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New dean selected to lead UT College of Business and Innovation

An expert in marketing, consumer behavior and sales force management with administrative experience in higher education has been named dean of The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation.

Dr. Anne L. Balazs will join UT Monday, Aug. 13, from Eastern Michigan University, where she is interim dean of the College of Business.

Balazs

“I am proud to welcome Dr. Anne Balazs to The University of Toledo as dean of the College of Business and Innovation,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “She is an experienced leader with a track record of moving organizations forward through collaborations with faculty and industry partners.”

“It’s a great joy and honor to join The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation with its impressive faculty, staff, students, supportive alumni and business community partners,” Balazs said. “This is a strong base from which to build and prepare the next generation of leaders for the global marketplace.”

Balazs will be the first woman to serve as dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation. Amy Morrison served as interim dean of the college from 1965 to 1966.

“I have learned from many strong female leaders throughout my career of nearly 30 years,” Balazs said. “I’m looking forward to joining the leadership team and moving UT onward and upward.”

During her 10 years at EMU, Balazs also served as interim assistant vice president and director of graduate studies, interim director of graduate studies, special assistant to the dean of the College of Business, head of the Department of Marketing, and professor of marketing.

Prior to EMU, Balazs worked at Mississippi University for Women as interim dean of the College of Business, head of the Division of Business and Communications, and associate professor of marketing. She started her teaching career at the University of Oklahoma as an assistant professor of marketing.

“Dr. Balazs’ extensive administrative experience as department chair at two different institutions and her experience as interim dean also at two different institutions distinguished her as a candidate,” Hsu said. “Our stakeholders were particularly impressed with her understanding of the accreditation process through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.”

“The goal is to show the world what we do in Toledo,” Balazs said. “I plan to promote the college and all it has to offer to a wide audience. Research productivity and sharing of the knowledge we create is important. The accomplishments of the faculty and students are great stories to share. Success breeds success.”

Balazs holds a PhD in business administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, studied masters-level course work in economics at Boston University while working at Fidelity Investments, and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College.

Her research has been published in the Journal of International Business, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Psychology & Marketing, and Journal of Business Research.

Balazs is familiar with Toledo, not only because she currently lives about an hour away.

“I first experienced the UT campus in the winter of 2014 as a fellow for the American Council on Education,” Balazs said. “My family has been to the Toledo Zoo, Toledo Museum of Art and Mud Hens games. Plus, I am of Hungarian descent and enjoy visiting the Birmingham community that serves as home to Tony Packo’s. Toledo already feels like home.”

Balazs’ husband is Dr. Peter B. Wood, criminologist on the faculty at EMU. The couple has three children. Margaret, 19, is a sophomore at the University of Alabama. Twins Andrew and Sophie, 16, are entering their sophomore year at Saline High School in the fall.

Hsu thanked Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby for his leadership while serving as interim dean since October. He will return to the position of associate dean for graduate programs and research for the UT College of Business and Innovation.

Police lieutenant, alumna honored by community agency

UT Police Lt. Tressa Johnson and University alumna Natalie Zerucha were honored this month by the Lucas County Mental Health Recovery Services Board.

Johnson was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

UT alumna Natalie Zerucha, left, and UT Police Lt. Tressa Johnson were recognized by the Lucas County Mental Health Recovery Services Board. Zerucha received the Consumer Involvement of the Year Award, and Johnson was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

“This recognition and honor confirms my peer’s appreciation of the work we do daily in the area of helping others during crisis or a traumatic experience,” Johnson said. “It means my passion for mental health recovery has now become an honor, and I am greatly appreciative of this honor.”

Johnson implemented the first domestic violence program through the UT Police Department. In addition, she has been involved in numerous events, including the Healthy Relationship Seminar, which shows students what a healthy relationship looks like, and the Healthy Boundaries Program, which promotes strong relationships among students.

She is a Lucas County Drug Addiction Response Team officer and is sent to hospitals to help drug-addicts find appropriate, long-term treatment while diverting them away from the criminal justice system. And she is a member of the Crisis Intervention Team.

UT Police Chief Jeff Newton believes Johnson’s service has made a notable contribution to the safety of the community.

“Her tireless commitment to service routinely goes far beyond what one could reasonably expect from a single person,” Newton said. “Tressa’s passion and unique mental health training and credentials make her a truly irreplaceable asset to the community.”

Being aware of the crime statistics in the community, Johnson said it is difficult to not be engaged.

“According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in three college students reported prolonged periods of depression, one in four college students have a diagnosable illness, and one in seven college students reported engaging in abnormally reckless behavior,” she said. “When you have knowledge of this type of data, we as law enforcement officers have no choice but to be engaged, well-trained on how to intervene, assist, and provide resources as needed to our students.”

