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Poetry reading to raise funds for UT’s first LGBT scholarship

The power and artistry of words will take center stage at the Rane Arroyo Poetry Read-In, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005.

The event is named in honor of a virtuoso.

“Rane wrote openly as an out, proud gay Puerto Rican male,” Dr. Glenn Sheldon, UT honors professor of humanities, said. “I want the audience to listen to the music of Rane’s words, to let intuitions of the poet lead us to our own personal discoveries, to just listen to a poem be — to enjoy!”

Dr. Arroyo was a Distinguished University Professor of English who taught creative writing and literature at UT from 1997 until his death in 2010. The author of 10 poetry books, six chapbooks of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a collection of plays, Arroyo won an array of writing awards, including the John Ciardi Poetry Prize, the Carl Sandburg Poetry Prize and a Pushcart Prize.

“Rane loved both writing poetry, plays and fiction as much as he loved teaching creative writers. Teaching creative writing always enthused him. He saw potential in each and every student he came across,” said Sheldon, chair of the LGBTQA+ Advisory Board. “From what I sensed after his death, so very many students found his classes life-altering.”

Reading poetry at the event will be Dr. Sharon L. Barnes, associate professor and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department; Leslie Ann B. Chambers, adjunct faculty member in the Jesup Scott Honors College; Sariah Flores-Shutts, resource specialist in the Center for Engagement; Wade Lee, electronic information services librarian, science research librarian and associate professor in University Libraries; Dr. Edmund Lingan, associate professor and chair of the Theatre and Film Department; and Dr. Skaidrite Stelzer, assistant professor of English. Also reading will be Toledo resident Bernie Filipski and Shannon Smith, associate professor of English at Owens Community College.

Cash, checks and credit card donations will be accepted at the free, public poetry read-in. Funds raised will go toward establishing UT’s first LGBT scholarship.

It was Barnes who approached Sheldon about creating a scholarship to honor Arroyo and former UT student Troy Anaya Jr., who died in 2016 at age 31.

“After Troy’s funeral, I spent some time with a few students who were active in Spectrum [now called Prism] and dear friends with him,” Barnes said. “We were talking about how much we loved Troy and how we really wanted to do something special to remember his presence in our lives and to celebrate him. We were also reflecting on how impactful the lack of financial resources was in his life, and so it wasn’t a big leap to think about creating a scholarship in his name.”

The Anaya/Arroyo Scholarship will be for one or more LGBT-identified undergraduates. The goal is to award the first scholarship in 2018, according to Sheldon.

“When I put those two last names together in my head, the poet’s ear in me rejoiced! Two beautiful Latino names with all those remarkably similar vowel sounds and the enthusiasm of the letter ‘y,’ which rarely gets its due in English,” Sheldon said. “Although Troy and Rane never knew each other personally, Troy’s mother, Diane Ballesteros-Houston, believes they would have gotten along famously. From what I have learned about Troy, I am certain she is spot on.”

“Troy was an incredibly genuine person, open, welcoming, friendly and supportive. He had a way of making people feel accepted because he genuinely accepted them. He also had a great sense of humor and love of life. He was just really fun to be around,” Barnes said.

“As gay Latinos from working class backgrounds, both Rane and Troy faced multiple oppressions, including financial hardship, racism and homophobia,” she said. “We honor their talent, intelligence and shining personalities by creating a path to higher education for someone similarly situated in the matrix of cultural privilege and oppression. They were both proud activists. I am certain that being remembered in this way would make them both proud.”

After the read-in, donations can be made to the Anaya/Arroyo Scholarship through the UT Foundation at give2ut.utoledo.edu.

“We hope this event will help us to begin to amass a small fortune to help LGBT students here at the University for many years to come,” Sheldon said.

The read-in is one of several events taking place at UT in honor of National LGBTQ History Month. Read more here.

For more information about the read-in or the scholarship, contact Sheldon at glenn.sheldon@utoledo.edu or 419.530.3261.

