David Metzger named dean of ODU Honors College

David Metzger, professor and chair of the English department, has been appointed as dean of the Honors College.

He succeeds longtime dean Louis H. Henry, who retired at the end of the spring semester.

“I think this is a very exciting opportunity,” said Metzger. “It’s very exciting when you have the opportunity to help others do well.”

Metzger, who joined the Old Dominion faculty in 1993, has spent his entire career at ODU in the English department. In addition to his teaching duties, he founded the Writing Tutorial Service, which currently serves roughly 2,000 students.

“Professor Metzger is an excellent choice for the dean of the Honors College,” noted Provost Carol Simpson. “He brings a special combination of talents and abilities to the role. He is a brilliant and articulate teacher as well as a highly respected scholar. His special interest in interdisciplinary dialogue is particularly relevant to the mission of the college.”

Metzger also has served as director of the Jewish Studies Program (2000-07), and he established the Graduate Writing Assistance Program. He has written articles for numerous publications during his ODU tenure, including contributions to the Journal of Advanced Composition, Popular Culture Review, and Literature and Psychology.

His teaching and research have focused on history of rhetoric (biblical, classical and modern), Bible as literature, Jewish studies, composition and pedagogy, psychoanalytic theory and medieval literature.

Metzger, who will step down July 1 as department chair July 1, said that his duties as Honors College dean would not affect his teaching load, although he now will split his classes between the English department and the college. He said that he looks forward to meeting and working with the students and faculty of the college.

Henry was appointed director of ODU’s Academic Honors Program in 1987 and had served as dean of the Honors College since its inception 10 years later. Under his tenure, the program grew from an enrollment of 70 students in 1987 to 650 for the 2007-08 school year.

He said that he enjoyed his time as dean, particularly the interaction with students. “I used to say that I had the best job on campus,” he noted.

Henry believes that Metzger is a good choice for the Honors College. “He’s very qualified,” he said.

Simpson echoed Henry’s sentiments, adding, “David’s vision for the college matches well the mission of the university to enrich the lives of students, faculty, alumni and the community at large. I look forward to working with him to enhance the contributions of the Honors College, especially in the development of an undergraduate research culture at ODU. I am confident that David will be a superb dean of the Honors College.”

The Honors College was established in 1997 as a means of furthering the university’s commitment to academic excellence. The college offers qualified students the opportunity to enroll in a four-year honors program, which features the best aspects of both a large-university education and a small-school experience.

High school students who apply for admission to the Honors College are evaluated by grade point average, SAT scores, class rank and a written personal statement.

Honors College students enjoy low-enrollment courses designed specifically for the college, which emphasize teaching and innovation. Students are free to select any major.

Majors currently being pursued by Honors College students include English, economics, history, political science, accounting, finance, education, criminal justice, sociology, biology, nursing, music, sports medicine and physics. Back to top

The Runte Legacy: Old Dominion’s seventh president reflects on her seven-year tenure
President Roseann Runte will officially step down at the end of this month, after seven years at the Old Dominion helm, to become president of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She recently answered the following questions, posed by Courier editor Steve Daniel, about her tenure as ODU’s seventh president and the goals and challenges that await her.

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievements at Old Dominion?
A. I have done nothing alone. Everything which has been achieved has been done by everyone together as a team: the campus community and the region. Everything has been built on the solid foundation laid by my predecessors. While one might point to increased government support, a larger endowment, greater research productivity, a more residential campus, better facilities, more graduate programs, greater support for faculty and staff, and the growth of school spirit and general support for the
university, etc., I think, however, that the greatest accomplishments are the many small gestures we all make every day which have made it possible to achieve a good level of success.

Q. Interdisciplinary research and collaboration was a high priority for you. Are you pleased with the progress that’s been made in this area?
A. I am very pleased with the progress in interdisciplinary research and collaboration in the areas of modeling and simulation, bioelectrics, biofuels and maritime logistics. I believe that the areas of environment, health and global/international studies, which include areas such as African and Asian studies, will be the next areas of (Continued from Page 1)
greatest growth in interdisciplinarity.

Q. What do you see as Old Dominion’s short-term and long-term challenges and goals?
A. ODU’s short- and long-term challenges and goals include the continued pursuit of better funding, of quality in all we undertake, of continued transformation as we evolve to an ever-more residential campus, as TELETECHNET moves to the next level of technology, as IT expands and new means of communicating and teaching become available, as we continue to serve the needs of the population of this region.

Q. What, if anything, surprised you about the university after you arrived?
A. I do not recall any surprises on arriving here. The weather and the people were just as warm as I had hoped and the university lived up to its reputation and has certainly realized much of its potential.

Q. What were the most challenging – and most rewarding – aspects of the job?
A. The most challenging aspect of the job was the budget cuts which occurred shortly after my arrival. The most rewarding aspect is knowing that our students have achieved their goals, that our faculty and staff have received necessary support (never enough, of course) and that our alumni have realized their dream of seeing the university’s ranking improve – and of course starting football and obtaining the funds necessary to replace the original budget cut.

Q. What do you consider to be ODU’s greatest strengths?
A. Old Dominion’s greatest strengths are the faculty and staff and students. Their ability to be creative, to dedicate themselves selflessly to the pursuit of knowledge and the betterment of the university, their excellence are incomparable.

Q. What will you miss most about the university? About the region?
A. I will miss the people who have become my friends and family. I suspect I will miss the weather and the sea as well – especially on a cold, snowy day in January!

Q. Is there any one special memory (or a few) of your tenure as president that will stay with you?
A. There are so many special memories that I could fill a giant scrap book with them. They range from the view of the mall filled with candles on the day of Illumination, to the smiles on graduation days, to Big Blue jumping out of the university’s birthday cake, to wonderful news of students’ academic and sporting successes, to faculty research discoveries and grants and brilliant teaching efforts which have been rewarded by numerous teaching awards, to campus-wide activities such as our night at the Arts Festival, at the Stage Company and our dessert contest, to so many ground breakings, openings and celebrations of milestones of success that I will not begin to list them.

