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Officers increase community-policing efforts

University of Toledo police officers don’t want students to only contact them when in trouble.

“Our number one priority is keeping students safe. The community is safer when we care and respect each other and work together to create a great campus experience for everyone,” said Jeff Newton, UT police chief and director of public safety.

UT Police Officers Desiree Beatty and Pat Greene talked with two students on Main Campus.

UT Police Officers Desiree Beatty and Pat Greene talked with two students on Main Campus.

The officers will take the first step with a Meet the Office of Public Safety Event Thursday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Varsity T Pavilion and nearby South Tennis Courts and South Basketball Courts.

The police officers, security staff, and safety and health officials in the Office of Public Safety invite students to check out their public safety vehicles, eat pizza, and challenge the staff in basketball, tennis, corn hole and other games.

“We’re looking forward to a fun event where we can get to know students better during the first week of classes and continue that positive momentum in the weeks and months ahead for a fun and safe year,” Newton said.

The conversations will continue with monthly “Pizza with the Police” events scheduled throughout the year across campus where students can meet officers, ask questions, and learn about resources available to them. Following the Aug. 25 kickoff, the next pizza event will be Thursday, Sept. 15, from 1 to 2 p.m. in Parks Tower’s main lobby.

Additional personal safety and self-defense courses also are scheduled during the first few weeks of classes for students, as well as faculty and staff, to learn tactics. The first class is Monday, Aug. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Health Education Building Gym on Main Campus. Additional classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 31, and Thursday, Sept. 8, at the same time and location.

The UT Police Department is working with faculty in the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness and Department of Criminal Justice on a new one-credit, eight-week personal safety and wellness class that teaches these safety and self-defense tactics, as well as information on dating violence, healthy boundaries, alcohol and drug prevention, and first aid training.

The department also has new bicycles for officers to patrol campus and connect more closely with students in pedestrian areas.

UTPD will again offer ALICE training to the campus community this year. ALICE, which is an acronym that stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, is a national program that instructs participants on how to survive an active shooter situation.

“ALICE is training we hope no one ever needs, but we provide it so that members of our community can be empowered with the knowledge to survive a violent encounter should they ever be in that situation,” Newton.

ALICE training sessions will be held twice a month, one on each campus, throughout fall semester and also can be scheduled for departments or student groups.

For more information about the UT Police Department and full schedule of the events, visit utoledo.edu/depts/police.

Value of scientific discoveries magnified for local students through UT program

Students in grades three to 12 have a fascinating opportunity to see the world at micro-level thanks to The University of Toledo’s SCOPE program.

SCOPE stands for Scientists Changing Our Pre-college Education. The program, started in 2011, has expanded to almost 80 sessions in about 20 schools, one teacher virtually using UT’s scanning electron microscope from as far away as Atlanta. The program began with a grant given by the National Science Foundation, which went toward the microscope used in many of the programs, in addition to promoting the scientific research at the University.

Cassandra Pittman, UT student and SCOPE project manager, explained to students at Summit Academy how they could use the University's scanning electron microscope from their school.

Cassandra Pittman, UT student and SCOPE project manager, explained to students at Summit Academy how they could use the University’s scanning electron microscope from their school.

Last spring, science professionals in SCOPE worked with the children from Summit Academy, a school specialized for students with alternative learning needs, including those with social and learning disorders such as attention deficit hyper activity disorder and autism.

The students used an almost $500,000 scanning electron microscope to look at samples such as the heads of various insects, spores from organic matter, and bacteria. Students examined the specimens, loaded and introduced by Dr. Pannee Burckel, scientific instrument specialist in the UT Chemistry Department, at the lab on campus, as they were projected on the Smartboard in the classroom. At one point, the children wore 3D glasses to help them analyze the images from the microscope.

Students at Summit Academy wore 3-D glasses to view images created using UT's scanning electron microscope. Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum, director of the UT Instrumentation Center and creator of SCOPE, is in the center in the back row.

Students at Summit Academy wore 3-D glasses to view images created using UT’s scanning electron microscope. Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum, director of the UT Instrumentation Center and creator of SCOPE, is in the center in the back row.

“We had a blast at the Summit Academy with the students,” said Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum, director of the Instrumentation Center and creator of SCOPE. “They were so excited and lively, and many of them told us — during and after the session — that they want to become scientists or asked what it takes to become a scientist.”

Cassandra Pittman, UT student and SCOPE project manager, taught students how they could use the microscope from their classroom. Within SCOPE, Pittman also is responsible for reaching out to schools about the program, preparing samples, teaching sessions, and creating lesson plans. Each program is designed in conjunction with the teachers at the school based on the class focus.