Johnson wants to have a positive impact on students and Toledo community members.

“The idea of helping others in need and helping to create and maintain a safe environment for people to live is why I wanted to become a police officer,” she said. “Knowing I could be part of educating a community about personal safety and taking every interaction as a teachable moment is why I wanted to become an officer for The University of Toledo.”

The Lucas County Mental Health Recovery Services Board also honored Zerucha, who received the Consumer Involvement of the Year Award, which recognizes her involvement in the community, her ability to give time without expectation, and her act of giving strength and dignity to those in need.

“I am speechless to be recognized among community leaders that have been doing this for some time,” Zerucha said. “It means the world to me.”

Being aware of the drug statistics throughout the community, Zerucha founded “Be-WISE-er,” an event that serves to educate the Toledo community on substance abuse and help those who are at risk.

“Three years ago, we noticed an opioid and substance epidemic in the Toledo area,” Zerucha said. “We wanted to educate the college community on how bad substances are and how they are being abused over time.”

Since 2016, more than 900 people have attended the annual event, which was presented by the Alpha Kappa Psi Chapter at the UT College of Business and Innovation.

Zerucha graduated from the University this month and received a bachelor of business administration degree in management and marketing.

Faculty members receive promotion, tenure

A number of faculty members received tenure and promotion for the 2017-18 academic year approved in April by the UT Board of Trustees.

Faculty members who received tenure were:

College of Law
• Michelle Cavalieri
• Bryan Lammon

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Daniel Hernandez, Art
• Dr. Thor Mednick, Art
• Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Disability Studies
• Dr. Jason Levine, Psychology
• Daniel Thobias, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Kainan Wang, Finance
• Dr. Joseph Cooper, Management

College of Engineering
• Dr. Halim Ayan, Bioengineering
• Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, Bioengineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, School of Social Justice

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. David Heidt, Surgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, Biological Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Art
• Dr. Sujata Shetty, Geography and Planning
• Dr. Jami Taylor, Political Science and Public Administration
• Dr. Edmund Lingan, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Management
• Dr. Bashar Gammoh, Marketing and International Business

College of Engineering
• Dr. Scott Molitor, Bioengineering
• Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Devinder Kaur, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Gursel Serpen, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
• Dr. Hongyan Zhang, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Tavis Glassman, School of Population Health
• Dr. Sheryl Milz, School of Population Health

Judith Herb College of Education
• Dr. Tod Shockey, Curriculum and Instruction
• Dr. Florian Feucht, Educational Foundations and Leadership

College of Law
• Elizabeth McCuskey
• Evan Zoldan

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Neurosurgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Maria Diakonova, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Michael Weintraub, Environmental Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
• Dr. Frederick Williams, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to associate professor were:

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Sumon Nandi, Orthopaedic Surgery
• Dr. Terrence Lewis, Radiology

Outstanding staff members celebrated

Five employees received the University’s 2018 Outstanding Staff Awards.

More than 20 nominees were honored at a ceremony April 26 in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

Winners this year were:

Tiffany Akeman, clerkship and curriculum coordinator in the Department of Radiation Oncology. She has worked at the University since 2010. She received a master of public health degree and a certificate in gerontological practice from UT in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

“As one of her direct and immediate supervisors, I can state that every time I go to Tiffany asking her to help with some work, she welcomes the request, accepts to do the work with a smile, gets the job done as quickly as possible, and most importantly, conveys a feeling that she is happy to do that job. This indicates to me that she loves what she is doing,” a nominator wrote. “Moreover, she is efficient, logical in her approach to any work, focused, and task-driven. She is highly detailed-oriented, student-centered and a professional. She loves to help all who are in her circle.” Another noted, “Her help in almost every aspect of my and my colleague’s daily work tasks cannot be overestimated. She is always willing and capable to help, no matter how much time and effort is required. Her ability to think through all little details makes her truly invaluable for management of any function.”

Dan Kall, law registrar in the College of Law. He joined the UT staff in 1994. He received a bachelor of science degree in computer science and a master of arts degree in liberal studies from the University in 1995 and 2016, respectively.

“Dan goes above and beyond in answering questions, finding solutions, and maintaining a sense of calm during stressful situations, including finals and class scheduling. Dan not only partners with other staff members and faculty, but he provides students with a ‘compass’ to guide us through our academic pursuits. Dan never fails to answers calls and emails, even on breaks and weekends, to make sure that students feel supported,” one nominator wrote. “Dan inspires those around him to strive for their own personal best and models that through his own actions. Dan is professional, kind, empathetic and knowledgeable. For many of us, he has served as a mentor and counselor when we are trying to navigate through a difficult time with courts’ schedules and final grades.” “Dan Kall demonstrates personal commitment to the College of Law by his dedication on weekends, holidays and evenings to keep students up to date on grade postings. He is always quick to respond to any and all concerns that students have,” another noted.

