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Re-Energize at Earth Hour celebration March 25

As energy usage and climate change become more urgent and prevalent topics, conservationists are looking for ways to draw attention to these issues.

The Society of Environmental Advocates invites the UT community to its Earth Hour celebration, which is a global event where at least one hour is set aside to bring awareness to energy conservation.

The event will be held Saturday, March 25, at 6 p.m. at the Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road, Oregon.

Speakers at the event will include Melissa Greene, director of the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission and sustainability coordinator for the Board of Lucas County Commissioners, and Michael Green, director of energy management for The University of Toledo.

After presentations by the guest speakers, attendees will tour the Lake Erie Center and, weather permitting, take a short nature walk.

Alex Lytten, president of the Society for Environmental Advocates, said that the event promotes the organization’s message of sustainability and conservation, and that membership is open to anyone who shares an interest in environmental science, geology, ecology and biomes.

To daily reduce your energy usage, Lytten recommends: “Turning down your thermostat, turn off unused lights and appliances, invest in energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and carpool whenever possible.”

For more information, contact ensc.society.ut@gmail.com.

Science museum president to discuss career, empowering roles for women

Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, will speak Monday, March 27, at 6 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1027.

Matthews was selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the 100 most influential women in Michigan in 2016. Selections were determined by impact, diversity and proven leadership.


Since she was named president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center in 2013, Matthews has led an effort to take STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) programs into the community. The center also started offering adult programming and professional development for teachers; launched STEM Vision Awards to recognize students and adult leaders; and started the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress to spark STEMM spark interest among fourth- through eighth-grade girls.

“The talk will focus on Dr. Matthews’ experiences in the STEMM community as a woman and how she was able to incorporate her passion,” said Kelley Webb, a graduate assistant of the African American Initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Student Success. “Dr. Matthews is able to relate to many people on many levels. They will learn about grace and grit, how she got to where she is and why.”

According to the National Science Foundation, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important with benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. Students need to develop their capabilities in STEMM to higher levels than were needed in the past.

“Dr. Matthews is well-known in the STEMM community, and she is very down-to-earth,” Webb said. “I believe that she exhibits the qualities that many women, especially black women, desire to develop, and she is doing something positive in a growing field.”

Matthews received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical and electrical engineering from Duke University and a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She was a biomedical engineer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and worked at museums in Maryland and Ohio.

The free talk is sponsored by We Are STEMM, the Office of Multicultural Student Success, African American Initiatives and NaturalHAIRitage.

Matthews’ visit is one of the University’s events scheduled for Women’s History Month.

International Joint Commission invites public to meeting at UT Lake Erie Center March 23

The International Joint Commission, an independent binational organization that prevents and resolves issues facing boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada, is holding a public meeting at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center this week to gather input about progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

The free, public event will take place Thursday, March 23, at 6 p.m. at the UT Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

It is one of six public meetings being held in communities around the Great Lakes throughout March as the commission finalizes its assessment of progress made by the U.S. and Canada to reach goals of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Dr. Christine Mayer, UT professor and aquatic ecologist, serves as a member of the International Joint Commission Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, which studies Great Lakes issues and provides its findings to help the International Joint Commission make recommendations to the governments of the two countries.

“Residents of the Great Lakes region deserve clean water, healthy beaches and fish that are safe to eat,” Mayer said. “I encourage residents of northwest Ohio to attend the International Joint Commission meeting and provide their feedback on progress toward restoration of the Great Lakes. Now is a crucial time for the public to voice their support for sustained restoration of the Great Lakes.”

With more than $12.5 million of active grants underway to address water quality concerns, UT faculty and researchers are taking a multidisciplinary approach to protecting the nation’s Great Lakes from invasive species and providing clean drinking water for generations to come.

“I am delighted that the public meeting for the International Joint Commission will be held at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the UT Department of Environmental Sciences and interim director of the Lake Erie Center. “The citizens of Oregon and Toledo will not have to travel far to learn about ongoing research on harmful algae blooms, restoration and protection plans for Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. But most importantly, the public will have an opportunity to express their suggestions, views and concerns to this binational agency to influence future activity.”

According to the Ohio Environmental Council, Lake Erie supplies drinking water to roughly three million Ohioans, and visitors spend more than $10 billion a year in communities along Lake Erie for tourism, travel and fishing.

“This meeting in Toledo — and all six of the International Joint Commission’s public meetings — is integral to the the commission’s assessment process,” said Lana Pollack, chair of the U.S. section of the International Joint Commission. “We want to hear what people think about the government’s progress report and the International Joint Commission’s draft assessment of progress, and hear their views on how governments should address the Great Lakes water quality issues that residents care about the most.”

