Presidential search: Board puts process on hold; Broderick pledges
to move Old Dominion forward during interim
Following an exhaustive search process in which the credentials of numerous qualified candidates were reviewed, the Board of Visitors has decided to temporarily put on hold the search for a president, Rector Marc Jacobson announced on Aug. 29.

“The board was pleased with the candidates forwarded to it by the search committee, including the finalists,” Jacobson noted. “However, due to the high caliber of the final candidates, the board had difficulty reaching a consensus on one candidate for the position of president.”

John R. Broderick will continue to serve as acting president, he said.

In a letter to the campus community dated Sept. 2, Broderick pledged to work with university leaders “to move the institution forward.”

“It is important that we demonstrate to all of our constituents that this interlude in the presidential search will not in any way reduce our productivity,” Broderick said. “Our teaching, research and service must carry on at the highest levels.”

He listed the following as priorities in the coming months:

  • Completing a careful enrollment management study;
  • Dealing efficiently and intelligently with anticipated reductions in commonwealth general fund support;
  • Continuing efforts to improve student learning and retention;
  • Determining what ODU’s future should be in the realm of distance learning;
  • Representing ODU successfully in the forthcoming session of the General Assembly; and
  • Improving relationships and collaboration with neighboring academic and governmental institutions.

As part of his announcement, Jacobson expressed the board’s “gratitude and appreciation to the search committee on its diligent and conscientious work.”

He further noted, “The board is confident that, under the leadership of Mr. Broderick, Old Dominion will maintain its forward trajectory and continued growth in the areas of academic excellence, cutting-edge research, funding and reputation.”

In an Aug. 30 editorial headlined “Keep searching for ODU leader,” The Virginian-Pilot endorsed the board’s action, saying, “Given the importance of ODU’s decision, and the lack of confidence in the candidates, Faculty Senate leaders made a gutsy request of the board: Keep looking. Under the circumstances, that seems like good advice. And what’s the hurry? In Interim President John Broderick, ODU has a popular and capable caretaker.” Back to top


Warner to give Waldo Lecture Oct. 9
Sen. John Warner will be the guest speaker for the Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. His talk is free and open to the public.

Warner has won five consecutive elections to the U.S. Senate, beginning in 1978. In 2005, he became the second-longest serving U.S. senator from Virginia in the 218-year history of the Senate. He announced last year that he would not run for re-election this year.

Now serving in his 29th year, Warner is the former chairman, and now the second-ranking Republican, of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He also serves as the second-ranking Republican on two other committees, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. In addition, he serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

Warner began his association with the military more than 60 years ago when he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 during World War II. He later served in Korea as an officer in the Marine Corps. From 1969 to 1974, Warner served first as undersecretary, then as secretary of the Navy, leading the Navy and the Marine Corps through the second half of the Vietnam War. Following his work as secretary of the Navy, he was appointed by President Ford to coordinate the celebration of the bicentennial of the founding of the United States of America, directing the federal role at events in all 50 states and in 22 foreign countries.

The Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations, ODU’s first endowed lecture series, was established in 1985 to honor the memory of Loren Pierce Waldo Jr., William Joseph Waldo, Robert Hendren Waldo, Susan Waldo O’Hara, Julia Ann Waldo Campbell and Harry Creekmur Waldo. Over the years, renowned speakers in the fields of government, foreign affairs, journalism, education and public service have visited the campus. Back to top


Sportswriter, author Frank Deford scheduled to speak on campus Sept. 25
Renowned sportswriter, commentator and author Frank Deford will be on campus Thursday, Sept. 25, as a guest speaker for the President’s Lecture Series and Literary Festival.

His talk, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center, is free and open to the public.

Deford is the author of 15 books; his newest, “The Entitled,” a novel about celebrity, sex and baseball, was published in 2007.

On radio, Deford can be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on “Morning Edition” on National Public Radio and, on television, he is a regular correspondent on the HBO show “RealSports With Bryant Gumbel.”

He is also the senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated.

Two of Deford’s books – the novel, “Everybody’s All-American,” and “Alex: The Life of a Child,” his memoir about his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis – have been made into movies.

As a journalist, Deford has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Six times he was voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of the Year. The American Journalism Review has likewise cited him as the nation’s finest sportswriter, and twice he was voted Magazine Writer of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.

