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Archive for February, 2019

Apply by March 1 to serve as student trustee

Applications are being accepted for students to join The University of Toledo Board of Trustees.

Students interested in representing the student body on the board are encouraged to apply by Friday, March 1.

The student trustee appointment is a two-year term in which the student attends board meetings, including corresponding committee meetings to which they are appointed, and reports information to the Student Government.

“We are seeking student leaders who are excited about the opportunity to get involved at the highest level and offer their insight into decisions that impact the University,” said Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs.

The requirements to apply to serve as a student trustee are:

• A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above;

• Ability to fulfill the two-year term commitment with UT student status;

• Enrolled full time when nominated or appointed;

• Enrolled for three semesters on a full-time basis at UT prior to nomination and appointment;

• Not under conduct probation or other disciplinary action; and

• Be a registered Ohio voter.

To apply, a student needs to complete the applications available online on the Board of Trustees website. The form includes a place for students to provide information on their time at UT, including any volunteer work, internships or activities.

Applications are being accepted for one of two student trustee positions and must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in University Hall Room 3630 by noon on Friday, March 1.

Following an application review and interviews with Student Government, up to five candidates will be submitted to the Ohio Governor’s Office for final selection.

The new trustee will replace Hedyeh Elahinia, who completes her term in June. The new trustee will join Kyle D. Bergen, a third-year doctor of pharmacy student in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, to represent the student body on the board.

New hydrotherapy center in Larimer Athletic Complex will help promote health, recovery of student-athletes

The University of Toledo Athletic Department recently dedicated the Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center in the Larimer Athletic Complex.

Longtime UT athletics supporter Paul Hotmer made a substantial gift toward the completion of the center, which will help promote recovery time for Rocket student-athletes.

Paul Hotmer, back row fourth from right, was joined by members of his family, UT President Sharon L. Gaber, Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien, Football Coach Jason Candle, and UT staff members at a recent dedication of the Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center in the Larimer Athletic Complex.

“We are very grateful to Paul Hotmer and his family for their very generous gift to help us build the new hydrotherapy center,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Paul has been a tremendous supporter of Rocket athletics for many years. His contributions continue to have a very positive effect on the experience of our student-athletes.”

Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle added, “The Hotmer Hydrotherapy Center is a tremendous asset and a major step forward for the Toledo football program as we continue to strive to provide our student-athletes with a first-class experience during their time as a Rocket.

“The generosity of Paul Hotmer and his family will directly contribute to the health of our football players by shortening the necessary recovery time after practice and games. In order to sustain the high-level success that the Toledo fan base deserves, it takes the support of the entire Toledo community, and I am forever grateful to the Hotmer family for investing in the future of the Toledo football program.”

The Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center features two in-ground therapy pools that each contain 1,500 gallons of water. One is a combination therapy pool that can be used as either a hot pool or a cold pool. The second is used strictly as a cold pool. They are similar to the Hydroworx pools that were installed in the Sports Medicine Center in the Sullivan Athletic Complex when Savage Arena was renovated in 2008.

Cold plunge therapy is used to enhance muscle recovery by reducing metabolic rate, inflammation, circulation, muscle spasms and pain. With cold therapy, vasoconstriction also takes effect, narrowing the blood vessels and resulting in reduced swelling. In a polar plunge pool, the water is kept at a therapeutic 50 degrees to help control joint inflammation and to stimulate the release of endorphins. Science also shows that the cold water causes the release of cytokines and other body chemicals that help boost immunity.

Thermal plunge pool therapy heats muscle and tissue to increase circulation and restore blood flow to the body. The warmth of the water promotes a transient reduction in joint stiffness, pain and muscle spasms. It also can help to reduce inflammation. The typical temperature of a hot pool ranges from 94 to 104 degrees to relax tight muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins.

Also in the center is the Hydroworx 350 Underwater Treadmill. This is a sports model that is taller and longer than a standard unit. Water can be adjusted to attain depths ranging from one to 56 inches. It has a 750-gallon reservoir tank that filters and recycles water between uses. The treadmill utilizes water’s buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure to aid injured athletes back to functional activity.

Rockets raise highest total for cancer research since 2013

The Toledo women’s basketball program made another special contribution to The University of Toledo Medical Center Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio, and UT Center for Health and Successful Living at its 13th annual “Rockets for the Cure” game Feb. 2.

The Rockets raised $16,224 for cancer research, signifying their highest total since 2013. It also marked the 10th straight year they collected at least $10,000.

Five of UT’s uniforms that were auctioned off after the Rockets’ double-digit victory over archrival Bowling Green went for at least $700.

And Toledo beat Bowling Green, 76-56.

