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National science leader and Toledo native to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 15

The head of the nation’s oldest and one of its most prestigious laboratories will return home, as Toledo native Michael Witherell is set to deliver the address during The University of Toledo’s undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 15.

Witherell, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in Berkeley, Calif., will address 1,474 candidates for degrees, including 1,437 bachelor’s and 37 associate’s candidates. The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Savage Arena on Main Campus.

Witherell

UT’s graduate commencement ceremony is scheduled at 8 a.m. in Savage Arena and will commemorate 641 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. Md Kamal Hossain, emerging cancer researcher and candidate for a doctoral degree at the University, will be the speaker.

Both ceremonies are open to the public and can be viewed live on the UT Views website.

Witherell, a distinguished physicist, educator and science leader, developed the foundation for his future at Toledo’s St. Francis de Sales High School. Salutatorian at age 15, he earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in experimental physics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After a distinguished career as a university professor performing research in particle physics, he devoted himself to leading large research institutions.

In 2016, Witherell was named director of Berkeley Lab, the oldest of the 17 labs in the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories systems. Berkeley Lab is a global leader in fundamental and applied scientific research in physical, biological, energy, computing and environmental sciences. The lab’s employees have earned 13 Nobel Prizes and played a role in the discovery of 16 elements on the periodic table, among its honors. The lab is managed for the DOE by the University of California.

“Our mission at Berkeley Lab is solving the nation’s most challenging problems through great scientific and technological discoveries. I believe that the national assets in addressing these problems include public universities and the students whom they are educating,” Witherell said.

Before joining Berkeley Lab, Witherell spent six years as director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He was vice chancellor for research at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where he also held a presidential chair in the Physics Department.

His primary research interest is in studying the nature of dark matter. He was a contributor to the LUX experiment, which in 2016 published the most sensitive search for interactions of dark matter particles with normal matter. He is now part of an international research team that is building a successor to LUX, known as LZ, which will be three orders of magnitude more sensitive. Data collection is expected to start in 2020.

Witherell is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He chairs the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies and serves on the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy.

“As a nationally recognized, public research university, The University of Toledo is pleased to have Dr. Witherell as our fall commencement speaker. Research not only helps us to discover new knowledge that advances all areas of study, but also instills critical thinking skills that our students can use to approach problems systematically and come up with solutions that improve everyday life,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We look forward to Dr. Witherell sharing his insights with our graduates, especially since he grew up in Toledo and has since made tremendous contributions through research.”

Witherell’s personal success can be traced back to the Glass City, as well. He and his wife, Elizabeth Hall Witherell, head of the Princeton Edition of Henry Thoreau’s writings, grew up in the same west Toledo neighborhood and were high school sweethearts. They have a daughter, Lily.

“The foundation for my career and life was my extended family in Toledo,” Witherell said. “Their support and the value they put on education and public service were central to my personal and professional development.”

Hossain

Hossain, the graduate ceremony speaker, is a native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, who came to UT as an industrial pharmacist with a passion to develop innovative medicines.

“I’ve always been interested in studying health-related fields due to the suffering of people in my homeland from different types of disease,” Hossain said. “My focus is to develop a specific targeting approach for a more effective cancer vaccine. My research examined the utilization of a natural antibody already present in human serum that makes the vaccine more convenient to target tumor cells.”

He is a candidate for a doctor of philosophy degree in medicinal chemistry in UT’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

UT’s fall commencement ceremonies 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; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

The College of Law will host its commencement ceremony Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Later that week — Friday, May 10, at
4 p.m. — the College of Medicine and Life Sciences will hold its commencement ceremony in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit the UT commencement website.

UT College of Law to hold panel discussion on sexual assault Nov. 13

The University of Toledo College of Law is hosting a panel of experts for a conversation about the legal, practical and emotional consequences of sexual assault Tuesday, Nov. 13, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

Using a question-and-answer format, the panel will address common questions and attempt to debunk many of the myths surrounding sexual assault.

The three panelists are local experts in sexual assault investigation, as well as victim support. Shahrazad Hamdah is the sexual assault and domestic violence advocate at the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness at The University of Toledo. Hamdah provides support and resources to campus victims of sexual and domestic assault. Jennifer Reed, a 2012 UT law alumna, is an assistant prosecutor in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office with numerous years of experience prosecuting sexual assault and other violent felonies. And Elizabeth Seney, a 2011 UT law graduate, is the assistant director and deputy Title IX coordinator at the University of Michigan, responsible for university investigation of sexual assault cases.

