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Archive for August, 2013

Department of Mathematics offers statistics consulting service

University of Toledo students are getting real-world experience through a Department of Mathematics and Statistics consulting service.

The Statistical Consulting Service, which has been on campus for 18 years, has been under the direction of Dr. Qin Shao, professor of mathematics, since 2010. Students in Shao’s Statistical Consulting I and II graduate-level courses usually are divided into two or three small teams to do the bulk of the analysis for the clients.

“We have been assisting the UT community on numerous projects,” Shao said. “Biostatistics is a rising science right now. We see a lot of potential for this service.”

Biostatistics involves analyzing any data that comes from human, animal, flora and fauna.

Some of the off-campus projects include work for the North American Science Associates Inc. in Northwood, Ohio, and C. Nelson Manufacturing Co. in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

“The North American Science Associates wanted our students to help them run a statistics software package called R, and we were able to help because a lot of our students are familiar with R from our graduate courses,” Shao said.

On campus, the analysis service has aided students and faculty with projects ranging from studying pediatric post-tonsillectomy hydration and pain to detecting chemical pollution in lakes.

“We want to facilitate research on campus as much as possible,” Shao said, adding the service potentially could be helpful to graduate students.

Students, faculty and staff interested in the statistics and analysis service can submit an online request here.

Vote for Rocky the Rocket in the 2013 Capital One Mascot Challenge

It’s time to show Rocky the Rocket how much we appreciate his school spirit by supporting him in this year’s Capital One Mascot Challenge.

Rocky is ready to have a blast in the Capital One Mascot Challenge, but he needs your help: Be sure to vote!

Rocky is ready to have a blast in the Capital One Mascot Challenge, but he needs your help. Be sure to vote!

Rocky won the 2012 write-in contest and is one of the 16 college mascots competing in this year’s national competition.

With the outstanding support from Rocket Nation, Rocky received the most votes in last year’s write-in contest when Toledo fans had the opportunity to vote their mascot into the challenge.

“It says a lot about our university and our ability as a community to rally behind a great effort because we beat out schools that were much larger than us,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs. “We were very proud of the fact we won that write-in contest and that also gives us great momentum to win the entire Capital One Mascot Challenge.”

Rocky was created in 1966, but began his tenure as official mascot in 1968 under Director of Student Affairs Dan Seemann, who helped transform him into the powerful, charismatic character known and loved by many today.

The mascot challenge begins Thursday, Aug. 29, when voting lines open, and the season continues until Sunday, Nov. 24.

If Rocky were to make the playoffs, voting would continue through Sunday, Dec. 15, with the winner announced Jan. 1.

Rocky is going to need all the support he can get as he squares off against the Duck of the University of Oregon in his first matchup Monday, Sept. 2.

Students and fans will have the opportunity to continue to vote for Rocky in weekly head-to-head matchups against other mascots such as Sparty of Michigan State University and Bucky Badger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“I think it puts us and our brand at the level we deserve to be,” Burns said. “We have spent a number of years increasing the UT brand recognition in communities such as Detroit and Columbus, and around the world for that matter. This is another visible step in the evolution of the UT brand to the world stage.”

Capital One is providing two new options to vote this year: a weekly 25-point challenge and a weekly 100-point challenge.

Fans wishing to earn 25 or 100 points for Rocky need to complete the challenge and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hash tag #CapitalOneRocket.

The first 25-point challenge is to write a cheerleader-type cheer for their mascot and post it to Facebook or Twitter using the correct hash tag for their school, which for UT is #CapitalOneRocket.

To earn 100 points, fans need to film themselves performing the cheer in public and then upload it.

Additionally, fans can continue to place single votes, submit content, and find information about the weekly challenges by visiting capitalonebowl.com and clicking “vote” for their mascot. Voting multiple times is allowed, so be sure to help Rocky as much as possible.

Wallenberg Award recipient helps educate fellow future physicians about women’s health concerns

A graduate of a liberal, all-girl high school, Avneet Singh received in-depth sex education; when she went to college, she was shocked that some of her classmates were misinformed.

