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UT faculty recognized for tenure and promotion

Sixty-four University of Toledo faculty members were honored in a special 2018-19 tenure and promotion celebration Sept. 28 in Carlson Library. Last year, 53 faculty members earned tenure and promotion.

Each honoree was asked to select a book that was instrumental to his or her success, and these books — each containing a bookplate commemorating the honoree’s milestone — are now housed in the library.

“We began this tradition when I joined UT because we believe recognizing faculty helps to foster excellence in research and academics, and helps fuel innovation in all fields of study,” said President Sharon L. Gaber.

“Faculty success, together with student success, are two of the highest priorities of the University and of the Office of the Provost,” said Provost Andrew Hsu. “We have implemented a number of new programs to enhance faculty success since President Gaber joined The University of Toledo. And while the large number of faculty honorees this year demonstrates the progress that we have made in faculty success, the credit goes to the hard work and dedication of our faculty.”

UT faculty receiving tenure are Dr. Hossein Elgafy and Dr. Xin Wang, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Appointed as professor with tenure are Dr. Anne Balazs, College of Business and Innovation, and Dr. Raymond Witte, Judith Herb College of Education. And appointed as associate professor with tenure is Dr. Denise Bartell, Jesup Scott Honors College.

Faculty members who were promoted to professor are Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Dr. Maria Diakonova, Dr. Timothy Mueser and Dr. Michael Weintraub, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich and Dr. Frederick Williams, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Florian Feucht and Dr. Tod Shockey, Judith Herb College of Education; Dr. Bashar Gammoh and Dr. Margaret Hopkins, College of Business and Innovation; Dr. Tavis Glassman and Dr. Sheryl Milz, College of Health and Human Services; Dr. Edmund Lingan, Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Dr. Sujata Shetty and Dr. Jami Taylor, College of Arts and Letters; Elizabeth McCuskey and Evan Zoldan, College of Law; Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Dr. Theodor Rais, Dr. Tallat Rizk and Dr. David Sohn, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Devinder Kaur, Dr. Scott Molitor, Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Dr. Gursel Serpen, Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Dr. Sridhar Viamajala and Dr. Hongyan Zhang, College of Engineering.

Promoted to professor with tenure are Dr. Guillermo Vazquez and Dr. Hongyan Li, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor include Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Halim Ayan and Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, College of Engineering; Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Daniel Hernandez, Dr. Jason Levine, Dr. Thor Mednick and Dr. Daniel Thobias, College of Arts and Letters; Dr. Joseph Cooper and Dr. Kainan Wang, College of Business and Innovation; Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Mouhammad Jumaa, Dr. Krishna Reddy and Dr. Diana Shvydka, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, College of Health and Human Services.

Faculty promoted to associate professor are Dr. Daniel Gehling, Dr. Claudiu Georgescu, Dr. Bryan Hinch, Dr. Kimberly Jenkins, Dr. Jeremy Laukka, Dr. Terrence Lewis, Dr. Jiayong Liu, Dr. Sumon Nandi and Dr. Syed Zaidi, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Randall Vesely, Judith Herb College of Education.

Faculty who received renewal of their titles with tenure are Michelle Cavalieri and Bryan Lammon, College of Law.

And Dr. George Darah was promoted to clinical associate professor in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

“We wish each of these individuals continued success at the University, and ask our campus community to join us in congratulating them,” Hsu said.

Faculty members posed for a photo with President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu during the tenure and promotion celebration held last month in Carlson Library.

Events scheduled on campus for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

During October, the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness will staff a table in the Thompson Student Union Wednesdays, Oct. 10, 17 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and hand out educational resources, purple ribbon pins, and domestic violence awareness T-shirts to students, faculty and staff.

Purple is the color associated with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the ribbon campaign will encourage the UT community to learn more about domestic violence and its impact on victims, their families and friends.

The Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness will ask students, faculty and staff to make a pledge that “hands are not for hitting” during the tabling events.

“As one in four women are victims of domestic violence, it is important to continue to bring about awareness of domestic violence to the UT campus and provide resources to students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, UT associate professor in the School of Social Justice and director of the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.

On Thursday and Friday Oct. 11 and 12, Standing Courageous will partner with the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness, the UT Police Department, and the YWCA Rape Crisis Center to sponsor the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Conference on Main Campus.

The aim of the conference is to educate law enforcement, social workers, medical personnel and advocates about the different facets of domestic violence and sexual assault. This training will include topics such as civil protection orders, trauma informed care, evidence and crime scenes, and legal and prosecution issues.