Q. How have you grown personally and professionally from your years of serving as president of ODU?
A. I have certainly learned a great deal during the time of my service here. I know more about modeling and simulation, bioelectrics, biofuels, robotics, facial recognition and theories of nuclear physics than when I arrived. I know a lot more about NATO and about distance learning and public-private partnerships. I learned a great deal about this region and the wonderful commonwealth of Virginia and, of course, I learned much more about setting up a football team and facilities than the average university president.

Q. If asked, what advice would you give to your successor?
A. I would not presume to offer any advice but will always be willing to answer a call, letter or e-mail to aid my successor and anyone at Old Dominion University.

Q. What will be your immediate goals and challenges at Carleton University?
A. At Carleton University I have quite a few immediate goals. They include working with the faculty, staff and students to complete the strategic plan on which they have been deliberating, filling acting positions with permanent people, creating a plan for reaching out to the community.

Q. Have you informed the Carleton board that you have an engagement in Norfolk on Sept. 5, 2009?
A. We are working on the calendar for this fall. I will, however, not forget Old Dominion and my promise to return in September ’09. I hope that in the meantime, I will have some visitors from Old Dominion. For example, I understand that the Lady Monarchs are considering playing in Ontario and that the choir might be interested in performing in Canada’s capital.

Q. You have stated that you have never attended a football game, and while I’m not sure about your previous basketball experience, it appeared that you turned out to be quite a hoops fan. Is this true? And, what do you know about ice hockey?
A. I am certainly a basketball fan and now look forward to supporting Carleton’s Ravens, six-time Canadian champions, until last year. I will, of course, never forget our Monarchs and Lady Monarchs and will follow their successes and check on their scores. Hockey is very popular in Canada and I have not only cheered for my previous school at games but I have even played. Of course, the only advantage I had was that I used to figure skate, and a quick pirouette, followed by a jump or two and a swan glide, somehow seems to throw opponents off guard. As they stare in shocked disbelief, your teammates use this opportunity to race with the puck and drop it in the net.

Q. Will you be baking cookies for the students at Carleton next fall?
A. The cookies are part of a personal tradition. I have to keep in practice!
Back to top

HACE presents annual employee awards to Kroner and Oakley
The Hourly and Classified Employees Association (HACE) presented Staff Member and Rookie Staff Member of the Year awards during its annual luncheon on May 14.

Deanna M. Kroner, assistant site director for NSASP Dahlgren (Naval Support Activity, South Potomac) in Dahlgren, Va., won the Staff Member award, while Cary J. Oakley, instructional support manager for the physics department, won the Rookie award.

Kroner, a five-year ODU employee, was nominated by Emily Robertson, the university site director for NSASP Dahlgren and MCB Quantico.

“ODU at Dahlgren is virtually a ‘stand alone’ site. We only have ourselves on which to rely,” Robertson said. “We cannot run down the hall to ask for technical support from community college personnel, for example. Our students do not have access to a community computer lab. If something breaks, we have to fix it or call the main campus. Deanna Kroner is the ‘go to’ person for all these pesky issues. And she is good at it!”

Robertson noted that Kroner’s positive attitude, competence and caring nature combine to make her the ideal employee.

“On many occasions, Deanna has personally delivered tapes and DVDs to students who were unable to get to the Dahlgren site, either meeting them at their homes or at their jobs,” she said.

She added that Kroner was “solely responsible for persuading the engineering management department to offer the first-ever live class taught at Dahlgren,” further noting: “The students trust her, the engineering department trusts her and we all benefit from the relationships with this department which Deanna has cultivated over the years.”

Commenting on her extensive volunteer service, Robertson said that Kroner manages the food booth at the Dahlgren July 4 celebrations, and came up with the idea to serve the finger food on ODU Frisbee discs, which have a label with contact information for ODU programs at Dahlgren.

A host of students offered comments in support of Kroner’s nomination for the HACE award:

  • “If it weren’t for Deanna and ODU, I would not have been able to continue my education while working full time at NSWC. She has been great in supporting me during extensive travel by recording the classes and mailing them to me as far away as Israel.”
  • “I was impressed with her caring and helpful personality. She is pleasant and goes out of her way to help with any problem that arises.”
  • “Deanna approaches every problem with a spirit that says, ‘How can I help solve your problem?’”

ODU faculty also offered favorable comments.

  • “Her understanding of students’ needs and her attention to detail, coupled with the fact that she really and truly cares about the students and their education, make her an extraordinary employee for Old Dominion University,” said Resit Unal, chair of the engineering management and systems engineering department.
  • David Chase, director of military distance learning, said, “Of all her many fine qualities, she is noted for her superior customer service skills. She works well with everyone from students and faculty, to officials at the base, including senior commanders and leaders in the local community.”

As winner of the annual HACE award, Kroner received $200 from the Jill Nolte Endowment Fund. Gifts also included four tickets to any 2008-09 Lady Monarch basketball game, a gift certificate for two tickets to a 2008-09 event at the Ted Constant Convocation Center and a $35 University Village Bookstore gift card.

Also nominated were: Dale B. Amos, Chariety C. Brown, Christina M. Gonzalez, Diedre D. Hall, Donald Jones, Harvey D. Logan, Delicia Malin, Sue Nagle, Donald V. Nash, Dwayne L. Smith and Linda Wray.

C.J. Oakley, who joined the physics department staff in April 2007, stepped into a difficult situation, taking on the duties of the late Bob Evans, who died suddenly the prior December. His supervisor, Walt Hooks, the department’s operations manager, said that Oakley nevertheless was successful in climbing a steep learning curve during a semester that was more than half over.

“Mr. Oakley wasted no time tackling the tasks at hand, picked up the pieces and turned the Physics Support Shop into a more efficient and up-to-date workplace,” Hooks said.”

Gail Dodge, department chair, noted, “It is hard to acknowledge all of the ways in which C.J. goes above and beyond expectations in the fulfillment of his duties.” She added, “C.J. has earned a reputation as one who can solve any problem that comes up.”