Singh

Singh

She spent much of her time during her undergraduate studies at Case Western Reserve University dispelling myths her peers had about contraception and abortion, two hot political topics. Now as a second-year medical student at The University of Toledo, Singh is continuing this mission on a broader scale.

“What really hit me was when I went to medical school and I started to see how much medical misinformation is out there and seeing it from the perspective of a student,” Singh said. “That was my interest: making sure people knew the facts rather than just their religious or political views.”

Because of her passion and dedication to this cause, Singh is the recipient of the 2013-14 UT Wallenberg Award. The honor is given to those who showcase commitment to and passion for serving others, and Singh was chosen by a committee of six members, including UT alumnus Robert Karp, who made the original donation to make this award possible.

Singh has spent much of her free time volunteering for clinics such as Planned Parenthood and the former Center for Choice. Last fall, she canvassed door to door for Planned Parenthood, talking with people about sensitive women’s health issues and lobbying for low-cost health clinics.

“I see what happens when you don’t have access to health care or access to contraception or access to an abortion service,” Singh said. “I feel like it’s my duty as a future physician to be able to speak for those people from an educated standpoint.”

Singh also is active in the organization Medical Students for Choice, a group that educates future physicians on these charged subjects from a medical standpoint without mention of politics or religion. She is on the executive board and hopes to continue educating her classmates on these issues so that they can better serve their future patients.

“It’s easy for people, when they are unprepared for a situation, to tense up and go into commonly used buzzwords,” Singh said. “You stop having an honest conversation. When it comes to things like sex education and abortion, you need to be able to overcome what’s going on in the political world and give the patient the information he or she needs.”

As the recipient of the Wallenberg award, Singh will receive a $1,900 stipend for her education at UT in honor of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat during World War II who helped rescue more than 100,000 Jews.

“Raoul Wallenberg was an average guy who was called upon to do something for other people, and he did it without having any real connection to those people or the situation,” Singh said. “I think it’s important to give everything I’ve got for my future patients. It’s really flattering to be recognized for that.”

Associate law professor to serve as American Bankruptcy Institute’s Resident Scholar

Bruce

Bruce

Kara Bruce, UT associate professor of law, is serving as the Robert M. Zinman American Bankruptcy Institute Resident Scholar for fall semester.

She is the institute’s only resident scholar this fall.

At the College of Law, Bruce teaches bankruptcy and commercial law courses, including Secured Transactions and Commercial Paper, and her research focuses on bankruptcy law.

She is based in American Bankruptcy Institute’s Alexandria, Va., office, and will join an ongoing project to study the reform of business bankruptcy laws. She also will assist the institute with its educational programming and in its role as a source of bankruptcy information and analysis for Congress, the media and the public.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to assist the American Bankruptcy Institute with its important educational and policy work,” Bruce said. “While it would be an honor to work for the American Bankruptcy Institute at any time, I am particularly excited to join the ongoing study of United States Bankruptcy Code Chapter 11 reform.”

Before joining the College of Law faculty, Bruce worked as an attorney in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP in Chicago, where she represented clients in complex business reorganizations and commercial litigation matters. She also maintained an active pro bono practice, handling matters in the fields of consumer bankruptcy, immigration and appellate law.

The American Bankruptcy Institute was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The institute membership includes more than 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals.

Nightingale’s Harvest serves Toledo cancer patients, families

The University of Toledo Medical Center is teaming up with Nightingale’s Harvest, a local nonprofit organization that is holding its Life Drive through Monday, Sept. 30.

Nightingales HarvestNightingale’s Harvest helps cancer patients and their families ease financial burdens with food distribution and other services while going through cancer treatment.

UT students, faculty and staff interested in donating can take food or everyday items to a collection bin at the Glendale Avenue entrance inside the Eleanor N. Dana Center.

