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Women & Philanthropy raising funds to purchase books for Toledo Public Schools

Women & Philanthropy at The University of Toledo is partnering with the Judith Herb College of Education to help provide books to 40 second-grade classrooms in the Toledo Public Schools.

Last year, the organization’s Holiday Project raised enough funds to donate 1,000 books to 33 second-grade classrooms in 19 of the 40 TPS elementary schools.

Second-graders at Old Orchard Elementary School checked out some of the books donated to Toledo Public Schools by UT’s Women & Philanthropy and the Judith Herb College of Education. The books were distributed to 33 second-grade classrooms at 19 TPS schools March 15 during a ceremony at Old Orchard Elementary.

Women & Philanthropy is getting an early start on this year’s project and is accepting donations through Tuesday, July 31.

With the help of donations from the community, Women & Philanthropy hopes to provide $200 worth of books to the second-grade classrooms in the remaining 21 TPS elementary schools before the academic year starts.

In order to do so, $8,000 in donations will be needed.

The Holiday Project is also accepting good-as-new used children’s books at second- and third-grade reading levels.

To make a donation to the cause, checks can be made payable to the UT Foundation with “2018 W&P Holiday Project” in the memo line and sent to:

Sarah Metzger
UT Foundation
Driscoll Alumni Center, MS 301
2800 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo OH 43606

New or gently used books may be dropped off to Metzger in Driscoll Alumni Center Room 2014A.

President’s contract extended through 2023

In a strong show of support for The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber’s leadership, the UT Board of Trustees approved Monday an amended contract to continue her presidency for the next five years.

The term of the amended contract is from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2023. Her original contract was set to expire in June 2020.

Gaber

“Dr. Gaber’s leadership has put UT on a positive trajectory toward the ambitious goal of being a top public research university, and the campus is energized because of the great work underway to support our students and the Toledo community,” Board Chair Steven Cavanaugh said.

The amended and restated employment agreement updates the president’s base salary and includes specific performance metrics aligned with the University’s strategic plan. The president’s overall compensation is directly tied to achievement of the metrics.

The contract extension for Gaber was approved as part of the Board of Trustees’ annual review of the University’s leader in which they praised the positive momentum of the institution.

“I am thankful to have the support of the Board of Trustees to continue to lead this fantastic university,” Gaber said. “It truly is a team effort to work together collaboratively to make progress on achieving our strategic priorities. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish these past three years, and I’m excited about what we can achieve in the years ahead.”

The Board commended Gaber’s commitment to student success, noting that student retention rates at UT are the highest in at least 18 years, and the largest number of candidates for degrees in at least 20 years participated in spring commencement.

The new Toledo Tuition Guarantee was recognized as a positive initiative to provide more transparency to students and their families. In addition, UT was recognized this year for its value by several external sources. Schools.com ranked UT Ohio’s best four-year college when analyzing criteria such as affordability, flexibility and student services. The website LendEDU also ranked UT the top Ohio public college for the lowest student debt.

The trustees specifically noted the improved research portfolio of the institution. The total number of research award dollars is at a five-year high. The board noted that three researchers were named Fellows of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and several UT students were awarded highly competitive scholarships, including the Goldwater Scholarship and a Sarnoff Fellowship.

Also enhancing UT’s reputation is the strong athletics program with two new Mid-American Conference Championships by the football and women’s soccer teams. UT was awarded the Jacoby Trophy as the top women’s athletic program in the MAC and, in the fall, all student-athletes achieved a record high combined GPA of 3.29.

Individually, Gaber was named one of the top five higher education leaders to watch. She was appointed to the NCAA Strategic Planning Committee and the Inter-University Council Executive Committee, and serves on the MAC Finance Committee, of which she will be the chair next year.

This year the University also received the largest gift in UT’s history from Welltower, which gave UT real estate and a headquarter building valued at $30 million. It will serve as an additional campus where the Division of Advancement will continue to build relationships with alumni and donors. The number of donors to the institution grew by more than 10 percent this year.

The increase in philanthropic support and additional initiatives have put UT in a strong financial position, confirmed by the University’s bond rating being reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. UT approved this year a new contract with the American Association of University Professors, one of five bargaining agreements approved in the last two years. A new transportation partnership with TARTA will save the University approximately $2 million by not replacing the aging bus fleet while extending free bus rides to students, faculty and staff throughout the community.

