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Naga 2015 Oil on Canvas Photo Courtesy of Joan Thorne

Old Dominion UniversityThemed Semester

What is Themed Semester?

Themed Semester is a multi-disciplinary campus initiative that aims to encourage discovery, growth, and engagement in today's national and global conversations.

Launched in Fall 2021, Themed Semester at ODU combines academic courses, public lectures and exhibits, film showings and other events to engage students and the entire community in a collective learning experience about a timely, relevant issue. Every academic college and campus unit is invited to participate.

Announcing the Theme for Themed Semester 2022

The theme for Fall 2022 is Sustainability.

In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." It centers on the principle that our basic needs for survival and well-being depend upon our natural environment, and it's important to have a holistic understanding of the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in harmony to support present and future generations.

Sustainable practices support not only environmental health but also economic health and social health.

  • Environmental Sustainability refers to practices that help preserve our natural resources and global ecosystems.
  • Social Sustainability refers to practices that are inclusive and help build and maintain resilient societies where all have a voice.
  • Economic Sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting communities.

There are many examples of institutions that are engaging in and researching sustainable practices - sustainable nursing, sustainable art, sustainable fashion, coastal sustainability. Sustainability is interdisciplinary and engages the community; it's about taking action.

Ways to Participate

Event Name Event Description Event Information

This exhibition features selections from hundreds of self-taught artworks in the permanent collection of the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries. With many works made from found and repurposed materials, and with their visual commentary on communities and the hellish costs of social ills, they support the theme of sustainability—social, environmental, and economic—during ODU's themed semester this fall. The exhibition likewise includes several candidates for future display across campus as public art.

Accompanying the 50 artworks on view are selections of folk and traditional music reflecting communities in areas where the artists have lived and worked. Social inequality and civil rights, spirituality, celebration and poverty, love and death, and longing and protest all are part of the everyday lives expressed here through sight and sound.

On view through 12/17
Wix at ODU

ePortfolios contribute to social sustainability by giving you a way to represent yourself and make your voice heard! The ePortfolio Studio is bringing a representative from Wix to ODU Zoom. Begin or grow your ePortfolio, learn more about Wix, and get a FREE 1-year Wix premium plan! We'll cover how to plan a website, how to use the Wix platform, and explore professional design features. Discover the basics in creating a Wix website as well as features to take your portfolio to the next level.

Register at bit.ly/oduwixsignup for the online workshops.

Introduction to Wix Workshop

Advanced Tips and Tricks for Wix

Sustainability at ODU Libraries: Discovery, Growth, & Engagement Kickoff

ODU Libraries welcome the Monarch community to join Sustainability at ODU Libraries: Discovery, Growth, & Engagement! Aligning with the University-supported theme of sustainability, the Libraries and those partnering with us this semester will offer events, displays, and scholarly discussions on the themed topic - starting with a Sustainability Kickoff event on September 20!

Please stop by the Learning Commons @ Perry Library from noon to 2pm to "Check Out" what's ahead for Fall 2022. The Libraries encourage students to participate in the kickoff event designed to serve as a bridge between academic exploration of issues and possibilities under the concept of sustainability. Also, enjoy the free pizza, snacks, swag, and giveaways along the way.

Featured events, collections, and partners include:

  • Sustainable Scholarship Physical & Virtual Book Displays
  • Naro Video Collection
  • ODUArts
  • ODU Lit Fest
  • Special Collections & University Archives: ODU Footprint
  • Libraries' Undergraduate Student Research Award
  • Student Sustainability Showcase
  • Waters Rising Exhibit & Open Access Week
  • ASIS- Academic Resource Center

Please contact Jennifer Hoyt at jhoyt@odu.edu for additional details!

12:30-1:30 pm
Learning Commons @ Perry Library (soft-seating area)
CCPO and ICAR Fall 2022 Virtual Seminar Series

The CCPO and Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience (ICAR) seminar next week will be given by Dr. Tom Allen and Dr. Margie Mulholland from Old Dominion University and Dr. Derek Loftis from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (flyer attached). The seminar will discuss how three citizen science programs are collaborating to raise awareness of coastal climate challenges in Hampton Roads by joining forces in October 2022 for Catch-the-King, Blue Line Project, and Measure-the-Muck. Results from analysis of data collected by these citizen science programs will be presented. Information will be provided on how to participate in the three programs.

