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Women in STEM to host network-building event

Women in STEM at The University of Toledo is working with the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and the Association for Women in Science to create mentoring programs and initiatives for students.

A welcoming and network-building event will take place Monday, Aug. 20, for women pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering or math at the University. The organization also has expanded its inclusion of those studying the medical sciences.

This free event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Libbey Hall Dining Room and provide students and faculty with a relaxed atmosphere that will allow them to establish and develop mentoring relationships to ensure their success at UT.

Women in STEM at UT also has worked with IDEAL-N, a multi-university project that is funded through the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program and facilitated by Case Western Reserve University.

IDEAL-N aims to institutionalize gender equity transformation at leading research universities by creating a learning community of academic leaders that is empowered to develop leverage knowledge, skills, resources and networks to transform university cultures and enhance diversity and inclusion.

“Organizations like these and the Association for Women in Science are a valuable source of information for women in STEMM,” said Dr. Patricia Case, associate dean for the UT College of Arts and Letters. “They provide links to education and research opportunities, as well as provide opportunities to develop relationships with other women in STEMM.”

Research has found that a male-dominated discipline can be demoralizing to women, and having a group of individuals to guide you or “have your back” can be the difference between success and exiting a career path, Case explained.

“Women account for approximately 52 percent of the population, so equality would mean that we have more representation in these fields,” Case added. “When barriers are lifted, women pursue and succeed in these degrees as much as men.”

If interested in attending the event, RSVP to Angelica Johnson at angelica.johnson2@utoledo.edu or 419.530.5146.

For questions about the event, contact Case at patricia.case@utoledo.edu.

White coats to be given to UT College of Medicine students Aug. 2

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences will recognize first-year medical students during its official white coat ceremony Thursday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. in Nitschke Auditorium.

The ceremony, held during the week of orientation, welcomes medical students to the college and prepares them for undertaking a medical career. Highlights of the event include a welcome from the dean of the college, a keynote address on humanism in medicine, and the presentation of white coats and recitation of the Medical Student Pledge of Ethics.

Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president of clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, will officiate the ceremony in which 175 medical students will receive their white coats.

“This ceremony underscores the foundation of the medical profession for first-year medical students,” Cooper said. “The white coat serves as a symbol of their entry into medical school. Secondly, it reiterates their commitment to professionalism, continuing education, and their service to others through medical care.”

Nearly 75 percent of the new students are Ohio residents, and more than 30 percent are from northwest Ohio.

In addition, nearly 10 percent of the class studied at UT: A quarter of the incoming students have master’s degrees half of which are from the University.

The annual ceremony will conclude orientation week for the medical students. The event can be watch live here.

In addition to College of Medicine and Life Sciences, the UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences holds a white coat ceremony for third-year PharmD students, and the UT College of Health and Human Services presents white coats to first-year physical therapy and occupational therapy doctoral students and respiratory care students in their junior year, which is the first year of their professional program. And the College of Nursing has a white coat ceremony for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and the Clinical Nursing Leader Program.

New staff appointed to Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost has appointed three new associate vice provosts to continue to make progress on the University’s strategic plan.

Following the recent retirement of three senior academic administrators, there was an opportunity to realign the structure of the positions in the Office of the Provost along the priorities of the University’s strategic plan, said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“In the Division of Academic Affairs, we have made excellent progress on the implementation of the strategic plan,” Hsu said. “With the appointment of these highly qualified administrators who are joining the Office of the Provost team, we will continue to make progress in the priority areas of student and faculty success.”


Dr. Denise Bartell is joining the University Aug. 1 as associate vice provost for student success to replace Dr. Steve LeBlanc, who retired from that position. Bartell comes from the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay, where she served as director of student success and engagement, and associate professor of human development and psychology.

In her role, Bartell will oversee the offices of Success Coaching and Academic Support Services, and lead the University’s efforts to support undergraduate student retention and degree completion, including efforts in the areas of advising, orientation, first-year experience, academic enrichment, and the blending of curricular and co-curricular learning.


Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean in the College of Arts and Letters, and associate professor of English, has been appointed to serve as associate vice provost for faculty development, effective Aug. 20. The position is open following the retirement of Dr. Connie Shriner, who had served as vice provost for faculty development, assessment, program review and accreditation.

