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Three Rockets to play in all-star football games Jan. 19

Three former University of Toledo football standouts will play in post-season all-star games Saturday, Jan. 19.

Cody Thompson and Ka’dar Hollman will participate for the West squad in the 94th annual East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast on the NFL Network.

Jon’Vea Johnson will play in the National Football League Players Association Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. The game will be broadcast on FS1 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Thompson was a two-time, first-team All-Mid-American Conference wide receiver for the Rockets. He caught 181 passes for 3,312 yards and a school-record 30 touchdowns in his career. As a senior, he had 48 receptions for 647 yards and 10 TDs, and was named second-team Academic All-America. He also has been invited to attend the NFL Combine Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis.

Hollman was a three-year starter at cornerback. For his career, he compiled 114 tackles, two interceptions and 27 pass breakups. As a senior, he tied for the MAC lead with 12 breakups.

Johnson, a wide receiver, was a two-time All-MAC pick, earning second-team honors in 2016 and third-team honors in 2018. For his career, he caught 123 passes for 2,224 yards and 24 TDs. This past season, Johnson had 32 receptions for 660 yards and nine scores.

UT Department of Art students’ work appears on area electronic billboards

The creations of University art students are on display throughout the Toledo area for the next several weeks, appearing on electronic billboards as part of an annual exhibition.

Each fall, Barry Whittaker, UT associate professor of art, organizes the exhibition of juried student work. The digital billboard space was donated by Lamar of Toledo.

“While studying art, it is important to see how images can move beyond classroom and gallery walls to interact with the city where you live,” Whittaker said. “Lamar has been a great partner in this project by providing students with the opportunity to see their work illuminated and at a large scale in many locations around the city of Toledo.”

A total of 19 works from 14 artists are featured in the exhibition.

The digital billboard locations are at Reynolds Road at Airport Highway, Glendale Avenue at Byrne Road, Tremainsville Road at Laskey Road, Washington Street at Huron Street, Woodville Road at East Broadway Street, the Anthony Wayne Trail at Western Avenue, I-75 at Berdan Avenue, and I-75 at Monroe Street.

Works on the billboards were created by 14 student artists: Austin Baker, Donna Beauregard, Taylor Carey, Colin Chalmers, Jason Chappuies, Alaina Coote, McKenzie Dunwald, Chen Gao, Lindsay Haynes, Alexa McLaughlin, Tyler Saner, Ashley Simmons, Valerie White and Lydia Yant.

UT research assistant to appear on ‘Jeopardy!’

This microbiologist studies Lyme disease at The University of Toledo and finally made good on his lifelong dream to appear on “Jeopardy!”

Who is John Presloid?

Correct. The UT research assistant will make his “Jeopardy!” debut Wednesday, Jan. 16.

UT alumnus and employee John Presloid, right, posed for a photo with Alex Trebek during an appearance on “Jeopardy!”

“It felt like an accomplishment just being there, just being on the stage,” said Presloid, who works in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “I watched the show every day growing up. My first audition was actually like a week after my 18th birthday. Pretty much as soon as I turned 18, I’ve been applying nonstop.”

He finally broke through in October after his fourth in-person audition, earning the right to fly to Culver City, Calif., meet longtime host Alex Trebek, and go head to head with two other trivia superstars.

The questions he answered and where he placed is a closely guarded secret — you’ll need to tune in to find out — but Presloid said the overall experience was even better than what he had expected.

“I thought it was going to be very serious and I’d be really nervous. But I just had a blast the entire time,” he said. “One of the things they tell you is they want a poker face; they want you to look serious and not give anything away.”

“One of the handlers kind of jokingly wagged her finger at me for smiling, but she was like, ‘Question right, question wrong — you’re always smiling or laughing. That is your poker face.’ It was just so much fun.”

Presloid earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from UT in 2004 and a master of science degree in biomedicine in 2008. He’s spent the last four years working in the lab of Dr. Mark Wooten, UT professor of medical microbiology and immunology, who studies Lyme disease and melioidosis, a bacterial infection common in tropical climates.

He was actually working in the lab when a colleague knocked and said he had a phone call from a “Jeopardy!” producer.

A dedicated reader who naturally soaks up information, Presloid said he felt well-prepared, though he did brush up on some fine arts topics such as classical composers and opera.

“I tried to cram a little bit, but I didn’t want to drive myself crazy,” he said. “I kind of balanced between feeling comfortable but not losing sleep over it.”