Other faculty joined in lauding Oakley’s work, among them Lawrence Weinstein, University Professor of physics, who said, “C.J. has worked hard to organize the lecture demonstrations to make them useful for the physics faculty. To do that, he had to acquaint himself with the hundreds of different demonstrations based on their brief descriptions on a Web site, learn what equipment was really required for each one, and make sure that they actually worked as advertised.”

Nominators also cited Oakley’s public service. After reading a story in The Virginian-Pilot about a Johns Hopkins University report on the drop-out crisis in American high schools, which labeled Norfolk’s public high schools as “drop-out factories,” Oakley met with Granby principal Ted Daughtrey, offering tutoring assistance. Soon after, Oakley established Hampton Roads Old School, for which he recruited faculty and graduate students from the physics department to help out in Granby’s algebra classes.

In a Feb. 11 letter, Daughtrey praised Oakley’s “willingness to get involved,” adding that the service “has been a wonderful experience for our teachers and students.”

As winner of the HACE award, Oakley received $100 from the Jill Nolte Endowment Fund. Prizes also included four tickets to any 2008-09 Monarch basketball game, a gift certificate for two tickets to a 2008-09 Constant Center event and a $35 bookstore gift card.

Also nominated were: Michelle M. Falck, Romina Samson and Janet M. Touchon. Back to top

Exhibit features lyricists of American musical theater
The Diehn Composers Room presents the exhibit “From Pen to Page to Stage: Writing for The Great White Way – Lyricists of American Musical Theater” through Oct. 15. It is in support of the fourth annual John Duffy Composers Institute, sponsored by the Virginia Arts Festival.

The Diehn Composers Room, 189 Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

“From Pen to Page to Stage” focuses on select lyricists who contributed to the American musical through their astute observations of societal, political and economic shifts and language trends. Featured lyricists include E.Y. Harburg, who explored both race relations and women’s rights in “Bloomer Girl”; Cole Porter, who brought sex into musical-comedy with two of his best-known songs, “Let’s Do It” and “Love for Sale”; and Oscar Hammerstein II who dealt with miscegenation in “Show Boat.”

Funding for the exhibit is provided by a grant from The Norfolk Foundation. For more information call Laura Y. Brown, music cataloger, at 683-4187. Back to top

New system launched for emergency communications
Old Dominion launched a new emergency communications system May 27. InstaCom Campus Alert from 3n Global enables the university to communicate with students, faculty and staff in minutes by sending a message via a number of contact methods – e-mail, text messaging and voice messages to cellular or landline phones.

This is a free service to members of the ODU community. (Your service provider may apply standard rates for phone and SMS messages).

InstaCom Campus Alert replaces the e2Campus system that ODU used for the past year. All registered users of the e2Campus system will need to register their contact information in the InstaCom Campus Alert system.

On May 27, all members of the campus community received an e-mail invitation at their ODU e-mail address to register for the new system. The e-mail provided directions and a link to complete the registration process. The only way to register for the new system is through the e-mail invitation.

Faculty and staff who do not have an ODU e-mail account should request one from OCCS. Follow this link for instructions:

Students who have not activated their ODU e-mail account must log into their MIDAS account. Follow this link for instructions:

In the new system, members will be able to add additional e-mail and instant messaging addresses, cell phone and telephone numbers and prioritize the order in which they prefer to be contacted. When an emergency communication is sent, the system will contact members in order of their preference until they confirm receipt of the emergency message. Messages will only be sent in emergency situations, including campus emergencies and serious weather events. Back to top

CLT offers workshops for faculty June 17 and 18
The Center for Learning Technologies offers two hands-on workshops for faculty the week of June 16.

“Using ODUEdit” is scheduled for 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, in 411 Gornto.

On Wednesday, June 18, faculty are invited to attend any or all of four “Blackboard Marathon” sessions: “Blackboard Essentials,” 8:30-10 a.m.; “Course Content,” 10:15-11:45 a.m., “Collaboration,” 1-2:45 p.m. and “Assessment and Practice,” 3-4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

To register for any of the workshops visit For more information contact Susan Boze at or 683-3172. Back to top

Rowing Club team wins national championship
The ODU Rowing Club participated in the American Collegiate Rowing Association’s national championship regatta in Oklahoma City May 24-25 and came away with top honors.

The Men’s Freshman 4, composed of Ben Ayivorh, Jeff Tsai, Tony O’Laughlin, Tyler Ricci and coxswain Jessica Graham, was crowned national champion. To win the title the team defeated California State University, Long Beach, Kansas State University, University of Maryland, Ohio State University and University of Michigan.

ODU’s Women’s Varsity 4 finished in third place nationally. The members of this group included Alicia Smith, Meredith McPherson, Brittany Clements, Becky Holgate and coxswain Mia Maceren.

The Men’s Varsity 4 finished in eighth place at the regatta. This group included Arda Akman, Artin Sharolli, Sean Price, Gavin Gramstad and coxswain Chrissy Babashanian.

Gramstad, a senior civil and environmental engineering major, and McPherson, a junior biological oceanography major, were named to their respective All-Region teams.

Also competing at the regatta were teams from Virginia, Notre Dame, Purdue, Northwestern, Kansas, UCLA, UC-Davis, Oklahoma, Texas, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Buffalo. The event was hosted by the OKC Boathouse Foundation. Back to top

Forum to explore concept of info./learning commons
The University Libraries and the Office of Computing and Communications Services are investigating the implementation of an information/learning commons in Perry Library.

As part of the planning process, they will sponsor the second of two forums, featuring representatives from some of the schools most known for information/learning commons in the country, from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, June 17. Participants for this session, to be held in the Board Room at Webb Center, will be from Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.

An information/learning commons creates an environment that nurtures students’ learning outside the classroom by providing content in a variety of formats and technologies that might not be affordable to individual students, as well as spaces designed to encourage collaboration and interaction.

