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Honors students to participate in service learning over spring break

Instead of heading to Miami Beach or the Bahamas for spring break, 20 Jesup Scott Honors College students will travel to Nicaragua and Guatemala to work with “dump dwellers.”

Dump dwellers are people who live in dumps and make their living by picking through the refuse and collecting plastic containers, recyclable materials and anything else they can sell.

The Jesup Scott Honors College has been working with the organization International Samaritan. The Ann Arbor-based philanthropic group works to raise awareness about dump dwellers and to improve conditions for those in the developing world, with a major focus in the Latin Central American countries.

“I am very excited to spend spring break doing service learning abroad,” said Ashley Diel, a third-year communication student. “I studied abroad last semester and am excited to be traveling again, as well as to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on someone’s life.”

Diel and her peers will leave Saturday, March 4.

The service-learning trips have been offered for the past eight years due to student interest, said Dr. Page Armstrong, associate lecturer and director of the Honors College Living and Learning Community. 

“We asked students what else they wanted to have in their honors experience, and one of the first things they said was that they would like to do more community service not just here, but abroad as well,” Armstrong said. “These trips really are student-directed.”

Students will work to improve local schools while in Nicaragua and Guatemala. In the past, students have helped to build kitchens, bathrooms and a nursery. They also will have the opportunity to teach in the classroom.

“It is a life-changing experience,” Armstrong said. “When most people come back, something in their life has changed.”

International Samaritan’s mission is to raise awareness in the United States about the living conditions of the poor in garbage dump communities in the developing world, and to help alleviate poverty in these areas by providing education, infrastructure and health care, among other things.

Speaker to discuss the value of promises Feb. 16

The day Alex Sheen buried his father, he also started an international movement.

Then a 25-year-old working in corporate software, Sheen was asked by his family to eulogize his father, UT alumnus Wei Min “Al” Sheen, a pharmacist who passed away in September 2012.

Sheen

Calling Al Sheen an “average man who was exceptional at one thing,” Sheen, of Lakewood, Ohio, said his father was someone who kept his promises. “Too often, we say things like ‘I’ll get to it’ and ‘tomorrow,’” Sheen noted in an excerpt from his website, becauseIsaidIwould.com. “One day, there is no tomorrow. The promises we make and keep and those we choose to dishonor define us and this world.”

That day in 2012, he handed out the first of his promise cards, nondescript pieces of paper that remind people of the value of commitment.

Sheen will have plenty of promise cards during his public lecture Thursday, Feb. 16, in Doermann Theater. During the free, public event, the final of the 2016-17 Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series, Sheen will discuss the importance of accountability and the effect of a simple kept promise in today’s society.

“Because I said I would” will begin at 7 p.m.

Sheen said handing out the first promise cards “set off a chain of events to the scope of which I may never understand.”

The purpose of the cards is simple; house a written promise as a tangible reminder to fulfill a pledge. Since 2012, becauseIsaidIwould has distributed more than 5.6 million promise cards to people in 153 countries.

Some of the promises, Sheen said, are small: “Keep my room clean” and “Sincerely compliment someone every day.” Others have the capability to enact change and even save lives.

A woman donated a kidney to an acquaintance. A teenage girl testified against her attacker. A man with terminal cancer left daily “napkin” notes for his daughter so she would have comfort after his death. On YouTube, another man confessed, “I killed a man,” explaining he was the drunk driver whose actions resulted in the death of a stranger. The accused’s promise? “I will take full responsibility for what I have done.” While the man is in prison, the video he made with Sheen has been viewed by millions and has spurred thousands of promise cards from people pledging not to drink and drive.

Sheen practices what he preaches. His own list of promises is current, visible and ranges from the innocuous — “Watch ‘Gone With the Wind’” — to the exceptional. He has walked 240 miles across Ohio to support victims of sexual violence, spent 24 hours picking up trash in the Cleveland area, provided 24 hours of free rides for those who have been drinking, and raised enough funds to send 20 cancer-stricken children to Walt Disney World, all on the spark of a promise.

“Alex’s work is the perfect antidote to our busy lives, during which we forget to think about meeting longer term goals and commitments to ourselves and to others,” said Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College. “Turning this into a social movement was a brilliant step to help us collectively meet our promises, and provides great inspiration for would-be social entrepreneurs among our students.”

Sheen’s movement has expanded to include the development of city chapters and outreach to schools, businesses and other organizations. His message remains uncomplicated: Accountability. Character. Hope.

