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— Judith Herb College of Education

Nationally renowned educator to speak Jan. 26 on Scott Park Campus

The University of Toledo will host one of the country’s foremost experts in teaching education during a free “Diverse Teachers Matter” program Thursday, Jan. 26.

Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, premier pedagogical theorist and renowned teacher educator, will discuss the impact diverse teachers have on student populations, as well as the community’s importance in supporting teachers and contributing to increasing diversity in education.

ed-flyerThe public program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Scott Park Campus Auditorium.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a more important educator in the U.S. today,” said Dr. Lynne Hamer, professor in the Judith Herb College of Education’s Educational Theory and Social Foundations Program and coordinator of Teach Toledo, the college’s degree program created to attract a diverse pool of students into higher education. “She has focused attention on the importance of explicit attention to racial and ethnic diversity, most importantly bringing ‘critical race theory,’ a theory developed in legal studies, into use in education. She also developed the concept of ‘culturally relevant pedagogy,’ introducing it in 1995 and continually applying it to modern teaching methodology.”

Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In December, she was elected to a four-year term as president of the National Academy of Education, which supports research for the advancement of education policy and practice. According to its website, members are invited from “a very select group of education experts from all over the world.”

Ladson-Billings is a 10-year member of the academy.

She also is past president of the American Educational Research Association and winner of the Brock International Prize in Education (2012), a monetary award honoring outstanding scholarship and research in education.

In January, Education Week’s “Straight Up” blogger Rick Hess named her the third most influential education scholar in the U.S.

Ladson-Billings’ book, “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children,” was published in 1994 to high praise from the national education community. The narrative followed eight successful educators in primarily African-American environments. A second book updating the lives and careers of the “Dreamkeepers” was published in 2009.

“Anyone concerned about the equity and quality in schools” is welcome to attend the event, Hamer said. “For education to be an equitable system, and for students to have a quality education that prepares them as citizens in a diverse society, teachers need to mirror the larger population in terms of diversity.”

“Diverse Teachers Matter” is sponsored by the Judith Herb College of Education, UT’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Toledo Public Schools. It is one of several events offered by the College of Education to commemorate its 100th year.

For more information, email lynne.hamer@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.6126.

Association of Black Faculty and Staff renames scholarship in honor of professor emeritus

More than 70 guests attended a tribute to Dr. Joseph C. Sommerville, UT professor emeritus in the Judith Herb College of Education, at the Association of Black Faculty and Staff meeting held Nov. 7 in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

UT colleagues; former students from as far away as Chicago; Toledo city government officials, including Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson; family and fellow church members; community stakeholders and friends all gathered to honor Sommerville, who retired from the University in 1992 after 22 years.

Colleagues and friends recently attended the Association of Black Faculty and Staff meeting during which its annual scholarship was renamed in honor of Dr. Joseph Sommerville, professor emeritus of education.

Colleagues and friends recently attended the Association of Black Faculty and Staff meeting during which its annual scholarship was renamed in honor of Dr. Joseph Sommerville, professor emeritus of education.

During his tenure, Sommerville was chairman of the Department of Education and served on numerous UT committees. Additionally, as a superannuate professor, he taught courses in administration until 1997.

Several months ago, when the Association of Black Faculty and Staff sought to rename its annual student scholarship, it decided to forgo dedicating it to a nationally known African-American leader. Explained Dr. Anthony Quinn, current association president and assistant dean in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, “We realized we didn’t need to go out of town to find a hero. Instead, we are renaming the Association of Black Faculty and Staff scholarship in recognition of Dr. Joseph Sommerville.”

During tributes, former students praised Sommerville for his approachability, consummate professionalism and gentlemanly demeanor. Stated one, Paul Raczkowski, “Dr. Sommerville gave us practical lessons to use as educators, not just concepts to apply in the classroom.

“He really appreciated what we faced every day — ‘hormones walking in tennis shoes,’” Raczkowski said jokingly referring to teenage students. “He preached to do only what’s best for students. Period. That’s something a lot of people today should still remember.”

Dr. Crystal Ellis, former superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, said, “Joe Sommerville will live on and on and on in the lives he’s touched. I’m just glad we’re honoring him while he’s still with us.”