Deford has also been presented with the National Magazine Award for profiles, a Christopher Award, and journalism Honor Awards from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University. The Sporting News has described Deford as “the most influential sports voice among members of the print media,” and the magazine GQ has called him, simply, “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”

In broadcast, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award. ESPN presented a television biography of Deford’s life and work, “You Write Better Than You Play.” A popular lecturer, Deford has spoken at more than 100 colleges.

For 16 years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus. He lives in Westport, Conn. A native of Baltimore, Deford is a graduate of Princeton University, where he has taught in American studies. Back to top


ODU nominates faculty for 2009 SCHEV Awards
The university Outstanding Faculty Awards Committee has selected nine faculty members for the 2009 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Awards program, administered by the State Council of Higher Education.

They are: Lawrence Hatab, philosophy and religious studies; Danica Hays (Rising Star category), educational leadership and counseling; Ling Li, information and decision sciences; Garrett McAuliffe, educational leadership and counseling; James Onate, exercise science, sport, physical education and recreation; Jeffrey Richards, English; Lawrence Weinstein, physics; Steve Yetiv, political science and geography; and Guoqing Zhou (Teaching with Technology category), engineering technology.

The statewide awards will be announced early next year. Back to top


Business prof wins dissertation award
Ajai Gaur, assistant professor of management, received the Academy of International Business’ (AIB) 2008 Richard N. Farmer Best Dissertation Award for his thesis, “Essays on Strategic Adaptation and Firm Performance During Institutional Transition.”

Named after a former AIB president, the award is given to the year’s top dissertation on international business. Gaur’s dissertation was chosen over 41 other submissions, which included finalists from MIT, the University of Minnesota and National University of Singapore.

Gaur’s thesis examines the choices firms make during periods of transition, and how those choices affect their performance.

He also won the AIB’s Best Dissertation Proposal award in 2005 for the same dissertation. He spent four years finishing the dissertation, beginning in 2003 when he was a Ph.D. student at National University of Singapore. During his doctoral studies, he was the recipient of consecutive President’s Graduate Awards from 2003 to 2007. Back to top


Study Abroad Fair coming to Webb Center Oct. 7
The Office of Study Abroad invites students from all majors to its Study Abroad Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in the North Mall of Webb Center.

Information will be available on scholarships for study abroad students and upcoming spring and summer programs. Also, students will have an opportunity to meet with faculty who are leading summer programs, returning ODU exchange students and students on exchange at the university.

A drawing for a $1,000 study abroad grant will be held. Those who register need not be present to win.

For more information, visit the Web site www.odu.edu/ao/oip/studyabroad/announcements/studyabroadfair.shtml or e-mail studyabroad@odu.edu. Back to top


Board meets Sept. 19
The Board of Visitors will meet Friday, Sept. 19, in Webb Center. Following committee meetings, the full board will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Board Room.

The following committee meetings are scheduled:

  • Audit – 8-9 a.m., James/Lynnhaven River Room;
  • Institutional Advancement – 9:15-10:15 a.m., Board Room;
  • Student Advancement – 9:15-10:15 a.m., Rectors’ Room;
  • Joint session: Academic and Research Advancement and Administration and Finance committees – 10:15-10:45 a.m., Board Room;
  • Academic and Research Advancement – 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Rectors’ Room;
  • Administration and Finance – 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Board Room. Back to top

First football homecoming date set for Nov. 7, 2009
Athletic Director Jim Jarrett and head football coach Bobby Wilder recently announced that Old Dominion’s first homecoming football game will be on Nov. 7, 2009, against North Carolina Central University.

“By solidifying this date and opponent, our campus community can now start the planning process for what is sure to be a historic day,” Wilder said.

Activities will include alumni reunions, a parade, concerts and other events to be announced at a later date.

The NCCU contest, originally scheduled for Oct. 3, was moved due to a scheduling conflict. The Monarchs will now have an open date on Oct. 3.

“With three weeks of preseason practice, an open date coming after the fourth regular season game allows for our players to have a break seven weeks into the football season,” noted Wilder, who said he was pleased with the scheduling change.

The Monarchs will open the 2009 season Sept. 5 against Chowan University at Foreman Field.
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VATPDC announces new programs for fall
Old Dominion’s newly expanded Virginia Applied Technology and Professional Development Center (VATPDC) is offering an even wider range of courses this academic year, according to Clair M. Dorsey, the center’s new director of professional development.