Presloid likened being on “Jeopardy!” to playing sports. There were a few anxious jitters at the start, but once you’re involved in the game, you sort of fall into the zone.

“It goes by really fast. I’m actually kind of excited to see it on TV because there’s so much I don’t remember,” he said. “All the contestants were hanging out all day and most of them were really, really cool. You expect some people might be too competitive or off-putting, but I think everyone had the same goals and the same dream, and everyone is just so excited to be there. It was just unbelievable.”

In Toledo, the episode featuring Presloid will air at 7:30 p.m. on WTOL-TV Channel 11.

Satellites Auxiliary to hold shoe sale this week

Step it up and stop by the Satellites Auxiliary’s 43-hour shoe sale fundraiser, which will be held this week in the Four Seasons Bistro Atrium in UT Medical Center.

Held in conjunction with Outside the Box Shoes, the sale will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, and run through 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.

Brand names will include Skechers, Merrell, Spira, Dansko, Alegria, Klogs, Clarks, New Balance, Bearpaw and more.

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Profits will benefit campus scholarships.

For more information on the sale, contact Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu, or call Outside the Box Shoes at 586.263.7170.

UPDATED: UT president, Toledo mayor: Attend MLK Unity Celebration to honor civil rights leader

The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will host a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 9:30 a.m. in Libbey Hall to invite community members throughout northwest Ohio to the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration.

The 18th annual Unity Celebration, which is free and open to the public, will take place Monday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon in Savage Arena on the UT Main Campus. A free community luncheon will follow the ceremony.

“It’s never been more important to come together as a community toward building a better future,” Gaber said. “As the city of Toledo’s university, we view service as a critical part of the college experience, and UT is proud to partner with the entire region in celebrating Dr. King’s legacy.”

“At a time when our nation seems as divided as it has ever been, I encourage all Toledoans to join in the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., whose life’s work was dedicated to bringing people together and finding common ground,” Kapszukiewicz said.

Kristian Brown, anchor for WTVG 13 ABC, will emcee the Unity Celebration. The program will feature re-enactments, songs and performances by the Scott High School Marching Band, UT Gospel Choir, UT FIRE Squad and TRIBE dance teams, as well as students from Toledo School for the Arts and other individual artists.

Recipients of the MLK Scholarship and African-American Leadership Council of United Way Scholarship Awards also will be recognized.

The Unity Celebration is organized by a committee co-chaired by Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion, and Angela Lucas, executive assistant to the mayor.

The 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration is made possible by support from ProMedica, Paramount Advantage, Balance Pan-Asian Grille, Smoot Construction, Crestline Paving & Excavating, Peak Electric Inc., the Taylor Automotive Family, Fifth Third Bank, the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, Kokosing Construction Co. Inc., Mercy Health, Destination Toledo, the Toledo Branch of the NAACP, United Auto Workers Community Action Program Council, United Way of Toledo, Buckeye Broadband, Buckeye Community Arts Network, Area Office on Aging of Northwest Ohio Inc., Lady Irish Basketball, and Zeta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

UPDATED: UT Lake Erie Center Jan. 17 talk canceled

The UT Lake Erie Center announced Monday afternoon this talk is canceled.

The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center is hosting a free, public event about the collaborative efforts to re-establish a self-sustaining lake sturgeon population in the Maumee River.

Dr. Chris Vandergoot, research fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, will give a talk Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

Dr. Chris Vandergoot, research fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, held a young lake sturgeon prior to its release in the Maumee River last fall.

“We want to bring awareness to the importance of the Maumee River watershed and restore a native fish species to the Lake Erie ecosystem,” Vandergoot said.

UT is a partner in the regional, state and federal teamwork to restore giant, ancient sturgeon to Lake Erie that culminated in thousands of juvenile sturgeons being released into the Maumee River in October.

“Lake sturgeon populations were once abundant throughout Lake Erie, particularly in the western basin. Currently, only two self-sustaining populations occur lake-wide. Those are in the Detroit and Niagara rivers,” Vandergoot said. “Our reintroduction efforts seek to re-establish a spawning population in the Maumee River, which is one of the spawning aggregations extirpated due to over-fishing and habitat degradation.”

Vandergoot is an expert in using acoustic telemetry to track fish. Acoustic telemetry involves implanting fish with special tags that produce sound that can be detected by a large network of receivers installed around the Great Lakes. It is a way to determine where fish are moving within the lakes and learn about their behavior and habitat use. Some of the sturgeon released into the Maumee River last year have these tags.

