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Archive for June, 2015

Internationally recognized fellowship awarded to professor

With an already extensive docket of achievements, Dr. Ishmael Parsai can now add Fellow of the International Organization for Medical Physics to the list.

Parsai

Parsai

Unlike other fellowships that select recipients via nominations, International Organization for Medical Physics Fellows are picked by an honoree committee comprised of medical physicist professionals from around the world. The fellowship is awarded to recognize outstanding medical physicists who have made significant contributions to the field and to the International Organization for Medical Physics and its regional organizations on a global scale in development of medical physics over a significant period of time.

This year only six individuals received the honor, and only two were from the United States.

“This award is a tremendous honor, especially because it’s at the international level,” said Parsai, UT professor of radiation oncology, chief of the Medical Physics Division and director of the Graduate Medical Physics Program. “The international community is very different from the national one in that representatives from different countries have their own way of measuring achievements and there’s not one right way. So when a committee comes to the agreement that it’ll pick a dozen people throughout the world and they select one guy from UT, that’s indeed a great honor.”

When asked what he considered some of his greatest achievements in medical physics, he answered, “The students we produce are the legacy. I have been so fortunate to have worked with students whom I have learned so much from, and I’ve taught them a little bit, too. Many have become great leaders in our field and community, and I am proud to have been a part of their professional lives.”

Parsai has published numerous benchmarked manuscripts, including patented ideas in the field of medical physics and radiation oncology, which he considers to be accomplishments that distinguish his career.

One that he considers highly important involved the modification of radiation delivery systems to cancer patients that achieve higher doses of radiation in a much shorter time without needlessly damaging surrounding tissue. This technology, developed eight years ago at The University of Toledo Medical Center, has become an integral part of every modern linear accelerator manufactured and marketed worldwide. It is critically significant in advanced treatment modalities, such as stereotactic body radiotherapy — a specially designed coordinate system used for the exact localization of tumors, he said.

In addition to his clinical work, research and teaching, Parsai served as the editor-in-chief for the International Organization for Medical Physics bulletin, Medical Physics World — a publication distributed to more than 21,000 practicing medical physicists in 92 countries — for 10 years.

“His work has helped bringing together medical physicists from all over the world and had a huge impact in promoting global development of medical physics,” said Dr. Kin-Yin Cheung, president of the International Organization for Medical Physics.

Parsai is also a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the first scientist to receive the Fellowship of the American College of Radiation Oncology in the United States.

He received his award earlier this month at the International Organization for Medical Physics presidential reception during the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Toronto.

Stoepler Professor of Law and Values named

Dean Daniel J. Steinbock has named Professor Lee J. Strang the next John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values, effective July 1.

Strang

Strang

Strang follows Professor Susan Martyn, who became the John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values Emeritus following her retirement last month.

“Professor Strang’s outstanding national scholarly reputation and concern for values in his work put him squarely within the aims of this professorship,” Steinbock said. “He joins three other distinguished scholars on the College of Law faculty, Professors Geoffrey Rapp, Joseph Slater and Rebecca Zietlow, in holding one of our named professorships.”

Strang is the author of more than 20 law review publications, a constitutional law casebook, as well as several book chapters and book reviews. He has published in the fields of constitutional law and interpretation, property law, and religion and the First Amendment.

Among other scholarly projects, he is editing the second edition of his casebook for LexisNexis, writing a book titled Originalism’s Promise and Its Limits, and authoring a book on the history of Catholic legal education in the United States.

He frequently presents at scholarly conferences and participates in debates at law schools across the country. He also is regularly quoted in the media. Strang was named the college’s director of faculty research in 2014. This fall, he will be a visiting scholar at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, where he will complete his book on originalism.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was articles editor of the Iowa Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif, Strang also holds a master of law degree from Harvard Law School.

Before joining the UT College of Law faculty, Strang was a visiting professor at Michigan State University College of Law and an associate professor at Ave Maria School of Law.

Prior to teaching, Strang served as a judicial clerk for Chief Judge Alice Batchelder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and was an associate with Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, where he practiced general and appellate litigation.

