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Influenza vaccine schedule

The University provides free influenza immunization for students and employees.

Walk-in clinics will be held on Health Science and Main campuses in October and November. Nurses and nursing students will administer the vaccines.

President Sharon L. Gaber, Dan Barbee, chief executive officer of UT Medical Center, center, and Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president of clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, received influenza vaccines last week on Health Science Campus. Administering the shots were UT nursing students, from left, Zachary Douglas, Stephanie Ruzzin and Taiwo Akinwole.

Save time and register at influenza.utoledo.edu before going to a clinic.

Clinics will take place:

• Tuesday, Oct. 23 — Health Education Building Lobby from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Pinnacle Lounge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Wednesday, Oct. 24 — Collier Building Lobby from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Main Campus Medical Center from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Thursday, Oct. 25 — Health Education Building Lobby from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Main Campus Medical Center from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Friday, Oct. 26 — Pinnacle Lounge from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Tuesday, Oct. 30 — Main Campus Medical Center from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Wednesday, Oct. 31 — Stranahan Hall Lobby from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 1 — Savage Arena Lobby from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 7 — Health and Human Services Building Lobby from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 8 — Thompson Student Union Lobby from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Center for Health and Successful Living recognized with community service award

The University of Toledo’s Center for Health and Successful Living has been honored with the Debra A. Green Community Service Award for its work providing advocacy and support services for breast cancer survivors and those battling the disease.

The award was presented Oct. 14 at Medical Mutual of Ohio’s 25th annual Hattitude cancer awareness brunch.

Dr. Amy Thompson, left, and Dr. Timothy Jordan, co-directors of the UT Center for Health and Successful Living, accepted the Debra A. Green Community Service Award on behalf of the center from Christina Williams of 13 ABC News, left, and Christine Taylor, community affairs manager for Medical Mutual. The award was presented at Medical Mutual of Ohio’s 25th annual Hattitude cancer awareness brunch.

“Medical Mutual takes great pride in recognizing those who support breast cancer survivors,” said Christine Taylor, community affairs manager at Medical Mutual. “The University of Toledo’s Center for Health and Successful Living is a deserving recipient of this award thanks to their dedication to bringing breast cancer survivors together for social, emotional and spiritual encouragement.”

Dr. Amy Thompson and Dr. Timothy Jordan, co-directors of the Center for Health and Successful Living, accepted the award. Thompson and Jordan are both professors in the UT College of Health and Human Services.

“This is a hugely important award for us,” Thompson, interim associate vice provost of faculty affairs, said. “Our nomination came from breast cancer survivors. It’s wonderful to have the people we serve want to recognize the services and resources our center provides that have helped them.”

The Center for Health and Successful Living was established in 2013 to create a community resource hub for individuals living with breast cancer and other chronic diseases. The center puts a particular focus on helping those who are vulnerable, marginalized, at-risk and under-served.

Among the services the center offers breast cancer survivors are nutrition and health and wellness counseling; smoking cessation; physical and occupational therapy; and customized exercise programs.

The center works in partnership with The University of Toledo’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center and several academic programs to blend educational experiences for students, research opportunities for faculty members, volunteer opportunities for survivors, and service opportunities for members of the community to provide customized services for breast cancer survivors.

“Our center is unique in that it is interdisciplinary and student-run. We have students from exercise science, recreational therapy, public health, social work counseling and other areas of study working together to provide comprehensive services to breast cancer survivors,” Thompson said. “We’re honored Medical Mutual has recognized the center for its all-around approach to serving the community.”

Since its inception, the Center for Health and Successful Living has educated nearly 5,000 community members and arranged mammograms and clinical breast exams for 800 women.

The Debra A. Green Community Service Award is named for retired Medical Mutual Vice President Debra Green, who became an advocate and breast cancer awareness champion after her diagnosis more than 20 years ago.

