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

ODU Hosting Hampton Roads Conference for Girls and Young Women May 19

By Noell Saunders

The 10th Annual Hampton Roads Conference for Girls and Young Women, hosted by Old Dominion University on Saturday, May 19, will demonstrate the power of creating opportunities and empowerment to an audience of girls, young women and their parents.

"Girls Rule the World," is the theme of the conference, which will bring together role models and community leaders to provide inspiration, advice and leadership. During the 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. conference, participants will gather in ODU's Webb Center to attend workshops and take part in hands-on activities that build leadership skills, facilitate career development, promote active and healthy lifestyles and; self-esteem. About 400 participants attended last year's event.

The mission of the conference is to provide a forum for girls, young women and their parents to learn about critical issues, share experiences and encourage informed choices and good decisions. The event is free but registration is encouraged. To register online, visit: http://www.eventbrite.com.

Carol Considine, assistant dean for outreach for the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University, will serve as the conference moderator. Considine, who is also an associate professor of Engineering Technology, has 15 years of industrial experience as an estimator and project manager in the construction field and is an accredited LEED green building professional.

She holds a bachelor's in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and a master's in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Considine has been active in applied research related to climate change, serving as the private infrastructure chair for the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project. She's also a member of the Resiliency Collaborative at ODU. Additional research interests include engineering education, industry collaboration and resiliency.

Ruth Jones Nichols, CEO of Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, will deliver the keynote address. The Foodbank serves as the region's largest hunger-relief organization committed to leading the effort to eliminate hunger in the community. In her role as CEO, Nichols is responsible for managing a staff of 58 employees, a $31 million budget and the overall distribution of 15 million meals each year.

A native of Hampton Roads, Nichols graduated from Bayside High School in Virginia Beach where she served as the senior class president, a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council Association, as well as Founder of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). Nichols holds a bachelor's in sociology from the College of William and Mary, a master's in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America.

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