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UT student to graduate Dec. 15, start job as mayor of Oak Harbor in 2019

Quinton Babcock, a UT student in the Jesup Scott Honor College, will graduate this weekend and become mayor of Oak Harbor, Ohio, in the new year.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, Babcock will receive two bachelor of arts degrees — one in economics and disability studies, and one in mathematics.

Babcock

And then the 22-year-old will become mayor of Oak Harbor in 2019.

How did it happen?

Babcock ran and was elected to the Oak Harbor Village Council in December 2016.

“I had always had an interest in public service, and I felt I had acquired some professional skills that I could put to good use in the community,” he said.

In August, the Oak Harbor mayor resigned. Protocol says the mayor is succeeded by the president pro tempore, who is the president of the Oak Harbor Village Council.

At the time, the president pro tempore, Don Douglas, was in the middle of a campaign for Ottawa County Commissioner. Due to the uncertainty if Douglas would be elected to this position, Oak Harbor had to elect another president to replace him.

“I was elected by the council to be the president pro tempore,” Babcock said. “Come November, Mr. Douglas won his election for county commissioner and … I will serve as mayor for the duration of 2019.”

As the new mayor, Babcock wants to create a trust with the government.

“I think people generally feel very disempowered when it comes to government; they feel the government is not responsive to their concerns,” Babcock said. “With that in my mind, I would like to use my change in position to increase transparency, accountability, accessibility and responsiveness of the village government.”

Babcock also wants to address the concern of the possible closure of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, a major employer of area residents. “I would like to play a more active role in advocating for state solutions to this potential problem,” he said.

Composer/conductor to discuss music Dec. 13

Former Toledo resident Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and of the Aspen Music Festival and School, will visit the University for an evening of discussion with UT music students and faculty.

The talk will be moderated by Dr. Matthew Forte, UT director of orchestral studies, and held Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Spano

A reception will follow the discussion.

Tickets are $10 to $15 and are available in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office by calling 419.530.2787 or visiting the School of Visual and Performing Arts website.

Spano is a conductor, pianist, composer and teacher known for the intensity of his artistry and distinctive communicative abilities, creating a sense of inclusion and warmth among musicians and audiences. Beginning his 18th season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, this imaginative conductor is an approachable artist with the innate ability to share his enthusiasm for music with an entire community and concert hall.

A fervent mentor to rising artists, Spano is responsible for nurturing the careers of numerous celebrated composers, conductors, and performers. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students and artists.

Highlights of the 2018-19 season include Spano’s Metropolitan Opera debut, leading the U.S. premiere of “Marnie,” the second opera by American composer Nico Muhly, with Isabel Leonard, Janis Kelly, Denyce Graves, Iestyn Davies and Christopher Maltman.

Spano’s recent concert highlights have included several world premiere performances, including “Voy a Dormir” by prolific composer Bryce Dessner at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor; the Tuba Concerto by Atlanta School of Composers alumna Jennifer Higdon, performed by Craig Knox and the Pittsburgh Symphony; “Melodia for Piano and Orchestra” by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts at the Aspen Music Festival; and “Miserere” by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bassist Michael Kurth.

He has led Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. Guest engagements have included the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Oregon, Utah and Kansas City symphonies; and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras.

Internationally, Spano has led the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Orquestra Sinfonica Estado Sao Paulo, the Melbourne Symphony in Australia, and the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan.

With a discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Media, Spano has won six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony. Spano is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. He is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and makes his home in Atlanta.

National science leader and Toledo native to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 15

The head of the nation’s oldest and one of its most prestigious laboratories will return home, as Toledo native Michael Witherell is set to deliver the address during The University of Toledo’s undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 15.

Witherell, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in Berkeley, Calif., will address 1,474 candidates for degrees, including 1,437 bachelor’s and 37 associate’s candidates. The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Savage Arena on Main Campus.

