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ODU in the News

Week of 2/18/13

Through pain, tears: victory for Lady Monarchs
(The Virginian-Pilot, February 18, 2013)

The pain is as incurable as the disease that caused it.
There is a vacant spot on Old Dominion's bench, and a sharp desire to play in honor of that empty seat - while wishing this day had never come.
There are tears as a picture of Sara Jones, who died of cancer Friday at age 40, appears on the jumbo screen overhead. They come from seniors Mairi Buchan and Jackie Cook, who knew Jones for as long as she was at ODU, and from freshman Galaisha Goodhope, who despite her newness to the program was touched by Jones' determination.
Stacy Himes, who helped ODU reach the NCAA title game in 1997, remembers meeting Jones through a friend, and how Jones spent an hour telling Himes all about being a firefighter and encouraged the then-assistant coach at ODU - who was tired of coaching - to give it a shot.
"I printed out my application for the fire department the very next day," Himes said.
Tia Lewis, who graduated last year, chokes up when remembering Jones. The former volunteer coach accompanied Lewis to the WNBA combine. She let Lewis stay with her at a moment's notice. She was a mentor and a friend, as much away from the court as on it.
The ODU alum plans to get a tattoo this week. It will have a pink bow, Jones' birthday, and the day she died: 2/15/13. She might include a phrase Jones used every time they parted ways.
"See you later, pretty girl!" (More)

The price Hampton Roads will pay
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, February 15, 2012)

Chances are your life was touched when Ford closed the Norfolk truck assembly plant in 2007. More than 2,500 people ended up out of work, leaving thousands of businesses with customers who couldn't afford their goods or services.
Now imagine 10 or 15 Ford plants closing.
That's what's coming in a few weeks if Congress and the White House can't get their acts together. By almost every account, they can't. More accurately, they won't.
The ordinarily ebullient Rep. Scott Rigell sounded positively dispirited.
"Sadly and with a good deal of frustration," he said last week, "... We are transitioning to a general climate that [sequestration] will happen to some degree and for some period of time." ...
Jim Koch, an economist at Old Dominion University, estimated at the time that the Ford plant closing was big enough to trim the local economic output by about a third of a percentage point.
My own simple multiplication says that losing 40,000 jobs means the economic effect will be 16 times as deep. One of every 20 working folks would lose their jobs. Two parents in every classroom. One house on every block.
Even allowing for the inaccuracy of forecasting, this much is clear: The hit to the local economy would be devastating. Enough to spin us into a recession or local depression. (More)

Hundreds gather to remember ODU coach
(WAVY-TV, February 18, 2013)

Family, friends and former colleagues gathered Monday to remember former Lady Monarchs volunteer assistant head coach Sara Jones, who last week lost a 12-year breast cancer fight.
"I'll remember her by always bringing the energy, always having a smile on her face, always shaving a positive outlook on life. If she was suffering you never knew it. She was the most powerful, strongest person I ever met," Lady Monarchs senior guard Jackie Cook said.
Jones, 40, served as head coach Karen Barefoot's volunteer assistant for the past two seasons and was described as "an incredible motivator" for the Lady Monarchs.
"The world lost a good one. God gained a champion. For us today it's a celebration of her legacy and it will continue on but she was a special person, an inspiration and I'm just so proud to be part of her journey," Barefoot said. (More)

Former Obama adviser to give Black History talk
(The Virginian-Pilot, February 18, 2013)

To some, the name Van Jones evokes heated anger.
Jones served as a green jobs adviser to President Barack Obama in 2009. He resigned after less than six months amid controversy over his past.
Since then, Jones has advocated for various economic, environmental and civil rights causes, also serving as a contributor for CNN.
On Tuesday, Jones will give the keynote address for Old Dominion University's Black History Month. He will speak at 6:30 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of the Webb Center. The event is free and open to the public, though seating is limited.
Dr. Ellen Neufeldt, ODU's vice president of student engagement and enrollment services, acknowledged Jones has raised controversy in the past. But she said he was picked after a poll of students, faculty and staff.
"Bringing in different people with different views or ideas is part of what a university is about," Neufeldt said.
Among the things that got Jones into trouble was a 2009 speech in which he used a profanity to describe Republicans. His name also appeared on a 2004 petition that sought an investigation into whether the Bush administration allowed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to happen.
Jones also has gained praise for co-founding social justice organizations, and he has received environmental and human rights awards.
Jones will address both civil rights and environmental issues Tuesday, Neufeldt said.
"One of the great things about universities is they are a marketplace of ideas," she said. "We can all learn from that." (More)

Kaine, Scott to make local visits on defense cuts
(The Virginian-Pilot, February 15, 2012)

Two of Hampton Roads' federal lawmakers plan to draw attention to the effects of impending cuts in defense spending during separate events in the region next week.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine will be in Norfolk and Newport News on Tuesday to talk with shipyard and Navy officials as he begins a three-day swing through Virginia.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott is hosting a community forum Tuesday night in Newport News to discuss the implications of more than $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts spread over 10 years that are set to begin March 1.
The automatic cuts come at the same time the Pentagon has announced it also is slashing other spending because of $4.6 billion in budget shortages this year. Both lawmakers, along with others in the region's congressional delegation, have said they want to avoid the deep cuts because of their negative effect on the region's defense-rich economy and the damage to the national defense.
Scott, a Newport News Democrat, is scheduled to be joined at the forum by Vinod Agarwal, an Old Dominion University economics professor. The 90-minute session begins at 6 p.m. at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, 5720 Marshall Ave.
Details of Kaine's schedule have not yet been released but are expected to include visits Tuesday to Newport News Shipbuilding and Norfolk Naval Station to talk about the Navy's plans to slash spending, including canceling or delaying ship repair and construction projects, furloughing civilian government workers and reducing training time, to deal with the budget shortfall. (More)

Elite ensemble, including five local voices, debuts in Smithfield
(The Virginian-Pilot, February 15, 2013)

On Sunday, five singers from Chesapeake along with 16 others from around the state, country and world will fill Smithfield's Christ Episcopal Church with glorious baroque and stirring Americana songs.
The Old Dominion University Diehn Chorale, an elite group of singers conducted by Nancy Kirkland Klein, will appear as part of the church's Sundays at Four music performance series.
Three sopranos and two alto voices hailing from Chesapeake are featured on the ensemble.
The sopranos are Erin Du-Bose, a freshman music education major; Dana Culpepper, a graduate student working on her master's degree in music education in vocal performance; and Suzanne Wolvin, who is working on her master's in music education in conducting.
The two altos are Rachel Clark, a senior biology/premed major; and Tiffany Hale, a senior majoring in English and music composition. (More)

The fight for life
(WAVY-TV/Fox43, February 15, 2013)

When the ODU Lady Monarchs take the court on Sunday, their annual Hoops for the Cure game will take on special meaning.
Last year at this time, Ali Lucia introduced us to Sara Jones, a volunteer assistant to her friend, head coach Karen Barefoot.
Sadly, Sara's struggle is coming to an end. (More)

Push to Gauge Bang for Buck from College Gains Steam
(Story and graphic, The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2012)

U.S. and state officials are intensifying efforts to hold colleges accountable for what happens after graduation: http://on.wsj.com/X3dgmK
Should states publish data showing how salaries of recent graduates vary by school and program? Why or why not?
Making the Grade
Virginia is among the first states to publish salary data for recent graduates of its colleges and universities. Here, average salaries for graduates with bachelor's degrees from the state's largest schools
(Link to story and graphic on Wall Street Journal Facebook page)

East Coast Faces Rising Seas from Slowing Gulf Stream
(The Weather Channel, February 13, 2013)

Experts on the sea level rise triggered by climate change have long known that it will proceed faster in some places than others. The mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. is one of them, and the reason - in theory, anyway - is that global warming should slow the flow of the Gulf Stream as it moves north and then east toward northern Europe.
Now there's a smoking gun that appears to validate the theory. A study in the February Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans ties the measured acceleration of sea level rise in this area to a simultaneous slowdown in the flow of the Gulf Stream.
"There have been several papers showing (sea level rise) acceleration," said lead author Tal Ezer, of Old Dominion University's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography. "This new paper confirms the hypothesis for why it's happening."
Even without faster-than-average sea level rise, America's East Coast would be at high risk. On average, scientists have projected that the oceans should rise by about 3 feet by 2100, inundating low-lying land, contaminating water supplies and undermining roads, airports, port facilities and power plants.
Add the storm surges that come with hurricanes and other severe weather, and the danger gets even worse. A worldwide average of 8 inches of sea level rise since 1900 has already put millions of Americans at risk; 3 feet more will greatly multiply that risk; and the even higher levels that Americans could see will be a very bitter icing on top of that already unpleasant cake. (More)

