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Two men’s basketball players named to all-district squads

Senior Tre’Shaun Fletcher and junior guard Jaelan Sanford recently earned additional postseason honors, receiving all-district recognition by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

Fletcher was named First-Team All-District 14, while Sanford was selected to the second team.

Fletcher’s and Sanford’s honors mark the seventh straight year at least one Rocket has been included on the all-district squad.

The National Basketball Coaches Association divides the country into 25 districts and honors 10 players from each district, signifying a five-player first team and a five-player second team.

A 6-foot-7, 215-pound guard, Fletcher earned Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and first-team All-MAC accolades this past season after ranking third in the conference with 18.1 points per game and fourth with 8.0 rebounds per game and 4.3 assists per game. He is the only MAC player to rank in the top 10 in each category and registered the second triple-double in program history at Northern Illinois (Feb. 27) by tallying 20 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists. Fletcher paced the Rockets in points, assists, steals and rebounds on a team-high 28, 18, 15 and 13 occasions, respectively, and also produced a team-high 15 20-point outings.

Sanford, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, earned All-MAC honors for the first time this season and ranked ninth in MAC scoring with 16.3 points per game and second on the team with 3.0 assists per game. Sanford also is listed among the league leaders with his 84.6 free-throw percentage (third), and his 40.3 three-point field-goal percentage (eigth). He performed even better in conference action with his league-best 88.2 free-throw mark, and a 43.6 three-point shooting clip that ranked eighth. Sanford scored 20 or more points in 11 contests this season, including a career-high 31-point showing vs. Saint Joseph’s (Nov. 11). He paced the Rockets in scoring on nine occasions and in assists in 10 contests.

Toledo (23-11) concluded its 2017-18 campaign March 10 with a 76-66 defeat to No. 1 Buffalo in the MAC Championship Game. The Rockets captured their third outright MAC West Division title with a 13-5 league record, finishing two games in front of second-place Eastern Michigan. In addition, UT’s 23 victories are tied for third most in school history.

UT falls short at MSU in second round of WNIT, 68-66

Toledo saw its season come to an end with a 68-66 setback at Big Ten member Michigan State Monday night in the second round of the Postseason WNIT in the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

With the loss, the Rockets wrap the year with an 18-15 overall mark.

Kaayla McIntyre paced the Rockets with 16 points, a game-high 10 rebounds, and a team-best five assists to post her ninth double-double on the year.

The Spartans’ Shay Colley converted a layup with 0.7 seconds left in regulation for the game winner. Colley took the inbound pass and drove the ball straight to the basket, finishing on the right side to end UT’s season.  

Junior Kaayla McIntyre paced the Midnight Blue and Gold with 16 points, a game-high 10 caroms, and a team-best five assists to post her ninth double-double on the year.

Redshirt freshman Tanaya Beacham added a career-tying best 12 points, to go along with a season-high nine boards in a season-best 31 minutes.

Senior Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and junior Mikaela Boyd also finished with double figures with 10 points each.

As a team, the Rockets shot a season-high 56.0 percent (28 of 50) from the field, including 33.3 percent (4 of 12) from three-point land and 66.7 percent (6 of 9) from the charity stripe.

UT also was magnificent on the glass against the taller Spartans, finishing with a sizable 35-25 rebounding advantage.

Sidney Cooks paced MSU (19-13) with 15 points, followed closely by Colley and Taya Reimer with 14 and 10, respectively.

UT scientists awarded $400,000 grant to study wildlife in Oak Openings region

A team of ecologists at The University of Toledo was awarded a two-year state wildlife grant from Ohio and Michigan to study flagship species of the Oak Openings region to better inform conservation and management strategies.

Using radio telemetry, Dr. Jeanine Refsnider, evolutionary ecologist and assistant professor in the UT Department of Environmental Sciences, and Dr. Henry Streby, ornithologist and assistant professor in the UT Department of Environmental Sciences, will focus on the productivity and survival of red-headed woodpeckers, eastern box turtles and spotted turtles particularly in the oak savanna and wet prairie habitats in northwest Ohio and southern Michigan.

Spotted turtles like this one in the Oak Openings region will be monitored by UT researchers thanks to funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The two-year study will include conservation strategies for three species.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are funding the work with a $400,000 grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Oak savanna and wet prairie habitats have drastically declined in this area during the last century,” Refsnider said. “We are interested in three flagship species of Oak Openings ecosystems. If they’re doing well, the ecosystem is probably doing well. But if the animals are there yet not successfully producing offspring, the populations will continue to decline and possibly go extinct. We want to give conservationists a powerful tool to optimize the landscape and maintain wildlife populations, and that requires knowing not just whether rare species are present, but also whether they are reproducing successfully.”

