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Sales students across U.S. to participate in national sales competition at UT

Professional sales students from 30 universities across the United States will visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the second annual UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex on Main Campus.

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m., and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at an awards luncheon at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The UT Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

“We want to help businesses find top and available business-to-business professional sales talent while also giving universities a recruitment tool to grow their sales program enrollments,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Driscoll Alumni Center with sales leaders and recruiters from 15 sponsoring companies.

More than 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions and the career fair.  

Sponsors include 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Schindler Elevator Corp., Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Hilti, and Procter & Gamble Co.

Participating universities include Baylor, Florida State, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Indiana.

Three former Rockets to attend NFL Combine

Former Rocket football stars Kareem Hunt, Michael Roberts and Treyvon Hester will participate in the 2017 NFL Combine Tuesday, Feb. 28, through Monday, March 6, in Indianapolis.

The NFL Combine is a highly selective venue for college players to display their skills in front of hundreds of coaches and executives. This is the highest number of Toledo players that has ever been invited to the prestigious event.

“Many of our players had the opportunity to play in post-season games like the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl, and really helped themselves by playing well,” said Toledo Head Coach Jason Candle. “Now Kareem, Michael and Treyvon will have a chance to show what they can do at the NFL Combine. We will also have our Pro Day here [Monday, March 20], which will give our players more evaluation pieces to add to their resumés.”

Hunt, Toledo’s all-time leading rusher with 4,945 yards, ran for 118 yards and was named the North’s Most Outstanding Player at the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl Jan. 28. Roberts, a first-team All-America tight end, also played in the game, catching one pass for four yards.

Roberts joined former two-time All-Mid-American Conference offensive lineman Storm Norton at the East-West Shrine Bowl Jan. 21.

Hester, a three-time All-MAC defensive tackle, was invited to play in the Shrine Bowl, but he was sidelined with an injury.

Women’s golf to hold Paint, Wine and Cheese Night March 21 to raise funds

The University of Toledo women’s golf program will host a Paint, Wine and Cheese Night Tuesday, March 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the west concourse of Savage Arena.

The fundraiser is being held to benefit the Rockets’ trip to Hawaii next fall for the Rainbow Wahine Invitational.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to gather our supporters for an evening of fun to celebrate our program,” two-time Mid-American Conference Women’s Golf Coach of the Year Nicole Hollingsworth said. “Our entire team will be on hand to paint along with our guests and are excited to unlock their inner artists along with you.”

Attendees will be directed through a step-by-step process of creating their own “masterpiece” by professional artists. Youth ages 14 and older are welcome to attend with a participating adult.

Tickets for the event are $75 per person or $140 per couple. A table of six also can be purchased for $425. Admission includes two hours of painting on your own specially designed canvas as well as cheese, crackers and wine.

For more information, contact Hollingsworth at 419.530.7761 or nicole.hollingsworth@utoledo.edu.

The women’s golf program produced its best season in school history during the 2015-16 campaign. The Rockets set school records with five tournament titles and a 298.3 stroke average and nearly dethroned 18-time champion Kent State at the Mid-American Conference Championships. UT finished just four strokes behind the Golden Flashes to register its third second-place showing in the last four years and sixth top three showing in the conference tournament over the last seven years.

The team won its opening tournament of the spring Feb. 11 with a 12-stroke victory over Southern Illinois at the Ball State Sunshine Invitational in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Toledo men’s basketball to promote organ donor awareness Feb. 24

The University of Toledo and Life Connection of Ohio are partnering to host a Rockets for Life day Friday, Feb. 24, to promote awareness for organ donation in northwest Ohio.

The Rockets will host Central Michigan at Savage Arena in a 6 p.m. tipoff.

UT will honor organ donors, recipients, and those still waiting for a donation. Fans are encouraged to wear green. UT Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk and other UT staff members will wear green in honor of the event. Green-themed promotional items will be given away to fans throughout the game.

“Life Connection of Ohio is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with University of Toledo Athletics and Coach Kowalczyk for our first Rockets for Life event,” said Kara Steele, director of community services for Life Connection of Ohio. “The goal of Rockets for Life is to raise awareness about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. One person has the power to save eight lives through organ donation and enhance 50 more through tissue donation.

“Because of someone’s generous gift of organ donation, my father, a liver recipient, has been alive for the past 19 years. There are countless people touched by organ, eye and tissue donation in our community, and we look forward to honoring those who gave the gift of life and celebrating with those who received a second chance at life through this event,” Steele said.

Kowalczyk said organ donation is a cause that has touched him personally.

“One of my closest friends, Trey Schwab, recently passed away after experiencing complications from a double lung transplant,” Kowalczyk said. “He was able to live 12 years since his initial surgery. A 19-year old young man and his family gave Trey and 14 other people an opportunity to live. I couldn’t be a bigger supporter of organ donation and the work that Life Connection of Ohio is doing. I think it’s vital that we spread the word for people to become organ donors. I certainly am a donor, and my family and all our players are as well.”

Life Connection of Ohio is the nonprofit organization that has promoted and facilitated organ donation in northwest and west central Ohio for 25 years. Last year, Life Connection of Ohio coordinated the recovery of organs from 50 donors, providing 190 life-saving transplants. For more information or to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit lifeconnectionofohio.org.