The International Joint Commission’s draft report, the Canadian and U.S. government report, as well as details on the upcoming public meetings around the Great Lakes, can be found at http://participateijc.org.

Event registration is online here and will be available at the door as well.

Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to hold oral arguments at UT College of Law March 22

On Wednesday, March 22, UT law students and members of the public will get to experience a morning of appellate court arguments when the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals holds oral arguments in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

Oral arguments at the free, public session will begin at 9 a.m., and the final case will be argued starting at 10:15 a.m.

Presiding over oral arguments will be a panel of three judges from the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals: The Hon. Arlene Singer, a 1976, UT law alumna; Thomas J. Osowick, a 1981 UT law alumnus; and Christine E. Mayle. The judges will hear four cases:

• Romstadt v. Garcia, et al. is a personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff was injured when hit by a vehicle owned and insured by defendant-appellee but driven by her son. The issue on summary judgment was limited to the question of whether the son had his mother’s permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident. Plaintiff now argues that summary judgment was inappropriate because of material inconsistencies in the mother’s deposition testimony and because the question turned on the credibility of the mother’s testimony.

• In State of Ohio v. Whites Landing Fisheries Inc., the defendant-appellee was charged by the state under the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code with three counts of illegally harvesting yellow perch from a part of Lake Erie for which the annual quota was zero. The defendant-appellee alleged in its motion to dismiss that the definition of “Lake Erie yellow perch management units” in the code provision was unconstitutionally void for vagueness. The appeal is from a grant of a motion to dismiss based on the unconstitutionality of a penal provision.

• State of Ohio v. Brandeberry involves a guilty plea and sentencing order for a juvenile prosecuted as an adult for charges of arson and murder. On appeal, the defendant challenges the constitutionality of the mandatory transfer and sentencing provisions that resulted in defendant being prosecuted and sentenced as an adult. The constitutional challenges allege violations of due process and equal protection, as well as ineffective assistance of counsel.

• In State of Ohio v. Greely, the appeal is from a sentencing order after a guilty plea to charges of aggravated burglary and rape. For purposes of sentencing, the court treated the aggravated burglary and rape counts as dissimilar offenses and ordered separate and consecutive sentences. The defendant argues that the court erred in treating the offenses as dissimilar and imposing consecutive sentences.

Experiencing appellate arguments firsthand will be especially helpful for first year UT law students. As part of their Lawyering Skills II course, each law student must research and write an appellate brief and then present an oral argument on behalf of a fictional client.

“The opportunity for students to observe judges and lawyers in a real court session is a valuable learning experience in our oral advocacy curriculum,” said Terrell Allen, UT legal writing professor and director of the College of Law’s legal research, writing and appellate advocacy program. “We appreciate the court’s willingness to provide this useful experience and instruction for our students.”

Toledo Hackathon focusing on Lake Erie infrastructure

Through its tech-driven water innovation competition, Erie Hack challenges local coders, designers, engineers, water experts and everyday citizens to think of creative solutions to some of Lake Erie’s biggest obstacles.

“At a time when critical funding for the health of Lake Erie is in jeopardy, it’s more important than ever for citizens to come together to produce homegrown, innovative solutions for the most precious resource in our region,” said Morgan Fitzgibbons, program director for Erie Hack.

The competition, which includes more than $100,000 in prizes, focuses on six individual challenges:

• Mitigate nutrient loading and its environmental impacts;

• Reduce and remediate urban pollution;

• Cultivate resilience in water infrastructure systems;

• Manage aging water infrastructure systems;

• Connect communities to the value of water; and

• Drive the creation of meaningful data.

One of the goals of Erie Hack is to engage young people in the emerging “blue economy”: the economic sector dedicated to sustaining freshwater bodies around the globe. One of the ways this is accomplished is by hosting hackathons in cities surrounding Lake Erie.

The regional Toledo Hackathon will begin Friday, March 24, at 6 p.m. and end Sunday, March 26, at 6 p.m. The competition will be held at Launchpad Incubation at UT, 1510 N. Westwood Ave.

Both individuals and teams not exceeding five members may compete. Participants must be 18 years of age or older to compete, unless he or she is on a high school team.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required in advance; click here.

For more information on Erie Hack, including full rules, judging criteria, tips to ensure success and prizes, visit eriehack.io/challenge.

Immigration seminar set for March 23

Recent changes to U.S. immigration laws will be the topic at an informational immigration seminar sponsored by the Paralegal Studies Program.