The professorship is named after Stoepler, the seventh dean of the College of Law. He was an alumnus and longtime faculty member before being named dean of the college in 1983. Stoepler served as interim president of the University in 1988.

The Stoepler Professorship of Law and Values is funded out of a bequest by Eugene N. Balk, a former general counsel of The Andersons Inc.

UT launches sports production program: ESPN3 to carry live Rocket events produced by University

The University of Toledo today announced the launch of a production operation — part of the Mid-American Conference’s 13-year agreement with ESPN — that will provide significant exposure and learning opportunities for UT students. The initiative will feature a minimum of 35 Rocket athletic events that will be carried live on ESPN3.

thumb-rocket-color-logoUT’s broadcast productions will supplement the numerous football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games already being produced and carried on ESPN and other national and regional networks.

The University will produce home games in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, baseball and other sports. The multi-camera high-definition game productions will feature full ESPN-branded graphics, replay and two-person commentator crews. A mobile production unit is being equipped that will house state-of-the-art video and audio equipment.

“We are very excited about this great opportunity to bring so many Rocket athletic events to a national audience on ESPN3,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Not only is this an opportunity to create more exposure for our athletic teams, it will also be a great recruiting tool for our athletic programs and for our University in general. Rocket alumni, fans and parents of our student-athletes will have the opportunity to watch live action of UT sports events from almost anywhere in the country. Students in our Department of Communication will have an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience producing our games, which could lead to exciting new careers in their chosen fields. We are truly entering a new age in the branding and marketing of our athletic program and our University as a whole.”

The productions will be operated primarily by UT students who are taking courses in television production in the Department of Communication. Staff positions have been added in the Department of Communication to assist with the productions and manage the student staff.

“The opportunity for UT communication students to work on programming that will appear nationally on ESPN3 offers them real-world experience, which is critical to building a sustainable career,” said Debra Davis, dean of the College of Communication and the Arts. “They will also learn the demands and rewards of their field. When learning through doing, learning experientially, the students build an understanding of how to respond to crises or unexpected news, and the follow-up action needed to complete the task.

“Students participating in our broadcasts will be prepared for the marketplace after graduation. Producing these sports programs, along with the opportunity to participate in our award-winning UT:10 News, will provide valuable on-the-job experience and will expand their professional networks. I am very excited that College of Communication and the Arts students are being offered this great chance to learn through professional practice.”

In addition to live event production, Toledo students will produce pregame, halftime and postgame content, as well as feature pieces, in-game and postgame highlight packages, interviews, and coaches shows. These events will be available to more than 99 million households and by an additional 21 million U.S.-based college students and military personnel.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

The network is available to more than 99 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network also is available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

Former UT golfer receives sponsor’s exemption for Symetra Tour’s Tullymore Classic

Former Rocket Jennifer Elsholz has received a sponsor’s exemption for the Tullymore Classic, a Symetra Tour event featuring the future stars of the LPGA Tour.

Elsholz

Elsholz

The 54-hole stroke play tournament will tee off Friday, July 3, and conclude Sunday, July 5, in Stanwood, Mich., which is 30 miles west of Mount Pleasant and one hour north of Grand Rapids.

Elsholz, who graduated in May with a degree in psychology, won the 2014 Michigan Women’s Amateur and the Golf Association of Michigan Championship to earn the Golf Association of Michigan’s Player of the Year honors.

The other exemption was given to 17-year-old Brooke Henderson of Smith Falls, Ontario. Henderson, the former top-ranked amateur in the world, tied for fifth place at the Women’s PGA Championship earlier this month.

“We talked to golf people and experts across the state from the Golf Association of Michigan and the PGA about the best amateurs in the state, and Jennifer’s name came up repeatedly,” Scot Cucksey, PGA golf professional at Tullymore Golf Club said. “It was impressive that last summer she was the fifth golfer ever to win both the Michigan Women’s Amateur and the [Golf Association of Michigan] Championship in the same year. She also performed well at The University of Toledo and is planning to go to [LPGA Tour Qualifying] Q school in the fall. She seemed like a perfect fit for our sponsor’s exemption.”

