UT News » Features

UT News


Search News




Bedside pharmacy program on track to surpass goals

The last thing that Pat Stevenson wanted to do was stop at a pharmacy on her way home to fill her husband’s prescriptions when he was discharged from the hospital after a heart attack.

She was tired. She was ready to go home. She was daunted by the task of running an errand during the busy holiday season.



Much to her surprise, UT Health offers a free bedside program to take care of prescriptions for patients. She didn’t have to drive to her local pharmacy.

“My husband, John, is a Vietnam veteran who usually gets his medication from the VA, but when he had a heart attack in December, we started getting some of the heart medications from UTMC,” Stevenson said. “I thought it was going to be a difficult transition, but UTMC has helped us save money on the prescriptions because UTMC puts people before money. That is rare in 2015.”

The iMEDS program (Medication Education Delivery Service) started as a pilot program on the cardiovascular floor of the hospital in April 2013 to help patients get their medications upon discharge. The program was so successful in its first few months that the hospital hired an additional pharmacist and two pharmacy technicians to roll it out hospital-wide by the end of 2013.

Year to date, iMEDS has helped 3,508 patients with a total of 9,141 prescriptions. This is on track to surpass 2014 when 2,741 patients were helped with 7,340 prescriptions filled.

“Our overall goal is to provide a convenient service for our patients and get them the medication they need at discharge, which keeps them healthy and prevents another hospital readmission,” said Holly Smith, pharmacy manager at the outpatient pharmacy. “The patients love it. They love the convenience of our service because they can leave the hospital with their medications.”

Smith said patients and families like not having to make another trip to their pharmacy on their way home. They also like being able to ask face-to-face questions with a pharmacist when the medication is delivered to their rooms.

“Some medications require in-depth counseling,” Smith said. “We may have to demonstrate to a patient how to give themselves an injection.”

The other benefit is that if there are insurance problems, the outpatient pharmacy staff will look for alternative medications that are covered or find manufacturer discount cards. While the iMEDs service is free, the medications are billed to the patient’s insurance company, just like at any other local pharmacy.

iMEDS also has led to an uptick in sales at the outpatient pharmacy. Patients who utilize iMEDS often return for refills.

“We make follow-up phone calls to patients who are scheduled for a refill,” Smith said. “We offer to transfer the prescription if that is what the patient wants to ensure they continue on their prescribed medication.”

In the future, Smith would like to expand the program by creating a follow-up program for patients where they can sit with a pharmacist to review their current medications and make sure everything is going smoothly.

“I am passionate about patient care. I love helping other people,” Smith said. “This program has been self-rewarding and self-fulfilling. I know that we are doing great things in the outpatient pharmacy, and our staff is dedicated to improving the health of our patients by offering convenient patient-centered services.”

Med school student trades in baton for stethoscope [video]

First-year medical student Moriah Muscaro is one of the best baton twirlers in the nation.

Her perfect figure eights, spins and illusions are a result of 17 years of continual practice, constant competition and relentless repetition.



“Twirling is amazing for me, even if it is an incredible amount of hard work, because I love to perform for people,” the 22-year-old said. “I love performing for an audience and getting everyone to smile when they leave.”

Just a week after being named College Miss Majorette of America in July, she traded in her baton for a short white coat.

“In many ways, my years of baton twirling and competing can be compared to my journey of getting into medical school and my first semester at The University of Toledo,” Muscaro said. “What I learned from twirling is work ethic. I have had to balance school and twirling my whole life. When I had homework and competition, I had to turn down friends and social opportunities.”

That continues to be the reality of her new life as a medical school student. The aspiring pediatrician who “loves the way our bodies are put together” is applying many of her baton lessons to real life.

First-year medical student Moriah Muscaro performed her routine in the Student Recreation Center.

First-year medical student Moriah Muscaro performed her routine in the Student Recreation Center.

“I love the feeling of my hard work paying off, but I know that even if I work hard, I won’t always succeed,” she said. “That is good to keep in mind as I go through medical school because while I tend to excel in math and science, I am undertaking the most vigorous academic journey of my life.”

