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Education College Honors New Class of Darden Fellows

Photo of Darden FellowsJane Bray (right), interim dean of the Darden College of Education, honored the 2013 Darden Fellows at a luncheon on Nov. 19. Pictured with her are (from left): William J. Haynie III, the Rev. Kevin G. Swann, James L. Parker, Kim Floyd and Kathy Galford. Natalie J. Harder was unable to attend the luncheon.

Old Dominion's Darden College of Education on Nov. 19 recognized the achievements of six outstanding graduates during its Darden Fellows awards. The annual event, part of the college's observance of American Education Week, was held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

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

Sabrina Hayes, ODU chapter president of the Student Virginia Education Association, gave the statement of occasion, and department chairs introduced the honorees from their respective areas, joining interim dean Jane Bray in presenting the awards.

Noting this year's American Education Week theme, "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility," Hayes quoted newscaster Tom Brokaw, who said, "It is in public education that the American dream begins to take shape."

"We are here to honor alumni who have made it their responsibility to change education one school, one library, one classroom, one after-school program, one job, one child at a time," Hayes said.

Five of this year's Darden Fellows spoke earlier in the day to ODU education students about their experiences. Natalie J. Harder, the sixth Fellow, was unable to attend the luncheon but took part in the awards ceremony via Skype.

Kim Floyd (Ph.D. '09)

Communication Disorders and Special Education

Kim Floyd is an assistant professor at West Virginia University in Morgantown. She received an M.Ed. from East Carolina University in 1992 and a doctorate from Old Dominion in 2009. While at ODU, her dissertation focused on the use of assistive technology to improve reading comprehension for postsecondary students with learning disabilities.

Since joining WVU in 2009, Floyd has expanded on her dissertation research to include implementing assistive and emerging technologies in general and special education classrooms, infusing principles of Universal Design for Learning within instructional design in early childhood settings, and integrating assistive and instructional technologies in teacher preparation programs. Additionally, she received Outstanding Teaching Awards in 2011 and 2013.

Floyd developed the Collaborative Assistive Technology Education Lab in 2010 and currently serves as the lab coordinator in addition to her role as faculty member in the special education department. The lab is utilized by multiple disciplines across campus with more than 1,500 assignments completed per semester exposing many pre-service educators and therapists to assistive and instructional technologies.

Floyd has also secured two grants, authored or co-authored 24 scholarly publications and given more than 30 presentations on her teaching and research. She continues to enjoy special friendships formed during her doctoral studies and publishes and presents with fellow cohort members and ODU faculty on assistive technology and teacher preparation.

Kathy Galford '88 (M.S. '91)

Teaching and Learning

Kathy Galford has taught for 24 years since earning a bachelor's degree in middle school education and a master's in curriculum and instruction from Old Dominion. She is currently pursuing a teaching endorsement in gifted education through the University of Virginia. She is in her ninth year as a sixth-grade English teacher at Greenbrier Middle School in Chesapeake.

This year, Galford was named Virginia's Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education, following her selections as Chesapeake Teacher of the Year and Region 2 Teacher of the Year.

Galford has been described as a "Wonder Woman" when it comes to teaching. She cares about her kids, doing everything possible to help them in the learning process, and she has the respect of her faculty colleagues. Her influence, however, goes beyond her classroom. She co-wrote her division's current sixth-grade English curriculum for gifted students; had one of her differentiated lessons videotaped and distributed for Chesapeake Public Schools' training; and has had her lesson plans and instructional strategies published in two books.

Her philosophy for teaching has always been "Make it relevant!" She believes the true purpose of education is to prepare children for life in an unknown future. Galford previously taught fifth grade at both Greenbrier Intermediate (1990-2004) and Greenbrier Elementary (1988-1990).

Natalie J. Harder (Ph.D. '10)

Educational Foundations and Leadership

Natalie J. Harder has served as chancellor of South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette, since 2011. She oversees all aspects of the college, which has campuses in eight parishes. Her achievements thus far include overseeing the merger of South Louisiana Community College and Acadiana Technical College, obtaining approval for a registered nursing program, increasing enrollment during the current fall semester, and distributing a record amount of student scholarships during the 2012-13 school year.

