Sarah Vowell, author and NPR commentator, to speak Oct. 2
Author and social observer Sarah Vowell, known for her monologues and commentaries on the National Public Radio program “This American Life,” will speak on campus at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 for the President’s Lecture Series.

Her address, “A Partly Cloudy Patriot: An Evening with Sarah Vowell,” begins at 8 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. Vowell’s appearance is co-sponsored by the ODU Literary Festival. Her talk is free and open to the public.

A contributing editor for “This American Life” since 1996, Vowell has written about everything from her father’s homemade cannon and her obsession with the “Godfather” films to the New Hampshire primary and her Cherokee ancestors’ forced march on the Trail of Tears.

She has been a staple of the NPR program’s popular live shows around the country, for which The New York Times commended her “funny querulous voice and shrewd comic delivery.”

Following publication of her first book, “Radio On: A Listener’s Diary,” Newsweek named her “Rookie of the Year” for nonfiction in 1997, calling her “a cranky stylist with talent to burn.” About her best-selling third book, “The Partly Cloudy Patriot,” The Boston Globe proclaimed, “Her gift is one of cosmic inclusion – allowing the natural collision of intellect and personality, rigorous research and generational quirks.” Back to top

College of Engineering named in honor of first rector, Frank Batten
The Board of Visitors on Sept. 11 unanimously endorsed a university proposal to name the College of Engineering and Technology the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology “in recognition of Mr. Batten’s efforts to gain approval from the state for an engineering school at Old Dominion. The name also recognizes the generosity of the Batten family.”

Batten, the founder of Landmark Communications, was chosen as Old Dominion’s first rector in 1962 after the school officially gained its independence from parent institution William and Mary. That same year, the new Old Dominion College received approval from the General Assembly to offer a bachelor of science degree in engineering, which was the start of the School of Engineering.

An Old Dominion supporter for nearly five decades, Batten presented the university with a gift of $32 million on March 11. It is the largest gift in university history and one of the largest ever to a Virginia public college or university.

“There could be no more appropriate way of celebrating the leadership and generosity of the first rector of our Board of Visitors than to name the College of Engineering and Technology for him. We are honored that Dr. Batten would accept to lend his name to one of the two original areas of intellectual pursuit on this campus,” said President Roseann Runte.

In announcing his $32 million gift earlier this year, Batten said, “Over the past 48 years, I have seen Old Dominion make great strides in student achievement, teaching excellence, research endeavors and state-of-the-art facilities. I hope this gift will enable Old Dominion to reach the forefront of academic and research eminence, particularly in the fields of science and technology.”

The gift will benefit all six of the university’s academic colleges, with a particular emphasis on engineering and science. Seventy-five percent of the gift will be used to establish endowed faculty chairs and the remaining 25 percent will go to endowing research within the institution. Back to top

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel is speaker for Dec. commencement
Nobel Peace Prize winner and Boston University professor Elie Wiesel will deliver the Dec. 14 commencement address, President Roseann Runte announced at the Sept. 11 Board of Visitors meeting. The 98th commencement program will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Wiesel will be awarded an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.

Wiesel’s personal experience of the Holocaust has led him to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defend human rights and peace throughout the world. His efforts have earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor, and in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wiesel has defended the cause of Soviet and Israeli Jews, Nicaragua’s Miskito Indians, Argentina’s “disappeared,” Cambodian refugees, the Kurds, South African apartheid victims, famine victims in Africa and prisoners in the former Yugoslavia.

In 1978 President Jimmy Carter appointed him chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980 he became founding chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Wiesel is also the founding president of the Paris-based Universal Academy of Cultures. Back to top

Old Dominion tapped as one of Mid-Atlantic region’s best schools in Princeton Review guide
Old Dominion has been named one of “The Best Mid-Atlantic Colleges” by The Princeton Review in its annual guide, which was published recently.

The book constitutes a fifth of Princeton Review’s new Best regional guidebooks, which collectively include profiles of more than 600 institutions. The Mid-Atlantic edition showcases the top 98 schools in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

Institutions featured in the publication met criteria for academic excellence in their regions and students were interviewed anonymously, either through the Princeton Review Web site or a paper survey. The survey asked students 70 questions about their school’s academics, campus life and student body.

Students surveyed praised the university for the quality of its instructors, small class size, diverse student body and campus environment. Back to top

Creo honored by Virginia Commission for the Arts
Creo, Old Dominion’s contemporary-music ensemble, has been selected by the Virginia Commission for the Arts for inclusion in its roster of performing artists and ensembles.

The commission will list Creo in its 2004-05 tour directory, which includes Virginia’s top touring artists and groups, and will also pay as much as half of the presenters fees for Creo’s tours in the state.

Founded in 1998 by Andrey Kasparov, associate professor of music, Creo is currently the only professional new-music ensemble in Virginia. Core members of the group are clarinetist F. Gerard Errante, pianist Oksana Lutsyshyn, mezzo-soprano Lisa Coston and percussionist David Walker.