Even though Muscaro was given a baby baton at birth, she wasn’t that good when she started twirling at age 5. That was hard to accept because her mom, Rhonda, runs a twirling program called Twirl-M’s in their hometown of Walled Lake, Mich.

“You could say that I was born with a baton in my hand, but I didn’t like it at first,” Muscaro said. “I actually wrote my personal statement to get into medical school about baton twirling because I was terrible. I wasn’t flexible; I had no natural talent, so I wrote about the life lessons learned from having to work so hard to succeed.”

By age 10, she had started to get serious about the sport, and her mom hired outside coaches. In 2005, she won her first competition. After that, the awards and accolades never stopped. She twirled for Walled Lake Middle School and Walled Lake Northern High School.

Moriah Muscaro won College Miss Majorette of America in July.

Moriah Muscaro won College Miss Majorette of America in July.

“People are so stressed out. Life is so hard,” Muscaro said. “I want to bring joy to people with my baton twirling. I want everyone to have a moment where they don’t have to worry about all the things that bring them down in life and just watch something that is pleasurable and enjoyable.”

While many twirlers end their careers after high school, Muscaro was talented enough to continue; from 2011 to 2015, she was the feature twirler for Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., where she majored in biomedical sciences and graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

“During the school year, I practiced two hours a day in the morning before class,” she said. “In the summer, I practiced with my team, the Twirl-Ms, for six hours a day. My philosophy is that I practice until I get everything done and do it well.”

Meanwhile, she was taking the MCAT and applying to medical school, which included traveling for in-person interviews.

Morian Muscaro started twirling when she was 5 years old.

Morian Muscaro started twirling when she was 5 years old.

“I felt so strongly that I was being called toward medicine and, if possible, I wanted to go straight to medical school,” Muscaro said. “The process of becoming a doctor takes so long, but I really want to do this.”

She never stopped twirling, though.

In April, Muscaro competed as part of Team USA at the World Baton Twirling Championships in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. She placed fourth as a soloist. In May, Muscaro won the College Miss Majorette of Michigan competition for the fourth time. In June, she took home the College Miss Majorette of the Great Lakes award for the third time.

When Muscaro won College Miss Majorette of America in July — the highest honor a person can get as a collegiate baton twirler — it was her fourth attempt. The first two times, she placed second. The third time she was first runner-up.

“Moriah twirled under intense pressure at College Miss Majorette of America,” said her mom, Rhonda. “Everyone wanted her to win because it was her last time before she went to medical school. Her solo routine, which was the bread and butter of the competition, was 2.5 minutes long. She twirled one, two, three and then four batons. She didn’t drop. It is like watching ice skating at the Olympics where everyone is just hoping the skater sticks the landing.”

The event was a three-part competition: a solo routine, a strutting routine that judged flexibility and timing, and then modeling a gown, which measured poise, confidence and interviewing skills. In the end, Muscaro bested 53 other twirlers.

“The whole week was emotional because I knew I was going to medical school and I was retiring from competitive baton twirling,” she said. “I needed to stick it. I needed to hit everything. Frankly, I wanted to throw up.”

Moriah doesn’t remember performing much of her solo routine, but she does remember feeling the last catch in her hand and knowing she had achieved a personal best.

“This didn’t seem reachable because I was so terrible when I was young,” she said. “I am still in shock.”

These days, she uses baton twirling as her stress reliever. She also helps with the Perrysburg Twirling Sophisticates. However, medical school and becoming immersed in the UT community is her priority, even though it feels strange to not twirl every day.

“When I came here for my interview, I really loved the community feel,” Muscaro said. “Students are welcoming to each other. It is a collaborative environment. There is so much research going on, but professors still take time for the students.”

Jeff Cole, a member of the UT Board of Trustees, talked to Muscaro before she decided on UT for medical school. He wants her to twirl at an upcoming athletic event.

