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UT professor to be promoted by Army to lieutenant colonel

Maj. Michael Penney, professor and chair of the UT Military Science and Leadership Department, will be promoted by the U.S. Army to lieutenant colonel Friday, July 6.

The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. in Thompson Student Union Room 2592.


Penney is originally from North Texas and received a BBA from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Since then, he has earned master’s degrees from both Webster University and the Army’s School of Advanced Military Science.

He was commissioned by the Army’s Officer Candidate School in 2002.

Penney came to UT from Carson, Colo., where he served from 2014 to 2017. His time there included two operational deployments — to Europe and to Afghanistan.

Last July, Penney joined the UT faculty as professor and chair of military science and leadership.

Through his department chair position, Penney oversees recruiting, retention, preparation and leadership development of cadets along their path toward their goal of being awarded a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves or the Army National Guard.

He also instructs Military Science and Leadership Level Four Cadets throughout their transition from Cadet to Army Officer and works directly with UT’s University College and its ROTC program.

“My role as head of the ROTC program here at UT is one of the most important and rewarding jobs the Army has given to me to this point,” Penney said. “Leader development is crucial in the Army of today, and having some impact on the lives of future Army leaders is one of the best jobs.”

Penney will remain at UT for one more year and then take command of a battalion in South Carolina.

“This promotion to lieutenant colonel is an important one along the path to reaching my ultimate Army career goals,” Penney said. “But when I think about my nearly 16 years of commissioned service, I think more of those who have helped me along the way; specifically, those who I have served alongside and those who I have had the honor to lead at some point, and, most importantly, my family.”

‘Handwritten Dreams Project’ exhibit closes

The UT Department of Art has announced Leslie Adams’ solo exhibition, “The Handwritten Dreams Project,” has closed.

The artist’s reception and accompanying lecture scheduled for Friday, July 6 (rescheduled from June 1), at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Little Theater also has been canceled.

As a result of the continuing air conditioning and ventilation issues in the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus, the exhibition, organized and curated by Gallery Director and Assistant Professor Brian Carpenter, was removed recently due to extreme temperature and humidity conditions in the building. An expert in the field of conservation was consulted and recommended that the work be moved to a safer, climate-controlled environment.

According to Barbara WF Miner, professor and chair of the UT Department of Art, “The Handwritten Dreams Project” is a tour de force and the department is committed to working with Adams to find a time and venue to present the interactive exhibition in Toledo.

Adams said, “It was an incredible honor to be invited by my alma mater to exhibit ‘The Handwritten Dreams Project’ at the Center for the Visual Arts. I am disappointed that it cannot happen at this time — particularly as the debate on the teaching of cursive is unfolding in our state legislature. However, I am committed to and look forward to sharing my love of handwriting, drawing, and dreams with my community in the future.”

Adams received a bachelor of fine arts degree from UT in 1989.

Traffic to shift as road replacement continues on Bancroft, University Hills

Starting Friday, June 29, traffic will move to the north side of Bancroft Street so work can begin on replacing the other half of the pavement between Secor Road and Westwood Avenue.

Also that day, traffic on University Hills Boulevard will shift from the west to the east side.

Traffic will be maintained in both directions on Bancroft Street and University Hills Boulevard during the project.

Drivers should note there also will be northbound curb lane restrictions on Secor Road between Kylemore Road and Bancroft Street.

During phase two of the project, Brookdale Road will only be accessible from Secor Road and Kylemore Road. In addition, the section of Brookdale between Kylemore and Bancroft will be temporarily changed to a two-way street.

These traffic changes will be in effect through August, according to the Toledo Division of Transportation.

Road replacement is expected to be finished by November.

To avoid congestion, students, employees and visitors to Main Campus are encouraged to use the west entrance off Secor Road or the south entrance off Dorr Street.

Filmmaking workshop to take place this summer at UT

Visual Storytellers: Own Your Narrative will be held from Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 20, at The University of Toledo Center for Performing Arts.

This workshop is a filmmaking summer camp for high school juniors and seniors who wish to grow their narrative video-making skills. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students will learn to conceptualize, write, light, shoot and edit films, with an emphasis on creating visually. The camp will help students grow creatively while also allowing them to experience college-level seminars lead by Quincy Joyner, assistant lecturer in the UT Theatre and Film Department.

Workshop objectives include articulating the components of a story, character and narrative; explaining the effectiveness of communicating visually; and conceiving, designing and communicating a story while cinematically employing practical filmmaking techniques.

Students also will have the opportunity to learn about narrative storytelling, understanding the frame, lighting, video editing and more.

The cost of this workshop is $350 and is due Monday, July 2. The fee covers all materials that students will need, and lunch also will be included each day.

To register for this event, click here.

Runner clocks 4:25.38 at USA Track and Field Championships

Women’s track and field senior distance runner Janelle Noe finished heat two of the 1,500-meters in 10th place and came in 30th overall at the USA Track and Field Championships June 21 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Noe crossed the line in 4:25.38 and becomes the first Rocket under Head Coach Linh Nguyen to compete at the championships.


