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UT student to graduate Dec. 15, start job as mayor of Oak Harbor in 2019

Quinton Babcock, a UT student in the Jesup Scott Honor College, will graduate this weekend and become mayor of Oak Harbor, Ohio, in the new year.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, Babcock will receive two bachelor of arts degrees — one in economics and disability studies, and one in mathematics.

Babcock

And then the 22-year-old will become mayor of Oak Harbor in 2019.

How did it happen?

Babcock ran and was elected to the Oak Harbor Village Council in December 2016.

“I had always had an interest in public service, and I felt I had acquired some professional skills that I could put to good use in the community,” he said.

In August, the Oak Harbor mayor resigned. Protocol says the mayor is succeeded by the president pro tempore, who is the president of the Oak Harbor Village Council.

At the time, the president pro tempore, Don Douglas, was in the middle of a campaign for Ottawa County Commissioner. Due to the uncertainty if Douglas would be elected to this position, Oak Harbor had to elect another president to replace him.

“I was elected by the council to be the president pro tempore,” Babcock said. “Come November, Mr. Douglas won his election for county commissioner and … I will serve as mayor for the duration of 2019.”

As the new mayor, Babcock wants to create a trust with the government.

“I think people generally feel very disempowered when it comes to government; they feel the government is not responsive to their concerns,” Babcock said. “With that in my mind, I would like to use my change in position to increase transparency, accountability, accessibility and responsiveness of the village government.”

Babcock also wants to address the concern of the possible closure of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, a major employer of area residents. “I would like to play a more active role in advocating for state solutions to this potential problem,” he said.

Superhero night at men’s basketball game Dec. 15

Rockets fans can bring their children to meet Superman and Batman as part of Superhero Night, and watch the red-hot Toledo men’s basketball team face Middle Tennessee Saturday, Dec. 15, in Savage Arena.

Game time is 7 p.m. Gates will open at 6 p.m.

Tickets for Saturday’s contest as well as each of the Rockets’ games during their upcoming four-game homestand can be purchased for $7 as part of the Winter Spectacular. Ticket prices will increase to $9 on the day of each game.

The Rockets are 9-1 this season and ranked No. 6 in the latest Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

Following Saturday’s game against the Blue Raiders, UT will host Cornell Wednesday, Dec. 19; Penn Saturday, Dec. 29; and Ball State Friday, Jan. 4.

To purchase tickets for the Winter Spectacular, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go online at the Toledo Rockets website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653). The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as on game day.

Composer/conductor to discuss music Dec. 13

Former Toledo resident Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and of the Aspen Music Festival and School, will visit the University for an evening of discussion with UT music students and faculty.

The talk will be moderated by Dr. Matthew Forte, UT director of orchestral studies, and held Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Spano

A reception will follow the discussion.

Tickets are $10 to $15 and are available in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office by calling 419.530.2787 or visiting the School of Visual and Performing Arts website.

Spano is a conductor, pianist, composer and teacher known for the intensity of his artistry and distinctive communicative abilities, creating a sense of inclusion and warmth among musicians and audiences. Beginning his 18th season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, this imaginative conductor is an approachable artist with the innate ability to share his enthusiasm for music with an entire community and concert hall.

A fervent mentor to rising artists, Spano is responsible for nurturing the careers of numerous celebrated composers, conductors, and performers. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students and artists.

Highlights of the 2018-19 season include Spano’s Metropolitan Opera debut, leading the U.S. premiere of “Marnie,” the second opera by American composer Nico Muhly, with Isabel Leonard, Janis Kelly, Denyce Graves, Iestyn Davies and Christopher Maltman.

Spano’s recent concert highlights have included several world premiere performances, including “Voy a Dormir” by prolific composer Bryce Dessner at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor; the Tuba Concerto by Atlanta School of Composers alumna Jennifer Higdon, performed by Craig Knox and the Pittsburgh Symphony; “Melodia for Piano and Orchestra” by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts at the Aspen Music Festival; and “Miserere” by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bassist Michael Kurth.

He has led Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. Guest engagements have included the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Oregon, Utah and Kansas City symphonies; and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras.

Internationally, Spano has led the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Orquestra Sinfonica Estado Sao Paulo, the Melbourne Symphony in Australia, and the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan.

With a discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Media, Spano has won six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony. Spano is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. He is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and makes his home in Atlanta.

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

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

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

Witherell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hossain

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

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

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

UT’s fall commencement ceremonies will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Graduate Studies; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

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

For more information, visit the UT commencement website.

Satellites’ ornament sale this week

Looking for a special gift? The Satellites Auxiliary is holding its personalized ornament sale this week.

The sale will take place in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 10-12. Stop by Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The vendor will personalize while you wait, time permitting, or you can pick up the ornament later,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, said. “There are all kinds of ornaments; categories include family, occupations, sports, religious, medical, inspirational, theatre and dance. Whatever kind of ornament you’re looking for, it’s likely here.”

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted. A portion of the proceeds will benefit health science scholarships and patient programs.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a group that promotes education, research and service programs; provides support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conducts fundraising events; and provides volunteer services.

For more information on the sale, contact Brand at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

UT engineering students to show off senior design projects Dec. 7

From biofuels to a collapsible wind turbine, dozens of senior design projects will be on display Friday, Dec. 7, from noon to 3 p.m. in Nitschke Hall at The University of Toledo.

