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Vibrant works update outdoor sculpture exhibition

A dancer gives a joyful performance near UT Medical Center. And a family stands on the west side of Centennial Mall.

Ray Katz’s “Domino,” Gregory Mendez’s “Ellie” and Todd Kime’s “Profiling” are three of the eight new pieces installed for the 12th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Gregory Mendez’s “Ellie” dances near UT Medical Center.

It’s a springtime tradition: New artwork blooms at The University of Toledo.

“This is my favorite time of the year. I love when the new pieces arrive,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee. “They certainly add to the beauty of of the campus.”

Three of the new works are by Mike Sohikian: “Male Flamenco” steps it up near the sidewalk on the north side of University and Gillham halls; “Figure With Large Bowl” walks on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building; and “The Veteran” stands resolutely on the west side of the Health Education Building on Main Campus.

Sohikian, a retired ironworker, has a reputation for creating beauty from scraps of steel.

“I had a lifetime of love and appreciation for art, but I didn’t begin my art career until 1995,” the Genoa, Ohio, resident said. “I assemble industrial materials and rework them into fascinating forms.”

Sam Soet’s “Cedar Walker Variations II” is perched in Ravin Plaza on Centennial Mall.

Sam Soet’s artful twist titled “Cedar Walker Variations II” sits in Ravin Plaza on Centennial Mall.

“I am at home outdoors in the woods. This is where I draw my inspiration from — the lines, shapes and movements influence the forms of my sculptures,” said Soet, who lives in Farwell, Mich. “I pride myself in working with materials that are sustainably sourced, essentially giving new life to a fallen tree or limb, or saving a log from a burn pile.”

This year’s last new work, “Three Tenors” by Ric Leichliter, will be installed this week near the Root Bridge, where North Tower Boulevard meets Stadium Drive.

“Profiling” by Todd Kime stands on the west side of Centennial Mall.

In addition, Sohikian’s “Reaching for the Moon” from last year’s exhibit still sits on the west side of Savage Arena.

And thanks to donor contributions and a partnership between the Campus Beautification Committee and the President’s Commission on the River, Tom Rudd’s 9-foot, 1,000-pound “Whitefish” is becoming a permanent part of UT’s collection and will continue swimming south of Carlson Library near the Ottawa River.

Nearly 230 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.

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

Nearly 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,” LeBlanc 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 College of Engineering to announce diversity scholarship program in partnership with Dana Inc., Toledo Excel

The University of Toledo College of Engineering will host a special event Thursday, May 4, to announce a new program in partnership with Dana Inc. and Toledo Excel. 

At the event, Dana will present the College of Engineering with a check for $250,000 to create the Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program.

The check presentation will take place at 11 a.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1027. 

The initiative aims to increase the recruitment, enrollment, retention and success of underrepresented minority students in degree programs offered by the College of Engineering. 

Dr. Lesley Berhan, director of engineering diversity initiatives and associate professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, will lead the new program. 

“Through this partnership with Dana Inc. and Toledo Excel, we hope to develop a sustainable pipeline to the College of Engineering for underrepresented students in the Toledo area that will introduce them to the exciting world of engineering and enhance their academic and professional preparation,” Berhan said. 

“Diversity is a priority both for the University and for the employers who hire our graduates,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “At the College of Engineering, we are thrilled to partner with Dana to provide more support for minority students in engineering programs. We hope to increase the success of students in this program by providing mentorship and professional development before the students even enroll at UT.”

The Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program is a four-stage program that will start after the completion of 11th grade with a summer institute, beginning in July. Mentorship and professional development opportunities will continue through the completion of a degree from the College of Engineering.

“Dana is proud to partner of The University of Toledo in this endeavor to better connect students from underrepresented communities to career paths in engineering,” George Constand, chief technology officer at Dana Inc., said. “We believe this will help to promote greater diversity and inclusion among the engineering workforce of the future.” 

For 28 years Toledo Excel has provided college preparation and scholarships to underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans. Through services such as summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

“The Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand what we do for some of our Excel students who are interested in careers in engineering,” David Young, director of the Toledo Excel Program, said. “It provides them with a great introduction to the field through amazing faculty in the University’s College of Engineering; mentorship and guidance from a fantastic company like Dana; and continued support from the Toledo Excel staff that has invested in them since the time they left middle school. I am thrilled that the idea Dr. Berhan discussed with me many months ago has now become reality.”