Nicole Buonocore Porter, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development at the UT College of Law, will moderate the panel. Porter is the faculty advisor for the Women’s Law Student Association at the UT College of Law and teaches relevant courses such as criminal law, feminist legal theory, and employment discrimination.

“Sexual assault has obviously been in the news quite a bit because of both the #MeToo movement and the Kavanaugh confirmation,” Porter said. “The purpose of this panel is to provide a safe place for students and other audience members to have a conversation with our panelists about sexual assault. Although these conversations are difficult, they are vitally important. In addition to discussing perspectives and experiences of those who have been sexual assault victims, we hope to dispel common myths about sexual assault.”

The free, public event is sponsored by the UT College of Law.

‘The Crime of Complicity’ topic of Stone Law Lecture

Dr. Amos N. Guiora, professor of law at the University of Utah, will present the David S. Stone Law Lecture Monday, Nov. 5, in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

The title of his talk is “The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander From the Holocaust to Today.”
There will be two opportunities to attend this event: a lunch and learn lecture from noon to 1 p.m. and an evening lecture from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Guiora

If you are a bystander and witness a crime, should intervention to prevent that crime be a legal obligation? Or is moral responsibility enough? In his 2017 book, “The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust,” Guiora addresses these profoundly important questions and the bystander-victim relationship from a deeply personal and legal perspective, focusing on the Holocaust and then exploring cases in contemporary society.

Sharing the experiences of his parents, who were Holocaust survivors, and his grandparents, who did not survive, and drawing on a wide range of historical material and interviews, Guiora examines the bystander during three distinct events: death marches, the German occupation of Holland, and the German occupation of Hungary. He explains that while the Third Reich created policy, its implementation was dependent on bystander non-intervention.

Bringing the issue of intervention into current perspective, he examines sexual assault cases at Vanderbilt and Stanford universities, as well as other crimes when bystanders chose whether or not to intervene, and the resulting consequences.

Guiora is a recognized scholar on national security and terrorism. He teaches criminal procedure, international law, global perspectives on counterterrorism, and religion and terrorism — incorporating innovative, scenario-based instruction to address national and international security issues and dilemmas.

Guiora earned his AB in history from Kenyon College, his JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and his PhD from Leiden University.

The evening lecture is approved for 1.0 total Continuing Legal Education credit hours, with book sales and signing to follow, as well as a special tribute to Judge David Katz by U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster.

“We are glad to continue our collaboration with the Toledo Jewish Community Foundation on this lecture series,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the UT College of Law. “The issues surrounding the obligations of bystanders are important and difficult, and I look forward to learning from Professor Guiora’s talk.”

This free, public lecture is co-sponsored by the UT College of Law and the Toledo Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo.

Register at utoledo.edu/law/events/stone-law-lecture.html.

UT law graduates have strong showing in Ohio bar exams

The number of graduates from The University of Toledo College of Law who passed the July bar exam in Ohio on the first try is well above the state average.

The newly released data shows the first-time passage rate for UT law graduates taking the bar exam is 84 percent, up from 74 percent last year in July. The state average in Ohio this year is 79 percent.

“We have done a lot in the past three years to revamp our bar program, and it is gratifying to see positive results,” D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the UT College of Law, said. “We hope to continue this positive trend into the future as we see the impact of improved credentials of first-year students entering the UT College of Law and further improvements to our bar program.”

The UT College of Law is committed to preparing students for a successful career with programming and partnerships dedicated to bar passage.

In the last few years, the College of Law aligned its curriculum to bar-tested subjects, developed a new first-year support program, expanded its third-year bar prep course, and implemented a legal analysis course and academic success contracts.

The UT College of Law also created the position of director of academic success and bar preparation. This position held by Lesa Byrnes oversees the Bar Passage Program that is designed to prepare both third-year students and graduates for the bar exam. Through post-graduation mentoring, every UT law graduate is paired with a faculty mentor to provide support during bar exam study.

Most recently, the UT College of Law partnered with BARBRI, a company headquartered in Texas, to offer student access to its comprehensive bar review course with flexible classroom, online and mobile learning environments.

‘Regional Water and More’ topic of Great Lakes Water Conference Nov. 2

Regionalization of water and sewer systems will be the prime focus of the 18th annual Great Lakes Water Conference this week at The University of Toledo College of Law.

