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Researchers assess role schools can play in preventing, responding to teen dating violence

A nationwide study of school principals has shown that while the majority had assisted a victim of teen dating violence recently, most of them had never received formal training in this area and their school did not have a specific protocol for dealing with the issue.

The most common approaches of school principals for responding to teen dating violence found are discussed in an article published in Violence and Gender, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers.

“Teen dating violence is, unfortunately, a child and adolescent social and health problem,” Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health at The University of Toledo, said. “Even if minor, victims of teen dating violence can suffer from major consequences, including depression or suicidal tendencies.

“This study surveyed school administrators in an effort to help inform better practices and policymaking on dealing with this dangerous issue.”

The article titled “Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence: A National Study of School Principals’ Perspectives and Practices” was co-authored by Thompson; Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, associate professor of health science at Ball State University, who received a doctorate in health education from UT in 2010; and colleagues from Illinois State University, the University of Houston, the Indiana Area Health Education Center, and the Illinois Education Association.

The researchers provide data related to teen dating violence prevention practices by schools, training to assist victims provided to personnel within the past two years, and the most common ways principals assisted victims of teen dating violence.

“Our No. 1 goal is to help school administrators prevent teen dating violence,” Thompson said. “We also want to help school leaders establish policies for teen dating violence and helping victims.”

“This article is truly an eye-opener. According to the authors, teen dating violence has emerged as a ‘significant child and adolescent social and health problem,’ but school administrators and staff are not equipped to address it,” said Dr. Mary Ellen O’Toole, editor-in-chief of Violence and Gender, and director of the Forensic Sciences Program at George Mason University.

“More training is absolutely essential to address this problem effectively,” O’Toole said. “This first of its kind national study will help principals, teachers and others realize their own deficiencies and develop proper procedures to address an issue that affects our children and adolescents in every school throughout the country.”

Call for submissions: Works for 2018 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase

Mulford Library is seeking submissions for its 13th Annual Health Science Campus Artist Showcase.

The deadline to apply for consideration to be included in the showcase is Friday, Jan. 12.

The library is accepting submissions from UT faculty, staff and students in the health sciences — nursing, medicine, pharmacy and the health professions — as well as UT Medical Center employees.

To be considered for the show, digital images of artwork can be sent to hscartshow@utoledo.edu, along with a submission form that can be found with guidelines here.

In the past, the showcase has featured artwork in a variety of media, including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry making, quilting, multimedia, graphics, wood carving and more.

The showcase will be on display from Feb. 12 through April 2 on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

An artist reception is planned for Friday, Feb. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. with a lecture on “Renaissance Art as Medicine” by Allie Terry-Fritsch, associate professor of art history at Bowling Green State University.

Questions about the showcase can be directed to Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, who is a member of the artist showcase committee, at 419.383.5152 or jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D. Sallah will return to his alma mater Sunday, Dec. 17, to deliver the keynote address during The University of Toledo’s fall commencement ceremony.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Sallah

Sallah will address 2,067 candidates for degrees, including 118 doctoral, 523 master’s, 1,370 bachelor’s and 56 associate’s.

The ceremony is open to the public and can be viewed live at video.utoledo.edu.

Sallah’s investigative work as a reporter and editor with award-winning newspapers across the country has revealed public corruption, police abuses and government blunders, resulting in grand jury investigations, legislative reform, and the recovery of millions of taxpayer dollars.

He is a reporter on the national investigations team at USA Today/Gannett Network in Washington, D.C.

“This is where it all began for me,” Sallah said. “From the time I took my first journalism class in the fall of my freshman year, I fell in love with journalism, and UT is a big part of that. It’s part of my foundation — the professors, the values they conveyed to me about journalism, and why it’s so critical to our society, especially investigative work. I’m honored to be coming home to be the commencement speaker.”

“Journalists have an important role to inform the public about the issues that affect our lives, and Michael Sallah has embraced that responsibility uncovering many misdeeds through investigative reporting that resulted in positive change,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “I look forward to him sharing with our graduates how he got his start here in Toledo and inspiring them to stay curious and serve their communities.”

