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Precision medicine expert to speak at UT May 12

A precision medicine expert working to bring whole genome sequencing into a clinical setting will speak at The University of Toledo Thursday, May 12, at 2 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1000A on Health Science Campus.

Dr. Howard Jacob, president of Envision Genomics and executive vice president for genomic medicine at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Alabama, will be at UT as part of a distinguished lecture series.



“Dr. Jacob is an international authority in the area of genomic medicine. He has had pioneering success in the application of whole genome sequencing technology to diagnose rare diseases,” said Dr. Bina Joe, professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. “Jacob’s team is known worldwide as the first to identify a genetic mutation responsible for an undiagnosed illness in a child. That identification led to successful treatment.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, precision medicine — also known as personalized medicine — is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle of each person.

President Barack Obama is an advocate for the movement to use genetics, genomics and data to provide individualized health care, instead of generalized trial results or guidelines for the average patient. In 2015, the White House launched the Precision Medicine Initiative, a new research effort to help change the future of medicine to bring closer cures for cancer and diabetes.

“Dr. Jacob is expected to educate and invigorate our campus community regarding the progress and prospects of whole genome sequencing as applicable to each individual in our community, as well as on the much broader mission of UTMC to provide the best health care to our communities,” Joe said. “I hope we will have a better perspective on the benefits, risks and challenges of bringing genomic medicine to the people of northwest Ohio.”

UT students to give new roundabout landscaping makeover

The University of Toledo is partnering with the Lucas County Engineer’s Office to give the roundabout at the intersection of Dorr Street and King Road a new look from the ground up.

Dozens of students in UT’s Department of Environmental Sciences will plant flowering species native to the Oak Openings region next week at the new 67-foot diameter traffic island in Springfield Township.

UT environmental science students will plant flowering species native to the Oak Openings region this week in the new roundabout at the intersection of Dorr Street and King Road.

UT environmental science students will plant flowering species native to the Oak Openings region this week in the new roundabout at the intersection of Dorr Street and King Road.

“People may be surprised that we specifically wanted bare sand to begin the gardens,” said Dr. Todd Crail, UT environmental studies lecturer, who regularly moves his classroom outdoors for student service learning. “The plants we use are adapted to this type of soil, as well as the regional climate. Therefore, they need little maintenance or watering once established and — more importantly — do not require fertilizer.”

The Lucas County Engineer’s office paid $7,000 for nearly 9,000 native species plants to be used in this project. According to the county, it costs on average $11,000 for labor and materials to plant a more traditional, non-native landscape that also requires continuous weeding.

“The county is actually saving money by going this landscaping route both initially at the outset and over the long term because native species require minimal upkeep,” said Kyle Warner, a traffic/design engineer with the Lucas County Engineer’s Office. “As Todd and his group of volunteers are donating their labor, more money can be focused on the native plants themselves with the idea that a denser planting pattern will reduce the opportunity for weed growth. It’s a self-sustaining landscape that does not need mulch or fertilizer, and it requires very little — if any — watering or maintenance after two to three years. Even if we put down rock or stone, it would require ongoing labor and harsh chemicals to treat and prevent weed growth.”

The students will plant predominantly herbaceous species that also keep weeds at bay by taking up nutrients and space. Plants include black-eyed Susans, butterfly milkweed, dotted horsemint, prairie thimbleweed, rattlesnake master, rough blazing star, wild bergamot and wild blue lupine.

Last year, UT students planted the roundabout at Dorr Street and Centennial Road.

Smithsonian museum director and physicist to address UT graduates May 7

Leaders with a passion for diversity and science who have uplifted Americans through the arts, public service and higher education will address graduates at The University of Toledo’s spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7, in Savage Arena.

During the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, former U.S. Congressman and physicist Dr. Rush D. Holt, who leads the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific and engineering society, will speak to graduates from the colleges of Adult and Lifelong Learning, Health Sciences, Social Justice and Human Service, and the Judith Herb College of Education.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the first African-American female president of Spelman College, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony for the colleges of Business and Innovation, Communication and the Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

There are 2,843 candidates for degrees: 234 doctoral candidates, 727 master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate candidates, and 1,882 bachelor’s and associate’s candidates.

The ceremony will be streamed live on video.utoledo.edu.



Holt, who will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during the morning ceremony, is the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

He served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. During his time on Capitol Hill from 1999 to 2015, Holt advocated for increased federal research funding, science education and innovation. Holt made national headlines in 2011 when he defeated IBM’s supercomputer Watson in a non-televised round of “Jeopardy!”