A commons would bring together library services and technology to create an environment that fosters informal, collaborative work and social interaction. Comfortable furniture, media and gaming stations, along with group, individual and informal gathering spaces, would be available in an information/learning commons.

To become more familiar with the information/learning commons concept, visit Back to top

Women’s basketball team adds two assistant coaches
Women’s basketball head coach Wendy Larry has named two assistants to join the Lady Monarch coaching staff, former player Celeste Hill-Brockett ’94 and Belle Koclanes.

Hill-Brockett, one of the most decorated players in Lady Monarch basketball history, rejoins the ODU staff after serving as the head coach of Holmes High School in her hometown of Covington, Ky. This will mark her second stint on the Lady Monarch sidelines; she returned to her alma mater for the 1998-99 season as an assistant coach after playing basketball overseas in Israel and Greece.

Hill-Brockett was named the CAA Most Valuable Player in 1994 and Virginia Player of the Year, and earned Kodak District III All-America honors.

Koclanes joins the staff after four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania and having been a standout player at the University of Richmond.

Following her collegiate career, Koclanes played professionally overseas, competing and traveling throughout Greece and Bulgaria. Back to top

Former rector establishes fellowship

A memorial gift designated to the English department by Board of Visitors member James A. Hixon will provide a boost for selected faculty members in the years ahead.

Hixon, a former board rector, recently established a fellowship in memory of his wife, Robin L. Hixon, who died in January of last year.

The fellowship will be used to reduce the teaching load and offset the costs of research for one or more full-time faculty members in the English department who are engaged in writing a book-length manuscript or compiling a substantial body of research.

“The Robin L. Hixon Faculty Research Fellowship comes to the English department at precisely the right time in the department’s growth,” said chair David Metzger. “It affords us the opportunity to provide our faculty with the kind of research support that their colleagues at other doctoral-granting institutions simply take for granted. It will have a major impact on our ability to recruit new faculty and to retain the excellent faculty already here.”

Hixon, who is executive vice president for law and corporate relations at Norfolk Southern Corp., was reappointed to a second four-year term on the ODU board in 2006. He served as board rector from 2004-06.

“Both my wife and I have been very impressed with Old Dominion and what President Runte has been able to do there,” Hixon said. “I wanted to do a number of things in my wife’s memory, and supporting Old Dominion was one of them. Robin always enjoyed attending events at the university and spending time with Roseann, her mother and others there. It was just one of the institutions I wanted to support, and I wanted to make the gift while Roseann was still there.”

Hixon, who has supported the College of Business and Public Administration with previous gifts, designated the fellowship for the English department in tribute to his wife’s love of reading. “She really enjoyed reading and belonged to book clubs,” he said. She held an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Arizona.

The two met as students at the College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Robin Hixon practiced law at Woods, Rogers & Hazelgrove in Roanoke and at the Association of American Railroads in Washington, D.C., and clerked at the Virginia Supreme Court in Richmond. She retired from the practice of law to raise her two children and participate in community organizations.

She was active in many organizations, including the Virginia Arts Festival, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Driftwood Circle, the Virginia Opera Association and the Middle Plantation Garden Club. Back to top

Campus fund drive raises $236,000
Donations topped $236,000 in the 2008 Campus Community Campaign, a facet of the university’s Dominion Fund.

“We did really well this year and I am proud to say that 975 faculty and staff of Old Dominion raised $236,355 for our university,” said Dawn M. Richardson, assistant director of annual giving.

The total represents 101 percent of goal for the “I Believe in ODU!” campaign, which kicked off March 25, and exceeds last year’s amount by approximately $10,000. Ten giving units went above their participation goals in this year’s fund drive.

Walter W. Berry, lecturer of accounting, won the drawing for the reserved parking space for a year (open to employees who contributed $100 or more). The two areas with the highest participation rates, and winners of a doughnut party, are the President’s Office/Offices of Development and Alumni Relations (86 percent), and the College of Business and Public Administration (77 percent).

The areas that reached 100 percent or more of their participation goal are: Auxiliary Services, Human Resources, Materiel Management, VP/Budget/Audit, College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Public Administration, Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Distance Learning, Institutional Advancement and Perry Library.

The following areas reached 100 percent or more of their contribution goal: Auxiliary Services, Finance, Human Resources, Materiel Management, Public Safety, VP/Budget/Audit, College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Public Administration, Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Darden College of Education, College of Health Sciences and Student Affairs.

Judy Bowman, assistant vice president for academic affairs, and Mike Frizzell, assistant director of parking services, served as co-chairs of the 2008 Campus Community Campaign. Back to top

University Libraries present annual awards
The University Libraries presented their Librarian of the Year and Support Staff Member of the Year awards on May 1.

Tonia Graves, who has been with Perry Library since 1998 and serves as the electronic resources and serial services librarian, was named Librarian of the Year.

She was nominated for her technical knowledge, as well as her commitment to the profession through participation in the North American Serials Interest Group, where she has served on committees, published and presented at conferences.

Graves is active on library committees and teams. She is also involved with the campus community, having served as Community Care Day representative for the library and as an adviser in the LADDERS program for students.

Kathryn Boone, a library employee since 1983, was named the Support Staff Member of the Year. She was nominated for her customer service, as well as her commitment to the library and to the students.

Boone, a library specialist II, has served as a leader for many of the library’s activities, such as the book sale and the staff development committee, and is seen as the “go to” person for most services at Perry Library. She also has been active in the Virginia Library Association’s Paraprofessional Forum. Back to top

Broderick commentary appears in Chronicle
John R. Broderick, vice president of institutional advancement and admissions and chief of staff, has published a commentary titled “Here’s the Lineup for the ‘Dream Team’” in the June 6 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Broderick, who currently serves on the Presidential Search Committee, describes in the article the ideal makeup of such a committee. He compares a successful search committee to an athletic team, saying that qualities valued in a wide variety of sports are necessary for the search process to run smoothly.

