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Archive for January, 2018

Stronger student retention increases spring enrollment

More students are enrolled at The University of Toledo this spring semester thanks to increased efforts to support student success.

The total enrollment for spring semester 2018 is 19,236 students, according to official 15-day census numbers. There were 19,221 students enrolled in spring semester 2017.

Spring enrollment reflects an improved undergraduate fall-to-spring-semester retention rate of 90.6 percent for the current 2017-18 academic year. It was 89.3 percent for 2016-17 and 89.1 percent for the 2015-16 academic year.

“Student success is the reason we are here,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “All of us at the University, from the academic colleges to the student affairs staff, are focused on supporting our students in and out of the classroom. I am proud those efforts are having a positive impact on our retention rates and will be reflected in our graduation rates in the future.”

Included in the spring enrollment are 14,860 undergraduate students and 4,376 graduate and professional students. There were 14,858 undergraduates and 4,363 graduate and professional students enrolled in spring 2017.

UT to host National Girls and Women in Sports Day Feb. 3

The University of Toledo will host the third annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day Saturday, Feb. 3, as the women’s basketball team takes on Buffalo at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day honors the accomplishments and hard work of female student-athletes in the classroom, in sports and in the community. The day will showcase UT’s female student-athletes, staff and coaches to thank them for their hard work.

The sports of soccer, volleyball, tennis and softball will be represented at the event on the concourses at Savage Arena between 12:30 and 2 p.m. prior to the start of the game. The teams will have their own stations to sign autographs, host an activity, and interact with fans.

There also will be videos and photos highlighting all nine UT women sports teams, as well as cheer and dance throughout the game to recognize their accomplishments in the community, in the classroom, and in their respective sports.

At halftime, there will be a live recognition of the women who work in the athletic department.

In conjunction with National Girls and Women in Sports Day, the Toledo Cheerleaders will host a cheer clinic. To register and for more information, click here.

Tickets for the game can be purchased online at utrockets.com, by calling 419.530.GOLD or at the UT Ticket Office. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, contact Adam Simpson, UT athletic marketing, promotions and fan experience graduate assistant, at 419.530.5433 or adam.simpson@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Former UT quarterback to participate in football challenge Feb. 2

Former Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside will participate in the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The 20th edition of the All-Star Football Challenge will air Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

Woodside finished his Toledo career as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards (10,514), passing touchdowns (93), and passing efficiency (162.87 percent). His 93 touchdowns are fifth-most in MAC history, and his passing efficiency rating is 12th-highest in Football Bowl Subdivision history.

As a senior this past season, he led Toledo to a Mid-American Conference Championship, earning MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors and the Vern Smith Award as the league’s MVP. Woodside led the Rockets to a 29-9 record as starting quarterback, including an 11-3 mark in 2017.

The six teams in the competition will consist of four players from the same conference that will compete for conference supremacy in a series of skills challenges. The conferences represented are the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12, the SEC, and four of the best players outside of the Power Five that will be called the Wild Card team.

Joining Woodside on the Wild Card team will be University of Texas at San Antonio defensive end Marcus Davenport, University of Texas at El Paso guard Will Hernandez, and Boise State wide receiver Cedric Wilson.

Each player will individually participate in a timed event and then finish with a team event. Events will all be timed and have individual winners who will compile into a cumulative score to determine the winning team.

Solving a mystery: Genius behind ‘Proof’ to be revealed

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will present David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play, “Proof,” Friday through Sunday, Feb. 2-4 and 9-11, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

It will be directed by Dr. Matt Foss, who joined the department as an assistant professor of theatre in August. The play marks his first production at UT.

Foss said he is excited about the future of UT’s theatre program.

“The growing conversation of how we want to contribute to the excellent storytelling in our city and region, and through things like the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival or our study abroad trips to Italy and the Moscow Art Theatre, are incredibly exciting,” he said. “With ‘Proof,’ we were lucky to have collaborators from across the community: a local professional actor, as well as a high school student committed and interested in the theatre, working hand in hand with our UT students. I think it is a really exciting time for UT theatre, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”

Foss is familiar with the setting for “Proof.”

“I cut my teeth in Chicago and was there when this play first came on the scene. I remember walking through the streets and bookstores and around the neighborhood where the play is set,” he said. “I used a piece from the play for auditions when I was working as a professional actor in the city.”

He added there is good reason why this play has been so celebrated.

