Week of 12/7/12
Battleground Dispatches: Norfolk Readies for Future Storms, Sea Level Rise
(VIDEO, PBS Newshour, December 6, 2012)
MIKE MELIA: When residents of this port city wake up, even if there wasn't a storm that night, they regularly find some streets flooded simply from high tides.
It is a far cry from the storm surges brought by Sandy further up the coast, but that superstorm, which hit the week before Election Day, brought to the surface the issue of rising sea levels, the vulnerability of coastal cities and what can be done to protect them.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What I'm going to be doing over the next several weeks, next several months is having a conversation, a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what more can we do.
MIKE MELIA: Mr. Obama might look to Norfolk, where they have been having those conversations for years. ...
Norfolk is particularly prone to flooding because of its location, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay and the James River. It is also slowly sinking. The city is home to roughly 250,000 people, a major port and the world's largest naval base. It is of critical importance to our national security. Nearly 45 percent of the city's economy is tied to defense spending.
And in response to sea level rise, the Navy has been replacing 14 piers, at a cost of $35 million to $40 million apiece.
LARRY ATKINSON, Old Dominion University: The sea level here is coming up for lots of reasons. There is just no reason for it to go down. It just keeps coming up.
MIKE MELIA: Larry Atkinson heads the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative at Old Dominion University.
LARRY ATKINSON: Well, there is kind of anecdotal evidence, and then there is real evidence from the tide gauges that we have. I mean, we can measure this. It's -- the science is simple. (More)
Nancy Kirkpatrick and the 'Twilight'-Fueled Transformation of Summit
(The Hollywood Reporter, December 5, 2012)
When a receptionist at Summit Entertainment buzzed Nancy Kirkpatrick in summer 2011 to say there were three Twi-hards outside who wanted a tour of the studio, she chuckled. Summit's cozy office building in Santa Monica hardly resembles a storied Hollywood lot in size and scope.
But Kirkpatrick, the company's president of worldwide marketing, had something in her office that trumped any movie or television set: the Carolina Herrera wedding dress worn by Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1. She invited the trio in, and together they marveled over the gown, made of crepe satin and French Chantilly lace with 152 tiny buttons down the back. Kirkpatrick also let them try on the Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes.
"When do you ever get to do something like that at a studio? It was so much fun," says Kirkpatrick. "And these aren't 17-year-old girls, these are women. They'd driven all the way from Nebraska." ...
Growing up in Virginia Beach, Va. -- where her father, Andy Roberts, was a weatherman for the CBS affiliate -- Kirkpatrick attended Old Dominion University in nearby Norfolk, majoring in English. After she married her college sweetheart, Shone Kirkpatrick, the newlyweds moved to Los Angeles. (More)
ODU's president is football team's No. 1 fan
(The Virginian-Pilot, December 6, 2012)
John Broderick missed an Old Dominion football game once. The ODU president was in Michigan at a family wedding, and the Monarchs were playing in Delaware.
It's not clear whether Broderick is completely joking when he says he tried to get the game time pushed back to 7 p.m., which would have given him a fighting chance of at least catching the second half. You get the sense he might not be.
Whatever the case, "Delaware wasn't concerned with my ability to make the game," Broderick said, laughing.
At every other game, the first non-helmeted, non-headset-wearing, non-eye-blacked faces the Monarchs see when they walk off the field are often those of Broderick and his wife, Kate, who greet each player, win or lose.
The tradition began spontaneously on a miserably hot day in 2009 in Jacksonville, Fla., after ODU had rallied for the first road win in program history.
It was a "signature moment," Broderick said, and he and Kate wanted to congratulate the players.
That the Brodericks made the effort "seemed like such a big deal to the kids and coaches," he said. "We got in the habit of doing it.
"It's funny now; occasionally, we'll almost cause a bit of a slowdown. For some of the players, it's become part of their tradition." (More)
Bunting named new Associate Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs
(Noodls, December 5, 2012)
The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University is pleased to announce Dr. Chuck Bunting as the new Associate Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs. The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved this appointment during its regular meeting on November 30, and Bunting will officially assume the role January 1, 2013.
Bunting, the Halliburton Professor of Engineering in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering has been on faculty at OSU for 11 years. ...
Bunting worked with the Naval Aviation Depot as an Apprentice, an Electronics Mechanic, and an Electronics Measurement Equipment Mechanic, from 1981 to 1989. Then, from 1994 to 2001, he was on faculty with the department of engineering technology at Old Dominion University. There, he worked closely with NASA Langley Research Center on electromagnetic field penetration in aircraft structures and reverberation chamber simulation. (More)
Gold Key|PHR Promotes Bryan Cuffee to Vice Presidents
(ABC12, Flint, Mich., December 5, 2012)
Virginia Beach-based Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts™ has named Bryan D. Cuffee Vice President of Development. The announcement was made by Robert Howard, Chief Investment Officer. Cuffee was formerly Director of Development.
