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Archive for April, 2016

Open forums scheduled for Honors College dean candidates

Three finalists for the position of dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College will hold open forums in early May to engage with The University of Toledo community.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at three open forums. Each will take place from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.:

• Monday, May 2, Student Union Room 3018 — Dr. Kirstin Bartels, director of the Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois.

• Wednesday, May 4, Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Heidi Appel, senior associate director of the Honors College at the University of Missouri.

• Thursday, May 5, Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Seth Oppenheimer, director of undergraduate research in the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University.

Reporting to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the dean serves as chief academic and administrative officer of the Jesup Scott Honors College and is responsible for the administration of academic programs; student success; strategic and fiscal planning; evaluation of faculty and staff; promoting diversity awareness; and planning and advancing new academic initiatives, community services and campus facilities.

The dean will interact with other administrators to promote the needs of the college on campus and in the surrounding community, including pursuing external funding, and with the Honors Council, containing representatives from each academic college, to coordinate honors programming.

For more information about the dean search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-honors.

UT and fraternity agree on steps to move forward and promote education

The University of Toledo and the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity have reached an agreement and are working together to resolve promptly and fairly the outcome relating to a Jan. 24 incident involving some fraternity members.

A procedural error during the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity’s Student Code of Conduct hearing led to a successful appeal and a ruling for a rehearing of the case. Rather than repeat the process, leaders for both UT and Pi Kappa Phi said they wanted to finalize this matter as the end of the semester nears and final exams begin next week.

Pi Kappa Phi Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Timmes stated, “As a values-based membership development organization, Pi Kappa Phi provides our students with the education, training and mature adult guidance to make good choices and to understand the consequences of their decisions.

“The events that occurred on Jan. 24 do not reflect Pi Kappa Phi’s values or the values of The University of Toledo. Consequently, the fraternity and the University have agreed on an action plan that will help not only create a leading chapter of Pi Kappa Phi on campus, but also help develop our students into more responsible global citizens.”

As a result, in lieu of a rehearing, Pi Kappa Phi and the University agreed that the fraternity would accept the following sanctions:

• The fraternity is on disciplinary probation until May 31, 2017;

• The fraternity is prohibited from hosting social events until May 31, 2017, with the exception that three events can be hosted in spring 2017 in accordance with the University’s social event policy in effect at that time;

• The fraternity can recruit in fall 2016, but new recruits may not be initiated or become active until Jan. 1, 2017;

• All fraternity members will participate in anti-bullying training and alcohol awareness training by Jan. 1, 2017; and

• The fraternity acknowledges that the conduct alleged is not representative of the University or Pi Kappa Phi values.

New University College to serve adult and undecided students

The new University College will serve adult students pursuing individualized degrees and first-year students exploring the variety of majors The University of Toledo has to offer.

The creation of University College, which was approved April 18 by the UT Board of Trustees, is a merger of the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning and YouCollege with UT Online.

Kopp Miller

Kopp Miller

“Serving students is the mission of all colleges at The University of Toledo and by organizing University College in this way, we will enhance how we can serve adult learners and students who are undecided about their areas of study,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said.

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education and director of the Center for Successful Aging, will serve as dean of University College, which will be in place July 1.

“University College provides access and support to students to ensure they are successful in meeting their goal of a college degree,” Kopp Miller said. “We will provide a supportive temporary home for students who are still exploring the many majors that we offer at UT, and our goal is to successfully get them into their permanent home. And adult learners balancing work, family and other obligations will find the services they need in University College.”

The about 700 students in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning and the about 1,700 students in YouCollege will be enrolled in the new University of College.

The College of Adult and Lifelong Learning was created in 2010 as an evolution of a previous University College to focus services for adult students. Through a program called prior learning assessment, UT offers adult learners the ability to earn college credit for life experiences using portfolios, standardized testing and industry certification to determine college credit. The college’s degree programs include individualized studies, professional studies and liberal studies.

Since 2013, YouCollege has served students in the Department of Exploratory Studies who are undecided about their majors or working on requirements to get into the program of their choice.