“Professional development not only increases the number of highly qualified employees a company has, but it creates employee loyalty, reduces inefficiencies and turnover, and bolsters the company’s reputation,” said Dorsey.

She added that, in addition to the increased number of courses offered this fall, the plan is to double the courses offered in the spring.

VATPDC provides support in the fields of engineering, engineering technology and engineering management. Its programs enable manufacturing and service-based organizations to aspire to world-class performance and to develop the skills and competencies of their employees.

During the fall 2008 semester, VATPDC will offer classes in project management and professional examination preparation, geometrical dimensioning and tolerancing, the new BIM (Revit Architecture) software, ISO and engineering examination review (civil, mechanical and electrical, and fundamentals of engineering). All courses are taught by industry experts with years of experience in their respective fields.

For more information about the courses, visit the VATPDC Web site at www.vatpdc.com/pdc or call the office at 683-5479. Back to top


Criterion Collection films on exhibit at Perry Library
The Old Dominion University Libraries presents an exhibit featuring a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films from the Criterion Collection, a company dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in DVD editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.

Displayed in the lobby of Perry Library, the exhibit focuses on Criterion’s master directors, cult films and some of the curators’ personal favorites. The DVDs in this exhibit will be available for checkout at the end of October (or by special request).

Criterion Collection pioneered many innovations in the way movies are presented on video that could be commonly thought of as standard features on consumer DVDs. These include the use of letterboxing and commentary tracks, as well as the release of multidisc sets, special editions and definitive versions.

The University Libraries recently purchased all 460 of Criterion Collection’s currently available titles.

For more information call Donna Hughes-Oldenburg at 683-4153. Back to top


ODU alum tests swimsuits worn by gold medalists
Old Dominion graduate Steve Wilkinson, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, was profiled recently by the NASA news service for his role in the development of the Speedo LZR Racer, worn by U.S. Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin, among others, at the Summer Games in Beijing.

Wilkinson, who earned a master’s degree in engineering at ODU in 1979, “tested dozens of swimsuit fabrics in NASA Langley's 7- by 11-inch Low Speed Wind Tunnel,” according to the article.

The full story can be read at www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/2008-0813-swimsuit.html.
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Lit. Festival answers “The Call of Stories”
World-class storytellers, including novelists, poets, essayists and musicians, will be on campus Sept. 23-26 for the 31st Annual Literary Festival, “The Call of Stories.”

“The instinct to shape experience into story, using the most human of tools, language, may be one of our most primal drives,” said Michael Pearson, professor of creative writing and the 2008 festival director. “For most of us, especially for writers, the door to the world was opened with tales we heard.”

The festival is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters. Among this year’s more well-known visiting writers are Mary Karr, author of “The Liars’ Club,” which won the PEN Martha Albrand Award and held a spot on The New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; Claudia Emerson, who was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book “Late Wife: Poems”; and Richard Bausch, an award-winning author of 10 novels and seven collections of short stories.

The festival is also co-sponsoring the President’s Lecture Series address by nationally known sportswriter and author Frank Deford.

Musical storytelling will be provided by Aztec Two-Step, a folk duo that has performed since 1971.

Two ODU faculty members, Michael Blumenthal, who holds the Mina Hohenberg Darden Endowed Chair in Creative Writing, and John McManus, a new assistant professor of English, will also be presenters this year.

Pearson, who has a new book coming out at the end of October, “Innocents Abroad Too: Journeys Around the World on Semester at Sea,” is excited about this year’s lineup of storytellers.

“Literature is essentially a story made universal through the mysterious, mythic power of the right words in the right order,” he said.

“Most of us yearn for stories, not because they will save us from the consequences of the world, but because they help us to find our humanity in facing those moments, both expected and surprising.”

For more information about the authors, go to www.lib.odu.edu/litfest/31st. The schedule is as follows:

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23

  • Greg Bottoms – 11 a.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • John McManus – 2 p.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Author reception – 6:30-7:15 p.m., University Village Bookstore
  • Aztec Two-Step – 7:30 p.m., Diehn Center

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24

  • Peter Meinke and Michael Blumenthal: A Conversation – 11 a.m., University Village
    Bookstore lawn
  • Lenore Hart – 2 p.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Shara McCallum – 4 p.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Author reception – 7–7:45 p.m., University Village Bookstore
  • Claudia Emerson – 8 p.m., Diehn Center