“Make and keep a promise,” Sheen wrote on his website, “to improve yourself, your family or your community. If you need a promise card to make the commitment real, we will send you one. The world is in need, so you are needed.”

To reserve a free ticket to the lecture, go to utoledo.edu/honorslecture.

‘Shark Tank’ investor, FUBU founder to speak at UT Oct. 18

The man affectionately known as “The People’s Shark” who launched a $6 billion global company from his mother’s basement will visit The University of Toledo to talk about entrepreneurship and the road to success.

John

John

Daymond John, an investor on ABC’s Emmy award-winning reality television series “Shark Tank” and founder and CEO of the clothing line FUBU, will speak Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Lois and Norman Nitschke Auditorium as part of the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series. Doors open at 6 p.m.

“Daymond John is a highly successful entrepreneur, but also a remarkable person who constantly challenges himself to learn more and do more, much like our honors students,” Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Honors College, said. “Toledo’s vibrant community of thinkers and doers will find his story of humble beginnings, smarts and grit both familiar and inspiring. We’re excited to have Daymond John as our first speaker in the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.”

Tickets for the free, public event are first-come, first-served. To reserve tickets, go to utoledo.edu/honorslecture.

UT buses will shuttle students to and from the Student Union and the Transportation Center to the Lois and Norman Nitschke Auditorium approximately every 10 minutes beginning at 6 p.m.

In addition to his success at “Shark Tank” and FUBU, John is CEO of the Shark Group, a marketing consulting agency. He also is a presidential ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and the author of three best-selling books, Display of Power, The Brand Within and The Power of Broke.

The next lecture in the series will be Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theater and feature Alex Sheen. Sheen is founder of “because I said I would,” a social movement and nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept. Sheen once walked 245 miles across Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise.

Celebrate Right to Read at Banned Books Week Vigil Sept. 29

University students, faculty and staff, and area citizens will celebrate the right to read and think freely during the 19th annual UT Banned Books Week Vigil Thursday, Sept. 29, on the fifth floor of Carlson Library.

The free, public event will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. Throughout the day, 20-minute presentations will focus on censorship and the importance of freedom of expression.

Banned books week 2016_Poster.jpgAll day, free snacks and light refreshments will be available, and door prizes — including donated banned books and UT items — will be given out to make the event fun as well as educational for the audience.

UT faculty and area teachers are invited to bring classes; attendance vouchers will be available at the freedom of expression festival.

“I hope the UT Banned Books Week Vigil raises awareness of the importance of reading to our democracy,” Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UT professor of communication, who coordinates the event, said. “Without reading freely, citizens could not think freely and, therein, would not ask the questions that lead to reform and a better nation. I hope the event gives students a fun break from their routines and enlarges their understanding of the First Amendment.”

Topics and speakers for the event will be:

• 9 a.m. — “Read On, Everybody! Welcome to Our Annual Celebration of Free Inquiry” by Barbara Floyd, interim director of University Libraries and director of the UT Press, and Dr. Jeffrey Wilkinson, professor and chair of communication.

• 9:30 a.m. — “Free Expression and the Inside-Out Prison Exchange” by Emily Numbers, community and public relations specialist in the College of Engineering, and community art coordinator.

• 10 a.m. — “Stereotyping Indigenous Peoples in Children’s Books” by Dr. Sharon Barnes, associate professor of women’s and gender studies.

• 10:30 a.m. — “Censorship and Media Ethics” by Sarah Ottney, former editor of the Toledo Free Press, which closed in 2015.

• 11 a.m. — “The Not-So-Free Press: Global Media Troubles,” Arjun Sabharwal, associate professor and digital initiatives librarian.

• 11:30 a.m. — “W.W. III: The War Against Women” by Warren Woodberry, Toledo author.

• Noon — The Dr. Linda Smith Lecture: “Owning the Words: Intellectual Property, First Amendment Law, and the Parlous State of Free Speech” by Dr. Sam Nelson, associate professor and chair of political science and public administration.

• 1 p.m. — “Lifting the Veil: Banning the Graphic Novel Persepolis” by Dr. Matt Yockey, associate professor of theatre and film.

• 1:30 p.m. — “Revealing the Hidden Rules of Broadcast News” by Lou Hebert, Toledo broadcaster and historian.

• 2 p.m. — “Words” By Dr. David Tucker, professor of communication.

• 2:30 p.m. — “Oops! When lol Posts Backfire” by Jessica Harker, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian.