“This is the biggest stage for track and field in the country,” Nguyen said. “To have her out here as a collegian and representing The University of Toledo is just amazing. She earned this race, and I’m glad she got a chance to run.

“I was at the track for only a couple hours and was stopped by multiple people who knew her and her story,” Nguyen added. “I think it’s so cool to see her get recognized and supported the way she has been. She’s the very best person I can think of to represent our team, the Athletic Department, and the University.”

In addition to her success on the track, Noe’s continued recovery from an off-campus incident that occurred in 2016 that left her severely burned has gained the attention of national publications, and news outlets and fans are eager to follow the Sylvania, Ohio, native.

Noe turned in a strong performance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where she beat her personal record by six seconds in the 1,500-meter prelims (4:10.83) and finished 11th in the finals after crossing the line in 4:20.37. She claimed the best finish by a Rocket in the NCAA Championships since April Williams took eighth in the triple jump in 2007.

She had a breakout season that saw here lower her 1,500-meters time by almost 20 seconds and break the Mid-American Conference record at the MAC Championship Meet with a time of 4:17.01.

Assistant coach finishes 13th in 10K at USA Track and Field Championships

Women’s Track and Field Assistant Coach Samantha Bluske ran in the 10K at the USA Track and Field Championships June 21 in Des Moines, Iowa. Running under her sponsor “rabbit,” Bluske crossed the line in 33:48.11, taking 13th place.

“The plan from the beginning was to race from the back,” Bluske said. “It’s a bit humid here, so I figured if I race smart, went out controlled, then tried to race pretty hard in the last 5k, I could catch a few people and hopefully finish a little above my seed. I feel like I carried that out pretty well. I kind of got stuck in no-man’s land, but overall I’m happy with the way everything went.”


Today was special for Bluske because she was able to be more than just a solo runner. Toledo senior distance-runner Janelle Noe ran in the 1,500-meters June 21 as well, and the two were able to warm up together and offer support ahead of their individual races.

“I’m used to going to meets or competitions completely alone with no teammates, so it was pretty cool to experience my first US Championships with her, with this being her first as well,” Bluske said.

“Hopefully, it helped make her a little more comfortable feeling like she wasn’t alone here. She kind of had a teammate, and it’s nice to have that team feel out here supporting each other. It’s nice because she didn’t have to go out and do any of her pre-meet runs alone or anything like that. We were able to do it together. Hopefully, it made her a little more comfortable. I know it helped me for sure.”

Bluske said she’s taking a break from competing for a while so she can shift gears and focus on “personal stuff, like trying to survive a wedding.” She’s scheduled to marry her fianceé in a month.

Women & Philanthropy raising funds to purchase books for Toledo Public Schools

Women & Philanthropy at The University of Toledo is partnering with the Judith Herb College of Education to help provide books to 40 second-grade classrooms in the Toledo Public Schools.

Last year, the organization’s Holiday Project raised enough funds to donate 1,000 books to 33 second-grade classrooms in 19 of the 40 TPS elementary schools.

Second-graders at Old Orchard Elementary School checked out some of the books donated to Toledo Public Schools by UT’s Women & Philanthropy and the Judith Herb College of Education. The books were distributed to 33 second-grade classrooms at 19 TPS schools March 15 during a ceremony at Old Orchard Elementary.

Women & Philanthropy is getting an early start on this year’s project and is accepting donations through Tuesday, July 31.

With the help of donations from the community, Women & Philanthropy hopes to provide $200 worth of books to the second-grade classrooms in the remaining 21 TPS elementary schools before the academic year starts.

In order to do so, $8,000 in donations will be needed.

The Holiday Project is also accepting good-as-new used children’s books at second- and third-grade reading levels.

To make a donation to the cause, checks can be made payable to the UT Foundation with “2018 W&P Holiday Project” in the memo line and sent to:

Sarah Metzger
UT Foundation
Driscoll Alumni Center, MS 301
2800 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo OH 43606

New or gently used books may be dropped off to Metzger in Driscoll Alumni Center Room 2014A.

Runner, assistant coach to compete in USA Track and Field Championships

Women’s track and field student-athlete Janelle Noe and UT Assistant Coach Samantha Bluske will each represent Toledo this week at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Noe will compete in the first round of the 1500m Thursday, June 21, at 4:35 p.m. Eastern time.

Senior Janelle Noe and Assistant Coach Samantha Bluske will compete in the 1,500m and 10K events, respectively, at the USA Track and Field Championships this week in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bluske will follow in the 10K final at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

“Competing in this meet is not something that most collegiate athletes get a chance to do,” Head Coach Linh Nguyen said. “With Janelle qualifying and being healthy, she wanted to go and see what she could do, and I thought it would be a great experience. The hope is that she’s back at the NCAA finals next year and contending, so running the USA Championships will be an invaluable experience for that.

“This is just a tremendous way to cap off what has been a historic year for Janelle,”
he said.

Noe heads into the championships following a strong performance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where she beat her personal record by six seconds in the 1500m prelims (4:10.83) and finished 11th in the finals after crossing the line in 4:20.37. Noe claimed the best finish by a Rocket in the NCAA Championships since April Williams took eighth in the triple jump in 2007.

