Enrollment strategy, advocacy are themes in address by Broderick

Speaking to new and returning faculty members at the State of the University address the morning of Aug. 20, Acting President John R. Broderick discussed the need for a new enrollment strategy, and he encouraged members of the campus community to become advocates of the university.

After taking over the presidential duties from Roseann Runte in late June, Broderick said he commissioned a review of ODU’s enrollment strategy “so a strategic plan for an optimum capacity can be developed.”

He noted that many factors help determine enrollment and institutional growth. “One of those is the resources to address all critical components of supporting students properly. This includes faculty to teach classes, staff to advise and counsel students, and facilities to accommodate them. While I understand the benefits of growth, I also must pose the $100,000 question: Will ODU be a better place in five years if additional growth occurs?”

Saying that he has heard from many on campus who believe ODU should become the best it can be, given available resources, Broderick said, “If we can only get bigger, but not better, I will choose better every time. I will keep you informed as information from this review becomes available because it truly impacts every aspect of campus life.”

Speaking of state funding, Broderick acknowledged governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, as well as members of the General Assembly, “for ensuring tremendous progress was made during tough economic times.” He warned, however, that new fiscal challenges are on the horizon.

“As you have read and heard, those revenue shortfalls that directly affect the commonwealth’s budget will remain with us through this fiscal year.

“One of my challenges – but equally important, one of yours – is to continue reminding our elected officials of your own value as state employees. The General Assembly is annually challenged to provide all the money needed for everything from education and health care to police protection and highway improvements. It is a daunting task.”

In encouraging members of the campus community to contact their elected officials “about improving compensation for state employees,” Broderick also called upon ODU’s faculty and staff to become more vocal advocates for higher education in general, and the university in particular.

“Another challenge I pass your way today is in the area of university advocacy,” he stressed. “Help me tell others the story of what makes this institution better each and every day.

“We cannot expend the resources many of our peers utilize on advertising because we invest those precious dollars in people and student aid, not promotion. When it comes to discretionary funding at ODU, my vote is always going to be to invest in our students, faculty and staff, first.”

Broderick then mentioned a number of bragging points – everything from award-winning faculty and outstanding research to a diverse student body and successful alumni. He noted that the university not only has had a Rhodes scholar, but also Truman Fellows and USA Today Academic All-Americans, and that 11 former student-athletes have competed in this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

He also reminded those in the audience that ODU is losing its commuter school reputation, citing the fact that nearly 84 percent of this year’s 2,800-member freshman class live on campus.

“People judge the whole by the part they know. For many of our constituents, you are the part they know, but more importantly, trust. Your endorsement is firsthand and genuine,” Broderick said.

In closing, he added, “As we begin another fall semester, let’s remember we all have a role in making sure people near and far are aware of how this university is on the move.

“We all should be proud that our students say this is a welcoming community where cutting-edge research is conducted and an entrepreneurial spirit surfaces in their classrooms, in their student residences and in our offices.” Back to top

Human rights activist to speak at convocation
John Warner Jr., U.S. senator from Virginia, and renowned sportswriter and commentator Frank Deford will speak on campus this fall.

Warner will be the guest speaker for the Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations, tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9

Deford will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, for the President’s Lecture Series and Literary Festival.

Both talks, which are free and open to the public, will take place in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. Back to top

Sen. Warner, Frank Deford slated for talks this fall
John Warner Jr., U.S. senator from Virginia, and renowned sportswriter and commentator Frank Deford will speak on campus this fall.

Warner will be the guest speaker for the Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations, tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9

Deford will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, for the President’s Lecture Series and Literary Festival.

Both talks, which are free and open to the public, will take place in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. Back to top

Grad wins Olympic gold
Anna Tunnicliffe, a 2005 Old Dominion graduate from Plantation, Fla., became the first former Monarch medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games when she captured gold in the Laser Radial class on Aug. 19. She is the first American sailor to win gold in the games.

In an e-mailed letter following her accomplishment, Tunnicliffe said, “Someone asked me later how I felt going down the last leg and I can tell you the finish line couldn’t arrive soon enough. As I got the gun I was so happy and so proud to win for my country. It was overwhelming.”

She added, “This is something I’ve wanted so long and now all the emotions are crowding in on me. Everything has been a whirlwind since I finished racing nearly four hours ago.” Back to top

Bismarck Myrick appointed Goodwill Ambassador
Old Dominion’s ambassador-in-residence, Bismarck Myrick, was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Goree Island, Senegal, by Mayor Augustin E. Senghor during official ceremonies in that city on July 18.

Ambassador Myrick, a specialist in African affairs and a lecturer of history and political science at ODU, was in Senegal as part of a two-month visit to Africa. Senghor had invited Myrick to take part in discussions with members of the Goree City Council about ways to advance the Goree-Portsmouth Sister City relationship.

Goree Island (part of the West African country of Senegal) has become internationally known as a site where African slaves were held before transport across the Atlantic Ocean. Heads of state and celebrities frequently travel to the island, which is now a bustling site for tourism, the arts and trade activities, to highlight the injustice of the historical African slave trade.

