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March 2013, Issue 16




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

The “High Risk Behaviors: You Can Live Without Them” initiative is entering its second phase. Launched in the fall semester, High Risk Behaviors (HRB) is an educational campaign for Norfolk State University students initiated by President Tony Atwater. It’s a frank discussion about topics such as sexual behavior, hazing, cyber bullying, substance use and abuse that put college students at risk. HRB week, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, is set for March 25–29. As part of the week’s activities, from March 25–27, students will design t-shirts for the clothesline project—which addresses the issue of violence against women. Each night from 7–8 p.m., speakers will conduct presentations on an HRB topic. The main event will take place Thursday, March 28, from noon–2 p.m. in the lobby of the Student Center. Students will hang the t-shirts from the clothesline project and a keynote speaker will talk about sexual assault and domestic violence on college campuses.

Sen. Mark Warner to Address Graduates


en. Mark Warner will be the keynote speaker for the spring 2013 commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 4, at the Norfolk Scope. The processional begins at 9:30 a.m., with the ceremony following at 10 a.m. Warner was elected to the U. S. Senate in November 2008 and serves on the Senate Banking, Budget, Commerce and Intelligence committees. He has led Congressional efforts to promote private-sector innovation and to help small business and start-up companies succeed. Warner was chosen by his colleagues on the Budget Committee to lead a bipartisan task force to eliminate unnecessary program overlap and wasteful duplication within the federal bureaucracy. He has introduced bills to measure and eliminate waste in federal agencies. Warner organized the Senate’s “Gang of Six,” which has worked since 2011 to find a bipartisan path towards responsible deficit and debt reduction. From 2002-2006, Warner served as Governor of Virginia. During his

Sen. Mark Warner

term, he worked in a bipartisan way to turn record budget deficits into a surplus. He also focused on improving public education and expanding economic opportunity throughout the state. Under his tenure, Virginia was consistently recognized as the nation’s “best-managed state.” Before entering public office, Warner was an early investor in the cellular telephone business. He cofounded the company that became Nextel, and ultimately made early investments in hundreds of start-up technology companies that have created tens-of-thousands of private-sector jobs.

Connects Distance Learners to Campus Resources


hile many students choose online courses because of convenience and compatibility with their schedules, they still have a need to feel connected to the University. NSU is helping distance learners feel that they are part of the campus through the Cyber Spartan experience, which helps distance learners and on-campus students interact with each other. Socializing, which is very much a part of on-campus learning, can now be enjoyed by students who may never step foot on campus. Under the initiative, according to Dr. Arletha McSwain, dean of the School of Extended Learning, on-campus students will collaborate with Cyber Spartans via social media outlets such as the School of Extended Learning Group Facebook page, iTunes University, and support and activities sites. An online virtual tablet will provide app-like links that can be used to contact Blackboard support, the bookstore, library, financial aid, and client services for IT support. In addition, distance learners will also be able to view campus events as they are happening as well as have access to archived events. One such example was the New Lyceum Speaker Series which brought author My Haley to campus. The event was streamed on the University’s homepage where distance learners could view it in real time. NSU plans to increase its mobile learning capabilities while attracting 21st century learners. “The goal,” said Dr. McSwain, “is to create a unified student body that is able to meet to share experiences, collaborate on studies and encourage each other academically and socially.”

McSwain Takes Helm as Dean Dr. Arletha McSwain has been named dean of the School of Extended Learning (SEL). In this position, she provides leadership and academic expertise to support the design, development, and execution of the distance education programs in keeping with accreditation and federal guidelines. During her tenure as interim dean, Norfolk State University’s distance education programs received the Quality Standards Certification offered by the United States Distance Learning Association. Dr. McSwain is the 2011 award recipient for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology given at the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Arletha McSwain She is a nationally known content expert on issues related to early childhood education, and early childhood special MAKING education while targeting males of diversity. She has written numerous successful grant proposals totaling Making Waves is published over $6 million. Nationally, she serves by the Office of Communications as a consultant to mentor other faculty and Marketing. in the area of early childhood special (757) 823-8373 education program development thus enabling the faculty to secure external Tony Atwater, Ph.D. funding. To date, five universities, President including the United Tribal College, Stephen McDaniel have secured federal funding in the Interim VP for University Advancement amount of $800,000 per university. Dr. McSwain has numerous Cheryl Bates-Lee AVP of University Relations publications and is part of a cohort Stevalynn Adams of content experts who review Regina Lightfoot personnel grant proposals for the Christopher Setzer U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Ph.D. in early childhood special education.


