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Two students honored for internships by Washington Center

Two students spent fall semester in Washington, D.C., working at internships awarded by the Washington Center Internship Program.

Colleen Anderson, a senior majoring in paralegal studies with a focus in litigation, was an investigative intern with Public Defender Services for the District of Columbia, an organization that promotes and provides quality legal representation to indigent adults and children facing a loss of liberty in D.C.

Emily Grubbs worked for Amnesty International during her internship through the Washington Center.

Emily Grubbs, a senior with a dual degree in English literature and law and social thought, was an intern with Amnesty International USA in the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Program, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization working to make sure all people are able to live in dignity, safety and freedom.

After finishing their internships in December, both students were honored at the Washington Center commencement.

Anderson won the award for academic excellence for demonstrating intellectual curiosity and offering thoughtful contributions during the Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, Development Colloquium and evening course, while Grubbs won the award for civic engagement for displaying initiative, care and concern in efforts serving the D.C. community.

“I cannot be more clear in saying that the Washington Center Internship Program has been the most valuable, professional opportunity of my undergraduate career,” Grubbs said. “Having the chance to network and explore Washington, D.C., with the support of my internship and program was a once in a lifetime experience. After leaving D.C., I had to completely change my career path, simply because I never knew the program would offer me so many unimaginable opportunities.”

During her internship, Grubbs developed materials to be used in campaigning activities, advocacy discussions and public education to conduct qualitative research on intersectional identity issues and rights violations targeted at people because of their identity; to analyze emerging areas of relevant global and national law and government policy; and to rank the progress of legislation in the U.S. Congress and identify key legislative opportunities.

She also had the opportunity to work with Amnesty’s Board of Directors to lobby Senate offices for the organization’s top human rights concerns.

“My favorite part of my internship was participating and organizing political actions for issues that I am deeply passionate about,” Grubbs said. “Gender and sexuality are areas that dominate both my academic and activist life. Every day I walked through the city to my internship, I knew I was helping society to become more equal and just.”

Colleen Anderson received an award for academic excellence from Chris Norton, president of the Washington Center, left, and Sherrod Williams, director of academic internship programs at the Washington Center. 

Anderson assisted in the investigation of cases, including interviewing witnesses and taking statements, photographing crime scenes, reviewing evidence, conducting social media research, and writing memorandums for attorneys.

She also had the chance to attend hearings and court events with attorneys, even having the opportunity to testify in court on one occasion.

“I really appreciated that this internship forced me out of my comfort zone,” Anderson said. “I can sometimes be reserved when meeting new people, and this internship thoroughly cured me of that after a few days of going door to door knocking and asking questions or interviewing strangers, I got much more comfortable with the process.

“Although it was a challenging internship, I believe strongly that sometimes the best experiences are ones that push you to grow, and my internship with the public defender’s office certainly did that for me,” Anderson said.

Both Grubbs and Anderson received grant money from UT as well as the Washington Center Internship Program to help pay for living expenses.

The Washington Center Internship Program helps provide internships in D.C. for students from a variety of academic disciplines and is offered each semester to students from all over the world. Students who participate receive college credit as well as experiences they can carry with them throughout their professional careers.

UT fraternity member named International Pike of the Month

Dylan Brown, a member of UT’s chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, has been named the International Pike of the Month by the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity.

Brown, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a pre-med concentration, was recognized in January for demonstrating Pike ideals, working to improve himself, and having a positive impact on his chapter, campus and the community.

Brown

“Receiving International Pike of the Month has been one of, if not the greatest accomplishment for me to date,” Brown said. “It is an honor and privilege that my name was even brought up at selections, let alone selected.”

Each year, only 12 Pi Kappa Alpha members are selected to win this award out of 16,000 members from more than 220 chapters.

Brown is the second member from UT’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter to win this honor.