Renee Mullins, custodial worker in the Savage & Associates Business Complex. She has worked at the University since 2015.

“Renee has great ideas to motivate and help her coworkers. If there is an issue in the building, like a needed repair or if you see a better way to achieve quality work, she alerts her manager. Renee has really single-handedly turned this high-profile building into one the students, professors and employees can be proud of,” a nominator wrote. “Renee has a notebook with all events and activities in her building so she does not forget a detail. All her closets are neat and tidy. Even her trash container is clean; she stated that she keeps it clean because students and guests see it in the hall and it reflects on her cleaning. She comes in early, stays late, works through lunch if needed all because she loves The University of Toledo.”

Lucy Salazar, custodial worker in the Collier Building on Health Science Campus. She started working at the University in 2010.

“Her responsibilities include the first floor which encompasses our lobby, large lecture halls, restrooms and other first-floor classrooms. I am so pleased to be able to nominate Lucy because she goes above and beyond her duties, and is a shining example of someone who takes great pride in her work, strives to do her best, and understands the importance of her role, realizing that the first impression visitors may have of our campus is when they enter the Collier Building,” a nominator wrote. “Lucy acknowledges everyone she sees. She is warm and kind and has a smile that resonates warmth and caring. She understands the importance of her work and takes it to heart. I wish there were more employees like Lucy in every department so our students, patients, staff and faculty could witness someone who genuinely cares about the work she does.”

Jeannie Stambaugh, secretary in the Department of Economics. She joined the UT staff in 1989. She received an associate’s degree in secretarial technology from the University in 1980.

“Jeannie is the heart and soul of the Economics Department, and she has been for decades. Jeannie is the main reason for the collegiality within the department. She radiates positive energy and enthusiasm every day. Her interactions with everyone, always, are unequivocally friendly and helpful. Jeannie has established a rapport with all 12 faculty in the department and with all the students. Jeannie demonstrates extraordinary personal commitment because this is not a job to her; we are her second family,” a nominator wrote. “She comes in every day with her long list of tasks to do and then manages to complete the tasks while being interrupted every 15 minutes by a faculty member, student, delivery, phone call, and she somehow gets it all done. Our department would literally come to a standstill without her. Jeannie goes so far beyond her ever-expanding responsibilities in her care and concern for everyone who enters her office.”

President Sharon L. Gaber, left, posed with the 2018 Outstanding Staff Award recipients, from left, Lucy Salazar, Tiffany Akeman, Jeannie Stambaugh, Renee Mullins and Dan Kall.

Football legend, technology expert to speak at UT commencement ceremonies

Chuck Ealey and Dr. Helen Sun will return to The University of Toledo to give addresses during spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5, in the Glass Bowl.

Ealey, the football star and businessman, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. Sun, a technology strategist known for transforming companies, will come out for the graduate commencement at 3 p.m.

There are 3,094 candidates for degrees from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Graduate Studies; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College. There are 987 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates, and 2,107 for bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.

The public ceremonies can be viewed live at utoledo.edu/video.

Ealey

UT will award Ealey an honorary doctor of humane letters.

“It is amazing, wonderful and humbling to have the opportunity to speak to the 2018 graduates of The University of Toledo,” Ealey said. “What I want to share is what I have learned — and am still learning — after I graduated. It’s about a legacy dream that can come true.”

He made dreams a reality as the UT quarterback who became a legend leading the Rockets to 35 victories in three seasons and as a trailblazer for African-American QBs in the Canadian Football League.

After finishing 18-0 in high school in Portsmouth, Ohio, Ealey received a football scholarship to the University. While earning a business degree in economics, he earned some nicknames for his exploits on the field: Mr. Cool, The Wizard of Oohs and Aahs. With Ealey at quarterback, Toledo went 35-0 from 1969 to 1971. He racked up 5,903 yards in total offense and 54 touchdowns while leading the Rockets to final Associated Press rankings of No. 20 in 1969, No. 12 in 1970, and No. 14 in 1971, finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior year.

Despite the eye-popping numbers, Ealey was passed over as a quarterback in the 1972 NFL draft. Although offered other positions, he was committed to becoming a professional quarterback and elected to go to the Canadian Football League. As a rookie, he led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Grey Cup Championship in 1972 and was named Most Valuable Player. During his seven years in the CFL, he also played for the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

After hanging up his helmet, Ealey was a certified financial planner with Investors Group for 30 years. He recently stepped out of his role as regional director to do more client and corporate coaching. The 1972 UT alumnus also inspires through the Chuck Ealey Foundation, which helps people discover and embrace their undefeated spirit to better themselves and their community.

