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Archive for July, 2013

Rocket men’s basketball program to visit Greece in August

The Toledo men’s basketball program will get an early start to its 2013-14 campaign with a trip to Greece from Monday, Aug. 5, through Friday, Aug. 16.

thumb-rocket-color-logoThe Rockets will play four games during their time overseas as well as have the opportunity to take in some sightseeing at several mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece.

The NCAA allows one foreign tour every four years for a program with teams allotted as many as 10 days of practices prior to such a trip.

“This trip is designed to provide our players a tremendous cultural and educational experience, and the basketball part is truly secondary in that regard,” Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “It will allow us to introduce our three incoming freshmen to the way our program operates earlier than usual, and we can also use it as a great recruiting tool in the future.”

Kowalczyk views the trip to Greece as a building block for the Rockets, who posted their second-straight winning season in 2012-13 and tied for first place with a 10-6 league record in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division with Western Michigan.

“Developing the chemistry of our team for next season will be huge since we are adding seven players to our playing group,” Kowalczyk said. “A trip like this gives our players and staff an opportunity to learn about each other away from the court and develop a bond that can be beneficial once our season starts.”

The Rockets return six letter winners — seniors Rian Pearson, Matt Smith and Richard Wonnell; junior Julius Brown; and sophomores Nathan Boothe and Josh Lemons — next year as well as two junior transfers (Justin Drummond, J.D. Weatherspoon), one redshirt freshman (Aubrey Williams) and four newcomers (sophomore Angel Aparicio and freshmen Zach Garber, Jordan Lauf and Jonathan Williams).

UT student collects more than 1,000 shoes for Haiti

Jordan Keefe was inspired to start his own nonprofit to help others after completing the Learning Through Service course spring semester at The University of Toledo.

Jordan Keefe showed off some of the more than 1,200 pairs of shoes he has collected so far through Save The Feet. He plans to take the footwear to distribute in Les Cayes, Haiti.

Jordan Keefe showed off some of the more than 1,200 pairs of shoes he has collected so far through Save The Feet. He plans to take the footwear to distribute in Les Cayes, Haiti.

In the class, which was designed by Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost with the Center for International Studies Programs, students focus on countries and regions in need in an effort to instill activism and initiative.

Keefe and 12 other students concentrated on Les Cayes, Haiti, and the Hut Outreach Program, which is a Christian Humanitarian Aid organization that works in the region to help empower the people of Haiti by providing food, water, housing, education and medical care.

During spring break, the students traveled to the city to volunteer with the Hut Outreach Program. While volunteering at a schoolhouse and hospital, Keefe and his peers saw endless need for the Haitians, but did not know how to exactly give back.

“I saw kids walking around either barefoot or with two-liter pop bottles on their feet to keep from getting parasitic diseases,” Keefe said. “It changed us a lot. And after we left, we wanted to do something more.”

This led to the launching of Save The Feet, an organization that collects unwanted shoes and donates them to impoverished countries. So far, the group has collected more than 1,200 pairs of shoes.

“Our goal was to get at least 1,000. We’ve passed this and I couldn’t be happier,” he said.

Keefe is collecting shoes and raising funds to take the footwear to Les Cayes, Haiti.

“We are collecting all types of shoes; it doesn’t matter what kind or age,” he said. “If you have shoes that you don’t use anymore, bring them to me.”

Shoes can be new or used, in any style and any size. To donate, visit savethefeet.org.

Ska-punk band Reel Big Fish to perform at Music Fest 2013

The ska-punk band Reel Big Fish known for the songs “Sell Out” and “Take on Me” will perform at Music Fest 2013 at The University of Toledo.

web Reel Big FishThe free outdoor music festival will take place Friday, Sept. 13, on UT’s Main Campus and will feature Reel Big Fish and a variety of other musical guests to be announced soon.

Last year, Reel Big Fish released its seventh studio album Candy Coated Fury (Rock Ridge Music). It is the band’s first album of newly recorded material in five years.

They first hit the music scene in 1995 with the self-released Everything Sucks that gained word-of-mouth attention and led to their sophomore studio album Turn the Radio Off and future success.

