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Observatory undergoing renovations

The Brooks Observatory at The University of Toledo is receiving a new telescope, replacing one that is more than 100 years old.

A crane removed the dome of the Brooks Observatory last week and workers helped guide the structure to the ground.

A crane removed the dome of the Brooks Observatory last week and workers helped guide the structure to the ground.

The Brooks Observatory hosts an array of small telescopes, including the six-inch Brashear refracting telescope that has been on UT’s campus since 1931. The observatory, established in 1987, is used primarily for public viewing and undergraduate instruction.

A Celestron 14-inch high-definition telescope will replace the Brashear telescope, according to Alexander Mak, associate director of the UT Ritter Planetarium.

“The new telescope can gather more than five times as much light as the old telescope and will let us view fainter and more exotic objects than ever before,” Mak said. “The new mount and pedestal will offer a stable platform for the telescope and allow us to quickly move the telescope from one target to another. This will let us showcase more objects for our students and guests.”

In order to accommodate the sightlines of the new telescope, the observatory located on top of McMaster Hall on Main Campus will be significantly modified. The Brooks Observatory will be under construction for approximately four months.

“The current telescope in the dome is more than 100 years old and was originally housed on top of University Hall,” Mak said. “It is a historically significant telescope, having been manufactured by a noted craftsman.”

Dr. John Alfred Brashear, a late American astronomer and instrument builder, dedicated his time to manufacturing astronomical and scientific instruments.

The Brashear telescope will be placed in storage during the renovation and eventually will be on display, Mak said.

The project is funded through support from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and an endowment established by the late Helen and Elgin Brooks.

The updated facility will be a state-of-the-art instructional observatory that will continue the mission of undergraduate education and public outreach. New undergraduate laboratory exercises will be developed, and more public observing opportunities will be scheduled once work is completed.

During the renovations, the Ritter Observatory, adjacent to the Brooks Observatory, will be open to the public for viewing on the first Friday of each month immediately following the regularly scheduled 8:30 p.m. planetarium program.

UT Minority Business Assistance Center Program awarded grant

The University of Toledo has been awarded a $355,000 two-year state grant to host the Minority Business Assistance Center Program, which assists small, minority and disadvantaged businesses by providing services such as technical support, professional consulting, access to capital and assistance obtaining contract opportunities.

The program, which will provide support for 17 counties in northwest Ohio, will be housed within UT’s Minority Business Development Center, one of only a few minority business-focused incubators across the country. The center supports a select group of minority businesses through services that include counseling, networking opportunities, access to office space and conference rooms, and hands-on student learning experiences.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the program will be held Tuesday, July 7, at 10 a.m. in the center, located in the Faculty Annex on Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation.

“We are excited about the confidence the state has in the University to award us this program, and about the support of our partners. Collaboration with the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce will allow for expansion on the prior success they have established with the program, and will allow for expansion of this opportunity to more students,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, UT chief diversity officer and associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement.

“With the combined partnerships and synergy of a single location, this creates a one-stop shop opportunity for minority-owned businesses for the five primary counties and 12 secondary counties in northwest Ohio,” Gore said.

The University demonstrated the strength of its collaboration and community support for the success of minority businesses in its application for the grant, Gore said, a team approach that will create an environment to help minority businesses flourish.

“This initiative is one more way The University of Toledo is leveraging its strengths in diversity and inclusion outward into the community and across the region,” said Jovita Thomas-Williams, vice president and chief human resources officer. “We’re incredibly excited to be working with community partners such as the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce to advance the region’s economic interests in this way.”

“The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to have been the host of the Minority Business Assistance Center since 2005. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the increased synergy of housing the Minority Business Assistance Center at The University of Toledo’s Minority Business Development Center and incubator,” said Wendy R. Gramza, president of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to working closely with the University to continue nurturing minority entrepreneurship and economic development.”