Two years ago, a UT graduate student helped the Toledo Zoo secure $90,000 in federal grant money to build a sturgeon rearing facility along the Maumee River. Dr. Jessica Sherman-Collier, who has since received her doctorate in ecology from UT, assisted the project by verifying that spawning and nursery habitat still exist in the Maumee River to sustain a population of the fish that can live to be 150 years old and grow up to 300 pounds and eight feet long.

The Lake Erie Center is UT’s freshwater research and science education campus focused on finding solutions to water quality issues that face the Great Lakes, including harmful algal blooms, invasive species and pollutants.

Water quality is a major research focus at UT. With more than $14 million in active grants underway, researchers are looking for pathways to restore the greatest natural resource for future generations.

Vandergoot’s talk is part of the Lake Erie Center’s Public Lecture Series.

A shuttle will be available to transport passengers from UT’s Main Campus to the Lake Erie Center and back. The shuttle will depart at 6:15 p.m. from the south side of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories, 3100 West Towerview Blvd. Passengers must reserve a spot. Email lakeeriecenter@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.8360 to make a reservation for the shuttle.

Art exhibit reflects on ownership of self images

This January The University of Toledo Department of Art is hosting an exhibition of the work of guest artist Rowan Renee, a genderqueer artist self-identifying as they.

“No Honor No Heart” will be on display from Monday, Jan. 14, through Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

“Together but Separate” is part of Rowan Renee’s exhibit titled “No Honor No Heart,” which is on display through Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

Renee’s work includes images of their nude body that have been reclaimed and altered.

“In 2013, I was in a legal dispute with a former partner and collaborator, a copyright lawyer, over ownership and access to nude images of my own body that we co-authored,” Renee said. “[This] is an installation that reclaims these lost images, asserting the transformative power of artistic labor for experiences of sexual abjection.”

A free lecture will be held Friday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Little Theater. An opening reception for “No Honor No Heart” will follow from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery.

“I use photography to interrogate how sexual bodies are gendered, victimized, policed and punished,” Renee said. “Through photographic, printmaking and sculptural techniques, I produce and appropriate images that intervene on issues of authorship, the representation of queer and feminine bodies within the art-historical canon, and the intersection of homophobia and misogyny in sex law and copyright law.

“Abjection, as a queer concept and aesthetic framework, informs my manipulation of images. Through jouissance, the hard-won pleasure found in the labor of making, I see a means to construct transformative meaning from experiences of violence, persecution and erasure that threaten queer and feminine subjects.”

Renee currently works between Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Their career began as a street artist in 2006, when they joined the Miss Rockaway Armada, a collaborative flotilla of junk rafts founded by the artist Swoon.

In the past, Renee traveled across 10,000 miles of the United States taking tintype portraits of people living off the grid, worked to rebuild a Sandy-flooded bungalow in the Rockaways as a live-work artist space, and founded a small photography business called Brooklyn Tintype.

Recently, they have received awards from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Anchorage Museum of Art, as well as fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the McColl Center for Visual Art and Ossian Arts at the Jain Family Institute. In 2018, Renee weas named an Elsie Choy Lee Scholar by the University of Michigan.

Their work has been profiled on NPR, in The New York Times, VICE, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, American Photo Magazine and Guernica, among other publications.

The free, public exhibition can be seen Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, contact contact Brian Carpenter, UT lecturer of art and gallery director, at brian.carpenter@utoledo.edu.

Rockets’ Craft Beer Night set for Jan. 15

The University of Toledo will host its third annual Toledo Rockets Craft Beer Night presented by the Casual Pint at Savage Arena prior to the men’s basketball game vs. Miami Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Treu House Of Munch will feature 12 of its most popular craft beers in the Fetterman Practice Gym beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tipoff for the basketball game is 7 p.m.

Cost for the event is $35 and includes a game ticket, 12 three-ounce beer samples, and appetizers. Tickets to the event are $25 for fans who already purchased their game tickets. The cost for designated drivers is $25 and includes game ticket and appetizers with soft drinks.

This event is for fans 21 and older only.

All attendees will be required to show a valid photo ID upon entry. No refunds or exchanges will be provided for failure to provide ID or failure to attend.

Attendees can redeem their event voucher at the door of the Fetterman Gym from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for access to the pregame event.

