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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Professor Emeritus Lucien X. Lombardo: A Champion for Children

By Betsy Hnath

Dr. Lucien X. Lombardo, Old Dominion University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Criminal Justice, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Champions for Children organization.

Lombardo was honored for his "life's research and teaching to better the world of our children."

"Champions for Children has been a partner in much of our department's work since we began focusing on advocating for children over 25 years ago," Lombardo said. "They provided community connections and moral support when we first started and continue to do so today. It's very special to receive such recognition form this group."

Over his nearly 40 years at the University, Lombardo's teaching and research explored, among other topics, correctional officers, prison policy, the violence process and violence in the world of children.

While accepting his award, he recognized others in the Old Dominion community who he felt contributed to his success.

"One person may be the recipient, but it is the work of many that lifetime achievement awards always represent," Lombardo said. "My late colleague Dr. Karen Polonko provided a passion for doing research that mattered and bringing that work to students, professionals, our Hampton Roads community and the world."

He also singled out one Old Dominion organization as significant in the movement to stop violence against children.

"For over 25 years, ODU's student organization, In Support of Children, has sent the message 'It's NEVER ok to HIT A CHILD,'" Lombardo said. "While it was taboo when they started, it's now finding resonance around the world. The wonderful paths of commitment to children and community that these students have followed are also part of the 'lifetime achievement' that this reward represents."

Lombardo seemed optimistic about the steps being made to help children escape violence.

"I think this award reflects our work of helping others understand the importance of making for the world a better place for children," he said. "In spite of the many problems that still exist, I think we have made some progress."

Champions for Children is a nonprofit organization serving the Hampton Roads community. It focuses on public awareness, education and advocacy for the prevention of all forms of child abuse and neglect.

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