Monarch Magazine

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monarch Old Dominion University magazine | Winter 2020

Finger lickin’ success | Hudson’s historic season | A hot Strome minute | All in the family


Full Frame “Naga” is among 28 oil paintings by New York abstract artist Joan Thorne featured in the first new exhibition at the Barry Art Museum. Thorne’s work has appeared in two Whitney Museum Biennials in New York and galleries across the world. The New York Times said her bright and bold paintings “convey an infectious joy” and are “optically captivating.” The exhibit, which opened on Feb. 1, will run through May 10. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOAN THORNE


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With more than 20 undergraduate programs and professional certificates including: • New degrees in Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Career and Technical Education • B.S. in Fashion Merchandising • Professional Certificates in Literacy Coaching and Addiction Prevention and Treatment



14 CONTENTS FEATURES 12 The family guy New football coach Ricky Rahne says he wants his players to see “that I’m a real person and that it’s OK to tell your wife you love her, to kiss your kids and hug them.”

14 A triumphant postseason


Washington Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson ’08 made history on and off the mound.

16 H e’s got the wing thing down Russell Gilbert ’10 just opened the third location of The Dirty Buffalo, and he’s even created a PB&J rub that works.

20 All in the family Meet four siblings born in Mexico who all graduated from ODU, and a husband and wife who both dropped out of ODU–and then returned.

26 F rom Model UN to model exec



Shamina Singh ’91 says her ODU experience provided the perfect training for her job, traveling the globe to promote philanthropy and community empowerment for Mastercard.

28 T wo faces of media Austin newspaper publisher Patrick Dorsey ’90 says print is far from dead; Axios immigration reporter Stef Kight ’16 believes in the power of online journalism.

38 From ‘stink bombs’ to lab mentor

26 40 38

Chemistry professor Alvin Holder got his start in Barbados tinkering with the leftover chemicals his teacher passed on to him.


7 Comments and letters 33 Books 36 Faculty 44 Campus news 46 Students 48 Athletics 52 Class notes 58 Obituaries 64 Last look ON THE COVER ODU’s new football coach, Ricky Rahne, on Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Photograph by Roberto Westbrook.


Monarch | Old Dominion University

Letter from the President Old Dominion University now receives $52 million in research funding annually, a record high. This issue offers two examples of how we are using those grants to improve lives. One involves Old Dominion’s growing emphasis on telehealth, expanding healthcare possibilities for rural and other remote patients. Tina Gustin, director of ODU’s Center for Telehealth Innovation, Education and Research in Virginia Beach, brought ODU’s robot, VGo, to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, allowing isolated children to communicate with one another. Gustin rated the experiment “good, but it could be better.” She’s received some help to do just that. Part of a $1.5 million state President Broderick with Melvina Sumter, recipient grant will go to finance the deof the Hugo Owens Martin Luther King Jr. Memorivelopment of a robot with greatal Award, and Hugo Owens Jr. er capabilities. Yiannis Papelis, a research professor with ODU’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center who is leading the project, expects to complete a prototype within a year. Another grant is helping one of our faculty members pay it forward. Growing up in Barbados, Alvin Holder played with his cousin’s chemistry set and made “stink bombs” from leftover chemicals a teacher gave him. Now Holder, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has teamed with Desh Ranjan, a professor of computer science, to secure a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The goal: to increase diversity in the next generation of research scientists. Our faculty members are also finding private funding to finance meaningful international trips for students. Seven from our Engineering Without Borders chapter, profiled in this issue, went to Guatemala over spring break to design a better water distribution system for a village. They hope to return this year. You will also read a powerful essay by Annette Finley-Croswhite, a professor of history, about the six trips she’s taken with students to Holocaust sites in Europe. At a forum in November, four of them spoke movingly about how the experience changed them. Senior Alex Arnold said, “Now I feel myself responsible to give a voice to those who can no longer speak and to share what I have learned to repair the world.”

monarch Old Dominion University magazine Editor Philip Walzer Art Director Karen Smallets (M.A. ’14) Copy Editor Janet Molinaro (M.A. ’14) Contributing Writers Eric Butterman Lorraine Eaton ’85 (M.F.A. ’99) Kelley Freund Benjamin Gleisser Mike Gruss Irvin B. Harrell (M.A. ’19) Michael Knepler Raoul Lobo Harry Minium ’77 Keith Pierce Kristin Baird Rattini James Sweeney Mary Westbrook (M.F.A. ’10) Contributing Art and Photography Bruce Butler, Vicki Cronis-Nohe, Dan Currier David Hollingsworth, Seth Patrick, Chuck Thomas ’90 Bill Tiernan, Roberto Westbrook ADMINISTRATION President John R. Broderick Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Augustine O. Agho Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communication and Marketing Giovanna M. Genard Executive Director of Strategic Communication and Marketing Caitlin B. Chandler Director of University Design and Publications Victoria E. Burke (M.S. Ed. ’94) Member, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Vol. 10 No. 1, Winter 2020 Published by the Office of Strategic Communication and Marketing Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia

John R. Broderick, President Old Dominion University Winter 2020


Letter from the Editor

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Our profile of Nationals ace Daniel Hudson ’08 in this issue takes me back to the emotional moments when my sons were born at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. I don’t think I was a whole lot of help, but I was glad I wasn’t shunted to the waiting room, like past generations of fathers. I also was fortunate to take a short paternity leave after each was born. Again, the particulars blur, but not the feeling of connectedness and the sense of time well-spent. Why does our story inspire such memories? Because Hudson generated as much attention for what he did off the field postseason as he did for his World Series-ending heroics. He was the first player to take a postseason paternity leave, missing the first game of the National League Championship Series for the birth of his daughter. “I couldn’t imagine not being there,” he says. “I was there for my first two, and it was such a magical experience.” Hudson caught some flak on social media – who doesn’t? – but emerged as a hero who kept sight of what matters most in life. As fellow reliever Sean Doolittle put it, “Our careers will end someday, but family is forever.” That theme also resounds in our profile of the Diaz family. Five adult children of Mexican immigrants all received college degrees, four of them from Old Dominion. And Luz and Alejandra will add ODU graduate degrees this academic year. The children credit their success to their parents and siblings. “They pushed me to do things I didn’t think I could do,” said Omar Diaz Bahena ’17, a cyber specialist with the Air Force stationed in England. And perhaps the most powerful moment in the press conference introducing ODU’s new football coach, Ricky Rahne, came when he thanked his wife, Jen. Rahne, who is featured in this issue, had warned he might get choked up. He did. “She’s my best friend, my greatest ally and my most loyal advocate,” he said. “I see this as an opportunity to prove to her that all her sacrifices were worth it.” I hope that 2020 also brings you special moments with family and friends. Philip Walzer Monarch Magazine and University Editor


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Monarch magazine and its e-counterpart, Monarch Extra, recently received the highest honor for magazines – the Excellence Award – from the Hampton Roads chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. In 2018, ODU’s magazines received a Merit Award from the society.



of this year’s first-time freshmen are the first from their families to attend college.

CLARIFICATION – U.S. News & World Report listed Old Dominion’s Darden College of Education & Professional Studies as No. 93 in the country in its Best Graduate School rankings for 2020. The summer issue of Monarch magazine reported that only ODU’s education program was ranked 93rd.

Comments and Letters IN DEFENSE OF SMITHFIELD FOODS Smithfield Foods Inc. would like to respond to “On Smithfield Foods, unions and the environment” in the winter 2019 issue. The author, Lynn Waltz, stated that the industrialization of meat processing has been “devastating” to our society, which could not be further from the truth. Modern meat production incorporates a high level of technology and automation, dramatically improving worker safety and making the entire process more efficient, sustainable and affordable. Smithfield leads the industry in caring for our animals while producing safe, high-quality foods and protecting the environment, our employees and the communities we call home. In addition, our efforts to cover manure lagoons on 90% of our hog finishing farms in four U.S. states will reduce methane emissions and convert that methane into renewable natural gas to power thousands of homes and businesses. Smithfield is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025. Learn more about our company at and our sustainability program at Keira Lombardo Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Compliance Smithfield Foods

A SUPER MAGAZINE After receiving my son’s ODU summer magazine, I was immediately inspired to open it up and begin reading. The cover is so colorful and artistic. It spoke loudly about what is happening on campus. Much to my pleasure, the page icons pointed out the articles I was searching for, and, yes, they are superheroes! I wanted to write you a quick blurb to express my enthusiasm. On the cover, the superheroes surround the campus, and boldly the Monarchs save the day. Well done! Thank you for putting out a great magazine. Jan Galloway (mother of Bret Galloway ’13) Troutville, Virginia

Can you name the star? A big Hollywood celeb retweeted this shout-out to ODU and the recent film “American Dreamer.” Send your answer to We’ll tell you the name of the VIP, and the name of the first person who got it right, in the spring issue. And read more about “American Dreamer” on Page 64.


October 2019 Vol. 3 No.2

ODU Remembers

Our special fall issue of Monarch Extra pays tribute to the five Monarchs and seven others who lost their lives in the Virginia Beach shootings. Read it at

Winter 2020



OPENING DAY Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium




ob and Toni Wolf grieved in late

against Norfolk State.

began tearing down Foreman Field.

down the sideline stands and replacing them

watched from atop the 49th Street

concessions stands and restrooms.

2018 when Old Dominion University The Virginia Beach couple often Parking Garage as S.B. Ballard Construction took down their

beloved 82-year-old football stadium.

But nine months later, on Aug. 31, 2019, Toni

and husband Bob were among the 21,944 fans

who marveled when the new Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium opened its gates for its first game

The $67.5 million renovation included tearing

with nearly 16,000 new seats and 21st -century “We absolutely love the new stadium,” Toni Wolf


She especially loved the fact that the stadium had

far more women’s restrooms.

ODU rallied to defeat Norfolk State, 24-21. The

Monarchs would lose their next 11 games, but on this night, it was a celebration of all things ODU. “Never in my wildest

dreams did I ever think

we’d ever have a stadium like this,” said Stephanie

Carr Field, a former ODU

cheerleader from Stuart, Fla.

“It’s such a huge upgrade.”

Bob Struhar ’95 (M.S. Ed. ’96) is ready for the game 90 minutes before kickoff.


Monarch | Old Dominion University

A member of an Army Black Daggers parachute demonstration team prepares to land on Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium as fans wait for the start of the game.

Fans at the south end of the field cheer on the players as they run onto the field before the game.

Fans stand as the Monarch Marching Band plays the National Anthem, with a large American flag unfurled.

Winter 2020


ODU President John R. Broderick (second from right) with (from left) Athletic Director Wood Selig, Senior Associate Athletic Director Jena Virga, Barry Kornblau ’71 (for whom the field is named) and Alonzo Brandon, vice president for university advancement.

(From left) Madison Backover, Zeenath Malik and Kiya Hicks, in the stadium’s student section, show some school spirit as the Monarchs gain yardage.

The Dynasty Dance Team performs with the band at halftime.


Monarch | Old Dominion University

A view from the upper deck of the East Side of the stadium as the sun sets during the game.

Scott Jeltema ’13 celebrates with friends as ODU scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter on the way to its 24-21 victory.

One of the stadium’s two new 300-foot ribbon scoreboards.

Winter 2020


A head for football By Harry Minium ’77

Ricky Rahne was at S.B. Ballard Stadium to prep for his first press conference as Old Dominion University’s head football coach when he saw his wife, Jen, and sons Ryder, 10, and Jake, 8, heading toward the elevator. He excused himself, walked toward them, cupped his hands and shouted, “I love you.”

Photo by Roberto Westbrook

That’s not something you often hear a football coach say, but Rahne (pronounced RAH-knee) is not your typical coach. He promises that his family and those of his assistant coaches will become integrally involved in ODU football. “If you ever talk to any players Ricky’s coached,” Jen said, “they will tell you that I’ve been a part of their lives, as have my kids. Instead of separating his two lives, he involves us in his football life.” It’s something, Rahne said, that will strengthen ODU’s program, as it did at Penn State, where he was offensive coordinator the last two seasons. “I asked Jen to marry me because when I was with her, I was a better person,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I want my wife and my kids around this program. We’ve got a great group of players here, and I want them to see that it’s OK to tell your wife you love her, to kiss your kids and hug them. “Yes, we’re big, tough football players,” Rahne said, “but I want them to see that it’s OK to love.” The Rahnes often dined with Penn State players, and Jen and the boys were frequent visitors to the Penn State football building, establishing close relation12

Monarch | Old Dominion University

ships with the players. When Trace McSorley, the former Penn State quarterback now with the Baltimore Ravens, took a victory lap in his last game at Beaver Stadium, he held Ryder’s hand as he walked the last 20 yards. “To this day, when I think about it, that makes me well up with tears,” Jen Rahne said. Ricky Rahne brings much more to ODU than love of family. During the on-campus interview, President John R. Broderick said, Rahne impressed him with his knowledge of ODU, including its strongest academic programs. He even researched how to pronounce Norfolk. At 39, Rahne is one of the youngest major college football coaches. “Young coaches have energy and the desire to win,” ODU athletic director Wood Selig said. More important, Rahne has been successful everywhere he’s been. He followed legendary coach James Franklin from Kansas State to Vanderbilt and later, Penn State. All of those programs blossomed. Rahne brings Penn State’s football philosophy with him, including a no-huddle, shotgun offense. “We’re going to run a fun, exciting brand of football,” said offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell, who followed Rahne from Penn State. Rahne comes across as humble, quiet, yet friendly. But don’t mistake that for a lack of intensity. “Coach Rahne has a lot of fire in him,” Campbell said. “He loves to coach hard and love the guys up at the end of the season. He’s very passionate about football.” Rahne met Jen in 1998, when they were 18-year-old freshmen living in the same residence hall at Cornell. She was a volleyball player; he was a standout quarterback. They’ve been together ever since, although not always in the same city. While Ricky pursued his coaching career, Jen spent eight years working in land development in Washington. These days, Jen is fully in charge of the kids while Ricky is

away recruiting or at the office until late at night. “Being apart allowed us to grow as individuals,” she said. “I’m an independent person. I can handle the family on my own and picking up and moving on my own.” About a week after Ryder was born, Ricky went on a recruiting trip to California for almost a month. He was eaten up with guilt until Jen reminded him that Ryder would not remember his time away. Their boys “understand that Dad isn’t going to be able to see every football, basketball or hockey game,” Jen said. “But they know we can head to the football office whenever we want to.” Each summer, Ricky takes his family on a trip to Major League Baseball parks. “When I’m on vacation, I still get calls from recruits, and I need to take those calls,” he said. “But you’ve got to make time for your family. They deserve it, right? There are times when you put your phone down and just be with them.” His phone will be off when the Rahnes visit Germany over spring break. “I’ve never been to Europe,” he said. “But it’s not just where we’re going that makes it a special trip. I’ll be with my wife and kids. “I’m so excited to be able to hang out with Jen.” Harry Minium ’77 is a senior executive writer at ODU. Read about Rahne’s assistant coaches and their families at www.odu. edu/monarchmag

The Wilder years Bobby Wilder helped build Old Dominion football from scratch and twice took the Monarchs to the NCAA playoffs, won a bowl game and upset nationally ranked Virginia Tech. He won 77 games as ODU’s head coach. But after 11 seasons, the last with a 1-11 record, he resigned on Dec. 2. “He represented the school from his first day until his last press conference with nothing but class and dignity,” President John R. Broderick said. At that press conference, Wilder said: “We went through every detail of the football program that I love, that I built, that I dedicated the last 4,373 days of my life to, and I realized it was time to turn the program over to new leadership.” When it was over, he received a standing ovation. “I’ll always be a Monarch,” Wilder said later. “What happened today doesn’t change that.”

Winter 2020



Washington Nationals pitcher Daniel Hudson ’08 experienced two historic moments in postseason play last fall. But they didn’t both happen on the field.


et’s start with the one that did. The World Series. Seventh game. Bottom of the ninth. The score: Nationals 6, Astros 2. Just three outs from winning the series. Hudson, 32, had been warming up since the sixth inning. He’d recorded four saves and one victory earlier in the postseason but was scored on in his previous two appearances in the Series. Manager Davey Martinez sent him in. That inning, “I was just trying to channel all of the nervous energy and adrenaline into everything I threw,” Hudson said. He got George Springer to pop up and then struck out pint-sized slugger Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley. One-twothree. Game won. Series over.