Holt previously served as assistant director of Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country.



Cole, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the afternoon ceremony, made history nearly 30 years ago as the first African-American female president of Spelman College in Atlanta. She later served as president of Bennett College for Women, making Cole the only person who has been president of both historically black colleges for women in the United States.

She also was the first woman elected to the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She was the first African American to serve as chair of the board of the United Way of America.

Other commencement ceremonies taking place are:

• College of Engineering — graduate commencement Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m., and undergraduate commencement Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in Nitschke Hall Auditorium.

• College of Nursing — Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Law — Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

• College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — Sunday, May 8, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences — Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

UT Health nurses to participate in active shooter training simulation May 4

In an emergency situation, nurses not only have to think about their own safety, but also the well-being of the patients in their care.

To be better prepared to survive a violent encounter, UT Health nurse leaders will participate in a simulation of an active shooter in a hospital setting Wednesday, May 4, at 2 p.m. in the University’s Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

Business Hlogo 1c BlackThe University of Toledo Police Department will lead the exercise for the 25 members of the nursing leadership team at UT Medical Center who will participate in the realistic scenario involving UTPD officers and patients in need of assistance. The nurses previously have received ALICE training, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, from the police department.

“You really don’t know how you will act in a violent encounter until you are in that situation or you’ve had this type of training. We want our nurses to be able to respond, not only for their own personal safety, but also for the health safety of their patients,” said UT Health Chief Nursing Officer Monecca Smith, who will be among the participants in the drill.

A UTPD officer will simulate an active shooter entering the building and moving into patient areas, which for this drill will be the second floor advanced clinical simulation center. The nursing staff will be caring for patients with varying levels of medical issues, such as a baby with a high fever and a middle-aged man in cardiac arrest, and will need to make split-second judgments on whether to hide, flee or fight back.

The drill will take about 30 minutes with a debrief session afterward in the simulation center’s theater on the first floor to discuss how the nurses responded.

Since 2011, The University of Toledo Police Department has been providing ALICE training to the UT campus and the northwest Ohio community. This is the first active shooter exercise held for a clinical environment.

Three former Rockets sign NFL free agent contracts

Three former University of Toledo football players signed free agent contracts with NFL teams Saturday.

In addition, former Rocket quarterback Phillip Ely was offered a tryout at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie camp.

Rocket football logoMore Rockets are expected to sign free agent deals in the next few days. The signees will join 11 former Rockets who already were on NFL rosters heading into the draft.

Center Ruben Carter signed with his hometown Miami Dolphins. Carter, a transfer from Florida State, played one season for the Rockets, starting all 12 games at center. He was part of an offensive line that allowed just five sacks all season and powered an offense that rolled up 35 points and 460 yards of offense per game.

“I’m very honored and excited to be a part of my hometown team,” said Carter, who got the call from his agent about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the NFL Draft. “They were scouting me all along and took a lot of time with me during my workout. They went over film of games from last year with me. I am excited for a chance to come in and compete.”

Wide receiver Alonzo Russell signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. He caught 202 passes in his Toledo career and is one of only three Rockets to earn All-Mid-American Conference honors four times. He ranks fifth all-time at UT in career receptions, and third in receiving yards (3,076) and TD receptions (24).

“It’s a good opportunity for me, a really good fit,” Russell said. “I am disappointed I wasn’t drafted, but everything happens for a reason. I think Cincinnati will be a good place for me to come in and work hard for spot on the roster.”

Ely will try out with his hometown team Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ mini-camp in May. Ely played two seasons with the Rockets after transferring from Alabama. As a senior, Ely threw for 2,965 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was the MVP in Toledo’s 32-17 win over Temple in the Boca Raton Bowl, completing 20 of 28 passes for 285 yards and two TDs.

Defensive back Rolan Milligan signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Milligan played one season for the Rockets after transferring from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He started in eight games and made 48 tackles at nickelback. He played perhaps his finest game in the Boca Raton Bowl, making nine tackles and breaking up two passes in Toledo’s 32-17 win over No. 24 Temple. Milligan will attempt to join former Rocket Barry Church, another undrafted free agent, on the Dallas roster.

“It would have been nice to hear my name on TV [in the draft] but this is great,” Milligan said. “The safeties coach [Greg Jackson] told me I will have a good opportunity to play on defense and special teams. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, so it’s really a blessing.”

These four players will be reporting to their respective rookie camps this week to begin their quest to make the regular-season roster.

