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Toledo looks to defend MAC regular-season title in 2013-14

The Toledo women’s basketball team will take on a new look in 2013-14.

womens bball posterGone are five members of the winningest senior class in school history who helped the Rockets secure an impressive 107 victories, capturing a WNIT Championship (2011), two Mid-American Conference regular-season titles (2010-11, 2012-13) and four-consecutive division crowns (2009-13), as well as advancing to the postseason each of the last four seasons.

UT also lost three additional players who transferred out of the program. Despite the turnover, the Rockets’ expectations remain high for the upcoming season.

“It would be an understatement to say we will miss last year’s senior class,” said sixth-year Head Coach Tricia Cullop, who ranks first in MAC history in conference win percentage (.813, 65-15) and second in overall win percentage (.740, 125-44). “I believe we have the talent to be a very dangerous team, though, but only time will tell how fast we jell.”

Toledo’s new-look roster in 2013-14 will feature seven returning letterwinners, including two all-conference performers and six newcomers. As far as numbers on the hardwood go, the Rockets welcome back 47.3 percent of their scoring, 44.1 percent of their rebounding, 49.3 percent of their assists and 59.3 percent of their steals.

“Our goal is to quickly mesh the incoming players with the veterans and get better every day,” Cullop said. “We graduated the winningest class in school history, but we still return a pair of all-league players, Andola [Dortch] and Inma [Zanoguera]. When conference play starts, we want our team clicking on all cylinders ready to challenge for a MAC regular-season championship and postseason berth.”

The Rockets compiled a stellar 29-4 record in 2012-13, the best single-season mark in school annals. UT also captured its second MAC regular-season crown in the last three seasons with a 15-1 league ledger. Toledo is one of just 14 programs in the country to win at least 24 games each of the last four seasons.

UT also made its fourth consecutive appearance and ninth overall in the WNIT in 2013. The Midnight Blue and Gold advanced to the Sweet 16 of the postseason tourney for a third-straight year with home victories against Atlantic 10 member Butler and Horizon League foe Youngstown State. Their season came to an end with a setback to Big Ten member Illinois.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of last year’s team,” said Cullop, whose squad’s 29 wins tied for the most in school history and second most in the MAC record books. “In the future, we will continue to strive for the one goal that has eluded us. I want more than anything for our players to experience the thrill and excitement of an NCAA Tournament berth.”

As Cullop examines the breakdown of her new-look squad, she expects the veterans to play a critical part in their development, spearheaded by Dortch and Zanoguera.

“Andola and Inma have logged the most minutes of any returnee, so they will be the obvious choices in terms of leadership, but I also see [junior] Stephanie Recker and [sophomore] Ana Capotosto stepping into more of a leadership role as well,” Cullop said. “Having players who have been there before always pays dividends. Our veterans understand the preparation and teamwork that go into winning a conference title and advancing in the WNIT, and our younger players chose Toledo because they want that expectation.”
womens schedule

Deep, athletic men’s basketball squad ready to take flight

Toledo’s first season under fourth-year Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk seems like an eternity ago when looking ahead to the Rockets’ 2013-14 season.


mens bball posterSince his hiring in 2010, Kowalczyk has transformed a UT program that was at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference to one of the favorites for the league title in what seems like the blink of an eye.


“I think we’ve come an awfully long way in three short years,” said Kowalczyk, who also rebuilt Wisconsin-Green Bay’s program in similar fashion. “We’re at the point that we feel our goal should be to strive to win a league championship. I like the direction we’re headed. I like the guys we have in the program. I think we certainly have some good young talent that can help us continue to build.”


Kowalczyk’s formula for success has relied on combining standout transfers such as two-time all-conference honoree guard Rian Pearson (Green Bay) with talented recruits like 2011-12 MAC Freshman of the Year guard Julius Brown and 2012-13 All-MAC Freshman Team member center Nathan Boothe.


This year, Toledo is adding two more transfers — guard Justin Drummond (Loyola University, Md.) and forward J.D. Weatherspoon (Ohio State) — to the mix as well as a talented freshman trio of center Zach Garber, guard Jordan Lauf and guard Jonathan Williams.


That influx of talent will give UT its deepest squad in recent memory and allow Kowalczyk to play a more up-tempo style.


Toledo received an early start to its upcoming season with an August trip to Greece that allowed the team extra practice time and a chance to build chemistry with its revamped roster.


“Our practices leading up to our trip to Greece were great,” Kowalczyk said. “We were able to get a lot accomplished, and I think everybody involved in the program is moving forward in the right direction.


