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President asks Toledo to share its Rocket pride during address

In her second state of the University address, UT President Sharon L. Gaber shared accomplishments that are building a positive momentum on campus and encouraged the Toledo community to uplift its university by showing its Rocket pride.

“We have so many great programs, exceptional faculty, talented clinicians and accomplished students. We need to celebrate that!” Gaber said. “We need to talk about ourselves as a destination university. We need to tell each other and everyone we meet that this is a fantastic place where students can earn an excellent education in a safe and supportive environment.”

President Sharon L. Gaber addressed more than 400 people who attended her second state of the University address.

More than 400 students, faculty, staff and community members attended the speech April 18 in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Each attendee received a UT window cling to take with them to share their Rocket pride on their vehicle or in their office or home.

Gaber focused much of her talk on the initiatives underway to support student success, enhance research excellence, and strengthen UT’s reputation.

The president highlighted a number of programs adopted to support students, such as lowering the cost of a UT education through the Tuition Guarantee program that locks in the cost of tuition and some general fees for four years and a digital course content program that offers less expensive digital texts to students.

The $6 million investment in Carlson Library that was completed in the summer has led to a 40 percent increase in student visits this school year, she said, before announcing another enhancement to the library coming in the fall — a new Starbucks on the second floor.

Gaber recognized a number of researchers for their contributions to advancing knowledge, including undergraduate physics student Nathan Szymanski, who was recently awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for his studies of solar cell and battery technologies.

Overall, UT’s research program has doubled the number of awards received so far this year compared to the year before. UT has received 233 research awards and nearly $41 million in external research funding, Gaber announced.

“We are proud of the national accolades bestowed this year on our talented researchers and faculty members for advancing knowledge,” she said.

The president did note that the University has been able to maintain financial stability thanks to a number of successful initiatives last year, but asked every individual at UT to continue efforts to recruit and retain more students because enrollment growth is key to achieving UT’s goals.

Building up fundraising efforts also is important for UT’s success. The president publicly announced for the first time how the University plans to use the real estate gift from Welltower, which is UT’s largest gift in history valued at $30 million. UT’s Division of Advancement will relocate to the Welltower property to allow all of its offices — Alumni and Annual Engagement, Development, Special Events, the UT Foundation, and University Marketing and Communications — to work together under one roof.

Gaber’s speech about UT’s accomplishments and the talent of its students, faculty and staff led to a call to action for the audience — and the broader Toledo community — to help tell the University’s story and strengthen its reputation by showing their Rocket pride.

“UT is this city’s only university. We have an important impact on this community, and we need your support,” Gaber said. “We want you to share our enthusiasm. Mentor our students. See our physicians. Partner with us. Root for our Rockets. And hire our graduates.

“We are energized by our positive momentum. And we are so proud to be The University of Toledo.”

Watch the address here.

University Women’s Commission honors employees, gives scholarships to students

Three UT employees were recognized for exceptional achievement and dedication to the campus community at the 32nd annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.

More than 60 attended the University Women’s Commission program, which was held April 11 in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room.

Kelly Andrews, senior associate athletic director who is chair of the University Women’s Commission, told the crowd that since 1987, the organization has honored 173 UT faculty and staff members, and awarded $87,000 in scholarships.

Guest speaker Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, director of foundation and development communications with the UT Foundation, talked about how challenging yourself to go outside your comfort zone can be empowering. The 1983 UT alumna and 2017 Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award winner is the author of “Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares,” which just received a silver medal in the humor category of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs).

Recipients of the 2018 Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were, from left, Melissa Gleckler, Dr. Revathy Kumar and Dr. Michele Soliz.

The recipients of the Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were:

• Melissa Gleckler, educational technologist with UT Online in University College. She has worked at the University for 11 years. Gleckler won the Ohio Academic Advising Association Excellence Award in 2017, and has presented about advising and learning assessment at national conferences. She is a founding member of the Toledo Academic Advising Association, and she is serving a three-year elected term as co-chair of the communications committee for the Professional Staff Council. The UT alumna received a bachelor of arts degree in communication in 1996, a master of liberal studies degree in 2009, and is working on a PhD.

“She had a wonderful rapport with her students. Her office was next door to mine, and the walls were quite thin. I could hear laughter, sometimes tears and consolation, and lots of encouragement,” one nominator wrote. “Melissa is a proud UT alumna. I have always admired her pursuit of self-improvement and further education. She continuously sought opportunities to add a credential or skill and is pursuing a PhD focused on educational media and technology, with research interests in how course aesthetics and technical design affect the learning experience. As an adjunct instructor, she took pride in enhancing her courses with the latest technology and was passionate about updating the content and course material every semester.”

