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Archive for January, 2012

National Jurist ranks College of Law among best in preparing students for public service

In an issue devoted to identifying the “Best Schools for Public Service,” the National Jurist magazine has named The University of Toledo College of Law a top school for preparing law students for criminal law practice.

The UT College of Law was recognized as one of the top 20 schools in the United States for preparing students for prosecutor and public defender positions. The National Jurist looked at employment data, curriculum, standard of living, and loan forgiveness programs in evaluating schools. Top law schools for government, public interest, state and local clerkships, and federal clerkships also were honored.

“We are delighted to be recognized for the prosecutor and other criminal practice training opportunities that we make available,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the UT College of Law. “This education has opened doors for many of our graduates into prosecutor and public defender jobs.”

Last summer, the College of Law Reinberger Honors Program in Prosecution awarded $30,000 to six students — $5,000 stipends to each — to enable recipients to spend eight weeks prosecuting criminal cases in jurisdictions of their choice. Students also have the option to participate in the Criminal Law Practice Program, which places them with prosecutors’ offices where they conduct victim interviews, plea negotiations and trials.

In addition, the College of Law offers a public service commendation, a criminal law certificate of concentration and a juris doctor/master of arts in criminal justice joint degree program.

Read the full article in the January issue of the National Jurist online here.

Shafir named outstanding Jewish scholastic female athlete for 2012

Naama Shafir, shown here signing autographs for fans last year, scores on the court and in the classroom. She is a two-time Academic All-Mid-American Conference honoree.

Toledo senior women’s basketball player Naama Shafir has been named the 2012 Marty Glickman Outstanding Jewish Scholastic Female Athlete of the Year.

The award will be presented to Shafir at the 20th Annual National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Induction Ceremony Sunday, April 29, at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, N.Y.

“This is a great honor, but it’s something that I couldn’t have accomplished without the support of my teammates and coaches,” Shafir said.

A season ago, Shafir was a key component in the Rockets capturing the 2011 WNIT and claimed tourney MVP recognition after scoring a career-high 40 points in a thrilling victory over USC in the championship game.

The three-time all-conference selection averaged a team-high 15.3 points, a squad-best 5.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 30.8 minutes per game in 2010-11. She finished third in the Mid-American Conference in helpers, seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.09) and 10th in scoring, en route to earning first-team all-league accolades.

The Hoshaya, Israel, native helped Toledo win a school-record 29 games and become the first MAC basketball program to capture a national post-season tournament. The midnight blue and gold also claimed an outright MAC regular-season crown for the first time in a decade, as well as successfully defended its MAC West Division title.

Shafir, who has started all 106 games in her illustrious UT career, was lost for the 2011-12 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during UT’s 69-58 win at Indiana Nov. 25. She recently announced that she will apply for a medical hardship and plans to return to the women’s basketball team for the 2012-13 season.

“Naama is an outstanding ambassador for the Jewish community and a class act both on and off the court,” Toledo Head Coach Tricia Cullop said. “This is a prestigious honor for her.”

The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to honoring Jewish individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of sports. The objective is to foster Jewish identity through athletics.

HR executive tapped to assist in planning summit


Connie Rubin, senior human resources officer in the UT Department of Human Resources and Talent Development, helped plan the first HR Leadership Summit developed by Evanta and hosted by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

“The Evanta personnel were looking for HR executives who had a pulse on the current issues facing the HR profession when forming the governing body for the event,” Rubin said. “I think our recent efforts to rebrand this office as focused more on talent development, recognition and retention efforts, and building a pay-for-performance culture at UT, played a substantial role in bringing their attention to me as a candidate member for the body.”

The December summit was an invitation-only event and featured HR executives from organizations with at least $250 million in revenue, organizations in excess of $1 billion in annualized revenue, and heads of HR from government, education or nonprofit organizations if they had a minimum of 1,000 employees.

The purpose of the summit was to promote collaborative thinking and develop the leadership skills of those who attended, translating into an increased ability of these HR executives to positively impact local and global economies.

Rubin and HR executives from different industries who served on the governing body shaped the agenda and focus of the summit. The group decided to emphasize innovation, strategies for HR practices, work-force planning and employee engagement, Rubin said.