Tickets for the game are available for the special price of $10, with $2 going to Life Connection of Ohio. Seats are in the upper east A section and must be purchased prior to game day. The promo code for online sales is LIFE.

For tickets, go to utrockets.com and use the promo code LIFE, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653) or stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office.

Women’s rights, immigration policy to be subject of faculty showcase

The University of Toledo’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies will host a faculty showcase focusing on women’s rights and immigration policy Friday, Feb. 24, in Libbey Hall.

The showcase will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar and light refreshments, followed by presentations by two faculty members on research they have developed during the past year.

Dr. Asma Abdel Halim, associate professor and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, will discuss women’s rights in the Sudan, which ranks No. 5 on the list of countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban. She will examine women’s rights in the Sudan from a legal perspective, including the issues that face women in the country, as well as what local and international women’s organizations are doing to change Sudanese laws and regulations affecting women.

Dr. Karie Peralta, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, will focus her presentation on the efforts of non-governmental organizations to assist Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic in navigating the documentation process needed to regularize their status. She will present information gathered from in-depth interviews with non-governmental organization leaders working with the migrants.

“As the community prepares to commemorate Women’s History Month in March and continues to wrestle with issues of immigration, these presentations will give attendees the opportunity to explore these topics in greater depth led by UT faculty members who have specialized in researching these subjects,” said Dr. Jim Ferris, director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies.

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies, part of the College of Arts and Letters, is the leading engine of interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences at the University. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 10 fields that work between as well as across traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative ways to solve problems.

University’s strategic plan taking shape

After several months of work and with the input of more than 1,000 people at the University, the strategic planning committee has defined the major areas of focus for the institution over the next five years.

The team shared the plan framework with various groups of University leaders last week, and soon will be conducting information sessions with students, faculty, staff and the community to review major components of the plan.

Areas of focus include:

• Student success and academic excellence;

• Research, scholarship and creative activities;

• Faculty, staff and alumni;

• Fiscal positioning and infrastructure; and

• Reputation and engagement. 

The team also identified themes that cut across all of the areas of focus. Those include:

• Athletics;

• Communications;

• Community engagement;

• Diversity and inclusion;

• Fundraising;

• Innovation;

• Technology; and

• UT’s Health System.

In addition to the plan, the strategic planning committee is working on new drafts of the University’s mission, vision, values and purpose statements.

“It is exciting to see the plan taking shape,” said UT President Sharon L Gaber. “It’s clear that we have a lot of things we’d like to do, and we are anxious to get started on the plan.”

Students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to review the plan and discuss the proposed goals in the information sessions planned for Tuesday, Feb. 28, and Wednesday, March 1; see the chart below.

Black Student Union to host ‘All Around the World’ fashion show Feb. 24

The Black Student Union’s 48th Annual Fashion Show is set to feature the diversity that the UT campus offers. This year’s theme, “All Around the World,” will showcase fashion from countries across the globe that many students call home.

“There will be four countries presented throughout the show,” said MeKayla Pullins, president of the Black Student Union. “The countries represented are Brazil, Jamaica, India and China.”

Pullins explained how this year’s theme was chosen: “Each year around the middle of the fall semester, we hold scene director auditions. These auditions consist of a vision of the show, giving the students a wide and open range of creativity and originality. This year we chose the theme ‘All Around the World,’ which was presented to us by one of the executive board members of BSU, Kyndra Gaines.”

Each year, the Black Student Union chooses a celebrity to host the event. This year’s fashion show will be hosted by Vine and Instagram comedienne Lala (@lalasizahands89).

The event will take place Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $15 for VIP seating in the front row, meet-and-greet with the host, and hors d’oeuvres prior to the show. They are available for purchase at Ask Rocky, and will be at the door for $15 and $20, respectively.

All proceeds from the fashion show go toward scholarships to support African-American students.

For more information, contact Pullins at mekayla.pullins@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Reception set for longtime employee

Campus community members are invited to a retirement celebration for Chris Spengler Monday, Feb. 27, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Schmakel Center.

Spengler began her career at the University in the Personnel Department in 1977. After serving as secretary for the Geology Department, she became executive secretary in the Office of the President and assistant secretary to the UT Board of Trustees. She assisted three presidents — Dr. Glen Driscoll, Dr. James McComas and Dr. Frank Horton — and one interim president, John Stoepler. 


In 1999, she transferred to the Division of Advancement, where she is director of advancement relations.

“We have been fortunate to have Chris as an important member of our UT family for so many years,” said Brenda S. Lee, president of the UT Foundation. “Her contributions to the Advancement team, as well as the entire University community, are very much appreciated. She will be missed.”

What’s it been like to work at UT for 40 years?

“Every day has been fun — great people and a great place to work,” Spengler said. “The University is so vibrant; there is something new to learn each day. I also have greatly enjoyed working with individuals who have shaped the University into what it is today. I have a favorite hard hat from my days in the President’s Office that has my name on it along with a little saying: ‘I’m in charge of the one in charge.’”