In the last three years, Creo has performed at the University of Iowa, participated in the Society of Composers Inc. conference, and brought composers and performers to campus from across the country and around the world. Back to top

Learning-technology workshops offered
The Center for Learning Technologies continues its Faculty Development Series this month with the following workshops:

  • Sept. 19 – “Using Cascading Style Sheets in Dreamweaver,” 1:30-4:30 p.m., 411 Gornto;
  • Sept. 23 – “Good Practice Encourages Cooperation Among Students,” a brown bag session, 12:30-1:30 p.m., 422 Gornto;
  • Sept. 24 – “Using PowerPoint Effectively in Your Classroom,” 1:30-4:30 p.m., 411 Gornto; and
  • Sept. 30 – “Getting Started with Acrobat:

Scanning and Converting Your Files to Portable Document Format (PDF),” 411 Gornto.

For more information go to or call 683-6109. Seating is limited. Back to top

HACE Fest picnic is Oct. 7 for classified, hourly staff
The Hourly and Classified Employees Association will hold its annual HACE Fest picnic for classified and hourly employees from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, just west of the Alfriend Chemistry Building.
The free event will feature a menu of hot dogs, baked beans, chips, cookies and soda, along with Bingo games and door prizes.

Oct. 9 is the rain date. Back to top

Nominations due Oct. 1 for Customer Relations awards
The Department of Human Resources is accepting nominations through Oct. 1 for the 2003 Customer Relations Employee and Department of the Year.

Employees must be either classified or hourly staff members in order to be eligible for nomination/ departments may not self-nominate.

The awards will be presented at the president’s fall meeting for classified employees on Oct. 30.

Nomination forms are available online at

For more information contact Missy Barber at 683-3059 or Back to top

Faculty Senate to meet
The Faculty Senate will hold its first meeting of the fall semester from 3-4:15 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Portsmouth/Chesapeake Room of Webb Center.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at the same time and location on Oct. 21. Back to top

Embroidered, imprinted logo apparel available
The university recently unveiled a new, online product-collection Web site designed for Monarch fans that offers high-quality embroidered and imprinted logo merchandise.

The result of a partnership with Club Colors Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill., the Web site features a customized Internet-based catalog with licensed merchandise bearing Old Dominion athletic and university logos. In addition, customers may create merchandise customized for the 16 intercollegiate sports.

With just the click of a mouse, shoppers can select from a wide selection of apparel by such names as Tommy Hilfiger, SID and Club Colors. They can also choose from a variety of color options and logos. Merchandise will be shipped within 24 to 72 hours.

A portion of the proceeds from the new online store will support ODU and the intercollegiate athletic program.

To shop at the new ODU/Club Colors site, visit or Customers can continue to purchase ODU merchandise online from the University Bookstore, which has added numerous new items and special offers to its Web site.

For more information call the ODU licensing office at 683-3151 or athletics at 683-3359. Back to top

Wacky Olympics rescheduled
Wacky Olympics XI, an afternoon of food, fun and games for students, faculty and staff, has been rescheduled from Sept. 19 to Sept. 25. Events will take place from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Kaufman Mall.

To work as a volunteer at the games call 683-3462. Back to top

Men’s team going to London
The men’s basketball team will play four exhibition games in London, England, Oct. 10-14.

Coach Blaine Taylor said the tour offers the team “an early basketball experience” and “a great opportunity for our young men to visit and experience another culture and country.”

Rec sports offers bowling, golf, badminton tourneys
The recreational sports department is sponsoring the following tournaments in the coming weeks:

  • Golf – Four-person best ball, Oct. 4 at Bide-a-Wee Golf Course. Early-bird registration is $45 for students and $55 for faculty and staff; After Sept. 19, the cost is $55 and $65.
  • Badminton – Singles and doubles, Sept. 30, H&PE Building. The registration deadline is Sept. 24. There is no cost to enter.
  • Bowling – Sept. 29 at AMF Bowling on Military Highway, Norfolk. The registration deadline is Sept. 24. There is no cost to enter, but participants will be charged for lanes and shoe rental.

For more information call 683-3384 or visit Back to top

Soccer team ranked sixth; Trevor McEachron named Natl. Player of the Week
Junior defender Trevor McEachron of Woodbridge, Va., was named the College Soccer News National Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 14.

He was also named CAA Player of the Week for the second straight week. The unbeaten Monarchs (5-0) remain in the nation’s Top 10 for the second week in a row, ranked sixth in the NSCAA/Adidas Coaches Poll.

McEachron was named tournament MVP of the Stihl Soccer Classic last weekend. He scored the winning goal against American and again anchored ODU’s tough defense, which has not allowed a goal thus far this season. McEachron has scored two goals.

The Monarchs won the Stihl Soccer Classic, outscoring opponents 7-0.

Old Dominion is scheduled to meet No. 5 Wake Forest at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Soccer Stadium as part of the William and Mary soccer tournament. Wake Forest edged ODU 1-0 in the second round of last year’s NCAA tournament, scoring with less than a minute left in the match. Back to top

Literary Festival opens on campus Sept. 29
A collection of top authors, poets and performance artists will present “Sounds That Mean,” the 26th annual ODU Literary Festival, Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.

Author and social observer Sarah Vowell, known for her monologues and commentaries on the National Public Radio program “This American Life,” is the festival headliner. Her presentation, in conjunction with the President’s Lecture Series, “A Partly Cloudy Patriot: An Evening with Sarah Vowell,” will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center.

Streaming audio of Vowell’s work can be heard at

Paul Miller, a.k.a. “D.J. Spooky that Subliminal Kid,” a New York conceptual artist, writer and musician, will perform at noon Oct. 1 in the South Cafeteria of Webb Center and at 8 p.m. at the University Gallery, 350 W. 21st St., Norfolk.

