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Open forums scheduled for vice provost candidates

Five candidates for the associate vice provost for student success have been identified by the search committee.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at open forums. Each will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Listed by date, the candidates are:

• Wednesday, April 25, Thompson Student Union Room 2584 — Dr. Denise Bartell, director of student success and engagement at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. She also is the director of the Gateways to Phoenix Success at the school.

• Friday, April 27, Savage & Associates Business Complex Room 2160 — Holly Monsos, associate dean in the UT College of Arts and Letters. She also is a professor of theatre.

• Tuesday, May 1, Thompson Student Union Room 2584 — Dr. Michelle Grimm, director of the Engineering of Biomedical Systems Program and Disabilities and Rehabilitation Engineering Program at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va. She is on leave from Wayne State University, where she is an associate professor of biomedical engineering.

• Wednesday, May 2, Thompson Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean in the UT College of Arts and Letters. She is also a professor of English.

• Thursday, May 3, Thompson Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Melissa Schaub, associate vice chancellor for enrollment at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

The associate vice provost for student success will be responsible for providing leadership in the implementation of strategic initiatives related to retention and the undergraduate experience from pre-college through degree completion. This position will have direct oversight of the offices of Success Coaching and Academic Support Services. This oversight will include budget and personnel within these units.

The position is responsible for programs and initiatives that support outstanding academic experiences for undergraduate students at The University of Toledo: advising, orientation, the first-year experience, academic enrichment, and in the blending of curricular and co-curricular learning. The position works closely and collaboratively with the Division of Enrollment Management, as well as University College, the Office of Online Learning, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and academic colleges across campus.

To see the finalists’ curriculum vitae and more about the position, go to utoledo.edu/offices/provost/avpsearch.

UT to host town hall on free speech April 24

For the second time in a month, The University of Toledo is hosting a town hall meeting to give students the opportunity to discuss free speech rights and the University’s role in maintaining and protecting those rights.

The event will be Tuesday, April 24, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

Dr. Sam Nelson, associate professor and chair of the UT Department of Political Science and Public Administration, will serve as moderator. Nelson is the author of “Beyond the First Amendment: The Politics of Free Speech and Pluralism.”

Lee Strang, UT constitutional law scholar and John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values, will provide an overview about constitutional law and free speech, as well as field questions.

“Students asked us to continue this important dialogue on the topic of free speech after a controversial banner was hung in the Thompson Student Union, and we encourage their high level of civil discourse,” said Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs.

“I am proud of the passionate, respectful way our students are engaged on campus,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president of diversity and inclusion and vice provost, said.

UT communication student honored by Society of Professional Journalists

Madison Humphrey, a senior majoring in media communication, has received regional recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The student producer and reporter for UT:10 news placed as one of the top three finalists in region four after submitting her work for the 2017 Mark of Excellence Award competition for general TV reporting.


The Mark of Excellence Award honors the best students in print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

Humphrey’s winning story is called “Voices of DACA”; the feature piece highlights how President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would impact local dreamers. It can be seen on her YouTube channel.

She looks forward to competing on a national level in Baltimore at the Excellence in Journalism 2018 Conference in September.

“Winning a Society for Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award has been a dream of mine since my very first day at UT, and it still feels almost too good to be true,” Humphrey said. “More important than the award itself is the gratification of knowing I’m producing high-quality content that is making an impact in my community and upholding the incredibly high standards of the Society of Professional Journalists.”

As a transfer student, the moment she stepped into the UT Communication Department, she knew it was the right program for her.

“I remember seeing all of the awards UT:10 has won and clips of the newscast on the department TV, and I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of such a prestigious program,” she said.

Humphrey said her success would not be possible without the help of her mentors in the Communication Department.

“My absolute favorite part of UT is how individualized my education is,” she said. “The media communication faculty and staff have really gone out of their way to work with me one on one and help me become the absolute best reporter I can be.”

Humphrey, who will graduate in December, just landed a summer internship with ABC Newsline 9 WAOW-TV in Wausau, Wis.

“I’ll be contributing stories as a reporter, gaining on-air, live experience, and working on becoming a better journalist,” she said.

UT students compete at Japanese speech contest

Hussain Almahmud, a senior majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in Japanese, and Rohit Kumar, a senior majoring in pharmacy and toxicology, competed at the 19th 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 Almahmud and Kumar presented their speeches, “The Similarities Between Saudi Arabia and Japan” and “The Importance of Foreign Language in Medical Care,” against six students from other universities in the state.

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


Almahmud has been studying Japanese for three years and first became interested in learning it after he participated in a three-week study abroad trip to Japan. After that, he decided to pursue a minor in Japanese at The University of Toledo.

“I think that participating in such a prestigious contest gave me a good learning experience of using the language in public speaking,” Almahmud said. “Also, it helped me to gain more confidence and to network with Japanese people.”