Witherell

UT’s graduate commencement ceremony is scheduled at 8 a.m. in Savage Arena and will commemorate 641 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. Md Kamal Hossain, emerging cancer researcher and candidate for a doctoral degree at the University, will be the speaker.

Both ceremonies are open to the public and can be viewed live on the UT Views website.

Witherell, a distinguished physicist, educator and science leader, developed the foundation for his future at Toledo’s St. Francis de Sales High School. Salutatorian at age 15, he earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in experimental physics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After a distinguished career as a university professor performing research in particle physics, he devoted himself to leading large research institutions.

In 2016, Witherell was named director of Berkeley Lab, the oldest of the 17 labs in the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories systems. Berkeley Lab is a global leader in fundamental and applied scientific research in physical, biological, energy, computing and environmental sciences. The lab’s employees have earned 13 Nobel Prizes and played a role in the discovery of 16 elements on the periodic table, among its honors. The lab is managed for the DOE by the University of California.

“Our mission at Berkeley Lab is solving the nation’s most challenging problems through great scientific and technological discoveries. I believe that the national assets in addressing these problems include public universities and the students whom they are educating,” Witherell said.

Before joining Berkeley Lab, Witherell spent six years as director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He was vice chancellor for research at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where he also held a presidential chair in the Physics Department.

His primary research interest is in studying the nature of dark matter. He was a contributor to the LUX experiment, which in 2016 published the most sensitive search for interactions of dark matter particles with normal matter. He is now part of an international research team that is building a successor to LUX, known as LZ, which will be three orders of magnitude more sensitive. Data collection is expected to start in 2020.

Witherell is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He chairs the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies and serves on the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy.

“As a nationally recognized, public research university, The University of Toledo is pleased to have Dr. Witherell as our fall commencement speaker. Research not only helps us to discover new knowledge that advances all areas of study, but also instills critical thinking skills that our students can use to approach problems systematically and come up with solutions that improve everyday life,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We look forward to Dr. Witherell sharing his insights with our graduates, especially since he grew up in Toledo and has since made tremendous contributions through research.”

Witherell’s personal success can be traced back to the Glass City, as well. He and his wife, Elizabeth Hall Witherell, head of the Princeton Edition of Henry Thoreau’s writings, grew up in the same west Toledo neighborhood and were high school sweethearts. They have a daughter, Lily.

“The foundation for my career and life was my extended family in Toledo,” Witherell said. “Their support and the value they put on education and public service were central to my personal and professional development.”

Hossain

Hossain, the graduate ceremony speaker, is a native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, who came to UT as an industrial pharmacist with a passion to develop innovative medicines.

“I’ve always been interested in studying health-related fields due to the suffering of people in my homeland from different types of disease,” Hossain said. “My focus is to develop a specific targeting approach for a more effective cancer vaccine. My research examined the utilization of a natural antibody already present in human serum that makes the vaccine more convenient to target tumor cells.”

He is a candidate for a doctor of philosophy degree in medicinal chemistry in UT’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

UT’s fall commencement ceremonies will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Graduate Studies; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

The College of Law will host its commencement ceremony Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Later that week — Friday, May 10, at
4 p.m. — the College of Medicine and Life Sciences will hold its commencement ceremony in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit the UT commencement website.

Retired University administrator passes away

Dr. William McMillen, who worked at MCO/MUO/UT from 1982 until his retirement in 2012, died Nov. 23 at age 71.

The Perrysburg, Ohio, resident most recently served as interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 2010 and delayed his retirement to take the post permanently in 2011.

McMillen

McMillen was vice president for government relations for both UT and MUO from 2005 to 2006; he played a pivotal role in navigating the legislative process that led to the merger of the two institutions. In addition, he oversaw the legislation in the state general assembly that changed the name from the Medical College of Ohio to the Medical University of Ohio.

McMillen held a variety of senior-level positions at MCO involving government relations, fundraising, communications and affirmative action while serving four presidents. In addition, he was secretary of the MCO Board of Trustees for 10 years and received a community-based appointment in the Department of Psychiatry in 1994.

