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White coats to be given to UT College of Medicine students Aug. 2

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences will recognize first-year medical students during its official white coat ceremony Thursday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. in Nitschke Auditorium.

The ceremony, held during the week of orientation, welcomes medical students to the college and prepares them for undertaking a medical career. Highlights of the event include a welcome from the dean of the college, a keynote address on humanism in medicine, and the presentation of white coats and recitation of the Medical Student Pledge of Ethics.

Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president of clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, will officiate the ceremony in which 175 medical students will receive their white coats.

“This ceremony underscores the foundation of the medical profession for first-year medical students,” Cooper said. “The white coat serves as a symbol of their entry into medical school. Secondly, it reiterates their commitment to professionalism, continuing education, and their service to others through medical care.”

Nearly 75 percent of the new students are Ohio residents, and more than 30 percent are from northwest Ohio.

In addition, nearly 10 percent of the class studied at UT: A quarter of the incoming students have master’s degrees half of which are from the University.

The annual ceremony will conclude orientation week for the medical students. The event can be watch live here.

In addition to College of Medicine and Life Sciences, the UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences holds a white coat ceremony for third-year PharmD students, and the UT College of Health and Human Services presents white coats to first-year physical therapy and occupational therapy doctoral students and respiratory care students in their junior year, which is the first year of their professional program. And the College of Nursing has a white coat ceremony for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and the Clinical Nursing Leader Program.

UT and BGSU to grow independent nursing education programs

In order to meet the demand for more nurses in the region and across the country, The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will pursue independent nursing programs to educate additional health-care providers.

UT and BGSU currently partner in a joint nursing consortium. Moving forward with independent programs will provide opportunities for both universities to focus on separate strategies to educate and grow the supply of nurses, which is critical to meeting the future health-care needs of the region.

All current BGSU nursing students and new students beginning their studies in fall 2018 will continue with the consortium program through graduation and will not be impacted by the change.

Under the existing agreement, about 50 BGSU pre-nursing students annually go on to complete their required nursing coursework and clinicals through the UT College of Nursing after two years of pre-nursing studies at Bowling Green. While the students take their classes at UT during their junior and senior years, they remain BGSU students and are awarded their bachelor’s degree by BGSU.

“Health care is a rapidly changing industry, and universities need to continue to adapt to the changing environment in order to provide the best education for future health-care providers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The nursing profession is more critical than ever, and this new organizational structure will allow both UT and BGSU to grow our programs to better meet the need for more high-quality nurses in Ohio and beyond.”

The demand for nurses in Ohio and across the nation far exceeds the current supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The nursing workforce is expected to grow by 16 percent to 3.2 million by 2024 with more than one million job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements.

“We agree that the time is right to pursue new partnerships,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said. “We recognize that there is growing demand for nurses throughout northwest Ohio. This provides both universities the opportunity to grow their respective programs.”

UT and BGSU continue to be strong partners. Last year the universities announced a foreign language course exchange program. The universities also are partners in the Building Ohio’s Sustainable Energy Future initiative, a joint program that encourages students to pursue research careers in renewable energy and sustainable environmental practices.

Additionally, UT and BGSU are collaborating on the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills program, which allows universities to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for use in learning laboratories specific to regional workforce needs and then share these resources with other colleges and universities to help more students get a quality education more affordably. The universities also are focusing efforts on addressing the opioid crisis and Lake Erie water quality concerns.

Faculty members receive promotion, tenure

A number of faculty members received tenure and promotion for the 2017-18 academic year approved in April by the UT Board of Trustees.

Faculty members who received tenure were:

College of Law
• Michelle Cavalieri
• Bryan Lammon

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

College of Arts and Letters
• Daniel Hernandez, Art
• Dr. Thor Mednick, Art
• Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Disability Studies
• Dr. Jason Levine, Psychology
• Daniel Thobias, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Kainan Wang, Finance
• Dr. Joseph Cooper, Management

College of Engineering
• Dr. Halim Ayan, Bioengineering
• Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, Bioengineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, School of Social Justice

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. David Heidt, Surgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, Biological Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Art
• Dr. Sujata Shetty, Geography and Planning
• Dr. Jami Taylor, Political Science and Public Administration
• Dr. Edmund Lingan, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Management
• Dr. Bashar Gammoh, Marketing and International Business

