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ODU in the News

Week of 1/22/13

ODU receives large solar energy grant
(WAVY-TV, January 18, 2013)

Old Dominion University received a $500,000 to develop solar energy research.
The grant was funded by Dominion Virginia Power's research and development partnership in hopes of finding energy alternatives.
The solar panel students and professors have been working on is far from ordinary.
"This will track the sun throughout the day and keep it perpendicular to the sun so we get more efficiency and more power out of it," ODU student Caitlin Conway said.
Wherever the sun goes, the panel will tilt to get maximum exposure.
Sylvain Marsillac, one of ODU's photovoltaic researchers is helping oversee the assembly of the panel and sees a big future in solar energy.
"This system will generate five kilowatt... it is a five-kilowatt system, so per day, you have roughly 20 kilowatt hours for a house. [The panel] could generate enough for two houses, two 3,000 square foot houses," Marsillac said.
However, the system won't just be used for powering homes.
"This is a facility that will be used for testing new devices, new materials, new gadgets and also will kind of be a tool for our students," ODU professor Shirshak Dhali said. (More)

Project Green: ODU solar panels
(WVEC-TV, January 18, 2012)

ODU installed giant solar panels on top of Kaufman Hall Friday that will rotate and track the sun.
The electrical engineering department won a $500,000 grant from Dominion Virginia Power to study solar energy.
Associate Professor Sylvain Marsillac, recognized as one of the country's leading researchers into photovoltaic energy, is leading the project.
"At 8 o'clock in the morning I am generating no power. At ten o'clock I am starting to generate good power. Two o'clock, still good. 5 p.m., nothing. The tracking system from 8 to 5 generates power," said Marsillac
The study will last three years. (More)

One Click Away: Online Courseware Promotes Free Access to Math Instruction
(National Science Foundation, January 17, 2013)

Little money meant limited access to textbooks. Because textbooks authored by Americans were costly, the university library purchased copies. The library then assigned one textbook to three students at a time.
"If we all had a test on the same day, we would have to schedule time to use the textbook," says Kaw, now a mechanical engineering professor at the University of South Florida (USF).
Spurred by his desire to ensure that all students have access to learning materials for math and engineering courses, Kaw has created a free, open courseware resource called Holistic Numerical Methods. The highly popular site ranked second on all major search engines--Google, Yahoo and Bing--in 2011 and racked up a million page views. Available to students across the globe, the jam-packed site offers video lectures, simulations, textbook chapters, PowerPoint presentations, multiple choice tests and worksheets to learn concepts in numerical methods (an approach that allows scientists and engineers to arrive at approximate solutions for mathematical models of problems they can't solve exactly or that would take too long to solve). ...
Kaw applied for NSF funding and received the first of four grants. Over the next decade, his NSF funding would total just more than $1 million. The support has enabled him to build the numerical methods site, expand its offerings and to delve more deeply into the impact open courseware has on learning. Over the years the site has benefited from partnerships with colleagues at Arizona State University, Old Dominion University, Florida A&M University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and Mississippi Valley State University. (More)

EU Congratulates Winners of 'Getting to Know Europe' Grant
(Melodika.net, January 21, 2012)

A total of 14 U.S. academic, cultural and public policy institutions have been awarded grants by the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S. to promote a greater knowledge of the EU within local and regional communities for the January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 period.
The 'Getting to Know Europe' grant program of over one million dollars supports a broad array of activities in 13 states aimed at explaining the EU, its international role, and the value and significance of the transatlantic partnership to U.S. audiences.
Sponsored activities include transatlantic conferences, business forums, training programs and study visits, cultural events, exchange programs, and the development of information products.
The EU congratulates the following award recipients: Boston University (Boston, MA), Bay Area Council Economic Institute (San Francisco, CA), Brigham Young University (Provo, UT), City University of New York (NY), University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), Friends of the Goethe Institute (Washington, DC), University of Nebraska (Omaha, NE), New York University (NY), Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Smith Middle School (Chapel Hill, NC), World Affairs Council of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA), World Affairs Council of Houston (Houston, TX), World Trade Center San Diego (San Diego, CA).
The EU Delegation to the U.S. looks forward to working with these fine institutions. (More)

