news


ODU to offer instruction in accelerator physics
BY JIM RAPER

The university will gain three new physics professorships and create an accelerator physics group under an agreement it reached last month with Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in Newport News.

These additional resources will enable Old Dominion to offer undergraduate and graduate instruction in accelerator physics. Only a handful of institutions in the United States have comprehensive programs in this field.

The three new Jefferson Lab professorships will bring to six the number of these subsidized positions within the ODU physics department. According to the agreement, the three new professors will come from the ranks of scientists in the lab’s Accelerator Division. The agreement also anticipates the creation of another joint ODU-Jefferson Lab physics professorship within the next three years.

ODU’s 12-person nuclear physics research group is one of the strongest in the country largely because of the university’s ties to Jefferson Lab.

Built by the U.S. Department of Energy at a cost of $600 million, the lab has a mile-long track that accelerates a continuous beam of electrons to near the speed of light. The high-speed electrons smash into atoms and large detectors record the results, enabling physicists to research the fundamental nature of matter.

Operation of the accelerator itself, which currently is in the first stages of an energy upgrade, involves a discrete set of science and engineering specialties. ODU’s new program in accelerator physics will provide training in classical nonlinear dynamics, electromagnetism, superconductivity and the interaction of particle and photon beams with matter. The studies can lead to master’s or doctoral degrees, and the program also will get a course for advanced undergraduates beginning next fall.

“Old Dominion has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Jefferson Lab,” said President Roseann Runte. “Together we have expanded knowledge of the universe through theory and experimentation. Americans can be proud of the cutting-edge research performed by this talented group.”

Mohammad Karim, vice president for research, noted that the university has banked on a strong partnership with Jefferson lab to build its physics program. “We are making that bond even stronger now,” he added.

Three scientists from Jefferson Lab’s Accelerator Division – Geoffrey Krafft, Jean Delayen and Hari Areti – have been chosen to be the new Jefferson Lab professors, said Gail Dodge, chair of the physics department and a nuclear experimentalist herself.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to extend our partnership with Jefferson Lab into accelerator physics,” said Dodge. “Accelerators are increasingly used in hospitals to deliver particle beams for cancer therapy, in addition to their more traditional role in providing beams for nuclear and particle physics research.”

Dodge noted that accelerator physics is only one part of an interdisciplinary field. “Ultimately, we hope to expand this program to include chemistry, math and engineering, and form a center for accelerator sciences.”

Jefferson Lab professors, according to the agreement, can devote up to one-third of their work time to professorial duties at ODU.

Krafft has a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley; Delayen has a doctorate in low temperature physics from the California Institute of Technology; and Areti has a doctorate in high energy physics from the University of Ottawa.

The agreement is in the form of an amendment to the memorandum of understanding that exists between ODU and the contractor, Jefferson Science Associates, which manages Jefferson Lab. The amendment was signed in mid-October by Runte and Christoph Leemann, director of Jefferson Lab.

As much as $300 million is slated to be spent on the pending upgrade of the Jefferson Lab accelerator. The improvements will increase the available energy of the continuous beam of electrons from about 6 billion to 12 billion volts. Back to top


Casteen chosen as commencement speaker
University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III will speak at Old Dominion’s Dec. 17 commencement.

Approximately 1,700 students will be eligible to graduate. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

UVa’s president since 1990, Casteen previously served as president of the University of Connecticut (1985-90) and Virginia’s secretary of education (1982-85).

At UVa, Casteen has overseen a major restructuring of the administrative and governance structures, one of the largest capital fund campaigns ever undertaken, significant improvements in academic programs and major expansions of the institution’s physical facilities.

During his presidency, UVa has been recognized for its leadership in educating minority students, for the quality of its undergraduate teaching and for its success in refinancing itself following historic reductions in state tax support at the beginning of the decade.

Casteen, who also holds the title of George M. Kaufman Presidential Professor, has been a director of the American Council on Education and a director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A Portsmouth native, he holds three degrees in English from UVa. Back to top


Illumination set for Dec. 5 at Webb Center
The campus community will help usher in the holiday season at Old Dominion’s sixth annual Illumination, scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Dec. 5 outside the main entrance to Webb Center.

The popular holiday tradition will feature the lighting of candles and music by the Larchmont Elementary School Chorus, under the direction of Andrew Lesko. ODU international students will be invited to say a few words about the holidays in their countries.

A gingerbread man cookie decorating contest, for kids “from 1 to 92,” will precede the Illumination at 4:30 p.m. in the Webb Center main lobby. Refreshments will be available.

Those who attend the Illumination are asked to bring a canned good for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.
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Nine alumni, one student among “Top 40 Under 40”
Nine Old Dominion alumni and one student were named to Inside Business newspaper’s “Top Forty Under 40” list of the area’s top business professionals.

The annual list, published Oct. 9, highlights 40 young, rising business people who are both successful in their careers and involved in the community. The group was chosen from nearly 100 nominations by a panel of five judges.

ODU student Carlos J. Clanton, director of the Norfolk Division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, is pursuing a corporate and industrial arts degree.

ODU alumni making the list were: Carla Tyler Brittle (M.P.A. ’99), management and resource administrator for James City County Government Parks and Recreation; Cateena Carter, (B.S. ’99), CEO and technical director at Unique Imaging Solutions; Jeff Cooper (B.S. ’90), vice president of Cooper Reality Inc.; Wanda Cooper (B.S. ’97), attorney at Bullock & Cooper; Stephanie J. Dickens (B.S.B.A. ’94), vice president, retail lending, at Old Point National Bank; Rob J. Gies (B.S.M.E. ’90, M.E.M. ’94), engineer manager and CVN 79 acting program manager at Northrop Grumman Newport News; Yasmine Hooper (B.S. ’93), owner and manager of Hooper Management Co.; Khalilah LeGrand (B.S. ’00), Eastern Virginia director of the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council; and Clenise Platt (M.S. ’98), private wealth adviser for Sagemark Consulting.


Faculty/staff tickets are only $5 for ODU vs. Tenn.
ODU faculty and staff can purchase tickets for only $5 to the ODU vs. Tennessee women’s basketball game at 5 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. That’s a savings of $8 off the adult general admission price.

“The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU, and the alumni and athletic departments want to make sure we have a great crowd for this long-time rivalry,”said Debbie H. White, senior associate athletic director.

To receive the discount, faculty and staff can visit the Constant Center box office and show their university ID card. There is a four ticket limit. For more information call 683-4444. Back to top


ODU among nation’s most racially diverse schools
Old Dominion was cited Nov. 5 in a New York Times listing of the nation’s most racially diverse four-year institutions.

The listing, which appeared in the newspaper’s Education Life section under the heading “Colleges of Many Colors,” noted that 26 percent of ODU’s 2005 enrollment of 14,605 degree-seeking undergraduates were black, 6 percent were Asian and 3 percent were Hispanic.

ODU’s black enrollment was the highest among larger public universities in Virginia.

As a measure of an institution’s economic diversity, the newspaper noted the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants for low-income students. ODU’s 2005 Pell Grant percentage was 26, which also was higher than the percentage of any other Virginia institution in the survey. Back to top


Univ. receives grant to continue ethics training
Old Dominion has received a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue a program that promotes training in research ethics for graduate students.

CGS, which received funds for the project from NSF, made grants to eight institutions from among the 28 submitting proposals. “The excellence of your proposal is testimony to the commitment that you and your institution have made to research integrity,” CGS officials wrote in their letter to Philip Langlais, vice provost for graduate studies and research, announcing the grant in mid-September.

Two years ago, ODU was one of 10 universities nationwide to receive a grant from the private CGS and the federal Office of Research Integrity to begin work on ethics training programs for graduate students. Langlais has led that effort as head of the ODU task force on ethical and responsible conduct of research, scholarship and professional activities.