Samples inserted into the chamber of the cyber-enabled microscope in the Instrumentation Center can be seen on screens controlled by students in any classroom, no matter how far away the school. Through SCOPE, students gain exposure to the research done at UT, the opportunity to see cells and nuclei outside the pages of the textbook, and the ability to use the expensive equipment available at the University from the comfort of their classrooms.

This image was taken by a Summit Academy student with the scanning electron microscope and shows several types of pollen on the eye of a ladybug.

This image was taken by a Summit Academy student with the scanning electron microscope and shows several types of pollen on the eye of a ladybug.

Other types of programs geared toward older students might make use of the confocal microscope, a light-based microscope in the Biological Sciences Department in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, that creates images using laser technology. By projecting different color fluorescents onto each sample, students are able to see distinct aspects of that sample highlighted.

Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, assistant professor of biological sciences, led one of these high school-oriented sessions in April. Garcia-Mata spoke to students at Northwood High School as they examined the HeLa cell, made viewable thanks to the confocal microscope.

The HeLa cell was the first of what is known as the immortal cell line, meaning they can be examined now, 65 years after the initial collection from Henrietta Lacks in 1951. Students at Northwood read a book on Lacks and the unlawful extraction of this cell and, as part of a school project uniting English and science, had the opportunity to view samples of the cell at UT.

“Many Nobel Prizes were awarded based on work done on the HeLa cell,” Garcia-Mata said.

Students using this equipment through the UT SCOPE Program also can see what Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss and his student, Atul Khire, saw when they discovered a new structure in fruit fly sperm called the PCL. For younger kids, the lessons are all about the discovery, while older students are taught the value of the stories behind the findings.

“Telling the students the story behind the discovery of what they see with their own eyes in the SCOPE program helps them to experience the triumph of science and imagine if they would like to be part of something similar in the future,“ Avidor-Reiss, associate professor of biological sciences, said. “One of our goals is to fascinate the students; not enough people go into the sciences.”

For more information on the SCOPE program, click here or go to facebook.com/UTSCOPE.

Behind the scenes of Art on the Mall

In the pre-dawn hours of the last Sunday in July, the silence on UT’s Centennial Mall is broken: “Y’all ready for this?” rapper Ray Slijngaard of 2 Unlimited asks as the synthesizer-driven psych-up song “Get Ready For This” blares near the Student Union.

“We have a little playlist — Amanda Schwartz in our office puts together a mixture of ’80s jock jam-type/pump-you-up dance music,” Ansley Abrams-Frederick, director of alumni programming, said. “We’re in the bus loop and it’s pitch black, and we’re playing music and dancing and getting into the spirit of things. Everybody’s in a really good mood; we’re all looking forward to Art on the Mall.”

Ansley Abrams-Frederick, director of alumni programming, has helped with Art on the Mall since 2003 and directed the summer favorite since 2008.

Ansley Abrams-Frederick, director of alumni programming, has helped with Art on the Mall since 2003 and directed the summer favorite since 2008.

“Everybody jump, jump, jump, jump,” DJ Kool encourages in “Let Me Clear My Throat.”

“Since we get to campus at 5 a.m., I try to find some music that will wake us up,” Schwartz, associate director of alumni relations, said. “I also start that day with a Monster energy drink.”

C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” is up next.

More than 100 artists will set up booths on Centennial Mall for this year's free art fair.

More than 100 artists will set up booths on Centennial Mall for this year’s free art fair.

“Oh boy, there have been some hot ones,” Abrams-Frederick recalled. “In fact, we were joking about it. Sometimes we bring a change of clothes to freshen up a bit and change.

“I’d take the heat over rain any day of the week; the rain is a killer. We always want to have a beautiful day.”

Here’s to a sun-filled forecast for this year’s event on Sunday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Centennial Mall. The 2016 Art on the Mall is sponsored by The Blade, Huntington, 13 ABC, Buckeye Broadband, 101.5 The River and Homewood Press.

It all began more than two decades ago when participation in the UT Hole-in-One Tournament fell off. Mary Bell, former UT Alumni Association trustee, suggested replacing the golf event with an art fair that would bring graduates and community members to the University’s gorgeous grounds. She aced it.

UT's Centennial Mall is packed for Art on the Mall, which has become a summer tradition.

UT’s Centennial Mall is packed for Art on the Mall, which has become a summer tradition.

“We are very fortunate. Many alumni associations around the country are looking for a signature event that draws a large number of alumni and friends back to campus, and ours is now in its 24th year,” Dan Saevig, UT associate vice president of alumni relations, said. “Art on the Mall brings people onto our beautiful campus, in many cases, for the first time since graduation, and showcases the work of our artists, most of whom have ties to the University.”

