President Runte welcomes faculty at annual address
In addition to acknowledging returning faculty, President Roseann Runte welcomed 78 new faculty and administrators, “the largest increase in our faculty complement in nearly 15 years,” during her State of the University address the morning of Aug. 23.

“As a community of scholars, students and teachers, we come together in a search for new ideas to resolve local and global issues, to discover the means to make our lives better, to create beauty and provoke thought, making our lives worthwhile,” she said.

Runte spoke of both accomplishments from the previous academic year and future initiatives. “When we reflect on our achievements of the past year and our plans for the next, our 75th anniversary, we have much to celebrate.”

Among the achievements of 2004-05, perhaps the most significant was the adoption of the university’s five-year Strategic Plan, Runte told those gathered in the Godwin Life Sciences Building auditorium.

“Last year we already began to commit resources to realizing the goals outlined in the plan. We decided that faculty had to be our top priority when investing our slim resources. Without additional faculty we could not respond to need and remain accessible by increasing student numbers. Neither could we offer the new degree programs planned or attract the research support we need.”

This academic year, as part of the Strategic Plan, Old Dominion will increase the size of the Honors College and decrease the size of first-year composition courses to a maximum 19 students per section, Runte announced.

Addressing the need to continue making improvements in recruitment and retention, particularly at the graduate level, she said, “We will certainly rely on you, the faculty, to assist in ensuring our students are well instructed and cared for so that our retention rates continue to improve. We also will rely on you to obtain grants and to include graduate assistantships and stipends in them. We have new graduate programs and we need your help to fund the students in them.”

In addition to welcoming a large “freshman” class of faculty, Runte noted that ODU is welcoming the second largest first-year student class in school history. She added that “the truly impressive news” regarding this year’s complement of freshmen and transfer students “is that more than 100 of these fine scholars recorded a high school grade point average exceeding 4.0.”

In a few weeks, Runte said, the university will formally announce “an ambitious partnership” that will include free admission for students to the Chrysler Museum of Art and a new course in museum studies.

Looking a little further into the future, she confirmed that the university is seriously considering adding football as an intercollegiate sport, but added, “I would like to assure you that if we have football, it will not be at the expense of academic programs, existing sports or our Title IX compliance.”

She also said: “With school spirit high and success evident in other sports, this may be the time to expand our definition of “selective excellence” beyond the bare minimum number of sports we now support.”

Runte recognized, by name, approximately two dozen faculty and administrators for their efforts last year, and singled out Donna Meeks, assistant to the vice president for administration and finance, and Cecil Smithson, housekeeping worker senior at Webb Center, for special recognition for going “out of their way to be helpful.”

She further congratulated faculty members Barbara Bartkus (business management), Jill Jurgens (educational leadership and counseling), Janet Peery (English) and Ruth Triplett (sociology) on receiving appointments as University Professors, which includes a stipend “to support special development in teaching.”

Saving what she called “some of the best news for last,” Runte announced that the university plans to start this fall building a new facility that could house both VMASC and the Tri-Cities Center near the current Joint Training, Analysis and Simulation Center, and that an interdisciplinary committee has been created to develop a proposed graduate program in new media design.

Further, the university will increase the number of faculty positions in modeling and simulation and seek additional funding to bring the LambdaRail (super high-speed Internet) to the new facility.

“We will double the number of graduate students in modeling and simulation and continue attracting grants, companies and contracts to this area,” the president said. “I would like to thank the governor for recognizing the exciting work we are doing and for investing in Old Dominion.”

Challenging the ODU community to surpass the accomplishments of its first 75 years during the next quarter century, Runte closed her remarks by saying, “We are writing Old Dominion’s history as we step into the future. Let us make the next pages resound with creativity and intelligence, energy and determination, great wisdom and hope.” Back to top

Freshman Convocation is set for Aug. 28
Freshman Convocation, the formal introduction to Old Dominion for new students, will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Sam Glenn, an internationally known motivational speaker, author and artist, will be the guest speaker. Freshman Convoca-tion, along with Debut, are the programs that mark the beginning of Monarch Revue 2005, ODU’s two-week-long welcome.

The Sunday afternoon convocation ceremony includes a faculty processional (robes are required but caps are optional). Faculty should report to the Big Blue Room at the Constant Center by 3:30 p.m. All freshmen are required to attend the ceremony, and family members of the new students are invited.

For more information contact Kelly Jo Karnes in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership at 757-683-3446 or more information about ODU’s Institute for Learning in Retirement, call 368-4160 or send an e-mail to Back to top

ODU to celebrate 75th anniversary this academic year
Starting next month, and for the remainder of the academic year, Old Dominion University will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a variety of programs and activities.

The commemoration of the university’s founding in 1930 officially kicks off Sept. 15, and members of the campus community are invited to help mark the occasion in a big way by forming the number 75 on Kaufman Mall. Overhead pictures will be taken.

The program will get under way at 12:15 p.m. with musical selections by the ODU Orchestra, and starting at 12:30, guests should take their place on one of the numbers, which will be outlined in the grass.

From 12:30-1 p.m., those gathered on the mall will be treated to the world premiere of “The Lion’s Roar,” a piece composed by music professor Adolphus Hailstork and performed by the orchestra under his direction. President Roseann Runte and other campus community representatives will deliver brief remarks, and officials from Hampton Roads cities will present proclamations to the university.