“Our players were able to bond in Greece and also received a tremendous cultural and educational experience.”


UT was unable to participate in post-season play last year though due to poor Academic Progress Rate figures from previous coaching regimes. But that’s all behind the Midnight Blue and Gold now as the scholarship and practice restrictions UT faced from the NCAA have been lifted.


“Last year was a different type of season to go through due to not being eligible for postseason play,” Kowalczyk said. “I’m very, very proud that our guys never made excuses, and they never felt sorry for themselves.


“We’ve been severely penalized, had a lot of restraints, and none of our guys made excuses about it. We’re very prideful we handled it the right way. We’re proud that we have good guys that are doing things the right way academically.”
mens bball schedule

Poetry recital slated for Nov. 4

Come experience a night full of poetry and insight Monday, Nov. 4, at the “One Evening: Three Poetic Traditions English, Arabic and Urdu” poetry recital.

The event will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2420.

Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, UT trustee and professor emeritus of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, and Dr. Samir Abu-Absi, UT professor emeritus of English, will read English translations of Arabic and Urdu poetry. Ejza Rahim will share his original English poetry.

All readings will be in English with some Arabic and Urdu.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages, Arabic Program, Middle East Studies and Arabesque.

For more information, contact Dr. Gaby Semaan, UT assistant professor of Arabic, at gaby.semaan@utoledo.edu.

Football coach signs contract extension through 2017

The University of Toledo and Head Football Coach Matt Campbell have agreed to a contract extension that will run through the 2017 football season, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.

Campbell

Campbell

Campbell, in his second full season with the Rockets, has a 15-7 record as head coach. He led the Rockets to a 42-41 victory over Air Force in the 2011 Military Bowl in his first game as head coach. In 2012, his Rockets finished 9-4 and were ranked in the Top 25 at one point in the season. So far this season the Rockets are 5-3, 3-1 in the Mid-American Conference.

“Matt Campbell is not only one of the finest young football coaches in the country, he is also a great mentor to the young men in our football program,” O’Brien said. “He is determined to make the UT football program the finest in the Mid-American Conference. But more than that, he is dedicated to making sure our student-athletes get a good education and to helping them develop as well-rounded individuals. We are pleased to make this commitment to Coach Campbell and look forward to many more years with him as our head football coach.”

“I’m grateful for the support of President Lloyd Jacobs, Mike O’Brien and the entire UT administrative staff,” Campbell said. “I’m honored to be the head football coach at this great university. Most of all, I would like to thank our players, assistant coaches and football support staff. Their effort and enthusiasm help make our program a point of pride for The University of Toledo and the Toledo community.”

Campbell served three seasons as UT’s offensive coordinator under former Head Coach Tim Beckman from 2009 to 2011. He was named head coach for the Rockets Dec. 12, 2011, becoming the 26th head football coach in school history and the youngest head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision at the time by more than three years.

A native of Massillon, Ohio, Campbell played his college football at Mount Union, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 2002. Campbell earned NCAA Division III All-America honors at defensive end in 2001 and 2002, leading the Purple Raiders to national championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He returned to coach at Mount Union under legendary Head Coach Larry Kehres in 2005 and 2006, helping guide the Purple Raiders to two more national titles. Campbell then coached at Bowling Green State University for two seasons as the offensive line and run game coordinator before joining the UT staff in 2009.

Campbell and his wife, Erica, have two girls, Katelyn, 5, and Isabella, 4, and a son, Rudy, who was born in July.

Faculty member teams up with radio host to raise awareness about bullying

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, associate professor of educational psychology, and 92.5 KISS FM Morning Rush Host Sid Kelly have teamed up to raise awareness about bullying.

Pescara-Kovach

Pescara-Kovach

During the National Bullying Prevention Month of October, Kovach and Kelly have addressed three Horizon Science Academies to speak with students and teachers about bullying and its effects.

Kovach, author of School Shootings and Suicides: Why We Must Stop the Bullies, defines the forms bullying may take to the students and explains how it can impact people. An important part of the presentation is getting students involved, Kovach said.

“When students are part of the dialogue and discussion, it tends to create a sense of community, which is a necessary component in teaching them to want to advocate for one another,” Kovach said. “They tend to stand up for a victim when they feel a human connection. Sharing their stories with us allows others to hear the profound impact that bullying can have on their classmates.”

Kelly then discusses his history with bullying, sharing how he once was a bully until he realized its negative impact on others. Kelly also describes how he became a victim while he was in the U.S. Navy.