During his trip, Myrick also visited South Africa, where he previously headed U.S. diplomatic missions. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States, Myrick served as ambassador to the Republic of Liberia from 1999-2002, ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho from 1995-98, and principal officer in both Cape Town and Durban, South Africa, from 1990-95. Back to top

Student wins poster award at conference in Russia
Andrea Piñones, a doctoral student at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO), received the best student poster award at the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Meeting July 8-11 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“The selection of Ms. Piñones for the award speaks well for her and her research because she was compared to a large number of other students,” said Eileen Hofmann, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences and Piñones' mentor.

Hofmann, together with Michael Dinniman, a CCPO research scientist, and John Klinck, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, are co-authors of the poster. The title of their project is “Simu-lations of Lagrangian Particles on the Western Antarctic Peninsula: The Effect of Circulation Dynamics.”

Lagrangian particle dispersion models can map the circulation of a fluid. Piñones’ research focuses on measuring the circulation of waters off the western Antarctic Peninsula and determining its effects.

During her visit to Russia, Piñones attended a polar early career workshop organized by an international network of polar scientists. “Participating in the workshop and later the conference was a rewarding experience for me and my future career,” she said. “Of course, none of these great experiences would have been possible without Dr. Hofmann’s support and advice.”

Piñones, who received her master’s degree from ODU in 2006 following her undergraduate education in her native Chile, plans to return to her home country after she receives her Ph.D. and conduct more research in the Southern Ocean. “Hopefully, I can continue my collaboration with ODU and other South American countries actively developing research in Antarctica,” she said. Back to top

Athletics announces multimedia rights partnership
Old Dominion Athletics has agreed to a 10-year multimedia rights partnership with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties. CBS Collegiate Sports Properties will manage all of the athletic department’s marketing and multimedia assets. Additionally, it will make capital commitments over the next 10 years, to include video/LED scoreboards at Foreman Field and the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex, as well as upgraded signage at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties,” said Athletic Director Jim Jarret. “Their track record at other universities across the country makes them the right team to help us maximize the opportunities available for our new football program and our overall athletic department.”

Under the terms of the agreement, which is expected to be finalized by Sept. 1, CBS Collegiate Sports Properties is responsible for generating sponsorship revenue through a variety of media outlets, including television and radio game broadcasts and coaches shows, print and Internet; on-premise signage at ODU’s athletic venues; and promotional events through ODU Sports Properties, its on-the-ground team at the university. Chuck Gray, director of corporate sponsorships for ODU athletics for the past nine years, will serve as general manager of ODU Sports Properties. Back to top

Publications office designers win awards in natl. contest
Designers in the Office of Publications recently won five American Inhouse Design Awards in a program sponsored by Graphic Design USA. The awards program is a showcase for outstanding, and often underappreciated, work produced in inhouse design departments at U.S. companies and institutions.

The winning publications were:

  • 2006 Foundations Annual Report – Sharon Lomax, designer;
  • Energy for Tomorrow booklet – Karen Smallets, designer; Jim Raper, writer;
  • 2007-2008 Fine & Performing Arts brochure – Shara Weber, designer;
  • Quest research magazine – Sharon Lomax, designer; and
  • Year in Review, 2006-2007 – Karen Smallets, designer. Back to top

“Dance into Fall” concert set for Aug. 27 and 28
The Old Dominion dance theater program will get the fall semester off on the right foot – literally and figuratively – when it presents “Dance into Fall,” a modern dance concert featuring work by university dance faculty.

The concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 27 and 28, at the University Theatre, will include stimulating modern dance choreography by faculty members performed by ODU students, faculty and local dancers.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students. They may be purchased at the door or by calling 683-5305. Back to top

University installs new biodiesel fuel tank
Old Dominion has taken a step toward powering its campus fleet of vehicles in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly manner by installing a new partial biodiesel fueling tank.

Installation of the tank, which is filled with a 5 percent biodiesel/diesel mixture known as B5, is the first step in a plan to increase the proportion of sustainable energy sources used by the university over the next several years. While no timetable is yet in place, ODU plans eventually to raise the percentage of biodiesel used by the university fleet to 20 percent, or B20.

“Virtually all diesel engine manufacturers will warranty their engines to B20 and even higher,” said Richard Le Moal, associate director of facilities management.

Made from soybean oil, the biodiesel fuel is supplied by James River Petroleum, based in Richmond. At 5 percent biodiesel, there is virtually no difference in vehicle performance from a 100 percent diesel fuel, according to Le Moal. At levels of B10 and above, vehicles using the biodiesel mixture may require more frequent filter changes. The addition of biodiesel does raise the price of fuel slightly, with B5 recently retailing at $3.46 per gallon versus $3.26 for pure diesel (tax-free prices).

The university fleet, which consists of 18 vehicles in all, consumes roughly 7,200 gallons of fuel annually. With the change to B5, ODU will use approximately 3,600 fewer gallons of diesel fuel each year. Back to top

Nursing practice doctorate to be added

“Old Dominion will offer a new doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program beginning with the spring 2009 semester.

The DNP program is aimed addressing a shortage of advanced practitioners, as well as training needed nursing instruction faculty. The program will be structured to train nurses in increasingly necessary areas, such as advanced diagnostics, emerging medical technologies, and the care of diverse and underserved patient groups.

“This new doctoral degree will help to elevate the program to a new level of professionalism,” said Andrew Balas, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “ODU is definitely ahead of the curve.”

