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Service learning trip to Guatemala an eye-opening experience

This is my senior year at The University of Toledo, and I will graduate in May. Every year during our breaks, I have always worked as many hours as possible in order to save money for the next step of my life. However, it being senior year, I realized that I had never studied abroad and it saddened me to think that I might miss out on such an opportunity.

When I received an email in November stating the Jesup Scott Honors College was going on multiple service trips for spring break, I thought, “There’s my chance to see more of the world!” When I saw that one of my favorite, now retired, professors [Dr. Page Armstrong, former associate lecturer in the Honors College] was coming back to lead the trip to Guatemala, I was sold.

Brianna Becraft took a selfie with Lake Atitlán on her first day in Guatemala.

I’ve traveled to eight countries prior to going to Guatemala, but they were all tourist trips. I knew Guatemala would be different, that my purpose was to serve. I wasn’t expecting the large differences that greeted me.

When nine students and I first got to Guatemala, it was dark. The airport was eerily empty, and everyone was tired from flying. Leaving the airport in our packed van, I tried to soak it all in. There was barbed wire on nearly every wall of the airport and other buildings. People everywhere were walking the streets. The homes seemed to be made out of metal materials all pieced together, and motorcycles weaved wildly in and out of traffic — culture shock.

The retreat we arrived at was beautiful with its center courtyard and artistic paintings and sculptures scattered throughout. It was a building I came to truly appreciate over the course of the week as I “recovered” from the hard days’ work.

On our first day, we visited the area of Atitlán, which included a gorgeous view of Lake Atitlán, a calming boat ride, and lunch with a breathtaking view. The three-hour drive to Atitlán provided me with plenty of time to take in more sights with daylight; to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. So many people were out walking on dirty, trash-covered streets; dogs belonging to no one ran to and from people begging for food; children followed parents or were held to their mothers by cloth wrapped around shoulders; and women carried bundles of their trinkets for sale on their heads. Dust kicked up as we drove through different villages. Roadside markets popped up every now and then, and I watched as people unloaded their products and set up their displays. I had no idea what to expect for our first day of service, so I made sure to take in everything during our trip to Atitlán.

This photo shows the river Brianna Becraft saw each time she pushed the wheelbarrow to move dirt while helping to renovate a tutoring center in Chinautla.

The service began on Monday, and I was excited to be put to work, but nervous about the conditions we might be working in. We arrived at the job site in Chinautla, and I was sad to see the way the houses were pieced together, sheets of metal screwed to one another, dirt floors that got muddy when it rained, and loose dogs, chickens, goats, kittens and cows scattered throughout the village. While it was shocking and hard for me to understand why people lived this way, coming from my place of privilege, I came to really appreciate the village and began to find beauty in it over our five days of working.

I spent a lot of time loading up wheelbarrows of dirt and gravel and moving it from its original pile to the tutoring center, which we were working to improve. I was tired early on and contemplated whether I could make it another four days. After lunch the first day, I started to take comfort in the view of the river every time I rounded the corner with yet another load of dirt. I began having conversations with the students from my trip, and I became more confident in my ability to stick it out.

This is a page from Brianna Becraft’s journal she kept during the service trip to Guatemala.

I also learned how to bend iron and tie metal to rebar in a way that created structures to solidify the tutoring center’s foundation once cement was able to be poured. My fingers hurt from pushing wires together, and my arms were burnt because I had forgotten to apply sunscreen that first day, yet I was so happy to be of service, to learn about an area of the world that I had never thought about, and to see how the people of Guatemala truly appreciated what little they had.

I learned a lot from the service in the village, but I also learned a lot from our nightly group discussions. Each night, we were presented with questions to journal about from blame and solutions, to listening and learning who we tell ourselves we are. I was able to hear different views from my peers and even continue group discussion with a few close friends each night, until we felt like we had solved some of the world’s greatest problems (although I can assure you, we did not). My journal is filled with answers to group discussion questions, self-reflections, and poems about the things I saw, heard and learned. It felt great to serve, get to know my peers, learn about myself, and be away from technology for a while.

