ODU in the News
The debate over a national curriculum
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, August 8, 2012)
By Maurice R. Berube
As happens in nearly every presidential campaign, education reform takes a back seat to issues of the economy and foreign policy.
Some political observers claim that education is not a federal responsibility but merely a concern because education is not mentioned in the Constitution. Consequently, education reform becomes stalled.
But reformers do not fade away. And they have raised the political ante from testing and standards to a national curriculum - a divisive issue that makes other issues pale by comparison.
One powerful advocate of a national curriculum is Diane Ravitch, a historian and former assistant secretary of education in the George H.W. Bush administration. ...
Maurice R. Berube, eminent scholar emeritus at Old Dominion University, is the author of 13 books, including "The End of School Reform." Email: email@example.com. (More)
Great Colleges To Work For 2012
(The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 6, 2012)
Meet 103 of the best colleges in the country, rated by their faculty and staff. In our fifth annual Great Colleges to Work For survey, nearly 47,000 employees evaluated their colleges in 12 categories, such as job satisfaction, teaching environment, and benefits. You can read the complete list of colleges, see exceptional performers in our Honor Roll, search particular categories, compare different institutions, and learn about our methodology. The survey shows, among many things, how important respect and appreciation are to employees. And a series of news features show ways that good relationships with supervisors help Great Colleges cope with crises, how they foster shared governance, and how they create attractive compensation.
In our fifth annual survey, 103 colleges were recognized. Learn more about the 12 recognition categories in which each was evaluated. Colleges marked with a are on the Honor Roll.
These colleges are the best of the best. Those that make the Honor Roll are cited most often across all recognition categories, and grouped by enrollment size. (Small institutions have 2,999 or fewer students, medium ones have 3,000 to 9,999, and large ones have 10,000 or more.) Ten four-year colleges, and four two-year colleges, make the cut in each size. (More)
Norfolk business forced to cover up sign protesting eminent domain
(WVEC-TV, August 7, 2012)
A Norfolk business Tuesday covered over a large sign it put up to protest what they call eminent domain abuse by the city government.
The sign, located at Central Radio Company on Hampton Boulevard, is 375 square feet, which the city says is too big. It was also put up without a permit.
The owner, Bob Wilson, says this is an attempt to silence his right to free speech. ...
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Agency condemned more than 170 residential, institutional and business buildings in the Hampton Boulevard area near Old Dominion University. The area, a public-private partnership called "The District," will become a new dormitory for 900 Old Dominion University students, a grocery store, drug store and other businesses. (More)
Promising proposal for school building
(Editorial, The Virginian-Pilot, August 5, 2012)
Norfolk could become the first school division in Hampton Roads to build schools using a public-private partnership.
Virginia enacted the Public-Private Education Act in 2002 to allow private companies to submit unsolicited proposals for school construction; cities may also request proposals.
The law was later expanded to include other public facilities such as prisons and hospitals. The concept is intended to marry public needs to the private sector's expertise in cost-effective project design and construction. Many divisions have used the act to build new schools; Wise County used it for the two high schools under construction there now.
Enter Steve Ballard, a Norfolk guy who attended Stuart Elementary, Blair Middle and Maury High schools. His company is building those high schools in Wise County. Now he wants to build something closer to home. ...
That seems unlikely from Ballard; his company's work is visible around the region in buildings like the Ted Constant Convocation Center at Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University's Lyman Beecher Brooks Library. (More)
Preschool program needs some maturity
(Editorial, The Virginian-Pilot, August 5, 2012)
Feuding among parties charged with implementing a federally funded literacy program hurts no one but the kids.
That hasn't stopped the fight.
A $4.5 million federal grant gave Norfolk Public Schools money to join with Old Dominion University and three nonprofits to teach reading to preschool kids and train teachers in literacy-instruction skills. As Steven Vegh reported last week, three years into the program conflict has practically consumed it.
An ODU early childhood literacy professor who helped land the grant quit, citing a "continuing hostile environment." A review by the U.S. Department of Education said the school division showed "a serious lapse in leadership and management." And another evaluator recommended that the division avoid leading future projects.
The same evaluator found some positive results, saying teacher performance and student test results showed improvement. (More)
ODU's third president helped shape the school
(The Virginian-Pilot, August 5, 2012)
Alfred Rollins is seated in a comfortable corner chair in his den, with a view of Westover Avenue in Norfolk's West Ghent. On his side table is a stack of books that includes a new CIA espionage thriller. One of his two cats, Oedipuss, makes a quick move, leaping onto his lap while he talks with a visitor.
Rollins is 91 and at a reflective point in a long and eventful life that included service as a bomber pilot during World War II and, at a time of sweeping change, nine years as president of Old Dominion University.
The two experiences were closely related. Had he not served in the Army Air Force during the war, he would not have gone back to college under the GI Bill, perhaps ending up selling insurance in Hartford, Conn., where he grew up. Instead, he got his doctorate in American history from Harvard and went on to a career in education.