“Moriah is an exceptional student who could have chosen just about any college of medicine in the country, so I think it speaks to the reputation of our faculty, student services personnel and alumni that she elected to attend The University of Toledo,” Cole said. “Likewise, she represents the excellent caliber of students enrolled in our College of Medicine. Like many of them, Moriah has achieved excellence both in and outside of the classroom while taking time to serve others along the way.”

20 Under 40 Leadership Awards recognize community leaders; 11 connected to UT

The University of Toledo was highly represented at a recent awards ceremony honoring local leaders.

From a diverse pool of 148 nominees, Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz N. Ghanbari, UT director of military and veteran affairs, Jose Rosales, an academic adviser in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning, and nine UT alumni were honored as recipients of the 20 Under 40 Leadership Award.

Ghanbari, left, and Rosales

Ghanbari, left, and Rosales

The award has been presented to 20 individuals who are 39 or younger in the Toledo community who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities.

Ghanbari works as a leader in many capacities of his life: serving in the military for 14 years and counting, including deployments to Afghanistan and Bosnia; participating in service work through Cedar Creek Church; and leading the University’s Military Service Center, to name a few.

“One of the first tenants of leadership is taking care of people; whether that’s people that work with you, people in your community, or people in your family,” Ghanbari said. “It is important to give back to those who have paved the way for you.”

Perhaps more important though is his desire to help people. Ghanbari has given CPR on multiple occasions to strangers. He recalled one instance when he saw a woman collapse on the sidewalk across from the Washington Monument. “I was trying to take a shortcut to get home that day from work when I witnessed Ms. Lucio collapse,” Ghanbari said. “Unfortunately, she passed away later that afternoon at the hospital; however, I believe there was a reason my path crossed with her that day.”

Ghanbari later received a proclamation from the governor of Texas — where Lucio was from — and was given the opportunity to speak to the student body in the school district where the woman worked for more than 40 years. His topic? Setting goals for yourself in life and how you can have a positive influence on others.

He continues serving others through his career, working with veterans to achieve their academic goals. By paying it forward, Ghanbari hopes to improve as many lives as possible.

“We as an institution can have a positive impact on our students, which I know we are. Our office, the Military Service Center, can have a positive impact on our student veterans, which I know we are,” Ghanbari said. “If our students go back and invest in one or two other people in the community, and those one or two in the community go invest in other people, that global impact starts right here at 2801 West Bancroft Street.”

Rosales’ philosophy is that connecting outside of the nine-to-five day is the work that really counts. As an academic adviser, Rosales works with conditional students — those below 2.0 grade point averages that are required to sign an agreement when entering the University — and helps them through any potential struggles they encounter.

“I think my overall passion is for education — the successful degree attainment for all students,” said the UT alumnus who received bachelor of arts and master of education degrees in 2010 and 2012, respectively. “I do find the students that are marginalized or underrepresented on college campuses, I’m drawn to them. And that’s where the reward and recognition comes in. Maybe I’m a good adviser, that’s really something that the students I serve would have to tell me. It’s the relationships that are built and maintained after I leave the office that may have attributed to my nomination.”

With his can-do attitude, Rosales gives 100 percent to everything he does — which, in his case, is a lot.

In addition to his role as an adviser, he is a PhD educational theory and social foundations student, a combat engineer in the U.S. Marine Corps, campus adviser for the Latino Student Union, president of the alumni chapter of his fraternity, and he recently collaborated to bring back the Association of Latino Faculty and Staff.

“When I’m in the classroom, I want to give them all of Jose and I don’t want them to hear, ‘It’s been a long day at the office, and I’m really not feeling it’ when they deserve me as an academic,” he said. “It’s the same with the Marine Corps and with my students; I just want to give myself to everyone I possibly can.”

Rosales said his motivation was first inspired by his fourth-grade teacher who worked full time at a restaurant while she was teaching. Her passion to keep pushing herself to do well is something that inspired him and in turn what he tries to instill in students — particularly the students who would not have made it through college if they hadn’t received guidance.

