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Smithsonian museum director and physicist to address UT graduates May 7

Leaders with a passion for diversity and science who have uplifted Americans through the arts, public service and higher education will address graduates at The University of Toledo’s spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7, in Savage Arena.

During the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, former U.S. Congressman and physicist Dr. Rush D. Holt, who leads the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific and engineering society, will speak to graduates from the colleges of Adult and Lifelong Learning, Health Sciences, Social Justice and Human Service, and the Judith Herb College of Education.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the first African-American female president of Spelman College, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony for the colleges of Business and Innovation, Communication and the Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

There are 2,843 candidates for degrees: 234 doctoral candidates, 727 master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate candidates, and 1,882 bachelor’s and associate’s candidates.

The ceremony will be streamed live on video.utoledo.edu.



Holt, who will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during the morning ceremony, is the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

He served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. During his time on Capitol Hill from 1999 to 2015, Holt advocated for increased federal research funding, science education and innovation. Holt made national headlines in 2011 when he defeated IBM’s supercomputer Watson in a non-televised round of “Jeopardy!”

Holt previously served as assistant director of Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country.



Cole, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the afternoon ceremony, made history nearly 30 years ago as the first African-American female president of Spelman College in Atlanta. She later served as president of Bennett College for Women, making Cole the only person who has been president of both historically black colleges for women in the United States.

She also was the first woman elected to the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She was the first African American to serve as chair of the board of the United Way of America.

Other commencement ceremonies taking place are:

• College of Engineering — graduate commencement Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m., and undergraduate commencement Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in Nitschke Hall Auditorium.

• College of Nursing — Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Law — Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

• College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — Sunday, May 8, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences — Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

Open forums slated for graduate studies dean candidates

Three finalists have been selected from the internal search for a new dean for the College of Graduate Studies.

They are:

• Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education in the Judith Herb College of Education;

• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal and biological chemistry, associate professor of chemistry, and director of international pharmaceutical sciences graduate student retention and recruitment in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and

• Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of geography and planning in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

The UT campus community is invited to meet the candidates at open forums.

Listed by date, the open forums will be:

• Friday, April 29 — Dinnebeil from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus and from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Student Union Room 2592 on Main Campus.

• Monday, May 2 — Lawrence from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus and from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Student Union Room 2582 on Main Campus.

• Thursday, May 5 — Bryant-Friedrich from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus and from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Student Union Room 2582 on Main Campus.

Curriculum vitaes are available for each candidate at utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-graduate.

“We are looking for someone to lead our graduate and professional programs to become even more nationally distinguished and highly ranked,” Dr. William Messer, vice president for research and chair of the search committee, said. “The next dean also will be charged with continuing and growing UT’s emphasis on graduate student research.”

The University has 128 master’s degree programs and 40 doctoral programs in 12 colleges. In addition to those degrees, the University offers professional doctorates and master’s degrees, as well as a variety of certificates in health care, business and personal enrichment areas.

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

Open forums slated for vice provost candidates

Two internal candidates for the vice provost for retention and undergraduate studies position have been identified by the search committee.

They are Dr. Brian Ashburner, interim provost for retention and undergraduate studies and associate professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Willie McKether, special assistant to the president for diversity, associate dean in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, and associate professor of anthropology.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at two open forums. Each will take place from 1:15 to 2 p.m. in the Libbey Hall main dining room:

• Wednesday, April 27 — McKether.

• Thursday, April 28 — Ashburner.

The vice provost for retention and undergraduate studies is responsible for providing leadership in the implementation of strategic initiatives related to retention and the student experience as it relates to undergraduate education and programs.

The position oversees the administration of undergraduate academic student support services, which includes the Student Success and Retention Office, Learning Enhancement Center, Writing Center and First-Year Experience Programming.

In addition, the vice provost is responsible for the preparation, submission and improvement of the University’s college completion plan, and works collaboratively with colleges on UT admissions standards, curriculum development, enrollment opportunities, experiential learning, advising, coaching, and quality teaching to enhance the undergraduate student learning experiences, outcomes and success.