• 3 p.m. — “Jeopardy!” led by The Independent Collegian staff.

• 3:30 p.m. — “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs,” an episode of “South Park” in which J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is revisited.

• 4 p.m. — “What? Can You Teach THAT?” by Cindy Ramirez, Bedford High School English teacher.

• 4:30 p.m. — “Banned Songs” by Dr. Edmund Lingan, associate professor and chair of theatre and film.

Banned Books Coalition logoKilmer said this Banned Books Week Vigil would not be possible without help form generous sponsors: Ann Lumbrezer; Aramark; Barry’s Bagels; The Independent Collegian; Lambda Pi Eta, UT Communication Honor Society; UT Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America; Mitchell and Kelley Auctioneers; New Sins Press; Phoenicia Cuisine; Barnes & Noble University Bookstore; UT Campus Activities and Programming; UT Center for Experiential Learning and Career Development; UT Counseling Center; UT College of Arts and Letters; UT Jesup Scott Honors College; UT Department of Art; UT Department of Communication; UT Department of English Languages and Literature; UT Office of Multicultural Student Success; UT Federal Credit Union; UT Toledo Friends of the Library Foundation; UT Foreign Languages Department; UT General Libraries; UT Greek Life; UT Marketing and Communications Office; UT Office of the Dean of Students; UT Student Government; UT Theatre and Film Department; UT Starbuck’s; UT School of Visual and Performing Arts; and WXUT radio station. She added a special thanks to the UT Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.

Help support right to read by donating banned books

Stand up for your right to read by donating books for The University of Toledo’s annual event that promotes freedom of expression.

UT’s Banned Books Vigil will be held Thursday, Sept. 29, on the fifth floor of Carlson Library. Every half hour, attendees have the chance to win prizes, including banned books.

banned_booksEach year, several books are banned and some are considered among the best novels ever written — The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, The Scarlett Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird.

UT’s vigil takes place during Banned Books Week, which brings together librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, students and readers. By concentrating on efforts to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws attention to the harms of censorship.

“It is important for society to stay vigilant when it comes to censorship because people will try to tell us what to think and how to think, and if access to ideas is closed, then it will be easy for people to control what we are thinking,” Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UT professor of communication and founder of the vigil, said. “The only way we can think freely is to read whatever we wish to read.”

The UT Communication Department, Honors College and University Libraries sponsor this campus-wide event, which also is supported by the community. More than 1,800 individuals attended the event last year, according to Kilmer.

“We should never think that the fight for the First Amendment is over. We need to always care about our intellectual freedom and our right to express ourselves,” Kilmer said.

A list of banned books is available on the American Library Association’s website at ala.org.

Become a “Champion of Freedom of Expression” by donating a banned book. Donors’ names will appear inside the books they purchased and announced as the novels are awarded as door prizes.

Books for the vigil may be purchased at Barnes & Noble University Bookstore, or contact Colleen Strayer at 419.530.2516 or toledo@bkstore.edu by 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19. Cash donations also are welcome.

For more information, contact Kilmer at paulette.kilmer@utoledo.edu.

New dean named to lead honors college

A chemical ecologist passionate about engaging students in experiential learning will join The University of Toledo to lead the Jesup Scott Honors College.

Dr. Heidi Appel comes to UT from the University of Missouri, where she served as senior associate director of the Honors College. Her first day will be Monday, Aug. 15.

Appel

Appel

“Dr. Appel is an advocate for the role of a strong honors college at a research university that engages students in critical thinking and creates interdisciplinary relationships across the institution,” said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Her decade of experience with honors colleges along with her enthusiasm for research and active, hands-on learning as part of the student educational experience matches our goals for the Jesup Scott Honors College and The University of Toledo.”

Hsu thanked Kelly Moore, who has served as interim dean of the college since August, for his leadership during the past year.

Appel joined the University of Missouri in 2007 as a senior research scientist and member of the graduate faculty, and also served as associate director of the Honors College. Prior to that, she was a member of the faculty at Pennsylvania State University, which she joined in 2000.

“An honors college has a special role on campus. It’s a place where students can develop their intellectual capacities, learn to think broadly, creatively and critically, and have intense discussions,” Appel said. “The Jesup Scott Honors College’s emphasis on experiential learning and undergraduate research, inclusive approach to admissions, and its talented faculty and staff make it a standout program. I look forward to working with the honors students, faculty and staff, my colleagues in other colleges, and with the broader Toledo community to build upon the strong program.”