Chrys Peterson, former WTOL news anchor, was the guest emcee for the 11th consecutive year. She encouraged the 4,757 fans in attendance to take part in a silent auction and informed them about Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Most in the crowd wore pink, including many who donned “Rockets for the Cure” T-shirts.

The pink Nike jerseys that UT players wore were made specially for the game against archrival Bowling Green. Five of the jerseys that were auctioned off went for at least $700, including a high of $3,000 for senior Kaayla McIntyre’s uniform.

2019 winter break dates announced

Once again this year, the University will close for winter break at a time when most departments are operationally slow. UT implemented a winter break policy in 2017 in response to feedback received from employees over several years.

Winter break enables UT faculty and most staff to rest before spring semester, and also helps to reduce costs while still maintaining crucial functions, such as hospital operations at UT Medical Center, approved research activities and public safety. Therefore, winter break does not include UTMC employees or certain required positions, which might vary depending on annual need.

In addition to existing holiday pay, the University provides additional paid days off — either three days or four, depending on which day the holiday falls in the year — to cover the entire specified time period. This year’s winter break schedule includes four paid days off:

• Tuesday, Dec. 24 — Holiday (Columbus Day/floating holiday);

• Wednesday, Dec. 25 — Holiday (Christmas);

• Thursday, Dec. 26 — Paid day off provided for winter break;

• Friday, Dec. 27 — Paid day off provided for winter break;

• Monday, Dec. 30 — Paid day off provided for winter break;

• Tuesday, Dec. 31 — Paid day off provided for winter break; and

• Wednesday, Jan. 1 — Holiday (New Year’s Day).

“We received very positive feedback from faculty and staff who appreciated having extra time off to enjoy the holidays with loved ones, as well as to re-energize before spring semester,” said Wendy Davis, associate vice president and human resources officer.

“When recruiting high-quality individuals for employment at UT, winter break schedule has become an ‘added bonus’ because many other employers in our region cannot offer this benefit,” Davis added. “This extra paid time off is yet one more differential that has helped position the University as the employer of choice in northwest Ohio.”

Faculty and staff who work on Main Campus or Scott Park Campus are asked to refrain from being on campus during winter break, unless pre-approved by their department’s leadership in order to conduct essential business. Access to buildings will be restricted, and facility operations and ground maintenance also will be limited.

The University identifies essential operations that may need to be continued during winter break by March 1 of each year in areas that require vacation planning. Leadership members are responsible for designating any specific employees who will need to be on call and/or who must work during winter break in order to provide essential services, which may include research that cannot be conducted at home.

Leaders also should notify all affected service and product providers, including vendors and contractors, about UT’s winter break closure dates so they may plan their services and deliveries accordingly.

Additional details, including frequently asked questions, are available on the winter break schedule website.

Memorial service set for retired University administrator

Friends of Dr. William McMillen are invited to remember the longtime University employee Thursday, Feb. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo.

The celebration of life and sharing of memories will begin at 3:30 p.m.

McMillen

McMillen, who worked at MCO/MUO/UT from 1982 until his retirement in 2012, died Nov. 23 at age 71.

The Perrysburg resident most recently served as interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 2010 and delayed his retirement to take the post permanently in 2011.

He was vice president for government relations for both UT and MUO from 2005 to 2006; he played a pivotal role in navigating the legislative process that led to the merger of the two institutions. In addition, he oversaw the legislation in the state general assembly that changed the name from the Medical College of Ohio to the Medical University of Ohio.

McMillen held a variety of senior-level positions at MCO involving government relations, fundraising, communications and affirmative action while serving four presidents. In addition, he was secretary of the MCO Board of Trustees for 10 years and received a community-based appointment in the Department of Psychiatry in 1994.

At UT, he worked on initiatives in strategic planning, sustainability, economic development, and relations with the Ohio Board of Regents. McMillen also led efforts for a successful accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission.

Ever the writer, McMillen penned a play, “First Do No Harm,” which premiered in 2018 through the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s Toledo Voices. He also wrote fiction and nonfiction, including the books “From Campus to Capitol” (2010) and “Sticks” (2000). And he wrote a government relations column, “The Party Line,” for The Chronicle of Higher Education under the pseudonym Peter Onear.

The family suggests tributes to the UT College of Arts and Letters General Scholarship Fund through the UT Foundation website.

Maximizing office hours for student success to be addressed at forum

“Can I Meet With You? Web-Based, Student Self-Scheduling of Office Hours” is the topic of this month’s Future of Higher Education Forum.

The session will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005.

Oberlander

James Oberlander, an instructor in the College of Nursing, will lead the forum.

He will talk about the correlation between direct student and faculty interaction and academic success. Oberlander will discuss scheduling methodologies used for office hour appointments and the importance of changing the perception of office hours to promote student success.