“That alone wakes me up when I’m tired, gets me to write a paper when I have nothing else to write, keeps me going; because there is a voice that needs to be heard and I’m just fortunate enough to be that voice for others at this point in my life,” he said. “In my opinion, this was not an individual award. This award was won by everyone that has poured into me over the years and for those that I get to pour into in the years to come.”

Other 20 Under 40 Leadership Award recipients who are UT alumni are:

• Elizabeth Baldwin, opera soprano — 1990 bachelor of arts degree;

• Darren Kohne, RightBrain Networks, Atlanta Hawks, Darren Kohne Enterprises — 2000 bachelor’s degree in business administration and 2003 master of business administration degree;

• Douglas Mallette, HCR Manor Care — 2001 bachelor’s degree in business administration and 2007 master of business administration degree;

• Christi Rotterdam, ProMedica — 2006 bachelor of science degree;

• Steven Schroeder, Health Care REIT — 2000 bachelor’s degree in business administration and 2006 master of business administration degree;

• Rebecca Shope, Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP — 2008 juris doctor;

• John Skeldon, Cooperative Business Services — 2004 bachelor’s degree in business administration;

• Sarah Skow, Spengler Nathanson PLL — 2006 juris doctor; and

• Alicia Wagner, HEELS Coaching & Consulting — 2003 bachelor of arts degree.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the program with the 20 new awardees joining 380 individuals previously recognized.

Donor lives up to daughter’s ideal

Tom Litzinger is the last person who would want any publicity for what he’s doing for the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at The University of Toledo.

But he knows he can’t help a future medical school student without drawing attention to his cause.



In memory of his late daughter, Litzinger donated his $100,000 life insurance policy to the College of Medicine to support the Amie Litzinger MD Class of 2013 Endowed Scholarship Fund. This is in addition to his $25,000 pledge after Amie’s death.

Amie died Jan. 1, 2013, from a genetic heart disease, just months prior to her scheduled graduation from medical school. She was awarded her diploma posthumously, the only student in the history of the College of Medicine to be so recognized.

“Amie loved the College of Medicine,” Litzinger said. “Amie could not say enough kind words about her fellow classmates, staff, faculty, administration and friends.

“As a father, how can I not give back to the institution that provided so much for Amie? Amie loved her role at the UT College of Medicine. It truly is an incredible institution that deserves my commitment and dedication.”

Howard Newman, UT associate vice president for development, said Litzinger has been active in raising money and awareness in the University medical community. He has been a champion for medical students.

“In addition to being a truly generous philanthropist, Tom has been a tireless volunteer for Amie’s Fund,” Newman said. “He has motivated people in the auto industry, his local community and at UT to support this wonderful scholarship as a legacy to his daughter’s spirit of caring.”

Litzinger, who lives in Brighton, Mich., said education is expensive and he doesn’t want someone to forgo medical school because of the cost.

“I will continue to give so we can secure any potential medical school student the opportunity to attend medical school,” he said. “Amie, unfortunately, will never become the caring physician that she desired to become. Her patients must have viable replacements to pick up where Amie left off.”

For information about how to donate to Amie’s Fund, contact Newman at 419.383.6840 or email howard.newman@utoledo.edu. Donors can also give online at https://give2ut.utoledo.edu/litzinger.asp.

UT promotes safety education on campus during October

The University of Toledo spotlights Crime Prevention Month by hosting Not On My Watch, a series of student activities and programs to educate and encourage personal safety.

“One of the things we always tell students is to be aware of their surroundings,” said Virginia Speight, associate vice president for student affairs in UT’s Division of Student Affairs and director of residence life. “College is a mini-city; people think that they’re safe because it’s college, but everybody is not necessarily here to get an education.”

rocksy not on my watchThroughout the month of October, the Division of Student Affairs and The University of Toledo Police Department will offer events on Main Campus that will encourage students to become active participants in their own personal safety along with campus safety.

“We started this three years ago and at first it started out really small with just Residence Life and UT Police, but we’ve been able to build and turn it into something that is divisional and spread it across campus,” Speight said.

