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Archive for September, 2014

Men’s basketball team to hold walk-on meeting Oct. 2

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tod Kowalczyk will hold a meeting Thursday, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m. in the Savage Arena Grogan Room for any full-time student interested in joining the Rocket basketball program as a walk-on.

All potential student-athletes must attend the meeting in order to participate in the tryout.

Students must bring a copy of their fall 2014 class schedule to this meeting where further information regarding the tryout will be discussed.

Events slated at UT for LGBTQA History Month

The University of Toledo will celebrate LGBTQA History Month with several events this October.

The Office of Excellence and Multicultural Student Success, LGBTQA Initiatives and Spectrum UT are dedicated to serving the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied students.

“I believe LGBTQA History Month is important to recognize because it signifies to the entire community that LGBTQA individuals are as valid and worthy of celebration as anyone else,” LaVelle Ridley, president of Spectrum UT, said. “The fact that we are able to put on events in celebration of our heritage demonstrates The University of Toledo’s commitment to fostering diversity, especially among students.”

LGBTQA month 2014Listed by date, events scheduled to increase awareness for LGBTQA History Month include:

Wednesday, Oct. 1

• “Taking Pride in Our History” by Tyler Quinn Parkins, UT student, 12:30 p.m., Student Union Room 2500.

• Marriage Equality Reception, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Student Union Room 2500.

Thursday, Oct. 2

• Spectrum Hate Crimes Candlelight Vigil, 8 to 10 p.m., Student Union Steps.

Wednesday, Oct. 8

• National Coming Out Day Celebration, noon to 2 p.m., Student Union Room 2500. Stop by and receive a “Gay? Fine by me” T-shirt and show your support.

Thursday, Oct. 9

• Spectrum Meeting on Transgender Community and Identity, 8 to 10 p.m., Student Union Room 2582.

Friday, Oct. 10

• Safe Place — LGBTQA Ally Training, 1 to 4:30 p.m., Rocket Hall Room 1530.

Tuesday, Oct. 14

• OUTLaw Film Screening, “Bridegroom,” 8 to 10 p.m., Law Center Room 1006.

Thursday, Oct. 16

• LGBTQA Short Stories with the Honors Book Club, 4 to 5 p.m., International House Multipurpose Room.

• Spectrum Drag/Talent Show, 8 to 10 p.m., Rocky’s Attic in the Student Union.

Monday, Oct. 20

• Honors Film Screening, “Beginners,” 8 to 10 p.m., MacKinnon Hall Room 1370.

Tuesday, Oct. 21

• All Love Photo Shoot, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Student Union Room 2500. Free professional shoot that will provide prints to all participants.

Thursday, Oct. 23

• Spectrum UT Film Screening, “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” 8 to 10 p.m., Student Recreation Center Oak Room.

Tuesday, Oct. 28

• “Queering Blackness: Representations of Black LGBTQ Figures” by LaVelle Ridley, student in the Jesup Scott Honors College and president of Spectrum UT, 5 to 6 p.m., Student Union Room 2591.

Thursday, Oct. 30

• Kenote address by writers Carl Phillips and Mark Doty, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Student Union Room 2592. Phillips is a professor of English and African and Afro-American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and his books include The Art of Daring: Risk, Relentlessness, Imagination (2014), Silverchest (2013), and Quiver and Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006 (2007). Doty won the 2008 National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, and his Dog Years was a New York Times bestseller in 2007.

Friday, Oct. 31

• Spectrum UT Halloween Ball, 8 to 10 p.m., Student Union Room 2582.

For more information on these events, call the UT Office of Excellence and Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.

Yoga and poetry set to merge for an English class spring semester

The relationship between poetic rhythm and the rhythm of the body; the relationship between meter and heartbeat; the relationship between breathing and the idea of learning to breathe language; these are just some of the parallels that UT Associate Professor of English Melissa Gregory finds between yoga and poetry.

For the second time, Gregory will teach a unique version of Reading Poetry (ENGL 2730) that combines the two topics this spring.

Students who took Melissa Gregory’s special section of Reading Poetry last spring smiled for the camera during a class.

Students who took Melissa Gregory’s special section of Reading Poetry last spring smiled for the camera during a class.

“For me, the main connection between the yoga part and the poetry part are that they both teach you to be more introspective,” she said. “They help you to look inside yourself and think about what’s happening there. They help to cultivate an internal self that is something I think in our current culture is in jeopardy.”

Gregory, who is also a yoga instructor, started the class in spring 2013. She came up with the idea in part because of all the literature that focuses on the human body. Many of the poems studied in class focus on the connection between mind and body, which fits the theme of the course, she said.

The second reason she decided to create the class was because of her own experiences discovering the importance of forging a healthy relationship between her body and mind, which is something she said she didn’t realize was important until she was older.

