John Adam is university’s 20th SCHEV award winner
BY JIM RAPER
John Adam, the University Professor of mathematics who is renowned for his ability to make numbers interesting, is a 2007 recipient of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
He is Old Dominion’s 20th winner since 1991, when sociologist Karen Polonko brought the university its first SCHEV faculty award. This is the ninth straight year that ODU has had a winner in the competitive program, which is funded by the Dominion Foundation.
Each year about a dozen faculty members at the state’s colleges and universities are chosen for the honor. This year’s recipients, chosen from among 95 nominees, will receive $5,000 in cash and a commemorative engraved award.
“It was the best Christmas present my 93-year-old mother received this year,” said Adam, who was notified of the award in December.
Adam’s mother and his father, who was a farm worker in the family’s native England, scraped together enough money to buy their 12-year-old son a brass telescope to encourage his early interest in astronomy. The interest morphed into mathematics after he had earned a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of London in 1975.
During 23 years at Old Dominion, Adam has won international recognition for his research in mathematical modeling and mathematical biology involving tumor growth and wound healing. He produced the text and photographs for a book, “Mathematics in Nature: Modeling Patterns in the Natural World” (Princeton University Press, 2003), which won the Association of American Publishers Mathematics and Statistics Professional/Scholarly Award in 2004 and was one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2004.
Adam also wins praise for his teaching.
“John Adam has a reputation as an instructor of choice,” said Dana Burnett, Old Dominion’s former vice president for student affairs and professor of education. “This isn’t because he is an easy ‘A’, but because he creates a learning environment that, according to one student’s description, ‘makes mathematics real.’ His creativity and passion for teaching extends itself beyond the classroom. John speaks to community groups on the role of mathematics in describing the world we all call home.”
The chair of the university’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Mark Dorrepaal, said Adam has “developed an innovative, first-class research program that regularly brings external recognition” to ODU. “He has provided his profession, his university and his community with valuable services, and has earned the reputation of being an inspirational teacher.” Back to top
Two Old Dominion assistant professors, Min Song in computer engineering and Michael Nelson in computer science, have won highly prized Early Career Development awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
With a total of nearly $1 million in funding, the awards will support the research of Song in computer networks and wireless communications, and the research of Nelson in digital data preservation. Both awards are for the term of five years.
Since the beginning of the NSF Early Career program about a decade ago, only two ODU researchers had won the awards. Having two faculty winners in one year is evidence that the university’s research initiative is bringing results, ODU administrators said.
“Career Development awards were created to accelerate the research programs of the brightest young faculty,” said Provost Thomas Isenhour. “Very high standards are used in the selection process. Old Dominion University faculty capturing two Career awards in one year is an excellent testimony to the high-quality young faculty we are attracting and supporting.”
For the current year, six faculty members at Virginia institutions received Early Career grants, including the two at ODU, two at Virginia Tech, one at the University of Virginia and one at the University of Richmond.
The award to Song will provide $400,000 in support of the young researcher’s contributions to the next wave of super-reliable, high-performance wireless networks. He proposes to develop fundamental rules called protocols that will make wireless networks more reliable, efficient and versatile. One goal of the protocol development is wireless communications technology that can be counted on in times of emergencies, such as in disaster or combat zones.
Song’s project is titled “Distributed Broadcasting Protocols for Multi-Radio, Multi-Channel and Multi-Rate Ad Hoc Mesh Networks.” In addition to engineering research, the project includes unique educational opportunities for ODU students and a science literacy program for inner-city high school students.
Shirshak Dhali, chair of the electrical and computer engineering department, said, “The Career grants are awarded only to extraordinarily outstanding young professors. Dr. Song’s award demonstrates his distinguished achievements and leading status in his field.”
Song, who came to ODU in 2002, is the founder and director of the Wireless Communications and Networking Laboratory at the university’s Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology. The NSF and NASA provided financial support for the lab and, together with the U.S. Department of Education, have supported the professor’s research with about $1.4 million in awards.
The grant of $541,000 to Nelson rewards his out-of-the-box thinking about tactics to preserve digital data. He says that the ever-more ingenious Internet strategies used to disseminate spam e-mails may someday be employed to preserve data. The title of his project is “Self-Preserving Digital Objects.”
“Can we create digital objects that preserve themselves?” Nelson asks. “I want to explore this.” He said that e-mail spam and viral videos are the best current examples of the approach he proposes.
Mischievous e-mail or a humorous video clip can “live in the Web infrastructure with minimal hierarchical control,” he said, and that is precisely how he plans to preserve digital objects containing data for technical papers, historical documents, Web pages and the like.