It was a long road from upstate New York, where he taught, to the University of Vermont and Norfolk, where on July 1, 1976, he became ODU's third president. (More)
New study examines Romney tax plan
(Hartford Courant/Daily Press, August 2, 2012)
A study released Wednesday by the non-partisan Brookings Institution said GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax plan would lower taxes for the richest 5 percent of Americans while increasing the tax burden on lower- and middle-income taxpayers.
However, Romney's Virginia campaign spokesman called the study into question over the connection of one of the study's authors to President Barack Obama's administration.
The study looked at Romney's plan to extend all Bush-era tax cuts, reduce tax rates by 20 percent, repeal the alternative minimum tax, eliminate the estate tax, lower corporate income tax rates and end taxing of investment income earned by most taxpayers.
Jesse Richman, professor of political science at Old Dominion University, said the exemptions highlighted by the study would have to be curtailed to keep the plan revenue neutral.
"You have to go after the big ones that benefit a lot of people if you're going to manage to do all of the other things the Romney plan says," he said. (More)
Hampton Roads jobless rate rises to 6.7 percent
(The Virginian-Pilot, August 2, 2012)
The unemployment rate for Hampton Roads rose in June to 6.7 percent from 6.3 percent in May, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Wednesday.
The June rate, however, was lower than the region's jobless rate in June 2011. The numbers were not adjusted for seasonal factors.
The state agency said the unadjusted rates usually rise in June with the entry of students and college graduates into the job market. Last year, the unemployment rate for Hampton Roads rose from 6.7 percent in May to 7.1 percent in June.
Vinod Agarwal, an economist at Old Dominion University, offered a mixed read on the numbers. Because the figures are not seasonally adjusted, he said, it's best to compare the latest figures with those from the previous June.
"The news," Agarwal said, "is actually not bad." He noted that the number of people employed in Hampton Roads rose since last June, to 756,400 from 750,600, according to the state's data.
Agarwal said, however, that "the economy is recovering, but not recovering fast enough." (More)
Students Spent Slightly Less on Textbooks Last Year, Survey Finds
(The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 31, 2012)
College students said they spent slightly less on textbooks and other course materials last year, compared with 2009, and almost $50 less than five years ago, according to survey results released on Tuesday by the National Association of College Stores.
When they were surveyed in the fall of 2011, students estimated that they spent $655 on course materials that year, less than the $667 they said they spent in 2009 and the $702 they spent in 2007, according to the association. The group credited the drop to college bookstores' efforts to help students save money, such as by offering more used textbooks for sale and providing more rental options.
"This is terrific news for students, who continue to be pressured by the higher cost of attending college," Charles Schmidt, a spokesman for the association, said in a written statement. "The steady decline in textbook spending indicates that the money-saving strategies college stores have implemented are working."
James V. Koch, a professor of economics and president emeritus at Old Dominion University, said in an e-mail that he thinks the main reason for the drop-off is that students are using the Internet to find better deals on books.
"The Internet has reduced student search costs," he said, "and this appears to be paying off."
Mr. Koch said some students had used other strategies to reduce costs, such as photocopying books, sharing them, or simply going without a textbook. Last year the U.S. Public Interest Research Group released a study that found that seven in 10 college students had not purchased at least one required textbook because of high costs. (More)
How Can Social Media Better Support a Community in Mourning?
(Slate, July 26, 2012)
By D.E. Wittkower
For many of us, the news of the shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., evoked strong feelings about gun control, mental health care, and violence in pop culture, even parenting. But for me, it brought back memories of another shooting, one that coincided with the first great flowering of social media.
I was a faculty member at Virginia Tech when we had our shootings. I very rarely talk about it, and I've never written about it. Of course, it comes to mind every time there's another shooting, and I mostly try to hide from the all-too-familiar media blitz and political positioning that seems inevitably to follow.
When the classroom shootings occurred, I was in my office, two buildings over, sitting on the floor-low down, away from the window with the door closed, as we had been instructed-on the phone with a former student discussing Camus. A floor above me, my colleague's office was empty. He was in the classroom, where he died. No one knew quite what was going on at the time, of course. We had been told there was an armed fugitive on campus, but that was the second one in that academic year. We had recently had a series of bomb threats as well. The security lockdown had an eerie but very everyday feeling.
D.E. Wittkower is a philosopher of technology at Old Dominion University, and editor of Facebook and Philosophy and iPod and Philosophy. (More)
Blue Ridge Welcomes 25th Commanding Officer
(Maritime Security Asia, July 31, 2012)
Capt. Will Pennington relieved Capt. Daniel Grieco as commanding officer of U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during a change of command ceremony held onboard July 27.
Grieco served as commanding officer from May 2011 to July 2012.
During his tenure, Grieco was responsible for leading Blue Ridge through a 10-week, $9 million-dollar selected restricted availability (SRA) utilizing 22,000 man-hours to accomplish the work. SRA is a maintenance period intended to help extend the life of a ship.
