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Sue Doviak Remembered as a Role Model and Devoted Instructor

By Noell Saunders

Suzanne "Sue" Doviak, a longtime professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, died Feb. 5.

The professor emerita recently retired from the University after teaching for 37 years. She was a graduate of Old Dominion and State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her career as an instructor in the Department of Economics in 1980. There, she taught a sophomore business and government class, and principles of economics.

"Sue was passionate about promoting, discussing and shining light on gender equality issues at the University, and she was an excellent role model for our students," said Christopher Colburn, chair of Economics.

Doviak moved to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 1988, where she worked with several campus groups to provide remedial math instruction. She was a pioneer in distance learning. Doviak created an online version of a mathematics course that she taught for many years. Doviak's husband, Michael taught in the same department.

Doviak served on a number of education committees. She also was a coordinator for LADDERS, a program aimed at helping students on probation. Over the course of her career at ODU, Doviak received numerous grants aimed at increasing content knowledge in mathematics and science for in-service teachers. Those grants were from the Eisenhower Professional Development Program, No Child Left Behind and Tidewater Team to Improve Middle School Mathematics - a math and science partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

"Sue touched so many colleagues and students with her caring spirit and kindness," said Hideaki Kaneko, professor and chair of Mathematics and Statistics. "She will be sorely missed."

Mona Danner, professor and chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice, said Doviak was not only a colleague, but a dear friend.

"Sue was a kind, happy, positive, generous and a loving person," Danner said. "Many at the University will miss her, and we are grateful to have known and loved her."

Doviak was an active community volunteer. She dedicated time to the Harborfest Committees, the ODU Women's Caucus, Friends of the Norfolk Public Library, Friends of the ODU Library, Norfolk Academy and the Chrysler Museum of Art.

"What her family will miss most is her enthusiastic and caring spirit," according to her online obituary. "She always found giving to others to be a privilege."

In addition to her husband, Doviak is survived by her daughter, Meaghan Doviak; a granddaughter; a son-in-law; and a host of other family members and friends. A funeral service for Doviak was held Feb. 11 at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Norfolk.

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