According to the Nightingale’s Harvest website, the organization provides perishable and nonperishable foods, personal hygiene items and home cleaning products for no charge to cancer patients and their families in the Toledo area.

In addition, Nightingale’s Harvest offers nutrition education, as well as fresh produce from its organic garden it provides to families. Nightingale’s Harvest was started by Lisa Kronbach-Eisenbach in 2011.

“Nightingale’s Harvest would like to recognize Professor Laura Williams [senior lecturer in the UT Department of Management] as an innovative educator partnering with UT students in her classrooms to live and learn with great passion,” said Kronbach-Eisenbach. “The partnership has brought UT students out of the classroom and actively into the business and marketing world of nonprofits.”

Kronbach-Eisenbach added, “Williams has been an educator who encourages UT students to venture out into the community and become partners in social responsibility.”

For more information or ways to help out Nightingale’s Harvest, visit nightingales-harvest.org.

Toledo soccer team to hold free community clinic Sept. 8

soccer-ball-on-fieldThe UT women’s soccer team will hold a community clinic Sunday, Sept. 8, following the Rockets’ match against Pepperdine at Scott Park.

The free clinic is expected to begin around 2:15 p.m. and will last about 30 minutes.

The clinic is open to all youths, 5 to 13 years old. Participants are encouraged to bring all necessary soccer equipment — a ball, cleats (sneakers, if no cleats), shin guards, water bottle and sweat towel.

Head Women’s Soccer Coach Brad Evans and the Rockets will teach the participants new kicking and shooting skills, exercises to improve speed and agility, and the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

To register for the clinic, click here. Participants also must complete the medical information waiver located at the top of the page and bring it to the athletic marketing table prior to clinic in order to participate.

Toledo has firepower for MAC Championship title run

Toledo’s 2013 seniors have a lot to be proud of. They are the class that has returned the Rockets to the elite of the Mid-American Conference.

Senior wide receiver/return specialist Bernard Reedy caught 88 passes and scored four times on special teams in 2012. He is one of five All-Mid-American Conference players back for the Rockets’ offense.

Senior wide receiver/return specialist Bernard Reedy caught 88 passes and scored four times on special teams in 2012. He is one of five All-Mid-American Conference players back for the Rockets’ offense.

When they came in as freshmen in 2010, UT had just suffered through its third straight losing season. Fast-forward to 2013, and all of that has changed. The Rockets have gone 26-13 in the past three years, with three winning seasons and three bowl appearances. Toledo’s MAC record over that span is 20-4.

And yet the seniors’ biggest goal — and the goal of the entire football program — has yet to be reached. This class of Rockets won’t be completely satisfied until it hoists the MAC Championship trophy in Detroit’s Ford Field.

“At the end of the day, our goals remain the same,” said UT Head Coach Matt Campbell. “We want to win the MAC West Division, win the MAC Championship Game, go to a bowl game, and get our team GPA to as close to a 3.0 as possible. But to get there, we need to focus on the process. We need to work hard at getting better every day. That’s the only way I know how to reach your goals.”

Toledo definitely has the talent to reach the top in 2013. The Rockets return 16 starters, including an offense that is brimming with talent.

Senior wide receiver/return specialist Bernard Reedy is among five All-MAC players lining up on offense. Reedy caught 88 passes and scored four times on special teams in 2012. He is complemented at wide-out by sophomore Alonzo Russell, a 6-4 athlete who caught 56 passes as a freshman.

In the backfield, senior David Fluellen rushed for 1,498 yards last year, despite missing one game and most of another due to injuries. And leading the troops up front are senior center Zac Kerin and junior guard Greg Mancz.

The key to the offense could be senior quarterback Terrance Owens, who has 17 starts to his credit over the last three years. Owens battled a pair of ankle injuries in the second half of 2012; he is healthy again and looking to repeat the monster season he had in 2011 when he set the MAC record by completing 72.2 percent of his passes.