THURSDAY, SEPT. 25

  • Writers in Community – 11 a.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Shara McCallum – 12:30-1:30 p.m., Va. Beach Higher Education Center
  • Steve Almond and Gioia Timpanelli – 2-3:45 p.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Mary Karr – 4 p.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Author reception – 6:45–7:15 p.m., University Village Bookstore
  • Frank Deford – 7:30 p.m., President's Lecture Series, Webb Center, North Cafeteria

FRIDAY, SEPT. 26

  • Rishi Reddi – 11 a.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Douglas Kearney – 2 p.m., University Village Bookstore lawn
  • Author reception – 7-7:45 p.m., University Village Bookstore
  • Richard Bausch – 8 p.m., Diehn Center. Back to top


Enrollment management: ODU launches comprehensive review to look at growth, services
With the involvement of more than 200 faculty, staff and students, Old Dominion has embarked on a comprehensive enrollment management study that will look at both academic quality and student body growth now and in the coming years.

According to Alice McAdory, who heads the task force as associate vice president for enrollment management, the purpose of the undertaking is “to develop an optimal plan for recruitment, enrollment and retention of students while enhancing academic quality and providing excellent student service.”

McAdory’s team will present the first draft of its Strategic Enrollment Management Plan findings to acting President John R. Broderick by the end of the fall semester. Broderick commissioned the review of ODU’s enrollment strategy “so a strategic plan for an optimum capacity can be developed.”

At his State of the University address last month, 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?”

The following members of the campus community are serving as task force committee chairs:

  • Customer Service – September Sanderlin
  • Technology/Distance Learning – Rusty Waterfield
  • Military – Dick Whalen
  • Freshmen – Lakeisha Phelps
  • Transfer Students – Kerry Beers
  • Graduate Students – Philip Langlais
  • Retention – Charles Wilson
  • Campus Infrastructure – Don Stansberry
  • Budget – Deb Swiecinski
  • International Students – Carol Simpson
  • Reputation – Jennifer Mullen
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit – Anita Friedman
  • Data and Assessment Committee – Zhao Yang. Back to top


The straight poop: Bug droppings provide clues in energy research
BY JIM RAPER

A multi-university collaboration of energy researchers, including Patrick G. Hatcher, a geochemist from Old Dominion, has found in the digestive tracks of termites and beetles a possible solution to a problem that has thwarted efforts to create alternative fuels from trees and other woody plants.

Their paper, “Lignin Degradation in Wood-feeding Insects,” debuted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition on Aug. 18. Other authors of the paper come from Penn State University, Purdue University and the University of Tsukuba in Japan.

“The evidence is in the poop of termites and beetles,” said Hatcher, the Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences whose research group at ODU helped to do the instrument analysis that turned up a surprising finding. Contrary to the results of previous studies, this research found that enzymes in the guts of certain bugs can quickly break down lignin – a polymer, like a natural plastic – in order to expose the cellulose that is food for the bugs.

Most of the alternative vehicle fuel produced from biomass in the United States is ethanol made from corn kernels, which are easy to mash up and ferment. But the corn-to-ethanol boom has been blamed for higher food costs worldwide, as well as for deleterious environmental impacts and inefficiencies. Furthermore, energy experts point out that there will never be enough corn to produce the amount of fuel needed to significantly cut consumption of fossil fuels.

Scientists and engineers have long known that non-food or waste plant matter, perhaps corn stalks or junk wood that is a byproduct of forest maintenance, contain cellulose that also can be broken down into glucose and fermented into ethanol. Use of this biomass would not drive up food costs and would not have many of the environmental drawbacks of current ethanol production from corn crops. Even better, there is a huge supply of surplus woody plant matter.

So why does the ethanol in our gasoline still come from corn kernels? The answer is lignin and starch. Corn kernels contain almost no lignin and the starches are readily converted to glucose and then to ethanol; corn stalks contain quite a bit of lignin and cellulose that is not easily converted to glucose.

Think of lignin as a shell protecting a tasty morsel. It is the stiff material that props up cellular walls and allows trees or corn stalks to stand upright. In doing its job, however, lignin throws up a stiff defense of the cellulose that it links up with. Once this defense is broken, energy researchers still must contend with the fact that cellulose itself is not easily fermented.

Existing processes for the production of cellulosic ethanol therefore require harsh and expensive chemical or microbial treatments to first degrade the lignin, and then to break down the long cellulose molecules into their glucose units so fermentation can begin.