State honors UT algae expert for leadership of Ohio Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey visited The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center Oct. 22 to honor UT’s harmful algal bloom expert for his role leading the state’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, which consists of more than 30 science teams at universities across the state seeking solutions to address toxic algae in Lake Erie.

Carey recognized Dr. Tom Bridgeman, ecology professor and director of the UT Lake Erie Center, with the Chancellor’s Award, which honors exemplary faculty, administration and students who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in using the power of higher education to impact the communities where they are located and for the greater good of all of Ohio.

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey, left, presented Dr. Tom Bridgeman, ecology professor and director of the UT Lake Erie Center, with the Chancellor’s Award for his role leading the state’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative.

“I’m proud of the work that has been done thus far, and of the example of effective collaboration that has been set thanks to Dr. Bridgeman’s leadership and expertise,” Carey said.

“It has been an honor to help lead the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative for the Ohio Department of Higher Education,” Bridgeman said. “The chancellor recognized that Ohio’s university researchers had the potential to contribute to solving the harmful algal bloom problem. Since the start of the initiative, researchers have been working hard to provide science that can be used by state agencies in designing solutions. Not only are we providing answers to the pressing questions on how to manage and prevent harmful algal blooms now, we are training the next generation of scientists who will be called upon to help solve future environmental problems.”

Bridgeman has monitored, tracked and studied algae in the Great Lakes for nearly two decades. He created a new method to measure how much harmful algae there is in the lake during the course of the summer and has compared the bloom from one year to another since 2002.

He helps sound the early warning for water treatment plant operators throughout algal bloom season, which recently ended for the year.

Bridgeman also connects with legislative policymakers to raise awareness about his research exploring ways to protect the lake and ensure communities continue to have access to safe drinking water.

The Lake Erie Center is UT’s freshwater research and science education campus focused on finding solutions to water quality issues that face the Great Lakes, including harmful algal blooms, invasive species and pollutants.

UT professor honored for technology commercialization efforts

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey presented the 2018 Ohio Faculty Council Technology Commercialization Award to The University of Toledo’s Dr. Vijay Goel in Columbus Oct. 12.

Goel was recognized for his accomplishments toward the development and commercialization of the Libra Pedicle Screw System, which is being used in a growing number of hospitals and spinal surgery centers.

Goel

He has been a professor of bioengineering at the University since 2001 and has demonstrated outstanding success in translating his research into patented technologies that serve as a foundation for commercial ventures. He directs the Center for Orthopaedic Research Excellence that brings together UT faculty from a number of disciplines, such as engineering, medicine, kinesiology and physical therapy. He is an inventor on 42 invention disclosures at the University, has 25 issued patents, and the Libra pre-sterilized pedicle screw system is being widely used in trauma, deformity and degenerative applications in the spine.

In nominating Goel for the award, UT Provost Andrew Hsu wrote, “He contributes to the UT mission in many ways, but he is exceptional in his ability to translate his funded research into licensing and commercialization opportunities.”

“I am honored to receive this Technology Commercialization Award on behalf of UT and my bioengineering colleagues and collaborators, Dr. Anand Agarwal, Dr. Sarit Bhaduri and several others,” Goel said. “As faculty researchers, we look for opportunities to solve problems. I am proud we were able to do that with LIBRA to combat contamination in the operating room and a few other FDA-approved products, the bases for the two startups, Spinal Balance Inc. and OsteoNovus Inc.”

Dr. Jay Lee from the University of Cincinnati also was recognized as the runner-up for this year’s award. He was honored for his development of Watchdog Agent — a collection of machine learning and artificial intelligence software tools that can be customized for predictive health monitoring and diagnosis of equipment and systems in many diverse applications.

The Ohio Faculty Council launched its annual Technology Commercialization Award in 2016 to recognize a faculty member in the state university system for exceptional research discoveries and the role they have played in supporting the translation of those discoveries into marketable products and/or services.