He is active on and off campus. Brown serves as the dancer relations chair for RockeTHON, vice president for recruitment for LiftOff UT, and is an Interfraternity Council delegate. Every week, he also volunteers at a local bowling alley to help teach kids how to bowl, serving as a mentor as well.

For spring break, Brown is traveling to Haiti with a group of 20 students for a mission trip to help the people there.

“This is an experience that I believe I will not be able to put into words,” Brown said. “I believe this missions trip is going to give me a whole new perspective on life.”

UT researchers to lead 38% of Ohio’s new water quality research projects, including ‘impairment’ criteria

The University of Toledo is slated to lead eight out of the 21 new research projects to be funded with $3.5 million from the state of Ohio to address water quality and algal bloom toxicity.

UT, situated on the western basin of Lake Erie, is to receive nearly $1 million of the $3.5 million dedicated by the Ohio Department of Higher Education for these additional projects in the ongoing, statewide Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, which began three years ago after the city of Toledo issued a Do Not Drink advisory for half a million water customers due to the level of microcystin detected in the water.

Dr. Tom Bridgeman, UT algae researcher and professor of ecology, examines a water sample aboard the UT Lake Erie Center research vessel.

UT is one of the lead universities in the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, which consists of 10 Ohio universities and five state agencies.

The selected projects focus on reducing nutrient loading to Lake Erie; investigating algal toxin formation and human health impacts; studying bloom dynamics; better informing water treatment plants how to remove toxin; and aiding the efforts of state agencies.

Dr. Tom Bridgeman, professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, will lead a project to develop sampling protocols and collect samples to assess listing criteria that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency may use to monitor the water quality of the open waters of the western basin of Lake Erie and to potentially assign official designations such as “impaired” or “unimpaired.”

“Although it is obvious to nearly everyone that harmful algal blooms are impairing Lake Erie each summer, we need to develop objective scientific criteria that can be used to list the open waters of the lake as officially ‘impaired,’ and to remove an ‘impairment’ designation in the future if conditions improve sufficiently,” Bridgeman said.

UT researchers also to receive some of the $988,829 in state funding for their projects are:

• Dr. Jason Huntley, associate professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, will be developing and testing biofilters — water filters containing specialized bacteria that degrade microcystin toxins from lake water as it flows through the filter. These biofilter studies are aimed to develop cost-effective, efficient and safe drinking water treatment alternatives for the city of Toledo and other Lake Erie water municipalities.

• Dr. Steven Haller and Dr. David Kennedy, assistant professors in the Department of Medicine, will investigate how cyanotoxins such as microcystin damage organs not only in healthy settings, but in settings that may increase susceptibility such as diabetes, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. Their research teams are working in concert with experts in medicine, pathology, physiology, pharmacology and chemistry to not only learn how microcystin affects organ function in these settings, but also to create new therapies to prevent and treat organ damage, especially in vulnerable patient populations.

• Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, will use a transportation model to simulate potential distribution of volume of agricultural manure from permitted livestock facilities to surrounding farmland for application as a nutrient. The results will assist in determining the estimated acreage of land within the Lake Erie western basin where manure application could be undertaken and examine associated crop types, farming practices, soil types, drainage and other environmental conditions in those areas.

• Dr. Saatvika Rai, assistant professor of environmental policy in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, and Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, will use GIS and remote sensing to assess the implementation of agricultural and farming practices in three sub-watersheds of the Maumee River Basin — Auglaize, Blanchard and St. Joseph — to identify where best management practices are being implemented. These maps will then be correlated with perceptions of farmers through surveys and interviews to identify hotspots and priority areas for policy intervention in the region.

• Dr. April Ames, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Services, will apply an industrial hygiene technique to the exploration of the presence of microcystin in the air using research boats on Lake Erie. Simultaneously, residents who live on or near Lake Erie will be surveyed about their recreational use and self-reported health.