“The more I’ve thought about it, the more it seems to me that a solid search committee for an academic or administrative job resembles an athletic team on which various people play key positions in a coordinated role,” he writes in the piece.

Broderick is experienced in leading such efforts, having previously chaired search committees for ODU’s vice president of research and provost, and co-chaired the search for the head football coach.

“I must be doing something right (or wrong), since I keep getting that assignment,” he writes. Back to top

Board hopes to announce new president in July
The Board of Visitors (BOV) hopes to announce its selection of a permanent successor to former president Roseann Runte by mid-July 2008, according to Marc Jacobson, board rector and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. Jacobson noted that the announcement could come a little earlier or later, and added that the start date for the new president will depend on his or her availability.

The search committee has been meeting since Jan. 17.

John R. Broderick, vice president for institutional advancement, was appointed to serve as acting president from the time President Runte steps down until a permanent successor arrives. Back to top

Parking forum set for June 24
James Long, director of parking, will host a “new parking plan” meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 24, in the Rectors Room of Webb Center.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Assigning parkers to particular zones;
  • Spreading the cost of the parking operation over all who park on campus; and
  • Eliminating free parking for guests.

“As we are in the beginning stages, this is a good time to discuss how change will affect you and your organization,” Long said. Back to top

U.N. report issues warning about coastal mismanagement

Marine ecologist Mark Butler is one of the authors of a worldwide coastal management assessment that warns of a looming disaster if communities and countries do not cooperate to stop the degradation of marine environments. The report was released June 4 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The strongly worded assessment was prepared by experts affiliated with the International Network on Water, Environment and Health (INWEH) at the United Nations University.

“By 2050, 91 percent of the world’s coastlines will have been impacted by development,” according to the report. It contends that “much coastal development is poorly planned and all of it, as well as much inland development, impacts the coastal ocean.”

Five trends are to blame, the experts say:

  • Intensification of large-scale agriculture, driven by global agricultural production, including bio-fuels, contributes to over-nutrification and the creation of offshore “dead zones”;
  • Rising pollution and the influx of exotic species due to shipping and commerce;
  • Ill-planned tourism in ecologically sensitive areas, that often causes irreversible damage;
  • Development that destroys vital near-shore environments, alters patterns of water movement and disrupts ecosystem functioning; and
  • Over-fishing, which, in combination with damage to the coastal nursery grounds of many fishery species, is already causing far-reaching consequences for economies and ecosystems.

Butler, a professor of biological sciences, has done research in coastal waters worldwide. His current work includes studies of the effects of over-fishing and environmental changes – such as global warming – on blue crabs, Caribbean spiny lobsters and other marine species. He also is among a select group of researchers working on a World Bank Global Environmental Fund (GEF) project to help improve coral reef sustainability and management. The authors note in their acknowledgements that they came together as participants in the GEF coral reef project.

Most people fail to appreciate the economic and aesthetic value that a sustainably managed coastal environment provides, and also do not understand how complicated that management can be, according to the report. “What worked yesterday will not be adequate tomorrow,” it says.

Recommendations are for better coordination between communities and countries in coastal zone management and for rigorously holding local and national governments accountable for their management failures. The authors say that a combination of scientific and traditional knowledge needs to be tapped in the preparation of coastal management plans.

Authors of the report include Peter Sale, assistant director, and Hanneke Van Lavieren, program officer, for the INWEH at the U.N. University in Hamilton, Canada. Others are Butler; Anthony J. Hooten of AJH Environmental Services in Bethesda, Md.; Jacob P. Kritzer, senior scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, Boston; Ken Lindeman, Florida Institute of Technology; Yvonne Sadovy de Mitcheson, University of Hong Kong; and Bob Steneck, University of Maine.

“It is past time to implement truly integrated coastal zone management around the world,” says INWEH Director Zafar Adeel. “Management must be scaled appropriately to ecology and political jurisdiction boundaries must be eliminated as borders for management actions.” Back to top

Dobbs article in Microbiology Today
An article written by Fred Dobbs about microbial stowaways in ships’ ballast tanks appears in the May issue of the magazine Microbiology Today, which is based in England and has an international readership.

Dobbs, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, is an expert in the ecology of microorganisms that can be found in ships’ ballast water. He was recruited by Microbiology Today to write the article for a themed issue titled “Bugs Get Everywhere.”

In the feature-length article, Dobbs describes his research and that of other scientists concerning the goings and comings of tiny organisms that are taken onto ships in ballast water at one location in the world and pumped out at another location.

“Are we playing Johnny Appleseed with aquatic microorganisms as global shipping inadvertently spreads them around the world in discharged ballast water?” he asks in the article. “And if so, need we be concerned that some of those microbes are harmful?”

Dobbs notes the well-documented cases in which ballast tank discharges have transferred larger organisms from their indigenous region to new regions where they thrive without control by predators or parasites. Zebra mussels from Eastern Europe, for example, have been relocated to the Great Lakes and elsewhere in North America, where they reproduce rapidly, adversely affect the food chain for native aquatic creatures, foul the hulls of boats and clog pipes in water-treatment and industrial water-cooling systems.

But the case is not so clear for invasive microbial species. Some scientists argue that these very tiny organisms already are distributed worldwide, so ballast discharges cannot introduce new species. Other scientists have produced examples of aquatic microbes having a specific biogeography. “If the second group of scientists is correct, then aquatic microorganisms can be nonindigenous, are therefore potentially invasive, and their presence in ballast water is indeed of concern,” Dobbs writes.

Although most aquatic microorganisms are not harmful to humans, some species such as Vibrio cholerae, the etiologic agent of human cholera, and the dinoflagellates that cause red tides could pose threats, according to Dobbs.

Individual states in the United States have enacted regulations to try to strictly limit the number of bacteria and viruses that might be in ballast water discharges, and the International Maritime Organiza-tion is proposing similar microbiological mandates. Dobbs explains, however, that current technologies that can be utilized by ships – ranging from chemical treatments of ballast water to filtration and ultraviolet radiation – are hard-pressed to meet the needs of shippers as well as the expectations of regulators.