Hudson lifted his arms and flung his glove in the air in triumph. Rewind nine days. First game of the National League Championship Series. Hudson wasn’t throwing in the bullpen. He wasn’t even in the stadium. He’d flown to Scottsdale, Arizona, the day before to accompany his wife, Sara ’10, for the birth of their third daughter. He was the first major league player to take advantage of a postseason paternity leave. On social media, Hudson was zinged by former Miami Marlins president David Samson, who called his move “inexcusable.” But the majority stood by Hudson, including Nationals players and execs. “Everybody on the team sent really nice messages, like ‘Go be with your family,’ ”

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Hudson said. “I couldn’t imagine not being there for the birth of my third daughter. I was there for my first two and it was such a magical experience. Yes, it was an important game, but it was one game.” Hudson’s success off the field and on – after a topsy-turvy season – didn’t surprise Jerry Meyers, his coach at ODU. “He’s just a quality person,” said Meyers, director of alumni engagement and development for the University of South Carolina’s Athletics Department. “He was humble, he wasn’t arrogant, but he was very competitive. He had an uncanny knack for making pitches when he needed to, and that was even before he got to ODU.” Hudson is glad he didn’t go pro after


graduating from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach in 2005. Going to Old Dominion “made me a better pitcher and a better man,” he said. “I learned how to be an adult at ODU – making my own decisions, managing my own time.” Even learning how to cook and do his laundry. Academics weren’t a problem. “Teachers seemed to always have a good impression of him everywhere he went,” Meyers said. Hudson, a sport management major, recalled his GPA in the low 3s. “I wanted to make sure I stayed on top of my grades. You’re representing your coaches, the athletic department and the university.” And if he hadn’t gone to Old Dominion, he wouldn’t have met Sara Milley in Whitehurst Hall in 2005 when they were freshmen. They started dating in the spring of 2006 and got married in 2011. Sara, who earned a nursing degree, has worked as a labor and delivery nurse. In 2008, after his third year at ODU, Hudson was drafted by the Chicago White Sox. He’s experienced colossal challenges and comebacks during his 11-year career. In his best season as a starter, he won 16 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. But the next year, a ligament in Hudson’s elbow tore, requiring Tommy John surgery. It happened again – the tear and the surgery – in 2013. “To still be relevant in the game of baseball six years after the second one is pretty rare,” he said. “Maybe the baseball gods thought I went through enough.” To save his arm, Hudson switched from starter to reliever. “I struggled at first, having that mentality that you have to have your best stuff from the get-go.” For Hudson, last season started less auspiciously than it ended. The Los Angeles Angels signed him to a minor league contract in February and cut him in March. The Toronto Jays picked him up a few days later and then traded him in July to the Nationals, which turned him into a closer, pitching mostly in the ninth inning. “I’m still not a huge fan of closing games,” he said. “I don’t have your typical closer stuff.” Maybe not, but in Washington he was 3-0 with a microscopic 1.44

earned-run average. “I’m not going to sit here and say I figured everything out. No one in baseball does. But I always knew I had that in me, the success I had this season. I just needed a good opportunity to do it.” Hudson was speaking from his car while waiting to pick up his middle daughter, 3-year-old Parker, from preschool. Baylor, the oldest, is 5. The baby is Millie, a different spelling of her mother’s maiden name. Parker loves wearing princess dresses. Baylor is into gymnastics and basketball. Not softball?

“I just want them to do whatever makes them happy. If I had a boy, I don’t know if I’d want him to play baseball. It can wear you down mentally.” In January, Hudson signed a two-year $11 million contract with the Nationals. A few months before, Hudson was characteristically well-balanced about his long-term future: “A lot of it has to do with my body and how long it holds up. I’m not too worried. I would call my career pretty successful even if I didn’t play after this year.”

Another Monarch, Justin Verlander ’04, pitched in the Series. He didn’t win any games for the Houston Astros, but he had such a good season that he received the Cy Young Award in the American League (for the second time in his career). During the season, Verlander also led the majors with 21 wins, struck out 300, got his third no-hitter and surpassed 3,000 career strikeouts.

Winter 2020



DIRTY BUFFALO Dirty Buffalo, Gilbert doesn’t just wing it

GILBERT DOESN’T JUST WING IT By Lorraine Eaton  (’85, M.F.A. ’99)


Monarch | Old Dominion University

Photos by Roberto Westbrook


arly fall. The turf has been trod at the Monarchs’ new stadium, and the Buffalo Bills have blasted to a 3-0 start. But in Virginia Beach, Russell Gilbert ’10 faced a tense overtime situation with the clock running out.  At what would be the third location of his popular restaurant, The Dirty Buffalo, a couple of paint-splattered workers debated the shade for the foundation – signature blue or black? An electrician sat atop a ladder wiring ceiling fans. Elsewhere, someone hammered incessantly.  Gilbert had wanted to open the restaurant by the start of the football season, and it was mid-September. Plus, “I got the in-laws in town right now and they’re going to come here tomorrow and I really want them to see it dolled up nice,” said Gilbert, 37, who opened his first restaurant with his wife, Stephanie, on Colley Avenue in 2012. It wasn’t only the mess and the impending in-law visit that had Gilbert riled. It was the money.   His restaurants specialize in chicken wings, one of the most popular football noshes. The Dirty Buffalo No. 3 would be the biggest, with 25 big-screen TVs and seating for 200. Delays had already siphoned tens of thousands of dollars from revenue.  But Gilbert has flourished in an industry that eats entrepreneurs. With his hard-driving personality and obsession with detail, he knew he’d overcome this hurdle, too.  Studies estimate 61% of independents are gone within three years. At The Dirty Buffalo, though, business is booming. Gilbert predicted that combined sales for the Colley

Avenue and Little Creek Road locations in Norfolk would top $6 million in 2019. That’s a lot of wings, which sell for $1.17 to $1.39 each. The Dirty Buffalo last year won the Regional Small Business of the Year Award from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Guy Fieri stopped by in 2017, and on its website, the Food Network gushed, “the best wings south of Buffalo.”  Add to that rookie of the year and two first-place props in the 2018 National Buffalo Wing Festival for Gilbert’s Cajun Buffalo and Sweet Sriracha sauces. They’re just two of the 32 signature sauces and rubs that coat his wings. And, by the way, the wings are always fried, never baked. That, Gilbert said, would be “a sin.”  Gilbert at turns seemed awed by his success and convinced that his intense work ethic (and really smart wife) got him here.

Winter 2020



Monarch | Old Dominion University


ilbert met Stephanie while managing grocery stores in Buffalo, the epicenter of the chicken wing universe. In 2005, the couple moved to Williamsburg, where Stephanie attended law school at the College of William & Mary. But something was amiss.  “We wanted to watch our Bills play on Sundays and eat wings,” he said. “But the wings here were terrible.”  Gilbert’s dream was to open a sports bar. Very methodically, he prepared to do just that.  He decided to study marketing. He chose ODU “because it was a lot like home,” and he appreciated how the university had a connection with the city. While working at a small restaurant in Norfolk, Gilbert absorbed everything he could and built a list of potentially helpful contacts – from real estate agents to an electrician. He conducted his own market research, handing out surveys to students and camping out on Monarch Way, sometimes for nine-hour stretches, counting every customer entering eateries.  Stephanie, meanwhile, crafted a business plan and worked to change a Norfolk ordinance that forbade Colley Avenue businesses from selling alcohol after midnight on weekends.  Opening that first tiny Colley Avenue location was brutal, Gilbert said, because he was an outsider lacking local contacts to help him navigate the permitting process.  The second location, which opened on East Little Creek Road in 2017, went more smoothly. With the third, near the Virginia Beach Amphitheater, the payroll has swelled from 18 to 170. Employee benefits include a 401(k) plan and medical insurance.  Customer service is key to the success, Gilbert said. He drills it down to the tiniest detail. For example, if an employee answers the phone “Dirty Buffalo,” that’s gonna make the bossman mad. It’s “The Dirty Buffalo.” He applied the same obsessive attention to detail with carry-out, which accounts for 24% of his business. Instead of mak-

A PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY RUB? More fun facts about The Dirty Buffalo

A BUFFALO HERD? Three locations may be just the beginning. Gilbert signed his first franchisee in October. TRY THE PB&J Gilbert still blends all the sauces and rubs, and nothing is off-limits when he disappears into the kitchen of the Colley Avenue restaurant. Consider a few of the flavors: chicken-and-waffles,

ing to-go customers order at the bar, he has a dedicated counter.  “That’s why people do carry-out,” he said. “You don’t want to have to get all dolled up. Guys just want to put a hoodie on and go. We don’t want to be judged.” Sure, it might cost him a few seats, but the payoff is more customers. And with the opening of No. 3 on Oct. 30, that number is sure to keep growing.

Get this! The Colley Avenue bartop is from the old 4400 Club.

A couple of nights before opening day, a “soft” opening hosted three seatings, each for 150 fans, who sucked every last shred from piles of glistening wings. “I’m from upstate New York where this all started,” said regular Jim Knarr, of Norfolk, amid the clatter. “I can tell when a wing is pre-baked or pre-fried. His are always fresh, crisp on the outside, tender and meaty on the inside. Here you are just not going to get a bad wing.” Lorraine Eaton (B.A. ’85, M.F.A. ’99), former staff epicure at The Virginian-Pilot, believes that making wings is better left to the pros.

maple-bacon and even a PB&J wing made with strawberries and peanut butter. “It’s one of those wings that tastes way better than you’d think.” HE’S INTO EVERYTHING Gilbert is a hands-on guy. During the transformation of his third location in Virginia Beach, you’d be as likely to see him

hammering nails as meeting with a food vendor. COME HUNGRY Gilbert is adamant that The Dirty Buffalo is not a sports bar; it’s a restaurant. In fact, food accounts for 80% of sales – far higher than the 45% required by Virginia to hold a liquor license.

OPTICS MATTER Lessons he learned at ODU guide his business decisions. At the new location, entering customers previously saw the bar and a long line of beer taps. That was the wrong first impression, Gilbert thought. He redesigned the entrance so that guests would initially see the dining room and game room.

Winter 2020


ALL IN THE FAMILY They dropped out and then plunged back in By Philip Walzer

Photos by Vicki Cronis-Nohe

Laura and Ian Reagan, both 48, have multiple degrees and impressive careers – he in traffic research, she in trauma therapy. Their lives looked a lot different when they met in 1994. Both had dropped out of Old Dominion University. They were working as delivery drivers for a Norfolk restaurant, making minimum wage. This is the story of what Laura calls “our nontraditional route.” Both grew up in Norfolk. They left ODU at different times in their undergraduate careers and for different reasons. Laura dropped out after her first semester in 1989. The way she sees it now, it was an immature attempt to assert her independence. Ian stopped just five credits short of his bachelor’s degree in 1993. “I was always interested in the experimental side of psychology,” he said, “but I think I was very intimidated at the age of 22 at the prospect of signing on to a five- to seven-year commitment to graduate school.” They met in 1994 and started sharing lunch at the restaurant where they worked. “Her worldview and perspective on things really seemed to strike a chord in me,” he said. They married in 1996. He had since moved to a job as a warehouse manager. After their son was born later that year, “it made me realize I needed to finish my degree.” All Ian had left were two one-credit PE classes and an American history course. He graduated in 1998. “I couldn’t believe that I had waited for five years. It was 20

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absurd.” Laura had been working part time as a legal assistant and raising their son and daughter. She began taking classes at Tidewater Community College and transferred to Old Dominion in 2002, with half the credits she needed for a bachelor’s degree. At first, “I felt so far behind. Everyone else was a freshman, and I was about 30. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’” Later she realized: “This is an advantage. I have more life experience and can put it more into perspective.” Both said their stop-and-start college careers provided benefits even after they graduated. Now, as a counselor, Laura said, she can better connect with clients “who don’t take a conventional path to their goals.” For Ian, receiving his bachelor’s degree later in life made the next step a little easier. “When I decided on my Ph.D. program, I weighed the pros and cons pretty thoroughly. You’re a lot more mature at age 29 than you are at 22.” Each gravitated to the social sciences. “We’re both

focused on people and human behavior,” Laura said. “But his work involves applied research, and mine is more clinical.” Laura received her sociology degree from ODU in 2005 and a master’s in social work in 2010 from the University of Maryland. She started a solo practice in 2013 – the Baltimore Annapolis Center for Integrative Healing. Now she has five associates. Their clients include survivors of childhood abuse and members of the LGBT community who have faced trauma. “They can’t undo that experience,” she said, “but they can feel better than they ever felt before. “I’ve seen hundreds of people who really felt like their life was at rock bottom transform to where they understand their strengths, instead of being ashamed of the things they’ve been through.” Laura uses a somatic, or “body-based,” approach to therapy, sometimes incorporating art. “The more typical therapy works from the brain down, using thinking to change how you feel. This uses the body to access emotion.” If a client recalls a traumatic experience, Laura might ask: “As you are talking, what do you notice in your body?” She explained: “They say trauma is held in the body. If you get to the root of it, you can make it go away for good.” In 2015, Laura started a podcast, Therapy Chat, which, like her practice, has experienced significant growth. It averages 80,000 downloads a month, she said. Not only has it brought more exposure to her prac-

tice, “it also has helped me grow as a person. It’s very good for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.” Ian received his master’s in psychology in 2005 and doctorate in 2011, both from ODU. His interest is “how humans adapt to technology” on the road. He’s a senior research scientist with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit group. Through his work, he hopes to reduce the volume of accidents, saving lives as well as insurance costs. He admits to a great job perk. “I get to drive some amazing cars with some of the coolest technology,” such as Teslas and Maseratis. But he cautions against the hype surrounding self-driving cars. “There’s this idea that if we automate it, we’ll eliminate over 90 percent of crashes. It’s nowhere near that simple.” His research has found that drivers trust some features, such as adaptive cruise control, more than others, such as lane-centering technology. Also, “there are major differences in how automakers implement the same technology.” Ian, who has been quoted in The New York Times, said he’s “super-excited” about his latest work, studying drivers’ reactions to cars with partial driving automation. “Do they trust it too much and become inattentive or will they distrust it and never use it?” Like Laura, Ian is trying to spread his expertise, speaking at conferences across the country. There’s one more thing he and his wife have in common, Ian said. “I don’t know how she does what she does, and she feels the same way about me.”

On Ian’s driving

“My driving is about the same as it was before I started working in highway safety. One of the things that has changed is when I see a car driving really slow or drifting out of its lane, I crane my neck to see if the person is looking at their cellphone (which they usually are). Laura says that I’m going to be the traffic safety guy who gets in a distracted-driving crash because I’m distracted by what the other driver is doing.”

Winter 2020


ALL IN THE FAMILY From Mexico to Monarchs: One family’s journey By Philip Walzer

A few years ago, Serafico Diaz was traveling through Norfolk and looked with wonder at the Greyhound bus station downtown. “This is where I would get off when I came here to work, even before you were born,” his daughter Luz Diaz ’16 (M.A. ’19) remembered him saying. Her sister Alejandra Diaz-Rangel ’12 (M.S. Ed. ’14) finished his quote: “I never thought I would have four kids graduate from the university down the street.” She added: “You could tell how proud he was saying that.” For a decade, Serafico Diaz had made the exhausting 54-hour bus journey from a small village in central Mexico to the Eastern Shore, where he worked on a farm five months out of the year. In 1993, Diaz moved his family permanently to the Eastern Shore – when Luz, the baby, was just 5 months old – to give them a better life. He succeeded more than he had 22

ever dreamed. Among them, the five Diaz children have earned 12 college degrees, six from Old Dominion. And they’ll be up to 13 diplomas by the end of the academic year. Luz received her master’s degree in international relations from ODU in December, and Alejandra expects to obtain her doctorate in higher education administration in May. Both received the Broderick Diversity Champion Award. “Our parents worked so hard,” Luz said. “So how could we just sit there and not do the same when we watched them make things happen for all of us?” At the defense of her master’s thesis last fall, Luz couldn’t keep from crying. “I’m extremely passionate about this,” she explained. The subject was immigration. The thesis was based on a visit in 2018 with her adviser, Erika Frydenlund, to Lesbos, Greece, which has faced tension between residents and refugees from Syria and other

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From left: Alejandra DiazRangel ’12 (M.S. Ed. ’14) and Luz Diaz ’16 (M.A. ’19). Photos by Chuck Thomas nations. She focused on the changing attitude of Greeks – “from compassion to resistance” – which she attributed to a failure to inform them of the process. Luz herself experienced a change of perspective after her research. “It’s important not to think just about the refugees, but about all of the people who are absorbing the tragedy,” Luz, 26, said in an interview. “It’s also important to advocate for them and their livelihood.” She’d come a long way from kindergarten, where “I didn’t know my ABCs at first.” Luz graduated from Eastern Shore Community College in 2013 and transferred to Old Dominion, attracted to the diversity on campus. She majored in human services and participated in groups including the Catholic Campus Ministry. Just as influential were a mission trip to Jamaica and a semester abroad in Madrid. Those experiences persuaded Luz

to enroll in the master’s program in international studies. She also works as an ODU admissions counselor. Ultimately, Luz wants to work in “immigration and refugee advocacy in one form or another. I want to make things better for those who do not have a voice and need some guidance.” Like her younger sister, Alejandra didn’t learn English till kindergarten. That didn’t stop her from joining her high school forensics team, which won the state title. “That was the moment I realized, ‘I can do anything.’ I couldn’t waste what my parents did for us.” Alejandra graduated from Eastern Shore Community College in 2010 after just one year. She took the fast track partly to catch up with her boyfriend, Tomas Rangel ’12 (M.S.