Work begins in the spring on the study, which is titled “Distribution, Density and Demography of Red-Headed Woodpeckers, Eastern Box Turtles and Spotted Turtles in Oak Openings of Ohio and Michigan.”

The eastern box turtle also is part of the UT study funded by a $400,000 grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“If the habitat is good for charismatic mega fauna, there’s a good chance it’s right for the whole system,” Streby said. “If it’s bad for one of these, it’s likely representing underlying problems for all species.”

Radio transmitters will be epoxied to the turtles and harnessed to the woodpeckers. They do not inhibit the animal’s movement.

For all three species, UT researchers will be conducting distribution and density surveys, monitoring adults with radio-telemetry, monitoring nests, and tracking juveniles with radio-telemetry when they leave the nest.

Researchers will then use nest and juvenile survival data to determine which landscape compositions and configurations result in the best overall productivity for any species individually and all three together. 

“We want to identify the recipe for a quality habitat and map where nests might have the highest success in getting what they need for a self-sustaining population,” Streby said. “The Oak Openings region is a complex patchwork of wetlands, uplands, thin forest, dense forest, prairie and wet prairie. This comprehensive study is necessary to demonstrate which parts of the habitat are working and inform conservation management in the future.”

Red-headed woodpeckers, like this one on the hand of UT graduate student Kyle Pagel, will be monitored in the Oak Openings region during the two-year study.

Science center CEO to discuss STEMM roles for women

Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, will speak Tuesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

She will give the keynote address as part of The University of Toledo’s celebration of Women’s History Month.


Matthews was selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the 100 most influential women in Michigan in 2016. She also was honored as a Michigan Chronicle Woman of Achievement for her act of inspiring others through vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service.

Since she was named president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center in 2013, Matthews has worked to increase female involvement within STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) fields. She has implemented several programs, including career exploration fairs, innovative professional development for teachers, and the STEMinista Project, an initiative supporting the science interest of middle school girls.

During her lecture, Matthews will discuss strong female leaders and their diverse management styles. She will provide emphasis on women in STEMM fields.

“I’m honored to participate in the Women’s History Month celebration at The University of Toledo,” Matthews said. “Women provide an important voice and perspective that is critical to innovation and progress. There is a need to better engage and encourage girls in STEMM and to support this need. It’s up to us to inspire the next generation of women scientists, engineers and innovators.”

Matthews also shares inspiration through poetry. She has published four poetry collections and is a Library of Congress Center for the Book honoree.

Danielle Stamper, interim program coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Success, believes Matthew’s lecture will be motivating to UT students.

“I believe that Dr. Tonya Matthews will encourage and empower women, especially women of color, to pursue STEMM careers,” Stamper said. “I am excited to hear from Dr. Matthews how her passions of poetry and writing have advanced her in the STEMM fields.”

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

The free, public event is sponsored by the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Multicultural Student Success, with additional support from the Jesup Scott Honors College and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Women’s basketball player selected First-Team Academic All-America

Senior Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott has been named to the 2017-18 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America First Team.

Bravo-Harriott becomes only the fourth player in school history to earn this prestigious honor and first since Kim Knuth during the 1998-99 campaign. 

The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.6 steals in 29.3 minutes per game this past season. The three-time all-league honoree ranks sixth in the Mid-American Conference in three-point field-goals made (74), 10th in three-point field-goal percentage (.374, 74 of 198), and 20th in scoring.

The three-time Academic All-District selection concluded the regular season eighth in UT annals in three-point field-goal attempts and 10th in three-point field goals made in the single-season record book. Bravo-Harriott made at least four triples on a team-high eight occasions during the year, including a program-tying best eight at archrival Bowling Green Jan. 27.  

The London native graduated in December with a degree in communication and a minor in general business and a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is working on a master of business administration degree. 

She is joined on the first team by New Mexico’s Cherise Beynon, Idaho’s Mikayla Ferenz, Ball State’s Carmen Grande and Kent State’s Jordan Korinek.

As of March 15, Bravo-Harriott was third in school history in three-point field goals made (240) and three-point field-goal attempts (672), eighth in minutes played (3,525), 10th in three-point field-goal percentage (.357, 240 of 672), and 13th in scoring (1,426 points).

