring from Kansas, Raisor, spurred by the memory of Casterlow, joined in early attempts to integrate the LSU campus. From Indiana to Louisiana, he saw the ordeal of racism reveal character – including his own – at depths beyond the illumination even of competitive sport.

Devoted though Raisor was to basketball, “Outside Shooter” captures the period of his life in which he gradually stopped defining himself in terms of the game. His basketball fortunes eventually became overshadowed by the rest of his life: the competing measures of acceptance and expectation from his family and companions; the courage and challenge offered by a young woman equally bent on accomplishment; his struggles with failure and doubt juxtaposed with his awakening intellect and conscience. He discovers the sense of purpose that will carry him beyond his playing days and into adulthood.

Raisor previously edited “Tuned and Under Tension: The Recent Poetry of W. D. Snodgrass.”

Who's Who: Brian Silberman, Assistant Professor of English
“When he’s not remodeling his house in Norfolk’s Willoughby Spit neighborhood, Brian Silberman is busy with a different sort of construction project.

The assistant professor of English and creative writing is serving as chair of Old Dominion’s 26th annual Literary Festival, scheduled for Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.

The 2003 version is another in a series of master strokes for the festival, with Sarah Vowell of the National Public Radio program “This American Life” headlining the event as ODU’s President’s Lecture Series speaker Oct. 2.

Performance artist Danny Hoch opens the literary festival Sept. 29, fiction writer Jamie Callan will give a reading Sept. 30 and performance artist Elliot Earls will perform Oct. 3 at the University Gallery.

It is shaping up to be another busy fall for Silberman. Last year, he wrote a one-act play that was performed by in the “Brave New World” festival in New York in memory of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A fall production of his play “Manifest” also received a “Best Ensemble Cast” award from PortFolio Weekly magazine.

– James J. Lidington

College degrees: Ph.D., some day soon, New York University; M.F.A., 1994, Carnegie Mellon University; M.A., 1990, University of Arizona; B.A., 1989, Middlebury College

Birth date: May 15, 1967

Hometown: Burlington, Vt.

Pets: 3-1/2-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, Albee

Most memorable campus experience: Playwright Edward Albee’s President’s Lecture at ODU, 2002

Whom do you most admire at the university: Janet Peery, ’cause the woman can write

Last books read: “I Am Not Jackson Pollack” by John Haskell, “Everything Is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer

Favorite movies: “Magnolia,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Diner,” “Talk to Her”

Favorite quotation: “It’s not the bullet that kills you, it’s the hole.” – Laurie Anderson

Favorite music: Anything by Wilco, Counting Crows, Charlie Parker or Nina Simone

Idea of the perfect day off: Hiking or mountain biking in New Mexico

Hobby: Woodworking

Favorite meal: Posole with friends

Favorite sport: Snowboarding, mountain biking

Last vacation: Taos, N.M.

Favorite area restaurant: Wild Monkey

Last smart thing you did: Not sure I do all that many smart things ... and if I do them they’re usually accidental

Last dumb thing you did: Volunteering to direct the Literary Festival

What professions, other than the one you’re in, would you like to attempt? Marine biologist, shepherd or professional cyclist

What would you want your epitaph to be? Watch where you step Back to top

Computer science prof wins NSF grant
Alex Pothen, professor of computer science, recently was awarded a three-year, $370,651 National Science Foundation grant to develop new algorithms and software to efficiently calculate derivatives within programs doing scientific computations.

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Labs plan to incorporate the software from this project into their widely used computer programs for optimization. Engineers at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Labs will use the software to solve problems from the semiconductor and chemical industries on the most powerful supercomputers currently available.

“Optimization involves choosing the best option among many possible options available in a problem in science, engineering or economics. For example, let’s say that a company is interested in getting the maximum profit for the goods it produces from a fixed amount of capital. To find the best option, often the algorithm used in a computer model of the problem needs to calculate derivatives,” said Pothen.

