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Inaugural class of Toledo Fire Department paramedics among this year’s inductees to UT Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor

The University of Toledo will add 14 names to the Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor at the eighth annual induction ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 5. Inductees will include the first group of Toledo firefighters to be certified as paramedics.

This year’s other honorees are a longtime clinical nursing educator and an emergency medical services outreach education coordinator.

The ceremony will begin at noon in Collier Building Room 1000B on Health Science Campus with a welcome from UT President Sharon L. Gaber. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Kristopher Brickman, professor and senior associate dean for innovation in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, also are scheduled to give remarks.

“This award recognizes people who have been instrumental in developing and defining what emergency care is in our region,” Brickman said. “We want to honor some of our unsung heroes of emergency medicine who have helped save lives and made a real difference in our community.”

The Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor, made possible through funding from IPI Insta-Plak Inc. and The Blade, was established in 2011 to celebrate the achievements of those who are committed to service within the emergency medicine community.

Each year, nominations are submitted by a committee of community stakeholders and reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee. This year’s group is larger because of the inclusion of all 12 members of the Toledo Fire Department’s first paramedic class.

“Those firefighters were a unique group of people who basically were out there doing something that nobody else had done before,” Brickman said. “For our region they were the pioneers.”

The honorees this year are:

• Patricia Rice Yancy, registered nurse. Yancy, who earned master’s degrees in education and public health from UT after completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mary Manse College, initiated several training courses for nurses, including critical care and flight nurse programs. She has been instrumental in training thousands of nurses, doctors and other pre-hospital employees throughout her career. She recently retired from Lourdes University.

• Patricia Ann Ambrose, paramedic. Ambrose was the EMS outreach education coordinator for Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center Life Flight and Mobile Life. She also was a lifelong EMS and life support educator, including playing an integral role in the paramedic education program and the former Medical University of Ohio. Ambrose died in 2018.

• Members of the Toledo Fire Department paramedic class of 1974. They are William Brown, Michael Condon, James Dugan, David Hilton (posthumous recognition), Alan Janney, Paul Johnston, Renzo Meraldo, James Markland, Ralph Mungons, Samuel Reynolds, Barney Rouster (posthumous recognition) and Daniel Thedford. The 1974 class was the first group of firefighters to train as paramedics in Toledo as part of a joint project with the former Medical College of Ohio. They were pioneers in their field and are uniquely responsible for building and advancing emergency medical services in Lucas County.

A plaque for each honoree will be added to the wall, located in the Emergency Department of The University of Toledo Medical Center, near the ambulance entrance.

Rocket Football Signing Day Show to air on ESPN3 Feb. 6

The University of Toledo will produce and air the 2019 Rocket Football Signing Day Show on ESPN3 Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m.

Brent Balbinot, the voice of the Rockets, will host the one-hour studio show along with Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle and the UT coaching staff. The coaches will review the Rockets’ 2019 recruiting class and show video highlights of each signee.

Feb. 6 is the first day of the second signing period in which high school seniors are allowed to sign national letters of intent. The Rockets signed 18 recruits during the early signing period Dec. 19.

The Rockets will open the 2019 season at Kentucky Saturday, Aug. 31. The home season includes six games, including a Sept. 28 matchup with Brigham Young University.

UT employees and retirees may purchase tickets at half-price; UT students are admitted free with ID.

For season ticket information, call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Theatre department to present ‘The Pillowman’

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will present Martin McDonagh’s Tony Award-winning play titled “The Pillowman” Friday through Sunday, Feb. 1-3 and 8-10, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday shows are at 2 p.m.

In “The Pillowman,” Katurian, a fiction writer abused as a child, churns out bizarre novels with violent plot twists that raise the suspicions of the police when his stories align a little too closely with a recent string of child murders. During his interrogation, Katurian reveals the horrid childhood experiences that informed his craft.

Quincy Joyner, assistant lecturer of theatre, is directing the production.

“There are brutal moments in this play. That’s how Martin McDonagh writes. But he dares us to look past the surface of the story’s characters,” Joyner said. “There are moments of humor and intellect in the writer who writes about horrific things, in the police officers who want the world to be a safer place, in the younger brother who has a childhood filled with dreadful experiences. It is a play that challenges the audience as much as it entertains.”