She also serves on the 2014 Leadership Team and board of directors for the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. She has been named to the 2014 board of trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is a board member for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Foundation and serves on two regional workforce investment boards.

Harder previously served as vice president of institutional advancement at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Va. She earned a doctorate in community College leadership from Old Dominion, a master's in public policy and management from The Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor's degree in economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has published her research in academic journals, presented at several national conferences and been featured in Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. W.J. Haynie III '70

STEM Education and Professional Studies

W.J. Haynie III recently retired after dedicating many years to the education of others. For several of those years he was a professor and program coordinator at North Carolina State University, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses as well as conducting research and advising students in technology, engineering and design education.

Haynie has written and co-authored several refereed and non-refereed research journal articles, textbooks, chapters, curriculum materials and instructional software. He has also served as the external evaluator for an NSF-funded project at Old Dominion, as a curriculum editor for an NSF-funded project at NC State, as a technical consultant and an engineering consultant for companies in Illinois and Virginia.

Collaborating with others, he has developed technological innovations, such as the Harvard Educated Pumping System, a computerized pumping system for pharmacological research. Scholarly and professional honors garnered over the years are numerous and include the NCTSA Board Lifetime Service Award, the ITEA-CTTE Outstanding Research Award, the NCSU Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award and the National Distinguished Advisor Award from the Technology Education Collegiate Association.

In 1978, Haynie received a Ph.D. from Penn State. He also earned an M.Ed. from Clemson University in 1975. Haynie has always sent students to ODU to study because of his pride in the school. In his retirement, Haynie continues to contribute to the education field, write, consult and volunteer.

James Parker '00

Human Movement Sciences

James Parker is the director of sports for the Amateur Athletic Union, one of the largest youth sports organizations in the country. He oversees various AAU youth and adult sports, encompassing more than 35 sport programs, 250 national championships and roughly 1 million members. He is involved in new business development for AAU, which includes creating new events, acquiring new sponsors, integrating new technology, building brand awareness and finding ways to increase the number of athletes playing.

Since he became the director of sports in 2007, there has been a 25 percent increase in memberships, an 80 percent increase in the number of AAU events on the different ESPN platforms, creation of social media and internship departments, development of international sporting events and deals securing close to $1 million in sponsorships.

Parker graduated from ODU with a bachelor's degree in sport management and a minor in marketing. He earned an M.B.A. from Webber International University, and began his AAU career as a sports manager, marketing, structuring and organizing more than 22 National AAU boys' and men's basketball national championships, which included managing over 2,000 teams and 30,000 athletes and coaches. He helped forge stronger relationships with the NBA, WNBA, NCAA, Disney, ESPN and the USOC.

Parker has worked with Orlando Magic of the NBA, the Arena Football League and ODU and with the International Basketball League during its inaugural season. He is an adjunct instructor for American Public University, and sits on the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame board of directors and the USA Basketball Assembly board.

Rev. Kevin G. Swann '93 (M.S. '95)

Counseling and Human Services

Rev. Kevin G. Swann '93 (M.S. '95) is the senior pastor of Ivy Baptist Church in Newport News, where he began his service in 2006. Since his arrival, the church has grown from 350 to 2,000 members.

Swann earned bachelor's and master's degrees (both in counseling) from ODU and later earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from South Florida Theological Seminary (2010). While attending ODU, he played basketball for the Monarchs and was co-captain for the 1993-94 season. In addition, he worked at the university as an academic advisor (1998-99) and director of Orientation/Preview (1999-2002).

Currently, Swann also is an adjunct professor in the religious studies department at Hampton University. He received numerous community service awards, most recently the NAACP "Living Legends Award" (2012) and the Newport News Office of Human Affairs Community Service Person of the Year (2011). This past March, he authored his first book, "Survive and Advance: Effective Strategies for Christian Leaders."

Swann co-founded and is the co-host of the "Pastor's Study," a weekly radio broadcast that airs on WHOV-FM in Hampton. He also founded Kevin Swann Ministries, a nonprofit, faith-based organization that provides services to underprivileged youth and adults in Southeast Virginia. He is a regular contributor to the religious column in the Daily Press newspaper. He also writes a daily inspirational blog called "Moments with Our Master" that reaches thousands of people across the United States and abroad. Swann is married to Tatrece Dunlap Swann (also an ODU graduate).