“It was previously thought that lignin was not degraded by the guts of termites and beetles,” explained Hatcher.

Earlier studies have suggested that wood-feeding insects overcome the lignin barrier by relying upon wood-degrading fungi. In other words, the insects wait for wood to rot – and the lignin to degrade – before they dine. But the authors of this latest paper also know that certain insects, such as the Asian longhorned beetle that they studied, can feed on the inner wood of living, healthy trees. This presented a mystery that they wanted to investigate.

“My colleagues at Penn State, Ming Tien and Kelli Hoover, proposed that we look at this. They sent their graduate student, Scott Geib, down here with samples and he worked with my research group on the analysis,” Hatcher said.

Geib is first author of the paper in PNAS. Tien, professor of biochemistry, and Hoover, professor of entomology, also are authors. Rachel Sleighter, who is a doctoral student of Hatcher at ODU, and whom he described as “one of the bright lights in our chemistry department’s new Ph.D. program,” is among the other authors.

Hatcher directs ODU’s College of Sciences Major Instrumentation Cluster (COSMIC) laboratory, and the Penn State researchers wanted to utilize the Hatcher group's analytical expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). But Hatcher suggested a preliminary step, an analysis called tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) thermochemolysis. He is internationally known for his use of this process, which segments very large molecules so they can be analyzed more precisely by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

“When we did this with the samples of poop, we said, ‘Gee, this looks like the lignin is oxidized,’” Hatcher said. “These insects have enzymes in their guts that allow them to digest not only cellulose, but also degrade the lignin. This is a mechanism for depolymerization. If we can understand the way the enzymes work to depolymerize the lignin and release cellulose, then we could make the enzymes and employ them in the processing of cellulose in fresh wood.”

After all, he added, “The bugs are trying to get energy from the cellulose, and we are too.”

As executive director of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, Hatcher also is leading an initiative based at ODU to use algae for the production of biodiesel fuel. Back to top


Vera Riddick a witness to history-making Democratic Convention

BY SCOTT LOWE

When the chance arose for Vera Riddick to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver last month, she jumped at it. Riddick, senior associate director for technical operations in the Office of Financial Aid, and her husband, Dwight, a minister, were invited to the convention by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott as honored guests. The Riddicks live in Hampton, which is a part of Scott’s congressional district.

“Congressman Scott was our tour guide,” she said. “He got us our credentials and special seating. The atmosphere was so exciting.”

Dwight Riddick, no stranger to politics, is an appointee to Gov. Tim Kaine’s Start Strong Council, a group that is working to improve the quality of education for pre-kindergarteners. Vera Riddick said she was grateful to Scott for the invitation, and to her Old Dominion supervisor, Veronica Finch, who let her take time off during a busy season.

While in Denver, Riddick met Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. Regrettably, she said, she did not have an opportunity to meet presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama or running mate Sen. Joseph Biden. But she did witness all of the speeches.

“No matter what color the people were or their ethnic background, everyone was excited to see history being made,” she said. “I would not trade it for anything.” Back to top


Constitution Day panel to discuss morality
Old Dominion will observe Constitution and Citizenship Day with a panel discussion of “Morality and the Constitution” Thursday, Sept. 18.

The program, moderated by Tom Robotham, former editor of PortFolio Weekly, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building auditorium. A reception is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Panelists for the discussion are:

  • William Van Alstyne, Lee Professor of Law, College of William and Mary;
  • Rebecca Beach Smith, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia; and
  • Dale E. Miller, chair, ODU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

The program is sponsored by the university’s Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs. Back to top


Gheorghe organizing NATO workshop in Eastern Europe
BY JIM RAPER

Adrian Gheorghe, Batten Endowed Chair in system of systems engineering, is part of a team of critical infrastructure experts who have won a $60,000 grant from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to organize and present an Advanced Research Workshop on “Energy Security in the Black Sea Area.”

“The workshop will come at an interesting time,” noted Gheorghe, referring to Russia’s military clash this summer with the Republic of Georgia. “Recent developments in Georgia and in other parts of the region have heightened the strategic interests that Western countries have in the Black Sea region.”

Presentations at the conference, which will be held Oct. 20-22 in Bucharest, Romania, will be collected in a book that could help numerous countries update and strengthen their energy security plans. Gheorghe will serve as an editor of the book.