Sidenotes: Poet to speak at Misericordia University
(The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.), January 22, 2012)

Misericordia University will welcome poet Timothy Seibles as the keynote speaker for its 22nd annual Diversity Institute Dinner.
Set for Thursday, Feb. 14, the event will take place in Muth, Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 217 to 219 in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall on the campus in Dallas. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m.
Mr. Seibles was one of five poetry finalists for the 2012 National Book Award and is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow. He has been an associate professor of English and creative writing at Old Dominion University for 17 years.
To reserve tickets, which are limited, call 674-6217. (More)

MAKING MATH COME ALIVE
(SOVA Now, January 21, 2012)

It's not the look of a traditional classroom - four or five students at each table huddle together to come up with the correct answers to math questions. Teachers, seeing actual enthusiasm in the class, press students to come up with explanations for their answers.
That's what school board members witnessed Thursday morning at the Math Grant Awareness Event held at Halifax County Middle School. The event brought together math teachers from Halifax County and nearby Mecklenburg, Emporia and Lunenburg.
PowerTeaching i3 focuses on the teaching of math in grades 6-8, including Algebra I classes. Begun at Halifax County Middle School in September, the three-year program is aligned with state standards and relies on cooperative-learning structures that are proven to increase student achievement.
Partners in the program's development are Old Dominion University (ODU), The Success for All Foundation (SfAF) and the Center for Technology in Education of John Hopkins University.
John Nunnery, executive director of the Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University, said PowerTeaching i3 provides materials, professional development and coaching support for participating schools at no cost during the three-year pilot period. (More)

Migratory birds delight visitors on Winter Wildlife Walks
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 20, 2012)

To the untrained ear, it sounds like a cocktail party in full swing - the murmur of voices in busy conversation, all tumbling together in a dull roar, with an occasional cackle or honk breaking the rhythm.
But this is not some Town Center bistro. This is Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, on a recent gray afternoon with a spritz of rain in the air. That constant chattering is coming from just over a line of scrub-covered dunes along the Atlantic Ocean, unseen but not far away.
"That sound you hear over there is tundra swans," bird expert Bob Ake tells a group of 20 visitors standing on an observation deck and bundled against a windy chill.
"I'd say there's a couple hundred over there, maybe more. We counted more than 2,500 snow geese in one impoundment the other day. They can make a racket." ...
The former Old Dominion University professor sets up a powerful viewing scope on the observation deck and trains it on a grove of scraggly pine trees on the horizon, out beyond the open green waters of Back Bay.
"See the bald eagle?" Ake asks the group, pulling his eye away from the scope. "Look at that last tree on the left. Up in the top branch." (More)

Norfolk veteran's second burial leaves family no doubt
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 19, 2012)

Bill Parkinson was only a kid - a long-haired hippie just out of high school - the day they buried his namesake.
He stood silently as a caisson drawn by six chestnut horses carried two flag-draped coffins that were said to contain the remains of his uncle and nine other men.
Nobody really knew for sure.
Three decades had passed since the men's B-24 bomber inexplicably vanished into a Southeast Asian jungle. By the time natives found skeletal remains among rusted, scattered wreckage, the ravages of time and weather had taken their toll. ...
"The call" this month came from the Department of Defense. They found additional remains at the crash site, and this time, they knew without a doubt that some of them belonged to William Parkinson.
"I thought, my God, they really mean it when they say 'No man left behind,' " said Otis Parkinson, another nephew who grew up hearing stories about his "wild Uncle Bill" but never had the chance to meet him. He was born in 1944, the year his uncle's plane disappeared.
Almost 60 years later, and nearly 30 years after the initial discovery, a native found human remains while foraging through a Papua New Guinea jungle in 2003.
The tip eventually reached the Pentagon's Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command, and in 2008, a team returned to the crash site.
They spent a month searching the area, picking through thick vegetation and sifting through layers of dirt displaced over the years during occasional landslides. Eventually, they uncovered cockpit controls, a complete wing, propellers and a radio call-sign data plate from the bomber.
Among the metal, they found skeletal remains.
Four years later, using DNA tests and dental comparisons, government scientists positively identified four of the former crew members, including the plane's co-pilot, Second Lt. William Parkinson. ...
A boyhood friend, the Rev. Alfred D. Carson, told the newspaper he remembered the ill-fated aviator as "a happy-go-lucky guy who liked engines and airplanes and always wanted to fly."
After graduating, he enrolled at the College of William and Mary extension in Norfolk, now Old Dominion University.
War changed his plans. He joined the Army Air Forces shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (More)