Former UT golfer receives sponsor’s exemption for Symetra Tour’s Tullymore Classic

Former Rocket Jennifer Elsholz has received a sponsor’s exemption for the Tullymore Classic, a Symetra Tour event featuring the future stars of the LPGA Tour.

Elsholz

Elsholz

The 54-hole stroke play tournament will tee off Friday, July 3, and conclude Sunday, July 5, in Stanwood, Mich., which is 30 miles west of Mount Pleasant and one hour north of Grand Rapids.

Elsholz, who graduated in May with a degree in psychology, won the 2014 Michigan Women’s Amateur and the Golf Association of Michigan Championship to earn the Golf Association of Michigan’s Player of the Year honors.

The other exemption was given to 17-year-old Brooke Henderson of Smith Falls, Ontario. Henderson, the former top-ranked amateur in the world, tied for fifth place at the Women’s PGA Championship earlier this month.

“We talked to golf people and experts across the state from the Golf Association of Michigan and the PGA about the best amateurs in the state, and Jennifer’s name came up repeatedly,” Scot Cucksey, PGA golf professional at Tullymore Golf Club said. “It was impressive that last summer she was the fifth golfer ever to win both the Michigan Women’s Amateur and the [Golf Association of Michigan] Championship in the same year. She also performed well at The University of Toledo and is planning to go to [LPGA Tour Qualifying] Q school in the fall. She seemed like a perfect fit for our sponsor’s exemption.”

A field of 144 golfers is competing in the $100,000-purse Tullymore event. The winner will earn $15,000 and have an opportunity to move into the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the card money list. The top 10 on the year-end Symetra Tour money list earns LPGA Tour membership for the 2016 season.

“It’s definitely exciting to be able to get an exemption and go out and play on the tour that, depending on what happens, I could possibly play on next year,” Elsholz said. “Playing this summer as an amateur gives me a chance to qualify for the U.S. Amateur and a few other big events, and playing in the Tullymore Classic will be a great experience. It’s certainly exciting and a step in the right direction for me.”

Elsholz ranked third for the Rockets with a 77.6 stroke average this past spring. She posted a season-best fourth-place finish at Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational to earn Mid-American Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week accolades. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native notched two more top 10 showings during the year — tied for 10th place at both the Rocket Classic and Florida Gulf Coast University Eagle Invitational — and helped UT win a pair of tournament titles.

“Jen’s goal is be a professional golfer,” UT Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. “That’s her dream, and I’m excited she is pursuing that. This is a great opportunity for her. She was the best amateur in the state of Michigan a year ago, and it’s great they are honoring her for that by giving her a sponsor’s exemption.”

Visit tullymoreclassic.com for more tournament information.

UT to host engineering workshops for high school students in July

Incoming high school seniors and juniors are invited to attend engineering workshops this July at The University of Toledo’s College of Engineering.

“These workshops take interest in math and science a step further and put them in an application setting to show students what they can do with those interests,” said Kevin Brooks, recruitment officer in the College of Engineering.

Dates and topics of the faculty-run workshops are:

• Wednesday, July 8 — bioengineering;

• Wednesday, July 15 — computer science and engineering; and

• Friday, July 24 — electrical engineering.

Each workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will feature an introduction session, labs, lunch and a question-and-answer session. Parents are welcome to attend the introduction and closing sessions.

“It’s a way for the students to see if they want to get into engineering and further their education in it; it’s a real hands-on look,” Brooks said. “Engineers aren’t simply sitting down and solving equations all day; they are applying math to real-world problems and finding solutions.”

Additionally, a continental breakfast featuring coffee, bagels, orange juice, muffins and fruit will be provided.

Registration is $35 for the bioengineering workshop and $25 apiece for the computer science and electrical engineering workshops.

To register, visit eng.utoledo.edu. Space is limited.

For more information about the bioengineering workshop, contact Dr. Aurnan Nadarajah, professor, chair and graduate program director for the UT Department of Bioengineering, at arunan.nadarajah@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8031.