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Making Waves

New Lab

Monitors Condition of Power Apparatus and Systems


new Insulation Evaluation and Design Laboratory in the Marie V. McDemmond Center for Applied Research performs research on insulation systems used in power apparatus and systems that are of particular interest to the Navy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), power utilities and electrical companies that manufacture power cables, transformers and rotating machines. The laboratory recently held a formal open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony to showcase its research capabilities. The Insulation Evaluation and Design Laboratory, headed by Dr. Prathap Basappa, associate professor of engineering, focuses on applied research pertaining to the condition based monitoring of insulation systems with a specialized focus on designing, developing and adopting advanced techniques for measurement of partial discharges in the laboratory and field.This capability is of prime importance to all electric ships used by the Navy, power utilities and companies that manufacture power apparatus such as power cables, transformers and generators and motors. Currently they are working on a project sponsored by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and funded through Unitech Corporation. This project focuses on designing and developing insulated bus pipes to replace medium and high voltage cables employed in battleships that can withstand and survive very high temperatures that occur during enemy bombing operations. Dr. Basappa received $87,000 in seed money from the Norfolk Foundation to start the facility. Another $200,000 in external funding came from NAVSEA, which builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems. “Very few universities in the USA have this type of unique facility,” said Dr. Basappa. “Since the laboratory is an applied research facility, it will benefit federal organizations such as the Navy and DOE and power utilities such as Dominion Virginia Power and companies that manufacture power apparatus as well as universities that carry out cutting-edge research in the frontier research areas of power and energy.”

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► Pictured holding the Certification Plaque (left to right) are Reggie Smith, III, chair emeritus, board of directors, United States Distance Learning Association, and Dr. Tony Atwater, president of Norfolk State University.

Making Waves


CAMPUS Briefs Dr. Michael Keeve, the acting associate dean for the College of Science Engineering and Technology and associate professor of mathematics, served as the Tidewater MATHCOUNTS competition coordinator. The competition was hosted by the Mathematics Department and featured Broadwater Academy and Kemps Landing Magnet School. Winning schools participated in the state MATHCOUNTS competition March 16. Dr. Dorothy L.R. Jones, professor of business, has coauthored the book, “Your Office: Getting Started with Business Communication,” with Dr. Dorothy Jones Amy S. Kinser. The office applications textbook bridges the gap between skill and application, and empowers students to master Office 2010 as a tool to solve problems and make decisions while learning the art of effective business communication. Daneen Logan Evans, a 2012 Ph.D. graduate of the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work, received a $15,000 SEED grant and is researching the health literacy levels of grandparents who are providing kinship care to preschool age children. Dr. Evans is an assistant professor at Radford University and the coordinator of the Roanoke Extended Campus Master of Social Work program. Dr. Charles Ford, professor and chair of the history department, was recently appointed to the Norfolk Public Library Board of Dr. Charles Ford Trustees by the Norfolk City Council. His term runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Dr. Ford also recently reviewed Amar Wahab and

Cecily Jones, eds., “Free at Last? Reflections on Freedom and the Abolition of the British Transatlantic Slave Trade” (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.) – Latest edition of The Historian, vol. 74, no. 4, pages 898-900. Tiffany Jones, ’12, was awarded the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Mathematics, Physics, and Technology Education Bonus. The grant award is for $10,000. Jones is currently a middle school mathematics teacher for Hampton City Schools. Dr. Makarand Deo, assistant professor of engineering, and co-author Kushal Shah, a graduate student in engineering, recently published a research paper in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA (PNAS). The paper, titled “KCNJ2 mutation in short QT syndrome 3 results in atrial fibrillation and ventricular proarrhythmia,” is available as open access in the early online edition of PNAS at Dr. Marvin Feit, professor of social work, with co-author, Dr. Michael J. Holosko, recently Dr. Marvin Feit published a book, “Distinguishing Clinical from Upper Level Management in Social Work,” with the Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. The book details a model, specifying the requirements needed in the transition from clinician, to clinical and upper-level management. Dr. Colita Fairfax, associate professor of social work, served on a panel about the history of the AfricanAmerican church and community development in Hampton at the Hampton History Museum at two different events.


