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UT alumna leads public art project at Toledo Correctional Institution

Criminal justice reform is in the spotlight. Across partisan lines, public figures are talking about a need to reform criminal justice policy, especially sentencing and the prison population.

Standing in front of the mural painted by incarcerated participants was revealed were, from left, Matt Taylor, Emily Numbers, Yusuf Lateef and Rachel Richardson. The four, who worked together to make the project happen, spoke at a press conference when the work was revealed.

Standing in front of the mural painted by incarcerated participants was revealed were, from left, Matt Taylor, Emily Numbers, Yusuf Lateef and Rachel Richardson. The four, who worked together to make the project happen, spoke at a press conference when the work was revealed.

The United States holds 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but 22 percent of its prisoners, according to the Sentencing Project. Roughly 2.2 million people are incarcerated in prisons and jails — a 500 percent increase in the last 40 years — and the effects on children, families and neighborhoods are even farther-reaching. Poor people and people of color are disproportionately impacted. These circumstances, among others, have prompted conversations at the national level about the state of the U.S. criminal justice system.

Community artists, organizers and incarcerated people completed a public art piece inside the walls of Toledo Correctional Institution to contribute to that dialogue at the local level.

The project, a 6-foot-by-14-foot mural, was developed by community art coordinator Emily Numbers in collaboration with People for Change, Art Corner Toledo, and artists Matt Taylor and Yusuf Lateef. A public unveiling was held in November in the lobby of One Government Center.

People for Change is comprised of incarcerated individuals and UT faculty, students and alumni who organize educational initiatives inside the Toledo Correctional Institution. It is an alumni group of the national Inside/Out Prison Exchange Project, in which university students take a course inside a prison alongside incarcerated people. Other People for Change initiatives include workshops, community speakers and an academic library.

Numbers took the Inside/Out class as a UT student in 2013. Since then, she has been a part of the People for Change alumni group.

Incarcerated individuals worked on the mural at the Toledo Correctional Institution.

Incarcerated individuals worked on the mural at the Toledo Correctional Institution.

“The Inside/Out Prison Exchange Project opened my eyes to the talent, intellect and desire to make positive change that exists within prisons, and introduced me to the vast injustice that is mass incarceration in the U.S.,” she said.

Numbers, who became interested in the concept of art as a catalyst for social change as a law and social thought student at UT, designed the project to humanize the prison population and to promote civic dialogue on issues surrounding incarceration. The art was painted on a series of 21 2-foot canvasses due to limitations on materials allowed in the prison.

“I learned about the principles of community-based art in Thor Mednick’s Arts Diplomacy class at UT, in which we painted a mural with artist Dave Lowenstein and community members at the Frederick Douglass Center. The elements of dialogue, participation and collaboration were key aspects that I wanted to keep central to this project,” Numbers, communications and public relations specialist in the College of Engineering, said.

art-close-upTaylor, Lateef and Rachel Richardson, director of Art Corner Toledo, got involved when Numbers invited them to speak to the workshop group about their art in the community. After that initial meeting last spring, the three decided they wanted to continue their involvement with the project. Numbers’ vision and coordination, Taylor and Lateef’s expertise, Art Corner Toledo’s community connections, and the dedication of the incarcerated participants came together to result in this work of collaborative, community art.

Art Corner Toledo helped secure funding from the Lucas County Commissioners, who have a current focus on criminal justice. The Art Supply Depot and the UT Inside/Out Project in the College of Arts and Letters also provided support for materials and supplies.

Over several brainstorming sessions with the artists, organizers and incarcerated participants, the group arrived at the final design for the piece. The imagery was ultimately inspired by the sharing of poetry written by incarcerated individuals and represents the experience of incarceration and the aspirations of the group. Viewers’ perspectives place them at the bottom of a well, looking up toward a bright opening. Both flowers and weeds fill the bottom of the well, and one determined vine makes its way into the light. Several bees are included in the image, both coming and going from the viewer’s perspective.