Born in Toledo, Sallah is a 1977 alumnus of The University of Toledo, graduating cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. He was named UT’s Outstanding Alumnus in the Social Sciences in 2004. Sallah also is a 1973 graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School.

He was a reporter and national affairs writer at The Blade for more than a decade, and was the lead reporter on the 2003 project “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths” that exposed the U.S. Army’s longest war crimes case of the Vietnam War. The series won numerous national awards, including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

While investigations editor and reporter at the Miami Herald, Sallah led an inquiry into local corruption. His team’s 2006 “House of Lies” series exposed widespread fraud in Miami-Dade County public housing and earned the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. He was named a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his series “Neglected to Death,” which uncovered deadly conditions in Florida assisted-living facilities, led to the closing of 13 facilities, and was the impetus for a gubernatorial task force to overhaul state law.

During his two years at The Washington Post, Sallah received a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism for an investigation that exposed a predatory system of tax collection in the District of Columbia. 

He returned to the Miami Herald in 2014 and was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2016 for uncovering one of the nation’s most corrupt sting operations in a police unit that laundered $71.5 million for drug cartels, kept millions for brokering the deals, and failed to make a single significant arrest. 

Sallah is the author of the books “Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War” and “Yankee Comandante: The Untold Story of Courage, Passion and One American’s Fight to Liberate Cuba.” He also was a consultant for the Public Broadcasting Service documentary “American Experience.”

UT’s fall commencement ceremony 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; Honors College; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

UT to hold free breast cancer screenings

The University of Toledo’s Center for Health and Successful Living will offer a series of free mammogram clinics for uninsured or underinsured women Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Glenwood Lutheran Church, 2545 Monroe St. in Toledo.

Free clinics also will be held Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Paul Community Center, 230 13th St. in Toledo.

The event is geared toward women 40 and older who have not had a breast exam or mammogram in the past two years. Those with no insurance or are underinsurance may qualify for the screening free or at a reduced cost.

Registration is required and space is limited. Call Barbara Oxner at 419.344.5172 or email CHSL@utoledo.edu.

Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to hold oral arguments Nov. 1 on UT’s Main Campus

UT students and the public will have a chance to hear appellate arguments when the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals convenes Wednesday, Nov. 1, in the McQuade Courtroom, located in Health and Human Services Building Room 1419.

Oral arguments at the free, public session hosted by the Paralegal Studies Program will begin at 9 a.m.

Presiding over oral arguments will be a panel of three judges from the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals: Arlene Singer, a 1976, UT law alumna; Thomas J. Osowick, a 1981 UT law alumnus; and James Jensen.

Arguments set for the session include appeals from a murder conviction and personal injury decision.

“This will be a great chance for UT paralegal students to observe judges and lawyers in a real court session,” said John J. Schlageter III, senior lecturer and director of the Paralegal Studies Program. “The court’s willingness to hold arguments on campus is appreciated as it provides an unparalleled experience and instruction for our students, as well as area high school students.”

Approximately 100 students from Maumee and Whitmer high schools will be in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711 to watch a live stream of oral arguments from the courtroom.

After adjourning, the court will host a question-and-answer session with the audience.

The court’s docket is available here.

Higher education alliance aims to improve Ohioans’ health

As the state of Ohio struggles with multiple critical health issues, Ohio University and The University of Toledo are coming together to find solutions.

The health colleges of the two universities will form the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health, which will collaborate with the UT College of Law and the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, to help create community-specific ways to fix the state’s health problems, such as opioid addiction, health-care access, chronic disease and infant mortality.

The signing ceremony to formalize the collaboration agreement between Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions and The University of Toledo’s College of Health and Human Services will take place Thursday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. in the first-floor conference room of the Ohio Department of Education building, 25 South Front St. in Columbus. UT President Sharon L. Gaber and OU President M. Duane Nellis will sign the document.

Each partner contributes unique strengths and robust research capabilities to the alliance. The collaboration also features joint academic offerings for students.