The task force has done research at ODU to gauge student and faculty perceptions and skills regarding ethical decision-making and to frame a general plan for the ethics training that is needed. Back to top


Journal cites popularity of Laroussi article
A research article written in 2003 by Mounir Laroussi, an associate professor with the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics and in the electrical and computer engineering department, and two colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, is still bringing them accolades.

The New Journal of Physics (NJP) informed Laroussi on Oct. 2 that his “Plasma Interaction with Microbes” is one of the most frequently downloaded articles in the history of the journal.

Recognition of the top downloaded articles coincided with the journal’s announcement that it had received its one-millionth article download. The journal was founded in 1998 by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society.

In July, Essential Science Indicators named the NJP a “rising star” in physics for having the highest percentage increase in total citations in the field.

Laroussi’s article is included in the collection of the journal’s top five downloaded articles for each year that has been posted on the publication’s Web site. His innovations include biological applications of plasma technology. Back to top


Inaugural issue of Graduate News published
The inaugural issue of Graduate News, a newsletter about ODU graduate studies, has been published online and in paper copies.

Philip Langlais, vice provost for graduate studies and research, said the newsletter supports the university’s strategic plan to increase the quality and productivity of graduate programs. “Our newsletter will help us document and track our success in meeting those expectations. It also will provide students and faculty an opportunity to learn about new programs, changes in policies, awards and accomplishments, and to feel the pulse of ODU’s graduate programs.”

Langlais and Brenda Lewis, assistant vice president for graduate studies, are the administrators responsible for the newsletter. Elizabeth Beal, a master’s student in fine arts, is the editor.

The fall issue features an article about the six ODU students who were chosen to present their research earlier this year at the Virginia Graduate Research Forum.

Also in the issue is an article on efforts to form an ODU Graduate Student Organization, a column by Langlais, an article by Lewis about the new graduate catalog and a profile of Jean Martin, graduate studies coordinator, who has worked at ODU for almost 30 years.

Paper copies of the newsletter are available free at Webb Center and it can be found online at www.odu.edu/ao/affairs/graduatestudies/newsletter.pdf. Quarterly publication is planned. Back to top


Alumni Assn. selling tickets to “A Christmas Carol”
The Alumni Association is extending ticket sales to the campus community for the Dec. 9 performance of the Virginia Stage Company’s “A Christmas Carol,” and a reception at the Wells Theatre in downtown Norfolk.

The reception, which will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, starts at 7 p.m.; the performance begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets, including admission to the reception, are $42 for adults and $27 for children 12 and under.To order call 683-3097 by Dec. 1. Back to top


Courier publication delayed
Because of technical problems, the Nov. 17 issue of The Courier could not be printed. The next issue of the paper is scheduled for publication on Jan. 13. Back to top


Engineering college installs Batten Chairs
The Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology held an investiture ceremony for Batten Endowed Chairs Nov. 2 in the Kaufman Hall atrium.

Two new faculty members were formally installed as Batten Chairs: Asad J. Khattak, Batten Endowed Chair in Advanced Transportation Engineering, and Adrian V. Gheorghe, Batten Endowed Chair in System of Systems Engineering (see story on Page 7).

Khattak, who recently joined the university, is responsible for developing and directing the ODU transportation program. He will conduct research on various types of innovations related to intelligent transportation systems, transportation safety and sustainable transportation. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the NWFP University of Engineering and Technology in Pakistan, and a master’s and Ph.D. in transportation from Northwestern University. Prior to joining ODU, he was professor of transportation at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he developed the Carolina Transportation Program.

Gheorghe joined the engineering college last March as professor of engineering management and systems engineering. His research interests include systems engineering modeling for critical infrastructures, system of systems engineering, sustainable development, homeland security and policy science implementation.

He holds a master’s in electrical engineering and engineering economics from Bucharest Polytechnic Institute in Romania, and a doctorate in systems science/systems engineering from the University of London. Before coming to ODU, Gheorghe was the director of the Centre of Excellence on Risk and Safety Sciences and a senior scientist with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Four named professorships also were announced during the ceremony.

Surendra N. Tiwari, the A.D. and Annye Lewis Morgan Endowed Professor, is a professor of mechanical engineering technology and eminent scholar. He has been a member of the ODU faculty for 25 years.

Han P. Bao, Mitsubishi Kasei Endowed Professor, joined the mechanical engineering department in 1997 and taught in ODU’s engineering management department prior to that.

Alok K. Verma, Ray Ferrari Endowed Professor, is a professor in the engineering technology department. He serves as the chief technologist for the Lean Institute, MET Program director and director of the Automated Manufacturing Laboratory.

Helmut Baumgart, Virginia Micro Electronics Consortium Endowed Professor, joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2005. His research interests include nanotechnology, microelectronics fabrication, semiconductor device processing, gate stack engineering, silicon-on-insulator technology and germanium-on-insulator technology for high-performance devices. Back to top


Work begins on bookstore, hotel
More construction is under way in the University Village, bringing exciting new offerings to the Old Dominion and Norfolk communities.

Fencing and construction cones surround the southwest corner of 45th Street and Monarch Way, as crews prepare the pile-driving phase for a $7 million, three-and-a-half story bookstore.

The first and second floors of the 42,000-square-foot building will be dedicated to the bookstore, which will offer approximately 20,000 titles – from bestsellers to children’s books. ODU accessories, general merchandise and trade books will be located on the first level and academic books on the second. The first floor will also feature a café with an outdoor seating area. The development office will occupy the upper floors.

Designed by Tymoff+Moss Architects, the brick and precast building will echo design elements of other exteriors in the University Village and will include a two-story glass atrium at the entrance and an escalator between the first and second floors. There will be comfortable seating and lounge areas, as well.

Expected to open in late fall 2007, the bookstore will be managed by Follett Higher Education Group and will replace the current bookstore in Webb Center.

One block west on 45th Street, construction began in October on a Marriott Springhill Suites hotel. Fronting Hampton Boulevard, the five-story, hotel will feature 114 rooms, conference facilities, two apartments designed for visiting professors and researchers, and a small café.

The hotel is being developed by BBL Development Group and will be managed by Ocean Hospitalities. It is expected to open next fall.

Hoy Construction has been awarded the contract to build out the first floor on the adjacent east side of the new north parking garage to accommodate the University Gallery. This facility will also house the Gordon Contemporary Folk Art Collection in museum-quality space. The project will be completed in early spring 2007. Back to top


Former engineering prof Leon Wang dies
Leon Ru-Liang Wang, 73, professor emeritus of civil engineering, died Oct. 25, 2006, at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston after battling metastatic kidney cancer. His family gathered for his funeral on Oct. 26, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Chapel, which was the site of his 1961 wedding to his wife, Joyce.

Wang joined the ODU faculty in 1984 and retired in 1995. He served as department chair from 1984-90.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce Wang; his three children, Frank Wang, Mark Wang and Cindy Chao; seven grandchildren; his older brother, Ru-Mei Wang; younger sister, Stella Han; and younger brother, Peter Ru-Qiao Wang.

After completing his doctor of science degree from MIT in 1965, Wang dedicated his life to being an educator and researcher. Before coming to ODU, he was on faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cheng-Kung University (in Taiwan), University of Oklahoma and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.

Wang’s other passion in life was community service, and he served many years as president of the Eastern Virginia chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA/EVC). He was appointed in December 2005 to the Virginia Asian Advisory Board by former Gov. Mark R. Warner.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wang’s latest community service interest, which was to raise funds to build a national Organization of Chinese Americans center in Washington, D.C. Contributions may be made in memory of Dr. Leon R.L. Wang to OCA/EVC, P.O. Box 924, Yorktown, VA 23692. Condolences may be sent to www.mem.com. Back to top


Tuition assistance deadline is Dec. 1
The spring 2007 semester deadline for all tuition assistance programs administered by the Department of Human Resources – for classified and hourly staff members, faculty and faculty administrators, and dependents and spouses – is 5 p.m. Dec. 1.

The tuition assistance program policies may be seen on the Benefits Web page: www.odu.edu/af/humanresources/benefits.