Sun

Sun, chief technology officer of architecture, engineering and data management at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Chicago, received a PhD in educational technology from UT in 2001. She is an expert in revolutionizing businesses through innovative solutions, including artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics and architecture.

“I’m very excited to be coming back to campus and reflect on how my IT career took shape during the years I attended UT,” said Sun, who developed websites while in graduate school.

“I’ll wrap my speech around three personal experiences: How I started a career in technology — find where your passion lies; how my seemingly diverse career path has taken me to where I am — take risks and never let fear of failure deter you away from opportunities; and who my true hero is throughout these years — don’t let what others do to you change who you are,” she said.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sun was vice president for cloud computing, information and architecture at Motorola Solutions Inc. She has held senior leadership positions at some of the world’s most recognizable companies, including Harbor Capitol Advisors, NewEdge Group, Oracle Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc.

At Oracle, Sun became the first woman to achieve Oracle Enterprise Architect status and was honored as Oracle Enterprise Architect of the Year in 2011. In 2016, the Chicago Business Journal named her one of 50 honorees for its Women of Influence Awards.

She is the co-author of “Oracle Big Data Handbook,” “Pro Salesforce Analytics Cloud: A Guide to Wave Platform, Builder and Explorer” and “Master Competitive Analytics With Oracle Endeca Information Discovery.” Sun is a frequent speaker at major conferences and symposia; she gave the keynote address at the Open Group Big Data Conference in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition to her passion serving as a mentor for women, Sun was a member of the UT Business Advisory Board from 2012 to 2016. She is co-chair of the Computer Science Advisory Board at Bowling Green State University.

Those planning to attend commencement are advised to use the west entrance off Secor Road and the south entrance off Dorr Street to avoid congestion on West Bancroft Street.

The College of Law will hold its commencement Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

And the College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ graduation ceremony will take place Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. in Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo.

Winners announced for 2018 business plan competition

The winners of the eighth annual UT College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition were announced April 19, with the first-place $10,000 prize awarded to Narges Shayesteh Moghaddam for her QuickFlow product.

QuickFlow is a novel device that offers several advantages over percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy devices currently on the market, and it provides a higher degree of authority and maneuverability for capturing and removing clots. The prototype device uses a pair of superelastic Nitinol-capturing elements to aid in the collection of a thrombus and minimize distal embolization.

Dr. Sonny Ariss shook hands with Narges Shayesteh Moghaddam to congratulate her for winning $10,000 for her QuickFlow device, which took top honors at this year’s UT College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition.

“The incidence of pulmonary embolism is estimated to be 650,000 cases per year, and the mortality rate is estimated at approximately 100,000 deaths per year, which makes pulmonary embolism the third most common cause of death for hospitalized patients in the U.S.,” Moghaddam said. “As current treatments specifically for acute massive and submassive pulmonary embolism patients are not effective, we have decided to develop and commercialize QuickFlow PE, a thrombectomy device that addresses the shortcomings of current therapies or surgical procedures and also provides a non-invasive procedure with lower cost solution.

“Our device design and the method of deployment distinguish it from the competition in several ways. ThermoMorph is a startup company established by inventors from The University of Toledo to develop QuickFlow; their device has a smaller profile and can capture and encircle the entire clot for retrieval, the whole clots without distal embolization. We have been working to develop this device since 2015,” Moghaddam said. “The main problem was how to optimize the baskets to maximize its authority to capture the different size of blood clots without shearing off.”

Other UT members of the QuickFlow team are Dr. Mohammad Elahinia, Dr. Hamdy Ibrahim and Reza Mehrabi. The co-inventors of the device are Elahinia, Dr. Christopher Cooper and Dr. Rajesh Gupta.

“Our goal is to help increase the number and scale up businesses in Ohio,” Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of the Department of Management, told the winners. “We are willing to support you, to provide free advice about how to spend, where to spend, and when not to spend. Your prize money is a major leap. Don’t underestimate yourself. Surround yourself with a great advisory board.”

“This year the business plan competition had 22 submissions with plan ideas ranging from bioengineering to mechanical engineering to recreation and consumer-related products,” Ariss added. “Of the 22, seven semifinalists were selected for an oral presentation in front of the judges.”

Finishing in second place was the FIERCE by Tyler Ray, Rebecca Potts, Emily Wallace, Caren Aramouni and Therese Orsagos. FIERCE — the female individual ergonomically re-designed carrying equipment — is a new rucksack intended for female soldiers in all branches of the military. It intends to reduce the weight pot onto the spine and increase the weight on the hips through multiple innovations based on the biomechanics and anatomy of the female.

Finishing in third place was Retractor by Parisa Bayatimalayeri and Ahmadreza Jahadakbar. The rectal retractor is a minimally invasive device to move the rectum away from the vicinity of the radiation field; in addition, the path of the radiation beam allows for delivery of higher doses of radiation per fraction and shorter treatment days while eliminating the undesirable damage to the rectal tissue.

