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Summer Institutes Provide Unique Educational Opportunity

By Amy Kurfist

While the summer months are traditionally a time for students to take a break from academic programs, the Darden College of Education continues to buzz with activity, taking advantage of the University's newest academic building.

Over the summer, the College of Education hosted several summer institutes, each aimed at professionally diverse, internal and external audiences that provided a unique hands on learning experience and enriching learning opportunities for students from across the country.


The 15th annual Community College Leadership and Higher Education Summer Institute, June 4-16, kicked off the Summer Institute series. The doctoral programs offered a series of one-week courses on campus where students engaged one-on-one with faculty members to help build lasting, supportive relationships with their cohort. In addition, a variety of social and professional events were held, designed to prepare students to successfully complete their coursework and dissertation. Guest scholars, who are leaders in their field, included Beverly Walker-Griffea, president of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges; and Walter Bumphus, president/CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges.

To mark the 15th anniversary of Old Dominion's community college leadership program, Old Dominion President John R. Broderick presented Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's community college system, a Distinguished Career Award on June 7.


"The cohort structure is integral to the success of our doctoral programs, and the Summer Institute is the perfect opportunity to welcome back returning students and introduce the incoming class to our programs" said Chris Glass, graduate program director of the higher education and community college leadership programs.

Monarch LEAD, a field-based educational leadership preparation program that provides an opportunity for outstanding educators to earn a master's or educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership and obtain PK-12 Administration and Supervision licensure in Virginia, welcomed its seventh cohort of students to campus for their annual summer institute June 19-22. Students attended sessions including a writer's workshop, communication skills, and a group case study presentation led by Karen Sanzo, professor of educational leadership and program coordinator for the educational leadership services program; and Philip Jepson, adjunct assistant professor.

"The summer institute is an exciting, hands-on way to welcome our newest cohort to the Monarch LEAD family" said Sanzo. "This year was once again a tremendous success, and we are excited about the future of this great program."


The STEM and Professional Studies doctoral program in education, occupational and technical studies also held their annual, two-week institute on the university campus. Students enrolled in the program stayed on campus to access library facilities, meet with faculty and plan social activities. This year the institute runs from July 9-21, beginning with an afternoon picnic to welcome new and returning students. As part of the program, all students must attend the institute for two consecutive years. During the first summer institute, students narrow down a research area and draft their dissertation proposal. As they progress into their second year, students immerse themselves in the literature and refine their dissertation proposal.


Phil Reed, professor of STEM Education and Professional Studies, said as part of the institute "our intent is to have students work closely with faculty and each other so they grow together as scholars. We strive to help students understand the integral connections of their Ph.D. program responsibilities."


Also in July, the two-day ODU Library Summer Institute brought together a vibrant group of school librarians, library students and education leaders to present, learn and tinker throughout the dynamic new college of education building, which served as the inspiration for this year's Open Spaces theme. Keynote speakers included Helen Crompton, assistant professor with the teaching and learning department; and Gail Dickinson, associate dean for graduate studies and research. Sue Kimmel, associate professor of teaching and learning was the faculty lead for the event that was held July 17-19.

"We are really excited to have hosted this year's Library Science Summer Institute in the new, state-of-the-art building," said Kimmel. "As we explore the spaces and open frontiers for student learning in our profession, we are inspired by the technology-rich classrooms and other spaces in the beautiful new Education Building."

Rounding out the summer months was the Summer Institute of the Lilead Fellows Program, July 25-28. Launching its second cohort, the Lilead Fellows Program brings together a national group of school district library supervisors who receive professional development and work toward transformational change in school libraries to support student success. The Summer Institute kicked off the year-long program and brought together the 22 selected Fellows for a powerful learning experience where they are encouraged to think strategically and work collaboratively toward meeting district goals for student learning.

"The Lilead Project couldn't be happier about bringing the Fellows Program to the Old Dominion University campus," said Jeffrey DiScala, assistant professor of teaching and learning. "Hosting the summer institute here at ODU in the new building allows us to gather together a truly inspirational and influential group of leaders from school libraries across the nation."

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