Week of 2/17/14
ODU Black History Month Keynote Featuring The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 16, 2014)
Old Dominion University Celebrates Black History Month 2014
The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder,
Former Governor of Virginia.
2014 Black History Month National Theme: Civil Rights in America.
Date: Monday, February 17, 2014.
Time: 6:30 PM.
Location: North Café, Webb University Center.
Free and Open to the Public.
Parking is available in Garage E (48th St. lot, near the football stadium), 2 & 3 level.
For more information, please contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at 757-683-4406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For updates on Old Dominion University's Black History Month programs, please visit www.odu.edu/oir.
In 1969, L. Douglas Wilder won election to the Senate of Virginia from his hometown, Richmond, and in the process became the first African-American elected to that body since the end of Reconstruction. By the time he began his 1985 campaign to become Virginia's 35th lieutenant governor, Wilder was recognized as one of the commonwealth's most powerful legislators. Many pundits predicted Virginia was not ready to elect a black statewide official in 1985, but he won the election, becoming the highest elected black official in the country at that time. (More)
Naismith: A big, bold idea for Virginia
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 16, 2014)
Hampton Roads and Virginia have a real opportunity to lead the drone industry.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded six grants nationally to study unmanned aerial systems operations. One went to Virginia Tech and its partners, Rutgers University and the University of Maryland.
At a recent meeting at Old Dominion University, that group and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner discussed research on drones and how they will be used. Warner, who made his fortune in the telecom industry, said drones will be even bigger.
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, called DARPA, collaborates with West Coast universities and tech companies annually, getting the best minds together in cybersecurity and computer hacking to help government and business.
Hampton Roads could host a similar annual meeting focused on drones, their manufacture and application.
Let's look at disruptive and breakthrough technologies in this field and be inclusive. The commonwealth should have an industrywide perspective.
The meeting would bring together the nation's leading researchers, users and manufacturers. NASA's two Virginia-based research centers, Langley and Wallops, were founded to undertake aviation and aerospace research.
They have worked collaboratively with the private sector on unmanned aerial vehicles. They will also participate in the Virginia Tech research. The military and defense agencies here in this region are natural partners.
Vital to the success of such a conference would be "aerial anarchists," the renegade innovators who could shine a bright light on the technology, offer ideas and partner with businesses to test applications and develop a manufacturing process. (More)
Real estate investment trusts had both a good and bad year
(Inside Business, Feb. 14, 2014)
By one measure, 2013 was a good year for real estate investment trusts: A record number of REITs filed initial public offerings and a record amount of capital was raised.
By another measure, 2013 was lackluster for REITs. While most stocks in other sectors rallied notably last year, gains in many real estate stocks were modest at best. By the end of last year, the S&P 500 posted an annual total return of 32.4 percent in 2013 while the FTSE NAREIT All REITs index, seen as the broadest measure of industry performance, returned 3.2 percent.
"The answer is directly related to interest rates," said Mark Lane, an assistant professor of real estate at Old Dominion University, about financing and loans. "The correlation can be as high as 90 percent. So as interest rates move up, 90 percent of those REITs will go down."
Created by Congress in 1960, REITs are real estate companies that pass 90 percent of their revenue to shareholders in the form of dividends and, in return, pay no taxes on that income. Known for their relatively high returns, investors tended to flock there in a post-recession period marked by low investment returns elsewhere. Non-traded REITs showed up for the cash as a record 19 REITs had IPOs last year raising a record $5.7 billion, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
The Federal Reserve had been keeping interest rates low through a major bond-buying effort to help fuel the economic recovery, but last May former Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled the Fed would scale back. On fears that higher rates might pinch dividends, some REIT investors backed out. (More)
Tonight's game will be emotional for the ODU women
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 15, 2014)
The Conference USA women's basketball game Saturday night at 7 between Old Dominion and Texas-El Paso at the Constant Center promises to be an emotional outing for the Lady Monarchs.
It has been a year since Sara Jones, the longtime volunteer assistant coach for Karen Barefoot, lost her decade-long fight with breast cancer. And Saturday's game is the school's annual Hoops for a Cure contest dedicated to fighting breast cancer.