The College of Business and Innovation Business Plan Competition was open to all UT faculty, staff and students. The first-place $10,000 prize is sponsored by Owens-Illinois Inc.; the second-place $5,000 prize is sponsored by Chuck and Ann Hodge Business Plan Competition Fund; and the third-place $2,000 prize is sponsored by PNC Bank.

Winners of this year’s UT College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition were, from left, third-place winner, Retractor: Ahmadreza Jahadakbar and Parisa Bayatimalayeri; second-place winner, The FIERCE: Tyler Ray, Rebecca Potts, Emily Wallace, Caren Aramouni and Therese Orsagos; first-place winner, QuickFlow: Narges Shayesteh Moghaddam.

University recognizes faculty, staff for advising, research, teaching, outreach work

UT outstanding advisors, researchers and teachers, and recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement, were recognized last week.

Recipients of the Outstanding Advisor Award were:

Winners of the Outstanding Adviser Award were Dr. Jerry Van Hoy and Amanda Seabolt.

Amanda Seabolt, academic advisor in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The UT alumna received a bachelor of science degree in biology, a master of public health degree, a master of science degree in nursing, and a graduate certificate in gerontological practice. She will graduate with a doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction from the University next month. Seabolt started advising students in 2015, the same year she received one of UT’s Outstanding Staff Awards.

“She is always giving students opportunities, whether it be in getting a new job, joining an organization, or participating in research,” one nominator wrote. “She is always pushing students to do their best.” “She shows great knowledge through her own personal experience and continued education. She never stops learning,” another nominator wrote. “If she doesn’t know something, she doesn’t stop looking until she finds the answer. She is always working for the student. She has been one of the most influential people during my time at the University.”

Dr. Jerry Van Hoy, associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Letters. He is co-director of the Program in Law and Social Thought and director of the Master of Liberal Studies Program. Van Hoy joined the University in 2000 and received one of UT’s Outstanding Teacher Awards in 2013.

“He flips the notion that advising is purely transactional on its head by listening to students’ needs and concerns. He helps students develop academic plans that work for them, addressing weaknesses and creating pathways to not only graduation, but to a life after college that students are excited about,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “As a recent graduate, I faced some distressing events during my capstone project. Dr. Van Hoy provided objective feedback to let me know the problem wasn’t unusual, the troubling issues were not caused by me, and that they were not insurmountable. His advice was calming and reassuring. He was sensitive, diplomatic when needed, and direct as required.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award were:

Receiving Outstanding Research and Scholarship Awards were, from left, Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni, Dr. Yanfa Yan and Nicole Buonocore Porter.

Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni
, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering. He is executive director of emerging technologies and special advisor to the UT vice president, chief information officer and chief technology officer. Devabhaktuni joined the faculty as an associate professor in 2008.

He is a renowned expert in computer-aided design, machine learning, modeling, optimization and simulation as applied to electromagnetics, big data, biomedical engineering, cyber security, energy efficiency, virtual reality, wireless sensor networking, image and signal processing, and more. Since 2009, the National Science Foundation has supported his work. While at UT, he has received about $2 million in funding from more than 30 external grants and has published more than 80 papers. According to Google Scholar, Devebhaktuni’s work has been cited 3,200 times since 2013.

Nicole Buonocore Porter, professor of law in the College of Law. She joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2007.

Porter is a nationally recognized scholar on the employment rights of women and individuals with disabilities. She is the author of a disability law casebook, published by a leading legal academic publisher, and is the co-editor of a forthcoming book titled “Feminist Judgments: Employment Discrimination Opinions Rewritten.” Her published articles address the persistent pay gap between men and women, discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities, and the employment rights of individuals with disabilities. Her work has been cited more than any other faculty member in the UT College of Law, and she is frequently invited to speak at symposia and national conferences. In addition, Porter was invited to join the Labor Law Group, a prestigious organization that produces scholarship on labor and employment law.

Dr. Yanfa Yan, professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He joined the UT faculty in 2011.

For two decades, Yan has been researching photovoltaics, solar fuels and energy storage techniques using a combination of theory, material synthesis, device fabrication, and material and device characterization. He has written or co-written more than 350 articles and has given more than 50 invited talks. According to Google Scholar, Yan’s work has been cited 16,868 times. His work has been funded with more than $5 million from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research and private industry.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were:

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were Dr. Susan Batten and Kenneth Kilbert.

Dr. Susan Batten
, professor in the College of Nursing. She joined the University in 1995.