"With over 30 years of wearing this uniform, I've never had the privilege to witness a crew that dedicates so much and strives so continuously for such a worthy cause," said Capt. Daniel Grieco. "That cause being the service of our country and the service of 7th Fleet."
Pennington has been recognized as the Commander Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet Landing Signal Officer of the Year. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and various other personal, campaign and unit awards. He earned a Master's degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University in 2011. (More)
Visiting Scholar to Join ODU's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative Next Year
(Insurance News.Net, July 31, 2012)
A researcher with worldwide expertise on the impact of planning policy on coastal vulnerability and insurance risk will be a visiting scholar at Old Dominion University next spring.
Diane Horn, professor with the Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies at the University of London'sBirkbeck College, will fly across the Atlantic to work as a visiting scholar with Old Dominion's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI).
From May 1 to June 15, 2013, Horn will work with Michael McShane, assistant professor of finance and co-director of the Emergent Risk Initiative at ODU (ERI@ODU), which is doing pioneering cross-disciplinary research on risk management.
McShane, who sought the visiting scholar position for Horn, said she would be an ideal collaborator in investigating the important, but under-researched relation between insurance and climate change. (More)
New tick disease found in Hampton Roads
(WAVY-TV/FOX 43, July 30, 2012)
Scientists say nearly half of Gulf Coast ticks in Hampton Roads are carrying a new disease.
Jessica Crosley, 13, is one of only 15 reported cases of the disease in the U.S. She says she was in excruciating pain and experienced chills and a fever during 100-degree temperatures.
"I would scream it was so bad," Crosley said. "I've never been in any pain like that. I couldn't walk. Anything I ate I threw up."
The disease was first discovered here in Tidewater and is carried by the Gulf Coast tick. Scientists at Old Dominion University discovered nearly half of the Gulf Coast ticks in Hampton Roads carry it and issued a report to the government in 2011. The Center for Disease Control now lists it as an emerging disease. (More)
Virginia Voters Ask Whom to Blame for Defense Cut Risk
(Bloomberg Business Week, July 30, 2012)
In a campaign year dominated by the economy and jobs, Michael Washington says little matters more in his Virginia community than the flood of layoff notices threatening to stun defense workers days before the November elections.
Washington, who manages employee benefits for companies in Norfolk's naval shipyards and elsewhere, says southeast Virginia's economy would be crushed by $500 billion in military cuts that will start in January unless Congress and President Barack Obama stop them. Everything from florist shops to restaurants to his Norfolk firm's commissions would take a "trickle-down" hit, he said.
In the region, which includes Virginia's second congressional district, 45.6 percent of the economy derived from direct or indirect Defense Department spending last year, according to James Koch, an economics professor and president emeritus at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. He estimates direct defense spending in the region will reach $20.8 billion this year.
Sequestration may cost 26,900 jobs, or 2.7 percent of all those in the region, he said, making the matter a "major, major issue" in November. (More)
How Social Media Sucks Us Into Arguments About Things Like Gun Control
(Opinion, The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2012)
By D.E. Wittkower
If your week on Facebook has been like mine, then you must be pretty tired of arguing with stupid people about gun control. Nevermind whether you and I are on the same side of the issue-it's sort of like George Carlin's question: "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" Even if we don't agree about gun laws, I think we can agree that the other side has some pretty stupid people on it, and that we've been talking to them on Facebook.
Facebook brings us into several new dynamics that intensify what seems to be already a predisposition for many: the inability to listen to someone say something wrong about something important and not say something about it. The classic xkcd comic, "Duty Calls," depicts this perfectly.
But on Facebook, unlike in prior online spaces like webforums, we are explicitly among friends and family, and largely among people we know offline as well as online. This makes arguing with people who are wrong more consequential: there's more at stake both in the sense that it means more and matters more, and in the sense that there's more chance to really damage your relationships with others.
D.E. Wittkower is a philosopher of technology at Old Dominion University, and editor of Facebook and Philosophy and iPod and Philosophy. (More)
Looming Navy shuffle to make big waves in region
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 26, 2012)
One of every five Navy ships in Hampton Roads is slated to be relocated or decommissioned in the next five years, changes that will leave the region with 5,400 fewer sailors, a Virginian-Pilot analysis has found.
The Navy's plans call for 17 of the 71 ships homeported here to be gone by 2017, along with more than 8,300 sailors assigned to them. The vessels include an aircraft carrier, a half-dozen destroyers, four frigates, four amphibious vessels, a cruiser and a submarine. Additionally, about 440 sailors assigned to two fighter squadrons will transfer from Oceana Naval Air Station to California.
The loss of paychecks and housing allowances from departing sailors will make a dent in a regional economy that relies on the military for almost half its income, said James V. Koch, an economist and former president of Old Dominion University.