NEW LYCEUM SPEAKER SERIES Presented by: Honors College: Discipline-Specific Honors Programs

MARCH Created by NSU’S Office of Communications and Marketing: (757) 823-8373


Director of African and African American Studies, Stanford University

HARRY ELAM Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, Stanford University

“Barack Obama in the Popular Imagination” Student Center 1-2 p.m.

These events are partially supported by Title III and by the Alison J. and Ella W. Parsons Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Achieving Excellence. Success Beyond Measure.


For more information, contact the NSU Honors College: Discipline-Specific Honors Programs at (757) 823-8206. This series is free and open to the public.


Making Waves

Maj. Aaron V. Allen,’ 01, was promoted to his current rank in a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Maj. Aaron Allen Allen is deployed to Afghanistan with the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, based in Los Angeles. He is assigned as deputy G6/network operations officer, monitoring and maintaining computer networks for U.S. forces throughout Afghanistan. Devon Henry, ’00, was recognized as the 2012 Class 3 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council (VMSDC) 29th Annual MIC Gold Star Awards. The VMSDC is an

organization that connects member corporations with minority business enterprises to develop profitable relationships. Under Henry’s leadership, the company’s profitability grew by 500 percent within a year. Members of LEGASI, NSU's LGBT student organization, attended the Emerging Black LGBT Summit held at the White House in Washington, D.C. LEGASI members in attendance were: Raven Bell, president; Marcuis Warren, parliamentarian; and Toni Williams, former president. LEGASI's faculty advisors–Drs. Charles H. Ford and J. Elizabeth Storm–accompanied the group. The summit was organized by the National Black Justice Coalition, and this was the third year in a row that Norfolk State and LEGASI were represented.

GREEN AND GOLD PROFILE Dr. Karen Y. Holmes “I have a great affinity for HBCUs and I liken NSU to the family school – my parents went to NSU and I had applied to NSU,” says Dr. Karen Holmes of her decision in 2006 to accept a tenure-track teaching position in the psychology department. She notes that one of the University’s strengths is the mentoring of students to ensure their success in collegelevel studies. In the classroom, her students are active learners and Dr. Holmes, associate professor of psychology, builds their confidence Dr. Karen Y. Holmes as scholars, telling them “Don’t be afraid to challenge your professors – there’s a diplomatic way to do that.” In addition to teaching, mentoring and conducting research, Dr. Holmes serves as a senior fellow of the Honors College and is the University’s undergraduate research symposium liaison. Undergraduate research is her professional passion and she notes that minorities are underrepresented in research. Dr. Holmes would like to see NSU develop and fund a center for undergraduate research and she observes, “Undergraduate students in the humanities may not have research skills and a center could develop those skills, as well as critical thinking abilities, technical writing proficiency and confidence in delivering presentations.” Dr. Holmes includes students in her research activities and scholarly writing, giving them invaluable preparation for graduate work. Mentee Brett Dodd, now a psychology doctoral student at Regent University, co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article with her on the topic of using active learning activities derived from classic psychology studies to teach statistics. “Research is a vehicle for learning,” she explains and Dr. Holmes exemplifies the student-centered focus of Norfolk State University. — Ruth A. Martin

Norfolk State University Board of Visitors and President Tony Atwater present

“NSU Night at the Sandler” 201 Market Street • Virgina Beach, VA 23462

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 • 7 p.m. TICKET PRICES Advance Purchase: $20 Day of the Event: $25 Students: $10 For more information, please contact

Online Purchases at Tickets also available at the L.Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center ticket window until April 8, 2013