“I’m going to investigate if these properties can be applied to content other than pop culture ephemera,” he said.
Most approaches to preserving digital information involve putting “dumb” objects in “smart” repositories. But, Nelson noted, “This reveals an implicit assumption that the repository is going to be long-lived.” A repository which he sometimes calls a “fortress” could be a digital library maintained at a university or the host memory of Yahoo.
The “deadly embrace of repositories” is a phrase coined by computer scientist John Kunze at the University of California, and Nelson likes to repeat it. “Information goes in, but is often difficult to extract. I especially like that phrase as a succinct, vivid description of repositories,” he explained.
Nelson said he is not advocating abandonment of repositories or other conventional digital preservation techniques, but he believes an alternative is needed. “These repositories are expensive and they are complicated software systems that require preservation themselves. I’m interested in digital objects that can live longer than their repositories, in information that can live longer than the people or organizations charged with their preservation.”
Oktay Baysal, dean of the Batten College, and Kurt Maly, chair of the Department of Computer Science, praised the young researchers for their early successes and for their willingness to take on complex tasks.
Song is going where few computer engineers have gone before in taking on a project with “simultaneous consideration of multi-radio, multi-channel and multi-rate for distributed broadcasting protocols,” Baysal said.
Wireless mesh networks characterized as single-radio, single-channel and single-rate suffer from serious capacity degradation. A promising approach to improve the capacity of mesh networks is to provide each node with multi-radio, multi-channel technology and permit medium access control protocols to adjust the transmission rate.
Problems arise with the performance of the so-called multi-radio, multi-channel and multi-rate mesh (M4) networks when they employ broadcasting protocols developed for single transmission rates.
Song proposes new protocols that will enable M4 networks to be as smart and efficient as they are designed to be. This means (1) 100 percent reliability, with each node guaranteed to receive each message, (2) low broadcast latency, with each message getting to all nodes in the network within a shortest possible time and (3) a reduction in the redundant transmissions that can be necessitated by system glitches. Currently, no set of protocols exists that can promise all three.
In just a few years, Nelson has become an internationally recognized expert in the areas of digital libraries and digital preservation, said Maly. “We are extremely proud of Professor Nelson winning the prestigious NSF Career award and we look forward to integrating the results of his Career award into both our graduate and undergraduate curriculum.”
Nelson, a former NASA employee, earned master’s and doctoral degrees at ODU before joining the computer science faculty in 2002. In addition to this grant, he has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on eight grants totaling $1.8 million.
Maly and Nelson are members of the Digital Library Research Group @ ODU. The group has developed several Web services that are used internationally and was a founding member of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). The new “mod_oai” module is housed at Old Dominion under Nelson’s direction. Funding for the group comes from many government agencies involved in data preservation.
ODU is one of only a dozen universities in the United States that offer courses in digital libraries. The university’s computer science department received more good news last year when the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $7 million for the creation of a center to be housed at ODU that will develop software for scientific problem solving on the next generation of high-performance computers.
Alex Pothen, professor of computer science and a member of the Center for Computational Science at ODU, is the DOE grant’s principal investigator. His collaborators come from ODU, Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, Ohio State University and Colorado State University.
With the funding, the researchers will establish the Combinatorial Scientific Computing and Petascale Simulations Institute. Back to top
ODU to offer degree in African-American studies
Beginning next fall, Old Dominion will be the only college or university in the region and one of three in the state to offer a bachelor’s degree in African-American and African studies. The program was approved recently by the State Council of Higher Education.
The new interdisciplinary degree will focus on issues surrounding race and ethnicity in American society. Students will study history, sociology, political science and criminal justice as well as complete an internship in a public, private or nonprofit program that specializes in services for African Americans, women or disadvantaged populations.
The university currently offers a minor in African-American studies, in which 66 students are enrolled.
The University of Virginia and VCU are the other two state schools that offer similar programs. Back to top
During the competition, more than 200 colleges and universities across the country will strive to collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables or the least amount of trash per capita, or record the highest recycling rate.
According to Harvey Logan, ODU’s recoverable resources manager, the contest helps makes the campus community aware of the issue of waste minimization.
Last year, Old Dominion collected 398,243 pounds of recyclable material including paper, plastic, cans, metal and waste oils; 101,057 pounds of this material was collected during the 2006 annual competition.
Recycling stations are located throughout the campus. For a list of the stations and more information visit www.universityrecyling.org or call 451-3015.