Not On My Watch will feature a range of student activities and programs addressing safety in areas of relationships, substance abuse, violence and more.

Students can meet with members of The University of Toledo Police Department in the Student Union Trimble Lounge Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 10 to 11 a.m. and Monday, Oct. 26, from noon to 1:30 p.m. for a question-and-answer session.

An active shooter and violent intruder presentation will be hosted in the Student Recreation Center Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The presentation’s objective is to teach students how to be participants in their own survival and lead others to safety.

Alpha Phi Alpha’s second annual Anti-Domestic Violence Gala will be held Thursday, Oct. 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. The philanthropy dinner will charge a $5 general admission fee and will support the Bethany House, a safe, long-term, transitional shelter for victims of domestic violence. The event is co-sponsored by Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and the Sexual Assault Education Prevention Program.

The Division of Student Affairs’ University Counseling Center will feature Gestic Theatre Company Dramatic Dialogues on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. The program will address sex and drugs in frank and open discussions.

In addition to the safety programs, residence halls will perform door safety checks through Tuesday, Oct. 27, in which staff will purposely lock residents’ doors that are left open to demonstrate the dangers of leaving doors unlocked.

“At first, students were furious, but we saw the number of thefts significantly decrease the next year,” Speight said. “It creates an educational opportunity to have a conversation about students’ safety.”

The Student Recreational Center also will feature a Lock It Up initiative throughout the month to remind visitors to secure their belongings.

To see more events planned for the month or for more information, click here.

For more information on campus safety, visit utoledo.edu/campus/safety/index.html.

New initiative aims to elevate UT students, faculty internationally

Recent UT graduate Neil Hetrick is in Germany helping local English teachers through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program.

UT faculty member Dr. Ellen Pullins, Schmidt Research Professor of Professional Sales in the College of Business and Innovation, is continuing relationships she built as a Fulbright Scholar this past spring in Finland.

And UT administrator Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for career services, experiential learning and international programs, participated this summer in the Fulbright International Education Administrators seminar in Japan and now is leading an effort to help more people from the University have these experiences.

Dr. Ellen Pullins, Schmidt Research Professor of Professional Sales, posed with Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for career services, experiential learning and international programs, at last week’s Fulbright Student and Scholars Breakfast in Libbey Hall. Pullins traveled to Finland, and Spann went to Japan.

Dr. Ellen Pullins, Schmidt Research Professor of Professional Sales, posed with Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for career services, experiential learning and international programs, at last week’s Fulbright Student and Scholars Breakfast in Libbey Hall. Pullins traveled to Finland, and Spann went to Japan.

The new Competitive Awards Initiative — in line with the president’s stated goal of elevating UT on a national level — aims to assist students, faculty and administrators with applying for these types of prestigious awards that will both enhance the scholar’s education and research, as well as raise the profile of the institution.

“These highly competitive programs promote knowledge sharing and relationship building while giving students unique opportunities to engage in the global community,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “These experiences are an important scholarly advancement for the Fulbright, Marshall or Rhodes Scholar as an individual, but they also elevate the prestige of the University and the positives of the Toledo community.

“Engaging with students, faculty and researchers around the world through these scholarly exchanges will enhance UT when these scholars bring what they learn from their experiences back to campus, but the relationships built during the programs also will promote UT’s reputation internationally and can help recruit faculty and students to come join us in Ohio.”

The Fulbright Program, which is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States, is one of the primary grants for which the Competitive Awards Initiative will guide UT students through the application process.

“After researching this prestigious program, I was skeptical about my chances of being accepted, but I decided to apply anyways,” said Hetrick, who received his Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Germany during his senior year studying multi-age education at UT. “It was an extremely extended process, with a lot of revisions, preliminary interviews, and then waiting to hear back from the Fulbright Commission. Toward the middle of March, I finally heard that I had been accepted, and I was ecstatic to say the least.

“I believe that if more people were aware of the exact details and of all the support available to them on campus throughout the application period, more people would apply in the coming years,” he added. “I would love to see several more alumni sent abroad within the next couple years!”

