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Seven UT sports teams have highest Academic Progress Rate in MAC

The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures for the four-year period from 2013-14 to 2016-17, and The University of Toledo received impressive scores across the board.

All 16 UT varsity sports had at least a 968 score, well above the NCAA’s “cut point” of 930, with women’s basketball, women’s golf, men’s tennis and women’s tennis leading the way with perfect 1,000 marks. Those four sports plus baseball (993), men’s basketball (990) and women’s soccer (998) all had the highest APR scores in the Mid-American Conference.

“These are impressive APR numbers, but frankly we’ve come to expect it,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Four of our sports had perfect APR scores of 1,000, seven had the highest score in the MAC, and all of them had at least a 968. Those numbers reflect the fact that our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom and graduating in very high numbers.”

APR is a gauge of every team’s academic performance at a given point in time. Points are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis for eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship student-athletes. A score of 1,000 is considered perfect. Sports that fail to reach the “cut point” (930) can be penalized with the loss of scholarships, practice restrictions and post-season bans. T

he APR data released May 23 is a cumulative figure taken from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.

UT scholar to host news conference about words used to describe alleged victim of child sex trafficking

In response to recent media reports about a case involving a former Toledo police officer, The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute is hosting a news conference at noon Friday, May 25, at the Kent Branch Library, located at 3101 Collingwood Blvd.


Dr. Celia Williamson, a UT professor of social work who defends the rights of women and girls on a local, national and international level, organized the event along with the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition to discuss the importance of words and to educate the public on child sex trafficking.

“Language is a powerful way of denigrating oppressed populations who society views as less valuable,” said Williamson, who is the director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “When an alleged victim is 14 years old, she is not a ‘child prostitute’ or ‘under-aged prostitute.’ Child sex trafficking is modern-day slavery.”

Williamson wants to decrease the stigma associated with alleged child sex trafficking victims and rally the community to support them.

“We want to assure child victims who may be out in our community that we want them to come forward and get help,” Williamson said. “The community also needs to know the proper language to use when discussing the topic of commercial sex with a child.”

Rocket baseball player named National Pitcher of the Week

Toledo’s senior pitcher Sam Shutes was named National Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), the organization announced Tuesday.

Shutes earns yet another accolade after his incredible two-hit, complete game shutout of Bowling Green last Friday. With the Rockets needing a win to keep their Mid-American Conference Tournament hopes alive, he threw the first complete game shutout by a UT pitcher since the 2014 season.


He was dominant from start to finish, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out nine. He retired the final 17 batters he faced, six by strikeout, and pitched to just two batters above the minimum.

Shutes leads the league with 10 victories and 89.1 innings pitched, and his 3.12 ERA is fifth in the conference. Seven of his last nine starts have lasted at least seven innings, and he has five starts this season with at least six shutout innings.

He has been especially dominant in conference play, posting a 1.96 ERA in 64.1 innings pitched; opposing MAC hitters are batting just .212 against him.

Immediately after Shutes threw his complete game shutout, teammate Michael Jacob went out and threw one himself, giving Toledo back-to-back incredible pitching performances to end the regular season. The Rockets earned the No. 5 seed in this week’s MAC Tournament thanks in large part to stellar outings by Shutes and Jacob.

Shutes also was named All-MAC for the first time in his career Tuesday, joining Ross Adolph and John Servello as MAC award winners for Toledo. He was named a national player of the week by Collegiate Baseball and was CollegeSportsMadness.com’s MAC Player of the Week as well. 

Toledo will begin its MAC Tournament run Wednesday, May 23. The Rockets will play No. 4 Central Michigan at 6 p.m. at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio.

Outfielder named MAC Freshman of the Year

John Servello has been named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, the league office announced Tuesday.

A native of Hollidaysburg, Pa., Servello becomes the third Rocket ever to win the award, joining Mitch Maier (2001) and AJ Montoya (2015).

Heading into the conference tournament, Servello’s .353 batting average ranks fourth in the league and 10th among all freshmen in the country. It would be the highest mark by a UT freshman since Maier hit .444 in 2001.

Earlier this season, Servello registered a 23-game on-base streak and a 19-game hitting streak, both of which are season-highs for Toledo and the longest by a Rocket since 2010.

Servello’s 15 multi-hit games ranks second on the team, and his .325 batting average in conference games paces Toledo. He has tallied 15 extra-base hits (10 doubles, three triples, two home runs) and scored 30 runs.

Toward the end of the Rockets’ spring break trip in March, Servello was moved to the top of the batting order and hit .393 over the next six weeks, proving to be an important offensive catalyst for UT.

He also has been perfect in the field, not making an error during his 25 games in the outfield and throwing out three runners on the bases.

Toledo will begin its MAC Tournament run Wednesday, May 23, as the No. 5 seed. The Rockets will play No. 4 Central Michigan at 6 p.m. at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio.

UT and BGSU to grow independent nursing education programs

In order to meet the demand for more nurses in the region and across the country, The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will pursue independent nursing programs to educate additional health-care providers.