• Dr. Revathy Kumar, professor of educational psychology in the Judith Herb College of Education. She joined the UT faculty in 2001. Her research focuses on social and cultural processes involved in constructing a sense of self and identity among adolescents in culturally diverse societies. Of particular interest are the roles of teachers, teacher-education programs, schools, communities and families in facilitating minority and immigrant adolescents’ development, learning and motivation. Her work has been published in education and psychology journals.

“Dr. Kumar has started examining the role of mindfulness cultivation among pre-service teachers for enhancing awareness and focusing attention on personal implicit and explicit biases toward poor and minority students. The program of research is both important and relevant because increasing demographic heterogeneity in our country has raised concerns regarding our teachers’ capacity to face the challenging task of teaching culturally diverse students,” one nominator wrote. “She has chosen to develop a line of research particularly aimed at improving undergraduate teacher education at UT and, as responses to her articles indicate, recognized as useful across the nation for constructing teacher education programs that prepare teachers to be effective in the diverse classrooms they will enter.”

• Dr. Michele Soliz, assistant vice president for student success and inclusion in the Division of Student Affairs. During her 17 years at the University, she has worked in the Office of the Provost and served as dean of students. She was chair of the 2017 UT Community Charitable Campaign, which raised $128,934 for nearly 220 nonprofit area organizations. The UT alumna received a master of education degree and a PhD in higher education in 2002 and 2012, respectively.

“Michele has an unbridled passion for helping the students she comes into contact with on campus, as well as those in the community. Her determination and wholehearted desire to help others was apparent to me since the first time we worked together,” one nominator wrote. “She has been a committee member of the Latino Youth Summit and Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program since their inceptions. She is active in the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate, serves as a mentor to African-American female students in the Talented and Aspiring Women Leaders Program, and teaches the course Managing Diversity in the Workplace. Her hours of charitable work confirm she is not only socially conscious, but also invested in the betterment of the world around her.”

Winners of the University Women’s Commission $1,000 scholarship were, from left, Celine Schreidah, Jessica Avery, Shaquira Jackson and Hailey Cox.

The University Women’s Commission also presented $1,000 scholarships to four students. Receiving awards based on academic achievement, support of women’s and gender issues, and campus involvement were Jessica Avery, a senior majoring in history; Hailey Cox, a junior majoring in biology; Shaquira Jackson, a junior majoring in theatre; and Celine Schreidah, a senior majoring in biochemistry.

Two successful engineering alumni named national trustees

Two successful graduates of The University of Toledo will join the UT Board of Trustees as national members.

Roy V. Armes, a 1975 mechanical engineering graduate of the UT College of Engineering who served as president and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in Findlay, and Birdel F. Jackson III, who graduated from UT in 1968 with a civil engineering degree and founded the B&E Jackson and Associates engineering and consulting firm in Atlanta, will join the UT Board of Trustees effective July 2. Their appointment was approved Monday.

UT established national trustees last year to take advantage of the diverse cultural, geographic, business, professional, public service and civic backgrounds, talents and experiences of friends and alumni of the University. Toledo native and award-winning journalist Christine Brennan was named the first national member. National trustees serve a two-year term without voting privileges.

Armes

“Roy and Birdel are among UT’s most distinguished alumni who are highly respected leaders in their professions,” Board Chair Steven Cavanaugh said. “The perspectives from these accomplished graduates will be invaluable as we make progress on our strategic priorities.”

Armes led Cooper Tire for a decade. He was appointed CEO and president in 2006 and chairman in 2007. He retired in 2016.

Armes’ career also included a variety of roles for the Whirlpool Corp. in the areas of engineering, manufacturing, global procurement and international operations management. He served as corporate vice president and general director of Whirlpool Mexico, vice president of manufacturing technology for Whirlpool Asia, and vice president of manufacturing technology-refrigeration products for Whirlpool Europe.

Armes and his wife, Marcia, were instrumental in establishing the Engineering Leadership Institute in UT’s College of Engineering to help undergraduate engineering students develop leadership skills. The Armes have provided generous support to The University of Toledo.

Jackson

Jackson established B&E Jackson and Associates in 1988 and grew the company into a respected professional consulting firm serving the transportation, aviation and civil engineering industries.

Jackson began his career in the bridge divisions for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh and the District of Columbia Highway Department. He went on to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, General Electric, and engineering and architecture firms. He spent much of his career in Atlanta and is a registered professional engineer in Georgia and 13 other states.

Jackson is the president of the Jackson-Davis Foundation, which he established to award scholarships in honor of his grandparents and to make the engineering profession more diverse and inclusive. He has served his alma mater as past president of the UT Alumni Association and University of Toledo Foundation board. Jackson also has been recognized with the UT Alumni Association’s Gold T and Blue T awards.

UT president to deliver state of the University address April 18

President Sharon L. Gaber will share The University of Toledo’s positive momentum during her second state of the University address.