The Elizabeth River Project recognized the university on Jan. 25 with a commitment-level River Stars Award for its recycling efforts. Student volunteers last year were credited with recycling 220,000 pounds of materials. In addition, about 685 students, faculty and staff collected 2,500 pounds of litter for the Adopt-A-Stream program, and students continued a university storm drain stenciling project.
The Elizabeth River Project is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to restore the Elizabeth River through government, business and community partnerships. Its River Stars program motivates facilities in the Elizabeth River watershed to pursue voluntary pollution prevention and wildlife habitat goals above compliance. It provides assistance and recognition as they advance through three levels of the program: Commitment, Achievement and Model. Back to top
“With a growing number of students applying to Old Dominion, membership in this organization helps streamline the application process for both students and the university,” said Alice R. McAdory, executive director of admissions.
The association was established in 1975 by 15 private colleges that wished to provide a common, standardized first-year application form for use at any member institution. It currently has 321 college and university members representing 43 states, the District of Columbia and Qatar.
According to McAdory, students like the Common Application because it is easy to complete, eliminates redundancy and offers a more efficient way to organize the application process. Back to top
The $1,000 award will be presented at Research Day on April 5. For more information contact Rosa Furr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 683-3148.
Nominations are due Feb. 16 for the $10,000 Kaufman Prize, to be awarded to a graduating senior “who has exerted an exceptional and constructive influence on the university, its students or the community by demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership and service.”
Graduates from August and December 2006 and May 2007 are eligible for consideration. Nominees for the annual award must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
For more information call Don Stansberry at 683-3442. Back to top
Among her letters of support was one from Barbara Winstead, professor of psychology, who noted that Lewis “is always rational, calm and diplomatic. Even when she is passionate about her mission, she proceeds in such a reasonable and deliberate manner that others must respond to her in kind. This makes her a force to be reckoned with and a powerful force for the welfare of women on campus.”
At the award ceremony, Lewis was also cited as a great mentor for women and one who always finds time to assist with their academic goals. She was further recognized for her role as chair of the university Child Care Committee and her help in increasing interest in and appreciation for the Women’s Caucus.
Lewis first joined the university in 1985 as director of interdisciplinary studies. She has served in her current position since 2004. Back to top
In Support of Children sponsors candlelight vigil
ODU’s In Support of Children organization will sponsor a candlelight vigil in memory of Nixzmary Brown and all children who have suffered from abuse at 6 p.m. Feb. 14 behind the Batten Arts and Letters Building (Hampton Boulevard and 45th Street).
Brown died in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 12, 2006, at the age of 7, due to repeated torture, beating, abuse and malnutrition.
According to Lucien Lombardo, professor of sociology and criminal justice, Hampton Roads leads the state in child abuse fatalities. “Come and honor the memory of Nixzmary, the many children in the Hampton Roads area and the over 1,000 children nationally who suffer and die each year at the hands of those who should care for them,” he said. Back to top
The 7 p.m. concert will feature Stephen Y.S. Shey on violin and Kanako Nishikawa on piano. It will be preceded by a dinner at 6 p.m. and followed by a dance. The black tie (or Barong Tagalog) event is $35 per person. For tickets or more information call 683-5099. Back to top
The gift will be used for scholarships to junior or senior marketing majors in risk and insurance at the College of Business and Public Administration. Back to top
Tickets sold through the Komen affiliate (490-7794) will benefit local breast cancer programs. Festivities begin at noon with a Women’s Health Fest in the Constant Center lobby and a survivors reunion. The first 500 fans will receive a pink T-shirt in an effort to “paint the arena pink” for the regionally televised game on Comcast Sportsnet.
Fans can purchase $5 tickets at the Constant Center for the women’s games on Feb. 15 and 22. Both start at 7 p.m. Back to top
The ODU/NSU Black History Month lecture is free and open to the public.
McKnight is the recipient of numerous honors, including the PEN/Hemingway Special Citation, Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Award, Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence, Whiting Award, Drue Heinz Literature Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
His works include: “The Kind of Light that Shines in Texas,” “White Boys,” “Moustapha’s Eclipse,” “He Sleeps” and “I Get on the Bus,” plus an edited collections of proverbs, “Wisdom of the African World and African American Wisdom.”
The following events are also scheduled for Black History Month. All are free, except where noted by $, and open to the public. For a complete schedule of the month’s events and activities or for more information, call 683-5490.
Tuesday, Feb. 13
Thursday, Feb. 15
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Friday, Feb. 23
Saturday, Feb. 24
Tuesday, Feb. 27
Wednesday, Feb. 28
A 1995 graduate of James Madison University, Allen comes to ODU with more than 10 years’ experience in the management of volunteer programs. Most recently she served for over five years with the Penn State Alumni Association, the largest dues-paying alumni association in the country.