College of Engineering
• Dr. Scott Molitor, Bioengineering
• Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Devinder Kaur, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Gursel Serpen, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
• Dr. Hongyan Zhang, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Tavis Glassman, School of Population Health
• Dr. Sheryl Milz, School of Population Health

Judith Herb College of Education
• Dr. Tod Shockey, Curriculum and Instruction
• Dr. Florian Feucht, Educational Foundations and Leadership

College of Law
• Elizabeth McCuskey
• Evan Zoldan

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Neurosurgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Maria Diakonova, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Michael Weintraub, Environmental Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
• Dr. Frederick Williams, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to associate professor were:

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Sumon Nandi, Orthopaedic Surgery
• Dr. Terrence Lewis, Radiology

Book launch to celebrate new UT Press title ‘Caps, Capes, and Caring’

A new book that chronicles a century of nursing education in the Glass City has been released by The University of Toledo Press.

“Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo” was written by Patricia Ringos Beach, Susan J. Eisel, Maria E. Nowicki, Judy Harris Szor and Beth E. White.

Mulford Library on Health Science Campus will host a book launch Wednesday, May 23, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase, and the authors will be present to speak with attendees.

Between 1893 and 1999, there were eight hospital-based diploma schools of nursing in Toledo: Flower Hospital School of Nursing, Maumee Valley Hospital School of Nursing, Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Riverside Hospital School of Nursing, Robinwood/St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, Toledo Hospital School of Nursing, and Toledo State Hospital School of Nursing.

This core group of schools, operating for more than 100 years, sent registered nurses into the community to care for the sick and teach community members how to stay healthy. Graduates from these schools continue to provide care and comfort, and educate future nurses.

The authors, all hospital diploma school graduates, taught together as nursing faculty at the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. Beach, Eisel, Nowicki and Szor are alumni of MCO/MUO/UT, where they received advanced degrees in nursing and education.

In the course of writing the book, the authors interviewed nearly 100 Toledo diploma school graduates. Their memories and stories are celebrated in the book, which also includes historical images and photographs.

The book is $24.95 and available at utoledopress.com.

Light refreshments will be served at the free, public event.

For more information on the launch party, contact Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, at jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu or 419.383.5152.

UT fraternity member named International Pike of the Month

Bryan Wuske, UT sophomore and member of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter, has been selected as International Pike of the Month for March.

Pike of the Month award recipients are those who demonstrate leadership and have a positive impact on their chapters, campuses and communities.

Bryan Wuske, shown here with the Robert Adgar Smythe Award the UT Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha received in 2016-17, was named Pike of the Month in March.

Having a 3.7 GPA and starting Toledo’s nursing program in the fall, Wuske is honored to be a recipient.

“It feels so special knowing that all the hard work and dedication I put in is being recognized,” Wuske said. “I could not have done this without the constant support of my brothers, my family, and the Greek community as a whole.”

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

Wuske is the third member of the UT chapter to receive an award.

He has a passion for leading others and is involved in the community.

On campus, he is a member of Leadership Through Service, Pre-Nursing Student Organization, Wrestling Club, RockeTHON Financial Team Committee and Lambda Sigma Honor Society.

He also volunteers for Relay for Life, Haiti Hut Outreach, Wrap Up Toledo, Monroe Street United Methodist Church, Bridge Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Big Event and Love From Chase.

“I do everything in my power to lead others around me into a positive direction,” Wuske said “I am so happy to have made the decision to attend The University of Toledo and hope to continue to lead others down a path of success in the future.”

Football legend, technology expert to speak at UT commencement ceremonies

Chuck Ealey and Dr. Helen Sun will return to The University of Toledo to give addresses during spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5, in the Glass Bowl.

Ealey, the football star and businessman, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. Sun, a technology strategist known for transforming companies, will come out for the graduate commencement at 3 p.m.

There are 3,094 candidates for degrees from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Graduate Studies; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College. There are 987 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates, and 2,107 for bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.

The public ceremonies can be viewed live at utoledo.edu/video.

Ealey

UT will award Ealey an honorary doctor of humane letters.

“It is amazing, wonderful and humbling to have the opportunity to speak to the 2018 graduates of The University of Toledo,” Ealey said. “What I want to share is what I have learned — and am still learning — after I graduated. It’s about a legacy dream that can come true.”