At UT, he worked on initiatives in strategic planning, sustainability, economic development, and relations with the Ohio Board of Regents. McMillen also led efforts for a successful accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission.

Prior to joining MCO as assistant to the president, McMillen was a faculty member and administrator at Bowling Green State University.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point in 1969, and continued his education at Ohio University, where he received master’s and doctoral degrees in in English 1972 and 1976, respectively.

Ever the writer, McMillen penned a play, “First Do No Harm,” which premiered in February through the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s Toledo Voices. He also wrote fiction and nonfiction, including the books “From Campus to Capitol” (2010) and “Sticks” (2000). And he wrote a government relations column, “The Party Line,” for The Chronicle of Higher Education under the pseudonym Peter Onear.

The family suggests tributes to the UT College of Arts and Letters General Scholarship Fund through the UT Foundation website.

Staff Leadership Development Program’s first cohort graduates

Twenty-one University of Toledo staff members who were in the Staff Leadership Development Program’s first cohort graduated Nov. 8 and were officially recognized at a luncheon held in their honor in the Thompson Student Union.

The program was launched in 2017 based on feedback gathered during the strategic planning process from employees who wanted a formal pathway to grow professionally.

“I’m very proud of this inaugural class,” said President Sharon L. Gaber. “No one can ever change the fact that each of them was a member of our first cohort, marking a milestone not only in their tenure with UT, but also in the University’s history.”

“Our goal for this program is twofold — to help candidates grow in their existing positions, as well as to prepare them for expanded leadership roles at UT in the future,” noted Wendy Davis, associate vice president and chief human resources officer.

The one-year Staff Leadership Development Program includes complimentary courses, lectures, assessments and experiential learning facilitated by UT senior leaders, faculty and other subject matter experts.

“Each participant was carefully selected by a multidisciplinary team and completed all required assignments, readings and a capstone project in order to graduate,” said Carrie Herr, director of the Center for Continuous Improvement, who has oversight of the program.

The program has been very well-received, with members of the first cohort representing a wide range of staff positions and departments across UT campuses, according to Herr.

“I would definitely recommend this program to others,” said Kelly Donovan, who works at UT Medical Center. “I was able to foster great relationships with future leaders from various departments, plus had access to our current leaders. And the program instilled leadership skills and confidence that I’ll be able to use for future career goals.”

“What I valued most was learning about so many different facets of higher education, from human resources and recruitment to student affairs, legal and financial matters,” said Craig Turner, who works in the College of Business and Innovation. “I also had the opportunity to gain insights firsthand from UT’s leaders, such as Dr. Gaber, Provost Andrew Hsu and Dr. Chris Cooper, in addition to meeting new colleagues from throughout our campus community.”

In addition to Donovan and Turner, first cohort UT Staff Leadership Development graduates are Stefanie Bias, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Stacey Jo Brown, Office of Legal Affairs; Candace Busdiecker, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Lori DeShetler, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Josh Dittman, Intercollegiate Athletics; Shelly Drouillard, Career Services; Jamie Fager, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Beth Gerasimiak, Office of the Provost; Melissa Hansen, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Heather Huntley, Office of the Provost; Angelica Johnson, College of Arts and Letters; Deirdre Jones, College of Business and Innovation; Sara Lockett, Purchasing/Finance; Elliott Nickeson, Internal Audit and Compliance; Daniel Perry, Facilities and Construction; Jason Rahe, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions; Staci Sturdivant, College of Health and Human Services; Tiffany Whitman, University College; and Matthew Wise, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions.

A second cohort began course work in October and will graduate in November 2019.

Members of the first cohort to graduate from the Staff Leadership Development Program posed for a photo last month with President Sharon L. Gaber, seated center, and Lawrence R. Kelley, executive vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, second from left seated, and Carrie Herr, director of the Center for Continuous Improvement, seated between Kelley and the president.