The DNP program will require 36 credit hours in addition to the current master’s degree program requirements, six of which will consist of advanced theory coursework. Another 12 credits will be devoted to leadership and policy, nine to clinical residency, six to research and three to a capstone project.

The new program is partly in response to growing student demand for a higher level of training in nursing programs. In a survey of graduate students enrolled in the ODU master of science nursing program conducted in January 2008, approximately 52 percent answered that they would be interested in obtaining a doctorate in the program. Furthermore, between 2006 and 2008, ODU received a number of e-mails from prospective students indicating their interest in a doctoral nursing program.

“We have already seen an increase in the number of applicants to the program,” Balas said.

The university is also aware of the demand for highly trained nurses among potential employers. A 2007 survey of health-care administrators in Virginia conducted by the Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives indicated that more than half would hire DNP-prepared nurses, and over 67 percent would be interested in hiring doctoral-level nurse practitioners.

While the current level of education required for practicing nurses in Virginia is a master of science in nursing, there is a measurable shortage of qualified nursing teaching faculty, which requires a doctoral-level education. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported in 2007 that a survey of 344 nursing schools revealed 767 teaching faculty vacancies. The schools reported the need to hire an additional 43 qualified teachers in order to keep pace with student demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2006 and 2016, employment opportunities for nurses will grow by approximately 23 percent. Back to top

Wear your ODU duds Aug. 29 for College Colors Day
Members of the campus community are encouraged to wear Old Dominion clothing Friday, Aug. 29, as part of the fourth annual College Colors Day celebration.

Also on this day, the Monarch replica football jersey and the new marching band uniform will be unveiled at noon at the University Bookstore. In addition, eight shops on Monarch Way will offer discounts to anyone wearing ODU apparel on Aug. 29. Back to top

Three new members appointed to board
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has appointed three new members, and reappointed one member, to four-year terms on the Board of Visitors. The new members are:

  • David L. Bernd, of Virginia Beach, the CEO of Sentara Healthcare, succeeding Mark Strome. With Sentara since 1972, Bernd has served as the executive vice president/chief operating officer of Sentara Health System, as well as the president of Sentara Hospitals-Norfolk. He previously served on the Virginia Wesleyan College board of trustees and is a former chairman of the South Hampton Roads United Way board of directors.
  • William C. Chick, of Suffolk, the president of Pepperdine Corp., succeeding Robert Copeland. Pepperdine Corp. is a general building contractor whose past work includes the ODU Folkes-Stevens Indoor Tennis Center and renovations to the ODU Health and Physical Education Building.
  • Linda L. Forehand, of Chesapeake, senior associate director of philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, succeeding Pat Tsao. Forehand is also a member of the ODU Educational Foundation board of trustees, which receives, administers and distributes funds and property for the university.

Both Chick, class of 1970, and Forehand, class of 1980, magna cum laude, are ODU graduates.

Kaine reappointed Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr., of Virginia Beach, a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, to a four-year term on the board. Gehman served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT), commander-in-chief of the U.S. Joint Forces Command and vice chief of Naval Operations. He has remained active since his retirement, serving on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) committee and the Department of Defense’s Cole Commission. Back to top

J. Hirst Lederle
John Hirst Lederle, associate professor emeritus of engineering technology, died July 16, 2008, in his Norfolk home. He was 81.

Hirst, who joined the Old Dominion faculty in 1960 and retired in 1992, received his B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1951 and his M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee in 1968.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-51 and the U.S. Air Force from 1951-58.

Lederle taught electrical engineering technology for more than 30 years. He began his career teaching in the former Technical Institute, which was subsequently merged with Old Dominion College prior to its achieving university status.

Along with his teaching activities, Lederle was a principal investigator on research projects funded by the Naval Surface Weapons Center and the Center for Innovative Technology. He wrote several laboratory manuals for both electrical engineering technology majors and non-majors. He served as an officer in the local chapter of AAUP and on the Faculty Senate.

Lederle was listed in “Who’s Who in the South” and was a member of Miles Memorial United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Jean K. Lederle; a daughter, Fern Lederle McDougal; a daughter, Sherry Seacrist Davis; a daughter, Marybeth Seacrist Shullick; a son, Jay Seacrist; five grandsons; three granddaughters; two great-grandsons; and one great-granddaughter.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

Dr. Hugo A. Owens
Dr. Hugo A. Owens Sr., Old Dominion’s first African American Board of Visitors rector and a well-known civil rights activist, died July 29, 2008, in Chesapeake. He was 92.

Owens, for whom the university’s African-American Cultural Center was named in 1996, served on the ODU board from 1990-94. He was rector from 1992-93.

During his tenure, he was a tireless lobbyist for the university. As the only “dentist-rector,” he was fond of saying that he endeavored to “build bridges of understanding, extract badly needed funds from the legislature and lead the university as it braces for the 21st century.”

He was named the first honorary member of the ODU Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators and was the recipient of the university’s eighth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award.

“In some ways, he was the Nelson Mandela of Hampton Roads – long suffering, but always dignified, and ultimately the moral victor,” said former ODU president James V. Koch.

Koch, who was president during Owens’ term on the board, called him “a man of great integrity and an individual of strong and enduring human values.” In a letter Koch wrote to Owens at the end of his term on the board, he said, “You were everything that a president could ask from a rector. You were a great advisor, sympathetic ear, a wise and sage counselor, a strong proponent and a valuable connection to the governor.”

Owens was born Jan. 21, 1916, and was named after the presidents of his parents’ alma maters, James Hugo Johnston Sr. of present-day Virginia State University, and Samuel Armstrong of what is now Hampton University.

He attended I.C. Norcom High School and Virginia State College, and began teaching in Maryland and Portsmouth. After being drafted into the Army, Owens trained to become a dentist and opened a practice in Portsmouth in 1947.

He joined the civil rights movement and filed his first lawsuit in 1950 to integrate the city parks. Later, he sued to gain access to city golf courses and he helped win a lawsuit to desegregate the city’s libraries. He was part of a group of doctors and dentists who desegregated Portsmouth General Hospital.

In 1970, Owens was one of two African Americans elected to Chesapeake City Council, where he served for 10 years. Back to top

New electron probe will support faculty research

Research interests at Old Dominion and elsewhere in eastern Virginia that involve the analysis of very small samples of solid materials have received a major boost from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The funding agency’s grant of $500,000, together with $400,000 contributed by ODU, will enable the university to purchase a new-generation electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA).

The NSF grant specifically supports the research of five ODU researchers:

  • Dennis Darby, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, is a specialist in geological oceanography who pioneered an iron grain tracer technique that he uses like a fingerprint to determine the origin of sediment deposits in ice and on the sea floor. This leads to insights about the paths of sea ice-rafting and the collapse over time of ice sheets into the Arctic Ocean, which help us understand climate change. He recently determined that the perennial ice cover in the Arctic has existed for at least the last 14 million years.
  • Cynthia Jones, professor and eminent scholar of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, developed a technique to determine the age and geographical history of fish by studying the ultra-thin layering of their ear bones. Her NSF-supported research contributes to the management of fish stocks, and she has represented the United States on the Scientific Council to the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization.
  • Hani Elsayed-Ali, professor and eminent scholar of electrical and computer engineering, as well as director of ODU’s Applied Research Center, works on femtosecond and picosecond laser probing of electronic and structural properties of material surfaces and thin films. He also is an expert in pulsed laser deposition.
  • Desmond Cook, professor of physics, is an internationally recognized leader in corrosion analysis, important for preserving steel structures such as bridges, and also for the conservation of priceless marine artifacts such as the USS Monitor. In addition, he studies nanophase iron oxides, especially goethite and akaganeite.
  • Abdelmageed Elmustafa, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, conducts research on the mechanical behavior of materials at the nanoscale. His projects involve new ways to analyze and improve alloys that can be used in spacecrafts and to investigate and solve a type of electrical breakdown in particle accelerator components that can limit the effectiveness of cancer therapy machines and colliders.

The new EPMA from the technology company JEOL will replace a 39-year-old, secondhand electron probe that Darby has used for more than a decade for his iron-grain fingerprinting research. He said his work measuring grain chemistry with the new instrument can be accomplished during “off hours.” A lab assistant at a remote site can monitor the automated operation of the instrument during nights and weekends.

Other researchers at ODU, as well as some from the College of William and Mary, Hampton University and Norfolk State University, will keep the machine humming, and the total usage will be nearly round-the-clock, Darby predicted. He estimates that 12 faculty researchers, 21 graduate students and 58 undergraduate students from ODU and the neighboring institutions will use the EPMA during the first several years after it is installed and that user fees will pay for maintenance and management of the instrument.

The new EPMA will be part of the sophisticated College of Sciences Major Instrumentation Cluster (COSMIC) that has been housed temporarily in the Oceanography and Physics Building for two years, and which will move soon into that building’s new science wing. COSMIC also includes a high-resolution 12-Tesla Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer and two nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers. With the EPMA, COSMIC instruments and equipment will represent a research investment of almost $4 million.

“The growing list of innovative research projects at ODU and other local institutions requiring an EPMA and other types of microanalyses have prompted a commitment by ODU to expand the building space and support for such equipment,” the ODU researchers wrote in the grant proposal they submitted to NSF.

The new EPMA will boast several generations of improvements over Darby’s secondhand instrument.
Back to top

Burwell tapped as campus police chief
Following a nationwide search, Old Dominion has named Rudolph (Rudy) Burwell to the position of director of the Office of Public Safety and chief of police. The appointment became effective Aug. 10.

Burwell, who served as ODU’s assistant chief for the past five years, is a 30-year veteran of the Norfolk Police Department, where he served in the first and second patrol divisions, K-9 unit and emergency response unit, and was a detective for the training and inspections divisions.

As ODU’s assistant chief, Burwell was head of the Administration and Planning Bureau and served as the university’s emergency preparedness planning officer, during which time he secured several FEMA grants to address emergency and critical-incident needs.

“The university is very fortunate to have Rudy Burwell as our chief of police,” said Robert L. Fenning, vice president for administration and finance. “Not only has he demonstrated his knowledge and experience of law enforcement as a member of the ODU police department, but his substantial experience in senior positions with the Norfolk Police Department will continue to enhance the ongoing relationship the university has with the city.”