He made dreams a reality as the UT quarterback who became a legend leading the Rockets to 35 victories in three seasons and as a trailblazer for African-American QBs in the Canadian Football League.

After finishing 18-0 in high school in Portsmouth, Ohio, Ealey received a football scholarship to the University. While earning a business degree in economics, he earned some nicknames for his exploits on the field: Mr. Cool, The Wizard of Oohs and Aahs. With Ealey at quarterback, Toledo went 35-0 from 1969 to 1971. He racked up 5,903 yards in total offense and 54 touchdowns while leading the Rockets to final Associated Press rankings of No. 20 in 1969, No. 12 in 1970, and No. 14 in 1971, finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior year.

Despite the eye-popping numbers, Ealey was passed over as a quarterback in the 1972 NFL draft. Although offered other positions, he was committed to becoming a professional quarterback and elected to go to the Canadian Football League. As a rookie, he led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Grey Cup Championship in 1972 and was named Most Valuable Player. During his seven years in the CFL, he also played for the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

After hanging up his helmet, Ealey was a certified financial planner with Investors Group for 30 years. He recently stepped out of his role as regional director to do more client and corporate coaching. The 1972 UT alumnus also inspires through the Chuck Ealey Foundation, which helps people discover and embrace their undefeated spirit to better themselves and their community.

Sun

Sun, chief technology officer of architecture, engineering and data management at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Chicago, received a PhD in educational technology from UT in 2001. She is an expert in revolutionizing businesses through innovative solutions, including artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics and architecture.

“I’m very excited to be coming back to campus and reflect on how my IT career took shape during the years I attended UT,” said Sun, who developed websites while in graduate school.

“I’ll wrap my speech around three personal experiences: How I started a career in technology — find where your passion lies; how my seemingly diverse career path has taken me to where I am — take risks and never let fear of failure deter you away from opportunities; and who my true hero is throughout these years — don’t let what others do to you change who you are,” she said.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sun was vice president for cloud computing, information and architecture at Motorola Solutions Inc. She has held senior leadership positions at some of the world’s most recognizable companies, including Harbor Capitol Advisors, NewEdge Group, Oracle Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc.

At Oracle, Sun became the first woman to achieve Oracle Enterprise Architect status and was honored as Oracle Enterprise Architect of the Year in 2011. In 2016, the Chicago Business Journal named her one of 50 honorees for its Women of Influence Awards.

She is the co-author of “Oracle Big Data Handbook,” “Pro Salesforce Analytics Cloud: A Guide to Wave Platform, Builder and Explorer” and “Master Competitive Analytics With Oracle Endeca Information Discovery.” Sun is a frequent speaker at major conferences and symposia; she gave the keynote address at the Open Group Big Data Conference in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition to her passion serving as a mentor for women, Sun was a member of the UT Business Advisory Board from 2012 to 2016. She is co-chair of the Computer Science Advisory Board at Bowling Green State University.

Those planning to attend commencement are advised to use the west entrance off Secor Road and the south entrance off Dorr Street to avoid congestion on West Bancroft Street.

The College of Law will hold its commencement Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

And the College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ graduation ceremony will take place Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. in Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo.

University recognizes faculty, staff for advising, research, teaching, outreach work

UT outstanding advisors, researchers and teachers, and recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement, were recognized last week.

Recipients of the Outstanding Advisor Award were:

Winners of the Outstanding Adviser Award were Dr. Jerry Van Hoy and Amanda Seabolt.

Amanda Seabolt, academic advisor in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The UT alumna received a bachelor of science degree in biology, a master of public health degree, a master of science degree in nursing, and a graduate certificate in gerontological practice. She will graduate with a doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction from the University next month. Seabolt started advising students in 2015, the same year she received one of UT’s Outstanding Staff Awards.

“She is always giving students opportunities, whether it be in getting a new job, joining an organization, or participating in research,” one nominator wrote. “She is always pushing students to do their best.” “She shows great knowledge through her own personal experience and continued education. She never stops learning,” another nominator wrote. “If she doesn’t know something, she doesn’t stop looking until she finds the answer. She is always working for the student. She has been one of the most influential people during my time at the University.”

Dr. Jerry Van Hoy, associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Letters. He is co-director of the Program in Law and Social Thought and director of the Master of Liberal Studies Program. Van Hoy joined the University in 2000 and received one of UT’s Outstanding Teacher Awards in 2013.