Cuffee joined Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts in 1995. In his 17 years with the company he has participated in the development of more than $200 million in real estate assets. He is currently managing the development of $150 million in new projects, including Summer House Apartments, the Sidney Kellam Office Building and The Shops at 31 Ocean, all part of the 31Ocean mixed-use development. Cuffee is also managing the construction of the recently announced Hilton Garden Inn on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront at 35th Street. Cuffee's experience includes the construction of hotels, resorts, office buildings, restaurants and retail shops and he has been instrumental in the company's public/private partnerships.
Cuffee was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Old Dominion University as well as a Construction Management Certificate from ODU. (More)
(Her Campus, December 5, 2012)
As of December 10, 2012, final exams would've officially crept back into the lives of many students here on the Hill. However, the question is begged: How does one best prepare for a final exam? The American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment found that 86.1 percent of students have felt overwhelmed by all they had to do in the last 12 months and felt exhausted not from physical activity.
A publication from Old Dominion University suggests that in preparation for final exams students should create a study schedule, review their previous tests, notes and text, form study groups and ultimately relax.
"I have excessive study sessions with my classmates where I create and take sample finals," said Ronnica Jenkins, a graduating senior English student from West Palm Beach, Fla. 'I stay focused by planning my days down to the hour to keep track on what I have to do."
Many publications offer tips similar to those of ODU that encourages students to relax, review notes and tests, etc. Yet, ultimately a student's success is determined by him or herself.
"What helps me makes A's is starting to study a week before exams with a partner," said Tyia Branker, a senior psychology student from Jacksonville. "I deal with the stress by taking breaks and doing things completely unrelated to my course work." (More)
Plan for ODU's future expansion
(Editorial, The Virginian-Pilot, December 5, 2012)
Old Dominion University knows that it's growing.
Over the past decade, 5,000 additional people have joined its student body. The school expects to see 3,000 more over the next five years.
Its football program, a juggernaut since it started in 2009, has already decided to make the leap into Conference USA and major college football. That conference's standards require a stadium with upgraded facilities for visiting teams - players currently dress in a 1930s-era room and a tent - as well as a replay booth.
The move to a bigger conference, with its possibility of bowl games, creates demand for a venue to seat thousands more spectators than Foreman Field can currently hold.
Add all that together and a whole bunch of people will need places to study, to live, to park and to cheer for the Monarchs at the campus on the west side of Norfolk.
Before it puts a single spade in the ground, ODU has decided to invest significant money into figuring out the best uses for the land and buildings it has, the best strategy for developing them, and the best way to complement the neighborhoods that host the school.
That's the right way, the sustainable way, to plan for growth. ODU's $675,000 contract with Perkins+Will to update its campus master plan should provide direction and answers to respond to growth in a controlled, meaningful fashion. (More)
EXTRA Governor McDonnell announces VCA Director
(Arts Magazine, December 3, 2012)
Virginia Commission for the Arts Chairman Deborah H. Wyld announced that Foster Billingsley, deputy director and interim executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, has been appointed executive director of the commission by Governor Robert McDonnell.
"Mr. Billingsley has very ably directed the Commission in the 11 months since the retirement of former Executive Director Peggy Baggett, and all of our commissioners look forward to working with him in his new position," Wyld said.
Billingsley previously served as interim director and deputy director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, a position that he had held since 2001. The Commission for the Arts is an agency of state government, which promotes the arts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, provides funding to artists and arts organizations, and supports artist residencies in Virginia schools. Billingsley is a native of Virginia and graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., with bachelor degrees in communications and theatre arts. He also completed the Virginia Executive Leadership Institute in 2007.
Prior to working at the Commission for the Arts, Billingsley worked as the production coordinator / company manager for the Virginia Opera Association in Norfolk, Va. He also has extensive experience in theatre working as an Actors Equity Stage Manager for New York Broadway and Off-Broadway productions and regional theatre companies. He has been an advisory panelist for the Kentucky Arts Council. He has served as co-chair of the Deputy Director Peer Group for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. He has served on the boards of the Virginia Executive Leadership Institute and the Virginia Employee Dispute Resolution Council. (More)
More employers are paying to move new hires
(The Virginian-Pilot, December 3, 2012)
Serita Young, who will graduate from Old Dominion University this month with a degree in electrical and computer engineering, was negotiating with Raytheon Co. last week over the details of a job offer.
