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Archive for May, 2018

Toledo to play at Ohio State in 2022

The University of Toledo football team will play Ohio State in Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Sept. 17, 2022, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.

The contest will mark the fourth meeting between the two schools and the first since a 27-22 Buckeye victory in Columbus in 2011.

“We are very pleased to add Ohio State to our non-conference football schedule in 2022,” O’Brien said. “Ohio State has one of the richest histories in college football and will be an exciting challenge for our program. We now will be playing at Michigan State (2020), Notre Dame (2021) and Ohio State (2022) in consecutive years. We think our players and our fans are very excited to be playing in these types of environments.”

Toledo will start the 2018 season with three consecutive home games, beginning with the season opener vs. VMI Saturday, Sept. 1. Following a bye week, the Rockets host Miami (Fla.) Sept. 15 and Nevada Sept. 22.

For season tickets, click here or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Toledo earns Jacoby Trophy as MAC’s top women’s athletic program

The University of Toledo was awarded with the Jacoby Trophy as the top women’s athletic program in the Mid-American Conference at the MAC Honors Dinner in Cleveland Wednesday night.

The Rockets earned the honor for just the second time in the 36-year history of this prestigious award. Toledo also won the award in 2012.

Eastern Michigan won the Reese Trophy in the men’s competition.

For the 2017-18 academic year, the Rockets won the MAC women’s soccer title for the first time since 2011 and finished second in the MAC in women’s cross country and women’s golf. In softball, Toledo (33-20, 16-7 MAC) was MAC West co-champion and earned a berth in the National Invitational Softball Championship, the Rockets’ first postseason appearance in 26 years.

In women’s basketball, the Rockets finished the regular season with an 18-15 overall record, 8-10 in the MAC, for a No. 7 seed. Toledo participated in the postseason in the WNIT with a win over Wright State before a second-round loss by two points at Michigan State.

In track and field, the Rockets finished the outdoor season with a third-place finish in the MAC Championship after posting a fifth-place finish during the indoor meet. In women’s tennis, the Rockets finished with a 15-6 overall record, 5-3 in the MAC, for a No. 3 seed in the MAC Championship. Toledo ended the volleyball season with a 12-16 overall mark, including 7-9 in the MAC. In swimming and diving, Toledo posted a sixth-place finish with 254 team points in the conference meet.

“This is a tremendous recognition for our program,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “The student-athletes and coaches in our women’s programs have truly earned their recognition as the best in the Mid-American Conference. We are extremely proud of everything they have accomplished and congratulate them for this outstanding achievement.”

For the Reese and Jacoby trophies, points are awarded based on each school’s finish, with the overall total divided by the number of sports sponsored by each school. Toledo participated in 10 sports and earned 89.25 points for a league-best 8.925 average. Miami came in second, averaging 8.05 points per sport.

The women’s trophy is named for former MAC Commissioner Fred Jacoby. Jacoby was the MAC commissioner from 1971 to 1982 and is credited with incorporating women’s athletics into the conference structure.

2017-18 Final Jacoby (Women’s) Standings
School — Points Avg.

Toledo — 8.925
Miami — 8.050
Kent State — 7.900
Buffalo — 7.900
Eastern Michigan — 7.363
Central Michigan — 7.000
Western Michigan — 6.800
Bowling Green — 6.545
Northern Illinois — 6.350
Akron — 6.000
Ball State — 5.895
Ohio — 5.600

Retirement reception slated for three longtime administrators

The University community is invited to stop by a retirement reception for three longtime administrators who work in the Office of the Provost.

Drop by the Savage Arena Grogan Room Tuesday, June 5, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. to thank Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim vice provost for student success and former executive associate dean of fiscal affairs in the College of Engineering; Dr. Connie Shriner, vice provost for assessment and faculty development; and Professor Margaret “Peg” Traband, senior vice provost of academic affairs; for their dedication to the University over the years and to wish them well.

“Steve, Connie and Peg have been so dedicated to The University of Toledo. We thank them very much for their loyalty and service,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive president for academic affairs, said.

Combined, the three have worked at the University 99 years.

For more information, contact Laura Malkuian in the Office of the Provost at laura.malkuian@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2738.