To see the finalists’ curriculum vitae and more about the position, go to utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-vice-provost.

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.

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

Seven University employees were recognized last week for excellence and dedication to the campus community at the 30th annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.

More than 80 attended the University Women’s Commission program, which was held Thursday in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room. Dr. Patsy Komuniecki, vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, spoke at the event.

Recipients of the the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were, from left, Nicole Porter, Dr. Barbara Schneider, Sara Clark, Nadine Hoffmann, Betty Jean Sullivan and Dr. Deepa Mukundan.

Recipients of the the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were, from left, Nicole Porter, Dr. Barbara Schneider, Sara Clark, Nadine Hoffmann, Betty Jean Sullivan and Dr. Deepa Mukundan.

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

Sara Clark, director of global engagement and the American Language Institute. She has worked at the University eight years. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from UT in 2004 and 2007, respectively.

“Sara is totally involved on campus. She goes to most every campus event with dozens of international students. She also teaches two UT evening courses on service learning. Sara is an adviser to the UT Student Explorers, which involves both domestic and foreign students in many exciting trips and activities throughout the region,” a nominator wrote. “She performs her job with a combination of positive energy, absolute integrity, and a powerful can-do attitude. I am so grateful to have such a devoted and talented woman here as our leader.” “Sara helped create the American Language Institute Student Council and went to great lengths to make certain that our women students were well-represented. They gain excellent leadership skills,” another noted. “Sara is both respectable and respected. I am very impressed by Sara’s devotion to her students and to the entire University.”

• Nadine Hoffmann, an assistant to the undergraduate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering. Previously, she worked for two deans in the College of Law, but spent most of her tenure at the former UT Community and Technical College. Hoffmann received associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from UT in 1994 and 2007, respectively.

“Nadine is a critical person in our office, and she excels in customer service. She is the first voice people hear when they call our office and the first face they see when they enter our office. Each day, our office has between one and 20 prospective students visit for a presentation and a tour. Ms. Hoffmann takes time to personally greet and speak with each family. She helps answer their initial questions, calms their nerves, and welcomes them to the College of Engineering. Her positive aura is a blessing for these prospective students and gives our college a friendly face,” a nominator wrote. “She also is actively involved in her church, Cedar Creek. She has taught Bible study and volunteers at the soup kitchen weekly.”

• Dr. Deepa Mukundan, associate professor of pediatrics. She completed her residency at MCO in 2003 and returned to UT as an assistant professor in 2006. Mukundan was promoted to associate professor in 2013 and was named associate student clerkship director in pediatrics in 2014. She helped establish the UT International Traveler’s Clinic in the Ruppert Health Center in 2014.

“Dr. Mukundan is very active in supporting women’s and children’s health-care needs in our community. She is bringing awareness to families regarding the need for vaccination against meningitis in Ohio,” one nominator wrote. “She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the section on International Child Health, Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology. She also is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of America, Global Health Council, American Society of Microbiology, International Society for Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infections Network, and International Society of Travel Medicine. She also is involved with MDJunior as a global medical-mentor for mission trips to Honduras with high school and middle school students.”

• Nicole Porter, professor of law. She joined the College of Law faculty in 2007. She served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2010 to 2012.

“Professor Porter served on the University’s Sexual Harassment Task Force and was one of the principal drafters of the new UT Sexual Harassment Policy, promulgated in 2011,” one nominator wrote. “Professor Porter conceived and developed a junior faculty orientation for new College of Law faculty members. Even more significant has been the informal mentorship she has provided to junior faculty members, in particular persons of color and female faculty members.” Another noted, “As a scholar, Professor Portman is exemplary. Her research has consistently attracted national attention. And many of her articles have focused squarely on women’s issues, including ‘Women, Unions and Negotiation,’ ‘Sex Plus Age Discrimination: Protecting Older Women Workers,’ ‘Debunking the Market Myth in Pay Discrimination Cases,’ ‘Finding a Fix for the FMLA: A New Perspective, a New Solution,’ and ‘The Caregiver Conundrum Redux: The Entrenchment of Structural Norms.’ All of her work is widely read, cited and influential.”

• Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, and associate professor of English. She joined the faculty as assistant professor and director of composition in 2000 and received tenure and was promoted to associate professor and appointed director of the UT Writing Center in 2006. Five years later, Schneider was named associate dean of the College of Innovative Learning and in 2012 became associate dean in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, where she was promoted to senior associate dean in 2013.

“Despite her daunting duties as senior associate dean, Dr. Schneider teaches every semester for the Department of English and in fall 2016 will teach a class for the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies,” one nominator wrote. “She is creative and tireless in her efforts to support every college initiative and to promote and support students. Whatever the task, she works quietly and efficiently behind the scenes, never seeking credit or functioning in self-serving ways, and always maintaining a positive attitude and good humor.”

Betty Jean Sullivan, custodial worker in Gillham Hall. She joined the UT staff in 1991 and has worked in Memorial Field House, Carlson Library, Wolfe Hall and Gillham Hall. In 2014, Sullivan received the University’s Shining Star Award.

“Ms. Sullivan is highly deserving of this award as she exemplifies the work of women as foundational to family life and community life, and as the often invisible, or at least ignored, work that is essential to maintaining an institution like The University of Toledo as a healthy, thriving institution,” a nominator wrote. After her husband was diagnosed with cancer, she cared for him at home for two years until he passed, according to a nomination. Then she took on more responsibility at the Paradise Baptist Church, which was founded by her husband. “Since the church was a small community of low-income people in Toledo, she took two things she loves and combined them together, spiritual and physical food. The corner of Tecumseh and Detroit became a place where people could stop by and get some good soul food and receive a message of hope and love.”



• Dr. Mary Beth Wroblewski, assistant professor of pediatrics, pediatric clerkship director, and assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. She received a bachelor of science degree in pharmaceutical science from UT in 1998 and a doctor of medicine degree from MCO in 2005. She completed post-graduate training at UT and served as chief resident her final year. Wroblewski has received many awards, including the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

“Dr. Wroblewski oversees pediatric education for 350 third- and fourth-year medical students each year. She listens to the medical students and works diligently to lead them to solutions that work for them and gets them back on track. She does this with a great deal of humility, compassion and humor,” one nominator wrote. “Her most recent involvement in the community is her pediatric clinic at Toledo Public Schools. She also is very involved with the recent epidemic of babies addicted to methadone. She also is an active supporter of women’s issues and is very involved educating parents on the health care of children as well as the importance of vaccinating children.”

Students receiving scholarships from the University Women’s Commission were Ashley Daniels, left, and Ashley Jemerson. Batool Mehdi also received a scholarship, but she was unable to attend the event.

Students receiving scholarships from the University Women’s Commission were Ashley Daniels, left, and Ashley Jemerson. Batool Mehdi also received a scholarship, but she was unable to attend the event.

The University Women’s Commission also presented $1,000 scholarships to three students. Receiving awards based on academic achievement, support of women’s and gender issues, and campus and community involvement were Ashley Jemerson, a senior majoring in criminal justice and minoring in forensic science investigation; Batool Mehdi, a senior majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry; and Ashley Daniels, a senior majoring in early childhood education.

UT professor receives national recognition

The University of Toledo houses the only disability studies program in the country with faculty members solely devoted to disability studies, one of whom was recently recognized for her work.

Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, assistant professor of disability studies, was granted the Western Social Science Association’s 2016 New Scholar Award.



“It’s an honor to be someone representing disability studies, which is a very tiny discipline compared to some of the other [social sciences],” Ben-Moshe said. “It’s also an honor that specifically it’s work on incarceration of people with disabilities that’s getting attention.”