Working on the project with Pothen will be a new postdoctoral research associate, Assefaw Gebremedhin, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. Gebremedhin and Pothen developed the idea for the project in 2000. Pothen plans to incorporate a module based on the project into an undergraduate computer science course, and undergraduate students will help with developing and testing components of the software. Back to top

Researcher studies effects of intrafirm competition

Free-market competition drives the American capitalist society, forcing companies to improve products and services while keeping prices in check. But does competition help or hinder a company’s performance when it is encouraged among workers within the same company?

Tom Fletcher, a researcher and doctoral candidate in the industrial/organizational psychology program, has conducted extensive research on competition in the workplace. His most recent study focuses on the effects of intrafirm competition on organizational behavior.

“In an individualistic society such as the United States, many believe that competition is not only pervasive, but also a must for increasing motivation,” said Fletcher.

Using a sample of college students working at least 30 hours per week, Fletcher and his research team demonstrated the negative consequences of a competitive climate at work. The results were replicated by a sample of more than 600 information technology workers across various organizations.

“The relationships between competitive climate and organizational variables such as job satisfaction, stress and commitment to the organization, among others, depend on whether or not the individual is high or low in competitiveness,” explained Fletcher.

Participants revealed their personal traits by responding to such statements as: “I enjoy working in situations involving competition” and “It is important to me that I outperform others on a task.”

One example of a competitive psychological climate is when a manager frequently compares a worker’s performance to the performance of co-workers, or when co-workers themselves compare their own performance to that of others.

“Basically, in this atmosphere people are pitted against one another,” Fletcher said. “As perceptions of competition rise, levels of satisfaction and commitment decrease for both low and high competitors; however, the negative effects are greater for low competitors.”

Individuals low in competitiveness, especially, begin to shut down within the competitive environment and actually reduce the amount of effort they will exert. Both high- and low- level competitors experienced higher levels of stress as the competitive climate increased.

“Interestingly, individuals low in competitiveness report moderate to high amounts of stress no matter the level of competition,” Fletcher reported.

Fletcher received his master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology in 2002 from Old Dominion and his bachelor’s in psychology and political science in 1999 from Georgia State University. Back to top

Pianist Richard Goode here Sept. 15
Pianist Richard Goode, acknowledged as one of the leading interpreters of Beethoven and Mozart, will open the 2003-04 season of the F. Ludwig Diehn Concert Series at 8 p.m. Sept. 15.

The performance will be in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door.

A native of New York, Goode has been hailed for music-making of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness. His ability to enter and illuminate the different worlds of each composer he plays has inspired one critic to remark, “You’d swear the composer himself was at the keyboard, expressing musical thoughts that had just come into his head.”

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for Old Dominion faculty and staff, senior citizens and non-ODU students; and $5 for ODU students. Tickets may be purchased at the Arts and Letters Box Office in the atrium of the Diehn Center or by calling 683-5305.

The Diehn Concert Series is made possible by a grant from the F. Ludwig Diehn Music Fund of The Norfolk Foundation. Back to top

Volunteerism high among employees
From Adopt-a-Spot to the Zonta Club, ODU faculty, staff and students are devoting countless hours of volunteer work in their free time to area organizations and agencies.

To illustrate the volume of service provided locally by members of the campus community, and to publicly thank them for their efforts, President Roseann Runte has produced a publication listing approximately 600 boards and organizations on which they serve.

The list, Runte said, “provides a snapshot of this work on which we normally do not focus our attention.”
She added, “Students, faculty and staff are active in the Hampton Roads community serving as volunteers, cooking meals, coaching teams and chairing boards. They are mentors, guides, speakers and project managers.

“They advise, consult and build. They lend their talented voices to choirs as well as to literacy programs. They are involved in creating parks and roads, supporting social programs and assisting the poor, the elderly and children in need.”