Burwell earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Leo University in Florida and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Va. He is the recipient of many awards and commendations, including an Outstanding Community Service Award from the city of Norfolk, an Out-standing Service Award from the Norfolk Police Department and a Community Partnership Award from the Norfolk Civic League. Currently he is the president of the Hampton Roads chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

As director of public safety and chief of police, Burwell will oversee a campus police force of 49 members and 70 security officers, whose primary purpose is to support the university through the maintenance of a safe and secure environment and the provision of needed general and emergency services. Public safety services include emergency response, crime prevention programs, criminal investigations, 24-hour campus-wide patrols and student escort services.

William Quinn, who was Old Dominion’s acting director of public safety and police chief since 2002, did not apply for the position and will continue to serve the university as assistant police chief until his retirement. Back to top

Jersild wins Fulbright grant to conduct research in Moscow and Prague
Austin Jersild, associate professor of history and international studies, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research of historical documents in archives and libraries in Moscow and Prague during the 2008-09 academic year.

Jersild’s primary research focus has been relations between China and Russia and the Cold War era. During his 10-month research grant, Jersild will study diverse forms of exchange and cooperation characteristic of the socialist bloc from 1945 to 1960, paying special attention to Sino-Soviet relations, in archives and libraries in Moscow. In Prague, he will study the early forms of socialist bloc collaboration that served as a starting point for the Sino-Soviet relationship.

In particular, Jersild is interested in researching materials that will elucidate the debates over consumerism and standards of living within the socialist world. His aspiration is that his research will “contribute to a better understanding of the contemporary era, where both Russia and China today remain shaped by their contrasting post-socialist experiences and paths toward the common goal of consumer affluence.”

“The history of our relationship to the socialist bloc remains central to our rethinking of the evolution of an American foreign policy still shaped by the struggles, assumptions and tactics of the Cold War,” Jersild notes.

Jersild, who joined the ODU faculty in 1995, is the author of “Orientalism and Empire: North Caucasus Mountain Peoples and the Georgian Frontier” (2002), the editor of an issue of “Russian Studies in History” on the Russian expansion into the Caucasus, and numerous journal articles. His previous research projects have taken him to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi and Beijing.

In addition to his current Fulbright award, Jersild’s work on Sino-Soviet relations and the Cold War has been supported by a Research Scholarship from the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center (2006) and a National Research Fellowship from the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research (2007-09).

Jersild is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Scholar Program, which was established in 1946 to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.

– Michelle M. Falck Back to top

Book by Joyce Hoffmann chronicles stories of women journalists who covered Vietnam War

More than a decade ago, Joyce Hoffmann, professor of journalism, read a book about American reporters who covered the Vietnam War and she wondered, “Where are the women?” She has answered that question now with her book, “On Their Own: Women Journalists and the American Experience in Vietnam,” which arrived in bookstores last month.

The 400-page hardback book from Da Capo Press includes rich detail not only about the women writers and photographers who worked as reporters in Vietnam, but also about the 1960s-era political and cultural climates in the United States, in Vietnam and in American newsrooms.

Hoffmann says she took on the project, for which she conducted more than 100 interviews, after preliminary discussions with two of the best-known Vietnam War reporters, David Halberstam, author of “The Best and the Brightest,” and Frances FitzGerald, author of “Fire in the Lake.”

According to Hoffmann, both of the discussions were significant “not only for the information I learned from them, but also – and perhaps even more importantly at that stage – for the way they validated my sense that there was an important story in the achievements of women who reported on the war.”

In addition to FitzGerald, women who reported in Vietnam and who Hoffmann includes in her overview include Gloria Emerson, who was the only female journalist to be assigned to the Saigon bureau of The New York Times; Kate Webb, who was captured by the North Vietnamese and held for 23 days, during which time she was thought to be dead and her obituary was published in The New York Times; Dickey Chapelle, a photojournalist and the only American female reporter to be killed in action in Vietnam; and Beverly Deepe, who reported for the New York Herald Tribune.

In an endorsement on the book’s jacket, Walt Harrington, professor of journalism at the University of Illinois, writes: “Joyce Hoffmann has captured the spirit of a time and a place, a war and a changing moment in American womanhood, all through the lives of the fearless women journalists who demanded that the war in Vietnam was their beat, too. Deeply reported, beautifully written, delicious with personal detail, and replete with substantial insight, her book is history, journalism and commentary all at once.”

A journalism professor and journalist for 25 years, Hoffmann has personally experienced many of the advances women have made in American newsrooms since the Vietnam War. She describes just how stifling these newsrooms were for women just four decades ago.

“I’ve wondered often about the many women who have been assigned to cover the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and whether they, too, were left to beg and cajole their editors for the assignment,” she said. “I doubt it, largely because American newsrooms are no longer the exclusive realm of middle-aged white men. ... I suspect, however, that the hurdles for women who want the assignment might be a bit higher” still.

Hoffmann, who has been published in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer, and is currently the public editor of The Virginian-Pilot, said there are dangers in trying to draw parallels between our current military engagement in Iraq and the one in Vietnam, but that she believes that “after the Vietnam experience, we should have known better.” Back to top

English department’s Igloria, Peery receive honors for their writing
Two faculty members from the English department, Luisa Igloria and Janet Peery, were recognized recently for their writing.