Everyone should consider taking some form of service trip because it’s a totally immersive and creative way of learning about things that a classroom just isn’t able to provide. I can’t express how grateful I am for everything that I have here at home, and I’m also interested in continuing service work in some way as I move onto the next chapter of my life, post-graduation next month. I made lifelong friends and self-realizations that I would not have made had I stayed home for break another year and worked.

Becraft is a senior majoring in paralegal studies in the College of Health and Human Services; she also is a student in the Jesup Scott Honors College. She will graduate in May.

University Women’s Commission recognizes employees, awards scholarships to students

Six UToledo employees were honored for exceptional achievement and dedication to the campus community at the 33rd annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.

More than 80 attended the University Women’s Commission program, which was held April 10 in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room.

Tricia Cullop, who just became the winningest coach in UToledo women’s basketball history with 241 victories, spoke at the luncheon.

Receiving the Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were, from left, Angela Roach, Margaret “Peg” Traband, Linda Curtis, Dr. Amy Thompson, Dr. Julie Fischer-Kinney and Amanda Schwartz Clark.

The recipients of the Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were:

Linda J. Curtis, secretary 2 in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. Curtis joined the University as an office assistant at the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women in 2002. She received a bachelor of arts degree and a certificate of diversity management from the University.

“Ms. Curtis is a truly exceptional champion, manager, coordinator, mentor, and an all-around excellent human being,” one nominator wrote. “In her 17th year at the University, Ms. Curtis still approaches every day and every person with a warm, friendly grace that is contagious and a living example of the best of what we want the UToledo community to be. Because I have the good fortune of having an office next to hers, I get to see firsthand how she manages it all — the multiple demanding people, the seriously heavy workload, the sheer variety and volume of the demands of her job — with grace and good cheer. She never fails to make time to connect, support, help or offer a warm gesture. Ms. Curtis also has maintained a high level of institutional involvement. She organized a support group for women that she continued to facilitate in our department, after work hours, long after she left her position at the Eberly Center for Women.”

Dr. Julie Fischer-Kinney, assistant provost for student success and retention in the Office of the Provost. She has worked at the University for 20 years, starting as an academic program coordinator in the Chemical Engineering Department. Fischer-Kinney also has served as director of student services in the College of Nursing; director of New Student Orientation Programs; associate dean and interim dean of YouCollege; and director of success coaching. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration majoring in marketing, and master of education and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University.

“I became familiar with Julie during the various Toledo Academic Advising Association meetings and noticed her passion for the advancement of student services, professional staff, and the mission of The University of Toledo,” a nominator wrote. “I have watched Julie provide her staff with valuable training, team meetings, and time to connect. In order to save the institution funding, she wrote mini-grants to be able to afford National Academic Advising Association webinars and has invited advisors across campus from various colleges to participate in these webinars. I have watched as she is investing in those around her — not just her staff, but The University of Toledo community at large through the work she is doing. I am impressed by her dedication, active engagement and forward thinking.”

Angela Roach, senior associate director of financial aid in the Office of Financial Aid. The UToledo graduate began working at her alma mater in 2007.

“I have called her numerous times about a student in need of financial assistance. She goes above and beyond searching for scholarships to help that student continue his or her education here at the University. She is a positive influence in the support of women’s issues and an advocate for students; she truly loves what she does,” one nominator wrote. Another noted, “We routinely receive calls from students in need of assistance with not just tuition, but for car repairs and medical bills and a myriad of issues that may keep students from completing their education. Angie is always two steps ahead of us by researching, based on the students’ majors and profiles, what resources are on hand for students. Her response is always, ‘Please send them directly to me.’ I can honestly say that there has not been a time that Angie has not found a way to assist a student in some way. And she does it all with a positive attitude.”

Amanda Schwartz Clark, associate director of alumni engagement in the Office of Alumni Engagement. She has worked at the University since 2008.