Her battle with cancer has inspired Lady Monarchs
(The Virginian-Pilot, February 14, 2013)

Sara Jones apologizes when her conversation meanders off point. It's the drugs, she says. Drugs pumped into her to fend off cancer that has, after a dozen years, become terminal.
"To save my little niece or my close friends, I'd walk every step again," said Jones, a longtime friend to Old Dominion women's basketball coach Karen Barefoot, and known to ODU's community as a beacon for cancer awareness. "Don't think that makes me all super-tough or whatever. It really scares the hell out of me."
That's nothing Jones admits to the Lady Monarchs, even as her walk has slowed. She has recently missed games for the first time in her two seasons as Barefoot's unpaid aide. When that happens, Barefoot feels the absence of her "life coach," the kindred spirit she's known for 20 years. And the Lady Monarchs miss glancing toward the end of the bench for their faithful mentor.
These two seasons have made their mark, seasons in which Jones has been the first to leap from that bench to praise, the first to apply a pat on the back and the last to ever bring attention to her battle.
"She's never down," said Mairi Buchan, a senior forward from Scotland. "She always talks about us; she's never talking about herself. She'll have just had chemo, and she'll come to the game and be the most positive person."
Fellow senior Jackie Cook "can't imagine" enduring such an ordeal with Jones' relentless optimism.
"Sara has given me a new insight on life," Cook said. "It's really taught me that anything I'm going through just doesn't even compare to the struggles that she's gone through. Her fight to live... I can't even put into words how strong she is." (More)

Tarzan swings into Hampton Roads
(The Flagship, February 13, 2013)

For the third time, Disney Theatrical Group has asked The Hurrah Players to stage the latest hit released from Broadway. Following Hurrah's sell-out success with regional premieres of "The Little Mermaid" (March 2011) and "Winnie the Pooh KIDS" (August 2012), Disney has honored The Hurrah Players with the rights to introduce "Tarzan" to the Hampton Roads community. With universal themes of love and family, the musical is a perfect fit for Virginia's leading family theatre company.
Starting Feb. 18, patrons at any branch of the Norfolk Public Library can pick up an educational and child-friendly Tarzan coloring sheet featuring a special discount on tickets to attend the Tarzan performance.
On Feb. 23, Hurrah kicks off a special Tarzan-themed scavenger hunt at The Virginia Zoo. Guests of the zoo who participate in the scavenger hunt between Feb. 23 and March 9 will be entered to win free tickets to see the Hurrah production. All Virginia Zoo members can enjoy discounted tickets to the production. ...
Starring in the title role as Tarzan is 19-year-old Zac Jenkins. Jenkins is an Old Dominion University sophomore majoring in Music Business and Vocal Performance, and also performs as the lead singer for the local rock 'n' roll band Harold Kreedle. Playing the adventurous English botanist Jane is Grassfield High School senior Rachel Anderson. Anderson's recent Hurrah stage credits include narrator in "Disney's Aladdin" and Vi Moore in "Footloose." (More)

East Coast Faces Rising Seas From Slowing Gulf Stream
(Climate Central, February 12, 2012)

Experts on the sea level rise triggered by climate change have long known that it will proceed faster in some places than others. The mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. is one of them, and the reason - in theory, anyway - is that global warming should slow the flow of the Gulf Stream as it moves north and then east toward northern Europe.
Now there's a smoking gun that appears to validate the theory. A study in the February Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans ties the measured acceleration of sea level rise in this area to a simultaneous slowdown in the flow of the Gulf Stream. "There have been several papers showing (sea level rise) acceleration," said lead author Tal Ezer, of Old Dominion University's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography. "This new paper confirms the hypothesis for why it's happening."
Even without faster-than-average sea level rise, America's East Coast would be at high risk. On average, scientists have projected that the oceans should rise by about 3 feet by 2100, inundating low-lying land, contaminating water supplies and undermining roads, airports, port facilities and power plants. Add the storm surges that come with hurricanes and other severe weather, and the danger gets even worse. A worldwide average of 8 inches of sea level rise since 1900 has already put millions of Americans at risk; 3 feet more will greatly multiply that risk; and the even higher levels that Americans could see will be a very bitter icing on top of that already unpleasant cake. (More)