Igloria, associate professor of creative writing, won the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry for “Juan Luna’s Revolver,” a poetry collection published by University of Notre Dame Press.

Sponsored by the creative writing program and English department at Notre Dame, in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame Press, the Sandeen Prize is awarded to authors who have published at least one volume of poetry.

In her collection, Igloria traces journeys made by Filipinos in the global diaspora that began since the encounter with Euro-pean and American colonial power. Her poems allude to historical figures such as the Filipino painter Juan Luna and the novelist and national hero José Rizal, as well as the 1,100 indigenous Filipinos brought to serve as live exhibits in the 1904 Missouri World’s Fair.

“In ‘Juan Luna’s Revolver,’ Luisa Igloria establishes herself as a singular and revelatory voice in American poetry,” says author Sabina Murray. “Here, she explores the dichotomy of Filipino: interwoven yet hermetically singular, acquisitive yet inventive, docile yet amok.”

Igloria, a National Book Award winner in the Philippines, is the author of nine books and numerous writing awards.

Peery, professor of creative writing, was named as a finalist for the 11th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards, which will be announced Oct. 18.

She is one of three finalists in the Best Fiction by a Virginia Author category for her novel “What the Thunder Said,” published by St. Martin’s Press.

Described as a novella and stories set in the Dust Bowl of 1930s Oklahoma, the book tracks the wayward progress of sisters Mackie and Etta Spoon, who leave home to forge their own separate paths, each setting off in search of a new life, and each finding a fate different than she expected. Through shifting perspectives, voices and characters, Peery follows the sisters, their children and those whose stories intersect with theirs as they range across the high plains of the West in the decades after the Great Depression.

A National Book Award finalist, Peery has received National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, the Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award, citations in “The Best American Short Stories,” several Pushcart Prizes and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award. Back to top

Israeli diplomat to present lecture Sept. 10
Shimon Shetreet, former cabinet member of the Israeli government and law professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will give the Evelyn J. Kanter Endowed Lectureship in Interfaith Studies on “Building a Culture of Peace in Challenging Times” Wednesday, Sept. 10. His talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Shetreet leads several major international interfaith and intercultural projects, including the Culture of Peace project that was launched in 1998. The project was formed on the premise that a true and lasting peace must be built on four strong foundations: political, economic, cultural and religious. Since its creation, the project has held conferences and seminars to promote this philosophy in Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Italy, to name just a few.

Between 1988 and 1996, Shetreet served as a member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. He held several cabinet member positions in the governments of Prime Ministers Itzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, including minister of economy and planning, minister of science and technology and minister of religious affairs. He also served as the senior deputy mayor of Jerusalem under Mayor Ehud Olmert.

Shetreet, who was born in Morocco and moved to Israel at the age of 3, studied in both Israel and the United States, graduating with a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Law. In recent years he has been a visiting professor or scholar at many prominent institutions, including New York University, Case Western Reserve University and the University of London.

In addition to his distinguished academic and political career, Shetreet has held important positions in the Israeli business community, including serving as a member of the board of Bank Leumi and chairman of the board of Mishaan.

A reception will be held following the lecture, both of which are free and open to the public. For more information, call 683-3931 or visit Back to top

Faculty, students travel to Italy in late May for counseling institute

A group of seven Old Dominion faculty and students traveled to Reggalo, Italy, in late May, where they took part in the Counseling in Italy Institute, a two-week exchange between U.S. and Italian counselors.

Organized by Ted Remley, professor of educational leadership and counseling, the institute featured workshops and presentations from an American delegation, as well as from Italian counselors, social workers, psychiatrists and teachers. Topics covered included the treatment of mental illness in Italy, counseling methods used for K-12 students and counseling for prostitutes.

The ODU students and faculty were part of a 26-person American delegation. The students were a mix of master’s and doctoral students, several of whom gave presentations at the institute.

Remley said that he thought the trip was an excellent learning opportunity for everyone involved, and that it helped expose the students to a culture they may not have seen otherwise. “I think it was a good cultural awareness experience,” he said. “It’s ... enlightening when you see some of the cultural differences.”

Following the institute, the group also attended an international counseling conference in Florence in which approximately 100 Italian and 50 American counselors, students and university faculty gathered for two days. Back to top

Oceanographer wins grant for study of sea microbes

Alex Bochdansky, an Old Dominion oceanographer, has received a $540,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a three-year study of microbes that live in the deep oceans and how these tiny creatures may play a role in the oceans’ reaction to climate change.

Eukaryotic microbes – also called protists – of the deep-sea water column, most of which are flagellates that feed on bacteria, are important to the study of the carbon cycle. But they have resisted study because they live so far below the surface, and because their activities and very existence may be severely impacted if they are hauled up three or four miles onto a research vessel.

To counter this, Bochdansky and his colleagues at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research have designed and built a pressure culture system that allows them to incubate deep-sea samples and then monitor the microbes at the same pressure and temperature that they encounter in nature. Bochdansky said a seed grant of $50,000 from NSF in 2005 enabled the development of the culture chambers and helped in the formulation of the hypotheses that will be tested in the three-year study.

“Our main hypothesis is that the abundance and taxonomic composition of protists serve as sensitive indicators of the strength and type – particulate or dissolved – of input of organic carbon into the deep ocean system,” said the ODU assistant professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences.