Celebrate right and freedom to read at banned books vigil Sept. 28

The University of Toledo will celebrate its 20th annual Banned Books Vigil to celebrate the right to read and think freely without censorship.

The free, public event will take place Thursday, Sept. 28, on the third floor of Carlson Library. The event will begin at 9 a.m. with programs starting every half hour through 5 p.m.

“Our democracy depends on our intellectual freedom,” said Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UT professor of communication, who coordinates the event. “Anybody who controls what we read controls what we think and what we know. We give away banned books to promote free inquiry. It’s a fun way to circulate these books that have been called into question.”

Light snacks and refreshments will be available, with free banned books and door prizes given away every half hour. The first 300 attendees also will receive a goody bag at the entrance. One of the sacks will contain a card redeemable for $50 on the spot.

“We want the students to enjoy themselves,” Kilmer said. “We are thankful that all of these people find the time to come to our festival of reading and free expression.”

Topics and speakers for the event will be:

• 9 a.m. — “Welcome: Read on” by Beau Case, dean of University Libraries, and Dr. David Tucker, UT professor of communication;

• 9:30 a.m. — “The Future Isn’t What It Used to be” by Dr. David Tucker, UT professor of communication;

• 10 a.m. — “Banned: Native-American Spirituality” by Dr. Barbara Alice Mann, UT honors professor of humanities;

• 10:30 a.m. — “Girl’s Night Out With Pandora, Lilith and Eve” by Warren Woodberry, local author and mentor;

• 11 a.m. — “A Historical Overview of Book Banning From Plato to the Present” by Arjun Sabharwal, UT associate professor and digital initiatives librarian;

• 11:30 a.m. — “All That (and) Jazz: Censorship of Transgender Representation in Children’s Books” by Dr. Sharon Barnes, UT associate professor and interim chair of women’s and gender studies;

• Noon — The Dr. Linda Smith Lecture: “Suppressing ‘Truths’ in the Age of Fake News” by Dr. Heidi M. Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College;

• 12:30 p.m. — “Remarks and Observations” by Dr. Andrew Hsu, UT provost and executive vice president for academic affairs;

• 1 p.m. — “Just What is Fake News?” by Lou Herbert, Toledo broadcaster and historian;

• 1:30 p.m. — “Book Burning Videos: Indiana Jones, Eyewitnesses and Ray Bradbury”;

• 2 p.m. — “Plato’s ‘Cave’ in the Age of Post-Truth” by Dr. Glenn Sheldon, UT honors professor of humanities;

• 2:30 p.m. — “Jeopardy!” hosted by The Independent Collegian editors;

• 3 p.m. — “Covering Campus News Transparently in the Selfie Age of Public Image”
by Emily Schnipke, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian;

• 3:30 p.m. — “You Read WHAT to Your Daughter?! And Other Stupid Questions…” by Josie Schreiber, UT student;

• 4 p.m. — “Hear No Evil! See No Evil! Speak No Evil! Teach No Evil!” by Cindy Ramirez, Bedford High School teacher; and

• 4:30 p.m. — “Hard-Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People” by Risa Cohen, West Side Montessori teacher.

Kilmer said this Banned Books Week Vigil would not be possible without help from generous sponsors: Barry’s Bagels; Ann Lumbrezer; The Independent Collegian; Lambda Pi Eta, UT Communication Honor Society; New Sins Press; Phoenicia Cuisine; UT Barnes & Noble Bookstore; UT Center for Experiential Learning and Career Development; UT Department of Art; UT Department of Communication; UT Department of English Language and Literature; UT Department of Foreign Languages; UT Office of Excellence and Multicultural Student Success; UT Federal Credit Union; University Libraries; UT Greek Life; UT Jesup Scott Honors College; UT Marketing and Communications Office; UT Office of the Dean of Students; UT Student Government; UT Theatre and Film Department; WXUT FM 88.3; Aramark; Mitchell & Kelley Auctioneers, Adrian, Mich.; UT Public Relations Student Society of America; UT Campus Activities and Programing; UT Counseling Center; UT College of Arts and Letters; UT School of Visual and Performing Arts; and UT Starbucks.