The Dobbs article is illustrated by micrographs of phytoplankton taken by Lisa Drake, a former graduate student of the author who became a research professor at ODU before joining the faculty of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. She and Dobbs continue to collaborate on research projects. Back to top

Graduate student wins $10,000 scholarship
Kara Olson, a graduate student in computer science, has received a 2008 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Doctoral Level Scholarship worth $10,000.

Two of these scholarships were awarded this year by the National Training and Simulation Association, an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association. The other award went to a student at the University of Southern California.

Olson had a busy few months in late 2007 and early 2008. She presented her latest work at the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Student Research Conference in Norfolk, the Operational Research Society 4th Simulation Workshop in Worcestershire, England, and the 2007 Winter Simulation Conference in Washington, D.C.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics in 1997 and a master’s in computer science in 2007 from ODU. Her Ph.D. research focus is formal analysis of simulation models to facilitate model developers’ and model users’ understanding of those models. Her major professor is Michael Overstreet, acting chair of the computer science department. Back to top

University Village summer concert series kicks off June 21
The University Village will celebrate summer with Music on Monarch Way, a free Saturday concert series featuring an eclectic lineup of jazz, bluegrass, reggae, folk, salsa, blues, swing and progressive music.

Sponsored by the ODU Real Estate Foundation and the University Village, the concerts will be held from 5-7 p.m. on the lawn behind the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Admission and parking are free.

For more information call 683-4504 or go to The following concerts are scheduled in June and July:

  • June 21 – Skip Friel & The Resonators, alternative folk/Americana;
  • June 28 – Lewis McGehee, acoustic;
  • July 5 – Against All Odds, smooth jazz;
  • July 12 – Harwell Grice, bluegrass;
  • July 19 – Tumbao Salsero, Latin/salsa; and
  • July 26 – Big Wide Grin, soulfully acoustic. Back to top

“From Beads to Bangles” exhibit opens at library
The Old Dominion University Libraries are featuring an exhibit this summer of beads and jewelry from around the world, including items from Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, the East and Oceania.

“From Beads to Bangles: An Exhibit of World Jewelry” will be on display through Aug. 14 in the main lobby of the Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library.

The exhibit also includes a bead history timeline, maps, books, photographs and other textual materials.

For more information contact Kathryn Boone at

New book by Professors Weinstein and Adam intrigues bloggers at Wall Street Journal site

If brisk blog traffic about “Guesstimation: Solving the World’s Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin” is a reliable indicator, the new book written by Professors Lawrence Weinstein and John Adam will be a success in the marketplace.

The Numbers Guy blog on The Wall Street Journal Web site devoted a few hundred words to the book and the authors on May 28, and posed a couple of the questions addressed in the book. Readers were invited to quickly estimate this: “If all the humans in the world were crammed together, how much area would we require?” Another question was: “What is the external surface area of a typical person?”

Bloggers offered up dozens of ways to devise estimates, and Weinstein, a nuclear physicist, and Adam, a mathematician, joined in the virtual discussion. The bloggers continued to send in “guesstimations” and comments for several days. (See

A few weeks earlier, a posting on the Marginal Revolution blog elicited a similar string of responses. Favorable reviews on, and in other local and national publications, also have stirred interest in the book.

A spokeswoman for Princeton University Press said sales between the April 21 release and the end of May were well over 5,000 copies. “This is an excellent start,” she added.

In 12 chapters and more than 80 “guesstimation” examples, the book explains how to make useful ballpark estimates by breaking complex problems into more manageable ones. Policymakers dealing with complex numbers about pollutants in the atmosphere or business people struggling with investment decisions can learn from the book to keep their thinking on plausible tracks. Numeric literacy is in high demand in today’s numbers-saturated world, so much so that more and more businesses are asking estimation questions in employment interviews to test applicants’ abilities to think on their feet.

The Numbers Guy in The Wall Street Journal noted in his comments about the usefulness of the book, “Employers value an ability to quickly make estimates under pressure.”

Business consultants have been quick to realize the book’s potential usefulness as a problem-solving tutorial. In one endorsement, Martin Yate, the author of the “Knock ’Em Dead” job-search and career-management books, wrote: “Wow, I suddenly grasped concepts that have eluded me for a lifetime. If you work anywhere in the professional world and are aiming for the corner office, this little book could have significant impact on both your analytical abilities and the way you are perceived by others.” Back to top

Colleges present annual awards to faculty and staff
Five colleges announced the following faculty and staff awards at the close of the spring semester. (The Darden College of Education presents awards in August.)

Arts and Letters

  • James Kosnik, professor of music – Robert L. Stern Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Melissa Bristow, adjunct instructor of philosophy and religious studies – Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award
  • Adolphus Hailstork, eminent scholar of music – Charles O. and Elisabeth C. Burgess Faculty Research and Creativity Award
  • Nancy Klein, associate professor of music – Joel S. Lewis Faculty Award for Excellence in Student Mentoring
  • Lucien Lombardo, professor of sociology and criminal justice – Award for Outstanding Contribution to Interdisciplinarity
  • Kathy Pim, program support technician for women’s studies – Staff Member of the Year Award
  • Cathy Craft, major gifts officer – College of Arts and Letters Service Award

Business and Public Administration

  • Yuping Liu, assistant professor of marketing – Faculty Research Award
  • Randall Spurrier, senior lecturer of accounting – Faculty Teaching Award
  • John Griffith, associate professor of finance – Faculty Advising Award
  • Ling Li, professor of decision sciences – Faculty Service Award
  • Daniel Lahne, adjunct professor of management – Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award
  • Tarsha Turner, executive secretary senior – Classified Staff Member of the Year Award

Engineering and Technology

  • Andreas Tolk, associate professor of engineering management – Excellence in Research Award
  • Rafael Landaeta, assistant professor of engineering management – Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Carrie Duran, statistical analyst – Excellence in Support Operations Award
  • Amin Dharamsi, professor of electrical and computer engineering – Excellence in Faculty Advising Award
  • Hani Elsayed-Ali, eminent scholar of electrical and computer engineering – Excellence in Industrial Partnering Award