Reel Big Fish also is known for its appearance in the movie “BASEketball,” and its version of “Take on Me” was featured on the soundtrack.

The band plays more than 250 show a year all over the world, and area fans will have the opportunity to hear them live from 9 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at Music Fest 2013.

Stay tuned for future performer announcements and the complete lineup.

For more information about Music Fest 2013, visit utoledo.edu/musicfest or follow the event on Facebook at facebook.com/UTMusicFest.

End of Summer Research Symposium to be held July 31

Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to present their work at the End of the Summer Research Symposium Wednesday, July 31.

Students will give oral and poster presentations at the program, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in Sullivan Hall on Main Campus.

The presentations will be based on what the undergraduates have learned in their summer seminar class, which met every Thursday May 30 through July 25.

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides funding for undergraduates interested in the three months of summer research.

Biology, history, chemistry, bioengineering, fine arts, environmental science, pharmacology and civil engineering are some of the topics to be presented at the symposium.

“It is a multidisciplinary, eclectic mixture of different domains,” said Jamie Teeple, a graduate assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Research. “We also want to make sure students in the humanities have a voice, as these students represent an integral source of the University’s rigorous research initiatives.”

Taking part will be 37 Undergraduate Summer Research and Creative Activity Program students, 11 First-Year Summer Research Experience students, three UT-City of Toledo Internship Program students, and 12 Research Experiences for Undergraduate Physics students. They will present with their advisers.

“Last year was almost standing room only,” Teeple said of the event.

Teeple has worked closely with Dr. Tom Kvale, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, to plan the symposium. Kvale will emcee the event. Dr. James Trempe, vice president for research, will speak at 11 a.m.

All UT students, faculty and staff are invited to the symposium.

Engineers Without Borders UT chapter teams up with Toledo Run or Dye to raise funds for Honduras work

Run or Dye FlyerThe UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders has partnered with Toledo Run or Dye, a 5K run that will be held Saturday, Aug. 10, at 9 a.m. to raise funds.

The student organization’s goal is to raise $67,700 for its pedestrian bridge project in Los Sanchez, Honduras, as a part of an ongoing relationship with the community. The group has raised $21,000 so far, according to Katie Burns, sponsorship chair of the UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

“We don’t have specific funding,” Burns said. “We rely on grants from corporations, nonprofits, individual donations and support from local engineering firms.”

In 2009, the UT chapter helped the Los Sanchez community find a sustainable solution to the lack of access to potable water. The problem was solved with a gravity-fed water distribution system that was designed and implemented so that each household in the community would have a tap.

After the water distribution system was installed, the community approached the UT chapter about building a bridge so the Rio Buscagua can be crossed safely during the rainy season.

The UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders consists of around 40 members, both undergraduate and graduate students, and adviser Dr. Yongwoo Seo, associate professor of civil engineering. Three students and the technical mentor will travel to Honduras for the next trip in August.

The bridge will be completed in three stages scheduled to take place in August, December and spring break 2014. Once the land survey is finished, the concrete abutments will be placed, followed by the cables and decking materials.

“We are building it so the wood decking can be replaced at any time,” Burns said. “We want to make it economically sustainable for the community to maintain.”

The bulk of funds raised will be used for concrete and rebar, Burns said.

Those who register for the Toledo Run or Dye and use the special registration code will receive a $5 discount, which will go directly to the UT chapter of Engineers Without Borders for its fundraising efforts.

Anyone interested in registering for the Toledo Run or Dye can go to runordye.com and enter the code “RODEWBUT5.”

Those looking to donate to Engineers Without Borders can do so here.

Honors College faculty member teaches in Germany

Dr. Barbara A. Mann, assistant professor of humanities in the UT Jesup W. Scott Honors College, recently returned from an international lectureship at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.



Mann’s engagement at the university came through its Anglophone Studies Department, which offers degrees in English literatures, primarily in British and American literature and history.

The graduate students in Anglophone studies are required to speak, read and write fluently in English through immersion training and attend lectures on American literature, culture and history taught by an American professor. Students also engage verbally with the visiting faculty member and write papers on the material for their own faculty.