Hampton parents mourn soldier's death
(WVEC-TV, January 18, 2012)

A Hampton family is mourning the loss of their son after learning he was killed in Afghanistan Wednesday.
Sgt. David J. Chambers, 25, died Wednesday, in Panjwai district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan when he encountered an improvised explosive device while on patrol.
It was his second tour in that country. The first was from June 2010 to May 2011. He had returned to Afghanistan in November 2012.
Michael Chambers said his son was a hero who died for his country. "He was out to just help people. Dave would always put others first, from the time he joined boot camp to the time now," Michael said.
David attended Virginia Tech and ODU before going into the Army.
"David didn't know what he wanted to do in life but was looking for a challenge and structure," Julie explained. "He decided to join the Army and it just clicked with him."
Julie Chambers said her son was happy to serve in the Army. "He saw all the opportunities that they could give him." (More)

ODU may join Conference USA's title race a year early
(The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Penn.), January 22, 2012)

Old Dominion's football team almost certainly will be declared eligible for the Conference USA title in 2014 - a year earlier than expected - league commissioner Britton Banowsky said.
That would come as welcome relief to record-setting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and 22 other rising juniors on ODU's roster who will be seniors in 2014.
"I think Old Dominion should and will be eligible for the title for the simple reason that if they're playing a conference schedule and if they put themselves in a position to compete for the championship, they should be able to play for the championship," Banowsky said.
Because ODU is moving from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the school will play as an FCS independent this fall and is ineligible for the postseason. ODU plays a C-USA schedule in 2014, but the Monarchs are not eligible for a bowl until 2015 and weren't expecting to be ineligible for the C-USA title, either.
However, when the league's athletic directors gather Tuesday and Wednesday for meetings in Miami, they likely will vote to make ODU eligible for the conference title.
The NCAA regulates bowl eligibility, and ODU could play in one only if not enough teams qualify otherwise.
"Playing in the Conference USA championship game, that would be our bowl game," said athletic director Wood Selig. ...
Selig said ODU president John Broderick will participate in a conference call of C-USA presidents at 1 p.m. today to discuss conference realignment and potential expansion. (More)

Local man's video drives him toward fame
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 18, 2013)

Growing up in Virginia Beach, Rahat Hossain had a knack for building things - houses and spaceships made of cardboard and lots of duct tape. He even thought of one day becoming an engineer.
These days, Hossain, 24, still finds imaginative ways to use cardboard and duct tape, and he's gone viral in the process. The senior criminal justice major at Old Dominion University recently became an Internet sensation after he uploaded a video of his elaborate invisible driver prank on YouTube.
The clip has received nearly 29 million views, making Hossain one of 2013's first viral stars.
In the clip, Hossain, disguised as a seat in a car, pulls up to drive-through windows of local fast food restaurants, dumbfounding servers who see a vehicle without a driver. One woman is so stunned she cries. Another tells a co-worker with a camera to "Instagram dat joint."
Hossain captured it all on a small camera rigged in his car.
The instant stardom from the resulting video has, in the past week, led Hossain to appearances on ABC's "Good Morning America" and "Fox & Friends." (More)

Gray day; white on the way?
(PHOTO, The Virginian-Pilot, January 18, 2012)

Kyle Redman, a senior at ‍Old ‍Dominion ‍University in Norfolk, walks through the rainy campus in his ROTC uniform Thursday. The forecast said the rain could change to snow on Thursday night, with sunny skies returning today. (More)

Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... a workout
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 18, 2013)

