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April 17, 2014

ODU Honors Recipients of Pathway Retention Awards

Old Dominion recently honored the top 10 candidates, out of a pool of over 100 students, who received Pathway Retention Awards, a program established by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity to promote the retention of diverse individuals within the university community (see photo below).

The program is designed to assist students who are on their journey to success, recognizing that their achievements will reflect positively upon the university and that their journey will promote an appreciation and understanding of differences by the ODU community. For the past few years, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity has spotlighted the diversity efforts of different colleges from within the university by choosing individual students from individual colleges to be recipients of the Pathway Retention Awards. As of the 2013-2014 academic year, all colleges at ODU have had students as recipients of this honor. Starting with the 2014-15 academic year, the award will be open to all students across the university.

Students meeting basic criteria can compete for the award by submitting a one-page essay explaining how receiving the Pathway Retention Award would impact their retention at ODU as they work toward academic success and, ultimately, graduation.

Selected students receive a special meal plan and a bookstore scholarship. To be eligible for the awards program, students must be enrolled full time as a rising sophomore or above, have a minimum 2.5 GPA and be a member of one of several underrepresented populations.

Examples of underrepresented populations at ODU include, but are not limited to, students who: 1) are significantly older or younger than other students, 2) do not speak English as their first language, 3) are first-generation college students, 4) are single-parent students, 5) are of a minority race/ethnicity, 6) are students with learning disabilities or 7) work full time while attending school.

"These individuals have different goals and reasons for attending ODU," said Renee Dunman, assistant vice president for equity and diversity. "They all have overcome distinctive obstacles that get in the way of their education. They bring unique experiences and insights to their field of study, which can challenge the perceptions of the university community. They cause all of us to assess the world around us differently, sparking innovation, inspiration and greater understanding."

kudos2-lg01Pictured with the award recipients are President John R. Broderick and ReneƩ Dunman (right), assistant vice president for equity and diversity. Photo by David Hollingsworth