The cast features Hanna Gerlica, a junior majoring in pharmacy, as Mother; Bryan Harkins, a senior majoring in theatre, as Tupolski; Becca Lustic, a junior majoring in theatre, as Michal; Abbey Mulinix, a student at Wildwood Environmental Academy, as Little Jesus Girl; Grace Mulinix, a freshman majoring in theatre, as Katurian; Faith Murphy, a junior majoring in theatre, as Ariel; Justin Petty, a sophomore majoring in theatre, as Father; and Christian Soto, a freshman majoring in theatre, as Pillow Boy/Brother.

Members of the design team are Dr. Edmund Lingan, professor and chair of theatre and film, producer; Scott Hunt, UT alumnus and faculty member, composer; Kristin Ellert, set designer; Daniel Thobias, associate professor of theatre, costume designer; Stephen Sakowski, assistant professor of theatre, lighting designer; Ryan Peters-Hieber, a senior majoring in theatre design technology, sound designer; Kevin Upham, a senior majoring in theatre, stage manager; and Logan Fleming, a sophomore majoring in theatre, assistant stage manager.

Tickets are $10 for students; $12 for UT faculty, staff and alumni, and military members and seniors; and $18 for the general public. Call 419.530.ARTS (2787) or go to the School of Visual and Performing Arts’ website. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Volunteers to pack 200,000 meals at UT to feed families

For the third year in a row, volunteers will gather in shifts and don hairnets at The University of Toledo to assemble nearly a quarter of a million meals to feed families Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, in the Health Education Building on Main Campus.

The two-day mobile pack, part of the Feed My Starving Children program, is organized by 90 UT students who are members of the Klar Leadership Academy in the College of Business and Innovation. The academy was founded in 2015 with the support of Steven Klar, a 1971 UT business alumnus and a New York City builder and real estate developer.

More than 1,000 UT students, employees and alumni, as well as teams from companies around Toledo, will split into groups to assemble nutritious rice meals with vegetable blend, vitamins and minerals. The meals are scientifically formulated for undernourished children.

The organizers raised $45,000 and set a goal to build 200,000 meals. Last year volunteers made 173,000 meals.

“The University of Toledo has a global impact, and the students are the driving force behind this incredible initiative to fight hunger worldwide,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation. “The way this event has grown in only three years is a testament to our community’s mission to solve problems and help others.”

The shifts will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, and from 9 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.

“Due to overwhelming generosity, the shifts filled up quickly and we are no longer in need of volunteers,” Longenecker said. “In fact, we have a backlog of people who want to join. It’s a great problem to have.”

UT Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth to serve up inspiration

“Onward and Upward: Persisting Through Barriers and Obstacles” is the theme of The University of Toledo’s 35th annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth Saturday, Jan. 26.

Sponsored by Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee, the conference for seventh- and eighth-graders, high school students and parents will start at 8:30 a.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

“The conference provides parents with methods to help students plan for their academic and professional futures,” David Young, director of Toledo Excel and Special Projects, said. “And we teach students to anticipate potential obstacles to achieving their goals and equip them with the skills necessary to overcome those obstacles.”

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, a distinguished student success scholar, will give the keynote address.

Strayhorn is the founding chief executive officer of Do Good Work Educational Consulting LLC, and professor of urban education and interim vice president of academic and student affairs at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn. The authority on equity and diversity has written several books, including “College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success.” He is known for using the hashtag #DoGoodWork on social media.

“Many underrepresented students find that their success is hindered by barriers and obstacles that they did not create. With this year’s conference, we wanted to make it clear to them that they could be successful in spite of those barriers,” Young said. “Dr. Strayhorn is nationally recognized for his work with underrepresented students, and we felt he was the ideal choice to give the keynote address.”

Also scheduled to speak is Christopher Scott, founder of Reach to Teach National, an organization that provides motivational service to youth throughout the country. The Cleveland, Ohio, native is the author of “7 Secrets to Surviving College.”

Scott

“Chris is someone who we are very familiar with as he is a UT alum and also worked in our Office of Admission after graduation,” Young said. “We will be using his wonderful book as part of our Toledo Excel curriculum and are excited for him to lead a session for our parents and students on academic success and persistence.”

Scott received a bachelor of science degree and a master of education degree in education theory and social foundations from the University in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

Toledo Excel was established in 1988 to help underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans, for success in college. Through summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

Toledo Excel is part of the Office of Multicultural Student Success, which is in the Division of Student Affairs. The UT Joint Committee includes representatives from the University, Toledo Public and Parochial schools, and civic and community leaders from the city of Toledo. The mission of the committee is to bring together people in the community interested in the education of underrepresented youth. The UT Joint Committee also serves as an advisory board and support system for Toledo Excel.