As the associate director for volunteer services at Penn State, she directed the awards and volunteer training programs and worked with numerous affiliate groups. She also staffed the executive and awards committees of the 86-member Alumni Council and supervised the association’s regional directors.
Prior to joining Penn State, Allen was director of volunteers at Mary Baldwin College, where she oversaw the admissions volunteer program, worked with the alumnae board of directors and managed chapters.
“The Alumni Association provides valuable connections for alumni and the university, and I look forward to meeting alumni across the country and working with a talented staff to enhance Monarch pride,” Allen said. “President Runte has set a standard of excellence for ODU and I know its alumni expect the same from their association.” Back to top
The vote followed a presentation about the resolution by Rusty Waterfield, acting assistant vice president for computing and communications services. The proposed measure calls for incoming freshmen in fall 2008 to have a laptop computer.
If the measure is approved by the university, students would be able to purchase their computers from an ODU-preferred vendor that offered discounted prices, on-site hardware repair and a software configuration that meets the requirements of the university network, according to Waterfield.
In other action, the senate voted unanimously to request that the university’s newly constituted General Education Review Committee consider a proposal calling for ODU to accept American Sign Language as an accredited foreign language requirement for entering students.
In a letter to President Roseann Runte and Provost Thomas Isenhour, Faculty Senate chair William Drewry said the senate made the recommendation so that the committee could consider the proposal “as part of the ongoing review of university requirements in foreign language and other skill and perspective areas.”
The senate also forwarded to the president and provost its recommendation for changes to the Faculty Handbook and the Curriculum Development and Change Policies and Procedures Manual, an issue that arose following the announced deactiviation last semester of the NewPAGE course for freshmen.
The changes, Drewry said, “will give the faculty a more overt and formal role in the modification, activation and deactivation of courses in the general education curriculum.”
Among the proposed changes was the following addition: “Proposals to add, change or deactivate courses included in General Education Requirements must be submitted to the Faculty Senate and Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. All such proposals related to General Education are conditional on review by the Faculty Senate and approval by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.” Back to top
The following day, the college will hold several engineering and technology design competitions for high school students, as well as Womengineers Day.
Vipers are born with a poisonous bite they can use for defense. But what can nonpoisonous snakes do to ward off predators? What if they could borrow a dose of poison, perhaps by eating a toxic frog and recycling the toxins?
This might sound farfetched, but it can happen, according to an international team of researchers including two Old Dominion herpetologists. Their findings could be good news for endangered species of amphibians, and for humans with ailments that might be treated with heart-stimulating compounds in the toxins.
A paper written by Deborah A. Hutchinson, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences, together with her mentor, Alan H. Savitzky, professor of biological sciences, appeared recently on the Web site of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (It will be published in the PNAS print journal this month.)
PNAS embargoed release of the findings until 5 p.m. Jan. 29, and immediately thereafter the news hit the online publications of the journal Nature as well as National Geographic. A New York Times article ran Jan. 30.
In addition, the story appeared in Web or print versions in Scientific American, Cosmos (Australia), New Scientist and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Hutchinson also has been interviewed for stories in Science and LiveScience.com, and news coverage in Asia is expected.
“The flurry of inquiries from the media was very exciting for us,” said Hutchinson, who is first author of the paper in PNAS. “We have been waiting a long time to publish the first account of dietary toxin sequestration” in the snake. She started working on the project while a master’s student at ODU and continued it as the focus of her doctoral program here.
For more than seven years, Hutchin-son has been studying the Asian snake Rhabdophis tigrinus and its relationship with a type of toxic toad. In the PNAS article, she and her co-authors describe dietary sequestration of toxins by the snakes. The process allows the snakes to store in their neck glands some of the toxins from the toads they have eaten.
When under attack, the snake thrusts the back of its neck toward the would-be predator. The snake’s dorsal skin often ruptures from the thrusting maneuver, causing liquid to leak from the glands. The liquid irritates mucous membranes and contains toxic steroids.
The researchers made their case by testing Rhabdophis tigrinus on several Japanese islands, one with a large population of the toads and another with none of the toads, and compared them with snakes from the main island of Honshu, where toads are scattered here and there. The presence of toxins in the snakes’ neck glands depended upon their access to the toads. Laboratory tests with snake hatchlings confirmed the fieldwork.