"We'll feel it," Koch said. "We're going to have very low rates of economic growth. That's certainly going to put a clamp on the housing market. There won't be as many people out there buying homes. We're talking about a period of economic stagnancy." (More)
Administration and Finance Division at Old Dominion University
(University Business, July 12, 2012)
Blessed by rising enrollments and increased faculty hiring but burdened by flat IT staffing, Old Dominion University (Va.) officials took a hard look at both its ERP system and itself in hopes of addressing a simple but hugely significant issue. "We framed the basic question as, Is it Banner or is it us?" recalls Bob Fenning, vice president for administration and finance. "We were wondering whether or not we were utilizing Banner in the most efficient way, that we were maxing out all the functionality that existed there, or was the issue how we did business."
The answer turned out to be "both."
While Old Dominion had been successful in applying technology solutions to enhance efficiencies, the rate of improvement was proving slow. The university's internal investigation led it to adopt Banner provider Ellucian's Business Process Management (BPM) initiative, which the company had launched at other institutions, though never as comprehensively as it did at ODU, according to Fenning.
BPM seeks to align people, process, and technology as tightly as possible to increase effectiveness and efficiencies. It comprises five areas-enterprise discovery and planning, business process modeling, process improvement, key performance indicators, and implementation training-which Old Dominion will apply in two phases. The first, for accounts receivable, human resources/payroll, and student accounts receivable, is ongoing; the second will focus on recruitment/admissions, student financial aid, and student records/registration.
Using complex flowcharts to identify both the most and least efficient and critical functions, ODU and Ellucian could pinpoint with precision where the pain points were. (More)
College leaders discuss how to handle financial challenges
(Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 14, 2012)
Effective higher education - "especially when it involves a professor dealing directly with a student, live human being to live human being" - is expensive.
"If you want higher education of genuine quality, it has to be paid for," College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley told about 250 people Friday who gathered on his campus for a roundtable discussion about how to do just that.
Reveley was joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and top administrators from other Virginia schools to address financial challenges that have put higher education under intense scrutiny.
That scrutiny is fair, Reveley said, but it also has created "apocalyptic visions of student debt" that do not hold true at all colleges. At W&M, he said, almost 60 percent of students graduate without debt and do so on time.
But Old Dominion University Provost Carol Simpson said she could not claim that completion rate "because our students are working; and they are working, many of them, full-time."
She suggested that help from the private sector through paid internships - "not the unpaid ones that are always there" - would benefit students who often have to study part-time because of financial need (More)
Secretary of Ed Pushes for Better Completion Rates at Panel Discussion
(Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, July 14, 2012)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in Williamsburg on Friday for the National Governors Association meeting, but he took a detour to The College of William & Mary to gather input from the college officials grappling with decreased funding and facing scrutiny.
In an hour-long panel discussion, Duncan, Under Secretary Martha Kanter and seven Hampton Roads higher education leaders talked about what's working, what's not and the role of the federal government in fixing what Duncan sees as the biggest problem: the failure of many college students to graduate.
Panelist Carol Simpson, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Old Dominion University, said companies need to provide more paid internships to give students practical work experience. Duncan said he has become convinced the U.S. doesn't have a jobs crisis, but a skills crisis, and gave community colleges credit for creating curriculums geared toward filling vacant specialized positions. (More)
Workers tend to bring work on their vacations
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 15, 2012)
To lots of folks, work and vacation mix about as well as a smartphone in seawater. Others have cellphone in hand, even when their toes are wiggling in sand. It's a matter that divides husband and wife, boss and employee.
The Pilot business section never takes a vacation, so we're wading into this issue. But it is summertime, so we want to have a little fun. Meet a couple of characters we'll call Todd and Bossman.
Easy, bud. Don't think the big guys aren't sweating, too. I know this guy named Burt Segal. He's the president of Riverpoint Psychiatric Associates in Norfolk. "It's definitely the economy," Burt told me the other day. "Everybody feels like they have to prove themselves every day. 'Yes, I'm on vacation, but I'm expected to be at the corporation's beck and call.' "
Yeah, and it's pretty easy now that almost everyone has a smartphone. Debra Major, a psychology professor over at Old Dominion University, knows a lot about this stuff. She says, "We have the technology that enables us to be constantly tethered to work now. I think because we can do it, there's a tendency to want to do it." (More)
U.S. secretary of education to discuss college affordability in Williamsburg
(The Daily Press, July 12, 2012)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will meet with the nation's governors and a group of college and university presidents on Friday in Williamsburg.
Duncan and Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter will join College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley in a 1:15 p.m. public discussion focused on affordability and accountability. The panel will include the presidents of Thomas Nelson Community College, Regent University and Virginia State University, the provost of Old Dominion University and the chancellor of the state's community college system. The event, billed as "College, Cost and the Commonwealth" will be in the Matoaka Woods Room of William and Mary's School of Education, 301 Monticello Ave.
Duncan also on Friday will update the National Governors Association on progress toward the U.S. goal of regaining its global first place rank for college graduates by 2020. President Barack Obama has called for the United States to increase its percentage of adults with college degrees to 60 percent by 2020. A statement released by theU.S. Department of Education on Thursday shows the percentage of 25-34 year olds with a postsecondary degree rose by 1 percent, to 39.3 percent, from 2009 to 2010. (More)
People Speak: Business fights to shield property from eminent domain in Virginia
(Fox News, July 11, 2012)
For 50 years, Bob Wilson has been making radio parts for the federal government.
"I love my job. I love my business, "he said as he walked outside his "Central Radio" factory.
Now, the local government in Norfolk, Va., wants to take his factory and the property under it away using its eminent domain powers. And it's not because Norfolk needs a new public park or a road connector. Wilson says they just want it for "retail space," and thinks that's wrong.
"We just feel it's not right that they should be able to take this," he said. "It's not morally correct, it's not legally correct."
Wilson is now supporting "The Virginia Eminent Domain Amendment," a ballot measure that would prohibit the state from seizing property for private enterprise.
"You shouldn't be able to take land from one business and give it to another," said Wilson. "That's not fair."
Wilson's factory, which makes transmission parts and surveillance equipment for the U.S. Navy, sits next to Old Dominion University, a state college which recently built a series of new buildings across the street. Two years ago, The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority sought the property in order to build retail space for college students, which it calls "economic development." (More)
Weekend to include local visits from Obama, Giuliani
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 11, 2012)
Already feeling overwhelmed by the constant barrage of political messages in Virginia?
Just you wait.
This weekend's back-to-back-to-back events featuring President Barack Obama, the nation's governors, and well-known Mitt Romney surrogate Rudy Giuliani in Hampton Roads will be a sign of the times in battleground Virginia, and a harbinger of what's ahead.
A two-day tour by Obama across Virginia will commence Friday and include stops at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, a high school in Hampton, and a fire station in Roanoke. His campaign is calling it a series of "small, grassroots" events.
And when one candidate plans a trip to Virginia, the other side reflexively reacts.
To wit, from a statement by Romney spokesman Curt Cashour: "When President Obama heads to Virginia this week, he's going to have to face the fact that his failed economic policies are hurting Virginia workers and families, and they are tired of waiting for him to fulfill his 2008 campaign promises."
So be prepared, Virginia, for more of this back-and-forth as our state prominently "figures in a great many of the maps to victory... sketched out" by both sides, said Old Dominion University political scientist Jesse Richman. (More)
Opportunity Inc. gets $1.8 million federal grant
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 11, 2012)
Opportunity Inc., a regional workforce and staffing agency, announced Tuesday that it will receive a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for entrepreneurship education. Opportunity Inc. will partner with The SkillSource Group in Northern Virginia and the Capital Regional Workforce Partnership in Richmond.
Under the grant, Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College will provide entrepreneurship training to 250 people locally, Opportunity Inc. said in a news release.
"The region has organizations committed to assisting entrepreneurs, such as the Small Business Development Center and the Hampton Roads Partnership's economic gardening project," Judy Begland, president and CEO of Opportunity Inc., said in a statement. "This grant will allow Opportunity Inc. to provide additional support and resources to expand the number of new businesses and grow jobs locally." (More)
Jeremiah Wright, Obama's Former Pastor, Will Not Be An Issue This Campaign, Experts Say
(The Huffington Post, July 9, 2012)
Jeremiah Wright, the controversial pastor who haunted President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, gave Republicans new comments to work with on Sunday, but experts say it's unlikely Wright will become the lightning rod he was for the president in 2008.
The right-leaning Daily Caller reported Monday that Wright appeared to slight Obama in a sermon at a Washington, D.C. church.
Children "who only know Oprah and Obama" need to learn about "the foundation" who preceded them, Wright said. He name-dropped several prominent civil rights figures about whom he said young people should know, including Emmett Till and Rosa Parks.
Joshua Behr, a political scientist who specializes in minority politics at Old Dominion University in Virginia, said in an email that for conservatives, "[i]t has become increasingly difficult to make the Wright connection stick." He predicted that Wright's Sunday sermon will be "either a non-issue or will be a single-day flash-pan issue to be knocked about by the political pundits to create controversy where there really is none."
Harping on Wright has little upside for Republicans hoping to make Obama a one-term president, Behr said.
"I do see among conservatives at the state organizing level a sense that the rank-and-file campaign workers ought to stay on the messaging task around the economy -- Obama's management of the budget, future tax increases -- and not get side-tracked by race-based politics," Behr said. "Essentially, the belief being that the Wright issue will detract from the focus on Obama's management of the economy." (More)
Soprano tradition runs in Virginia Beach family
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 10, 2012)
Dorothy Wingfield Smith made a grand entrance, riding down from the second floor on her stair lift. As she approached the foyer of her Virginia Beach home, she threw open her arms and sang in a lilting voice, "Here she comes...."
She was one diva singing to another. Her granddaughter, fellow soprano Elizabeth Stanworth, stood near the front door, grinning widely.
"C'mon," Smith called out to 23-year-old Liz. "Give me lovin'!" Stanworth walked over and hugged her, and both their faces beamed.
Two days before she left, grandmother and granddaughter visited in Smith's living room. Stanworth told their story, and her grandmother occasionally interjected.
At one point they recounted a concert earlier this year featuring Stanworth as a soloist alongside her professors at Old Dominion University, where she is a rising junior.
"Well, it was an emotional experience,"
Smith recalled. "Finally, a beautiful singer in the family was going to keep going. We don't know where. But she's going." (More)
Governor picks four members for ODU board
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 7, 2012)
Gov. Bob McDonnell has appointed three members and reappointed one current member of Old Dominion University's governing Board of Visitors.
Named to four-year terms on the 17-member board Friday were:
- John Biagas of Yorktown, president and chief executive officer of Bay Electric Co., a general and electrical contracting company in Newport News.
- Ronald Ripley of Virginia Beach, president of Ripley Heatwole Co., an apartment management and development company in Virginia Beach.
- Judy Swystun of Norfolk, president and owner of Black & White Cabs of Norfolk.
In addition, McDonnell reappointed David Bernd of Virginia Beach, CEO of Sentara Healthcare, to a second term on the board. Bernd just completed a two-year term as rector, the board's presiding officer.
All four appointees are McDonnell campaign contributors. Collectively, they have given $19,820 to McDonnell, a Republican, and related committees since 2005, according to data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit tracker of money in politics. (More)
Scott AFB Passenger Terminal dedicated to fallen Airman
(US Air Force, July 8, 2012)
Members of Scott Air Force Base and the local community gathered here today to dedicate the base's newly renovated air passenger terminal in honor of Airman 1st Class Zachary "Cudde" Cuddeback.
Cuddeback was a vehicle operator assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, when he was mortally wounded by a terrorist while transporting security forces passengers to Frankfurt International Airport, Germany, March 2, 2011.
"Cuddeback was merely performing his duties as a vehicle operator on the day he was killed," said Master Sgt. Brent Severns, the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal section chief. "Naming the terminal after our fallen comrade allows us to pay tribute to him."
Severns came up with the idea of naming the terminal after Cuddeback following an 18 month, $1.9 million renovation.
Cuddeback was born July 6, 1989, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. As an Army child, he frequently moved but always claimed St. Louis and the surrounding communities as his home. He was laid to rest in O'Fallon, Ill.
He graduated from William Monroe High School in Stanardsville, Va., in 2008. In the year following his graduation, he played ice hockey at Old Dominion University on the Monarch Ice Hockey Team and the Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity until he joined the Air Force in 2009. After basic training, he went to technical training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. , and was then assigned to Ramstein AB. (More)
Public colleges under pressure
(Editorial, The Virginian-Pilot, July 5, 2012)
Despite the rising costs of college, there's no shortage of students willing to enroll. Parents able to pay is another story.
Gone are the days that college was simply one more line on a family's household budget. Student loans may postpone the pain, but they have failed to keep up with rising costs. Tuition, even for one child, is likely to be a family's biggest expense, above the mortgage and car payments.
That means today's public institutions are increasingly less than public in practice.
Every other college in Virginia missed the mark. The average in-state cost increase, according to SCHEV, was 4.1 percent for four-year schools. Old Dominion University was better than most, holding its increase to 3.9 percent, its smallest in a decade. (More)
Artist working on Big Blue sculpture for ODU
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 3, 2012)
Richard Stravitz intends to work at his 30th Street Gallery, creating bronze sculptures and holding workshops.
He is working on a commissioned piece for Old Dominion University, creating a 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture of the Monarchs' lion mascot, Big Blue (pictured at right). He's also working on a Sidney Kellam bust for a new office building on 32nd Street named after the Princess Anne County political leader.
One of his larger pieces, "Anticipation," can be seen at 1st Street next to Grommet Island Park. The two boys portrayed were inspired by a photograph of Josh Thompson, son of developer
Bruce Thompson, and his younger brother, Chris, checking out the surf. A small model of the larger sculpture is on display at the new gallery. It's priced at $3,400 with $500 to be donated to ALS research. (More)
Exhibit gives voice to desegregation
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 29, 2012)
Forget photographs and newspaper clippings. The Old Dominion University exhibit, "School Desegregation: Learn, Preserve, Empower," is capitalizing on a new technique to tell Virginia's educational past.
A collaboration of several organizations, the exhibit uses oral histories to describe the harsh realities of the desegregation of pub - lic schools, as told by people who faced discrimination in the 1960s.
The program is symbolized by a photo of a young African American girl followed by the slogan, "Tell YOUR story to help us tell HER story." Sonia Yaco, an ODU archivist who is leading the project, said she and other interviewers asked people what their stories were, and the subjects took off from there. (More)
ODU group heads to Cuba for mission trip
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 1, 2012)
A mission trip to a communist country? "Not possible," the Rev. Linda Rainey thought.
When Mike McCaughan of Rainey's Old Dominion University Presbyterian Ministry suggested their group travel to Cuba this summer, she blew him off.
"Get a group of students to commit to going and figure out how to raise the money, and I'll get us to Cuba," she told him in September. To her surprise, McCaughan, a graduate student, held up his end of the bargain.
On July 6, Rainey and eight others, a mix of current ODU students and alumni, will travel on a religious license to Cuba's capital city, where they will spend a week with the congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Havana. (More)
9 Song Lyrics You Probably Have Wrong
(The Huffington Post, July 2, 2012)
If you're of the "if you don't know the words, sing it anyway!" camp, you've probably belted out a few nonsensical lyrics, met with laughs and jabs from fellow partygoers and road-trippers.
Our recent regretful errors include a firm belief that Tom Petty wrote "Free Falling" while vacationing in the Texas Hill Country - never mind his mention of "Mulholland" and "Ventura Boulevard," he clearly croons about "a long day living in the cedar."
Here are 9 other lyrics that are prone to be mixed up, excerpted from "Tyrannosaurus Lex" [Penguin, $14.00]. What songs do you always sing incorrectly?:
"Tyrannosaurus Lex: The Marvelous Book of Palindromes, Anagrams, and Other Delightful and OutrageousWordplay" is written by ODU professor Rod Evans. (More)
OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS APPLYING M&S TO HELP IMPROVE AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
(Avionics Intelligence, June 29, 2012)
As the country's aviation industry wrestles with the quest to make air travel more efficient, an immense roadblock is the sheer cost of testing any type of efficiency innovation.
The cost of acquiring a plane and flying it through already full airspace to pilot-test concepts of getting from point A to point B more efficiently is a huge undertaking. Modeling and simulation is a key technology in safely and effectively evaluating such concepts.
Researchers at Old Dominion University's Virginia, Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) have conducted several research projects with NASA Langley to develop M&S architectures and enhance NASA simulation tools used in evaluating new concepts in air-traffic management. One such tool is NASA's Airspace and Traffic Operations Simulation (ATOS). This summer, under a recently awarded $66,000 project, VMASC researchers are working closely with NASA researchers to further enhance these simulation capabilities.
One focus of the project is to investigate alternative approaches for in-flight testing of distributed air traffic management concepts. "A critical component in almost all distributed air-traffic control concepts is the use of ADS-B, (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast), a term that refers to advanced aircraft surveillance technology, but also the in-cockpit avionics instrument that implements the technology," said Yiannis Papelis, research professor at VMASC, and principal investigator for the ODU project. (More)
Central Radio awaits court decision on banner
(Inside Business, June 29, 2012)
Central Radio had its day in court last week. But the fight for free speech continues.
Central Radio owner Robert Wilson, who is protesting the condemnation of his property under eminent domain by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, appeared in court Thursday to find out whether he can display the protest banner.
"We didn't get a ruling," said Steve Simpson, senior attorney for the Institute for Justice, which is representing Central Radio. "We look forward to a ruling in a few weeks. The judge understood our view. All went well and the clients are happy."
In the central Hampton Boulevard district, Central Radio is one of four properties condemned by the housing authority that are within feet of University Village, Old Dominion University's conglomeration of offices, parking garages, student dormitories and retailers. (More)
Local boards: U.Va. failed to weigh legal, political realities in firing Sullivan
(WDBJ-TV/The Daily Press, June 27, 2012)
The firestorm surrounding the presidency at the University of Virginia highlights the legal and political reality of leading a university, say current and former board members of local colleges.
The lack of consensus among U.Va.'s Board of Visitors after it announced Teresa Sullivan's ouster June 10 was a clear sign the situation would go awry, says Ross Mugler.
"There never should have been a split decision on something this monumental," said Mugler, who served on Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors from 2002-2010.
U.Va.'s board reinstated Sullivan this week after an outpouring of protests as well as a threat by Gov. Bob McDonnell to fire the entire board if it didn't reach consensus during Tuesday's meeting.
That governor's threat made it "a foregone conclusion" that Sullivan would get her job back, says John Conrad, outgoing rector of Christopher Newport University's Board of Visitors. (More)
The 'almost impossible' didn't stop these projects
(Virginia Business, June 28, 2012)
Creative developers, brokers and builders see promise where others see problems. In this year's collection of winning projects from across Virginia, what stood out was a willingness to take on a challenge, be it the renovation of a deteriorating historic landmark in downtown Roanoke, the purchase of a vacant headquarters of a former Fortune 500 company in Richmond or the construction of a massive 2.4 million-square-foot office campus in Springfield.
As the editorial staff of Virginia Business reviewed submissions for the top deals, and nominated a few of our own, we picked up on some trends: It's still hard to obtain financing on some projects, the realignment of military facilities is reshaping the commercial landscape in Springfield, and below-market prices are pulling investors from the sidelines.
