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‘Wearable Conditions,’ BFA Thesis exhibitions this week

This year’s “Wearable Conditions” exhibition will be held Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion.

“Students in the School of Visual Art’s Department of Art have created extraordinary hybrids of sculpture plus fashion plus research to fabricate runway-ready works of art,” Brian Carpenter, UT gallery director and lecturer in the Art Department, said. “Students dove into analysis of diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, delusional disorder and neuroblastoma.  

“HIV/AIDs” by Shelly Trivisonno is from last year’s “Wearable Conditions” exhibit.

“Students worked to understand the impact of these conditions on the individuals who suffer with the disease and those who care for the afflicted. They even worked with physician partners and heath-care workers to familiarize themselves with the toll the diseases take on their victims,” he said.

Students employed costuming techniques, old and cutting-edge technologies, sewing machines and computer numerical control machines to craft dramatic sculptural responses to the conceptualization of the particular virus, disorder or disease they chose to study. 

In addition to the exhibition, there will be lectures by Brian Kennedy, president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art, and Dr. Mysoon Rizk, UT associate professor of art history and director of the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities.   

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 6 p.m. at the TMA Glass Pavilion. 

Due to limited seating in the Glass Pavilion, the show will be streamed live in the Center for the Visual Arts Haigh Auditorium on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.  

Immediately following the “Wearable Conditions” exhibition, there will be a reception for the BFA Thesis Exhibition in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery. 

This exhibition features works by eight graduating students who will receive bachelor of fine arts degrees. The work spans multiple mediums, including photography, ceramics, painting and virtual reality.  

The works will be on display through Wednesday, May 3.

For more information on the free, public exhibitions, contact Carpenter at brian.carpenter@utoledo.edu.

These archival pigment prints by Sebastien Schohn are featured in the BFA Thesis Exhibition.

Open forums scheduled for College of Arts and Letters candidates

Four finalists for the position of dean of the College of Arts and Letters will visit campus this week for open forums to engage with the UT community.

Listed by dates, open forums and candidates are:

• Monday, April 24 — Dr. David Yalof, professor and department head of political science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in Center for Performing Arts Room 1036.

• Wednesday, April 26 — Dr. Peter Biehl, professor and chair of anthropology and director of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, 1 to 2 p.m. in Center for Performing Arts Room 1025.

• Thursday, April 27 — Dr. James Meernik, professor of political science and director of the Castleberry Peace Institute at the University of North Texas in Denton, 1 to 2 p.m. in Center for Performing Arts Room 1017.

• Friday, April 28 — Dr. Charlene Gilbert, dean and director of Ohio State University at Lima, 1 to 2 p.m. in Center for Performing Arts Room 1025.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at meetings. For specific dates and times, go to utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-arts-letters.

Reporting to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the dean serves as chief academic and administrative officer of the College of Arts and Letters and is responsible for the administration of academic programs; student success; strategic and fiscal planning; evaluation of faculty and staff; promoting diversity awareness; and planning and advancing new academic initiatives, community services and campus facilities.

The dean will interact with other administrators to promote the needs of the college on campus and in the surrounding community, including pursuing external funding.

For more information about the dean search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-arts-letters.

Glass City Singers to perform first concert

The Glass City Singers will present their premiere concert Tuesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 316 Adams St. in Toledo.

The concert will feature contemporary music written by living composers, including selections for choir, cello and piano.

The Glass City Singers is a new ensemble to Toledo and is the first of its kind in northwest Ohio, according to Dr. Brad Pierson, assistant professor and director of choral activities in the UT Music Department. The ensemble is an auditioned group of singers age 16 to 30, and includes high school students, young professionals and college students majoring in everything from music to medicine.

An alternative to the more traditional community chorus, Glass City Singers performs music composed exclusively in the 21st century, Pierson, who directs the group, said.

Pierson will conduct at the concert, which will feature UT pianist Christina Montri and Dr. Brian Snow of Bowling Green State University on cello.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors.

Tickets will be available at the door, from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office, or online here.

Now screening: 2017 UT’s Student Filmmakers Showcase

The Department of Theatre and Film will present a public screening of its film students’ best work. The 2017 University of Toledo Student Filmmakers Showcase will take place Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

The event is a sensory experience filled with artistry and variety, a film lover’s annual favorite. Chosen in juried competition, entries include film, video and animation projects created as part of the curriculum.