“I am proud of the work that is being done, and that researchers from our public and private higher education institutions continue to work together to address this issue,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey. “Using the talent of Ohio’s researchers and students to solve pressing problems makes perfect sense.”

The Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative is funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education with $7.1 million made available for four rounds of research funding since 2015. Matching funding from participating Ohio universities increases the total investment to almost $15.5 million for more than 50 projects, demonstrating the state’s overall commitment to solving the harmful algal bloom problem.

Water quality is a major research focus at UT. With more than $14 million in active grants underway, UT experts are studying algal blooms, invasive species such as Asian carp, and pollutants. Researchers are looking for pathways to restore our greatest natural resource for future generations to ensure our communities continue to have access to safe drinking water.

The UT Water Task Force, which is composed of faculty and researchers in diverse fields spanning the University, serves as a resource for government officials and the public looking for expertise on investigating the causes and effects of algal blooms, the health of Lake Erie, and the health of the communities depending on its water. The task force includes experts in economics, engineering, environmental sciences, business, pharmacy, law, chemistry and biochemistry, geography and planning, and medical microbiology and immunology.

‘Renaissance Art as Medicine’ topic of lecture at exhibit opening

The 13th Annual Health Science Campus Artist Showcase is on display through Monday, April 2, on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

This year’s exhibit features works by 30 artists — students, faculty and staff in the health sciences from both Health Science and Main campuses, as well as The University of Toledo Medical Center.

“Eastern Michigan University, Livonia,” photography, by Dr. Andrew Beavis, professor of physiology and pharmacology, is among the works featured in the Health Science Campus Artist Showcase.

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

An opening reception will be held Friday, Feb. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of Mulford Library. Dr. Allie Terry-Fritsch, associate professor of Italian Renaissance art history at Bowling Green State University, will give a lecture titled “Renaissance Art as Medicine” at 4:30 p.m.

Terry-Fritsch’s research, which has been published widely in journals and books, focuses on the experiences of viewing art and architecture during the early modern period with an emphasis on 15th-century Florence.

Light refreshments from Caffeini’s will be served during the free, public reception and lecture.

For details, click here or contact 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.

“Allée du Chien, Castlefranc, France,” charcoal drawing, by Dr. Paul Brand
associate professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology, also is featured in the exhibit.

Toledo to hold ‘Rockets for the Cure’ Feb. 17

The Toledo women’s basketball team will hold its 12th annual “Rockets for the Cure” Saturday, Feb. 17, as the Midnight Blue and Gold play Western Michigan at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.

The Mid-American Conference West Division showdown will help benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Northwest Ohio, The University of Toledo Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, and the UT Center for Health and Successful Living.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of cancer research.

The goal of “Rockets for the Cure” is to provide cancer education to the community, give encouragement to the survivors fighting now and their families, celebrate the survivors who have won the fight, remember the ones who were less fortunate, and pack Savage Arena with 5,000 or more Rocket fans in pink.

Tickets — $14 for adults and $7 for youth — are on sale and can be purchased online at utrockets.com, by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653) or at the UT Ticket Office.

Fans can receive a discount and designate their support with promo codes:

• SGK: General admission tickets may be purchased for $10 with a portion of every ticket sale donated to the Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio.

• DANA: General admission tickets may be purchased for $10 with a portion of every ticket sale donated to The University of Toledo Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center.

• CHSL: General admission tickets may be purchased at $10 with a portion of every ticket sale donated to The University of Toledo Center for Health and Successful Living.

In addition, groups of 15 or more may purchase tickets at the group rate of $8 per ticket prior to game day. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From when the doors open at 12:30 p.m. until the end of halftime, fans can take part in a silent auction on the West Concourse. All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio, the UT Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, and the UT Center for Health and Successful Living.

The 2017 MAC Champions will again wear pink uniforms for the game. Guest emcee Chrys Peterson and the Rockets will hold a live jersey auction immediately following the contest. All proceeds from the live auction will benefit Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio and the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center.