“To the incarcerated participants, the well represents the physical limitations of the maximum security prison in which they reside, as well as the social barriers that may have led them to the circumstance of incarceration,” Numbers explained. “The flowers indicate the possibility for life and beauty to thrive in unexpected places, and the bees represent the exchange of ideas necessary for that hope to thrive. The bees can be interpreted as teachers, family members or volunteers, for instance, who refuse to turn a blind eye to the damages done by incarceration, and who refuse to turn their backs on individuals who will ultimately return to our community.”

The piece is accompanied by a collective poem written by the incarcerated participants, elaborating on the visual metaphor.

All of the incarcerated participants in this workshop have taken college-level courses through the UT Inside/Out Prison Exchange Project. Many of the discussions leading to the design were centered on the concept of education as the key to reaching post-incarceration aspirations.

Dr. Renee Heberle, professor of political science, brought the Inside/Out Prison Exchange Project to the University in 2010.

“Inside/Out and People for Change give UT students and incarcerated students a unique opportunity to engage and learn with individuals they might otherwise not only never meet, but would perhaps, otherwise, stigmatize and fear,” Heberle, coordinator of the program, said. “It has literally changed lives and career paths of students, on the inside and the outside. The innovative pedagogical model and ongoing opportunities for engagement beyond the classes cultivate democratic and collaborative skills as students confront issues related to social justice and create social change.

“This mural represents the underlying principles and values of Inside/Out in the collaborative process of its creation, while being a beautiful and aesthetically important work of art on its own terms.”

The art made its debut at One Government Center and is now hanging at the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. It will be installed in public spaces in Toledo. After completing its tour around the city, the work will be donated to a local organization selected by the participants.

“It is the intention of the incarcerated participants that this public art project will serve as a sign of hope for all viewers who may face barriers or confines of their own,” Numbers said.

“As the project travels around Toledo, it carries hope for the transformation of the criminal justice system, hope for incarcerated people seeking meaning and growth despite their circumstances, and hope for anyone facing conditions that confine, imprison or isolate.”

UT Music Department Community Music Program offers beginner lessons in piano, guitar

The University of Toledo Department of Music again will offer classes in piano and guitar this January as part of its Community Music Program.

The Community Music Program offers group music lessons in beginning piano for students in first through sixth grade, as well as group guitar lessons for high school students, and piano and guitar classes for adults.

piano-and-guitarEach $60 lesson package includes six weeks of lessons. The price is the same regardless of age or instrument. Each lesson is once a week for one hour. Piano lessons are taught in the piano lab, with an instrument for each student. Guitars are not provided.

Level one is for those who have never tried the instrument or who have not taken lessons for a long time. Level two is for students who completed level one with the program or who have had at least a few lessons on the instrument.

Classes for session one will begin the week of Jan. 23 and run through the week of Feb. 27. Session two will offer a similar round of classes beginning the week of March 20.

Session one classes:

• Beginning Group Piano (level one) for Grades 1-6 — Tuesdays 5 p.m., Wednesdays 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.

• Beginning Group Piano (level two) for Grades 1-6 — Tuesdays 6 p.m.

• Beginning Group Piano for Adults — Thursday 6 p.m. (level one); Thursday 7 p.m. (level two)

• Beginning Group Guitar (level one) for High School Students — Wednesday at 6 p.m.

• Beginning Group Guitar (level one) for Adults — Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Private applied lessons also are available in voice and a variety of instruments. For class and ensemble options, and to view details and/or register for upcoming group sessions, click here.

Through UT’s partnership with BeInstrumental, scholarships for students in elementary through high school are available for those who qualify. These scholarships are for the group lessons only. To see if a student qualifies, click here or contact BeInstrumental at 419.297.6971.

Academic research uses hacked Ashley Madison data to map areas with most cheating husbands

The Bridgeport, Conn., metropolitan area led the nation last year in active use of Ashley Madison, the matchmaking website for extramarital affairs, with 6.23 subscriptions and $1,127 spent for every 1,000 men between the ages of 18 and 79, according to research at The University of Toledo.

Graduate student researchers used customer data exposed by anonymous hackers last year to analyze the geography and market characteristics of active users.

The research titled “Infidelity and the Internet: The Geography of Ashley Madison Usership in the Unites States” recently was published in the journal Geographical Review.