Pullins is already bringing her international experience studying buyer-seller relationships in Finland and teaching at Haaga Helia University back to her students in Toledo. She will include a videoconference project between her spring international sales class and students in Finland, and is looking for other ways to include long-distance collaboration. And her contacts also have invited UT students to participate in an international sales competition next year.

“As I’ve said before, business cannot be separated from international business in today’s world, and it is imperative we work to give our students that international perspective, whether it’s sharing our firsthand global experiences or connecting them directly with students in another country,” Pullins said. “More and more companies are looking for students who have an internationalized education.”

The Fulbright Program — as well as other major scholarship programs such as the Rhodes, Marshall and Truman — requires a university recommendation as part of the application. The Competitive Awards Initiative is the central resource to provide that recommendation from UT, which also is now part of the National Association of Fellowship Advisers.

“In the past, faculty members or students have submitted the applications on their own or happened to know a person who had been through the process before and received that help. But our goal is to centralize the resources necessary to be able to advise anyone from initial interest through the successful completion of the exchange program,” said Spann, who leads the Center of International Studies and Programs.

Last week, the center recognized the seven most recent Fulbright Program participants at a Fulbright Student and Scholars Breakfast also attended by deans of several UT colleges. The event recognized both UT students and faculty who have gone abroad and international scholars who have come to Toledo through the program.

The Competitive Awards Initiative will call on the UT faculty and students who have participated in the Fulbright and other programs over the years as part of an advisory action team to review and strengthen applications from the University.

“We are gathering the UT leaders who are enthusiastic and excited about helping others and leveraging that collective energy and wisdom to increase significantly the number of these competitive awards UT receives,” Spann said.

In addition to Fulbright, the UT Competitive Awards Initiative is prepared to assist with applications for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, Boren Scholarship, Gilman Scholarship, Harry S. Truman Scholarships, James Madison Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Morris Udall Scholarships, Rhodes Scholarship, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program.

The initiative also will increase the number of workshops and other events held on campus for faculty and students interested in learning more about the programs, said Diane Engbretson, assistant director for the Center for International Studies and Programs.

“We recommend faculty and students interested in these research and teaching exchange programs start their applications a year in advance of the next cycle to fully develop a strong submission,” Engbretson said. “Our team will be there to help step by step, and the advisory action team will be an invaluable resource to review and strengthen the proposals so that we not only increase the number of applications from UT, but also the number of awards received.”

For additional information, visit utoledo.edu/cisp/competitiveawards.

UTMC garden area receives makeover

A spot for relaxation and reflection at The University of Toledo Medical Center was rejuvenated this summer.

UTMC redid the landscaping and replaced the monument at the Dorothy and Ashel Bryan Academic Commons, which is located between the Eleanor N. Dana Center and the Radisson Hotel.

New plants were added to the Dorothy and Ashel Bryan Academic Commons on Health Science Campus this summer.

New plants were added to the Dorothy and Ashel Bryan Academic Commons on Health Science Campus this summer.

Howard Newman, UT associate vice president for development, said the cosmetic improvements revitalized the garden area, which is frequented by patients, visitors and UTMC staff.

“We have always been so appreciative of the Bryans and their generosity, so we wanted to make sure that their namesake was well-maintained and represented the intent of their donation.”

David Bryan’s family started the Bryan Commons more than 20 years ago. His late father, Ashel, was a member of the MCO Board of Trustees and of the MUO Foundation Board of Trustees.

“It was my father’s idea because he knew that families of patients might stay in the hotel and want to go out to the garden area after a long and stressful day at the hospital,” Bryan said. “He thought there ought to be a peaceful place to go and spend quiet time given their situation.”

Bryan said his father worked with the hospital and designers to make sure the area, which includes a small water fountain, was beautiful and soothing.

“I am very happy with the improvements. I think this is an example of my parents’ philanthropy, and it shows that they were thoughtful about their philanthropy,” Bryan said.