As part of the performance review, the board voted to give the president a performance incentive per her hiring contract. The funding comes from unrestricted funds that were generated from investment earnings and allocated to a Board of Trustees account with the UT Foundation.

UT recognizes areas of research excellence

The University of Toledo has identified three areas of research excellence as it pursues its goal of achieving national recognition for contributions to advancing knowledge.

UT’s current areas of research excellence identified by the University Research Council and endorsed by external reviews are:

• Astronomy and Astrophysics;

• Solar Energy, Water Quality and Sustainable Technologies; and

• Cell Architecture and Dynamics.

“These areas emerged from a yearlong review process and were selected because of the highly accomplished faculty members UT has in these areas who are recognized nationally for contributions to their fields of study,” Vice President for Research Frank Calzonetti said. “Identifying these areas of excellence will help promote the University’s standing as a strong research university and create opportunities for collaboration.”

This will be a continual process with ongoing invitations to consider new areas and to update existing areas of excellence, Calzonetti said.

UT astronomers have produced groundbreaking discoveries in the origins of stars and star clusters. They have access to highly competitive time on the world’s best telescopes, including NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory. UT also is a partner with Lowell Observatory, which provides guaranteed access to the Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona. The University regularly engages undergraduate and graduate students in research projects with that telescope.

The strength of the University’s astronomy and astrophysics program was recognized nationally in 2016 when UT was selected to join the prestigious Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which includes many of the country’s top programs.

Solar energy, water quality, and sustainable technologies were identified in part due to the University’s strong reputation in research, development, and commercialization of thin-film photovoltaic technologies. For example, in solar energy, Dr. Yanfa Yan, Ohio Research Scholar chair and UT professor of physics, has one of the strongest publication records among researchers in his field.

The UT Lake Erie Center receives attention for its work studying harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and its efforts to protect the quality of the region’s drinking water. Additional faculty members are making important contributions to green chemistry and other sustainability studies.

The cell architecture and dynamics category recognizes the basic science researchers involved in the study of the cell and its structures to better understand cell movement and how that affects disease progression. For example, Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, associate professor of biological sciences, has three active National Institutes of Health grants to study the migration of cancer cells away from the primary tumor and their subsequent metastasis to distant organs.

The identification of these areas of research excellence and a plan to advance them is part of the University’s strategic plan. As part of the process to identify existing strong research programs, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs also recognized spotlight areas of unique distinction, areas of emerging research excellence, and areas of future opportunity.

The spotlight areas of unique distinction include programs that have received national recognition with strong faculty leadership, but with few faculty experts on campus currently advancing that field of study. Those spotlight areas identified are:

• Human Trafficking, led by Social Work Professor Celia Williamson and supported by the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute;

• Disability and Society, which includes Professor Kim E. Nielson, who is the author of the only book to cover the entirety of American disability history titled “A Disability History of the United States.” UT also offers the only humanities-based undergraduate degree in disabilities studies; and

• Hypertension and Precision Medicine, led by Distinguished University Professor Bina Joe, a recognized leader in the field of genetic determinants of high blood pressure.

Identified areas of emerging research excellence are those with growth opportunities based upon the significance of their work to science and society. The areas that could benefit from further development are:

• Legacy Cities, which includes a collaborative group of faculty members across the social sciences who study how former industrial cities that experienced massive decline are being reinvented, and

• Cancer, Immune Therapy and Precision Molecular Therapy, which features advances in targeting specific genes or proteins for more effective and less invasive treatment options.

Lastly, areas of future opportunity were identified where a group of faculty members are working in an area of emerging importance in science, technology and society. The areas that could gain recognition through focused investment are:

• Vector Biology, which studies mosquitos and other insects that transmit diseases and affect public health;

• Smart Transportation, which includes advances in autonomous vehicles;

• Data 2 Decision, which is the study of big data and how it is used, analyzed and protected;

• BioPsychoSocial Determinants of Chronic Disease, which studies the economic and social conditions that impact health factors, such as the work underway by UT’s opioid task force; and

• Community-Based STEAM, which features community partnerships, such as with the Toledo Museum of Art, that advance the arts and promote continued education. STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“The University of Toledo has strong research programs across the institution,” said Jack Schultz, senior executive director for research development. “Our goal with this process was to identify those areas with a high level of recognition at the national level. We look forward to exploring opportunities to elevate their standing and bring more attention to these areas of research excellence.”