At 6:40 p.m., 20 minutes before game time, the pre-game Survivor Walk of cancer survivors will begin to enter the arena. Generally, the cancer survivors are greeted with a standing ovation.
Led by quarterback Taylor Heinicke, about a dozen ODU football players will model bras at halftime decorated by campus groups to show their support for breast cancer awareness. Coach Bobby Wilder will also attend the game.
The first 1,000 fans will receive free pink T-shirts. The Lady Monarchs will wear pink, and fans are also asked to wear pink.
This game is a huge challenge for ODU (11-13 overall, 4-6 Conference USA). UTEP (19-4, 8-2) is Conference USA's second-best team and is led by one of the league's top players in 6-foot-1 senior Kayla Thornton, who averages 19.5 points and 10.6 rebounds.
The game will be televised in Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Roanoke-Lynchburg area by Cox Communications (Cox channel 11 in Hampton Roads). Doug Ripley, ODU's radio voice, will do the TV play-by-play. Color commentary will be done by former ODU coach Marianne Stanley, a women's basketball hall of famer who coached the Lady Monarchs to three national championships. (More)
1 injured in overnight shooting near ODU
(WVEC-TV, Feb. 16, 2014)
No arrests; victim remains critical but stable.
Police say the gunman is described as a black male, 20-21 years old, 5'8" - 5'9" tall, weighs 160 lbs.
Investigators working to determine motive for the shooting.
Police investigated a shooting overnight along Bowdens Ferry Road near Old Dominion University.
One person, an ODU student, was transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound.
According to a police department spokesperson, police were alerted to a possible gunshot victim around 1 a.m. on Sunday.
When units arrived in the 4000 block of Bowdens Ferry Road, they were able to locate an adult male with a gunshot wound. He was transported to a hospital with injuries considered to be critical.
Norfolk Police advised that there were no suspects. However, a safety warning emailed to students described the suspect as a male with dreadlocks, about five feet eight inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue button down shirt and a black vest.
Anyone with information in the case is encouraged to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or the ODU Police Department at (757) 683-4000. (More)
ODU engineering grad is endowing scholarships
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 17, 2014)
When Norfolk native Toykea Jones graduated from Old Dominion University with a master's degree in environmental engineering in 2005, she landed a great job at Johnson & Johnson and worked her way up the corporate ladder.
Jones, 33, is now a global supply chain manager, traveling the world on the company's behalf to streamline processes and maximize efficiency. Last year, she traveled to nine countries in Europe and Asia.
"I feel so fortunate to have an amazing job with a wonderful company," said Jones, who now lives in New Jersey.
Jones has traveled far figuratively as well as literally. Growing up in Norfolk public housing, her parents always told her education would be her ticket to success. The message stuck.
She had plenty of college options after graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1999, but attended ODU to stay close to her family. She wouldn't have been able to attend had it not been for the generosity of others who funded scholarships that paid her tuition, room and board.
"If someone hadn't helped me go to college, who knows what I would be doing," Jones said.
Now Jones is living her dream, and she wants to help other young people achieve theirs.
In 2010, with a $25,000 endowment, she established the Toykea S. Jones Endowed Scholarship in Engineering at ODU from which a scholarship of approximately $1,000 is awarded annually to a qualifying sophomore engineering student. The recipient must be a Norfolk high school graduate, have a 3.0 GPA and be able to prove financial need.
In 2012, she started the Toykea S. Jones Foundation, which awards a $1,000 scholarship annually to a graduating senior from a Norfolk high school who plans to major in engineering at a Virginia university or college.
Last month, Jones endowed a second $25,000 scholarship at ODU - the Toykea S. Jones Endowed Scholarship in Maritime and Supply Chain Management, for a qualified sophomore. (More)
World's largest naval base to get new leader
(Federal News Radio, Feb. 14, 2014)
The world's largest naval installation is getting a new leader.
Capt. Robert E. Clark Jr. will become Naval Station Norfolk's commanding officer on Friday. He's taking over for Capt. David A. Culler Jr., who is retiring in May. Naval Station Norfolk is home to aircraft carriers, submarines and surface ships. It's also the home port for a Navy hospital ship and it has an airfield used by planes and helicopters.