Romania and Bulgaria have joined Turkey as members of NATO, and at the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April 2008 the possibility was discussed of Georgia and Ukraine also joining the organization. In addition, Romania and Bulgaria became members in 2007 of the European Union (EU).

Heads of state and governments meeting at the Bucharest summit issued a declaration stressing NATO’s intention to support the protection of critical energy infrastructure, and the Black Sea region currently is a key hub of energy activity.

The energy security of Europe and other Western countries is likely to become increasingly dependent upon the import of oil and other hydrocarbon fuels from the Caspian Basin and Central Asia. The strategic significance of the region is heightened by the fact that it is at the juncture of Europe, Russia, Asia and the Middle East. Russia, for example, opposes NATO and EU expansion around the Black Sea, and any sort of conflict – be it political, military or economic – could adversely affect energy development and transport in the region.

A Romanian by birth who was educated in Bucharest and London, Gheorghe joined Old Dominion in 2006. During a career of nearly 30 years, he has become one of the world’s leading risk engineers. Before coming to ODU he directed the Centre of Excellence on Risk and Safety Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He is vice president of the World Security Forum and honorary president of EURISC (European Institute for Risk and Security), which is one of the sponsors of the workshop that the recent NATO grant will support. The Advanced Research Workshops are the highest-level event that NATO sponsors.

Other co-directors of the workshop are Liviu Muresau, executive president of the EURISC Foundation; Arcadie Barbarosie, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova; and Manol Yanchev, executive director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies in Bulgaria. The workshop is projected to attract about 35 key infrastructure experts and policymakers. Countries from the Black Sea area that will have representatives include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine. Participants also are expected from Russia, the United States and most European countries.

Gheorghe is among the pioneers in applying system of systems engineering to risk assessment and management. He and colleagues in Europe have developed computational models for these purposes, with a focus on risks from sabotage, terrorism, cyber vandalism and natural disasters. At ODU he is continuing this work at the university’s National Center for System of Systems Engineering.

Energy infrastructures in the Black Sea area would include pipelines, and some have been proposed to move oil and gas from the eastern side of the sea to Central and Western European countries. Shipping also would be part of the energy transport infrastructure, and risk/security concerns in the region would extend to electricity generation and grids.

Gheorghe will be the lead editor of the book that emerges from the workshop – “Energy Security in the Black Sea Area: Critical Infrastructures Protection and System of Systems Engineering.” Back to top


“Incarceration and Interrupted Life” symposium opens Sept. 20 with play, exhibit
“Humanities Encounter: Incarceration and Interrupted Life,” a three-week-long symposium designed to reach across economic and educational barriers to offer meaningful connections to the issues of incarceration in the United States, opens on campus Saturday, Sept. 20.

The symposium is supported by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation and the Hellenic Society Endowment.

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Galleries, University Theatre and the departments of Communication and Theatre Arts, Sociology and Criminal Justice, English and Art developed the symposium to highlight the issues surrounding incarceration by raising questions, exploring problems and creating a community dialogue addressing the perceptions of incarceration. The goal is to explore incarceration as a human experience that affects the individual and the community, rather than seeing it as the experience of the “other.”

“We hope [the symposium] will capture the essence and emotions of the human lives directly and indirectly touched by incarceration,” said Katherine Hammond, director of ODU’s theatre program and one of the organizers of “Humanities Encounter.”

Hammond directs “Persephone Wept,” an experiential, multimedia immersion into the lives of incarcerated women that combines classical literature with modern storytelling techniques. This commissioned work follows the Greek myth of Persephone and her imprisonment in the Underworld by Hades, presenting powerful images and eloquent voices to reveal and illuminate the human faces of prison inhabitants.

“Persephone Wept” will be performed at 7 p.m. at the Stables Theatre on the following dates: Sept. 20, 21, 23 and 24.

The symposium opens at the Gordon Galleries Sept. 20 with a reception from 6-8 p.m. for the traveling art exhibition “Interrupted Life: Incarcerated Mothers in the United States.” The exhibition continues through Sunday, Oct. 12.