Noting that students raised more than $40,000 for cancer research as part of last year’s Relay for Life, Runte said, “Students who have been engaged and served well during these formative years will truly be the leaders of tomorrow.” Back to top

Public sale of 76ers-Hornets tickets is Aug. 23
Old Dominion University men’s and women’s basketball season ticket holders may order tickets through today, Aug. 22, for the NBA preseason game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Hornets on Oct. 20 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Current, paid season ticket holders for the 2003-04 season may purchase up to four tickets, per ticket account, to the NBA game. Tickets are priced at $20, $30, $40, $45 and $50.

Season ticket holders are encouraged to call the Constant Center box office at 683-4444 to place their orders.

Remaining tickets will be available for general public sale, starting at 10 a.m. Aug. 23, at the Constant Center. Back to top

Posters from historic Hatch Show Print Studio on display at University Gallery
“Hatch Show Print: The History of a Great American Poster Shop,” which opened Aug. 16 at the Old Dominion University Gallery, will run through Sept. 21. A reception is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 20. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

The exhibition features a selection of historic letterpress prints from the collection of the Hatch Show Print Studio in Nashville, Tenn. Hatch master printer Jim Sherraden will give a slide presentation, “The Hatch Chat,” at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in room 107 of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center. He will also direct a one-day print workshop for students Sept. 19 in the print studio (room 131 of the Visual Arts Building).

Founded in the mid-1800s by William H. Hatch in Prescott, Wis., the print shop moved in 1875 to Nashville, where four years later his two sons founded the firm of CR and HH Hatch. It remains one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America. The shop, closely associated with the Ryman Auditorium, produced some of the most indelible images of country music performers under master wood block carver Will Hatch.

Today, Hatch is a working letterpress print shop, tourist attraction, museum and historical archive, filled with as many as 10,000 basswood and maple wood blocks, thousands of photo plates, and countless drawers of wood and metal type. The shop features 14 historic printing presses, and most of the work – nearly 600 jobs per year – is generated on four Van der Cook proof presses. Every machine is hand-operated, and every poster is handmade. For more information visit the shop’s Web site at

The University Gallery, located at 350 W. 21st, Norfolk, is open noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 683-2355. Back to top

Research aimed at assessing fitness, skills of elderly drivers

As more and more stories about elderly drivers and traffic accidents appear in the news, the debate over when and if elderly drivers should relinquish their driving rights intensifies.

Carryl Baldwin, assistant professor of psychology, conducts research to develop programs that help assess the fitness and skills of elderly drivers. She also is helping develop technologies such as collision avoidance systems to protect elderly drivers and others on the road.

Drivers over the age of 65 are the fastest-growing segment of the driving population. “Issues with reaction time of older drivers are common, and although older and younger drivers may make similar mistakes, including stepping on the gas rather than the brakes, as in the recent Santa Monica case, younger drivers may be able to realize their mistake earlier,” said Baldwin.

In general, the rate of cognitive slowing begins at around age 60 and increases with advancing age. “We really don’t tend to see much of an increased crash rate in the general population until drivers get above 70,” Baldwin noted. “But there is great variability. A substantially large segment of the older population maintains cognitive and physical fitness. It is not appropriate to establish some strict cutoff and say people can’t drive after a specific age.”

She added, “Most older drivers face perceptual, cognitive and attention process issues. They may be able to drive in standard circumstances fine. Accidents in general with older drivers tend to be that they’re trying to process too many things at one time. They may look, but not see a vehicle in their peripheral vision, or they may misjudge the speed of an oncoming car before making a left turn.”

Self-regulation of driving habits, such as not driving in adverse weather or during heavy traffic, allows many older adults to drive safely well into advanced age. However, some older drivers may have mild cognitive impairment or early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and may not yet be aware that their driving performance is impaired.

Baldwin uses a variety of neurophysiological assessment techniques, including EEG and ERP, as well as neuropsychological tests to investigate how drivers react to various road conditions. She also uses a General Electric I-Sim driving simulator in a range of research projects.