“Our institutions represent two of the largest health-focused colleges in Ohio with well over 100 faculty researchers between the two colleges,” said Dr. Randy Leite, dean of the Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions. “The Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions has vibrant applied health programming, and The University of Toledo has a well-developed population health foundation. We are both strategically located in areas of the state with considerable disparity in health outcomes compared to the rest of the state and nation.”

“We’ve developed the alliance to enhance outreach and improve lives in Ohio, as well as increase our infrastructure to more strategically engage in relevant research that matters,” said Dr. Christopher Ingersoll, dean of the UT College of Health and Human Services. “By combining forces and assembling teams of experts, we will be able to compete for the resources necessary to solve the population health problems in our region and throughout the state.”

The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health will research the often-ignored root causes of health issues and will incorporate partner organizations as sources of content expertise to build on networks of strong community relationships to develop and test solutions. The goal of this work is to establish best practices for addressing critical population health issues.

Rick Hodges, former director of the Ohio Department of Health and UT alumnus, was named director of the alliance to identify and collaborate with partner organizations across the state.

“I’m looking forward to working with the many excellent programs that are already in place across the state,” Hodges said. “The alliance will serve as a collaborator, not a competitor.”

One area of interest to Hodges is health-care informatics, which is the study of resources and methods for the management of health information. According to Hodges, both the technology and the data currently exist to answer many public health questions, but they are not yet connected to each other. This type of information could lead to the creation of a variety of useful databases, such as a database showing space availability for drug treatment facilities in the state. While such a database exists to identify hospital bed availability, no comparable database exists for drug treatment facilities.

The alliance’s first initiative will revolve around opioid abuse and addiction in Perry County and other locations.

UT alumnus’ play about dealing with dementia to debut

“Remember Me,” an original play written by Maxwell K. Cleary, will premiere this week in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 20-22, and 2 p.m. for Saturday, Sept. 23.

“Remember Me” is a play that focuses on dementia while taking a look at what reality is — or isn’t — for the family, the caregivers and the person with the condition. It shows the barriers, demands and isolation families face when trying to care for a loved one.

Cleary graduated from UT with a master’s degree in social work in 2016 and is a hospice social worker in Toledo. His practice experience with grief is evident throughout the play.

Issue Box Theatre is producing the play and is headed by Rosie Best, a social worker in the Toledo community who has a history in theater education. While taking classes at UT, she started Issue Box as a community project to bring together art and social justice action. Best graduated from the University with a master’s degree in social work in 2016.

Maxwell K. Cleary and Rosie Best

The play will be performed in conjunction with the UT International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at issueboxtheatre.com.

Proceeds from ticket sales from non-registered conference goers will go to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Services of Northwestern Ohio and the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

UT to recognize National Service Dog Month with talks, training demonstration Sept. 21

To celebrate National Service Dog Month, Carlson Library will host an event Thursday, Sept. 21, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the third floor.

This free, public session will feature a talk by Dr. Janet Hoy-Gerlach, associate professor in the UT Social Work Program. Hoy-Gerlach will discuss her new book, “Human-Animal Interactions: A Social Work Guide.” The book was co-authored with Scott Wehman, a UT alumnus who received a master’s degree in social work in 2012.

“The focus of the new book is two-fold,” Hoy-Gerlach explained. “To raise awareness of the importance and benefits of the human-animal bond for human well-being and to increase the abilities of social workers and other helping professionals to respond to people in need who have animals.”

In 2017, the National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association, found that pet ownership in U.S. households stands at 68 percent, and that most of these households consider the pet as a part of the family. Given these numbers, Hoy-Gerlach said, the focus of her book is highly relevant to many individuals, as well as for those in the helping professions that serve them.

“The book includes detailed content describing and differentiating the various therapeutic roles animals hold that assist in human health and well-being,” Hoy-Gerlach said. “Of all such roles, the role of service dog requires the most extensive preparation and training; service dogs are trained for public access as well as multiple specific tasks to assist a person with a disability.”

Rocket Service Dogs, a new student organization at UT, is eager to educate students on the service dog training process. The organization also will be at the event, along with several puppies that are in training.