Snakes without the borrowed toxins were more likely to turn and flee from danger than to stay their ground and perform the neck-thrusting defensive maneuver, according to the researchers.
Surprisingly, the researchers also found that some of the mother snakes with high concentrations of the toxins in their glands were able to pass on defensive toxins to their offspring. This finding shows how maternal diet can bestow a survival advantage on offspring.
Hutchinson said the research identified six defensive compounds in Rhabdophis tigrinus that are new natural products and may hold promise in medical treatments for humans suffering from hypertension or related blood pressure disorders.
Also, she said, “The demonstration that a snake is dependent on a diet of toads for chemical defense is highly unusual and, therefore, important to the field of biology. (And) the fact that R. tigrinus is dependent on toads for defense has implications for conservation because amphibians are currently undergoing a global decline.”
Hutchinson, who earned a master’s degree in biology in 2001 and doctorate in ecological sciences in 2006 from ODU, used the research project for her doctoral dissertation.
Savitzky said the project was proposed by Akira Mori from Kyoto University in Japan, and would not have been possible without the chemical analyses provided by two Cornell University faculty members, Jerrold Meinwald and Frank Schroeder. The research team also included Gordon Burghardt, a biologist at the University of Tennessee, and Xiaogang Wu, another chemist at Cornell University. These individuals are co-authors of the research paper.
Funding from the National Science Foundation was critical in supporting the important chemical analyses, Savitzky said. The findings may have been released sooner, Hutchinson added, “but we spent additional time ensuring that our unique findings would be published in a highly respected journal.”
Meganthias carpenteri is a type of jewelfish that when mature is 7 to 12 inches long. Carpenter, an expert in global marine species assessment, was chosen for the naming honor because of his role in introducing specimens of the fish to a South Carolina scientist who formally identified the new species.
Carpenter is known internationally for his work in waters near the Philippines, where he has documented the existence of a region that has the richest shore-fish biodiversity in the world.
As a coordinator of global marine species assessment for the World Conservation Union, the ODU professor of biological sciences has worked with Victor Springer of the Smithsonian Institution and in conjunction with the Conservation International organization in producing biodiversity analyses.
Carpenter also has worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and it was through the FAO that he introduced two specimens of the fish to William D. Anderson Jr., a researcher at the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Biological Laboratory. Anderson’s article identifying the new species appeared in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.
Anderson wrote that he named the fish carpenteri because Carpenter “has done a superb job in editing and organizing the production of FAO Species Identification Guides.”
Carpenter produced FAO identification guides of marine species, first as an author, then for five years as the manager of the FAO Species Identification and Data Programme in Rome. After joining ODU in 1996, he continued to manage production of these guides as funded research through the ODU Research Foundation.
“Part of this work involved organizing workshops with between 40 and 60 prominent scientists, and at these workshops typically a few new species are discovered,” Carpenter said. “It was nice to see that Bill Anderson named one of these new species after me in recognition of all the work that went into running these workshops and for my service to FAO in producing these guides."
The chapter, which has about 20 members, was cited for its outreach to schoolchildren and high school students, its campus activities that draw attention to physics and its service to science students at ODU.
Chapter members organize the popular Halloween pumpkin drop on campus each year, and they also participated in 2006 in an Earth Day Open House attended by hundreds of Hampton Roads public school students. They took field trips to research facilities such as the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank, W.Va., and helped to staff the physics department’s Learning Center.
Peter Bradshaw has been president of the chapter since fall 2005. Other officers during the citation period included James McGhee, Brian Wieland, Kevin Brannick and Charles Yommer in physics; Rebecca Clark in mathematics; and Paul Dearman in psychology.
Gail Dodge, chair of the physics department, sent congratulatory notes to the chapter, as well as to Hyde-Wright and Paul Ulmer, professor of physics, who also works with the student group. Back to top
Under the appointment, Hyde-Wright will take a primary role in research projects at the Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire (LPC Particle Physics Laboratory) in the central French city of Clermont-Ferrand. LPC is affiliated with l’Universite Blaise-Pascal, which already has a cooperative agreement with ODU.
The collaboration is sponsored by the “Chaire d’Excellence” program of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche.
Only five awards were made in the past year, covering all disciplines of science at all French research institutes. The award includes a research grant worth a little more than $1 million over the next four years and a faculty appointment at Blaise-Pascal.
Newspaper and television reports in Clermont-Ferrand touted the award as a significant honor for Hyde-Wright and the LPC when he was at the lab in December to launch the collaboration. The reports noted Hyde-Wright’s contributions to nuclear physics as an experimentalist at accelerator facilities.