Promising new research suggests that many older drivers can be trained to improve their perceptual and cognitive abilities. In addition, new in-vehicle technologies such as collision avoidance systems, which provide advance notice of potential hazards, may help compensate for age-related declines. Baldwin’s research on these systems involves examining which stimuli are most effective in alerting the driver to an impending crash.

“It’s critical to find a warning system that informs rather than startles the driver,” she said. Back to top

ODU a partner in Natl. Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species

Old Dominion is one of four universities designated as a research partner with the new National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The national center will lead multiple aquatic invasive species research programs in partnership with ODU, the University of Michigan, University of Windsor-Canada and Michigan State University, along with government agencies such as the U.S. Navy, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes International Fish Commission.

Aquatic invasive species are a global threat that affects the economic security, management, and beneficial uses of coastal ecosystems. In order to maximize the benefits and effectiveness of NOAA’s research investments towards understanding, preventing, responding to and managing aquatic species invasions in U.S. coastal ecosystems, the agency established the NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species in July.

The center is housed at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its broad goal is to foster, coordinate and support aquatic invasive species research throughout and across NOAA.

The major pathways by which aquatic invasive species reach U.S. ecosystems all involve human activities, especially commerce and trade. Costs to the U.S. economy of have reached hundreds of millions of dollars per year and are mounting. Solutions to problems related to AIS will undoubtedly affect both the costs and policies related to commerce and trade.

NOAA is a science-based agency under the Department of Commerce whose mission it is to understand and predict changes in the earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet the nation’s economic, social and environmental needs.

More information about the National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species is available on the Web at Back to top

myODU: A progress report on the university portal
By Ann Reid Tatman
Acting Director of Administrative Services

Last November, this column began by asking questions like: What is a portal? Why do we need one? What’s in it for me? After months of collaboration and discussion within our community, I must say that the conversation has changed.

The questions now are much more focused on the actual benefits of a portal than the definition. I attribute the increase in general awareness of our portal and what it will mean for Old Dominion to the teams of participants who have engaged others in our community in the discovery process. Visionary faculty, staff and students are contributing ideas and aiding the development of a collective vision of the portal.

The specifics about the myODU portal have begun to materialize. While many decisions are yet to be made, and many tasks yet to be completed, there has been definitive progress in “growing” our portal. Here is a report on some of the major tasks under way.

Midas is the name for the ODU system that manages the identification, authorization and access to the myODU portal. It is a complex system that manages the multiple-user access credentials and supports the portal’s ability to offer single sign-on. When users enter a single name and password, it will be the power of Midas behind the portal that verifies one’s role at ODU, the systems approved for access, and then delivers content that is relevant to that individual. The Midas system is expected to be ready for testing by the pilot group in November.

Integration with Backend Systems
At this point in the project, the portal is operating well in a test environment. The myODU portal can effectively create a personal computing environment and facilitate easy navigation to several disparate systems. While the user may have to enter password information for initial use, the portal will retain the data and enable seamless experiences in future uses.

The technical team has been successful in integrating Leo Online and ODU library system. Similar access to Lotus Notes e-mail and Blackboard are being built. A new product to ODU, Inktomi, is functioning in the portal environment. Inktomi is a crawler-based search engine and is expected to provide users with the freshest and highest-quality search results available today. These systems are in phase one of the project. The long-term vision is to plug in other technology systems in the same way.

Modules are the components available within a portal that can be snapped together to create a user experience with personalized content, applications and services. Users can select from modules with self-service capabilities or customizable options and tailor them to create their own online experience.

Several general modules will be available to all users of myODU. Users can access the Weather module to monitor forecasts for up to five cities and the Newstracker module to search for and track items in the news. The Stock module allows users to personalize and dynamically view up to 10 stocks. The beauty of these general modules is that they automatically deliver customized information to the desktop, and alert users to updates on favorite Web sites.