Clark has served as the installation's executive officer since 2012. He's a graduate of nearby Old Dominion University and has served on a number of ships. He's also held leadership position in several shore commands, including a job as the warfighter improvement division chief for the former U.S. Joint Forces Command. (More)
U.S. judge: Va. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 14, 2014)
Add Virginia to the growing list of states where laws banning same-sex marriage are suffering legal setbacks.
A ruling Thursday by Norfolk-based federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen found Virginia's laws restricting marriage to one man and one woman unconstitutional on the grounds that they deny due process and equal protection rights.
It makes Virginia the first state in the Southeast where a gay marriage ban has been struck down and opens a possible avenue to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that could resolve the gay marriage issue for the nation.
Allen's ruling in favor of a gay Norfolk couple who sued after being denied a marriage license does not immediately invalidate Virginia's limitations on marriage. ...
The lawsuit Allen ruled on was brought by Tim Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk last summer after the couple was denied a marriage license.
Bostic, an assistant professor of English at Old Dominion University, and London, a Navy veteran and real estate agent, have been together 25 years. (More)
Limits on adjunct teachers' hours will stay after ruling
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 13, 2014)
There's no immediate prospect of relief for thousands of Virginia college instructors whose teaching hours have been cut, reducing their incomes by thousands of dollars.
A long-awaited ruling this week from the Internal Revenue Service seems to leave state colleges little latitude for relaxing the limits imposed last year on the teaching loads of adjunct faculty members.
Unlike salaried faculty, adjunct teachers are paid a set fee per credit hour taught. They are considered part-time workers. But in reality, many were working the equivalent of a full-time job until last year.
That's when Virginia limited their hours in response to the federal Affordable Care Act, which requires that employees working 30 hours a week or more receive health care benefits.
The biggest impact of that change was felt at Virginia's 23 two-year community colleges, which employ more than 9,000 adjuncts - roughly three-quarters of the faculty.
The new policy limited those teachers to 10 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters and seven in the summer.
As a result, about one-quarter of community college adjuncts had to reduce their teaching loads, Jeffrey Kraus, a spokesman for the Virginia Community College System, said Thursday. Some had been teaching as many as 15 credit hours per semester. ...
Based on the IRS ruling, Kraus said, it appears the policy adopted last year puts the state in compliance with the law. The college system's human resources department is studying the ruling to determine whether any adjustment is in order, he said, but no immediate change is expected.
Hundreds more adjunct instructors at four-year schools, including Old Dominion and Norfolk State universities, have been affected as well.
ODU and NSU have adopted policies limiting adjuncts to nine credit hours per semester. Spokeswomen for both schools said Thursday they expect no immediate changes in light of the IRS ruling. (More)
Retired local NBA official doesn't mind fan ejections
(WAVY-TV, Feb. 12, 2014)
Nolan Fine, a Virginia Beach native, spent nearly two decades as a referee in the NBA, and was even the youngest ever to officiate a national championship. Fine reffed the 1987 National Championship between Syracuse and Indiana and later enjoyed a 16-year NBA officiating career.
Fine did not get a first-hand view of the Ted Constant Center on Saturday night, when officials made the call to eject a fan, who was escorted out by Old Dominion University police seconds later.
"That's such a rarity, whether it be in collegiate sports or professional sports," said Fine.
The incident was minor, but it did stir up an already frustrated crowd who watched referees blow their whistle 52 times in a 63-49 UTEP win over ODU. Fine said he never ejected a fan over his entire officiating career, but has seen it happen, even to the rich and famous.
"A friend of mine who refereed in the NBA when I did actually was working a Miami (Heat) game and ejected a fan by the name of Jimmy Buffett," remembered Fine, "(The official) didn't know it was Jimmy Buffett at the time, but he ejected Jimmy Buffett, who was sitting behind the backboard." (More)
ODU's spring football game to be played April 12
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 13, 2014)
Old Dominion will begin spring football practice on March 1 and hold its annual spring game on Saturday, April 12, at 3 p.m. at Foreman Field, officials announced Wednesday morning.
The game will be preceded at noon by the Big Blue BBQ, a fundraiser for the men's basketball team, that likely will be held in the parking lots just south of Foreman Field.