“Faculty have office hours to benefit students. It is a fact: Face-to-face interaction leads to student success,” Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost for faculty affairs, said. “James Oberlander will share his research on office hours, as well as how to maximize the benefits of that time for students as well as faculty members.”

The Future of Higher Education Forums are coordinated by the Office of the Provost.

Register for this month’s program and read more about the forums, including how to submit proposals for upcoming events, at the Office of the Provost website.

Those who attend are asked to bring a laptop or tablet.

Faculty members who are unable to attend can watch live on the Office of the Provost website.

Rocket Innovations seeks applications for Student Venture Investment Program

Rocket Innovations, The University of Toledo’s technology investment fund, has seen recent return on its investments and is ready to invest in new technology business ventures.

Current UT undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent UT alumni within one year of graduation, are invited to submit ideas for a new technology venture that may lead to up to a $20,000 investment from Rocket Innovations.

The purpose of the program is to provide critical early funding and mentoring to move a promising idea for a new venture into a successful business enterprise.

More information on the program and application materials are available on the Rocket Innovation website.

All applicants are required to participate in UT’s I-Corps or other customer discovery process and must be able to demonstrate a clear market need and a viable business model to support the venture.

Those receiving funding will be provided mentoring from Rocket Innovations staff and the UT LaunchPad Incubation Program.

Opportunities for funding to support critical services from the Northwest Ohio Entrepreneurial Services Program, NextTech, will be available to successful student entrepreneurs.

In addition, mentoring will assist the student entrepreneur(s) in moving her or his venture to the next level, positioning the venture for follow-on funding and revenue generation, and taking the enterprise toward a desired exit.

The Rocket Innovations Board of Directors has approved $100,000 in support of this new program. The board approved this funding because of the recent positive performance of the Rocket Innovations portfolio, where previous business investments have returned funds into the program.

For more information, contact Dr. Norman Rapino, executive director of Rocket Innovations, at 419.530.6165 or norman.rapino@utoledo.edu.

Registration open for youth Patch Day Workshop at Lake Erie Center

Friday, Feb. 22, is the deadline to register for Partners for Clean Streams’ 17th annual Youth Patch Day Workshop.

The event will be held Sunday, March 3, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at The University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

The Patch Day Workshop is open to second- through fifth-grade students interested in learning about conservation, as well as Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts seeking to fulfill merit and environmental badge requirements.

“Outreach efforts such as Patch Day are meaningful because they bring many organizations together to collaborate on a program that is really meaningful for students,” said Rachel Lohner, education program manager at the Lake Erie Center. “We work hard to create a theme and content that will interest a broad range of kids. These types of programs are great to inspire students and teach them to respect the world around them.”

This year’s workshop theme is “Habitats” and will feature presenters from the city of Oregon, the city of Perrysburg, Wood Soil & Water Conservation District, Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District, the UT Lake Erie Center, and Black Swamp Bird Observatory. In addition, there will be hands-on activities.

This program is an excellent way for youth and their leaders to learn more about their roles in protecting the environment.

“We spark a love of the environment by offering youth fun and hands-on educational activities from an early age,” Lohner said. “It only takes one person to connect with a student to inspire him or her to go on and do something really great.”

Registration can be done online at the Partners for Clean Streams website. Cost is $5 per participant and must be paid prior to the event.

For more information, call the Partners for Clean Streams office at 419.874.0727.

Toledo’s 2019 football schedule features six home games

The University of Toledo’s 2019 football schedule was released today, with six games on the home slate for the Rockets. Toledo will open the season at Kentucky Saturday, Aug. 31, and will debut at home Saturday, Sept. 14, vs. Murray State.

Highlighting the home schedule is a Sept. 28 matchup with traditional power Brigham Young University. The Rockets and the Cougars met in a high-scoring classic in Provo in 2016, with BYU coming away with a 55-53 victory on a last-second field goal.

The Rockets also will host defending Mid-American Conference Champion Northern Illinois in a Wednesday night meeting Nov. 13.

Rounding out the home schedule is a matchup vs. Western Michigan Saturday, Oct. 5, in the annual Homecoming game; a date with Eastern Michigan Saturday, Oct. 26; and a clash with Kent State Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Toledo’s road schedule will begin with its first-ever meeting on the gridiron with Kentucky. The Wildcats were 10-3 in 2018, their best season since the 1977 squad went 10-1. UT’s other non-conference road contest is at Colorado State of the Mountain West Conference Saturday, Sept. 21.

The MAC road games are Saturday, Oct. 12, at Bowling Green; Saturday, Oct. 19, at Ball State; Wednesday, Nov. 20, at defending East Division champion Buffalo; and Friday, Nov. 29, at Central Michigan.