The event will take place Thursday, March 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

The seminar will focus on general immigration rules and international student visa status; immigration updates under the Trump administration; ramifications to immigration status for those charged with a crime; and the rights and responsibilities of international students after graduation.

The guest speaker for the event will be Tracy Schauff, who has more than 20 years of experience in immigration law, from the Fakhoury Law Group.

“Today, the number of foreign-born residents living in the United States on a long-term basis is the highest it has ever been,” said John J. Schlageter, program director and senior lecturer of the Paralegal Studies Program. “Immigration law and policy has a dramatic impact on the foreign born, their family members, and the U.S. workforce.”

Schlageter said that since immigration law is never static and societal goals and public priorities are always changing, the information that will be presented in the seminar is even more valuable.

“This information is of value to everyone, regardless of their nationality. Faculty and staff need to be informed so that assistance can be given to any student who may inquire,” Schlageter said. “Students should be informed so that trips to country of origin can be better planned. Doing so will cause less confusion upon re-entry to the United States and will continue the University’s goal of creating a memorable educational experience.”

Lunch will be provided for the first 50 people at the free event, which is open to faculty, staff and students.

‘The Trials of Spring’ screening and discussion to focus on political and social justice

In a time of cultural and political upheaval in her home country, Hend Nafea will visit campus to share her story with the UT community.

“The Trials of Spring” tells the story of 21-year-old Nafea’s indomitable spirit, and her journey after being arrested for speaking out against her country’s military rule.

“The film shows, not only the actions taken, but the suffering that existed before and after,” said Dr. Asma Abdel Halim, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. “Autobiographical and biographical stories are detailed and inspiring. I think the film tells us about the fear that was instilled in the people through decades of oppression and the unbelievable courage that overcame that immense fear.”

Nafea traveled from her village to Cairo, where she advocated with thousands of Egyptians for the end of military rule. She was arrested, beaten and tortured by security forces. After her release, Nafea was shunned by her family for bringing shame to their name.

All are invited to attend a free screening and discussion of the film Wednesday, March 22. Refreshments will be served starting at 6:30 p.m., and the film will begin at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

The discussion with Nafea will be moderated by Abdel Halim and Dr. Renée Heberle, professor and honors adviser in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

“It is important for every woman that participates in an action that leads to change to tell her story. Even within those seeking change, one cannot ignore the gender aspect of activism. It is also necessary for documenting such events for women’s history, as most of the time this history is ignored,” said Abdel Halim. “Real heroism is seen in actions taken by the powerless, as such actions are taken by the most unexpected actors, such as women. It is really empowering for people everywhere, to see that everything is possible and the biggest obstacles are surmountable.”

The event, one of many scheduled at UT for Women’s History Month, is sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; School of Interdisciplinary Studies; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women; Program in Law and Social Thought; and Office of Student Services.

For more information, contact Abdel Halim by calling 419.530.2233.

Mock trial team brings regional trophy back to UT

The UT Mock Trial Team is continuing a tradition of excellence. Over the years, the team has earned national championship titles 10 times, and may be on its way to another.

“After their outstanding performance at the regional tournament, The University of Toledo’s Mock Trial Team has received a bid to represent our region at the Opening Round Championship,” said John Schlageter, coach of the team, program director and senior lecturer for the Paralegal Studies Program.

Members of the UT mock trial team posed for a photo after winning a bid to the Opening Round Championship Tournament at the Cleveland Regional Tournament. They are, from left, Joshua Yeager, Kyle Zapadka, Travis Peterson, Taylor Sanders, Colleen Anderson, Andrea Bonds, Elizabeth Layhew and Rachel Schneider.

UT went head to head with 16 other schools, including Case Western, Ohio State University, Cornell University, and Michigan State, at the competition Feb. 25 and 26 at the Cleveland Justice Center.

The team is preparing for its next competition, practicing case materials in the McQuade Courtroom in the Health and Human Services Building. Both the regional and championship tournaments consist of four rounds of competition, in which teams are required to perform twice as plaintiff and twice as defense.

The American Mock Trial Association hosts the competitions from February through April, alternating between a civil case and a criminal case each year. This year, teams are representing both sides of a civil case for wrongful termination. Each round must consist of three witnesses and three student attorneys, as well as one direct and one cross-examination.

Schlageter noted that participation on the team is open to and benefits all majors: “The mock trial experience is a value-creating activity open to all students regardless of major. Team members must demonstrate abilities to communicate meaningfully, persuasively and creatively to a jury. Communication students may learn how to speak effectively in public. Theatre students may learn how to perfect their craft playing the role of attorney or witness. Business students may learn how to give a persuasive presentation. Any student that desires to master the ability to communicate meaningfully, persuasively and creatively with different audiences through written, oral, numeric, graphic and visual modes would benefit greatly through mock trial.”