In her new role, Schneider will provide leadership for faculty professional development initiatives related to student success, including high-impact teaching practices and pedagogies of engagement. She will provide oversight of the Teaching Center and the Office of Classroom Support, and will be responsible for the implementation of the University’s strategic plan goals on faculty development related to student success.


In addition, Dr. Amy Thompson, director of the Center for Health and Successful Living in the College of Health and Human Services, and professor of public health, now serves as interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs. She was appointed to that role July 9. Thompson provides oversight of the faculty orientation program, the UT faculty leadership institute, and the University’s faculty awards program. She also works closely with Dr. Jamie Barlowe, interim vice provost for faculty affairs, on additional faculty initiatives related to the priorities of the University’s strategic plan.


Margaret “Peg” Traband, senior vice provost of academic affairs, was the third administrator who retired in June from the Office of the Provost. Dr. R. William Ayres has been promoted to that position.

Two deans also have taken on additional responsibilities in the Division of Academic Affairs.


Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, has been appointed to also serve as vice provost for graduate affairs. She serves as the liaison between the Office of the Provost, the college deans and graduate program directors. Bryant-Friedrich also monitors the implementation of strategic plan priorities as they relate to graduate student enrollment and retention.


Dr. Christopher Ingersoll, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has taken on additional responsibilities as vice provost for health science affairs. He serves as the liaison between the Office of the Provost and the deans of the four health science-related colleges, and he monitors the implementation of college-level strategic action plans as they relate to the University’s strategic plan.

Tradition continues: National Youth Sports Program brings kids to campus

Fun and learning — that’s what the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) is all about.

A total of 140 income-eligible children came to campus last month for the free three-week program that provides recreational and educational opportunities.

Braylin Elam, a student at St. Francis di Sales High School, jumped in the pool at the Student Recreation Center.

Along with sports programs, the students learned about nutrition, enhancing their self-image, the value of communication, healthy behaviors, and how to resist peer pressure.

Starting in 1968, UT was one of the first universities in the country to offer the federally funded program sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

After federal funding for the program was cut, the University has continued to operate the camp through fundraising, in-kind donations, and commitment from the University to provide some support and facilities.

“We are very fortunate that The University of Toledo continues to support the NYSP as it aligns with the University’s mission, and UT is able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children to have fun while learning at the same time,” said Dr. Ruthie Kucharewski, professor and chair in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, and NYSP administrator.

Children watched others play volleyball and waited for their turn on the court in the Health Education Building Gym.

“Our program provides structure, offers age-appropriate activities, and it promotes a healthy lifestyle and a constructive use of leisure time. We also encourage the children to study hard in school, associate with positive people, find good adult role models, and to make good choices.”

To give a gift to the National Youth Sports Program Fund, contact the UT Foundation at 419.530.7730 or go to give2ut.utoledo.edu and search for NYSP.

Professor receives recognition at Access to Justice Awards

Dr. Celia Williamson, professor of social work and director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, won the Community Advocacy Award May 10 at the 18th annual Access to Justice Awards.

The Advocates for Basic Equality and Legal Aid of Western Ohio’s Access to Justice Awards recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations for their contributions to promote and provide access to justice for the underprivileged and underserved.

Williamson is well-known for her community advocacy against human trafficking and domestic violence, along with her extensive research into the subjects and finding ways to combat them.

The Community Advocacy Award is given to an organization or individual who has made a difference in the lives of low-income or disadvantaged persons and communities. It is intended to recognize grass roots organizing, public education, or community advocacy by an individual or group in northwest Ohio.

“The award means that the community recognizes and acknowledges that the work I’m doing is important and is on behalf of the vulnerable, poor and oppressed, and that human rights should be protected,” Williamson said.

Williamson has devoted much of her time addressing the problem of human trafficking. The UT alumna has given more than 200 presentations on the topic; completed several articles and reports; and edited two books on sex trafficking. She is a chair of the Research and Analysis Subcommittee for the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission and is the editorial manager for the Journal of Human Trafficking.

In 1993, she founded the first and oldest anti-trafficking program in Ohio titled Second Chance in Lucas County. She later established the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.

In addition, Williamson is both the founder and president of a National Research Consortium on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and founder of the annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

Recently, she has worked with the community to develop Partners Against Trafficking in Humans, known as the PATH model, which helps victims transition to survivors and eventually “thrivers.”

Williamson has been recognized for her trailblazing work, receiving the YWCA Milestone Award, The University of Toledo Gold T Award, Ohio Liberator Award and more.