Three games on the 2019 schedule have already been set for national TV broadcasts: Nov. 5 vs. Kent State (ESPN2/ESPNU or CBS Sports Network), Nov. 13 vs. Northern Illinois (ESPN2 or ESPNU), and Buffalo (ESPN2 or ESPNU). Other dates will be added to the broadcast schedule later.

Head Football Coach Jason Candle’s 2019 squad returns 51 letterwinners and 14 starters from last season’s team, including sophomore running back Bryant Koback, who led the Rockets with 917 yards rushing as a freshman. The Rockets were 7-6 in 2018, and are one of only nine schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision that have had a winning record in each of the past nine seasons.

Rocket fans can get a preview of the 2019 team at the annual spring scrimmage Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Glass Bowl.

The 2019 season also will mark the 150th anniversary of the first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton Nov. 6, 1869. To commemorate the occasion, UT will feature social media posts all season highlighting the tradition of Toledo football. In addition, a special celebration of Rocket football history will take place at the Nov. 5 game vs. Kent State.

Rocket football season tickets are on sale for as low as $70.

Full-time UT employees and retirees may purchase up to two season tickets at half-price. Additional season tickets may be purchased at the full price. UT students are admitted to home games free with ID.

For more information, go online to the Toledo Rockets’ website, call 419.530.GOLD (4653), or stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office during business hours.

UT researchers develop new mouse model for Type I diabetes that mimics full scope of the human disease

Researchers at The University of Toledo have found a new way to replicate in lab mice the development and progression of Type I diabetes, a breakthrough that has the potential to reshape how the chronic disease is studied.

An estimated 1.25 million Americans are living with Type I diabetes. While the condition can be managed with insulin, finding a treatment or cure for the disease has been elusive — in part because scientists have not had a reliable animal model that mimics the full scope of human Type I diabetes.

Dr. Shahnawaz Imam, left, and Dr. Juan Jaume display an array of diabetes management tools that patients rely on to control their disease. A new mouse model developed at UT may open the door to research that finds new therapies.

“We see these patients every day. We see them come to the hospital, we see how they struggle,” said Dr. Juan Jaume, professor of medicine in UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and senior author of the new invention. “Unfortunately, research has been held back because the scientific community didn’t have a good model to study the disease and its progression. Now we do. We have developed a mouse model that is a step forward toward finding a cure.”

The first peer-reviewed study using the UT-developed mouse model was published Feb. 7 in the natural sciences journal Scientific Reports.

In that study, Jaume, who is also chief of the Division of Endocrinology and director of UT’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, and co-collaborator Dr. Shahnawaz Imam, a senior researcher in the Department of Medicine and an associate member of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, looked at how a certain protein can influence T-cells in the pancreas to delay the onset of diabetes.

While the study adds to the overall knowledge about diabetes, it is the mouse model that holds the real potential.

In the new model, mice spontaneously develop Type I diabetes and, importantly, the full range of complications experienced by diabetes patients. That allows study of the disease and its natural progression in a way not previously possible.

“Our model is showing exactly the same physiopathology that humans with diabetes suffer,” Imam said. “Our mice are getting eye problems, they are getting kidney problems and also neuropathy. That’s a very important part of this — they have the same human complications that all diabetes patients have, not just those with Type I.”

The laboratory mice were developed through a series of selective breeding experiments and genetic modification that included adding human genes to the mice.

A provisional patent on the Spontaneous Type I Diabetes Mouse Model was filed last year.

Type I diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, results from an autoimmune attack on cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Without insulin, the body cannot process the sugars in food, leading to dangerously high blood sugar.

Though many species develop diabetes, Jaume said the process of Type I diabetes seems to be unique to humans. And while scientists have frequently used other specially bred mice, including what’s known as the non-obese diabetic mouse, to study diabetes and test treatments, those lab animals don’t mimic the exact human pathophysiology of the disease.

“The existing non-obese diabetic mouse model does not completely resemble the human condition,” Jaume said. “There are more than 125 different therapies that cure Type I diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Clinical trials were developed because of that model, but none have worked in humans. Everybody has been searching for a better model.”

Jaume and Imam have been working on their model for more than a decade. It is already showing research promise.

Using the same idea behind CAR T-cell therapy for cancer, in which certain immune system cells are taken from a patient and paired with an artificial receptor that once reintroduced into the body homes in on the tumor, the team is developing cellular therapies for diabetes that use the mice’s regulatory cells to cool down the immune response.

The University also has filed a provisional patent on the treatment method, and Jaume and Imam soon will begin a more in-depth study of its effectiveness.