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Reception set for longtime employee

Campus community members are invited to a retirement celebration for Chris Spengler Monday, Feb. 27, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Schmakel Room.

Spengler began her career at the University in the Personnel Department in 1977. After serving as secretary for the Geology Department, she became executive secretary in the Office of the President and assistant secretary to the UT Board of Trustees. She assisted three presidents — Dr. Glen Driscoll, Dr. James McComas and Dr. Frank Horton — and one interim president, John Stoepler. 

Spengler

In 1999, she transferred to the Division of Advancement, where she is director of advancement relations.

“We have been fortunate to have Chris as an important member of our UT family for so many years,” said Brenda S. Lee, president of the UT Foundation. “Her contributions to the Advancement team, as well as the entire University community, are very much appreciated. She will be missed.”

What’s it been like to work at UT for 40 years?

“Every day has been fun — great people and a great place to work,” Spengler said. “The University is so vibrant; there is something new to learn each day. I also have greatly enjoyed working with individuals who have shaped the University into what it is today. I have a favorite hard hat from my days in the President’s Office that has my name on it along with a little saying: ‘I’m in charge of the one in charge.’”

In that power position for 20 years, Spengler has lots of stories; she joked that she knows where the bodies are buried: “I even got my hands dirty. I helped bury Dr. Horton’s dog on the grounds of the former president’s house. He was out of town, and the burying crew was me, Carol Crum, the housekeeper, and George Stamos, the chef.”

During the last four decades, Spengler has left her mark on the University. She founded the Presidential Ambassadors, the honorary organization where select students serve the Office of the President by fostering good relations between the student body and alumni, faculty, staff and donors by representing and promoting UT at various events. And in 2006, she played an integral role in the establishment of UT’s Women & Philanthropy; she developed the bylaws for the collaborative effort of area women and the University’s Division of Advancement. Since then, Spengler has served as administrative contact for the community of female philanthropists who support the mission and goals of the University.

Last year, Spengler and her husband, William, donated $100,000 to the women’s basketball program. The couple gave the funds to the UT Foundation to create a charitable gift annuity. The Spenglers have a long affiliation with Rocket athletics.

“You will continue to see me at all home football and basketball games cheering on our Rockets,” Spengler said.

No surprise Spengler is true to her school: She received an associate of applied business degree from UT’s former Community and Technical College and a master of education degree from the University.

That dedication also will continue: “I haven’t spent much time contemplating what I will miss because I plan on remaining a very active retiree and alumna,” she said. “I’m going to be around a lot.”

Vice president for advancement named to lead fundraising, marketing

A fundraiser with more than 15 years of experience in higher education development has been selected to lead The University of Toledo’s Division of Advancement.

Michael Harders, vice president of university advancement and development for Kennesaw State University in Georgia, will join the University as vice president for advancement Monday, March 20.

Harders

Harders

“The work that the Division of Advancement does to elevate UT’s fundraising and messaging to our campus, alumni and external communities is important to the University’s success achieving our goals,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Mike’s experience and commitment to building a culture of philanthropy will provide strong leadership in this area, which is focused on elevating UT’s reputation.”

The Division of Advancement includes Alumni Relations, Development, Marketing and Communications, and Special Events. It was created in 2015 with the merger of UT’s Institutional Advancement Division and External Affairs Division.

“I am honored for the opportunity to work with President Gaber and The University of Toledo community to advance the vision and strategic priorities of this outstanding university at this important moment in the institution’s history,” Harders said. “It’s an exciting time at UT as it completes its strategic plan and continues efforts to grow fundraising and alumni engagement for the University.

“I look forward to collaborating with the campus community, to learning the philanthropic interests of the supporters of the institution, and to working with the talented professionals in the Division of Advancement as we strive together to support our students and faculty, and enhance our facilities and programs for the benefit of our state, nation and world.”

During his time at Kennesaw State since 2012, Harders tripled the amount of annual support to the university with significant growth in annual giving and alumni participation and donations.