He began working with Kovach when he invited her on his radio show to talk about bullying after hearing about an incident that had taken place in the area. He also was inspired after he watched the 2011 documentary “Bully.”

“This behavior has to stop, and our children need to know there are things that can be done,” Kelly said. “Lisa and I preach to young men and women that they need to understand what bullying is and that they need to report it when they see it happen.”

Kelly

Kelly

Kovach said the frontline is the students themselves.

“Teachers and parents can’t be in the bathroom when it happens or in the locker room when it happens, but the kids see it every day,” she said.

Kovach also pointed out that cyberbullying is a major issue because of the advances in technology, the disinhibition one feels online and the cyberbullying perpetrator having access to his or her victim 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Kelly and Kovach also make themselves available for students to reach out to if they feel no one else will listen.

“I tell them that if they find themselves unable to find an adult willing to help them, that I will,” Kelly said. “I bring at least 20 to 50 business cards with my personal cell phone number, and I’ve handed all of them out each time I’ve spoken.”

They also share resources for students to make anonymous reports and provide informational packets.

“I want every child and adult I speak to, to understand that it’s not OK to bully someone because they’re different,” Kelly said. “I want people to realize that at the end of the day, the things that define us as a person are the people we help and the knowledge we pass along to those that don’t have it.”

For more information about UT efforts, visit the Anti-Bullying Task Force website at utoledo.edu/tlc/bully.

Neuroscientist to investigate how meth abuse weakens brain’s protective barrier

The combination of meth abuse and chronic stress compromises the brain’s protective barrier, leaving it more susceptible to dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to research by UT neuroscientist Dr. Bryan Yamamato.

Yamamato

Yamamato

A natural barrier comprised of tightly formed capillaries and other cells separates the brain from large potentially harmful molecules such as bacteria present in a person’s blood, but the abuse of methamphetamine combined with chronic stress causes that barrier to be more permeable, said Yamamoto, professor and chair of the UT Department of Neurosciences.

“Most drug addicts suffer from chronic stress and the combination of that and meth abuse causes the capillaries in the brain to leak,” Yamamoto said. “That situation puts the brain at risk for viruses and bacteria that previously wouldn’t have been able to enter the brain.”

It’s a specific concern for the gingivitis bacteria, also known as “meth mouth,” that many meth abusers suffer from, which could enter the brain and wreak havoc, Yamamoto said.

A new $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Yamamoto and his collaborators, Dr. Nicolas Chiaia and Dr. Nicole Northrop, both faculty members in the Department of Neurosciences, to study this process using animal models and investigate what causes the opening in the blood-brain barrier and how long it persists.

Yamamoto proposes to use animals trained to self-administer meth by pressing a bar inside their cages to get a dose of the drug, and exposing them to unpredictable stressors in a manner that reflects how humans experience common stressors. The team will examine whether anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce the effects of the opening of the blood-brain barrier in these animals.

“The implications of this research go beyond individuals who are addicted to methamphetamine to understand how chronic stress impacts the brain and renders our brain more vulnerable,” Yamamoto said. “In contrast, the basic mechanisms revealed by our studies may provide insight for other scientists who are researching ways to temporarily and safely bypass the blood-brain barrier so drugs used to treat brain cancer that ordinarily do not cross the barrier can have greater access to the brain and be more effective.”

Meth abuse and manufacturing is increasing not only in the United States, but also around the world because of how easily and inexpensively it can be “cooked,” despite efforts to control the drugs and chemicals used to manufacture it, Yamamoto said. The drug is most commonly smoked or injected, causing a euphoric feeling when the brain releases the chemical dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure.

The drug also became more widely known with the popularity of the AMC “Breaking Bad” television program that recently celebrated its series finale to much fanfare. In the show, chemistry teacher Walter White is diagnosed with lung cancer and turns to manufacturing meth to earn extra money to leave to his family.

“Meth abuse continues to grow worldwide and ‘Breaking Bad,’ I think, has opened a lot of people’s eyes to what is going on by depicting its damaging effects,” Yamamoto said. “I would hope the show does not glamorize methamphetamine and therefore would not increase the popularity of the drug.”

Yamamoto has been studying the impact of drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy on the brain for more than 20 years. He continues active research on how meth use affects the liver in a way that contributes to brain damage. Read more at http://utole.do/meth.

Nurse receives 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award

Bush

Bush

Katie Bush, a staff nurse in the Emergency Department at UT Medical Center, received one of the 2013 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Awards last month.

