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Archive for October, 2016

‘Does Your Vote Really Count?’ topic of UT Diversity Dialogue Nov. 1

One week before Election Day, The University of Toledo will explore opinions from millennials surrounding voting and democracy in the latest installment of the Dialogues on Diversity series.

The event titled “Does Your Vote Really Count?” will take place Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Room 2582.

“This is not a debate about which candidate is best,” said Anna Crisp, a student trustee appointed to the UT Board of Trustees who is studying public health. “We will discuss important questions at this diversity dialogue. Are you voting in the upcoming presidential election? Does your vote make a difference? Or do you believe it is a waste of time and energy? It’s an opportunity for students to share their opinions.”

Free food and prizes will be available at the dialogue hosted by UT Student Government and the University’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion. UT students, faculty and staff are invited.

Student leaders will begin the program by leading a panel discussion with experts on the democratic process. They will then engage in a discussion with the audience.

“We want to hear from students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion. “This is an opportunity to engage our community on the important subjects of voting relevance, its history and its future.”

McKether leads UT’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion and spearheaded the development of the University’s strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. It is available at utoledo.edu/diversity.

Metered parking available to UT community, guests outside Student Union

A new parking lot configuration near the Student Union is now complete offering guests easier access to quickly use the building’s services and be on their way.

Parking Area 11 to the east of the Student Union and south of the Snyder Memorial Building has been expanded and now offers 24-hour metered parking for members of the UT community and general public to quickly run an errand near the center of Main Campus.

Parking area 11 south of the Snyder Memorial Building and east of the Student Union now offers 24-hour metered parking.

Parking area 11 south of the Snyder Memorial Building and east of the Student Union now offers 24-hour metered parking.

The parking area previously had eight handicapped parking locations; through the expansion, handicapped parking increased to 17 spots. A central parking meter accepting both coins and cards provides access to 37 new spots in the lot. The meter, which is solar-powered, is located just outside the Student Union.

An additional feature of the new technology just installed is an extend-by-phone tool through which you can get a message on your phone 10 minutes before the meter expires with the option to add more time via your card without running outside to feed the meter.

“This new metered parking lot helps us provide an easy-access, short-term parking option for UT community and guests right outside the Student Union, but also close to the library and a number of buildings around Centennial Mall,” Sherri Kaspar, public safety support services manager, said.

The fee to park in this lot is 50 cents per 15 minutes, with a $2 minimum charge for one hour of parking if you choose to pay with a card. Because it is a prime location, the fee is more expensive than the other meters on campus that charge 25 cents per 15 minutes, Kaspar said.

“This is in line with the University’s transition to a demand-based parking philosophy that aims to provide more choices for our campus community and value parking locations based on demand,” she said.

A more demand-based parking system will be implemented for the 2017-18 academic year.

Catholic studies lecture to examine election, morality

“Morality and the Election: Why Liberals and Conservatives Can’t Understand Each Other” will be the topic of the Center for Religious Understanding’s Annual Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Dr. Peter Feldmeier, who will give the lecture, is the Murray/Bacik Endowed Professor of Catholic Studies, a position he has held for the last five years at The University of Toledo.

catholic studies political talk“This lecture is important because of its timeliness as it comes the week before the election,” Feldmeier said. “It deals with how one comes to make moral decisions and how the moral framework regarding politics works with that process.”

He said one thing he hopes the community takes away is a better understanding of the moral principles people draw on to make political assessments.

“Much of our moral intuitions are just that, intuitions. We rely more on our emotional lives and uncritically assess moral values to either confirm or reject political philosophies, policies and candidates. Our rational lives end up working more to justify our already determined conclusions,” Feldmeier said. “Breaking down how and why this is the case helps us toward better self-understanding. It also helps us to understand the political other. Both liberals and conservatives are often sure that they vote morally, and they cannot see how the political other could ever vote differently and still be moral. It turns out that they are drawing on different moral foundations or at least weighing them differently.”

He added, “As a religious studies professor, I have some expertise in religiously framed morality. I hope to extrapolate that and address the political world we live in. I also chose the topic because of the current acrimony not only among candidates, but also among those who favor a given side as opposed to the other side.”

The lecture is free, but tickets are required; RSVP at cfru.eventbrite.com.

Free parking is available in lots 12 (near the Law Center) and 12E (near the Center for the Performing Arts).