“Knowledge about service dogs is important for the community because there is value in bringing awareness to the capabilities of the dogs, as well as the protections that they legally receive,” said Summer Martin, vice president of Rocket Service Dogs. “It is important for people to understand the huge impact that an assistance dog can have on a person’s life, along with the infinite number of services the dogs can provide.”

Rocket Service Dogs partners with Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence, a program of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo, to provide participants with information and resources for fostering and training the dogs in the program.

Jenny Barlos, client service manager for Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence, also will be in attendance at the National Service Dog Month event to present and provide a training demonstration with a dog.

For more information on Rocket Service Dogs and how to foster a dog in training, contact rocketservicedogs@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/rocketservicedogs.

For more information on the National Service Dog Month event, contact Sara Mouch at 419.530.5578 or sara.mouch@utoledo.edu.

UT to host International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference Sept. 21-22

A University of Toledo professor and advocate fighting against human trafficking will unveil the first comprehensive, evidence-based guide to preventing the sex trafficking of children at the 14th annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

Survivors, social workers, law enforcement officers, educators, nurses and researchers from across the globe will come together for the two-day conference at The University of Toledo to bring the sex and labor trafficking trades out of the shadows and help end the abuse through education and advocacy.

The conference, which is hosted by UT’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, will be Thursday and Friday, Sept. 21 and 22, in the Thompson Student Union on Main Campus.

Dr. Celia Williamson’s pioneering research, which was supported by a grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education for the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, provides a multi-tiered system targeting at-risk youth and the adults who interact with them. Her presentation will be at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Williamson

“This research project and dozens of others that will be presented at the conference will help communities all around the world end this form of modern slavery and save victims from suffering,” said Williamson, UT professor of social work and director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

Since 2004, this annual conference has welcomed presenters from more than three dozen states and 15 countries to lay the groundwork for future collaborative research, advocacy and program development.

Additional speakers will include:

• Dr. Lauren Martin, director of research at the University of Minnesota Urban Research Outreach Engagement Center, will share how she is mapping new information about who sex buyers are in Minnesota, where they live and purchase sex, and how they enter the marketplace of this criminal underworld, at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

• Dr. Jesse Bach, founder of the Cleveland-based nonprofit The Imagine Foundation, will explain how issues such as race, poverty and prison-industry profit turned child gang members into “forgotten” child soldiers in the United States, at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

• Dr. Vernon Murray, associate professor of marketing at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Dr. Sherry Dingman, associate professor of psychology at Marist College, will present about moral authority and their view that if the United States wishes to encourage anti-trafficking attitudes, it should pass Senate Bill H.R. 40 regarding reparations for the descendants of African slaves, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in Thompson Student Union Room 2591.

• Amy Smith and Sarah Brenes, program manager and director, respectively, of the anti-human trafficking services and unaccompanied minor services at the Institute of Minnesota, will present opportunities, challenges and issues associated with a large-group agricultural labor trafficking case, such as balancing law enforcement priorities with victim immigration and social service needs, at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in Thompson Student Union Room 2584.

• Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion, and Jennifer Pizio, associate director of the UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will focus on what makes human trafficking possible in society and culture, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

For additional information and a full schedule of presentations, visit traffickingconference.com.

Paralegal students gain valuable experiences in Norway

For students who have participated in work and study abroad programs, the consensus is that it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Taylor Sanders, Samantha Denlinger, Travis Peterson and Colleen Anderson, all students in the Paralegal Studies Program, agreed that the knowledge they gained during their time in Norway extended past that related to their future careers.

“Traveling abroad is a 10 out of 10 recommendation for me, whether it be for studies, a job, a vacation or an internship. It was one of the absolute best experiences of my life,” Denlinger said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I would go back in a heartbeat to see the friends I made along the way. If anyone gets an opportunity to travel abroad, do it. You will learn some of the most valuable things.”

Travis Peterson, Samantha Denlinger, center, and Taylor Sanders posed for a photo in Trondheim, Norway.

The students were guided through the process by John Schlageter, director of the Paralegal Studies Program. Last year, Schlageter traveled to Norway with the goal of increasing collaborations with enterprises in the public and private sectors of the country.

