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Business College Grad Cheng Luo Named Outstanding University Scholar

Cheng Luo, Outstanding University ScholarCheng Luo (second from left) with his faculty mentor Frederick Lubich, Provost Carol Simpson, and Stephanie Dickens, President of the ODU Alumni Association

The Old Dominion University Alumni Association presented Outstanding College Scholar awards to six graduating students at the Student Honors and Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 8. One of the students, international business major Cheng Luo, also was honored as the overall Outstanding University Scholar.

The Outstanding College Scholar awards recognize the undergraduate student in each college with the highest academic average above 3.40 who has completed at least 60 hours at the university.

Luo, who lives in Norfolk, graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. In addition to his major in international business, he minored in German. During his student career, he was awarded a 2010 International Student Scholarship and was a recipient of the 2013 Virginia International Business Council Scholarship.

He chose Frederick Lubich, professor of foreign languages and literatures, as his most inspirational faculty member. "His enthusiasm for teaching made my day in every class, and his intellectual insight and eagerness to share were inspiring," Luo said of Lubich.

Outstanding scholars for ODU's five other colleges were also recognized at the dinner program. Angela VanDyke, a studio art major who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, was the Outstanding College Scholar for the College of Arts and Letters. Christina Guison, an exercise science major with a 4.0 GPA, was selected Outstanding College Scholar for the Darden College of Education.

The Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology named Jon Hannell, a mechanical engineering major and a midshipman in the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC program, as its Outstanding College Scholar. He graduated with a 3.96 GPA. Sarah Howells, a Navy Corps nurse who graduated from the School of Nursing with a 4.0, was the College of Health Sciences' Outstanding College Scholar. The College of Sciences selected Quincy Cheesman, a biology major with a 4.0, as its Outstanding College Scholar.

The evening program also honored two recipients of the Provost's Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher.

Joseph Newton, a physics major, was honored for his deep involvement in research under the mentorship of Leposava Vuskovic, professor and Eminent Scholar in the Department of Physics, within ODU's Center for Accelerator Science and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Newton's senior thesis examines the physics of plasma processing of accelerators' superconductive radio-frequency cavities. His work resulted in one co-authored publication in the Journal of Applied Physics and was presented at the fall 2013 meeting of the American Physical Society (Division of Nuclear Physics).

Amanda Laverty, an ocean and earth sciences graduate, was the second honoree. Through three research projects, two involving Vibrio bacteria (which are human pathogens associated with seafood), Laverty distinguished herself as an undergraduate researcher. She has presented her research at ODU's Undergraduate Research Symposium and in Charlottesville at the Virginia Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Laverty will travel to Boston to present at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, May 17-20.