Making Waves


Alumni Day

The Office of Alumni Relations hosted more than 500 alumni at its annual Alumni Day. The Norfolk State University Alumni Association showed its continued support of NSU by presenting a $35,000 check to President Tony Atwater and Athletics Director Marty Miller at the NSU vs. Delaware State men’s basketball game. This donation supported several programs at the University including the President’s Masquerade Gala and Silent Auction, the NSU Night at the Sandler Center, student support, and the NSU Athletics Foundation. Alumni Day activities also included a brunch where the NSU Alumni Association recognized 37 new lifetime members. Dr. Bennie Marshall, chair of the Nursing and Allied Health Department, provided an in-depth update on the nursing program at a special nursing alumni reception.

NSU’s 2013 MEAC Tournament Distinguished Alumnus On March 14, Tamara A. Jones, M.D., ’96, was recognized as NSU’s 2013 MEAC Tournament Distinguished Alumnus. Currently, Dr. Jones serves as the chief of the Department of Medicine-Sentara Hospital Norfolk, as well as chairman of the Hospitalist Clinical Effectiveness Council for Sentara. She is a Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences graduate, earning a bachelor of science Tamara Jones degree in chemistry from Norfolk State University. She received her master of science degree in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill and completed both her doctorate in medicine and residency training at Eastern Virginia Medical School where she excelled to become the first African-American class president to give the commencement address. Dr. Jones holds membership in several organizations to include the Helen Mewborn-Watts Society for minority female physicians, the Tidewater Women’s Medical Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


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


Making Waves

From left to right are Athletics Director Marty Miller; Ms. Alumni Danielle Smith Jones, ’00; Alumni President Gregory Grimes; and NSU President Tony Atwater.

Making Waves


Second Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium Winners The University held its second Undergraduate Research Symposium March 12. The symposium began last year as part of NSU President Tony Atwater’s inaugural week activities and seeks to engage a wide variety of students and disciplines in presenting research. The winning students are listed with their major and category.

POSTER PRESENTATION First Place Second Place Third Place Honorable Mentions

Sara Nelson-Owens (biology) Christian C. Ezeagwu (biology) Keevain Hood (engineering) Candace Gilchrist and Asia Motley (mathematics)

ORAL PRESENTATION First Place Second Place (tie)

Third Place

Quarail Hale (mathematics) Jessica Grey (social work) Raisa Boone, Carmel Brown and Calvin Armstrong (health, physical education and exercise science) Chynna Blaker (chemistry)

Honorable Mentions Michael Mingo-Dabney (accounting) Walker Griffea (entrepreneurship) and Albarou Sabi (finance) Benjamin Osoba (engineering)

Students Place First at National Science Conference


orfolk State University students took first place in poster and oral presentation competitions at the 70th Joint Annual Meeting of Beta Kappa Chi and the National Institutes of Science Conference recently held in Reston, Va. In oral presentation, Sarah NelsonOwens won first place in the biology category and three other NSU students took third place in three other categories: Bianca Riddick for biology, Nicholas Sapp for chemistry and Dallas Ellis for computer science/math/physics/engineering/ environmental science. Bronson Hayes placed third in chemistry. NSU also took first place in the poster presentation with Chi’Niese Evans winning in the psychology category. In addition to the wins, Norfolk State students were also elected as officers of the organizations for 2013-14. The following students were elected to national officers of Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society: biology major Dallas Ellis, president; biology major Ebony Nottingham,

secretary; biology major Bianca Riddick, treasurer; and computer science major John Ellis, historian. Biology major Alissa Sierra Harrell was elected eastern region vice president. Two NSU students were elected to national offices for the National Institutes of Science – biology major Ian Saunders, president and chemistry major Crystal Bell, secretary. Additionally, Maureen Scott, NSU Beta Kappa Chi and National Institute of Science advisor, was re-elected the national historian of the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society. Beta Kappa Chi encourages the advancement of scientific education through original investigations, the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and the stimulation of high scholarship in the pure and applied sciences, while the National Institute of Science provides students and faculty members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities opportunities to exchange information and present scholarly research papers in science and mathematics.

Norfolk State University Making Waves  


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