Following the aerial photos, participants will be invited to enjoy a free complimentary lunch and birthday cake. The rain date for the kickoff event is Sept. 20.

Founded as a two-year extension of the College of William and Mary, the Norfolk Division, as it would soon be called, opened its doors to 206 students on Sept. 12, 1930. Classes were held in the old Larchmont School building, which was located at the northwest corner of Hampton Boulevard and Bolling Avenue.

The school gained its independence in 1962, becoming Old Dominion College, and attained university status in 1969.

Information about ODU’s history is available at the special anniversary Web site Here one can find news about upcoming anniversary events, “75 Moments in ODU History,” historical photos, alumni memories, information about commemorative merchandise and a message from President Runte.

“We gain from reflecting on our origins, remembering our roots. Too often we measure the future in terms of a five-year plan and the past through the accomplishments of the last strategic effort,” she said. “We should remember that Old Dominion has long been a part of the Hampton Roads community, and our history is also that of this region and its leaders who built our school while we educated their children to become the leaders of the future.”

Among the other 75th anniversary events planned for the fall semester are a block party that is free and open to the public on Oct. 20, a comedy show featuring Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars on Oct. 20 (see Page 7 for ticket prices) and a Founders’ Day luncheon on Oct. 21. Events next semester will conclude with the burying of a time capsule in April. Back to top

New center at VMASC to provide training, support for homeland security
Gov. Mark Warner will open the Emergency Management Training, Analysis and Simulation Center (EMTASC), a groundbreaking agency devoted to providing the latest training and support for homeland security, at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at ODU’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center in Suffolk.

Funded by the commonwealth of Virginia and a consortium of organizations, EMTASC will utilize world-class expertise and state-of-the-art modeling and simulation tools to conduct training, exercises, analysis and operational support for disaster management and homeland security situations for Virginia, as well as other states and localities.

The center will be housed at VMASC until new facilities are built in the next two years.

Participants in the center’s creation include VMASC, Anteon, BMH, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boeing, Cubic, DDL Omni, Evidence Based Research, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Loyola, Mymic, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SAIC and Werner Anderson Back to top

Olander named acting director of Va. Beach Center
Renee Olander, previously director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Center in the College of Arts and Letters, was named last month as acting director of ODU’s Virginia Beach Higher Education Center.

Appointed by Provost Thomas Isenhour, Olander will serve in this capacity for the 2005-06 academic year. A national search for a permanent director of the center will begin in early 2006. Back to top

BOV to meet Sept. 9
The Board of Visitors will meet on campus Sept. 9. The full board will convene at 1:30 p.m. in the Board Room of Webb Center, preceded by the following committee meetings in Webb:
  • 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 12:30 p.m., Rectors’ Room; and
  • Administration and Finance – 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Board Room. Back to top

On-Campus Job Fair set for Sept. 1 in Webb Center
The Career Management Center will sponsor an On-Campus Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 1 in the North Mall of Webb Center.

Departments and offices wishing to hire student hourly or Federal Work-Study Program students are welcome to attend. The CMC will make arrangements for tables and chairs and will market the event to students.

To reserve a table, contact Janet Paulovich, assistant director for student employment, at or 683-4957. Back to top

MIDAS and LAN passwords to be synched
Do you have too many passwords to keep up with?

ODU computer users can now synchronize their faculty/staff LAN password with their MIDAS password. Users should log into MIDAS and click on the “Sync” button on the “My Services” page. At some point this fall, all faculty and staff LAN accounts will be required to synchronize with MIDAS.

Other MIDAS changes include an easier (two-question) security profile, Mac support and password history. More information is available at Back to top

Katharine Kersey’s “101’s” wins third award
The “101’s: A Guide to Positive Discipline,” produced by Katharine Kersey, chair of the early childhood education and speech-language pathology department, and the Office of Distance Learning’s Academic Technology Services unit, recently received its third award, the Aegis Video & Film Production Award within the Training and Education production category.

The Aegis award judging is based on a complex formula which grades the various elements of the production (such as video shooting, editing, use of music). Entrants are judged by previous Aegis Award winners from the video and film industry. Back to top

ODU graduate named to govt. relations post
James A. DeAngio, a 1993 ODU graduate, was selected in July to serve as coordinator of governmental relations and assistant to the vice president for institutional advancement.

He will serve as ODU’s full-time liaison during the General Assembly sessions in Richmond and represent the institution at other governmental meetings and hearings throughout the year.

In addition, DeAngio will help create strategies to position ODU’s legislative agenda and coordinate an effort to better communicate with elected officials from Hampton Roads cities and towns.

DeAngio, who earned his degree in English/journalism, served four years as district director for Virginia’s 2nd Congres-sional District. He has also worked at Norfolk Southern Corp. and served in the U.S. Navy. Back to top

Men’s, women’s basketball schedules announced
The 2005-06 men’s basketball schedule will feature games against nine teams that participated in postseason play in 2005. The defending CAA champion Monarchs officially begin their season at the Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where they will open against the University of Georgia Nov. 18.

The Monarchs will host a Bracket Busters game on Feb. 18, along with earlier home dates against East Carolina Dec. 3, DePaul Dec. 17 and Virginia Tech Dec. 30.

ODU will hold its annual blue-white scrimmage Oct. 28, followed by exhibition games Nov. 2 and 12, and open the regular-season home schedule Nov. 26 against Mount St. Mary’s.