A field of 144 golfers is competing in the $100,000-purse Tullymore event. The winner will earn $15,000 and have an opportunity to move into the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the card money list. The top 10 on the year-end Symetra Tour money list earns LPGA Tour membership for the 2016 season.

“It’s definitely exciting to be able to get an exemption and go out and play on the tour that, depending on what happens, I could possibly play on next year,” Elsholz said. “Playing this summer as an amateur gives me a chance to qualify for the U.S. Amateur and a few other big events, and playing in the Tullymore Classic will be a great experience. It’s certainly exciting and a step in the right direction for me.”

Elsholz ranked third for the Rockets with a 77.6 stroke average this past spring. She posted a season-best fourth-place finish at Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational to earn Mid-American Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week accolades. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native notched two more top 10 showings during the year — tied for 10th place at both the Rocket Classic and Florida Gulf Coast University Eagle Invitational — and helped UT win a pair of tournament titles.

“Jen’s goal is be a professional golfer,” UT Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. “That’s her dream, and I’m excited she is pursuing that. This is a great opportunity for her. She was the best amateur in the state of Michigan a year ago, and it’s great they are honoring her for that by giving her a sponsor’s exemption.”

Visit tullymoreclassic.com for more tournament information.

UT to host engineering workshops for high school students in July

Incoming high school seniors and juniors are invited to attend engineering workshops this July at The University of Toledo’s College of Engineering.

“These workshops take interest in math and science a step further and put them in an application setting to show students what they can do with those interests,” said Kevin Brooks, recruitment officer in the College of Engineering.

Dates and topics of the faculty-run workshops are:

• Wednesday, July 8 — bioengineering;

• Wednesday, July 15 — computer science and engineering; and

• Friday, July 24 — electrical engineering.

Each workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will feature an introduction session, labs, lunch and a question-and-answer session. Parents are welcome to attend the introduction and closing sessions.

“It’s a way for the students to see if they want to get into engineering and further their education in it; it’s a real hands-on look,” Brooks said. “Engineers aren’t simply sitting down and solving equations all day; they are applying math to real-world problems and finding solutions.”

Additionally, a continental breakfast featuring coffee, bagels, orange juice, muffins and fruit will be provided.

Registration is $35 for the bioengineering workshop and $25 apiece for the computer science and electrical engineering workshops.

To register, visit eng.utoledo.edu. Space is limited.

For more information about the bioengineering workshop, contact Dr. Aurnan Nadarajah, professor, chair and graduate program director for the UT Department of Bioengineering, at arunan.nadarajah@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8031.

For more information about the computer science or electrical engineering workshops, contact Dr. Richard Molyet, professor and undergraduate program director for the UT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, at richard.molyet@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8143.

Non-union staff to receive 2 percent raise

Members of the Professional Staff Association will receive a 2 percent wage increase and an additional $500 to their base pay effective July 1, University officials announced today. The $500 amount will be prorated for part-time PSA employees.

Employees eligible for the increase are full-time and part-time non-union employees who were hired before Jan 1, 2015, and who have not received salary actions resulting in an increase after that date. The dates that the increases will appear in paychecks are still being determined, but they will be retroactive to July 1 in any event.

The about 1,200 staff members in the Professional Staff Association include the classified exempt, classified salaried, and unclassified administrative and professional employees who do not belong to a bargaining unit and do not have faculty rank.

“We are deeply appreciative of the many contributions and services provided by all of our academic, hospital and professional staff employees, and we recognize the important role each employee plays in supporting and advancing the University’s mission and goals,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, interim president. “Thank you so much for all you do for our university.”

Compensation for UT employees who are members of unions is determined by their collective bargaining units. The American Association of University Professors approved a new contract in May, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8 and AFSCME Local 2415 and Communication Workers of America Local 4319 are operating under contracts approved in July 2014. The UT Police Patrolman’s Association approved its current contract in 2013.

Multicultural scholars program to kick off June 29

A collaborative program geared toward student success in their first year of college will be introduced on campus this June.

Thirty students have been accepted into the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program that will start Monday, June 29. The program is designed to aid the transition from high school to college and promote academic excellence in college-level courses for first-year students.