’14), whom she later married. They live in Melfa. At ODU, she majored in foreign languages, graduating in 2012, two years after she arrived. She still had time for such activities as the Latino Student Alliance and intramural soccer, volleyball and flag football. Alejandra received her master’s in counseling from ODU in 2014. She later worked as the University’s interim assistant director for international initiatives. Since 2016, she’s worked at Tidewater Community College, the last two years as a FastForward career coach. The state’s FastForward program provides support for adults to enroll in non-credit certificate programs, preparing them for such jobs as welder and clinical medical assistant. “I see my parents in a lot of my students,” Alejandra, 29, said. She began the doctoral program in higher education administration in 2015. “I’ll have The Diaz sisters with their brothers, Miguel Diaz ’13 and Omar Diaz Bahena ’17.

more opportunities to move up in administration and have a say in how things are run.” Luz and Alejandra have three siblings: Miguel Diaz, 30, teaches English as a second language at Metompkin Elementary School on the Eastern Shore. He received an associate degree from Eastern Shore Community College in 2011 and a bachelor’s from ODU in 2013, double-majoring in business management and linguistics. Omar Diaz Bahena, 28, is a cyber specialist with the Air Force, stationed at the Lakenheath base in Suffolk, England. Omar received two associate degrees, in liberal arts and general education, from Eastern Shore in 2012 and a bachelor’s in history from ODU in 2017. The eldest, Maria Leticia Rodriguez, 37, received her associate degree in business administration from Eastern Shore in 2003. She is a member accounts specialist with A&N Electric Cooperative in Tasley on the Eastern Shore. The siblings are quick to credit one another and their parents for their success. “It was always a family-friendly competition with ourselves,” Miguel said. “We all motivated each other to pursue the realm of academics.” And now their mother, Vicenta, is pursuing her GED. For their part, Serafico and Vicenta Diaz said: “We are very proud of them. They are very responsible and hard-working, and they have achieved a great deal, thanks to their education.” And they’ve inspired the next generation, Alejandra said. Her older sister’s son recently asked: “What do you think I should study when I go to ODU?” “He has that mentality,” Alejandra said, “and he’s only 11.” Winter 2020


Treating Ailing Pros



By Benjamin Gleisser

he sight of an athletic trainer helphe sight ofing an an athletic an injured injuredtrainer player helping off the court – or player off the court or fieldnew – is for nothing for field – is –nothing sportsnew viewers. sports viewers. What may surprise them is the What may surprise them is the psycholpsychologyogy behind thethe effort, sayssays JoeJoe Sharpe ’91’91 behind effort, Sharpe (M.S. ’93).(M.S. ’93). “When I leave the Icourt an injured player, “When leavewith the court with an I always have my arm around him,” says Sharpe, injured player, I always have my arm around him,” says 50, directorSharpe, of healthcare and sports performance for theperNBA’s 50, director of healthcare and sports Charlotte Hornets. so much because he needs to be supformance“Not for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. “Not so ported walking, but I want him to know that I care about him.”  much because he needs to be supported walking, but I While players are recuperating, “it’s a challenge for them bewant him to know that I care about him.”  cause they’re While suddenly out playing playersof aretheir comfort recuperating,zone “it’s of a challenge basketball,”for hethem because says. “My job they’re is to bring them back their comsuddenly out oftotheir comfort zone. They’re relying on me to make good decisions for is their fort zone of playing basketball,” he says. “My job healing.”  to bring them back to their comfort zone. They’re relySharpe ising a big proponent the mind-body connection. So he on me to makeofgood decisions for their healing.”  constantly meets with rehabbing playersofand them to contalk Sharpe is a big proponent thegets mind-body nection. So he constantly meets with rehabbing players and gets them to talk about their aches, pains and frustrations. “Players don’t care how much you know; they want to know how much you care,” he says. Though players get a few months off between seasons, most

athletic trainwith pro sports franchises – in

Keeping Cirque artists healthy Think athletic trainers work only for sports teams? Talk to Chad Fraser (M.S. Ed. ’04), who joined the circus.  “We call our performers artists, but they’re very athletic,” says Fraser, 42, the performance medicine head therapist for Cirque du Soleil’s show Kurios. “There’s so many different body types here, from a 250-pound guy who throws people through the air to a 100-pound contortionist, and they all need to be taken care of in their own unique way.”  Fraser says a lot of his work involves preventing injury: “I watch how they train and learn how their body works. Then I give them calisthenics and stretching exercises that mimic the movements they make on stage.”  Fraser spent seven years as an athletic


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trainer at Christopher Newport University. While attending a wedding in Canada, he applied to Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil and was hired in 2011.  Julie Cavallario, program director of ODU’s Athletic Training Program, says it’s a common misconception that athletic trainers work only for sports teams.   “Twenty percent of our graduates work in physicians’ offices, and others, like Chad, work behind the scenes with performing arts groups or in companies like Boeing or Dominion Energy, where they help factory employees and high-wire electricians prevent injuries on the job.”

ers who work

Clockwise from left: Wes Brown (Miami Heat), David Iannicca (Kansas City Royals) and Joe Sharpe (Charlotte Hornets).

about their aches, pains and frustrations. “Players don’t care how much you know; they want to know how much you care,” he says. Though players get a few months off between seasons, most athletic trainers who work with pro sports franchises – including Sharpe, Wes Brown (M.S. Ed. ’02), assistant athletic trainer with the Miami Heat, and David Iannicca (M.S. Ed. ’06), minor league medical coordinator for the Kansas City Royals – work year-round. When they’re not monitoring players

sidelined from injuries, they’re evaluating free agents and potential draft choices for the front office and keeping abreast of the latest developments in sports medicine.  Like many athletic trainers, Brown, 41, began working at the collegiate level before moving to the pros. While attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington, he twisted his knee and got help from an athletic training student. Brown was so impressed with the student’s rehabbing suggestions, he switched his

major from physical education to athletic training.  He received his master’s degree in athletic training from Old Dominion and credits Bonnie Van Lunen, now dean of the College of Health Sciences, for his success. “She helped me mature as a student and kept me focused on my goals,” Brown says. “She helped improve my evaluation skills, and I still use those lessons today.” Brown returned to Wilmington as clinical coordinator, became director of sports medicine and then went to the University of Miami before joining the Heat in 2014.  He has seen similar injuries at the college and pro levels, including ankle sprains, resulting from landing incorrectly, and patella tendinitis, or strained knee ligaments. What’s different? The reactions of the athletes.    “College athletes are more aggressive about wanting to return to play,” probably because they want pro scouts to notice them, Brown says. “At the NBA level, I work with older, more talented men who know they have a lot more at stake: their families, their careers. Plus, there’s big money involved with some players, so we take time with their treatment to make sure that when we send them back to the game, they won’t end up back on our table.”  David Iannicca, 39, joined the Royals in 2006. After spending eight seasons as the certified athletic trainer with the Triple-A Omaha team,

Iannicca was named the Royals’ minor league medical coordinator in 2018. In that position, he helps evaluate and decide the treatment of player injuries, as well as supervise a staff of 10 athletic trainers at minor league affiliates. “At the minor league level, part of my job is teaching athletes how to understand their body mechanics,” he said. “When some of them got injured, they thought it was the end of the world. But by the time they hit Triple-A, they understand how to be proactive when it comes to injury prevention and dealing with shoulder and elbow injuries.”  In addition to evaluating athletes before the Major League Baseball draft, Iannicca assesses potential free agents. “Scouts and others perform athletic and mental assessments, while I look carefully at their medical records and health histories,” he says. “Have they had shoulder, elbow or other injuries in the past? These questions are important because we’re making big-money investments in these guys.” Iannicca also met his wife, Jackie Gaida Iannicca (M.S. Ed. ’04), in ODU’s program. While he works with major leaguers, she works with majors – and other military personnel – as an athletic trainer at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix. At age 60, Toronto-based freelance writer Benjamin Gleisser keeps in shape by jogging to the refrigerator three times a day. Winter 2020


Model UN prepared her for


By Michael Knepler

Singh with her parents at their home in Chesapeake.


Photos by Bill Tiernan Shamina Singh ’91 travels the globe to advance social good for Mastercard. Her experience as secretary general at Old Dominion University’s Model United Nations provided the perfect training. “Model UN helped me think about policy from all the different sides and from all the different interests,” she says. “The victory was not in domination. You were judged on consensus-building and how you got along with other delegates. It was an interesting proxy for how I engage today.”  Based in New

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York, Singh, 50, is executive vice president of sustainability at Mastercard, where she is also founder and president of Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth. The center, created in 2013, is the philanthropic hub that leverages such company resources as people, technology and data to reduce economic inequality and improve communities worldwide. “There are about 1.75 billion people today who are completely excluded from the global financial system, which means they can’t do a lot of things that you and I take for granted, like buying an airline ticket online or getting a small business loan,” Singh says. “Having the humility to understand what they actually want versus what we think they need is essential when designing programs for inclusive economic growth.” Inclusiveness has become a popular buzzword in recent years. But Singh grew up in a household that lived it.

Her parents, Dr. Amarjit and Jagdish Singh, immigrants from India, are well known in Hampton Roads for their community involvement and human rights activism. Their home in the Western Branch area of Chesapeake was nicknamed “The Global Village,” or “The GV” for short, because a diverse array of people – from Shamina’s childhood friends to international students at ODU – visited for meals or just to hang out. The Singhs also helped organize multicultural and international activities for students at Old Dominion, which became an “anchor” for their family, Shamina recalls. With that upbringing, she felt part of the ODU community long before she enrolled there. In addition, a sister, Tuni Singh ’83 (profiled in spring 2017), participated in Model UN and other leadership activities, including as emcee at one of Old Dominion’s annual tributes to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Seeing her in action made me think, ‘Wow, look what happens when you can inspire a crowd with words,’ ” Shamina says. Tuni died of cancer in November. At ODU, Shamina majored in political science with a certificate in women’s studies and began to envision a career advocating for social justice. She volunteered in political campaigns, including for L. Douglas Wilder, who became the nation’s first elected African American governor. Singh also participated in events such as the March for Women’s Lives in Washington. Singh’s interest in activism and academics took her to Texas, where she worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Ann Richards and completed a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Texas at Austin. Next came jobs in Washington, including positions with a large labor union and two federal agencies. In 2002, Singh went back to Texas to work on the U.S. Senate candidacy of Ron Kirk, a Dallas mayor who had been state secretary of state under Richards. Kirk lost, but Singh met Ashley Bell, who was also working on Kirk’s campaign. They married in 2007. “Ashley is from Arkansas, and I’m from southern Virginia,” Singh says. “We were both raised in small towns, so we have a very similar sensibility about people, about connection to community, connection to family and connection to faith.”  Singh returned to Washington to serve as an aide to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, then the minority leader for Democrats in the House, whom Singh describes as “one of the smartest and most dedicated people I’ve ever met.”  A few years later, Singh ventured into the private sector, working first on global economic development for Citi, an international financial services company, and then as vice president for government and public affairs for Nike. She met Ajay Banga, a Citi executive who would become president and CEO of Mastercard, in 2010. He recruited Singh in 2013 to launch the Center for Inclusive Growth. “Ajay and the board had a really strong view about combining profitability with purpose and with social impact as part of the strategy of the company,” she says. Singh also promotes social justice outside Mastercard.

Singh with Emmanuel Tuyisenge in his factory in Kigali, Rwanda.

In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed her to the THE WAY IT IS Corporation for National WITH NETWORKING and Community Service, a Shamina Singh federal agency that supports preaches the value several nationwide volunteer of networking and initiatives, including Amerimentorship. That’s how Corps and VISTA. Her term she landed one of her first concluded in December. jobs, as executive assistant “I have come to really unto musician-songwriter derstand the power of public Bruce Hornsby in service,” says Singh, who Williamsburg. chaired the board for three Singh had been working years. “People want to know at a Williamsburg center what they can do to make a for children with learning difference.”  difficulties. Hornsby’s Singh’s far-flung travel has wife, Kathy, served on not diminished her apprecithe board. Other board ation for her local roots. She members told her that stays connected with ODU, Singh would be a good fit often speaking to students in for the job with Hornsby. women’s studies. Then Singh got the offer. On visits to her parents, she first drives out of her way Learn how Shamina from Norfolk International Singh’s journey inspired Airport “to see the university one ODU student again and what’s happenat ing there” before heading monarchmag for Chesapeake.  From her parents’ home, she drives a few blocks to the Dunkin’ doughnut shop where she held her first job as a teenager. She orders coffee and doughnut holes and tells employees she worked there 35 years ago. And she always leaves a big tip.  Michael Knepler is a freelance writer in Norfolk. Winter 2020


He’s kept his paper profitable with investigations, new ventures By Eric Butterman


ith “All the President’s Men” in the ’70s, investigative reporters Woodward and Bernstein helped make the newspaper king. But there are moments and balance sheets today that make you wonder if royalty may be dying out. Not so, says Patrick Dorsey ’90. It’s only changing.  Since September 2018, he’s been publisher of the Aus-


tin American-Statesman, the main paper for the capital of the Lone Star State. He succeeds with a big dose of hard-edged reporting from the newspaper’s news teams and an assortment of complementary business ventures – from events including a 10K race to a streaming radio station. That, he said, might be one of the formulas for survival in a struggling industry. And it’s just the ticket for a Texas town that pictures itself a little differently, proudly wearing its moniker “Keep Austin Weird” on car bumpers and backpacks.

When Dorsey was publisher of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida, the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2016. Last year, the American-Statesman received a Society for Professional Journalists award for a series about the lack of oversight of Texas day care centers. “Investigative journalism goes to the core mission of what we do in holding powerful individuals and institutions accountable for the betterment of the communities we live in,” Dorsey, 51, said. In 2018, he received the inaugural Journalism Advocate of the Year Award from GateHouse Media, which owns the Austin and Sarasota papers. Since Dorsey came to Austin, profits have risen, he said. Investigative reporting isn’t the only reason. “We need to cover the things that are most important to the communities we serve,” he said. “In Austin, this includes state government, the University of Texas, music, food and the outdoors.” The newspaper’s radio station,, has yielded roughly $500,000 in annualized sales, Dorsey said. The station offers music including funk and soul, along with interviews with reporters and simulcasts of special events. Dorsey started far from journalism as an electrical engineering major at Old Dominion, following in his father’s footsteps. But it didn’t seem right for him and he switched to accounting, which offered a path he could picture. Dorsey married Kecia Knoernschild Dorsey ’90 and became a CPA who worked for the state and later did auditing for the Gannett newspaper chain. With his facility for numbers and appreciation for the mission of journalism, Dorsey seems well-positioned to keep the paper thriving while preserving its vital purpose of providing essential news, a tough balance in an age where quality can get lost in the clicks. His auditing background also wins him credibility in the newsroom. “I do think it helps me when talking to my reporters about investigative projects and giving suggestions or if they run into issues on getting data,” he said. “That analytical nature of auditing really helps you in many different ways.”  Eric Butterman, a freelance writer in Texas, previously profiled alums Phillip Martin and Stan Strickland for Monarch magazine.


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MEDIA Online reporter stays on top of fast-paced immigration beat


n journalism, reporters are taught to never give up: Make one more phone call. Send one more email. Tap out one more text to find the missing piece to a story. For Stef Kight ’16, that lesson jump-started her career. A few years before she graduated, a family friend had introduced her to Jim VandeHei, the co-founder of Politico, a news site for D.C. insiders. In the spring of 2016, he was embarking on a new project, and Kight sent him an email. “I don’t know what your next venture is going to be,” she recalled writing, “but I’d love to be a part of whatever that is.” VandeHei loved her enthusiasm. Within a year, Kight was working at Axios, an upstart outlet that brands itself as the concise but elegant newsletter for D.C.’s movers and shakers. Today, she covers one of Washington’s most active beats: immigration. That means traveling to the Mexico border, waiting out legislators at the Capitol or interviewing asylum seekers from Guatemala. And it means doing it fast. “There’s so much news,” Kight, 25, said. “We try to only write about things that have the biggest consequence. And we write about them in a brief way.” She writes up to 10 stories a week, some as short as 150 words. But “even though our stories are shorter, we’re still following all the journalistic ethical practices,” Kight said. “We’re still putting in all the work you put in for a whole piece. We’re still talking with as many sources or making as many phone calls.” Kight, who grew up in Virginia Beach, always loved to write. “She has a lot of determination. That’s her personality – to not let go, to do the extra step,” said Joyce Hoffmann, an associate professor of English who taught Kight. Kight feels the same way about Hoffmann: “I always think of her as just pushing, pushing, pushing. Find that extra piece of information.” Kight also credits a talented corps of classmates and colleagues at the Mace & Crown, where “you wanted to do it for PHOTO: VICKI CRONIS-NOHE

By Mike Gruss

real, and you’re encouraging each other, but also editing each other and being willing to take criticism.” Now, Kight said, she’s part of an organization “trying to find a solution to the way technology is changing our fast-paced news cycle in a way that’s also trustworthy. It makes me excited being a reporter and helping people better understand what they want to know about immigration.”

Danielle Decker Jones, the wife of ODU men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones, also works at Axios as a content and development strategist.

Mike Gruss is a writer and editor in Northern Virginia.

Winter 2020


ALEX IQBAL All the right moves on and in the field

By Kristin Baird Rattini

Alex Iqbal (M.E.M. ’16) says her experience playing field hockey dovetailed perfectly with her entrepreneurial training as a springboard for workplace success. “Athletes learn how to be receptive to feedback quickly,” she says. “When you’re working on iterations of your product, you need to be able to take feedback, internalize it and come up with outcomes.” Iqbal mentored students at the Strome Entrepreneurial Center while earning her master’s degree in engineering/industrial management. She was on a three-student ODU team that finished third in the prestigious MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. After graduation, she signed on with PwC as a senior associate in mergers and acquisitions. “Consulting lends itself to the entrepreneurial mindset,” she says, “because you’re building on what you’ve learned from one client as you pivot to the next.” Her lifelong passion for social-impact enterprises prompted a career pivot in 2018 to Allbirds, a carbon-neutral footwear company in the San Francisco area, where she works in retail planning. “I wanted to feel like I had a stake in what is going on,” Iqbal, 25, says. Working at a small company like Allbirds has given me “a lot of ownership.”

WHAT DO RETAIL PLANNING, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING AND 3D PROTOTYPING HAVE IN COMMON? They’re the career interests of three ambitious young ODU alumni who honed their skills at the Strome Entrepreneurial Center and leapfrogged into leadership in their diverse pursuits.

As a veteran freelance writer, Kristin Baird Rattini has been sharpening her entrepreneurial skills for more than 20 years. She has contributed to Discover, People and other national publications.


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BLADE TAYLOR From dorm room to board room Turning napkin sketches into real-world products is Blade Taylor’s mission. Taylor ’18 is the founder and CEO of 3DXtremes, a one-stop shop providing product design, 3D prototyping and production services to inventors and small businesses in Hampton Roads. What started as a tiny 3D printing operation in Taylor’s room on campus evolved into a fully realized company in the shared workspace at the Strome Center and subsequently in ODU’s Innovation Center in downtown Norfolk. At the Strome Center, he learned how to invest just enough resources to effectively test the market. “At that point, you can make a decision on what to go all in on.” For example, 3DXtremes initially offered 3D printer training to clients. Though it was popular, Taylor found his passion and skills were better suited to product development. He also realized


he needed to further sharpen his business skills, so after graduation he worked for six months in a sales and marketing role at Electronic Systems in Virginia Beach before going all in with 3DXtremes this past year. Now based in the Percolator coworking space in Norfolk, 3DXtremes has six staff members and an expanding client list in niches including banking, fitness and custom prosthetics. “It’s an amazing atmosphere here,” Taylor says, “that has allowed us to scale up quickly and grow more every week.”