“The payoff was an increase in the power and the reach of HR professional relationships, new insights focused on real solutions, motivation for dynamic leadership, and the continued development of a collaborative community of HR leaders in the region,” Rubin said. “My participating in this event offered great exposure to the University and provided critical advertising in the metro Detroit area.”

Three Rockets named to Preseason All-Buckeye State Baseball Team

A trio of Rockets has been selected to the 2012 Preseason All-Buckeye State Baseball Team.

Pitcher Mike Hamann has been named to the first team of the 2012 Preseason All-Buckeye State Baseball Team.

Junior right-handed pitcher Mike Hamann has been named to the first team, while senior outfielder Ben Hammer and senior third baseman Joe Corfman have been chosen to the second team.

A 2010 second-team all-league selection, Hamann started nine games last spring before suffering a season-ending arm injury. The Rockets’ ace sported a 2-3 record with a 1.96 ERA, surrendering 13 runs (all earned) on 47 hits with 51 strikeouts in 59.2 innings of work. The third-year hurler ranked second in the Mid-American Conference in opponent batting average (.213, 47 for 221) and ERA, sixth in strikeouts per start (7.69), and seventh in innings pitched per start (6.63).

A 2011 second-team All-MAC honoree and 2012 College Sports Madness Preseason All-MAC selection, Hammer hit .330 with 26 runs scored, a team-high 10 doubles, one home run, 27 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 54 games last spring. The Wayne, Ohio, native ranked eighth in the conference in on-base percentage (.416) and 10th in batting average. Hammer hit safely in 39 contests, including a team-high 21 multi-hit and a squad-best six multi-RBI efforts.

A 2010 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-Mideast Region first-team honoree, Corfman batted .266 with 27 runs scored, seven two-base hits, one home run, 22 RBI and a team-high 13 thefts in 48 contests last spring. He hit safely in 32 games, including 14 multi-hit and four multi-RBI efforts.

The Rockets begin full team practice Friday, Jan. 27, and open their regular season Friday, Feb. 17, at Western Kentucky.

Researcher travels to China to study gentrification

The marks of any academic worth her or his scholastic salt may be said to be the ingenuity and adaptability to reshape a research program in response to a changing world. Take as an example Dr. Dan Hammel, UT associate professor of geography and planning, who researches gentrification — the transformation of poor or working class neighborhoods to middle or upper-middle class professional areas.

Dr. Dan Hammel posed for a photo with Nanjing Normal University graduate students Wen Zeng, left, and Xiaohu Wu on the Nanjing city wall. Zeng and Wu, students of Dr. Qiyan Wu, are completing theses on gentrification.

With the U.S. economy in a weakened state and the upward social mobility of American neighborhoods thus limited, Hammel shifted the focus of his research instead to China, a country undergoing rapid economic growth and social transformation.

Last fall, Hammel traveled to Nanjing Normal University at the invitation of Dr. Qiyan Wu, professor of urban and regional studies, to pursue his research and study gentrification in Chinese cities.

“I completed quite a lot of work on gentrification in American cities throughout the 1990s, and the census data now exists to use the techniques I applied in American cities to Chinese cities, albeit with some significant alterations due to the differences in the data and in the cities themselves,” Hammel said.

The goal of the project is to measure the gentrification process and better understand how it is realized in China. Hammel said there already seems “to be some unusual and unexpected aspects to the gentrification process in Chinese cities based on what we know about it in other cities around the world.”

“Early indications suggest that gentrification is moving at a rapid pace in Chinese cities, but up to this point there has been little reliable quantitative data available to investigate the process,” Hammel said. “Dr. Wu has been able to gain access to some very detailed census data that will allow us to apply some of the techniques I developed in a setting where gentrification is expanding dramatically.”

The research is expected to include more fieldwork and a number of other case studies in Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming.

During his recent trip, Hammel presented his research on gentrification and mortgage lending at Nanjing Normal University. He also met with graduate students from that institution and Nanjing University to discuss how research works in American graduate programs and the publication process in English-language journals.

Hammel spent most of his time, however, analyzing “small area” Chinese census data and exploring Nanjing to get a firsthand look at the areas of the city he was studying.

He plans to return to Nanjing Normal University this year to continue this work.