“He flips the notion that advising is purely transactional on its head by listening to students’ needs and concerns. He helps students develop academic plans that work for them, addressing weaknesses and creating pathways to not only graduation, but to a life after college that students are excited about,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “As a recent graduate, I faced some distressing events during my capstone project. Dr. Van Hoy provided objective feedback to let me know the problem wasn’t unusual, the troubling issues were not caused by me, and that they were not insurmountable. His advice was calming and reassuring. He was sensitive, diplomatic when needed, and direct as required.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award were:

Receiving Outstanding Research and Scholarship Awards were, from left, Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni, Dr. Yanfa Yan and Nicole Buonocore Porter.

Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni
, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering. He is executive director of emerging technologies and special advisor to the UT vice president, chief information officer and chief technology officer. Devabhaktuni joined the faculty as an associate professor in 2008.

He is a renowned expert in computer-aided design, machine learning, modeling, optimization and simulation as applied to electromagnetics, big data, biomedical engineering, cyber security, energy efficiency, virtual reality, wireless sensor networking, image and signal processing, and more. Since 2009, the National Science Foundation has supported his work. While at UT, he has received about $2 million in funding from more than 30 external grants and has published more than 80 papers. According to Google Scholar, Devebhaktuni’s work has been cited 3,200 times since 2013.

Nicole Buonocore Porter, professor of law in the College of Law. She joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2007.

Porter is a nationally recognized scholar on the employment rights of women and individuals with disabilities. She is the author of a disability law casebook, published by a leading legal academic publisher, and is the co-editor of a forthcoming book titled “Feminist Judgments: Employment Discrimination Opinions Rewritten.” Her published articles address the persistent pay gap between men and women, discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities, and the employment rights of individuals with disabilities. Her work has been cited more than any other faculty member in the UT College of Law, and she is frequently invited to speak at symposia and national conferences. In addition, Porter was invited to join the Labor Law Group, a prestigious organization that produces scholarship on labor and employment law.

Dr. Yanfa Yan, professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He joined the UT faculty in 2011.

For two decades, Yan has been researching photovoltaics, solar fuels and energy storage techniques using a combination of theory, material synthesis, device fabrication, and material and device characterization. He has written or co-written more than 350 articles and has given more than 50 invited talks. According to Google Scholar, Yan’s work has been cited 16,868 times. His work has been funded with more than $5 million from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research and private industry.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were:

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were Dr. Susan Batten and Kenneth Kilbert.

Dr. Susan Batten
, professor in the College of Nursing. She joined the University in 1995.

Batten coordinates patient intake for the UT Community Care Clinic at Cedar Creek Church, provides care during Labre Traveling Clinic in south and east Toledo, and for migrant workers at their resident camps in northwest Ohio. She also has mentored nursing, medical and pharmacy students during annual medical missions to Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti. Batten has worked with more than 1,000 UT students with her community outreach and service projects. Their work has impacted more than 4,000 chronic disease patients in northwest Ohio, 500 immigrant workers and their families in rural Ohio, and more than 40,000 patients in Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti.

Kenneth Kilbert, professor and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes in the College of Law. He joined the University in 2006.

A scholar of environmental law, Kilbert’s work focuses on water issues affecting the Great Lakes region. Since 2006, he has planned UT’s annual Great Lakes Water Conference, which addresses legal and policy issues important to the region and its water resources. Each year, the conference draws approximately 300 guests and garners extensive media coverage. In addition, Kilbert has received multiple grants to study harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. His scholarly work increases awareness, promotes best practices, and suggests legal solutions to address the algal bloom problem.

Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award were:

Kara Bruce, professor in the College of Law. She joined the faculty in 2010.

“Professor Bruce exemplifies everything a professor should be — teacher, mentor, friend,” a nominator wrote. “Professor Bruce strives to engage her students while teaching difficult, sometimes less-interesting classes. She provides practical examples, makes jokes, and she goes out of her way (sometimes at the expense of getting behind schedule) to make sure we all understand what she is teaching. Honestly, I wish I could take Professor Bruce for every class in law school.” “Professor Bruce is excellent at taking complicated and challenging material and making it manageable for her students. She presents the material in a way that acknowledges the difficultly without making it seem daunting,” another wrote. “Not only is she passionate about students passing her class, she is passionate about making her students pass the bar.”