Dashing to success

When Collin Smith ’17 was a sophomore, he launched Dash Analytics to estimate wait times at the bookstore and other venues on campus and beyond. “Nancy Grden (director of the Strome Center) helped me refine the direction I wanted to go and how I planned on getting there,” Smith says. After graduating with a degree in administrative public health, Smith handed the reins of Dash Analytics to his cofounders and took a position in medical device sales at Applied Medical. He learned “how to sell better, handle objections and plan meetings to achieve my goals.” After two years, he wanted to get back into an entrepreneurial setting. He found it at Aperiomics, a biotech startup in Sterling, Virginia, which has received national media attention, including a feature in May on the “Today” show. Aperiomics says its pathogen detection technology can identify every known bacteria, virus, fungus and parasite from one DNA sample, allowing patients to solve medical mysteries that have plagued them. As director of corporate strategy, Smith, 24, has built Aperiomics’ national sales force and works closely with marketing colleagues to identify outlets for distribution and publicity. “My role,” he says, “is to help Aperiomics position itself as the most advanced pathogen detection service in the world.”

Winter 2020




He’s an Olympic athlete, at long last


By Kelley Freund

rowing up in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, Fred Matthies (M.S. Ed. ’87) loved playing baseball and basketball and participating in track and field. His idol was decathlete Bob Mathias – not because of the similarities in their names, but because he loved the message of the film bio of Mathias: California boy makes good in college and sports. But young Fred’s athletic career was prematurely cut short. In seventh grade, he spent an art class writing what he describes as a stupid poem instead of doing the assignment. As punishment, his mother, a secretary at the

school, refused to let him compete in the high jump at the state’s Junior Olympics meet. More than five decades later, Matthies finally got his chance. For the past three years, Matthies has competed in the Virginia Senior Olympics, winning 10 medals in the shot put, discus, high jump, archery, and softball hit and throw. Last summer, he competed in the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, placing fourth in the archery barebow compound competition, 13th in the high jump and 18th in the shot put, his favorite event. Matthies, 71, found out about the competition when he picked up a flyer in the clubhouse of his retirement community in

New Kent County. “It’s fun to compete, and at my age the practice helps to keep me fit and the old muscles in shape – sort of !” Matthies says. What he doesn’t like to do is practice, but he forces himself to begin a training regimen about two months before a competition. Matthies served in the Navy for 25 years, working as a surface warfare officer on seven ships and retiring as a commander. The Navy sent him to Old Dominion University, where he earned a master’s degree in educational training management in 1987 and a Certificate of Advanced Study in technology education and vocational administration in 1995. Matthies later worked in education in roles including elementary school teacher and assistant principal and with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a park ranger. When he’s not practicing, he volunteers with the Virginia Cooperative Extension as a master naturalist and gardener and with the Coast Guard Auxiliary as a boating safety and environmental education specialist. The next National Senior Games will be in 2021 near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Matthies could qualify by placing in the top four for his age group in a National Senior Games Association-sanctioned event in 2020. “I call this the competition of survival because the longer you’re in it, the less participants you have in these events,” he jokes. “But I better practice a little more, so I really don’t embarrass myself.”  Kelley Freund is a freelance writer in Newport News. She can’t throw a shot put, but she plans to keep running so she can compete one day in the 1,500-meter event in the National Senior Games.

The National Senior Games Association sponsors competition in 20 sports, including archery, cycling, horseshoes, pickleball, softball, swimming, table tennis and triathlons. 32

Monarch | Old Dominion University


Imagining life before Anne at Green Gables By Philip Walzer Sarah McCoy (M.F.A. ’07) fell in love with the classic “Anne of Green Gables” as a young girl. She always wondered what Marilla’s life had been like before she adopted Anne. The answer comes in McCoy’s latest novel, “Marilla of Green Gables,” which recently came out in paperback. Sue Monk Kidd, author of “The Secret Life of Bees,” called it “a charming novel … rich in historical detail.” McCoy, who lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has written five historical novels, including “The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico” and “The Mapmaker’s Children.” She took a break from a recent book tour in California to talk about her most recent novel. “Marilla,” she said, “is a woman not unlike many of us today.”

Does a reader need to be familiar with “Anne of Green Gables” to appreciate “Marilla of Green Gables”? No. In fact, I have heard from many readers who’ve never read a word of the “Anne of Green Gables” series. Reading “Marilla of Green Gables” has rocket-shipped them into a whole new world. We are a story-binging modernity. We binge-watch online series, television shows, YouTube cats ... so why not literature? “Marilla of Green Gables” begins in 1837 and “Anne of Green Gables” begins in 1876. Readers can start with this book and read right through the “Anne” series in chronological order.


What’s next? My next novel is set in the 1970s on the exclusive and secretive Caribbean island of Mustique. It’s populated with royals, celebrities, gangsters, demigods and goddesses all swinging to a Bee Gees beat. I’m having a rollicking good time writing it and am headed that way in the New Year for research. It is scheduled for release in 2021. I hope readers blaze through its pages like an island fever spell.


Read about more books by alumni on Page 52. Read about an assistant professor’s take on “Game of Thrones,” along with other faculty books, at

When and why did you decide to write a prequel? My mother introduced me to “Anne of Green Gables” when I was very young. The scenes from it are as salient in my memory as those from my own childhood. But I never ever imagined writing “Marilla of Green Gables” until 2016. I met an extraordinary editor at HarperCollins who said, “Sarah, tell me what book would make your heart sing to write.” Until then, I’d never had an editor be part of the dreaming portion of my creative process.


Why did you take on such a literary legacy? This novel is an homage to the original series. I wrote it from a place of reverence to L.M. Montgomery’s fictional landscape, which has given me so much scope for imagination. I wanted to honor her work and add to it in a way that would make its creator proud. My aim was to understand Marilla’s heart. She is fiercely loyal to her family, her community and her beliefs, and yearns to leave an enduring legacy. Isn’t that what we all are striving for?


Winter 2020



mutual fondness for dogs created an instant connection between David Carey and Tina Gustin. Gustin, the clinical manager for telehealth at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, volunteers in a program that uses therapy dogs to help patients overcome stress and anxiety. David, an 11-year-old battling leukemia, developed a fondness for Gustin’s black lab, Dharma, finding a little piece of normalcy amid the antiseptic gloom of the hospital’s walls. David’s father, Michael, also got to know Gustin. While they discussed her other job as director of Old Dominion University’s Center for Telehealth Innovation, Education and Research in Virginia Beach, he stopped her at the mention of VGo, a telehealth robot owned by ODU that allows health professionals to connect with kids. “I told her I’d like to have one for David,” he said in an interview. “He was stuck in a room and he didn’t have a clue what was going on outside.” Gustin received the go-ahead from the University and hospital to bring VGo in during the holiday season in December 2018. Two boys, each isolated in his room, were able to communicate face to face, one from VGo’s tablet and the other from the face of the robot, which has a video screen. Another, with cystic fibrosis, “stood in the doorway laughing his pants off, using the robot to visit the nurses and other children in the unit,” Gustin recalled. David, however, missed VGo. He had an extended stay seeing specialists at Duke University. The new year began with an optimistic medical outlook for David and a determination from Gustin to make VGo even better. It ended with a bittersweet mixture of heartbreak and hope. At CHKD, VGo interacted with 15 children. Gustin termed the experiment “good, but it could be better,” if the robot were equipped with enhancements. The 4-foot-high robot, which relies on high-speed internet, was restricted from several parts of the hospital, including the cafeteria and butterfly garden, because of rules protecting patient privacy. Gustin resolved to work on improving VGo. Meanwhile, David’s six weeks at Duke provided the Careys with hope for recovery. He returned to CHKD on Jan. 21 and was quickly discharged. His health had taken a positive turn. “We had two wonderful months,” his mother, Elizabeth, said. “We were home. David was getting back on his bike. The lab results were negative.” Then the Careys received a called from the oncologist at 34

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David Carey and his brother, Thomas. CHKD on March 28. “It was bad news. She said, ‘You need to come back.’ “She gave us two days at home before we took him back for traditional chemotherapy. The side effects got worse each time,” his mother said. David lost his fight to cancer on June 7. Before he died, the Careys allowed those who wanted to visit him to say their farewells. Gustin was one of them. “It was good to see her because she tried to make things better,” Michael Carey said. “She tried to help David.” After Gustin waited to see David, his father greeted her. “He hugged me like I had cared for that kid and asked, almost immediately, ‘What’s happening with the robot?’ ” Gustin said. “We cried together and we hugged and I said ‘I’m working on it. It will be The David Project.’ ” The David Project recently received a financial jump-start. Old Dominion’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC) and Virginia Tech won a $1.5 million grant from the Virginia Research Investment Fund. Part of that

VGo, David Carey and the search for a better robot

grant will help finance the development of a new robot capable of doing things that VGo can’t. For instance, children would be able to use avatars if they are uncomfortable about their appearance, the robot will be more portable and less prone to collision than VGo, and it will have a more personable exterior. Yiannis Papelis, a robotics expert who is a research professor with VMASC, is itching for the opportunity to lead the project. He said a company is already interested in licensing and marketing the product. “We are not replicating the VGo. We have a set of requirements and we will come up with a design that meets them,” said Papelis, who hopes to complete the prototype within a year. “Tina knows exactly what this needs to be, and she can bring on the stakeholders,” he said. Having a robot that would allow a child in isolation to interact with other children could create a thriving environment for sick children everywhere, said David’s mother, a high school chemistry teacher in Chesapeake. “We felt like as long as we could keep things normal, David would keep going,” she said tearfully. “One of the things that hurt David the most was being isolated from his peers.” This type of innovation would not have happened without the inspiration from David and his family, Gustin said. “This came from a place of listening and being in the right place at the right time. Because of ODU being open-minded and letting the robot go and CHKD being open-minded and letting it come, we were able to figure out what worked, what didn’t, and then allow VMASC to come in to figure out how to make it work better.” Irvin B. Harrell (M.A. ’19) is coordinator of strategy and marketing for the College of Health Sciences. Read about ODU’s growing ties to CHKD at

By Irvin B. Harrell (M.A. ’19)

David’s parents, Michael and Elizabeth Carey, Tina Gustin and Yiannis Papelis. Winter 2020





ince January 2018, Jeff Tanner,

By Philip Walzer

How did this get started?

dean of the Strome College of

afternoons for the local public radio

Chuck Doud from WHRO called me. He said they wanted to make a change because they had a spot that had been running for years and it had grown stale. I told him I’d be happy to do a 1-minute program daily. I had written a weekly blog for five years, and I know that things build up in my head and I need a way to express them. I also thought it would help build our brand awareness.

station, WHRV. His topics for the segment,

How do you choose your subjects?

titled the Strome Business Minute, have

I try to do shows on personal investing and finance, as well as macroeconomic topics that are of local interest. I also talk about things that I find interesting and I hope other people do, too. My goal is to be informative in a way that anyone can understand. I want to help people make good decisions and to know what good decisions are.

Business, has provided a short

business commentary on weekday

ranged from tourism reports to the popularity of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich. 36

Monarch | Old Dominion University

Faculty How do you keep it to a minute?


BUSINESS MINUTE “Sold out all across America has been Popeyes’ new chicken sandwich. With the average American eating 10 pounds more chicken per year now than a decade ago, KFC, Chick-fil-A and Popeyes have all benefited, and since beef and pork prices are rising, chicken consumption should continue to increase.” “Veteran-owned startups have declined over the past 15 years and declined faster among woman veterans than among men, but Hampton Roads is one of the top areas in the country for woman-owned businesses. Using Census Bureau data, Volusion determined that our region is fifth in the country for the proportion of womanowned businesses, at 35 percent.”

“Nearly 200 CEOs released a statement saying companies should no longer place shareholders above all other stakeholders. They should also seek to invest in employees and deal fairly with their suppliers. Not all members of the Business Roundtable signed it. If their actions match their words, I predict a dim future for these companies.”

I usually have 160 to 168 words, and probably 30 to 40 introduce my subject. I’ve learned to be a good editor. My dad wrote manuals for NASA. If there was a mistake, someone died. So I grew up learning to edit tightly without compromising on accuracy. I also don’t try to do everything at once. I treat the show over time as a conversation. Do you embrace or shy away from controversial topics? I embrace them. For example, I did a story on the shootings at Walmart. When politicians push gun reform, gun sales soar. Walmart is the largest gun retailer in the world, and they have to wrestle with that. I think we have a responsibility to be a voice of reason and provide the facts with an apolitical bent. What types of reactions have you received? The most satisfying reaction is when somebody comes up to me and asks me a question about a story: “I heard this. What did you mean by that?” What’s been your favorite segment so far? I really liked the one I did on trade wars. It generated a lot of comment. An analyst in Tampa wrote a paper on the subject, which spurred my thinking. I started by saying, “Trade is the weapon, not the objective.” And I ended it this way: “We’ve all been drafted into this war, whether we like it or not.” When and where do you tape it? I usually go to Gornto (Hall) once or twice a week. Sometimes something will break, and I’ll go back to record another story. Time is so short on this. Why are there some segments you’re not on? This is the Strome Business Minute, not the Jeff Tanner Show. Bob McNab (director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis & Policy), Michelle Carpenter (senior lecturer in marketing) and Ron Carlee (clinical professor of public service) write and record their own shows when I’m unable to get to the studio. Michelle offers the added benefit of being a former radio personality. Has anyone ever said you have a great radio voice? People have told me I have a face for radio but not a great radio voice.

To hear the latest segment of the Strome Business Minute, go to mediaplayer. Winter 2020



Paving the way for the next generation of chemists By Mary Westbrook (M.F.A. ’10) CREDIT A SECOND COUSIN and a science teacher for shaping Alvin Holder’s path early on in Barbados. When Holder’s cousin left for college, he gave Alvin his chemistry set. Alvin did what young scientists do: He tinkered. “My teacher would send me home with leftover chemicals from class,” he said. “I mixed things up, made stink bombs. I liked the experimentation.” With his teachers’ encouragement, Holder also took up the javelin, shot put and weightlifting. “Sports kept us out of trouble,” he said. “They taught us discipline, how to behave like gentlemen, how to stay away from drugs.” Not everyone was impressed. “Neighbors would ask my mother, ‘Why aren’t you sending him out to cut sugar cane?’ ” Holder said. She was steadfast. She be38

lieved education was his best way forward. And it was. Holder earned a bachelor’s degree in special chemistry from the University of West Indies in 1989 and a doctorate from the same school in inorganic chemistry five years later. His research took him to

Monarch | Old Dominion University

universities in England and around the United States – Colorado, Ohio and Mississippi – before he arrived in 2013 at Old Dominion, where he is associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Along the way, he earned a reputation as a thoughtful mentor. Now he is working to cultivate the next generation of minority scientists. Holder and Desh Ranjan, a computer science professor, helped secure a $1.5 million Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2018, with additional support from ODU. Holder hopes to create opportunities for more underrepresented undergraduates to see themselves, and their futures, in science. “Less than 12% of people who get Ph.D.s in this country are minorities, and a tiny percentage of those people go on to hold academic jobs,” Holder said. “That’s a big disparity.” The MARC grant provides tuition and financial support to four ODU undergraduates underrepresented in science each year. It’s the first time ODU has received the prestigious grant. Jasmine Clark, a senior majoring in chemistry, is one of the beneficiaries. She had planned to go to medical school but after taking Holder’s organic chemistry class, she switched her focus to research. “It was all so interesting,” Clark said, “and it was a career I’d never thought about before.” The MARC program has cemented her new direction. “It’s given me the chance to create personal connections with people who have been in my shoes and who are passionate about the same things that I’m passionate about,” Clark said. Mary Westbrook (M.F.A.’10) lives in Norfolk with her husband and two sons. She has seen some children’s scientific experiments go awry lately.


Addiction treatment certificate helps him ‘pay it forward’


By Philip Walzer

Winter 2020



ony Sawyer abused alcohol and a grab bag of drugs, including opioids, for more than 20 years. In recovery for nearly five years, the 51-year-old painting contractor says, “I feel a responsibility to pay it forward to my community.” That’s why Sawyer is pursuing a certificate in addiction prevention and treatment at Old Dominion University. The certificate program is open to students like Sawyer, professionals in this and related fields, and others with no background in human services. The program aims to respond to the opioid crisis, which has been declared a health emergency both in Virginia and the United States, said Chaniece Winfield, ODU’s addiction credential coordinator and a lecturer of human Sawyer dropped out of school in the ninth grade. He later services. More Virginians die each year from opioid overdoses earned his GED and an associate degree at Tidewater Commuthan from car accidents, according to ODU’s 2017 State of the nity College, where he was the student commencement speaker Region report. in 2018. Sawyer hopes to work in the corrections system. The certificate He enrolled in the certificate program partly because he is the first step toward receiving a license as a realized when he was volunteering at Onesimus certified substance abuse counselor. The other Ministries, a halfway house in Chesapeake, that steps involve a residency of one to two years AN AVERAGE OF 3 he needed more training to make a difference. and a state exam. VIRGINIANS DIED Sawyer is now a member of ODU’s Perry The certificate program requires six courses, Honors College, which helped him receive a OF AN OPIOID including Substance Abuse Treatment and $2,000 grant. “ODU has made so many opporOVERDOSE DAILY IN Research and Crisis Intervention, Prevention tunities available to me,” Sawyer said. “I haven’t and Ethics. It can be completed in two se2018, ACCORDING struggled once.” mesters, and courses are available on-campus TO THE VIRGINIA For more information on the certificate proor online, Winfield said. DEPARTMENT OF gram, contact Winfield at or The classes, Sawyer said, “have given me a 757-683-6987. HEALTH. model to guide me on what to do and what Sawyer is also benefiting from a $900,000 not to do. They put me in situations even befederal grant recently received by the Darden fore I got out in the field for my internship.” College of Education & Professional Studies to address the opiThey’ve also helped him maintain his own recovery, he said. oid crisis. The grant, from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Sawyer, a human services major, expects to graduate in May. Without the program, he said, he would have had to pursue grad- Administration, provides $3,000 each for human services majors uate school. “ODU has saved me thousands of dollars and several toward internships and clinical experience. years,” he said. To learn more about the grant, email Addiction is not the only hurdle he’s overcome.