“Amanda engages with, supports and promotes UToledo alumni. Her efforts range widely from strategy, event planning, professional development and marketing to being the boots on the ground, strengthening University relations at alumni events around the United States,” a nominator wrote. “Besides her passion for UToledo and our alumni, Amanda is a leader and inspiration in the local running community. In 2014, she created and built an ambassador program for the Glass City Marathon. In this role, she cultivates and supports the local running community to participate in the Glass City Marathon whether as a runner, volunteer, sideline cheerleader, or a friend in the neighborhoods where the marathon course travels. As the program grew, so did her role. Now she volunteers at local races, manages the social media, works in targeted race promotions, and has a team of 19 ambassadors. Most importantly, she is a role model and an inspiration to other runners. She encourages and supports new runners, guiding them to opportunities and running classes that will help them to accomplish their own personal running goals.”

Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost for faculty affairs, professor of public health, and co-director of the Center for Health and Successful Living. She joined the faculty in 2008 and has served as president of Faculty Senate. A University graduate, Thompson received a doctorate in health education and master of science and education degree in public health.

“Since joining the University, Dr. Thompson has made significant contributions in the areas of teaching, research, publications, university/college/department service and community engagement. Some of her achievements include being director of a top-ranked Public Health Doctoral Program; co-chairing the University Opioid Task Force, the University Sexual Assault Task Force and the Associate to Professor Program; and serving as a Mid-American Conference Leadership Fellow, Provost Fellow, and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Fellow,” one nominator wrote. “She also is to be commended for her exemplary work through the Center for Health and Successful Living with breast cancer survivors. She provided not only health screenings and the opportunity for advanced medical treatments, but the ability to interact and support — and receive support from — other survivors. Dr. Thompson became a mentor and friend to these women and assisted in making the University a guiding light for their recovery.”

Margaret F. “Peg” Traband, who retired as senior vice provost of academic affairs in 2018. She began her career at UToledo as an instructor in the Respiratory Care Program in 1975 at the former University Community and Technical College. The UToledo alumna served the Respiratory Care Program as director of clinical education and program director. She was promoted to professor in 1991. Traband also was an associate dean and interim dean of the College of Health Science and Human Service (now Health and Human Services) prior to joining the Office of the Provost in 2008.

“I first worked with Peg when she became the leader of the UT Learning Collaborative in 2008,” a nominator wrote. “Though this unit only lasted a few years, under her leadership, she helped to grow the study abroad program, with the eventual creation of the Center for International Studies and Programs. She also assisted in the creation of the Rathbun Cove for the Learning Collaborative. Through working with her in the Office of the Provost, I have learned a lot about higher education. She is willing to share her knowledge about state regulations and the ins and outs of curriculum and program development.”

The University Women’s Commission also presented $1,000 scholarships to four students. Receiving awards based on academic achievement, support of women’s and gender issues, and campus involvement were Diala Abou-Dahech, a senior majoring in recreational therapy; Laura Heckenmueller, a senior majoring in pharmaceutical sciences; Elizabeth Konopka, a senior majoring in history; and Rose Mansel-Pleydell, a senior majoring in art.

Four seniors received scholarships from the University Women’s Commission. They are, from left, Rose Mansel-Pleydell, Laura Heckenmueller, Elizabeth Konopka and Diala Abou-Dahech.

Ohio Commission on Minority Health executive director to speak April 17

Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, will visit UToledo to discuss the disparate health conditions between the state’s minority and non-minority populations.

Her talk coincides with National Minority Health Month. She will speak Wednesday, April 17, at noon in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

Dawson

She also will discuss ways the Ohio Commission on Minority Health is working to eliminate differences in health status between racial and ethnic minority and non-minority populations by providing leadership and guidance on the best ways to address racial and ethnic health disparities and specific health needs of racial and ethnic minority groups.

The Ohio Commission on Minority Health is the nation’s first state office of minority health in response to the disparity in health status between Ohio’s minority and non-minority populations.

“People should attend to have a better appreciation of the importance of culturally competent practices and a better understanding on the importance of eradicating racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care,” Jody Morris, associate lecturer in the College of Health and Human Services.

Morris also wants attendees to leave with a better understanding of ways to reduce health inequities in minority communities and foster a society where the opportunity for health equity exists for all persons and, ideally, eliminates the social and economic barriers to good health.