The CodeWeGo team is, from left, Rita Ablordeppey, Zach Podbielniak, Carla Marzari and Jake Perkins.

A design team made up of students in the UT Department of Engineering Technology has created a multi-lingual web platform that is already in the startup phase due to assistance from UT’s LaunchPad Incubation Program. CodeWeGo is a senior capstone project for Carla Marzari, Jacob Perkins, Zachary Podbielniak and Rita Ablordeppey.

“The team has developed a scalable web application to assist non-English-speaking users to learn how to code using their native languages, including Spanish and Chinese. The project uses front-end framework React and Golang/Node programming languages,” Dr. Weiqing Sun, associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, said.

The free, public exposition showcases projects created by more than 250 graduating seniors from the departments of Bioengineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering Technology; and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

As part of these projects, students form business-consulting units develop a solution for a client’s technical or business challenge. Businesses, industries and federal agencies sponsor the projects required for graduating seniors in the UT College of Engineering.

The expo also will showcase 12 freshman design projects and feature the High School Design Competition for area high school students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ritter Planetarium showing holiday programs on full dome for kids

The University of Toledo Ritter Planetarium is showing “The Alien Who Stole Christmas” and “Santa’s Secret Star” in full dome for children throughout the holiday season.

“The Alien Who Stole Christmas” is featured at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays through Dec. 21.

This image is from the UT Fulldome Studio production of “Santa’s Secret Star.”

“Santa’s Secret Star” is shown at 1 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 22.

“These are amusing, entertaining and educational programs for children and Santa fans of all ages,” Alex Mak, associate director of UT Ritter Planetarium, said.

“Santa’s Secret Star” is a story about Santa and Rudolph learning how to find their way back to the North Pole using constellations. After Santa finishes his Christmas deliveries, he and his reindeer become lost. Without a compass, he and Rudolph turn to the constellations for help, and the stars lead them to the North Star, which guides them home.

“The Alien Who Stole Christmas” tells the story of Santa meeting Mr. Freep, an alien from another world. Together, they head off on a cosmic adventure taking them to the farthest regions of the solar system and try to make it back in time for Santa to deliver toys to the children of Earth.

Admission to the programs is $7 for adults and $5 for children, senior citizens and UT community members. All children younger than 4 are free.

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the show.

UT LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate to hold brunch fundraiser Dec. 9

The University of Toledo LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate will hold a brunch Sunday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Packo’s at the Park, 7 S. Superior St.

The brunch is a fundraiser to help support activities and events for the LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate.

The cost to attend is $15 per person for ages 11 and older, while children 10 and younger are $5.99 each. Packo’s will donate 20 percent of the proceeds to the new alumni affiliate.

“Proceeds will benefit the LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate,” Samantha Marchal, assistant director of alumni engagement, said. “With the help of a board of volunteers, the affiliate funds help to create scholarships, programming, educational opportunities, and social activities for UT alumni and students.”

Register for the event on the UT Alumni Association website.

Friends are welcome to attend the next LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate meeting Monday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m., in Tucker Hall Room 0152.

“Our goal is to encourage a spirit of unity, and we are happy to be that tie between LGBTQA+ alumni and their alma mater,” Marchal said. “This event is just one of many opportunities to strengthen that tie, and we hope to meet many of our alumni and friends on December 9.”

To stay up-to-date on LGBTQA+ news and events, join the LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate on Facebook.

Catholic studies lecture to address abuse in church

“Abuse in the Church: A Night of Reckoning” is the topic of the annual Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies, which will take place Wednesday, Dec. 5.

The talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Dr. Peter Feldmeier, the Murray/Bacik Endowed Professor of Catholic Studies and chair of the UT Department of Philosophy, will deliver the lecture.

He said the talk will examine the history of the Catholic sex abuse crisis in the 21st century, and how poorly the church has handled the allegations.

“It’s not going to be a slash job, but I’m not going to pull any punches either,” Feldmeier said. “I hope those who attend leave with a better understanding of the problem and a sense of hope for the church.”

Feldmeier has been at the University for seven years. He earned his PhD in Christian spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and his research areas of interest include Christian spirituality, comparative theology, Buddhist-Christian dialogue and religious mysticism.

He is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the College Theology Society, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and the American Academy of Religion.

The lecture is free, but tickets are required; RSVP at the College of Arts and Letters website.

Free parking will be available in lots 12 and 12E by the Law Center and the Center for the Performing Arts.

Teddy bear toss to be held at men’s basketball game Dec. 1

A teddy bear toss sponsored by WTOL will be held at halftime during The University of Toledo men’s basketball game vs. Cleveland State Saturday, Dec. 1. Tip-off time is set for 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.



Fans are encouraged to bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal to the game to be tossed onto the court at halftime to benefit area children during the holiday season.

Prizes also will be awarded during the game to fans wearing the best holiday sweaters.



In addition, Santa Claus will be on the west concourse for children to visit. Kids also will have a chance to play at a bounce house in the Fetterman Center.

And the first 500 UT students will receive a Rocket holiday T-shirt.

University employees can purchase tickets at half price, and UT students are admitted free with ID. Go to the Toledo Rockets website, call 419.530.GOLD (4653), or stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena.