InsideODU: News for Faculty and Staff
Monday, November 19, 2012

 Top Story

Education College Honors New Class of Alumni Fellows

The Darden College of Education on Nov. 15 recognized the achievements of six of its graduates, who have gone "above and beyond their duties," during the Darden Fellows awards luncheon (see photo below). The annual event, part of the college's observance of American Education Week, was held at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.

The education college's Darden Fellows program honors one graduate each from the various departments. This year's fellows were nominated by their academic departments and selected by the education college (see profiles below).

Saying that it was an honor to recognize "the accomplishments of our alumni," Linda Irwin-DeVitis, dean of the college, then introduced Provost Carol Simpson, who gave brief remarks at the luncheon. Simpson called the event "a splendid celebration of alumni achievement." In addition to congratulating the former students on their success, she thanked the faculty from the Darden College for the good work they continue to do in providing a solid foundation for students.

Current student Daniel Hendrix, ODU chapter president of the Student Virginia Education Association, gave the statement of occasion, saying that the annual Darden Fellows recognition ceremony is an appropriate way for the college to highlight "the achievements of those who go above and beyond to help students learn."

Department chairs then introduced the honorees from their respective areas and joined DeVitis in presenting the awards.

The new class of fellows had an opportunity to tour the campus during the day, and two of them - Scott Rankins and Brenda Scanelli - spoke to classes about their experiences.

Mary Fleet Anderson '73 (M.S.Ed. '77)

Human Movement Sciences

Anderson received bachelor's and master's degrees from Old Dominion, and earned a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of New Mexico. At ODU, she held school and state records in swimming and was selected most valuable swimmer for the four years of her undergraduate career. She is a collegiate All-American and an ODU Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Following completion of her doctoral degree, Anderson joined the Broward County Hospital District in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as an exercise physiologist in the Department of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Human Performance. She is a Florida licensed nutritional counselor and is accredited by the American College of Sports Medicine for Preventive/Rehabilitative Exercise Testing and Exercise Prescription.

Anderson is the past editor to the Journal of Swimming Research, which is published by the American Swim Coaches Association; past president of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale North; and past member of the advisory counsel for the International Swimming Hall of Fame. For her service with the American Swimming Coaches Association, she was awarded the Robert Ousley Special Service Award. As sole practitioner at Anderson Professional Health & Fitness, LLC, for the past 25 years, Anderson counsels clients on basic concepts of nutrition, weight loss, eating disorders, exercise programs, sports nutrition and health fitness. She is a lecturer and author of numerous articles on health and fitness, and works with local physicians and psychologists on patient-related nutrition and fitness illnesses.

Mary Burke (Ph.D. '97)

Counseling and Human Services

Mary Burke is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she is the program director for the doctoral program in counseling psychology. She represents the Association for Women in Psychology on the United Nations Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations Committee on Mental Health. Her scholarship and activism is in the area of human rights and specifically addresses the issue of human trafficking.

In 2004 she founded the Project to End Human Trafficking, an all-volunteer U.S.-based nonprofit group that works regionally, nationally and internationally to raise awareness about modern slavery. In this role, Burke has given more than 150 talks and training sessions both in the United States and abroad about human trafficking, and has begun anti-trafficking coalitions in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. In addition, she has spoken to various state and regional elected officials in Pennsylvania and Virginia regarding this issue and has worked on legislation in these states in support of strengthening human trafficking laws. Burke is a member of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Trafficking of Women and Girls.

Ashby Kilgore '71 (M.S.Ed. '83)

Educational Foundations and Leadership

Ashby Kilgore was appointed superintendent of Newport News Public Schools in 2007. She is the first woman ever to lead the 31,500-student school division. She has more than 35 years of experience in public education as a teacher, principal, college professor and deputy superintendent.