He previously served as executive director of development for Missouri State University, where he coordinated its “Our Promise” comprehensive campaign, which exceeded its $125 million fundraising goal. He also was senior director of development for the Kansas State University Foundation.

Harders, who is moving to Toledo with his wife, Leigh, and children, Josephine and Henry, earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Kansas State University.

Memorial service set for UT student; fund established in her memory

Visitation and a celebration of life for Molly L. LaBadie, a UT student who was pursuing a degree in anthropology and art history, will be held Saturday, Jan. 7.

LaBadie

LaBadie

LaBadie, 24, passed away from a sudden illness Dec. 22 in the Dominican Republic while on vacation with her mother, Dr. Kandace J. Williams, UT professor of biochemistry and cancer biology, and associate dean of the graduate program in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

The family will receive guests Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4752 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo. The celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Family and friends then are invited to gather at 4 p.m. at the Toledo Sailing Club, 2701 Broadway St.

LaBadie worked as a lab aide from 2015 to 2016 in the College of Medicine.

The Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology is planning to establish a fund in memory of LaBadie with the UT Foundation.

“Our hope is that this fund will be sufficient to provide modest support for a selected graduate student to travel to a national scientific meeting each year,” Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, wrote in an email sent to college members. “Given Molly’s past contributions to the department, her love of travel, and Kandace’s devotion to our graduate students, we believe that this would be a fitting way to honor Molly.”

Donations may be made to the UT Foundation with “Biochem in memory of Molly LaBadie” in the memo and left with Mary Ann Schuster, assistant to the chair of the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Department, in Block Health Science Building Room 413. The UT Foundation also will provide envelopes at the memorial service Saturday at Newcomer Funeral Home.

To share memories of LaBadie, click here.

800-pound, interactive periodic table at UT inspires living science

It’s the first of its kind at a university or museum in Ohio and Michigan and possibly the only life-size periodic table in the world built and filled by a community.

The 800-pound, interactive periodic table bolted to the wall inside the main entrance to The University of Toledo’s Wolfe Hall features 118 LED-illuminated glass boxes.

“Living Science: The Ever-Changing Periodic Table” is located in the main entrance of Wolfe Hall.

“Living Science: The Ever-Changing Periodic Table” is located in the main entrance of Wolfe Hall.

Each box represents an element, and members of the community are invited to fill the boxes with examples of how each element relates to everyday life and current events.

The display features touch-screen technology that allows visitors to explore a variety of apps that share stories and videos about the elements, contents of the element boxes, and who donated the items for each element.

The display titled “Living Science: The Ever-Changing Periodic Table” was funded by a $31,465 grant from UT’s Women & Philanthropy, a collaborative effort of area women and the University’s Division of Advancement that supports institutional initiatives.

“You’ll be surprised how you can relate to the periodic table,” said Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum, director of the UT Instrumentation Center, who worked for five years to bring this project to life. “This unique display is so inspiring — both visually and educationally — for anyone who walks through the doors. We want the whole community — not only chemists — to participate in filling it in.”

Kirschbaum

Kirschbaum

As part of the grant for the project, Kirschbaum can reimburse donors up to $50 for an item.

“Through all of my research, this is the first and only community-built periodic table in the world,” Kirschbaum said. “We didn’t buy it pre-made with elements already inside. A local carpenter built this from scratch, and we are asking the public to help fill it up. We also will be able to regularly change the items in the boxes.”

Eight-year-old Destiny Zamora furnished the element box labeled “Au” with a gold-plated coin minted to celebrate the 100th year of Mexico’s independence, a gold medal, and a picture of Scrooge McDuck diving into his money vault.

“I chose gold because it’s my favorite color, and I want to be rich someday,” said the second-grader at Napoleon Elementary School whose father’s fiancee works in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “Did you know Olympic gold medals only contain 1.34 percent of gold?”

Alyson Lautar, a UT student studying pharmacy, donated a smoke detector to represent americium, which is made in nuclear reactors and was first produced in 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The symbol for the element on the periodic table is Am.