Information, applications and related forms may be obtained from the Human Resources Forms page: http://forms.odu.edu/browse.php?cat=4.

For questions or more information about the program call Kathryn Whitson at 683-4237. Back to top


Oceanographer awarded grant to study red tides
BY JIM RAPER

Margaret Mulholland, assistant professor of oceanography, has been awarded a $500,000 grant to help determine the nutrient triggers causing deadly red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico.

She and student researchers in her laboratory group are part of a multi-institutional research team that will get $4.7 million in funding over the next five years from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The grant will be administered by the Wildlife Research Institute of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Red tides are caused by discoloration of the water due to the excessive growth of certain algae, many of which are toxic. In addition to toxic effects, excessive algal production can result in formation of low oxygen zones – such as in the Chesapeake Bay – as algae sink and are degraded.

The research team will investigate causal factors promoting red tide blooms on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where red tides are common, their causes are poorly understood and their consequences are deadly.

Red tide blooms of toxin-producing algae cause extensive fish kills, shellfish contamination and human health impacts in coastal waters worldwide. However, the factors causing these blooms have remained elusive. Because harmful algal blooms may have common causes and are increasing globally, the research will have far-reaching impacts.

Mulholland and her lab group at ODU will investigate the dominant sources of nutrients fueling red tide blooms and evaluate the preferences of the Florida red tide organism (Karenia brevis) for specific forms of nutrients.

The ODU researchers will participate in at least four research cruises in the Gulf of Mexico as part of this project.

Some scientists and conservation groups in Florida are convinced that nutrients from farms, waterfront housing developments and heavy industries are causing the red tides. But other scientists say that nutrient runoff does not cause the toxic algal blooms, and research results to date are inconclusive. The assembled research team will investigate how and whether the nutrient enrichment contributes to the initiation, duration and magnitude of red tide blooms.

Other researchers involved in the grant are from the University of Miami, Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Fla., the University of South Florida, the University of Maryland and Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Mulholland was elected this past summer to membership on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP). She will employ her expertise on nutrient enrichment and algae blooms and other aspects of biological oceanography on behalf of the CBP, which is a joint program involving the states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

An ODU faculty member since 2000, Mulholland was granted a doctorate in biological oceanography by the University of Maryland in 1998. Her research focus involves various aspects of carbon and nitrogen cycling in aquatic systems. Back to top


Football coach selection committee announced
President Roseann Runte recently announced the formation of a search committee that will play a key role in the selection of the university’s new football coach.

Athletic director Jim Jarrett will chair the committee and ultimately recommend to her and the Board of Visitors the successful candidate. Others members of the committee represent the administration, faculty, student body, alumni, Intercollegiate Foundation and Board of Visitors.

“These individuals, teamed with Dr. Jim Jarrett, should ensure we continue our outstanding tradition of hiring the very best coaches for our athletic programs,” Runte said.

Committee members are:

  • John R. Broderick, vice president for institutional advancement, admissions and chief of staff. Broderick was a member of the committee that reviewed the men’s basketball head coaching candidates.
  • Anshita Kumar, a senior finance major who is an alternate student member to the Board of Visitors and a Student Government Association committee chair.
  • Kevin Larkin ’94, the senior vice president at Bank of America in Norfolk and a former ODU basketball captain and Academic All-American.
  • Robin Ray, president of Atlantic Dominion Distributors, is a longtime supporter of the university and a former chair and current member of the Intercollegiate Foundation board.
  • Janis Sanchez-Hucles, psychology department chair, serves as the chair of the university athletic committee and as ODU’s faculty representative to the NCAA.
  • Moody “Sonny” Stallings, a 1973 graduate of ODU and Virginia Beach attorney, has been a member of the Board of Visitors since 2002.

“I look forward to working with the committee and taking advantage of numerous athletic professionals, including our consultants Dick Sheridan and George Welsh, to assist in the search,” says Jarrett.

ODU’s Division I-AA football team will begin play in 2009. Back to top


History Channel visits Reidy Center
Is the science and technology of the 21st century producing anything similar to the deflector shields, tricorder scanners and other fictional gadgetry shown in Star Trek episodes of the 1960s? That was the question asked by a History Channel documentary maker who visited the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics on Nov. 1, and his answer was a qualified yes.

Innovative work by Reidy Center researchers, including the founder and director Karl Schoenbach, as well as Mounir Laroussi and Richard Nuccitelli, does remind of Star Trek science fiction. The three are faculty members in computer and electrical engineering at Old Dominion, which operates the Reidy Center together with Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Producer John Logsdon, who is making a documentary special for the History Channel’s prime-time “Modern Marvels” series, interviewed the researchers and filmed some of their experiments during his visit to the center. He said the show is tentatively titled “The Science of Star Trek” and is scheduled to debut in January 2007.

Schoenbach and Laroussi are leading researchers in the field of plasmas, which are soups of supercharged gases. Work that Laroussi has done for the U.S. Air Force involves plasma applications that can be likened to Star Trek’s “shields up” deflectors. Experiments show that plasma could cloak an aircraft or spacecraft to shield it from high-energy weapons or radar.

Laroussi also demonstrated for the History Channel producer his hand-held plasma pencil, sometimes called a plasma saber, which shoots out a plume of cold plasma. The plume is harmless to the touch, but can kill bacteria. Several national publications, including National Geographic, have made note of Laroussi’s invention of the pencil and how it resembles a futuristic light saber.

Nuccitelli’s Bioelectric Field Imager, which is now undergoing clinical trials, can be compared to the tricorder, a Starfleet scanner that routinely was used to check for life forms and determine other characteristics of potential landing areas for the Starship Enterprise. Nuccitelli’s scanner can be passed over skin to measure electric fields. The measurements might detect a malignant skin lesion or reveal the seriousness of a wound.

“The Imager is probably the closest thing to a tricorder that exists today because the probe does not actually touch the skin while it measures the electric field,” Nuccitelli said.

Added Laroussi, who has appeared previously on History Channel technology shows, “They taped all day and they seemed very satisfied with the material they got.”

– Jim Raper
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University to offer Ph.D. in strategic management
The College of Business and Public Administration has relaunched the doctoral program in business administration with a concentration in strategic management. The degree, which was first offered at Old Dominion in 1989, currently has 40 students enrolled in the finance and marketing concentrations.

While strategic management also was offered when the program began, as interest and resources later waned, the university stopped offering that concentration. “Today we truly have the resources in management to fully equip this program,” said William Judge, who will oversee the program.

Judge, who was appointed E.V. Williams Endowed Chair of Strategic Leadership this summer, has 20 years’ experience in researching and designing curricula in business management, strategic management, environmental management, business ethics and strategic leadership.

Two students are currently enrolled in the strategic management concentration, and Judge expects many more as word about the program spreads. Back to top


Afghan students grateful for chance to earn degree
BY SUSAN BECK

Unlike other students who can head home to do laundry on the weekends, home for Old Dominion students Khatera Alizada and Saghar Baqeri is much farther: halfway around the world in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Former political refugees, both students have traveled a long and emotional journey to pursue their education.

When the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan in 1996, education ceased for women. Shortly after, both Alizada and Baqeri and their families fled to neighboring Pakistan, where limited educational opportunities included finishing high school and enrolling in continuing education programs.

“After the Taliban fell, my family and I were anxious to get home,” said Alizada, who returned to Afghanistan in 2002 to find scarce resources and few educational options.

Baqeri agrees, remembering how difficult it was to get basic necessities like electricity, clothes and food, let alone to think about school.

As the country began to rebuild, both women went to work. Alizada served as a personnel officer for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. Baqeri worked as an account assistant for the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

It was through their jobs that they learned about The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, a program that awards full, four-year scholarships at U.S. colleges and universities.

Founded by philanthropist and activist Paula Nirschel in 2002, the program provides scholarships to Afghan women who had been forbidden to pursue higher education under Taliban rule.