More than 12,000 annually frequent the juried art fair, where an average of 110 artists set up booths.

“Centennial Mall is transformed for Art on the Mall: It’s got music floating in the air, the food smells great, you’ve got all these tents, and the people are excited, kids and families, older people — it’s a very welcoming atmosphere,” Abrams-Frederick said.

Art on the Mall Poster 2016“We invite everybody to come back. You don’t have to buy anything. Lay in the grass; people watch. It’s an awesome place to people watch, and I think event guests know that and they come back each year. They can park for free; plus, there is no admission fee, so they have more money to spend at the show if they want to — there are a lot of positives.”

And Abrams-Frederick would know: She has helped with The University of Toledo’s marquee event since 2003 and overseen it since 2008.

Each year, her work on the show begins in January. That’s when artist applications become available through April, and sponsorship development starts.

“Initially, it’s a two-person job,” Abrams-Frederick, a 1992 graduate of the UT College of Arts and Sciences, said. “I couldn’t do this without the assistance of Shirley Grzecki, events coordinator, who keeps all of the artist information organized.”

As the artful day draws near, co-workers in the Alumni Relations Office get in on the action, and more than 150 volunteers help make it all happen.

“The volunteers do a really nice job for us,” Abrams-Frederick said. “Pop sellers, shuttle drivers on golf carts, greeters who stand at each mall entrance and hand out programs and answer questions, artist relief — they walk around and talk to artists, pass out water, they’ll sit at their booth for them if they want to take a break, get something to eat, use the restroom or even get inside a little bit. In the children’s area, we have volunteers who will help the kids with activities, blow up balloons, face paint. We have event setup and teardown. And we have volunteers checking IDs and serving beer in the beer garden.”

Young artists can make their own creations in the children's area.

Young artists can make their own creations in the children’s area.

“I’ve been helping with Art on the Mall for 10 years,” Sally Berglund, administrative secretary with the UT Foundation and 1990 graduate of the former Community and Technical College, said. “I usually am a greeter or artist relief. It’s great to see all the things that people create.”

“The diversity of the artists and the attractiveness of UT’s beautiful campus are some of the things that make this event so special,” Marcus L. Sneed, associate director of alumni relations, said. This summer will be the eighth time the 2007 alumnus of the College of Business and Innovation will pitch in.

Overseeing the event has its perks.

Stacy Mosetti looked at works by Mr. Atomic at Art on the Mall last year.

Stacy Mosetti looked at works by Mr. Atomic at Art on the Mall last year.

“You get to see the latest, greatest creations that the artists came up with this year. In the jury process, you’ll see images come through and notice new techniques,” Abrams-Frederick said. “And they do change: The artists have a new process that they’re trying, or they have a new theme, different color scheme. It’s really cool to see the differences over the years.”

What has she learned from running the show?

“Events are fun because they change all the time. You can do the same event 10 times, and you will have different results, experiences and outcomes,” Abrams-Frederick said. “People make up a big part of that — different personalities, people’s ideas or expectations might not be the same, so there are always changes. And the one thing that it continually reminds me: You have to be able to roll with it. Everything is fluid.

Glass, jewelry, acrylic, watercolor, woodwork, photography, oil, mixed media and more will be featured at Art on the Mall.

Glass, jewelry, acrylic, watercolor, woodwork, photography, oil, mixed media and more will be featured at Art on the Mall.

“Centennial Mall is a living, breathing thing, and it changes — the location, the land, the shrubbery — it all changes from year to year,” she said, adding that construction projects also can pose challenges.

“The nice thing is: We work with great people on campus — Facilities, Grounds, Student Union staff — who are trying hard to put our best face forward. They all have this feeling that this is an important event, that we’re bringing in a lot of people from the community to campus, we all need to work together.”

“Without the efforts of our sponsors, volunteers and so many UT staffers, a major undertaking like this would not be possible,” Saevig said. “The way the Toledo community responds to Art on the Mall each year is truly special.”

“It’s just an adrenalin rush; it’s a long day, but it’s an awesome day. And after it’s all done, we’ve been known to actually dance in the office,” Abrams-Frederick said then laughed.

Cue up Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)”: “Party people!”

Events coordinator zooms in for Art on the Mall

It’s not unusual for Michele “Mickey” Ross to hop in her car, Canon XSi riding shotgun, and go for a drive. 

That’s how she found a small, dilapidated dwelling and gas pump one snowy day in Sylvania. And on a fall jaunt through Oak Openings Preserve Metropark in Whitehouse, she spotted horseback riders on a leaf-covered trail.

Michele “Mickey” Ross displayed some of her photography that she will have in frames, on coasters and notecards, and as prints at Art on the Mall Sunday, July 31.