“Americium-241 is a vital ingredient in ionization-style smoke alarms, which are inside homes and help save lives in the event of a fire,” Lautar said. “A tiny piece of the radioactive americium can detect smoke. When americium-241 decays, it releases positively charged alpha particles. The alarm has two ionization chambers — one is closed to everything but the alpha particles, while the other is open to the air. Normally, these two ionization chambers would receive the same amount of positive charge, but if a small amount of smoke gets into the open chamber, the balance of charge between the chambers is thrown off and triggers the alarm.”

Destiny Zamora, 8, pointed to the gold element box, which she filled.

Destiny Zamora, 8, pointed to the gold element box, which she filled.

Dr. Steven Toth, a lecturer and lead expert at the University of Michigan in Flint who earned his bachelor’s degree and PhD in chemistry from UT, is donating a bottle of Flint water for the box representing lead to help teach about the city’s recent water crisis. The symbol for lead is Pb.

“Lead used to be thought of as a ‘wonder’ chemical. It doesn’t store heat for nearly as long as other metals and has fast-drying powers, so it was used in pipes, paint and makeup,” Toth said. “We now know that lead can be toxic, and pretty much all products are sold lead-free. However, people in Flint were drinking water with high levels of lead after the city changed the water source in 2014. The city treated the water with chlorine to kill bacteria, and the chlorine started leaching lead out of the older, lead-lined pipes.”

Joe Slater, labor and employment law expert and the Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values in the UT College of Law, designed the radium display that contains an old alarm clock, paint brush, New Haven watch box, black-and-white factory photo, description of legal cases, and program from the play titled “Radium Girls.” Radium’s symbol is Ra on the periodic table.

The display in the radium box was created by Joe Slater, the UT Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values.

The display in the radium box was created by Joe Slater, the UT Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values.

“Women who worked at the factory in New Jersey in 1917 used self-illuminating paint that contained radium to make the dials on the watches, and they were told to lick the brushes to give them a fine point,” Slater said. “Some women got radiation poisoning and sued the company because they had been told the paint was harmless. That was the start of health and safety law in the workplace, a very important part of current American employment law.”

Matt Hafner, the local carpenter who built the massive periodic table in seven weeks, wants to do something for hafnium simply because it’s similar to his last name. Hafnium is Hf on the periodic table.

“While researching hafnium, I discovered it is used in tips of plasma torches,” said Hafner, owner of MDH Construction in Maumee. “I have one of those torches, so I’m considering making a video of how they are used on construction projects.”

Only a small handful of the element boxes contain items. A toy-sized Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz” stands behind the glass labeled “Sn.”

A radiologist supplied a small bottle of gadodiamide, a gadolinium (Gd) that is used as a contrast agent in MRIs. Gadolinium’s box also contains a CD and the magnetic Pokémon called Magneton as it’s one of the few magnetic elements.

“We’re hoping the community will help us fill the empty element boxes,” Kirschbaum said. “Sparkplugs could be used for iridium (Ir), a tool set or dietary supplement for vanadium (V), dynamite for nitrogen (N). It can be anything from the pure element to something related to it. The possibilities are endless.”

To make a contribution to the periodic table, contact Kirschbaum at kristin.kirschbaum@utoledo.edu or 419.530.7847.

For more information, go to utoledo.edu/nsm/ic/periodictable.html.

Women & Philanthropy marks 10 years of leadership

Although volunteerism by women has long played a part in nonprofit organizations, a focus on the role of women in charitable giving is a relatively newer phenomenon.

In 2001, no university-based women’s philanthropy programs existed in the Toledo region. At that time, Dr. Janet Krzyminski, a UT alumna, was a director of development at The University of Toledo and working on her dissertation. Her research focused on local women’s viewpoints regarding the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities of philanthropy.

women-philanthropy-logo“The overarching result was that charitable organizations and universities were not paying much attention to women donors as a group. We weren’t recognizing their interest or potential,” she said. “This provided a platform and eventually gave legs to a new organization centered at UT.”