In addition to Sommerville having the association’s annual scholarship named in his honor, Toledo Councilwoman Cecelia Adams also presented him with a special resolution from the city. Further, the pastor of Sommerville’s church, the Rev. James Willis, declared that Sommerville’s ongoing contributions give credence to the old adage, “I’d rather see a sermon any day than hear one.”

Indeed, since retirement, Sommerville actively continues community, fraternal and educational service, despite declining health. He has served on the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Board of Trustees, and also was the first president of AARP Ohio for nearly six years. More recently, when UT launched Brothers on the Rise to help at-risk African-American and Latino students, Sommerville was among the first in the community to answer the call for mentors. He also continues to be a Sunday school teacher, as well as chairman emeritus of the Deacon Board of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.

Sommerville is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta — where he was an undergraduate student when the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also was enrolled — and the University of Michigan. He recounted in a recent video that documents his life — recorded with Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion — that when he lived in the South, he saw much violence over civil rights issues, such as houses being fire-bombed when homeowners were known supporters of African Americans.

Witnessing such hate crimes during his youth, Sommerville has dedicated his life to the success of students, especially underrepresented students, which also is the mission of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff.

Conference celebrates conclusion of NURTURES science education program

The University of Toledo will recognize the conclusion of a successful science education program with a conference to showcase how local educators incorporated high-quality science inquiry into their curriculum.

The NURTURES program, which stands for Networking Urban Resources with Teachers and University enRich Early Childhood Science, was a five-year, $10 million program funded by the National Science Foundation to engage teachers and parents in supporting a young child’s natural curiosity through interactive science lessons.

The NURTURES conference will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons in Perrysburg. It will feature presentations from local teachers and administrators who incorporated science inquiry and engineering in their classrooms and schools through the program.

Educators from Toledo Public Schools, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo and local charter schools will present topics that include:

• Overcoming common science misconceptions in the classroom;

• Developing discourse and critical thinking skills around science;

• Incorporating engineering design at the early childhood level;

• Integrating common core subjects with science; and

• Engaging with parents and community resources to promote science.

During the NURTURES program, 330 teachers of preschool through third grade and administrators participated in a total of 544 hours of professional development in the teaching of science inquiry and engineering design for early childhood classrooms.

Through NURTURES, teachers were exposed to high-quality science and engineering activities and worked to use them within their classrooms to increase student comprehension and academic achievement, said Dr. Charlene Czerniak, professor emeritus of science education and research professor in the UT College of Engineering. Data from standardized testing in Toledo Public Schools show an increase in reading, early literacy and math scores in students of teachers who have participated in NURTURES, she added.

“These findings are very significant and provide evidence that the teachers in Toledo Public Schools and area schools worked diligently to improve science teaching and learning,” Czerniak said.

Led by UT, the NURTURES program engaged a number of local partners for a community-based complementary learning model to support early learners. Those partners include Toledo Public Schools, Toledo Catholic Schools, Monroe County Schools, the former Apple Tree Nursery School, the East Toledo Family Center Day Care, UT Ritter Planetarium, Imagination Station, Toledo Zoo, Metroparks Toledo, Toledo Botanical Gardens, the former Lourdes University Nature Laboratory, Challenger Learning Center, YMCA, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and WGTE Public Media.

UT partners with Imagination Station to develop hands-on learning for area youth

The University of Toledo is teaming up with Imagination Station to develop a preschool network to promote hands-on science exploration in the region.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur announced last week a $311,676 competitive grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Leadership Grants for Museums awarded to the Imagination Station to create the network, which will be called Prime Time, that will promote early STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in partnership with UT and other local educational partners.

“It is vitally important that we expose young children to STEM educational opportunities,” Kaptur said. “We know that investments in early education programs provide significant long-term dividends in a child’s education. The Imagination Station is the perfect facilitator to bring together our regional groups to enhance the STEM education of our youngest citizens. While this specific project focuses on preschoolers, the science center is a vital resource for children and adults of all ages in our region.”