New director named for LaunchPad Incubation

A new director of the LaunchPad Incubation Program has been named to continue The University of Toledo’s support of technology commercialization and regional economic development.

Brian Genide, a UT graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, brings more than 15 years of experience in business development and entrepreneurship to the University’s incubation program.

Genide

He comes to UT most recently from ProMedica Innovations, where he worked as a venture partner for the NextTech Ohio Entrepreneurial Services Provider project assisting scientists and physicians in developing innovations into commercial ventures that are prepared to raise capital for company expansion.

“UT is an important contributor to the region’s growth and development with a strong reputation for its support for Toledo’s economic development,” Genide said. “I am excited to join the University to lead its LaunchPad Incubation Program that assists innovative and high-tech companies in our community.”

“Brian’s experience working with bioscience and medical device companies is a great asset to UT and greater Toledo,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT vice president for research and chair of the board of NextTech Ohio. “I am excited to bring Brian to UT to join a very successful technology transfer and business commercialization team. UT is committed to supporting technology-based startups in northwest Ohio, and Brian brings the experience and connections to continue our success in this area.”

Genide’s career also includes serving as the CEO of Gottfried Medical, where he oversaw a staff of 40 that had annual revenues in excess of $3 million. He brings additional experience from business development positions at Rocket Ventures, Siemens Medical, Abbot Vascular Devices and SonoSite.

As director of LaunchPad Incubation, Genide will work with existing tenants in UT’s Nitschke Commercialization Center and its Laboratory Incubation Center, as well as recruit new companies, both from UT and the community, into the incubation program.

Genide also will serve as UT’s lead on the NextTech Ohio ESP program. The program, managed by JumpStart of Cleveland, includes collaborators ProMedica Innovations, Mercy Health Toledo and Bowling Green State University.

Catholic studies lecture to address abuse in church

“Abuse in the Church: A Night of Reckoning” is the topic of the annual Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies, which will take place Wednesday, Dec. 5.

The talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Dr. Peter Feldmeier, the Murray/Bacik Endowed Professor of Catholic Studies and chair of the UT Department of Philosophy, will deliver the lecture.

He said the talk will examine the history of the Catholic sex abuse crisis in the 21st century, and how poorly the church has handled the allegations.

“It’s not going to be a slash job, but I’m not going to pull any punches either,” Feldmeier said. “I hope those who attend leave with a better understanding of the problem and a sense of hope for the church.”

Feldmeier has been at the University for seven years. He earned his PhD in Christian spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and his research areas of interest include Christian spirituality, comparative theology, Buddhist-Christian dialogue and religious mysticism.

He is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the College Theology Society, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and the American Academy of Religion.

The lecture is free, but tickets are required; RSVP at the College of Arts and Letters website.

Free parking will be available in lots 12 and 12E by the Law Center and the Center for the Performing Arts.

Undergraduates to showcase research, creative projects

Does the caffeine in eye cream affect skin’s appearance? Does boxing help with speech for those living with Parkinson’s disease? How are feminist theories explored in “The Handmaid’s Tale”? These are a few of the questions UT students are tackling for the annual Scholars Celebration.

The Scholars Celebration showcases the diverse and dynamic undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activities at The University of Toledo. Presented by the Office of Undergraduate Research and University Libraries, the event includes student presentations and displays from all disciplines.

A welcome ceremony will be held Monday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005 and offer an opportunity to engage with students about their academic accomplishments. Exhibits are on display from Thursday, Nov. 29, through Friday, Dec. 7, in the Carlson Library Concourse.

“This is the fourth year of this event, and each year it grows,” said Dr. Jon Bossenbroek, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and professor of environmental sciences. “This year, I’m most excited about the increased participation of students from the College of Arts and Letters, as we have students from art, anthropology and English presenting their work.”

The Scholars Celebration fosters engagement with the campus community, bringing together students, faculty and staff from across the University to talk, be proud and celebrate the accomplishments of its students. This year will feature art displays titled “The Trees Never Bend” and “Glitched Memory,” among others.