For the Lady Monarchs, four Top 10 teams, seven NCAA tournament squads and two WNIT participants from a year ago appear on the 2005-06 slate.

The defending CAA champions will play the blue-white scrimmage Oct. 30 and have exhibition games Nov. 7 and 13 before kicking off the regular season at home against Duke Nov. 20

ODU will also play the following major programs at home: Penn State on Nov. 29, Vanderbilt on Dec. 4 and ACC champion North Carolina on Dec. 29. The Lady Monarchs’ final non-conference contest will come on the road Jan. 2 against Final Four participant Tennessee. Back to top

Drew Carey and Improv All-Stars here Oct. 20
Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars will appear in concert at the Ted Constant Convocation Center Oct. 20. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show, now on sale at the Constant Center Box Office, are $37.00 for general seating, $56.50 for VIP seating and $21.50 for ODU students.

Carey, the star of network television’s award-winning comedy series “The Drew Carey Show,” is also credited with bringing the British improv comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” to America in 1998.

The Improv All-Stars features the same concept as the show, where Carey sets the scene while both the audience and comedians invent unrehearsed skits, scenes, games and songs. Many of the familiar faces from both “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and the WB’s “Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show” will be part of the show. Back to top

Freshman gets early lesson in media relations
Daughter of Discovery astronaut interviewed on national news programs
When Chelsea Camarda matriculates next week, chances are she will look familiar to some of the other 2,000 students in the Class of 2009.

For a whirlwind two weeks in late July and early this month, while her father, Charles Camarda, was gaining international celebrity as a NASA astronaut on the Discovery mission, his 18-year-old daughter was in the middle of a media blitz right here on Earth.

She was interviewed early in the space mission by a Hampton Roads TV news reporter. This led to video interviews on CNN news July 29, on NBC’s “Today” show July 30 and on ABC’s “Good Morning America” July 31. Newspaper stories and several more local TV appearances followed before she went through another round of interviews with ABC, Fox and CNN at Kennedy Space Center the morning (Aug. 9) of the shuttle’s return. She had been in Florida for the return, but ended up watching the landing on television after threatening weather caused the shuttle to be diverted to California.

The landing switch was more than a personal disappointment. It took some excitement out of her reports as a special space mission correspondent for a Hampton Roads radio station.

Chelsea and other astronauts’ family members were flown to Houston just a few hours after the shuttle’s landing for a homecoming with the Discovery flight crew.

She said she was not fearful during the Discovery’s descent. Her concern about damage to the craft from launch debris “lasted about two hours from the time I heard,” she explained.

Her father sent her regular e-mails during the mission (she got 13 e-mails from space and one telephone call) and “he reassured me that this (foam damage) was no big deal. The media made more of it than they should have because of the Columbia accident. I trust NASA,” she added. “In my position, you have to.”
The media attention she got made her feel as if she were a part of the mission, she said. “It seemed like I was as busy as my father.”

“She’s handled herself extremely well,” said stepfather Sonny Morris. Chelsea lives with Morris and her mother, Sabrina Martin, in Virginia Beach. “When the young man from the ‘Today’ show called to set up an interview, he said he had seen her on CNN and told her she came across as a pro on television,” Morris recalled.

Morris also said that Chelsea was not at all awestruck by the attention. “A reporter asked if he could have a copy of an e-mail Charlie sent her, and she said, ‘No!’ The “Today” show had it all worked out how they wanted to do the interview. They were going to send a car and take her somewhere, but she said, ‘No! If you want to interview me, you come to my house.’”

Chelsea, who plans to study fashion design and merchandising at ODU, modeled in fashion shows while she was a student at Cox High School. She said the modeling experience, plus the fact that she has “always been a talker,” helped her feel comfortable during the media interviews.

Charles Camarda, 53, was a research scientist at NASA Langley in Hampton, before qualifying as an astronaut. The Discovery mission was his first. His specialty is thermodynamics, and he has made contributions toward improvements in shuttle heat shields.

“While he was at Langley he made friends with engineers on the faculty at ODU,” Chelsea said. The Camarda connection to Old Dominion also involves Chelsea’s chosen field. She was introduced by a Cox High School teacher to Sharon Davis, who teaches fashion design and coordination as an ODU lecturer in occupational and technical studies. Back to top

Charles K. Sibley, founder of art dept., dies Aug. 13
Charles K. Sibley, 83, professor emeritus of art, died of heart failure Aug. 13, 2005.

A resident of Portsmouth, he was widely considered the region’s most important artist. He came to Old Dominion in 1955 and created the art department, which today has 30 full- and part-time instructors and more than 400 students.

Sibley served as department chair from 1955 to 1969 and in 1975 was appointed the Louis I. Jaffe Professor of art. He retired in 1980, after which he devoted his time to his painting. He was known primarily for figurative work and abstraction.

Sibley’s paintings and other works are in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Harvard University Collection and the Chrysler Museum of Art, among others.

“I can’t think of anyone who has had more of an impact on the community, in terms of visual arts,” art professor Ken Daley said in an Aug. 14 Virginian-Pilot story. Daley was hired by Sibley in 1965.

A native of Huntington, W.Va., Sibley earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Ohio State University, after which he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and served during six campaigns in the South Pacific and Asiatic theaters.

He went on to earn a master’s in art education from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in painting from Iowa State University. He also studied at the Chicago Art Institute.