The free, public event is sponsored by the College of Health and Human Services Diversity and Conclusion Committee. A light lunch will be provided.

UToledo opioid epidemic expo, teach-in April 5

The University of Toledo, as part of its ongoing commitment to address the opioid epidemic in northwest Ohio and beyond, will host an educational resource expo and hold a community-wide teach-in Friday, April 5.

Together, the events are meant to serve as a day of community impact that will
provide links to community resources and a data-driven overview of the epidemic, while addressing myths and misconceptions that can serve as a barrier to seeking treatment.

“There tends to be a social stigma associated with opioid use disorder, but it’s important that people understand opioid use disorder is a complex brain disease that affects people from all backgrounds,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and vice provost for faculty affairs, who serves as co-chair of the UToledo Opioid Task Force. “By reducing that stigma, we can help save lives.”

The 2019 University of Toledo/Community Opioid Prevention Resource Fair and Expo will be held Friday, April 5, from noon to 7 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The expo will feature a variety of speakers who will outline how opioids work; the difference between safe, medically necessary use and opioid use disorder; the effect of opioid use disorder on a variety of age groups; and prevention and treatment methods.

Naloxone training will be offered throughout the day, and there will be a variety of community service providers on hand to help connect attendees to key resources. Supervised children’s activities also will be provided.

Registration is not necessary for the free, public event. However, professionals in the fields of nursing, social work and counseling who wish to receive continuing education credit need to register in advance at the UToledo Opioid Task Force website.

The UToledo Opioid Task Force, alongside a number of community partners, also has developed a tool kit to provide educational materials that can be shared at schools, workplaces, churches and other area organizations for The University of Toledo/Community Partners Regional Teach-In.

“We want to meet people where they are to ensure that everyone in our community has access to information and resources that will help them understand opioid use disorder and where they can find help and support for themselves or loved ones,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing, who co-chairs the UToledo Opioid Task Force. “We hope to reach as many people throughout the community as possible on April 5.”

In addition to written materials, UToledo can arrange for expert speakers to visit participating organizations.

More information on the expo and teach-in can be found on the UToledo Opioid Task Force website.

Songfest set to entertain, raise funds for local mental health center

One of The University of Toledo’s oldest traditions returns this weekend: Songfest will be held Saturday, March 30.

Students will take the stage for the annual philanthropic event at 5 p.m. in Savage Arena.

This year’s theme is “Forever Legends,” and students have set a goal of raising $5,000.

Funds raised will go to the Zepf Center, a Toledo nonprofit that provides behavioral health and vocational services to Lucas County youth and adults with severe and persistent mental illness.

“Donations will go toward diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, as well as community-wide education to help end the stigma associated with mental illnesses,” said Sofia Rodriguez, a senior majoring in recreational therapy, who is director of the Songfest philanthropy team.

Twenty-one student groups will participate in the competition. It will be the first year members of the International Students Association will step into the spotlight at the event, according to Jose Viloria, a senior majoring in management, who is director and emcee of Songfest.

“With our theme, ‘Forever Legends,’ each student group will pick an artist or group and perform a song as a tribute,” Viloria said.

Anyone new to Songfest should expect a night of entertainment, as student organizations spend countless hours preparing for the competition.

“Seeing the performances is exciting, just as much as it is rewarding for the individuals participating,” Rodriguez said. “The students truly do practice for months just for this one opportunity to show you their skills.”

The grand total of funds raised for the Zepf Center will be revealed at the end of the night.

“I am particularly excited to see how much money the University community raises for Songfest,” Rodriguez said

Donations will be accepted at the event, or text “Rocket2Recovery” to 71777 to contribute.

University plans events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

“Start by Believing” will kick off The University of Toledo’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The public awareness campaign was created by End Violence Against Women International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving criminal justice responses to sexual assault.

The UToledo Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness will have “Start by Believing” information tables set up Tuesday, March 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Four Seasons Bistro on Health Science Campus and in the Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge on Main Campus.

“It’s important to change the way we respond to sexual assaults,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, director of the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness, and associate professor in the School of Justice. “Knowing how to respond is critical; when victims are believed and not questioned with ‘why,’ they can feel safe, supported, and start on a path to healing.”

