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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Participates in Roadtrip Nation Pilot Program

Old Dominion University was one of only four schools nationwide selected to participate in a new pilot program produced by Roadtrip Nation, the nonprofit documentary video project seen on PBS. The University was chosen because of its diverse student body, successful alumni and innovative approach to career exploration.

Roadtrip Nation followed three students as they spent 10 days in November traveling in an RV, visiting and interviewing ODU alumni in Virginia, Washington, D.C, Philadelphia and New York. They returned to campus Nov. 15. The trip aimed to highlight the variety of successful career paths following college graduation.

According to Ellen Neufeldt, vice president for Student Engagement and Enrollment Services, the philosophy behind projects like Roadtrip Nation closely aligns with programs and services already offered to Old Dominion students.

"By proactively seeking out success stories beyond the confines of campus, these students exemplify ODU's commitment to innovative, hands-on learning," Neufeldt said. "From practical experience to faculty mentorship to leadership roles, Old Dominion continues to provide our students and graduates with unique opportunities to thrive."

Old Dominion graduates have a proven track record of success. In a survey of alumni, 92 percent of respondents reported that they were gainfully employed or pursuing graduate studies within six months of graduation.

"This trip gave our students a unique opportunity to learn from the experiences of alumni who have similar interests and stories," Neufeldt said. "It's often through the paths of others that we visualize and follow our own."

Roadtrip Nation's big, green bus, as seen on PBS, was on campus Nov. 1 at Kaufman Mall to kick off the tour. Program representatives also interviewed other ODU students while here.

Old Dominion's trip was funded by a grant made possible by the Strada Education Network. University alumni are encouraged to engage with current students and share their professional successes through Roadtrip Nation's "Share Your Road" program at odu.shareyourroad.com

Footage is expected to be finalized in March and will appear on ODU's homepage and on the Roadtrip Nation website.

The ODU students who made the trip were:

  • Chase Hewett, a senior majoring in civil engineering who was raised in a military household and is from a suburb of Richmond.
  • Mikalah Lake, a senior from Virginia Beach majoring in women's studies.
  • Stephanie Rochelle is a non-traditionally aged freshman majoring in marketing/communications from Newport News.

About Roadtrip Nation

Roadtrip Nation, a nonprofit organization, is working to change the way people approach choosing a career by creating content, products and experiences that guide individuals in exploring what's possible when they follow their interests. It took its first road trip in 2001, has driven over half a million miles and made more than 30 documentaries - broadcast over 100,000 times on public television - sharing the stories and advice of inspiring leaders in all kinds of careers. To learn more, visit roadtripnation.com/about.

About Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University, located in the coastal city of Norfolk, is Virginia's entrepreneurial-minded doctoral research university with more than 24,200 students, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to Virginia's economy.

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