Before coming to Old Dominion, then known as the Norfolk Division, Sibley had taught at Duke University and at the University of Texas.

Survivors include a sister, Betty Jo Wagers, and his lifelong friend, Robert V. Vick. Memorial donations may be made to the Sibley Scholarship at Old Dominion. Back to top

Letters to the editor
Mother & child reunion?
I was so touched by the story of William Mayom in the last issue of Old Dominion University magazine [“Lost Boy of Sudan hopes to return home with ODU degree”]. It broke my heart to think of a 6-year-old torn from his home and family and experiencing such violence and loss. That he would respond by learning how to heal others is a testament to his character.

What an amazing young man.

It was particularly shocking to read that he and his brother have been unable to see their mother since 1987. I would like to suggest that ODU alumni, students, faculty and staff unite to bring William’s mother and brother to Virginia for a reunion. Among us, we certainly have the financial resources to assist them, and with so many ODU alumni in military and intelligence service, surely there is someone who could offer the guidance necessary to overcome any homeland security hurdles that might stand in the way of bringing William’s mother to this country to visit her sons.

Hopefully, I am not the first to suggest this. If the alumni community or other members of the university are drawing together to help William’s family, I hope you will let me know how I might direct my contribution.

– Kate Northcott (M.S.Ed. ’91)
St. Louis, Mo.

Memories, pictures of D.K. Marchand sought
My father was D.K. Marchand, who from 1962 until 1991 taught chemistry, geophysical sciences and even an English course. He was also dean of men and associate dean of student affairs.

He passed away on Jan. 27, 2005, and I’m putting together a Web site. If anyone has any stories or memories they wouldn’t mind me posting, I’d really appreciate it. Also, if anyone has any pictures, that would be great. My e-mail address is

– Donald “Kirk” Marchand ’80
College Park, Md.
Back to top

Nancy Xu research team awarded $1.3 million NSF grant
Fundamental studies in nanobiotechnology is goal of interdisciplinary project

A five-member team of researchers led by Xiaohong Nancy Xu, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has accomplished a feat in nanobio-technology project funding that would be called an upset in the sports arena.

Competing against more established and better equipped research centers at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, the ODU-based team won a $1.3 million award in June from the National Science Foundation to perform fundamental studies in nanobiotechnology. The field brings together chemistry, biology and engineering practiced on a scale so tiny as to be hard to imagine.

Two other ODU faculty members are co-principal investigators for the grant, Christopher Osgood, associate professor of biological sciences, and Hani Elsayed-Ali, eminent scholar and professor of electrical and computer engineering. Richard Van Duyne, professor of chemistry and materials science at Northwestern University, and Daniel Gillet, a French scientist who specializes in protein engineering, are also co-principal investigators.

The NSF award is part of a national initiative in nanoscience and nanotechnology, and comes under the specific category of grants to Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Teams (NIRT). Xu and her colleagues titled their project, “NIRT: Design of Biocompatible Nanoparticles for Probing Living Cellular Functions and Their Potential Environmental Impacts.”

For the next four years, the team will expand upon recent studies of nanoparticles and single living cells by Xu’s research group in biochemistry at ODU, which includes seven doctoral students. The NSF project will tackle questions that must be answered before theorized nanoscience breakthroughs can become realities in fields such as medicine.

“The award recognizes what we have accomplished so far and shows that the NSF believes ODU has the scientists and engineers and facilities to support the work,” Xu said. “This award also demonstrates the power of teamwork and collaboration. I am very pleased and grateful for the support of my research group and co-PIs.”

ODU Provost Thomas Isenhour, who is a chemist, said the research “is truly at the frontier of the interface of chemistry and biological science.” By focusing on the transport of nanomaterials across membranes in living cells, the team will be making important contributions to science at the nanoscale, he said.

Others at ODU who offered guidance and support for the NSF application, Xu said, include Kenneth Brown, chair of chemistry and biochemistry; Lytton Musselman, Mary Payne Hogan professor of botany and chair of biological sciences; Richard Gregory, dean of the College of Sciences; Joseph Rule, associate dean of the college; Oktay Baysal, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology; Philip Langlais, dean of graduate studies, and Mohammad Karim, vice president for research.

Karim said the university’s research initiative encourages convergence of people, equipment and ideas from differing fields. “This is an example of an interdisciplinary research project that draws faculty members from both sciences and engineering, and has the potential to affect the design of biologically inspired smart pumps and sensors.” Added Langlais: “This project provides important financial support and a cutting-edge multidisciplinary research environment needed to train our doctoral students and prepare future leaders in this rapidly growing area of bioscience.”

Gregory applauded Xu’s “dedication to science and innovative thinking.” He said Osgood and Elsayed-Ali bring impressive research credentials to the project and that the “award is well-deserved.”

Reports in popular media during recent years have predicted mind-boggling advances in materials, electronics and medicine from nanotechnology. (“Nano” means billionth, so a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter and a nanosecond is one-billionth of a second. Work at the nanoscale involves measurements and manipulation done upon individual molecules and cells.)

In one possible application, a nanoparticle would be loaded with a miniscule dose of a potent anti-cancer drug. The nanoparticle would target and penetrate a tumor cell in order to deliver a precise amount of the drug directly into the cell. The tumor cell would be destroyed without the potent drug harming any normal tissue.