The oceans sequester large amounts of carbon that otherwise might be the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is a major constituent of greenhouse gases. For example, phytoplankton and other organisms on the ocean surface absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. Death and decay of this organic growth results in carbon sinking into the deep ocean. Decay is facilitated by bacteria, and the bacteria may be consumed by protists. So Bochdansky and his colleagues at the Netherlands institute believe that the distribution and ecology of the protists serve as indicators of how much carbon is present in these vast, dark zones.

Research already conducted by Bochdansky suggests that protists in the deep are concentrated on organic particles that sink from the surface. “If this is the case, the abundance of protists in the deep seas may be a sensitive indicator of particle flux, or in more general terms, of the input of organic material from the surface, which may include biodegradable dissolved organic matter,” he said.

One of the interesting questions he will try to answer in the next few years is whether there are protists in the deep sea that remain dormant for long periods of time and become actively alive when sinking particles become available. He also will investigate whether there are ubiquitous protists near the surface that may sink with particles and become competitive when they have sunk into a deep-sea habitat where the temperatures are sufficiently low and the pressure sufficiently high to trigger their activity.

Bochdansky’s project has been endorsed by the international Integrated Marine Biochemistry and Ecosystem Research organization. Data he develops will be shared via the national ocean carbon and biogeochemistry data repository at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts.

An educational component of the NSF project will be the contributions it will make toward a permanent exhibit on the role of marine microbes – titled “Invisible World: The Realm of Microbial Oceanography” – planned for Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, in Norfolk. Back to top

Carpenter research on coral reefs captures national media attention
NBC’s “Today” show, The Independent in London, National Geographic and lots of other media have been ringing up Old Dominion marine biologist Kent Carpenter to ask about a cautionary coral reef study since it was released July 10 by him and nearly 40 other scientists.

National Public Radio also arranged for him to be a guest on “Science Friday” with Ira Flatow.

Carpenter, who is lead author of the coral reef study published on the Science Express Web site, coordinates the Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA) headquartered on the ODU campus. The GMSA worked with leading coral experts in producing this first-ever comprehensive global assessment to determine the conservation status of coral reefs, and the findings are “disconcerting,” according to Carpenter.

The bottom line: One-third of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by climate change and environmental degradation, and the impact of these reefs disappearing could be devastating. “When corals die off, so do the other plants and animals that depend on coral reefs for food and shelter, and this can lead to the collapse of entire ecosystems,” Carpenter said.

Two organizations, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI), run the GMSA. The IUCN also maintains the Red List of Threatened Species, to which this new coral species assessment will be added.

Coral reefs in shallow tropical and subtropical seas have built up over millions of years and are home to more than a quarter of marine species. In fact, the reefs are the most biologically diverse of marine ecosystems.

But corals have been shown to be highly sensitive to changes in their environment. The study points to localized stresses such as those that result from destructive fishing, sediment runoff and pollution. The warning mounts, however, when the scientists turn to the fallout from climate change, which can cause rising water temperatures, more intense solar radiation and, potentially, ocean acidification. Coral bleaching and disease brought on by these conditions often brings mass coral mortality, the report says.

Co-authors of the study come from two dozen institutions and organizations in the United States and 10 other countries. Two are associated with the ODU biology department: Suzanne R. Livingstone, assistant research professor, and Jonnell Sanciangco, graduate student. Back to top

Football update: Seven home games on schedule for 2009 season
The nearly 11,000 Old Dominion University fans who have placed season ticket orders to date will be treated to seven home football games at Foreman Field during the inaugural season next year. The Monarchs will host the Hawks of Chowan University on Sept. 5, 2009, in their season opener.

“We are very excited to have our 2009 schedule completed,” said coach Bobby Wilder. “Our goal for the past 18 months as we put this schedule together has been to play predominantly I-AA teams so that we’re eligible for the playoffs starting in 2009.”

He added, “Although we will be a team of mostly redshirt freshmen, true freshmen and walk-ons, we wanted to challenge ourselves in the first year.”

ODU has not fielded a football team since 1940.


  • Sept. 5 - Chowan
  • Sept. 12 - Virginia Union
  • Sept. 19 - at Jacksonville
  • Sept. 26 - Monmouth
  • Oct. 3 - N.C. Central
  • Oct. 10 - Presbyterian
  • Oct. 17 - Campbell
  • Oct. 24 - at Savannah State
  • Oct. 31 - Georgetown
  • Nov. 7 - OPEN
  • Nov. 14 - at Iona
  • Nov. 21 - at VMI Back to top

ODU botanist researching exotic plants in China

Timothy Motley, an Old Dominion botanist, is a member of a team of scientists who will investigate the plants and their traditional uses in a region of China that is sometimes cited as the inspiration for the fictitious Shangri-La.

The team will look into the sickness prevention, diagnostic, curative and cosmetic potential of botanicals from herbs to food crops. Plants that grow in southwest China near Tibet traditionally have been used for a wide range of pharmacological applications, and the Chinese government believes some of the uses may qualify for protection under Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property agreements.

One of the chores for the scientists will be DNA “fingerprinting” and chemical analysis of the plants to establish just how unique some of them may be. The researchers also will be isolating compounds that can be the bases of healthy foods, medicines and cosmetics. Motley’s specialty in molecular systematics earned him a role in this analytical phase of the project.