Like the planet that launched Superman, Cross-Fit Krypton proposes to launch the new super you.
The Kegman Road gym opened in early December with the CrossFit athlete in mind. Owners Skyler Brady and Ben Smith are officially celebrating the gym's grand opening Jan. 26, in time for New Year's fitness resolutions.
"CrossFit is more than a sport, it's a lifestyle. And, anyone can do it," explained Smith, a professional Cross-Fit athlete.
Since 2009, Smith has competed in the national Reebok CrossFit Games, finishing as high as third place in 2010. The Great Bridge High alumnus graduated last year from Old Dominion University and decided to open the gym with his cousin Brady, also a Great Bridge alum and a Christopher Newport University graduate.
CrossFit is a conditioning program that has gained popularity because of its accessibility. Workouts can be scaled in intensity and loads to an individual with the focus on improving personal performance and increasing strength, endurance, efficiency, agility and speed.
CrossFit Krypton grew out of a love for the program and a need for space.
"It's one of the few sports where you're competing, but your competitors are also encouraging and pushing you," said Brady. "The CrossFit community is the best." (More)

More hope than 'Luv' in this indie film
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 18, 2012)

The mean streets of Baltimore as seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy are at the troubled, and ultimately compelling, center of "LUV."
There is little love in this film, but there are ample people who would know it if they saw it. They are yearning, seeking, hoping. The odds are against them. It is the strength of this ambitious little independent film from the Sundance Festival that it makes us care.
The film's young hero, Woody, wants most of all to get to North Carolina, where he can be reunited with his beloved mother.
Presently, he is kept by his grandmother (Lonette McKee) who can't afford him. He is thrilled when his uncle Vincent gets out of jail early and comes home to visit. Woody thinks his uncle is the coolest man he's ever met. The character is played with a good deal of swaggering charisma by Common, who is evolving as a rap singer who determined to make the crossover to movie actor. He is effective in suggesting the phony bravura that the character uses to hide his insecurities. ...
Danny Glover, a one-time recipient of the Old Dominion University Film Festival's lifetime achievement award, is a shifty dealer who is giving an oyster and crab festival, but is more likely to shoot you. Glover hasn't been so evil on screen since he beat up Whoopi Goldberg in "The Color Purple." (More)

Manti Te'o scandal: What happened to journalism?
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, January 18, 2012)

I'm embarrassed.
Not for Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, who was either royally duped or actively perpetrated a bodacious fraud upon the public.
Rather, I'm embarrassed for my "industry." My vocation. Yes, dare I go high and mighty, my craft.
I'm humiliated the mainstream media was so hungry for Te'o's fable of love and loss that, in the walk-up to the BCS national title game, proof of Lennay Kekua's fictitiousness was not discovered and apparently was barely researched.
Not until the wild, wild west sports website Deadspin.com posted its exhaustive investigative story Wednesday did we learn that Kekua neither lived nor died - of leukemia or anything else.
This escapade affirms Te'o is one of the most stupendously gullible men who ever lived. Or else it affirms he was a craven publicity seeker, a stone-cold liar out to polish his Heisman candidacy. He now admits his relationship with Kekua was exclusively online, although in an ESPN interview he implied he'd met Kekua.
Shudder. ...
"What I really find most alarming is there were so many red flags along the way, and the media just dropped the ball so often," said Joseph Cosco, an associate professor of English and journalism teacher at Old Dominion.
A former reporter, including at The Virginian-Pilot, Cosco said the oversight is especially stunning considering how much conflicting information about Kekua had circulated, including even the date of her manufactured death.
"This is some of the top media outlets in the country," Cosco said. "You would think somebody like the (New York) Times, or the AP or Sports Illustrated would try to sort that out, and in sorting it out probably would have uncovered it.
"How can you have so many media working the story and not trip over some sign that whoa, something's wrong here?" (More)

Governor McDonnell Applauds Renewable Energy Research and Development Grants Awarded to Virginia Universities, Colleges
(Virginia.gov, December, 2012)