All of the symposium events are free and open to the public. For more information call 683-6271. In addition to the play and exhibition, the schedule includes:

  • Sept. 24 – Lecture, “The Political Is Personal: An Investigation of Global Feminism in Art through the Lens of a Socio-Political Concept,” Linda McGreevy, 12:30 p.m., Gordon Galleries.
  • Sept. 25 – Documentary film/panel, “Shakespeare Behind Bars,” Curt Tofteland and Curt Bergstrand, 7 p.m., 100 Kaufman Hall.
  • Sept. 30 – Panel, “Interrupting Family Life: Military and Prison Experiences,” Rickie Solinger,
    7 p.m., 1012 BAL.
  • Oct. 1 – Lecture, “The Inmate as Learner: Education in Prison,” Lucien Lombardo and Lee Smith, 12:30 p.m., Gordon Galleries. Also, documentary film/panel, “What I Want My Words to Do to You,” Elaine Lord, 7 p.m., 107 Diehn Center.
  • Oct. 2 – Lecture, “The Inside Story of the American Prison,” Bruce Franklin, 7 p.m., 1012 BAL.
  • Oct. 3 – Ekphratic poetry reading, “Writers in Community’s Response to an Interrupted Life,” including Luisa Igloria and Christian Gerard, 7 p.m., Borjo Coffeehouse.
  • Oct. 4 – Writing in Community workshop, “Response to Art and the Community,” 10 a.m., Gordon Galleries.
  • Oct. 7 – Panel, “The Politics of Imprisonment,” Scott Christianson, 7 p.m., 1012 BAL.
  • Oct. 8 – Lecture, “The Political Is Personal: Women’s Voices/ Women’s Lives,” Linda McGreevy, 12:30 p.m., Gordon Galleries. Back to top


Jazz vocalist, Toomey Trio kick off 1st Diehn Concert
Jazz vocalist Julie Kelly will join the John Toomey Trio on Monday, Sept. 29, for the first Diehn Concert Series performance of the fall semester. The concert will be at 8 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Strongly influenced by Brazilian music, Kelly has performed with Carlos Lyra and Luis Eca in Rio de Janeiro, and later studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

She moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and shortly after that began her recording career. Her latest CD, “Everything I Love,” was released in 2006.

Jazz critic Leonard Feather once said, “Julie Kelly radiates a sense of joy and spontaneity. Listening to her, you are reminded that jazz singing is still alive and well.”

Kelly will also give a master class at 1 p.m. Sept. 29 in the recital hall.

Tickets to the concert are $15 for general admission and $10 for ODU students. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 683-5305. Back to top


Alumni to be honored on Founders’ Day, Oct. 10
Old Dominion will present Distinguished Alumni awards to six graduates of the university at Founders’ Day on Friday, Oct. 10.

Those being honored are:

  • Maj. Gen. John Bednarek ’75, biology – commander of the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii;
  • Michael A. Franklin ’95, health sciences – president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital Corp. in Berlin, Md.;
  • Larry Kittelberger (M.B.A. ’75) – senior vice president, technology and operations, Honeywell Corp.;
  • Shamina Singh ’91, political science – chief operating officer and director of communications and strategy for Citi’s Global Community Relations Division;
  • George T. Singley III (M.E. ’77), mechanical engineering – member of the Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations and a vice chairman of the Association of the U.S. Army; and
  • Tommy Smigiel ’00, interdisciplinary studies – assistant principal at Granby High School in Norfolk; one of four finalists for the 2008 National Teacher of the Year award.

Other awards will also be presented during the luncheon program, including the ODU Community Service Award, which will go to Donald J.P. Swift, eminent scholar of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences. Back to top


ROTC units set enrollment records
Old Dominion’s Reserve Officer Training Corps units have set new freshman enrollment records for the 2008-09 school year.

The ODU Army ROTC Monarch Battalion is expected to have 220 cadets, including 101 freshmen, enrolled this fall. Last year, the unit ranked sixth in the nation among the Army’s 273 ROTC host institutions.

Lt. Col. William Brown will again lead the battalion staff as commanding officer and professor of military science and leadership. Cadet Teron Alford, of Raleigh, N.C., will serve as student battalion commander.

The ODU Navy ROTC unit welcomes 64 new midshipmen, officer and Marine Corps candidates this fall, increasing the ranks to a total of 216 students. Many of these new students are former enlisted personnel with combat experience. The majority of freshman midshipmen entering the program directly from high school have been selected for full NROTC national scholarships.

Capt. Michael Barea, a naval aviator who recently returned from duty in the Middle East, will lead the Navy program. Officer candidate Derek Cribbs, of Jacksonville, Fla., has been selected as the NROTC Hampton Roads Battalion commander and will oversee Navy ROTC students on the Old Dominion, Norfolk State and Hampton university campuses.