For more information about the computer science or electrical engineering workshops, contact Dr. Richard Molyet, professor and undergraduate program director for the UT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, at richard.molyet@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8143.

Rockets, BYU agree to home-and-home football series

The University of Toledo and Brigham Young University have agreed to play a home-and-home series in football beginning next season, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced yesterday.

Rocket football logoThe Rockets will play at BYU Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, while the Cougars will make the return trip to Toledo Sept. 28, 2019.

“We are very pleased to add the series with BYU to our football schedule,” O’Brien said. “BYU has an excellent football tradition and will be a very attractive opponent on our 2019 home schedule. We also look forward to making the trip to Provo, Utah, next season.”

BYU is an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent. Last season, the Cougars were 8-5 and played Memphis in the Miami Beach Bowl. BYU has a storied football history, including a national championship title in 1984.

In order to accommodate the BYU series, Toledo’s contest originally scheduled at Tulsa in 2016 was moved to 2020 by mutual agreement of the two schools. Tulsa will play at Toledo in 2017. Also, the Fresno State game in Toledo in 2016 originally scheduled for Oct. 1 has been moved to Sept. 17, while the return game in Fresno in 2018 has been moved from Sept. 15 to Sept. 29.

The Rockets also announced the addition of two other home games. Maine will come to the Glass Bowl Sept. 10, 2016, while Elon will be the season-opening opponent Aug. 31, 2017.

UT to host Human Trafficking Roundtable June 26

The University of Toledo will host a Human Trafficking Roundtable Friday, June 26, to discuss recent legislation aimed to combat the issue.

Organized by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, the event will bring together UT researchers, law enforcement officials and a survivor of human trafficking at 9:30 a.m. in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium on UT’s Main Campus.

The hourlong roundtable event will include discussion on the Bringing Missing Children Home Act, Ensuring a Better Response for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking, and Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

Dr. Celia Williamson, UT professor of social work and a nationally recognized expert on human trafficking advocacy, and UT Interim President Nagi Naganathan will participate in the event. Williamson recently was named director of UT’s new Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

UT participating in Operation Sunflower

The University of Toledo is showing its support of Toledo Botanical Garden this summer by planting sunflowers throughout campus as part of Operation Sunflower.

OPERATION SUNFLOWER LOGO“The goal has been to plant a million sunflowers all over the community so that by mid to late July, you start to see sunflowers every where you go,” said Karen Ranney Wolkins, executive director at Toledo Botanical Garden.

This is a community-wide project in collaboration with The Andersons to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Toledo Botanical Garden.

“We want to engage everyone in the celebration and make it approachable,” Ranney Wolkins said. “Not everyone can grow a rose — I don’t think I can — but virtual anybody can grow a sunflower. It’s one of the easiest flowers to grow and so many people have shared that it’s a flower that makes them smile.”

The sunflowers have been planted around Main Campus, including by the Secor Road and Douglas Road entrance signs, in Brunner Garden on the south side of University Hall, and behind Carlson Library.

In addition to planting a million sunflowers, the garden is hosting a related photo contest that includes three categories: before and after, largest, and most unique growing location.

“Something magical happens when you are growing something and particularly when other people are involved, there’s a relationship that gets built that wouldn’t otherwise happen,” said Molly Thompson, director of the UT LaunchPad Incubation Program and executive committee member of the Toledo Botanical Garden. “That is something that I think is extremely important, particularly now in marking the 50th anniversary of the Toledo Botanical Garden, is to be able to build that relationship in a way that hasn’t existed previously.”

Operation Sunflower is one of many happenings for the garden’s 50th anniversary milestone. Another event, “The Garden After Dark,” will feature a projection installation by UT students Friday, June 26, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Read more here about this nighttime event.

For more information on Operation Sunflower or on Toledo Botanical Garden, visit toledogarden.org or call 419.536.5566.