Advance reservations for the free, public conference are encouraged; visit the Toledo Excel website or call 419.530.3820.

Three Rockets to play in all-star football games Jan. 19

Three former University of Toledo football standouts will play in post-season all-star games Saturday, Jan. 19.

Cody Thompson and Ka’dar Hollman will participate for the West squad in the 94th annual East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast on the NFL Network.

Jon’Vea Johnson will play in the National Football League Players Association Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. The game will be broadcast on FS1 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Thompson was a two-time, first-team All-Mid-American Conference wide receiver for the Rockets. He caught 181 passes for 3,312 yards and a school-record 30 touchdowns in his career. As a senior, he had 48 receptions for 647 yards and 10 TDs, and was named second-team Academic All-America. He also has been invited to attend the NFL Combine Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis.

Hollman was a three-year starter at cornerback. For his career, he compiled 114 tackles, two interceptions and 27 pass breakups. As a senior, he tied for the MAC lead with 12 breakups.

Johnson, a wide receiver, was a two-time All-MAC pick, earning second-team honors in 2016 and third-team honors in 2018. For his career, he caught 123 passes for 2,224 yards and 24 TDs. This past season, Johnson had 32 receptions for 660 yards and nine scores.

UT research assistant to appear on ‘Jeopardy!’

This microbiologist studies Lyme disease at The University of Toledo and finally made good on his lifelong dream to appear on “Jeopardy!”

Who is John Presloid?

Correct. The UT research assistant will make his “Jeopardy!” debut Wednesday, Jan. 16.

UT alumnus and employee John Presloid, right, posed for a photo with Alex Trebek during an appearance on “Jeopardy!”

“It felt like an accomplishment just being there, just being on the stage,” said Presloid, who works in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “I watched the show every day growing up. My first audition was actually like a week after my 18th birthday. Pretty much as soon as I turned 18, I’ve been applying nonstop.”

He finally broke through in October after his fourth in-person audition, earning the right to fly to Culver City, Calif., meet longtime host Alex Trebek, and go head to head with two other trivia superstars.

The questions he answered and where he placed is a closely guarded secret — you’ll need to tune in to find out — but Presloid said the overall experience was even better than what he had expected.

“I thought it was going to be very serious and I’d be really nervous. But I just had a blast the entire time,” he said. “One of the things they tell you is they want a poker face; they want you to look serious and not give anything away.”

“One of the handlers kind of jokingly wagged her finger at me for smiling, but she was like, ‘Question right, question wrong — you’re always smiling or laughing. That is your poker face.’ It was just so much fun.”

Presloid earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from UT in 2004 and a master of science degree in biomedicine in 2008. He’s spent the last four years working in the lab of Dr. Mark Wooten, UT professor of medical microbiology and immunology, who studies Lyme disease and melioidosis, a bacterial infection common in tropical climates.

He was actually working in the lab when a colleague knocked and said he had a phone call from a “Jeopardy!” producer.

A dedicated reader who naturally soaks up information, Presloid said he felt well-prepared, though he did brush up on some fine arts topics such as classical composers and opera.

“I tried to cram a little bit, but I didn’t want to drive myself crazy,” he said. “I kind of balanced between feeling comfortable but not losing sleep over it.”

Presloid likened being on “Jeopardy!” to playing sports. There were a few anxious jitters at the start, but once you’re involved in the game, you sort of fall into the zone.

“It goes by really fast. I’m actually kind of excited to see it on TV because there’s so much I don’t remember,” he said. “All the contestants were hanging out all day and most of them were really, really cool. You expect some people might be too competitive or off-putting, but I think everyone had the same goals and the same dream, and everyone is just so excited to be there. It was just unbelievable.”

In Toledo, the episode featuring Presloid will air at 7:30 p.m. on WTOL-TV Channel 11.

New vice provost for faculty affairs appointed

Dr. Amy Thompson started her new job as vice provost for faculty affairs Jan. 1.

Thompson

Thompson served as interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of public health, and provides oversight for the faculty orientation program, the UT Leadership Institute, and the University’s faculty awards program. In addition, she provides leadership for the new Future of Higher Education forums that are held monthly by the Office of the Provost.

In her new role, Thompson also will be responsible for the administration of faculty personnel processes, policies and procedures; faculty leadership and development programs; and additional faculty success initiatives related to the priorities of the University’s strategic plan.

“Amy joined the Office of the Provost last summer and has provided outstanding leadership for a number of initiatives that strengthen and support faculty success at UT,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “In her new position, she will continue to help faculty members achieve new levels of success.”

