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Archive for December, 2010

Doctoral student wins award at annual meeting

Phil Welch, a fourth-year doctoral student in the Health Education Program at The University of Toledo, was recognized recently for his work studying performance-enhancing supplements.

Welch received a Student Poster Showcase Award from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Section of the American Public Health Association at the organization’s 138th annual meeting in November.

“The Student Poster Showcase Awards are intended to recognize and celebrate the work of outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the ATOD field,” said Ann Mahony, chair of the ATOD Section. “The awards also acknowledge the diverse subject topics in our field that include advocacy, education, policy, prevention, research and treatment.”

Welch’s poster, “Perceptions and Policies of College Directors of Recreation Regarding the Use of Dietary Supplements and Performance-Enhancing Substances,” was one of three posters recognized with the award.

“I never expected the award committee to select my study for recognition; I was quite surprised and honored,” Welch said. “The thing I was most pleased about was having the support of my fellow UT students and faculty members at the table with me. UT had a strong showing at the conference.”

Welch said he chose to investigate the topic of university policies surrounding college student use of dietary supplements and performance-enhancing substances after overhearing two students in the men’s locker room at the UT Student Recreation Center discussing the benefits of taking steroids.

He is working on conducting a study asking college students directly about their perceptions to see if students recognize the potential dangers of ingesting dietary supplements.

Nearly 11 percent of college recreation facilities sell dietary supplements; these include energy drinks and protein shakes, Welch said.

“I feel that student use of performance-enhancing substances and dietary supplements is an underappreciated and underreported problem that requires more research,” he said.

Faculty create award-winning pharmacology textbook

pharm-book-coverPharmacology professors at The University of Toledo decided their students needed an updated textbook that taught both the basic science and fundamentals of pharmacology.

And that textbook they developed, Pharmacology, Principles and Practice, has received a prestigious award.

The text, which was created by several UT professors along with others from across the country, was deemed “highly commended” by the British Medical Association 2010 Medical Books Awards. The awards competition has recognized excellence in medical publishing since 1996.

The editors and co-authors of the textbook are UT’s Dr. Miles Hacker, professor of pharmacology, Dr. William Messer, professor and chair of pharmacology, and Dr. Kenneth Bachmann, professor emeritus of pharmacology.

“When I went to graduate school, they had a great pharmacology textbook, but the students I teach today didn’t have the materials that I used to have,” Hacker said. “My colleagues and I felt that the students and the field of pharmacology needed an updated textbook to teach them the fundamentals.”

Other UT co-authors of the textbook include Dr. Kenneth Alexander, professor of pharmacy practice; Dr. Jeffrey Sarver, research associate in medicinal and biological chemistry; Dr. Paul Erhardt, professor of medicinal and biological chemistry; and Dr. William Taylor, associate professor of biological sciences.

Toledo loses bowl heartbreaker, 34-32

little-caesars-pizza-bowl1The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl delivered an exciting game Sunday night at Ford Field in Detroit. The Toledo Rockets lost on the last play of the contest as Jack Griffin kicked a 34-yard field goal to give the Florida International Golden Panthers the 34-32 victory.

It was the first bowl game for FIU, co-champions of the Sun Belt Conference; the school established its football program in 2002.

The Rockets blasted off to a 21-7 lead by halftime. Junior running back Adonis Thomas led the way with an 87-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. With that play, he tied a record for the longest TD run that was set at the Motor City Bowl in 1999.

The Golden Panthers clawed back in the second half. T.Y. Hilton sparked the momentum shift with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to cut the lead to 24-14.

Turnovers proved costly for Toledo. Rocket quarterback Terrance Owens threw three interceptions in the second half, and FIU cashed in on those mistakes, scoring 14 points.

After a field goal to start the second half, the Rockets were outscored, 21-0, as the Golden Panthers took a 28-24 lead with a little more than seven minutes left in the game.

A blocked punt led to an FIU field goal to put the Golden Panthers up 31-24 with 3:18 left on the clock.

But Toledo roared back, going 62 yards on five plays in two minutes to score a touchdown on a 14-yard quarterback keeper when Owens ran it in the end zone.

Head Coach Tim Beckman signaled for the Rockets to go for two points.

Sophomore wide receiver Eric Page had been quiet most of the night but the All-American came up with a huge two-point conversion catch to give Toledo a 32-31 lead with 74 seconds left in the game.

But the Golden Panthers converted a fourth-and-17 play to help set up the game-winning field goal.

Thomas was named the Capital One Player of the Game; he carried the ball 24 times and racked up 193 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Toledo finishes the season 8-5, and FIU improves its record to 7-6.

Read more here.

UTMC staff donates scrubs to medical mission

The nursing staff at The University of Toledo Medical Center has donated more than 100 scrubs to benefit medical teams providing care in some of the world’s neediest countries.

A donation drive was held Dec. 6-17 to collect scrubs the staff wished to donate to the UT Medical Mission Hall of Fame for medical teams who would use them while serving in areas such as Haiti, Honduras, Tanzania and Guatemala. The drive collected 101 scrub tops and bottoms.