Chohaney

Chohaney

The common characteristics identified of cheating husbands are financially well-off, younger, not retired and less religious.

Michael Chohaney, a PhD student studying spatially integrated social science at UT, and Kimberly Panozzo, who recently graduated with a master’s degree from the Department of Geography and Planning, conducted the research.

“This is the only academic geography article we know of that collects, processes and analyzes publicly available data originally stolen and released by Internet hackers,” Chohaney said. “Due to ethics concerns, we handled the Ashley Madison user account information with the utmost respect for personal security and privacy. No individual user identities or locations can be derived from our work.”

Although the scandalous data dump included 7 million subscribers in the U.S., this research analyzed the accounts and narrowed it down to 702,309 active profiles. Researchers eliminated inactive users, such as people who visited the site once for free out of curiosity to view other members’ profiles. Unusable billing addresses and duplicate profiles paid for by a single credit card account also were removed.

“Women were not required to pay, so only heterosexual men are included in our sample,” Chohaney said. “We focus on users who put their money where their mouse is in order to measure and better understand the characteristics of those vulnerable to cheating.”

The top three areas with Ashley Madison subscription rates are Bridgeport, Conn.; Boulder, Colo.; and Jacksonville, N.C. The markets with the top spending rates are Bridgeport, Conn.; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.

“Income is the leading market determinant for Internet-facilitated infidelity,” Chohaney said. “The service of allowing people to pay to engage in an extramarital affair behaves as a luxury good, which means people with disposable incomes are willing to pay for a service that facilitates extramarital affairs and promises anonymity during the process. It makes sense; Bridgeport is wealthy.”

Chohaney said metropolitan statistical areas with the highest rates also housed large numbers of armed forces personnel and families with children headed by male breadwinners.

At the local level, spatial distribution of user and spending rates are most highly clustered in the Atlanta and Chicago areas. The most active suburbs and neighborhoods of Atlanta were Buckhead and Roswell. The most active suburbs and neighborhoods of Chicago were Lincoln Park and Aurora.

The research finds that locations with higher proportions of Asians and older married men were less likely to subscribe or spend money on Ashley Madison than locations with large proportions of African-Americans, Hispanics and younger married men. Further, the research found Ashley Madison subscription rates drop 18 percent and spending rates drop 13 percent for every additional religious congregation per 1,000 people.

“That indicates religiosity prevents individuals from using the Internet to cheat on their spouse,” Chohaney said.

Memorial service set for UT student; fund established in her memory

Visitation and a celebration of life for Molly L. LaBadie, a UT student who was pursuing a degree in anthropology and art history, will be held Saturday, Jan. 7.

LaBadie

LaBadie

LaBadie, 24, passed away from a sudden illness Dec. 22 in the Dominican Republic while on vacation with her mother, Dr. Kandace J. Williams, UT professor of biochemistry and cancer biology, and associate dean of the graduate program in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

The family will receive guests Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4752 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo. The celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Family and friends then are invited to gather at 4 p.m. at the Toledo Sailing Club, 2701 Broadway St.

LaBadie worked as a lab aide from 2015 to 2016 in the College of Medicine.

The Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology is planning to establish a fund in memory of LaBadie with the UT Foundation.

“Our hope is that this fund will be sufficient to provide modest support for a selected graduate student to travel to a national scientific meeting each year,” Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, wrote in an email sent to college members. “Given Molly’s past contributions to the department, her love of travel, and Kandace’s devotion to our graduate students, we believe that this would be a fitting way to honor Molly.”

Donations may be made to the UT Foundation with “Biochem in memory of Molly LaBadie” in the memo and left with Mary Ann Schuster, assistant to the chair of the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Department, in Block Health Science Building Room 413. The UT Foundation also will provide envelopes at the memorial service Saturday at Newcomer Funeral Home.

To share memories of LaBadie, click here.

Art student restores globe in Carlson Library

What the globe in Carlson Library needed was love, sweet love. And some new paint.

“After 43 years, the globe was very dirty and showing a lot of wear. To the best of my knowledge, it had never been properly cleaned,” David Remaklus, director of library operation, said. “During the renovations of the third floor last summer, we realized the globe needed some attention.”