University College’s academic units will be organized into a Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Special Programs, and a Department of Exploratory Studies.

Dr. Dennis Lettman, who serves as dean of the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning, is retiring at the end of the academic year after 27 years of service to UT. Julie Fischer-Kinney, who serves as interim dean of YouCollege, will continue in her role as assistant provost for student success and retention leading the University’s success coaching program, which will be organized in a Center for Success Coaching.

The University offers more than 500 online courses through UT Online, which also will be part of University College. UT Online includes the departments of Learning and Academic Technology, Instructional Design and Development, Faculty Services and Help Desk, and Compliance and Assessment.

UT’s military affairs, testing and workforce development services also will be offered through the college.

“University College truly serves the entire University through the services that it provides,” Kopp Miller said.

Kopp Miller joined the Medical College of Ohio in 1991 and has held a number of faculty appointments and administrative roles at UT. With a scholarly expertise in the area of gerontology, she teaches in the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.

She received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Bowling Green State University.

UTMC honors longtime volunteer, thanks others who help

The University of Toledo Medical Center celebrated its volunteers with a luncheon recently at the Radisson Hotel on Health Science Campus during National Volunteer Week.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, center left, presented the first Frances Clinton Service Award to Clinton’s sisters, Paulette Smietana, left, and Mary Ann Nappens, and niece Paige.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, center left, presented the first Frances Clinton Service Award to Clinton’s sisters, Paulette Smietana, left, and Mary Ann Nappens, and niece Paige.

UTMC has about 200 volunteers, who average 3,000 hours of combined service each month and assist 116 departments.

To honor longtime volunteer Frances Clinton, who passed away this year, UTMC established the Frances Clinton Service Award. Clinton’s family received the first Frances Clinton Service Award at the luncheon.

Going forward, the award will be presented to the UTMC volunteer with the most service hours — more than 500 — for the year. Clinton started volunteering at UTMC in 1993 and logged a total of 18,000 service hours.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, left, handed out certificates to, from left, Dr. Don Godfrey, UT professor emeritus of neurology, Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, and Don Lemle, who were recognized at the UTMC Volunteer Luncheon for completing more than 500 service hours in 2015.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, left, handed out certificates to, from left, Dr. Don Godfrey, UT professor emeritus of neurology, Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, and Don Lemle, who were recognized at the UTMC Volunteer Luncheon for completing more than 500 service hours in 2015.

“Frances volunteered in several different departments over the years and was known for her beautiful smile that could light up a room,” said Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator in the Service Excellence Department. “She was greatly appreciated and greatly missed by all who knew her.”

Volunteers who completed more than 500 service hours in 2015 also were recognized at the event: Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary; Dr. Don Godfrey, UT professor emeritus of neurology; Yonggil Jang; Vinay Kotturi; Don Lemle; Tawik Obri; Amanjyot Sidhu; and Gheith Yousif.

Matt Schroeder, chief of staff to UT President Sharon L. Gaber, spoke at the event and expressed his gratitude toward UTMC’s volunteers for their contributions to the hospital.

For more information about UTMC Volunteer Services, contact MacAllister at patricia.mac2@utoledo.edu or 419.383.6336.

UT chosen as one of America’s Outstanding Navy Reserve Employers

The University of Toledo recently was selected as one of America’s Outstanding Navy Reserve Employers for 2016.

More than 100 employers were nominated for this recognition; 50 were chosen, and UT was the only higher education institution selected to receive this designation.

Business Hlogo 1c Black“At The University of Toledo, the men and women who have served or who are actively serving are honored, respected and welcomed,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “These dedicated individuals who are currently serving our country and our University are valued members of our community, and we thank them for their service.”

Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz N. Ghanbari, director of military and veteran affairs, nominated the University for the honor.