Dr. Charlene Czerniak, professor emeritus of science education and research professor in the UT College of Engineering, was the primary author of the successful grant proposal.

“The University of Toledo’s role is to provide best practices resulting from our previous research to engage both pre-K children and their parents in inquiry-based learning through meaningful play,” she said. “It is important to let children play and explore, but we want to enhance that experience with questions about why did that happen or what do you think the result will be if we do this differently? It is getting young people excited about predicting the outcome and then learning through hands-on investigation.”

Czerniak led the UT NURTURES research program, which stands for Networking Urban Resources with Teachers and University enRich Early Childhood Science, which was funded with a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The interactive family programs and the take-home family science packs created for NURTURES will be updated to fit this new Prime Time program. UT educators Dr. Susanna Hapgood and Dr. Lacey Strickler-Eppler, who are associated with the NURTURES program, also will provide training for Imagination Station staff.

In addition to UT, the community partners include the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Earl Learner’s Collaborative, Aspire, Polly Fox Academy and Summit YMCA Head Start.

Revved up: Assistant dean pays tribute to alma mater with Rocket Room

One look at Donovan Nichols’ Rocket Room and it’s clear: He’s got spirit; yes, he does.

The assistant dean for student involvement and leadership exudes enthusiasm explaining how he put together the ultimate UT fan zone.

Donovan Nichols stood beneath the sign that inspired his Rocket Room. As an undergraduate in 2002, he picked up the sign that hung in Rocky's Attic during the 1980s.

Donovan Nichols stood beneath the sign that inspired his Rocket Room. As an undergraduate in 2002, he picked up the sign that hung in Rocky’s Attic during the 1980s.

“The whole idea has been 14 years in the making,” he said looking around his basement walls emblazoned with UT jerseys, ticket stubs, posters, stories and more. “But actually putting this together took about five months.”

He pointed to a wooden sign featuring old Rocket and UT logos that bookend the stenciled name “Rocket Room.”

“That sign is actually what started the whole idea. When I was a student, I was walking around with Tom Trimble [then associate director of the Student Union] in Rocky’s Attic, and this sign was sitting in a corner,” Nichols recalled. “Tom said it was a sign that was hanging in Rocky’s Attic in the 1980s, and he said, ‘We’re probably going to throw it out.’ And I said, ‘No, you’re not.’”

Donovan Nichols' Blue Crew uniform is among the memorabilia featured in the Rocket Room. He and friend Jason Rodriguez started the masked spirited squad when they were undergraduates in 2000.

Donovan Nichols’ Blue Crew uniform is among the memorabilia featured in the Rocket Room. He and friend Jason Rodriguez started the masked spirited squad when they were undergraduates in 2000.

It was 2002 when Nichols rescued the relic and stored it at his parents’ house until now.

“Back then, I said, ‘When I have my own house, I’m going to create a Rocket Room. I’m going to carpet it with field turf and put that sign in it.’”

With a head’s up and permission from Athletics, Nichols snagged pieces of turf in April during the Glass Bowl renovations. Prepping it for installation took most of the summer.

“The turf fibers are about an inch long with about a half inch of infill — sand granules and rubber pellets to make it feel more like real grass — so I had to get all of that infill out,” he said.

The bar in Donovan Nichols' Rocket Room features turf from the blue rocket that was in the center of the field in the Glass Bowl.

The bar in Donovan Nichols’ Rocket Room features turf from the blue rocket that was in the center of the field in the Glass Bowl.

After power-washing and scrubbing the turf, Nichols cut and put pieces together to resemble a field with help from his girlfriend, Alycia Demey; friend and UT alumnus, Rob Bleile; and father, Tom Nichols.

The bar features a piece of the blue rocket from the center of the field. “I was lucky enough to get that piece, so I wanted to showcase it,” Nichols said.

Collecting UT memorabilia started during his undergraduate days when he helped establish a tradition. The year was 2000, and Nichols and his friend, Jason Rodriguez, created Blue Crew.

Bobbleheads of Football Coach Jason Candle and Rocky sit atop the bar.

Bobbleheads of Football Coach Jason Candle and Rocky sit atop the bar.