The biggest question that remains is the defense. Campbell must find a way to adjust to the loss of eight starters, including the nation’s leading tackler in 2012, linebacker Dan Molls.

poster scheduleOn the plus side, the Rockets return six players who had at least 30 tackles in 2012, as well as a group of talented newcomers who could elevate the level of play on the defensive side of the ball. Top returnees include junior All-MAC cornerback Cheatham Norrils and senior defensive end Christian Smith.

“I really like the players we have on the defensive side of the ball,” Campbell said. “This is a hungry group that has been waiting for their chance. I think people will be surprised at just how talented we are on defense this year.”

In its first 92 seasons of football, The University of Toledo never played a school from the Southeastern Conference. That will change in a big way.

The Rockets will begin their 2013 football season playing not one, but two games against SEC foes. Toledo opens with road contests at Florida and Missouri, undoubtedly the toughest opening assignment in school history.

“Our schedule is very challenging, particularly at the start of the season, but we are looking forward to it,” Campbell said. “Not only do we travel to Florida and Missouri, but we open at home against a very good Eastern Washington team (Sept. 14), then play two conference road games at Central Michigan and Ball State. I know our players will rise to meet the challenge.”

Toledo’s season opener is Saturday, Aug. 31, against a Florida team that finished the season with an 11-2 record, ranked No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the USA Today coaches poll. The game will be televised in the Toledo market on WMNT’s MyNetworkTV (My58). The over-the-air station is on channel 48.1; it is carried on channel 58 on Buckeye CableSystem and on channel 10 on AT&T U-Verse.

The Rockets then travel to Missouri, where they will face former UT Head Coach Gary Pinkel’s Tigers. Pinkel coached the Rockets from 1991 to 2000, compiling a 73-37-3 mark. He was inducted into UT’s Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame in 2009. Missouri was 5-7 in 2012, its first in the SEC and first losing season since 2004.

Toledo’s other two non-conference foes also are formidable. Eastern Washington was 9-2 last year and advanced to the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. The Eagles were FCS Champions in 2010. Navy was 8-5 in 2012 and earned a berth in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

MAC home games will be Western Michigan (Oct. 5, Homecoming), Eastern Michigan (Nov. 2), Buffalo (Nov. 12) and Northern Illinois (Nov. 20). The NIU game will be televised on ESPN2, while the Buffalo game will be on either ESPNU or ESPN3.

Conference road games are at Central Michigan (Sept. 21), Ball State (Sept. 28), Bowling Green (Oct. 26) and Akron (Nov. 29). The Akron game will be carried on either ESPNU or ESPN3.

UT students are admitted to home games free by showing their Rocket ID; UT faculty and staff can purchase tickets half off with ID.

Night Watch escort service an option for students

It’s late. The sun’s long since set, and UT is quiet. A lone student needs to reach a campus destination but feels uncomfortable making the trip solo.

Night Watch sign more color photo by Lt. Charles WilliamsNot an issue. Night Watch — the UT escort service that’s been providing safety and security for students for more than 20 years — is just a quick phone call away.

A program operated and manned by UT students with ongoing support and weekly input from The University of Toledo Police Department (UTPD), Night Watch utilizes two-student patrol teams that provide escorts to locations on Main, Health Science and Scott Park campuses. Off-campus destinations in the immediate area are covered as well, including Olde Towne University Square Apartments.

From any University phone, students requesting an escort can call 3024, or 419.530.3024 from an outside line. Calls go directly to the Night Watch office, where escort teams are dispatched.

“The teams are normally doing their regular patrols, providing extra eyes for safety and security,” explained Lt. Charles Williams, UTPD officer. “When a call comes in, the Night Watch operator determines where the caller is located, where they want to go, and gives a time estimate on the arrival of a Night Watch car, which is easily identified by its flashing yellow beacon.”

All Night Watch vehicles come with a mobile radio and one-button contact with UTPD. Escort teams carry portable radios when they’re out of the vehicles.

Once the team arrives, they will either walk the student to the desired location or use the car if distance or inclement weather warrant.