Also on Oct. 1, two ODU faculty from the English department, Michael Pearson and Philip Raisor, will discuss their new books. Raisor will read from his remembrance of his high school and college basketball years, “Outside Shooter: A Memoir,” and Pearson from his new novel, “Shohola Falls,” at 2 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center.

“This year’s event pushes and expands the boundaries of the word ‘literary,’ including world-renowned performance artists and sound artists with poets, writers of erotica and fiction, and memoirists,” said Brian Silberman, assistant professor of English and festival director.

Other lectures, readings and performances include:

  • Sept. 29 – Poet Jim Simmerman, 4:30 p.m., Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building auditorium; acclaimed actor, writer and solo performer Danny Hoch, 8 p.m., Chandler Recital Hall, followed by a reception at 9:30 p.m. in the Diehn Center lobby.
  • Sept. 30 – Writer and ODU alumna Farideh Goldin, 10 a.m., Chandler Recital Hall (sponsored by women's studies); writer Rhoda Stamell, 2 p.m., Hampton/Newport News Room, Webb Center; novelist Jamie Callan, 8 p.m., Chandler Recital Hall.
  • Oct. 2 – Novelist and ODU alumna Rick Skwiot, 10 a.m., Chandler Recital Hall; poet Mary Ruefle, 2 p.m., University Theatre.
  • Oct. 3 – Poet Marilyn Chin, 11 a.m., Chandler Recital Hall; poet Peter Meinke, Darden Endowed Chair of Creative Writing, 3 p.m., Chandler Recital Hall; performance artist Elliott Earls, 8 p.m., University Gallery.

The Literary Festival is sponsored in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the city of Norfolk Arts Commission. More information is available on the Web at or by calling 683-3991. Back to top

ODU earns 10-year reaccreditation
Old Dominion recently received confirmation of its 10-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The reaffirmation review conducted between December 2001 and February 2002 covered the main campus and all extended sites and programs. Old Dominion’s next reaffirmation of accreditation review will take place in 2012.

“Reaccreditation is a significant part of a university’s history,” said President Roseann Runte. “I am proud of our results and the reaffirmation of our strong academic standing. I am even more proud of the fine team work by so many members of the faculty and staff. The leadership of John P. Broderick and David Hager in drafting the self-study was certainly exemplary.”

SACS is the recognized regional accrediting body in the U.S. southern states and Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Among the SACS Reaffirmation Committee commendations were statements about the university’s distance learning program, TELETECHNET, for “its exemplary support services, coordination of programs, and dedication to providing the quality experience for distance learning students.”

“Commendations are rare in the accreditation process,” said President Runte. “The fact that Old Dominion’s distance learning program was cited for its quality along with our student services area is particularly rewarding for the staff and faculty who have put so much effort into developing these programs.”

The committee also commended Old Dominion “for its efforts to ensure institutional effectiveness by using exemplary practices and its engagement of the planning process and assessment in the Division of Student Services.”

As part of the reaccreditation process, Hager, vice provost, directed the self-study process and Broderick, professor of English and applied linguistics, led a 24-member steering committee that implemented the self-study. Approximately 250 faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the Board of Visitors were appointed to 16 committees to evaluate Old Dominion’s compliance with the SACS criteria for accreditation. Old Dominion was originally accredited in 1961. Back to top

Faculty representatives chosen for Board of Visitors
The Board of Visitors on Sept. 11 approved a process for faculty representation on its standing committees and selected four representatives for the remainder of the 2003-04 academic year.

The following faculty were recommended by the board’s Academic and Research Advancement Committee and endorsed by the full board:

  • Academic and Research Advancement – Nina Brown, eminent scholar of educational leadership and counseling;
  • Administration and Finance – Ken Daley, professor of art;
  • Institutional Advancement – James English, associate professor of community and environmental health; and
  • Student Advancement – Anastasia Raymer, associate professor of early childhood, speech language pathology and special education.

The process approved for the selection of faculty representatives starts with the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee, which will provide the president a list of names of two possible candidates for each committee. At the June board meeting, the list will be presented to the Academic and Research Advancement Committee, which will, in closed session, select one candidate per committee to recommend to the full board. Back to top

    Thanks to OCCS for protecting us from viruses
    “I was in a few meetings where I learned about the behind-the-scenes efforts to protect the ODU network from the recent computer viruses. These efforts were extraordinary. I doubt the campus knows how bad we were hit and how much was handled before the average user saw the damages.

    The amount of technology that had to be covered in a short time was tremendous. Even the University Village folks were hit, and OCCS was running around trying to scarf up CDs so they could burn them with the fixes and distribute them to students.

    Thanks to everyone at OCCS who worked so hard to help protect the university network.

    Ann Reid Tatman
    Acting Director, Customer Relations
    Administrative Services

    Va. universities combine forces for National LambdaRail
    With heated global competition, the United States is in a marathon race to maintain an edge in fundamental areas of research and innovation. The National LambdaRail (NLR) initiative will provide critically needed high-speed network infrastructure for the next generation of research.

    Going beyond Internet and Internet2 technology, NLR will provide the resources for members across the nation to connect to a fiber optics network with supercomputing, storage and visualization capabilities suited to “big science” research.