Health Sciences

  • Michele Darby, eminent scholar of dental hygiene – Lindsay Rettie Research Award
  • Karen Karlowicz, assistant professor of nursing – Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Karen Karlowicz, assistant professor of nursing – Excellence in Technology-Based Teaching Award


  • Anatoly Radyushkin, eminent scholar of physics, and Patrick Hatcher, Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences – Distinguished Research Award
  • Przemyslaw Bogacki, associate professor of mathematics and statistics – Distinguished Teaching Award - Faculty
  • Suzanne Morrow, lecturer of psychology – Distinguished Teaching Award - Lecturer
  • Kerry Kilburn, senior lecturer of biological sciences – Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser
  • Joseph Rule, associate dean – Distinguished Service Award
  • Lepsha Vuskovic, professor of physics, and Mark Butler, professor of biological sciences, Gene W. Hirschfeld Faculty Excellence Award. Back to top

Doctoral student wins IEEE Excellence Award
Thomas Camp, a doctoral student in electrical engineering and a researcher at the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, has received the High Voltage Association Student Excellence Award at the 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Power Modulator Conference.

A plaque and $1,000 honorarium were presented to Camp at the conference in Las Vegas on May 29.

Camp is the graduate student of Karl Schoenbach, Batten Endowed Chair in Bioelectrics Engineering and the director of the Reidy Center. In his nomination letter, Schoenbach said Camp “is not only an outstanding student, one of the best I have ever had, but has the potential to become a scientific leader in any field of research that he pursues.”

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physics from Christopher Newport University, Camp came to Old Dominion in January 2006 to begin a master’s program in physics. But he soon became interested in pulsed-power research at the Reidy Center and he decided to change his major. He was accepted into the doctoral program in electrical engineering last spring.

“Thomas is working on one of our most exciting research programs: the study of high-power, subnanosecond pulsed electric field effects on cells and tissues,” Schoenbach explained in the nomination letter. This line of research could lead to the development of wide-band, near-field antennae for diagnostics and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Last year, Camp was part of a Reidy Center research team that won a $34,000 grant from the Breeden-Adams Foundation in Norfolk to explore the use of antennae to deliver ultrafast pulses of electricity to tumors inside the body. Back to top

Daughter-in-law’s graduation continues family tradition
When Gabrielle Hurst walked across the stage May 10 to receive her master’s degree in education, she wrote the latest chapter in a three-generation story of Old Dominion alumni.

Her mother-in-law, Nancy Harris Hurst, graduated in 1963 with a degree in English, and Nancy’s mother, Fern Fitzgerald Harris, one of the first nontraditional students to enroll at the Norfolk Division at age 37, earned her bachelor’s degree in 1957.

Both Nancy and Fern, who is now 91, were on hand to help the new graduate celebrate her achievement.
Fern, who had two children at home when she enrolled at The Division, would eventually graduate as class valedictorian. Midway through college, when she received her associate degree, the novelty of such a nontraditional student in the 1950s – a wife, mother and student – prompted The Virginian-Pilot to write a feature story about her.

Nancy would follow in her mother’s footsteps not long after. She completed her bachelor’s degree in English in 1963. She was among the first students in the Honors Program and her graduating class was the first to have Old Dominion College on its diploma.

Like her grandmother-in-law, Gabrielle enrolled at ODU at the age of 37. She held a degree in accounting from another school, but later felt that her calling was to teach. She took two years of prerequisite courses at the university, and two more years to complete her M.S.Ed.

Gabrielle, who has three children at home, also plans to follow in her grandmother-in-law’s footsteps as an elementary school teacher. Back to top

Second-graders win award with help of university oceanographer
A second-grade class that conducted a high-tech science project in cooperation with Old Dominion oceanographer Eileen Hofmann has won a national 2008 Catholic Schools for Tomorrow Award from Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine. The award was one of 12 given by the magazine.

Teacher Katie Barbour’s class at Christ The King School in Norfolk took water samples from the Lafayette River and Lake Whitehurst and analyzed them using microscopes and other instruments. Shells and organisms were catalogued and water quality was tested during the project, which included several fieldwork, photography and record-keeping exercises.

The students produced video reports about their research and also wrote and produced a mock television news show as part of the project.

Hofmann, a professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences who works with ODU’s Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, said the project got its start because a program specialist with CCPO, Julie Rea Morgan, has a child at Christ The King School. Morgan is a 1992 ODU graduate and has worked at CCPO for 15 years.

“The teacher wanted to know if we could help them do a project with salt marsh ecology, and it just happens that we have a gorgeous marsh nearby,” Hofmann said.

The students also were invited to take freshwater samples from Lake Whitehurst, courtesy of the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Back to top

Gregory opens smart soft materials lab
Progress in smart materials is hastening the day when your jacket may be smarter than your Blackberry. Richard V. Gregory, chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department, has launched a new laboratory to promote his research in the smart soft materials we will be using someday soon.

Gregory announced in late April the establishment of the Soft Material Thermal and Electrical Characterization Laboratory. The lab was made possible by a matching equipment grant from TA Instruments, which supplied the thermal characterization instrumentation, and help from the university’s Office of Research. Other recently purchased equipment includes an ultra-violet, infrared, near-infrared spectrometer with reflectance capability. Some electrical and optical characterization equipment was supplied by Gregory from his former research laboratory at Clemson University, where he served as the director of the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

With more than 100 publications, 15 patents and several national and international awards for his work, Gregory is widely respected as a researcher in electroactive and photonic polymeric materials.

An article about organic lasers and optical fibers that he co-authored was selected as one of the best to appear during 2007 in Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics. Members of the journal’s editorial board chose the article, titled “Elliptical Micro-Ring Organic Lasers,” to appear in a special collection of their personal favorites in the category of “rapid communication.”