Currently, 20 Initiative to Educate Afghan Students are studying at 14 universities and colleges across the United States, including the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Meredith College, University of Montana, Mt. Holyoke College, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and University of Richmond.

Alizada, a freshman majoring in international business, and Baqeri, a sophomore accounting major, chose to enroll at Old Dominion in fall 2006 for the university’s East Coast location and program offerings.

“I have felt very welcome here, it just feels like home,” said Baqeri.

Although the girls did not know each other before coming to Old Dominion, they quickly bonded and room together on campus.

Living the American experience has been the best part of Alizada’s time here. “I’ve been able to meet so many diverse people that I would never have known,” she said.

For Baqeri, it is the educational system. “Teachers provide you not just with theory but with tangible real-world examples. It makes learning fun,” she said.

The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women requires scholarship recipients to return to Afghanistan upon graduation to serve as role models in their communities.

Alizada plans to pursue a career in women’s rights. Someday, she hopes to return to the United States for a master’s degree in international relations.

Baqeri has plans to become an accountant and one day hopes to train other women in the field.“Knowledge is so important and our country desperately needs educated professionals,” she said.

“For the first time, women in Afghanistan now have a chance to enter the work force. I just feel so fortunate to be able to return with the best education possible,” Baqeri said. “It’s a dream come true, I still can’t believe it.” Back to top


    Wallops Island Spaceport set to launch first rocket on Dec. 11
    10...9...8... The countdown to blastoff has begun. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), a collaborative project of Old Dominion, businesses and the states of Virginia and Maryland, will launch its first rocket from Wallops Island on Dec. 11. The long-awaited launch will be the first of four scheduled over the next 12 months from the facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

    Operated by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and directed by ODU Assistant Professor of Engineering Management Billie Reed, MARS was established in 1995 by Old Dominion and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology. The facility features a $3.6 million, 113-foot-tall rocket launch pad and promises low-cost, safe and reliable space launch services for commercial, government and scientific/academic users.

    The U.S. Air Force has contracted with MARS to launch a small satellite developed by the Air Force Research Lab on Dec. 11, and has scheduled two additional satellite launches for next April and November. The other launch, scheduled for June, is a NASA Langley spacecraft that will feature a new launch vehicle.

    “This validates us as a viable spaceport,” noted Reed in a recent interview with The Virginian-Pilot. “Having an orbital launch to your credit makes you real.”

    Reed said the upcoming launches will be used to market the spaceport to other customers as a low-cost, reliable facility.

    There are only five other licensed spaceports in the country, including Vandenberg Air Force Base and Mojave Spaceport in California, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska and Burns Flat Spaceport in Oklahoma.

    – Jennifer Mullen
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    ODU requests campus input in developing marketing initiatives
    BY JENNIFER MULLEN

    The next phase of Old Dominion’s marketing initiative, which began two years ago under the direction of President Roseann Runte, was unveiled at an open forum for faculty, staff, students and alumni Nov. 28.

    Hosted by John R. Broderick, vice president for institutional advancement and chief of staff, the forum featured representatives from Educational Marketing Group (EMG), a Colorado-based marketing and communications firm that specializes in higher education. ODU recently contracted with the company to assist the university in constructing a brand platform.

    According to Broderick, Old Dominion has been involved in an important process to clarify its emerging position in the marketplace, both externally and internally. Foundational work was done to establish a core positioning framework that included an institutional promise (the benefits constituents receive from ODU) and a set of drivers (the proof of that promise). The framework provides a way of defining what makes ODU unique and compelling in preparation for a university marketing and communications program.

    Over the past several years, input was gathered through focus groups, a S.W.O.T. analysis and in other ways, from a variety of ODU constituents. Several themes, which were particularly valuable to the development of the university’s strategic plan, emerged:

    • Innovative and engaging teaching;
    • Cutting-edge research;
    • Diverse and friendly campus; and
    • Attractive and vibrant metropolitan location.

    EMG will guide the university in constructing a robust messaging platform that further shapes and expands ODU’s core themes for use in internal and external communications.

    The campus community will be asked for additional input via e-mail. These will be different questions from those asked in the earlier focus groups and are intended to determine what each of these themes truly means at Old Dominion, Broderick stressed. Feedback will be gathered in early December through anonymous Web-based input, and it is critically important that everyone participates, he noted.

    In late spring, the results of this process will be used to enhance Old Dominion’s public image and assist in recruitment and fundraising efforts. The goal is to ensure that ODU’s audiences immediately understand what the university stands for, what it offers and why they should support it. Back to top


    Research Foundation seeks alternative-fuel project proposals
    The ODU Research Foundation is seeking proposals for projects that could expand the use of alternative-fuel resources in Virginia. Up to $200,000 will be granted to projects that explore commercial-energy usages for crops, agricultural and livestock by-products and waste, landfill gases and other resources.

    Funding is possible in two categories: (1) study of feasibility of specific applications; (2) demonstration of ways to overcome barriers associated with economical conversion of these resources into usable, conventional energy products.

    Funding is provided by the program “Biomass: Feasibility and Support of Biomass and Waste-to-Energy Products in Virginia,” of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The foundation expects to fund up to three projects for a total amount of $200,000.

    Proposals are due in 2033 Hughes Hall by 4 p.m. Jan. 15, 2007. Technical questions should be directed to Isaac Flory at iflory@odu.edu or 683-6560. Other questions should be directed to Kathy Ganas at kganas@odu.edu. For more information visit the Web site www.eng.odu.edu/veen. Back to top


    Multidisciplinary grants awarded to five ODU teams
    Five research teams involving 26 faculty members at Old Dominion and five collaborators from other institutions will share the nearly $400,000 in 2006 multidisciplinary seed funding from the ODU Office of Research.

    The grants were announced Nov. 16 by Mohammad Karim, vice president for research.

    He said the 2006 competition attracted 22 proposals involving 70 ODU faculty members and 24 researchers from other institutions and agencies.

    Researchers who won seed grants in the first round of competition last year were ineligible for round two.

    The goal of the initiative is to provide seed funding for research that is multi-disciplinary and multi-researcher; that complies with research priorities at ODU; that can produce immediate impact; and that builds thematic teams with serious prospects to attract additional and new research dollars.

    “It was extremely difficult to make choices from so many great ideas,” Karim said. Projects selected by the research office’s team of experts are (unless otherwise noted, the investigators are from ODU):

    • “Biological and Chemical Deployable Nanosensors for Homeland Security Applications Based on Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) Technology Platform” – $75,000 to Shirshak Dhali, principal investigator and professor of electrical and computer engineering; Sacharia Albin, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Helmut Baumgart, Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professor of Electrical Engineering; John Cooper, associate professor of chemistry; and Zhili Hao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
    • “Modeling and Testing Complex Interactions of Chromatin-associated Proteins in Cancer Cells” – $78,000 to Patricia Hentosh and Dennis Peffley, co-principal investigators and professors of medical laboratory and radiation sciences; Patrick Hatcher, Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences; Sophie K. Thompson, associate professor of medical laboratory and radiation sciences; and Danail Bonchev, biologist from Virginia Commonwealth University.
    • “Novel Approach to Wound Healing: Platelet Activation Using Nanosecond Pulse Electric Fields” – $80,000 to Barbara Hargrave, principal investigator and associate professor of biological sciences; Peter Blackmore, professor of physiological sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School; Richard Nuccitelli, researcher at the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics and research associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Stephen Beebe, associate professor of physiological sciences at EVMS; Ravi Joshi, professor of electrical and computer engineering and researcher at the Reidy Center; and Jue Zhang, researcher at the Reidy Center.
    • “Quality of Life Indicators Among Elderly Persons: Measuring and Mapping the Interrelationships Between Health, Transportation Needs, Happiness, Economics and Mistreatment” – $74,998 to Brian K. Payne, principal investigator and professor of sociology and criminal justice; Richardean Benjamin, associate professor of nursing; Charlie Turner, associate professor of economics; Randy Gainey, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice; Carryl Baldwin, assistant professor of psychology; Elizabeth Monk-Turner, professor of sociology and criminal justice; Stefan Gravenstein, director of EVMS’s Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology; and Ruth Triplett, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice.
    • “Virtual Reality in Gait Rehabilitation” – $75,000 to Martha Walker, principal investigator and associate professor of physical therapy; Gianluca De Leo, assistant professor of medical laboratory and radiation sciences; Jessica Crouch, assistant professor of computer science; Stacie Ringleb, research scientist at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center; Bonnie Van Lunen, assistant professor of exercise science, sport, physical education and recreation; George Maihafer, associate professor of physical therapy; and Jean Shelton, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at EVMS.