Students are constantly busy making it difficult for them to settle in and concentrate, Gregory said; that’s why she finds the workout at the beginning of class helpful to de-stress and let them focus on poetry.

“Because the yoga part is truly collaborative and we’re all doing this physical activity and it’s noncompetitive, everybody is just kind of experimenting with what they can do, it fosters a kind of intimacy that I think doesn’t occur in a more conventional classroom,” she said.

Gregory said she finds this integrated style of teaching so helpful that she now applies it to her other classes as well.

“Sometimes I make my 4000-level Victorian Lit class get up and stretch,” she said then smiled.

The class will meet from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays in the Student Recreation Center Aerobics Room next spring. Each session will begin with a 50-minute workout and will transition into the study of poetry.

This three-credit-hour course fulfills the UT humanities requirement or the language, literature and social sciences English literature requirement.

For more information, contact Gregory at melissa.gregory@utoledo.edu or visit tinyurl.com/yogapoetry.

Benefits open enrollment for 2015 to begin Oct. 1

Open enrollment for 2015 health benefits will take place this month through Friday, Nov. 14, as employees and their families reassess their health-care needs for the coming year. New benefit selections will be effective Jan. 1.

“The most important advice we can provide to an employee is to be an active participant in the open enrollment process,” Jovita Thomas-Williams, associate vice president for human resources and talent development, said. “Health-care needs can vary from year to year, and when you combine that with the changing health-care landscape, it’s critical for employees to educate themselves on their available coverage options and re-evaluate their choices.”

Similar to last year, open enrollment will be conducted online. Any required documentation such as spousal/domestic partner health-care eligibility affidavits, birth certificates and marriage certificates must be turned in to the HR Office.

Employees must complete the online open enrollment if they:

• Change benefits;

• Add, delete or change dependents;

• Have a spouse/domestic partner enrolled in Paramount ES or Frontpath;

• Have children older than the age of 19;

• Enroll in a medical care flexible spending account, a dependent care flexible spending account or a health savings account (if eligible).

As with last year, users will go to an open enrollment link on the myUT portal located on the University’s internal website. A series of prompts will lead each employee through the process. Employees must have their user names and passwords activated before they can enter the portal.

Details regarding each health-care plan will be on HR’s website beginning Wednesday, Oct. 1; this will include a short PowerPoint presentation on the benefit offerings. Computers will be available for employee access Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Human Resources and Talent Development Office in Academic Services Center Room 1000 on Scott Park Campus and also in the Facilities Support Building on Health Science Campus.

Benefit representatives also will be around at various times across all shifts and all campuses. A list of the dates and locations will be available on the website.

Employees with questions about the online enrollment are advised to email benefits@utoledo.edu. Individuals with more complex questions or who require personal one-on-one assistance to enroll can schedule an appointment with a benefit representative for assistance through this email address: benefits@utoledo.edu.

Although open enrollment ends at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14; employees are encouraged not to wait until the last minute.

Join interim president for walk Oct. 1

If you haven’t yet met Dr. Nagi Naganathan, interim president of The University of Toledo, you’ll have your opportunity soon.

Naganathan — who prefers that students call him Dr. Nagi — launched a new initiative this semester called Walk with the President. His goal is to make himself accessible to students so that they feel comfortable speaking with him.

“Many students are uncomfortable approaching administrators; I want to change that with this initiative,” Naganathan said. “Getting to know the students on a more personal level makes it easier for me and our leadership team to improve our students’ experiences at UT.”

So far, the interim president has sat at a lunch table and conversed with the students in the Student Union, visited the Student Activities Fair and student organization meetings, attended and spoke at a Student Government meeting, and participated in the car bash on Centennial Mall.

“The goal right now is two-fold,” said Clayton Notestine, president of Student Government. “Give students a chance to interact with the president to provide feedback and, more importantly, give President Nagi a chance to hear from students directly.”

Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in front of Mulford Library on Health Science Campus, Naganathan will hold his next Walk with the President. All students are welcome to attend this walk and pick up a healthy snack to go afterward.

“It’s important to me that I make myself available to all students, no matter which campus they frequent,” Naganathan said. “I feel all of our students deserve to have their voices heard, and I want to go and meet them at campus locations their class and study schedules require them to be at.”

Students who cannot make the Oct. 1 Walk with the President need not worry; Naganathan plans to continue this initiative throughout the year with new locations and times so that he can reach as many students as possible.

“The walks are incredibly valuable for me, personally, because a lot of UT’s issues or areas of improvement require natural conversation,” Notestine said. “Eating lunch with him, talking about why I like Centennial Mall, and speaking for myself as myself — it has been more rewarding and effective than any formal complaint or letter I’ve made.”