Just before he moved from Clemson to Old Dominion in 2003, Gregory was the subject of an article in

The New York Times headlined, “What’s Next: Fabrics Smart Enough to Change Colors and Keep You Dry.” It explained the use of conductive fibers, through which electric current can flow to realign molecules and change a jacket’s color or permeability. Even smarter materials may allow your jacket to display digital information or monitor your health.

Gregory’s new lab houses state-of-the art thermal soft material characterization instruments, as well as other instruments that can provide information on the visco-elastic properties of organic and inorganic polymeric film and fiber materials. Back to top

Patent awarded to ECE prof Vijayan Asari
The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a patent to Vijayan Asari, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Vision Lab at Old Dominion, for his development of a new image-characterizing method.

The patented technology, titled “Color Image Characterization, Enhancement and Balancing,” is the outcome of research conducted at the lab by Asari and Ming-Jung Seow, who was an ODU graduate student when the application was filed in 2005. Seow, formerly of Williamsburg, graduated in 2006 and currently works as a senior scientist at Behavioral Recognition Systems Labs in Houston. The patent was awarded April 22.

Using this unique image-enhancement technique, one can produce clear visibility and natural color in images captured in extremely dark and non-uniform lighting environments. Asari said the technology could be extremely useful for defense and homeland security applications, such as nighttime surveillance and object recognition in low lighting conditions.

“The granting of this patent recognizes the pioneering research work being done at Vision Lab,” said Asari. “This places us at the forefront in a group of internationally recognized scientists and researchers.”

– Scott Lowe
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Xu research group article cited in prestigious journal
An article by chemist and biochemist Xiao-Hong Nancy Xu and her research group has been named by the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano as one of its “most-accessed” for 2007.

The article, “In Vivo Imaging of Transport and Biocompatibility of Single Silver Nanoparticles in Early Development of Zebrafish Embryos,” reports major advances in the use of single nanoparticles as optical biosensors that are about one-millionth the size of a pencil point and could aid in the creation of anticancer vaccines. The article was published in September 2007.

Xu said her research group is exploring the potential of nanoparticles to be imaging and therapeutic agents. Back to top

Art students earn honors

Creative achievements are a regular occurrence in the art department, but this year several students realized notable accomplishments.

Earlier this year, five Old Dominion art students learned that their ceramic artwork was selected for publication in Lark Books’ “500 Tiles,” an acclaimed series showcasing collections by international artists. The artists, Sumner Bradshaw, Mary-Paige Cannon, Haley Mitchem, Ashley Padaon and Jennifer Smith, were students in adjunct assistant professor Anna Freeman’s Introduction to Ceramics course in spring 2007.

As part of their course requirements, each student created and submitted three entries for the Lark Books competition. The images, one each for Bradshaw, Cannon, Mitchem, and Padaon and two for Smith, represent their first published artworks.

“Anna has had students published before in the Lark “500 Pitchers” book. This year five of her students and six images were published in one book. It is quite an accomplishment for our students, for Mrs. Freeman and our ceramics program,” said ceramics program director Richard Nickel, whose artwork also was published in the book.

Crystal Johnson, a graduate student in ODU’s visual studies program, received the Joseph Gilliard Ceramics Award for her sculpture “Sick and Tired,” which is currently on display in the “New Power Generation” exhibit at the Hampton University Museum.

The exhibit, which runs through July 26, features 42 pieces by 23 artists who work as educators, graphic designers, architects and practicing artists both in the local area and around the country. Johnson, who teaches art in the Newport News Public Schools, was one of three Hampton residents selected for the exhibit.

Three ODU art students won awards at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center’s “Genesis 2008 College Student Juried Exhibition” in late March. Awards of $100 each were presented to Johanna Colijn, Haruka Takemoto and Tiffany Reed for their works in sculpture, ceramics and printmaking, respectively.
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“As chair of the Faculty Senate for the coming year, I can assure the writer that the question of ASL as a foreign language will be discussed, and careful consideration will be given to including it as an option within the general education curriculum.” (Paul Champagne, professor of business management, in a reply to a previous letter to the editor)

– “Signing at ODU”
The Virginian-Pilot, May 30

“We haven’t spent a lot of time on this because we’re still ironing out our schedules for ’09 and ’10 and then looking ahead to ’11 and ’12. But we’re definitely looking at a home-and-home series with Norfolk State in the near future.” (Jim Jarrett, athletic director)

– “Dawn of a rivalry? ODU and NSU talk football series”
The Virginian-Pilot, May 28

“The Chinese government, the Japanese government, and others have been intentionally keeping trade unbalanced in order to steal our industries. They have been following the old mercantilist practice of selling to us without buying from us and have accumulated trillions of dollars as evidence of their manipulations.  U.S. government policies have abetted rather than obstructed such strategies.” (Jesse Richman, assistant professor of political science, in an opinion piece for which he was lead author)

– “How to recapture the Republican advantage on trade”, May 26

“We need to educate for the reality of our interdependence. We need tools (for) solving problems from a moral perspective. Education can provide some of these tools.” (Dwight Allen, professor emeritus of educational reform, speaking about the impact of global warming)

– “Bahá’í-inspired development program highlighted at U.N. meeting”
The Bahá’í World News Service, May 19

“All by itself, China was responsible for one-half of the reduction in the rate of inflation enjoyed by lower-income Americans. Yes, this is the same China that is the bugaboo of the anti-globalism advocates. But, there’s more. Since Wal-Mart easily is the largest American recipient of those inexpensive Chinese goods – almost $30 billion per year – it is a significant link in this beneficial effect. The bottom line? Trade and major discount firms have been far better for lower-income Americans than most of us understand. A 1 percent increase in the share of imports coming to us from China reduces U.S. prices by 0.8 percent. Keep that in mind as you listen to presidential candidates attack China and Wal-Mart under the guise of ‘fair trade.’” (James Koch, Board of Visitors Professor of Economics, in a commentary)

– “Food prices are on the rise. There’s three reasons why.”
The Virginian-Pilot, May 11
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