The identification of the University’s focus areas does not imply that research without these designations will be unsupported. The University values all faculty research and the contributions each faculty member makes in their fields.

Trustees approve 2019 operating budget

The UT Board of Trustees approved on June 18 the University’s operating budget for fiscal year 2019 that includes the new Tuition Guarantee plan for incoming students and no tuition increase for continuing undergraduate students.

The $750 million operating budget is based on stable student enrollment and reflects efforts the University has taken to control costs, such as savings from last year’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program and health-care savings generated by encouraging employees to use UT’s pharmacies.

The new Tuition Guarantee goes into effect for the 2018-19 academic year and allows new degree-seeking undergraduate students to pay the same tuition and general fees from their first day of college through graduation four years later. On-campus housing and meal plan rates also are guaranteed for four years; however, residence hall space cannot be guaranteed beyond a student’s second year due to high demand from first- and second-year students.

An undergraduate tuition freeze continues for the fourth consecutive year for students enrolled prior to summer 2018 who are not included in the Tuition Guarantee program. The budget includes a 2 percent increase in the graduate tuition rate, with additional increases in some specific graduate programs. The trustees previously approved a 2 percent increase in housing and meal plans to cover increasing costs of operations.

The budget reflects wage increases for professional staff and faculty members who are not part of a bargaining unit. The increases are based on salary levels in which individuals with a salary greater than $100,000 will receive a 1 percent wage increase; employees who make between $75,000 and $100,000 will receive a 1.5 percent raise; and those who make less than $75,000 will receive a 3 percent wage increase. University employees who are members of unions will receive increased compensation as determined by their collective bargaining agreements.

The Board of Trustees elected officers for the 2018-19 year. Mary Ellen Pisanelli will serve as chair, and Alfred A. Baker will serve as vice chair.

The June meeting completed the board service of Joseph H. Zerbey, former president and general manager for The Blade, who was appointed to the board in 2009. Lucas D. Zastrow, a student trustee in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, also was recognized for his two years of service to the board.

Toledo to play at Ohio State in 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Rockets to host evening at Inverness with football coach May 30

UT Head Football Coach Jason Candle and his staff will host a reception at the world-famous Inverness Club in Toledo Wednesday, May 30, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Fans and supporters of the Rockets can sample craft beer and wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

There will be a live auction; items will include a trip for two to the games at Fresno State; NFL packages and gifts; Rocket items; and a complete game-day experience with the team for home games vs. Miami (Fla.) and Bowling Green.

Proceeds will benefit The University of Toledo Rocket Fuel Program.

Donation levels are $1,000 for a table (seating for 10 and event recognition), $200 for a couple, and $125 for an individual. Donations are tax-deductible, except for $30 per person to cover costs.

Register here or by emailing andrew.terwilliger@utoledo.edu or calling 614.580.9978.

Tourniquets added to AED boxes for campus safety

The University of Toledo is updating a number of its automated external defibrillator stations to also include tourniquets for the campus community to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations.

While AEDs — portable devices used to treat sudden cardiac arrest — have been available for several years across UT campuses, this is the first time commercial-grade tourniquets also will be available in several AED stations.

Dr. Paul Rega, right, talked to UT Police Chief Jeff Newton as he placed tourniquets in the automated external defibrillator station outside Doermann Theatre.
On May 10, signage was installed marking the AED/tourniquet station in University Hall and 19 other such stations located across UT campuses.

“Thanks to the generosity of the UT Foundation, we were able to purchase 100 combat application tourniquets, as well as signage to help individuals locate these combined AED/tourniquet stations during an emergency,” said Dr. Paul Rega, assistant professor of public health and emergency medicine.

“In the event there is a victim or multiple victims who have sustained life-threatening hemorrhaging due to an accidental or intentional incident, tourniquets would be readily available in AED boxes to help save lives,” explained Rega, who also is the University’s medical advisor for disaster preparedness and has more than 30 years of experience in emergency preparedness. “Additionally, we’ve trained about 600 members of our campus community on how to effectively use them.”

