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Archive for August, 2015

Anticipation builds: Rockets ready to start season

Expectations and excitement are high for The University of Toledo football team.

At media day this summer, the Rockets were picked to win the Mid-American Conference’s West Division and the 2015 Marathon MAC Championship Game.

2015 football schedThe team and star running back Kareem Hunt were featured in the recent College Football Preview edition of Sports Illustrated.

 Picked to win the MAC, the Rockets are named one of the five “teams that could get the Group of Five’s ‘New Year’s Six’ bowl bid.”

And at least four games will be carried on national television. The Rockets’ home game vs. Iowa State of the Big 12 Saturday, Sept. 19, will be broadcast on ESPNews at 8 p.m., while the home contest vs. Northern Illinois Tuesday, Nov. 3, will be on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. Road games at Central Michigan Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. and Bowling Green Tuesday, Nov. 17, time to be announced will be on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.

“There are great challenges ahead of us,” Toledo Head Football Coach Matt Campbell said. “We have a lot of good football players coming back and also a lot of players who have the potential to be very good. If we continue on our current learning curve, we could have another very successful season. That’s what has me so excited about this season.”

Campbell welcomes back 46 letter winners and 15 starters from last year’s team that went 9-4 overall, 7-1 in conference play. The Rockets shared the West Division title and chalked up an impressive 63-44 win over Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl.

The Toledo offense will be paced by junior running back Hunt, who rushed for 1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games last season. Wide receivers Corey Jones, with 842 yards and five touchdowns, and Alonzo Russell, with 770 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, provide the Rockets with additional threats at the skill positions.

“Expectations are on Kareem. When you go from the hunter to hunted, it puts a different dynamic on where you are going. Kareem steps into that fray now. Everyone will know who he is,” Campbell said. “But I think Kareem’s best is still to come.

“What I like is that it is important for Kareem to be successful. He takes this very seriously,” Campbell said. “He’s been surrounded by leaders in the past. Now he has to be the leader. He has leadership qualities, so I look forward to seeing him accept that role. A lot more is expected of him, and he understands that.”

Defensively, Toledo returns eight starters, including defensive end Trent Voss, who had 77 tackles and 15 tackles for loss in 2014, and a pair of All-MAC tackles, senior Orion Jones and junior Treyvon Hester.

The Toledo Rockets will open the season in the Glass Bowl vs. Stony Brook Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. and then travel to Southeastern Conference opponent Arkansas for a contest Saturday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m.

Season tickets, as well as tickets for the UT-Stony Brook contest, are on sale at the UT Athletic Ticket Office, online at http://utole.do/football2015 or at 419.530.4653. Faculty and staff can buy tickets half off with ID, and students are admitted free with ID.

Law faculty recognized for scholarly impact

The University of Toledo College of Law recently ranked 62nd of the nation’s 205 law schools, as measured by citations to faculty articles, in a study on faculty productivity completed by Professor Gregory Sisk and several of his colleagues at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

The College of Law appeared between the University of Missouri and DePaul University on the recently released list. Of the 14 law schools in Ohio and Michigan, only The University of Toledo, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University were among the top third of law schools in terms of scholarly impact, according to the Sisk ranking.

rankings (2)“I was excited to come to UT in part because of our outstanding faculty,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law. “This study reinforces our faculty’s strength and shows that we are producing scholarship that has a real impact.”

UT law faculty scholarship has been cited in recent years in multiple U.S. Supreme Court briefs and one Supreme Court opinion, and several federal trial and appellate court decisions. Faculty members have penned Supreme Court amicus briefs and testified in state legislative and judicial proceedings and in U.S. Congressional hearings.

Faculty members are regularly sought for analysis and opinions by the media. Many faculty members are interviewed for local television and newspaper articles, and several comment frequently in national publications such as The New York Times and USA Today. Additionally, faculty members edit two top law professor blogs.

“The faculty at the College of Law has worked to build and maintain a fertile scholarly environment,” said Eric Chaffee, associate dean for faculty research and development. “We are excited about this study because it demonstrates that we are making an impact within the legal academy based upon the breadth and depth of knowledge and ideas of those teaching at the school.”

The UT law faculty’s commitment to scholarship enriches the student experience.

“The quality of faculty scholarship at our school is directly related to the first-rate instruction students get in our classrooms,” said Geoffrey Rapp, associate dean for academic affairs and the Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values.

“Should a student care about how many citations a professor gets? No. But students should care that professors have a broad and deep understanding of their fields, and it’s that understanding that supports our high-impact research,” Rapp said.

The Sisk study applied methodology to evaluate faculty productivity developed by Brian Leiter, professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, and can be downloaded free of charge here.