Kilgore began her career as a government teacher in Hampton City Schools and later served as a principal in Hampton and Newport News, and as assistant superintendent of instruction and chief of strategic planning and school improvement in Newport News Public Schools. She holds both a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in educational leadership from Old Dominion, and a doctorate in educational administration and policy studies from George Washington University. She is a member of numerous educational and civic organizations and was named a Woman of the Year for the Virginia Peninsula.

Thomas Pinelli Ph.D. '70 (M.S.Ed. '76)

STEM Education and Professional Studies

Thomas Pinelli obtained two degrees from Old Dominion and holds graduate degrees from Clemson University, The Catholic University of America and Golden Gate University. He also holds a graduate certificate in government procurement from the University of Virginia and received a Ph.D. in information science from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has held positions at NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Headquarters and the White House, Executive Office of the President.

Pinelli is the university affairs officer at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, where he is the principal interface between NASA Langley and the university community. He is a Fellow of the Society of Technical Communication and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and received an Emmy Award for "NASA Connect," a middle school science education program that aired on PBS for five years.

His research interests include modeling and simulation, knowledge diffusion, scientific visualization, scientific and technical communications, and STEM education. He has written extensively on the information-seeking behavior of engineers (as distinct from scientists), and he has authored more than 200 publications on these and related topics. He has received numerous honors for his research and professional accomplishments, including a White House commendation and several NASA group achievement awards. He has served as an outside reviewer for four doctoral dissertations and is a member of several technical/professional societies, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society for Engineering Education. He also serves on the boards of several community and service organizations.

Scott Rankins (M.S.Ed. '88)

Communication Disorders and Special Education

Scott Rankins, M.S., CCC-SLP, received a bachelor's degree from Nazareth College of Rochester, N.Y., in 1986 and master's in education from Old Dominion in 1988 after serving in the U.S. Navy from 1977-1981. He has been a member of the Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia (SHAV) from 1988-1990 and since 1993. He was SHAV vice president of continuing education from 2006-08, and has served as president-elect, president and past president of SHAV from 2009-11. He is currently the vice president of governmental and professional affairs as well as a member and current active chair of SHAV PAC.

Rankins has practiced as a speech-language pathologist at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, the U.S. Naval Hospital, Camp Lester (Okinawa, Japan) and the Central Virginia Speech & Hearing Center (Lynchburg). He currently co-owns and actively practices at Blue Ridge Therapy Associates in Lynchburg, a private outpatient OT, PT and ST rehabilitation facility for pediatric and geriatric populations. He has specialized his assessments and treatments with feeding and swallowing disorders.

Brenda Scanelli (M.S. '76)

Teaching and Learning

Brenda Scanelli is a 1976 master's graduate of Old Dominion's Pk3 Early Childhood program. Her dedication to children and schools goes far beyond Hampton Roads. She and her husband, John, have a long history of community service through their volunteer work in hospitals, neighborhood improvements projects and nonprofit organizations. Their lives were forever changed while vacationing on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. During that visit they learned of a fire that had destroyed the library of a nearby home for abused and abandoned children. They offered to help replace the lost books with a collection of 500 new ones. The Scanellis were motivated and committed to finding a way to help the children's home. This was just the beginning of what has become ongoing work to provide much-needed materials, equipment and furnishings for schools, libraries and homes for abused children in the Caribbean. Brenda said, "We became catalysts to the process of identifying problems that needed to be solved."

Brenda and John have been responsible for sending more than 20 40-foot shipping containers filled with desks, chairs, books, teaching resources (such as math manipulatives and overhead projectors), and playground and other school equipment to six Caribbean islands. They have enlisted the help of local governments, friends, businesses and other volunteers to support this work. The stickers affixed to every item shipped reads: "From a friend in America." The humanitarian efforts and work of Brenda Scanelli sets a high bar for graduates and faculty alike to use their talents and resources to inspire others to commit and serve communities near and abroad, and the children and families within them.


The 2012 Darden Fellows are, front row (l-r): Ashby Kilgore, Scott Rankins and Brenda Scanelli; and back row (l-r): Mary Fleet Anderson, Mary Burke and Thomas Pinelli.

Return to InsideODU