Hyde-Wright is known internationally for his probes of the atomic nuclei via a process called virtual compton scattering. He has a longstanding research relationship with French physicists with whom he has worked in France and at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. At least four French institutes, including the LPC, have expressed interest in contributing to the $300 million, energy doubling upgrade of the Jefferson Lab accelerator and associated experimental equipment.
“This award is a tribute to Professor Hyde-Wright’s scientific leadership, especially in the emerging field of deeply virtual compton scattering,” said Gail Dodge, chair of the physics department. “It also highlights the importance of the experimental program at Jefferson Lab to the international scientific community.”
The award will fund work by the LPC and Hyde-Wright toward the development of a new detector for the Jefferson Lab. The detector and upgrade will create a new method for imaging the quark waves inside the proton, as well as inside other light nuclei. During the term of the award, Hyde-Wright will divide his time between duties at the LPC and ODU.
The American Physical Society cited Hyde-Wright’s development of virtual compton scattering as a probe of the structure of the proton when it announced his election last year as an APS Fellow. Experiments he has coordinated at the Jefferson Lab atom smasher involve high-energy photon-on-proton collisions that aim to create the first-ever spatial images of the quark waves inside the atomic nucleus. Back to top
On one hand, Old Dominion faculty members Tom Royer and Chet Grosch have the credentials to prove that they are serious and seasoned oceanographers. On the other, they have been devoting research time lately to rubber duck bathtub toys.
Royer, an eminent professor, is Samuel L. and Fay M. Slover Chair in Oceanography. He is an expert in ocean currents whose discoveries made it possible for authorities to track the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez. He once was a faculty member at the University of Alaska and is especially familiar with the North Pacific.
Grosch, who was ODU’s researcher of the year for 2005, has appointments both in the computer science and the ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences departments. He is especially skilled in computer modeling of turbulence whether of wind or water. And he, too, happens to know a lot about the North Pacific.
The rubber duckies? Suffice it to say that there is not much about them per se that an oceanographer would find interesting. Their claim to fame is that they delight children at bath time.
But it is their ability to float that has attracted the attention of researchers. A ship traveling from Hong Kong to Tacoma, Wash., ran into a storm on Jan. 10, 1992, and containers on its deck were tossed overboard.
The accident spilled about 30,000 rubber critters into the North Pacific. (There were red beavers, green frogs and blue turtles, as well as yellow duckies, but the ducks seem to be getting most of the ink these days.)
Harper’s Magazine turned the saga of the rubber duckies into its cover story for January 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the ducky dunking. The Harper’s story quotes Royer, along with several other oceanographers. News media throughout the world also have produced stories about the saga. Royer and Grosch are co-authors (with Curt Ebbesmeyer and Jim Ingraham) of the lead article about the duckies in the Jan. 2, 2007, issue of EOS, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
The contribution of the rubber duckies to science has to do with their ocean travels. Something akin to a cult has developed around the hunt for the duckies, which have markings that make them traceable to the 1992 accident. Many of them have shown up on Alaskan shores 3,000 miles from where they first got wet. There even have been reports of them being found in Maine, which means they would have traveled 7,000 miles across the Arctic region.
The rubber duckies have shown up on some northern shores in bunches over the years. This has helped Royer and Grosch, together with oceanography colleagues Ebbesmeyer and Ingraham, to produce new information about the orbits of the Subarctic Gyre. To understand a gyre, laymen should think of a gyroscope. An ocean gyre is a swirling vortex that can comprise numerous major currents.
Using a computer program called Ocean Surface Current Simulator, as well as data about other drifting survivors of North Pacific shipwrecks (including Nike shoes), the researchers were able to identify orbits within the Subarctic Gyre. The orbits could be useful to climate studies because they reveal a lot about the movements of distinct “slabs” of ocean water with their own telltale salinities and temperature.
The orbits also suggest that some of the rubber duckies that took the plunge in 1992 have completed only half of their journey. The computer simulation says some may not show up on shores until 2022.
The exhibit, which runs through April 30, examines in particular the two kinds of literary texts Blank most favors: poetic works that are demonstrably cyclical and echo and draw upon the cycles of life; and playful texts from the realm of absurdist literature and early modernism. Photographs and drawings of the poets and the composer, sketchbooks, letters, recordings, published and manuscript works are all featured.
The Diehn Composers Room is located in room 189 of the Diehn Center. Funding for the exhibit is provided by a grant from The Norfolk Foundation.