She added a special thanks to the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.

ABC News veteran to share inspiring story Sept. 21

University of Toledo will host John Quiñones — ABC News veteran, anchor for 20/20 and Primetime, and host of the popular series “What Would You Do?” — Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. in Doermann Theatre.

The event marks the first of this year’s Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture series, and is being supported by the Honors College, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

Quiñones has emerged as an inspiring keynote speaker, combining his moving life story with a wide-ranging career in TV journalism that has spanned more than three decades. Titled “A 20/20 Vision for America: Building Bridges, Not Walls,” his presentation at UT will touch on his odds-defying journey, celebrate the life-changing power of a college education, champion the Latino American Dream, and provide thought-provoking insights into human nature and ethical behavior.

“We’re extremely pleased to have John Quiñones speak here,” said Dr. Michele Soliz, assistant vice president for student success and inclusion. “Based on his incredible journey, I’m sure many of our students will draw on his personal stories and professional advice to aspire to their own successful career through obtaining their degree at UT.”

Born in San Antonio in 1952 to a Spanish-speaking family, Quiñones did not learn English until he began school at age 6. When he was 13, his father was laid off from a janitorial job, so his family joined a caravan of migrant farm workers. They traveled to Traverse City, Mich., to harvest cherries, and then later picked tomatoes near Toledo. It was here that his dad challenged Quiñones to choose education over a life of manual labor.

Thanks to the federal Upward Bound program, Quiñones prepared for college and eventually earned his master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. Among numerous accolades, Quiñones has received a Gabriel Award for a poignant report that followed a young man to Colombia to reunite with his birth mother after two decades, a CINE Award for a report in Israel about suicide bombers, and an ALMA Award from the National Council of La Raza.

Tickets for this event are free and are available through the Office of Multicultural Student Services at 419.530.2261 or the Honors College at honors@utoledo.edu or 419.530.6030.

UT to observe Hispanic Heritage Month

The University of Toledo has planned an array of events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Hispanic Heritage Month offers us the opportunity to explore the rich culture and heritage of Latinos and celebrate their unique contributions, including music, art and cuisine, to our society,” Dr. Michele Soliz, assistant vice president for student success and inclusion.

One of the highlights of the month will be a talk by John Quiñones, ABC News veteran and host of “What Would You Do?” He will speak Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

“We are thrilled to be able to host John Quiñones, who will share his story of overcoming many barriers to eventually graduate college and become one of the country’s most recognized news correspondents,” Soliz said.

Quiñones’ appearance is part of the Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series. Tickets are free and available through the Office of Multicultural Student Success at omss@utoledo.edu and the Honors College at honors@utoledo.edu or 419.530.5030.

Listed by date, Hispanic Heritage Month events facilitated through the Office of Multicultural Student Success and the Latino Student Union include:

Thursday, Sept. 14 — Diamante Awards, 6 to 9 p.m., Wolfe Center for the Arts at Bowling Green State University. Awards for Latino leadership and achievements in northwest Ohio will be presented at this event, which is co-sponsored by UT, BGSU, Lourdes University, Owens Community College and Herzing University. Tickets are $75 for the public and $25 for students in advance at diamantetoledo.org and will be $80 and $30, respectively, at the door.

Tuesday, Sept. 19 — Salsa on the Steps, noon to 2 p.m., steps in front of the Thompson Student Union. Stop by for free food and to learn salsa dancing.

Monday, Sept. 25 — Latino Meet-and-Greet, 6:45 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2592. Join students, faculty, staff and UT graduates at this event sponsored by the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate.

Wednesday, Oct. 4 — Film Screening, “Selena,” 7 p.m. Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge.

For more information and a complete list of events, go to utoledo.edu/studentaffairs/omss.

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.