Governor Bob McDonnell today applauded Dominion Virginia Power's selection of several Virginia universities to receive renewable energy research and development funding totaling $1.4 million from Dominion Virginia Power, as part of the company's new R&D Partnership Program. The development and funding of these projects was prompted by successful legislation proposed by the Governor last session that provides utilities credit for these investments toward meeting their statutory RPS goals.
"Dominion Virginia Power is providing the seed money necessary for alternative and renewable energy research in Virginia and helping to keep the Commonwealth on track to becoming the 'Energy Capital of the East Coast'," Governor McDonnell said. "This funding will provide dividends to all Virginians in the future while Dominion today is adding renewable solar and biomass energy and is in the early stages of testing wind generation off the coast of Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly is to be commended for allowing such R&D activities to count toward utilities meeting the goals of the commonwealth's renewable portfolio standard. Virginia welcomes initiatives like these to develop technologies that can increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of renewable energy resources and support broad integration of Virginia's alternative energy resources into a diverse energy portfolio."
Dominion sought proposals from Virginia colleges and universities, asking them to include a requested funding amount and proposed project term of one to three years. Dominion and each university collaborated on the funding needs and project schedule. The funding needs take into consideration the proposed costs of resources required (equipment, materials, supplies, and professor/graduate student time, etc.) to carry out each R&D project. ...
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., $500,000 over 3 years
Development of a Test Facility for Photovoltaic Systems
Establishes a test facility to study issues related to economics, operation, maintenance, and performance of large-scale solar installations. Areas of study include 1) Cost and operational comparison of various solar mounting structures; 2) Side-by-side comparison of different photovoltaic technologies; and 3) Real time analysis of performance degradation of solar tracking systems. (More)

Foreclosure activity jumped in Hampton Roads in 2012
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 17, 2012)

The number of property owners in Hampton Roads who received foreclosure notices increased in 2012, bucking national and state trends.
Lenders issued 8,267 foreclosure-related notices in the metropolitan area in 2012, up 18.3 percent from 6,988 filed in 2011, according to data to be released today from RealtyTrac, a foreclosure-monitoring service based in Irvine, Calif.
About 1.8 million Americans received foreclosure notices in 2012, a 2.7 percent drop, and in Virginia, notices to property owners dropped 0.8 percent to 27,106. The national data include notices of default, the first stage of foreclosure after a homeowner misses mortgage payments.
Vinod Agarwal, an economist at Old Dominion University, said he can't explain why Hampton Roads homeowners experienced an increase in notices last year while the state and nation didn't. He said perhaps banks were slow in processing foreclosure notices and finally caught up in the region.
RealtyTrac also releases monthly foreclosure notice reports, and those reports last year showed year-over-year declines every month between February and October and slight year-over-year increases in November and December. However, the monthly tallies are inflated because they include multiple notices for the same property. The annual report is purged of duplicate notices for the same house. (More)

Magician shocks fast food workers with his drive-thru disappearing act
(Video, CTV National News (Canada), January 16, 2012)

(Local magician and ODU student
Rahat Hossain lets everyone in on the joke, except for his victims, becoming an Internet star by pranking fast food workers. Richard Madan reports.) (More)

Don't let him roam
(Letter, The Virginian-Pilot, January 17, 2013)

Now that Charles the Monarch (the 'Lab-a-lion') and his owner have had their 15 minutes of fame, let's get serious. The Pilot's coverage suggests that this is not the first time Charles has been spotted romping on the streets of Norfolk. How and why was this dog out and about in the first place? Was this Charles' first escape, or is this a common occurrence? Does his owner simply allow him to run loose like this? And why is Charles not wearing a collar or tag in any of The Pilot's photos?
I commend Charles' owner for his ODU spirit. But as a dog owner, he has certain responsibilities. Those include making sure his dog has a collar, with proper identification, and making sure the animal is secure inside his home or yard and securely leashed whenever he leaves that property.
Charles may not be a danger to people or other animals. He may very well be a sweet fellow who wouldn't hurt a fly. But his owner needs to ensure that he is kept safely under control at all times for Charles' sake. Otherwise, Charles' next adventure may not have such a happy ending.
Dianne G. Ringer, Portsmouth (More)

Inspired by America, Produced in Russia: the secret of Russian sitcoms
(The Voice of Russia, January 16, 2013)