“Blue Crew’s first game ever was traveling to Penn State. There were four of us that went. About 92,000 people were in the stadium, and only about 2,000 of which were Toledo fans, but we were louder the entire game,” Nichols said pointing to a story about UT’s upset of the Nittany Lions, 24-6. “That was a really cool experience for me because that was the founding of Blue Crew.”

It was the Rocket Fanatic group from the 1990s that inspired Nichols and Rodriguez to start the masked spirited squad. 

“We wanted to create something that emulated the Rocket Fanatic group, but do something that would continue the spirit even after we graduated,” Nichols explained. “So we decided to wear the masks and wigs so we would cloak our identities because it wasn’t about us being the spirited students, it was about having the positive energy and the positive spirit always represented at the University.”

He still radiates that energy and excitement for the Rockets and his alma mater. Standing by his Blue Crew uniform, he said, “My mask is signed by Chester Taylor, who was one of the great UT football players. I have a poster of him and a jersey. He was a running back for the Minnesota Vikings and a couple other NFL teams. I try to pay tribute to some of the players who were around when I was a student because I knew some of them. In the stairwell, there’s a poster of [quarterback] Bruce Gradkowski and [wide receiver] Lance Moore, both who were students when I was around, and I have pictures of them in the NFL as well to display their success.”

A shirt with No. 16 pays tribute to Chuck Ealey, the legendary UT quarterback who led the Rockets to three undefeated seasons from 1969 to 1971.

A shirt with No. 16 pays tribute to Chuck Ealey, the legendary UT quarterback who led the Rockets to three undefeated seasons from 1969 to 1971.

Then there’s a white football shirt with a midnight blue No. 16, which was worn by the quarterback known as the “Wizard of Oohs and Aahs.”

“I wanted to highlight Chuck Ealey because it’s incredible the accomplishment that he had; he’s the only collegiate quarterback in history to go undefeated. From 1969 to 1971, the Rockets went 35-0,” Nichols said. “And he was undefeated in high school, too.”

That sense of history is everywhere in the Rocket Room — the sheet music for “Fair Toledo,” the alma mater, is framed, along with “U of Toledo,” the fight song. Also under glass is the UT Traditions brochure Nichols created after more than 500 hours of research on the school’s history.

“I wanted to walk down memory lane and teach some UT history, and display why people should be proud of The University of Toledo,” he said. “Hopefully, the Rocket Room will inspire more people to show their pride in the institution.”

After graduating with honors with a bachelor of arts degree in communications in 2004 and a master of education degree in higher education in 2006, Nichols stopped to say goodbye to Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president of student affairs. 

The 2005 GMAC Bowl Championship poster that Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president of student affairs, gave Donovan Nichols after he graduated and the UT Traditions brochure he created are part of the Rocket Room.

The 2005 GMAC Bowl Championship poster that Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president of student affairs, gave Donovan Nichols after he graduated and the UT Traditions brochure he created are part of the Rocket Room.

“She went over and took this [2005 GMAC Bowl Championship poster] off her office wall and gave it to me and said she appreciated everything I had done for the University. I was moving to Las Vegas, so it was a piece I took with me. And when I worked in Georgia, it was with me there, and now it’s back with me at home.”

“Donovan was one of the most passionate UT students. He started Blue Crew, created the Rocky doll, was Student Government president,” Patten said. “It’s so nice to have him back where he belongs to inspire that same love for the University in our students.”

“I always thought it would be fun to come back to UT to work, but I didn’t necessarily have a plan to come back. I knew I could show my Rocket pride wherever I went. When I worked in Las Vegas, I created an alumni chapter out there,” he said. “But it feels comfortable in Toledo; I’m home.

“I think if I had a Rocket Room like this in any other city, it wouldn’t be as cool,” he added and laughed. “At least here, a lot of people can come over and see it and appreciate it. Go Rockets!”

A century of preparing educators: Judith Herb College of Education celebrates 100 years

Throughout its history, The University of Toledo has seen its mission as fulfilling the needs of the city. The Judith Herb College of Education has demonstrated this notion for a century.