UT’s Women & Philanthropy, a collaborative effort of area women and the University’s Division of Advancement, is marking its 10th year as a community of female philanthropists supporting the mission and goals of The University of Toledo.

Outgoing president Marianne Ballas, who has led the group since its inception, said the goal has been to raise the awareness of women in the community and to guide and support them in the art of giving back.

“We are committed to exposing our members to the University by promoting Women & Philanthropy’s first grant in 2008 that provided the glass sculpture, ‘A University Woman,’ by Tom McGlauchlin. The group has provided 15 grants totaling nearly $400,000 for educational programs and taken part in grant dedications,” she said. “It is inspiring to visit and experience the amazing facilities and programs that are offered right here in Toledo. We are so proud of UT, and we want to share it to enhance the community appreciation of UT’s incredible importance and contributions.”

The 2016 Women & Philanthropy grants were awarded to the Instrumentation Center for the construction of an interactive display titled “Living Science: The Ever-Changing Periodic Table,” and an active learning center in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The group also participates in a holiday project, including purchasing hats and mittens for at-risk children, refilling items for the UT student food bank, and distributing stuffed animals for children at UT Medical Center through the Satellites Auxiliary.

Ballas noted that members have not only made financial investments, but also personal investments. “What we have done as a group of women has created and nurtured some deep lifelong friendships. Although we are a very diverse group, we really like and appreciate each other,” she said, “and we enjoy giving back.”

To learn more about Women & Philanthropy, contact Chris Spengler, director of advancement relations, at chris.spengler@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4927.

Apply for 2017 grant from Women & Philanthropy; $75,000 available

Wednesday, Feb. 15, is the deadline to submit an application for a grant from Women & Philanthropy at The University of Toledo.

UT staff, faculty and students from all campuses are eligible to apply. Women & Philanthropy grant applications are available here.

To be considered for a grant, all application guidelines must be followed.

The Women & Philanthropy Grants Committee will review and evaluate the applications, and the general membership will vote to determine the recipient(s). Grant amounts vary from year to year.

For 2017, Women & Philanthropy has allocated $75,000 to award in grants for UT projects and programs.

Grant recipients will be announced in May.

The inaugural grant, in the amount of $15,000, was awarded in 2008 to Carlson Library to commission a glass sculpture by artist Tom McGlauchlin. That sculpture titled “A University Woman” is on display in the library concourse and has become the model for the Women & Philanthropy logo.

Since then, Women & Philanthropy has funded classrooms, an art gallery, locker room enhancements, a sensory-friendly medical examination room, the hospitality area in the William and Carol Koester Alumni Pavilion, renovations to the Savage Arena media room, computer-based educational displays in Ritter Planetarium and Lake Erie Center, a computer lab in the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, a playground at the Kobacker Center, a student-family room in University College, and an interactive periodic table display.

In nine years, Women & Philanthropy has gifted nearly $400,000 in 15 grants to The University of Toledo. Women & Philanthropy is able to give substantial gifts to the University by pooling its members’ resources and making monetary awards in the form of grants.

Remember UT on Giving Tuesday Nov. 29

In 2001, Michele Wilson left her home in the Cleveland area to take classes at The University of Toledo.

“I was very fortunate to receive scholarship aid,” she said. “What I’m actually trying to do now is pay back the scholarships that I received so someone else can benefit from them as well.”

2016 Giving Tuesday UT News ArticleThe 2005 alumna plans to remember the University on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29.

“My support will help someone else attend UT and receive a degree,” Wilson said.

Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has become the premier day for celebrating philanthropy and giving back across the country.

The University of Toledo is asking alumni and supporters to consider a gift to UT on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to participate in the national campaign by visiting utoledo.edu/giveTOL.

As part of its Giving Tuesday campaign, UT is spotlighting a few of the people and programs impacted by the generosity of Rocket donors, many of whom are paying it forward for current and future students.