Simulation center has strong volume, growth in first year

The number of learners coming through The University of Toledo Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center continues to grow.

The simulation center has trained, on average, 2,000 learners per month since opening in April 2014, according to Ben Stobbe, administrative director and business manager of the center.

Stobbe attributes the growth to more UT departments taking advantage of the state-of-the-art technology and the innovative, hands-on opportunities to aid students in their studies, as well as external companies utilizing the center to provide training via surgical workshops.

Julie Nelson practiced radial artery harvest surgery on a cadaver as Gary Tindel, center, noted how the technique was proceeding on the screen as Larry Pizzola watched. The training was being conducted by Ann Arbor-based Terumo, which visited the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center last month.

Julie Nelson practiced radial artery harvest surgery on a cadaver as Gary Tindel, center, noted how the technique was proceeding on the screen as Larry Pizzola watched. The training was being conducted by Ann Arbor-based Terumo, which visited the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center last month.

Faculty and staff in the colleges of Medicine and Nursing were some of the most frequent users during last fiscal year, from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.

“Faculty members are energetic and want to use the technology to supplement their curriculum,” Stobbe said. “Students are learning in a safe environment away from the patients. They can practice and then take a pause and ask themselves, ‘What should I do next?’ You can’t do that in the clinical environment.”

The simulation center, which is three stories and 65,000 square feet, is the first in the nation to incorporate three integrated simulation centers: a progressive anatomy and surgical skills center, an advanced clinical simulation center, and the virtual immersive reality center. In addition, the technology can be used in nonmedical fields, including (but not limited to) the arts, humanities, natural sciences and engineering.

Jennings Smith, instructor in the College of Nursing, uses the simulation center to help first-year nursing students understand cranial nerves. Within the Virtual Immersive Reality Center, a 3D model of the cranial nerves is displayed on the large curved computer-aided design wall, which allows for interaction that cannot be replicated in a traditional lecture setting.

“The students really liked the interactive image because they can practice locating the cranial nerve, which is something that is hard to do with a 2D image,” Smith said. “I think the simulation center is a valuable tool for our students, and I plan to continue to develop curriculum that can benefit from such a setting.”

Stobbe said the simulation center is appealing to outside agencies as well. For instance, city of Toledo paramedics use the center for emergency training.

“We even have had interest for high-end homebuilders to come in and show clients what the design of their potential homes could look like,” Stobbe said. “We also hosted the 2014 International Visual Literacy Conference for the Toledo Museum of Art. We re-created some of the rooms of the art museum for the conference, providing a virtual tour.”

In the first fiscal year, 34 surgical labs were conducted on the third floor of the center, which is where the surgical bays are located to work on cadavers. This opportunity is becoming so popular that there were eight labs in July alone.

The newest business opportunity is outside surgical companies paying for access to the center; this accounts for 10 percent of its usage. UT faculty, staff and students can use the facility at no cost.

Bob Langford, manager of Ann Arbor-based Terumo, brought in a team to practice radial artery harvest surgery on a cadaver. Normally, he would need to travel to Chicago or Houston for this level of training.

“This is so much more convenient because we are only 45 minutes away from top-of-the-line training technology,” Langford said. “It is always beneficial to get away from the clinical environment and get into a training environment because we can take our time using the equipment and make adjustments in a low-pressure setting.”

Learn about applying for Peace Corps Sept. 15

How does someone become a citizen of the world and prepare for the global job market? Peace Corps representative Annabel Khouri knows exactly how.

Khouri will share the personal and professional benefits of living and working in an international community during The University of Toledo Study Abroad Expo Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

PeaceCorpsLogo webLater in the day, she will lead a workshop with tips and suggestions on submitting strong applications at 3 p.m. in Snyder Memorial Building Room 1100.

For generations, UT has prepared students for Peace Corps service; volunteers include Kate Alber, who graduated from the University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in English and health sciences. In October, she will begin her service in Gambia, where she will be a health extension volunteer.