The speech will be Wednesday, April 18, at 3 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium, followed by a reception. University students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public are invited to attend.

“We have so much to be proud of at UT, and I want each person in Toledo to celebrate the excellent University they have in their community,” Gaber said. “This annual event is an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments and look forward to the future.”

The successes of UT students, faculty and staff, and the impact those achievements have on the broader Toledo region, are something everyone can rally around, Gaber said.

This will be Gaber’s second state of the University address since being named president in July 2015.

2018 Pacemaker Awards honor UT alumnus, outstanding business students

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council will recognize both business and academic excellence during their 55th annual Pacemaker Awards Friday, April 13, at the Inverness Country Club.

The 2018 Business Pacemaker Award will be presented to Alan H. Barry, a 1966 graduate of the UT College of Business, who is a certified public accountant, retired president and chief operating officer of the Fortune 200 company Masco Corp., and a member of the UT Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Barry

Barry joined Brass Craft Manufacturing Co. in 1972 as controller and became president of the Masco division in 1988. In 1996, he became a group president of Masco, a manufacturer of home improvement and building products. He has broad business experience that includes finance, manufacturing, customer development, acquisitions and general operating management.

Barry currently serves on the board of directors of the H. W. Kaufman Financial Group. He is the retired director of Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc., Scotts Miracle Gro Co., and IPS Corp. He also served as an executive board member of the Plumbing Manufacturing Institute from 1985 through 2000, and as chairman of the institute in 1994. In addition, Barry served on the executive board of the associate member division of the American Supply Association during 1995 and 1996.

Barry and his wife, Karen, a 1964 UT alumna, have a history of philanthropy at The University of Toledo. In 2014, the University named a new accounting lab in the College of Business and Innovation for Alan Barry. At the time the lab was established, it was the first one nationwide to have a certified management accountant license, in which students could access for free the review material from Wiley, a leading provider of educational programs for professionals and students who are preparing for the certified management accountant exam.

The couple also endowed the Alan and Karen Barry Scholarship Fund, which provides support for full-time UT business accounting students based on both merit and needs.

Alan Barry, a native of Toledo, is an active member of the UT Alumni Association’s Phoenix chapter, is involved in UT’s Blue Key organization, and serves on the executive committee for the children’s charity Variety.

In 2017 the Barrys donated a $1 million gift to establish an endowment that supports the Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professorship in Accounting at The University of Toledo.

“Recipients of the Pacemaker Award over the past five decades read as a who’s who of current and legendary business leaders in the Toledo region,” said Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, interim dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation, “and Alan Barry certainly belongs in that impressive roster. The Pacemaker Award is the College of Business and Innovation’s highest honor, recognizing individuals for outstanding achievement in business, as well as contributions to the community and the University.

“We are also pleased to recognize the excellence of students from each of our departments through the Student Pacemaker Awards,” Hassan HassabElnaby said.

Student Pacemaker Awards are presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, University and community service, and leadership.

The 2018 student Pacemakers are: Master of Business Administration — Aanchal Senapati and Mitchell Howard; Master of Science in Accountancy — Tyler Hecht; Accounting — Martin Linthicum and Sarah Avina; Finance — Alex Odenweller and Brianne Michel; Information Operations Technology Management — Brandon Stewart and Lindsey Wittenauer; Management — Kathleen Kurman and Jenna Jeffers; Marketing and International Business — Haley Orr and Amanda Martin; and Dean’s Recipient — Julia Foley.

UT to host inaugural Lessons in LeadHERship Conference April 17

USA Today columnist Christine Brennan will be among the speakers for The University of Toledo women’s basketball program’s inaugural Lessons in LeadHERship Conference Tuesday, April 17.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union.

The conference was designed to help grow female leadership in the Toledo community and is being sponsored by UT alumna Kelly Savage from Savage & Associates.

“I’m excited to kick off this annual leadership conference,” Toledo Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop said. “I hope any female in our community who wants to improve their leadership skill, no matter their age, will attend the conference. We have some outstanding speakers in various fields who have conquered many obstacles on their paths to success. I have no doubt this will be an inspiring day.”

Brennan’s talk is titled “Today is the Greatest Day to be a Woman in America: Until Tomorrow.” The Toledo native is an award-winning national columnist, commentator and best-selling author.

In addition to Brennan, Savage and Cullop, speakers for the one-day conference will include UT President Sharon L. Gaber; Tonya Rider, retired Toledo detective, who joined the Bowling Green State University Health and Human Services faculty; Chrys Peterson, leadership consultant and former news anchor; Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the UT Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence; Charlene Gilbert, dean of the UT College of Arts and Letters; and Dr. Stephanie Pannell, UT assistant professor of surgery, who specializes in colorectal surgery and surgical oncology.