Batten coordinates patient intake for the UT Community Care Clinic at Cedar Creek Church, provides care during Labre Traveling Clinic in south and east Toledo, and for migrant workers at their resident camps in northwest Ohio. She also has mentored nursing, medical and pharmacy students during annual medical missions to Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti. Batten has worked with more than 1,000 UT students with her community outreach and service projects. Their work has impacted more than 4,000 chronic disease patients in northwest Ohio, 500 immigrant workers and their families in rural Ohio, and more than 40,000 patients in Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti.

Kenneth Kilbert, professor and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes in the College of Law. He joined the University in 2006.

A scholar of environmental law, Kilbert’s work focuses on water issues affecting the Great Lakes region. Since 2006, he has planned UT’s annual Great Lakes Water Conference, which addresses legal and policy issues important to the region and its water resources. Each year, the conference draws approximately 300 guests and garners extensive media coverage. In addition, Kilbert has received multiple grants to study harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. His scholarly work increases awareness, promotes best practices, and suggests legal solutions to address the algal bloom problem.

Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award were:

Kara Bruce, professor in the College of Law. She joined the faculty in 2010.

“Professor Bruce exemplifies everything a professor should be — teacher, mentor, friend,” a nominator wrote. “Professor Bruce strives to engage her students while teaching difficult, sometimes less-interesting classes. She provides practical examples, makes jokes, and she goes out of her way (sometimes at the expense of getting behind schedule) to make sure we all understand what she is teaching. Honestly, I wish I could take Professor Bruce for every class in law school.” “Professor Bruce is excellent at taking complicated and challenging material and making it manageable for her students. She presents the material in a way that acknowledges the difficultly without making it seem daunting,” another wrote. “Not only is she passionate about students passing her class, she is passionate about making her students pass the bar.”

Dr. Edward Cancio, associate professor of special education in the Judith Herb College of Education. He came to UT in 2007.

“Dr. Cancio has been the most knowledgeable and inspiring professor I have had in my four years at UT. Every week Dr. Cancio showed the same passion for the subject that he taught and brought out the best from my classmates and I. It is easy to see from his lectures, published articles, and just speaking to him that Dr. Cancio is an expert in his field and was happy to pass his knowledge on special education to the class,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Cancio’s class focused on teaching students with emotional behavioral disorder, which is one of the most intimidating sections of special education. After taking his class, I know that I am more than prepared to go into this field.”

Elyce Ervin, senior lecturer in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services. She has been teaching at the University since 1999.

“I had Elyce Ervin for Anatomy and Physiology, which has never been so easily comprehendible than it was in her class. She provided mini-activities every other class that helped us to understand the material. She also provided great lecture notes that were organized and easy to keep up with. The notes were fill-in, which helped people pay attention in her class. She would always ask if anyone had any questions in between every slide to ensure we were understanding the material,” one nominator wrote. “The one thing that makes Elyce Ervin stick out is how she is continuing to have an impact on me. She is without a doubt one of the best people I have met in my life.”

Dr. Jackie Layng, professor of communication in the College of Arts and Letters. She has taught at the University since 1997.

“Dr. Layng has by far been the most knowledgeable and personable professor I have had at UT. Her classes always push me to do my best work and achieve professional-level skills. Many times her class assignments seem intimidating at first, but Dr. Layng is always available to guide students throughout the process,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “Selfless, dedicated, inspiring, caring: If you asked me to list all of the amazing things about Jackie, I think it’d be impossible because she’s had such a profound impact on my life. She genuinely cares about her students. Her constant words of encouragement, honest critiques, and passion for her career genuinely keep me going, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”

Dr. Kim E. Nielsen, professor of history, disability studies, and women’s and gender studies in the College of Arts and Letters. She joined the faculty in 2012.

“Dr. Nielsen creates a classroom atmosphere that makes all of her students feel comfortable to share stories, ideas and opinions. She listens to every student and encourages all of her students to have a voice,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “Dr. Nielsen goes out of her way to make sure every student succeeds. Her sense of humor makes every class intriguing and makes me want to learn more. I wasn’t much of a history buff until taking classes with her and hearing her passionate views. Dr. Nielsen is always available when you need her. She always comes to class with a smiling face even considering the boatload of other work she has to do. I wish I could have her for more classes.”

John J. Schlageter III, senior lecturer in the Paralegal Studies Program housed in the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services. He is a graduate of the UT College of Law and has been teaching at the University since 1998.

“He is truly the best professor that I had throughout my college career — always willing to listen, help in any way he can, and truly do everything in his power to help you begin your career in law,” one nominator wrote. Another noted, “Professor Schlageter goes above and beyond to help the students achieve great success in the paralegal classes. He always offers support, help and resources. He strives hard to make sure all students find a good quality internship. He always checks in on students and always offers support.” Another wrote, “He listens to every concern and teaches with such a passion. You can tell John loves what he does. He has helped myself and many others land jobs.”