Toledo’s Academic All-America Honorees
Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott (First Team), 2017-18
Kim Knuth (Second Team), 1998-99
Angela Drake (Second Team), 1998-99
Dana Drew (First Team), 1994-95
Dana Drew (First Team), 1993-94

Rockets rip Wright State, 64-50, in first-round WNIT action

Kaayla McIntyre poured in 14 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to help Toledo beat Wright State.

Senior guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott scored 18 points and junior center Kaayla McIntyre added 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead Toledo to a 64-50 victory over Wright State in first-round action of the WNIT at Savage Arena Friday night.

Toledo (18-14) advances to the second round with a matchup at Michigan State (18-13) Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

Bravo-Harriott scored 16 of her points in the first half, helping Toledo build leads of 18-11 at the end of the first quarter and 34-22 at the intermission.

The Rockets outscored the Raiders, 17-10, in the third quarter to cruise to victory.

The Rockets shot 23 of 57 (40.4 percent) from the field and held Wright State (23-11) to just 18 of 68 (26.5 percent), including just 9 of 35 (25.7 percent) in the first half.

Toledo also outrebounded the Raiders, 48-40.

Match Day brings excitement, life changes to UT medical students

Congratulatory cheers, hugs and tears were on full display at the annual Match Day celebration, when the next generation of physicians opened envelopes that revealed their residency placements.

“Match Day is a pivotal moment in the lives of medical students,” Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, said. “Our students work tirelessly during their medical school career to reach this point. It is humbling to witness this day and experience the excitement of our students when they open their envelopes.”

Christina Camick was matched to her top choice, UT, in general surgery.

Retaining top talent in the area continues to trend in a positive direction with 10 percent of the 156 fourth-year medical students graduating in May staying in northwest Ohio to continue their training.

Christina Camick matched to UT for her residency in general surgery, her top choice.

“I woke up a little nervous, but excited,” Camick said. “Toledo is a strong program, and I knew if it was meant to be it would work out. The faculty members are outstanding. They are approachable and knowledgeable. I am very excited.”

Grace Maltbie will go to Case Western/University Hospitals close to her parents where she will be a resident in the radiology department.

“I really enjoyed radiology and would be able to spend more time with my daughter,” said Maltbie, who attended the event with her daughter in matching outfits. “I am a single mom and have been dreaming of this day. Whenever things would get hard, I would just think about Match Day and being here with my daughter. It means a lot.”

Grace Anne Maltbie and her 3-year old daughter, Anna Maria, celebrated her match to Case Western/University Hospitals.

Mike Maltbie, Grace’s father, was particularly excited with his daughter’s placement.

“I work at Case Western Reserve University doing information security, so I will be able to walk to a Starbucks and bring my daughter coffee after she’s had a long shift,” he said.

In addition to getting matched to the University of Pittsburgh in obstetrics and gynecology, Latima Collins also personally “matched” to her significant other when she became engaged at Match Day.

“I am excited because I matched and I got engaged to the love of my life,” Collins said. “I am in shock! I am on cloud nine and thank God for everything that has happened today.”

UT medical students matched to institutions across the country; these included Yale New Haven Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Duke University Medical Center.

Latima Collins celebrated her match to the University of Pittsburgh and her engagement to Andrew Anamanya, who waited to pop the question at the ceremony.

This year, students matched into 23 specialties, with 71, or 46 percent, in primary care fields, and 50, or 31 percent, entering other specialties. The top specialties for this graduating class were internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine and anesthesiology.
Ohio was the most popular state with 61 students matching here. The second most popular state was Michigan with 19, followed by Pennsylvania with12. Overall, students matched with programs in 29 states.

Faculty member who advocated for STEMM, minority students passes away

Dr. Anthony Quinn, associate professor of biological sciences and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, died Wednesday at the age of 59.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at Warren AME Church, 915 Collingwood Blvd. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the church. A funeral reception will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Radisson Grand Ballroom on the Health Science Campus.

Quinn joined The University of Toledo Department of Biological Sciences in 2001 and was a renowned immunologist known for his work in deciphering the interplay between diabetes and immunity.


He was passionate about the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students and created in 2015 the We Are STEMM initiative to bring high-profile underrepresented minority scientists to UT in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine as role models for University students of color, inspiring them to engage in STEMM fields of study.

“Dr. Quinn was a very valuable contributor to his home Department of Biological Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the entire University. He was a tireless advocate who worked very hard toward increasing and supporting diversity in STEMM,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “Tony will be greatly missed by all of us. He leaves a huge hole that will be very difficult to fill, but his legacy will continue. We all feel fortunate to have had him as an important part of our lives.”