In that power position for 20 years, Spengler has lots of stories; she joked that she knows where the bodies are buried: “I even got my hands dirty. I helped bury Dr. Horton’s dog on the grounds of the former president’s house. He was out of town, and the burying crew was me, Carol Crum, the housekeeper, and George Stamos, the chef.”

During the last four decades, Spengler has left her mark on the University. She founded the Presidential Ambassadors, the honorary organization where select students serve the Office of the President by fostering good relations between the student body and alumni, faculty, staff and donors by representing and promoting UT at various events. And in 2006, she played an integral role in the establishment of UT’s Women & Philanthropy; she developed the bylaws for the collaborative effort of area women and the University’s Division of Advancement. Since then, Spengler has served as administrative contact for the community of female philanthropists who support the mission and goals of the University.

Last year, Spengler and her husband, William, donated $100,000 to the women’s basketball program. The couple gave the funds to the UT Foundation to create a charitable gift annuity. The Spenglers have a long affiliation with Rocket athletics.

“You will continue to see me at all home football and basketball games cheering on our Rockets,” Spengler said.

No surprise Spengler is true to her school: She received an associate of applied business degree from UT’s former Community and Technical College and a master of education degree from the University.

That dedication also will continue: “I haven’t spent much time contemplating what I will miss because I plan on remaining a very active retiree and alumna,” she said. “I’m going to be around a lot.”

UT ready to celebrate Engineers Week

Nerf gun tournaments, marble racing and more will be part of The University of Toledo’s recognition of Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25.

The annual “E-week” was started by the national organization, DiscoverE, to celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and bring engineering to life for students, educators and parents.

Spearheaded by the UT Engineering Council, student organizations at the College of Engineering have planned events in the spirit of E-week.

Listed by date, highlights for the week will include:

Monday, Feb. 20 

• E-week Kickoff Luncheon, 11 a.m., Nitschke Hall. This event will spotlight diversity as students and faculty will add pins to a map to represent their countries/states of origin.

• Tire Bowling, 3:30 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

• Engineer for a Day, 9 a.m. Area high school students will tour UT’s engineering facilities and have lunch with College of Engineering students and professional engineers before spending the afternoon shadowing a practicing engineering professional in the community.

• Concrete Bowling, 12:30 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

• Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, 3 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

• Catapult Competition, 4 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

• Historical Spotlight on Black Engineers, 5 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

Wednesday, Feb. 22

• Spring Career Expo, 12:30 p.m., Engineering Complex. More than 140 companies will visit campus to meet with approximately 600 UT engineering students and graduates. Read more here.

• The Mr. and Ms. Engineering pageant-style competition, 6:45 p.m., Nitschke Hall Auditorium.

Thursday, Feb. 23

• Nerf Gun Skill Tournament, noon, Nitschke Hall.

• Egg-Drop Contest, 1 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall. Students will test their small, lightweight containers designed to protect a raw egg dropped from successive heights.

Friday, Feb. 24

• Corn Hole Tournament, noon, first floor of Nitschke Hall.

• Student Entrepreneur Expo, 2:30 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall. Freshman engineering students will be showcasing their projects, which include a trash can bracket for a lawn mower, an iron-on insert to increase the size of pockets in women’s jeans, a radial dog collar, a modified ankle brace, and more.

• Balloon Rocket, 2 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

• Marble Racing, 4 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

Saturday, Feb. 25

• Private Screening of “Dream Big,” 2 p.m., Franklin Park Mall. Free passes are available; call 419.530.8040 to learn more.

Spring Engineering Career Expo set for Feb. 22

More than 140 companies will have representatives at the UT Spring Engineering Career Expo Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the College of Engineering Complex.

“Our employer participants include companies such as American Electric Power, Cooper Tire and Rubber, Dana, DTE Energy, DePuy Synthes/Johnson & Johnson, Fiat Chrysler, First Energy, Ford Motor Co., GE, Honda, Marathon, Nationwide, Norfolk Southern, Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois, Zimmer Biomet and many more,” said Dr. Vickie Kuntz, director of the Engineering Career Development Center.

Approximately 600 engineering students, graduates and alumni are expected to attend the expo.

“The current job outlook for engineering students in the UT Engineering College is certainly bright as evidenced by the record number of employers registered to attend the college’s spring career expo,” Kuntz said. “This reflects very positively on the quality of both our programs and our students. It also demonstrates our dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership we have with our industry participants.” 

Employers are seeking undergraduate students to participate in engineering co-op assignments, as well as leadership development programs. Employers also are seeking seniors and graduates for full-time employment. 

The UT College of Engineering undergraduate mandatory co-op program is one of only eight mandatory engineering co-op programs in the country. 

“Many students indicate our co-op program is the reason they attend the UT College of Engineering,” Kuntz said. “Our program requires our students to graduate with one full year of professional engineering experience. Our students feel confident seeking full-time employment upon graduation. Co-op employers are able to work with these students and are able to determine how the student fits within their organizations. It’s a win-win situation for our students and the employers who hire them.”

For more information, go to eng.utoledo.edu/coop/career_expo or contact Kuntz at vickie.kuntz@utoledo.edu