The day will be full of ODU events. A 5-K run to benefit the athletic program will be held in the morning, with a time yet to be announced. Then, at 4 p.m, ODU's baseball team hosts East Carolina.
Although most of ODU's 15 football practice sessions will be closed to the public, fans will have three chances to watch the team practice live. ODU is holding open practices on Saturday, March 29, and Saturday, April 5, at Foreman Field. Both are set to run from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
There will be no admission charge for the two scrimmages or the spring game.
ODU coach Bobby Wilder said his team will have more players participating in spring practice than ever. ODU graduated just 11 seniors, and because the Monarchs have moved to the Football Bowl Subdivision, have more players on scholarship.
ODU's roster lists 73 players returning from last season, including nearly two dozen not on scholarship. In addition, seven scholarship players enrolled in school in January. (More)
ODU basketball schedule gets traveling call
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 13, 2014)
The pasta is cooked al dente, the sauce is prepared from a family recipe handed down from Sicily and the online reviews are glowing.
Yet, with a winter storm keeping its regular patrons huddled in their homes, business at Lombardo's Pasta Bar in Cullman, Ala., was lagging on a recent Thursday afternoon.
Then a call came from the Old Dominion men's basketball team, detoured by the weather, hungry and with a game to play in four hours. Yes, Lombardo's would stay open and serve the Monarchs their pregame meal, said Tiffani Lombardo Reynolds, the owners' daughter and head chef.
"We were kind of slow, and the money wasn't coming in," she said. "Them calling, I just know it was a God thing."
A Conference USA thing, too - a tale from a league in which membership should come with a road atlas and a travel pillow.
"Good luck in Conference USA with all that travel!" College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik said as he walked out of the Ted Constant Center media room following a postgame news conference in December. Wojcik formerly coached at Tulsa and seemed grateful to be in the more compact Colonial Athletic Association - ODU's longtime home until this season.
"Strap it on," said East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo, when asked what advice he would give new teams in the league about travel. "Holy smoke." (More)
ODU aims to write a book in 24 hours
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 12, 2014)
Over 24 hours, Old Dominion University plans to write a book.
Just what that book will contain remains to be seen, as the content will be written, photographed, videotaped, tweeted and submitted - in every possible form - by students, faculty, staff and administrators, ending at 1 p.m. today.
The topic? "You are (w)here: how knowledge is related to virtual and physical place."
That covers online courses, traditional classrooms, study groups, Facebook, all-night cramming, coffeehouses and every other location where learning takes place. Using the shared platform of Google documents, participants can write, rewrite, edit, revise and collaborate on pieces created by themselves and others.
Philosophy professor Dylan Wittkower, who came up with the idea, said traditional classrooms train students to receive knowledge from a teacher, then take a test. The project called "ODU Writes a Book" is the opposite.
"Here we're engaged in massive collaboration rather than separating out students," Wittkower said. "This is a way of trying to break out of that assessment-driven culture."
ODU says it is unaware of any similar attempts to write a collaborative book in such a short time frame.
The 24 hours of creating will be followed by 24 hours of review/editing, followed by a session Thursday afternoon headed by ODU's president.
"We have no idea what we're going to get, but we're really excited about what's going to come out of this," said co-organizer George Fowler, a librarian in information resources and technology. "We keep emphasizing it's an experiment." (More)
ODU students to write book in 24 hours together Wednesday
(WTKR-TV, Feb. 11, 2014)
The entire student body of Old Dominion University, along with faculty and staff, are all potential co-authors in a new book. This book will be written in 24 hours.
It all started today in the learning commons at Perry Library.
The school community is teaming up to write a book together.
The project is an e-book and while people are in the library, a lot of the work is being done online through Google Documents.
Anyone with an ODU email address can take part.
The e-book is called "You are Where" and is an exercise that stresses connecting whether it be in person or online.
The book is set to be finished tomorrow at 1 p.m. (More)
Universities graded on fiscal growth
(Richmond Biz Sense, Feb. 12, 2014)
The Wahoo war chest still reigns supreme in Virginia.
The University of Virginia endowment fund grew to $5.16 billion during fiscal 2013, up 7.9 percent from a market value of $4.78 billion in 2012, according to a study released this month by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
That makes it by far the largest college or university endowment in the state and the 19th largest in the nation based on market value, the NACUBO report found.