Professor to give Eastern thought talk Oct. 1

There are several parallels that can be found in Medieval Japanese art and contemporary American society; that concept will be explored in The University of Toledo Center for Religious Understanding’s annual lecture in Eastern thought this week.

eastern thought posterUniversity of Michigan Art History Professor and Associate Chair Kevin Carr will speak Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Center for Performing Arts Room 1039.

The free, public talk titled “The Limits of Compassion: Insights From Medieval Japanese Buddhism for Contemporary America” will be followed by a reception.

“One of the things I’ve been looking at in Medieval Japan are how people formed conceptual maps of the world and how they used art to shape what the world looks like,” Carr said.

He explained that the conceptual maps he is referring to are the images in our minds of the relationships and ideas on which we place high importance.

“Let’s say you’re new to The University of Toledo and you’re really into the sciences,” he explained. “To you, the science buildings will be larger than the art museum, for example.”

Carr said he will transition from the topic of Buddhist conceptual maps to a comparison of compassion in modern American society and what it means to us today.

“Ultimately, I want to connect something very esoteric, like 13th and 14th century Japanese ideas, with something much closer to home,” he said.

When asked what he’d like the audience to take away from his presentation, Carr said: “I’d like them to think about the shape of their world in their minds; to try and reflect on what their worlds look like, and how those images affect their actions, who matters and why, and how those maps in their head were created. I’m hoping they go away with a little more cognizance that they’ve created circles of compassion and those aren’t necessarily inevitable.”

Free visitor parking will be available in areas 12, 12S and 12W.

For more information, click here.

Journalist known for covering Middle East to speak Sept. 30

Dr. Lawrence Pintak, former CBS News Middle East correspondent, will give a talk Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Law Center Law McQuade Auditorium.

Pintak

Pintak

He will deliver a lecture titled “Covering Islam on Main Street: How a Foreign Crisis Has Become a Domestic News Story.”

Pintak is a professor and founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

He has been called the foremost chronicler of the interaction between Arab and Western media. His books and articles focus on America’s relationship with the Muslim world, the role of the media in shaping global perceptions and government policy, and the future of journalism in a digital world.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and The Seattle Times, and on ForeignPolicy.com and CNN.com.

Pintak has written several books, including The New Arab Journalist (2011), Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & the War of Ideas (2006), and Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad (2003).

The free, public presentation is hosted by the UT College of Law, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and co-sponsored by the UT Center for International Studies Program and the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio.

UT Wind Ensemble to perform Sept. 28

The University Wind Ensemble will hold its opening concert Sunday, Sept. 28, at 3 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

The concert program will include two works from Gustav Holst plus Paul Hindemith’s “Geschwindmarsch” from Symphony Serena.

George Frideric Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks” will be performed for the finale.

Admission is free; however, suggested donations are $5 and $3 for students and seniors 60 and older.

For more information, visit the UT Music Department’s website.

Trombonist Ben Wolke and the UT Wind Ensemble will take the stage of Doermann Theater Sunday, Sept. 28.

Trombonist Ben Wolke and the UT Wind Ensemble will perform Sunday, Sept. 28.

UT receives national diversity award

The University of Toledo has received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of the annual award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — UT will be featured along with 82 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s November issue.

This is the second year UT has been named as a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award recipient.

“INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected UT based on our institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on our campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, chief diversity officer and associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement.

“Specifically, our Campus Climate Survey, administered every other year since 2010 to students, faculty and staff, has directly resulted in more than 30 initiatives to address needs on campus, such as a safety campaign, support for the anti-bullying campaign, and diversity programming — and has received attention on a national scale from other universities that want to use our data and our survey,” Gore said.

In addition, the Campus Climate Survey responses led to the installation of diversity training with the Culture Building Institute’s Diversity Certificate, which is entering its fourth cohort semester and has graduated 49 UT employees. Diversity training for credit also is available for the first time to graduate-level students starting this fall. Both programs equip participants with specialized understanding of varying cultures and how to promote a culture of diversity on campus and off.

“We hope the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Ottawa River Photography Contest winners announced

Three UT students won gift cards for their striking shots submitted to the Ottawa River Photography Contest.

Alyssa Kihara placed first with “Blue Bridge.”

“Seining at the Bridge” by Aaron Svoboda was second, and “Magic Moment” by Francis Bradford took third place.

There were nearly 40 entries in this year’s contest.

The event was part of the Celebrate Our River Week and was sponsored by the President’s Commission on the River.

“Blue Bridge” by Alyssa Kihara

“Blue Bridge” by Alyssa Kihara

“Seining at the Bridge” by Aaron Svoboda

“Seining at the Bridge” by Aaron Svoboda

“ Magic Moment” by Francis Bradford

“Magic Moment” by Francis Bradford