UT teams up with Toledo Mud Hens to spotlight high-achieving students

The University of Toledo is partnering with the Toledo Mud Hens to recognize students who have achieved commendable academic success during the school year.


Students selected will be recognized as the Honorary Starter of the Game on the field prior to the first pitch.

The first recipient of the award was Sierra Hawkins, a social work major in the College of Health and Human Services.

“It was a really neat experience to be able to walk out on the field and be on the huge board just for achieving my personal goals of maintaining good grades,” Hawkins said. “This award is extremely important because it is recognizing local students and praising them for their achievements.”

Students will be honored at 13 home games throughout the season and are chosen based on recommendations from each UT college.

Sierra Hawkins, who is majoring in social work in the College of Health and Human Services, was the first UT student recognized for academic success at a Toledo Mud Hens’ game thanks to a new partnership between the baseball club and the University.

UT scholar to host news conference about words used to describe alleged victim of child sex trafficking

In response to recent media reports about a case involving a former Toledo police officer, The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute is hosting a news conference at noon Friday, May 25, at the Kent Branch Library, located at 3101 Collingwood Blvd.


Dr. Celia Williamson, a UT professor of social work who defends the rights of women and girls on a local, national and international level, organized the event along with the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition to discuss the importance of words and to educate the public on child sex trafficking.

“Language is a powerful way of denigrating oppressed populations who society views as less valuable,” said Williamson, who is the director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “When an alleged victim is 14 years old, she is not a ‘child prostitute’ or ‘under-aged prostitute.’ Child sex trafficking is modern-day slavery.”

Williamson wants to decrease the stigma associated with alleged child sex trafficking victims and rally the community to support them.

“We want to assure child victims who may be out in our community that we want them to come forward and get help,” Williamson said. “The community also needs to know the proper language to use when discussing the topic of commercial sex with a child.”

Tourniquets added to AED boxes for campus safety

The University of Toledo is updating a number of its automated external defibrillator stations to also include tourniquets for the campus community to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations.

While AEDs — portable devices used to treat sudden cardiac arrest — have been available for several years across UT campuses, this is the first time commercial-grade tourniquets also will be available in several AED stations.

Dr. Paul Rega, right, talked to UT Police Chief Jeff Newton as he placed tourniquets in the automated external defibrillator station outside Doermann Theatre.
On May 10, signage was installed marking the AED/tourniquet station in University Hall and 19 other such stations located across UT campuses.

“Thanks to the generosity of the UT Foundation, we were able to purchase 100 combat application tourniquets, as well as signage to help individuals locate these combined AED/tourniquet stations during an emergency,” said Dr. Paul Rega, assistant professor of public health and emergency medicine.

“In the event there is a victim or multiple victims who have sustained life-threatening hemorrhaging due to an accidental or intentional incident, tourniquets would be readily available in AED boxes to help save lives,” explained Rega, who also is the University’s medical advisor for disaster preparedness and has more than 30 years of experience in emergency preparedness. “Additionally, we’ve trained about 600 members of our campus community on how to effectively use them.”

As emergency preparedness has evolved in the U.S. during recent years, paramedics and other medical professionals have turned to using military-grade tourniquets to help save lives during disasters such as building explosions caused by gas leaks, vehicular accidents, crimes involving weapons, and other life-threatening emergencies. As a result, some large facilities such as airports, malls and schools have begun equipping their sites with such tourniquets so they are on hand for medical crises, Rega said.

“Even with a solid emergency preparedness plan, routine practices and preparation, a disaster can occur at any time,” Rega said. “That’s why it’s important that the University has proper supplies that are easily accessible across our campuses, in addition to an adequate number of campus members trained to use them.”

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

Girls in science day at UT May 10

More than 160 sophomore high school girls will visit The University of Toledo Thursday, May 10, when prominent female scientists and engineers across the region will introduce them to the exciting world of science and technology careers through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

The ninth annual Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on UT’s Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

Area students tested their handmade solar cells constructed with glass, blackberries and graphite during last year’s Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM.

UT faculty and industrial professionals will help inspire a passion for science careers by exploring the tools of the trade.

The girls will carry out investigations in a number of areas, including physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology, engineering, pharmacy, and medicine.

Activities for students will include building solar cells, swabbing their cheeks for a DNA sample, aseembling a motor, generating electricity on a bike, making biodiesel fuel, creating lip balm, and touring the anatomy museum.