    NLR will provide a national fiber optic backbone linking research universities and laboratories at gigabit and higher speeds. The NLR initiative is a partnership formed by many leading research universities and corporate networking entities throughout the United States.

    To create the NLR backbone, regional nodes will be positioned in major urban areas to form a transcontinental network. The regional nodes serve not only as a component of the NLR backbone but also as the regional access points to the NLR. In the mid-Atlantic region, Washington, D.C., is the major urban area. A node will be placed in the fiber carrier’s regional access point in Northern Virginia to create the Washington NLR node.

    Virginia’s research universities have formed the Mid-Atlantic Terascale Partnership (MATP) to sponsor location of an NLR node in the area, to facilitate access to it, and to strengthen collaboration for combining computational resources and application support. Founding members of MATP include Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, the College of William and Mary, and associate member Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

    Membership is open to any public or private research institution in Virginia, Maryland or Washington. D.C. The Virginia Tech Foundation, acting on behalf of MATP, is the NLR member representing Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

    “Old Dominion University is pleased to participate in the development of this optical network, which will create exciting opportunities for new levels of research collaboration among the institutions and research facilities in the Mid-Atlantic Terascale Partnership,” said Rusty Waterfield, acting assistant vice president for computing and communications services at ODU.

    “The NLR will be a valuable resource in achieving the research goals and objectives of Old Dominion and will be a significant asset for the university’s computational sciences and modeling and simulation programs, which help drive economic development in the Hampton Roads region.”

    Each MATP participant will share a portion of the cost commitment made by the Foundation to ensure location of an NLR node in the Washington area and access by area institutions. Back to top

    Grant to address diversity in nurse practitioner training

    A three-year, $533,030 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help Old Dominion address a serious and growing problem in today’s health care system – meeting the needs of a culturally diverse population.

    The Educating Culturally Competent Nurse Practitioners in Virginia project will be a comprehensive effort by the College of Health Sciences’ School of Nursing to teach students in its family, women’s health and pediatric nurse practitioner programs a multicultural approach to health care.

    “Although there have been a number of advances in health services, there continue to be diverse portions of the population that do not receive adequate health care. This grant will address that issue by equipping nurse practitioners with the knowledge, skills, awareness, encounters and desire to work with these special populations,” said Laurel Garzon, graduate program director for nursing and project director. Carolyn Rutledge, associate professor of nursing, is the co-project director.

    The program, which begins this fall, will establish a curriculum that teaches students the needs and differences of various ethnic, socio-economic, age, gender, racial, religious and sexual orientation populations. Additionally, the program directors hope to increase diversity among students in the program as well as nurse practitioners in practices serving underserved or disadvantaged populations.

    According to Garzon, cultural and other differences can present a serious impediment to the provision of adequate health care. “Some problematic issues can be differing health beliefs and practices, conflicting values, stereotyping, overt and covert prejudices, and language barriers,” she said.

    The project will begin with a series of focus groups among various diverse populations to learn about the experiences of people in the health-care system and to determine the needs of those groups. From this information, the program directors and nationally known consultant Josepha Campinha-Bacote, founder and president of Transcultural C.A.R.E. Associates, will develop a cultural competency curriculum and assessment tool.

    In addition to lectures, panel presentations, guest speakers and class assignments, nurse practitioner students will receive hands-on training in cultural competency. Students will learn interviewing techniques and how to conduct a culturally sensitive physical examination, which may include proper covering of patients, problems/anomalies that are more common in certain cultures, and risk factors, among other concerns.

    Using information from the focus groups and consultant, Garzon and Rutledge will develop case scenarios for a standardized patient program, which uses trained actors as patients to simulate an actual health-care visit. The “patients” will not only communicate their symptoms to the nurse practitioner student but will also incorporate cultural differences and barriers.

    In another hands-on exercise, nurse practitioner students will participate in a community multicultural event to learn about local diversity and will be required to write a report about their experiences. Additionally, more emphasis will be placed on assigning students to minority or underserved populations during their clinical rotations.

    According to Garzon, one of the key elements of the project will be the utilization of TELETECHNET, which reaches every community college, several hospitals and other sites throughout the state.

    “Many rural areas of Virginia are medically underserved and desperately in need of culturally competent health providers,” she noted. “Sixty percent of our distance learning students come from underserved rural communities. The benefit of reaching them via distance learning is that they remain in those communities to practice upon completion of the program.” Back to top

    CRNA students achieve 100 percent pass rate
    One hundred percent of the students in the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program in the School of Nursing passed their national certification exam during the period of January to June 2003. Two of the 11 students had perfect scores and another missed only one item.

    “These results are very impressive, but I must admit, given our excellent faculty and students, I am not surprised,” said Cheryl Samuels, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “I thank them all for their dedication and commitment to excellence.”

    Richardean Benjamin, associate professor and chair of the School of Nursing, added “We certainly want to commend the faculty for all the hard work in producing such outstanding graduates.”

    Today, more than 25,000 CRNAs administer 65 percent of the 26 million anesthetics given in the United States.