Under a “111 Program” grant of about $1.3 million from the Chinese government, Motley and nine other researchers from the United States will collaborate on the five-year project with an equal number from the Central University for Nationalities (CUN) in Beijing. The program gets its name from the government’s goal to introduce 1,000 foreign academic scholars from the top 100 academic institutions in the world to work short-term in Chinese universities on 100 different projects.

Researchers from the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), where Motley worked prior to becoming ODU’s J. Robert Stiffler Distinguished Professor of Botany in 2006, joined with others from Yale, Columbia and several additional universities to work out the collaboration with CUN and win the grant. Motley and Edward J. Kennelly, a professor of biological sciences at Lehman College, City University of New York, are the laboratory research principal investigators for the grant.

The research team leaders are Dayuan Xue, chief scientist of CUN’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, and Charles Peters, a researcher at NYBG.

Motley and Kennelly are in the closing phase currently of a $250,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to do DNA and phytochemical fingerprinting of Actaea racemosa, commonly known in North America as black cohosh or Eastern bugbane. Black cohosh, the seventh most widely used herbal in the United States with annual sales of over $8.5 million, has long been used for medicinal purposes by American Indians and is widely sold now as a natural alternative for hormone therapy to treat menopausal women and to treat side effects of prostate surgery. The researchers have done DNA tests to help differentiate therapeutic black cohosh from its poisonous relatives and are working to identify and isolate active chemical components of the plant.

Work on the NIH project led to Motley and Kennelly’s role in the research in China. “It is linked and this is a continuation since Ed and I are the laboratory research team for the Chinese grant, continuing to do phytochemical and DNA fingerprinting and analysis,” Motley said. “Also, there are black cohosh relatives in China, which will allow us to expand upon our NIH study.”

Motley’s work under the grant won’t all be in the laboratory. He and Kennelly spent two weeks in Beijing and Kunming in June to kick off their part of the project. Motley visited five research institutions and lectured at two of them, CUN and Peking Medical University. He was made an adjunct professor at CUN, where he and other American researchers involved in the project will periodically visit during the next five years to train Chinese scientists. The focus of this training will be in the growing field of ethnobiology.

Most of the botanical samples that the researchers will be studying will come from the so-called “minority” provinces such as Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan in the southwestern reaches of the country, more than 1,000 miles from Beijing.

Sustainable harvesting practices and the plant usages of the ethnic minorities fall under the term of “ethnobotany,” which Motley said is the keyword of the project. The latest work in this subfield of ethnobiology stresses the right of an indigenous population to protect their indigenous plants, and to be compensated for any new food crops or medicines that come from these plants. Back to top

“This year’s housing shortage is a simple equation of supply versus demand.” (Susan Mitchell, acting assistant vice president for auxiliary services, in response to a letter to the editor)

– “Freshmen housing”
Daily Press, Aug. 13

“It makes me feel awfully good about the level of athletes we bring in.” (Jim Jarrett, director of athletics)

– “ODU makes quite a turnout at Beijing”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 8

“The military is not monolithic. It leans Republican but it doesn’t mean there aren’t people in the military and military spouses who might be persuaded to support Obama.” (Jesse Richman, assistant professor of political science and geography)

– “Michelle Obama stumps in Navy-filled Hampton Roads”
The Roanoke Times, Aug. 6

Narcissists “aren’t going to change; they don’t see any need to change. You are only frustrating yourself to try to get them to change.” (Nina Brown, eminent scholar of educational leadership and counseling)

– “Narcissism disorder takes toll”
The Washington Times, Aug. 5

“People are becoming so concerned about whether children are going to make the grade, pass the test. Children who are pushed on something they are not ready to do may feel like they’re a failure and give up on their ability to learn at an early age.” (Katharine Kersey, University Professor of early childhood education)

– “Kindergartners get chance to succeed at summer school”
Daily Press, July 21

“The basketball business for me, it’s my own family, my own way, and it’s very comfortable.” (Anne Donovan ’83, coach of the U.S. women’s basketball team)

– “Donovan’s tie that binds is basketball”
USA Today, July 20

“It treads right on the edge of what I would call unethical behavior. I’m not sure it passes the smell test.” (James V. Koch, Board of Visitors Professor of economics, on faculty members who accept royalties from sales of their books they assign for classes)

– “As textbooks go ‘custom,’ students pay”
The Wall Street Journal, July 10

“As a leader anywhere, particularly as an academic leader, you always work with people to resolve all kinds of problems and various challenges.” (Andrew Balas, dean, College of Health Sciences)

– “St. Louis University resolves whistleblower lawsuit over research aid”
The Kansas City Star, July 8

“If we can get a big investor to come in, we could probably go with this in a two- to three-year time frame. We could help the economic situation in the market right now. We could develop this. A lot of people are working pretty feverishly on this. They realize the great potential.” (Patrick Hatcher, Batten Endowed Chair in physical sciences)

– “Some ways to get energy independence in transportation”
Daily Press, July 3

“We don’t know to this day exactly why those 17 were chosen.” (James Sweeney, associate professor of history)

– “Virginia students defied ‘Massive Resistance’”
WVEC-TV, July 3
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