“The public university system of Ohio is a critical incubator for innovation and the Ohio Faculty Council embraces the opportunity to recognize the role that our world-class faculty play in economic development,” said Dan Krane, chair of the Ohio Faculty Council. “Dr. Goel’s and Dr. Lee’s work are outstanding examples of the ingenuity and entrepreneurship taking place on campuses across the state that are greatly facilitated by our institution’s investment in higher education and commitment to academic freedom.”

The Ohio Faculty Council represents the faculty at all of the four-year public universities in the state. It addresses concerns common to faculty members across Ohio and presents a faculty perspective on major issues affecting higher education. It is committed to supporting and bringing attention to the critical role that Ohio’s institutions of higher education play in revitalizing the economy of the state and the nation by attracting and training an educated workforce. Learn more at ohiofacultycouncil.org.

UT research discovers link between refined dietary fiber, gut bacteria and liver cancer

Many of the processed foods we find on grocery store shelves have been loaded up with highly refined soluble fibers such as inulin, a popular probiotic that recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed as health-promoting.

But a new study from The University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences is raising serious questions about whether the risks of adding refined fiber to processed foods may significantly outweigh the benefits.

Dr. Vishal Singh, center, a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Fellow at the University, recently authored a study published in the journal Cell that found a link between highly refined soluble fibers and liver cancer. He is pictured with fellow researchers Beng San Yeoh, left, a PhD student, and Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, director of the UT Microbiome Consortium and associate professor of physiology and pharmacology.

Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, director of the UT Microbiome Consortium and associate professor in the UT Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and his research team recently investigated if a diet enriched with refined inulin might help combat obesity-associated complications in mice.

While the inulin-containing diet did stave off obesity in 40 percent of mice, many of those same mice went on to develop liver cancer at the end of the six-month study.

“The findings shook us,” Vijay-Kumar said, “but at the same time we recognized their potential importance and accepted the challenge of exploring how processed dietary soluble fiber was inducing liver cancer.”

Although this study was performed in mice, it has potential implications for human health. It also suggests, researchers say, that enriching processed foods with refined, fermentable fiber should be approached with great caution.

“We fully appreciate that the fibers present in whole foods like fruits and vegetables are healthy,” Vijay-Kumar said. “Because of that, fortifying or adding purified fiber to processed food sounds logical. However, our results suggest it may in fact be dangerous.”

The findings were published in the Oct. 18 issue of Cell, one of the world’s leading biological journals.

There are two basic types of naturally occurring dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers are fermented by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids. Insoluble fibers pass through the digestive system unchanged.

While both types are beneficial, the concern raised in the study relates to how gut bacteria break down the highly refined fiber that is added to some processed foods as a dietary supplement.

Dr. Vishal Singh, a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Fellow at The University of Toledo and lead author of the paper, said refined fiber is a new addition to our diets and we are in the very early stages of understanding the risks and benefits it may present.

“Soluble fibers added to processed foods are not part of a natural meal,” Singh said. “The inulin used in this study is from chicory root, which is not a food we would normally eat. In addition, during the extraction and processing of the fiber, it goes through a chemical process. We don’t know how the body responds to these processed fibers.”

Chicory root is used as a source of inulin to fortify fiber in processed foods.

The mice that developed liver cancer in this study had altered and elevated gut bacteria, a condition known as dysbiosis. Intriguingly, the researchers observed no evidence of liver cancer in inulin-fed mice that were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics to deplete gut bacteria.

The UT team collaborated with researchers at Georgia State University who performed a similar study in germ-free mice that completely lack gut bacteria. The absence of liver cancer in those mice further confirmed the contributory role of gut bacteria.

The bacteria collectively known as gut microbiota degrade and digest soluble fibers via fermentation. To inhibit that fermentation process, the UT researchers fed mice beta acids derived from Humulus lupulus — a plant more commonly known for producing the hops that go into beer to prevent spoilage from fermentation.

“Strikingly, feeding beta-acids to inulin-fed mice averted liver cancer, which further reinforce our hypothesis that gut bacterial dysmetabolism primarily driving liver cancer in these mice,” Singh said.