This is the second major study to highlight the prominence of UT law faculty scholarship in recent years. In a study conducted by Roger Williams University in 2013, the college’s faculty ranked 90th in the country and fourth among Ohio law schools as measured by placements in top law reviews.

Back 2 School Bash to be held Sept. 1

University of Toledo education students, faculty and staff are invited to a Back 2 School Bash on the front lawn by the Gillham Hall entrance Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 3 to 6 p.m.

“It’s a back to school event where faculty and students can get together and meet in a more casual setting, one that’s outside the classroom,” said Libbey McKnight, graduate adviser and enrollment management specialist in the Judith Herb College of Education.

The event will feature lawn games, hot dogs, snacks, and music spun by Richard Clark, an academic adviser in the Judith Herb College of Education and professional DJ. Clark will host a “Name That Tune” competition at the event.

Faculty and staff attending the event will receive a free T-shirt promoting a screening of “Teach,” a 2013 documentary on America’s education system, which will be shown during Inauguration Week.

The event is sponsored by the Judith Herb College of Education’s Student Affairs Committee, faculty and staff.

UT Health supports JDRF One Walk

Julie LaPlante’s job as the secretary for the Endocrinology Division at The University of Toledo Medical Center has helped her gain insight into Type 1 diabetes.

But it wasn’t until her adult son, Derek, was diagnosed with the disease that she truly understood its life-changing implications.

Julie LaPlante with her son, Derek

Julie LaPlante with her son, Derek

In support of the research being done to find a cure for juvenile diabetes, LaPlante is organizing a UT Health team to walk in the JDRF One Walk Sunday, Sept. 20, at Ottawa Park in Toledo to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

“It completely changed my son’s life when he was diagnosed,” LaPlante said. “He started with insulin injections three times per day and then began to use an insulin pump.”

LaPlante said her son started showing signs of diabetes with weight loss, frequent urination and lightheadedness. While the diagnosis gave him answers, he had to adopt a brand-new lifestyle.

“He has to be mindful of everything that he does, whether that is tracking the carbs in what he eats or remembering to remove the insulin pump before he swims.”

The Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The University of Toledo is a silver sponsor for the walk. Dr. Juan Jaume, chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at UTMC, said JDRF is the leading charitable fundraiser and advocate for juvenile diabetes research and its complications. The disease impacts 1.25 million Americans.

“Insulin should not be considered a cure, so we need to keep researching to find a cure for this disease,” Jaume said. “While insulin helps a person stay alive, it does not prevent some of the disease complications that can include nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure.”

LaPlante said she hopes her son’s story encourages UT employees to make a donation or join the team.

“I would be ecstatic if 50 people signed up to be on the team,” LaPlante said. “My son is even coming home from Chicago to walk with me.”

To register for the team or to donate, go to http://utole.do/et.

UTMC coders help generate $1.4M in gross revenue

The University of Toledo Medical Center collected $1.4 million in gross revenue last fiscal year because of a commitment to educate on accurate and detailed physician documentation.

Paula Kessler, director of health information management at UTMC, said the documentation improvement team is dedicated to the identification of clinical indications and treatments or services provided to patients. The team wants to make sure the treatments are reflected accurately in the physician’s documentation in the medical record before going to the inpatient coders and, ultimately, the insurance companies. The more accurate the coding, the more likely the insurance companies will pay accordingly, she said.

“The bottom line is we are doing a good job of painting an accurate picture of the patient’s hospital stay, which allows for the hospital to be accurately reimbursed for the services provided,” Kessler said.

UTMC began hiring documentation improvement specialists in 2007. Kessler said housing the documentation improvement program in health information management works because of the detailed and concentrated coding education and training that the employees receive in a two- or four-year health information college program.

For instance, a doctor might note a drop in hemoglobin and order a transfusion. However, the doctor might never state that the patient has anemia and what type of anemia the patient has, which is important to know for reimbursement purposes.

“Documentation improvement specialists know the coding and are diligent in their efforts to contact the doctors to get clarification,” said Holly Hill, coding manager. “We don’t want to leave money on the table. This is what we went to school for. Doctors went to school to care for patients. We are here to help the doctors.”

Documentation improvement specialists at UT Medical Center are, from left,  Megan Burtscher, Carmen Clarke Davis, Holly Hill, Kita Fleming and Jenny Blandford.

Documentation improvement specialists at UT Medical Center are, from left,
Megan Burtscher, Carmen Clarke Davis, Holly Hill, Kita Fleming and Jenny Blandford.

Inpatient coders at UTMC are, from left, Sarah Hamblin, Jennifer Pawlaczyk and Angela Huss.

Inpatient coders at UTMC are, from left, Sarah Hamblin, Jennifer Pawlaczyk and Angela Huss.