But much research remains to be done before this becomes a reality, and it is with fundamentals of nanobiotechnology that the Xu team has excelled.

For example, Xu and Van Duyne have in recent years achieved exceptional results with their production of nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are “characterized” by shapes and properties necessary to facilitate research into cell membrane transport and intra-cellular probes. To accomplish this grading of the nanoparticles, Elsayed-Ali will be using his special skills with transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy.

“You have to have the nanoparticles,” Osgood explained. “You can’t go out and buy desired ones.” Under the grant, team members will further develop the single nanoparticle optics that allows scientists to track cellular function using nanoparticle probes.

The Xu research group has designed and constructed state-of-the-art imaging systems and accomplished real-time monitoring of nanoparticles in and out of living cells using various types of microscopy. Xu said the keys to the success of the grant included the assemblage of a well-qualified team and her research group’s pioneering work in single nanoparticle optics for real-time, living cell imaging. In 2004 alone, she and her group published five research papers on this work. “Without the publication record and the interdisciplinary team, this grant would never have been possible,” she said.

Her research group also has demonstrated results involving cell functions that provide a foundation for another phase of the grant research. Proteins in a cell can assemble to bring about an efflux pump process that transports harmful molecules out of the cell. Xu said a particularly fascinating portion of the NSF project will focus on the efflux pump. “No human is able to make such a smart pump that can recognize and extrude harmful particles. How does the pump do this?” Xu, Osgood and Gillet will further study the function of the pump using single nanoparticle optics.

The pump is of particular interest in medicine because “harmful” molecules that are expelled sometimes are antibiotics and other disease-fighting agents prescribed by a physician to kill cells. The efflux pump of the bacteria cell can expel so much antibiotic that the drug either does not work as intended, or has to be prescribed in an amount that can be toxic to healthy tissue. This team of researchers will conduct extensive research with nanoparticle probes to expand understanding of the efflux pump mechanism.

Other research to be funded by the grant will assess damage that nanoparticles may do to cells or to genes. In addition, there are environmental concerns involving the disposal of nanoparticles that the research will touch upon.

Finally, there will be an educational aspect to the project. The three ODU researchers will develop and co-teach an interdisciplinary special-topic course, Frontiers in Nanoscience and Nanotechnol-ogy, for seniors and graduate students. They also will give a presentation, “Impact of Nanomaterials on Our Environment,” for the compulsory freshman course New Portals to Appreciating our Global Environ-ment (NewPAGE). An annual public-lecture exchange will bring Gillet and Van Duyne to ODU and put at least one American researcher on the team before an audience at the Natural History Museum in Paris.
Xu and Osgood said they hope the grant paves the way for a larger commitment to nanotechnology by ODU, the region and the state.

“I hope we can establish a stronger base of nano facilities and a team of researchers in nanoscience and nanotech,” Xu said. “Then we will be able to go after larger awards for nanoscience and engineering centers, perhaps in two to three years.”

“This (NSF award) is a first step,” Osgood said. “We have a brief window to get into this field with both feet, to find a niche, because the nano field is wide open now and has potential to impact every aspect of sciences and engineering. If we wait any longer, we will lose the opportunity to lead. We are glad to have such a great opportunity to participate and compete.”

Xu, who came to ODU six years ago, has quickly established a reputation in nanobiotechnology that takes her to conferences and seminars worldwide. She sits on the review panels in nanoscience and nano-technology for the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency and NSF. Earlier this month, she presented research at a nanomedicine conference at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and will make another presentation at the American Chemical Society symposium in Washington, D.C., Aug. 29-31, concerning single molecule detection and single-cell analysis. Xu organized and will chair the ACS symposium. Back to top

University faculty assist in USS Monitor conservation

A 17th-century Swedish battleship salvaged from the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor more than 40 years ago, and now one of the premier maritime exhibits in the world, could hold lessons for scientists trying to conserve wood from the wreck of the 19th-century ironclad battleship, the USS Monitor.

“It was the Swedish ship, the Vasa, that got us to thinking about potential problems with the Monitor,” said David Burdige, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences. He is assisting another ODU faculty member, Desmond Cook, professor of physics, in offering scientific consultation to the Monitor conservation project at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News.

During the unusually wet summer of 2000 in Stockholm, the Vasa Museum experienced several spikes in relative humidity, and the battleship developed a “rash.” Beams and wooden artifacts produced extremely acidic precipitates of white and yellow salts. “This was happening decades after the ship was taken from the water,” Burdige explained. “And it was something that brought the integrity of the wood into question.”

The culprit turned out to be sulfur, which is commonly found in the decaying matter and mud at the sea floor. A wreck submerged for a long period can become impregnated with sulfur, but various conditions in the water can prevent the sulfur’s oxidation into the destructive sulfuric acid.

The Union battleship Monitor was discovered in 1973 about 240 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras, N.C. It had sunk in a storm in December 1862, just a few months after its historic, indecisive battle with the ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimack) in Hampton Roads. The Confederates had run the Virginia aground and destroyed it so it would not fall into enemy possession.

What schoolchildren come to know as the Civil War battle of the Monitor and Merrimack signaled a shift in battleship construction from wood and sail to iron and steam. The battle’s significance will be commemorated by the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2007, coinciding with Jamestown’s 400th anniversary.

The largest portions of the Monitor that have been raised and taken to The Mariners’ Museum are the steam engine, iron propeller and famous iron turret. But there are also numerous pieces of wooden structural material and wooden items among hundreds of artifacts that conservators hope to save for posterity.

“Some pieces that were recovered two decades ago, and then stored after initial treatment by conservators, showed signs of sulfur impregnation when they were examined recently,” Burdige said.

Burdige enlisted his friend, David Velinsky, a biogeochemist at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, to test samples of the wood.

“What we’re doing is measuring for sulfur and carbon to help determine how much of it is in the ship and artifacts so that conservators can figure out the mechanism for minimizing the impact of the sulfur,” said Velinsky, who received his doctoral degree in oceanography from ODU in 1987.

Preliminary results show that the wood samples from the Monitor do have a sulfur content similar to that of Vasa samples. “The woody material is substantially enriched in total sulfur compared to fresh wood,” Velinsky said in mid-July.

Burdige said the next step “will be to determine the chemical form of this sulfur in the wood, since this will be important in determining how to either remove the sulfur or stabilize it to minimize its damage to the wood.”

All wood and wooden items recovered from the wreck of the Monitor will be stored submerged in tap water until a solution is found for the sulfur problem, said Eric Schindelholz, the lead conservator on the Monitor project at The Mariners’ Museum.

“The Monitor and its associated artifacts are a national treasure. The wooden artifacts that have been recovered, some 130 of them, include implements for the Dahlgren guns (mounted in the turret), hand tools and furniture elements. All of these items can be viewed as a record of the events of New Years Eve, 1862, when the ship sank,” Schindelholz said.

Scientists studying the Vasa noted that rusted iron bolts of the ship provided the catalyst for sulfur oxidation that, as an end product, produced highly corrosive sulfuric acid that was eating the wood of the Swedish ship. Schindelholz said because all of the Monitor wood is impregnated with iron corrosion products, as the ship’s iron construction would predict, this wood, too, is susceptible to iron-catalyzed oxidation of sulfur.

Burdige said the research may eventually help conserve not only the wood, but also the metal recovered from the Monitor wreck. If sulfur and sulfur-iron compounds on the surfaces and interstices of the metal artifacts are not removed, they can oxidize and damage the metal.

“Luckily, the techniques we use to treat the metal artifacts often remove most of the harmful sulfur compounds,” Schindelholz said. Back to top

Maihafer creates scholarship for physical therapy students
As chair of the School of Physical Therapy, George Maihafer is well aware of the financial struggles faced by many students in the program. And by establishing an endowed scholarship for future students, he’s doing what he can to help and hoping that alumni from the program will follow his example.

“There are not many scholarships in the health sciences overall, and particularly at Old Dominion,” he said. “But if you look at the actual cost of educating health professionals, they tend to pay the most in tuition. It takes a lot to train them, and consequently they pay a lot for tuition, books and fees. For example, a student pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy must complete 118 credit hours. The cost is exorbitant.”

Maihafer recently set up the George and Kate Maihafer Scholarship, in memory of his parents, with an initial installment of $10,000, and plans to add a like amount each year until he retires. The first scholarship can be awarded once the fund reaches $25,000, and he’s hopeful that there will be two scholarships by the time he leaves the university.

“My parents strongly felt that education was the key to molding good citizens and effective leaders, as well as enhancing the quality of one’s life,” he said. “I thought this was something I could do to honor their philosophy and help future ODU students at the same time.”

The Maihafer award will go to full-time graduate students majoring in physical therapy who have a minimum 3.25 GPA after their first semester. The application process also calls for candidates to submit a 500-word essay describing their career goals in the profession.

Currently, there are no scholarships at ODU designated for physical therapy students, Maihafer said. To date, the School of Physical Therapy has graduated 25 classes and has up to 800 alumni who went through the program. Another 31 students are expected to graduate next May.

Maihafer, who himself benefited from a scholarship in college, knows well the virtue of helping support the next generation of students. But today’s financial aid packages have higher percentages of student loans than ever before, he said.

“With governmental agencies now relying on student loans to offset the cost of college education rather than the scholarships awarded back when I went through school, we have to look to ourselves, and to our alums, to help the students of tomorrow.” Back to top

New exhibit slated for University Gallery
Old Dominion University Gallery opens “‘Lost’ Communities of Virginia,” a photographic exhibition by Kirsten Sparenborg, with a reception at 7 p.m. Aug. 27. The exhibition, which continues through Sept. 25, and the reception are free and open to the public.

The “Lost” Communities of Virginia project was developed by the Community Design Assistance Center, an outreach center of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Twenty-two original prints comprise this exhibition representing 14 Virginia communities. They are presented with text describing the project and a map locating the communities. The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities have also provided funding for this project.

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

Fortune magazine journalist to address business students
Bethany McLean is co-author of book about the rise and fall of Enron
Bethany McLean, a senior writer for Fortune magazine who is widely credited as the first journalist to question Enron’s stock price in a Fortune article, “Is Enron Overpriced?”, will be the first speaker in the 2005-06 edition of the Land-mark Executive-in-Residence series, titled “Lessons in Ethical Leadership.”

Her talk will begin at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in room 1002 of Constant Hall.

McLean followed her story with a book in 2003, co-authored by Fortune writer Peter Elkind, “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron,” which was made into a movie and released earlier this year.