The conference titled “Regional Water and More” will take place Friday, Nov. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

“Regionalization of water services is an important issue across the nation,” said Ken Kilbert, UT professor of law and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes. “And locally this conference could not be more timely, in light of the ballot question facing city of Toledo voters on Nov. 6 regarding a regional water commission.”

The keynote speaker will be Darren Nichols, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission, at 8:45 a.m.

The first panel at 9:15 a.m. will concentrate on Ohio, including a possible regional approach to drinking water among the city of Toledo and nearby communities.

The second panel at 11 a.m. will discuss the trend toward regionalization of water and sewer systems beyond the Buckeye State, including the new regional authority in the Detroit area.

A third panel at 1:30 p.m. will address the rights of recreational paddlers versus private landowners, developments in the legal fight against algae in Lake Erie, and regulation of discharges of pollutants to groundwater under the federal Clean Water Act.

The one-day conference sponsored by the UT College of Law and its Legal Institute of the Great Lakes is free to the public. Registration is $75 for attorneys seeking 4.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit.

For more information about the conference, read the Great Lakes Water Conference 2018 brochure.

For Continuing Legal Education credit or a box lunch, check out the Great Lakes Water Conference registration website.

UT faculty recognized for tenure and promotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scholar to discuss mass incarceration epidemic

Dr. John F. Pfaff, professor of law at Fordham University, will visit The University of Toledo this week to give two talks on prison reform.

He is the author of the 2017 book, “Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform.”

Pfaff

“Dr. Pfaff’s research shows that only by reducing the power and discretion of public prosecutors and reducing the length of prison sentences for violent offenses will we see any significant reduction in prison populations,” said Dr. Renee Heberle, UT professor of political science and co-director of the UT Law and Social Thought Program.

Pfaff spent 15 years researching imprisonment data to try to understand the 40-year boom in U.S. incarceration rates.

“The statistics are as simple as they are shocking: The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners,” he wrote in the introduction to “Locked In.”

“Mass incarceration is one of the biggest social problems the United States faces today; our sprawling prison system imposes staggering economic, social, political and racial costs,” he wrote.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, Pfaff will give a talk titled “Moving Past the Standard Story: Rethinking the Causes of Mass Incarceration” at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

And on Wednesday, Oct. 17, Pfaff will discuss “Sentencing Violent Offenders: Rethinking How We Confront Mass Incarceration” at 11:50 a.m. in Law Center Room 1002.

“Professor Pfaff will discuss his research and recent book, which illuminates the previously underappreciated roles prosecutorial discretion and sentencing policy have played in driving up prison populations,” said Dr. Renee Heberle, UT professor of political science and co-director of the UT Law and Social Thought Program.

“While it is common to focus on recidivism rates, crime rates and nonviolent drug offenders as causes for mass incarceration, Dr. Pfaff’s careful empirical approach makes very clear that only limiting prosecutorial power and significantly reducing the length of sentences will ultimately render mass incarceration obsolete,” she said.

The free, public events are sponsored by the UT College of Law and the UT Law and Social Thought Program.

For more information, contact Heberle at renee.heberle@utoledo.edu.

Homecoming Gala to recognize Gold, Blue T, Young Alum award recipients

The University of Toledo Alumni Association will honor the winners of its most prestigious honors: the Gold T, Blue T and Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award.

These three recipients will be recognized — along with distinguished alumni from each UT college — at the Homecoming Gala Friday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Tickets for the gala are $30 per person, $10 for children. To make a reservation, visit toledoalumni.org or contact the UT Alumni Office at 419.530.ALUM (2586).

Montgomery

The Gold T is presented to a UT graduate in recognition of outstanding achievement in his or her field of endeavor while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the community.

The 2018 recipient is Betty Montgomery. She received a law degree from the University in 1976 and began blazing trails. In 1995, Montgomery became the first woman to serve as attorney general in the state of Ohio. She served a four-year term and was re-elected to another four-year term. In 2003, she ran for auditor of the state of Ohio. Again she was a trendsetter, becoming the first woman to hold that four-year title in the more than 200-year history of the Buckeye State.

Before that, Montgomery spent seven years as a state senator for District 2, covering Ottawa, Wood and parts of Lucas and Erie counties. She also served as Wood County’s prosecuting attorney for eight years, during which time she was the only woman prosecuting attorney in Ohio.

Wakefield

The Blue T is presented to a UT Alumni Association member and University graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of the Alumni Association and his or her alma mater.

Dr. Tom Wakefield is the 2018 recipient. He received an undergraduate degree in premed in 1970 and a medical degree from the former Medical College of Ohio in 1973.