    ODU’s nurse anesthesia program was established in 1995 when DePaul Medical Center’s School of Nurse Anesthesia and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital’s School of Nurse Anesthesia merged to form a university-based program. In October of 1998 Old Dominion’s CRNA program was accredited for six years, the highest level of approval from the national accrediting agency. Back to top

    “State of the Region” report to be published this month
    Old Dominion’s fourth annual “State of the Region” report, produced by the Regional Studies Institute, will be published later this month. It is divided into eight parts:

    • The Hampton Roads Economy: Defense Expenditures Become More Important
    • Hampton Roads: A Comparative Tour
    • Private Social Services
    • Military Retirees
    • Research and Development at EVMS
    • Consolidation of Public Services
    • The Impact of State Mandates
    • Are New Housing and Commercial Development Subsidized in Hampton Roads?

    A limited number of copies will be available in the Office of Institutional Advancement. Back to top

    Prof brings “lean” concepts to shipbuilding apprentices
    Alok K. Verma has temporarily left his world of academia to put his engineering expertise to work for the shipbuilding industry.

    As an associate professor for Old Dominion University’s engineering technology department and director of the Automated Manufacturing Laboratory at ODU, Verma has used his lean-manufacturing expertise to develop training programs for Northrop Grumman Newport News’ Apprentice School. Ultimately, he hopes to broaden their applications to the larger shipbuilding industry through continued work at the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center (VASCIC).

    His tenure at The Apprentice School began last year as part of a faculty internship program and evolved into an agreement with ODU that allows professors to get involved in business and industry projects.

    “We were interested in developing instructional programs for lean manufacturing into our Apprentice School curriculum,” says the school’s training manager for academics, Jim Hughes. “Professor Verma helped us develop instructional materials and simulation activities for the apprentices that help teach lean-manufacturing principles.”

    Verma developed two simulation activities for apprentices that use a small boat construction project and outfitting a ship’s compartment to show how the application of lean principles improves the process. Fabrication of the components was done by the Northrop Grumman Newport News Pattern Shop.

    “Most of the simulation software available today is for assembly line-type manufacturing where high volume and low variety are the norm,” says Verma. “My simulations are more relevant to the shipbuilding industry where products are manufactured at high variety and low volume, and where services are delivered to the product.”

    Northrop Grumman Newport News has been employing lean methods to trim the fat from its work processes in all areas of the company, from engineering programs to the shop floor. Verma has participated in lean qualification meetings and events at the shipyard in his efforts to develop lean training tools.

    In addition to developing training programs in lean enterprise, he has developed a course in Design for Manufacturing. This course teaches design apprentices “to keep the manufacturing process in mind when designing a part or system so that they are not adding a cost burden to the manufacturing process later on,” he says. “We’re training the design apprentices to use the right amount of specifications and tolerances to design components that are easily manufactured.”

    Using material and process selection software developed at Cambridge University, Verma helps students select optimal materials for their designs and processes for manufacturing them.

    In addition to his work with the Apprentice School, Verma has submitted proposals to VASCIC and the National Shipbuilding Research Program to expand his simulation models and create five new models applicable to the entire shipbuilding industry.

    “This relationship has been very beneficial,” Verma says of his work at the shipyard. “I’m getting an opportunity to learn what’s going on in industry and can take back the things I’ve learned to my classroom. I can also bring my own expertise to this industry and hopefully contribute to the organization.”

    Hughes is excited about the long-term benefits for apprentices. “Professor Verma now has a more in-depth understanding of our apprentice program and has seen firsthand what the program is all about. This will be helpful to our students because many of our graduates continue their education at ODU.”

    Verma, who has been at ODU for 22 years teaching and studying manufacturing engineering, mechanics and robotics, has enjoyed being a “student” of industry.

    “If we just teach, we’re risking obsolescence. But by interacting with local industries, we get new ideas and see state-of-the art technology and methods. We can, in turn, take these back to our students so they can be better prepared for their future careers.”

    This article appeared in the summer edition of VASCIC View and is reprinted here with permission. Verma’s work with Northrop Grumman Newport News started under the Summer Faculty Internship Program last year and continued in 2003 under a research grant from NGNN through the Technology Applications Center. Back to top

    Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding opens this fall

    Three years of fund raising and organization are paying off this fall with the creation of both The Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding and a minor in Jewish studies at Old Dominion.

    The institute’s mission is to promote greater awareness of Judaism’s historic role as a catalyst for social change and to foster the religion’s continuing engagement with other cultures and faiths, while developing mutual respect and understanding among all people, races and religions.

    In April 2003, the Faculty Senate approved a minor in Jewish studies. In support of the minor, the Jewish Studies Program has developed and offered a wide variety of courses: “Jewish-American Literature”; “Sacred Texts as Literature”; “Studies in Jewish History”; “Fascism in Modern Europe”; and “Politics of the Middle East.”

    The institute is also planning a faculty lecture series to introduce the local community to Old Dominion’s nationally recognized faculty, as well as series of reading groups on modern Jewish thinkers, Jewish film and Jewish women authors.

    In the future, the institute hopes to develop library holdings to enhance research opportunities in the Hampton Roads area, and to offer grants to ODU faculty to develop or enhance courses in Jewish studies, as well as annual competitive fellowships and scholarships that will support faculty/student exchanges with universities in Israel.

    Discussions on the institute and minor began in 2000 with a committee, which included Janet Katz, associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters; David Metzger, associate professor of English; Karen Gould, former dean of the college; and Lawrence A. Forman, rabbi emeritus of Ohef Sholom Temple, located in the Ghent section of Norfolk.

    A $300,000 gift from the Dudley Cooper Charitable Lead Unitrust was the foundation for the $750,000 organizers raised to fund the programs.