Michele “Mickey” Ross displayed some of her photography that she will have in frames, on coasters and notecards, and as prints at Art on the Mall Sunday, July 31.

“I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time,” the events coordinator in the Special Events Office said. “A lot of photography is patience and sometimes luck. You have to be willing to just sit and observe — especially with nature. You can see so much more that way.”

Armed with her camera, Ross captures places many area residents are familiar with and frames them in a new way.

“You can go to the same park every day and see something different each time; it’s just how you’re looking at things, whether it’s a bird or a turtle or a frog or flowers,” she said. “Nature changes so rapidly that there’s always something different to look at — always.”

Michele “Mickey” Ross took this photo titled “Ice Tree” at Olander Park in Sylvania.

Michele “Mickey” Ross took this photo titled “Ice Tree” at Olander Park in Sylvania.

Her favorite locales to wander and shoot include area parks, gardens and the Toledo Zoo.

At the zoo, she caught a cormorant careening its neck to preen with an orange autumnal sky reflected in the water, as well as a regal eagle perched by evergreen sprigs. After an ice storm, she ventured carefully to Olander Park in Sylvania and clicked in the cold; the result was a stunning image of a tree encased in a shimmering frozen glaze.

“It’s almost cathartic. I get lost when I go out and photograph. I can be out for hours and not even know it because there’s so much to look at and so much to see,” Ross said.

She’s had an artful eye for years.

“I’ve always loved taking photos,” Ross recalled. “But I think I was getting frustrated because it seemed like I was in a rut.”

So four years ago, she joined the Toledo Camera Club and the Photo Arts Club of Toledo. That’s when she got serious about her passion.

“The clubs have challenges and assignments, and it makes you get out there and think,” Ross said. “Members critique the shots each time, and I think that’s helped me grow and progress as a photographer because it’s given me things I never would have thought of to do.”

“Bald Eagle” was photographed by Michele “Mickey” Ross at the Toledo Zoo.

“Bald Eagle” was photographed by Michele “Mickey” Ross at the Toledo Zoo.

And she’s had the chance to work with some surreal subjects, including a fairy statue submerged in an aquarium filled with a carbonated drink — a sprite in Sprite.

“I won a few awards at the photo clubs, and I thought, you know, maybe I can try to sell the photos and see what happens,” she said. “And my family encouraged me, too.”

In 2013, the UT graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in 1976 returned to her alma mater and made her debut at Art on the Mall.

“It was cool because I actually did pretty well, and I was surprised,” she said. “I had never done an art show before, it was my first one.”

Last year, Ross introduced a new item to showcase her photography: coasters.

“I was trying to come up with something that was a little more cost-effective for the normal person to buy,” she said. “I got online, looked around, and I saw coasters.”

“A Day at the Park” was taken by Michele “Mickey” Ross at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark in Whitehouse.

“A Day at the Park” was taken by Michele “Mickey” Ross at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark in Whitehouse.

Pretty and practical, but finding a process to produce the coasters took some time.

“Through my own process, I finally found a way to get it to work so that it wouldn’t be tacky and it wouldn’t look tacky,” Ross said and laughed. “And it would be water-resistant so it could be used as a coaster.”

No surprise, her coasters featuring UT photos proved popular her second year at Art on the Mall and sold quickly.

Ross does take requests. Folks who stop by her booth have asked for shots of Toledo landmarks, including Tony Packo’s, the Rosary Cathedral, and Fifth Third Field and all things Mud Hens, as well as lighthouses, trains and various animals.

“There are a lot of things here in the area to focus on that people look at and say, ‘Oh yeah, I know where that is.’ In fact, when people come up at the art fairs and shows, they have fun looking at things and saying, ‘Now where’s that?’ ”

Ross will be at Art on the Mall Sunday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free juried art show will be held on Centennial Mall.

“I know they try to have alumni or people affiliated with UT at the event, and I think that adds to the flavor of it,” she said.

In her office, Ross has a few photos that she has taken, as well as several shots that she is in alongside celebrities who appeared in Centennial Hall/Savage Arena, where she worked for 25 years. 

And there is quote from one of her favorite photographers, Ansel Adams: “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

“I don’t have a lot of equipment; it’s expensive. And like they say, it’s not the camera, it’s the shooter. You can make beautiful photographs with anything, even a point and shoot,” Ross said. “I’d like my photos to make people feel good, and I hope that they realize they are not random shots, that some thought was actually put into them.”

Assistant professor of nursing works on project for Sigma Theta Tau International’s Leadership Academy

This year, Dr. Temeaka Gray was selected as one of 13 Scholars of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, granting her a spot in the 2016-17 Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy.

Gray, an assistant professor in The University of Toledo’s College of Nursing, has been a member of the society since 2012.