Last season, the Rockets raised $10,488 for cancer research, marking the eighth straight season they collected at least $10,000. In addition, nine of UT’s uniforms auctioned after the game went for more than $500, including a high of $700 for junior Kaayla McIntyre and sophomore Mariella Santucci.

Staff Leadership Development Program to improve careers, UT’s future

The University of Toledo has launched its inaugural class of the UT Staff Leadership Development Program to cultivate high-potential emerging leaders who, in the years ahead, may assume leadership roles, as well as grow in their current positions.

“In alignment with UT’s strategic plan to foster a culture of excellence for our faculty and staff, we’ve launched this program to provide a more formal process for career development for employees at all levels throughout the University,” said President Sharon L. Gaber.

“The program is designed to assist participants with honing leadership skills, as well as to expose them to cross-campus networking and dialogue with many current leaders,” stated Wendy Davis, associate vice president for human resources and talent development.

“A selection committee chose this first class based on their leadership potential and selected individuals from across all campuses, as well as from many different job categories throughout the organization,” Davis explained. “In addition to experienced UT faculty and leaders who guide class discussions, this diversity helps to ensure participants are exposed to many different perspectives on any given topic.”

The program, which launched in October 2017 and concludes in October 2018 with a capstone project, requires members to spend approximately three hours each month discussing topics such as fiscal responsibilities; human resources policies and procedures; health-care operations; student recruitment and enrollment management; creating a culture of customer service; ethical leadership; career success; and legal issues in higher education.

“These individuals also are required to complete summer reading assignments on various leadership topics,” said Carrie Herr, director for the Center for Continuous Improvement, who was instrumental in developing the curriculum. “I see much potential in this first class. The skills they hone over the next several months should have a significant impact on UT throughout the next decade and beyond.”

The cohort selected for the inaugural class of UT’s Staff Leadership Development Program are Cristina Alvarado, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Stefanie Bias, Neurosciences; Stacey Jo Brown, Legal Affairs; Candace Busdiecker, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Lori DeShetler, Judith Herb College of Education; Josh Dittman, Intercollegiate Athletics; Kelly Donovan, Controller’s Office; Shelly Drouillard, Career Services; Jamie Fager, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Beth Gerasimiak, Office of the Provost; Melissa Hansen, Medical Education; Heather Huntley, Office of the Provost; Angelica Johnson, College of Arts and Letters; Deirdre Jones, Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales in the College of Business and Innovation; Vickie Kuntz, Engineering Career Development Center in the College of Engineering; Sara Lockett, Purchasing/Finance; Elliott Nickeson, Registrar’s Office; Daniel Perry, Facilities and Construction; Tiffany Preston-Whitman, University College; Jason Rahe, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions; Staci Sturdivant, College of Health and Human Services; Craig Turner, College of Business and Innovation; and Matthew Wise, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions.

“It is wonderful to see the University focus so many resources on developing the next generation of leadership in higher education,” said Dr. Jenell L. S. Wittmer, associate professor of management, who facilitates sessions on communication with diverse groups and emotional intelligence. “The participants bring their work experiences into the classroom, and they are learning from each other. This program is a perfect example of the positive transformation underway at UT.”

Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Career Fair Feb. 8

Representatives from more than 100 federal, state and local agencies will be on campus for the fifth annual Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Career Fair Thursday, Feb. 8.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Undergraduate and graduate students of all majors are invited to attend to meet potential employers, including the FBI; police departments throughout Ohio and Michigan; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; Marshall & Melhorn LLC; Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick; Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office; Marathon Petroleum Co.; and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Students should dress professionally and bring resumés.

“This is a great opportunity for students to network,” Andrew “Mick” Dier, director and associate lecturer in the UT Criminal Justice Program, said. “More than 50 UT students found jobs or internships last year through this fair.”

For more information about the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Career Fair, contact Dier at andrew.dier@utoledo.edu.

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.