Researchers also found they could halt the development of liver cancer by intervening to replace inulin with the insoluble fiber cellulose.

“Cellulose could not be fermented by gut bacteria present in mice or humans. This finding again highlights the link between bacterial fermentation of soluble fiber and liver cancer development in these mice,” said Beng San Yeoh, a graduate student in Vijay-Kumar’s lab and another lead author of this study.

Researchers said their findings suggest the need for more studies that look at human consumption of the type of refined fiber found in processed foods.

“Our study is going against the conventional wisdom of what people think, that fiber is good, no matter how they get it,” Vijay-Kumar said. “We do not want to promote that fiber is bad. Rather, we highlight that fortifying processed foods with refined soluble fiber may not be safe or advisable to certain individuals with gut bacterial overgrowth or dysbiosis, whose abnormal fermentation of this fiber could increase the susceptibly to liver cancer.”

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health.

Department of Theatre and Film to hold auditions for two productions

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will hold two sets of auditions this fall.

The first auditions, for the play “The Pillowman,” will be held Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 22-23.

The second set will be for the musical “Into the Woods” and will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 13-14.

All auditions will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre.

Auditions are open to everyone, including members of the community. Cast members do not need to be UT students. Parking is free during the auditions.

For the play auditions, participants should prepare a one-minute monologue that must be memorized. For the musical, they must prepare a theatre song.

Scripts are available for a 24-hour loan period and are in the department office. Sign-up sheets and audition forms are posted on the production call board near the dressing rooms in the Center for Performing Arts. Audition forms can be filled out in advance, but they must be brought to the audition. Additional audition forms will be available the evening of tryouts.

Performances for “The Pillowman” will be held Feb. 1-10. Performances for the “Into the Woods” are April 5-20. Rehearsal schedules will be determined after the shows are cast.

Written by Martin McDonagh, “The Pillowman” will be directed by Quincy Joyner, UT assistant lecturer of theatre. The play is about a fiction writer who is interrogated by police because the content of his stories is horrifyingly similar to a string of recent child murders.

“Into the Woods” will be directed by Dr. Edmund Lingan, UT professor and chair of theatre. Based on the book by James Lapine, the production features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Four fictional characters are taken out of their fairy tale stories and given the chance to make their deepest wishes come true. The characters find themselves on a quest that somehow becomes intertwined with the other characters’ journeys.

A no-pain gain to combat hypertension: UT research finds way to mimic exercise’s blood pressure lowering effects

Couch potatoes, rejoice: There might be a way to get the blood pressure lowering benefits of exercise in pill form.

Hypertension researchers at The University of Toledo have shown that by increasing the body’s supply of beta hydroxybutyrate, a chemical produced predominantly by the liver, it is possible to regulate high blood pressure without reducing sodium intake or increasing exercise.

Saroj Chakraborty, left, and Dr. Bina Joe have discovered that by increasing the body’s supply of beta hydroxybutyrate, a chemical produced predominantly by the liver, it is possible to regulate high blood pressure without reducing sodium intake or increasing exercise.

“Our team found that high salt consumption lowered levels of circulating beta hydroxybutyrate. When we put beta hydroxybutyrate back in the system, normal blood pressure is restored,” said Dr. Bina Joe, Distinguished University Professor and chair of UT’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and director of the Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine. “We have an opportunity to control salt-sensitive hypertension without exercising.”

The team’s findings were published in the Oct. 16 issue of the life sciences journal Cell Reports.

Beta hydroxybutyrate is a ketone body produced in the liver from the metabolism of fatty acids. It had not been previously explored as a method for controlling blood pressure, but the UT researchers noted a number of intriguing connections between how the body produces beta hydroxybutyrate and environmental factors known to raise or lower blood pressure.