“I believe that international learning helps students understand a variety of cultural and community perspectives. Prospective paralegal employers look favorably upon experience gained while living overseas,” Schlageter said. “In addition, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Many students that obtain a bachelor of science in paralegal studies, an American Bar Association-approved program, use their degree as a pre-law program so they can go on with their education and become attorneys.

“Taylor, Samantha, Travis and Colleen deserve a lot of credit for their willingness to seek out new challenges and put themselves in academically challenging situations. They have represented The University of Toledo and the Paralegal Studies Program very well, and I could not be prouder of them.”

Samantha Denlinger, left, and Taylor Sanders, right, interned at Q-Free, where they worked with Tor Erik Nergård.

Schlageter secured internships for Anderson and Peterson with the Norwegian Courts Administration. They had the opportunity to become acquainted with the Norwegian society and the Norwegian legal system and judiciary; present on the state and federal judiciary in the U.S. to staff at the Norwegian Courts Administration; and present on the structure of the U.S. courts at a judicial regional seminar in Montenegro.

“This unique internship experience has not only given me the opportunity to integrate myself within another culture, but also to work firsthand within the Norwegian Courts Administration and gain knowledge about the Norwegian judiciary,” Peterson said. “By also attending a judicial reform conference in Budva, Montenegro, with the Norwegian Courts Administration to aid Western Balkan countries in improving their judiciary, I was able to speak with judges from many different countries and take back with me a lot of knowledge and experience that I will use in my future endeavors.”

Anderson also spoke highly of what she learned during her time in Norway: “I feel as though my perspective on the world and on the U.S. in particular has really been broadened. Seeing the way other countries run their judiciaries has taught me not to always assume that the way I’m used to is the only way, or even always the best way. To me, this trip only emphasized the importance of international sharing and collaboration. This internship has taught me the importance of being able to work both independently and with other people. It can be easy to decide that you’re a person who can only do one or the other. However, I think to truly be successful, a person needs to know when to focus independently on a project and when to reach out for input from others.

Travis Peterson, left, Audun Hognes Berg, senior adviser with the Norwegian Courts Administration, and Colleen Anderson smiled for the camera in Budva, Montenegro.

“My favorite part about the internship was attending a conference on judicial reforms hosted in the country of Montenegro. At the conference, the attendees spoke several different languages, and we utilized translators so we were all able to understand each other. Seeing this kind of problem solving and collaboration has really helped me realize the boundless possibilities that are available to those willing to pursue them. Participating in the conference itself was such an honor, and I feel as though I learned so much by listening to and conversing with other people who are in the same field I hope to enter one day.”

Denlinger and Sanders spent their summers interning with Q-Free, an electronic toll collection technology development company based in Trondheim, Norway. They reviewed proposed contracts, offers and bids to make sure they complied with Q-Free policies and interests, and learned about risk assessment, potential liabilities, commercial risks, legal feasibility and intellectual property rights protection.

“My favorite part about the internship was learning about the culture and comparing it to our culture back home,” said Denlinger. “The differences were incredible, and I loved seeing what the Norwegian work environment was like. It was truly an incredible experience.

“What I brought home with me was the knowledge of hard work. I learned that opportunities come and go, and that you have to take them whenever they come up. Specifically, I brought home a hard work ethic and the mentality of tackling an opportunity while it’s happening.”

Sanders was happy to speak on her time abroad and how it benefited her: “While working for Q-Free, I learned so much. I learned how to identify and assess potential risks and liabilities in different types of corporate contracts; I worked mainly with public procurement contract bids. The biggest thing I will take away from this experience is that it is important to dive in head first and try something you are unsure about. I’ve learned that no matter what country you are in, there is always a helping hand that will guide you through unfamiliar territory and topics.

“This was the experience of a lifetime, and I highly recommend traveling abroad to any other students contemplating it. I also want to give a little shout-out to John Schlageter, without whom this experience would not have been possible.”

For more information on the Paralegal Studies Program, contact Schlageter at john.schlageter@utoledo.edu or 419.530.7748.