The beer lineup, which is subject to change:

• Columbus Brewery — Creeper and Bodhi;

• Maubee Bay Brewing — Tiramisu Brown;

• Elsyian — Space Dust and Bi Frost;

• Goose Island — Sophie;

• Golden Road — Melon Cart and Mango Cart;

• Wild Ohio Brewing — Black Cherry Bourbon;

• Sauigatuck Brewing Co. — BA Neopolitian and Bonfire Brown;

• Sweetwater — Going Coastal and Blue;

• Platform — Shake Me Down; and

• Kona — Big Wave and Koko.

To order tickets for Craft Beer Night, call 419.530.GOLD (4653), go to the Toledo Rockets website, or stop by the UT Ticket Office in Savage Arena.

Men’s basketball team receiving votes in this week’s Associated Press, USA Today coaches poll

Toledo (12-1) will enter its 78th season of Mid-American Conference play with a 10-game winning streak when it hosts Ball State (9-4) Friday, Jan. 4.

The contest will be televised live nationally on the CBS Sports Network with a tipoff time of 7 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Sophomore Marreon Jackson and the Rockets will play Ball State Friday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena.

UT was ranked No. 6 in last week’s collegeinsiders.com Mid-Major Poll and has moved up to No. 43 (as of Dec. 30) in the NCAA NET rankings.

BSU enters league play with eight wins in its last nine contests and is ranked No. 82 in the NET rankings.

Toledo turned in a dominant defensive performance in its most recent outing, a convincing 77-45 home triumph over Penn (10-3) in Savage Arena. The victory came against a Quaker squad that had posted wins over defending NCAA champion Villanova and Miami (Fla.) earlier this season. Penn’s 45 points were the fewest by a Rocket opponent since a 59-44 win over Eastern Michigan in the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals. In addition, Toledo limited the Quakers to a 30.5 field-goal percentage, the lowest by a UT opponent since Miami (Ohio) shot 30.4 percent Feb. 13, 2016.

Seniors Jaelan Sanford and Nate Navigato paced a balanced attack against Penn with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Junior Willie Jackson tied his career high with 16 rebounds to go along with eight points. He teamed with junior Luke Knapke (9 points, season-high 10 rebounds) and freshman AJ Edu (6 points, 7 rebounds) to help the Rockets own a 45-35 advantage on the glass. Knapke and Edu also dominated the paint defensively with four and two blocked shots, respectively.

Senior Tayler Persons leads Ball State with 16.8 points per game and a 43.2 three-point field-goal percentage. Juniors K.J. Walton and Tahjai Teague also are scoring in double digits at 15.0 and 14.5 points per game, with Teague grabbing a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game.

Friday’s matchup will pit the MAC’s top two three-point shooting squads (UT 39.2 percent, BSU 38.4 percent) and two of the top three-point defending squads (UT 29.2 percent, BSU 31.3 percent).

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

10 in a row: Men’s basketball team stifles Penn’s offense in 77-45 victory

Toledo (12-1) turned in a dominant defensive performance on Saturday afternoon en route to its 10th straight victory, a convincing 77-45 triumph over Penn (10-3) in Savage Arena.

The victory came against a Quaker squad that had posted wins over defending NCAA champion Villanova and Miami (Fla.) earlier this season.

Penn’s 45 points were the fewest by a Rocket opponent since a 59-44 win over Eastern Michigan in the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals. In addition, Toledo limited the Quakers to a 30.5 field-goal percentage, the lowest by a UT opponent since Miami (Ohio) shot 30.4 percent on Feb. 13, 2016.

Seniors Jaelan Sanford and Nate Navigato paced a balanced attack with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Sophomore Marreon Jackson also scored in double digits for the fourth time in five games, finishing with 12 points and a team-high three steals.

Junior Willie Jackson tied his career high with 16 rebounds to go along with eight points. He teamed with junior Luke Knapke (9 points, season-high 10 rebounds) and freshman AJ Edu (6 points, 7 rebounds) to help the Rockets own a 45-35 advantage on the glass.

Knapke and Edu also dominated the paint defensively with four and two blocked shots, respectively.

Junior AJ Brodeur led Penn with a game-high 19 points.

Toledo will begin league play Friday, Jan. 4, with a nationally televised matchup vs. West Division rival Ball State (9-4) in Savage Arena. Tipoff time for the contest will be 7 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.

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