    The funds made available to the teams must be expended by June 30, 2007. Each team is expected to provide a written report, make an oral presentation to a research audience at ODU and follow up with an aggressive plan to attract external grants. Back to top


    International initiatives recognized
    Old Dominion was one of three schools whose international education initiatives were touted by NAFSA in the recent report Internationalizing the Campus 2006: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities.

    The other two institutions were the University of Richmond and Babson College in Massachusetts.

    In the report, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, takes an in-depth look at U.S. colleges and universities that are leaders in their commitment to creating a college experience with a global perspective.

    Released Nov. 7, the report praises the university’s efforts at internationalizing the campus with programs such as the Global Forums, Presidential Global Scholarship, master’s degree program in international higher education leadership, Provost’s Award for Leadership in International Education and Global Certificate Program, among others.

    The report also named the recipients of NAFSA’s 2006 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization: Arcadia University, Concordia College, Earlham College, Michigan State University and Purdue University.

    NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education.

    To view a copy the full report, visit: http://www.nafsa.org/2006itc. ODU’s profile can be found on pages 68-75. Back to top


    Final performances of “Anton” Dec. 1-3
    The final performances of the University Theatre’s “Anton in Show Business,” an all-female comedy, will be held Dec. 1-3 at The Stables Theatre.

    Written by Jane Martin and directed by Katherine Hammond, the newest member of the ODU theater department, “Anton in Show Business” peeks into the hilarious and often ridiculous state of theater in the United States. Piercingly comical and absurdly true, the play follows the lives of three actresses performing Chekhov's “The Three Sisters” as they struggle against all the tribulations they must endure to create “art.”

    The play contains adult themes and situations and is not suitable for children.

    Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for general admission. They may be purchased at the Arts and Letters box office in the lobby of the University Theatre, or by calling 683-5305. Back to top


    Runte elected president of Virginia Tidewater Consortium board
    President Roseann Runte was elected Nov. 8 as chair of the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education (VTCHE) board of directors.

    The purpose of the consortium is to provide maximum educational opportunity for the citizens of the Tidewater region.

    “We are pleased to have Dr. Runte serve as chair,” said Lawrence G. Dotolo, consortium president. “She has a good perception of regional cooperation.”

    Consortium member institutions include: Christopher Newport University, College of William and Mary, Eastern Shore Community College, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hampton University, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Paul D. Camp Community College, Regent University, Thomas Nelson Community College, Tidewater Community College and Virginia Wesleyan College.

    A proactive consortium, VTCHE maintains the following goals:

    • To determine the need for higher education programs and to provide increased educational opportunities for area residents.
    • To encourage cooperative projects among the institutions of higher education to better serve the citizens of the area.
    • To establish linkages between the member institutions and business, industry, government and the military.
    • To enrich existing academic opportunities, exchange and articulation programs.
    • To work cooperatively with the local school divisions to serve the educational needs of teachers and administrators.
    • To develop the use of technology to enhance the teaching and learning process.
    • To enhance the economic development of the region by providing an opportunity for the development of a highly trained workforce.


    New Batten Chair sees vulnerabilities in everyday life
    BY JIM RAPER

    As a new resident of Hampton Roads and an inveterate world traveler, Adrian Gheorghe can appreciate the beauty and vitality of the region’s popular seacoast and bustling port. As the new Batten Chair of Systems Engineering at Old Dominion University, he can see risks and vulnerabilities in those same attributes.

    During the last two decades, Gheorghe (pronounced ghey-OR-ghey), a Romanian by birth, became one of Europe’s leading risk assessment engineers. Early in his career, he began researching safety and reliability issues pertaining to nuclear power generation and the distribution of electricity. Now, he also is applying his analysis to a wide array of contemporary threats, those associated with terrorism, natural disasters, pandemics, cyber vandalism, and transportation or communication breakdowns.

    Gheorghe’s research is summed up by the titles of the international journal he edits – Critical Infrastructures – and of the book he published earlier this year – “Critical Infrastructures at Risk” (Springer).

    What is a critical infrastructure? The endowed professor says the definition may depend on who you are and where you live. Generally, a “CI,” as he calls it, is a system or service that people depend upon for normal existence. People often come to think of CIs as “rights,” Gheorghe says. “To some it may be as simple as hot water and cold beer. These could be the same people who believe tomatoes grow at Wal-Mart.”

    In fact, he says, each CI is a weave of complex and interdependent components. This “system of systems” concept has given the name to Gheorghe’s branch of engineering (SoSE).

    “It is like surfing big waves,” he says as an aside. “I’ve surfed from systems engineering to system of systems engineering. This is the second wave for me, and I doubt that I’m going to live long enough to catch another big one.”

    Some CIs, though complex, deliver very basic needs, such as food and drinking water. Other CIs were not even on Gheorghe’s radar when he was a student, such as the Internet. Remaining examples involve roads, bridges and tunnels; dams and levees; police and military protection; health and medical care; electricity service; fuel services; public transportation; banking systems; communications systems; and even a culture’s key artifacts, sporting events, artwork and buildings.

    When a CI breaks down, normal existence is interrupted, and the people touched by the calamity will be demoralized or inconvenienced, and perhaps suffer or die. The fallout often is political unrest. Gheorghe points out that many CI breakdowns are highly localized, and that risk assessments are often region-specific. For example, disaster planning for southeastern Virginia must deal with the peculiar realities of East Coast hurricanes, blockages or bottlenecks at bridges and tunnels, and dangers posed by ships in the harbor.

    In his first public Hampton Roads lecture in mid-October, Gheorghe outlined his research on European tunnel disasters, such as the fire in 1999 that closed the alpine Mont Blanc vehicular tunnel between France and Italy for more than a year. The fire, caused by a tractor-trailer that was hauling margarine and flour, turned the tunnel into a blast furnace that killed 39 people. It burned for two days and did $300 million in damage. Gheorghe said safety planning for the tunnel never anticipated an inferno keyed by flour and margarine, nor a tunnel ventilation system that would cause more harm than good, nor legal challenges that would keep the tunnel closed for months after it was repaired.

    The accident demonstrates the complexity of disaster-mitigation planning for the five tunnel complexes in Hampton Roads, according to Gheorghe.

    At the October lecture, about 125 engineers, emergency response professionals and military personnel also saw computer simulations of dangerous-fumes emergencies that Hampton Roads might experience. These models were based on simulation tools developed by him and European colleagues.

    “I think I have brought to the table here some tools that will save years of academic research at Old Dominion,” he says. This could bolster and speed up the disaster preparedness assistance that academics can provide to governments. When applied to aerial photos of Hampton Roads, the models show street-by-street how various wind conditions would affect dispersion of fumes caused by spills or fires at specific hazardous materials sites. “The mayors, I believe, would like to have these on their desks during emergencies,” Gheorghe told the audience.

    Highly localized risk assessment, however, is only a small part of Gheorghe’s expertise. He is best known as a risk engineer without borders. No sooner had he moved into his new office in Kaufman Hall on the ODU campus this past summer than he was off to Europe to deliver lectures and speeches at international disaster prevention and mitigation meetings in Zurich, Davos, Istanbul and Vienna. One of his goals, he says, is to publicize the extent to which most people on the planet are in the same boat as far as risks are concerned.