Now in its fifth year, the Landmark speaker series, which was established by former business executives from the company, continues its tradition of sharing “real world” stories with students from the College of Business and Public Administration who will one day embark on their own business careers. The lectures are free and open to the public, as space permits.

Past speakers have included O.M. “Tony” Nicely, chairman, president and CEO of GEICO, and Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, as well as a mix of local leaders and successful ODU alumni, such as Les Cappetta ’83, executive vice president of North American business development for HMS Host Corp., who spoke last spring.

“The series is designed to enrich students’ entrepreneurial spirit, their awareness of the success that can be built on their academic experience and their understanding of the importance of leading with integrity,” said Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the business college.

“The program is dedicated to bringing accomplished business leaders, many of whom are our own alumni, to campus to share their history and vision, giving students the opportunity to learn firsthand the strategies and experiences that forge great ethical global leaders.”

Also scheduled to speak in 2005-06 are: Jack L. Ezzell Jr., president and CEO of Zel Technologies in Hampton, on Nov. 1; Richard Cole, CEO and chairman of Geeks On Call America Inc., on Feb. 7; and Luke Hillier, a 1994 ODU graduate of the business administration program who is the founder and CEO of Mythics Inc., the largest Oracle software reseller in the country, on March 14.

Established in 2001, the series is funded by an endowment from a group of former Landmark Communications executives in honor of Frank Batten, chairman of the executive committee of the Landmark board and first rector of Old Dominion’s Board of Visitors.

For more information about the series contact Michael Walker at 683-3319 or Back to top

University cohosting Coastal Plain Native Plant Conference Sept. 16-17
A Coastal Plain Native Plant Conference will be sponsored Sept. 16-17 by Norfolk Botanical Garden, Old Dominion University and the Hampton Roads chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Participants will be able to choose from 10 seminars led by scientists, landscape architects, ecologists and master gardeners. In addition, there will be garden tours in Norfolk and field trips to native-plant habitats in the region.

Larry Early, author of the book “Looking for Longleaf,” which is about the longleaf pine, will deliver the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in room 1005 of Constant Hall. The address is free and open to the public.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden education director, Perry Mathewes, said the conference is designed to educate laypersons as well as professionals about plants native to the Atlantic coastal plain.

Lytton Musselman, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and who is coordinating ODU’s involvement in the conference, noted that the university’s Blackwater Ecologic Preserve is considered by many to be the premier botanical reserve in the Virginia coastal plain. “This conference, which is the first of its kind for ODU, is part of our growing cooperation with the Norfolk Botanical Garden,” Musselman said.

Home gardeners and landscapers in the region are showing increasing interest in growing native plants because the plants are adapted to the local climate and diseases, Musselman said.

Seminar leaders will include Chris Lud-wig, chief biologist, Virginia Natural Heritage Program; Lou Verner, wildlife mapping coordinator, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Gary Smith, landscape architect; Cecil Frost, landscape fire ecologist and former director of North Carolina's endangered plant program; Dennis Whigham, plant ecologist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; Andrew Bell, associate director, North Carolina Botanical Garden; Johnny Randall, assistant director for conservation, North Carolina Botanical Garden; Sylvan Kaufman, conservation curator, Adkins Arboretum in Maryland; Libby Norris, scientist with Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Rhana Paris, a naturalist and master gardener from the North Carolina Outer Banks.

The cost of the seminar is $80 per person, $50 for students. The fee includes a reception hosted by President Roseann Runte in Webb Center’s Rectors’ Room at 6 p.m. Sept. 16 and lunch Sept. 17. For more information call 441-5838 or visit Back to top

Library to host five-part series on Jewish literature
Perry Library will host a free, five-part series exploring Jewish literature and culture through readings and discussions of contemporary and classic books. The series, titled “Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature – Identity and Imagination,” begins Aug. 28, from 2-4 p.m. in room 151 of the Perry Library.

Led by David Metzger, professor of English and coordinator of Jewish studies, the series will examine monsters of the Jewish imagination: demons, golems and dybbuks. It is funded by Nextbook, the American Library Association and ODU’s Institute of Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host this unique series,” said Virginia S. O’Herron, university librarian. “It is a wonderful chance to sponsor community discussions on Jewish literature and we are especially pleased to have a highly qualified scholar, Dr. Metzger, lead the discussions.”

The first program will review Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Satan in Goray.” It will be followed by “The Dybbuk” by S. Ansky Sept. 11; “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka Oct. 16; “The Puttermesser Papers” by Cynthia Ozick Nov. 20; and “Angels in America” by Tony Kushner Dec. 11.

Seating is limited and registration is required by calling Frances McCraw at 683-4141. Participants are encouraged to attend the entire series. Books are available for borrowing at the circulation services desk in Perry Library. Back to top

Faculty/staff meal plans on sale now in Webb
Faculty/staff meal plans, good for purchases in the newly renovated Webb Center cafeteria, Cafe 1201, as well as the Rogers and Whitehurst cafeterias, are now on sale.

Using your ID card, meal prices will be automatically deducted from the balance when the card is swiped. The following yearly plans are available:

  • 25 meals for $144 (18 percent savings);
  • 50 meals for $275 (22 percent savings);
  • 75 meals for $393 (26 percent savings).

Meal plans may be purchased in the Card Center at Webb Center. Back to top

Dr. Allen Bridge, lecturer of dental hygiene, dies
Allen S. Bridge, D.D.S., 59, lecturer of dental hygiene, died Aug. 18, 2005, in his Virginia Beach residence.