As emergency preparedness has evolved in the U.S. during recent years, paramedics and other medical professionals have turned to using military-grade tourniquets to help save lives during disasters such as building explosions caused by gas leaks, vehicular accidents, crimes involving weapons, and other life-threatening emergencies. As a result, some large facilities such as airports, malls and schools have begun equipping their sites with such tourniquets so they are on hand for medical crises, Rega said.

“Even with a solid emergency preparedness plan, routine practices and preparation, a disaster can occur at any time,” Rega said. “That’s why it’s important that the University has proper supplies that are easily accessible across our campuses, in addition to an adequate number of campus members trained to use them.”

Whimsical, funky pieces featured in UT’s Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

A fire seemingly blazes on the hill west of University Hall. A plucky musical instrument stands outside the Center for Performing Arts. And a 1,500-pound yellow creature soon will lumber near the entrance of UT Medical Center.

Cynthia McKean’s “Fire VI,” Michael Magnotta’s “Rodney’s Bass” and John Parker’s “Ornythopterus” are three of the 10 new works being installed for The University of Toledo’s 13th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

“Rodney’s Bass” by Michael Magnotta is located outside the Center for Performing Arts.

“Inspiration for my work comes from my life — my experiences and things I love: jazz, space, nature and beauty in all its manifestations,” Magnotta said. “My sculptures typically begin with a trip to the metal yard. From the shapes and textures I rescue, a conversation takes place — a visual conversation — that results in the three-dimensional work composing my sculptures.”

“Outdoor sculptures have to function in a comprehensive way as a drive-by experience, as strong and dynamic silhouettes,” Parker said. “With further exploration for the passer-by, a deeper appreciation and enjoyment can be explored walking around, under and through the pieces.

“Art is not an instant snapshot. It is meant to be lived with and experienced,” he said.

Like perennials, the artwork comes to life each spring on campus.

“This is such a gorgeous time of year when nature puts on a show. The sculptures add another dimension to that beauty — a pop of color here, movement there,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, executive associate dean of fiscal affairs in the Office of the Provost and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee.

“Homage to Matisse” by Mike Sohikian sits near the sidewalk between University Hall and the Memorial Field House.

Two of the new eye-catching works are by Mike Sohikian. “Homage to Matisse” features four steel figures in various positions of repose along the sidewalk between University Hall and the Memorial Field House. And located on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building, “Dance of Bliss” shows motion and strength.

Another steel piece, “Poetry” by Maureen Gray, is appropriately placed in Carlson Library’s new plaza. Matt Amante’s “Elevated Intersection” adds an elegant dash of blue to Ravin Plaza on Centennial Mall.

“Stainless Steel IV” by David Vande Vusse gleams near the sidewalk on the north side of University and Gillham halls. Charles Pilkey’s “Paleozoic Landscape” consists of painted steel and river pebbles; it will rest on the west side of Centennial Mall.

And Ray Katz’s aluminum work aptly named “Burst” is located between Nitschke and Palmer halls near the traffic circle.

Nearly 170 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the UT Campus Beautification Committee reviewed the entries and selected pieces for this year’s exhibition.

Cynthia McKean’s “Fire VI” roars on the hill west of University Hall.

Artists receive stipends for the sculptures, which will be on display for the next year.

More than 120 sculptures have rotated through the display at the University since the exhibit began, and 11 have become part of UT’s art collection thanks to the generosity of campus benefactors, colleges and departments, according to LeBlanc.

“Gifts from donors make the annual exhibition possible,” he said. “If you like the sculptures, please consider a gift to the Campus Beautification Committee through the UT Foundation.”

Go to https://give2ut.utoledo.edu.

UT partners with Ohio’s public universities in efforts to close attainment gap

The University of Toledo is partnering with Ohio’s 13 other public universities to raise awareness of the value of public higher education and spur efforts to produce more college graduates to close the state’s higher education attainment gap.

The statewide campaign, called Forward Ohio, seeks to mobilize public support for enhanced investment in public higher education and ensure that it is a public policy imperative for state government.