Events planned throughout April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month include:

The Clothesline Project will return to the University during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Shirts will be on display on Health Science Campus Wednesday, April 3, and on Main Campus Thursday, April 11.

Wednesday, April 3 — The Clothesline Project, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Four Seasons Bistro and the Health Education Building Lobby on Health Science Campus. This event is a way for those affected by sexual violence to express their emotions through writings and drawings on symbolic T-shirts. The shirts are hung on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the issue of sexual violence.

— One Love Workshop with Rockets Against Sexual Assault, 5 to 7 p.m., International House. One Love is a national leader in educating young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships. This program for UToledo students will focus on signs of escalation in a relationship, how to help a friend, and how to spot red flags of an unhealthy relationship.

• Tuesday, April 9 — T-shirt making for the Clothesline Project, noon to 4 p.m., Health and Human Services Building Room 3005. Anyone who has been affected by violence is welcome to make a T-shirt to honor a loved one or herself/himself; all supplies will be provided.

Thursday, April 11 — The Clothesline Project, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Centennial Mall (rain location Thompson Student Union).

Thursday, April 18 — One Love Workshop with Rockets Against Sexual Assault, 5 to 7 p.m., Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

Wednesday, April 24 — Denim Day. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear jeans to raise awareness of sexual violence.

— Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Centennial Mall (rain location: Thompson Student Union). RAINN Day is held to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses. Umbrellas are decorated with positive messages in support of sexual assault survivors. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

For more information on these events, call the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness at 419.530.2497.

UToledo alumna to share inspirational story March 26

Diana Patton will return to The University of Toledo Tuesday, March 26, to talk about overcoming abuse and persevering to become an attorney.

She will speak at 7 p.m. in Thompson Student Union Room 3020.

“We are honored to have Diana Patton visit campus to share her moving and motivational story,” David Young, UToledo director of Toledo Excel and Special projects, said.

Patton is the author of “Inspiration in My Shoes,” a 2016 memoir that chronicles overcoming abuse, racism and heartache. In the 236-page book she wrote with Amanda Filippelli, Patton explains inspiration is everywhere; turmoil doesn’t define you; and faith and determination can help through anything.

The CEO of Diana R. Patton Consulting LLC is an attorney who speaks on leadership, emotional intelligence, diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as trauma-informed care. She is a mentor on self-care, and social and emotional intelligence.

Patton served as the vice president, chief operating officer and general counsel for the Toledo Fair Housing Center, and she worked at CedarCreek Church. In addition, the graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York also co-owned a health-based company, FITatudes LLC.

She serves on the UToledo College of Health and Human Services’ board and the UToledo Paralegal advisory board.

Patton received bachelor’s and law degrees from UToledo and was a member of the track team.

Her visit is part of the Office of Multicultural Student Success’ African-American Intitiatives Through Your Eyes Series.

The first 20 women at the event will receive a free signed copy of “Inspiration in My Shoes.”

For more information on the free event, contact Young at david.young@utoledo.edu.

Stalking victim to share story at March 11 lecture

Anna Nasset will discuss “Stand Up to Stalking and Sexual Violence” Monday, March 11, at 6 p.m. in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

She will share her personal account of being stalked by a stranger for more than seven years, and how advocacy for stalking victims is important for recovery.

Her free talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The event is sponsored by The University of Toledo Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.

“The Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness would like to bring additional information about the effects of stalking and how advocacy can help victims of stalking to UT’s campus,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.

For more information about the event, go to the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness website.

If you are experiencing a stalking or sexual misconduct concern, help is available: Contact the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness at 419.530.3431.

UT to develop training tool to better care for patients who are homeless

The University of Toledo is developing a virtual reality training to improve Ohio Medicaid providers’ cultural competency and reduce implicit bias as a way to better understand the patients they serve. The virtual reality training focuses on the barriers to health care faced by those without stable, permanent housing.

UT faculty from the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services will conduct interviews and observe interactions in an area homeless shelter to build a realistic portrait of the health-care struggles experienced by individuals who depend on urban homeless shelters for their housing.