Barlowe

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, who serves as interim vice provost for faculty affairs, announced her plans to retire in the new year. Barlowe has been a UT faculty member since 1990 as a professor of English and women’s and gender studies. She also served as dean of the College of Arts and Letters, formerly the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, for six years. During her time at UT, she also has served as an associate dean, department chair and president of Faculty Senate.

“Jamie is a valued member of the Office of the Provost’s leadership team, and her wisdom, experience and knowledge will be greatly missed,” Hsu said. “I am grateful that she will help with the transition during the month of January.”

Thompson has been a member of the UT faculty since 2007 and has served as director of the Center for Health and Successful Living in the College of Health and Human Services. She is the immediate past-president of the University’s Faculty Senate. She was selected to serve as a Fellow in the Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership Development Program in 2017-18, and last year served as a Fellow in UT’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. She also served as a Fellow in the Office of the Provost in summer 2018.

Thompson received a PhD in health education and a master of science and education in public health from UT. She received a bachelor of science in public health from Central Michigan University.

UT Foundation, Development, Alumni Engagement, and Special Events moving to Dorr Street

Several University of Toledo offices are moving this winter to a new location on Dorr Street, thanks to a generous gift from Welltower Inc.

As of Thursday, Jan. 3, the UT Foundation offices will be relocated to the new Center for Alumni and Donor Engagement, 4510 Dorr St., Toledo, OH 43615 (adjacent to Welltower Inc). UT Development, Alumni Engagement, and Special Events offices also will move to the new center by the end of January.

The UT Foundation offices are scheduled to be at the new Center for Alumni and Donor Engagement, 4510 Dorr St., Jan. 3. UT Development, Alumni Engagement, and Special Events offices also are slated to move to the new center by the end of January.

Mail stop numbers will be UT Foundation MS 820, Development MS 825, Alumni Engagement MS 830, and Special Events MS 835.

All office phone numbers remain the same.

Coinciding with the move, the UT Foundation is also changing its logo, adopting a version of the shield logo used throughout the University.

“Transitioning to a new location seems a fitting time to make a brand change that more clearly identifies our organization as part of the UT family,” said Brenda S. Lee, UT Foundation president. “Our goal has always been — and continues to be — providing impactful financial support for the University and fostering a spirit of loyalty and opportunity for UT alumni and friends. We look forward to continuing our efforts and working with alumni, faculty, staff and donors from our new offices.”

Lee noted that there’s still time to make a 2018 gift in support of UT programs, projects and students. Contributions may be made on the UT Foundation website or in person at the Foundation’s current Driscoll Alumni Center location. Offices will be closed Dec. 24-26, but will be open for year-end giving from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 27, 28 and 31.

Rockets arrive in Bahamas, begin week of preparation for bowl battle Dec. 21

The Toledo Rockets arrived at the world-famous Atlantis resort Monday, the first day of their trip at the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl in Nassau. Toledo (7-5) will face Florida International University (8-4) at Robinson Stadium Friday, Dec. 21.

The game will start at 12:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.

Senior Tyler Taafe won a pinball competition against FIU Monday at the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.

The Rockets departed from Toledo Express Airport at 12:30 p.m. Monday and landed at Nassau Airport at 3:30, arriving at the hotel a short while later. Both Toledo and FIU attended a buffet dinner last evening and were treated to a musical and dance performance by a Junkanoo group. The teams then faced off in a pinball competition, which was won by UT senior Tyler Taafe.

Toledo will practice Tuesday morning and attend a beach party along with the FIU players at 4 p.m.

Other events during the week will include a visit to the Ranfurly Homes for Children and a youth football clinic Wednesday. On Thursday, the Toledo cheerleaders and band will lead a team pep rally.

“How awesome. Our kids are fired up,” UT Head Football Coach Jason Candle, said. “Any time you can get a reward for a great season and get to a bowl game, that’s really cool. To be able to bring it to another country and certainly a place we’re looking to spread our brand as a football team and university, it’s really exciting.”

“The excitement started way before we pulled in, when we found out we were coming down here,” senior wide receiver Cody Thompson said. “A lot of guys haven’t ever been out of the country — my last time was when I was young. Going to the Bahamas is something everyone talks about and dreams about, so I’m really excited to be here. It’s an amazing opportunity to play football outside of our home country.”

“I hope our guys enjoy the week,” Candle added. “It’s a good chance to balance a little bit of fun, and we want to send our senior class off the right way with a win. We want their last time in the Midnight Blue and Gold to be a memorable one.”