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April 2013, Issue 17




WAVES Dr. Tony Atwater, President • A Newsletter for Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends of Norfolk State University Achieving Excellence. Success Beyond Measure.

Dr. George Hsieh

Dr. Enrique Zapatero


Associate Professor

Dr. Glendola Mills-Parker Associate Professor

University Professor

Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching

Distinguished Faculty Award for Service

NSU Outstanding Faculty Recognized N

orfolk State University held its second Faculty Convocation where faculty members were honored for their scholarship, research, teaching and service. In addition, the newest emeriti faculty members were also recognized. The convocation was held April 12 in the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library Rotunda.

The three main awards included the University Professor, the most distinguished award given to faculty; Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching; and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service. Seven retirees were given emeritus status.

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Allen L. Boddie-Chapman and Judy Eve Lawrence-Lamb

Life-long Dream of Attaining

Degree Becomes Reality


hen Judy Eve Lawrence-Lamb puts on her cap and gown Saturday, May 4, and graduates magna cum laude from Norfolk State University, it will be the culmination of a dream that she has striven toward for

44 years. On that day, the 62-year-old Lawrence-Lamb—a daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, student and two-time cancer survivor— will finally have her college diploma. A diploma that she said is more than a piece of paper to her, it is a living and breathing document that embodies the inspirations and aspirations of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and generations yet unborn. While cloaked in the pride and joy of her family, Lawrence-Lamb’s day will be even sweeter and more poignant, because her 37-year-old son, Allen L. BoddieChapman, a single father of four, will graduate summa cum laude from Norfolk State at that same ceremony. An Honors College Parsons Scholar, BoddieChapman will get his degree in political science. She praises her son, whom she said has had his own challenges. “Allen has been able to graduate with honors while setting an example for his children,” she said. “They love and respect him and he has helped me and has been dad to his deceased brother’s children.” Over the four decades since she graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Suffolk, Lawrence-Lamb tried several times to get her college degree. After high school, she attended Bronx Community College in New York, but dropped out when she married at 19. As the years passed, she attended the Continued on next page

Té Airra M. Brown and Maranda Hall

Norfolk State’s Gates

Scholars Graduating


he last of Norfolk State’s Gates Millennium Scholars will graduate May 4. Té Airra M. Brown and Maranda Hall, both will graduate summa cum laude. Brown will receive a bachelor of science in computer science engineering, while Hall will receive a bachelor of arts in English. Both Hall and Brown have similar views on what it has meant to them to be a Gates Scholar. “The Gates Millennium scholarship has given me much more than academic advancement—it has strongly aided in my personal development,” said Hall. “I now have the power to encourage and motivate young adolescents who feel as if they have done too much to ever be successful, or happy, or loved again—because I was once where they currently are and was still able to turn my life around.” Said Brown, “As a Gates Scholar, I am testimony that you do not have to be a product of your environment and that you can be successful if you are from an underprivileged area.” Brown said that because of it she will truly live by the motto: “To whom much is given…much is expected.” Chosen in 2009, Brown and Hall are part of the 10th cohort of Gates Scholars and came to NSU as freshmen. They met while at NSU when they attended a Gates Leadership conference. Hall has studied in Sevilla, Spain. Continued on page 8