More information on the Dana Excelling into Engineering Scholarship Program can be found here.

UT major gifts officer one of five in nation recognized as Outstanding Young Professional

Nicholas Kulik, major gifts officer for the College of Engineering, is among five fundraisers younger than 31 recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

For his impressive fundraising achievements, he recently was named to the association’s first group of Outstanding Young Professionals.

Kulik

In his first year with The University of Toledo, Kulik raised more than $2 million for the major gift programs of two of UT’s largest colleges.

“Nick’s personal contributions have been a tremendous asset to the Advancement team,” said Brenda S. Lee, president of the UT Foundation. “This national honor is a testament to his exemplary efforts and enthusiasm.”

The Outstanding Young Professionals designation honors exemplary work in raising funds, inspiring donors, helping manage campaigns, and giving back to the profession.

“Nick’s focus on meeting donor objectives, while working to further the University’s mission, has been a great part of his success,” said Michael Harders, vice president for advancement. “Not only is he an outstanding fundraiser, he also is skilled at building relationships throughout the University community.”

Kulik and the other four honorees will be recognized at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco Sunday, April 30.

“It’s an honor and humbling experience being recognized with a great class of young professionals,” said Kulik, a Certified Fund Raising Executive. “Through the guidance of my mentors, support of my family, especially my wife, and experiences through the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I’ve turned my career into my passion.”

An alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi, Kulik also was recognized with the fraternity’s Thirty Under 30 Award in 2014. It was through Pi Kappa Phi that he realized he wanted to make fundraising his career.

“While in college, I started raising funds for people with disabilities through Pi Kappa Phi and wanted to make it my life’s pursuit to help people,” Kulik said. “Working with philanthropists to create transformation change in a community, hospital or university has been personally rewarding.”

After graduating from Bowling Green State University, Kulik spent most of his career with the United Way network, where he worked on multiple $13 million annual campaigns in northwest Ohio. Kulik also worked at the United Way of Racine County, where he led a campaign that raised a record-setting $5.4 million.

In addition to his United Way experience, he was a major gifts officer for Bowling Green State University and ProMedica Health System focusing on securing major gifts for their comprehensive campaigns.

He is pursuing a master of studies in law from The University of Toledo.

Couple gives $1 million for endowed professorship in accounting

Alan H. Barry and his wife, Karen A. Barry, have given their alma mater 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.

The Barrys announced the gift at their home in Scottsdale, Ariz., April 21 at an alumni event for the Phoenix Chapter of the UT Alumni Association. University President Sharon L. Gaber attended the event in Scottsdale as the alumni chapter’s invited speaker.

Karen A. Barry, left, and her husband, Alan H. Barry, signed an agreement April 21 with UT President Sharon L. Gaber to establish an endowed professorship in accounting at the University.

“UT’s College of Business and Innovation has benefited greatly from the generosity of Alan and Karen Barry through their many gifts, which have supported both the Management and Accounting departments,” Gaber said. “Their donations have helped our business faculty prepare UT students to enter the accounting and management professions with all of the necessary critical-thinking skills and core business principles to succeed as leaders in today’s competitive marketplace.

“This newest gift from Alan and Karen Barry to endow a professorship adds another level of support, ensuring that our students are receiving the best possible education in accounting, and that our faculty have the resources they need to deliver an education of excellence,” she said. “The University is deeply grateful for Alan and Karen Barry’s generous gift and all that they do to support UT students.”

The Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professorship in Accounting will be used to recruit or retain a professor in the Department of Accounting; any costs related to the recruitment of a faculty member; bridge or pilot research projects; faculty and staff development costs; curriculum development; the development of a fellowship program; and specialized equipment needed for teaching.