Faculty Essays


eople often ask me why I trek halfway across the world taking students to Holocaust sites. I’ve done it six times since 2013 with a total of 67 students, 58 from Old Dominion University. My response is: How could I not? I want students to be able to identify anti-Semitism and racism wherever they surface. I lead them back in time. The journey involves a horrible descent into a horrible past where Jews were killed simply because they were Jews. Students emerge changed from this experience, but it can take years to process. In the meantime, they must live with a terrifying awareness of the human proclivity for evil. The course is thus painfully unsettling as well as exhausting. On the last trip, in May 2019, we walked 80 miles in 13 days. That trip focused on landscapes of destruction. We visited key Holocaust sites in Poland, including Kraków, Warsaw and Łódź, extermination camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Chełmno, and lesser-known killing sites in rural Poland, where Jews were led away and shot. Researchers from Father Patrick Desbois’ international humanitarian organization, Yahad-In Unum, introduced us to the world of witnesses – Polish children who sat atop trees or walls and watched genocide happen. Now, as old men, they cannot escape the images that haunt their minds with torturous anguish. “I see these scenes every day,” Januariusz P. told us as he described the murders he had witnessed. Januariusz also rolled back his kitchen linoleum to reveal a trap door where his mother hid Jews during the war. One student, Alex Arnold, descended into the cellar. She stared back up at me in terror, but a terror imbued with critical knowledge of what happened there, a quintessential moment of understanding. Near the end of our trip, the Yahad-In Unum researchers guided us to sites deep in the Polish woods where few people have been. There, we discovered crime scenes where horror still hangs thick in the air and cries, once silenced, ring anew in one’s ears. At these newly identified execution sites, my student Elena Simon sang the Mourner’s Kaddish. It was the first time the prayer had been said for these victims. To hear her sweet voice while surrounded by my ODU students, faculty colleague Tom Chapman and our guides proved the power of study abroad. Elena had done something extraordinary for the Jewish victims buried there and for us as witnesses. At that moment, we became vested with the responsibility of memory: to grieve what had happened, to speak words of peace at sites of death, and to commit to fight for a world where all atrocities are condemned. Annette Finley-Croswhite is a professor of history, director of the Center for Faculty Development and co-author of “Assassination in Vichy,” which will be published this year by the University of Toronto Press.


Monarch | Old Dominion University

Encountering painful discoveries on study abroad By Annette Finley-Croswhite

Comments and Letters

Setting the record straight on the Shepherd game

By James Sweeney


is to provide factually correct information. Since even respected sources can contain errors, it is preferable to consult more than one. I relearned that lesson after I wrote my essay on Old Dominion’s legendary coach Bud Metheny (winter 2019). Using a Virginian-Pilot article as my source, I wrote that Metheny had told Shepherd College’s basketball coach that two of his black players could not play against the Norfolk Division on Jan. 10, 1957. A few months later, I read a draft of a book on ODU’s baseball history. The author, Jay Ingram, offered a different interpretation based on an Associated Press account in the Daily Press of Newport News. Metheny told the reporter, “I did not inform anyone” that the athletes could not play. The division’s athletic director, J. C. Chandler, confirmed Metheny’s denial, saying he told Shepherd Coach Jesse Riggelman that the athletes – Bill Grant and Paul Williams – would have to sit out. Chandler said he “acted on instructions from Lewis W. Webb, the director of the Norfolk Division.” But the article added that it wasn’t entirely Webb’s call: “Webb’s office said the director acted on ‘higher authority’ and the decision stemmed from the attitude of the (William and Mary) Board of Visitors.” The day after the game, the board’s

rector, Norfolk attorney James M. Robertson, told the Associated Press that although the board had “taken no formal action on interracial relations, … we are a State institution and the board expects the administrative officers to abide by the laws and policies of the State.” Technically, though, Robertson was wrong. In 1956, the General Assembly had passed a resolution banning interracial athletic contests on the high school level. It did not mention intercollegiate competition. In 1975, Metheny addressed the issue in an oral history interview now on ODU’s website: “We had no qualms against playing against blacks. … I was accused of stopping this, but I wasn’t the one that stopped this. And I went to the newspapers and the television, and they retracted and apologized to me for saying that I was responsible.” The two Shepherd athletes, Grant and Williams, urged their teammates to play without them. Rather than attend as spectators, they stayed at the Hunton YMCA, where they would spend the night. Riggelman believed the absence of the 6-foot-6 Grant, the team’s leading rebounder and a good shooter, led to the Norfolk Division’s 78-70 victory.

A subsequent letter in the student newspaper, the High Hat, offered a sharp critique of the incident. “H.M.” wrote: “The old philosophy of white supremacy was found in a most unexpected place. … Our educators tell us that this is a college looking to the future … but they tell us by their actions … we should look … to the past. I suggest that our wise men might practice what they teach.” James Sweeney is an associate professor emeritus of history and former University archivist.

Winter 2020


From From Webb Webb University University Center Center to to Monarch Monarch Way, Way, Old Old Dominion Dominion is is getting getting tastier. tastier. It’sIt’s allall about about thethe two two C’s, C’s, says says Todd Todd Johnson, Johnson, assistant assistant vice vice president president forfor auxiliary auxiliary services: services: convenience convenience and and customization. customization. And And there’s there’s a third: a third: chicken. chicken. Here’s Here’s a quick a quick rundown rundown of of thethe expanded expanded menu: menu:

Webb WebbCenter: Center: TheThe space space for for Café Café 1201 1201 hashas been been renovated renovated andand renamed renamed Ms.Ms. Ruby’s Ruby’s Café Café in honor in honor of longtime of longtime employee employee Ruby Ruby Milteer. Milteer. TheThe food food court court features features three three big big names: names: a larger a larger Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A (with (with expanded expanded breakfast breakfast menu), menu), Qdoba Qdoba (with (with grab-and-go grab-and-go farefare made made to order) to order) andand Steak Steak ’n Shake. ’n Shake. TheThe changes changes meet meet student student requests requests for for more more Mexican Mexican food food andand a national a national burger burger chain, chain, saidsaid Janet Janet McLaughlin, McLaughlin, district district manager manager for for Aramark. Aramark. Healthy Healthy options options include include wheat wheat wraps wraps andand brown brown ricerice items items at Qdoba at Qdoba andand vegan vegan entrees entrees at at Ms.Ms. Ruby’s Ruby’s Café. Café.

Illustrations Illustrations by Seth by Seth Patrick Patrick 42

Monarch | Old Dominion University

Food trucks: Students weren’t left hungry and thirsty last semester. While Café 1201 was closed, three food trucks were stationed on campus, serving grilled food, pizza and Chick-fil-A items. The trucks will now be used for more campus and community events, McLaughlin said.

Monarch Way: Panera Bread opened in October at 4108 Monarch Way. It offers most items on the restaurant’s menu, Johnson said. “We want to support not only our students, but also our faculty, staff and local community.”

Later this year: In the 2020-21 academic year, another Chick-fil-A will replace Raising Cane’s at 4100 Monarch Way. “It’s not unusual for a school of 24,000 students to have more than one Chick-fil-A,” Johnson said. Don’t worry, Cane’s fans: Raising Cane’s will move into a new building on the corner of 48th Street and Hampton Boulevard. That will provide the restaurant more visibility, he said.

Finally, more coffee. Equinox Coffee Co., now on Colley Avenue, will expand to a second location at the former site of Borjo Coffeehouse on Monarch Way in March. A Starbucks is scheduled to open during the summer in Ted Constant Convocation Center near 43rd Street. It will be open daily, not just during games and events. Winter 2020


Campus News

Calling all freshmen

WHAT IS SOCIETY’S BIGGEST PROBLEM? The top choice (by far): Crime Next: Poverty Educational inequities Prejudice

Jamila Walker, Old Dominion’s social media manager, polled freshmen on Instagram earlier this school year on their thoughts about the world and their suggestions for their successors.

WHEN SHOULD CLASSES START? No surprise here. The most popular option was the latest one: Not before noon. Coming in second was 9 a.m. Farther behind was 8 a.m.

TIPS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION Enjoy it while it lasts because it goes fast. Don’t wait till the last minute to do your homework. Unless you’re dead, go to class. Don’t skip activity hour.


Women’s Business Center.

JANICE UNDERWOOD, director of diversity initiatives at Old Dominion University, left in September to become Virginia’s first director of diversity, equity and inclusion. “Your loss is certainly our gain,” Gov. Ralph Northam said during a visit to ODU in November.


LARRY “CHIP” FILER, the associate vice president of entrepreneurship and economic development at Old Dominion, became the city manager for Norfolk last summer. Old Dominion’s INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP moved to downtown Norfolk last summer to better serve local businesspeople. Its free programs include the Veterans Business Outreach Center and the 44

“The problem,” one student said on Instagram, “is lack of effort to pursue correcting/fixing the issues.”

DAVID BOWLES, former director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, was named executive director of ODU’s new Virginia Institute for Spaceflight and Autonomy, which seeks to expand commercial ventures near Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore.

CLASS ACTS SEBASTIAN BAWAB, professor and chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. ANDREW COHEN, a lecturer in finance, won a first-place Innovation in Teaching Award from the Financial Management

Monarch | Old Dominion University

Always do the extra credit, even if you think you don’t need it. Networking is key. If you believe you can, then you’re already halfway there.

Association International for his stock market game (spring 2018 Monarch). TIMOTHY ORR, an associate professor of history, was interviewed about his book, “Never Call Me a Hero,” during a Smithsonian Channel episode about the Battle of Midway. MELVINA SUMTER, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice, received a national President’s Volunteer Service Award. BALŠA TERZIĆ, an assistant professor of physics, has received a five-year Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation.

NEW NAMES Now the place that hosts concerts and athletic events is known as CHARTWAY ARENA. ODU signed

Get involved! (Join a club or org.) Work hard and stay focused and use your

resources to the fullest.

a 10-year, $4.25 million agreement with Chartway Federal Credit Union. The building is still called the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The HARVEY LINDSAY SCHOOL OF REAL ESTATE was established with a significant gift from a fund created by Lindsay’s late wife, Frances. THE F. LUDWIG DIEHN SCHOOL OF MUSIC was launched with a $3 million gift from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation’s F. Ludwig Diehn Fund. JOAN BROCK donated $3 million to hire the first executive director of Old Dominion’s Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience, who will also serve as senior resilience strategist for the City of Norfolk.

Three historic milestones By Philip Walzer and Steve Bookman

SGA president Isaiah Lucas ’19 is back again Lucas was reelected last spring. He isn’t the first two-term SGA prez. But he is the first to serve one term as an undergraduate and another as a graduate student. Lucas received his bachelor’s degree in political science in May and entered ODU’s master’s program in higher education leadership last fall. He’d always wanted to be a politician, but the “current political climate turned me off.” His current academic pursuit, he said, blends his interest in politics with public policy. Lucas, who hopes to be a college president, also serves as a graduate assistant for African American initiatives at ODU and advises two student groups. Lucas said he ran again because “I love student government so much.” Plus, he’d be ideally positioned to better integrate graduate students into the SGA. His other goals: building campus pride and unity, highlighting student creativity and focusing on safety. His slogan for this year is #AmplifyYourVoice. “I want to continue to be a student leader moving ODU forward,” he said.

WHO GRADUATED IN MAY? A snapshot of the 1,860 students who received bachelor’s degrees in May:


were Virginians


received financial aid

A university for 50 years 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 The institution’s name officially switched from Old 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 Dominion College to Old Dominion University on 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 50505050505050505050505050505050505050505050505 Sept. 1, 1969. 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 Its first president, Lewis Webb, who retired months 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 before the change, had pushed for it. The arguments 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 for the switch included the region’s need for a univer5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 sity and the positive impact on the school’s funding, 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 reputation and faculty morale. 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 Webb’s successor, James Bugg, sought to live up to the university name by promoting research and 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 graduate programs. Under his tenure, Old Dominion launched its first two doctoral programs, in oceanog5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS AS A UNIVERSITY 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 raphy and NOVEMBERengineering. 8, 2019 | OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050 5050505050505050505050505050505050505050505050

Founders’ Day

100th anniversary of extension courses The College of William & Mary began its two-year Norfolk Division, later to blossom into Old Dominion University, in 1930. But its attempt to fill the city’s void in higher education started long before – in fact, 100 years ago. The college began extension courses on Nov. 10, 1919. The classes, offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at Maury High School, included psychology, education, English, business law and accounting. The courses, according to a 1919-20 bulletin for the Norfolk Evening Division, were geared to teachers seeking to renew certificates, would-be accountants and others “who feel the need of at least a part of a college education as a means of securing a broader outlook upon life.” The classes were for credit and taught by the college’s faculty members. The charge in 1919 was $20 for one course and $30 for two. William & Mary reported that “more than 300 men and women” took classes in Norfolk in 1922-23. University Archivist Steve Bookman provided research for this story.


took at least one online class


were female


were affiliated with the military


were African American


were first-generation grads


Winter 2020


Engineering a better tomorrow By Raoul Lobo and Keith Pierce THE 800 RESIDENTS OF LA REFORMA, a small town in Northern Guatemala, must walk for at least a mile to get water from a tank and then carry it back home. The long journey isn’t the only hurdle for them. It keeps some women from working outside the home regularly and some children from going to school regularly. And the use of recycled water for drinking, bathing, watering crops and doing laundry poses serious health risks. Seven members of Old Dominion University’s Engineers Without Borders chapter visited the town over spring break to plan the construction of a new water distribution system to improve the villagers’ lives. They hope to return this spring to continue the project. The students – Hannah Dyer, Hans Gottschalk, Andres Lince, Justine Marin, Austin Meador, Rita Meraz and Courtney Moore – assessed the feasibility of the project, said Orlando Ayala, an associate professor of engineering technology and the chapter’s adviser. “What we want to do is get a distribution system that takes the water from that elevated tank to each of the houses, with a filtration system to help keep the water clean.” The students will do all of the design work, Ayala said. For Meraz, “It was really tough to see even older people having to walk all the way to the tank for water and carry it back. It’s something people have to do at least every three days and sometimes multiple times a day.” The students divided into two teams. The engineering team conducted water tests, surveyed land elevation and measured distances. The social team went door to door, asking residents such questions as how much water they store and how they filter the water. Meraz, a senior majoring in electrical engineering and vice president of the chapter, said the engineering team found “a lot of bacteria and E. coli” in the water. “Some people were drinking this water even though they knew it wasn’t very clean, but they had no choice.”

Meraz this year also won the Evon-Broderick Award for Community Engagement and Service. For Marin, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, “This trip was my first real hands-on experience with an engineering project where, because there are a lot of unknown variables, we have a significant amount of control and freedom over the planning and its implementation.” Meraz said since she returned from the trip, “I can clearly see the difference between the students that went and those that didn’t. The students that went are always asking what’s next or what more can be done.” The Engineers Without Borders team is raising money to finance a return trip and looking for more students, and not just engineers, to participate. More information is at To watch a video about the project, go to http://tinyurl. com/EWBVideo Raoul Lobo is a student in the master of fine arts program in creative writing. Keith Pierce is Old Dominion’s director of public affairs and media relations.


Monarch | Old Dominion University


A ‘people gatherer’ who embraces religious debate By Philip Walzer

Photos by Bill Tiernan


hen he was 9 years old, Randy Heard ’20 liked to watch one person more than anyone else on TV: the Rev. Billy Graham. “He had a single message, and he changed the world,” said Heard, who is 23. Heard’s passion for religion hasn’t wavered. He’s served as the student leader of the ODU chapter of Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ. He’ll graduate in May with a philosophy degree and a concentration in religious studies after switching from a major in civil engineering technology.

But he’s not planning to be a preacher. Heard leans, instead, toward mission work. His long-range goal is to work overseas to connect with people “who don’t have full access to the gospel or the Bible.” He spent seven weeks in north Africa last year. “I talked about what I believed,

and I heard what they believed,” Heard said. “I love to see when someone is actively listening, even if they disagree entirely.” That’s also been his style at Old Dominion. He recalls fierce arguments with a “militant atheist” as a freshman. He found the debates refreshing, even if he didn’t sway her. “It caused me to dive even deeper into my religion and faith to shore up my answers,” Heard said. He’s a nondenominational Protestant, but he speaks enthusiastically about taking courses in Tibetan religions and Nietzsche, the philosopher who said “God is dead.” “I disagree with every word that comes out of him,” Heard said, “but it’s fascinating to see that thought process. That’s the stuff I really geek out about.” Heard has attended Crossroads Church near campus since he was a freshman. The church’s pastor, Kevin Tremper ’02, calls him a “people gatherer.” Heard’s wife, Phoebe ’19, is a “He’s able to nurse at Children’s cross culture barriers very well, and Hospital of The King’s Daughters. he’s able to help people feel valued and important,” said Tremper, who’s also the president of the University Chaplains Association. Tremper has been so impressed, that he’s employed Heard as an intern. And after Heard graduates in May, he’ll work full time at Crossroads in community outreach and facilities management. At ODU, Heard also leads Cru’s men’s group, Forge. “He’s a strong, confident dude, but he’s also very caring,” said senior Brock Clifford, one of his closest friends. “He builds relationships with everyone he knows.” Heard thinks young people have become less religious “because they go to church and they’re put down for asking questions. I want to hear what their best questions are.” Winter 2020



HOLLY HUTCHINSON Tennis player Holly Hutchinson was named Conference USA Athlete of the Week three times last spring. In the fall’s preseason rankings, the English-born player was listed at No. 27 for doubles and No. 48 for singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Off the court, the communication major entered the school year with a 3.7 GPA. Hutchinson received the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award. She hopes to go pro after she graduates this year.



