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Open mic night to promote poetry, sexual assault awareness April 2

An open mic night will be held in Rocky’s Attic in the Student Union Thursday, April 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. to start a campus wide recognition of National Poetry Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Poetry in the Attic” will feature students, faculty and Toledo community members readings geared toward women empowerment, activism and sexual assault awareness.

“I just want to generate awareness, and I feel like this event will promote harmony between men and women because they can see how sexual assault and domestic violence can affect someone’s life,” said Lanette Dukett, event organizer and UT student intern in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Non-monetary donations will be accepted at the event for the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter. Items suggested include blankets, kid’s toys, baby accessories, non-perishables, clothing and hygiene products.

“This event is also about gathering students together to show the YWCA that UT is a community that cares about our Toledo community,” Dukett said.

“To me, the poetry event is a way to share each other’s feelings and thoughts on domestic violence and at the same time raise donations to help those who are suffering right now,” Dukett said. “That’s a big part of what our college is doing as far as teaching people in humanity courses. This is what we should be doing, being more humane to people who are less fortunate than we are.”

The UT Feminist Alliance will provide refreshments and snacks during the event.

The open mic night is sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, the UT Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program, the UT Feminist Alliance and the Division of Student Affairs.

To participate or for more information, contact Dukett at 419.261.3349 or lanette.ducket@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Best-selling author to discuss youth revolt at Imam Khattab Lecture April 1

With prejudice and intolerance toward Muslims on the rise both in the United States and Europe, The University of Toledo’s Imam Khattab Lecture offers an opportunity to promote a better understanding of Islam and the Middle East. This year’s speaker is a candidate uniquely qualified for the job.

Khattab lectureDr. Reza Aslan, a New York Times best-selling author and scholar, will speak on “Youth Revolt: The Future of the New Middle East.”

This year’s free, public lecture will be held Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

Aslan is the author of a number of books, including Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and How to Win a Cosmic War. Zealot recently was picked up by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to be turned into a feature film.

He is a creative writing professor at the University of California in Riverside and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary. He is also the founder of AslanMedia, a social network focusing on news and entertainment about the Middle East, and the co-founder and chief creative officer of BoomGen Studios, an entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Middle East.

At the lecture, Aslan will focus on the growing number of young adults in the Middle East and their increasingly vocal campaign for greater rights and opportunities. This young generation vastly outnumbers its elders; 75 percent of the population is younger than 35, and 50 percent is younger than 25. In countries like Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, young people’s views stand often in stark contrast to those of the ruling elite. Aslan will discuss what motivates these young people and how they will affect the future of the Middle East.

“This is a timely discussion,” said Dr. John Sarnecki, UT associate professor and chair of philosophy and religious studies. “With what’s happening with ISIS and what’s happening with the demographic change in the Middle East, the talk is topical, it’s political, and it’s also helping us understand the world from a perspective of people who do not often have a voice in our media.”

This talk is part of the Center for Religious Understanding’s annual lecture series, which has been active for more than a decade. Aslan will be available for questions and a book signing after the lecture.

For more information, visit Aslan’s website at rezaaslan.com or the Imam Khattab Lecture Series web page.

UT sorority promotes autism awareness

From the Tokyo Tower and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, to the Christ the Redeemer statue and The University of Toledo’s bell tower — national landmarks around the globe will be bathed in blue light for autism awareness.

AS_10 LIUB AS Branding logo MASTER OLWorld Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every year April 2. The event was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a light on autism as a growing global health crisis. On this day, Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism advocacy organization, celebrates its Light It Up Blue campaign by organizing thousands of buildings worldwide to shine blue lights for autism awareness.

The Alpha Xi Delta sorority, whose philanthropy is Autism Speaks, will bring the campaign to UT this April for the second time.

“Autism is kind of my life,” said Jennifer Huffman, the sorority’s programs vice president. “That’s how I picked my major in occupational therapy. My brother has autism, and I’ve seen personally what it does to people and how it affects people.”