Life-long Dream

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Stenography Academy, as a way to provide a better life for her family. But struggle and tragedy seemed to keep her from her dream. Lawrence-Lamb found herself back in Virginia, as a single parent. She attended Paul D. Camp Community College several times, taking a class here and there as often as she could. Finally in 2009, at 58 years old and after suffering the death of a son, Lawrence-Lamb set about attaining her dream. “It was no longer about me,” she said. “I decided to do it for my family. As a result of Allen and me returning to college, my daughter and granddaughter have returned to school and are planning to transfer to NSU. Both are maintaining a 4.0,” said Lawrence-Lamb. But tragedy would strike again by way of a call from her doctor telling her that she had breast cancer. Through an aggressive treatment and mastectomy to eradicate the cancer, Lawrence-Lamb continued to attend Norfolk State—and miraculously maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She even served as the MAKING president of the Golden Key International Honour Society. As she made her way to her final semester, bad news came once again. Her Making Waves is published cancer had returned. Still she kept her by the Office of Communications resolve to finish, taking classes online and Marketing. because of her weakened immune system due to intense chemotherapy. (757) 823-8373 Lawrence-Lamb continues to press on, focusing on her future. She is Tony Atwater, Ph.D. President currently attending Norfolk Theological Seminary and College and writing Stephen McDaniel a novel. Interim VP for University Advancement She is grateful for the support Cheryl Bates-Lee that she has found at Norfolk State and AVP of University Relations especially from Dr. Clarence Coleman, Stevalynn Adams advisor for Golden Key. “Dr. Coleman Regina Lightfoot Christopher Setzer told me something that I hadn’t heard since my father died. He told me, ‘I believe in you,’” said Lawrence-Lamb. “I found some very good people at Norfolk State that I will never forget. They showed me that they cared about me.”



Making Waves

Cleon and Alvernia Disnew

Father and Daughter Graduate

Together from Norfolk State University


n the 1990s, Cleon Disnew remembers taking his five-year-old daughter, Alvernia, to the child development lab at Norfolk State University while he attended classes. Those times were cherished moments for father and daughter—she loved the time she spent on campus, and he worked toward his life-long dream of getting a college degree. On Saturday, May 4, Disnew, 47, and Alvernia, 21, will share another moment that they both will cherish. The two of them will graduate together from Norfolk State. Alvernia will receive her bachelor of arts in psychology and Disnew will receive his bachelor of science in mass communications. When Disnew walks across the stage during the commencement ceremony, it will symbolize a triumph over the odds and provide a sense of pride at his accomplishment for them both. “I am very proud of my father because he has been through so much to reach this day of graduation,” said Alvernia. “I have seen him grow as a person and as my father. He had to work hard to keep on a college level. Now he will be a graduate. It just makes me feel good because I know out of anyone he deserves this!” It’s been a 16-year struggle to graduation for Disnew. He first came to NSU as a 31-year-old. It wasn’t easy—he didn’t know how to read or write. He flunked out of high school and as he put it, “cheated” his way to a GED. Because of his inability to read, he had often made excuses when it came to test taking—he’d take it, but then would complain that he didn’t have his glasses or would use other excuses for his inability to pass, which would often afford him a second chance and a passing grade. “After a while you learn how to figure out multiple choice tests,” Disnew said. But he wanted more. He wanted to know how to read, and he wanted a college degree. At the urging of his family and due to the demands of work and church, Disnew began attending NSU in 1996 where he began learning

how to read and write while pursuing a music degree. During that time, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder—something that had plagued him all his life. After a year at NSU, the stresses and struggles of life—raising a family, working, going to school— took their toll on him and he dropped out. More than 10 years went by—in fall 2009, he finally returned. “It’s been like coming up the rough side of the mountain,” said Disnew. But despite his difficulties, he credits NSU with

“I am very proud of my father because he has been through so much to reach this day of graduation” helping him reach this important day in his life. “I was intimidated the first time I came here and then 10 years later,” he said. “There are a lot of good people here. There are people here who naturally try to help get you to where you need to go.” While Alvernia is proud of her father, he’s proud of his daughter, who is president of the NSU Student Government Association. He saw her leadership abilities early. “I had confidence in her,” he said. Disnew was most proud of her during President Barack Obama’s visit to campus. Alvernia was tapped as one of the students and audience members to stand behind the president. Someone who knew Disnew as Alvernia’s father switched tickets with him, putting him just a few feet away from the president. When she thinks about her time at NSU, Alvernia believes her role as student government president has opened up possibilities for her and she is thankful for all the guidance she has received. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet with people who come to the school and I’ve traveled to other schools representing NSU. The President knows me. I don’t think this would have happened to me anywhere else.”