Monarch | Old Dominion University

From Athletic Director Wood Selig ‘A smart, hard-working offensive innovator’



hen we began the search for a new Old Dominion University football coach, we weren’t just looking for someone who could win Conference USA championships and take us to bowl games. Yes, we plan to win league titles and go to bowls. But we also aspire for national prominence. Our plan is to emulate the success such teams as Appalachian State, Central Florida and Boise State have had in recent years. Appalachian State, for instance, finished 13-1 and was ranked in the Top 20 last season. There’s no reason we can’t have similar success here in the booming, 757 metropolitan area. We have a new 22,000-seat stadium, a diverse student body, outstanding academics, and a beautiful and growing campus. ODU is also located a short drive from downtown Norfolk and the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. We are in a metropolitan area with more than 1.7 million people, and ODU football has been the biggest game in town for more than a decade. ODU football has so much untapped potential. That’s a major reason we selected Ricky Rahne as our new head football coach. Rahne was the offensive coordinator at Penn State, one of the nation’s very best Power 5 programs. He’s smart, hard-working and an offensive innovator who learned well under Penn State’s James Franklin. Coach Rahne has so far made a great impression on ODU fans with his sincerity, enthusiasm and humility. He plans to visit alumni across Virginia in the coming months.

When you meet him, I’m sure you will quickly see all of the positive qualities we found in Coach Rahne. Fan support has fallen at ODU in recent years for a variety of reasons. I would ask fans who haven’t been to a game in a while to give us another look in 2020. Virginia and Wake Forest from the ACC are on our home schedule. ODU’s home opener will come Friday, Sept. 4, against Wake Forest in what should be a great start to the Labor Day weekend. We have also reduced prices for all season ticket holders, and even more for 2,500 sideline seats. They will sell for $150 for a season, down from $200, with no seat membership fees. We also have seven home games instead of the usual six and won’t charge for the seventh. Think of it as getting one game free. Please join us as Coach Ricky Rahne helps ODU football achieve the national prominence we all desire for our program.

2020 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Sept. 4 Sept. 12 Sept. 19 Sept. 26 Oct. 3 Oct. 10 Oct. 17

Wake Forest (Friday) Hampton University Florida International Middle Tennessee at Connecticut bye at Texas-San Antonio

Oct. 24 Oct. 31 Nov. 7 Nov. 14 Nov. 21 Nov. 28

University of Virginia at Western Kentucky UAB at Charlotte at Florida Atlantic Marshall (71st Oyster Bowl)

To buy tickets, go to or call 1-877-YNOTTIX (966-8849) Winter 2020



HALL OF FAME UPDATES Ticha Penicheiro ’98 last summer became the fourth Monarch to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The Portuguese native led ODU to the NCAA championships in 1997 and four straight CAA titles. She recorded 1,304 points and 939 assists during her career. Penicheiro was the No. 2 draft pick for the WNBA, where she played for 12 years. She led the league in assists for seven seasons and was a four-time All Star. The former point guard is now a sports agent, representing about 30 athletes. “This is my way of paying it forward,” she told the Associated Press last year.

inducted into the East Boros Chapter in October. He held five running records at the University of Pittsburgh when he graduated. McDonald participated in three U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, finished 12th in the 1984 Boston Marathon and came in first twice in the Shamrock Marathon. He also was ODU’s assistant cross-country and track coach from 1980 to 1982. Jay Rountree ’75 was inducted into the Capital Area Chapter in June. At Milton Hershey School, he set records for

Two alums were inducted into chapters of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame last year. Dave McDonald (M.P.A. ’82) was

Honoring longtime NBA referee The locker room for officials at the Ted Constant Convocation Center has been named for a Monarch who’s been a ref in the NBA for more than 25 years, Tony Brothers ’86. Brothers, who’s in his 26th season, has officiated more than 1,500 regular-season games, as well as the 2009 NBA All-Star Game and the 2008 and 2018 NBA China Games. Off the court, he founded Journey for Success, an organization that helps single mothers, and Men of Hope, which supports young males. He received an ODU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014. “Old Dominion wanted me when it felt like no one else did,” Brothers said in a 2016 profile in Monarch magazine. “If I could put the ODU logo on my referee shirt, it would be there.”


Monarch | Old Dominion University

points, rebounds and blocked shots. At Old Dominion, he pulled down 644 career rebounds, including 22 in one game. The 6-foot-10 Rountree helped lead the Monarchs to victory in the NCAA Division II championship game in 1975. He later played professionally in Helsinki, Finland. Rountree’s coach, Sonny Allen, is not in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. But Old Dominion officials are lobbying for his induction. “Based on his work in racial progress, Allen would deserve Hall of Fame consideration,” Harry Minium, Old Dominion’s senior executive writer, wrote in a column in July on “But his coaching career should make this a slam dunk.” Before Allen accepted the job at Old Dominion in 1965, he asked Bud Metheny, the athletic director, if he could recruit black players for the first time. Metheny said yes, and Arthur Speakes became ODU’s first black athlete in 1965. During Allen’s 10-year tenure, Old Dominion qualified for six NCAA tournaments and the Final Four in 1971. It won the Division II national championship in 1975, and he was named the national Division II coach that year.

For the Community


Accounting students offer free tax help


or the third year in a row, Tania Alvarez knows where she’ll get her taxes prepared and filed. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from her office in the Student Success Center. “I can run over my things at lunch hour, it’s so convenient,” said Alvarez, assistant director of transfer initiatives and the transfer center. “And it’s free.” Old Dominion University accounting students are offering free tax help to qualified taxpayers in the region next year. The program is part of the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which assists low- to moderate-income people. The service will be offered 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays from Feb. 14 to April 10 in Room 1041 in Constant Hall on 49th Street. Paid parking will be available in the 49th Street garage or the visitors lot, both across the street from Constant Hall. “It’s a community service, and at the same time, students get hands-on experience,” said Robert Cromich, a lecturer in accounting who oversees the program. The accounting students who complete peo-

ple’s returns must have passed a test to be IRS-certified in tax preparation, he said. The service is being sponsored by three student groups – Beta Alpha Psi, ODU’s Management Accounting and Auditing Club and the student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. Taxpayers, including ODU employees, students and alumni, are generally eligible if their family income is below $60,000 and they are not claiming depreciation. The tax preparers will complete and e-file federal and state returns. Taxpayers “don’t need to do anything,” Cromich said, other than to bring tax documents, a driver’s license or other picture ID, and a Social Security card. “I would definitely recommend this to other people,” Alvarez said. “It’s so easy. “I’ve never had to wait long. You just bring all your paperwork in, and you know somebody professional is doing it.”

Scott Harrison

Founder and CEO of charity: water The Marc and Connie Jacobson Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Speaker‘s topic will be “Reinventing Charity.”

March 19, 7 p.m.

Big Blue Room, Ted Constant Convocation Center Free and open to the public

For more information, call 683-4346 or email Winter 2020


Class Notes From the Alumni Association President

By Janet Molinaro (M.A. ’14)

Dear Fellow Monarchs: As I begin my term as president of the ODU Alumni Association, I recall the first day I stepped onto campus. I was a local girl from Chesapeake who graduated from Western Branch High School. During my freshman year, I lived in Midrise and pledged Pi Beta Phi. Together, my sorority sisters attended basketball games and other activities. We were proud Monarchs. I met some of my closest friends at ODU and we remain friends. Today, I am astonished at the growth and innovation that have taken place at Old Dominion University, especially in the last 10 years. We have become a powerhouse in our region, with alumni in positions that drive and create policy and economic development. Our alumni are community leaders, educators, scientists, entrepreneurs, physicians, bankers, attorneys, IT specialists and the like. We are Monarchs effecting change in our community, our region and the world. My goal as president is to continue to make a difference and work in concert with ODU to make our great university even greater. The association’s mission is to foster the pride of the alumni of Old Dominion, to support the University and our future, and to energize fellow Monarchs through alumni engagement, programs and scholarships. The Alumni Association is an excellent resource for all alumni as we continually seek to expand the level of engagement opportunities available to fellow Monarchs. Alumni events provide an outstanding way to network, connect with friends and future friends, meet potential clients or a potential employer, and just have a great time. Our ODU Alumni Travels program is open to all alumni and friends of ODU. If you want to enhance your lifetime connection to ODU, take advantage of these unique opportunities to visit exciting destinations and learn about their culture, history and art. In June, Monarchs will explore Tuscany, and in December, we will experience Iceland’s Northern Lights. I hope to see you at one of the basketball games or one of the many other activities the Alumni Association has planned for you. Let us know how your Alumni Association can help you stay engaged and connected with your alma mater. For more information, visit Go Monarchs! Jennifer Keenan ’88


Monarch | Old Dominion University

ALUMNI BOOKS “Living Beyond Pain: A Holistic Approach to Manage Pain and Get Your Life Back,” co-written by Linda Mintle (Ph.D. ’95). (Baker Books) Mintle, professor and chair of behavioral health at Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, proposes a multipronged approach to pain management, emphasizing drug-free treatments. “Museums and Millennials: Engaging the Coveted Patron Generation,” by Jaclyn Spainhour ’11 (M.A. ’12) (Rowman & Littlefield). Spainhour, director of the Hunter House Victorian Museum in Norfolk, offers lessons from other museums to connect with a key generation. “A Little for So Much,” by Barry L. Marple ’73 (Patriot Media). Marple recounts the experiences of his father, Donald, who served with the Navy in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1944. The author’s son, Barry, is an assistant golf coach at ODU. “Southampton Summers,” by Albert Marra, a former adjunct professor of Spanish and Italian, with sons Andrew Marra ’03 and Alexander Marra (M.A. ’08) (New Dominion Press). The book recounts the summer visits of five generations of an Italian American family to a bungalow community on Long Island, N.Y., as it assimilates to U.S. culture while maintaining its heritage.

1970s Dale Wheary ’71 retired in 2019 from Maymount mansion, one of Richmond’s most popular historical attractions. Her focus was its restoration to splendor during her 40-year tenure as curator and director of historical collections. Barbara Byrd Keenan ’73 (M.S. ’75), CEO of Endocrine Society, was selected Professional Society CEO of the Year in October. CEO Update cited her initiative to involve her organization in public health needs, such as the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition. CM Murff ’75 retired in June, after 20 years as vice president and project estimator of Testing Specialties Inc. in Chesapeake. His wife, four kids and five grandchildren have plans to fill his new free time. Maylon White Jr. ’75 (M.S. ’82) in March moved from the director’s job for the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island for the past nine years to director of the North Carolina Aquariums Division. Mary Pat Barry ’77 has been elected to the Falmouth Historical Society board in Falmouth, Mass. She retired to Cape Cod in 2006 after 30 years in federal civil service in Washington.

1980s John Onderdonk (M.S. ’81) retired in May as professor of radio-television-broadcasting at San Antonio College in Texas. He had been faculty adviser, general manager and “guardian of KYSM” 90.1 FM radio station since 1992. Darleen Mastin ’82, former senior vice president at Sentara/COO of Optima Health, was named a 2019 YWCA Woman of Distinction. Since retiring in 2016, she has applied her nursing and administrative skills toward full-time community service, focusing on women’s health, religion and nonprofit groups. Patti Williamson ’85 was promoted in July to vice president of administration and finance operations for Virginia Integrated Communication in Virginia Beach. Brenda Rosecrans ’86 is the new human resources director at Harbor’s Edge in Norfolk, bringing 22 years’ experience with four healthcare providers.

They took a major-league journey The fans everywhere were friendly. The customer service was top of the line at Camden Yards and Fenway Park. But the sandwich at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park stuffed with french fries and coleslaw was a bit too much. The most attractive baseball park? Oracle Park in San Francisco. “It’s on the marina and you can look out at the water and take in the whole San Francisco vibe,” said Evie Foster ’74 (M.P.T. ’83). Evie and her husband, Terry Foster ’74, know all about major league baseball parks now. They watched games at all 30 this past baseball season. Terry played forward for the Monarchs’ basketball team and later played professionally in Holland. But he’d been a pitcher when he was younger, and both he and Evie love baseball, so they set out on their baseball park expedition. They never left before a game was over. (Three went into extra innings.) They usually sat in middle-of-the-stadium seats: Not too expensive but not in the nosebleed section either, Terry said. He grew up north of New York City, so he wore an ODU or Mets T-shirt to the games. Evie wore a Nationals shirt. (No, they didn’t attend any of the World Series games, because they couldn’t find tickets under $1,000.) Maybe the biggest reward had nothing to do with baseball. “We got off the beaten path and saw the whole country,” Evie said. “When we were driving in Nebraska, we went 50 miles and never saw another car.” Terry, 72, a retired insurance agent, and Evie, 67, a part-time physical therapist, live in Virginia Beach. The Fosters have another big trip planned this year: A two-month vacation in Asia, including Vietnam, where Terry served for a year with the Army. And they’re considering another athletic expedition: Attending every game, home and away, during the Monarchs men’s basketball 2020-21 season. - Philip Walzer

Winter 2020


Partnering to empower young girls Chanel Evans ’11 and Xavier Duckett ’12 knew each other from the Greek scene when they were undergraduates. They reconnected when both spoke about community service at a Sankofa dinner for African American students in 2017. Afterward, they talked about their nonprofits, which support youths, and decided to join forces. Evans had been sponsoring a conference for young girls in the Washington-Baltimore area since 2013. Duckett, who lives in Roanoke, wanted something like that in his community. So Duckett brought a group of girls from Roanoke to the Washington conference in 2017. Two years later, they collaborated to hold the conference in Roanoke. And this year the conference will be in Norfolk on March 21 – at Old Dominion University. “It’s exciting to bring it back to our home campus,” said Evans, who lives in the Washington area. “It’s coming full circle.” The conference is called “Unleashed: Defining Your Power, Purpose and Passion.” The goal, Evans said, is for “girls to leave more confident and empowered than when they came.” Unleashed – which is organized by Evans’ nonprofit, A Bigger Picture Inc. – includes speakers, poetry and music, and sessions on such topics as personal branding, self-worth and college readiness. The conference is free, but participants are asked to bring three school supplies, which are donated to students in that city. Duckett founded his nonprofit, the Humble Hustle Company, in 2016. Among other programs, it sponsors hikes for boys and girls (“Roanoke is surrounded by mountains, but a lot of inner-city kids don’t get to experience that”) and has provided 1,600 backpacks and 750 winter coats to students in the past three years. Their work together illustrates “the power of partnership and capitalizing on opportunities,” Duckett said. For Evans, it also shows the value of follow-through: “We made that connection at dinner, but we really followed up.” - Philip Walzer For more information on the conference and Evans’ and Duckett’s organizations, go to www. and or


Monarch | Old Dominion University

Anthony Price ’87 was hired as executive director for Pathway House in Greenwood, S.C., a program to empower clients to work their way out of a cycle of homelessness. Price is a former Virginia state trooper and Army National Guard member. Valerie Boykin (M.P.A. ’89) was appointed by Gov. Ralph Northam in March to become the new director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. Promoted from her role as deputy director of community programs, Boykin has worked at DJJ since 1980. Vicki L. Brett ’89 was elected to a one-year term on the DALE Foundation board, which oversees continuing education and research to promote oral health and is a nonprofit affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. Deborah Hardy ’89 (M.S. ’91), associate provost for teaching and learning, dean of faculty and dean for health technologies at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio, was named a 2018 Notable Woman in Health Care by Crain’s Cleveland Business.

1990s Gene T. Jones (M.S. Ed. ’90) reported to work in July as the new principal of Amherst-Pelham Regional High School in Amherst, Mass. Tony Salino ’90 in May became the Port of Virginia’s director of ocean carrier sales. He previously worked for ocean carriers Zim, CMA-CGM, NYK and Evergreen and for North Carolina’s port. Mahmoud Jawhar ’91 joined Bon Secours Kilmarnock Surgical Associates in Kilmarnock, Va., last year. The board-certified general surgeon is an Eastern Virginia Medical School graduate. Aileen L. Smith ’91 (M.S. Ed. ’93), with 27 years’ experience in human services, was promoted from deputy director to director of the Virginia Beach Human Services Department in August.

Class Notes

Scott Cooke ’93 (M.B.A. ’96) was promoted in April to chief financial officer at Toyota Financial Services in Plano, Texas. He has worked at Toyota since 2003. David Mack ’93 (M.S. ’95), a software engineer living in Chantilly, Va., penned “Moo Moo Cha Cha” (Amazon), a story about dancing cows for pre-K listeners, inspired by his lunch entrée at a Chinese restaurant. His mom says the book is a hit with her young Head Start students. Tom Leahy (M.P.A. ’93) was named acting city manager in Virginia Beach in September. He had been a deputy city manager. Christodoulos Papaphotis ’94 (M.B.A. ’96) was named director of Microsoft’s commercial and partners team for Greece, Cyprus and Malta in February 2019. Sharon Lontoc ’95 came on board as chief human resources officer at Title Alliance, Ltd., in Media, Pa., in March 2019. Capt. Robert T. Bryans Jr. ’96, who advanced in rank through the enlisted commissioning program, became commanding officer of USS Mobile Bay in December 2018. The ship is undergoing repairs in San Diego. George Timmons (M.S. Ed. ’96) of Schenectady, N.Y., was appointed vice president and dean of academic affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson Valley, N.Y., early last year. Tony Beck ’97 in May became senior managing director and market leader for the CBRE Group Inc. real estate markets in Southern Virginia, which include Richmond and Hampton Roads. Trish Johnson ’97 was promoted in May to chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington.

Christopher Price (M.P.A. ’98), deputy executive of Prince William County, became Chesapeake’s city manager in November. He served as a research assistant in ODU’s Strome College of Business in 1996 and 1997.

Nisha V. Fontaine ’02 has been promoted to partner with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP in Buffalo, N.Y. Her specialty is navigating the U.S. immigration process for the law firm’s clients.