“We are ecstatic that Alan and Karen have made such a tremendously generous gift to establish the endowed professorship in accounting in the College of Business,” said Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “Their action will benefit countless students for years to come and further elevate the College of Business and Innovation’s reputation. Alan shows how much he truly cares about our students by frequently coming to campus when he is in town, and taking the time to meet and talk with business students, answering their real-life questions, and being a true mentor to them. We cannot thank Alan and Karen enough for their kindness, generosity and support.”

Alan Barry, who is a certified public accountant and the retired president and chief operating officer of the Fortune 200 company Masco Corp., said giving back to UT students is a pleasure: “The accounting background I got at the University was beneficial to me throughout my career. I’ve always been a supporter of the University, and once I was in a position to do so financially, I felt pretty good about giving back to the University that gave me the opportunity to succeed.”

He joined Brass Craft Manufacturing Co. in 1972 as controller and became president of that 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.

He serves on the board of directors of the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group. He is a retired director of Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc., Scotts Miracle Gro Co., Flint Inc., 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.

The Barrys 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 lab also serves as the location of the free income tax preparation assistance the College of Business and Innovation provides annually to qualified, low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the Toledo area during the spring income tax filing season.

“I am truly grateful for Karen and Alan Barry for their continuous support to the accounting students,” Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, professor and chair of the UT Department of Accounting, said. “It’s only through people like Karen and Alan that we are able to provide the high-quality education we offer at the UT College of Business and Innovation. It has been my privilege to see Alan as a guest speaker in the classrooms, meeting and advising accounting students, supporting their development through the state-of-the-art Alan Barry Accounting Lab and the $1 million gift.”

The Barrys 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 UT Alumni Association Phoenix Chapter member, as well as an active member in UT’s Blue Key organization. He also serves on the UT Foundation Board of Trustees.

The couple’s interest in supporting accounting students through financing scholarships, the accounting lab and the endowed professorship grew out of a nostalgic return to campus. “I was invited back to the University about 15 or so years ago. I hadn’t been on the campus for a long time, and I guess I kind of fell in love with the place for the second time.” The Barrys have been supportive donors ever since.

Alan received a business degree in 1966, and Karen graduated in 1964 with an associate degree.

The Department of Accounting is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International. This prestigious accreditation places the department among the top 2 percent of accounting departments worldwide.

University Women’s Commission recognizes employees, awards scholarships to students

Five UT employees were honored last week for exceptional achievement and dedication to the campus community at the 31st annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.

More than 70 attended the University Women’s Commission program, which was held Wednesday in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room. Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, gave a talk, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” The 2015 recipient of the Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award shared her story, including her love of science, working in Europe, and how she came to UT.

Recipients of the 2017 Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were, from left, Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, Dr. Kaye M. Patten, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, Dr. Nina I. McClelland and Dr. Dorothea Sawicki.

The recipients of the 2017 Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were:

• Dr. Nina I. McClelland, dean emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences, professor emerita of chemistry, and executive in residence in the College of Business and Innovation. She served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2011. A UT alumna, she received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in 1963. McClelland also received an honorary doctorate of science from the University. During her career, she has won numerous honors, including the 2016 Women in Conservation Award from the National Wildlife Federation for her accomplishments in protecting safe water around the world, promoting clean energy, and preserving wildlife and habitats in Ohio. In 2010, she was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.

“Dr. McClelland is internationally recognized for her expertise in environmental chemistry. She was elected director at large of the American Chemical Society and served in that role for nine years. She was elected chair of the board of directors, a position she held for three years. Nina served the NSF International for 30 years, including 15 years as chair of the board of directors and executive committee, president and chief executive officer,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. McClelland is an amazing woman who has dedicated her life to using science to make this world a better place.”

• Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs. She has been working at the University 12 years. She served as chair of the 2016 UT Community Charitable Campaign, which exceeded its goal and raised $134,568 for nearly 220 nonprofit area organizations.

“I have worked with many dedicated women in my 30 years in higher education. Dr. Kaye is in a class by herself. Through working with her, I have witnessed a level of energy, commitment, respect and advocacy for students that I had not experienced before,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Patten treats each student exactly how she would want her own son or daughter treated. I have admired and appreciated Dr. Kaye’s approach — to always be upfront with students, letting them know their responsibilities and how UT can help them achieve their goals. She understands the life-changing power of higher education, and it is clear that she wants the best for our students. If she is not attending a student event after hours or on weekends, she is representing the University in the community through the Toledo branch of Links Inc., a women’s service organization whose mission is to enrich the cultural and economic lives of African Americans. Dr. Kaye does nothing halfway — if she makes a commitment, she’s all in. To borrow from the UTC3 campaign slogan: She simply gives.”