Taking home Outstanding Teacher Awards were, from left, Elyce Ervin, Dr. Jackie Layng, John J. Schlageter III, Dr. Kim E. Nielsen, Kara Bruce and Dr. Edward Cancio.

Distinguished University Professors also were recognized at the ceremony:

Dr. Abdollah Afjeh of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering in the College of Engineering;

Dr. Paul Hong of the Department of Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation; and

Joseph Slater of the College of Law.

Read more about them here.

And Distinguished University Lecturers were honored:

Amy O’Donnell of the Department of Management in the College of Business and Innovation;

Sherry Tripepi of the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services; and

Sara Yaklin of the Department of English in the College of Arts and Letters.

Read more about them here.

UT, NOAA research team to host town hall on invasive species prevention in Great Lakes

A team of researchers at The University of Toledo and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will host a public education forum to help prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes through bait shop retailers and their customers.

The public is invited to a town hall meeting at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the WGTE Public Media studio, 1270 S. Detroit Ave. in Toledo, to learn more about how non-native species may potentially find their way into the Great Lakes and what can be done to prevent it.

Dr. Carol Stepien, Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and research division leader at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, second from right, with researchers at UT Lake Erie Center.

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded UT researchers a nearly $500,000 grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for a three-year project to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes through bait shops and pond stores.

The project is led by Dr. Carol Stepien, UT Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and research division leader at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, who is working with Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, UT professor of geography and planning, and Dr. Andrew Solocha, UT associate professor of finance.

“We found that bait shops sometimes accidentally sell non-native species mixed in with other bait,” Stepien said. “If non-native species such as silver carp become prevalent in the Great Lakes, it is predicted they could decimate valuable native species such as lake trout, walleye and yellow perch. They compete with these native species, depriving them of their food and habitat and can carry pathogens.”

The researchers sampled water from bait tanks for genetic material in 51 bait stores in 2016 and 2017 around Lake Erie. They found that 43 percent of the shops dispensed misidentified species. Using a technique called environmental DNA sampling, researchers sampled genetic material from bait tank water and found DNA evidence of invasive species such as silver carp, round goby, mosquitofish and tadpole snails in several bait shops.

These minnows were in a bowl at the UT Lake Erie Center, where researchers analyzed samples as part of a study to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes through bait shop retailers and their customers.

“Retailers, customers and even some scientific experts are often unable to distinguish some of these invasive species from native species at early life stages,” Stepien said. “For example, many minnows may appear alike.”

The researchers also surveyed 217 anglers. Of those, 61 said they fished in Lake Erie.

“From our surveys, we found that 66 percent of Lake Erie anglers use live bait fish, and 50 percent of those reported discarding live bait into the water,” Stepien said. “This coupled with the instances of non-native bait in shops surrounding Lake Erie makes this region at definite risk of introduction of invasive species.”

The goal of the town hall meeting is to discuss the research findings and help the public and bait shop owners understand responsible measures they can take to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.

“Releasing non-native pets, bait and other organisms into waterways can have unpredictable and widespread effects on Lake Erie’s long-term ecological health,” Stepien said.

The team is also planning a voluntary “invasive free” certification program for retailers.

In addition to Stepien, the panel of experts will include representatives from the Toledo Zoo, Maumee Bait & Tackle, the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

Three Distinguished University Lecturers named

Three faculty members have been named Distinguished University Lecturers in recognition of their exemplary teaching, supporting student success, and demonstrating their commitment to UT’s educational mission.

The newest Distinguished University Lecturers, who were approved and recognized by the UT Board of Trustees April 16, are Amy O’Donnell of the College of Business and Innovation; Sherry Tripepi in the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services; and Sara Yaklin of the College of Arts and Letters.

Distinguished University Lecturers, from left, Sara Yaklin, Amy O’Donnell and Sherry Tripepi were recognized during an April 19 awards ceremony.

“It is a privilege to honor these outstanding faculty members who are accomplished in their fields and who are dedicated to sharing their expertise with students,” said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Every day, they make a difference in so many lives at this institution and in our community.”

O’Donnell joined the University as a lecturer in the Department of Management in 2004 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2015.

She has received University and college awards for excellent teaching and dedication to students. O’Donnell has developed new courses and programs, facilitated student success initiatives, and supported the Business Career Programs Office in the College of Business. In addition, she served as faculty advisor to the UT chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. O’Donnell also has presented at 19 regional conferences.

“I have always felt respected and supported by College of Business and Innovation students, faculty and staff. This appointment as a Distinguished Lecturer at the University level further validates that my efforts are valued and meaningful by our community,” O’Donnell said. “I am humbled and proud.”