“As we searched through the literature, we saw beta hydroxybutyrate has been observed increasing with exercise or calorie restriction. Both of those activities also reduce blood pressure. The key piece of our discovery is we now know that beta hydroxybutyrate decreases with salt consumption. This is a novel mechanism by which salt is tied to an increase in blood pressure,” said Saroj Chakraborty, a fourth-year PhD student in the UT Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and the paper’s lead author.

To test its hypothesis, the team led by Chakraborty and Joe developed a study in which they fed lab rats a chemical called 1,3-butanediol.

When that supplement reaches the liver, enzymes convert it to beta hydroxybutyrate. From there, it goes to the kidney, where it was shown to reduce inflammation commonly associated with hypertension — and significantly decrease blood pressure in the process.

“By fixing the kidney, it is indirectly contributing to the lowering of blood pressure. There could be many other organs that it is impacting,” Joe said. “We are studying the heart, blood vessels, brain and other organ systems. But this paper says that this molecule, predominately made in the liver, goes to the kidney, fixes kidney damage, and controls your blood pressure.”

Joe noted that controlling function of the liver to regulate blood pressure is a new concept for researchers.

UT has received a provisional patent on the concept. Researchers in Joe’s lab next want to compare the level of beta hydroxybutyrate in hypertensive patients against those without high blood pressure. Further studies also will determine how much 1,3-butanediol is needed to modulate blood pressure and whether it might cause any potential damage to other organs.

Once the team collects that data, the researchers hope to secure funding for a clinical trial.

While lowering blood pressure without hitting the gym might sound appealing to those averse to breaking a sweat, it also could prove beneficial to those who aren’t able to exercise.

“There are certain patients who are not able to exercise for various reasons. This could prove to be a legitimate alternative for those individuals,” Chakraborty said.

Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center to offer free breast cancer screenings Oct. 19

The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo Medical Center is recognizing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with free events aimed at early detection and education about the disease.

“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to think about having your mammogram,” said Jan Tipton, a registered nurse and manager of the Infusion Center at the cancer center.

On National Mammography Day, which this year falls on Friday, Oct. 19, the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is offering free mammograms and clinical breast exams for women who are uninsured or underinsured.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, but statistics show that one-third of women older than the age of 40 have not had a mammogram in the past two years.

“By doing regular screenings, we can detect these cancers early and hopefully prevent patients from needing more invasive treatments,” Tipton said.

Women who have not had a recent mammogram or those who have found a lump during a self-breast exam are encouraged to register. A limited number of spots are available. To register or inquire about eligibility, call 419.383.5170.

Later this month, the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center will host a free panel discussion with three of its breast cancer specialists to talk about the precision treatment options available at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

The program will begin at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, and feature breast surgeon Dr. Heather Klepacz, medical oncologist Dr. Danae Hamouda and radiation oncologist Dr. Tangel Chang, who will speak about the latest advances in breast cancer treatment, including the most individualized treatment available today. A question-and-answer session will follow.

“We are entering into a new age of state-of-the art care using precision targeted therapy. Drs. Klepacz, Hamouda and Chang are all outstanding physicians who are part of our family-centered multidisciplinary care team,” said Dr. F. Charles Brunicardi, a surgical oncologist at UTMC and director of the Cancer Program in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “We are proud of the work the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is doing and glad we can educate the community on the latest options in cancer care.”

The panel discussion is open to the public, but reservations are requested by emailing danacancercenter@utoledo.edu or calling 419.383.5243.

UT faculty recognized for tenure and promotion

Sixty-four University of Toledo faculty members were honored in a special 2018-19 tenure and promotion celebration Sept. 28 in Carlson Library. Last year, 53 faculty members earned tenure and promotion.

Each honoree was asked to select a book that was instrumental to his or her success, and these books — each containing a bookplate commemorating the honoree’s milestone — are now housed in the library.

“We began this tradition when I joined UT because we believe recognizing faculty helps to foster excellence in research and academics, and helps fuel innovation in all fields of study,” said President Sharon L. Gaber.