Dr. Edward Cancio, associate professor of special education in the Judith Herb College of Education. He came to UT in 2007.

“Dr. Cancio has been the most knowledgeable and inspiring professor I have had in my four years at UT. Every week Dr. Cancio showed the same passion for the subject that he taught and brought out the best from my classmates and I. It is easy to see from his lectures, published articles, and just speaking to him that Dr. Cancio is an expert in his field and was happy to pass his knowledge on special education to the class,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Cancio’s class focused on teaching students with emotional behavioral disorder, which is one of the most intimidating sections of special education. After taking his class, I know that I am more than prepared to go into this field.”

Elyce Ervin, senior lecturer in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services. She has been teaching at the University since 1999.

“I had Elyce Ervin for Anatomy and Physiology, which has never been so easily comprehendible than it was in her class. She provided mini-activities every other class that helped us to understand the material. She also provided great lecture notes that were organized and easy to keep up with. The notes were fill-in, which helped people pay attention in her class. She would always ask if anyone had any questions in between every slide to ensure we were understanding the material,” one nominator wrote. “The one thing that makes Elyce Ervin stick out is how she is continuing to have an impact on me. She is without a doubt one of the best people I have met in my life.”

Dr. Jackie Layng, professor of communication in the College of Arts and Letters. She has taught at the University since 1997.

“Dr. Layng has by far been the most knowledgeable and personable professor I have had at UT. Her classes always push me to do my best work and achieve professional-level skills. Many times her class assignments seem intimidating at first, but Dr. Layng is always available to guide students throughout the process,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “Selfless, dedicated, inspiring, caring: If you asked me to list all of the amazing things about Jackie, I think it’d be impossible because she’s had such a profound impact on my life. She genuinely cares about her students. Her constant words of encouragement, honest critiques, and passion for her career genuinely keep me going, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”

Dr. Kim E. Nielsen, professor of history, disability studies, and women’s and gender studies in the College of Arts and Letters. She joined the faculty in 2012.

“Dr. Nielsen creates a classroom atmosphere that makes all of her students feel comfortable to share stories, ideas and opinions. She listens to every student and encourages all of her students to have a voice,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “Dr. Nielsen goes out of her way to make sure every student succeeds. Her sense of humor makes every class intriguing and makes me want to learn more. I wasn’t much of a history buff until taking classes with her and hearing her passionate views. Dr. Nielsen is always available when you need her. She always comes to class with a smiling face even considering the boatload of other work she has to do. I wish I could have her for more classes.”

John J. Schlageter III, senior lecturer in the Paralegal Studies Program housed in the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services. He is a graduate of the UT College of Law and has been teaching at the University since 1998.

“He is truly the best professor that I had throughout my college career — always willing to listen, help in any way he can, and truly do everything in his power to help you begin your career in law,” one nominator wrote. Another noted, “Professor Schlageter goes above and beyond to help the students achieve great success in the paralegal classes. He always offers support, help and resources. He strives hard to make sure all students find a good quality internship. He always checks in on students and always offers support.” Another wrote, “He listens to every concern and teaches with such a passion. You can tell John loves what he does. He has helped myself and many others land jobs.”

Taking home Outstanding Teacher Awards were, from left, Elyce Ervin, Dr. Jackie Layng, John J. Schlageter III, Dr. Kim E. Nielsen, Kara Bruce and Dr. Edward Cancio.

Distinguished University Professors also were recognized at the ceremony:

Dr. Abdollah Afjeh of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering in the College of Engineering;

Dr. Paul Hong of the Department of Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation; and

Joseph Slater of the College of Law.

Read more about them here.

And Distinguished University Lecturers were honored:

Amy O’Donnell of the Department of Management in the College of Business and Innovation;

Sherry Tripepi of the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services; and

Sara Yaklin of the Department of English in the College of Arts and Letters.

Read more about them here.

UT to host Opioid Summit April 10

The University of Toledo is hosting an Opioid Summit to connect UT researchers, physicians and community partners with state leaders to advance collaborations that can help address the crisis affecting Ohio.

The summit will take place Tuesday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Thomspon Student Union Room 2592 and will feature speakers who will discuss the opioid epidemic in Ohio and share the state’s focus areas and funding priorities to address the issue.