“The play has been popular since its premiere and winning the Pulitzer in 2001. It is an interesting moment to revisit it. The young woman at the heart of the play is navigating a difficult time. Her beloved, but troubled father has just passed, and she is facing the possibility of what parts of him will be a part of her life — will it be his mathematical genius or his issues with mental illness, or a confusing mix of both,” Foss said. “When a revolutionary mathematical proof is discovered, the people who know this young lady the most automatically assume it is the work of her father, and when she reveals she is the author, the people who love her the most struggle to believe she is capable of such an accomplishment.”

Foss lauded the quality of the faculty teaching artists and earnest students who make up the production’s ensemble in the department.

“This play is a great catalyst to some exciting stories we will share and make in the future, and I’m hopeful as I start to put down roots here in Toledo, I can continue to meet, engage and both support and collaborate with the community of excellent storytellers and theatre makers here in our city.”

“Proof” cast members are Aneesah S. Taalib-Deen, a freshman majoring in theatre, as Catherine; Sarena Jackson, a senior theatre major, as Claire; Austin Rambo, a junior majoring in theatre and film with a minor in communications, as Harold Dobbs; and Bill Quinlan, a local professional actor, as Robert.

Tickets are $8 for students; $10 for UT faculty, staff and alumni, and military members and seniors; and $15 for the general public. Call 419.530.ARTS (2787) or order online at utoledo.tix.com. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Toledo Public Schools superintendent to speak at UT Black History Month kickoff

“A Different World: Honoring Our Past, A Journey to Our Future” is the theme of The University of Toledo’s 2018 celebration of Black History Month.

“The 1990s played a large role in our generation,” said Guyton Mathews IV, a graduate student pursuing a master of liberal studies degree, who is chair of the Black History Month Committee. “When the Black History Month Planning Committee met, many theme options were discussed, but we all kept coming back to the hit ’90s television show, ‘A Different World.’

“We decided to add the tagline ‘Honoring Our Past, A Journey to Our Future’ to show that we do respect and acknowledge what has been done in the past and the groundwork that has been laid for our advancement,” Mathews, a graduate assistant for African-American Initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Student Success, said. “While there are some issues that we still face that can be related to the past, our adversity is different.”

Dr. Romules Durant, superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, will give the keynote address at the Black History Month Kickoff Luncheon Saturday, Feb. 3, at 11:30 a.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Alexis Means of 13 ABC will emcee the event, which will include singing and dancing performances. A lunch will be provided for those who RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 30, at utoledo.edu/studentaffairs/omss.

“Black History Month is a time to remember and celebrate the achievements of black men and women who have shaped our history whether locally, nationally and internationally,” Durant said. “My ultimate goal is that I can inspire someone toward greatness by sharing the challenges I’ve faced and the goals I’ve accomplished.”

A Toledo native, Durant is a graduate of Waite High School and UT. He received bachelor of arts, master of arts and doctoral degrees in education from the University in 1998, 2002 and 2007, respectively. Since 2000, he has worked at Toledo Public Schools as a teacher, administrator and assistant superintendent; he became the district’s 30th superintendent in 2013.


“I’m honored to be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s Black History Month kickoff luncheon,” Durant said. “As a proud UT graduate, I look forward to anytime I can support or give back to my alma mater.”

A former member of the UT Alumni Association Board of Trustees, Durant received the Judith Herb College of Education Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2015.

Listed by date, other events will include:

Wednesday, Feb. 7

• Black History Month Trivia, 8 to 10 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2591. Join the Office of Multicultural Student Success, the Black Student Union and the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program for questions about black history, as well as the Black Card Revoked game.

Monday, Feb. 12

• “Black GirlZ Rock,” 6 to 9 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will honor women on campus who have made an impact on UT students. Appetizers will be served.

Tuesday, Feb. 13

• “Black Love Is Raw,” 7 to 8 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2584. Presented by the Association for the Advancement of African-American Women and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., this event will offer a safe place to have a discussion about love. There will be activities to facilitate the dialogue.

Thursday, Feb. 15

• Black History Month Art Exhibit, 3 to 5 p.m., Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge. The Office of Multicultural Student Success is inviting artists to share their works relating to black history and culture in a museum-style setting.

Tuesday, Feb. 20

• Name That Tune: Black History Month Edition, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2591. Teams will compete in a multiple round competition to guess songs from the 1960s to the present. Winners will receive a prize from the Office of Multicultural Student Success.