This year’s celebration will include information tables in the Student Union Tuesday, March 31, Wednesday, April 1, and Thursday, April 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday there will be a “kissing booth” where members of the sorority will pass out free Hershey kisses with facts about autism on them, Light It Up Blue wristbands, and save-the-date cards for the sorority’s philanthropy dinner later in April. Puzzle piece cookies and other bake goods also will be sold Thursday. All proceeds go toward Autism Speaks.

At sundown, the sorority will host a ceremony during which University Hall will join numerous other world landmarks in lighting up blue for autism. Every night the following week, the tower will light up.

“The money we raised for our philanthropy helped my family specifically, so I just want to pass that on to other people,” Huffman said.

Started in 2005, Autism Speaks raises awareness about the disorder, advocates for the needs of individuals with autism and their families, and funds research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism.

To learn more about the campaign, contact Huffman at jennifer.huffman2@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Distinguished lecture to focus on photovoltaics April 1

The Academic Honors Committee will host Dr. Robert Collins as part of the Distinguished University Professor Lecture Series.



The free, public lecture, “Polarized Wave Probes for Thin-Film Photovoltaics: From the Lab to the Production Line,” will take place Wednesday, April 1, at 4 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100 with a reception to follow.

Collins holds the positions of Distinguished University Professor, NEG Endowed Chair of Silicate and Materials Science, and co-director of the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization in the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy.

He will speak about his work with the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, recent developments in second-generation photovoltaics in his group’s laboratory, and how it impacts second-generation photovoltaics in use today.

Second-generation or thin-film photovoltaic modules incorporate several thin layers of different solid-state materials applied to low-cost substrates such as glass or stainless steel foil for direct conversion of sunlight to electricity.

“It is an exciting time for this technology. In addition to their application for utility scale power, thin-film photovoltaics have a wider range of applications that rely on its potential for flexibility, lightweight and portability, as an example, generating emergency power for disaster relief,” Collins said. “The potential exists for low-cost manufacturing of thin-film photovoltaics, which have been realized by the industry leaders.

“A key goal, however, is to translate the recent significant efficiency improvements made in the laboratory to the production line.”

At UT Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, a team of faculty, staff and students are developing and applying diagnostic probes of thin-film photovoltaic material systems using polarized electromagnetic waves. The team also is collaborating with local companies such as Calyxo and NSG Pilkington to advance second-generation photovoltaics.

“We value the opportunity to work with Toledo area companies to advance this technology,” Collins said.

In 2004, he joined The University of Toledo, where his interests span from condensed matter physics to optical and materials sciences with applications in photovoltaic devices, optical instrumentation and metrology.

Collins was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014 for “advancing the understanding of the optical properties and structures of thin-film materials and devices, for innovations in real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry, and for leadership of research collaborations of industrial, government and university laboratories.”

He received a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and master’s and doctoral degrees in applied physics from Harvard University.

UT Health community to raise organ donation awareness

More than 123,000 adults and children in the United States are waiting for organ transplants to save their lives, according to Donate Life America.

The Green Chair will be on Health Science Campus in April to help raise organ donation awareness.

The Green Chair will be on Health Science Campus in April to help raise organ donation awareness.

That’s why The University of Toledo Health is partnering with Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Services for a series of outreach to spread awareness about organ and tissue donation during April.

UT Health will kick off Donate Life Month with a flag-raising ceremony Wednesday, April 1, at 10 a.m. outside the main entrance of UT Medical Center. A UTMC transplant recipient and a UTMC donor family will make some brief comments at the event. Students, staff and visitors are encouraged to attend.

Other events scheduled during the month include:

• Tuesday and Wednesday, April 7 and 8 — The Green Chair, an awareness tool used by Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Services, will move across Health Science Campus with an educational table display. The green chair represents someone who has received a second chance at life because someone else made the decision to be a donor.

• Thursday, April 9 — An educational vehicle in Lot 44A on Health Science Campus will be open to the public and feature a raffle to win Mud Hens tickets and a prize basket.