Ghanbari is working to create and implement a training program option for University employees that will increase awareness of what veterans have gone through and what they face when they return home. His goal is to improve the experience of veterans transitioning from deployment back into their civilian lives, whether they’re a student or a member of the faculty, staff or administration. The training program is modeled off the Green Zone training program used at colleges across the country. It also will highlight what a great resource student veterans are for the University.

“My call to action would be for the campus community, and our community at large, to take time and be purposeful with engaging veterans,” he said. “Veterans are one of our nation’s greatest resources.”

In 2015, UT was a recipient of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Seven Seals Award, and in 2016 it was ranked No. 157 on the USA Today and College Factual’s Best Colleges for Veterans list.

The University has received recognition as a top military-friendly school from Military Times, Military Advanced Education & Transition, and G.I. Jobs thanks to UT’s military-supportive culture and the numerous resources available on campus and locally in Toledo, such as the Military Service Center on campus and the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission.

UT also hosts various events throughout the year to recognize and assist local veterans. In March, for example, the Veterans’ Business Forum invited veteran business owners and entrepreneurs to campus to network with and hear from local business and government representatives and gain access to business resources.

The community’s annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair on Veterans Day takes place at UT, and the Veterans’ Plaza, located on the northwest corner of Centennial Mall on Main Campus, recognizes the courage and commitment made by servicemen and women.

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, will represent UT at the Navy Reserve’s 2016 Navy Employer Recognition Event June 24 in Norfolk, Va.

Celebration sendoff for golfer May 1 at Gradkowski’s

A celebration will be held Sunday, May 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Gradkowski’s to send off UT senior Sathika Ruenreong who will compete in the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regional Thursday through Saturday, May 5-7, in Shoal Creek, Ala.

All fans of the UT women’s golf program are invited to attend the free celebration.

“Earning a spot in the NCAA Regionals is a huge accomplishment for Sathika, and I want everyone to come out and wish her well,” Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. “There is no better way to celebrate the best golfer in school history then spending a little bit of time with Sathika to show her your support. I hope to see hundreds of people at Gradkowski’s wearing their Midnight Blue and Gold on Sunday!”

Ruenreong

Ruenreong

Ruenreong is the first Rocket to compete in an NCAA event in the program’s 21-year history. A four-time first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection, Ruenreong will enter the regional after setting school records for stroke average in a season (73.5) and career (74.9), as well as most career individual titles (4).

She also helped the Rockets set a school record for most tournament victories (5) and finish second at the Mid-American Conference Championships for the third time in the last four years. Ruenreong finished third or better in six of 11 tournaments this season, including two first-, two second- and two third-place showings.

The top six teams and top three individuals not on an advancing team will move on to the NCAA Championships, which will be held at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore., Friday through Wednesday, May 20-25.

If you have questions about the event, contact Hollingsworth at 419.530.7761 or nicole.hollingsworth@utoledo.edu.

Choral concert slated for April 30

UT’s Concert Chorale, University Chorus and Community Chorus will perform together Saturday, April 30, for Gioachino Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” in Doermann Theater at 7 p.m.

Accompanying these three groups will be a variety of soloists.

choir image for eventTickets are $8-$4 and are available through the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office online at utoledo.tix.com or by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787).

The concert will be directed by Dr. Brad Pierson, UT director of choral activities.

Finalists named for UT CFO position

Four finalists for the position of executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer will hold open forums in May to engage with The University of Toledo community.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at four open forums. Each will take place in Student Union Room 2582:

• Monday, May 2, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — John Beaghan, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer to the Board of Trustees at Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.

• Monday, May 9, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — Dr. Gregg Lassen, vice president for business affairs at the University of New Orleans.

• Tuesday, May 10, 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. — Dr. David Ellis, associate vice president for budgeting and analysis at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

• Friday, May 13, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — Dr. Cornelius Wooten, vice president for administration and finance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The executive vice president of finance and administration and CFO is responsible for the University’s overall financial leadership, strategic financial planning, and financial management. The role also oversees UT’s facilities and police and safety operations, the divisions of human resources and information technology, and other business services.

For more information about the CFO search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit utoledo.edu/depts/hr/cfo-search.

