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President's Corner: August 2018

Next week I will deliver the State of the University address at the Ted. It provides a forum to recap our most notable successes of the past year and to unveil new initiatives and directions that Old Dominion is taking.

In my column next month, I'll share some of the exciting developments that I will announce in my speech. For now I'd like to focus on an achievement that I will mention in my address. This year, four of our faculty members have won prestigious Fulbright awards.

Rodger Harvey, a professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, served as the Distinguished Arctic Chair for Norway during the spring. He studied the chemistry of Arctic ecosystems within and under the ice, and engaged with faculty and graduate students in research, talks and seminars.

Rodger spent 10 days traveling by snowmobile, collecting samples from frozen fjords, and he participated in a two-week expedition on the Barents Sea. "This senior Fulbright Scholar award is one of the high points in my career," he says.

Sharon Raver-Lampman, a professor of communication disorders and special education, spent the spring semester in Armenia, working with the country's Ministry of Education and the Armenian State Pedagogical University to prepare teachers for the inclusion of special needs students in classrooms.

It was Sharon's fourth Fulbright - and her first witnessing a peaceful overthrow of a government. The experience, she says, enhanced her global and cultural understanding and forged opportunities for professional collaboration.

Her husband, Greg Raver-Lampman, who teaches in our English Language Center, received a Fulbright Specialist award. He taught advanced academic writing to students at the university and trained faculty members to incorporate online resources, such as EssayMaps.com, in their writing instruction.

Deborah Gray, the director of our nurse practitioner program, recently began her Fulbright in Botswana. Deborah will be at the University of Botswana, working to expand access to health care and to increase the number of nurse practitioners and advance practice nurses.

Details about the experiences of the Fulbright scholars, including blogs, videos and photos, are on the Office of Research's website, https://sites.wp.odu.edu/research/. You'll also find out what Rodger's team carried to guard against polar bears and why reindeer racing is popular there.

In total, Old Dominion has had roughly 50 Fulbright scholars. They're not all faculty members. About nine have been students.

The University also has hosted Fulbright faculty and students from other parts of the world. Miguel Jarrin, a doctoral engineering student from Ecuador who is here now, says the welcoming environment "lets me study and concentrate."

Old Dominion's commitment to multicultural collaboration will continue to produce Fulbright scholars. Their work will help advance research and benefit students here and across the world.

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