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College of Sciences Research Awards go to Balitsky, Darby and Major; Other Faculty and Students Honored at Ceremony

The Old Dominion University College of Sciences gave its 2010 Distinguished Research Award Saturday, May 1, to physicist Ian Balitsky, oceanographer Dennis Darby and psychologist Debra Major.

Barbara Winstead, chair of the Department of Psychology, received the Gene W. Hirschfeld Faculty Excellence Award and two physicists, Charles Sukenik and Larry Weinstein, won the college's Distinguished Teaching Award. Biologist Ralph Stevens won the Undergraduate Adviser Award.

Balitsky is a professor of physics at ODU and a senior staff member of the Theory Division of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. His research focus is on quantum chromodynamics, also known as QCD. He has published around 60 papers in leading physics journals and his work has been cited more than 5,000 times by other researchers.

Darby is a professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences who specializes in geological oceanography. He has worked extensively on the deep-sea sediments of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas. He uses the chemical and mineralogical fingerprint of iron oxide grains to trace them to their source areas, providing information about ice rafting and high-latitude glaciations. He is the director of the university's Electron Microprobe and X-Ray Laboratory.

Major is a professor of psychology who specializes in career development issues such as work/family conflict, developmental relationships at work and teamwork. She leads a major research project examining career barriers to women and minorities in the information technology field.

Winstead is a professor of psychology who specializes in clinical psychology. She has conducted research on relationships, gender and HIV-positive individuals. She is particularly interested in how gender influences relationships, how relationships influence coping and how relationships influence individual health and safety behaviors. She also has studied how individuals cope with multiple roles. During her three decades on the ODU faculty she has received several teaching awards.

Sukenik, associate professor of physics, and Weinstein, University Professor of physics, were honored primarily for their introduction to ODU of SCALE-UP, an interactive means of teaching introductory physics. The term stands for student-centered activities for large enrollment undergraduate programs. Students work on activities in carefully structured groups of three, sitting around large round tables with white boards for working out problems and laptops for simulations and Web access. While the students work, the instructor roams the classroom asking questions, sending one team to help an-other, gently guiding a group and building relationships with students.

Stevens, an associate professor of biological sciences and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Physiology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, has won numerous "most inspiring faculty" citations from award-winning students at ODU. He is the adviser to the ODU chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national health pre-professional honor society.

Other college awards presented at the awards ceremony led by Dean Chris Platsoucas included:

• Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award: Caleb Adams, mathematics and statistics; Gordon Whitman, psychology.

• Distinguished Lecturer Award: Hutson Lindner, mathematics and statistics.

• Lee Entsminger Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award: Jay Bolin, biological sciences.

• Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award: Barbara Jeffrey, mathematics and statistics.

• Master's Thesis Award: Kristina Bauer, psychology.

This article was posted on: May 3, 2010

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