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Naga 2015 Oil on Canvas Photo Courtesy of Joan Thorne

Old Dominion UniversityAnnual Campus Theme

What is Annual Campus Theme?

Annual Campus Theme (ACT) 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, ACT 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 2023

The theme for 2023 is Blue Connections.

With the expansion of maritime initiatives at ODU, "Blue Connections" hopes to explore opportunities for the campus community to engage in awareness and support of the ocean's ecosystems through a variety of disciplines - the arts and design, sciences, business, education, engineering, health, supply chain, and more.

Blue Connections means

  • appreciating and researching the crucial roles our oceans, coastal waterways, freshwater systems, etc. play in our global economies.
  • recognizing and advocating for the various sectors that impact our blue economy - ocean defense, tourism and recreation, fisheries, offshore renewable energy, ocean transportation, Naval enterprise, supply chain and logistics, maritime workforce, and more.
  • connecting land and waterways in the distribution of goods and services.

Ways to Participate

Event Name Event Description Event Information

Jewish Refugees: Norfolk's Quanza Story

Film Screening of "Nobody Wants Us" with Director/Producer Laura Seltzer-Duny

ODU will welcome Laura Seltzer-Duny, director and producer of the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Nobody Wants Us." The film follows the story of the SS Quanza, a ship that arrived in Norfolk in 1940 with Jewish refugees aboard. It looked like they'd be sent back to a Nazi-controlled Europe before a savvy maritime lawyer from Newport News and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt got involved. On September 14, 1940, the refugees legally entered the United States.

The Quanza story connects the humanities and maritime disciplines. It is grounded in the local history of Tidewater with links to larger themes concerning antisemitism, the plight of refugees, and the Holocaust.

Join us on February 15 at 5:30pm in the University Theatre to view the film. A panel discussion follows with Laura Seltzer-Duny, Eric Michael Mazur, Professor of Religious Studies, Gloria & David Furman Endowed Professorship at Virginia Wesleyan University, & Stephanie Hawthorne, ODU History & Humanities Alum (BA 2013; MA 2019), Financial Manager, Academic Departments, Strome College of Business. A reception concludes the event.

It is sponsored by ODU's Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, the Center for Faculty Development, the College of Arts and Letters, the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, the Strome College of Business, the University Libraries, the Department of History, the Maritime, Ports and Logistics Institute, the Annual Campus Theme Blue Connections, the Office of Maritime Initiatives, and the Office of Faculty Diversity and Retention.

For questions about the film screening contact IJIU at ijiu@odu.edu

Februrary 15, 5:30-7:00pm in the University Theater

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but encouraged:


ODU Libraries' Annual Campus Theme Student Research Award

In the fall and spring semesters, ODU Libraries will be offering a research award for research papers and projects related to the Blue Connections Annual Campus Theme. Submissions will be accepted at the end of each semester and evaluated by a team of ODU librarians.

Three prizes of Monarch Plus points will be awarded to the top three submissions. The first prize will be $100, the second $50, and the third $25.

For more details, contact Travis Jones at tljones@odu.edu.

Students may submit their projects by midnight on Monday, December 18th

Submission link: https://tinyurl.com/ACTAwardF23

Winners will be notified by January 17th

2023-2024 Maritime Photo Contest

The Maritime, Ports and Logistics Institute invites ODU graduate and undergraduate students to enter their best photos in the Maritime Photo Contest. Any current ODU student is eligible to participate. Cash prizes are offered for the first- and second-place winners. This contest seeks to promote a closer look at the maritime industry and share images that can inspire viewers about the potential of maritime activities.

We welcome all kind of motifs related to maritime life at work or leisure, on board or on shore, vessels, marine terminals/ facilities, marine transportation, the sea and coast, and people and communities in port areas. The photographs must be original and taken by you. Computer-generated images or previously published photos will not be considered. Photos must have been taken in the Hampton Roads area. You can send one submission with up to three (3) photos.