Simone Tilmon touched up the globe in Carlson Library during fall semester.

Simone Tilmon touched up the globe in Carlson Library during fall semester.

He contacted Karen Roderick-Lingeman, senior lecturer of art, who recommended a senior majoring in art for the job.

“Simone Tilmon is one of our talented bachelor of fine arts majors,” Roderick-Lingeman said. “I thought she would be an excellent student to work on the Carlson Library globe due to her sensitive attention to detail.”

Enter Tilmon, who provided TLC for the globe this semester.

“At first, I cleaned with rags, but there are a lot of crevices, so I had to get a scrub brush and some solution that would not damage the paint that was already there,” Tilmon said.

She consulted with Arturo Rodriguez, associate professor of art, and Daniel Hernandez, assistant professor of art, who suggested she use Simple Green to clean the globe. They also agreed that acrylic paint would be the best fit to match the globe.

After two weeks of cleaning, Tilmon started brightening up the world in late September.

Tilmon close-up of her hand by Rachel“I thought that the painting process would be a lot easier to match up the colors. But it was very difficult to try to paint certain areas of the globe, to restore it, because of the fading issue,” she said. “I really liked trying to keep as much of the globe as it is; it was a challenge.”

Painting the 320-pound sphere that measures 6 feet in diameter on site also made the task interesting. With some scaffolding, Tilmon literally was on top of the world.

“I really enjoyed the painting. It was fun,” the artist said. “I really liked painting the snow caps — painting the Greenland area and Antarctica area — everything that had to do with a white touch-up. It looked finished and pristine.”

The most difficult part of the worldly task? “The water gave me the most problem,” Tilmon said. “It changes colors throughout, and I had to try to match that paint.”

Installed in Carlson Library in 1973, the oceanographic geophysical earth globe was custom made for the University by Rand McNally & Co. in New York. At the time, it was one of only four of its kind crafted. According to a 1973 story that ran in UT’s alumni publication, eight shades of blue were used to differentiate contoured ocean depths, and hand-painting of the globe took approximately 575 hours.

Tilmon worked more than two months adding color to the globe.

“Simone did a fantastic job. We couldn’t be happier with the transformation,” Remaklus said. “She was extremely careful to be sure every nook and cranny of the globe was properly cleaned, and the touch-up was limited to only those places where it was needed to be sure the globe looked as it did when new. I was amazed at how vibrant the colors were after 45 years of dust was removed.”

For more than 30 years, the globe was an attraction on the first floor of Carlson Library. When the Information Commons opened in 2007, it was moved to the third floor by the maps collection.

“Because the globe was on the first floor for nearly 35 years, many of our alumni remember it. We often get questions as to its whereabouts,” Remaklus said. “On the third floor, the globe has a prominent space just off the elevators. It looks wonderful in the newly renovated floor.”

He added the electric motor that turns the globe will be repaired next year.

In 2017, Tilmon will study interior design at the University of Cincinnati. She will graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree from UT Saturday, Dec. 17.

“Art has been all that I’ve done since I was a toddler. I realized quickly this is what I wanted to do with my life,” she said. “Art is how I assess the world around me and the one way I know how to express my thoughts.”

First Presidential Faculty Fellow named

Dr. Melissa Valiska Gregory, associate professor of English, has been selected as the inaugural Presidential Faculty Fellowship recipient.

As the first chosen for the competitive mentorship program, Gregory will shadow President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu during spring semester.

Gregory

Gregory

“I’m excited because the fellowship gives me the opportunity to serve the University in a new way,” Gregory said. “I’m a true believer in the mission of higher education; it’s always felt like a calling for me. Public universities should be beacons of excellence, representing all that’s best about a democratic society, which means we must find ways to offer the best education possible to as many citizens as we can.”

As a fellow, Gregory will receive a one-course release to work on projects that further the institution and receive insight into the skills needed in higher education administration.

“Melissa’s many contributions and achievements are impressive. It’s clear she is on the path to become an academic leader, and I look forward to having the chance to work with her during spring semester,” Gaber said.