Business professor named Fulbright Scholar, will teach, conduct research in India

Dr. Paul Hong, professor in the Department Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation, has been named a recipient of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship award to India.

“I was very delighted and very fortunate to be accepted for this program, which leads with a global perspective. I’m very grateful for the college’s strategic engagement in India, and the college’s relationship with PSG Institute of Management. The UT College of Business and Innovation’s reputation made the difference,” he said.



Based on previous international work, Hong said he chose India for three reasons:

• For the dynamic growth possibilities. “With vast youth populations, innovative and entrepreneurial capabilities, and slow but steady infrastructure developments, I believe that the world will pay attention to India just as we did for China for the past 30 years,” Hong said. “India would be a linkage nation between advanced economies (North America and European Union) and Africa, Middle East and Latin America.”

• For the rich research network relationships. “I have visited India twice already,” Hong said. “This summer I will be visiting India again for a month before I start the Fulbright projects next January.”

• Because India is a growing strategic partner with the United States in multiple arenas: economic, political, educational and cultural. “Increasing interactions between the United States and India will bring tremendous opportunities for innovative growth,” he said.

“My base will be Christ University at Bangalore, and I will work with scholars at PSG Institute of Management in Coimbatore and J. Nehru University in New Delhi,” Hong said. “I will be conducting research workshops for faculty members from these institutions who like to build research agendas with effective results in terms of quality publication and real-world impacts.”

He added that two UT doctoral students, Nitya Singh and Blaine Stout, will join the team of international researchers.

“In Christ University, there will be entrepreneurial leadership training sessions for graduate and undergraduate honor students. This would be somewhat similar to what Dr. Clint Longenecker [Stranahan Distinguished University Professor] has already been doing with the Klar Leadership Academy at UT. I am grateful for this Fulbright scholarship grant, which provides necessary funds, scholarly credibility to engage in reputable work, and collaborative research network formation.”

The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, and is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. As a Fulbright Scholar, Hong will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with international partners in educational, political, cultural, economic and scientific fields.

“The key is a global perspective,” Hong explained. “What I emphasize to students here is to go beyond a tri-state perspective; our students can work with companies from around the world because their technical and communication and relationship skills are very good. They are prepared to go anywhere.

“Through my work as a Fulbright Scholar, I can help our students engage with those students and companies, and this provides a great opportunity to further understand their growing market potential. Growth through global engagement and a lot of businesses will benefit. This increasing strategic initiative will continue a lot of opportunity and will benefit students who work in the the United States.”

Hong added, “Fulbright is very service-minded, and I view this as a service opportunity.”

Open forums scheduled for Honors College dean candidates

Three finalists for the position of dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College will hold open forums in early May to engage with The University of Toledo community.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at three open forums. Each will take place from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.:

• Monday, May 2, Student Union Room 3018 — Dr. Kirstin Bartels, director of the Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois.

• Wednesday, May 4, Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Heidi Appel, senior associate director of the Honors College at the University of Missouri.

• Thursday, May 5, Student Union Room 2582 — Dr. Seth Oppenheimer, director of undergraduate research in the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University.

Reporting to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the dean serves as chief academic and administrative officer of the Jesup Scott Honors College and is responsible for the administration of academic programs; student success; strategic and fiscal planning; evaluation of faculty and staff; promoting diversity awareness; and planning and advancing new academic initiatives, community services and campus facilities.

The dean will interact with other administrators to promote the needs of the college on campus and in the surrounding community, including pursuing external funding, and with the Honors Council, containing representatives from each academic college, to coordinate honors programming.

For more information about the dean search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-honors.

New University College to serve adult and undecided students

The new University College will serve adult students pursuing individualized degrees and first-year students exploring the variety of majors The University of Toledo has to offer.

The creation of University College, which was approved April 18 by the UT Board of Trustees, is a merger of the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning and YouCollege with UT Online.

Kopp Miller

Kopp Miller

“Serving students is the mission of all colleges at The University of Toledo and by organizing University College in this way, we will enhance how we can serve adult learners and students who are undecided about their areas of study,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said.

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education and director of the Center for Successful Aging, will serve as dean of University College, which will be in place July 1.

“University College provides access and support to students to ensure they are successful in meeting their goal of a college degree,” Kopp Miller said. “We will provide a supportive temporary home for students who are still exploring the many majors that we offer at UT, and our goal is to successfully get them into their permanent home. And adult learners balancing work, family and other obligations will find the services they need in University College.”