Appel, who grew up in the metro Detroit area, has long been interested in the outdoors. Midway through her undergraduate studies of ancient history and music, she decided to make science her career. Since then, she has focused her research on the intersection of chemistry and ecology to explain ecological patterns and broaden our understanding about the relationship between plants and insects.

An accomplished researcher, she has received more than $2.5 million in external research funding and authored more than 45 publications. She made national headlines in 2014 with her research that showed plants can “hear,” meaning that they can identify vibrations caused by a caterpillar chewing and respond with increased chemical defense. The experience reinforced her interest in being sure that students not only get involved in research, but that they also have the opportunity to present it to a broader audience.

“Everyone has a responsibility to be able to communicate their interests and ideas effectively with other people. In higher education, we have a special need for that training for our students. Even if we’re working on a very esoteric topic, it is important to explain the basics of that to other people,” she said.

Among Appel’s goals for the Jesup Scott Honors College are to align the curriculum with student needs, increase interdisciplinary course offerings, get honors students actively engaged with campus as mentors and tutors, and deepen relationships with other colleges across campus.

“I’m excited to join The University of Toledo where there is so much support for the role of honors education in the mission of the University,” she said.

Appel has a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and a master’s degree in biology and PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan.

Open forums scheduled for Honors College dean candidates

Three finalists for the position of dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College will hold open forums in early May to engage with The University of Toledo community.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at three open forums. Each will take place from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.:

• Monday, May 2, Student Union Room 3018 — Dr. Kirstin Bartels, director of the Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois.

• Wednesday, May 4, Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Heidi Appel, senior associate director of the Honors College at the University of Missouri.

• Thursday, May 5, Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Seth Oppenheimer, director of undergraduate research in the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University.

Reporting to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the dean serves as chief academic and administrative officer of the Jesup Scott Honors College and is responsible for the administration of academic programs; student success; strategic and fiscal planning; evaluation of faculty and staff; promoting diversity awareness; and planning and advancing new academic initiatives, community services and campus facilities.

The dean will interact with other administrators to promote the needs of the college on campus and in the surrounding community, including pursuing external funding, and with the Honors Council, containing representatives from each academic college, to coordinate honors programming.

For more information about the dean search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-honors.

Faculty members receive promotion, tenure

A number of faculty members received tenure and promotion for the 2016-17 academic year approved April 18 by the UT Board of Trustees.

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor are:

College of Business and Innovation

• Dr. Mai Dao, Accounting
• Dr. Anthony Holder, Accounting
• Dr. Yue Zhang, Operations and Technology Management

Judith Herb College of Education

• Dr. Victoria Stewart, Curriculum and Instruction

College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences

• Dr. Gaby Semaan, Foreign Languages
• Dr. Benjamin Stroud, English Language

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

• Dr. Malathi Krishnamurthy, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Rong Liu, Mathematics and Statistics

College of Social Justice and Human Service

• Dr. Wendi Goodlin-Fahncke, Criminal Justice and Social Work
• Dr. Debra Harmening, School Psychology, Higher Education and Counselor Education

The faculty member who received tenure and promotion to professor is:

College of Law
• Kara Bruce

The faculty member who received tenure is:

College of Law
• Gregory Gilchrist, associate professor

Faculty members promoted to professor are:

College of Communication and the Arts
• Dr. Timothy Brakel, Music

Judith Herb College of Education

• Dr. Svetlana Beltyukova, Educational Foundations and Leadership
• Dr. Judy Lambert, Curriculum and Instruction

College of Engineering
• Dr. Duane Hixon, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
• Dr. Douglas Nims, Civil Engineering

Jesup W. Scott Honors College
• Dr. Barbara Mann

College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences

• Dr. Linda Rouillard, Foreign Languages

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

• Dr. Peter Andreana, Chemistry and Biochemistry
• Dr. Jonathan Bossenbroek, Environmental Sciences
• Dr. Rupali Chandar, Physics and Astronomy
• Dr. Joseph Schmidt, Chemistry and Biochemistry

College of Social Justice and Human Service

• Dr. Richard Johnson, Criminal Justice and Social Work

The faculty member promoted to associate professor is:

College of Law
• Bryan Lammon

The faculty member promoted to associate clinical professor is:

College of Health Sciences
• Dr. Lynne Chapman, Rehabilitation Sciences

UT Chapter of Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi to initiate new members

The University of Toledo Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will hold its initiation ceremony for new members Saturday, April 23, at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room.