Information about the Blue Line Project is available at: https://sites.wp.odu.edu/blueline/

Information about a previous Measure the Muck event is at: https://www.odu.edu/oes/news/2018/12/measure_the_muck_wit

Information about 'Catch the King' Tide is available at: https://www.vims.edu/people/loftis_jd/Catch%20the%20King/index.php

Dr. Eileen Hofmann will host this virtual seminar. There will be an informal discussion prior to the seminar starting at 3pm.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the seminar.

3:30 pm

Join via Zoom
Meeting ID:
926 4984 9789

Passcode: 038517

Informational Display in the Library Gallery The Sustainability in the Fashion Industry class will install an informational display in the ODU Libraries' Gallery. The focus is on consumer textile waste. Please visit the Perry Library's Gallery section to check out the Sustainability in the Fashion Industry display. As part of the Student Sustainability Showcase at ODU Libraries, students from SEPS 495 collaborated to share facts about waste and helpful suggestions centered on fiber growth, processing, & uses of cotton. Thursday, 9/29
Sustaining Community: 45th Annual ODU Literary Festival In times of difficulty— of suffering and trauma, violence and grief— our connections to one another become an engine of survival, and the work of cultivating and sustaining those bonds becomes both vital and deeply complex. In times of comfort, peace, and celebration, our communities extend and magnify our joy. No matter the state of the world, we are responsible to one another: interconnected and interdependent. Join us for the 45th Annual ODU Literary Festival, as we celebrate literature's capacity to forge and preserve community, work that examines the ways we live in relationship to one another, and remarkable writers who sustain—and are sustained by—the communities in which they live, work, and make. 10/2 - 10/6
YASS! Yourth Art Saturday School 2022 ODU Art Education preservice teachers are pleased to present YASS! 2022(Youth Art Saturday School)
Located at the Chrysler Museum of Art and rooted in sustainability to align with the 2022 ODU Themester.
3 weeks, 3 classes, 3 age groups!

Space is limited so don't delay and please share and sign-up children and youth for this exceptionally inspired enchanting art experience.

10/15, 10/22, 10/29
Sustainable Scholarship Faculty/Graduate Student Workshop: Sustainable Scholarship. Understand the barriers to accessing research needed to solve important problems. We will discuss ways to make the scholarly publishing ecosystem more sustainable.


11 am - 12 pm, Online via Zoom

Email Karen Vaughan, kvaughan@odu.edu to register.

Showing: Ganden: A Joyful Land, a film by Ngawang Choephel

Ganden: A Joyful Land takes a revealing and intimate look at the lives and remembrances of the last remaining generation of Tibetan Buddhist monks to have studied at the renowned Ganden Monastery in Tibet. Ganden is considered the most influential monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, likened by Buddhists to the Vatican City. It is here where the Dalai Lama's lineage began. For more than 500 years, monks lived in Ganden in simplicity and contentment, before a brutal invasion drove them from their sacred home to start anew in India. Embodying the strength and joy their faith teaches, survivors of the forced exodus tell of their lives in the old and new Ganden, in Ngawang Choephel's moving film. Features visit with award-winning filmmaker Ngawang Choephel.

Jeans Go Green Collection Help divert textile waste from landfills by recycling your old denim. As long as your denim apparel is at least 90% cotton, it's recycable. Check the label! Every piece makes a difference. The ODU bookstore will provide discounts to those who bring dondations of old denim. Learn more at BlueJeansGoGreen.org. 11/15-16
Upcycled Denim Fashion Show Using discarded textile waste, thrift store finds, or unwanted clothing in your closet, create an upcycled garment and present it in a December fashion show featuring upcycled denim. The fashion show will take place at the ODU Bookstore. 12/1
Course Number & Title Course Description Course Instructor(s)
ARTS 495: Topics Through a collaborative mural project, to be installed on the Stabler theater wall facing 47th street, Students will use their artistic voice to conceive, develop, and transform public space into an environment that sustains and enhances our quality of life at ODU. Natalia Pilato
GEOG 420/520: Marine Georgaphy, GIS for a Blue Planet This course will be modified to include a class project on the theme of Coastal Sustainability. The project will extend existing lecture and lab exercises to develop a hybrid participatory and web-based activity, including the creation of a digital dashboard of flood sensors, tidal flooding, and future projections by student groups. The class will converge on pre-determined sites coinciding with "King tide" flood events to raise community awareness (reviving the ODU Blue Line Project.) Teams may subdivide to analyze and map sustainability and resilience implications for each site, across economic, social, and ecological dimensions (e.g., data analyses by teams focused on economic value, loss, or hazard; social vulnerability and disparities; and wetlands and ecosystem services affected, such as wetland loss or "coastal squeeze"). Tom Allen
IDT 749/849: Designing Effectively for Sustainability