The entering freshmen, who have been admitted into The University of Toledo’s colleges of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences or Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will receive an $8,000 scholarship to cover tuition, books, housing and meals for the six weeks of summer class, and enrollment for the Emerging Scholars Living Learning Community during the academic year.

“We’ve conducted a qualitative study where students have told us, ‘I thought I was prepared in high school, but I got here and realized I wasn’t,’” said Dr. Willie McKether, associate dean of social sciences and associate professor of anthropology. “We also learned from the study that some students, male students in particular, often times have trouble asking for help. We need to help students understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness in a college environment.”

With the goal of promoting academic excellence and college readiness, the program will allow students to form a community of support to help them during their academic journey — starting with their own peers in a living learning community, a group of students who share similar academic goals and attitudes. There have been many studies reflecting the benefits of living learning communities, said Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean of humanities and associate professor of English.

McKether, who helped run one of the prior Multicultural Living Learning Communities on campus, said while students living in a focused community certainly helps them achieve academically, the system still has room to improve. Many of the first-year students spend much of their first semester getting acclimated to college, which McKether said is difficult when so many things are happening around them. It’s for this reason the program has the summer bridge component.

“The idea of linking this to a summer bridge program is so that they come back in the fall and now they’re ready to hit the ground running,” he said.

“It’s like if you enter a foot race and you decide to walk until you get warmed up; you start running at mile five and you’ve already lost,” Schneider added.

Each student will be enrolled in a series of classes during the six-week summer program: Composition I, Cultural Anthropology, Learning to Serve and Math Camp. These courses fulfill requirements that all UT students have, but also provide a variety that each student can benefit from.

In addition to becoming better students, the program pushes the freshmen to become socially cognizant leaders in their community. Through the Learning to Serve class and Learning to Lead course they will take in the fall, students will be required to complete a service project with an organization in the Toledo community.

“What we hope is that in addition to strengthening students and their competitiveness, we will also create future mentors who will see a social responsibility to reach back and encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM areas,” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, assistant dean in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and professor of biology.

Students also will take a variety of trips during the summer session to help enhance their understanding and appreciation of their own culture and the Toledo community. These will include visits to the Holocaust Memorial Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Lake Erie Center and Toledo City Council.

According to UT Director of Undergraduate Admission William Pierce, the first- to second-year retention rate at the University has steadily been improving the past few years and with programs like this, coupled with the continued recruitment of more well-prepared students, those numbers will hopefully continue moving in a positive direction.

“You’re never really content with retention. UT is continually working to not only attract more students that are prepared for college, but is also investing resources designed to ensure students are successful at UT from their first day on campus through graduation.
The success coach initiative and now the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program are great examples of this,” Pierce said.

“Are we happy with the progress we’ve made the past couple years? Absolutely. But until you are retaining 100 percent of the students that enroll, there is always work to be done,” Pierce said.

For more information on the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program, contact McKether at Willie.Mckether@utoledo.edu.

Golf programs to call Inverness Club home until 2020

An agreement has been reached for the historic Inverness Club to serve as the home course for The University of Toledo men’s and women’s golf programs for the next five years.

The Inverness Club will be the home course for the UT men’s and women’s golf programs for the next five years.

The Inverness Club will be the home course for the UT men’s and women’s golf programs for the next five years.

Inverness, which became the home course for the Rockets last fall, has hosted the 1986 and 1993 PGA Championships; the 1920, 1931, 1957 and 1979 U.S. Opens; the 1973 U.S. Amateur; the 2003 and 2009 U.S. Senior Opens; and the 1944 and 2009 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. The storied course also will host the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have the Inverness Club serve as the home course for both our programs,” UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from the chance to hone their games on this challenging course as well as at their short-game facility.”

Toledo Coaches Jamie Broce and Nicole Hollingsworth, for the men’s and women’s programs, respectively, echoed their appreciation of the opportunity to call Inverness home until 2020.

“This year marks a new beginning for our programs, and I’m excited to see what the future holds,” Broce said. “The golf course personnel, clubhouse staff, members and board are first-class and have always treated us with grace, and I want to thank them for making our goal of Inverness becoming our home a reality. Our players have already benefited greatly from practicing and playing at Inverness, and I believe it will boost our recruiting efforts as well.”