Quinn also co-directed the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program, and led the Brothers on the Rise mentoring program.

The University recently established the Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Initiative in recognition of his service to UT to expand the existing We Are STEMM lecture series to include fellowships for graduate and professional education and mentoring programs. The Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Fellowship Fund has been created to support the initiative. To make a donation, visit utfoundation.org/give/quinnfellowship.

Quinn’s service to the University included co-chairing the strategic planning committee that created The University of Toledo’s Path to Excellence plan approved last year by the UT Board of Trustees. He also served as president of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., a master’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Quinn, who received the UT Outstanding Teacher Award in 2013, was a member of the American Association of Immunologists, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, Immunology of Diabetes Society, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and Clinical Immunology Society.

UT alumna wins 2018 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award

Estar Cohen, of the Estar Cohen Project and a 2015 alumna of The University of Toledo Music Department, is one of 15 recipients of the ASCAP Foundation’s 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards.

The program, which was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30, is named in honor of the trumpeter/composer/bandleader in recognition of the Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this program. Additional funding is provided by the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

Estar Cohen performed as a student with the UT Vocalstra Ensemble at the 2013 UT Holiday Jazz Concert in Doermann Theatre.

The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 14 to 29, and are selected through a juried national competition. The ASCAP composers/judges for the 2018 competition were Sylvie Courvoisier, Wycliffe Gordon and Sachal Vasandani.

In addition, one of the recipients of the Herb Alpert Awards will be featured during the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival in August. Read more about the winners here.

Cohen is a vocalist, lyricist, composer and educator based in Ypsilanti, Mich.

She graduated with a bachelor of music degree in jazz performance from the University, where she studied voice, improvisation and composition with pianist Tad Weed, guitarist Jay Weik and Jon Hendricks, the father of vocalese and former UT Distinguished Professor of Jazz, who called her lyrics “beautiful.”

Some highlights over the course of her four years include recording her first album, “Waiting for Dawn”; lyricizing the instrumental pieces of late jazz pianist Herbie Nichols for Weed’s Freedom Ensemble; putting on clinics and concerts with her jazz quintet Talking Ear at numerous southern Michigan universities; and exploring the art of free improvisation and improvised poetry with Weik.

In 2015, she was chosen as a finalist in the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and in 2014, she was given the Craig’s Keyboard Student Composer Award for her original vocal ensemble composition, “The Day the Government Shut Down.”

Since her graduation, she has traveled as a performer and educator throughout the Midwest and to major cities, including New York and Chicago. She has performed alongside renowned musicians, including Hendricks, Weed, Peter Eldridge, Pete Siers, David Bixler, Vinny Golia and Ken Filiano. Notable performances include New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall, the Earthwork Harvest Gathering, Ann Arbor’s Edgefest at Kerrytown Concert House, and Michigan’s River Street Anthology Project.

Cohen is an avid writer, penning lyrics for Midwest jazz artists, including Weed, Travis Aukerman, Dan Palmer and Benjamin Maloney. Her poetry has been published in Ohio Anthology, Bards Again 2016 and Khroma Magazine.

As an educator, she has taught songwriting with Michigan label Earthwork Music in partnership with the nonprofit SEEDS and is a private music instructor in the Ann Arbor area.

Frame it: Winners of Lake Erie Center Photo Contest announced

A total of 142 phenomenal entries were submitted for the 2017 Lake Erie Center Photo Contest.

The contest theme, “The Nature of Our Region, From Oak Openings to Maumee Bay,” invited participants to submit up to three photos featuring various areas of northwest Ohio.

All entries are displayed in the Lake Erie Center lobby.

“The display consists of many fabulous images showcasing the nature of our region, through the eyes of the photographer, for us all to enjoy.” said Rachel Lohner, education program manager for the Lake Erie Center.

First-place winners took home $25. Listed by category, they are:

• Youth (7 to 12 years old) — Annika Padhye;

• Teen (13 to 18 years old) — Dustin Canada; and

• Adult — Dr. Sashi Bhatt, associate professor of anesthesiology.

Lohner said the purpose of the photo contest is to inspire all camera enthusiasts and others to explore more of the nature within the Lake Erie area.

Visit facebook.com/lakeeriecenter to see more photos from the contest.

Dr. Sashi Bhatt won first place in the adult division.

Dustin Canada took top honors in the teen category with this photo of downtown Toledo.

Annika Padhye placed first in the youth category with this shot.