Renee Di Pilato ’99 was named director of libraries and historical resources for Sarasota County, Fla., in July. She had been deputy director of the Alexandria (Va.) Library since 2014.

Tangela Griffin ’02, an attorney, was named chief compliance officer for Yellowstone Capital LLC, based in New York, in January 2019.

Angela Rowe McDonald ’99 (M.S. Ed. ’02) was hired in April to become the inaugural dean of the School of Health Studies and Education at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa. She has blended experience in mental health counseling and higher education administration throughout her career.

2000s Christine Bacon ’00 has written “The Super Couple: A Formula for Extreme Happiness in Marriage” (Koehler Books). Bacon is host of a radio talk show, “Breakfast with Bacon: The Relationship Doctor,” and has been a life-skills education facilitator and trainer for more than two decades. Learn more at John Boyd (M.B.A. ’00) was promoted to vice president of contract sales for GE Appliances in Louisville, Ky., last year, after several management positions in 20-plus years with GE. Leigh Henderson ’00 won a full term as Virginia Beach’s city treasurer on Nov. 5, 2019, succeeding retired treasurer John Atkinson. Employed in the office since college, Henderson was chief deputy and then interim treasurer before her successful campaign. Jan Walker (M.S. ’01) became executive director for the Lynchburg (Va.) Humane Society in October, after a career as senior vice president and chief administrative officer for Centra Health.

Anne E. Gerlach (M.B.A. ‘03) of St. Charles, Ill., and her husband have created a memorial foundation, Ben Smiles, to honor one of their triplets who passed away in 2016 after numerous medical challenges. The nonprofit raises funds to purchase adapted toys for kids with motor or sensory disabilities. Gerlach also wrote “Ben’s Adventures,” a book that “introduces the idea of disability to young kids and promotes inclusion and acceptance.” See for more information. Gail Drake ’04, administrative coordinator for the Center for Applied Sciences, Interactive and Information Technology and teacher at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Va., was named Prince William County teacher of the year last year. A career-switcher, she organized the division’s first robotics team in 2005. Ryan LaMonica ’06 is co-author of “Crypto 101: Johnny’s Guide to Cryptocurrency,” a book to bring readers up to speed on blockchain technology. By day, he is a management consultant in Atlanta, Ga. Amber Price ’06, who received the 2018 Monarch Award for nursing innovation, has been promoted to chief operating officer of the Women’s and Children’s Hospitals at Tristar Centennial in Nashville, Tenn. Maeve Haynes (M.B.A. ’07) was hired in April as CEO for Ciniva, a Norfolk-based digital marketing agency. She previously held leadership roles at Pilot Media and Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Abdullah Abu Thunain (Ph.D. ’07) is vice minister of labor and social development for Saudi Arabia’s labor ministry, a post he has held since February 2018.

Joseph Branco (M.S. Ed. ’02), former U.S. Marine and assistant principal with Chesapeake public schools, became principal at Holy Family-Holy Name School in New Bedford, Mass., in July.

Winter 2020


planning and community development for the city of Virginia Beach in March. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a certified floodplain manager and zoning administrator. Jacob Bryson (M.B.A. ’11) was selected by voters in Marine City, Mich., as one of three new city commissioners. Jennifer D. Cook ’11, a special education teacher at Strasburg High School, was named Shenandoah County’s Teacher of the Year in May. “It’s been a long road to get here,” she said, recalling years as a school custodian and then teacher’s aide before she completed her degree. Karl Gilman (M.S. Ed. ’11), a counselor and poet from Jamaica, has written “Unyielding” (Dorrance Publishing Co.), an unflinching look at race in America.

Daren Williams, P.E. (M.E.M. ’07) introduced his kids (future Monarchs) to Big Blue at an American Society of Civil Engineers event. Williams served as ASCE Virginia section president from 2018 to 2019. Harold Williams Jr. ’07, a former associate director in ODU’s Office of Alumni Relations, was promoted to director of the ODU Annual Fund in July. Williams will oversee donations to the Educational Foundation and programs such as

Give2ODU Day. Joy Brock (M.S. ’09) has been promoted to program director of the River Valley Counseling Center employee assistance program in Holyoke, Mass. Tom Struble (M.E.M. ’09), senior project manager for DPS Group in Framingham, Mass., is a new board member of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering’s Boston chapter.

2010s Natalie Harder (Ph.D. ’10), a first-generation college student who rose to become chancellor of South Louisiana Community College in 2012, has focused recent efforts on adult education to raise the educational levels and job opportunities in the state. Robert J. Tajan (M.U.S. ’10) became director of


Vivian Greentree (Ph.D. ’11), senior vice president and head of global corporate citizenship for First Data in Alexandria, Va., was accepted into the 2019 cohort for the Presidential Leadership Scholar program. Melie Lewis ’12 signed on last year as sports medicine data scientist for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo. She completed a doctorate in quantitative psychology at the University of Oklahoma in 2018. Taylor Bennett ’13 conducts shorebird surveys along the upper Texas coast, tracking the health of birds, their chicks and habitats for the nonprofit Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. William “JJ” Edmunds Jr. (M.S. ’13), audit and assurance supervisor with PBMares LLP in Richmond, Va., was chosen in May by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants for its Top 5 Under 35 list. Navy Lt. Amanda Lee ’13 flew in the first all-female “Missing Man Flyover” in Maynardville, Tenn., in tribute to retired Navy Capt. Rosemary Mariner, who died in January 2019. Lee was accepted into the Seaman-to-Admiral program and now flies the aircraft she previously worked on as an aviation electronics technician. Rachel Desmarais (Ph.D. ’15) became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson, N.C., in December 2018. She had served since 2015 as executive vice

Monarch | Old Dominion University

president and chief operating officer at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem. Ernie Hawkins ’15 joined UDig technology solutions company as a senior consultant in spring 2019. He is based in the Richmond, Va., area. Andrew Bunn ’19 writes about the potential profits to be gained from “mobility as a service” by data-hungry tech companies. The new grad has been published twice in ITS International; one article is titled “Gold Diggers.”

MONARCH UPDATES The most recent book by science writer Marcia Bartusiak (M.S. ’79) (spring 2017 Monarch), “Dispatches from Planet 3,” was named a “2018 Best Science Book” by National Public Radio’s “Science Friday” show. “Dispatches” gathers 32 short essays on topics ranging from the woman who discovered radio pulsars to the collision of two black holes. It was released in paperback in January. Opera singer Orson Van Gay II ’06 (spring 2017) won notice in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times for his role as one of “The Central Park Five” in an opera about the men falsely accused of a high-profile sexual assault in New York in 1989. The tenor made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York on Jan. 21. Gay will perform a solo concert at Churchland High School at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Kimberly Wright ’18 (M.E. ’19) led the student team that designed a CubeSat, or miniature satellite, that was deployed from the International Space Station last year (spring 2018). In June, she began work for NASA in Houston as a flight controller in training in Mission Control. She will provide mission support for – you guessed it – the International Space Station.

Class Notes

MONARCH ALBUM Frank Krimowski ‘12 and Kathryn Wight were married in April at Cannon Memorial Chapel in Richmond, Va. Fellow ODU alumnus Travis Kennedy ‘11 was a member of the wedding party. After a weekend of celebrating, the new couple headed home to Massachusetts, where they reside with their chocolate lab, Penner.

Karmen M. Matusek (M.A. ’16) and David A. Brown were married March 1, 2019, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Swoyersville, Pa. She worked as a prevention educator for the Sexual Assault Resource Agency in Charlottesville, Va. The couple planned to move to Cincinnati, Ohio.


Please send your engagement, wedding and baby photos to Janet Molinaro at jmolinar@

Nicole Northam ‘15 and Daniel Darrach ‘10, (M.A. ‘17) of Suffolk were married May 18, 2019, at Commune restaurant in Norfolk’s NEON district. She majored in biological sciences; he majored in psychology and earned his master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Congratulations!

Leigh Burton ‘97 and Dr. Mignon Burton of Norfolk are proud to announce the birth of their first child, Xavier Emmanuel Burton, born at Sentara Leigh Hospital on Jan. 27, 2019.

Winter 2020


OBITUARIES Eileen Abrahamsen, associate professor emerita of communication disorders and special education, died on April 23. She was 72. Abrahamsen was “committed to training students to be exceptional speech-language pathologists,” said Stacie Raymer, chair of communication disorders and special education. She also helped win accreditation for the graduate program. The two-time Fulbright Scholar provided “extensive and flexible office hours and ongoing study sessions,” her obituary said. Charles O. Burgess Jr., ODU’s longtime dean of the College of Arts & Letters, died on May 29. He was 90. During Burgess’ 40-year career at Old Dominion, he also served as professor of English, dean of graduate studies and provost. He was proudest of expanding the arts, international and women’s studies programs. President John R. Broderick called him “an esteemed colleague and effective leader, who was both kind and wise.” Elizabeth Dowling-Bailie, a former associate professor of human movement sciences, died on Nov. 29. She was 63. Dowling-Bailie taught at ODU from 1990 to 2012. She researched the physiological effects of exercise in women and seniors. Jane Bray, dean of the Darden College of Education & Professional Studies, said students “appreciated her inspiration and classroom instruction.” Ian Howard, a professor emeritus of physics, died on Aug. 29. He taught at Old Dominion from 1964 to 1994. His research focused on optics and acoustics, and he received a patent for an optics device. A native of England, Howard was an accomplished pianist and sang in the choir at Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach. 58

Linda Irwin-DeVitis, former dean of the Darden College of Education & Professional Studies, died on Sept. 15. She was 71. Irwin-DeVitis was dean from 2010 to 2013. She returned to teaching in the Department of Teaching and Learning and retired in 2016. “Linda was a wonderful dean,” said Maurice Berube, Eminent Scholar emeritus of educational leadership. “She wanted her students to be critical thinkers and give back to society.” John “Jack” McSweeney, a professor emeritus of educational leadership and counseling, died on March 20. He was 87. McSweeney taught at ODU from 1972 to 1994 and directed the graduate program in educational leadership administration. McSweeney attended St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Virginia Beach for 45 years. Carolyn Rhodes, a pioneer for women’s rights at Old Dominion, died on March 24. She was 93. Rhodes, professor emerita of English and women’s studies, taught at ODU from 1965 to 1990. She lobbied for equal pay for women, co-founded the University Women’s Caucus in 1974 and helped launch the women’s studies program in 1978. “She made me feel empowered and proud to be a woman in the classroom,” said Ruth Triplett, professor of sociology and criminal justice. Retired Navy Capt. Dick Whalen, ODU’s first director of military activities, died on Aug. 13. He was 77. Whalen joined ODU in 1991 as commanding officer of the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC Unit. He oversaw a 300 percent increase in participation in the Army and Navy ROTC units. “Dick strengthened ODU’s relationships with all branches of the military,” Broderick said. Whalen also founded the North American Sand Soccer Championships.

Monarch | Old Dominion University

OTHER NOTABLE PASSINGS George Dragas ’56, a real estate executive and former rector of the Board of Visitors, died on March 21. He was 85. Dragas served on the board from 1983 to 1991. He received ODU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and University Medal and helped finance the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy and the State of the Region and Commonwealth reports. “In his quiet yet effective way, George was a powerful presence,” Broderick said. Bill Rueger, former vice rector of the Board of Visitors, died on July 20 at the age of 75. Rueger also sat on the board of ODU’s Real Estate Foundation. “He treated everybody in the room the same way,” Broderick said. Rueger’s jobs included NationsBank senior banking executive for Hampton Roads. He is survived by longtime partner Nancy Grden, interim associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship. William Russell, a member of the Board of Visitors from 1997 to 2005, died on March 4. He was 79. “Dr. Russell’s life was grounded in service – both to students and the larger community,” Broderick said. In 2013, Russell retired as deputy superintendent of Chesapeake Public Schools. He also was pastor for more than 25 years at New Hope Baptist Church in Suffolk. Michael Savvides ’54, who served on the Board of Visitors from 1978 to 1986, died on Nov. 6. A native of Cyprus, he immigrated to the United States as a teenager. At the two-year Norfolk Division, he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Savvides owned the Black Angus restaurant and Ramada Inn Oceanfront in Virginia Beach and was president of the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association.

In Memoriam Received Jan.15-July 31, 2019

Leo Anthony ’61 (M.S. Ed. ’71), one of Old Dominion University’s greatest basketball players and its first All-American, died on March 21, 2019. He was 79. Anthony was known for his fast footwork, which left him open for shots. The 6-foot guard scored at least 30 points in 29 games. In one game as a senior, he scored 60 points. Anthony finished his college career with 2,181 points. He still holds ODU records for highest average points-per-game for a season (31.0) and a career (26.6). He was twice named a Virginia Player of the Year. Anthony’s No. 5 jersey, the first retired by Old Dominion, hangs at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Anthony also played shortstop for the baseball team, turning many double plays. After he left ODU, Anthony developed a strong reputation as a high school basketball, golf and cross-country coach. His teams posted more than 1,000 victories. At Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, his golf teams won four state golf championships. He is a member of the first class of inductees into the ODU Sports Hall of Fame. He also is in the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame and the Virginia High School Hall of Fame. Golfer Curtis Strange was among the students Anthony coached. “The lessons he taught me in basketball – that if you work hard enough in practice, the game comes easy – really stuck with me throughout my golfing career,” Strange told The VirginianPilot. “I’d still run through a wall for him.” Randy Hargrave ’73, who “never met a stranger” in the world of newspaper advertising or in his private life, died on April 4. Hargrave, who received a bachelor’s degree in business administration, retired in 2011 after

about 40 years at The Virginian-Pilot. “People just loved him,” said Alan Levenstein ’86, premium team sales director at Virginia Media, which publishes The Pilot and The Daily Press. “He earned the respect and trust of customers. They could see he was genuine, and he took time to get to know them as people.” Hargrave, Levenstein said, “never met a stranger and always had a smile on his face.” One of his traditions before Christmas was to give poinsettias “as gifts to lots of folks.” As co-op advertising sales manager, Hargrave won national recognition for promoting a process through which manufacturers and retailers shared advertising costs. “The Pilot reaped millions of dollars that would not have been realized without the work of Randy,” his obituary said. Hargrave also created the newspaper’s African American Today special section. After he retired, The Pilot established its first monthly award named after an individual – the Randy Hargrave Crusader of the Month Award. Mike Herron ’76, former publisher of Inside Business and co-founder of Warriors Taphouse in Virginia Beach, said Hargrave “taught me to put the needs of others first. He was an absolute gem of a man.” Hargrave also was named Adjunct Professor of the Year at Norfolk State University and created a male mentoring program at Tidewater Community College. A lifelong member of Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Hargrave held several positions there, including Sunday school superintendent. Hargrave also was known for his love of shrimp, which he sometimes treated the newspaper’s top clients to. “It was at this time that the No Shrimp Without Approval, or NSWA, rule was born,” his obituary said.

Joseph Berryman Jr. ’37 of Norfolk, 1/19/19 R. Peter Mani ’39 of Norfolk, 7/23/19 Isabel Gordon Brenner ’42 of Portsmouth, 2/18/19 Louise Eggleston Martin ’42 of Norfolk, 5/16/19 George F. Norman ’42 of Virginia Beach, 6/9/19 Harvey E. Spiers Jr. ’42 of Portsmouth, 6/3/19 Otis B. Gregg ’43 of Suffolk, 1/15/19 Frank “Ferebee” Trafton ’45 of Virginia Beach, 1/21/19 Stanley I. Holzsweig ’46 of Norfolk, 7/27/19 Wallace E. Smith ’47 of Chesapeake, 1/15/19 Norman C. Taitz ’48 of Portsmouth, 7/1/19 Willard J. Moody Sr. ’49 of Portsmouth, 3/27/19 Robert P. Albergotti ’50 of Norfolk, 7/24/19 Robert L. Motyca ’50 of Virginia Beach, 4/27/19 Juan F. Correa ’51 of Chesapeake, 3/18/19 George W. Vakos ’51 of Virginia Beach, 2/22/19 Stanley L. Jason ’52 of Norfolk, 3/31/19 J. Henry McCoy Jr. ’52 of Winterville, N.C., and Virginia Beach, 2/27/19 Anne H. White ’53 of Virginia Beach, 2/6/19 Dexter R. Kemp Jr. ’55 of Richmond, Va., 4/8/19 Gayle M. Garrison ’56 of Norfolk, 7/13/19 H. Otis Copley ’57 of Williamsburg, 2/20/19 Stanley Glaser ’57 of Norfolk, 2/23/19