• Friday, April 17 — On Blue and Green Day, representatives from Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Services will visit floors and units throughout the day and night with interactive educational games for prizes. Staff members are encouraged to dress in blue and green, decorate office doors, and take photos for the Life Connection of Ohio and UT Health Facebook pages.

To learn more about organ, tissue and eye donation, call 800.262.5443 or go to donatelifeohio.org.

Students to prepare for anthropology conference

With just about a week until they speak in front of hundreds of anthropology professors, students, scholars and aficionados, two University of Toledo undergraduates are looking for constructive criticism from their peers.

To prepare for the Central States Anthropological Society conference in St. Paul, Minn., UT Anthropology Society President Katrina Beckloff, a third-year anthropology and history major, and society member Joy Reason, a fourth-year anthropology and sociology major, will take part in a student colloquium Wednesday, April 1, at 12:30 in University Hall Room 5260.

At the colloquium, they will give presentations: Beckloff on “Fascist Italian Archaeology” and Reason on “Ethnography of Toledo Charter Schools.” These will be the same talks they will give at the conference.

“At the student colloquium, Joy Reason and I can present on topics that we’re going to be presenting on at the conference in more of an informal setting,” Beckloff said. “It’s a way that we can practice going through what we’re going to say and get feedback before actually going to do a big presentation.”

Reason said she’s excited and nervous to present at the conference: “I’ve never presented anything major like this before. This will be a new experience for me.”

The conference will be held Thursday, April 9, through Saturday, April 11, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Paul. This will be the 94th Central States Anthropological Society meeting.

For more information on the free, public presentation where refreshments will be served, contact Beckloff at katrina.beckloff@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Rocket to compete in State Farm’s Slam Dunk Championship April 2

Senior forward J.D. Weatherspoon will have one more opportunity to wear a Toledo Rocket uniform after being selected to participate in State Farm’s 27th annual College Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championships.

J.D. Weatherspoon amassed 115 dunks during 67 games for Toledo.

J.D. Weatherspoon amassed 115 dunks during 67 games for Toledo.

The event will take place at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Thursday, April 2, and air on ESPN from 7 to 9 p.m.

A Columbus, Ohio, native, Weatherspoon earned third-team All-Mid-American Conference honors this past season and will be one of eight individuals competing in the slam-dunk portion of the event.

He ranked second in the MAC with 8.4 rebounds per game and a 56.3 field-goal percentage and was third on the team with 12.9 points per game. He slammed home 69 dunks this season and 115 in 67 contests as a Rocket.

Weatherspoon also finished fifth on UT’s career field-goal percentage list with a 55.1 percent (279 of 506) shooting mark.

Tickets can be purchased through ticketmaster.com. Adult general admission tickets are available for $16 with children’s tickets priced at $8.

UT’s iconic tower to go dark for Earth Hour March 28

On Saturday, March 28, The University of Toledo will look a bit darker than usual.

Earth Hour 2013That’s because this year, UT is participating in Earth Hour — a worldwide grassroots movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund to unite people in protecting the planet. For one hour, beginning at 8:30 p.m., the lights on the tower of University Hall will be shut off as UT stands with the more than 50,000 other people participating in this year’s event.

“By making this iconic part of our university dark for an hour, we are bringing light to the importance of sustainability,” said Brooke Mason, UT sustainability specialist.

In addition to the tower blackout, an outdoor event is being held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Olander Park, 6930 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. There will be a speaker, fundraiser and candlelit walk; attendees are asked to bring a candle, lantern or flashlight.

“I feel like many people take advantage of everyday things like electricity and power without thinking of where it comes from or its effects on the environment,” said Alyssa Corbeil, UT junior studying environmental sciences with a concentration in geology. “I believe that this event will help some people to critically think and be more aware of the power they use.”

All Earth Hour events are hosted by the Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Society, for which Corbeil is the event coordinator. She originally brought the idea to Mason, who worked with her team to make it a reality.

Though this is the first time UT has participated in Earth Hour, the University focuses on sustainability practices year-round. This week will wrap up UT’s participation in RecycleMania, an eight-week international recycling competition that the University participates in every year.