“We know that higher education is a smart investment for the college graduate who will earn $1 million more than a high school graduate over the course of a lifetime,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “It also is a smart investment for the state because Ohio needs a highly skilled workforce to attract and retain the jobs of the future. Public universities like The University of Toledo play an important role in training the majority of those skilled workers.”

Studies indicate that about 66 percent of jobs in Ohio in 2025 will require degree, certificate or other postsecondary workforce credentials. Currently, just 44 percent of working age Ohioans have these credentials.

The Forward Ohio campaign illustrates how maintaining a strong system of public higher education is essential to closing the attainment gap and meeting the economic and workforce needs of the state’s business community.

In addition to producing the workforce of the future, public universities also have direct economic impacts on their communities. In northwest Ohio, UT is the region’s second largest employer and has a $3.3 billion annual impact on the community. For every $1 invested by the state into UT, $10 of economic impact is generated to the local economy.

UT also is an exceptional value for students providing a high-quality education with one of the lowest tuition rates among Ohio’s public universities.

The value of a UT degree has been validated by external sources such as Schools.com, which ranked UT Ohio’s best four-year college when analyzing criteria such as affordability, flexibility and student services. The website LendEDU also ranked UT the top Ohio public college for the lowest student debt. Most recently, Student Loan Hero listed Toledo third in its list of the 20 cheapest cities in the country for college students, a ranking based on cost-of-living data in college towns where students benefit from low room and board costs on and off campus.

“UT and all of Ohio’s public universities provide significant value to our students and to the state,” Gaber said. “I join my fellow university presidents in advocating for enhanced support for strong public higher education to move Ohio forward.”

Visit the Forward Ohio website at forwardohio.org for more detailed facts, figures and success stories.

New genetic analysis center at UT to accelerate research in disease prevention, detection and treatment

The University of Toledo Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center will be unveiled Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. with a ceremony in Health Education Building Room 100 on Health Science Campus, followed by tours of the facility located on the second floor.

The center, which increases the capability of UT researchers in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences to develop preventative, diagnostic and treatment strategies for diseases such as cancer and heart disease, was created with the help of nearly $60,000 from Women & Philanthropy, the largest grant ever awarded by the volunteer organization that supports UT initiatives.

A researcher works in the Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center.

“This is a critical investment that advances the research mission of UT,” said Marcy McMahon, chair of Women & Philanthropy. “We believe it will serve to improve public health and retain and attract talented scientists dedicated to curing diseases.”

“The center truly transforms work in the emerging field of molecular diagnostics,” said Dr. David Kennedy, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and co-director of the UT Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center. “By saving valuable time and using a high-quality process, it sets new standards for molecular testing and incorporates all workflow steps from sample preparation to genetic marker detection.”

“We are extremely grateful for the significant investment provided by Women & Philanthropy to establish the center, which will greatly enhance our capability to investigate numerous diseases and develop potential therapies,” said Dr. Steven Haller, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and co-director of the new center with Kennedy.

The researchers recently received three grants totaling $450,000 from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to support their water quality research into how exposure to algal toxins, such as microcystin, affects organ function and to create new therapies to prevent and treat organ damage, especially in vulnerable patient populations.

“Although scientists in UT’s Department of Medicine are involved in many cutting-edge research projects vital to human health areas, they lacked the ability to process and examine multiple human and experimental samples for genetic analysis without significant delay,” McMahon said. “The Genetic Analysis Center meets that need.”

The UT Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center also received more than $45,000 in support from Qiagen, a biomedical company headquartered in Germany, to help pay for instruments, including:

• The Qiagen TissueLyser II, a tissue processor that allows up to 192 biological samples to be processed at the same time;

• The QIACube HT, a DNA-, RNA- and protein-extraction system that uses nucleic acid to quickly and easily purify DNA, RNA, protein and miRNA from almost any type of sample, including cells, tissues and food, as well as from bacteria and viruses in animal samples;

• The QIAgility, an automated liquid handling system that provides rapid, high-precision setup for polymerase chain reaction, a technique used to amplify, or make many copies of, a segment of DNA; and

• Real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction thermal cyclers that use a centrifugal rotary design to allow each reaction tube to spin in a chamber of moving air, which keeps all samples at each step of the cycling program at exactly the same temperature. The system contains integrated Q-Rex software for data integration and analysis.