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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Meet the Deans

Stephanie G. Adams, Batten College of Engineering and Technology

Stephanie G. Adams, is the seventh dean of Old Dominion University's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology.

Adams, who grew up in Hampton Roads and attended Old Dominion's child care center, is the first female engineering dean at the University.

Adams is an honor graduate of North Carolina A&T State University where she earned her bachelor's in mechanical engineering. She received a master's degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia in 1991, and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998.

Adams brings a legacy of accomplishment to Old Dominion. Before being appointed a department chair at Virginia Tech in 2010, Adams served as associate dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2008 to 2010. For the decade before, she was a faculty member and administrator in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also served two years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

She comes to Old Dominion University having won more than $12 million in research grants as principal investigator or co-principal investigator and authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles, more than 30 conference proceedings publications, five book chapters and two edited books.

Among her many recognitions, Adams was recently appointed president-elect of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) for one-year term beginning in June 2018.

She also received a 2003 CAREER award from NSF to support her goal of designing, developing and validating a model for the facilitation of effective teaming in the engineering classroom. In 2008, Adams received a DuPont Minorities in Engineering Award from the American Society of Engineering Education and the Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year Award from the National Society of Black Engineers.

Jane S. Bray, Darden College of Education

Jane S. Bray, a retired dean of education and associate provost at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, serves as the dean of Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education.

Bray received her doctorate in education from Lehigh University in 1994, and holds an MS and BS in Elementary Education from Kutztown University.

As dean for the School of Education at Millersville, she provided leadership for five academic departments: Educational Foundations; Elementary and Early Childhood Education; Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology; Psychology; and Wellness and Sports Sciences.

Bray brings to ODU considerable experience in higher education administration, serving as professor of elementary and early childhood education at Millersville University. She served on her university's Institutional Review Board, administered faculty and student grants for research and travel, and collaborated with faculty to develop a new multidisciplinary degree program.

Bray is the past chair of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and served on the academic advisory council for the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET).

Richardean Benjamin, College of Health Sciences

Richardean Benjamin currently serves as the interim dean for the College of Health Sciences.

Benjamin holds an RN diploma from Grady Hospital School of Nursing; a BSN from Armstrong State University; an MSN from the Medical College of Georgia and; a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

She is certified as a clinical specialist in psychiatric and mental health nursing and has teaching experiences at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels.

Benjamin has been employed with the University for over 25 years. In 1989, she was was offered a faculty appointment as an assistant professor in nursing at the College of Health Sciences.

She earned tenure in 1995 and later became graduate program director for the School of Nursing. She served as chair of the school for seven years beginning in 2002 before becoming associate dean of education. In 2017, she was appointed interim dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Prior to arriving at ODU, Benjamin worked as an administrative associate for the American Nurses Association's Minority Fellowship Program. She was also awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in the psychiatric epidemiology program at the University of Pittsburgh where she spent about three years diagnosing and treating children. She's also worked in a Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program run by Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Gail Dodge, College of Sciences

Gail Dodge, a faculty member in Old Dominion's Department of Physics since 1995, has been appointed dean of the University's College of Sciences, effective May 25.

Dodge holds a Ph.D. and MS in Physics from Stanford University and a BA in Physics from Princeton University.

Dodge, who has strong affiliations with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News (Jefferson Lab), served as chair of the Department of Physics from 2005 to 2011, establishing the Center for Accelerator Science.

In 2015, she was honored with the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia, given to faculty who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, research and service.

She was the recipient of the Gene. W. Hirschfeld Faculty Excellence Award from ODU in 2012 and the Francis Slack Award from the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society in 2013.

Dodge has worked hard to improve the learning and working environment for women in physics, both at Old Dominion and more widely. She has been active in efforts to improve the teaching of introductory physics courses and was one of the co-founders of the Physics Learning Center, where students can drop in for tutoring help.

From 2012 to 2014, Dodge served a two-year term as a visiting scientist and program manager at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia. There she was responsible for the $17 million experimental nuclear physics program, including coordination with the Office of Nuclear Physics at the Department of Energy. Prior to working at NSF she served as a member of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which advises DOE and NSF on priorities for nuclear science funding in the United States.

Dodge is principal investigator or co-PI of more than $13 million in grants and contracts throughout her career, co-author on 135 refereed papers with more than 8,000 citations. She established an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program, focusing on nuclear and accelerator physics in partnership with Jefferson Lab, which is now in its 11th year.

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