The 18th annual event showcased young, dynamic leaders in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan younger than 40 who have distinguished themselves in their careers and/or in the community.

An independent panel of judges selected 20 candidates for recognition from a field of 109 candidates.

Bush was nominated by Sara Bassler, physician assistant in the Emergency Department at UT Medical Center and the Orthopedic Outpatient Clinic.

Bassler noted Bush’s many roles in health care. These include forensic program coordinator at UTMC and being a nurse for the Ohio Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

In addition, Bush is a member of the UT Sexual Assault Education Prevention Program Committee and Toledo Hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Team.

She also has served as an Ohio delegate for the Emergency Nurse Association at the general assembly the past two years and was chosen to go to Washington, D.C., to lobby on Capitol Hill regarding emergency nurse issues.

Bush is an active member of the Emergency Nurse Association and is president-elect for the local Seagate chapter. She also volunteers as a preceptor to guide nursing students in the Emergency Department.

“I was very excited to be chosen for such a wonderful award. I really believe in what I do and strive to make a difference for myself, my co-workers and my patients,” Bush said.

The Holland, Ohio, resident is a UT graduate with an associate degree in correctional technology in 1999, bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in 2001, master of arts degree in criminal justice in 2004 and associate degree in applied science in nursing in 2008. She is enrolled in the UT Master of Nursing Program.

Before joining UT Medical Center as a nurse in 2009, Bush was an assistant professor in the UT Department of Criminal Justice, domestic violence court advocate for the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, and a dispatcher with the UT Police Department.

“UT has been such a huge part of my life, and the people that I have met along the way continue inspiring me to try and make a difference,” Bush said.

Works by ceramic artist included in exhibit at downtown gallery

The ceramics of Karen Roderick-Lingeman, UT senior lecturer in art, are part of an exhibition titled “Undefined” at the Secor Gallery in Toledo.

“Sulphur” by Karen Roderick-Lingeman

“Sulphur” by Karen Roderick-Lingeman

Paintings and drawings by Skot Horn also are featured in the exhibit, which is on display through Saturday, Nov. 9.

“As a child, my family traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada,” Roderick-Lingeman recalled. “Memories of those experiences and my continued national and international travels have greatly influenced my artwork.

“Recollections of a specific location or moment in time are not only recollections of the environment or atmospheric condition, but are also related to the reason for being at that specific location at that specific time with that specific person. The impressions and stories that inspire my artwork are as much a part of the artwork as the physical piece itself.”

The gallery is located on the first floor of the Secor Building, 425 Jefferson Ave. in Toledo.

The free, public exhibition can be seen Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.

For more information, contact Roderick-Lingeman at karen.roderick-lingeman@utoledo.edu.

RSVP for fall hospital volunteer meeting

The Northwest District Hospital Volunteer Services Organization of the Ohio Hospital Association will hold its fall meeting Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the Faculty Club at The Hotel at UT Medical Center.

Volunteers from 17 hospitals in 20 counties are expected to attend the event.

Registration and continental breakfast will be at 9 a.m.

Dick Eppstein, executive director of the Greater Toledo Better Business Bureau, will give a talk titled “Schemes, Scams and Rip-Offs” at 10:30 a.m.

Lunch will feature a pasta bar, salad and dessert.

The afternoon will include time for networking.

Cost of the program is $18 per person.

RSVPs are requested by Thursday, Oct. 31. Checks should be made payable to UTMC Auxiliary.

For more information, call Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, at 419.944.9615.

Submissions sought for International Education Week Photo Contest

The UT community is invited to celebrate International Education Week by entering a photo contest.

Photos taken overseas or domestic photos of international events will be accepted.

There will be a category for students and a category for faculty and staff.

Photos must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4.

“We believe the international photo contest is a great way to engage the UT community in International Education Week and highlight our students’ and colleagues’ international experiences,” said Michelle Ploeger, international education specialist and coordinator of International Education Week.

Submitted photos will be displayed in the Student Union Trimble Lounge from Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Friday, Nov. 15.

“Campus community members are encouraged to submit a vote for their favorite student and/or faculty or staff photo,” Ploeger said. “Ballots can be submitted in the Student Union Administration Office Room 2525.”

Winners from each category will receive movie tickets and dinner for two.

“The winning photos will be displayed in the Center for International Studies and Programs,” Ploeger added.

For more information and details on how to submit photos, visit utoledo.edu/cisp/iew.

For more information, call the Center for International Studies and Programs at 419.530.5268.