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WHRO and Old Dominion University Partner on Civic and Community Engagement

WHRO and Old Dominion University have announced a civic and community engagement partnership that will extend the reach and impact of both organizations.

WHRO's veteran public affairs host Cathy Lewis will work with the university's newly created Office for Community Engagement to identify opportunities to leverage ODU's expertise and research capabilities and WHRO's media platforms in service to Hampton Roads.

"We are very happy to enter into this partnership with Old Dominion," said Bert Schmidt, president of WHRO Public Media. "Our physical proximity and shared interest in being a convener for solutions make this partnership a perfect fit."

"There are so many areas where ODU and WHRO can contribute meaningfully to help solve the challenges facing Hampton Roads," said John R. Broderick, president of Old Dominion University. "Cathy knows the region and its issues well and the partnership allows both organizations to develop initiatives in collaboration with the community."

The partnership's first project is the WHRV re-broadcast of Gov. Robert McDonnell's Hampton Roads town hall meeting, which was held Aug. 9 at Old Dominion. Additional projects include developing a series of symposia where business, community, and government leaders and faculty experts and researchers can identify and discuss the region's most critical issues, with the goal of collaborating on potential solutions. That initiative will utilize WHRO's broadcasting and video streaming capabilities to further the discussion and engage a broader audience.

"If you haven't seen ODU lately, you haven't seen ODU," said Cathy Lewis. "It's a real story of growth and opportunity, with significant research in cancer treatment, modeling and simulation, alternative energy and environmental areas - all of which can propel this region forward."

The parties affirmed that the relationship with ODU would not affect Lewis' role as host and executive producer for WHRO or her work as executive director of the CIVIC Leadership Institute.

"This is a great fit for Cathy's work with CIVIC," said Janet V. Green, chair of the CIVIC Leadership Institute Board of Directors. "It's giving us greater opportunities to explore some co-ventured projects with ODU, especially those that relate to bringing senior level leaders into conversation about the issues that are shaping Hampton Roads."

"What's most important to me is to connect people to what matters to them and what they can do about it," Lewis said, "so I'm thrilled to contribute to three organizations that have that philosophy at the heart of what they do."

WHRO is a public service media company that promotes education, culture and citizenship to the citizens of Hampton Roads, Virginia through a variety of telecommunications services. Thousands of viewers and listeners tune in to broadcast programming on WHRO's four public television and seven public radio stations every day. Since its founding in 1961 to support education, WHRO has employed creativity and technology to serve its mission to enrich audiences through content that educates, entertains and promotes understanding. Owned by 18 local school divisions, WHRO delivers educational and new media services to 286,000 students and 25,000 educators per month as well.

Old Dominion University is Virginia's forward-focused, public doctoral research university, with more than 24,000 students and innovative and engaging teaching in 70 bachelor's, 60 master's and 36 doctoral degree programs. As a major metropolitan research university, ODU possesses a determined entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving, which drives cutting-edge research and strategic partnerships with government, business, industry, organizations, and the arts.

This article was posted on: August 11, 2010

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.