Wakefield is the James C. Stanley Professor of Surgery, section head of vascular surgery and director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan. He has received nearly $26 million in funded grants for vascular research. Wakefield is passionate about his alma mater. He served as president of the Alumni Association during the 2014-15 school year and is a major financial supporter of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences; the Athletics Department; the Alumni Association; and the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.

Ladd

The Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award is presented to a University graduate who is 40 years or younger in recognition of outstanding achievement in her or his field of endeavor, while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the Alumni Association, University or community. This award is named in memory of the 1942 alumnus and a longtime supporter of the University and its Alumni Association.

The 2018 recipient is Dr. Mallory Ladd, who earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Jesup Scott Honors College in 2011.
A recent graduate of the University of Tennessee’s PhD program, Ladd has been hired by the federally funded Center for Naval Analysis in Washington, D.C. She is an internationally recognized scientist who has developed mass spectrometry tools to measure the chemistry of soils in the Artic, which is viewed as a tipping-point area for climate change. Ladd also has served as a panelist at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

For more information, contact Dan Saevig, UT associate vice president of alumni engagement, at 419.530.4008.

Islamic family law in United States topic of Cannon Lecture

Dr. Asifa Quraishi-Landes, professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, will present the annual Cannon Lecture at The University of Toledo College of Law Thursday, Sept. 27, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

The title of her talk is “Islamic Family Law in the United States: Islamophobia, American Secularism, and American Muslims.”

Quraishi

As state court judges wrestle with how and whether to accommodate religious-based claims in divorce litigation, “anti-Sharia” law bills have proliferated in states across the country. Quraishi-Landes will summarize the legal landscape of Islamic family law cases in the U.S. over the years and will discuss what the future might mean for American secularism and for American Muslims living here.

Quraishi-Landes is a nationally known expert on Islamic and U.S. constitutional law, with a focus on modern Islamic constitutional theory. She teaches in the areas of constitutional law and Islamic law.

She is president of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers and serves on the governing board of the Association of America Law Schools Section on Islamic Law. She is working on a book manuscript, “Islamic Reconstitutionalism,” in which she proposes a new model of Islamic constitutionalism for today’s Muslim-majority countries.

Quraishi-Landes is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar and 2012 Guggenheim Fellow. Previously, she served as a public delegate on the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women; president and board member of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights; fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding; and advisor to the Pew Task Force on Religion and Public Life.

Quraishi-Landes received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California-Berkeley, a juris doctor from the University of California-Davis, a doctor of juridical science from Harvard Law School, and a master of laws degree from Columbia Law School.

“In an increasingly pluralistic society, our legal institutions have sometimes stumbled in handling diverse religious traditions,” said Geoffrey Rapp, associate dean for academic affairs in the UT College of Law. “This year’s Cannon Lecturer, Professor Quraishi-Landes, will offer insights into the treatment of Islamic family law in American courts.”

This free, public event is part of the Cannon Lecture Series that was established in 1980 to honor former Toledo attorney Joseph A. Cannon. The series hosts nationally known individuals who explore both the humanistic dimensions and limitations of the legal system.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/law/events/cannon-lecture.html.

University to host naturalization ceremony for Constitution Day

Nearly 70 people will become U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony Monday, Sept. 17, at 11 a.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium on UT’s Main Campus.

Judge Jack Zouhary of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio will preside over the ceremony, which will celebrate Constitution Day at the University.

“Students, faculty and staff should plan to attend this very moving ceremony celebrating United States citizenship,” said Diane Miller, associate vice president for government relations. “It’s a great reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States and how that is sought after by people from all over the globe.”

Welcome remarks will be given by UT President Sharon L. Gaber and D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the UT College of Law.

Billy Jeffers, president of the Student Bar Association, will open the court, while Ariel Berger, vice president of the association, will close it.

Andrew Williams, president of Student Government, will read the Pledge of Allegiance.

Guest speakers will be Inma Zanoguera, a graduate student and 2015 UT alumna and former women’s basketball star who won the Sahara Marathon earlier this year, and Benjamin Syroka, a UT law student who clerked for Judge Zouhary.

The UT Concert Chorale will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” under the direction of Dr. Brad Pierson, assistant professor and director of choral activities in the UT Music Department.

The free, public event is sponsored by the Office of Government Relations and the Center for International Studies and Programs.

For more information on the naturalization ceremony, contact Lisa Byers, executive assistant in the Office of Government Relations, at lisa.byers@utoledo.edu.