Longtime Professor Jim English Leaves Lasting Impression
November 10, 2017
By Irv Harrell
Former Associate Professor Jim English, who was the director of the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Program at Old Dominion University for more than 25 years, died Tuesday, Nov. 7. He was 70.
"This is truly a great loss for our students and our school," said Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, professor and chair of the School of Community and Environmental Health. "His students and colleagues will deeply miss him. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."
English received his Master's of Science in Community Health Education at ODU in 1982. His expertise was in food safety, public health, environmental health, biological and chemical terrorism, as well as mosquito control of vector-borne diseases, communicable and infectious diseases, and water pollution.
Before returning to teach at ODU's College of Health Sciences, he was the director of environmental health services and the deputy director of public health for the City of Norfolk. He took over as Environmental Health Program director in August 1988. At that time, the program was under the School of Community Health Professions & Physical Therapy in the College of Health Sciences - which was created in 1986. In wasn't until 2002 that the Environmental Health Program moved into the School of Community and Environmental Health.
"Jim was very passionate about the health of the residents of the city of Norfolk which was evident by his community advocacy," said Interim Dean Richardean Benjamin, from the College of Health Sciences. "Students were urged to become involved and one example was the "adopt a street" initiative for the student environmental health organization."
Throughout his more than 40 years of affiliation with the program, English grew increasingly attached to its mission and its impact.
"But the thing I will miss the most is the great and wonderful students that I have had the pleasure of advising and having as students in my classes and working with in the ENVH program," he said, just before his retirement in August 2015. "I have many students contact me who have graduated and tell me what they are doing now and that is always very satisfying to me."
The funeral service for Professor Albert James English will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 at 11:00 am at HD Oliver, 1501 Colonial Avenue, Norfolk, VA. The burial will be held at Horton Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, VA.
In honor of the work of Professor English throughout his tenure at ODU, Marton Technologies, Inc. created a scholarship in 2015 to support B.S. students studying Environmental Health and M.S. students studying Community Health who are pursuing a career in Industrial Health and Occupational Safety and Health.
If you would like to honor the memory of Jim English, please consider making a gift to the scholarship in honor of Professor A. James English. To make your gift, please visit www.odu.edu/efgive