“I, too, am looking forward to working with Melissa,” Hsu said. “It will be an honor to help her prepare to become a leader in higher education.”

“I’m eager to learn how to transfer the skills I’ve developed as a teacher and faculty member to the context of the Provost’s Office so that I can support UT’s ongoing advancement as an outstanding university,” Gregory said. “I know it will be an amazing learning opportunity.”

Six candidates applied for the fellowship when it was announced in September.

Gregory was selected based on her contributions to the institution and her emerging academic administrator qualities.

She joined the UT faculty as an assistant professor in 2002 and was promoted to associate professor in 2010. While at the University, she has received numerous honors, including several research fellowships and travel and learning grants. She also was named one of UT’s Outstanding Teachers in 2015 and served as a Master Teacher from 2008 to 2010.

In 2006, Gregory volunteered to build the English Department’s honors curriculum. She designed a research and method honors seminar that guides students through the writing of an honors thesis, including post-graduate advising that teaches them how to apply for internships and graduate programs. Those curricular improvements led to a 40 percent increase in departmental honors enrollment.

After that success, Gregory was appointed director of honors in the College of Arts and Letters. In this role, she collaborates with department chairs to improve honors programs and thesis offerings. She also works with college services and the college council to establish better tracking and advising of students.

An expert in Victorian studies, Gregory co-wrote a book titled “Charles Dickens: A Brief Biography” (2008). And she was editor of Marshall Gregory’s “Teaching Excellence in Higher Education,” which won the Society of Professors of Education Book Award in 2014.

Distinguished educator to deliver commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, will present the keynote address at the UT fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Snyder, who will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, will address 2,066 candidates for degrees: 93 doctoral, 584 master’s, 1,346 bachelor’s and 43 associate’s degrees.

Snyder

Snyder

The ceremony will be streamed live at http://video.utoledo.edu.

Snyder is a distinguished American educator and academic administrator whose career includes success as a computational mathematician, musician, published scholar, lecturer and podcaster. He attended Toledo Public Schools and graduated from UT in 1981 with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and mathematics. Additionally, he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from UT in 1983.

Snyder also holds a second master’s degree, as well as a doctoral degree, in computational mathematics from Princeton University.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Timothy Snyder return to his alma mater as our fall commencement speaker,” said UT President Sharon L. Gaber. “His career is proof that goals can be multidirectional, and success follows people who work hard to make lasting contributions, no matter what career paths they choose over a lifetime.”

In 2014, The University of Toledo Alumni Association recognized Snyder with its College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Outstanding Alumnus Award.

“I return to my hometown with pride and excitement to deliver the keynote commencement address. My educational path and career were profoundly shaped by my years at UT,” Snyder said. “I continue to resonate with UT’s mission to improve the human condition and advance knowledge, among its other values. I hope to inspire graduates to pursue their life goals with creativity and integrity.”

Snyder has held academic positions at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at Georgetown University, where he was chair of the Department of Computer Science and its first dean of science. Additionally, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut and vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland. In 2015, Snyder was appointed the 16th president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

He has published and presented widely on his research, which includes computational mathematics, data structures, design and analysis of algorithms, geometric probability, digital signal processing, computer music, and the education of the millennial generation. More recently, he has been researching risk assessment in commercial airline safety, as well as HIV and its prevention.

A musician most of his life, Snyder was lead singer in the touring rock-and-punk band Whirlwind from 1976 to 1983. His music can be found on iTunes and SoundCloud. He is also active in social media through his Twitter handle @LMUSnyder.

The University’s fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Innovation, Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Services, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Additionally, UT’s College of Engineering will hold graduation ceremonies for its undergraduate and graduate candidates Friday, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

Dean appointed interim vice provost

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, has been named interim vice provost for faculty affairs.

She will begin the position Jan. 1 and continue to lead the College of Arts and Letters until a dean can be selected.

Barlowe“Jamie will spearhead new initiatives to promote faculty success and getting to professorship,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive president for academic affairs, said. “Her reputation as a respected leader on this campus precedes her, and I know she will help faculty members achieve new levels of success.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as dean, and I look forward to this new challenge and to working with faculty across the University,” Barlowe said.