To see other sustainability initiatives at UT or to get involved, visit utoledo.edu/sustainability/index.html.

Architect and ceramic artist to present workshops, lecture

Ceramic installation artist Tsehai Johnson and her husband, Michael Tavel, an architect and University honors graduate, will visit the UT Toledo Museum of Art Campus next week.

The Solar Village Prospect in Longmont, Colo., was designed by Michael Tavel Architects.

The Solar Village Prospect in Longmont, Colo., was designed by Michael Tavel Architects.

On Monday, March 30, Johnson will present two visiting artist workshops in the Ceramics Studio of the Glass Crafts Building. The free, public workshops will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, March 31, Johnson and Tavel will give a free, public lecture from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Haigh Auditorium.

A native of Colorado, Tavel graduated from The University of Toledo in 1985 with dual degrees in art and adult liberal studies. He received a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. He won top prizes in architectural design at Berkeley, including a one-year traveling fellowship.

Tavel also worked for three internationally known architects: Mark Mack in San Francisco, Christopher Alexander in Berkeley and Heinz Tesar in Vienna before returning to teach in the graduate school of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado in 1991. He has lectured nationally and in Europe, Africa and South America on architecture, landscape and town planning.

While teaching at the University of Colorado, Tavel co-founded and directed a summer study abroad town-planning program in Prague, Czech Republic, where he worked with city officials on challenging urban projects from 1993 to 2000.

In Colorado, he worked for Hoover Berg Desmond Architects from 1993 to 1996 and was a senior associate at Wolff Lyon Architects from 1997 to 2002 gaining experience in traditional mixed-use neighborhood development. After one year with Van Meter Williams Pollack Architects in Denver, he was offered the Solar Village mixed-use project in Longmont and founded Michael Tavel Architects.

Tsehai Johnson’s work was displayed at the 2014 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts National Conference in the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Tsehai Johnson’s work was displayed at the 2014 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts National Conference in the Milwaukee Art Museum.

A celebrated ceramic installation artist, Johnson had her work featured at the 2014 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts National Conference in the Milwaukee Art Museum.

She is an artist whose interests explore the boundaries between public and private life. Her performance events and installations encourage reflection on the tension between order and function, as expressed through the objects that populate our lives. Making porcelain objects, interactive installations and mixed-media wall pieces, she utilizes dense ornamentation and everyday objects to explore realities of human existence.

In 2013, Johnson completed an Art in Architecture Commission for the Byron Rogers Federal Building in Denver.

Born in Ethiopia in 1966, Johnson received a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Reed College in 1989, a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art in 1993, and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Colorado in 1999.

Her exhibitions have been held in Colorado, New York, France and Korea, and her work is featured in collections in New York, Colorado and Iceland.

She is the recipient of a Colorado Council of the Arts Fellowship and residencies in Germany, Spain and Iceland.

Toledoans speaking out against bullying at March 26 talk

Nearly one in three students are bullied during a school year, but more than half of those students don’t seek help. The University of Toledo Anti-bullying Task Force is working to change that.

Jamera White, shown here in family photos, committed suicide at age 12 because of bullying.

Jamera White, shown here in family photos, committed suicide at age 12 because of bullying.

The task force invited speakers Mary Wilson and Jeremy White to present “Sticks and Stones Will Break Your Bones and Words Can Certainly Kill: What We Have Learned from the Loss of Jamera White” Thursday, March 26, at noon in Student Union Room 2584.

In January 2014, 12-year-old Jamera White committed suicide because of bullying related to her diabetes. Her father, Jeremy, found her in bed where she overdosed on her diabetes medication. She had indicated online via social media that she was planning suicide.

Her father and great-aunt, Wilson, are sharing their story and encouraging others to prevent bullying.

The free, public talk will be sponsored by the UT Anti-bullying Task Force, UT Police and the President’s Lecture Series on Diversity.

For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, UT associate professor of education, at lisa.kovach@utoledo.edu.