Ben-Moshe specializes in applying disability studies to imprisonment and incarcerated individuals. She recently edited Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada, a book examining the incarceration and segregation of people with disabilities, which she cites as one of the reasons she received recognition.

When asked what drew her to disability studies and incarceration, Ben-Moshe explained the two fields didn’t intersect at first: “I saw that people who do anti-prison work are amazing advocates, but they didn’t really talk about disability. And when they did, they didn’t really understand disability as an identity and a culture, but as a deficit. And vice versa, people who do really good work in disability areas don’t know anything about prisons.”

Through her work, Ben-Moshe hopes to bridge the gap between the two fields. Since the book was published, the editors have been invited to various universities and grassroots organizations nationwide to speak, which is where Ben-Moshe encourages collaboration.

“We really started this conversation on a national level,” she said. “I hope this isn’t the full conversation, but hopefully it’s just the beginning of the conversation.”

The Western Social Science Association works to advance scholarship, teaching, service and professional exchange across the social science disciplines. Its mission is to foster professional study and promote teaching of social science.

Ben-Moshe will receive her award later this month at the president’s luncheon at the association’s annual meeting in Reno, Nevada, where she will present her research.

For more information, contact Ben-Moshe at liat.benmoshe@utoledo.edu or visit wssaweb.com.

Holi Toledo to return to campus April 13

While spring snow postponed the Color Run Saturday, sunny skies are in the forecast for midweek and The University of Toledo campus will be covered in vibrant hues for the celebration of Holi Toledo.

Holi, an Indian holiday meant to welcome spring, will be celebrated at The University of Toledo for its third consecutive year on Wednesday, April 13, from 3 to 5 p.m. on the grounds outside Memorial Field House. In case of rain, there is an alternate date set for Wednesday, April 20, from 3 to 5 p.m.

holi toledo 2016Holi has been observed all over India since ancient times as a celebration of the arrival of spring. For many Hindus, Holi serves as an opportunity to loosen social restrictions and bridge social gaps to bring people of different statuses together.

“[Holi Toledo is] a great venue to talk directly with people from other religions and cultures about what matters to them. It’s an immersion in one of the world’s longest continuously practiced holidays,” said Dr. Jeanine Diller, director of the Center for Religious Understanding. “It’s a lot of fun!”

The event will involve throwing color powder in an area surrounded by booths created by religious and cultural student organizations. There will be music, color blasts every 30 minutes, and prizes for the most colorful individual and participants who visit five or more booths.

To receive color to throw, participants must visit booths and ask a quick question about an inspiration, journey or tradition. The T-shirts worn by those running the booths will hint at which question to ask.

Hundreds of people are expected to participate in this year’s Holi Toledo, which is sponsored by the Center for Religious Understanding, the Center for International Studies and Programs, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement, and the Division of Student Affairs.

All students, faculty, employees and community members are welcome to participate.

For more information, contact Diller at jeanine.diller@utoledo.edu.

ISIS, Islamic religion to be discussed at Imam Khattab Lecture April 7

Less than one month after the Brussels attacks, there are many questions surrounding the terrorist group ISIS.

“Is ISIS Islamic?” will be the topic of the annual Imam Khattab Lecture on Islamic Thought by Dr. Ovamir Anjum, UT Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies. The free, public lecture will be Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Auditorium.

Islamic Lecture Poster“In the face of these terrible terrorist attacks in Brussels, France, Turkey and Pakistan, there is a lot of emotion and fear,” he said. “To understand the situation better, I think it’s good for us all, especially with the ongoing elections, to have these discussions.”

Anjum spoke on the topic last fall for the series, “Windows on Contemporary Islamic Issues,” following the Paris attacks, stating that ISIS is not Islamic, but rather Saddam Hussein’s radical legacy. Modern scholars consider ISIS a modern-day Kharijites — a heretical group known for violence, he said.