    “CIs must be protected beyond homeland borders,” Gheorghe is fond of saying. The failure of a localized system tends to cascade into a series of failures, he notes, and the result sometimes is a domino-effect catastrophe involving interdependent CIs around the globe.

    In a full conversation with Gheorghe, it becomes clear that he also resists being hemmed in by professional borders. The scope of his interests is broad enough to make him sound at times like a political scientist or a psychologist, a sociologist or an economist. (His four advanced degrees include an M.B.A. from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest as well as a Ph.D. in systems science and systems engineering from City University in London.)

    “Dr. Gheorghe’s work has applications that extend far beyond the field of engineering to embrace the organization of knowledge and ideas, including philosophy and political science,” said President Roseann Runte. “Old Dominion University is extremely fortunate to have attracted him. His wealth of experience and exciting research portfolio place our university at the forefront of international systems research.”

    Gheorghe sometimes subtitles his lectures, “An awareness-raising campaign,” and he seems determined to imprint a checklist on the mind of anyone whose actions are critical to a critical infrastructure. Will engineering to prevent catastrophic failure actually harm systems operations under normal or near-normal conditions? Are our systems being asked to do more than they were designed to do? Are adequate early-warning systems in place? Have we learned all we can from previous natural disasters, accidents and mistakes? How do we isolate system breakdowns to prevent collapse of the whole CI, or multiple CIs? How do we cope with damage perceptions of victims and damage portrayals by news media? Have engineering strategies emphasized recovery from disasters, as well as prevention of disasters?

    Another question he often asks has to do with governance and leadership decisions: Is the “crisis of the day” and mercurial popular opinion diverting our attention from slowly developing, but potentially disastrous problems, such as global warming or overcrowding within our largest cities?

    As Gheorghe describes it, SoSE risk management must assume differences in peoples’ expectations, customs and politics as part of the overall complexity of the task. Variables might spring from how much inconvenience one will accept or how much privacy one is willing to give up in order to gain security.

    His lecture in Norfolk included commentary on how differently Americans and Europeans view the worldwide tide of terrorism: Americans see it as a problem for the military; Europeans see it as a problem for law enforcement. Americans want to reinforce their borders; Europeans favor a borderless society.

    “Complexity related to infrastructures can stem from new values, new technologies, political correctness, and the political word from the Kremlin, the White House or from along the Champs-Elysees,” he explains. “Some want a hard society. Some want a soft society. Even whether a country has 110-volt or 220-volt service reflects a mindset that we must consider.”

    In Austria this past summer, Gheorghe formally proposed to the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis that its affiliates collaborate on fundamental risk and vulnerability research with ODU’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology and National Centers for System of Systems Engineering. This collaboration would involve the computer modeling of complex systems, and could identify better ways to apply SoSE to risk management.

    Oktay Baysal, dean of the Batten College, said the university’s systems of systems engineering initiative responds to local and national needs in homeland security. “As we build our expertise in this field, we are grateful to Mr. Frank Batten (founder of the Norfolk-based Landmark Communications Inc.) for his endowment that allowed us to bring in an internationally renowned scholar from Switzerland. Among Dr. Gheorghe’s long list of accomplishments is the editorship of the international journal Critical Infrastructures prompted. When authorities worldwide want to publish in this field, they will send their articles to Old Dominion University.”

    A fascinating current project for Gheorghe involves his leadership roles in the World Security Forum and the European Institute for Risk and Security (EURISC). He and the organizations are floating the idea of a “world security index” that would involve security ratings given to corporations based on SoSE computations. “Security is a commodity,” he explains. “If you pay a lot for security, why shouldn’t you be rewarded for it?”

    Gheorghe’s conference participation during his summer travels in Switzerland, Austria, Romania and Turkey resulted in seven presentations, including a keynote address – “Risk and Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructures: A System of Systems Engineering Solution.” Other topics included pandemics and the Katrina and Chernobyl disasters.

    His many speaking and workshop invitations reflect his professional experience during the last 25 years with the Bucharest Polytechnic University, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and the Centre of Excellence on Risk and Safety Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Back to top


    Maglev research passes milestone; more tests planned
    BY JIM RAPER

    An impromptu experiment involving the blue and white maglev train car has shown that the vehicle can be levitated and moved smoothly along its track.

    The test affirmed successful laboratory experiments, which were reported in August by Thomas Alberts, professor of aerospace engineering who leads the maglev research team. In those experiments, a re-engineered model of the original train car’s undercarriage accomplished sustained and reliable levitation.

    Because of a construction project on the campus, the engineers were faced in October with a required move of the train car, which has been parked for most of the last four years on its elevated track. The engineers, took advantage of the window of opportunity before the move, transferred some of their technology upgrades from the laboratory to the train car, and were able to repeat their laboratory success.

    The car was levitated and, with the help of a slight decline in the track, the engineers were able to move it over a short distance. Alberts reported that the movement was completely smooth, not bumpy like the ride during the original trials.

    The maglev advances developed by the ODU research team included several changes to reduce the electrical noise in the system. Also, a decentralized magnet control system was designed and additional sensors were added to keep levitation steady.

    The original maglev vehicle at ODU moved in bumps and starts because its control system did not work properly in the presence of an overwhelming buzz of electrical and magnetic noise, Alberts said.

    The train car’s two undercarriages were built with a centralized control system for the six magnets installed in each. The new scheme has the same type and number of magnets, but each magnet reacts independently to data it receives from its own sensors.

    For several reasons, including track imperfections and vibrations of vehicle or track, the levitation needs to be constantly adjusted to maintain a stable floating-on-air ride. The adjustments are made by a control system that depends on signals from several sensors to raise or lower the electrical energy flowing to the magnets.

    The futuristic looking train car came to be as the result of a $14-million pilot project of American Maglev Technology (AMT), Lockheed Martin Corp. and other industry participants. The state of Virginia also provided financial support, and the partners hoped to see the development of a small, dependable and low-cost version of the expensive maglev projects that have been built elsewhere in the world. These other projects involve technology that can require a cost per maglev-track mile of $100 million. The technology involved on the maglev at ODU is designed to work out to a lower installation cost, perhaps as low as about $20 million a mile.

    ODU agreed to allow an elevated track, about 8-tenths of a mile long, to be built across its campus to showcase AMT’s maglev. Levitated and propelled by electro-magnetic energy, the train car was supposed to race across the campus at 40 miles per hour, essentially floating a half-inch or so above its railway.

    The train was built at an AMT facility in Florida and transported to Norfolk for test runs in the summer of 2002. Ride-quality problems could not be quickly solved, and by October 2002 the maglev project became mired in funding disputes and disagreements between partners. Engineers declared that refinements needed to be made to the vehicle’s complex control system, but the original project was out of money.

    The Federal Railway Administration (FRA) offered up $2 million more in maglev funding in 2003 to continue the work. As part of that effort, ODU President Roseann Runte challenged the university’s engineers to undertake a maglev research project that could advance maglev technology, and possibly revive the campus train.

    When the FRA effort was concluded, ODU administrators opted not to hold AMT to its contractual requirement to remove the elevated concrete railway and train car, and the University’s Office of Research anted up $94,000 more earlier this year to keep an ODU project going.

    In August, when the successful levitation in the laboratory was reported, Jeremiah Creedon, the university’s director of transportation research, said, “We have developed procedures that work in the lab and are expected to be the basis of a system that will work on the track.”

    That prediction has come true. More extensive tests are expected next year after campus construction restrictions are removed and the engineers can again use the elevated track. Back to top


    Student team gets “can-do” award
    A team of students from the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology won one of the top awards in the 10th annual Hampton Roads CANstruction competition, which challenges architects, engineers and students to build innovative structures using cans of food.

    The students won the competition’s Best Structural Ingenuity Award for their 5-foot-tall, yellow Pac-Man figure preparing to gobble up a blue module labeled as “Hunger.” The title of the entry is “PAC Hunger Away.”