Talmud’s math problem to be explained Nov. 2

How mathematicians finally solved an ancient numerical quandary will be the topic of a talk Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Dr. Alessandro Arsie, UT associate professor of mathematics, will discuss “A Mathematical Puzzle From the Talmud” at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

Arsie

Arsie

For more than 1,500 years, scholars were trying to reveal the algorithm that the Talmud, a compendium of Jewish laws, used to divide the estate of a man who died and whose wealth was too small to pay his debts.

“The Talmud provided the following example: There are three creditors. Creditor one is owed 100, creditor two is owed 200, and creditor three is owed 300,” Arsie said. “Tractate Ketubot 93a says if the estate of the man who died is 100, then each creditor gets 33 and 1/3; if the estate of the man who died is 200, then creditor one gets 50 and creditors two and three both get 75; if the estate of the man who died is 300, then creditor one gets 50, creditor two gets 100, and creditor three gets 150.”

Arsie will analyze the algorithm in this example. This algorithm was discovered by Dr. Robert Aumann and Dr. Michael Maschler during the 1980s.

“I will explain their ingenious solution and its relation to game theory with some other mathematical algorithms that appear in the Talmud,” Arsie said. “Within the framework of Jewish culture, the solution provides insight into the moral question of what creditors are owed when they can’t be paid in full.”

The free, public event is sponsored by Delta X, Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society at the University, the Mathematics and Statistics Department, and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In addition to the lecture, four students will be inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon.

For more information on the lecture, contact Dr. Ivie Stein Jr., UT associate professor of mathematics, at ivie.stein@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2994.

Many provide input to strategic planning process

More than 200 students, faculty and staff participated in the first round of discussion sessions about the University’s future over the last two weeks.

Greater than half of the participants were University staff, with the rest split evenly between faculty and students.

Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil, Distinguished University Professor and chair of early childhood, higher education and special education, talked to staff members at a strategic planning session last week. She is co-chair of the strategic planning committee.

Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil, Distinguished University Professor and chair of early childhood, higher education and special education, talked to staff members at a strategic planning session last week. She is co-chair of the strategic planning committee.

Three sessions were held on Health Science Campus and four on Main Campus, including one in which the public was invited to comment.

Many more people submitted input via an online survey. More than 350 submissions had been received by Friday morning.

Participants at the sessions were given a brief overview of the planning process and asked to respond to two questions:

• What do you feel are the strengths that UT should build upon in the future?

• What areas should UT improve upon in the next five years to move the institution forward, and what action do you recommend to move forward the areas that you note?

The sessions were led by strategic planning committee co-chair Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil, Distinguished University Professor and chair of early childhood, higher education and special education, or committee co-chair Dr. Anthony Quinn, associate professor of biological sciences and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The information gathered from these sessions will be introduced into the discussions that members of the strategic planning committee are having. To date, the committee has worked to identify the University’s many strengths, challenges and opportunities. Once the online input is available, the committee will use this feedback to begin identifying themes where the University should focus in the next five years.

“It is exciting to see some overall themes beginning to develop in our discussions,” said Provost Andrew Hsu, who is responsible for the planning process. “We are pleased that the UT community is sharing its ideas with us, and we are eager to continue our work.”

History of medicine lecture to explore work of early bacteriologist

The human body’s relationship with bacteria is complex. The microscopic organisms can help us live a healthy life or harm us by causing myriad diseases.

Researchers have long been fascinated by bacteriology, the study of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Dr. F. G. Novy, a world-renowned bacteriologist and former dean of the University of Michigan Medical School, is credited for putting the field of bacteriology on firm scientific foundations. He investigated how microbes survive in nature, spread in the environment, and cause disease in animals.

Kazanjian

Kazanjian

Novy’s work and accomplishments in this field of science will be the focus of the Eighth Annual S. Amjad Hussain Visiting Lecture in the History of Medicine and Surgery at The University of Toledo.

Dr. Powel Kazanjian, professor and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and professor of history at the University of Michigan, will present a lecture titled “The Origins of Bacteriology in America: Life and Works of Frederick Novy” Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 5 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 100 on UT’s Health Science Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“Novy was an organic chemist who is known as the father of bacteriology. He was instrumental in the understanding of how microorganisms cause disease,” said Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, professor emeritus of thoracic cardiovascular surgery and humanities, and former member of the UT Board of Trustees. “His work helped to define bacteriology as a distinct discipline in America and laid much of the groundwork for studying the interactions between bacteria and the human body.”

Kazanjian was selected to speak at this year’s lecture by a committee that included Hussain; Howard Newman, retired associate vice president of development; Dr. Steven Selman, professor emeritus and chair of urology; Dr. Peter White, professor emeritus of medicine; and Dr. Thomas Sodeman, division chief of gastroenterology at The University of Toledo.