Benefit concert for jazz pianist to take place Jan. 31

Several musicians are slated to perform a benefit concert to raise funds for UT jazz faculty member and well-known pianist Claude Black.

Pianist Claude Black and bass player Clifford Murphy performed at a Black History Month event at the University in 2007.

The UT jazz faculty and several community members, including Jeff Halsey, Ron Brooks and George Davidson, have put together a fundraiser for Black to be held Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Black teaches jazz voice at the University and is an active, sought-after musician, performing in a number of local and regional venues. Recently, health issues have curtailed his ability to play, which is a major source of his income.

“He was admitted to The University of Toledo Medical Center just before Christmas with failing kidneys, high blood pressure and the return of cancer,” said Gunnar Mossblad, director of the UT Jazz Studies Program and professor of music. “Fortunately, we did not lose him, but he has a long way to go, to say the least.

“Claude, our jazz pianist and friend, has for decades given all of us in the greater Toledo area, and the world, beautiful music and so much of his generous spirit, and I can say without hesitation that he is one of the most caring individuals and wonderful musicians I have ever met and had the honor to make music with,” Mossblad said. “And now it’s time for us to step up and give something back to him because Claude is very sick.”

Circumstances like Black’s are all too common, according to Mossblad.

“Like so many of our aging jazz masters, Claude simply does not have the financial means to cover these sudden expenses,” he said, adding that many musicians rely heavily on performances to pay the bills.

Tickets are $3 for students and seniors and $5 for the public; 100 percent of the admission proceeds will go to Black. Additional donations also will be accepted.

If you cannot attend the show, the UT Department of Music will accept donations on Black’s behalf. Donations can be made in the department office, Center for Performing Arts Room 1002, or by mail to:

Claude Black
c/o Gunnar Mossblad & UT Jazz Studies Program
UT Department of Music MS605
The University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606

Checks should be made payable to Claude Black.

Mossblad said he is grateful to the musicians and to The University of Toledo for helping to make the concert possible: “I’m so proud of this community and what we are, more and more, coming to stand for and embody in these difficult times.”

For more information, contact Mossblad at gunnar.mossblad@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4555.

Glacity Theatre Collective to perform provost’s new play, ‘Exhibition’

The Glacity Theatre Collective has a number of dedicated audience members. One of them recently decided to give something back to the company — a new play.

Sharon, played by Chellsea Cutino, leans on Raymond, played by Brian Purdue.

Not everyone knows that Dr. William McMillen, UT provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, has a creative writing background. When he announced a year ago to Glacity Executive Director Holly Monsos that he was writing a play for the company, she was pleased and surprised.

“I know how busy he is, and I didn’t expect to see a draft soon, if ever,” she said.

Last February, the first act of “Exhibition” arrived in her email, followed by the remainder of the play a month later. Members of the collective then gathered at her home to read through it with the playwright.

“It didn’t need any work at all,” recalled Dr. Ed Lingan, UT assistant professor of theatre and Glacity dramaturg. “Most playwrights hear things they want to change after a new work is read aloud, but this script was ready to go. It’s the sort of play that any theatre company would kill for — intriguing premise, compelling characters, and though written to be done in a gallery, it could be easily produced in any kind of space, theatrical or not.”

The collective members agreed that a gallery setting would be ideal. The production is part of “CVA Project Space 2012,” which features a photography exhibit and later drawings.


The play is composed of three scenes that focus on a couple, Sharon and Raymond, at key points in their married life: their engagement, in the midst of raising children, and after the children have grown and gone. Each couple is played by a different pair of actors and though the characters at the focus of each scene are not aware of it, their older and younger selves also are onstage, providing depth and nuance to each story as it unfolds in real time under the disinterested eye of a security guard.

The cast features UT theatre students Brian Purdue and Chellsea Cutino as the newly engaged couple; Dr. Ben Pryor, UT dean of the College of Innovative Learning and assistant provost, and UT theatre alumna Jennifer Lake as the couple in mid-life; and Dave DeChristopher, UT assistant professor of theatre, and Pamela Tomassetti as the couple late in their marriage. James Ham, UT student services counselor in Learning Ventures, plays the security guard.

Cornel Gabara, UT assistant professor of theatre, is directing the production; Dr. Lee Heritage, UT associate professor of music, composed the music, which will be performed by Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, UT assistant professor of music; James S. Hill, UT professor and chair of theatre and film, designed the set and lighting; and Monsos, UT associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, designed the costumes.