Gray

Gray

The academy’s goals include fostering academic success, promoting nurse faculty retention, and facilitating personal leadership development, all of which are explored by projects completed by each scholar.

“The purpose of the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy is actually to expand the scope of influence and grow nurse faculty leaders — the project is a vehicle for that,” said Gray, president of the Zeta Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at UT.

As part of the academy, Gray has designed a project around the topic of communication in the workplace, with the objective of recognizing best practices in communication and shared governance for faculty and administration. This is a topic in which Gray said she had much experience, co-authoring two chapters in academic works, one regarding communication and the other on shared governance in the workplace.

“A lot of the time, people are talking and not listening, but the most effective communication takes place when they listen as well as talk,” Gray said. “One of the pieces that I’ve seen through my literature review said that, in a shared governance environment, sometimes people just don’t know what their duties are. Do they have input in everything? Do they act through committees? I want to know what people think about communication, what they think shared governance means, and what perceptions of the best way to have conversations are.”

Participation as a scholar in the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy includes intensive four-day workshops, one this year and one next, and a presentation on the final project at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Biennial Convention in Indianapolis.

Gray said even being selected was a tremendous opportunity and, once she found out she had been one of 13 global applicants chosen, the idea of being able to confer with other nurses and like-minded professionals at a greater level was an exciting prospect. The first of the four-day workshops took place in March, and Gray said the highly immersive experience was driven by self-reflection and a close look at the operating style within the academy.

“They equipped us with a journal, so we were critically looking at ourselves as people. We used tools like the leadership practice inventory and strengths finder to assess strengths and weaknesses and, based on that, where we can to improve,” Gray said. “These workshops were from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. over four days. The leadership meetings included administrative people for the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy, the leadership mentors, the faculty advisors and the scholar.”

The opportunity of being invited to participate in a program like the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing is one she hopes others in her field take.

“I always stress this to nursing students because, at that time, you don’t understand what it truly means to be recognized like this,” Gray said. “By the time I was working, to be recognized at that level was so important because it was meaningful. We go around doing what we do because it’s what we do; seeing that other people recognize it is really amazing.”

She added, “Organizations that focus on professions and disciplines like nursing are actually driven by what you do. It’s a networking opportunity; you have the opportunity to learn from other people and their experiences.”

To learn more about the Scholars of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at UT, visit zetatheta.nursingsociety.org/home.

Former chief chemist at Toledo Water Treatment plant on H2O quality quest at UT

When Brenda Snyder was 10 years old, her mother dragged her to a park along the Maumee River in Toledo before sunrise to witness a phenomenon.

“I remember I felt a little crazy climbing up on the monkey bars at five o’clock in the morning to look at a comet,” Snyder said. “But my mother was always interested in science, and that moment perked my interest.”

Brenda Snyder posed for a photo in her lab at the UT Lake Erie Center next to the SEAL AutoAnalyzer, a new lab instrument that she is working to get up and running by mid-July. Instead of sending samples to another lab to be analyzed for levels of nutrients, she will be able to do it at the Lake Erie Center – which means results will be available sooner.

Brenda Snyder posed for a photo in her lab at the UT Lake Erie Center next to the SEAL AutoAnalyzer, a new lab instrument that she is working to get up and running by mid-July. Instead of sending samples to another lab to be analyzed for levels of nutrients, she will be able to do it at the Lake Erie Center – which means results will be available sooner.

Fast-forward half a century and the grandmother of six still harbors a zeal for astronomy. However, her chosen scientific career is chemistry.

Snyder is a senior researcher at the UT Lake Erie Center who focuses on water quality.

“It is my job to do everything in my power to make sure that drinking water is safe,” said Snyder, a UT alumna and licensed water operator in the state of Ohio.

“She’s a heck of a chemist,” Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, UT algae researcher and associate professor of ecology, said. “I learn something new every day working alongside her in the lab.”

Bridgeman hired Snyder after she retired from the city of Toledo, where she spent 15 years as a chemist at the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant overseeing chemical processes that transform raw water from Lake Erie into high-quality drinking water.

In 2014, Snyder was the chief chemist who navigated through the Toledo water crisis when the city issued a ‘Do Not Drink’ advisory for half a million residents for three days due to the level of the toxin microcystin detected in the drinking water.

This is a close-up shot of the SEAL AutoAnalyzer. In the tubes, the bubbles separate samples. The instrument can run up to four different analyses at once on one sample; it measures how much phosphate, silica, nitrate and ammonia are in the water.

This is a close-up shot of the SEAL AutoAnalyzer. In the tubes, the bubbles separate samples. The instrument can run up to four different analyses at once on one sample; it measures how much phosphate, silica, nitrate and ammonia are in the water.