“This conference is a great opportunity for those who work with victims to learn from professionals in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault,” Tucker-Gail said.

The free conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Health and Human Services Building. To register, email danielle.rominski@utoledo.edu.

UT study details link between social media and sex trafficking

Social media is increasingly being exploited to contact, recruit and sell children for sex, according to a study by The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

The study, which was requested by the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, reveals how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media.


“It is vitally important to educate parents, professionals and youth — especially our middle school or teenage daughters who may be insecure — about the dangers of online predatory practices used by master manipulators,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, UT professor of social work and director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “Through this outreach and education, we can help save children from becoming victims of modern-day slavery.”

“We know predators are using the internet to find their victims, and this eye-opening study highlights what a predator looks for in a victim and helps parents recognize the signs that their child may be a target,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Using real-life examples, this study provides valuable information that parents can use to start open and honest conversations with their children about staying safe online.”

Through a series of 16 in-depth interviews by the institute’s staff and student interns with knowledgeable members of Ohio law enforcement, judges, direct service providers, advocates and researchers who engaged with victims who were trafficked online, the study outlines how traffickers connect to vulnerable youth online, groom the children to form quicker relationships, avoid detection, and move the connections from online to in person.

“The transition from messaging to meeting a trafficker in person is becoming less prevalent,” Williamson said. “As technology is playing a larger role in trafficking, this allows some traffickers to be able to exploit youth without meeting face to face. Social media helps to mask traditional cues that alert individuals to a potentially dangerous person.”

Williamson cites a 2018 report that says while 58 percent of victims eventually meet their traffickers face to face, 42 percent who initially met their trafficker online never met their trafficker in person and were still trafficked.

The experts, whose identities are not being released, said the traffickers educate themselves by studying what the victim posts on commonly used view-and-comment sites such as Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat, as well as dating apps such as Tinder, Blendr and Yellow, or webcam sites like Chatroulette and Monkey, in order to build trust.

“These guys, they learn about the girls and pretend to understand them, and so these girls, who are feeling not understood and not loved and not beautiful … these guys are very good at sort of pretending that they are all of these things and they really understand them and, ‘I know how you feel, you are beautiful,’ and just filling the hole that these girls are feeling,” said a professional contributing to the study.

One expert in Columbus shared a telling story: “The guy was reaching out to a lot of girls all day long. One girl, who is actually in a youth home, she had access to the internet, and he connects with her on a social media platform. He drives all the way up from Columbus to Toledo, picks her up at her foster home, and drives her back down to Columbus, and then traffics her here in Columbus. You know, 20, 30 years ago, he would have never been able to connect with her, but because of social media, that connection was immediately made in over a few hours. He found out where she was, and she told him, ‘Yeah, please come get me. I want out of here.’”

Examples of social media posts that draw the attention of a trafficker include expressions of fear, emptiness and disappointment, such as:

• “Nobody gets me.”

• “I am so sick of being single.”

• “I am so ugly.”

• “How do I look?”

• “My life sucks.”

• “She’s not my true friend.”

• “My parents don’t trust me.”

• “I’m being treated like a kid.”

• “I need to get out of here.”

Predators look for indicators of substance abuse, runaway activity and destabilization within the home.

A trafficker’s strategic response includes:

• “I understand you.”

• “I love you.”

• “I think you’re beautiful. I’ll encourage you to show your body. Use your body.”

• “I’ll make your life better.”

• “I’ll encourage you to take risks. You’re an adult.”

• “I’ll protect you.”

• “I’ll make you successful.”

Grooming children for sex trafficking consists of convincing someone to send a risky picture and then using it to extort them.

“They will use fear of repercussions as a way to compel the youth, coerce the youth [to move them from a monitored page to a less monitored page] … by saying, ‘You don’t want your parents to find out what we’re talking about,’” said one expert.

Technology offers traffickers ease in advertising multiple victims at one time.

The study lists several advertising and sales sites browsed by “johns/sugar daddies,” such as Cityxguide, Skipthegames, Bedpage, Seekingarrangement.com and sugar-babies.com. Williamson said Bedpage is a spinoff of Backpage, which was the focus of a 2017 documentary called “I Am Jane Doe” about the fight against child sex trafficking online.

“Even though Backpage has been shut down, other sites are being created and gaining traction,” Williamson said. “The landscape is rapidly changing.”

Parents form the front line in the fight to protect their child against traffickers by monitoring or blocking questionable activity.