“The opportunity to showcase my films next to my peers makes the entire experience worth it,” Evan Sennett, film student, said. “As director of the Film Curators Club, I can honestly say this is the most exciting screening of the year.”

Holly Hey, associate professor and head of film, agreed: “The showcase is a night to celebrate the work that gets screened, and it’s also a night to celebrate the community of creative culture within the Film/Video Program at UT. I’m proud of everyone involved, and want to share our successes with the local communities on and off campus.”

The Film Curators Club will provide free concessions during the screening and host a free after party following the showcase. Door prizes will add to the evening’s festivities.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for UT employees/students/alumni, seniors 60 and older, children and members of the military. Advance tickets are available through the Center for Performing Arts Box at 419.530.2787 or online here.  

UT students win big at Japanese speech contest

Eveliina Hartus, a recent psychology graduate, and Keaton Bogle, a fifth-year communication student, have received the prestigious Consul’s General Award at the 18th Japan-America Society of Central Ohio’s Language Speech Contest.

The two traveled last month with their speech mentor, Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, assistant professor of Japanese, to Dublin, Ohio, where Hartus and Bogle presented their speeches, “What Is Good Culture” and “A Voice Actor’s World,” against five other students from other universities in the state.

Hartus

Presenters were scored according to fluency, the ability to answer questions from the judges, and the content of the speech.

The Consul’s General Award is presented to students whose speeches had an interesting or important message.

“This is truly great news for all of us studying and teaching foreign languages,” Yamazaki said. “We have so many talented students in our classrooms, but not many of them recognize their own abilities and potentials. Our job is to help them realize such talent and encourage them to challenge themselves so that our students can achieve the best versions of themselves.”

Bogle has been studying Japanese for four years and began to learn it with the help of online resources before taking the language classes at The University of Toledo.

“Winning this award was a really nice surprise,” Bogle said. “I didn’t even think I’d get accepted into the contest, so walking away with an award was a really nice little boost of self-confidence.”

Bogle

Hartus studied Japanese for two years in high school and during her last two semesters at the University.

“I feel happy about the award, but I am mostly grateful for Ms. Yamazaki for it,” Hartus said. “If it was not for her, no other teacher would have been able to convince me to even apply for the competition. So for me, the award shows how big of an impact a great teacher can have.”

Bogle and Hartus both hope to be able to use Japanese in the future in their career or to be able to continue learning and studying it.

Since 1999, the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio’s Japanese Language Speech Contest has been an annual event designed to highlight the power of foreign language communication at the high school and university level.

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.

UT Opera Ensemble modernizes ‘The Brothers Grimm,’ ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

The University of Toledo Opera Ensemble will bring the story of Grimm’s fairy tales into the 21st century with its presentation of two one-act operas — “The Brothers Grimm” and “Little Red Riding Hood” — Friday through Sunday, April 21-23, in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Curtain time will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.

The performance of “The Brothers Grimm” will be the Ohio premiere of the opera written by Canadian composer Dean Burry.

“Written for those relatively new to opera, ‘The Brothers Grimm’ is an engaging tale of how the famous siblings took oral German folk stories and immortalized their colorful characters in writing,” said Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, assistant professor of music, who is producing and directing the show. “Characters such as Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel and Little Red Cap spring to life fresh and anew under the skillful pens of the brothers Wilhelm and Jacob.”

The UT Opera Ensemble will then present one of the most famous of the Grimm’s stories, “Little Red Riding Hood,” by Seymour Barab.

The Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall will be transformed into the forest setting, and the audience will be drawn into the action as Red makes her famous trek to grandma’s house.

Can rap and opera coexist? Apparently, they can, and to great effect. The ensemble’s take on Barab’s libretto, which includes spoken poetry, incorporates rap and modern dance moves, and provides the performance with a sense of currency and relevance, without destroying the romance of the original story. 

“Both operas are very accessible to those new to opera, as well as the experienced. For seasoned opera goers, solid performances by award-winning student singers guarantee them a thoroughly satisfying experience,” Ritter Bernardini said.

Cast members for “The Brothers Grimm” are voice students Moises Salazar and Brandon Warren as Wilhelm Grimm; Nate Krebs as Jacob Grimm; Kate Walcher as Frau Viehmann; Joshua Kramer as Brentano/Col. Krause; Ashley Roark as Dortchen; Mackenzie Payton as Rapunzel/Miller’s daughter; Meridian Prall as the Witch/Wolf; Danielle Hale as Little Red Cap; and Will Floss as Rumpelstiltskin.

