ODU's First Week in Review
From Tropical Storm Hermine to numerous awards and accomplishments, the Fall 2016 semester at Old Dominion University is officially in full swing. With over 24,000 students and more than 300 organizations, ODU always has a large range of events and activities.
Tropical Storm Hermine hit Hampton Roads during the late hours of Sep. 2. Across Virginia and North Carolina around 120,000 people lost electricity, which didn’t return until mid-morning the following day. Hampton Roads interstates had several accidents linked to the high winds. While the majority of Hermine’s damage occurred in North Carolina, there was extensive flooding in Norfolk and surrounding areas. Downtown’s Monticello Avenue was closed along with several other roads in Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.
Despite the storm, ODU hosted the first football game of the season. The game was moved to Sunday, and the Monarchs defeated Hampton University 54-21.
ODU’s accomplishments were not only limited to sports. Sara Maxwell, an assistant professor of biological sciences in Old Dominion’s College of Sciences, co-wrote a report that influenced President Barack Obama’s decision to increase the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii. The Department of Counseling and Human Services in Old Dominion’s Darden College of Education received the 2016 Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award. This is the department’s second time receiving the award for outstanding counselor education programs. Governor Terry McAuliffe named Old Dominion’s Tim Seibles, professor of English, as poet laureate of Virginia.
Old Dominion’s Vision Lab has also been given a $1.6 million deferral grant to help detect and analyze potentially cancerous brain tumors. Professor and chair of Old Dominion’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Xiushi Yang, was awarded a $2.18 million grant to study the causes and health consequences of synthetic drugs.
Old Dominion also welcomed a new provost and vice president for academic affairs, Augustine “Austin” O. Agho. The Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology appointed a new associate dean for undergraduate education, Rafael E. Landaeta.
The first week of school also offered many events. The office of Intercultural Relations held an LGBTQ meet-and-greet. The Advising and Transfer Programs hosted the first Transfer Tuesday at the Kaufman mall with free pizza, drinks and resources. The Monarch Beach Bash was held on the Quad to give students the opportunity to meet members of the Fraternity and Sorority community. The Involvement Fair was held at the Kaufman Mall where students had the opportunity to learn about the 300 organizations on campus. The Student Activities Council also sponsored the Dive in Movie at the Student Recreation Center where “Finding Dory” was screened.