“I’m proud of the giving spirit of our UTMC team who truly answered the call to help others this holiday season,” said Dr. Scott Scarborough, interim vice president and executive director of UTMC, and senior vice president for finance and administration. “The donated scrubs will hopefully be a nice surprise for the medical professionals donating their time and talents to help patients in underserved areas.”

There are about 40 medical missions under way and the plan is to donate several sets of scrubs to each mission, said Dr. Lawrence V. Conway, president of the UT Medical Mission Hall of Fame and professor emeritus of finance at the University.

“It will be a great help to these individuals because it is a sign of support that other people recognize what they are doing,” Conway said.

The UT Medical Mission Hall of Fame was founded in 2004 by Conway to provide the personnel, equipment and medicine necessary for medical missions around the world. In the last year, more than 6,000 patients have been served by the Medical Mission Hall of Fame.

Nursing program receives awards at state convention

The University of Toledo College of Nursing received a number of top honors at the 2010 Ohio Nursing Students’ Association annual convention.

The UT Student Nurses Association chapter was recognized with the Best Local Board of Directors Award.

Individual honors went to UT student Michael Barth, who was selected for the Nursing Student of the Year Award, and Assistant Professor of Nursing Karen Tormoehlen, who received the Faculty Adviser of the Year Award.

The UT student chapter was recognized with the Best Fundraising Project for the innovative Heart to Heart Program in which nursing alumni purchased new stethoscopes for incoming nursing students to pass on their passion for nursing to the next generation.

The student chapter of the Student Nurses Association is active in the community harvesting a garden and donating the food to the Cherry Street Mission, sponsoring special needs children through a variety of programs, providing military support through Heroes in Action, and other projects.

Three UT students also were elected to state offices with the Ohio Nursing Students’ Association:

• Breanne’ Prebe will serve as vice president. It is the third consecutive year a UT student has held that position.

• Erica Hughes was named secretary, which is the second year a UT student has held the post.

• Samantha Stevens will serve as the convention planner.

The Ohio Nursing Students’ Association is the state board for the National Student Nurses Association. The mission of the Student Nurses Association is to mentor the professional development of future registered nurses.

UT receives NFL Charities grant to study infectious bacteria in artificial turf

nfl_charitiesThe University of Toledo is one of 16 organizations awarded a grant from NFL Charities to support sports medical research. The NFL Charities medical grants totaled more than $1.6 million this year.

The grant from NFL Charities, which is the charitable foundation of the National Football League owners, will support UT researchers to study the prevalence and survival of infectious bacteria in artificial turfgrass systems.

“We are proud to support sports-related medical research proposals through NFL Charities Medical Research Grants,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell, president of the NFL Charities Board. “These grants will help to address risk factors for football players and all athletes, and make the game safer.”

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, causes about 19,000 deaths and 300,000 debilitating infections each year in the United States. Of the many risk factors for MRSA, there are a number relevant to contact sport athletes, particularly professional football players, said Dr. Von Sigler, UT associate professor of environmental microbiology, who is the lead researcher on the project.

While there have been a number of research efforts to identify the risk factors for acquiring MRSA, few have investigated the role of surfaces shared by every football player, such as the playing and practice fields, he said.

The fields can promote the spread of MRSA because football players can serve as vectors. They make frequent contact with the ground, and turf burns can increase the risk of a MRSA infection. Synthetic turf is found in many NFL stadiums and in all indoor practice facilities, so that material will be the focus of this research, Sigler said.

“A better understanding of the ecology of MRSA in the field environment is key for managing the infectious risk to players and determining proper field maintenance procedures,” he said.

The projects funded by NFL Charities, which have supported sports-related medical research for decades, also include studies on the association between football exposure and dementia in retired football players; concussion surveillance among a large national sample of middle school football players; and examining how genetics may influence the outcome after repeated concussions.

In addition to UT, some of the organizations awarded grants include Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of California Los Angeles Brian Injury Research Center.

View the NFL Charities announcement for more information and a full list of grant recipients here.

Faculty member recognized for distinguished service

Dake

Dake

The American School Health Association has given the 2010 Distinguished Service Award to one of its long-standing members, Dr. Joseph Dake, associate professor and chair health and recreation professions.

The award recognizes Dake for making service an integral part of his professional career; that service has been both substantial and consistent over his more than a decade with the association.

“I consider it part of my job and that it’s appropriate for me to do,” Dake said. “Too many people across all professions get into a rut where they just do the minimal and service is usually an above and beyond piece. Fortunately, I’ve enjoyed it.”

A member of the American School Health Association since 1998, Dake has held numerous leadership positions that have included serving on the Board of Directors and chairing the Health Behaviors Council and the Research Council.

His contributions also include serving on various UT committees and reviewing and editing for the Journal of School Health and the American Journal of Health Education.

In the community, Dake donates his time as a consultant, speaker and guest teacher for schools and community organizations.