“Parents who are educated can wage a worthy defense against potential recruitment and recruitment of their youth online,” Williamson said. “Parents who work to build healthy, open and communicative relationships are more likely to have youth that share information about where they go and who they talk to online.”

The study lists several resources for parents and children, including:




Netnanny.com; and


For additional resources on ways to prevent human trafficking, visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website at https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Publications-Files/Publications-for-Victims/Human-Trafficking-An-Online-Threat.

Click here to read the full study.

Opioid epidemic’s impact on older adults topic of upcoming UT, BGSU seminar

The University of Toledo is partnering with Bowling Green State University’s Optimal Aging Institute, the Wood County Committee on Aging and the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio to hold a town hall discussion on how the opioid crisis is affecting older adults and what the community can do to help.

The program, called Opioid Misuse and Addiction Among Older Adults, will be held Friday, Oct. 5, from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Penta Career Center in Perrysburg.

Among the scheduled speakers will be Lance Robertson, assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Opioid abuse is often seen as a problem that only affects young adults, but experts say misuse among older Americans is a real and rapidly growing concern.

“We don’t think of it as much in older adult populations, and it’s probably not as prevalent, but it certainly is a problem that exists and needs to be addressed,” said Dr. Victoria Steiner, associate professor in the UT School of Population Health and assistant director of the Center for Successful Aging.

Overdose incidents among older Americans are rising sharply. Earlier this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses among those aged 35 to 54 increased by 37 percent. Among those 55 or older, ER visits were up by 32 percent. More than 44 percent of overdose deaths in 2016 occurred in those 45 and older, the CDC reported.

Beyond overdoses, there are other unique concerns related to prescription opioid use in older populations.

“Even if they’re not addicted, opioids can cause problems with breathing, with confusion and with falls in older adults,” Steiner said. “There’s also a risk that somebody else in the family could be diverting their medications.”

Topics to be addressed at the seminar include warning signs that older adults may be suffering from opioid addiction; examples of situations that increase the risk for abuse or addiction; evidence-based pain management in the era of the opioid crisis; and public policy and resources for health-care professionals who work with older adults and their families.

“Older adults are interfacing with so many different health-care professionals and our hope with this Oct. 5 presentation is to bring in all these providers so they receive the same prevention education messages and recognize the importance of assessing opioid use and misuse,” said Dr. Nancy Orel, executive director of research at BGSU’s Optimal Aging Institute and interim chair of the Department of Human Services.

To register for the free, public event, call the Wood County Committee on Aging at 419.353.5661 or email oai@bgsu.edu. The event does not offer continuing medical education credits.

Forum to provide crisis training on how to help students

“Are You Student Ready? Crisis Training to Assist Students” will be the topic of the Future of Higher Education Forum Friday, Sept. 28.

The program will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. in Health and Human Services Building Rooms 1711A and B.

“These Future of Higher Education Forums are designed to discuss diverse topics that will benefit everyone on campus by featuring the expertise of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, interim associate vice provost of faculty affairs and professor of public health. “We plan to hold forums once a month during the academic year.”

Topics and presenters at this month’s forum will be:

• “Counseling Center Resources” by Dr. Mychail Scheramic, director of the UT Counseling Center.

• “Role Plays on How to Help and Refer Students” by Dr. Jason C. Levine, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry, and director of the Psychology Clinic.

• “How to Assess At-Risk Students” by Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, associate professor of educational psychology and director of the Center for Education and Targeted Violence and Suicide.

• “Sexual Assault Resources and How to Report an Incident” by Donald Kamm, director of the Title IX and compliance.

The Future of Higher Education Forums are coordinated by the Office of the Provost in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the University Teaching Center.

Register for this month’s program and read more about the Future of Higher Education Forums, including how to submit proposals for upcoming events, at utoledo.edu/offices/provost/future-of-higher-education-forum.

International conference at UT to explore labor and sex trafficking in Ohio, U.S. and around the globe

The 15th Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference at The University of Toledo will host almost 90 presentations from researchers, advocates and survivors over the course of two days.

Heroin as a method of control and the connection between sex trafficking and drug addiction are among the issues to be explored.

The conference, which brings the sex and labor trafficking trades out of the shadows and helps end abuse through education and advocacy, will take place Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20 and 21, in the Thompson Student Union.

UT’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition host the conference.

“We are celebrating 15 years of global collaboration to go beyond the idea of rescue and restore to have a profound understanding of emancipation and liberation from modern-day slavery,” Dr. Celia Williamson, UT professor of social work and director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, said. “This conference is an amazing experience where we see people connect to a new thought and open their hearts to vulnerable and stigmatized men and women.”