Campus master plan scenarios being developed to share with campus fall semester

The University of Toledo’s master planning team will continue to receive feedback during the summer months to be ready to share proposals when faculty and students return to campus in the fall.

UT’s Facilities and Construction staff are working with consultants from SmithGroupJJR to study the facilities and use of space on the University’s campuses and to establish a long-term vision that will guide facilities decision-making for the institution into the future.

“The input of the campus and the community is critical to a successful comprehensive plan that sets the course into the future for a strong University by addressing the academic, research, clinical, physical, functional and financial needs of the institution,” said Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities and construction. “By taking the extra time this summer to continue to calculate campus needs and prepare future scenarios, we also will be able to coordinate the campus master plan with the ongoing strategic enrollment planning initiative and receive input from the University’s new provost and other new senior leaders.”

For more information about the University’s master planning process or to contribute input online, visit utoledo.edu/facilities/master-plan.

Budding conservation biologists go birding at Warbler Capital of the World

As songbirds begin to stop, rest and refuel along Lake Erie marshes before finishing the last leg of their spring migration to Canada, a class of environmental science students at The University of Toledo learned firsthand how researchers collect data and what the long-term patterns teach about climate change.

“I had zero experience with birding,” UT senior Alexa Seaman said. “I heard this area is called the Warbler Capital of the World. Now I know why.”

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Research Director Mark Shieldcastle showed an American goldfinch to UT students before it was banded.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Research Director Mark Shieldcastle showed an American goldfinch to UT students before it was banded.

“This is a remarkable natural phenomenon,” said Dr. Hans Gottgens, UT professor of environmental sciences and editor-in-chief of Wetlands Ecology Management. “These songbirds are the size and weight of a pingpong ball. It’s fascinating they are so light and somehow manage to migrate from South America to Canada. They’re magnificent animals.”

A group of 17 students boarded a bus last week on Main Campus for a 40-minute drive to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area in Ottawa County, which is preparing for the Biggest Week in American Birding, May 6-15. Tens of thousands of avid birders across the world flock to the 10-day festival timed to coincide with the peak of spring songbird migration.

Kate Zimmerman, the education director for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, left, and UT student Jeanna Meisner released a banded American tree sparrow.

Kate Zimmerman, the education director for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, left, and UT student Jeanna Meisner released a banded American tree sparrow.

“The Black Swamp Bird Observatory has been monitoring songbird migration for nearly 25 years on the southwestern shoreline of Lake Erie,” Gottgens said. “There is little habitat left along the lake for these birds, so they all pile up in the same area for food and sleep.”

UT undergraduate students watched as conservation biologists at the observatory used mist-nets to carefully capture and care for the birds. Researchers demonstrated how to safely hold the birds, identify the species, and assess them for weight and condition.

“We were looking for the wing length, if it was male or female, and the amount of fat on the body,” Seaman said. “Before we released the birds, we also watched the banding process.”

According to Gottgens, researchers put a miniscule aluminum band around the leg of a bird to help track its travel.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Education Director Kate Zimmerman spoke to students from Dr. Hans Gottgens' upper-level conservation biology course.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Education Director Kate Zimmerman spoke to students from Dr. Hans Gottgens’ upper-level conservation biology course.

“Some of these bands are so tiny, you could hardly see them with the naked eye,” Gottgens said. “Birds banded in northwest Ohio have shown up in Columbia, South America, later in the year. Over time, you keep track of the status of the birds. Are they in danger of going extinct? Are they growing more abundant?”

The database on the conservation status of songbirds also provides information related to changes in the environment.

“By following the birds and relating it to climate conditions, you get an idea of how climate change affects bird migration,” Gottgens said. “Some birds might show up much later than they did 25 years ago partly because of change in the weather and climate conditions.”

Seaman had the opportunity to touch and release a warbler after a conservation biologist finished banding it.

“She placed the little bird on my hand, and the bird just flew away in a matter of seconds,” Seaman said. “It was an awesome, amazing experience.”