A year later, the algal bloom in Maumee Bay was much larger, but did not impact the public water supply.

“I would like to find some answers as to what happened that day,” Snyder said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here at UT. What is triggering the production of toxin? Why is the size of the algal bloom not related to the amount of toxin released? There is still a ton of science that needs to be done.”

Snyder’s public health mission has shifted to early warning. She is working to find faster ways to alert water treatment plant operators if there is anything in Maumee Bay heading toward the city of Toledo’s intake pipe.

“Information that is two-weeks-old doesn’t do them any good,” Snyder said. “By then the water has already come, gone and is back through the wastewater treatment plant.”

“Brenda’s extensive experience helps us academics connect with the professionals who deal with water treatment on a daily basis,” Bridgeman said. “She knows most of the water utility managers and chemists along Lake Erie. She speaks their language, knows what challenges they face, and what information they need from us to help meet those challenges.”  

Throughout the summer algal bloom season, Snyder is part of Bridgeman’s team that collects water samples aboard UT’s 28-foot research vessel throughout Maumee Bay and the open waters of the western basin. She then runs those samples through what is called the ELISA test, the standard method of measuring the concentration of toxins, like microcystin, associated with cyanobacterial blooms, or harmful algal blooms, in Lake Erie.

Snyder also is tasked with getting a new lab instrument up and running called the SEAL AutoAnalyzer, which analyzes nutrients found in the water, such as phosphorus, ammonia, silica, nitrate and nitrite.

“This tool will help us look at things that feed the algae, which create the microcystin,” Snyder said. “We know the growth of algae is linked to phosphate and nitrogen in the water. But what other subtle things are triggering the overgrowth of the blue-green algae? That’s what we need to find out.”

The machine moves small water samples separated by bubbles through thin tubes that look like clear spaghetti. The tubes thread into different chemicals, and the data is graphed on a computer in the lab.

“The biggest way having this instrument in our lab will change how we conduct research is to get us the results in a more timely fashion,” Snyder said. “Dr. Bridgeman has had to send our samples to another lab to be analyzed for nutrients. We tend to send them in a batch at the end of summer. Instead of taking months to process, we hope to get results within a week of collecting the samples.”

Snyder and the team of researchers at the UT Lake Erie Center will use the SEAL AutoAnalyzer as another tool in their arsenal to help search for answers and develop new protocols for monitoring source water in Lake Erie that could benefit water treatment plants across the country that are affected by algal blooms.

“It’s darn near everywhere,” Snyder said. “They’re having problems in Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, California and anywhere in the South.”

With a wry sense of humor, Snyder said she mixes science and a little bit of art in her water quality quest. It’s one that began at UT.

“I went back to school at the age of 40,” said Snyder, who graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology. “My son graduated from UT a year later. I joke that I had to wait until he was old enough to tutor me through the calculus classes, which he did.”

But you’d have to rewind farther to discover the moment a little girl on the monkey bars with her eyes in the sky found a love of science in her heart to last a lifetime.

UT alumnus is Beyoncé’s full-time art director

In 2010, Andrew Makadsi graduated from The University of Toledo with dual bachelor’s degrees in film/video and communication. He headed to New York to work in the fashion industry, not as a clothing designer, but as an intern.

These humble beginnings when he worked for free, or nearly free, helped him make contacts in the fashion industry and earn a name for himself. In less than six years, all of that hard work got him noticed, not only in the garment district, but in music industry circles among artists like Beyoncé.

Makadsi

Makadsi

Makadsi’s passion for fashion began long before he left the University. Inspired by top clothing designers and the artists who create the images that promote their work, his film class projects often combined his love of photography and art design with his obsession with fashion. Some of his non-class student projects involved fashion design installations, such as one he helped create for a Student Filmmakers Showcase after-party. The party theme and décor essentially comprised an art installation that was film and fashion-based.

He gave credit to his UT teachers as instrumental in his success. He said it was important to have “teachers like Holly [Hey], who convinced me to major in film. I learned a lot of great things, editing and the software tools, and also a lot about other filmmakers.”

He added that the intimacy of the program meant “having teachers who pay attention to you. Holly really saw something in me and inspired me.”

While the UT film program presented Makadsi with opportunities to branch out to explore other artistic venues, it also allowed him to develop his fashion aesthetic on a deeper level.

“I did a film for Tammy’s [Kinsey] class and other classes that leaned toward that vibe, toward that genre. If I was asked to do something different, I would, but they would also let me express my passion,” he said. “This is not to say they weren’t strict and hard, because they were. But they let me do it.”

Another critical aspect of the program was that the technology was up-to-date and readily accessible.