12-year-old UT student creates faster, cheaper way to make pharmaceutical drugs, agricultural pesticides

Like many 12-year-olds, Daniel Liu enjoys reading books and wears T-shirts covered in cartoon characters.

Unlike most boys and girls his age, Liu has been honored at the White House for his science achievements and is now a published scientific researcher at The University of Toledo.

Liu

The Ottawa Hills High School student has been taking classes at UT for more than a year through Ohio’s College Credit Plus program.

Liu is one of three members of a UT green chemistry lab team that created a chemical reaction that results in a faster, cheaper, more environmentally friendly way to make pharmaceutical drugs and agrochemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides.

The team’s research, which was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, shows how carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice is used to break up carbon-hydrogen bonds, reactions known as C-H activation.

“We showed that we could run this reaction with many different starting materials and produce very diverse products,” said Liu, a co-author on the paper.

“When you take an unreactive carbon-hydrogen bond, which is found in most organic compounds, and break it to convert it into a new type of bond, you make new molecules more quickly and more sustainably, especially in pharmaceutical and agrochemical molecules,” said Dr. Michael Young, assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

That means, much like Liu’s skyrocketing academic journey, you skip grades or steps in the process, reducing the time and resources it takes to achieve results.

“This chemical reaction cuts up to five steps out of a process that normally takes six or seven,” Liu said. “C-H activation also improves overall synthetic efficiency. We found a way to potentially help patients, farmers and the environment when it comes to how medicine and pesticides are made.”

Daniel Liu worked in the lab with Dr. Michael Young, left, and Dr. Mohit Kapoor.

Dr. Mohit Kapoor, UT postdoctoral researcher in medicinal and sustainable chemistry, said Liu has demonstrated an incredible ability to learn and discover at the collegiate level.

“I now see him as a co-worker in my lab. He is a genius and a prodigy,” Kapoor said. “But I remember in the beginning thinking, ‘How could he handle all these things?’ He has proven that he has the knowledge. He can do the work properly and learns quickly.”

“While this is highly unusual, Daniel has unusual talent and great support from his parents,” Young said. “He has already taken most of the junior-level course work in the chemistry program. While he doesn’t have the emotional maturity or physical stature of an older student, he is intellectually advanced compared to his peers.”

Young, Kapoor and Liu are the three authors of the research paper. The scientists say Liu was involved in every step of the project, investing more than 400 hours of work.

“Daniel made many of the starting materials for the reactions and also performed many of the key reactions. He also remade the compounds to validate that we could do this, help make enough of them to characterize them, and prove they were what we said they were,” Young said. “Plus, he helped us craft the manuscript. He went through and made suggestions on how to present our work.”

UT has filed a provisional patent on the work, and the team is looking to market to pharmaceutical companies that make generic drugs.

“We’re excited about the potential to commercialize this because it is much cheaper and more easily recyclable,” Young said. “This really could be a benefit to the synthetic community.”

Liu’s passion lies in developing new pharmaceutical drugs to help people fight different diseases.

“I feel like this is the start of a career, and hopefully I can do more of this research in the future,” Liu said. “I’m starting work on a couple of these projects by myself. I simply want to help people.”

Liu started high school at the age of 10.

In 2016, Liu visited the White House and met President Barack Obama after winning the national “You Be the Chemist” challenge — defeating 30,000 other students. He was the youngest ever to win the Chemical Education Foundation’s competition.

Recently, he received high honors in the National Chemistry Olympiad.

Liu also is assistant principal cellist in the University orchestra. It’s one way he has become involved in UT’s vibrant, diverse campus.

“I had an adjustment period, but this is normal to me now,” Liu said. “I feel at home here and supported in my studies. I’m trying to take advantage of all that UT has to offer so I can keep learning and growing. I want to go to graduate school. I’m also considering medical school. I want to do more stuff that changes the world and helps people.”

UTMC to celebrate cancer survivors June 7

The fourth annual Cancer Survivorship Celebration will be Thursday, June 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo Medical Center in recognition of National Cancer Survivor Month in June.