Young didn't need to press on moving expenses. From the start, the defense contractor had offered to pay the full cost of her move to Tucson, Ariz., including packing. ...
It's a sign, ODU economist Vinod Agarwal said, that "employers are getting more comfortable with the economy."
The trend reflects an intersection of positive factors, he said. Employers are hiring more regularly. Plus, the housing market has improved, with prices rising and fewer homeowners "underwater" with their mortgages. So it's getting easier for people to sell their houses and move elsewhere.
"If the market is getting more competitive," Agarwal said, "you have no choice but to offer some package of moving expenses." ...
ODU usually pays $2,000 to $4,000 to new assistant professors, depending on how far they're traveling, Dan Hennelly, an academic services analyst, said in an email. That number has stayed constant from before the economic downturn. (More)
Experts skeptical of 1,000-jobs claim for Waterside
(The Virginian-Pilot, December 2, 2012)
When city leaders inked a preliminary plan with The Cordish Cos. last month to turn the aged Waterside facility into a thriving entertainment venue, both sides boasted that the project would create 1,000 jobs.
At the time, local economists questioned the number, saying that many jobs could be created only if the project drew consumers from outside of Norfolk.
That's the plan for Waterside Live, Reed Cordish, vice president of the Baltimore-based development company, said recently. It's also exactly what the company has pulled off in other cities, he said.
The 1,000-job projection is a conservative number, he added. Those employees will likely start work before Waterside Live opens. At least another 200 people would be needed for construction, he said. ...
Still, local economists say all those jobs may not end up being new. They could be at the expense of other areas of the city, such as Ghent, Granby Street and Military Circle, said James V. Koch, an economics professor at Old Dominion University. If customers leave those areas for Waterside Live, then so will the jobs, he said.
"Only if Waterside attracts expenditures from other cities in the region, or if it acts as a magnet to keep expenditures here that otherwise would have left, will it actually produce any net new jobs for the city," Koch said.
Likewise, Vinod Agarwal, also an ODU economist, said the project's job promises depend on how different Waterside Live will be from the Waterside that has had ups and downs over the past three decades. (More)
Influx of fish, waterfowl at lake has attracted eagle eyes
(The Virginian-Pilot, December 2, 2012)
THE KINGS GRANT lake is usually a busy place with all the cormorants, resident mallards and Canada geese that hang out there day in and day out, but these days, the lake is even more alive with birds of all descriptions.
You might say Kings Grant lake is a happening place on the migratory flyway!
Not only have lots of species of waterfowl stopped in, but bald eagles also have been drawn to Bird Central. ...
Old Dominion University field ornithology students and their professor, Eric Walters, sighted a northern lapwing, a rare shorebird, at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, reported Jennifer Mullen Collins, ODU assistant vice president of marketing and communications. And Jean Broughton has a white-winged crossbill, far out of its northern range visiting her feeder in Morgan's Walke. See more on both birds on my blog. (More)
ODU playoff game set for noon Saturday on ESPN
(The Virginian-Pilot, December 3, 2012)
Old Dominion avoided a conflict with another major sports event and grabbed the national spotlight when NCAA officials announced Sunday that the Monarchs will host Georgia Southern at noon Saturday at Foreman Field in an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game.
Officials did not know when or what time the game would be held immediately following ODU's 63-35 second-round win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday. NCAA officials informed ODU athletic director Wood Selig of the game time early the next day.
Selig said the game will be televised nationally on ESPN, the network's flagship channel.
NCAA officials could have scheduled the game Friday night, at the same time ODU hosts Virginia Commonwealth in a men's basketball game to be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Selig said that would have caused a logistical nightmare and would have forced ODU fans to make a difficult choice between watching the biggest men's home basketball game of the season or a football playoff game. (More)
Two ADs, old friends to be reunited in Conference USA
(Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro (Tenn.), December 1, 2012)
MTSU's eventual move to Conference USA membership will align two old friends against each other once again.
For years, the long friendship between MTSU athletics director Chris Massaro and then-Western Kentucky athletics director Wood Selig was widely acknowledged as an ongoing friendly feud between two highly-competitive leaders. While often seen sitting together when their teams played, they pulled so hard against the other that it was often met with a disarming smile balanced against nervous energy.
When one lost to the other, smiles were abundant for the victor, and food didn't taste the same for the vanquished. But it fed the palate as one of many components that refueled a rivalry that had dated back for decades.
For Massaro and Selig, their competitiveness is what got them to where they are today. But it goes back to 1984 between the two, when they first met and roomed together while graduate students in the famed sports administration post-graduate degree program at Ohio University. (More)