That includes graduates like Wilson, who, after a successful career in the areas of commercial real estate and higher education at UT, is now a stay-at-home mom to her young children.

“UT has touched every part of my life. I met my husband and some of my best friends when I was student,” she said.

“I give back to help others find their own path, their own happiness and success at The University of Toledo,” she added.

Join UT alumni and friends in remembering the University on Giving Tuesday.

Follow UT Giving Tuesday on Twitter with the hashtag #GiveTOL.

Pianists to inaugurate UT’s new Steinway concert grand piano

One dozen pianists will converge on Main Campus this weekend to inaugurate the University’s newest piano — a Steinway concert grand.

piano picThe concert will be held Sunday, Nov. 6, at 3 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

The piano was made possible in part from a gift from the late Dorothy MacKenzie Price, a woman who also contributed to the UT Department of Music, as well as many other causes, throughout her lifetime. The concert program will include a tribute to the generous benefactor.

Pianists for the concert will be Frances Renzi, UT professor emerita of music; Dr. Michael Boyd UT professor of music; Christina Montri, UT piano accompanist; University alumni Wayne Anthony, Heidi Clausius, Nathanael Leonard, and Bonnie Rowe; UT piano students Wesley Forney, Andreea Lee, Adam Miller and Mercy Olson; and guest Charles Brown.

The program will feature an array of piano music, including several pieces for four or more hands and/or two pianos: Danse Macabre, Poème Symphonique, Op. 40 (Camille Saint-Saëns); La Valse (Ravel); Tarantella from Suite, Op. 17 (Rachmaninoff) and Hungarian Rhapsody #2 for Two Pianos, eight hands (Liszt), plus more.

All seats are $10 each. Proceeds will benefit UT’s effort to become an all-Steinway school.

A free reception and cash bar will follow the event.

Parking is free in Area 12, the parking lot across the street from the Center for Performing Arts.

Book on global brewing industry dedicated to late UT grad student

Michael Moore enjoyed sharing a pint of cold beer, but had no thirst for the standard domestic titans.

The University of Toledo PhD student researcher was a craft beer aficionado who found a way to combine his passion with his academic work.

Moore

Moore

“He loved geography and craft beer,” Andy Moore, Mike’s brother, said.

Moore’s research on the rapidly growing artisanal industry recently was published more than a year after he died at the age of 34 from an aortic aneurysm while at a local brewpub.

“The large vessel that comes out of the heart ruptured unexpectedly,” Andy said. “Doctors told our family it’s very rare for someone that young. The fact that it happened where it did is so unusual because we loved to hang out there and watch a Tigers game.”

“Mike enjoyed debating varieties of hops and India pale ales as much and as easily as he dove into complex statistical analyses of the industry,” said Dr. Neil Reid, professor of geography and planning and director of the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center, who is known as UT’s “Beer Professor.” “It’s devastating and sad, yet if he had to choose how to go, that’s what he would’ve chosen.”

Dr. Neil Reid and Andy Moore, Mike Moore’s brother, got together recently at the Black Cloister Brewing Co. in Toledo.

Dr. Neil Reid and Andy Moore, Mike Moore’s brother, got together recently at the Black Cloister Brewing Co. in Toledo.

The editors of a new volume published on the craft brewing industry called Brewing, Beer and Pubs: A Global Perspective dedicated their book to Moore, who co-authored a chapter with Reid and Ralph McLaughlin, a colleague from California. The chapter is titled “The Locational Determinants of Micro-Breweries and Brewpubs in the United States.”

The editors wrote in the dedication at the beginning of the book, “It is very fitting that Mike passed away in a local brewery.”

Moore collapsed and fell to the floor April 8, 2015, as he was sitting on a bar stool enjoying a beer.

The Black Cloister Brewing Co. last year created a beer in Mike Moore’s honor: Michael’s Memory.

The Black Cloister Brewing Co. last year created a beer in Mike Moore’s honor: Michael’s Memory.