More than 70 undergraduate and graduate students and three UT faculty members will be inducted into the honor society this year.

phikappaphi728x520_q85Dr. Dale Snauwaert, UT professor of educational foundations and leadership, will present the keynote address.

Student inductees into the honorary must be among the top in their class as juniors or seniors or in their graduate program to qualify for membership.

In addition to inducting new members, the society will honor four $500 scholarship winners. The winners were selected based upon academic performance, an essay, and letters of recommendation from faculty members. The winners are:

• Tala Abou-Dahech (Toledo), a freshman majoring in speech-language pathology. Valedictorian for her Toledo Early College High School class, Abou-Dahech also was a winner of a Jefferson Award for public service through Leadership Toledo, and a BCSN Student of the Month. She is active in many University and community groups. In her essay for the scholarship, Abou-Dahech wrote of the important role that the Toledo Early College High School played in her life by giving her confidence to succeed in college. Stephanie Hughes, associate professor in the UT Speech-Language Pathology Program, noted in her recommendation letter that Abou-Dahech “represents the best and brightest of the speech-language pathology undergraduate program.”

• Lucille Frank (Wauseon, Ohio), a junior, majoring in political science and French. In addition to many volunteer activities, she has served as an intern in the office of Toledo’s mayor. She has conducted research on the Keystone XL Pipeline, human trafficking, mental illness and food sustainability. In her essay, Frank wrote about her difficult transition from growing up in a small town to studying at UT, and her experience living and studying abroad in France. As Dr. Larry Connin, professor in the Jesup Scott Honors College, noted in his recommendation letter, “Lucy is one of the most active and engaged students I have been around. She is a committed activist and a ‘doer’ — always on the lookout to embrace the next new experience.”

• Megan Post (Fort Recovery, Ohio), a freshman majoring in pharmaceutical sciences and pre-med. In addition to a full schedule of work and volunteer activities, Post wrote in her essay about becoming certified as an emergency medical technician and volunteering with her county’s emergency squad. In his recommendation letter, Dr. Isaac Schiefer, assistant professor of medicinal and biological chemistry, stated that he selected Post to serve as a researcher in his laboratory, and that “Megan is exceptionally mature for her age and has a good grasp of her eventual career goals.” Post is one of two bachelor of science in pharmaceutical science scholars in her class in the UT College of Pharmacy.

 Lekha Vemuru (Toledo), a sophomore majoring in biology. She is active in many University organizations, and was selected last summer to conduct research in the lab of Dr. John Plenefisch, associate professor and associate chair of biological sciences, investigating cellular movement. In her essay for the scholarship, Vemuru wrote about the emotional experience of working in Managua, Nicaragua, over spring break teaching English and Spanish to children there. Sharon Schnarre, UT pre-med adviser, described Vemuru as “warm and caring, and I am confident she will be successful in her pursuit of a career as a physician and an asset to the profession.”

In addition to the undergraduate and graduate students who will be inducted into the honor society, three UT faculty members also will be inducted: Kelly Moore, associate professor of law and interim dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College; Dr. Martin J. Ohlinger, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice; and Dr. Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, associate professor of history.

For more information, contact UT chapter Phi Kappa Phi President Wade Lee, associate professor of library administration, at 419.530.4490.

World-renowned polar explorer to speak at UT April 5

Ann Bancroft’s extraordinary life has consisted of many firsts: first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles, leader of the first group of women to cross Greenland, and first woman to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass alongside fellow polar explorer Liv Arnesen.

The author, educator, philanthropist and pre-eminent polar explorer will be at the University to share her story Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

Bancroft

Bancroft

“We choose speakers that we hope will engage, challenge and provoke the audience,” said Interim Provost John Barrett. “Ann Bancroft will do just that. She went out and chased her dreams, and because of that she has a very inspirational story to tell.”

Not only has Bancroft achieved many polar exploration firsts, but she also has inspired girls and women around the world to do the same. In 1991, she founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which provides grants, mentoring and encouragement to girls ages 5 to 18 to help them reach their biggest aspirations.

For her achievements, Bancroft has received numerous awards and recognition, including induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995.

Tickets to the lecture are free and can be obtained at utoledo.edu/honorslecture. Bancroft’s talk is part of the UT Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.

For more information about Bancroft and her latest expeditions, visit yourexpedition.com.