While American sitcoms are famous the world over, Russia's TV series cater to a domestic audience. However How I Met Your Mother and The Nanny and their Russian versions share more than one similarity.
Though it began in the mid-90s, Russian sitcom production remains pretty new. Although in its early stages, producers have tended to refer largely to an American experience, more recently though truly Russian sitcoms have emerged, free of American inspiration, the new sitcom breed is giving space for the expression of domestic social issues. ...
Interny is only one example of the current development of new Russian TV series, built on Russian cultural styles, values, physical environments and behavioral patterns. In an interview with the 'Voice of Russia', Dana Heller, professor at Old Dominion University observed, "Russia could become an innovator in developing sitcoms with a very specific type of humor." Beyond humor, sitcoms also provide an opportunity to denounce social issues. The TV series Shkola (School), for instance, is directed as a documentary film, and brings viewers into the crude and trivial everyday-life of Russian teenagers at school. Although Shkola is not a pure sitcom, it gives a good idea of the developmental potential of the genre in the country and of sitcoms' capacity to question a society about its own tensions and contradictions. The new fascination with such TV series is therefore "a sign of change and a sign of growing prosperity" in Russia, as Elena Prokhorova concluded. (More)

2012 saw signs of recovery for local real estate
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 16, 2012)

The residential real estate market in South Hampton Roads lumbered toward a recovery in 2012, but uncertainty remains for the new year.
The median sale price of existing homes in the region climbed 2.7 percent to $190,000 in 2012 from $185,000 in 2011 after declining steadily since at least 2008, according to figures released Tuesday by the Real Estate Information Network, the Virginia Beach-based multiple-listing service.
The number of units sold in 2012 jumped to 12,102 from 11,465 in 2011 - a 5.6 percent increase.
But the share of foreclosures and shorts sales, collectively known as distressed sales, has been inching upward in South Hampton Roads since August. The percentage of existing home sales that were distressed in December broke the 30 percent threshold for the first time since April.
"In December 2012, we still had 1 in 3 homes sold in distressed sales," said Vinod Agarwal, professor of economics and director of the Economic Forecasting Project at Old Dominion University. "That is still a significant issue for us."
The increase in distressed sales toward the end of the year appears to be seasonal, Agarwal said, but he has no theories about why this occurs.
He isn't sure what to expect for distressed sales in 2013 but said the overall market appears to be much healthier.
"All indications are that our market is moving in the right direction," Agarwal said. "Sales are up, inventory is down, days on market is down, prices have begun to increase." (More)

Report: Enrollment growth needed to meet degree goal
(Charlottesville Daily Progress, January 16, 2012)

Virginia's public and private colleges must increase enrollment by about 42,000 in-state students over the next seven years to meet the state's ambitious goal for awarding additional degrees, according to a report by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
In-state undergraduate enrollment at public and nonprofit schools would need to rise to about 393,000 in 2020 from a total of about 350,624 students in fall 2010, the report said. ...
But the report outlines some of the challenges schools will face, including the decrease in the number of Virginia high school graduates. The number peaked in 2008-09 at 87,822 and fell to 85,941 in 2011-12.
Also, although state appropriations for higher education increased during the last two years, total funding per student remains below where it was 10 years ago, making it more difficult for students to afford to go to college.
According to the report, four schools contributed most of the growth in in-state undergraduate enrollment at public four-year institutions from 2001 to 2011. Old Dominion University (6,283), Virginia Commonwealth (5,260), George Mason (3,627) and James Madison (2,682) accounted for 67 percent of the in-state enrollment growth. (More)

John W. Shuler
(Obituary, The Virginian-Pilot, January 16, 2013)

John W. Shuler, 92, died peacefully on January 15, 2013.
He was born August 3, 1920 in Spartanburg, S.C. to the late Ethel Toole and Edward Hampton Shuler. A 1941 graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, he was inducted into the Key Club Honorary Society and was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He excelled at tennis and basketball and was nicknamed "Long John" for his skill on the basketball court.
A decorated veteran of WWII, he served in Africa and saw combat in Italy with the 3rd Battalion, 338th Inf., 85th (Custer) Division. He was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantryman's Badge. After the war, he remained with the 2086th Nor-folk USAR School where he taught Infantry Tactics for 10 years and retired with the rank of Lt. Col. Upon his return from Italy, John moved to Portsmouth with his bride, Anne Knight of Whaleyville, Va. His degree in chemistry led him to a career in the wood preserving business where he rose through the ranks to Vice President and General Manager and was recognized as a Life Member of the American Wood Preservers Association.
He was deeply committed to Cradock Baptist Church, which he joined in 1952. He served in many capacities over the years and was honored as a Deacon Emeritus in 2002. He was active in the Portsmouth Rotary, was a past president, and named a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Portsmouth School Board from 1962 to 1968 and a second time from 1980 to 1986. Elected to the Old Dominion University Research Foundation Board of Trustees in 1981, he served as Vice President from 1987 to 1993 and as President from 1993 to 1996. In later life he directed his enthusiasm for sports toward golf and was pleased to share the story of his hole-in-one with anyone who would listen. (More)