Friday, Feb. 23

• Black Student Union Fashion Show, 7:30 to 10 p.m., Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 VIP available at Ask Rocky. General admission at the door will be $15.

Monday, Feb. 26

• Black History Month College Preview Day, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thompson Student Union. High school students can visit campus and learn about college life from members of several multicultural student organizations. For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

For more information, contact the the Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.

Saturday Morning Science returns with ‘Twisty Puzzles,’ ‘Green Goo,’ ‘Talking Trees’

If you’re curious about solving the Rubik’s Cube or the break of a pitcher’s curve ball, ask a mathematician or scientist.

Saturday Morning Science is back for 2018 at The University of Toledo with six programs to give the community the opportunity to learn about hot topics in modern science.

The free, public talks are presented by the UT College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and kick off Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100 with “A Brief History of Twisty Puzzles,” most famously the Rubik’s Cube.

“Puzzles are more important than most people realize,” said Dr. Nathaniel Iverson, lecturer in the UT Department of Mathematics and Statistics, who will lead the session and teach strategies to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

“Mathematics is not just about numbers and calculations, but also about analyzing the world around you and solving problems. Puzzles are valuable for developing dexterity, problem-solving strategies, spatial reasoning, refinement of practice techniques, and intuition for higher-level concepts in mathematics.”

A limited number of custom UT/Saturday Morning Science cube puzzles will be given away to attendees of the Feb. 3 presentation.

Listed by date, additional programs and speakers are:

• Feb. 17 — “Bio-Inspired, Bio-Hybrid, and Organic Robots: The Many Roles of Nature in Robotic Development” by Dr. Roger Quinn, director of the Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University, and Dr. Victoria Webster-Wood, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

• Feb. 24 — “From Fork to Fauna: Unlocking the Secrets of Nutrition to Optimize Our Health” by Sally Itawi and Manish Karamchandani, medical students in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, in Wolfe Hall Room 1205.

• March 17 — “Talking Trees and Babbling Bushes: How Plants Communicate with Each Other” by Dr. Jack C. Schultz, senior executive director of research development at UT and director emeritus of the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri, in Wolfe Hall Room 1205.

• April 21 — “The Great Green Goo of Lake Erie: Harmful Algal Blooms and Your Drinking Water” by Dr. Tom Bridgeman, UT professor of ecology in the Department of Environmental Sciences, in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

• April 28 — “The Physics of Baseball” by Dr. Alan Nathan, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

“One theme running through this year’s series is our relationship with nature,” said Dr. John Bellizzi, UT associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and co-director of Saturday Morning Science. “We’re connected to the environment through the food we eat and the water we drink, and we can also draw inspiration from understanding how animals move and plants communicate.”

All talks begin at 10 a.m. and include complimentary light refreshments.

For more information about the upcoming events, visit facebook.com/saturdaymorningscience.

Men’s seven-game streak equals $7 basketball tickets purchased by midnight Jan. 29

With The University of Toledo’s men’s basketball team riding a season-high seven-game winning streak, tickets for its matchup vs. Ball State Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. can be purchased for $7 (plus parking/processing fees) until midnight Monday, Jan. 29.

The seats available for the specially priced tickets are in the A and B sections of Savage Arena’s upper east side.

Senior guard Tre’Shaun Fletcher scored a team-high 26 points in UT’s big 101-75 win over Bowling Green Saturday night in Savage Arena.

To purchase the tickets, go to Men’s Basketball Ticket Central on utrockets.com and use the promo code FlashMB.

The Rockets (15-6, 7-1 Mid-American Conference) are alone in first place in the MAC’s West Division and hold a three-game lead over the Cardinals and Western Michigan. UT posted a 101-75 victory over Bowling Green Saturday before a season-high 6,812 fans.

Toledo’s seven-game conference winning streak is tied for the sixth-longest in program history with the last time the Rockets winning seven in a row in league play coming during their 2006-07 campaign.

New ad campaign focuses on local alumni

The University recently launched a new ad campaign highlighting the impact of alumni in the Toledo community and the career success they have achieved with their UT degrees.

The campaign is featured on 14 billboards throughout Toledo and in print and digital ads. The ads include an array of graduates from varied generations and academic backgrounds. The featured alumni include:

This billboard at Monroe Street and Douglas Road is one of 14 in the area that are part of UT’s new ad campaign focusing on local alumni and their success stories.