    The 12 entries in this year’s competition were displayed recently at the Selden Arcade in downtown Norfolk. After the structures were dismantled, the canned goods were donated to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. The total weight of the cans used in this year’s Hampton Roads competition was 45,500 pounds.

    All teams solicited sponsorships and donations in order to obtain the cans they used in their structures. Tape and cardboard were the only other materials allowed.

    Other top winners were teams from professional firms. The Jurors’ Favorite Award went to Lyall Design Inc., the Best Use of Labels Award to Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering and the Best Meal Award to MMM Design Group.

    Analiza Feniza and Tayler Burgess were co-captains of the engineering student team. Other team members were: Blake Bristol, Christina Wong, Christopher Hayden, Harold Sumpter Jr., Jack Nagle, Jake Decowski, James Stephens, Jennifer Easterling, Jonathan Atkinson, Joseph Faustino, Justin Hunt, Kimberly Gibbs, Kyle Edgemon, Liang Dong, Matt Woodzell, Mike Dominice, Nicholas Pudim, Olga Belanger, Philip Ashe, Rowena Altoveros, Ryan Kozoriz, Samyukta Kodukula, Sierra White and Tariq Elhassani.

    CANstruction, a national charity created by the Society for Design Administration, held competitions in 84 cities this year. Back to top


    Board of Visitors to meet Dec. 8 in Webb Center
    The ODU Board of Visitors will meet from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Webb Center Board Room.
    This meeting of the full board will be preceded by a meeting of the Audit Committee from 8-9 a.m. in the Board Room, and meetings of the following standing board committees:

    • Institutional Advancement – 9-10 a.m., Board Room;
    • Student Advancement – 9-10 a.m., Rectors’ Room;
    • Academic and Research Advance-ment – 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rectors’ Room; and
    • Administration and Finance – 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Board Room.

    The full board meeting and the committee meetings are open to the public. For more information call 683-3072. Back to top


    Student exhibit opens Dec. 2 at Univ. Gallery
    The University Gallery will open a new exhibition, “Exhibitionists 5,” an annual event featuring work by undergraduate and graduate winners of art department scholarships, with a reception from 7–9 p.m. Dec. 2. The reception and exhibit, which continues through Dec. 17, are free and open to the public.

    Works by winners of the 2006-07 scholarships include: a collage installation by Heather Bryant, winner of the Harvey Ronald Saunders Memorial Endowed Scholarship; prints by Georgeanna Whittaker, winner of the Michael Fanizza Prize; and collaged paintings by Sara Leverett, winner of the Barbara M. Gorlinsky Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship.

    Also featured will be the winners of the Charles K. Sibley Fine Arts and Art History Scholarships: Sidney Martin III, photography; Jane Ritchie, assemblage sculptures; and Erin Cross, sculpture and prints. Additionally, the winner of the Ralph and Charlotte Margolius Scholarship, Christopher Law, and winner of the Claire P. Harrington Memorial Scholarship, Elizabeth Tumilty, will show paintings. Christina Carlson, winner of the Caroline Heath Tunstall-Elizabeth Calvert Page Dabney Scholarship, will show jewelry and metalwork, and John Runner, winner of the new Lorraine and Dr. H. William Fink Art Scholarship in Honor of Ken Daley, will show large-scale prints.

    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 1-4 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 683-2355 or go to www.odu.edu/al/art/gallery. Back to top


    Biologist’s research influences environmental policy
    Presentation by ODU’s Kent Carpenter spurs action in Philippines
    BY JIM RAPER

    When President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines signed an executive order Nov. 8 to strengthen environmental protections throughout her archipelago nation, she was endorsing the scientific research of ODU marine biologist Kent Carpenter.

    Carpenter’s Peace Corps stint in the Philippines in the 1970s launched a fascination that explains how a scientist from Virginia could come to influence marine-life conservation in a time zone 13 hours away.

    His nearly 30 years of research in and around the Philippines resulted two years ago in an internationally publicized finding – the central part of the nation is the “center of the center” for world marine shore fish biodiversity, and the peak in this marine biodiversity is found in the Verde Island Passage.

    A triangular region extending also to Malaysia and Indonesia has long been called the Earth’s “center” of marine biodiversity. But within that triangle, the portion of the Philippine archipelago between the islands of Luzon and Mindanao is packed with more species than any other sub-section, according to Carpenter’s research.

    About two-thirds of the known marine species of the Pacific can be found in these coastal waters of the Philippines.

    Carpenter, who coordinates global marine species assessment for the World Conservation Union, worked with Victor Springer of the Smithsonian Institution and in conjunction with the Conserva-tion International organization in producing the “center of center” biodiversity analysis.

    With his scholarly writing, and by giving numerous media interviews in the Philippines, the ODU professor of biological sciences has promoted a political response to his research findings. He stressed not only the valuable biodiversity in Philippine waters, but also other research showing that this marine habitat is the most threatened in the world.

    The use of poisons and dynamite by native fishermen, pollution from ships and pollution from land use practices are among the threats to the fish, shrimp, crabs, seaweeds, corals, sea turtles and sea snakes that Carpenter is trying to protect. Many of the threats exist because of poor enforcement of environmental regulations already in place, he told the Philippine news media.

    At a news conference in Manila on Oct. 13, Carpenter got a big break. His presentation about protecting the wealth of biodiversity in the Philippines resulted in major stories in two of the nation’s largest Sunday newspapers.

    Back in the United States later in October, Carpenter got the word that President Arroyo had read the newspaper articles and was moved to action.

    She wanted to convene – as soon as possible – a biodiversity conference.

    Carpenter returned to the Philippines for the Nov. 8 conference, sat at the head table with Arroyo, and gave what he has come to be described as “my ‘center of the center’ talk.”

    Back again on the ODU campus on Nov. 13, Carpenter described his meeting with Arroyo and how pleased he was by her action. Before she signed the executive order, he said, she shook his hand and said, “I am so pleased you are paying attention to our country. Thank you very much.”

    Arroyo’s executive order is designed to beef up environmental regulation enforcement by the nation’s coast guard and by agents of all levels of government, including local and provincial officials. She also declared the Verde Island Passage and the nearby island of Mindoro as a marine sanctuary and national protected area.

    The president was quoted in the Philippine media as saying: “We can only continue to be tops in terrestrial and marine wealth if we care for our resources, use them prudently and alleviate the poverty that forces people to exploit them mindlessly. We aim for the day when no Filipino will have to burn the forest or poison the water to earn his keep or feed his family. The challenge to all of us is how to keep the balance so that we protect our biodiversity and at the same time gain from it, and in the process attain sustainable development.”

    Carpenter told the conference that the central Philippine region “can be considered the marine counterpart to the Amazon River Basin. It is therefore very timely that President Arroyo is taking this action, and that organizations such as Conservation International and their partners focus effort to preserve the world’s most unique concentration of marine biodiversity.”

    Other Conservation International researchers recently have set forth evidence that an area near Papua, New Guinea, also has claim to being the “center of the center” of biodiversity. Carpenter acknowledges that other localized marine areas will have remarkable peaks in diversity but that on a regional basis, the central Philippines has more species per unit area than any other place on earth. This finding has subsequently been verified by independent studies.

    Carpenter’s research effort in the Philippines has involved dozens of ODU students over the years and utilized the molecular systematics laboratory he has set up on the campus.

    “Every biologist is a conservationist at heart and we all want to do our part to preserve biodiversity,” Carpenter said. “To see my scientific research being translated into actual national conservation action is one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my career.” Back to top


    Former Monarch pitcher Justin Verlander named AL Rookie of the Year
    The Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander was already considered the best rookie in the American League according to two separate polls of players. On Nov. 13, the former Old Dominion pitcher’s talents were officially confirmed with the announcement of a prestigious honor.