UT Health to unveil new family med center June 30

UT Health is opening a new family medicine center in newly renovated space just off Health Science Campus.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Tuesday, June 30, at 10 a.m. at UT  Medical Center's Glendale Medical East, 3333 Glendale Ave.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Tuesday, June 30, at 10 a.m. at UT Medical Center’s Glendale Medical East, 3333 Glendale Ave.

The UT Health Family Medicine Center will reunite the family medicine practice now located in the Ruppert Center and the family medicine residency practice that has been on St. Luke’s Hospital campus since 2007. It also will include a Geriatric Medicine Center relocated from Lutheran Homes at Wolf Creek.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Tuesday, June 30, at 10 a.m. at the building now called Glendale Medical East, 3333 Glendale Ave.

“Bringing these three groups together will enable us to provide excellent patient access in a building that will see a new purpose,” said Dr. Linda Speer, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at UTMC. “We will continue to provide primary care for people of all ages from birth to the end of life in a setting that is physically up-to-date and attractive.”

Glendale Medical East is the former Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic that was located on Glendale Avenue. The $3.6 million capital project included renovations for 28,000 square feet of the building with the remaining space being shelved for future renovations. The project took six months.

The Geriatric Medical Center will be housed initially with family medicine and eventually in a separate space within the building as capital funds become available to renovate additional space.

Speer said the UT Health Family Medicine Center will be convenient for patients, while also fulfilling the public’s demand for more primary care access, including same day access. New patients are being accepted.

The trend in the recent past has been for everyone to see specialists, according to Steve Bailey, clinic manager of the UT Health Family Medicine Center. Therefore, patients have a lot of specialists, but they don’t have a primary care physician to tie it all together, he said. Family physicians handle preventive care, chronic illness care, acute illness, and injury care and minor procedures.

The opening of the center at Glendale Medical East coincides with the return of the UT Family Medicine Residency Program to UTMC. The program accepts four new residents each year.

“We are so glad to have the residency program fully integrated within the UT family,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, senior vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “Residents often stay in the community, opening a practice or joining a hospital. It is critical that we attract the highest quality students for our residency programs and work to retain them here in northwest Ohio.”

College of Business and Innovation hosting Technology Camp for high school students

A few spots remain for high school students to register for the fifth annual Technology Camp presented by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Tuesday through Thursday, July 14-16.

Students built a computer during last summer's Technology Camp.

Students built a computer during last summer’s Technology Camp.

Approximately 40 area high school students from northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan will immerse themselves in the vast possibilities of modern technology during the camp. Participating students will have the chance to create their own apps, learn about modern business applications of technology, and actually build a computer.

The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Business Complex on UT’s Main Campus.

The College of Business and Innovation provides the entire camp experience free of charge for the participants.

“Computer technology is becoming an essential life skill for young people, and this camp is an outstanding opportunity for them to immerse themselves in a technology learning experience at literally no cost to them,” said Darlene Stevens, enrollment management specialist in the College of Business and Innovation. “Students will be able to explore both the power and the fun of information technology. We know that some of the students will become so enthralled by this experience that they will decide to study IT at UT.”

Corporate sponsors for the 2015 camp are Asus and Eaton Corp.

A link to the Technology Camp online registration form can be found at utoledo.edu/business.

‘The Relevant University’ to air June 23

Tune in to “The Relevant University” Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m. on AM 760 WJR.

Relevant U logo 2014This month, Mary-Bec Gwyn, UT associate vice president for branding and creative services, and co-host Dr. William McMillen, former UT provost, discuss state funding in higher education.

Their guests will be:

• Doug Lederman, co-editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed, who talks about the debate on whether the federal government spends more per year on public higher education than state governments.

• Daniel Hurley, incoming chief executive officer of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, who shares the strategies he will recommend for more state funding in higher education.

• And Michael Mitchell, policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who addresses student loan debt and how state cuts are related to this increasing problem.

The University of Toledo and Detroit’s WJR Radio produce the monthly, hourlong program that explores the critical role higher education plays in our world.

Listen at utoledo.edu/therelevantuniversity.