There will be two awards: 1st prize $300 and 2nd prize $200

Students may submit photos by February 1st, 2024

Submission link: https://forms.office.com/r/iDCNckP4Qt

Plastics in the Water

Fashion Merchandising students are addressing the fashion industry's impact on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, the Environment, and Economic Stability this semester.

Classroom discussion, research, collaborative planning, graphic design, content writing, social media management, vendor negotiation, booth floor planning and construction, and staff scheduling have resulted in this student-led project, Plastics in the Water.

Join us at the Fantastic Planet Public Arts Festival located along 43rd Street on October 13-15. Sustainability and Fashion Marketing classes operating in a booth will stimulate public awareness, interest, and learning through conversation, engaging activities, and visuals.

Supported by an ODU Leadership and Learning Service-Learning Mini-Grant, the ODU Sustainable Collective of Fashion Merchandising Students will show original "Trashy Fashion" products, conduct a public awareness survey, and present pre- and post-consumer microfiber pollution issues and solutions. Additionally, students will engage the public and ODU community in conversations about water stewardship, microplastic pollution, and the fashion industry.

Follow our journey on Instagram @monarchs.sustainability

Fashion Merchandising Instructors: Michael Conner, Teresa Fary, Sharon Davis, and Joy Kelly

October 13-15

Barry Arts Museum

Connections: The 46th Annual ODU Literary Festival

In a time of technological advancements that seem to challenge the very nature of writing and art, we come together to reconnect and reaffirm the transformational and profoundly human act of making and experiencing the written word. Writing or reading, performing or viewing, we reach beyond ourselves and in that process are forever changed. Join us for the 46th Annual ODU Literary Festival, as we celebrate poets, novelists, memoirists, actors, directors and all those who tell the stories that link us together and change the way we understand ourselves and our world. - Dr. Luisa A. Igloria and Kent Wascom, 2023 Festival Co-directors

All events are free and open to the community! Free parking available in Constant Center/45th Street Garage for events in University Theatre.

For more information, please contact the Old Dominion University English Department at (757) 683-3991 or email mfagpdassistant@odu.edu.

October 1-5, 2023

Event information and access links available at odu.edu/litfest

Blue Connections: ODU Symphony Orchestra

Come celebrate our coastal community and learn about current research aiding its long-term preservation! This "Blue Connections" Annual Campus Theme concert will include professors across ODU's campus, including Peter Sedwick from the Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences and Tom Allen from the Department of Political Science & Geography, who will discuss local research activities related to flooding and sea levels, as well as a representative from the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience, who can share how others can get involved. Featured music includes Duke Ellington's jazzy "River Suite," guest composer Judith Shatin's glacier-inspired electroacoustic work "Ice Becomes Water," and other works by Percy Grainger and Niels Gade.

Tickets $6 Students / $11 Faculty / $17 General at ODUArtsTix:

October 1, 2023, 3:00 pm

University Theatre

Blue Connections at ODU Libraries: Explore for Our Future!

ODU Libraries welcome the Monarch community to join us for Blue Connections at ODU Libraries: Explore for Our Future! Our kickoff event, set for September 14 from 11am to 2pm, will showcase upcoming events, displays, discussions, and featured collections that support the University-wide theme of Blue Connections. Enjoy free pizza, swag, and prizes, and learn more about the significance of our oceans and coastal waterways as they directly shape global economies. Notably, these opportunities for engagement serve as a bridge between academic exploration and community activism, and we invite all Monarchs to participate over the semester, all while considering the Libraries as a space to make a difference across ODU and beyond our campus environment.

  • Free Pizza, Swag, Prizes, & Connections

For more details, please contact Jennifer Hoyt at jhoyt@odu.edu.