• Bob Savage, co-founder of Savage & Associates;

• Robin Whitney, vice president of real estate and construction for ProMedica;

• Prakash Karamchandani and HoChan Jang, co-owners of Balance Pan-Asian Grille and Bubble Tea;

• Dr. Romules Durant, superintendent of Toledo Public Schools; and

• McKenzie Kuehnlein, reporter for 13 ABC.

The ads direct to utoledo.edu/alumni with more information about the featured participants and their UT experiences.

“We have so many success stories at UT and are proud of our graduates’ accomplishments,” said Barbara Owens, UT associate vice president for marketing and communications. “We want to raise awareness of how these alumni are present and contributing to the Toledo region, and also remind area high school students about the opportunities for success at UT.”

The campaign will run through March.

Training to help faculty recognize, assist at-risk students

Faculty members and graduate assistants who teach are encouraged to attend a one-hour session on “How to Identify and Help Students in Crisis.”

“Our students’ safety and academic success are priorities at UT,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and president of Faculty Senate. “We need to make sure our faculty and teaching assistants are adequately trained and prepared to help students in need.

“That’s why Faculty Senate has partnered with the Division of Student Affairs to help provide this important training for faculty and graduate teaching assistants.”

There will be three training sessions offered Thursday, Feb. 1, in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711 on Main Campus: from 9 to 10 a.m., 10 to 11 a.m., and noon to 1 p.m.

Training also will be held Thursday, Feb. 15, from 10 to 11 a.m. in Collier Building Room 1200 on Health Science Campus.

Presenters at the sessions will be:

• Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, associate professor of educational psychology, who will discuss identifying at-risk students;

• Dr. Mychail Scheramic, director of the University Counseling Center, who will talk about threat assessments; and

• Donald Kamm, director of Title IX and compliance, who will provide information on how to help students who have been sexually assaulted.

“Mental health and alcohol and other drug issues are major factors that can hinder academic success. It is important to help train faculty and those teaching our students how to identify at-risk students and refer them to needed services,” Thompson said. “Many of us have never received such training, and this can really help improve student outcomes.”

Space is limited at the sessions and is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.

The 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 session will be streamed live at https://youtu.be/Q_y86-Ov3M4. A recording will be available at the same link following the conclusion of the training.

For more information, contact Thompson at amy.thompson4@utoledo.edu.

Professor writes, reads poem for new Toledo mayor

Poetry is a passion for Dr. Jim Ferris.

So when he received a request from Wade Kapszukiewicz to write a poem that could be read when he would be sworn in as the new mayor of Toledo, Ferris put pen to paper.


“I wrote a poem that seemed to work for the moment; it’s called ‘Laborare,’” Ferris, professor and Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies, said. “The Latin title means ‘To Work.’

“My initial plan was to pick something off the shelf. Inspiration to order has never been my strong suit. But I found myself thinking about the Latin phrase on the Toledo city seal, ‘laborare est orare’ [to work is to pray], and that led me to pick up a pen.”

Ferris, who began his second two-year term as the Lucas County poet laureate last summer, read the poem Jan. 2 when Kapszukiewicz officially took office as the Glass City’s mayor.

“Laborare” also was included in the program for the mayor’s inaugural events last weekend.

“It is quite an honor to serve as poet laureate of Lucas County; I hope I can be an ambassador for poetry and the arts in general in northwest Ohio,” Ferris said. “And it is quite gratifying when people find my work engaging and useful.”

He is the author of “Slouching Towards Guantanamo,” “Facts of Life” and “The Hospital Poems.” His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, Text and Performance Quarterly, and the Georgia Review.

“For me, poetry is not separate from my work to create greater access and opportunity for people with disabilities, people of color, and other oppressed groups in society,” Ferris said. “My commitment to diversity and inclusion informs my poems, whether that commitment is readily apparent or not.”

As Lucas County poet laureate, he shares his love of words and presents poetry to the area community.

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge described poetry as the best words in the best order; I think of language as humanity’s most important tool and toy. We do things with language, we use language to perform work, and sometimes we are most productive when we are most playful,” Ferris said. “Language is fun, and this is sort of a productive paradox: I hope my poems are useful and fun at the same time, whether it’s laugh-out-loud fun or ‘Oh, that’s moving’ fun.”