Taking the stage for “Little Red Riding Hood” will be voice students Paige Chapman as Little Red Riding Hood; Kate Walcher as Mother; Chelsie Cree as Grandmother;Devon Desmond as the Wolf; and Will Floss as the Woodsman.

Assisting Ritter Bernardini with the production are Chelsie Cree, assistant director; Andreea Lee, accompanist/rehearsal pianist; and Mike Vanderpool, costumes.

It should be noted that both operas are a little on the grown-up side. There are scenes with violence that may be too intense for audience members younger than 8 years old.

Tickets $10 to $15 are available through the Center for Performing Arts Box Office online at utoledo.tix.com or by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787).  

Distinguished University Lecturer Program set for April 20

The UT community is invited to attend the Distinguished University Lecturer Program and Reception.

“To honor and celebrate the many contributions of our lecturers to the teaching mission of The University of Toledo, the week of April 17 has been designated as Lecturer Appreciation Week,” said Dr. Jamie Barlowe, interim vice provost for faculty affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

The week will include a recognition event in Doermann Theater Thursday, April 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. followed by a reception outside the theater. At that event, President Sharon L. Gaber will give welcome remarks, and Provost Andrew Hsu will recognize faculty members who will receive the new title of Distinguished University Lecturer.

“Those named Distinguished University Lecturer have earned recognition and distinction as educators, advancing student learning, facilitating and supporting student success, and demonstrating a commitment to the University’s educational mission,” Barlowe said.

The duration of the appointment as a Distinguished University Lecturer is unlimited, and the title may be retained after a lecturer has retired from UT, she added.

Faculty eligible for the designation are assistant, associate and senior lecturers.

Humanities Institute to be named in honor of founder

The Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Letters will be renamed during a program Friday, April 14, at 4 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

Founded in 1986 under the directorship of Dr. Roger Ray, professor emeritus of history, and re-established in 2014, it will be named the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities.

Ray

UT President Sharon L. Gaber will speak at the ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Tom Barden, professor emeritus of English, also will talk at the dedication.

For more than 20 years, Ray led the Humanities Institute, offering a monthly research seminar for senior and junior faculty, countless scholarship awards for humanities undergraduates, and extensive public programming. This included a long and vital partnership with the Toledo Museum of Art; a collaboration with many area high schools; and a regular series of scholarly lectures, symposia and public talks on and off campus. He retired from the University in 2006.

“Under Ray’s leadership, the Humanities Institute was granted more than $1 million, including major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ohio Humanities Council,” said Dr. Mysoon Rizk, associate professor of art history, who was named the director of the institute in February. “The institute became a model for similar programs across the state, including at Ohio State University.”

After the naming ceremony, Rizk said there will be two short presentations to keep with the institute’s public humanities mission.

Dr. Richard Putney, professor emeritus of art history, will give a talk on “The Monuments of Gettysburg: Politics and Culture.” And Dr. Jason Jordan, visiting assistant professor of history, will discuss “‘A Very Worthy Negro’: Tom Lee and the Racial Politics of Jim Crow Memphis.”

For more information on the free, public ceremony and the presentations, contact Rizk at mysoon.rizk@utoledo.edu.

Pianist to give master class, recital

Matthew Bengtson will visit The University of Toledo for the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series this weekend.

He will present a master class Saturday, April 1, at 10 a.m. and a recital Sunday, April 2, at 3 p.m. Both free, public events will be held in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Bengtson

Bengtson’s program will include the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Alkan, and Liszt, among others.

Critically acclaimed as a “musician’s pianist,” Bengtson also is a composer, analyst and scholar of performance practice, and thus is in demand as both soloist and collaborator. An advocate of both contemporary and rarely performed music, he commands a diverse repertoire, ranging from William Byrd to Gyorgy Ligeti and numerous contemporary Philadelphia-area composers. He has appeared with violinist Joshua Bell on NPR’s “Performance Today” and XM Satellite Radio’s “Classical Confidential.” His recordings can be heard on the Romeo, Arabesque, Griffin Renaissance, Albany and Navona record labels.

Bengtson is assistant professor of piano literature at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where he teaches piano, fortepiano, and courses in piano repertoire, history and culture. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music and the Peabody Institute, and has been on the collaborative piano staff at the Curtis Institute of Music. Besides his musical attainments, Bengtson was educated at Harvard University with a focus in mathematics and computer science.

For more information on the piano series, contact Dr. Michael Boyd, UT professor of piano, at michael.boyd@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2183.