The Army ROTC program at ODU was established in 1969 and the Navy program was established in 1982. Back to top


Bookstore announces readings and activities
The University Village Bookstore has scheduled the following events through Saturday, Oct. 11:

  • Sept. 13 – Amanda Deal, children’s readings and activities, 10-11 a.m.
  • Sept. 18 – Alfreada Brown-Kelly reads from her book, “Transformation of the Mind, Body & Soul,” noon to 1 p.m.
  • Sept. 20 – Elizabeth Meska, “Garden Gourmet,” 10-11 a.m.
  • Sept. 23-26 – Literary Festival events (see story and schedule, Page 3)
  • Oct. 4 – Elizabeth Meska, “Forcing Bulbs for Indoor Gardening,” 10-11 a.m.
  • Oct. 7 – Herb Wright book signing (“Clones”), noon to 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 11 – Children’s readings and activities, 10-11 a.m.

For more information contact Marc Katz, trade book manager, at 423-2308 or mkatz@odu.edu.
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Student chapter honored
Old Dominion’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals, recently won “superior status” for the second year in a row. Randall Spurrier, lecturer of accounting, serves as the chapter advisor.

To achieve superior status, a chapter must participate at the highest level in a series of activities, which are divided into categories including: budget planning, initiations, professional programs, involvement in campus activities, community service and the creation of an annual year-end report.

The ODU chapter participated in a community service activity while attending the Beta Alpha Psi annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. Chapter members volunteered to clear out undergrowth at an abandoned borrow pit that is being converted into a park for the city of Anaheim. Back to top


Get fit while you sit
The Hourly and Classified Employees Association will sponsor “Keeping Fit While You Sit,” a presentation by Chiropractic Inc., for HACE members from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in the Chesapeake Room of Webb Center.

New members may join HACE and attend the presentation by paying the $5 annual membership fee at the door. Current members are asked to RSVP at 683-3269. Back to top


Newsmakers
“Geotraces is not requiring that scientists use any one specific analytical method. In a research program that is going to last a decade, it is unwise to dictate a method that might limit participation or stifle innovation in analysis. (Gregory Cutter, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, who chairs the Geotraces Intercalibration Committee)

– “Geotraces gets going: Largest ever ocean chemistry study will span about 20 years”
Chemical & Engineering News, Sept. 1

“To their credit, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are addressing America’s oil addiction, but their energy plans need a longer-term focus.” (Steve Yetiv, professor of political science, in a commentary)

– “A national energy plan with foreign policy benefits”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 31

“That’s the one thing about running: People can’t wait to get older because it’s a whole new age group.” (Mel Williams, professor emeritus of exercise science, sport, physical education and recreation, on the age brackets in marathons)

– “Older runners are having the times of their lives”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 29

“This type of time frame helps people see steady progress along the way while not feeling too much pressure. This is similar to some of the dieting regimens: not too close so you don’t see progress, but not too far away either, so you don’t get discouraged.” (Leona Tam, assistant professor of marketing)

– “Don’t plan too far ahead for retirement”
U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 26

“She was almost challenging us to become better at it, do more.” (Patrick Stormer, freshman, on Freshman Convocation talk by human rights activist Julie Chavez Rodriguez)

– “For ODU class, a new chapter begins”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 25

“Of course it’s more expensive, but by the same token, it’s imperative that the students have a quality place to stay until the residence facility is open.” (John Broderick, acting president)

– “With dorm under construction, ODU students call hotel home”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 24

Still, “the economy is not doing as badly as some might think,” because the region continues to add jobs. (Vinod Agarwal, professor of economics)

– “Gas, credit woes hurt, but region still adding jobs”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 20

“We’ve set up research clusters in areas of medicine, transportation and other areas. We think that’s the future growth of modeling and simulation, particularly over the next 10 years.” (John Sokolowski, director of research, Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center)

– “Modeling and simulation makes inroads in other fields”
The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 17

“I always tell my students, ‘I give more credit to people. It’s not China’s government. It’s people. If you give Chinese people a chance, they can really achieve a lot.’” (Qiu Jin, director, Institute of Asian Studies)

– “Local Chinese-Americans weigh in on Olympic Games in Beijing”
WAVY-TV, Aug. 15
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