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Rocket club to compete in National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships this week

The Rocket Disc Golf club will travel to Appling, Ga., to compete in the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships Wednesday, March 27.

Club members will leave Tuesday, March 26, to arrive in time for the event, which will take place at the International Disc Golf Center. UToledo is one of 34 universities from across the country that will hit the course.

Rocket Disc Golf qualified for nationals with a second-place finish at the Great Lakes Collegiate Open earlier this month at Deerfield Nature Park in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

“Thankfully, Chris Wojciechowski, Rocket Disc Golf No. 1 player, shot the hot round of the day to secure a berth for us,” said Aaron Chelchowski, president and founder of the club. “Our team is getting ready, and we are excited to show the rest of the schools that are going to nationals that we are to be taken seriously.”

The team consists of Chelchowski, a senior majoring in sales and marketing; Wojciechowski, a Ph.D. student in measurement; Ryan Rau, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in education and leadership; and Alex Phillips, a senior majoring in professional sales.

“It has been a whirlwind starting this club in time to compete this year,” Rau said. “An absolute round of applause to Aaron Chelchowski for all the hard work and hours of time he has put into this. He has truly been the thrusters that have propelled this rocket of a club.”

After qualifying for nationals, the club had to figure out how to make the trip happen. Rau and Chelchowski went into fundraising overdrive and received more than $1,000 in less than one week via GoFundMe. Donations came in from UToledo alumi, family, and disc golfers from collegiate programs around the country.

“This club raised more than $2,000 in funding through shirt sales and disc sales through a partnership with Discraft Discs, the world leader in disc sports, before ever getting to the first budget allocation meeting,” Wojciechowski said. “The club has staying power and will be a part of the fabric of the University for years to come.”

Students who want to get involved with the Rocket Disc Golf club can email Chelchowski at aaron.chelchowski@rockets.utoledo.edu or rocketdiscgolf@utoledo.edu.

Distinguished University Professor Lecture March 27

Dr. Paul Hong in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation will give a Distinguished University Professor Lecture Wednesday, March 27.

The Distinguished University Professor of Information, Operations and Technology Management will discuss “Rising Asia and American Hegemony: Practices of Innovator Firms From Four Leading Nations” at 4 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

Hong

Hong will focus on the rise of Asia in terms of leveraging its economic, political and demographic strengths, while also talking about how he expects American leadership to continue based on its innovative resilience and diversity.

“The global market environment has always experienced turbulence through shifting of economic power among nations and geographic regions,” Hong said. “Today, the level of global economic turbulence is increasing exponentially as companies and their home countries seek to advantageously position themselves to become dominant actors on the world economic stage.”

Hong was named a Distinguished University Professor in 2018. He is an internationally recognized researcher in network capabilities, global supply chain management, international comparative studies, and building growth engine industries for national competitiveness. His expertise is in the implementation of supply chain management practices to build firms for domestic advantage and global competitiveness.

Selected as a Fulbright Scholar in 2017, Hong has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and three books. He received one of the University’s Outstanding Researcher Awards in 2015.

He earned a Ph.D. in manufacturing management and engineering from The University of Toledo. He also holds master of business administration and master of arts degrees in economics from Bowling Green University.

A reception will follow the free lecture.

College students across U.S. heading to UT to put sales skills to the test, launch careers

Professional sales students from 36 universities across the United States will visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the fourth annual UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales at UT organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

“We believe that younger students are chomping at the bit to shine outside the shadow of a senior, and we are confident that they have the talent and coachability to compete on a national stage,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UT Invitational Sales Competition. “We are thrilled to bring tomorrow’s top talent today to our sponsors so they can find the sales talent they need for internships and regular job placements.”

The sales competition, which features nearly 200 role plays selling a product and more than 300 interviews, will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex.

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at an awards luncheon at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room, where students can meet sales leaders and recruiters from sponsoring companies.

More than 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions and the career fair.

Sponsors include 3M Co., Quicken Loans, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., International Paper Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.

Participating universities include Baylor, Florida State, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Purdue.