• Dr. Dorothea Sawicki, vice provost for health affairs and university accreditation, and professor of medical microbiology and immunology. In 1977, she began her career as an assistant professor at the Medical College of Ohio. She received tenure and worked her way up to professor. She also served in several administrative roles in the College of Graduate Studies and in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences; as secretary-treasurer of the American Society for Virology since 2006; and as a member of the Journal of Virology editorial board since 1988.

“Dr. Sawicki has contributed to the University in a variety of ways for almost 40 years. She was one of the first people I met when I began at UT in 2010. At the time, I was a temporary hire helping the institution prepare for its Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit, and Thea was one of the committee co-chairs. I was immediately struck by her direct, no-nonsense approach to getting things done,” one nominator wrote. “I appreciate the historical background she is often able to provide about some obscure policy or way of doing things, and her unwavering commitment to the University. She is successful in her field and is a role model for women in science; she is extremely involved in the UT community at all levels; she maintains a positive, can-do attitude in her work; and she is active in various women’s issues.”

• Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, director of communication and fund stewardship with the UT Foundation. She joined the University in 1992. Over the past 25 years, she has significantly enhanced the Foundation’s internal and external communications, donor relations, and stewardship efforts. A UT alumna, she received a bachelor’s degree in communication in 1983. In 2013, Stanfa-Stanley embarked on “The 52/52 Project,” a year where she challenged herself every week with a new experience. As she turned 52, she shook things up. Her adventures included suiting up as Rocksy the mascot for a UT soccer game; babysitting quadruplets; wearing pajamas in public for a day; riding with police and going on a raid with the vice squad and SWAT team; visiting a nude beach; performing as a mime outside a shopping center in Kentucky; and crashing a wedding reception — and catching the bride’s bouquet.

“All the while, Sherry blogged about her amazingly crazy year on Facebook.com/The52at52Project. The witty writer served up entertainment and enlightenment for nearly 5,000 followers. Her book, ‘Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares,’ will be published Aug. 15 by She Writes Press,” one nominator wrote. “Sherry likes to call herself ‘a cautionary tale,’ but she really is a role model, showing it’s never too late to change your life. Her heady heroism is inspiring.”

• Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, assistant professor of Japanese in the Department of Foreign Languages. She started to work part time at UT in 2011. She is the social media coordinator for the Japanese Studies Program and adviser of the Calligraphy Club. She also is a translator in various community organizations local and abroad, as well as assistant coordinator for the Toledo Sister Cities International. A UT alumna, she received a bachelor of arts degree in global studies in 2009, a master of arts degree in English in 2011, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in 2015.

“Dr. Yamazaki’s contributions and achievements are numerous and balanced in research, teaching and service. She has three articles in press, and in the 2016-17 academic year, she presented or is scheduled to present eight sessions at international and national conferences,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Yamazaki has implemented a 3D virtual world simulation game into Japanese as a foreign language classroom and designed an immersive Japanese curriculum for her students. She uses an experiential and integrative computer-assisted language learning framework, conducting classes in a 3D massive multiplayer online learning environment to enhance students’ acquisition of Japanese and cultural proficiency. With what Dr. Yamazaki calls computer-assisted learning of communication, she developed an advanced Japanese course that is based in a 3D simulation in Tokyo. Through communicative collaboration with native Japanese game-users online, she made it possible for students to acquire knowledge to function in Japan.”

Students who received $1,000 scholarships from the University Women’s Commissin were, from left, Areeba Shaw, Bianca Caniglia, Jennifer Zaurov and Jessica Angelov.

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 Angelov, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in entrepreneurship, family and small business; Bianca Caniglia, a senior majoring in environmental science with a minor in women’s and gender studies; Jennifer Zaurov, a junior majoring in communication with a minor in psychology; and Areeba Shaw, a sophomore majoring in media communication.

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.