Danielle Dwyer, WTOL sports anchor, will serve as the emcee.

The cost to attend is $50 per individual and $25 for high school and college students. The fee to attend also includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Attendees also can purchase a Layup Package ($250), which includes four tickets and name recognition throughout the event. Another possible option is a Free-Throw Package ($500), which includes eight tickets, name recognition throughout the event, and a booth with your company’s information. The final ticket option is a Three-Point Package ($1,000), which includes 16 tickets, name recognition throughout the event, and a booth with your company’s information.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Lauren Flaum, UT director of women’s basketball operations, at 419.530.2363 or email lauren.flaum2@utoledo.edu.

UT professor to discuss ‘Sufism: The Kaleidoscope of the Soul’

Sufism: The Kaleidoscope of the Soul” is the topic of the annual Imam Khattab Lecture on Islamic Thought.

Dr. Ovamir Anjum, UT Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies, will give the
free, public lecture Tuesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

Sufism is the mystical belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and wisdom through their direct personal experience of God. It emphasizes the inward search for God and shuns materialism.

“Sufism has a universal language that speaks to everyone, and it has a universal concern, that of how to relate to the totality of existence, to the ultimate reality and to the ordinary reality, in other words, to God and God’s creation,” Anjum said. “It also has a universal language, that of art, poetry and beauty at large, which can help everyone, regardless of what religion or tradition they profess, to find deeper meaning in life.”

The event is part of the UT Center for Religious Understanding’s annual lecture series, which has been active for more than a decade. The center promotes a deeper understanding of religion on campus and throughout greater Toledo.

“I will share some specific instances of Sufi wisdom, such as the poetry of Rumi and words of the inimitable woman, the lover of the divine, Rabi’a of Basra,” Anjum said.

RSVPs are appreciated: utoledo.edu/al.

RSVP for University Women’s Commission awards luncheon

The University Women’s Commission will hold its awards luncheon Wednesday, April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room.

Stanfa-Stanley

Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, director of foundation and development communications at the UT Foundation, will be the guest speaker. She is the author of “Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares.” The 1983 UT alumna will discuss her misadventures, going outside one’s comfort zone, and feeling empowered through humor.

Several employees will be honored with the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award, and several students will receive scholarships.

The event is free for members of the University Women’s Commission and $15 for non-members.

To join the commission, the membership fee for one year is $25. Go to utoledo.edu/commissions/uwc.

All proceeds go toward the commission’s scholarship fund.

RSVPs are requested by Friday, April 6, to taylor.knight2@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame nominations due April 15

Nominations for the 2018 class of the Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame are being accepted through Sunday, April 15.

Nominations may come from any source. Nominations from previous years automatically carry over to the next year.

Criteria are:

• Any athlete who has performed with distinction at The University of Toledo. The athlete need not necessarily be a graduate.

• Any athlete who has been out of the University for at least five years and who has demonstrated good citizenship since leaving UT. For the 2018 class, nominees must not have been active on or after July 1, 2013.

• Any coach, administrator, trainer, etc. who has served The University of Toledo with distinction for a period of at least five years and who has been retired or resigned or otherwise disenfranchised from his/her position for a period of at least five years. For the 2018 class, nominees must not have been active on or after July 1, 2013.

The nomination form can be found here.

Email the nomination form along with all supporting data to Paul Helgren at paul.helgren@utoledo.edu.

Nominations also can be mailed to:
Paul Helgren
The University of Toledo
Athletic Communications Office MS 302
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606

The Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame banquet will be held in the fall, with the 2018 class being presented at halftime of a Toledo football game.

Concert to celebrate jazz icon April 3

The University of Toledo Department of Music and a host of performers will present a concert honoring the memory and the music of Jon Hendricks, jazz legend and former UT faculty member.

The concert will be held Tuesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Jon Hendricks wore a 1990 Grammy Award nominee medal in this 2008 shot by UT Photographer Daniel Miller.

Performers will include jazz vocalists Ramona Collins, Lori Lefevre, Kim Buehler, Kelly Broadway, Ellie Martin and Isabella Weik.

Musicians for the concert will be Jay Weik (guitar), Norm Damschroder (bass), Tad Weed (piano) and Olman Piedra (percussion/drums).

Many consider Hendricks to be the father of vocalese — the art of setting lyrics to established jazz standards. With the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, he refined vocalese, whereby voices are arranged to sing the parts of instruments.

Hendricks taught at the University 16 years. The UT Distinguished Professor of Jazz who struck a lasting note in the music world passed away Nov. 22, 2017.

Proceeds from the concert will be used to establish a scholarship fund at The University of Toledo in his name.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. They are available in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 419.530.2787 or online at utoledo.tix.com. Tickets also will also be available at the door.