    “This is a very exciting development. Not only do you see Jewish contributions to Western thought, you also see how introducing Jewish studies has invigorated academic studies in general,” said Metzger, coordinator of the Jewish Studies Program.

    “The creation of the Jewish Studies Program at ODU is a sign of the intellectual health of our community. I think it is an important addition to the programming and events that are sponsored by local synagogues and the local Jewish federation.”

    President Roseann Runte added, “The institute symbolizes the best kind of partnership between the academic community and the metropolitan area. Dr. Forman, along with the advisory committee, will ensure the continuation of that strong and vital link with the organizations which surround us. We all look forward to sharing resources and talents, to learning together to improve our knowledge and understanding of ourselves and others.”

    Forman, the institute director, said the time is right for the programs, given the unrest in the Middle East.

    “Religious and ethnic diversity can be a blessing and source of strength when there is education toward understanding, mutual respect and shared ethical values,” he said. “Through our diversity and our unity, we can build that better world where justice, mercy and love can reign in a context of religious pluralism, freedom, tolerance and civility.” Back to top

    Darden College of Education signs agreement with prestigious private school
    The Darden College of Education will provide professional development services to one of the nation’s most prestigious private schools under a recent agreement.

    The college will conduct summer seminars, courses and lectures for teachers from around the country at Voices for Learning: The Beauvoir Center for Teaching and Learning at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral
    Elementary School, in Washington, D.C.

    Founded in 1933, the school is a leader in early childhood education. It serves more than 375 children from pre-kindergarten through grade three and is one of three Cathedral schools affiliated with Washington National Cathedral. Throughout the years, the school has been recognized nationally for its innovative programs and expertise in early childhood education.

    William Graves III, dean of ODU’s Darden College said, “We look forward both to the opportunities presented by this partnership and the challenges it holds for our students and faculty.”

    ODU faculty will join with Beauvoir in presenting its professional development institute, enhancing opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers to learn from ODU faculty, as well as faculty and consultants from UNC-Chapel Hill, Harvard University, the University of New Hampshire and master educators from Beauvoir.

    Beauvoir’s Center for Teaching and Learning offers courses and seminars by leading experts in child development and education focusing on elementary and middle school teachers. Several hundred teachers from around the country attended programs this past summer, including more than 85 D.C. public school teachers who were able to attend for free through a grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation.
    “ODU stands out as one of the strongest university programs in education, especially given the breadth of opportunities available to educators seeking licensure or master’s degrees,” said Cindi Gibbs, director of Beauvoir’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

    Educational credits through ODU’s Office of Continuing Education will be offered to those taking part in the Beauvoir Center sessions, from one-day speaking engagements to weeklong courses, which begin in June 2004. Eventually, graduate credit will also be available, university officials said. Back to top

    Perry celebrates 40th year as Federal Depository Library
    Perry Library celebrated its 40th anniversary as a Federal Depository Library during a special program Sept. 15. U.S. Rep. Ed Schrock was guest speaker for the event.

    In fall 1963, Professor C.L. Adams of the physics department proposed that the Old Dominion library become a depository for Atomic Energy Commission materials. After several months of research and negotiations, the library was designated by Rep. Porter Hardy Jr. and the Government Printing Office as a federal depository for the 2nd Congressional district and a depository for Atomic Energy Commission materials.

    Today, the library’s documents collection contains approximately half a million items. In addition to traditional paper and microfiche materials, the collection includes more than 12,000 maps, 2,000 CD-ROMs and DVDs, 38 videos and thousands of links to Internet publications. By 2005, the Government Printing Office predicts that 90 percent of new titles will be online and not produced in print form.

    Members of the campus community and Hampton Roads residents are invited to visit the lobby exhibit of materials from the government documents collection, which opened Sept. 1 and continues through the fall semester. A Web exhibit, “Perry Library Celebrates 40 Years of Bringing Government Information to You,” is also available at

    Highlights of the exhibits include publications on nuclear research from the library’s early beginnings as an Atomic Energy Commission depository. Census records from 1790 to 2000 show the dynamic changes in gathering statistical information.

    NASA photographs, CD-ROMs and books spotlight the shuttle program, MIR space station and Apollo projects. Military histories of Hampton Roads, as well as of international engagements, demonstrate the area’s military contributions. The collection also includes materials on the Chesapeake Bay, presidential documents, information on women’s health, CIA maps and a children’s corner.

    For more information contact Janet Justis, government information reference librarian, at 683-4169 or Back to top

    Marchello named director of Virginia Beach Center
    Sara L. Marchello of Hampton has been named director of the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center.

    The former associate vice president for student enrollment at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Marchello also served as director of student affairs, director of enrollment management and coordinator of admissions and records after joining the Thomas Nelson staff in 1994.

    She is the daughter of the late Joseph M. Marchello, the fourth president of Old Dominion.

    At Thomas Nelson, Marchello served as college registrar and led the enrollment division, including admission processing, placement testing and transfer credit evaluation. She headed a staff ranging in size from 15 to 40 and administered budgets as high as $500,000.

    “I am delighted to have joined Old Dominion University as the new director for the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center,” Marchello said. “We have a remarkable facility here, with exciting opportunities for academic success and personal growth.”