“This summit provides an opportunity to further current initiatives, identify new collaborations, and connect with community contributors in addressing this major public-health problem,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the UT College of Nursing and co-chair of the committee leading UT’s opioid task force.

“Opioid abuse, addiction and overdoses affect families of every socio-demographic group,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and co-chair of the committee leading UT’s opioid task force. “Our research, education and service activities can help make a difference in the state of Ohio, as well as the nation.”

Charles See, vice chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, will speak at 9:15 a.m. in a presentation about the role of higher education in solving the opiates problem and supporting addicted students.

Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, will speak at 9:45 a.m. about strategic priorities, funding opportunities and resources through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Panel discussions will include representatives from the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Medicaid.

As Ohio and the nation struggle to stem the opioid epidemic, UT’s faculty, researchers and students are creating new, innovative solutions to address and prevent new users from forming addictions; developing methods for greater access to treatment and preventing the likelihood of relapse after treatment; and educating students and peers about opioid addiction and resources to seek help.

For example, a cross-disciplinary team that includes doctors and engineers is working to create a wearable device for opioid addicts that notifies the addict’s sponsor or 911 to indicate relapse or health distress from drug abuse. Also, researchers in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics are designing a drug that targets a receptor in the brain to limit dopamine release, thereby preventing opioid addiction and reducing withdrawal symptoms in addicted patients.

Faculty in the College of Nursing and the School of Population Health recently received a grant from Cardinal Health to promote prevention of opioid abuse by teaching fifth- through eighth-graders and their families about safe prescription drug use and storage.

In April 2017, UT Medical Center opened an inpatient detox program under the medical direction of Dr. Tanvir Singh, UTMC psychiatrist. This is the first and only hospital-based program in the region.

UT’s opioid task force was created by President Sharon L. Gaber to bring together researchers, physicians and educators across the University working on issues related to the opioid crisis.

The summit is among the committee’s activities to advance research and identify opportunities for additional partnerships and funding sources to support more collaborative projects.

UT College of Nursing moves up in U.S. News rankings

The University of Toledo College of Nursing improved its place in the U.S. News & World Report list of the top graduate nursing programs in the country.

The recently released 2019 Best Graduate Schools edition lists the master’s program in nursing at 183, up 20 spots from the previous year, and the doctor of nursing practice program is ranked for the first time.

“The significant increase in rank for both our MSN and DNP programs reflects our college’s growing visibility, the quality of our faculty, and the increasing excellence of our students,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the UT College of Nursing.

U.S. News ranks programs on criteria such as acceptance rate, GPA, student-faculty ratio, and grant funding, among other indicators. Contributing factors to the UT College of Nursing’s increase in the rankings are attracting more highly qualified applicants, graduating more students, and strong certification exam pass rates, Lewandowski said.

Graduate training for nurses is building momentum due to the increased complexity of patient care, national conversations about quality and patient safety, and shortages in nursing personnel. In response, UT has added two additional nurse practitioner track specialties — adult gerontology primary care and psychiatric mental health.

UT’s Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice Program was the first such program in the state when the Ohio Board of Regents approved it in 2012. It is designed to take nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing to the highest level of clinical practice and position them as leaders in the health-care field.

UT president creates Opioid Task Force

The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber has created a task force to address the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the UT College of Nursing, and Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and president of Faculty Senate, serve as co-chairs of the committee.

“There are many researchers, physicians and educators across the University working on issues related to the opioid crisis. Our goal is to bring all of these individuals together to ensure that we are collaborating to find solutions to this public health crisis across our region and state,” Gaber said.

The first meeting for faculty and staff at UT with interest or expertise in opiates and related issues will take place Thursday, March 15, at 8 a.m. in Collier Building Room 2010 on Health Science Campus. Anyone involved in research, education or clinical care pertaining to opioids is invited to attend.

“Opioid abuse, addiction and overdoses affect families of every socio-demographic group,” Lewandowski said. “Our research, education and service activities can help make a difference in the state of Ohio, as well as the nation.”

The committee’s activities will include identifying and coordinating current research, education and community service that UT faculty and students are engaged in; meeting with community and government leaders to strengthen partnerships; and identifying possible funding sources to support future collaborative projects.

“We are dedicated to unifying our academic expertise and efforts to help stem the tide of the opioid crisis,” Thompson said.