“Faculty success, together with student success, are two of the highest priorities of the University and of the Office of the Provost,” said Provost Andrew Hsu. “We have implemented a number of new programs to enhance faculty success since President Gaber joined The University of Toledo. And while the large number of faculty honorees this year demonstrates the progress that we have made in faculty success, the credit goes to the hard work and dedication of our faculty.”

UT faculty receiving tenure are Dr. Hossein Elgafy and Dr. Xin Wang, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Appointed as professor with tenure are Dr. Anne Balazs, College of Business and Innovation, and Dr. Raymond Witte, Judith Herb College of Education. And appointed as associate professor with tenure is Dr. Denise Bartell, Jesup Scott Honors College.

Faculty members who were promoted to professor are Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Dr. Maria Diakonova, Dr. Timothy Mueser and Dr. Michael Weintraub, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich and Dr. Frederick Williams, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Florian Feucht and Dr. Tod Shockey, Judith Herb College of Education; Dr. Bashar Gammoh and Dr. Margaret Hopkins, College of Business and Innovation; Dr. Tavis Glassman and Dr. Sheryl Milz, College of Health and Human Services; Dr. Edmund Lingan, Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Dr. Sujata Shetty and Dr. Jami Taylor, College of Arts and Letters; Elizabeth McCuskey and Evan Zoldan, College of Law; Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Dr. Theodor Rais, Dr. Tallat Rizk and Dr. David Sohn, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Devinder Kaur, Dr. Scott Molitor, Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Dr. Gursel Serpen, Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Dr. Sridhar Viamajala and Dr. Hongyan Zhang, College of Engineering.

Promoted to professor with tenure are Dr. Guillermo Vazquez and Dr. Hongyan Li, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor include Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Halim Ayan and Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, College of Engineering; Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Daniel Hernandez, Dr. Jason Levine, Dr. Thor Mednick and Dr. Daniel Thobias, College of Arts and Letters; Dr. Joseph Cooper and Dr. Kainan Wang, College of Business and Innovation; Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Mouhammad Jumaa, Dr. Krishna Reddy and Dr. Diana Shvydka, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, College of Health and Human Services.

Faculty promoted to associate professor are Dr. Daniel Gehling, Dr. Claudiu Georgescu, Dr. Bryan Hinch, Dr. Kimberly Jenkins, Dr. Jeremy Laukka, Dr. Terrence Lewis, Dr. Jiayong Liu, Dr. Sumon Nandi and Dr. Syed Zaidi, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Randall Vesely, Judith Herb College of Education.

Faculty who received renewal of their titles with tenure are Michelle Cavalieri and Bryan Lammon, College of Law.

And Dr. George Darah was promoted to clinical associate professor in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

“We wish each of these individuals continued success at the University, and ask our campus community to join us in congratulating them,” Hsu said.

Faculty members posed for a photo with President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu during the tenure and promotion celebration held last month in Carlson Library.

UPDATED: Filmmaker to show documentary on racism

“Man on Fire,” a documentary about racism, will be screened Thursday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Director Joel Fendelman will introduce the work and lead a question-and-answer session after the screening.

However, the workshop scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19, has been canceled.

“Man on Fire” focuses on Grand Saline, Texas, which has a history of racism, a history the community refuses to talk about. This shroud of secrecy ended when Charles Moore, an elderly white preacher, self-immolated to protest the town’s racism in 2014, shining a spotlight on the town’s dark past.

In the 2017 film, Fendelman and Dr. James Chase Sanchez examined the protest and question the racism in Grand Saline as it stands today.

“It’s important for people to realize that things like racism and race relations do not exist in a vacuum,” Jennifer Pizio, associate director in the UT Office for Diversity and Inclusion, said. “By taking time to learn about the historical context within which a situation arises, we are better able to grasp the why and how so we can do things differently and, hopefully, better.”

The free, public event is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; the College of Arts and Letters; the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities; the Department of English, Language and Literature; the Department of History; and the Department of Theatre and Film.

For more information, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 419.530.2260.