“Dr. Kazanjian is well-respected as an expert in the field of infectious diseases. He has written nearly 100 research publications,” Hussain said. “His interest in the history of bacteriology, epidemics and sexually transmitted diseases fits nicely with the goals of our lecture series.”

Hussain said researchers and physicians are continually building on historical concepts in medicine to find new ways to cure disease.

“When penicillin was discovered in the 1940s, we thought it was the silver bullet,” he said. “What we learned in time is that microorganisms are vigilant and have learned how to develop resistance to available antibiotics; therefore, we are continually on a quest to find and develop new antibiotics.”

Nov. 1 be-WISE-er event to battle substance abuse

The University of Toledo Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, the nation’s largest and oldest co-educational professional business fraternity, will host its second be-WISE-er event on substance abuse Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the Student Union Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m.

bewiseer2016Several community organizations will provide information about what people can do if they or someone they know is addicted to harmful substances. Activities, such as wearing “beer goggles” that provide a unique sensory experience, will engage the participants.

“We are proud to present this free community event to continue the fight against the crippling issue of substance abuse,” said Natalie Zerucha, organizer of this event and a human resource management and marketing major in the College of Business and Innovation.

“Alpha Kappa Psi is truly humbled by the community’s support of our first be-WISE-er event, and we look forward to growing and promoting be-WISE-er so it has as big an impact on the city as possible. With this, our second event, we know that we can help build a better college community, as well as a better Toledo.”

Be-WISE-er is open to the community but will focus on college-age individuals who are at a particularly high risk of becoming addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

More than 300 people participated in Alpha Kappa Psi’s first event at UT this spring.

The keynote presentation will be given by Team Recovery, a Toledo organization dedicated to promoting heroin education and awareness, followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session.

There will be food, free T-shirts, raffle prizes and more.

For more information, go to facebook.com/bewiseer.

Researchers use collaborative approach to investigate hypertensive kidney disease

Nearly 70 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, putting them at risk for heart attack, stroke and heart failure. And one-third of those individuals with hypertension also will eventually develop kidney disease.

Researchers at The University of Toledo are taking steps to better understand the relationship between high blood pressure and kidney disease to more effectively treat those patients.

Haller

Haller

“Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, served as the principal investigator of the Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions clinical trial, which determined the best treatment options for renal artery stenosis, or blockage in the renal arteries of the kidney. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to renal dysfunction in this disease remain largely unknown,” said Dr. Steven Haller, assistant professor of medicine. “We knew that the protein Cd40 played an important role in inflammation and clotting in the body, but had not yet identified how it contributed to renal fibrosis.”

Renal fibrosis is a progressive condition that is the direct consequence of the kidney’s limited ability to regenerate after injury. The scarring of the kidney tissue results in a loss of function that can potentially lead to life-threatening kidney failure.

“My team collaborated with Dr. Bina Joe in UT’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology to develop a rat model to explore the role of Cd40 in this scarring,” Haller said. “We found that by interrupting this protein, the rats had a significant reduction in renal fibrosis and demonstrated an improvement in renal function.”

These results mean that the Cd40 protein not only contributes to inflammation, but also may contribute to renal fibrosis and can be considered as playing a critical role in the development of hypertensive renal disease, he said.

“It has been an exciting project to be a part of,” Haller said. “I have enjoyed collaborating with the other experts we have within UT’s Center for Hypertension and Personalized Medicine to take an interdisciplinary approach to research in our quest to learn more about disease and developing preventative and therapeutic treatments.”

While medications and human trials are still several years away, Haller and his colleagues plan to take the next steps in exploring the most effective and safest ways to interrupt Cd40 and reduce renal fibrosis.

The results of the study were presented in a paper titled “Targeted Disruption of Cd40 in a Genetically Hypertensive Rat Model Attenuates Renal Fibrosis and Proteinuria, Independent of Blood Pressure,” and published in Kidney International in August.

Glacity Theatre Collective to present ‘Vaguely Terrifying’

For its fourth annual Halloween show, the Glacity Theatre Collective will bring Toledo some of the greatest dark tales ever told — with a twist — in “Vaguely Terrifying.”

Creator and director Tori Zajac takes iconic stories from Edgar Allan Poe, Gertrude Atherton, the Brothers Grimm and H.P. Lovecraft and brings them to life on stage. Using a classic storyteller format paired with some not-so-classic devised movement, these stories rise from the grave, or page, in all their spine-tingling glory.