Of all his achievements, Dake said he enjoys most working with UT graduate students and helping connect them with community organizations to enhance their learning.

“It’s cool to see local agencies connecting students with work in the community and seeing all those pieces click together,” he said.

Dake learned the importance of service when he was a college student and now stresses the significance of mentoring and carrying on the valued lessons he was taught.

Faculty, students shine at Ohio Occupational Therapy Association Conference

2010logo2inThe University of Toledo recently won several awards at the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association annual conference and had more student presentations than any other institution.

“Our wins reflect very well on the programs here at The University of Toledo. It shows our commitment to the field of occupational therapy on the state and national level,” Dr. Julie Thomas, professor and director of the UT Occupational Therapy Program, said.

The mission of the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association is to promote the profession of occupational therapy, address professional issues in occupational therapy practice, and advance the practice of occupational therapy in the state.

Among the winners at the conference were Dr. Martin Rice, Dr. Barbara Miller and Dr. Beth Ann Hatkevich. Rice joined UT in 1997 and was recognized for his contributions to the occupational therapy body of knowledge through research. Miller won the Pioneer Award for non-occupational therapist contributions to the field of occupational therapy. And Hatkevich was recognized for co-chairing the association’s continuing education committee for northwest Ohio.

“Dr. Rice has published several articles that have impacted occupational therapy,” Thomas said. “Prior to becoming associate dean in July, Dr. Miller was a fieldwork coordinator. She had a lot of influence on students doing fieldwork portions or programs, and has been a mentor for student projects and research. Her background is in social science, and students benefit from different perspectives.”

Faculty members were not the only ones who made a great impression at this year’s conference. A large number of UT students had the opportunity to present their work. Katelin Rudolph, a graduate student, presented her research that centers on safe patient handling for health-care providers.

“A common patient handling task, like a transfer, can be risky to both the health-care provider and the patient. My research simulates a patient transfer and measures the amount of force at the hands for the caregiver,” Rudolph said. “It’s wonderful to disseminate research and be able to share with others what I have learned so far. As a student, it was really meaningful to discuss research with practitioners and other students.”

The University will participate in the National Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia this spring when more faculty and students will have the opportunity to share their research and expertise.

Rocket football players serve pizza to the needy with Little Caesars Love Kitchen

Members of The University of Toledo Rockets football team helped serve Little Caesars pizza to the less fortunate Friday at the Cherry Street Mission in downtown Toledo.

Isaiah Ballard, junior defensive back, and his teammates dish out lunch with the Little Caesars Love Kitchen.

Isaiah Ballard, junior defensive back, and his teammates dish out lunch with the Little Caesars Love Kitchen.

Coach Tim Beckman, five of his players, and UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien dished out the slices and served them to the tables.

The pizzas, about 70 of them for enough to serve some 280 people, were quickly put together and cooked in the mobile Little Caesars Love Kitchen parked outside the shelter at the corner of Madison Avenue and 20th Street.

“This is important for our players to give back to the community that supports them so much throughout the season,” Beckman said. “To play in a bowl game associated with Little Caesars that does so much for the area, including this Love Kitchen, is truly an honor.”

The local Toledo area franchises provided the ingredients and personnel to make the pizzas.

“It’s great to be able to support both our community and our UT Rockets as they get ready for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl,” said Mike Wrobel, a Toledo franchisee who participated in the event. “The Love Kitchen is really a wonderful way to support both and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen was established in 1985 as a big-rig pizza kitchen on wheels. It travels across the continental United States and Canada to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster victims. It has fed more than two million people in 48 states and four Canadian provinces.

The UT Rockets will play the Florida International University Panthers at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26, at 8:30 p.m. at Ford Field in Detroit. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Tickets for the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl are on sale at the UT Athletic Ticket Office at Savage Arena. Rocket fans may purchase tickets in the Toledo cheering section only at the UT Athletic Ticket Office, online at www.utrockets.com or by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Building Services changes name to Environmental Services

Change is in the air at The University of Toledo. Building Services has become Environmental Services in reflection of a greener and more environmentally friendly atmosphere the department is trying to address campus wide.

“We are trying to do more recycling, from books to computers to cleaning supplies. We are always looking for ways to be environmentally friendly. It just made sense to change the name,” said Arlene Fell, director of environmental services.

Environmental Services has offices on both campuses and previously held the name Building Services on Main Campus and Environmental Services at Health Science Campus. The change also will help unify the offices on both campuses.

Environmental Services is in charge of all housekeeping activities, extermination needs, and removal of trash and recyclables in all campus buildings.

“By going green, the University community will put fewer products into the landfills and help decrease our carbon footprint,” Vice President of Facilities and Construction Chuck Lenhert said. “In most cases, the changes were simple: New cleaning products that are less harsh and more canisters around campus for students and staff to place recyclable materials.”

The University is taking a comprehensive approach to be more environmentally friendly, including the goal for all new construction projects to be LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Environmental Services also participates in the iCARE program at UT Medical Center to provide the best environment for patient care.