100 Year_HORIZONTALUT started as a municipal university — The University of the City of Toledo — one of three such institutions in the state. From its earliest years, UT partnered with the University of Ohio in Miami (later called Miami University) to provide a degree and teacher training: Students would attend UT for three years taking classes from faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences followed by one year at Miami. This was in addition to its Bureau of Research and Public Service that housed a Department of Educational Efficiency Service. Its mission was to serve Toledo’s educational organizations as well as the officers and teachers of the schools in the city.

In 1914, the state of Ohio enacted a new law regulating which universities could produce accredited teachers; only those universities on the state “approved” list could do so. Acting quickly, the University president addressed the Board of Directors reporting that local school districts were requesting UT take steps to become approved. Thus, in March 1916, the Board of Directors created the Teachers College of Toledo University. It started with a faculty of four: Josephine Leach, D.W. Henry, A.W. Trettien (who would become the first dean and serve until 1926) and A.M. Stowe.

elementary education association 1936 copyOnce it was fully established, the college moved ahead rapidly, expanding programs and hiring faculty to satisfy the demand for teachers. In 1917, it added a University Evening High School to provide instruction to adults in the community seeking a high school diploma. In 1919, it changed title from Teacher’s College to College of Education. In 1926, David Henry became dean and would hold the position for more than 20 years. During his tenure, the college would stabilize its program but continue to grow in numbers of students and faculty.

Starting in 1927, the college began offering graduate programs in elementary and secondary education. Its undergraduate curriculum had expanded from a dozen courses to more than 30 offerings, balanced between foundational and pedagogical courses. In the mid-1930s, there was talk of an imminent teacher shortage; the College of Education increased its work to try and satisfy this need. By decade’s end, the college sponsored a Demonstration School to put into practice what it taught.

future teacher association 1952 copyThere was a shift in the purpose of schooling nationwide, moving from purely academics to teaching the whole child and schooling for life. As usual, the College of Education kept up with the trends; by the 1940s, there was a rise in vocational education and preparing teachers for the trades of northwest Ohio, physical education, as well as explicitly progressive teaching courses. The college also began offering courses in school administration.

Of course, the decade also saw the horrors of World War II; UT was on the forefront of wartime service offered through its students in all areas. The College of Education joined in by teaching “school the year round” to allow students to matriculate in three years and then enlist with a degree.

As the purpose of schooling expanded and the baby boom created a tremendous need for teachers, by the 1950s, in addition to elementary and high school teachers, the college was producing teachers in vocational education, physical education, business education, home economics and art. The college was experimenting with a series of courses titled Problems in… and Research in…; teachers in the city would partner with a faculty member to work on active research problems impacting daily practice in the classrooms.

Members of the Toledo Student Education Association rode in the 1965 Homecoming parade.

Members of the Toledo Student Education Association rode in the 1965 Homecoming parade.

During that decade, Mary M. Gillham became the head librarian for the University, a position she would hold with pride for years. In fact, Gillham Hall — current home to the Judith Herb College of Education — is named in her honor as the building used to be the library.

As the turmoil of the second half of the 20th century hit the state, the college continued steadfastly producing quality teachers and school administrators throughout the decades. It kept up with the national trends and produced teachers aware of the latest in research and pedagogy.

Education students in 1962

Education students in 1962

After operating as a municipal school for more than 80 years, the University became a state institution in 1967. That big change meant a new name — The University of Toledo — and subsidy for students and state support for capital improvement. Enrollment steadily grew and buildings popped up expanding the campus.

In 2006, a couple months after the University merged with the Medical University of Ohio, UT graduates Judith and Marvin Herb, and their sons, Thomas and Jon, contributed $15 million to fund numerous scholarships as well as educational assessment support and research initiatives in the College of Education. The Herbs designated $8 million of the gift for the Herb Scholars Fund, with another $4.25 million going to support the Herb Research Initiatives Fund, which bonded together researchers with a common interest in learning. The remaining $2.75 million funded the creation of a faculty development and electronic assessment support system fund. Additionally, to recognize the single largest donation in school history, the college was renamed in honor of Judith Herb.