Thursday, Sept. 14 from 11 am to 2 pm

Perry Library, 1st floor, Learning Commons

PAPAHANAUMOKU - A Panoply of New Island Cultures

Works by Solomon Robert Nui Enos
Solomon Robert Nui Enos is a Native Hawaiian artist, illustrator, and visionary. Born and raised in Makaha Valley (O'ahu, Hawai'i), he hails from the well-known Enos 'ohana and has been making art for more than 30 years. Papahanaumoku referenes one of the foundational mo'olelo or stories, telling of the mother, Papa, who birthed the islands, from Hawai'i island to Kaua'i and beyond. Works created for this exhbition offer a conceptual continuation of the peopling of islands, as effects of climate change reshape our planet's land masses, ecologies, and societies.

Opening Reception: Sept. 14, 2023, 6-8 pm

Exhibition: Sept. 15-December 16, 2023

Gordon Art Galleries

Course Number & Title Course Description Course Instructor(s)
ARTS 351: Print II - The Hybrid Print Sound Map for a Changing Landscape is a new socially engaged art project from lead artist and ODU professor Brendan Baylor and ODU English faculty Kelly Morse. Combining a digital app, archive, and installation, this project invites participants to archive sounds and images related to changing landscapes centered on the Tidewater region of Virginia. As part of the project, Professor Baylor will collaborate with the students in his Hybrid Printmaking course to create prints based on participant images. These prints will be exhibited as part of the gallery installation of the project. Brendan Baylor
ARTS 445: Hybrid Approaches of Painiting and Drawing Stop-motion animations will be produced as a result of Assistant Professor Jing Qin's Hybrid Approaches of Painting and Drawing class. Students use stop-motion animation to show how they relate to the larger maritime and water ecology and how they perceive the world. This effort aims to enhance awareness of the seascape's influence on sustainable human behavior by artistically celebrating and reflecting on the daily lives of Hampton Roads residents. Jing Qin
ENGL 110C: English Composition A cross-disciplinary project between ENG110C Composition and ART 351 Hybrid Printmaking that draws from the traditions of community-based knowledge and participatory mapping to create an installation of student work that reflects on identity as related to the roles of water systems in the Tidewater region. Kelly Morse
ENGL 112L: Introduction to Literature Introduction to Literature will feature a themed unit on maritime literature, exploring local connections to John Smith, Blackbeard, and famed shipwrecks like the Dictator. Students will read imaginative fiction and poetry that reflect on humanity's relationship to the ocean, from sailing to storms to sea-level rise. The unit will also examine the consequences of that relationship to island communities displaced by the nuclear diaspora. Steffani Dambruch
HIST 402W: Senior Seminar Focusing the Senior Seminar in History on maritime history and the history of the (regional) maritime industries will allow students not only to recognize the "blue connections" of historical research in a region like Hampton Roads, but will also allow history students to consider the maritime industries (in a broad understanding) as a potential field to build up a career based on the skills of a historian. Ingo Heidbrink
MSCM 473: Inland Waterways & Intermodal Transportation Project-based learning is an essential part in developing students' skills and abilities to address real-world problems in maritime and supply chain industries. Yet, integrating real company-based projects with the coursework during a span of one semester is a challenging task. This time constraint can be overcome through the process of project on-boarding: company-suggested projects will undergo a design and selection phase to ensure their scope, feasibility, and fit with course concepts, and students' learning outcomes prior to the semester. Ricardo Ungo
MUSC 383+: Symphony Orchestra "Ice Becomes Water": ODU Symphony Orchestra's season opening concert will include a performance of Judith Shatin's "Ice Becomes Water," a musical depiction of melting glaciers incorporating actual field recordings made by glaciologist Oskar Glowacki, with in-concert discussions of climate trends and current research related to sea-level rise being done by ODU faculty and students. Paul Kim
PHIL 344E: Environmental Ethics The course will have a service-learning component where we aid a local community to become or enhance their resilience to sea-level rise and other climate change threats. The goal is to promote social justice in respect to the problems related to climate change in the Hampton Roads area. Chad Wiener
SOC 201S: Introduction to Sociology This project will include collecting items which are most likely to be found polluting our rivers and oceans, having students work together to turn these items into (percussion) instruments, having students work with the professor on a song which reflects the various ways in which we depend upon water for survival, and culminating the semester with an in-class performance in which the professor performs the song while the students participate as the rhythm section using the instruments they have created. Jonathan Lopez
UNIV 100: University Orientation In the current UNIV 100 course, first year students are exposed to many majors at ODU and allow them to explore programs and career paths. This semester, the course is restructured to include an emphasis on the Blue Connections theme and introduce students specifically to majors and careers related to the ocean's ecosystems and land's transportation processes. Faculty, academic advisors, and/or industry professionals will be invited as guest speakers. The course may also include trips to related locations/spaces to discuss the various opportunities in these fields. Katie St. John
Course Number & Title Course Description Course Instructor(s)