“The Scholars Celebration has been a rewarding experience that has allowed me to share my research and receive valuable feedback from both students and faculty members,” Nathan Szymanski, a senior majoring in physics, said. “It’s also been great to meet others and learn about the fascinating work being done throughout many diverse fields here at UT.”

Concerts to feature choirs, orchestra

The University of Toledo Department of Music will present two choral concerts in December.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Chamber Singers will perform with the UT Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. at Corpus Christi Parish on Dorr Street, across from Main Campus.

Selections to be performed will be “Funeral Music for Queen Mary” by Purcell and Stucky; “The Rumor of a Secret King” by John Mackey; “Da Pacem, Domine” by Peteris Vasks; “Dance of the Tumblers” from “The Snow Maiden” by Rimsky-Korsakov; “Fun and Games” by Dr. Lee Heritage, UT associate professor of music; “Alleluia Laus et Gloria” by Tarik O’Regan; and “Cantata in Nativitate Domini” by Rihards Dubra.

On Friday, Dec. 7, the UT Rocket Choristers and the Glee Club will perform along with the Children’s Choir of Northwest Ohio. The concert will be at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theatre.

The concert will feature a blend of secular and seasonal music.

Tickets —$5 to $10 — will be available at the door or in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office by calling 419.530.2787 or visiting the School of Visual and Performing Arts website.

Parking will be free for both concerts.

UT Leadership Institute 2018-19 class announced

Last year, 21 faculty from across the University participated in the second year of the UT Leadership Institute.

The program was launched in fall 2016 by UT President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu to provide professional development to help prepare future academic leaders.

“We started this program to help our fantastic faculty members develop into future academic leaders,” Gaber said. “We believe the UT Leadership Institute accelerates success in higher education administration.”

“For faculty who are interested in exploring leadership opportunities in higher education administration, participation in the UT Leadership Institute is an excellent opportunity,” Hsu said. “Our third cohort of faculty represents faculty from eight colleges and University Libraries. I look forward to the many contributions they will make as emerging leaders of the University.”

Following a competitive application process, a third cohort of 22 faculty members was selected to participate in this year’s UT Leadership Institute. This year’s participants are:

• Dr. Ammon Allred, Philosophy, College of Arts and Letters;

• Dr. Jillian Bornak, Physics, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;

• Dr. Lucinda Bouillon, School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Services, College of Health and Human Services;

• Dr. Maria Coleman, Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering;

• Dr. Joan Duggan, Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Kevin Egan, Economics, College of Arts and Letters;

• Dr. Michael Ellis, Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Rodney Gabel, School of Intervention and Wellness, College of Health and Human Services;

• Dr. David Giovannucci, Neurosciences, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Lynn Hamer, Foundations of Education, Judith Herb College of Education;

• Dr. Dana Hollie, Accounting, College of Business and Innovation;

• Dr. A. Champa Jayasuriya, Orthopedic Surgery, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. David Kennedy, Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Lisa Kovach, Foundations of Education, Judith Herb College of Education;

• Sarah Long, School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health and Human Services;

• Julia Martin, University Libraries;

• Amy O’Donnell, Management, College of Business and Innovation;

• Dr. Jorge Ortiz, Surgery, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Youssef Sari, Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;

• Dr. Rebecca Schneider, Curriculum and Instruction, Judith Herb College of Education;

• Dr. Qin Shao, Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and

• Dr. Puneet Sindhwani, Urology, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

The first meeting of this year’s UT Leadership Institute cohort was held Oct. 5 and will be followed by monthly meetings throughout the academic year.

Participants will discuss various aspects of leadership in higher education and engage in discussions with members of the UT leadership team and invited speakers, with presentations focusing on leadership styles, critical issues facing administrators, funding, and diversity and inclusion.

President Sharon L. Gaber, second row standing at right, posed for a photo with most of the members of the 2018-19 class of the UT Leadership Institute during last month.