White House Press Secretary: Up to Congress to fix looming sequestration
(WVEC-TV, February 12, 2013)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says it's up to Congress to fix the problem of looming sequestration and the massive $470 billion in automatic defense cuts that could begin on March 1.
According to an Old Dominion University economic forecast, Hampton Roads stands to lose more than 28,000 jobs in the next three years if the sequester process kicks in.
Navy leaders told senators Tuesday that maintenance work on the USS Theodore Roosevelt would have to temporarily stop. The aircraft carrier is undergoing a mid-life overhaul and nuclear refueling at Newport News Shipbuilding.
Last week, the Navy announced it would also stop a similar contract on the USS Abraham Lincoln, also at Newport News Shipbuilding.
In addition, the Navy canceled the scheduled deployment of the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman last week.
Citing budgetary concerns the Navy canceled planned maintenance contracts on eight local guided missile destroyers and a local amphibious assault ship. (More)

Toward a European school system
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, February 13, 2012)

By Maurice R. Berube
In his first term, President Barack Obama laid the groundwork for an American public school system that would emulate those in Europe. He proposed national standards and national testing but avoided the controversy over national curriculum - all hallmarks of the European system.
Getting 50 states to follow through in a uniform manner is always a problem. Howard Gardner, father of multiple intelligence theory, called it "a Tower of Babel." Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education, observed that "50 States, 50 standards and 50 tests" was a recipe for failure and recommended a national takeover of the schools.
At present the arguments for a national system are overwhelming. Local control of education has not worked in producing a good supply of competent and outstanding graduates. And a piecemeal system of reform does not satisfy the current demand for excellence overall. What is good for New York and Virginia, say, should be good for the entire nation.
Yet one need not scrap local control entirely. Dwight Allen, eminent scholar emeritus of education at Old Dominion University, has long advocated a plan whereby two-thirds of the curriculum would be national and one-third offered by the localities. And the strength of our democracy has been its readiness to compromise. ...
Maurice R. Berube, eminent scholar emeritus at Old Dominion University, is the author of 13 books, including "The End of School Reform." Email: mberube@odu.edu.
(More)

A second recession for Hampton Roads?
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, February 10, 2013)

By James V. Koch and Vinod Agarwal
There is a little bit of good news but mostly bad news for Hampton Roads in the reductions in defense spending that would occur because of sequestration cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
The good news is that after two significant reductions in Department of Defense spending take place in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, additional planned reductions in base spending will be minimal in size. Indeed, beginning with fiscal year 2015, the base Defense Department budget will increase at rates just about the same as would have been true prior to the cuts.
The bad news is that the two defense spending reductions in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 really are significant. The base budget cut because of sequestration will be $42.5 billion in fiscal year 2013 and another $12.5 billion in fiscal year 2014.
That's $55 billion, on top of $483.7 billion in cumulative cuts between fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2021 that already have been agreed to and are in process.
How will the Defense Department cope with the sequestration cuts, which, in theory, are going to be across the board? The sequestration legislation prohibits reductions in active-duty military personnel to achieve the cuts. Consequently, the approximately 100,000 active-duty military personnel in our region will not be diminished because of sequestration.
James V. Koch is a professor of economics at ‍Old ‍Dominion ‍University, and Vinod Agarwal is director of ODU's Economic Forecasting Project
(More)

Leaders from Virginia, beyond react to pope's decision
(The Virginian-Pilot, February 12, 2012)

Reaction locally and from around the world to Pope Benedict's announcement:
Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond:
"As we hear the news of Pope Benedict's resignation, let us join in prayer for him and for his successor. Pope Benedict XVI served nobly and well, and we wish him all the best in his retirement. We dedicate ourselves to pray for the Catholic Church, and we ask the Holy Spirit to guide those who will elect the next Supreme Pontiff."
Rabbi Lawrence Forman, founder, the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University:
"This pope was very open to interfaith understanding and true dialogue. I applaud that 1,000 percent. All of us in the religious community admire him for his courage, forthrightness and forward-looking mind-set. Regardless of his age, he is a man of the future. I wish him well in his retirement and pray that the next pope will be as magnanimous in his graciousness and openness as this pope has been." (More)