    Before joining Thomas Nelson, Marchello served as associate director of admissions for operations management at Old Dominion. From 1991-92, she was assistant director of admissions and coordinator of ODU’s Preview program. From 1988-91, she was assistant to the vice president for student services and a graduate assistant.

    Marchello completed coursework toward her doctorate in urban services education at ODU in 1991. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1986 and her bachelor’s from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., in 1984. Back to top

    Theatre season opens with Chekhov’s “The Seagull”
    Old Dominion University Theatre will open its 2003-04 season with Anton Chekhov’s dramatic masterwork, “The Seagull,” Oct. 17.

    Directed by Christopher Hanna, associate professor of communication and theatre arts, “The Seagull” runs through Oct. 26 at the University Theatre. Show times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, $8 for non-ODU students and groups, and $5 for ODU students with their university ID. For tickets or more information call 683-5305.

    Study Abroad Fair is Oct. 7
    The Office of International Programs will offer its annual Study Abroad Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 7 in the North Mall of Webb Center.

    New spring break programs will be highlighted, as will low-cost exchange programs and international internships. A drawing will be held for either a $1,000 study abroad grant or a round-trip ticket to London.
    More information is available on the Web at

    Volunteers sought for clean-up project near dorms
    The Office of Student Activities and Leadership is seeking individual volunteers and organizations from the campus community to help clean up the waterfront area near Rogers and Gresham halls the afternoon of Sept. 26.

    The clean-up project will begin at 2 p.m., and food will be provided for the volunteers. To volunteer, call 683-3446.

    “This is a great opportunity to participate in a community service project that will benefit all students of ODU,” said Don Stansberry, director of student activities and leadership.

    Study abroad: Exploring Inca Mysteries in Peru
    Professor of Geography

    Tracing the steps of the Incas. That was what nine students, two faculty couples and I set out to do in May 2003.

    ODU offers about a dozen faculty-led study abroad programs each year, and study abroad director Steve Johnson had been asking me to lead one for some time. Having explored Peru on my own last year, I decided this was a place I wanted our students to experience.

    We began in Lima, established by the Spanish in 1535 and now by far the largest city in Peru, with more than 8 million inhabitants. Its downtown is impressive, with a beautiful cathedral, city hall, governor's palace and attractive balconies on some of the houses.

    Lima is also home to the very ornate Monastery of San Francisco, with its catacombs containing the bones and skulls of more than 70,000 in the moneyed class, a good reminder of how transient life is and of what we get (or rather what we do not get) to take with us into the hereafter.

    As we flew the next morning to Cuzco, we were reminded of how narrow the coastal plain is, sandwiched between the ocean and the great Andes Mountains. Cuzco was the heart of the Incan empire, which, at its zenith between 1430 and 1532, extended for 2,000 miles, stretching all the way from what is now central Chile to southern Colombia and from the Pacific Ocean into the Amazon rainforest to the east. Cuzco was the navel of the universe to the Incas, yet was overlain by hundreds of years of Spanish culture, even to the extent of the Spanish building churches directly on top of the Incan temples and palaces they destroyed.

    Like so many cities in the developing world, Cuzco is rapidly expanding; its shanty towns on the outskirts are known euphemistically as pueblos jovenes – young towns. We visited the old temple ruins in and around Cuzco, and learned about Incan history and mythology, and about how Cuzco’s famous puma shape was designed by Pacha Cutec, the ninth great Inca, who began the great expansion of the empire in the 15th century.

    We learned about the Spanish conquistadors from the Peruvian perspective, about Peruvian society, agriculture and industry, and about the major challenges confronting Peru today. Among the challenges are illegal drugs and the remnants of Sendero Luminoso, the Shining Path terrorist group; grinding poverty for part of the population and the gap between rich and poor; and inadequate wages for many, including teachers who are paid just $200 per month.

    We marveled at the way the rocks in the Incan buildings, some with 12 or 14 angles, were crafted to fit together so perfectly, without any mortar. We learned to appreciate Incan agility, too! We climbed and climbed – up to the Sun temple on the top of the mountain behind Pisac, over the ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo, fortresses where the Incas nearly succeeded in overcoming the Spanish, but above all on the steep Incan trail from the Urubamba River up into the cloud forest to the splendid ruins of what is now thought to be the winter palace of the Incas at Machu Picchu.

    Since the Incas did not use the wheel, relying on llamas as pack animals, there was no need for graded paths. In any case, llamas do better at altitudes greater than 10,000 feet. For most of us sea-level flat-landers, climbing at that altitude was quite a challenge. But we were rewarded with wonderful views of temple ruins, waterfalls, and layers upon layers of terraces, magnificent orchids, bromeliads and lianas that we could never have seen otherwise.

    We stopped to learn about potato farming in a field where 25 families were working communally to harvest the potato crop, while one woman cooked their midday meal of potatoes right there in the field in a simple mud oven. We visited the Incan agricultural station at Moray, where both pre-Incas and Incas experimented with different kinds of crops in different micro-climate environments in three enormous circular, terraced enclosures.

    We saw the Salinas salt pans, where a salty stream emerging from the mountainside is channeled into hundreds of terraced pools; the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving behind salt crystals that can be scooped up and sold. We marveled at the innumerable varieties of corn – yellow, orange, white, even purple – as well as at the quinoa (a grain crop) and the guinea pigs that are a specialty of the Peruvian cuisine.