Winter 2020


Louise M. Law ’57 of Charlottesville, Va., 2/3/19

Priscilla F. Ronzitti ’67 of Gloucester, Va., 7/6/19

James P. O’Connell ’71 of Athens, Ga., 3/30/19

Donald G. Humphries ’74 of Virginia Beach, 7/4/19

Harvey H. Parsons ’58 of Portsmouth, 3/4/19

Charles M. Shanes ’67 of Hanover County, Va., 7/9/19

Peggy H. Thompson ’71 of Washington, N.C., 4/1/19

Lt. Cmdr. Ejnar O. Jorgensen, USN (Ret) ’74 of Virginia Beach, 4/11/19

Elizabeth Yancey Haywood ’59 of Hampton, 6/24/19

Martha L. Hodge ’68 of Chesapeake, 5/19/19

Leslie D. Wood ’71 of Raleigh, N.C., 5/18/19

Richard G. Stallings ’74 of Oak Hill, Va., 6/14/19

William T. Bunting ’60 of Portsmouth, 4/5/19

Earl B. Jennings ’68 of Midlothian, Va., 7/9/19

Phyllis A. Bottomley ’72 of Ipswich, Mass., 6/16/19

Lt. Cmdr. Franklin L. Taft Sr., USN (Ret) ’74 of Norfolk, 3/9/19

Richard T. Deaton ’60 of Portsmouth, 11/26/18

Doris H. Mace ’68 (M.S. Ed. ’78) of Virginia Beach, 5/4/19

Shannon L. Humphreys ’72 of Virginia Beach, 3/19/19

M. Suzanne W. Darnell ’75 of Virginia Beach, 1/15/19

Elizabeth Deanne Malpass ’60 of Nacogdoches, Texas, 3/11/19

Betty Martin Miller ’68 of Virginia Beach, 6/29/19

Carol S. Malloy ’72 of Galveston, Texas, 3/21/19

Maj. Charles D. Godby, USMC (Ret) ’75 of Murrieta, Calif., 2/3/19

William G. Spruill ’60 of Chesapeake, 5/8/19

Leroy Pope III ’68 of Suffolk, 3/21/19

Debra Hubbard McDowell ’72 of Quincy, Mass., 7/5/19

Herbert C. Griffin III ’75 of Norfolk, 5/8/19

George Stakias ’60 of Leesburg, Va., 2/23/19

Garnett F. Taylor Jr. ’68 of Herndon, Va., 6/17/19

Arvel S. McGartlin Sr. ’72 of Jacksonville, Fla., 2/14/19

Joan R. Nixon (M.S. Ed. ’75) of Norfolk, 2/25/19

Helen B. Williams ’61 of Portsmouth, 3/14/19

Master Chief Marvin D. Wilson, USN (Ret) ’68 of Norfolk, 2/5/19

Michael G. Mott Sr. ’72, ’74 of Sand Dunes Resort, S.C., 2/20/19

G. McAllister Sisson (M.S. ’75) of Gloucester Point, Va., 6/12/19

Wendell G. Ayers ’62 of Yorktown, Va., 6/24/19

Donald B. Edwards ’69 (M.S. Ed. ’77) of Virginia Beach, 5/26/19

Hattie A. Redd ’72 of Chesapeake, 1/24/19

Paula Kennedy Bishop ’76 of Suffolk, 3/2/19

Ray A. Davenport ’62 of Chesapeake, 1/27/19

Barbara G. Martin ’69 (M.S. Ed. ’80) of Norfolk, 7/22/19

Kathleene Jacocks Simms ’72 of Chesapeake, 4/2/19

William K. Earnest ’76 of Virginia Beach, 2/7/19

Charles W. Hoofnagle ’62 (M.S. Ed. ’70) of Suffolk, 2/1/19

Marvin V. “Bill” Craft Jr. (M.B.A. ’70) of Newport News, 7/24/19

Vicki Ford Armentrout ’73 of Old Church, Va., 2/12/19

Barbara Walker Fulp (M.S. Ed. ’76) of Norfolk, 1/27/19

Ira W. Killmon Sr. ’62 of Suffolk, 2/12/19

Richard L. Drury (M.B.A. ’70) of Jamesville, Va., 3/30/19

Jimmy H. Francisco ’73 of Chesapeake, 1/31/19

Steve B. Homza ’76 of Mount Holly, N.C., 7/7/19

John Martin Peterson ’62 of Norfolk, 1/20/19

Catherine K. Giles (M.S. Ed. ’70) of Norfolk, 7/12/19

Richard P. Goddard ’73 of Bloomington, Ind., 5/30/19

Nancy Ramsey Mann ’76 of Southern Shores, N.C., 5/10/19

Judith Newberg Beck ‘63 of Glenview, Ill., 6/25/19

Jeffrey B. Hurwitz ’70 of Richmond, Va., 3/11/19

Pamela Scott Hyatt ’73 of Norfolk, 3/1/19

C. Patrick Pitchford ’76 of Norfolk, 2/26/19

John B. Cutter ’63 of Edenton, N.C., 2/23/19

Katherine K. Ange ’71 of Chesapeake, 2/28/19

Mary Q. Lynch ’73 of Poquoson, 4/2/19

Patrick N. Corleto ’77 of Atlanta, Ga., 6/11/19

Annie C. Johnson ’64 of Franklin, Va., 3/28/19

James M. Blair ’71 of Suffolk, 5/28/19

George Morgan ’73 of Newport News, 4/9/19

Margaret L. Curtis ’77 of Virginia Beach, 3/4/19

Jean Cantley Rawls ’64 (M.S. Ed. ’79) of Virginia Beach, 6/18/19

Jacqueline E. Bryant ’71 of Norfolk, 2/19/19

Careta B. Parron ’73 of Norfolk, 6/9/19

Philip J. Duffy ’77 of Norfolk, 2/22/19

W. Dean Carroll (M.S. Ed. ’65) of Knotts Island, N.C., 5/1/19

Louise P. Buxton ’71 of Portsmouth and Norfolk, 6/28/19

Jacqueline G. Sinclair ’73 of San Diego, Calif., 5/6/19

C. Stephen Mundy ’77 of Chesapeake, 6/5/19

Lawrence D. Roberts ’65 (M.S. Ed. ’70) of Norfolk, 2/25/19

Kenneth D. Fulghum (M.S. Ed. ’71) of Norfolk, 4/12/19

James R. Smith ’73 of Spokane, Wash., 3/17/19

Richard P. Cook ’66 of Virginia Beach, 4/1/19

P. Michael Germano ’71 of Norfolk, 6/17/19

Kenneth V. Spaulding ’73 of Norman, Okla., 7/12/19

Lt. Cmdr. Joseph W. Trammel, USN (Ret.) ’77 of Virginia Beach, 6/27/19

John C. Gray ’66 (M.S. Ed. ’71) of Modest Town, Va., 6/12/19

Sharon L. Greenlaw ’71 of Skowhegan, Maine, 5/5/19

Queen B. Stephenson (M.S. Ed. ’73) of Glen Allen, Va., 6/6/19

Laurel K. Gutterman (M.A. ’67) of Philadelphia, Pa., 6/4/19

Susan Warrick Haworth ’71 of Norfolk, 6/13/19

Bessie C. Thornton ’73 of Chesapeake, 4/29/19

Milton P. Jones Jr. ’67 (M.B.A. ’76) of Portsmouth, 4/20/19

Richard B. May ’71 (M.S. Ed. ’76) of Virginia Beach, 3/6/19

George R. Truxillo ’73 of Wilmington, N.C., 3/18/19


Monarch | Old Dominion University

Brenda Bland ’78 (M.S. Ed. ’94) of Virginia Beach, 3/29/19 Laurie K. Farrell ’78 of Boston, Mass., 3/19/19 Thomas F. Gaskins ’78 of McKinley, Va., 7/10/19

In Memoriam

John T. Maroulis ’78 of Norfolk, 4/5/19

Capt. Richard J. Dietz, USN (Ret.) (M.B.A. ’83, M.S. Ed. ’01) of Virginia Beach, 5/3/19

Capt. Susan M. Schwartz, USAR (Ret.) (M.S. ’92) of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 6/13/19

William H. Monell ’83 of Portsmouth, 2/4/19

Patricia S. Griswold (M.A. ’93) of Delray Beach, Fla., 6/10/19

Jeffrey B. Pace ’83 (M.E. ’85) of Newport News, 6/6/19

Nancy Reichart Mitchell (M.S. Ed. ’93) of Norfolk, 1/27/19

Debra L. Solimando ’78 (M.S. Ed. ’86) of Powhatan, Va., 2/7/19

Marsha B. Wright ’83 of Newport News, 5/14/19

Terry L. Whitehurst ’93 of Chesapeake, 3/28/19

C. Timothy Wood Sr. ’78 of Virginia Beach, 2/27/19

Juanita F. Parker ’84 of Suffolk, 7/7/19

Mary Kip W. Bradley ’94 of Fayetteville, N.C., 2/26/19

Lloyd G. Martin Sr. (M.S. ’79) of Suffolk, 3/28/19

Glenn D. Jackson ’85 of Oak Ridge, Tenn., 6/14/19

Cindy M. Byrum (M.S. Ed. ’94) of Fredericksburg, Va., 2/27/19

Nancy L. Royer ’79 of Virginia Beach, 7/5/19

John J. Rehder (M.S. ’85) of Norfolk, 1/25/19

Cheryl D. Burton ’80 of Fairfax and Accomac, Va., 4/1/19

Angela Piroli Torelli Syrios ’85 of Virginia Beach, 1/30/19

Rear Adm. Thomas W. Jones, USCG (Ret) (M.P.A. ’94) of Vienna, Va., 3/30/19

Martin M. Fay (M.S. Ed. ’80) of Peoria, Ariz., 3/29/19

CWO Dean E. Taylor, USN (Ret) ’85 of Virginia Beach, 3/10/19

William T. Harper III ’80 of Newport News, 6/13/19

Allyson Hart Benavides ’86 of Fredericksburg, Va., 3/14/19

William H. Kriss ’80 of Chesapeake, 4/5/19

Susan M. Edgette (M.S. ’86) of Hampton, 3/3/19

Spencer R. Boone ’95 (M.S. Ed. ’97, C.A.S. ’00) of Virginia Beach, 3/7/19

D. Michael McAnulty ’80 (M.S. ’81, Ph.D. ’86) of Oak Ridge, N.C., 4/24/19

John T. Lloyd ’86 of Nelson County, Va., 6/19/19

Annie Gilstrap ’95 (M.S. Ed. ’00) of Chesapeake, 6/9/19

Old Dominion

Barbara E. Keech (C.A.S. ’87) of Poquoson, 4/7/19

Frederick W. Godwin Jr. ’95 (M.B.A. ’03) of Smithfield, 4/3/19

broke ground in

Karen A. Niedermeier (M.S. Ed. ’87) of Chesapeake, 3/15/19

Shane L. Hartman ’97 of Virginia Beach, 2/22/19

Gayle Barrow Burton ’88 of Norfolk, 3/14/19

Bennie L. Montgomery ’97 of Danville, Va., 5/2/19

Peter J. Casey ’88 of Norfolk, 3/10/19

Lloyd B. Evans (M.S. Ed. ’98, Ed.S. ’03) of Hampton, 1/13/19


Elaine B. Lustig (Hon ’88) of Norfolk, 6/22/19

Julie Tilson ’98 of Wytheville, Va., 1/26/19

honoring those

Leslie A. Kopari Jr. ’81 of Redwood City, Calif., 5/14/19

Cmdr. Darrell P. Patton, USN (Ret.) (M.A. ’88) of Virginia Beach, 7/9/19

Richard F. Carlson ’99 of Virginia Beach, 5/2/19

Capt. Lewis W. Walker Jr., USN (Ret) ’81 of Hudson, Ohio, 3/19/19

Esther Ulloa Whitehead ’88 of Chesapeake, 5/2/19

Capt. Neil J. Collins, USN (Ret) (M.S. Ed. ’01) of Virginia Beach, 4/7/19

Richard P. Anoia ’82 of Virginia Beach, 7/19/19

R. Keith Cox ’89 of Virginia Beach, 5/31/19

Shavonna M. Lausterer ’01 of Lincoln, Neb., 6/6/19

J. Roy King Jr. ’82 of Gloucester Point, Va., 2/9/19

J. Jeffrey Roberts ’89 of Midlothian, Va., 7/1/19

Mahlon B. White Jr. (M.E. ’82) of Moncks Corner, S.C., 4/16/19

Mary Frances Jones (C.A.S. ’90) of Virginia Beach, 7/7/19

Marilyn A. “Susie” Prosser Reeves ’01 of Sandersville, Ga., 3/7/19

Albert N. Antaki Jr. ’83 of Virginia Beach, 4/5/19

Richard H. Nettleton (M.B.A. ’92) of Norfolk, 5/31/19

Dinah J. Saunders ’78 (M.S. ’82) of Norfolk, 2/10/19 Edith K. Shields (M.S. Ed. ’78) of Virginia Beach and Gibsonburg, Ohio, 5/4/19

Julia Liverman Monk ’80 (M.A. ’99) of Norfolk, 6/26/19 Michael L. Moring ’80 of Suffolk, 7/14/19 Marta M. Peppin (M.S. ’80) of Cumming, Ga., 2/6/19 Sharon O. Stillman ’80 (M.S. Ed. ’95) of Chesapeake, 5/1/19 Kathryne B. Hubbard ’81 of Norfolk, 4/28/19

Thomas J. Botelis (M.A. ’03) of Newport News, 6/25/19 Susan Atkinson Tweed (Ph.D. ’08) of Norfolk, 7/17/19 Jean F. Siebert ’09 of Virginia Beach, 4/21/19 Alexander M. Gusev ’10 of Virginia Beach, 5/31/19 Daniel McGourty ’11 of Atlantic Beach, Fla., 2/12/19 Keon C. Henry ’15 of Norfolk, 2/17/19 Joseph B. Minifie (Psy.D. ’15) of Franklin, Tenn., 5/25/19 Philbert Taylor ’16 of Franklin, Va., 1/26/19

Christopher K. Rapp ’94 of Virginia Beach, 5/31/19

Austin M. Cook ’18 of Norfolk, 2/17/19

Beverley A. Wolf (M.S. Ed. ’94) of Virginia Beach, 4/3/19

Jazz Haaren (enrolled) of Vienna, Va., 7/24/19

Tara Welch Gallagher ’02 of Virginia Beach, 5/31/19

the fall for the Virginia Beach Monarch

killed in the shootings last summer. The memorial will be dedicated on Friday, April 24.

Winter 2020



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SAVE THE DATE Alumni Association

19 t h A nnu a l G ol f Tournamen t

April 30

Langley Federal Credit Union presents the TH



Spons o r e d b y t h e OD U A L U M N I A S S OC IATIO N

J U LY 1 6 - 1 8


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Winter 2020


Last Look

A dream come true for Borte Derrick Borte ’91 spoke at the Naro Expanded Cinema at a packed showing of his fifth feature film, “American Dreamer,” in September. About two dozen Old Dominion students worked on the movie, which stars comic Jim Gaffigan in an unusually dark role and features locations near campus. When ODU appeared in the credits, the audience erupted in cheers. The Chicago Sun-Times said the movie was “directed with claustrophobic, docudramastyle intensity.” PHOTOS BY ROBERTO WESTBROOK


Monarch | Old Dominion University

A Volleyball


The McGraths tailgating with good friends.

Richard, Sheri and Ashley McGrath

Richard and Sheri McGrath The McGraths’ future gift will support several athletic programs, with the largest portion to provide program support for women’s volleyball.

Richard McGrath has been a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, and his community ties run deep — seeded in local businesses, government and military. The product of a military/civil service family, Richard attended Norview High School and graduated with honors in 1977. He was planning to attend ODU in the Fall of 1977 while working as a paramedic for Norfolk Fire Rescue service. However, after graduation, his father gave him some luggage and suggested that he find a place to live. ODU became his home. Richard attended ODU for his undergraduate degree in management (1981) and his MBA (1983). Richard entered the financial services industry with a desire to help others and holds insurance licenses in multiple states across the country, and his Series 65 FINRA registration. After serving in the financial services industry for a few years, Richard took a job in Florida to help to rebuild a company and its employee benefits division. It was in Florida that he met his wife, Sheri. “For me, it was love at first sight,” said Richard. After completing his job in Florida, Richard returned to Virginia Beach. He and Sheri had been dating, and she asked him to send her the classified section of the local newspaper. Sheri soon found a job at American Funds and moved to Hampton Roads so they could date and see where it would take them. “It was truly the most unselfish thing anyone has ever done for me,” said Richard. The McGraths were married in 1999. A week after they returned from their honeymoon, a sudden turn of events changed the McGraths’ lives forever. “We started our own company from scratch.” Sheri spent her days at her job, while Richard worked on their company. Each night they worked on proposals for the new company, then drove to the post office so they could be delivered to potential clients the next day. “It was chaos, but we were building it the right way,” said Richard. They

named their company Dominion Financial Solutions, primarily for Richard’s love for the university, the place he called home since 1977. The McGraths never looked back. Richard played beach volleyball with friends recreationally, but it wasn’t until the McGraths’ youngest daughter, Ashley, began playing at the age of 8 that it turned into a family sport. That happened when Richard began coaching Ashley’s team, and Sheri became the team mom. Ten years later, Ashley and Richard have enjoyed coaching teams together. “She is a much better player and coach than I ever was. Thank God she tolerated me. I love being with her both on and off the court,” said Richard. Through the years, the family’s love of volleyball spilled over to ODU. Richard has served on the board of the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation for 10 years, and became chair in January of 2020. He’s also been a strong proponent of adding a women’s volleyball team. That dream came to fruition when ODU hired head coach Fred Chao, who has since recruited the first class of six Lady Monarchs, with a second class to be named in the spring of 2020. Games will begin in the fall of 2020. Richard said, “The hiring of Fred and his amazing staff, along with our first recruiting class, are truly the realization of a dream for us and ODU.” The McGraths’ passion for ODU athletics runs even deeper. Richard had an idea that he discussed with Sheri about including ODU in their estate plans. “We discussed the important role that ODU has played in all our lives, and decided it was the right time for us to make that commitment,” said Richard. The decision was unanimously supported by Ashley and Allie, their older daughter who lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Ian, and two daughters, Sawyer and Willow. The McGraths’ future gift will support several athletic programs, with the largest portion to provide program support for women’s volleyball. Let’s go, Monarchs!

If you’ve been considering an estate plan that includes ODU, or you have already done so, we welcome you to join us in the 1930 Society, where your gift will assist future students with their education through scholarships or program support. To learn more about how you can create a named scholarship to honor a loved one or to help future ODU students in other ways, simply contact a member of the Gift Planning team today.

Office of Gift Planning Barbara Henley Executive Director 757-683-6563

Brett Smiley Assistant Director 757-683-4735

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Paid Burl., VT 05401 Permit No. 196 Old Dominion University Strategic Communication and Marketing Norfolk, VA 23529-0018 Change Service Requested

My experiences throughout my life and at Old Dominion University have shaped the person I am today. Supporting those students who come after us will ensure that they, too, can be successful after they graduate.


03 • 17 • 20




Save the Date

On March 17, join Monarchs from around the globe for 24 hours of connecting and giving to support your favorite school or program.