Norfolk to celebrate healthy youth day
(WAVY-TV/Fox43, January 14, 2013)

Childhood obesity has reportedly more than tripled in the past 30 years and the City of Norfolk wants to help change this trend.
The city is celebrating Virginia Health Youth Day with a free, fun and interactive event on January 17.
Children ages five to 14 are invited to participate in the event, which will be held at Norfolk Fitness & Wellness Center at 7300 Newport Avenue from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Special guests will be on hand, including local mascots Rip Tide of the Norfolk Tides, Big Blue of Old Dominion University and Salty of the Norfolk Admirals.
More than 5,600 children across the state are expected to participate in Virginia Healthy Youth Day, which was established by the Virginia General Assembly. (More)

Magazine names Wilder national Coach of Year
(The Virginian-Pilot, January 14, 2012)

Old Dominion's Bobby Wilder has been named the national Football Championship Subdivision Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly magazine.
Wilder guided the Monarchs to an 11-2 record and a sixth-place finish in both major FCS polls in just their fourth season of football. The Monarchs were ineligible for the Colonial Athletic Association title because the school is jumping to Conference USA, yet finished atop the CAA standings with a 7-1 record.
ODU's offense led the nation in scoring and total and passing offense. Sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke won the Walter Payton Award as the nation's top FCS player, as well.
Wilder, who said winning the award was "a tremendous honor," has a 38-10 record since the Monarchs began playing in 2009. (More)

Mayfield has fun with Scrabble Run
(Inside Nova, January 13, 2012)

Speedy runners and wordsmiths united in the gym at Mayfield Intermediate School recently to compete in Scrabble Run, a new physical education activity creating a stir at the Manassas City public school serving about 1,000 fifth and sixth graders.
It's become common for visitors to stop by the gym to observe Scrabble Run in action, said Michael DeEmilio, physical education department head. The principal, assistant principals, reading specialists, substitutes and many others have popped in to watch, and students are talking about it in hallways, at lunch and even in the library.
"I think it's awesome and fun! And it makes fitness more educational," said fifth grade student Jaren Cazar-Garcia. "I like running across the room to get the letters!" added student Hailey Egan.
Each class period, students in relay teams race to the middle of the gym, grab from among dozens of letter cards, race back to their teams and then place the letters face-down in hula hoops. When each team has 12 letters, students circle around their hoops, turn over letters and begin creating as many three- to seven-letter words as possible before the whistle blows.Longer words earn higher points. Words from the physical fitness word wall earn bonus points.
"We made retina!" one student exclaimed to his teacher Aubrie Sawyer. Sawyer, in her first year of teaching, introduced the activity after finding it on P.E. Central, a website resource from her training at Old Dominion University. "Students don't even realize they are learning two things at once," she said. (More)

Regent online program ranked 10th
(Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 15, 2013)

The private Regent University in Virginia Beach ranks 10th for best online bachelor's programs in a new survey by U.S. News & World Report.
The report released today is U.S. News' second annual edition on distance learning, but it is the first time numerical rank is included for programs in which all courses are offered online.
Pace University in New York ranked first for its online bachelor's program.
Four of Virginia's public universities made top rankings for online graduate education programs.
Virginia Tech was third and George Mason University 20th among graduate computer information technology programs. Tech also was ranked 13th for its graduate engineering program.
The University of Virginia's graduate nursing program ranked 24th; Old Dominion University's was 28th.
U.S. News said it is ranking online learning because the programs are becoming an integral part of education. (More)