“The University of Toledo’s mission, especially that of the College of Education, was at the heart of our decision to make this pledge,” Judith Herb, a 1961 UT education graduate, said in 2006. “Marvin, our sons and I believe deeply in the power of education. If we can help to make a difference in the lives of some future educators, we are proud to do so.”

Judith Herb talked with students at the Judith Herb College of Education’s 2006 fall welcome picnic.

Judith Herb talked with students at the Judith Herb College of Education’s 2006 fall welcome picnic.

Following two years of major renovations, Gillham Hall, a building that has been a cornerstone of Main Campus since 1952, was rededicated in 2007. The state of Ohio provided $12.4 million in funding for the project. The building’s exterior remained primarily untouched while the interior was completely revamped. Gillham Hall opened fall semester that year with state-of-the-art classrooms that range in capacity from 18 to 40 students; a 75-seat tiered multipurpose auditorium/classroom/meeting room; three technology support center computer labs; a doctoral dissertation presentation/defense conference room; department suites that include student learning community space; and a brick entryway that offers the opportunity to inscribe dedications.

At this moment, the college is anticipating how it can satisfy the needs of 21st century schools in support of the mission of the comprehensive university. It is finding innovative ways to prepare educators for pre-kindergarten through university classrooms, as well as supporting those already teaching by offering programs that include:

Julie Kandel, who was a senior majoring in education in 2007, right, gave a tour of Gillham Hall, the renovated home of the Judith Herb College of Education, to Judith Herb, left, and others. The state provided $12.4 million in funding for the renovation of the building, which was rededicated to the college in a special ceremony in August 2007  following the public tours.

Julie Kandel, who was a senior majoring in education in 2007, right, gave a tour of Gillham Hall, the renovated home of the Judith Herb College of Education, to Judith Herb, left, and others. The state provided $12.4 million in funding for the renovation of the building, which was rededicated to the college in a special ceremony in August 2007 following the public tours.

• Traditional undergraduate programs credentialing teachers in early childhood, elementary, middle childhood, career and technical education, adolescence to young adult education, special education interventionist, as well as the areas of art, foreign language and music;

• Nontraditional certification via LAMP — Licensure and Master’s Program;

• College Credit Plus teacher credentialing programs in biology, chemistry and English;

• Endorsements in reading, preschool special needs, early childhood generalist (grades 4-5), and transition to work;

• Online programs include master’s degrees in educational technology as well as early childhood education, special education, and certificates in virtual educator, peace education, diversity, and educational assessment;

• On-campus certificates in culture and change in institutions and interprofessional teaming in early childhood education;

• Principal and school district leader licensure programs;

• A full slate of master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees in all areas, including higher education, to prepare those working in colleges and universities; and

• Innovative centers such as the Center for the Advancement of Professional Learning Communities and Virtual Collaboration, the Center for Education in Targeted Violence and Suicide, the Daso Herb Center for Advanced Research in Education, and the Center for Nonviolence and Democratic Action.

Events slated for College of Education’s centennial anniversary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listed by date, events include:

Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 12 and 13

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

Saturday, Oct. 15

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

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

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

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

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

Alumna donates $1 million to UT to support teacher education

A $1 million donation from a two-time graduate of The University of Toledo Judith Herb College of Education will support generations of future teachers.

Janet Keller, who received a bachelor of education degree in 1960 and a master of education degree in 1964, said she made the gift “because I love the University.”

UT alumna Janet Keller and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller

UT alumna Janet Keller and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller

The former high school Spanish teacher said she and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Keller, were inspired to advance the college’s strong reputation as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

“We wanted to do something to help others,” Keller said. “I had a wonderful career as a teacher, and I want to help others have that opportunity. We want to see more students become good teachers.”

This $1 million gift builds upon previous generosity from the Kellers, who in 1985 set up the A. Martin and Ruth Zucker Fund in memory of her parents to support student scholarships and other priorities of the Judith Herb College of Education.

“The thank-you notes from the students are a delight to both of us — even my husband who is not a graduate of The University of Toledo,” Keller said. “The notes have been overwhelming. It says a lot about the UT students and the culture.”