Cleon and Alvernia Disnew

Making Waves


Computer Science Offers New IT Degree


he College of Science, Engineering and Technology is offering a new degree program that will provide graduates with both the theoretical framework and practical skills to meet the demands of today’s information technology (IT) profession. The new bachelor of science in information technology program is an addition to the bachelor of science in computer science degree, which is more theoretical. According to Dr. Aurelia T. Williams, chair of the Computer Science Department, IT is a relatively new discipline compared with the other sub-disciplines of computing. It is a more applied

discipline—focused more on meeting the needs of users. The new curriculum emphasizes networking and web design/ management with strong emphasis on computer security and databases. “A graduate will have experiences in teamwork, planning and needs assessment,” said Dr. Williams, “while gaining an appreciation of information assurance and the societal and ethical impact of computing.” This new emphasis comes about because of the dependence of companies on computer networks that must be managed, maintained and secured to meet their needs.

She’s theCzar

University Establishes Position that Oversees Student Retention, Graduation DR. ELEanOR HOy couldn’t believe it. Most of the 115 students who walked during the December 2012 commencement but didn’t get their degrees were just one class or one test away from obtaining them. When those students were contacted, it was discovered that they had just given up. “Too often, once they leave, students either can’t afford, don’t have time, or are too far away to return to complete graduation requirements,” said Dr. Hoy, who was recently named University Retention Czar. As the retention czar, it is Dr. Hoy’s job to get them across the finish line—degree completion. In Dr. Eleanor Hoy making that a reality, she helps fulfill another one of her job’s missions—raising NSU’s graduation rate. Her position is just one more way Norfolk State is working to increase its retention and graduation rates. She continues to serve in her position as the director of mentoring and retention for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology and works with counterparts Denise Langley in the College of Liberal Arts, Sylvia Brooks in the School of Business, Rosalyn Durham in the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work and Derek Vaughn in the School of Education. She believes by contacting students and former students one-on-one that she and her counterparts can make a difference. Dr. Hoy is concentrating on three groups: students who participated in commencement, but did not get their degrees; students who plan to participate in commencement but may not have all the necessary requirements to get their degrees; and students who may lose their financial aid because they are not making satisfactory academic progress. “If we can find solutions for even half of these populations, both graduation rates and retention will improve,” she said. Dr. Hoy is excited about this new opportunity and the possibility of reaching discouraged students, but she’s realistic and lets them know that they must do their part too. “If you’re willing to do what needs to be to done,” she said, “we can help you.” 4

Making Waves

army Provides Strong Support to nSU Lieutenant Colonel Daryl Collins, director of Norfolk State University Army ROTC (left), and Master Sergeant Robert Ferguson, senior military instructor (right), present a check for $104,862 to Dr. Tony Atwater, president of Norfolk State University (middle) at the NSU Army ROTC Spartan Military Ball. The check represents the amount of support provided to NSU and Army ROTC cadets by the U.S. Army during the second semester of the 2012–2013 school year.


Faculty and Staff Provide Expertise nationally Dr. Cyntrica Easton, assistant professor of computer science, was recently accepted into the Department of Homeland Security Summer Research Program for Minority Serving Institutions. She will conduct research at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Dr. George C. Harrison, professor of computer science, was appointed as a commission member of the 2013–2014 ABET Computing Accreditation Commission by the ABET Board of Directors Executive Committee. This is his second one-year appointment. Zenora Spellman, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education administrator and the Science and Technology Zenora Spellman Academicians on the Road to Success (STARS) research program coordinator, was awarded the 2013 Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Outstanding Service Award.

studies; Dr. Karen Y. Holmes, associate professor of psychology; and Dr. Ernestine A.W. Duncan, assistant professor and chair of psychology; presented “The Impact of Popular Culture’s Strong Black Woman Image on Black Women Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: A Multidisciplinary Analysis” at Virginia State University. Dr. Stephanie Richmond, assistant professor of history, and E. Arnold Modlin, instructor of geography, presented papers Dr. Stephanie Richmond at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Conference hosted by the University of Virginia.