Dr. Madeline Muntersbjorn, UT associate professor of philosophy who taught Alber philosophy of medicine, encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree in public health; she obtained that degree last spring from Case Western Reserve University.

“Dr. Muntersbjorn helped me immensely with the graduate school application process and encouraged me to never stop chasing what I wanted,” Alber said. “Without that confidence, I probably wouldn’t have gone to grad school or applied to the Peace Corps.

“I have always wanted to work in international health and have held Peace Corps in the back of my mind since high school,” Alber said. “Being encouraged by my professors and friends while I was in graduate school gave me the push I needed to apply. I am so excited to completely immerse myself in another culture.”

More than 200 UT alumni have served in the Peace Corps since 1961 when the agency was formed under President John F. Kennedy.

Peace Corps volunteers make a difference in the areas of education and English teaching; agriculture, forestry and environment; public health, HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention; youth and community economic development; math, science and engineering; and information technology.

Throughout the semester, Khouri, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, will seek college seniors, graduates, retiring faculty and staff, and community members with majors and skills in these areas to fill Peace Corps programs. She will work with them and explain how to apply online in less than an hour and choose the countries and programs they’d like to be considered for.

“Peace Corps service offers a unique combination of international experience and rewarding work,” said Khouri, who recommends that those interested browse available assignments at peacecorps.gov/openings to find programs that match their interests and career goals. “It changed my perspective of the world and allowed me to grow personally. Professionally, it underscores your level of commitment and dedication, and your ability to adapt, problem-solve and work across cultures. Today’s graduates need to seek opportunities that provide them with both international and field experience.”

Peace Corps volunteers gain language, technical and cross-cultural skills that position them for advanced professional and educational opportunities. Additionally, they are eligible for graduate school benefits and receive paid living expenses, full health and dental coverage in service, vacation days, and more than $8,000 upon completion of service.

Anyone wanting more information about applying can contact Khouri with the Peace Corps Midwest Region at akhouri@peacecorps.gov or 216.527.8170.

Energy Dashboard designed to encourage conservation

The University of Toledo Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design (SEED) Initiative has unveiled a new tool in an effort to raise awareness and encourage conscious actions to reduce energy usage across campus.

The Energy Dashboard provides a real-time snapshot of energy usage and measures kilowatt-hours for each building on Main Campus. It was developed to monitor UT’s energy usage in order to better manage utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but also can be a tool for building occupants to become more aware of energy usage as the University community embraces a culture of sustainability.

energy dashboard“Our hope is that the Energy Dashboard will make people more aware of their energy usage, and they will make conscious decisions to turn off lights and adjust thermostats to help conserve energy,” said Sandrine Mubenga, UT manager of electrical engineering.

SEED, housed within UT’s Facilities and Construction Department, works to develop and implement environmental sustainability projects, energy conservation measures, innovative building renovation and design, and a comprehensive educational campaign.

The Energy Dashboard joins a long list of initiatives the Facilities and Construction Department, and specifically the Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design Initiative, have implemented to reduce the University’s carbon footprint.

Last year Facilities and Construction, with the help of SEED, designed and implemented a $2 million upgrade to the lighting on campus, including motion sensors in hallways, bathrooms, classrooms and offices, to help reduce UT’s electric bills by about $200,000 per year.

The lighting upgrades, in conjunction with other SEED projects, saved the University $1.4 million in total energy costs in 2014, according to Mubenga.

The University unveiled a sustainability plan earlier this year, with four major areas of focus: active engagement, energy and water efficiency and conservation, zero waste, and carbon neutrality. UT also hopes to expand the use of natural sources of energy on campus in addition to the use of a cogeneration plant, steam and chilled water lines, natural gas, solar panels, and wind turbines.

SEED also works to include students in University efforts to conserve energy with programs like BlackoUT, a campus-wide residence hall energy competition; Friday Night Lights, where student volunteers turn off lights in academic buildings each week; and RecycleMania, an annual recycling competition that involves colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

To see the Energy Dashboard, visit utoledo.edu/sustainability/dashpro.