To date, the trafficking conference has welcomed presenters from 34 states and 25 countries to educate social service, health-care and criminal justice professionals on human trafficking and the needs and risks of survivors, as well as their customers and traffickers. The conference lays the groundwork for future collaborative research, advocacy and program development.

Presentations in the Thompson Student Union will include:

• “What I Wanted Was the Drugs: Heroin as a Method of Control in a Case Study on Sex Trafficking” Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. in Room 2582 by Dr. Jesse Bach, director emeritus of the Imagine Foundation; Dr. George Tsagaris, associate professor in the School of Social Work at Cleveland State University; and Christine Buddner, paralegal and member of the Cleveland State University human trafficking research team.

• “Critical Linkages: Opiate Addiction and Elevated Risk of Human Trafficking” Thursday, Sept. 20, at 11:30 a.m. in Room 3010-A by Dr. Amy Thompson, UT professor of public health and co-chair of UT’s opioid task force; Dr. Joan Duggan, chief of infectious diseases at UT Medical Center and medical director of the UT Ryan White Program; Dr. Jamie Dowling Tawes, assistant director of the UT Ryan White Program; and Courtney Stewart, social worker and chemical dependency counselor with the Toledo Lucas County Health Department’s Northwest Ohio Syringe Services harm reduction program.

• “A Childhood Sex Trafficking Survivor’s Story and Perspectives” 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 in the Auditorium by Kylee Gregg, a survivor of childhood sex trafficking who wants to share her story to help save others.

• “Internet Sex Trafficking: Will the Monster Stop Growing?” Thursday, Sept. 20, at 1:30 p.m. in the Ingman Room by Maureen Guirguis, director of the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Law Clinic.

• “Theatre for Youth: A Tool for Tackling Trafficking” Thursday, Sept. 20, at 10:15 a.m. in Room 3020 by Dr. Jo Beth Gonzalez, theater teacher at Bowling Green High School and leader of the BGHS Human Trafficking Awareness Troupe, which is made up of students who perform “Lily’s Shadow”; and Roxanna Schroeder-Arce, associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Theatre and Dance and co-playwright of “Lily’s Shadow,” which illustrates signs of abuse in victims, strategies traffickers use to coerce young victims into the system, and tactics for escaping perilous situations.

• “Not #MeToo: How Gender-Based Work and Micro/Macro-Aggressions Impede Trafficking Survivors of Color From Accessing Services” Thursday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. in the Ingman Room by Dr. Tyffani Monford Dent, a psychologist who has collaborated on projects addressing sexual violence.

• “Correlates of Human Trafficking Risk: Implications for Screening, Referral and Intervention Among Substance Abuse Populations” Thursday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. in Room 2582 by Isis Martel, medical sciences researcher at the University of Arkansas.

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

Fellows selected for MAC Leadership Program

Three UT faculty members have been named fellows to participate in the second year of the new Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership Development Program.

The program was created to identify, develop, prepare and advance faculty as leaders in the colleges and universities that are members of the Mid-American Conference. Fellows participating in the program have the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience by working closely with select administrators from other colleges and universities in the MAC.

Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said, “Leadership development is an important part of faculty professional development and faculty success, and The University of Toledo is committed to providing these exceptional leadership opportunities for our faculty.”

Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year are:

• Dr. Cyndee Gruden, interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and professor of civil and environmental engineering;

• Dr. Jason Huntley, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology; and

• Dr. Kristen Keith, associate professor of economics, assistant to the executive vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer, and faculty associate.

Last year, two UT faculty members participated in the inaugural year of the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program: Holly Monsos, professor of theatre and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs.

All tenured faculty with experience in administrative leadership and service were eligible to apply for the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program. Candidates needed to submit a letter of support from their dean, as well as an application and curriculum vitae for consideration.

“Our fellows will participate in a development program with UT leaders to gain valuable insight and experience,” Hsu said. “In addition, they will work with administrators and peers from MAC member institutions to better understand how universities operate.”

All MAC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows will attend one three-day workshop each semester. Topics to be addressed include budgeting, conflict resolution, accreditation and accountability.

“Thanks to this program, our fellows will see firsthand the challenges and rewards of institutional service as they prepare for potential leadership positions,” Hsu said. “This is an excellent opportunity to advance academic leadership among our faculty at UT.”

Read more about the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program here.

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.