“I was sitting next to him when it happened. We were drinking Summer Stinger, an American pale wheat ale that was just bottled the day before,” Reid said. “We were talking with a visiting scholar from Turkey about our upcoming trip to a geographers’ conference and attending the Beeronomics Conference in Seattle in the fall when I heard a thud. I thought a bar stool had fallen over. I looked down and Mike was on his back on the floor.”

“It’s still hard for our family and Mike’s longtime girlfriend, Jeanette, to process, but seeing Mike’s work being published and honored helps us find closure,” Andy said.

Moore was a doctoral student studying spatially integrated social sciences in UT’s Department of Geography and Planning.

His dissertation — left incomplete — was an examination of the spatial dynamics of the American craft beer industry.

“The craft brewing industry is growing so fast and changing the whole brewing landscape,” Reid said. “Mike analyzed where it’s growing and why. He was well on his way to being a really successful academic.”

UT posthumously awarded Moore a PhD based on his completed course work and publications while a student.

The Department of Geography and Planning created a scholarship in his memory for UT students pursuing the geography and planning field.

“I miss our Monday morning meetings and the occasional exchanging of beer-related gifts,” Reid said. “I cherish the memories — memories, by and large, created around a common love and appreciation of craft beer, the people who brew it, and the people who drink it.”

Black Cloister Brewery in downtown Toledo created a special brew last year to commemorate Moore’s life and called it Michael’s Memory. The owners contributed some of the profits to the scholarship fund.

“The outpouring of support is amazing and unexpected,” Andy said. “It’s excellent to see the fruit of all the research he had done. The recognition of Mike’s work makes it just a little bit easier to deal with his loss.”

Moore’s family is working to organize a golf outing next year to raise money for the scholarship fund.

Gifts can be made at give2ut.utoledo.edu to the Geography and Planning Progress Fund.

Events slated for College of Education’s centennial anniversary

Ask Dr. Virginia Keil why becoming a teacher is so important.

“The reason is simple. As a teacher, you are more than just an educator, you are a leader, a mentor, a content expert, and so much more,” Keil, interim dean of the Judith Herb College of Education, said. “You have the ability to lead, to inspire, to challenge, and to make a difference in the lives of students. Teachers are advocates and activists. They change the world one student at a time, and their work has an exponential impact.”

100 Year_HORIZONTALA UT alumna, Keil has been doing just that since she joined the faculty in 1989. And she wants to continue paying it forward as the college celebrates its 100th anniversary with a fundraising campaign.

“The College of Education’s $100 for our 100th campaign is focused on raising significant dollars for student scholarships,” she said. “Our deep commitment to provide scholarship opportunities is our way to support our students as they prepare for their futures as educators.”

Those interested in making a donation can go to https://give2ut.utoledo.edu/JHCOE100.asp.

“As the Judith Herb College of Education embarks on its second century, it’s time to once again look ahead,” Keil said. “The vision of the college is to shape the future of education in an ever-changing world. We invite education alumni and students to participate in the events planned for our 100th anniversary.”

Listed by date, events include:

Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 12 and 13

• Homecoming/Anniversary Ice Cream Social, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gillham Hall Lobby on the third floor. Stop by for a sweet treat and a free Judith Herb College of Education anniversary T-shirt.

Saturday, Oct. 15

• Judith Herb College of Education Parade Reception, 9 a.m., tent on north side of Gillham Hall. In celebration of the college’s 100th anniversary, join education alumni to march in the Homecoming Parade by a special float created for the occasion by UT faculty and staff.

• College of Education Open House, noon, Gillham Hall Lobby on the third floor. Check out the college, meet faculty and staff, learn about programs and tour Gillham Hall.

In November, a forum on “Diversity in Classrooms: Pre-K Through University” will be held. This discussion of race, discipline, the graduation of African-American students, and the diversity of the teaching profession is sponsored by the Judith Herb College of Education and the Office of Diversity.

A film screening and lecture also are planned for spring semester.

For more information, call 419.530.2491 or email richard.welsch@utoledo.edu.