    From Cuzco, our journey took us through the bleak wind-swept altiplano, with its herds of llamas and alpacas, to Puno on Lake Titicaca. We visited the floating Urus Islands, built entirely of totora reeds, where people live predominantly by fishing. Then it was on to Amantani Island, where we spent the night in people’s homes, learning firsthand how it is to live without electricity and indoor plumbing, and how to survive by eating potatoes and drinking munia tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Other highlights of the trip included visiting the funerary towers of Sillustani, the temple of fertility at Chucuito with its multitudinous phallic symbols, where even the local church has a phallus on top of its tower, and the beautiful Convent of Santa Catalina in Arequipa. We enjoyed one more major excursion – into the Colca Canyon (reputedly one of the world’s two or three deepest canyons) to see not only the incredible terracing, but also majestic condors riding the thermals just after dawn. With wingspans of almost 10 feet – the largest flying birds in the world – they are magnificent creatures.

    We saw mummies and beautiful gold ornaments, amazing ceramics and musical instruments, colorful textiles and fascinating local markets. We savored alpaca, guinea pigs, quinoa, and all kinds of corn and potatoes. In Lima, we visited an incredible museum that traced the history of Peru in its regional diversity through the use of colors and shapes of tools, ceramics, textiles and metals.

    We learned new perspectives about the local people and culture from both our Peruvian guides and Katerine Morales, an ODU international studies major from Peru who came with us to help us better understand her country.

    It was a truly excellent trip as well as a most valuable geography field course. Where else can one travel from the mist-laden Pacific Ocean coast of Lima to the majestic snow-capped Andes and imposing volcanoes of Arequipa? Marvel at intricate terracing on impossibly steep slopes? Walk among herds of alpaca and llamas? Trace the steps of part of the famous Incan trail and come upon Machu Picchu at sunrise? See firsthand how people with so little in the way of material things can be so rich in family and culture? Catch a glimpse into Peruvian society and culture with its syncretic mix of Roman Catholicism and traditional beliefs? Spend hours in intense conversations with fellow students and faculty?

    Peru gave us these experiences and so much more. As one student expressed it: “This was a life-transforming experience.”

    Drake will offer Geography 495/595, “Inca Mysteries,” again in the summer of 2004. For more information about this and other study abroad opportunities, contact the Office of Study Abroad, 683-5378 or

    “We're very pleased with the quality of the freshman class. This is probably the most diverse campus in Virginia.” (John R. Broderick, vice president for institutional advancement and chief of staff)

    – “Colleges Score Big on Freshmen”
    Daily Press, Sept. 11

    “There will always be an economic echo throughout the region. How large that will be, we’ll see.” (Gil Yochum, professor of economics)

    – “Cruise Industry Leaves Benefits to Area in Its Wake”
    Daily Press, Sept. 7

    The schedule was “over-optimistic. But it’s not really a surprise there’s been problems. With big new things, something usually goes wrong somewhere.” (Colin Britcher, professor of aerospace engineering)

    – “Officials Want Maglev Back on Track”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Sept. 2

    “We try really hard to keep our costs down because our customer base tends to be [community organizations].” (Jeffrey Harlow, director, Social Science Research Center)

    – “ODU Research Center Helps Nonprofits, Agencies”
    Inside Business, Sept. 2

    “Anyone who remembers the building of an airstrip that eliminated a dozen of Bermuda’s marine species in the 1940s knows that humans can easily wipe out large numbers of creatures in a single careless act.” (Kent Carpenter, associate professor of biological sciences)

    – “Biodiversity: Extraordinary Number of Unique Species Discovered in Caribbean”
    Life Science Weekly, Sept. 1

    “There’s a younger generation of folks with an altruistic bent who want to make a wonderful contribution to society, but they don’t want to live in poverty ....” (Bill Owings, graduate program director for educational leadership)

    – “Buying Better Schools? Does Paying Higher Salaries Make School Divisions More Successful?”
    Daily Press, Aug. 31

    ... the task will be for NASA to change “the arrogance of really smart people” and “develop a little more humility.” (Robert Ash, interim vice president for research)

    – “At NASA, ‘Safety Lost Out’”
    Richmond Times-Dispatch, Aug. 27

    “We academics are not Nine-to-Fivers. Speaking for myself (and I suspect many of my colleagues), I (we) don’t so neatly demarcate between our professional and private lives, between vocation and avocation.” (from “A Day in the Life” essay by Joe Cosco, assistant professor of English)

    – “Why College Professors Kick Back While You’re at Work”
    Port Folio Weekly, Aug. 26

    “It’s basically a race between how quickly the viruses propagate and how quickly the antivirus definition can be updated. Sometimes, we win, and sometimes, we don’t.” (Don Murdoch, information-security officer)

    – “‘Sobig’ Virus Slows, Doesn’t Stop, Work”
    Daily Press, Aug. 22

    “I refuse to let my students say, ‘I can’t.’ We try and try again until they get it.” (Sandra Seaborn (M.S.Ed. ’78), third-grade teacher at McIntosh Elementary in Newport News and the district’s 2003-04 Teacher of the Year)

    – “No ‘Can’ts’ Allowed”
    Daily Press, Aug. 21

    “So much has happened since the last presidential election, with terrorism and the war, that it’s interested young people in how the country is run.” (Cryshel Whitehead, senior)

    – “Survey of College Students Says More Will Vote in ’04”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 4