Paul Causman rehearsed his role as the storyteller in the Glacity Theatre Collective’s “Vaguely Terrifying.”

Paul Causman rehearsed his role as the storyteller in the Glacity Theatre Collective’s “Vaguely Terrifying.”

“Appropriate for all ages, this show is a great opportunity to experience the true spirit of Halloween,” Holly Monsos, associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters, professor of theatre, and executive director of the Glacity Theatre Collective, said.

The cast of “Vaguely Terrifying” features storyteller Paul Causman and ensemble members Kitty Hawk, Lindsey Miller, Andres Medina and Olivia Pierce. Costumes are designed by Lynette Bates, and sound is by Stephen Mariasy.

“Vaguely Terrifying” will be presented Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, at 8 p.m. in the Valentine Theatre’s Studio A Theatre, 410 Adams St. The doors will open one half hour prior to curtain.

Tickets are $15 at the door or in advance online at glacity.tix.org. Student tickets are $10 with a valid ID and are available only at the door.

For more information, go to glacity.org.

UT more bike-friendly with installation of repair stations

Bike riding around campus just became easier and more convenient. Bike repair stations recently were installed at three locations: Rocket Hall, Palmer Hall and the Student Union.

Each station provides a stand to mount a bike, cabled tools for minor adjustments and repairs, air pumps with gauges, and QR codes to scan that will reveal how-to videos for small repairs.

Bike riders who need to make minor repairs or air up tires can stop at three repair stations, including this one on the south side of the Student Union on Main Campus.

Bike riders who need to make minor repairs or air up tires can stop at three repair stations, including this one on the south side of the Student Union on Main Campus.

The bike repair stations are available for everyone to use.

This project is a collaboration between We Are Traffic, the UT Cycling Club, UT Grounds, and the UT Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design Initiative.

Keith Webb of We Are Traffic coordinated the project and is responsible for the bike repair stations throughout Metroparks Toledo.

“I’m really excited about the placement of these repair stations,” Webb said. “It’s wonderful that UT placed them where the community can easily access them.”

The bike repair stations were funded by the UT Student Green Fund.

Tom Garey, manager of facilities information and president of the UT Cycling Club, said it is important for universities to be bike-friendly for many reasons, including the promotion of health and wellness, lowering carbon emissions, and easing traffic and parking congestion.

A student rode his bike in Centennial Mall.

A student rode his bike in Centennial Mall.

The UT Cycling Club promotes all forms of riding and is for all people who have a common love of bicycling.

Rocket ReCycle also promotes pedal power. Peter Thomas, director of international partnership and immigration, founded the bike share program for international students who have a limited budget, but need access to safe transportation that can be used on and off campus.

“A bike-friendly campus permits the safe flow of cyclists of varied degrees of skill to move from one section of campus to another quickly. Students who are taking a class in Nitschke Hall cannot make it to Rocket Hall in less than 10 minutes by walking,” Thomas said.

“The Rocket ReCycle program began with a donation from the UT Police Department of seven bikes and has grown to more than 100 from donations from the community, friends, students and the Toledo Police Department,” Thomas said.

Initially for international students, Rocket ReCycle has been expanded to cater to research scholars and visiting professors. Thomas said they also are looking to offer weekend use by the community for a small donation that will help off-set the cost of maintenance.

“Students come from abroad and must resettle and prepare for their academic journey,” Thomas said. “Having a simple system that provides basic transportation helps students adjust to a new country.”

Srinival Muthukrishnan said that Rocket ReCycle has helped him to get to class and tennis practice as well as run errands.

Rocket Wheels close-up by Rachel“I would like to thank the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for the gesture, and I hope more people like me benefit from the program,” Muthukrishnan said.

Members of the campus community are invited to use Rocket Wheels, a bike program launched last year by Facilities and Construction.

There are more than 50 bikes available to students and employees who register with Rocket Wheels, and there are four locations on campus where bikes can be checked out and returned: the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement across from the Ritter Bike Corral, near the northeast entrance of Rocket Hall, by the south entrance of Palmer Hall, and on the northeast side of the west parking garage. Bikes can be borrowed for up to six hours.

There are more than 1,100 members registered for Rocket Wheels, according to Diana Watts, UT transit and Rocket Wheels bike share coordinator.

“Bike riding is fun and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The Rocket Wheels bike share gives people the opportunity to get to class without having to use their cars and eliminates the worry of finding a parking space,” Watts said. “It also provides those who do not have cars on campus a mode of transportation to get to other places around the city.”

To register for Rocket Wheels, visit utoledo.edu/rocket-wheels.