Expanding on his previous talk, Anjum said he plans to reflect on three points: what conditions created ISIS; how everyone in the Islamic tradition condemns the acts of ISIS; and the disturbing phenomenon of young people, especially Westerners, joining ISIS.

With a larger audience, Anjum said he hopes to spark conversations in the community.

This lecture is part of the UT Center for Religious Understanding’s annual lecture series, which has been active for more than a decade. The center promotes a deeper understanding of religion on campus and in greater Toledo.

For more information, visit the Imam Khattab Lecture Series page at http://utole.do/imamkhattab.

Lines drawn between literature and the arts at Humanities Happy Hour March 24

Whether singing African-American blues or looking at a sculpture of bicycle wheels and a piano, this month’s Humanities Happy Hour has something for everyone.

Dr. Sarah Lundquist, UT associate professor of English, and Dr. Kimberly Mack, UT assistant professor of English, will present at Humanities Happy Hour Thursday, March 24, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Libbey Hall dining room.

“Homage to New York” was created in 1960 by Jean Tinguely.

“Homage to New York” was created in 1960 by Jean Tinguely.

The free, public event will begin at 5 p.m. with a beer and wine cash bar and free refreshments that will continue through the talks and end at 8 p.m.

Lundquist’s presentation, “Things Seen Are Things as Seen: Wallace Stevens and the Visual Arts,” will focus on “The Man on the Dump,” a piece by modernist poet Wallace Stevens, and work of Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely, particularly his “Homage to New York,” made from materials gathered from a dump.

“Poetry is a vital and essential art; attention to language and how it works helps people understand and analyze their inner and outer worlds,” she said.

Lundquist said she finds many correlations between the visual arts and literature, and has written about ekphrastic poetry — poetry about particular paintings, photographs or sculptures.

“I find many opportunities to show my students artwork, particularly when teaching Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, as the poets and the painters often worked together and were working out similar aesthetic and representational issues.”

Mack’s talk, “When the Blues Come to Town: U2, Gary Clark Jr., and the Blues Apprenticeship,” is based on a chapter from her book project, Fade to Black: Blues Music and the Art of Narrative Self-Intention From Robert Johnson to Jack White.

U2 and B.B. King collaborated on “When Love Comes to Town,” which was featured on the band's 1988 disc and movie titled “Rattle and Hum.”

U2 and B.B. King collaborated on “When Love Comes to Town,” which was featured on the band’s 1988 disc and movie titled “Rattle and Hum.”

“My book explores racialized blues mythology and puts forth a new take — that these artists and others, far from having ready-made racial and cultural identities, instead have fashioned worlds through their own autobiographical and biographical storytelling,” she said.

This particular chapter focuses on the Irish rock band U2’s collaboration with the late African-American bluesman B.B. King, and African-American blues-rock performer Gary Clark Jr.’s apprenticeship with white mentors. Mack said she will discuss the role that blues authenticity plays in these dynamics and how they are affected by racial fluidity.

As an English assistant professor, Mack said she finds connections between music and literature, especially African-American literature because the genre comes out of an oral tradition that includes music. In the fall, she plans to teach a graduate seminar called The Autobiographical Impulse in the 20th-Century American Blues Literature, Drama and Music, in which students will have the opportunity to hear the music alluded to in literature.

“Musical references are abundant throughout African-American literature, so I think it is important for students to actually hear the music in class rather than simply reading about it,” she said.

Humanities Happy Hour was originated by the Humanities Institute in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences. The institute serves as an advocate and support for the study of human cultures at UT.

“Much of the research we do in the humanities is interdisciplinary in subject and approach, and doesn’t fit into neat categories,” said Dr. Christina Fitzgerald, director of the institute and English professor. “The work of Drs. Lundquist and Mack exemplifies this boundary-crossing. Although they both teach and work in the English Department, their research engages with the intersections of literature and the arts.”

For more information, contact the Humanities Institute at 419.530.4407 or humanitiesInstitute@utoledo.edu.