The about 700 students in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning and the about 1,700 students in YouCollege will be enrolled in the new University of College.

The College of Adult and Lifelong Learning was created in 2010 as an evolution of a previous University College to focus services for adult students. Through a program called prior learning assessment, UT offers adult learners the ability to earn college credit for life experiences using portfolios, standardized testing and industry certification to determine college credit. The college’s degree programs include individualized studies, professional studies and liberal studies.

Since 2013, YouCollege has served students in the Department of Exploratory Studies who are undecided about their majors or working on requirements to get into the program of their choice.

University College’s academic units will be organized into a Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Special Programs, and a Department of Exploratory Studies.

Dr. Dennis Lettman, who serves as dean of the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning, is retiring at the end of the academic year after 27 years of service to UT. Julie Fischer-Kinney, who serves as interim dean of YouCollege, will continue in her role as assistant provost for student success and retention leading the University’s success coaching program, which will be organized in a Center for Success Coaching.

The University offers more than 500 online courses through UT Online, which also will be part of University College. UT Online includes the departments of Learning and Academic Technology, Instructional Design and Development, Faculty Services and Help Desk, and Compliance and Assessment.

UT’s military affairs, testing and workforce development services also will be offered through the college.

“University College truly serves the entire University through the services that it provides,” Kopp Miller said.

Kopp Miller joined the Medical College of Ohio in 1991 and has held a number of faculty appointments and administrative roles at UT. With a scholarly expertise in the area of gerontology, she teaches in the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.

She received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Bowling Green State University.

UT chosen as one of America’s Outstanding Navy Reserve Employers

The University of Toledo recently was selected as one of America’s Outstanding Navy Reserve Employers for 2016.

More than 100 employers were nominated for this recognition; 50 were chosen, and UT was the only higher education institution selected to receive this designation.

Business Hlogo 1c Black“At The University of Toledo, the men and women who have served or who are actively serving are honored, respected and welcomed,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “These dedicated individuals who are currently serving our country and our University are valued members of our community, and we thank them for their service.”

Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz N. Ghanbari, director of military and veteran affairs, nominated the University for the honor.

Ghanbari is working to create and implement a training program option for University employees that will increase awareness of what veterans have gone through and what they face when they return home. His goal is to improve the experience of veterans transitioning from deployment back into their civilian lives, whether they’re a student or a member of the faculty, staff or administration. The training program is modeled off the Green Zone training program used at colleges across the country. It also will highlight what a great resource student veterans are for the University.

“My call to action would be for the campus community, and our community at large, to take time and be purposeful with engaging veterans,” he said. “Veterans are one of our nation’s greatest resources.”

In 2015, UT was a recipient of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Seven Seals Award, and in 2016 it was ranked No. 157 on the USA Today and College Factual’s Best Colleges for Veterans list.

The University has received recognition as a top military-friendly school from Military Times, Military Advanced Education & Transition, and G.I. Jobs thanks to UT’s military-supportive culture and the numerous resources available on campus and locally in Toledo, such as the Military Service Center on campus and the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission.

UT also hosts various events throughout the year to recognize and assist local veterans. In March, for example, the Veterans’ Business Forum invited veteran business owners and entrepreneurs to campus to network with and hear from local business and government representatives and gain access to business resources.

The community’s annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair on Veterans Day takes place at UT, and the Veterans’ Plaza, located on the northwest corner of Centennial Mall on Main Campus, recognizes the courage and commitment made by servicemen and women.

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, will represent UT at the Navy Reserve’s 2016 Navy Employer Recognition Event June 24 in Norfolk, Va.

Finalists named for UT CFO position

Four finalists for the position of executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer will hold open forums in May to engage with The University of Toledo community.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at four open forums. Each will take place in Student Union Room 2582:

• Monday, May 2, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — John Beaghan, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer to the Board of Trustees at Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.

• Monday, May 9, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — Dr. Gregg Lassen, vice president for business affairs at the University of New Orleans.

• Tuesday, May 10, 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. — Dr. David Ellis, associate vice president for budgeting and analysis at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

• Friday, May 13, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — Dr. Cornelius Wooten, vice president for administration and finance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The executive vice president of finance and administration and CFO is responsible for the University’s overall financial leadership, strategic financial planning, and financial management. The role also oversees UT’s facilities and police and safety operations, the divisions of human resources and information technology, and other business services.

For more information about the CFO search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit utoledo.edu/depts/hr/cfo-search.