“Everything was so hands-on,” Makadsi said. “The equipment was available all the time. So we always were able to develop an idea that was in our heads.”

Clearly, Makadsi made the most of it.

Holly Hey, UT associate professor of film, concurred: “Andrew was one of the hardest-working students that I ever taught. He set the bar high in my classes, and his work combined excellent technique, complicated storytelling, and emotional honesty. He epitomizes hard work, making the most of opportunity by showing up, giving it your all, and being a generous collaborator.”

It was his collaboration with other artists in New York that created the opportunities for work and projects that brought him recognition. Over time, free projects led to paid gigs and eventually full-time work.

Makadsi said he never wanted to settle into any one area of the industry, which is what intrigued him about art direction. One of his major full-time jobs was with Industrial Color, a creative production and post-production house; it was there that he learned he enjoyed the full spectrum of art direction.

“I would shoot images, do productions, and I realized that I should be an art director, then I could be involved in so many different things not just one thing,” he said.

In his fashion work, Makadsi has done work for top designers, including Alexander Wang, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Levi’s and others.

His work in fashion drew the attention of music artists who were looking for new ideas for videos and tour concepts. He has worked with Kanye West, Jay Z, Swedish House Mafia, Big Sean and others, most notably Beyoncé, starting from the On the Run Tour until Lemonade and the Formation World Tour. He has created the art direction for many of her videos, tour visuals and promotions. Initially, Makadsi said he worked on a few projects and now works for her full time “keeping everything that goes out about her on-brand, from little things to the big things. I’m part of an amazing team. They are just the most creative people.”

Hey said, “I am so happy for Andrew’s success, but I am not at all surprised by it. It was clear to me that he knew what he wanted when he graduated, and that it was really all about how hard he pursued it, working his first jobs without pay, meeting people, making connections, and collaborating with artists in film, fashion, music videos and photography.”

Makadsi has some advice for film students: “Follow your instinct and the voice within, but make sure you work hard. Talent is 20 to 30 percent of what makes you a good filmmaker and artist. But having the discipline and working hard makes the biggest difference.” 

He also advised students to get lots of internships and to prepare to be rejected. “I have been rejected from the silliest and dumbest internships. Don’t let it get you down.”

Makadsi added that whether it’s paid work or internships or free work, it should include “having a new challenge every day, having a job that teaches you and takes you to a new level.”

He also encouraged students to be strong self-promoters on social media: “So many people have been hired off Instagram and Tumblr. Be natural. Have [your online portfolio] be a reflection of you and your image. People will want to hire you based on your work and who inspires you. They hire you based on your vision, especially in my industry. Never settle. Even if you think you’re happy with it. Never get too comfortable. Always take it to the next level.”

Sexual dysfunction may reveal underlying medical condition

Erectile dysfunction is a problem more common than men are willing to admit. Although it can be an uncomfortable topic, men shouldn’t shy away from discussing sexual health concerns with their physician.

Men’s health issues such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone or incontinence are not only a quality of life concern, but also can be linked to potentially serious health risks, including heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.

Singla

Singla

June is Men’s Health Month, and UT Health physicians say it is an excellent time for men to take inventory of how they are feeling and to take action if they are experiencing sexual health symptoms. It is important for a man to schedule an appointment with a urologist if he experiences any the following:

• Erectile dysfunction with or without a decrease in sexual desire;

• Urinary incontinence or difficulty urinating;

• A lump or mass in the testicles;

• An elevated PSA level or abnormal prostate exam;

• Infertility;

• Andropause (male menopause); or

• Peyronie’s disease (penile curvature).

“Oftentimes we initially see a patient because he is having difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection,” said Dr. Ajay Singla, UT Health vice chair of urology and director of the UT Men’s Health Clinic. “We may then find the patient has an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, vascular disease or obesity causing his symptoms.”

The diagnosis and management of these conditions can be challenging and in some instances could require a more collaborative approach to treatment.

The UT Men’s Health Clinic opened in 2015 to provide the only comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinic of its kind in the region. Since that time, the clinic has grown from three specialists to a team of seven health-care providers in urology, cardiology, endocrinology, physical therapy, family medicine and nutrition.

“This collaboration allows us to treat the patient as a whole and address all of his health issues during one appointment,” Singla said. “We are finding our patients appreciate the convenience of seeing multiple specialists at one time and are pleased with the customized medical plans we provide.”

To better consolidate services, the UT Men’s Health Clinic is moving Tuesday, June 28, to the Regency Medical Campus located at 1000 Regency Court. The clinic sees patients on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The medical team’s emphasis is on common conditions affecting the urological, sexual and reproductive health of men. Services offered include surgical and non-surgical therapies for benign enlargement of the prostate, andropause, infertility, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, permanent sterilization, varicocele, sexual dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease and incontinence.