    Verlander, who pitched three seasons for the Monarchs through 2004, completed a clean sweep of his league’s rookie awards when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America selected him as its AL Rookie of the Year. The longest-running of the rookie honors goes to a Tiger for the first time since Lou Whitaker won it in 1978, and the first to a Detroit pitcher since Mark “The Bird” Fidrych in 1976.

    Verlander is the first starting pitcher to win AL Rookie of the Year since New York’s Dave Righetti in 1981. Dontrelle Willis won the National League honor in 2003.

    While at ODU, Verlander earned All-CAA honors and was the university’s Alumni Association Male Athlete of the Year. He is ODU’s, the CAA’s and Virginia’s all-time strikeout leader with 427 in 335.2 innings of work for an 11.5 career strikeout average, and was a finalist for the Roger Clemons award.

    The 23-year-old right-hander won in what was expected to be a tight contest among AL rookie pitchers, including Twins phenom Francisco Liriano and Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Of that group, Verlander is the only one to last the entire season without missing significant time due to injury or fatigue.

    Verlander received 26 first-place votes and 133 total points, easily outdistancing Papelbon, who tallied 63 points and no first-place votes. Liriano was third in the voting with 30 points and one first-place vote.

    For all the talk about Detroit’s comeback from 119 losses in 2003 to the World Series this year, the Tigers would not have had Verlander without all those defeats, which earned them the second selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. When they used it on the flame-thrower from Old Dominion, he was a relative mystery, a highly touted arm who came out of a less-than-touted college program. After proving himself with a breakout season of Minor League ball in 2005, he was on the cusp of the big leagues.

    Though the Tigers expected Verlander to have a good share of success when manager Jim Leyland named him as a starter out of spring training, nobody expected the kind of beginning he would enjoy, which had a lot to do with the Tigers’ runaway first half. After putting up three starts of seven innings with one run or less in April, Verlander ran off four consecutive wins – including his first complete-game shutout – to earn AL Rookie of the Month honors in May. Back to top


    Students team with ILR for seniors fashion show
    BY STEVE DANIEL

    Call it Project Runway – with a twist. ODU fashion students and participants in the university’s Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) will team up for a seniors fashion show Dec. 2.

    While the students aren’t involved in fashion design, they will be doing the behind-the-scenes work – everything from planning to producing the show – as part of a requirement for the course Fashion Show Production. The class is being taught this semester on an adjunct basis by Bonnie Molloy, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ODU. Molloy also teaches at Cox High School in Virginia Beach, where the show will be staged.

    Having the students work with ILR members as models is giving them experience with a target market different from themselves, explained Sharon Davis, ODU’s full-time fashion merchandising faculty member. The 33 models – 28 women and five men – range in age from 55 to 87.

    “The members were intrigued by the fashion show proposal, and a little surprised, because we really hadn’t envisioned anything quite like this,” said Toby Netherton, ILR’s curriculum director.

    “The idea of a dialogue between older people and young college students on the topic of fashion was very appealing to many of us. We are hopeful that these young women who are going into careers in the fashion industry will take with them a greater appreciation for the problems of a group that is not currently well-served by the fashion industry – older men and women.”

    Netherton added that the project fits in nicely with one of the goals in ILR’s strategic plan, which is to interact more with ODU students and faculty. “We wanted to strengthen our members’ sense of belonging to the ODU community, and we wanted to increase awareness of our organization among the staff, faculty and students on the main ODU campus.”

    In addition to working with the models, the ODU students designed the tickets for the show, arranged for music and developed publicity, among other tasks. Students at Cox are also involved in the project.

    The show is being sponsored by the Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS), and proceeds will go to the Institute for Learning in Retirement. VATS will demonstrate assistive technology devices at the event. Retailers providing the fashions include: Talbots, Stein Mart, Hang-Ups, Ocean Palm, La’Nor and After Hours.

    The show will begin at 3 p.m., preceded by refreshments at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the door or by calling Molloy at 481-1043.

    ODU’s 120-hour fashion emphasis program is designed to prepare students to enter the fashion industry to become buyers, fashion coordinators and merchandise managers. Approximately 135 degree-seeking students are currently enrolled. Back to top


    Ziegenfuss named “Super CPA Educator”
    Douglas E. Ziegenfuss, associate professor of accounting and finance, was named a “Super CPA Educator” by Virginia Business magazine.

    The annual list, published in the November edition of the magazine, highlights 10 educators throughout the state who exhibit teaching excellence in the accounting field.

    An Old Dominion faculty member since 1989, Ziegenfuss received his doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s in accounting from American University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from Mount Saint Mary’s College. He has eight years of auditing experience, principally in the public utility and waste management areas.

    Ziegenfuss, the author of two books and 23 articles on audit-related subjects, routinely gives programs on a variety of accounting topics. His research investigates internal auditor ethical decision-making, audit quality, fraud examination, forensic accounting and teaching assurance services. Back to top


    Poetry contest open to creative writing students
    A new poetry contest for creative writing students at Old Dominion officially opened Nov. 15, with an entry deadline of Jan. 15.

    The Poetry Society of Virginia-Old Dominion University Poetry Prize contest is open to registered graduate students in the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program and to registered undergraduate students who have declared a creative writing emphasis.

    Undergraduates who have taken at least one creative writing course in the previous or current year also are eligible.

    An endowment of $2,500 was recently established at the university by the Poetry Society of Virginia through the efforts of Virginia’s Poet Laureate, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, said Luisa Igloria, associate professor of English and the coordinator of the ODU competition.

    A $100 prize will be awarded to one or two deserving student poets, and the winners will receive a one-year membership to the Academy of American Poets.

    Contest guidelines and registration forms are available in the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program office, located in the University Village, or by contacting Igloria at ligloria@odu.edu. There is no entry fee. Back to top


    Newsmakers
    “About one-third of our students have some connection to the military. Our students come with a foundation of values and a desire to serve and be a part of our program.” (Lt. Col. Barry Hendricks, professor, military science)

    – “Enrollment soars at ODU’s ‘Monarch Battalion’”
    The Casemate, Oct. 17

    “I said to myself the other day that the facilities that ODU will have to offer its players will be better than what I had at Virginia from 1982 until 1991, when we opened our new football complex there.” (George Welsh, football adviser)

    – “ODU plans and publicizes its 2009 football program”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 24

    “Physical activity is crucial. Adding little bits of exercise here and there is really effective.” (Sheri Colberg, associate professor, exercise science)

    – “Diet, exercise are key in managing diabetes”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 29

    “If this was an election that didn’t have the war in Iraq, the marriage amendment would have more salience.” (Glen Susman, professor, political science and geography)

    – “Allen uses amendment to try to gain traction”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 28

    “Most often, incarceration for juveniles makes their conditions worse. At that point, you almost ruin forever a child’s possibilities, with regard to education and work.” (Mona Danner, associate professor, sociology and criminal justice)

    – “Delinquency dilemma”
    Daily Press, Oct. 29

    Having taught Physics 101 and 102 for five of the last six years, I can personally assure Alice Mullen (letter, Oct. 19) that MIT-trained professors do teach freshman classes at Old Dominion University. (Larry Weinstein, professor, physics, in a letter to the editor)

    – “MIT-y faculty at ODU”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 30

    We are very pleased to see that the Norfolk Public School Board has set a goal of world-class status for Norfolk Public Schools. For Old Dominion University, the quality of the local schools is important because we draw more students from Hampton Roads schools than from any other region. (William Graves, dean, Darden College of Education, and Tom Isenhour, provost, in a letter to the editor)

    – “Norfolk schools deserve praise for aiming high”
    The Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 30

    “M&S is branching off in so many different application areas that it will likely have an effect similar to the one computer science had 15 or 20 years ago. More than a tool, M&S is a method for doing research with data from other disciplines. For instance, M&S needs bioengineers for medical modeling. Research is currently being conducted in crowd modeling and mass-casualty modeling, and for that we need sociologists and psychologist to analyze group behavior.” (Catherine Banks, assistant director, M&S education program at VMASC)

    – “Virginia leading the way”
    Fortune Magazine, September
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