“The generosity of the Keller family will not only benefit our students here in the Judith Herb College of Education, but also the future students they touch as educators for an impact that will last generations,” said Dr. Virginia Keil, interim dean of the college. “I cannot think of a more exciting way to celebrate 100 years of our college than for a graduate to make this type of gift to support our strong future.”

Keller said she was inspired by others who have made donations to the University and hopes that their gift will motivate more people to invest in the future of UT’s students.

“I certainly want those who need that extra support through a scholarship to have the opportunity to continue their education,” she said. “It’s such an important investment.”

As part of the college’s 100-year anniversary, a student scholarship drive launched this month to engage alumni in supporting future educators.

“The Kellers’ generosity is a fantastic example of the loyalty and generosity of UT alumni, and the important role that graduates play in supporting current and future students,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We are grateful for this gift and the Kellers’ willingness to tell their story to inspire others to follow their lead and contribute to the University’s future.”

High school teachers take chemistry lab classes at UT for College Credit Plus training

It may be summer vacation, but a group of teachers from school districts across Ohio is spending the week as students with goggles, beakers and chemicals in a science lab at The University of Toledo.

Since March, UT has been training dozens of high school teachers through online classes to teach college courses in biology, chemistry or English as part of an expansion of the statewide College Credit Plus Program.

college credit plus logoOhio’s College Credit Plus Program allows seventh- through 12th-grade students to earn high school credit and college credit at the same time for free.

19 high school teachers have been working online to earn qualifications to teach college-level chemistry in their classrooms. 16 of them will be on Main Campus this week for lab classes with UT instructors.

The chemistry students are teachers from Toledo Public Schools, Belleaire City Schools, Celina City Schools, Centerburg Local Schools, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools, East Muskingum Local Schools, Fayetteville-Perry Local Schools, Findlay City Schools, Indian Valley Local Schools, Lakota Local Schools, Morgan Local Schools, Shadyside Local Schools, Triway Local Schools and Steubenville High School.

English and biology students will take classes on Main Campus at the end of July.

Last year the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education awarded UT $769,000 in grants to develop programs and pay for up to 40 high school teachers to earn a master’s degree needed to teach college-level chemistry, biology or English courses in their high school classrooms.

“By credentialing dozens of high school teachers in our area to teach college courses, we are expanding higher education opportunities for more children,” said Dr. Rebecca Schneider, professor and chair of UT’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Judith Herb College of Education.

The teachers who began the 18-month program in March are expected to begin teaching College Credit Plus courses in fall 2017.

Smithsonian museum director and physicist to address UT graduates May 7

Leaders with a passion for diversity and science who have uplifted Americans through the arts, public service and higher education will address graduates at The University of Toledo’s spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7, in Savage Arena.

During the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, former U.S. Congressman and physicist Dr. Rush D. Holt, who leads the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific and engineering society, will speak to graduates from the colleges of Adult and Lifelong Learning, Health Sciences, Social Justice and Human Service, and the Judith Herb College of Education.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the first African-American female president of Spelman College, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony for the colleges of Business and Innovation, Communication and the Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

There are 2,843 candidates for degrees: 234 doctoral candidates, 727 master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate candidates, and 1,882 bachelor’s and associate’s candidates.

The ceremony will be streamed live on video.utoledo.edu.



Holt, who will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during the morning ceremony, is the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

He served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. During his time on Capitol Hill from 1999 to 2015, Holt advocated for increased federal research funding, science education and innovation. Holt made national headlines in 2011 when he defeated IBM’s supercomputer Watson in a non-televised round of “Jeopardy!”

Holt previously served as assistant director of Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country.



Cole, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the afternoon ceremony, made history nearly 30 years ago as the first African-American female president of Spelman College in Atlanta. She later served as president of Bennett College for Women, making Cole the only person who has been president of both historically black colleges for women in the United States.

She also was the first woman elected to the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She was the first African American to serve as chair of the board of the United Way of America.

Other commencement ceremonies taking place are:

• College of Engineering — graduate commencement Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m., and undergraduate commencement Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in Nitschke Hall Auditorium.

• College of Nursing — Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Law — Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

• College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — Sunday, May 8, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences — Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.