Kumar began studying Japanese during his sophomore year at UT when he learned the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Studies offered a trip to study abroad and complete an internship at the University of Miyazaki in Japan. Having always wanted to travel, he began learning the language in preparation of a potential trip there.

“It was definitely a great feeling to be selected to participate in the contest,” Kumar said. “Although I felt rather confident in my speech and the message I was trying to convey, I knew it was not going to be easy to get selected considering that there are so many other talented students with memorable topics competing for only a few spots. At the contest, all the selected students performed their speeches exceptionally well, which put a lot of pressure on me to perform at the same level.”

Kumar received the Consul’s General Award, which is presented to students whose speeches had an interesting or important message.

“To put it simply, receiving the award was one of the greatest feelings of my life,” Kumar said. “I felt a sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride in myself.

“During my preparation for this contest, I definitely felt a lot of pressure and a lot of stress; however, I would like to especially thank my professor and coach, Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, for putting up with me and guiding me throughout this entire process,” Kumar said. “To me, this award was a team effort and without her, I don’t believe I would have been able to achieve it.”

Almahmud and Kumar both hope to continue learning Japanese so they can use it in the future in their careers.

“Being an advocate of experiential learning of language and culture, I believe it is important that we connect students with existing international communities in our own vicinity,” Yamazaki said. “I believe that engaging with the community and academic organizations provides a valuable experience for students; in particular, active involvement helps students network with various field practitioners, often providing opportunities for students to go beyond the classroom to pursue language and cultural studies.”

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.

UT Student Filmmakers Showcase April 20

The Department of Theatre and Film will present a public screening of its film students’ best work in the 2018 UT Student Filmmakers Showcase Friday, April 20, 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, the 19 entries scheduled to be shown include film, video and animation shorts created as part of the curriculum.

This image is from the stop-motion animation film titled “Artificial” by Conner McGovern, a UT senior majoring in film. “Artificial” is one of 19 works that will be screened during the UT Student Filmmakers Showcase.

The UT Film Curators Club and the UT Department of Theatre and Film co-host the event.

The Film Curators Club will provide free concessions during the screening and host a speakeasy-themed after-party following the showcase. All are welcome.

Tickets to the showcase are $10 for general admission and $5 for UT employees, students and alumni, and for seniors 60 and older, kids and members of the military.

Advance tickets are available through the UT Center for Performing Arts Box at 419.530.2787 or online at utoledo.tix.com

Interim director of Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center named

Dr. Sujata Shetty, associate professor of geography and planning, recently accepted the position of interim director of the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center.

Shetty, who holds a PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan, will work to increase UT’s engagement with the community through research, scholarship and education relating to metropolitan issues.


While at Michigan, Shetty won the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in 2003 on the topic of gender, poverty, empowerment and the promise of microcredit.

She takes the helm from longtime director, Dr. Neil Reid, professor of geography, who is focusing attention on his position as executive director of the North American Regional Science Council.

The Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center is an applied research center of the University that supports research to inform public policy decision-making; facilitates community and economic development activities; provides technical assistance and targeted projects, such as economic impact assessments; and publishes works highlighting the Toledo region.

Shetty is an expert on the topics of shrinking cities and regional equity in urban systems. The center reports to the UT Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

“Dr. Shetty’s teaching and research already show excellent engagement with the community,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research, citing a recent project she led evaluating planning efforts for downtown Toledo.

In addition, Shetty involves her classes in projects involving community needs. She is eager to engage more faculty and students in urban research projects.

“I will be reaching out to faculty members across the University to understand and encourage more engaged scholarship through the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center on challenges facing our community,” Shetty said.

The Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center is partially supported by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

UT to host inaugural Lessons in LeadHERship Conference April 17

USA Today columnist Christine Brennan will be among the speakers for The University of Toledo women’s basketball program’s inaugural Lessons in LeadHERship Conference Tuesday, April 17.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union.

The conference was designed to help grow female leadership in the Toledo community and is being sponsored by UT alumna Kelly Savage from Savage & Associates.

“I’m excited to kick off this annual leadership conference,” Toledo Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop said. “I hope any female in our community who wants to improve their leadership skill, no matter their age, will attend the conference. We have some outstanding speakers in various fields who have conquered many obstacles on their paths to success. I have no doubt this will be an inspiring day.”

Brennan’s talk is titled “Today is the Greatest Day to be a Woman in America: Until Tomorrow.” The Toledo native is an award-winning national columnist, commentator and best-selling author.