The Joint Master of Fine Arts Program Exhibition, through March 11 at the University Gallery, features work from students currently enrolled in the Joint Graduate Program in Visual Studies at Old Dominion and Norfolk State. Included are works by Sandra Barrett, Elizabeth Carbocci, Lauriana Acrhibold Cohen, Erin Cross, Christy Frederick, Mark Guilbault, Ralph Irby, Diana Nicholson, Patricia Sterritt and John Runner.
The program traditionally has encouraged students to transcend media-specific boundaries. Barrett, for example, uses mixed media transfer to explore the possibility of isolation within a crowd. Also using mixed media, Carbocci’s installations explore how patterns and spatial organizations interact, while Frederick’s fabric pieces penetrate into Western dictates of feminine beauty and Runner employs crutches and hypodermic syringes to evoke images of weaponry.
Irby’s figurative charcoal drawings depict ideas in social realism, while Sterritt uses charcoal over black-and-white photographs to explore the application of cultural belief systems to the natural world. Cohen’s weaving reinterprets indigenous Panamanian techniques and dress. Cross will exhibit a series of woodblock prints, Guilbault presents a large-scale steel sculpture and Nicholson will also present current work.
For more information about the visual studies program, visit www.odu.edu/al/art/vistudies.html.
The University Gallery, located at 350 W. 21st St., is open noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Back to top
TAdm. William J. Fallon, the Navy’s top-ranking officer in the Pacific and a master’s graduate of Old Dominion, is President Bush’s choice for the next commander of the U.S. Central Command overseeing operations in Iraq.
Fallon received a master’s in international studies from ODU in 1981 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1999. He was in Norfolk as commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet before becoming commander of the Pacific Command in 2005.
With Senate confirmation, Fallon will succeed Army Gen. John Abizaid as commander of the Central Command. He would be the first naval officer to lead the command, which has responsibility for all U.S. military operations in South and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Fallon began his Navy career in 1967 after graduating through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps from Villanova University. His first assignment was flying RA-5C Vigilantes in a combat deployment to Vietnam. He flew with attack squadrons and carrier air wings for 24 years, logging more than 1,300 carrier-arrested landings and 4,800 flight hours in tactical jet aircraft.
A graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College, Fallon is a recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star.
During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, he commanded Attack Squadron Sixty-five, Medium Attack Wing One and Carrier Air Wing Eight while deployed to the Arabian Gulf.
Later, he commanded Battle Force Sixth Fleet during NATO’s combat Operation Deliber-ate Force in Bosnia. He served as the 31st Vice Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C., from October 2000 to August 2003 before taking command of the Atlantic Fleet.
In comments published in a spring 2004 ODU alumni magazine story, Fallon referred to the value of international studies, which he pursued at ODU. “The idea that we can just hunker down inside the homeland here and not be affected by events in other parts of the world is just history,” he said.
“Education, hopefully, will serve as a catalyst to get us interested in what goes on in other parts of the world and to realize how interconnected and interdependent the economies, nations and people of the world are. The more we learn about people and the more we understand what motivates them, the better chance we have to get ahead of some of the world’s problems.” Back to top
Ingulsrud’s student ensemble cast will explore the creation of the Jamestown Colony from several diverse perspectives: How do cultures impose upon or blend with each other? What do Western theatrical styles and Native worship rituals tell us about their creators?
A visually compelling and thought-provoking production, the play also runs at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 22-24, and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 25 and March 4. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students. For tickets call 683-5305. Back to top
A native of England, Sawyer studied music at the University of York. He has written two operas: the one-act “The Panic” and “From Morning to Midnight,” a full-length work for which he received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students. For tickets call 683-5305. Back to top
Community health graduate students Anupama Reddy and Soji Varghese were stunned when they learned that 180,000 people in the Hampton Roads area are without health insurance. They have since teamed with Access Partnership, a local nonprofit organization, to see if they can make a difference.
The College of Health Sciences works in collaboration with Access Partnership, which commissioned a study by the two students. The organization focuses it efforts on the region’s medically indigent populace. Its members include medical providers, charities, universities, free clinics, community health centers, departments of health, city and community service boards, and social services departments.
Reddy and Varghese focused their graduate practicum on people in the region who need medical care but cannot afford it. “Our goal is to cut down on the red tape,” said Varghese. “Resources are out there, they are just difficult to find.”
The students are in the process of building a database of all primary care facilities in the area that serve the under-insured and uninsured. Their first task was to identify the free clinics and other public resources available to patients.
A large portion of their fact-finding mission has been to compile a list of available health services, along with their eligibility criteria, guidelines for making an appointment and documents that patients need to bring with them.