Mann gave three lectures. The first lecture, “Discussion on Recent Trends in Native-American Studies,” focused on the Doctrine of Discovery, which, under a series of 15th-century Vatican papal bulls, justified the European powers’ invasion and seizure of the Americas.

In “Native-American Studies: Indigenous Focuses, Methods and Concepts,” Mann discussed the cultural distinctions between European thought, which is linear and works from a base number of one, and traditional Native-American thought, which tends to be binary and works from a complex twinship principle with a base cultural number of two.

In “The Art and Politics of the Harlem Renaissance,” Duisburg-Essen’s Anglophone graduate students received historical context on and examples of artistic expressions of authors, artists and performers of that cultural movement of the 1920s.

Mann was invited to be the guest lecturer by Dr. Barbara Buchenau, chair of North American Cultural Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She heard Mann speak at a conference about 16 years ago and was so impressed that “she kept up on all my research thereafter,” Mann said.

When Buchenau received her funding as the departmental chair to bring in an international speaker for 2013, she told Mann that she instantly thought of her.

Mann did not experience culture shock upon arrival because she had lived in Germany in the late 1960s. However, she was taken aback by just how well her work was known to those in the Anglophone Studies Program.

“Finding all my books in the university library system was humbling,” Mann said. “The students had prior knowledge of who I was.”

Mann said she is looking into bringing a speaker form the University of Duisburg-Essen to the UT Jesup W. Scott Honors College in the future for an ongoing, international research exchange and to forge a teaching relationship between the two universities.

Associate professor to study invasive species in Caribbean as Fulbright Scholar

When an invasive species gets introduced to a new ecosystem, its disruption can cost millions — sometimes billions — of dollars.



That economic impact has been the focus of Dr. Jonathan Bossenbroek, UT associate professor of ecology, who received a Fulbright Scholarship to do his research at the University of West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Bossenbroek said what he looks forward to most is networking with other ecologists and economists on an international level. While in the West Indies, he will work closely with an agricultural economist to analyze the spread and economic impact of invasive species, including the lionfish and the green mussel.

“Some invasive species have negative economic impacts, and they’re often hard to quantify,” Bossenbroek said. “Understanding how these species impact the overall economy will give strength to the argument that we need to be more careful about moving species around.”

Bossenbroek has seen firsthand the impact an invasive species can have on an ecosystem with the zebra mussel in the Great Lakes and the emerald ash borer throughout the Midwest and beyond. One area of research where he hopes to get more involved is the economic distress caused by these species, in order to encourage prevention.

“It’s much easier to understand the cost once they show up and are doing damages, but spending money on prevention is risky,” Bossenbroek said. “You’re spending that money ahead of time and you don’t really see the benefit except that the organism doesn’t show up.”

In addition to furthering research, Bossenbroek hopes to develop a new class for UT during his sabbatical in the Caribbean. He will work with faculty at the University of West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago to create a course for both universities with a mix of ecology and economy based on his research.

Bossenbroek will travel with his wife and three sons, ages 5, 9 and 12. He is excited about exposing his children to a new culture and expanding their view of the world.

“It’ll be quite an adventure,” Bossenbroek said.

He and his family leave in August and will be in the Caribbean through the academic year.

Mixed-media artist draws on animal magnetism

Jewel Davenport has wanted to get involved with Art on the Mall for a few years and will debut her mixed-media work at the event Sunday, July 28.

This turtle is one of many sea life illustrations created by Jewel Davenport.

This turtle is one of many sea life illustrations created by Jewel Davenport.

Davenport, who earned her bachelor of arts degree from UT in 1998, has been drawing for more than 20 years and worked in the greeting card industry before starting Jewel Renee Illustrations two years ago.

“I’m always looking for an interesting animal to draw,” she said. “Most of my sea life illustrations came from my attempt to overcome my fear of snorkeling and scuba diving. A few — like the leafy sea dragon — are so bizarre that some people think I invented them.”

Davenport’s artwork utilizes drawings created with pencil, which are then scanned and digitally painted. Her best-selling series consists of portrait variations of the Internet’s famous Grumpy Cat.

“I began dressing them as grumpy authors,” she said. “They started as a joke, but immediately took off.”