Tripepi started working as a clinical social worker in the University Counseling Center in 1997. Ten years later, she was named a visiting assistant professor of social work. In 2010, Tripepi became a lecturer in the Social Work Program and was promoted to associate lecturer in 2013.

She has received teaching, service and student impact awards. Tripepi serves as director of the Social Work Bachelor’s Degree Program, field coordinator, internship supervisor and continuing education coordinator for the UT Social Work Program through the Ohio Board of Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers. In addition, she developed a new course on social work practice with the LGBTQ population and has helped develop and implement campus-wide training programs — including Safe Place and anti-bullying programs — at area schools.

“I feel very honored and appreciative of this recognition,” Tripepi said. “I feel social work is the best career as it has allowed me to bring my passion to work each day. And for the past 11 years, I have been fortunate to be able to bring this passion to the classroom. I have fantastic students, who I want to thank for allowing me to join them in their professional journey and nurture their passion along the way. I also have such wonderful colleagues and am forever grateful for their support and teamwork.”

Yaklin was named a lecturer in 2001 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2009. She received a master of arts degree in English language and literature from UT.

She is a founding co-director of the Composition Institute for Teaching Excellence and is a composition instructor and program contributor for the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge Program. Yaklin also was a presenter at the Multicultural Orientation and Resources for Excellence Institute. In addition to mentoring teaching assistants in the English Department, Yaklin participates in the University Common Read Program and is a writing consultant, tutor, editor and mentor at UT, Owens Community College and local organizations. She recently received an Innovations in Teaching Award for a community partner pilot program for scientific and technical report writing students.

“Each day, I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love in teaching and working with students. I have a dream job,” Yaklin said. “My program director, department chair, college deans, co-director and colleagues all deserve recognition and thanks for making it a dream job. I am deeply appreciative of the University’s honoring of faculty through these awards.”

2018 Pacemaker Awards honor UT alumnus, outstanding business students

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council will recognize both business and academic excellence during their 55th annual Pacemaker Awards Friday, April 13, at the Inverness Country Club.

The 2018 Business Pacemaker Award will be presented to Alan H. Barry, a 1966 graduate of the UT College of Business, who is a certified public accountant, retired president and chief operating officer of the Fortune 200 company Masco Corp., and a member of the UT Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Barry

Barry joined Brass Craft Manufacturing Co. in 1972 as controller and became president of the Masco division in 1988. In 1996, he became a group president of Masco, a manufacturer of home improvement and building products. He has broad business experience that includes finance, manufacturing, customer development, acquisitions and general operating management.

Barry currently serves on the board of directors of the H. W. Kaufman Financial Group. He is the retired director of Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc., Scotts Miracle Gro Co., and IPS Corp. He also served as an executive board member of the Plumbing Manufacturing Institute from 1985 through 2000, and as chairman of the institute in 1994. In addition, Barry served on the executive board of the associate member division of the American Supply Association during 1995 and 1996.

Barry and his wife, Karen, a 1964 UT alumna, have a history of philanthropy at The University of Toledo. In 2014, the University named a new accounting lab in the College of Business and Innovation for Alan Barry. At the time the lab was established, it was the first one nationwide to have a certified management accountant license, in which students could access for free the review material from Wiley, a leading provider of educational programs for professionals and students who are preparing for the certified management accountant exam.

The couple also endowed the Alan and Karen Barry Scholarship Fund, which provides support for full-time UT business accounting students based on both merit and needs.

Alan Barry, a native of Toledo, is an active member of the UT Alumni Association’s Phoenix chapter, is involved in UT’s Blue Key organization, and serves on the executive committee for the children’s charity Variety.

In 2017 the Barrys donated a $1 million gift to establish an endowment that supports the Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professorship in Accounting at The University of Toledo.

“Recipients of the Pacemaker Award over the past five decades read as a who’s who of current and legendary business leaders in the Toledo region,” said Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, interim dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation, “and Alan Barry certainly belongs in that impressive roster. The Pacemaker Award is the College of Business and Innovation’s highest honor, recognizing individuals for outstanding achievement in business, as well as contributions to the community and the University.

“We are also pleased to recognize the excellence of students from each of our departments through the Student Pacemaker Awards,” Hassan HassabElnaby said.

Student Pacemaker Awards are presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, University and community service, and leadership.

The 2018 student Pacemakers are: Master of Business Administration — Aanchal Senapati and Mitchell Howard; Master of Science in Accountancy — Tyler Hecht; Accounting — Martin Linthicum and Sarah Avina; Finance — Alex Odenweller and Brianne Michel; Information Operations Technology Management — Brandon Stewart and Lindsey Wittenauer; Management — Kathleen Kurman and Jenna Jeffers; Marketing and International Business — Haley Orr and Amanda Martin; and Dean’s Recipient — Julia Foley.