The Map service module provides a static graph of a fixed location upon request, and the To Do List module allows users to enter up to 10 tasks and assign a priority and due date to each task. There is even a Notepad module where users can create personal notes. The My Bookmarks module links to external Web sites of the user’s choosing and enables the user to determine other customization.

Some general modules are strictly of the ODU-specific variety. The ODU News module, for example, displays news and the picture of the day without having to access the home page. Other modules will provide ODU sports news, Human Resources Department bookmarks, online help and more.

One ODU-specific module may improve campus communication without spamming our e-mail in-boxes. The My Announcements module will feature a list of targeted announcements for users. Users will see only those announcements for which they are eligible. Eligibility is determined through a user’s inclusion in the population segment for which an announcement is designed to reach.

For example, a message could be generated for graduating seniors who are majoring in English. The message would be pushed out to only those students who meet the criteria. By targeting user segments, the users receive only those announcements that are relevant to them based upon their role within the campus community.

These general modules are the first building blocks of the myODU portal. The planning for highly customized modules and services is taking place now and will be an ongoing activity. Focus groups and other evaluative measures are being formed to ensure that the portal plans meet the needs of the myODU users. Back to top

“They come back dirty and wiped out and happy.” (John Holsinger, eminent scholar of biological sciences)

– “‘Cave Biology’ Takes Students Beneath the Surface”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 8

“Well, I think as we look at these deplorable conditions, it is time that we considered actions beyond the crisis so that there will not be a repeat of these kinds of atrocities ... directed against the Liberian people. So we need to find ways to support a peace process, a transitional process, and then focus on the humanitarian aspects, building health structures and educational structures and helping Liberians with integrity to restructure their political apparatus and putting in new business structures.” (Bismarck Myrick, university lecturer in international affairs and a former U.S. ambassador to Liberia)

– “CNN International: Q&A Early Afternoon”
CNN, July 22

“If you’re really doing some distance learning and teaching with the technology, it’s a really wonderful way to make yourself examine what it is you’re doing in the classroom, what the message is, what is the best way to get the message to the students, what are the questions people might ask, how to figure your entire class out.” (Roseann Runte, president)

– “College-by-Computer Growing”
The Washington Times, July 21

“People forget about how large our regional economy is – it’s huge. What will be true is the economic impact will be substantial in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, especially among certain hotel owners and restaurants.” (James V. Koch, Board of Visitors Professor of Economics)

– “Sniper Shooting Trials Expected to Be Boon to Business”
Associated Press Newswires, July 20

“We can’t overstress ethics. I think that it would be really nice in the classroom for us to give students some of these gray-area scenarios to help them understand that client pressures, pressures to please the client, can get in the way of doing what’s right.” (Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration)

– “Building a Better Business School” (a Q&A)
The Virginian-Pilot, July 13

“You find what you’re looking for. And that leads to this sneaking suspicion that it’s all hard-wired, instead of cultural.” Also: “This whole rush to categorization usually works against women.” (Janet Bing, professor of English)

– “He and She: What’s the Real Difference? According to a Team of Computer Scientists,
We Give Away Our Gender in Our Writing Style”
The Boston Globe, July 6

“When the salinity starts to change, the big lobsters will get out of Dodge. The little ones will try to move, but they won’t be able to maintain it: It’s too taxing. So they’ll be marching around, and without sponges or octocorals, they won’t have any place to hide from predators. The small ones will really get hammered.” (Mark Butler, professor of biological sciences)

– “Researchers: Everglades Restoration to Hurt Lobsters”
Associated Press Newswires, July 6

“This takes [reality TV] a step further. Instead of plugging an amateur into a prefabricated reality format, you have amateurs producing as well as starring in their own shows.” (Gary Edgerton, chair of communication and theatre arts, on “The Michael Essany Show” and “The Brendan Leonard Show”)

– “Junior Johnny Carsons: Teenage Boys Go from Cable Access to National TV”
The Christian Science Monitor, June 20