So far she has created Edgar Allan No, Jane Austere, Enemy Dickinson, Snark Twain, Hater S. Thompson and Snarls Dickens.

“I’m also working on Ernest Heming-No-Way and hope to have him finished in time for Art on the Mall,” Davenport said.

Art on the Mall will have more than 100 artist booths featuring works of acrylic, glass, jewelry, mixed media, oil, photography, pottery, textiles, basketry, watercolor, wood and more.

The free, public event will take place Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Centennial Mall on UT’s Main Campus.

To learn more about Davenport and see her art, visit etsy.com/shop/jewelrenee or go to her Facebook page.

UT film student to show documentary in California [video]

Lydia Kane, a senior majoring in film and video production at The University of Toledo, is looking forward to screening her documentary at a film festival in Santa Monica, Calif.

“I am beyond excited!” Kane said. “It’s a great opportunity for this film to spread to other people and hopefully inspire them to volunteer some of their time to helping others.”

Her documentary, “Learning Through Service,” is about helping people who are homeless, and it will be shown at the fourth annual Awareness Film Festival Sunday, July 28, at the Promenade Playhouse.

The festival was created to bring awareness to the ecological, political and well-being of the world.

In 2012, Kane traveled with 35 students on an alternative spring break service project to New York City and volunteered at a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.

“While I knew that the problem of hunger and homelessness existed, it didn’t actually hit me until I traveled to New York City with the learning leadership through service community,” Kane said. “I was able to see the hundreds of people that lined up for food and their eyes light up to have a warm meal and to have someone to have a conversation with.”

Kane was asked by Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs, and Sara Clark, assistant director of the Center for International Studies and Programs, to document the experience.

“Here at UT, we are very proud of Lydia for exploring her world, going beyond the boundaries of normal academic experiences, and showing that UT is more than just a part of Ohio but a part of the world,” Spann said. “We like creating these opportunities for our student populace.”

Kane submitted her documentary for inclusion in the festival and it will be shown as part of the Student Shorts Block with other short documentaries. Kane’s film is about 10 minutes.

For more information about the Awareness Film Festival, go to awarenessfestival.org.

View some of Kane’s other films here.

Artist fired up about colorful clay jewelry

Kimberly Arden fabricates canes from polymer clay to make jewelry.

Kimberly Arden fabricates canes from polymer clay to make jewelry.

Kimberly Arden can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t creating something.

“I have to create, it doesn’t matter where I am,” Arden said. “I’ve always been this way; that’s how I’m wired.”

Arden, of Temperance, Mich., recalls selling arts and crafts on her father’s card table when she was a kid, making everything from coasters to jewelry. Whenever she made something she was particularly proud of, she would give it as a gift to her mother, who was an artist.

Arden’s specialty these days is jewelry, which she will showcase at The University of Toledo’s Art on the Mall Sunday, July 28. Her jewelry features beads and medallions made from polymer clay, a medium she’s worked with for 25 years.

Polymer clay comes in a large variety of colors and can be cured with the use of an ordinary oven. Arden uses this clay in her creations by designing canes — large chunks of clay with designs of flower petals, leaves, etc.

Kimberly Arden models some of the jewelry she makes from clay and sterling silver.

Kimberly Arden models some of the jewelry she makes from clay and sterling silver.

Arden then squeezes the ends of these canes to reduce the design and make it more intricate. She then slices off small pieces and uses the individual leaves and petals to create tiny pieces of art, which are assembled to make jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Because of this technique, colors are actually baked into the jewelry, making the pieces more resistant to scratches or fading than if they were painted. Arden uses sterling silver to complete her pieces, creating jewelry both affordable and fine.

This week, Arden will be replenishing her stock of handmade jewelry, having sold many of her pieces at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, one of the largest art fairs in the country with more than 1,000 artists.

“I love the fact that I’m coming out of Ann Arbor with a week to go before Art on the Mall because there are so many people there that know me,” Arden said. “They’re going to want to see what’s new, and I’m going to have to pull it out of my hat.”

Take a close look at her work at kimberlyarden.com.

Art on the Mall will take place Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Centennial Mall on UT’s Main Campus.