“Each year of survivorship is a reason for joy,” said Renee Schick, manager of Renee’s Survivor Shop in the Dana Cancer Center. “We want to recognize and honor our patients and their caregivers for their strength and courage through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

Survivors and their guests will be treated to stories of inspiration, live music, a photo booth, refreshments and door prizes. They also will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative mural painting with a local artist and others touched by cancer.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice for survivors in caring for themselves during and after cancer treatment. Patients will receive information about survivorship care, options for treating lymphedema, wound care nutrition advice, and health coaching. Renee’s Survivor Shop will be open.

“The cancer journey is so different for each patient,” said Michelle Giovanoli, radiation oncologist therapy manager at the cancer center and breast cancer survivor. “We want to be a resource for continuing support as our patients and their families celebrate life beyond a cancer diagnosis.”

Nearly 200 survivors and their loved ones, along with doctors, nurses and other care providers, are expected to attend.

The event is free, but reservations are requested via eleanorndanacancercenter@utoledo.edu or 419.383.5243.

Medicinal chemist awarded $2 million to study Alzheimer’s, drug addiction

The National Institutes of Health awarded two grants totaling more than $2 million to a synthetic and bioanalytical organic chemist at The University of Toledo whose research is primarily focused on Alzheimer’s treatment.

The National Institute on Aging awarded Dr. Isaac Schiefer, assistant professor in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, $1.9 million over five years to continue developing a drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded him $153,500 over two years to study drug targets to addiction centers in the brain.

Schiefer

At 33 years old, Schiefer is among the youngest investigators to receive this level of research support across all NIH institutes, according to NIH records.

“I am proud that my lab’s work in drug discovery and design at the University is garnering so much support,” Schiefer said. “Brain disease is heartbreaking, no matter if you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s or drug addiction. I hope to create new ways to understand how the brain works and help families find better treatment options for their loved ones.”

Schiefer developed a prototype molecule that improves memory in mice, which was the first step toward developing a drug that could be given to Alzheimer’s patients.

The prototype molecule was designed to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF. BDNF, a protein, is important for long-term memory, and patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to have less of it. Schiefer said BDNF’s ability to heal damaged brain cells could be compared to how Human Growth Hormone, known as HGH, helps athletes recover from muscle fatigue or injury.

He received a $100,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Association in 2015 and a $10,000 grant from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 2014. His research was recently published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Schiefer said his goal is to translate molecules created and developed in the lab at UT into the clinic as safe and effective therapeutics for patients.

UT alumna’s exhibit invites viewers to share dreams

UT alumna and artist Leslie Adams will present an exhibition at the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

The exhibition, “The Handwritten Dreams Project,” will open Friday, June 1, and be on display through Saturday, July 7.

“Drawing is my first love, but I’m infatuated with cursive — with signatures, poetry and long letters from friends — anything written in one’s own hand,” Adams said. “And I love dreams. I love the dreamers of dreams.

“The Handwritten Dreams Project” includes this self-portrait by Leslie Adams learning cursive in grade school by writing her dreams. Her interactive exhibition invites viewers to write down their dreams and pin them near her work.

“A self-portrait, ‘Handwritten Dreams’ celebrates the hopes and aspirations that we, as children and adults, universally share. It is a drawing, installation and interactive work that provides the space and time where viewers can pause, reflect and write their own dreams on paper. Each then pins their hopes to an endlessly growing ‘wall of dreams’ in the symbolically staged 1970s’ classroom that I remember as a child,” she said.

“As a young school girl, I was taught to be curious, inspired to dream, and encouraged to record my dreams in perfect penmanship. It made them real,” Adams said. “I am so fortunate that my dream of becoming an artist came true, and my goal as an artist is to inspire others to believe in possibility.

“Reflecting on the great cursive debate confronting today’s society, ‘Handwritten Dreams’ seamlessly marries the elegance and beauty of line found in both cursive and drawing with the very marks that are the expressions of our individuality and pure imagination.”

In 2016, “Handwritten Dreams” was presented as part of ArtPrize Eight at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich. Over 19 days, 196,000 visitors to the museum viewed the work, and approximately 50,000 people recorded their hopes, dreams and aspirations, according to Adams.

“Through the beauty of line — from nearly indecipherable scribbles to precise manuscript writing and elegant cursive — individuals conveyed their dreams for themselves, their families and for our world,” she said. “Subsequently, we are given a time capsule of our current culture. Because the dreams echo our lives. They anticipate our future.”