A multidisciplinary team from UT is building a virtual reality training program to help Ohio Medicaid providers better treat patients without stable, permanent housing. The investigators are, from left, Dr. Thomas Papadimos, medical director and associate dean for immersive and simulation-based learning; Dr. Shipra Singh, assistant professor of health education and public health; Dr. Lance Dworkin, professor and chair of medicine; and Dr. Scott Pappada, assistant professor of anesthesiology and bioengineering.

From that data, faculty and staff from the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, the School of Population Health in the College of Health and Human Services, and the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will create an interactive experience that will electronically place clinicians into a model homeless shelter as fly-on-the-wall observers.

“There’s a lot of attention nowadays to how one’s background and social structure impact not only their health, but also how successful they are in using the health-care system,” said Dr. Lance Dworkin, professor and chair of the UT Department of Medicine, and the primary investigator for the project. “If we understand that, we can integrate that knowledge into the care we provide so it’s more effective.”

The University also is building a robust evaluation component into the program that will monitor physical biomarkers such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate while participants are engaged in the simulation. Using assessment software developed by Dr. Scott Pappada, UT assistant professor of anesthesiology and bioengineering, and a co-investigator on the project, researchers will collect data before and after the simulation to learn how the program affects clinicians and whether it helps them connect with individuals who are marginalized by society.

The project is funded by a $1.24 million grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

UT’s work is part of a larger partnership between the Ohio Department of Medicaid and Ohio’s medical schools, administered by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. Like many projects managed by the center, the Medicaid equity simulation project is aimed at reducing health disparities, addressing the social determinants of health, and improving patient care and health outcomes for Ohio’s Medicaid population.

During the course of the homeless shelter simulation, health-care providers will see rudimentary sleeping quarters, dining and social areas, observe the interactions between guests and staff, and listen in on conversations gleaned from the real-life interviews.

“The big message here is how does one change clinical decision making based on what is learned about an individual in this environment,” said Dr. Shipra Singh, UT assistant professor of health education and public health, and a co-investigator on the project.

Singh, who is directing the scripts that will be used in the simulation, said those changes could be as simple as not forcing someone who has no access to reliable transportation to go to the back of the line if they’re late for an appointment, or understanding that immediate lifestyle changes may not be possible.

“You need to listen to the patient rather than just look at them and understand the cultural context they’re coming from and what really matters to them,” Singh said.

The program is expected to be ready to launch to Ohio Medicaid providers within The University of Toledo Medical Center in May and disseminated throughout the community by June.

Health Science Campus Artist Showcase to open Feb. 18

The 14th annual Health Science Campus Artist Showcase will take place from Monday, Feb. 18, through Wednesday, April 10, on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

This year’s exhibit features work from more than 30 artists who are students, faculty and staff in the health sciences from Health Science and Main campuses, as well as UT Medical Center.

On exhibit will be a variety of 2-D and 3-D artwork, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

An artist reception will be held Friday, Feb. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

Dr. Paul Brand, UT associate professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology, will speak at 4:30 p.m. at the reception. His talk is titled “Create Your Own World.”

“I paint and draw first for the simple pleasure of putting color on paper, and then to create paintings that stand out because they fuse realistic images and strong abstract designs,” Brand said.

A longstanding participant in the Health Science Campus Artist Showcase, Brand paints diverse subjects, most often landscapes, but also still-life and abstracts, using watercolors, acrylics, pastels or charcoal. He has four works in this year’s exhibit.

“I love watercolors for their luminous, fresh appearance, acrylics for their immediacy and simplicity, pastels for their intense colors and ease of application, and charcoal for the range of values and richness,” he said.

For the past two decades, paintings by the award-winning artist have been featured at several juried shows. In addition, Brand has taught art classes at the Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo Museum of Art and Art Supply Depo.

Like the exhibit, the reception and lecture are free and open to the public. Visitors can view the artwork during regular library hours: Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.

For more information, visit the University Libraries website or contact Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, and member of the artist showcase committee, at 419.383.5152 or jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu.