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Old Dominion's Social Science Research Center awarded fellowships to five faculty members in recognition of the work they have done on behalf of the center and the university.

According to Jeff Harlow, director of the SSRC, these faculty members have "demonstrated a willingness to collaborate across disciplines at Old Dominion and to contribute credible and meaningful scholarship that benefits the community at large."

This is the first year the fellowships have been awarded, and the SSRC intends to continue the program in subsequent years. Harlow said the SSRC decided to initiate this fellowship this year to thank those faculty members who have dedicated a great deal of time and effort to the center and its mission, often without additional compensation for their research efforts.

The inaugural honorees are:

- Gail Johnson, assistant professor of urban studies and public administration, who collaborated with SSRC on the university's first State of the Region survey, which measured the perceptions of Hampton Roads residents regarding quality of life and socio-economic issues. Johnson's areas of research and expertise include research methods and women in organizations.

- Stephen K. Medvic, assistant professor of political science, who worked with SSRC on several political opinion projects, including a survey of Hampton Roads voters regarding the Clinton impeachment, a statewide survey on the 2000 presidential election and focus groups with Hampton Roads residents about the personal traits of presidential candidates. Medvic has expertise in campaigns and elections, media and politics, voting behavior, and democratic theory.

- Bryan E. Porter, assistant professor of psychology, joined with the center to conduct several telephone surveys on driver and pedestrian behavior. His research and teaching concentrations include community psychology, history of psychology, driving behavior and environmental psychology. His "Stop Red-light Running" survey was funded by Daimler Chrysler Corp. and received national media attention.

- Leonard I. Ruchelman, eminent professor of urban studies and public administration, participated in the center's State of the Region survey. A member of the Urban Affairs Association and American Society for Public Administration, he is an expert in policy analysis, recently publishing a book on the transformation of urban cities.

- Stephen W. Tonelson, professor of early childhood and special education, collaborated with SSRC to conduct a program evaluation of the Starbase Atlantis program for fifth grade students in Norfolk Public Schools and is working with the center and the Norfolk Literary Partnership to develop a literacy assessment for Hampton Roads residents. He is the interim director of the education concentration for the doctoral program in urban services. He is qualified as an expert witness in judicial cases involving child development issues, child care and custody decisions.

This article was posted on: May 23, 2001

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