A member of the UT faculty since 1990, Barlowe has served as dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences and the new College of Arts and Letters for the past five years. She also was associate dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences for nine months and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies for nine years.

She co-led the Directions 2011 strategic planning process and was a member of the steering committee for the Higher Learning Commission self-study in 2011. She has been active in shared governance, serving as president of Faculty Senate after the merger of UT and the Medical University of Ohio, and as a member of Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Research Council, and Arts and Sciences Council for more than a decade. 

Currently, Barlowe serves on the new University Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and is an inclusion officer after being on the President’s Council on Diversity for five years. 

In addition to memberships on many other committees and task forces. she has been an adviser for more than 70 master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and 20 undergraduate honors theses. As a professor of English and later women’s and gender studies, she received the University Outstanding Teacher Award and was twice named a Master Teacher in the former College of Arts and Sciences. 

Her 2000 book, “The Scarlet Mob of Scribblers: Rereading Hester Prynne,” helped reshape traditional Nathaniel Hawthorne studies and served as a major component of a number of undergraduate and graduate courses at other universities. Barlowe is completing a book manuscript focused on 64 previously unknown or neglected silent-era film adaptations produced from 1903 to 1929.

Disability Studies Program to screen, discuss ‘A Christmas Carol’

The UT Disability Studies Program will screen Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic “A Christmas Carol” Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

A Christmas Carol FlyerEbenezer Scrooge, played by George C. Scott, is a bitter, old miser who believes nothing good can come of Christmas if it does not make him any money. Visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, on Christmas Eve, he is warned that if he does not change his unkind ways, Scrooge is doomed to a torturous afterlife in chains. Scrooge then is visited by three spirits that take him on an adventure to assure his repentance.

After the screening, film-goers are invited to stay for a discussion with faculty and students from the Disability Studies Program on representations of disability in film, literature and other media intended for young people.

For more information on the free, public event, contact the Disability Studies Program at 419.530.7244 or kathryn.shelley@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Lecture series focuses on ‘Everyday Humanities’

“Everyday Humanities,” a lecture series co-sponsored by the UT Humanities Institute with the Way Public Library in Perrysburg, will bring 10 humanities scholars — including seven from UT — to give presentations on their research.

In co-creating the lecture series with Way Library, Dr. Christina Fitzgerald, professor of English and former director of the Humanities Institute, said she hopes it engages the community: “We want to help the public in northwest Ohio understand how the humanities have an impact on their everyday lives.”

everyday humanities lecture seriesAs Fitzgerald and Natalie Dielman, UT alumna who works at the Way Library, wrote in their grant to fund the program, the purpose of the series is to “bring humanities professionals from the region to Perrysburg to speak about engaging topics of general audience interest that demonstrate, explicitly and implicitly, how humanities research and interpretative methods enrich our understanding of the world around us in our everyday lives.”

The program is funded by a grant from the Ohio Humanities. The motto of the state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities is “Sharing the Human Story,” and “Everyday Humanities” aims to do that through the research of UT and area scholars.

Philosophy is important to the humanities and to this series, Fitzgerald said. “Philosophy asks the big questions about that human story: about our being, about meaning, about knowing, about how to live the good life, and so on. The very fact that we ask these questions and ponder our existence is part of what makes us human, so philosophy is an essential part of the humanities. For that reason, we have two philosophy talks in our series.”

Dr. Madeline Muntersbjorn, UT associate professor of philosophy, gave the first talk of the series just before Halloween. Her talk explored “Why Monsters Matter” to humanity, why they are so prevalent across cultures and human history, from the perspective of philosophy. According to Fitzgerald, “This topic really exemplifies the way that the humanities can engage us in our everyday lives.”

Dr. R. Bruce Way, associate lecturer in the UT History and Foreign Languages departments, will give the next lecture titled “Samuel Woodworth’s Wishful History of the War of 1812” Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave. in Perrysburg.

The lecture series continues through Aug. 2. The free, public talks are held at 7 p.m. at the Way Public Library.

For more information, contact the Humanities Institute at humanitiesinstitute@utoledo.edu or click here.