ARTE 411: Curriculum and Instruction in Art Education

TR 1:20pm-4:10pm

CRN: 29662

Students enrolled in ARTE411 Curriculum and Instruction in Art Education will write a series of minilessons for the k-12 public school setting relating to the theme of blue connections. Their rationales for these arts-based lessons will be rooted in big ideas that pertain to protecting and sustaining our Chesapeake Bay ecosystems. Natalia Pilato

ARTS 495: Special Topics - Murals for Social Justice

TR 4:30pm-7:10pm

CRN: 33142

Students enrolled in the Spring semester special topics course ARTS495 Murals for Social Justice, will participate in helping to paint the Blue Connections Mural project that will be installed and celebrated at the end of the semester Natalia Pilato

HIST 495/595: Maritime History of the Holocaust

Thursdays 7:25pm-10:05pm

CRN: 32276

This course explores the maritime history of the Holocaust by retracing the routes ships took to transport Jewish refugees away from Nazi-controlled territories in Europe to safer environments beginning in 1938 and continuing to the establishment of Israel in 1948. We explore bodies of water as avenues of escape but also as routes where legal and political conflicts as well as hazards of maritime travel condemned many fleeing antisemitism to their deaths. The course links the complexities of maritime travel and humanitarian crises while exploring ships and bodies of water as critical geographical spaces of the Holocaust. Students will explore new narratives and perspectives on Holocaust history and also work with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and digital resources. Annette Finley-Croswhite

MSCM 473: Inland Waterways & Intermodal Systems

TR 1:30pm-2:45pm

CRN: 26612

Gamification plays an important role in developing students' skills and abilities to address real-world problems in maritime and supply chain industries. However, games for the maritime and transportation industry are limited in availability and scope. Students will benefit with the competition posed by a game based on course concepts. Two games will be developed for the Inland Waterways and Intermodal Systems course. Ricardo Ungo

COMM 395: Communication and the Blue Economy

Online, Asynchronous

CRN: 33261/2/3

This course explores the vital role of communication within the context of the Blue Economy. The Blue Economy refers to sustainable economic activities related to oceans, seas, and coastal areas, including fisheries, marine transportation, renewable energy, tourism, and conservation. Effective communication plays a crucial role in promoting collaboration, raising awareness, addressing challenges, and ensuring the sustainable development of the Blue Economy. Through theoretical foundations, case studies, and practical exercises, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the various communication strategies and tools used in this dynamic sector. Sandra McGee

CPD 303T: Maritime Leadership, Technology and Society

TR 11:00am-12:15pm

CRN: 33618

This course is an introduction to the regional and global maritime industry and maritime related careers. It will explain the important elements of the marine transportation system, which consists of waterways and ports that allows for various modes of transportation to move people and goods to, from, and on the water. Specific topics include an introduction to different types of cargo, how cargo is moved, ship types, ship equipment, ship routes, basic navigation and ship stability, emerging industries including offshore wind and autonomous systems, maritime law, maritime safety, and leadership. A large part of this course will include guest speakers who are leaders in the maritime industry. These speakers will discuss different careers in the maritime industry including engineering, port operations, ship building and ship repair, military, logistics and supply chain, and entrepreneurship, as well as the skills needed to obtain these careers. Elspeth McMahon