Among top local schools, the University of Richmond's endowment surpassed the $2 billion mark during 2013, reaching $2.02 billion for the year, up from $1.86 billion, according to the report. That's an increase in value of 8.3 percent. UR's fund was ranked 34th out of 849 schools covered by the report. ...
Here's how some other Virginia schools fared:
Washington and Lee University: 6.6 percent increase in market value, from $1.261 billion in fiscal 2012 to $1.345 billion in fiscal 2013.
College of William and Mary and Foundations: 8.3 percent increase in market value, from $644.2 million to $697.7 million.
Virginia Tech Foundation: 11 percent increase in market value, from $594.7 million to $660.3 million.
Medical College of Virginia Foundation: 15.6 percent increase in market value, from $298.2 million to $334.6 million.
Hampton University: 9.3 percent increase in market value, from $232.5 million to $254.1 million.
Old Dominion University: 7.3 percent increase in market value, from $168 million to $180.4 million.
Hampden Sydney College: 4.1 percent increase in market value, from $128.9 million to $134.2 million.
Randolph-Macon College: 4.5 percent increase in market value, from $120.8 million to $126.3 million.
James Madison University Foundation: 12.4 percent increase in market value, from $59.5 million to $66.9 million.
George Mason University Foundation: 7.4 percent increase in market value, from $55.1 million to $59.2 million. (More)
ODU 'Writes a book'
(The Daily Press, Feb. 11, 2014)
Current Old Dominion University students, alumni, faculty and staff can participate in a joint-authorship project. It's believed to be a first to be done collectively by a higher education institution in the U.S., according to a university news release.
Starting at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, participants can contribute virtually or at the Learning Commons at Perry Library on campus.
Participants are encouraged to contribute scholarly research-based writing, personal reflections, photo essays or audio recordings and more, the release states.
"We welcome all forms of expression that seem appropriate to the participants, including audio, video, photos, interpretive dance, spoken word and any other medium that can be created and made digital within the 24-hour window," project co-leader George Fowler, associate university librarian for information resources and technology, said in the release. "All participants will be co-creators of this book."
For more information, visit http://www.odu.edu/news/2014/1/odu_writes_a_book. (More)
Real-life Monuments Man lived in Hampton Roads
(The Daily Press, Feb. 10, 2014)
George Clooney and Matt Damon might play them on the big-screen, but one of the real-life Monuments Men lived in Hampton Roads.
Everett Parker Lesley Jr. - known as Bill by his friends - was an art history professor at Old Dominion University, and was one of the 345 so-called Monument Men. These men and women joined the service during World War II to protect important cultural items from Nazi destruction.
Lesley found a train carrying a famous work by Leonardo Da Vinci and returned it to Poland, among other endeavors. He died in 1982, and was the acting director of the Norfolk Museum of Art and Sciences, now known as the Chrysler Museum. (More)
Texas Tech "superfan" proves only thin line between fans, fanatics
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 9, 2014)
The guy had it coming.
We know he did.
He probably even knows he did.
The three-game suspension for Oklahoma State basketball player Marcus Smart is justified; this is not in dispute. But the fan he pushed in the stands on Saturday deserves what he got even more.
Not the shove from Smart. You can't support players going after fans, not even after the loudest, most obnoxious ones. Something like that can escalate into a dangerous situation.
What is fitting, though, is the embarrassment the whole ugly incident brought on the Texas Tech "superfan." He's been exposed as a middle-aged man who gets his kicks yelling abusively at teenagers. ...
Fans have always directed their bile at the officials and, by and large, that's traditionally acceptable. The zebras are adults who are paid to accept abuse from coaches and fans.
But while nobody expects the atmosphere inside a college arena to resemble the school library, rarely do you see what happened at Saturday's men's game between Texas-El Paso and Old Dominion when two Monarchs fans were ejected from the Constant Center for heckling officials.
The first fan to go had been sitting courtside and was ordered out by the arena by a game official, perhaps one with rabbit ears. The second ejection was ordered by ODU's staff.
"They are isolated incidents," said athletic director Wood Selig. "I think ODU fans, by and large, are very respectful and practice good sportsmanship." (More)