“Exhibition” will open Friday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Performances will continue Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28 and 29, and Friday through Sunday, Feb. 3-5. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 8 p.m., and Sunday performances will be at 2 pm. Doors open one half hour prior to curtain.

Tickets for the play are $20 and are available at glacity.tix.com or at the door. Seating is very limited. For the “pay what you can” matinee Sunday, Jan. 29, tickets will be available at the door only and payable by cash or check.

For more information, go to glacity.org.

Patient-Centered Medical Home opens for faculty, staff in Main Campus Medical Center

Faculty and staff now have access to a new Patient-Centered Medical Home in the Main Campus Medical Center that allows for better coordination of their health care.

“The Patient-Centered Medical Home is a way for the patient to get better access and more coordinated care,” said Todd Clark, manager of the medical home.

“Patients often have to go to different providers, meaning their primary care provider won’t know everything about their medical history. In the Patient-Centered Medical Home model, the primary care provider knows everything about the patient’s care and receives the whole health picture. That allows the primary care provider to make better decisions for the patient’s health, which is particularly important for patients with chronic health conditions such as diabetes.”

The purpose of the new Patient-Centered Medical Home, which opened Jan. 3, is to bring those different providers together to form a coordinated medical home. The physician in the office works closely with specialists and other health-care providers to improve patient health.

The Patient-Centered Medical Home in the Main Campus Medical Center has three primary staff members to start with, but as the volume increases, more staff will be added, Clark said.

“It’s important because UT’s mission is to improve the human condition,” Clark said. “With better coordinated care, we can work better with patients. It’s an excellent benefit for all faculty and staff.”

The Patient-Centered Medical Home is located in the faculty/staff clinic in the Main Campus Medical Center.

UT sees jump in international, transfer student populations

Growth in transfer student and international student populations from fall 2011 continued into spring 2012, University of Toledo officials announced today, following the official 15-day enrollment reporting date, which was the end of business Monday, Jan. 23.

With a total spring headcount of 20,673, enrollment grew 5.8 percent among transfer students and 58 percent among international students, increasing from 50 new students in 2011 to 79 in 2012. Overall enrollment in spring 2011 was 21,122.

Undergraduate student populations from 2005 to 2010 grew more than 10 percent, data compiled by the UT Office of Institutional Research shows.

Pointing to this semester’s international student population, UT Vice President for External Affairs Lawrence J. Burns said the entire group’s grade point average is 3.2 and those coming to UT direct from high school averaged 3.5.

“Recruitment is a university-wide effort, and I want to thank the hundreds of faculty, staff and current students who have helped prospective students recognize UT as the place to attain their educational goals,” Burns said.

Students in STARS Program to discuss research

The Office of Undergraduate Research will host a free, public forum for student researchers who were funded by the STARS Program Friday, Jan. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Sullivan Hall Hoch Conference Room.

The STARS (Student Achievement in Research and Scholarship) Program is for undergraduates and is designed to prepare high-achieving low-income, potential first-generation students from underrepresented groups for the next level in their educational continuum through graduate education and professional careers.

Listed by time, student presenters will be:

• Noon — Jimmy Rigsby, kinesiology;

• 12:20 p.m. — Helen Seyoum, pharmacy; and

• 12:40 p.m. — Amber Hall, engineering.

“The STARS Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct scholarly research with a faculty mentor by receiving paid research assistantships,” said Dr. Tom Kvale, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “While the immediate focus of the program is to encourage and help undergraduate students successfully enroll and participate in graduate school, the long-term goal of the program is to enlarge the pool of those wishing to become college faculty members and/or trained professionals in Ohio.”

Students identify a faculty mentor under whom they conduct a research project. The research may be in any field represented at the University. The student, with guidance from the faculty mentor, submits a research proposal to the Office of Undergraduate Research as part of the application process.

STARS is open to all undergraduate students who are eligible for Pell Grants, but high priority will be given to sophomores and juniors. Candidates must demonstrate that they are goal-oriented, motivated and high-achieving. Students need to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for acceptance into the program.

For more information, contact Kvale at thomas.kvale@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2983.