“Often if a patient can find a clinic that suits his or her needs, the requirements for treatment are unclear, and once the information is printed it is often out of date,” said Varghese.
The students’ goal is to create a database that is fluid, easy to access, frequently updated and filled with accurate information. The database would not only benefit prospective patients, but also local health care professionals, social services employees and others who encounter the uninsured.
Varghese and Reddy, both natives of India, are highly educated and vested in the notion of community health. Before leaving their home country, Varghese practiced as a primary care physician and Reddy as a dentist. They hope to apply the knowledge they gain here after returning home to their chosen professions. In the meantime, their research project may help a number of Hampton Roads residents who face adverse consequences due to delayed or foregone health care.
“I think coming from India has given us an interesting perspective,” Reddy said. “Our country has such a large population, we have to view health care from a broad community standpoint.”
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, lack of health insurance coverage for 46 million Americans is one of the nation’s most pressing problems. But concerns associated with access to health care are not unique to the United States.
“This is a universal problem; we wanted to see what could be done on a local level,” explained Reddy.
Clare Houseman, chair of the School of Community and Environmental Health, commends the project for introducing the students to real-world problems and solutions. “This project allows our students to impact the local and world community at the same time,” she said.
Candice Driskell, executive director of Access Partnership, said the students’ project is really about building a strong foundation of resources to combat the cycle of health problems that plague the uninsured. Driskell, who has a master’s degree in community health from ODU, said the lack of accurate information is one of the primary obstacles to care.
The information Reddy and Varghese catalog will be used by Access Partnership and shared with local health care and community facilities. The ultimate goal, Driskell noted, is to strengthen the regions health care safety-net systems. Back to top
The second edition of “Cities in the Third Wave,” by Leonard I. Ruchelman, eminent scholar of urban studies and public administration, has been released by Rowman & Littlefield. This fully updated edition surveys the remarkable transformation that is taking place in urban America.
Arguing that technology has both created and recast cities throughout history, Ruchelman explores how cities are being affected by new technology and how they will evolve in the future.
The book is designed to help students understand what it will take for their cities, and other cities around the world, to survive and even thrive in a fast-moving environment.
William G. Cunningham, eminent scholar of educational leadership and counseling, has written “A Handbook for Educational Leadership Interns: A Right of Passage,” published by Allyn & Bacon.
He recently gave an invited presentation on the internship in educational leadership and his new book to professors of educational administration and New Jersey State Department of Education personnel in Trenton.
Hiroyuki Hamada, associate professor of exercise science, sport, physical education and recreation, and martial artist in-residence, has published two books:
“Military officers encounter stressful and intense conditions on the battlefield. They are required to be aware of their surroundings and use this information to make quick decisions in critical situations. A dissertation study is being conducted to examine how these issues influence performance. If you have played the computer game ‘Command and Conquer’ you may be eligible to participate. Participants will play the game and complete some questionnaires. They will also receive financial compensation.”
“The noble inventor vs. the fast-buck guy”
“It sounded pretty doggone good.” (Adolphus Hailstork, eminent scholar of music, on the Grand Rapids Symphony’s recent recording of his music)
“Symphony CD to be released Tuesday”
“That’s ridiculous. Their one-year growth is more than what we have.” (Alonzo Brandon, vice president for development and alumni relations, on the University of Virginia’s one-year increase in endowment by $399 million)
“Higher-ed schools see cash infusions”
“Recruiting for the 2008 high school graduating class is beginning now. Our goal is to have a staff of three that will immediately recruit the first class and get out in the community and begin selling the program. A major part of that is to ... develop relationships throughout the state, obviously concentrating on Hampton Roads.” (Jim Jarrett, director of athletics)
“ODU football closing in on necessary endowment”
“When a company goes into a foreign market, typically their competitors will follow. It’s a strategic response. Something that wasn’t on their radar screen before now is.” (John Lombard, director of the E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development)
“Eastern Shore also has caught eye of Korean firms ”
“We’re looking at a fairly drawn-out adjustment process” and increasing inventory of unsold homes. (Gil Yochum, professor of economics)
“Save for the housing sector, local economy looking bright”
“There could be goodwill from employees. I don’t know that there would be goodwill from customers. Would you like for your dry-cleaning store, your restaurant, your print company to be closed?” (Sara Morris, associate professor of management)
“Companies mixed on making King day a work holiday”
“In general, it’s an important developmental stage.” Between the ages of 12 and 18, children are “really developing a sense of who they are.” (Ed Neukrug, professor of educational leadership and counseling)
“Cliques, pods and other groupings”