Toledo-born actress to give commencement address

Katie Holmes, an internationally recognized actress, producer and director, will return to her hometown to inspire The University of Toledo graduates at the spring commencement ceremony.

Holmes

The Toledo-born actress who has appeared in more than 30 films and television programs will be the commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. in the Glass Bowl.

The UT Board of Trustees approved Monday an honorary degree for Holmes, in addition to several other board actions.

Holmes made her feature film debut in “The Ice Storm” in 1997, and her breakout role came a year later as Joey Potter in the television series “Dawson’s Creek,” which she portrayed for six years.

Her film credits include “Go,” “Wonder Boys,” “Batman Begins” and “All We Had,” which is one of several projects in which she served as director and producer. In addition, her Broadway experience includes appearing in “All My Sons” and “Dead Accounts.”

Holmes managed and designed the fashion line Holmes & Yang, with her partner Jeanne Yang from 2009 to 2014, and is the co-founder of the Dizzy Feet Foundation that supports dance education in the United States. Holmes is a graduate of Toledo’s Notre Dame Academy. Her father, Martin Holmes Sr., and brother, Martin Holmes Jr., are graduates of the UT College of Law.

Parazynski

Trustees also approved an honorary degree for Dr. Scott Parazynski, a physician, astronaut and inventor, who will address graduates of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at its commencement ceremony Friday, May 10, at 4 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Parazynski spent 17 years as an astronaut during which time he flew five space shuttle missions and conducted seven spacewalks. In 2016, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center.

Parazynski trained for a career in emergency medicine and trauma and has applied his expertise in the human adaptation to stressful environments. He is founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies, a company focused on developing disruptive robotic control devices for everything from drones to surgical robots.

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved a proposal for a new Master of Applied Business Analytics Degree Program in the College of Business and Innovation. The program’s goal is to meet a growing demand for skilled professionals with analytical problem-solving skills who can apply real-time solutions to business problems.

The proposed 30-credit-hour program combines functional areas of business with business analytics courses and would conclude with an internship project or thesis. The proposal next will be submitted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. With approval, the program would start by fall semester 2020.

Also approved by trustees were housing and meal plan rates for the upcoming academic year for continuing and incoming students who are not in the current cohort of the Toledo Tuition Guarantee Plan. Dining rates will increase 2.8 percent, with a maximum of $4 more per week depending on the meal plan selected, and housing fees will increase an average of 2.9 percent, which represents an increase of up to $19.60 per week. The new housing and dining rates will help to cover increased costs of operations.

A new collective bargaining agreement with The University of Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association (UTPPA) also was approved by the trustees. The agreement, which runs from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021, was ratified by the union Jan. 9. There are 26 employees represented by the UTPPA who will receive wage increases of 1.8 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019, 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020, and 2.2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Japanese business culture topic of Feb. 7 talk

The Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter in the UT College of Business and Innovation will present “Secrets of Japanese Business Culture” Thursday, Feb. 7.

Dr. Joseph Hara, Distinguished Lecturer in the UT Department of Foreign Languages, will speak at 6 p.m. in Stranahan Hall Room 2030.

“I am planning on introducing some Japanese business practices,” Hara, director of the UT Japanese Program, said. “The Western view on business practice is often lacking or absent of unspoken Japanese practice or traditions.”

He explained that this vacuum of understanding may cause stereotypes, as well as unsuccessful negotiation with Japanese business counterparts.

“My objective is to enlighten views on Japanese business practices,” Hara said.

For more information on the free event, contact Jamal Shaheen, president of Beta Gamma Sigma, at jamal.shaheen@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Business plan competition accepting entries

Wednesday, Feb. 20, is the deadline for UT students and employees to enter the ninth annual business plan competition sponsored by the UT College of Business and Innovation.

The top prize: $10,000 to help make that business idea a reality.

“We are looking forward to seeing the creative array of entries from all campuses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of management. “This business plan competition has been growing for eight years, and we expect that success to continue.”

“This annual competition is a marquee event for the University and the College of Business and Innovation,” Dr. Anne L. Balazs, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation, said. “I am excited to be part of this competition that supports innovation, rewards creative thinking, and encourages entrepreneurs.”

Competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts, which enable people to develop their business model upon nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.

“The College of Business and Innovation is again ready to offer guidance to help teams effectively implement their plans, emerge beyond the University, create jobs, and enhance area economic growth,” Ariss said.

There is no cost to enter the competition. Registration must be completed online. Winners must prove that they have formed an LLC or S Corp in order to receive a financial award.

The UT College of Business and Innovation is providing the following prize money:

• First place: $10,000 (sponsored by Owens-Illinois Inc.);

• Second place: $5,000 (sponsored by the William and Paula Fall Business Plan Award Fund); and

• Third place: $2,000 (sponsored by PNC Bank).

The timeline for the 2019 competition is:

• Those planning to enter the competition are invited to attend a question-and-answer session Wednesday, Feb. 6, from noon to 1 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, located in Savage & Associates Business Complex Room 3100.

• Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, Feb. 20.

• Finalists will be announced Wednesday, March 20.

• Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas Friday, April 12, between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab in Savage & Associates Business Complex Room 3100.

• Winners will be announced Friday, April 19.

The competition is open to all UT students, faculty and staff, while alumni can participate as a member of a team involving current students, faculty or staff.

To register or for more information, go to UT College of Business Administration website.

Volunteers to pack 200,000 meals at UT to feed families

For the third year in a row, volunteers will gather in shifts and don hairnets at The University of Toledo to assemble nearly a quarter of a million meals to feed families Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, in the Health Education Building on Main Campus.

The two-day mobile pack, part of the Feed My Starving Children program, is organized by 90 UT students who are members of the Klar Leadership Academy in the College of Business and Innovation. The academy was founded in 2015 with the support of Steven Klar, a 1971 UT business alumnus and a New York City builder and real estate developer.

More than 1,000 UT students, employees and alumni, as well as teams from companies around Toledo, will split into groups to assemble nutritious rice meals with vegetable blend, vitamins and minerals. The meals are scientifically formulated for undernourished children.

The organizers raised $45,000 and set a goal to build 200,000 meals. Last year volunteers made 173,000 meals.

“The University of Toledo has a global impact, and the students are the driving force behind this incredible initiative to fight hunger worldwide,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation. “The way this event has grown in only three years is a testament to our community’s mission to solve problems and help others.”

The shifts will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, and from 9 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.

“Due to overwhelming generosity, the shifts filled up quickly and we are no longer in need of volunteers,” Longenecker said. “In fact, we have a backlog of people who want to join. It’s a great problem to have.”

Chief of staff named to lead finance office

An administrator who has served The University of Toledo for two decades has been named interim chief financial officer.

Matt Schroeder, chief of staff and associate vice president for budget and planning, will begin his role as UT’s interim executive vice president for finance and administration beginning Monday, Jan. 7.

Schroeder

“I am committed to the success of The University of Toledo and providing a strong financial foundation necessary to achieve our strategic priorities,” Schroeder said. “I appreciate President Gaber’s confidence in me to fill this very important role.”

“Matt has dedicated his career to UT, and his experience with both the University and the UT Foundation will serve us well as we continue our positive momentum and prioritize how we allocate our resources in ways that have the greatest impact on our students and the campus community,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said.

Gaber thanked Lawrence R. Kelley, who has led the University’s financial operations since 2015, for his leadership as CFO through mid-March and his continued service to the institution part time through 2019 as a senior advisor assisting with budget planning and strategic initiatives.

As interim executive vice president for finance and administration, and chief financial officer, Schroeder will oversee the University’s offices of Finance; Budget and Planning; Facilities and Construction; Auxiliaries; Information Technology; Human Resources; Public Safety; and Internal Audit and Compliance.

Schroeder has served as the University’s chief of staff since 2015 as a member of the senior leadership team focused on leading strategic priorities and special projects, as well as overseeing government relations and the University’s response to critical issues.

Prior to joining the University, Schroeder was the UT Foundation’s chief operating officer.

A graduate of UT’s College of Business and Innovation, Schroeder also has an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

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.

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.