UT faculty film accepted to prominent international film festival

Holly Hey, a filmmaker and faculty member of The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, will screen one of her films in the internationally recognized Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

The Aesthetica Film Festival, accredited by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, is a celebration of independent film and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. The festival includes a selection of films from around the world in genres including advertising, artists’ film, music video, drama and documentary.

These stills are from Holly Hey’s film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” which will be shown at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

These stills are from Holly Hey’s film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” which will be shown at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

Hey’s film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” emerged successfully after two competitive rounds of selection review.

The UT associate professor of film said the first-person experimental documentary is a moving-image meditation that contemplates landscape, home, recollection, queerness and time.

“The project uses personal history to reflect on universal themes about home, life, love, parenting, memory and death,” she said.

Hey began the project in 2005 when she received funding from the LEF Moving Image Foundation. She later received funding from The University of Toledo in 2012 and completed the film in 2014.

To date, “the dum dum capitol of the world” has screened at several festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival; the Athens Film Festival in Athens, Ohio; the Queens World Film Festival in New York; and the Moon Rise Film Festival in British Columbia.

Hey is head of the UT Film Program. She holds a master of fine arts degree in filmmaking from the Art Institute of Chicago.

She makes a broad range of work that can be seen in galleries, film festivals, live performances and on television. Her works have screened both nationally and internationally, and the National Educational Telecommunications Association distributed her last major release, “Rat Stories,” which aired on PBS affiliates in the United States, British Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Medical director to lead outpatient care at UTMC

Dr. Jodi Tinkel has been named medical director of ambulatory care at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

Tinkel has been a faculty member of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences since 2009 and has served as medical director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center since 2010.

Tinkel

Tinkel

She also has managed the UT Health ambulatory office at the Fulton County Health Center since 2009, leading significant improvement in service quality and growth of the practice, according to Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Tinkel said. “I think UT Health is in transition, and I am excited to be one of the providers who can direct that transition. I am devoted to UT. I am devoted to outpatient care. I trained at this medical school. I live in northwest Ohio. I want to see continued growth.”

Tinkel received her medical degree in 2000 from the former Medical College of Ohio, where she completed an internal medicine residency and cardiovascular fellowship. She later served as the program director for the cardiovascular fellowship. Tinkel received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University.

Tinkel will work in collaboration with Olivia Dacre, the faculty and staff to improve and optimize the UT Health Clinic Operations, Cooper said.

“Dr. Tinkel has trained in this institution and works in this institution,” said Dacre, chief administrative officer and integrated clinical operations. “She has developed relationships across all the clinics, and I believe those relationships will help her succeed in this position.”

Tinkel said outpatient services continue to grow as patients seek cost-savings in health care. UTMC has worked to make patient care more convenient.

“We are really trying to reach out and let patients get care in their neighborhoods,” she said.

Twice as nice: Fraternity brings home national honors again

In recognition of its exceptional work over the past year, a University of Toledo fraternity received top honors last month.

The University’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was given the Smythe Award — one of the highest national honors the fraternity can receive — for the second year in a row. The award, named for one of the fraternity’s junior founding members, is granted to the top 10 percent of chapters. The fraternity has more than 220 chapters internationally.

Members of UT’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha received the Smythe Award for the second year in a row. The honor is given to the top 10 percent of chapters.

Members of UT’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha received the Smythe Award for the second year in a row. The honor is given to the top 10 percent of chapters.

“The Smythe Award recognizes all our hard work we’ve done the past year, especially the work put toward bettering the UT community,” said Brandon Alves, executive board member for Pi Kappa Alpha and third-year pharmacy student. “When we’re classified as the top 10 percent, it’s basically saying of all those chapters, we are the elite based on a variety of factors, including campus presence, community service, athletics, anything really that would make an organization great.”

He attributes the win to the many accomplishments the fraternity has garnered this year; these include top honors at Homecoming, Songfest, Greek Week, and receiving the Dean Parks Award for campus community involvement.

“I think our enthusiasm for making this a better community is what sets us apart at UT,” he said. “I think we have a really strong common bond to help each other and that reflects in our competitive attitude toward bettering campus.”

In addition to receiving honors on campus, the fraternity puts a lot of work into its philanthropy: Children’s Miracle Network. Each semester members host Pike Pretzels, a fundraising event featuring music and soft pretzels, to raise money for the organization.

Additionally, UT’s annual RockeTHON benefits Mercy Children’s Hospital, which is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network. For the past several years, Epsilon Epsilon has been the top fundraiser, contributing more than $15,000 this past year.

“We are looking forward to taking the momentum from this impressive achievement into continuing to better The University of Toledo and the community around it,” Alves said.

UT organization welcomes international students; assists in transition to college

While there are nearly 8,000 miles separating India and The University of Toledo, a student organization on campus helps to make it feel a little more like home for Indian students.