Dr. Renuka Verma, associate professor of mathematics, served as the head judge for the Mathematical Science category of the 28th Annual Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair held at the Virginia Military Institute. Dr. Carla Miller, assistant professor She also assisted in selecting the state of sociology, was selected to participate fair’s grand prize winner who will comin the Crime and Justice Summer pete at the International Science and Research Institute: Broadening Engineering Fair in Phoenix in May. Perspectives and Participation that will take place at The Ohio State Arnold Modlin, geography instructor, University from July 8-26. took part in a research trip to plantation Sandra Olanitori, faculty/advisor/recruiter for nursing and allied health, was appointed by the Chesapeake City Council to the Chesapeake Commission for the Prevention of AIDS. Her term runs through January 27, 2014.

sites in Louisiana as part of a joint project with historical geographers from six universities that examines tourists’ roles in remembering slavery at plantation museums.

Dr. Charles H. Ford, professor and history chair, presented “The Dr. Messaoud J. Other Face of Dixie: Desegregation Bahoura, associate professor of engineer- in Norfolk, Virginia,” a detailed analysis of the 10-minute Norfolk segment of ing, organized the 2013 NanoDays, a the 1962 CBS documentary, “The unique, nanotechnol- Other Face of Dixie,” at the Virginia ogy educational outForum held at Randolph-Macon Dr. Messaoud J. Bahoura reach event held at College. Dr. Ford, Dr. William the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Alexander and Dr. Stephanie Portsmouth. The event included 25 Richmond also served as logistics hands-on activities for children. coordinators and judges in the Annual History Day, District Six competitions Dr. Khadijah O. Miller, associate professor and chair of interdisciplinary held at St. Patrick’s Catholic School. Making Waves



BROOkS LIBRaRy IS a MULtIPURPOSE BUILDInG articles By Library Staff


veryone knows that the library is housed on three floors of the new Brooks Library building, but there are also other University departments that are housed in the Brooks Library Building. These departments include the Honors College, located on the third floor, which is led by Dr. Paige Laws. Additionally, the department of Assistive Technology is located on the first floor and is managed by Mr. Marvin Clemmons; 700 Perk CafĂŠ is on the first floor and is managed by Thompson Hospitality; the OIT Lab is managed by Mrs. Robin Price and offers students use of 70 computers available 84 hours per week; and Distance Education occupies space on the third floor.

InterLibrary Loan (ILL) If Lyman Beecher Brooks does not own an item you need for research, teaching or study, you may request it through the InterLibrary Loan service. This free service allows users to borrow materials from other libraries and pick them up at the firstfloor Circulation Desk. Users may request books, articles, DVDs and other movies and dissertations. Requests are generally processed within three days. Books can take up to 14 days to arrive. Articles generally take between three to seven days. Users may check out materials for at least one month. Some items may be checked out for less time. To request an item through InterLibrary Loan, log onto the Illiad service at First time users must create an account. To do so, click on the "First Time User" link. After requesting an item, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also be notified when the material arrives at Lyman Beecher Brooks Library and when it can be picked up. For any questions about InterLibrary Loan, contact the ILL supervisor by email at or by telephone at: (757) 823-2426.


For more information, contact University Advancement at 823-8323.


Making Waves

academic Reserves Academic Reserves is a collection maintained to provide access to specific class-assigned readings and other University related material. Material placed on reserve must support a course currently being offered. In compliance with U.S. Copyright Laws, the following items may be placed on reserve: library material from the open stacks, personal copies of books, journals, newspapers, and photocopies. Items that cannot be placed on reserve include bound and single issues of library journals and newspapers reference materials and microforms. During the processing the Library may have to apply permanent labels, stamps and other marks to personal copies and photocopies to assist in organizing and securing the materials. Also, each photocopy held on reserve will be stamped with notice of copyright and the owners (instructor’s) name. Although the Library will take reasonable safeguards, it is not responsible for theft, damage or mutilation of personal copies. There are some restrictions for photocopies that are placed on reserve. A copy of the guidelines can be accessed online or at the Circulation/ Reserve Desk. Although copyright restrictions require the Library to remove reserve materials at the end of each semester, an instructor can request materials to remain on the reserve list the following semester provided the course is being offered. Material will remain on reserve for at least three weeks after the end of the semester to allow instructors time to submit new requests. The Library will return all personal materials and photocopies to their owners. For more information about academic Reserves, call the access Services Department at 823-2418.