A retired self-employed dentist, he began teaching at ODU in 1997 as an adjunct professor, and in 2001 joined the faculty full time. He wrote the curriculum for the Tide-water Tech Dental Program, where he was the head of the Dental Assisting Program.

Survivors include his wife, Esther Stur-man Bridge; daughters, Melissa R. Schoen-feld of Norfolk and Sara Beth Lieb of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and son, Sidney Bridge of Norfolk. Back to top

Ice cream social for David Hager is Aug. 31
Provost Tom Isenhour will host an ice cream social Aug. 31 for conversation with David Hager as he “steps back” from administration and returns to the classroom. Hager stepped down from his post as vice provost June 30, and will teach in the areas of political science and educational leadership.

Open to the campus community, the social will be from 4-5 p.m. in the River Rooms of Webb Center.

Book notes: Heller edits collection of essays on 9/11; Mapp’s “The Faiths of Our Fathers” now in paperback
“The Selling of 9/11: How a National Tragedy Became a Commodity” (Palgrave Macmillan, September 2005); Dana Heller, director of the Institute of Humanities, editor

This collection of essays examines the marketing and commodification of September 11, revealing the contradictory processes by which consumers communicate and construct national identity through cultural and symbolic goods, from American flag decals to replicas of the World Trade Center.

Heller writes in her introduction, “We were, at this time, a nation starved for meaning. But most of what was available for consumption contained no value, only empty calories ... (leading to) what Lauren Berland and Elizabeth Freeman once termed ‘American Nervosa,’ ‘a compulsive self-gorging on ritual images.’”

Heller further notes that the authors (including William B. Hart, assistant professor of communication) who contributed the essays for the book are not against consumption, either as a necessity or as an enjoyable pastime. “What we do share are some concerns about the ways that 9/11 has been exploited for profit, hijacked in order to move consumer goods, and, consequently, transformed into a consumer good itself.”

“The Faiths of Our Fathers: What America’s Founders Really Believed”
(Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); Alf. J. Mapp Jr., eminent scholar emeritus of English

The book, which debuted two years ago in hardback and is now in its eighth printing, was recently issued in paperback.

On its original appearance in 2003, James Persons, reviewing the book for The Virginian-Pilot, wrote: “An accessible, well-researched collection of short essays on the Founders that is as informative as it is a delight to read. ‘The Faiths of Our Fathers’ is a much needed corrective to many current misconceptions about the role of faith in the lives of the Founders. It is of high value to the student as well as the lay reader.”

The new edition carries quotations from reviews by Kenneth W. Thompson, Wilson Newman Professor Emeritus of government at the University of Virginia, and Paul C. Nagel, celebrated author of “John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life.”

Mapp taught English and history at Old Dominion for 31 years, retiring in 1992. His book was the subject of the featured review on the day that it received an enthusiastic notice in the Wall Street Journal.

“We’re becoming more residential. We’re becoming a top research university. We’re becoming a place to dine, work and play. ODU is now a destination.” (Robert L. Fenning, vice president for administration and finance)

– “Something new at Old Dominion”
College Services, Journal of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, August

“I was definitely sad.” The Moscow Games were “a dream that I had worked for. But I was not bitter. At the end of the day, you have to support your country.” (Beth Anders, field hockey coach)

– “Successful careers trump Olympic boycott”
The Virginian-Pilot, July 31

“Students who graduate from Old Dominion probably are better prepared because we guarantee practical experience in all our degree programs.” (Tom Wunderlich, executive director, Career Management Center)

– “Some doubt college students’ understanding of real-world work”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26

“I leave very concerned for the future of this region, but also very hopeful that peace could be achieved in this place where, I noticed today, olive trees grow!” (Roseann Runte, president)

– “Dispatches from Israel”
The Virginian-Pilot, July 24

“Oceana and other bases targeted by BRAC remind us as citizens of our responsibility to consider wisely the necessity and costs of sending our sons and daughters overseas to fight and die. Will communities without the whine of jet engines understand our soldiers any better than they do today? Will they be more likely to ask for needless sacrifices from the military, or less so?” (David C. Earnest, assistant professor of political science and international studies, in a commentary)

– “Isolating our military”
The Virginian-Pilot, July 24

“My fear is not that Oceana is going to go away, but that it’s going to impose a lot of uncertainty about the economy. At least in the short term.” (Vinod Agarwal, chair of economics)

– “Oceana’s loss could hurt area’s psyche”
Daily Press, July 20

“Passion is vital, because we do this for fun, intellectual stimulation and working with colleagues, but not for profit.” (Gregory A. Cutter, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, discussing a recent field trip to the Arctic Ocean)

– “Different kind of wet lab”
Chemical & Engineering News, July 18

“It could be the difference between, say, a roof staying on a house and the roof being ripped off.” (Robert Tuleya, adjunct professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, commenting on a study which found that in 80 years, the average hurricane strength will increase by half a category in the five-step scale of destructive power)

– “Global warming expected to worsen hurricanes”
ABC News, July 9

“It’s another way for people visiting the area who might not know Old Dominion to learn about us. It gets out who we are, and that might spark some conversation.” (Karen F. Travis, assistant vice president for institutional advancement)

– “You’ve got the T-shirt. But do you have the coffee?”
The Virginian-Pilot, July 2
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