The artist would like to see the wall of dreams continue to grow. In April, a portion of the project was presented at the Portrait Society of America’s International Art of the Portrait Conference and more dreams were collected.

“I am grateful to the Center for the Visual Arts for inviting me to share the installation,” Adams said. “Before ‘The Handwritten Dreams Project’ travels to other venues throughout the world, I invite you to contribute to the work by taking a moment to share your handwritten dream.”

Adams followed her dream and pursued art. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from UT in 1989 and in 1990 won the International Collegiate Competition in Figurative Drawing, which was sponsored by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. She was awarded the grand prize, a full tuition scholarship, which enabled her to attend the New York Academy of Art.

Since earning her master of fine arts degree from the academy, Adams has established herself as an eminent Ohio artist. She has been commissioned to paint more than a dozen official portraits for the state of Ohio. In addition to painting the most recent official gubernatorial portraits, she has portrayed many leaders of the Ohio State Senate, House of Representatives and the Supreme Court of Ohio. Adams also has received commissions from universities, corporations and institutions throughout the United States.

The recent years have characterized a significant turning point in Adams’ already successful career. Her major solo exhibition, “Leslie Adams, Drawn From Life,” part of the Toledo Museum of Art’s 2012 Fall Season of Portraiture, received both critical and public acclaim. As the exhibition was drawing to a close, greater recognition followed. Adams was one of 48 artists in the country whose work was selected for inclusion in the celebrated 2013 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. That same year, her work, “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl,” was awarded the William F. Draper Grand Prize in the Portrait Society of America’s 15th Annual International Portrait Competition.

The free, public exhibition can be viewed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, contact contact Brian Carpenter, UT lecturer of art and gallery director, at brian.carpenter@utoledo.edu.

Art workshops for teens, children to take place this summer at UT

Keep the creativity flowing this summer at art workshops presented by the Department of Art at The University of Toledo.

The workshops are for students of all ages and will take place at the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Different aspects of art will be explored: sculptures, ceramics, digital media and more.

Monday through Friday, June 4-8, two summer art camps will be held for elementary and middle school students. “Monster Hunters” will be held in the morning, while “Art Around the World” will take place during the afternoon.

Each session is $60 or $105 for both. All materials needed for projects are included, and supervision of children will be provided for students staying the entire day.

For high school students, two workshops will be held Monday through Friday, June 4-8. “Sculpture and Ceramics” will take place in the morning, and “Digital Media” will be held in the afternoon.

The “Sculpture and Ceramics” workshop will cost $75, while “Digital Media” is $60. The costs include all materials for required projects.

Lunch will not be provided during either workshop, so students are encouraged to bring a lunch and beverage.

To register for the workshops, click here.

Stadium Drive set to close today

Stadium Drive at the bottom of the hill near North Glass Bowl Drive on Main Campus will close this afternoon.

Traffic will be maintained to the middle of Main Campus through parking lot 4 by Savage Arena, according to Michael Green, director of energy management in Facilities and Construction.

Contractors from Titan Mechanical Inc. of Perrysburg will be installing a new chilled water line across Stadium Drive.

If weather cooperates, the project is expected to be complete in two weeks, Green said.

Global climate disruption topic of June 5 lecture at University

A lecture discussing climate change and global climate disruption will take place Tuesday, June 5, at The University of Toledo.

Dr. Andy Jorgensen, UT associate professor emeritus of chemistry, will present this lecture at 6 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Schmakel Room.

Jorgensen

He will provide background information about global climate disruption and the human dimension of the problem.

“Attendees will get an idea of the changes in the climate during recent years, as well as the reasons and consequences of these changes,” Jorgensen said. “The last part of the talk will be about what can be done to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.”

Actions that the community can take to combat and reduce climate change include reducing waste, recycling, and driving less, Jorgensen said.

He is a Senior Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment. He developed climate change curricular materials that have been featured in a web-based repository titled Climate Adaption Mitigation E-Learning with more than 300 resources. Both NASA and the Natural Science Foundation have provided grants in support of his climate research.

For his efforts to educate the public on climate change, Jorgensen was one of the 2017 recipients of UT’s Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement.

Those who wish to attend the free, public discussion are asked to make reservations by Friday, June 1.

To register for the event, click here or call the Office of Alumni and Annual Engagement at 419.530.2586.