Altogether, we selected six winning deals: Best Office Project, Best Historic Renovation, Best Public/Private Project, and Best Retail, Sales and Distressed Property Transactions. Assisting in the judging were Robert Taylor and David Downs with the Virginia Commonwealth University Real Estate Center and John Lombard with the E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development at Old Dominion University. (More)
McDonnell signs tuition tax credit bills at ceremony
(The Washington Post, June 28, 2012)
Glenn Booker was homeless as a child, but a pastor took him in and gave him not just a home, but a good education at a private religious school. He heads off to Old Dominion University in the fall.
The 18-year-old Richmond resident got the honor of introducing Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) Wednesday at a ceremonial bill-signing for legislation intended to make it easier for more underprivileged children to attend private and parochial schools.
At Richmond's Elijah House Academy, where Booker finished second in his class, McDonnell signed two bills creating tax credits for individuals and businesses that donate private- and parochial-school tuition money to disabled, poor and middle-class students. (More)
Norfolk updating its residential parking ordinance
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 26, 2012)
Akilah Matthews, a junior at Old Dominion University, usually pays to park on campus. To her, the expense is worth the guaranteed parking and not having to walk alone, at times in the dark, to find her car off campus.
But she couldn't bring herself to pony up the money to park on campus for a single calculus class this summer.
"Why pay the $75 when you can just park on a side street?" she said.
Some residents would also like ODU to lift its ban on freshmen keeping vehicles on campus, but the university contends that's not the answer, said Bob Fenning, ODU's vice president of administration and finance. He said the policy is intended to keep the freshmen active on campus and focused.
Instead, the university has tried to encourage on-campus parking in other ways, such as reducing the parking rate for the lots and garage on the perimeter of the campus. The university has also provided a shuttle service for students and a Zipcar program. One parking deck, on 43rd Street, is being converted to mostly metered spaces to attract those who are on campus only a couple of hours at a time and who are less inclined to buy a $75 semester permit. (More)
700 Club Interactive: God Save the Queen
(Documentary, CBN, June 4, 2012)
Gordon Robertson and Terry Meeuwsen on 700 Club Interactive take a look into the life and reign of the Queen of England.
(Gary Edgerton, chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts in Old Dominion University's College of Arts and Letters, is featured prominently in this piece) (More)
Sea rise faster on East Coast than rest of globe
(Video, WVEC-TV, June 25, 2012)
A new government study says sea levels are rising much faster along a stretch of the East Coast than they are around the globe.
The area covers the Atlantic Coast from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to just north of Boston.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists call the 600-mile swath a "hot spot" for climbing sea levels caused by global warming. Their study says that since 1990, sea levels in that region have been rising at an annual rate that's three to four times faster than the global average.
Since then, Norfolk's sea level has jumped about 5 inches, Philadelphia's 4 inches and New York City's 3 inches. The global average is 2 inches.
(Saikou Diallo and Jose Padilla, researchers from ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, are featured in this story). (More)
Board to decide on UVa president's status
(The Roanoke Times, June 22, 2012)
Today the eyes of higher education will be on the University of Virginia Board of Visitors as it takes up the question of who will be president of Thomas Jefferson's famed school when students return in the fall.
Will the board reinstate self-described incrementalist Teresa Sullivan, the popular president asked by a minority of board members to step aside and allow the search for a bolder reformer?
Or will the full board affirm Sullivan's forced resignation?
Board Rector Helen Dragas publicly criticized Sullivan for failing to take aggressive steps to develop centralized, online learning initiatives.
Other state institutions such as Old Dominion University and Radford University are also implementing eLearning programs. In 2010, Radford developed an online doctoral degree in nursing practice. (More)
Before signing for student loan, consider this
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 24, 2012)
Another financial aid cycle has begun.
Incoming college students have firmed up their arrangements, often with thousands of dollars a year in loans. And most new graduates have started the six-month countdown before they must begin repayment.
Even if you're long out of college, you've probably heard a lot about loans recently - how they now account for more debt than cars or credit cards, how a Washington standoff could soon trigger a doubling of interest rates.
To sort it all out, The Virginian-Pilot is offering its own "student loan package."
Colleges say they're trying. At Old Dominion, where 75 percent of students receive loans and where the average debt after graduation is $20,422, the financial aid office provides quarterly meetings for borrowers and workshops on topics such as debt consolidation and management, spokesman Brendan O'Hallarn said in an email. (More)
Poll: Virginians conservative but prefer Obama
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, June 23, 2012)
More Virginia voters prefer President Barack Obama than Republican candidate Mitt Romney, but many consider themselves more conservative on economic issues than the president, according to a statewide poll by Old Dominion University and The Virginian-Pilot.
When asked whom they would vote for on Nov. 6, 49 percent of those surveyed said Obama, 42 percent chose Romney, 5 percent said they wouldn't vote for either and 3 percent were undecided or wouldn't say.
Obama's 7-percentage-point advantage is significant, said Jesse Richman, an assistant professor of political science at ODU who analyzed the poll results.
But Romney may be able to cut into that lead, Richman said, because voters said they consider their views on economic policy closer to the Republican candidate's.(More)
This article was posted on: August 8, 2012
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