Designing effectively for sustainability is like trying to turn an aircraft carrier: it takes a lot of force, a lot of time, and it is slow. Engaged in semester-long community projects, students will design toward sustainable approaches to promote wellbeing and social innovation. Working in multi-disciplinary teams, students will design for a moment of use. In other words, what does the audience of focus need to know and do when they need to do what they do. Our contextual approach will challenge traditional ways of doing and unveil different and sustainable ways to design meaningful interventions.

John Baaki

Brett Cook-Snell

MGMT 427: Business & Society The 21st Century can be characterized by rapidly improving economic conditions for many people but persistent suffering and inequities for many others. Many people worry about the social and environmental costs of a business system based on shareholder primacy. Through this course, you are invited to explore competing perspectives in-depth and clarify your views on them. Jay O'Toole
NURS 472/3: Nursing in the Healthcare System HLTH 101: Introduction to Health Professions Review/enhancement of Community Health Nursing II to include sustainable nursing as it relates to environmental and social sustainability. Students will complete a carbon footprint assessment of the Virginia Beach Higher Ed Center with recommendations for sustainability. Students will also develop and engage in community based education and resource sharing.

Beth Tremblay

Janice Hawkins

Leanne White

PHIL 250: World Religions Celebrating sustainable communities, the award-winning Tibetan film director Ngawang Choephel will show and discuss his new documentary film Ganden: A Joyful Land at Old Dominion University. Nicole Willock
PRTS 475: Sustainable Tourism Management Students in the PRTS 475 Sustainable Tourism Management class will do a community assessment of the entrepreneurial potential for a proposed rail-trail on the Eastern Shore. The assessment would help inform the tourism development plan for the bike trail. Lindsay Usher
SEPS 495: Sustainability and the Fashion Industry This course is a holistic view of the fashion industry's environmental, social and economic impact in the Fashion Merchandising program. Students engage in research, analysis, and creative hands-on application projects in a total of 7 fashion merchandising courses, including a new topics course. This interdisciplinary project will challenge students to explore best and worst practices, discover connections between sustainable practices and profitability, inspire action, and lead to deeper relationships with peers, instructors, and the community. Students will develop connections among ideas, experiences, disciplines, and goals. They will increase their sense of belonging by connecting with peers, faculty, staff, and community through shared experiences and they will develop new perspectives about issues beyond individual class experiences.

The fashion industry is purportedly one of the worst Sustainability offenders. Consumers state they want ethically sourced and environmentally friendly clothing. What is the fashion industry doing to preserve people and the plant while earning a profit? Our whole program approach weaves the themes of Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainability into seven fashion merchandising courses.

Sharon Davis

Joy Kelly

Mike Conner

Michale Kosloski

Dee Hamlet

Sharon Joyner

WMST 303/ENGL 395: Queer Studies Students in Queer Studies (WMST 303/ENGL 395) will create an immersive virtual walking tour of local LGBTQ history. The tour will consist of 360° videos supplemented with photos, audio from oral history interviews, and artistic renderings of buildings and businesses that no longer exist. As they tour local queer spaces from the past, participants will have the feeling of walking through local streets today while viewing historically significant queer sites of the past. The virtual tour will be available on YouTube, and viewing with optional virtual reality headsets, including Google Cardboard and other inexpensive options, will create an even more immersive experience. The tour will allow participants to experience LGBTQ history firsthand, creating a more inclusive representation of local history that gives voice to the people who lived it. Cathleen Rhodes

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Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!