The Opening Round Championship will be held Friday through Sunday, March 24-26, in Hamilton, Ohio.

“I am very proud of the dedication and hard work exhibited by our team. Our team is committed to getting even better in preparation for the upcoming championship tournament,” Schlageter said. “These students bring back an understanding of the high regard our judicial system merits and the protection it affords all of our citizens.”

Eberly Center for Women slates lunches to spotlight research

The Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women’s Lunch With a Purpose brings together students, faculty and staff to support UT’s women researchers.

All are welcome to bring lunches and hungry minds to find out what researchers are working on and to contribute to interdisciplinary discussions. The lunches are held in Eberly Center, Tucker Hall Room 0152, from 12:10 to 1 p.m. throughout the semester.

The next Lunch With a Purpose will take place Wednesday, March 22, and focus on “Being Mary Willing Byrd: Race, Property and Widowhood in Revolutionary Virginia.” Dr. Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, associate professor of history, will discuss her research on Byrd, who became a widow in wartime and interacted with the state, the occupying military and the market in ways that were considered out of the ordinary for women of the time.

On Wednesday April 5, Dr. Karie Peralta, assistant professor of sociology, and Dr. Shahna Arps, lecturer of anthropology, will present their research, “Becoming Globally Competent Through a Community-Based Approach.” This research was not only used to develop an international field school to be used in the Dominican Republic this summer, but also demonstrates how community-based principles may guide the development of global competencies for professors and students.

“By encouraging women researchers to participate in Lunch With a Purpose, we are promoting interdisciplinary discussion, showing support, and offering critical feedback that strengthens the work being produced at The University of Toledo,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, associate vice president of the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and the Minority Business Development Center.

Rockets fall to Creighton, 76-49, in first-round NCAA Tournament game

Sophomore guard Mikaela Boyd scored 11 points, but it wasn’t enough to counter the hot shooting of Toledo’s first-round opponents in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships. The Rockets fell to Creighton, 76-49, Friday at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.

Toledo (25-9) trailed by 22 points at the half and could only get as close as 16 points in the third quarter. Creighton (23-7), regular-season Big East champions, had a hot-shooting night, making 47.3 percent of its shots from the field and 43.5 percent from three-point range. Toledo shot 32.3 percent from the floor and made just 2 of 10 shots from behind the arc. Sophomore center Kayla McIntyre and freshman guard Mariella Santucci each added 10 points to the UT cause.

Sophomore guard Mikaela Boyd scored 11 points for the Rockets.

Creighton came out on fire, with guard Marissa Janning scoring 15 of her game-high 19 points in the first six minutes of the contest. She hit her first three shots from behind the arc, her third triple at the 4:11 mark giving the Bluejays an 18-4 lead, and forcing Head Coach Tricia Cullop to call timeout. Creighton extended the lead to 27-12 on a mid-range jumper by Sydney Lamberty on the final shot of the first quarter.

Boyd tried to keep the Rockets close. Her jumper early in the second quarter cut the lead to 27-14, but Creighton was relentless. Kylie Brown scored on an inside basket, and Audrey Faber knocked down a jumper to up the margin to 31-14 with 7:47 left in the half. Moments later, Lamberty hit another jumper, making the score 35-18 and causing Cullop once again to stop the action with a timeout.

Freshman guard Mariella Santucci guarded a Creighton player.

Creighton went a 9-0 run late in the half to open up a 44-20 lead. Santucci’s layup with 28 seconds cut the Bluejay lead to 44-22 at the half.

Creighton shot a sizzling 15 of 29 from the field in the first half, including 7 of 14 from three-point range. Toledo hit just 11 of 34 (32.4 percent) in the opening half and did not hit a three-pointer in seven attempts.

Toledo came to life in the third quarter, scoring the first six points of the period, all by McIntyre, to cut the Creighton lead to 44-28 and forcing a Bluejay timeout. But Creighton countered with a 7-2 run, capped by a layup by Brianna Rollerson to make the score 53-32 going into the media timeout of the third quarter.

The Bluejays ended the quarter on another 8-3 run, giving them a 63-35 lead after three quarters of play.

The closest the Rockets would come in the fourth quarter was 24 points when junior guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott scored to cut the lead to 67-43 with 5:56 left.

While the Rockets’ season comes to an end, Creighton advances to face host Oregon State (30-4) Sunday. The No. 2 seed Beavers survived an early scare from No. 15 seed Long Beach State, knocking off the 49ers, 56-55, in the day’s first game at Gill Coliseum.