“We’re very appreciative of the five-year commitment the Inverness Club has made to our programs, and this will help take us to the next level,” Hollingsworth said. “I’ve already noticed a big improvement in our play, especially in the short game, since last fall. Having a chance to practice and play at a course with so much history can only help us get better, and we’re very thankful to be able to call Inverness our home.”

The Inverness Club was founded in 1903 and derives its name from the small village of Inverness in Scotland. The course was designed by Donald Ross and updated by Arthur Hills in 1997. Inverness is one of America’s great golf courses and is home to a very rich golf history. In 2010, Golf Digest ranked the Inverness Club the 40th-best course in the United States.

Moot court team awarded honors at China intellectual property competition

The University of Toledo College of Law’s moot court team recently earned high honors last month in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing.

The UT College of Law moot court team, from left, Jason Csehi, Joseph Stanford, Kolet Buenavides and Jonathan Kohfeldt, placed fourth in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing last month.

The UT College of Law moot court team, from left, Jason Csehi, Joseph Stanford, Kolet Buenavides and Jonathan Kohfeldt, placed fourth in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing last month.

The team of Kolet Buenavides, Jason Csehi, Jonathan Kohfeldt and Joseph Stanford performed exceptionally well in oral argument, placing fourth out of 14 teams.

Csehi won the competition’s best oralist award, and Buenavides received an award as outstanding oralist.

The team ranked fifth in the competition overall.

Llewellyn Gibbons, professor of law and intellectual property expert, served as faculty adviser to the team and also traveled with the students to Beijing.

“In addition to their very hard work preparing for the legal argument part of the competition, I was very impressed with the level of cultural sensitivity and professionalism of the UT team,” Gibbons said. “Several team members took the additional step of taking a conversational Chinese class so that they could pronounce Chinese language terms correctly and contacted the Confucius Institute at The University of Toledo for a briefing in Chinese business and banquet etiquette.

“Our students showed the initiative and the attention to detail necessary to compete in a global legal marketplace.”

The University of Toledo’s Center for International Studies and Programs was especially helpful in making the trip possible with its generous funding as well as support navigating the necessary visa requirements for travel to China, Gibbons noted.

The Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida competition is one of only two English language international moot court competitions involving intellectual property law. This year’s competition hosted 14 teams from China, Australia, Taiwan and the United States.

The competition problem was based on an actual case involving Chinese copyright law. Students submitted briefs and argued the issues in front of a distinguished panel of judges that included a former member of China’s Supreme People’s Court, a retired justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice’s resident legal adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, intellectual property judges from Taiwan and China, senior partners in two of China’s largest intellectual property firms, and law professors from China and Australia.

In this context, Gibbons said the competition provided a unique opportunity to explore intellectual property issues with a dynamic and diverse group of students and experts from around the world in a way that is not possible in the traditional classroom setting.

Rockets, BYU agree to home-and-home football series

The University of Toledo and Brigham Young University have agreed to play a home-and-home series in football beginning next season, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced yesterday.

Rocket football logoThe Rockets will play at BYU Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, while the Cougars will make the return trip to Toledo Sept. 28, 2019.

“We are very pleased to add the series with BYU to our football schedule,” O’Brien said. “BYU has an excellent football tradition and will be a very attractive opponent on our 2019 home schedule. We also look forward to making the trip to Provo, Utah, next season.”

BYU is an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent. Last season, the Cougars were 8-5 and played Memphis in the Miami Beach Bowl. BYU has a storied football history, including a national championship title in 1984.

In order to accommodate the BYU series, Toledo’s contest originally scheduled at Tulsa in 2016 was moved to 2020 by mutual agreement of the two schools. Tulsa will play at Toledo in 2017. Also, the Fresno State game in Toledo in 2016 originally scheduled for Oct. 1 has been moved to Sept. 17, while the return game in Fresno in 2018 has been moved from Sept. 15 to Sept. 29.

The Rockets also announced the addition of two other home games. Maine will come to the Glass Bowl Sept. 10, 2016, while Elon will be the season-opening opponent Aug. 31, 2017.