Noe is coming off a breakout season that saw here lower her 1,500m time by almost 20 seconds and break the Mid-American Conference record at the MAC Championship Meet with a time of 4:17.01.

In addition to her success on the track, her continued recovery from an off-campus incident that occurred in 2016 that left her severely burned has gained the attention of national publications, and news outlets and fans are eager to see what’s next for the Sylvania, Ohio, native.

“I’m excited to come out here to the U.S. Championships,” Noe said. “I’m able to toe the line with some of the nation’s best runners and that is an absolute amazing experience. I’m coming out here with no time or place goals in mind. I just want to go out there, try my hardest, and see where I can finish among top athletes.

“It’s honestly just an amazing experience and accomplishment to qualify for this race,” she said.

“I’m racing longer into a season than I ever have,” Noe added. “I really have no expectations except to do my best with how I’m feeling and take advantage of the opportunity I’ve been given. I’m really looking forward to hopefully meeting some of the pro runners. I’ll for sure be awestruck seeing them. Racing with them for the first time will be a very neat experience.”

Bluske, who’s competing under her sponsor rabbit, last ran in the Portland Track Festival June 9. She took fifth in the 10K after finishing in a personal best 33:00.59. The competition was only Bluske’s third of the year and her first 10K since 2014. Her time narrowly missed the USA Track and Field Championship automatic qualifying mark of 33:00.00, but she made it in thanks to several scratches.

“I’m really excited to be representing UT and rabbit this week at the championships,” Bluske said. “I ran my qualifier about 10 days ago after taking a four-year break from the track, so being able to drop down from the marathon to the track has been a goal for me. I’m excited to mix it up in a big race with a lot of talented women and see if I can finish higher than my seed.”

Fans can follow the USA Track and Field Championships action via NBC and NBCSN, or online with an NBC Sports Gold membership.

UT, AAA to host seminar June 21 on self-driving buses as future of public transportation

The University of Toledo College of Engineering and AAA Northwest Ohio are hosting the third in a series of free, public talks to educate consumers about how smart vehicles will impact the world.

The seminar focused on public transportation and self-driving buses is from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 21, in UT’s Nitschke Auditorium.

Speakers will include Jim Gee, general manager of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority; Chris Pauly, director of business development in North America for NAVYA; and retired Lt. Col. John Tucker, sales specialist for Path Master Inc.

All speakers also will participate in a panel discussion with Dr. Eddie Chou, UT professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Transportation Systems Research Lab, and Dr. Bhuiyan Alam, UT associate professor of geography and planning.

“Self-driving buses that are wirelessly connected with riders could provide convenient, flexible and affordable service as an alternative to driving,” Chou said. “Public transportation will continue to be an important part of the mobility solution, but it needs to adapt and embrace new technologies and paradigms and perhaps form public-private partnerships to provide desirable services.”

NAVYA, a manufacturer of fully autonomous, fully electric 15-passenger shuttles and six-passenger taxi cabs, will have an autonomous, driverless bus with no steering wheel parked at UT.

“Ever-advancing technology is bringing autonomous vehicle technology to our roadways, perhaps quicker than some may have anticipated,” Edgar Avila, AAA executive vice president, said. “Public self-driving shuttle buses are already in use across the country, like the AAA-sponsored bus offering service in Las Vegas and the electric shuttle that began offering rides on the University of Michigan campus this spring.”

“The steps taken today will positively impact the community by enhancing safety and improving mobility as this region progresses toward the connected and autonomous technologies of the future,” Tucker said.

Register for the free, public seminar online at utoledo.edu/engineering/webforms/TTTWJune.html.

Upcoming topics in the series will include infrastructure and government regulation in September and accessibility in November.

Former Rocket named to New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame

The New Orleans Saints announced that former Rocket wide receiver Lance Moore will be inducted into their Hall of Fame in a ceremony Friday, Sept. 14. 

Moore played 11 seasons in the NFL (2005 to 2015), nine of them with the Saints. He caught 360 passes in his pro career, including a career-high of 78 in 2008.

Former Rocket Lance Moore made this spectacular catch for a two-point conversion in Super Bowl XLIV. The photo appeared in Sports Illustrated.

He battled injuries throughout most of 2009, but came back in time to help New Orleans win Super Bowl XLIV. His acrobatic snag of a two-point conversion was key in the Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. 

Moore played for the Rockets from 2000 to 2003, earning first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors in his junior and senior seasons.

As a junior, he set then-UT records for receptions (103), receiving yards (1,194) and TD receptions (9). His biggest game came in a 35-31 win over No. 9 Pittsburgh in which he caught the game-winner in the corner of the end zone in the waning moments of the contest.

As a senior, Moore caught 90 passes for 1,189 yards, setting the school mark for TD receptions with 15, including three scores in Toledo’s 35-27 win over Miami in the 2004 MAC Championship Game.

He also was an excellent student, earning Academic All-America honors as a senior in 2004.

Moore was inducted into the Varsity T Hall of Fame in 2011.