LIBRaRy REGULaR HOURS PRIMaRy cOntact nUMBERS MOnDay – tHURSDay 8 am – 11 pm

Library administration 823.8481

FRIDay 8 am – 5 pm

access Services includes Circulation Desk and reserves 823.2418

SatURDay 9 am – 5 pm SUnDay 2 pm – 9 pm

Making Waves

Information Services includes reference Desk and Library instruction 823.8517

Library Systems includes library online catalog 823.2334 technical Services includes cataloging and acquisitions 823.2422 nSU Virginia Beach Higher Education center 368.0454


Gates Scholars

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“While there, I realized that there are cultures, values and beliefs other than those that I had become accustomed to in the U.S.,” Hall said. “I have learned to be appreciative. I have shifted toward family-values rather than career success, and I have created a diverse group of friends from differing ethnicities, as well as an interest in foreign affairs and a love for traveling.” In June, Hall will begin a oneyear program at Stanford University to Continued from page 1 earn her master’s in education and teacher certification. She jokes that her five-year plan is now a 50-year one that involves applying to Oxford University for a doctorate in African Inez Howard American literature or women’s Associate Professor Emerita of Health, studies and eventually teaching Physical Education and Exercise Science abroad. (1962–2002) Brown will attend Virginia Tech Dr. Dong Soo Kim with a fellowship from the Bradley Professor Emeritus of Social Work Electrical and Computer Engineering (1978–2005) Department. She has plans to earn her doctoral degree in electrical Dr. Mou-Liang Kung engineering with an emphasis on Professor Emeritus of Computer Science embeddable systems, exploring how (1974–2004) embedded systems can be better Dr. Carole V. Morris implemented within the human body. Professor Emerita of Special Education While they both are graduating (1973–2006) with the highest honors, being Gates Scholars has been more than just an Dr. Augustine I. Okonkwo academic experience. They have Professor Emeritus of Biology found a warm and caring environment (1974–2006) at NSU where faculty, staff and students are willing to reach out with Dr. Jesse Pendleton Professor Emeritus of History encouragement. From Brown’s (1958–2011) perspective, “Sometimes when I didn’t believe in myself, it was always a Dr. Barbara U. Wilson Walker Spartan I could turn to for encouraging Professor Emerita of Mathematics words or just someone I could talk to (1961–2003) for me to realize that I could do it.”

Faculty award

Emeriti Faculty

Grant Funds Programs around 1619 arrival of africans in the new World


he National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at NSU a $69,000 grant, which will fund two years of programming for the 1619 conference series. The first conference will take place on Sept. 26 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center and September 27 at the NSU Student Center. The series focuses on the arrival of Africans at Old Point Comfort (Fort Monroe). Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, professor of history and director of the Center, is serving as the principal investigator. “We have created a consortium of faculty from several universities and organizations to support this initiative,” said Dr. Newby-Alexander. The consortium includes Old Dominion University, the College of William and Mary, Virginia Wesleyan College, Hampton University, the Nottoway Indians of Virginia, Project 1619, Contraband Society, Hampton History Museum, Hampton Visitors Bureau and the Legacy of Weyanoke. Last year, “1619: The Making of America” began exploring the question of when we became Americans. The year 1619 is considered a pivotal one in the history of America because of the first documented arrival of Africans in colonial America, the founding of the first limited representative body, later called the House of Burgess, and the establishment of an economy based on tobacco. In addition, the following year, white women began arriving as groups in the colony, a signal that the British planned to stay. The Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies, named in honor of the Virginian who became the first president of Liberia, has a mission to research, publish and disseminate works on the history, culture and contributions of African people across the globe and their impact on America and Virginia. Complementing its focus on the importance of 1619, the Roberts Center has spent the past 3 years engaged in developing a prototype gaming program on the Underground Railroad and public programs that inform the public about the Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads.

Making Waves


Norfolk State University Making Waves  


Norfolk State University Making Waves