To make an appointment for the clinic, call 419.383.4360.

New technology at UT Health is advancing prostate cancer screening and care

Advances in technology now available at UT Health allow physicians to reduce the risk of unnecessary prostate biopsies, more accurately diagnose cancer, and provide a clearer picture of treatment options available.

Each year in the United States, more than one million men undergo a prostate biopsy because of an elevated prostate-specific antigen known as PSA or abnormal rectal examination. Unfortunately, up to 800,000 of them will have undergone the invasive and risky procedure for no reason, as their biopsies are likely to be negative or show non-deadly, non-aggressive disease.

Dr. Samay Jain displayed an MRI that shows the anatomic detail of the bladder and the prostate.

Dr. Samay Jain displayed an MRI that shows the anatomic detail of the bladder and the prostate.

“For years, the traditional pathway for prostate cancer detection has been to perform a biopsy if a man had an abnormal PSA or rectal exam” said Dr. Samay Jain, vice chief of staff and division chief of urologic oncology at UT Health. “However, prostate biopsies have come under considerable fire as of late because of the significant risks of severe infection and death in certain cases.”

Fortunately, there is a better way, and it is available right here in northwest Ohio.

Advances in magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI technology, enable UT physicians to see inside the prostate in a safe and noninvasive manner to identify men who truly need biopsies.

“Prostate MRI allows us to see the prostate in a way that was never available before,” Jain said. “In the right hands, this information can be crucial in determining whether a man needs a risky biopsy or not.

“Not only does MRI help in deciding who needs a biopsy, but for those diagnosed with prostate cancer, the imaging we have aids in tailoring individual treatments for each individual patient.”

Should a patient need to undergo a biopsy, images from the MRI allow for more precise sampling from areas of concern and yield much higher cancer detection rates than performing prostate biopsies without the MRI technology.

June is Men’s Health Month, and Jain reminds men the key to early detection is starting the conversation with their physicians.

“It can be an uncomfortable topic. Men don’t like to talk about prostate screenings for a variety of reasons,” he said. “But it’s important to have the courage to broach the topic, even if their physicians don’t.

“Also, listen to your loved ones. I think there are many men who owe their lives to their wives and daughters for finally convincing them to schedule an appointment and get screened. By staying proactive, we are confident that we can decrease the number of men dying from prostate cancer in the near future.”

Current American Urological Association Guidelines recommend routine screening for healthy men between the ages of 55 and 69 and recommend a PSA and rectal exam every other year. Men outside of this age range should have a discussion with their doctor on whether prostate cancer screening is right for them.

Comfort dog calms patients, visitors at UT Medical Center

Patients, visitors and staff at The University of Toledo Medical Center may see a new furry face around the hospital.

Anna, a golden retriever and comfort dog from Trinity Lutheran Church and School, visits with patients and their families at UTMC to reduce stress, facilitate conversation and interaction, and brighten the atmosphere of the hospital.

Susan Chilcote Bagley smiled during a visit with Anna, a comfort dog from Trinity Lutheran Church and School, while she waited for her father to get out of surgery at UT Medical Center.

Susan Chilcote Bagley smiled during a visit with Anna, a comfort dog from Trinity Lutheran Church and School, while she waited for her father to get out of surgery at UT Medical Center.

“Anna has been very well received at UTMC,” said Nancy Borders, top dog trainer for Trinity Lutheran Church Ministry. “She often puts smiles on peoples’ faces and makes their day when they see her.”

When recently making the rounds, Anna met Susan Chilcote Bagley from Los Angeles; she was waiting for her father to get out of surgery.

“Any animal coming around calms you and makes you feel relaxed,” Bagley said. She added it was great to see Anna since she was missing her dogs back home.

UTMC Staff Nurse Hannah Aiyewunmi said Anna made a positive impact on her patient, James Mitchell. She said he expressed sadness for not having his family members around, and Anna improved his mood.

“She really did cheer me up; she made my day,” Mitchell said.

Anna has a team of 15 caregivers, handlers and assistant handlers from Trinity Lutheran Church and School, and at least two accompany her while she visits UTMC.

The canine came to Trinity Lutheran Church and School through Lutheran Church Charities in July 2015. Anna visits schools, nursing homes, fire stations and other locations in northwest Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Through Lutheran Church Charities, Anna has received training on the same level as that of a service dog.

Lutheran Church Charities has more than 100 comfort dogs in churches throughout the country. They have responded to emergencies such as the shooting at Sandy Hook in Newton, Conn., the Boston Marathon bombing, and tornadoes in Illinois and Oklahoma.