SEPS 495: Fashion Supply Chain Management

TR 3:00pm-4:15pm

CRN: 33352

This course employs a global view of the legal, economic, environmental, and social issues behind the procurement, movement, and storage of materials and finished inventory through fashion organizations and marketing channels. Participants will explore best and worst practices and discover connections between sustainable supply chain management practices, consumer value, and profitability. It also includes field trips to Norfolk International Terminals and Target's Distribution Center in Suffolk. Joy Kelly
Research Project Title Description Faculty
Interdisciplinary Research on Fashion related to Maritime, Supply Chain, and Logistics

It is proposed that an interdisciplinary consumer research study be undertaken in conjunction with the School of Supply Chain, Logistics, and Maritime Operations. The objective of the research would be to evaluate consumer awareness, attitudes, and practices in the purchase of counterfeit fashion goods. The idea is that if we better understand the consumers of these goods, their motives, and needs, then an effective corrective program could be developed at the industry level to help stem the demand for such goods.

The research would be launched in Fall, 2023 to be included as part of the curriculum of a new Fashion Merchandising course: Responsible Fashion Supply Chain. Students in the class will execute the survey and analyze results.

Sharon Davis

Michael Conner

Joy Kelly

Sound Map for a Changing Landscape Centered on the Tidewater region of Virginia, this project invites participants to archive sounds, images, and narratives related to changing maritime landscapes via the combination of a digital app, multimedia archive, and art installation. Using a digital map, participants will be able to pin different locations, uploading sound recordings and imagery related to that place. These contributions could be interviews, original writings, memories, or field recordings. Images could represent the place itself, memories related to it, and/or any contributors and participants.

Brendan Baylor

Kelly Morse

Trustworthy Smart IoT Maritime Connection to Enhance Safety at Sea The overarching objective of this proposal is to design, analyze and implement a new secure lightweightauthentication platform for the smart maritime transportation systems. Specifically, the focus is on sensor data from smart vessels such as connected ports, video camera accompanied by local sensors at the edges such as lighthouse and red buoy.

Tran Phuong

Ricardo Ungo

Blue Connections Mural Initiative Blue Connections mural initiative will bring together members of the ODU and Hampton Roads communities through the Maritime Initiative to create a public mural and research project that will investigate the past, present and future of Maritime waterways. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, we will employ arts-based research and participatory action research methods, which includes asset-based investigations. These methods will aid in uncovering the region's rich maritime history emphasizing related careers and presenting the future of the industry. Depending on the findings, this can include highlighting issues regardingoffshore wind and ship autonomy, ingenuity relating to maritime resilience efforts, ecosystems,c oastal adaptation, and future sustainability efforts.

Natalia Pilato

Elspeth McMahon

Assessing the Impact of the Regional Hampton Roads Maritime Innovation Eco-system on Entrepreneurs The maritime supply chains are essential to national security and economic vitality, allowing for the efficient transport of goods and raw materials. Maritime port cities are bustling with the growing global pace of international trade. To facilitate the innovation, there has been a trend to establish incubators, accelerators, innovation centers and innovation corridors to bring together entrepreneurs, industry members and investors. This project will assess how the structures and processes for maritime innovation benefit entrepreneurs in the case of Hampton Roads, Virginia. We will look at the location benefits, such as closeness to key maritime stakeholders and contribution in terms of networking capital and financing.

Ricardo Ungo

Jerry Cronin

Daniel Richards

Advancing Awareness of the Blue Economy through Sustainable Engineering Education and Virtual Reality Experiences This research project aims to enhance interdisciplinary research and education in sustainable engineering principles and their application in the blue economy. Through the immersive experience of VR, students will develop the critical knowledge and practical skills needed to make a real-world impact on the preservation and sustainability of our oceans and coastal areas. By exploring the challenges and opportunities of sustainable infrastructure development, students will be prepared to excel in careers in sustainable engineering and related fields while contributing to the global effort to build a more sustainable future.

Mohan Yang

Dalya Ismael

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