Night Watch is available Sunday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The service also operates a substation in the hallway of Carlson Library Sunday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to midnight. On Friday and Saturday, the Night Watch office is open from 7 to 10 p.m.

A recent innovation is intended particularly for freshmen who park their cars in the gated and secured Lot 21 on the Scott Park Campus, Williams explained. To assist the influx of students who will be coming back to campus Sunday evenings after visiting family and friends, Night Watch crews not on runs will be parked at the curb cut near Lot 21, making them visible to students who park there, and available by calling 3024.

If students in Lot 21 don’t have access to a phone, they may go to the Non-Academic Services Building, where they can swipe their Rocket Cards to get into the vestibule and use the phone located on the wall to call the Night Watch office for an escort. A sign above the phone will provide the number.

Night Watch signs are posted at the entrance to Lot 21 and at other strategic locations, Williams said.

“Night Watch is a wonderful peace-of-mind service for our students,” said Dean of Students Tamika Dobbins. “And the Night Watch number — 419.530.3024 — is printed on the back of every student ID card, so it’s always available.”

Williams added, “It’s reassuring for parents as well. My own daughters will be coming here as students within a few years, and it’s comforting for me to know about Night Watch, whether I’m a part of it or not.”

UT services in palm of your hand with new myUT Mobile app

myUT mobile appStudents now have the entire University at their fingertips with the new free myUT Mobile app.

The app, available for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets, was created by the Information Technology Department and recently released. All features of the app were suggested by students to help them with their daily experiences at UT.

“We’re very proud of the app because it is what the students wanted,” said Godfrey Ovwigho, vice president for information technology. “Students were involved in the design, development and testing of the app from the beginning to the end, so I feel very good about it.”

By using the app, students instantaneously can access bus routes, job opportunities, events and more. Campus maps also are available — but more than that, students can get walking directions to their classrooms simply by accessing their schedule.

Students also can find campus news from UT News, UToday, University Journals, YouTube and The Independent Collegian. They can see top stories, as well as search for news on specific colleges and topics.

“The app is useful to students because it makes their university more accessible,” said Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs. “We’ve taken all of UT’s best resources and put them in one convenient location.”

Each year improvements will be made to the app to keep it relevant, and the IT staff will use student feedback to see what features should stay, go or be added.

Exhibition featuring works by UT faculty to hold closing reception

"O," encaustic painting with mixed reclaimed paper on baltic birch panel, by Barbara WF Miner is included in “Transcending Text.”

“O,” encaustic painting with mixed reclaimed paper on baltic birch panel, by Barbara WF Miner is included in “Transcending Text.”

The disconnection between text, language and meaning is explored in the exhibition titled “Transcending Text,” which is on display in the Owens Community College Walter E. Terhune Gallery in Perrysburg.

Three of the four artists with works in the exhibit are UT faculty members:

• Barbara WF Miner, associate professor and associate chair of the Art Department. Her encaustic paintings use text as abstract symbols: letters, characters, cuneiforms and hieroglyphs. “When a letter or a pictograph is separated from the rest of the communication system, it becomes unintelligible and is cast adrift from concrete meaning like a discarded implement,” she said.

• Barry Whittaker, assistant professor of art. His work explores the challenge in communication, especially when there is technology involved. “It’s the equivalent of deconstructing all one’s thoughts in a food processor and handing the pieces to one person who will deliver them to another person, who will reassemble them for the intended recipient of the message,” he said. “The hope is that he will get the idea of what is being said, but it is likely that important parts will be missing.”

• Holly Hey, associate professor of film. Her “MOM MOM” is a moving image loop that simultaneously contemplates and confronts social, cultural and familial notions of the word “mother.”

A closing reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery.

To make an appointment to see the free exhibit, contact Miner at barbara.miner@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8315.

“Empire #10,” archival digital print, by Barry Whittaker also is featured in the exhibit.

“Empire #10,” archival digital print, by Barry Whittaker also is featured in the exhibit.