The Indian Student Cultural Organization (ISCO) helps Indian students adapt and flourish at college in America. Between social events, festivals, aid with housing and airport pickups, the organization works to make the transition for international students as easy as possible.

Preparing paratha, an Indian flatbread, at the Festival of India earlier this month were, from left, Roshan Kini, volunteer; Sai Kumar Naini, panel member, graduate vice president and webmaster for the Indian Student Cultural Organization; Narendra Raghav Venkatesan, volunteer); and Krishnakant Patel, president of the Indian Student Cultural Organization.

Preparing paratha, an Indian flatbread, at the Festival of India earlier this month were, from left, Roshan Kini, volunteer; Sai Kumar Naini, panel member, graduate vice president and webmaster for the Indian Student Cultural Organization; Narendra Raghav Venkatesan, volunteer); and Krishnakant Patel, president of the Indian Student Cultural Organization.

“It’s very difficult for an international student going somewhere new,” said Krishnakant Patel, ISCO president.

When Patel first became a member of ISCO in 2012, the group’s membership was at an all-time low due to a large number of graduating students. The seniors at the time decided to revamp the organization so that future students wouldn’t have to struggle to get acclimated on campus like they did.

“The group wasn’t active when we first came here, so it was kind of difficult to get in touch with everyone here at UT,” Patel explained.

New programs and events were instated, including an airport pickup program where students could be shuttled from either the Detroit Metropolitan or Toledo Express airports if they became a member of ISCO — which costs just $10.

Since then, ISCO’s numbers have been steadily increasing.

Members of the Indian Student Cultural Organization posed for a shot at the Festival of India earlier this month. Members manned the food booths at the event and served up a variety of Indian delights, including dosa, naan and panner, mango lassi, and pani puri.

Members of the Indian Student Cultural Organization posed for a shot at the Festival of India earlier this month. Members manned the food booths at the event and served up a variety of Indian delights, including dosa, naan and panner, mango lassi, and pani puri.

“We want to bring our organization to the next level and make sure everyone at UT, especially the new incoming students this semester, know about our organization and what we offer,” said Raj Jessica Thomas, ISCO marketing manager.

A variety of activities and festivals also are offered through ISCO to celebrate Indian culture, including Patel’s favorite, Diya — an event to celebrate Deepawali, the festival of lights. During the event, students perform traditional dances and songs, and Indian food is provided. The event is ISCO’s largest; last year more than 600 people attended.

“This event gives an overall idea for the people on what India really is,” he said. “People get to see India is a diverse place where each state has its own way of living.”

ISCO also helps put on Holi Toledo, which is Thomas’ favorite. The campus-wide event, which is organized by a collaboration of groups including ISCO, the UT Center for International Studies and Programs, and the UT Center for Religious Understanding, is for the Hindu religious festival Holi — a celebration known for the color thrown into the air to commemorate the arrival of spring.

“Since so many people are walking around the field where Holi is, it gives us a great opportunity to expose our culture to everyone,” she said.

In addition to the big festivals, ISCO gives students the chance to connect and just hang out with movie nights and cricket tournaments. The group also organizes trips to the Hindu Temple of Toledo, located on King Road in Sylvania, so students can connect with community members.

“It gives [students] good exposure to a lot of other people so they don’t feel homesick,” Patel said.

For more information about ISCO, contact Thomas at Raj.Thomas@rockets.utoledo.edu or visit utoledoisco.org.

Professor recognized by National Medical Association

Dr. Reginald F. Baugh, professor of surgery, chief of otolaryngology and assistant dean for admission in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ Department of Surgery, has received the exclusive Hinton-Gladney Award.

“It’s been years now since somebody has been given the award, so it’s not given out all the time,” Baugh said. “I’m very humbled and honored to have received the award.”

Baugh

Baugh

He was presented the award Aug. 2 during the 113th annual Convention and Scientific Assembly hosted by the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest organization representing physicians and patients of African descent in the United States.

“The award is given to someone who has made substantial contributions, has recognizable accomplishments in his or her respective field, and has been a positive force in the African-American community,” Baugh said.

For most of his career, Baugh has been an academician on staff at the University of Kansas, Henry Ford Health System, Texas A&M University and most recently at The University of Toledo. He served as a quality and process improvement consultant for the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

“I’ve been fortunate to serve the people and my specialty for the development and implementation of head and neck guidelines,” Baugh said.

Working to improve patient safety, he has chaired efforts in identifying and implementing national guidelines on tonsillectomy, Bell’s palsy, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatments.

During the past year, Baugh has been working on developing a machine to assist in the assessment of patients’ swallowing function through mechanical receptor function testing in the throat.

“We have a working prototype that’s patent-pending,” Baugh said. “We are working on the final approvals now from the FDA and Institutional Research Board. In early fall, we hope to begin testing.”