In addition to Brennan, Savage and Cullop, speakers for the one-day conference will include UT President Sharon L. Gaber; Tonya Rider, retired Toledo detective, who joined the Bowling Green State University Health and Human Services faculty; Chrys Peterson, leadership consultant and former news anchor; Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the UT Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence; Charlene Gilbert, dean of the UT College of Arts and Letters; and Dr. Stephanie Pannell, UT assistant professor of surgery, who specializes in colorectal surgery and surgical oncology.

Danielle Dwyer, WTOL sports anchor, will serve as the emcee.

The cost to attend is $50 per individual and $25 for high school and college students. The fee to attend also includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Attendees also can purchase a Layup Package ($250), which includes four tickets and name recognition throughout the event. Another possible option is a Free-Throw Package ($500), which includes eight tickets, name recognition throughout the event, and a booth with your company’s information. The final ticket option is a Three-Point Package ($1,000), which includes 16 tickets, name recognition throughout the event, and a booth with your company’s information.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Lauren Flaum, UT director of women’s basketball operations, at 419.530.2363 or email lauren.flaum2@utoledo.edu.

Psychiatric disabilities in China topic of April 11 talk

Dr. Zhiying Ma, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, will visit UT to give a talk this week.

She will discuss “Living With Psychiatric Disabilities in China: Family, Institution and Law” Wednesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. in University Hall Room 4410.


“Over the last three decades, most psychiatric inpatients in China have been hospitalized against their will by their families. Despite intense public discussion on patient rights, the recent Mental Health Law has reinforced the family’s rights and responsibilities in patient management,” Ma said.

Her work examines why the family continues to occupy such a critical role in psychiatry. From 2008 to 2014, Ma conducted 32 months of fieldwork in institutional and community settings, and conducted interviews with policymakers.

Ma’s talk will introduce the concept of “biopolitical paternalism,” a mode of governance that legitimizes the state’s population management as paternalistic interventions, which displaces the paternalistic responsibilities onto individual families.

A postdoctoral fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows, Ma will talk about the impact of biopolitical paternalism on family relations and everyday lives of persons with psychiatric disabilities.

For more information on the free, public lecture, contact the Disability Studies Program at 419.530.7244.

Department of World Languages and Cultures to host celebration week

The Department of World Languages and Cultures will host a week of events to celebrate its new name and to have fun with different languages Monday through Thursday, April 9-12.

“These events are important because linguistic and cultural knowledge is more and more important in the global culture and economy,” said Dr. Ruth Hottell, chair and professor of the Department of World Languages and Cultures. “We want to let people know of the importance of studying languages and cultures, and also of the fun you have studying languages.”

The celebration will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, April 9, at noon in Memorial Field House Room 2420. Charlene Gilbert, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Provost Andrew Hsu will speak at the event.

Immediately following the ceremony, “Taste of the Middle East” will take place at 12:30 in the same room. Attendees will have the chance to sample Middle Eastern food from area restaurants, including Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine, Phoenicia, The Beirut Restaurant, Middle East Market, The Oasis, and Almasri Sweets of Dearborn, Mich.

Listed by date, other scheduled events for the week will be:

• Tuesday, April 10 — Tea break with faculty members from the department, 3 p.m., Memorial Field House Room 2440.

— Cinema night, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in various rooms of the Memorial Field House. See schedule outside room 2440 for films and rooms. Attendees will be able to choose between films in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish. All films will have English subtitles.

• Wednesday, April 11 — Open-class day. Students will have the opportunity to visit and sit in on a class in Arabic, French, German, Japanese or Spanish.

— Board games, 4 to 6 p.m., Memorial Field House Room 2440.

• Thursday, April 12 — International karaoke and dancing night, 5 to 7 p.m., Memorial Field House Room 2420. There will be music, dance and karaoke activities from all of the language programs.

Hottell said students should attend the events to get to know the faculty and staff in the department, to have fun and celebrate, and to help prepare for a future career.

“Knowing other languages opens up a whole new world of adventures and fun,” Hottell said. “Also, knowing other languages greatly improves your chances of getting good jobs and higher wages.”

Campus sponsors for the week of events are the College of Arts and Letters, the Office of the Provost, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Office of Undergraduate Admission, and Arabesque.

For more information, contact Dr. Gaby Semaan, director of Middle East studies and assistant professor of Arabic, at gaby.semaan@utoledo.edu.

Workshop to help students prepare for job market

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration will present “Success on the Job Market” Monday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m. in Snyder Memorial Building Room 2040.

The professionalization workshop will feature a panel of faculty, career services experts, and UT alumni to provide a discussion on how to be best prepared for the job market.

Topics to be covered will include tailoring your degree to your career aspirations; prepping the job package with the curriculum vitae, cover letter, recommendation letters; preparing for an interview; and tips from alumni on how to succeed.

A question-and-answer session will follow the panel discussion.

For more information on the free, public workshop, contact Dr. Saatvika Rai, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, at saatvika.rai@utoledo.edu.