UT and BGSU currently partner in a joint nursing consortium. Moving forward with independent programs will provide opportunities for both universities to focus on separate strategies to educate and grow the supply of nurses, which is critical to meeting the future health-care needs of the region.

All current BGSU nursing students and new students beginning their studies in fall 2018 will continue with the consortium program through graduation and will not be impacted by the change.

Under the existing agreement, about 50 BGSU pre-nursing students annually go on to complete their required nursing coursework and clinicals through the UT College of Nursing after two years of pre-nursing studies at Bowling Green. While the students take their classes at UT during their junior and senior years, they remain BGSU students and are awarded their bachelor’s degree by BGSU.

“Health care is a rapidly changing industry, and universities need to continue to adapt to the changing environment in order to provide the best education for future health-care providers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The nursing profession is more critical than ever, and this new organizational structure will allow both UT and BGSU to grow our programs to better meet the need for more high-quality nurses in Ohio and beyond.”

The demand for nurses in Ohio and across the nation far exceeds the current supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The nursing workforce is expected to grow by 16 percent to 3.2 million by 2024 with more than one million job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements.

“We agree that the time is right to pursue new partnerships,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said. “We recognize that there is growing demand for nurses throughout northwest Ohio. This provides both universities the opportunity to grow their respective programs.”

UT and BGSU continue to be strong partners. Last year the universities announced a foreign language course exchange program. The universities also are partners in the Building Ohio’s Sustainable Energy Future initiative, a joint program that encourages students to pursue research careers in renewable energy and sustainable environmental practices.

Additionally, UT and BGSU are collaborating on the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills program, which allows universities to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for use in learning laboratories specific to regional workforce needs and then share these resources with other colleges and universities to help more students get a quality education more affordably. The universities also are focusing efforts on addressing the opioid crisis and Lake Erie water quality concerns.

UT College of Medicine to hold commencement May 25

Dr. Josiah D. Rich, who is known for his research on infectious diseases and addictions, will be the speaker for The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ graduation ceremony Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. at Stranahan Theater.

A total of 200 degrees will be awarded: 161 doctor of medicine degrees, nine doctor of philosophy degrees, 25 master’s degrees, and five graduate certificates.


Rich will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

“It is an honor to have Dr. Rich address our graduates,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs. “Dr. Rich was selected by a committee of medical students and faculty from a national pool in recognition of his efforts to improve health care and his work related to addiction, especially as it relates to the national opiate epidemic.”

Rich is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence. He also is a practicing infectious disease specialist at the Miriam Hospital and at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, caring for prisoners with HIV Infection and other diseases since 1994.

An expert in the care and prevention of disease in addicted and incarcerated individuals, Rich’s research looks at the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and co-morbid conditions, especially among these populations. He has had continuous federal research funding for more than two decades and has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Rich is the director and co-founder of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at the Miriam Hospital. He is also the co-founder of the Nationwide Centers for AIDS Research Collaboration in HIV in Corrections initiative. Rich has advocated for public health policy changes to help people with addiction; this includes improving legal access to sterile syringes and increasing drug treatment for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations.

In 2015, Rhode Island’s Gov. Gina Raimondo appointed Rich as an expert adviser to the Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, charged with formulating a strategic plan to address addiction and stop overdose deaths in Rhode Island. He also has served as an expert for the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

In April, Rich spoke about the opioid crisis in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. And on May 8, he testified for the House Committee on the Judiciary’s hearing titled “Challenges and Solutions in the Opioid Crisis.”

Rockets earn 3.235 grade point average in spring semester

UT student-athletes earned a combined grade point average of 3.235 in the 2018 spring semester, Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.

It is the seventh consecutive semester in which UT student-athletes have earned a semester GPA above 3.2, and the 19th straight semester of at least a 3.1 GPA.

“Our athletic teams are made up of student-athletes who are very serious about their education. We are proud of their consistent level of academic excellence,” O’Brien said. “For our entire department to attain a 3.2 GPA for each of the past seven semesters is an achievement worth celebrating.

“We would also like to give recognition to all the dedicated people who support their efforts — our Student-Athlete Academic Services staff, our faculty and our coaches.

“Congratulations as well to Head Coach Linh Nguyen and our women’s cross country program for recording the highest GPA among our teams last semester.”

This past semester, 61 Rockets earned the right to participate in the spring commencement ceremony at the Glass Bowl May 5.

“The Student-Athlete Academic Services staff continues to be impressed with the academic success of our student-athletes,” said Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services Ericka Lavender. “We are proud to know that they can compete at the highest level academically in addition to their athletic commitments every semester.”

The women’s cross country team set the pace with a team GPA of 3.675, just edging out women’s golf (3.673).

Faculty members recognized for outstanding scholarly and creative activity

With the support of University Libraries and a subcommittee organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu have recognized 26 faculty members from across campus with outstanding contributions in scholarly or creative activity over the past three years.

These contributions include articles in leading scientific journals with high standing that have attracted significant attention in the community; monographs that were published by premier academic presses that have received positive external reviews; and exhibits or performances of creative activity that have received high acclaim.

“I am pleased that the University Libraries contributed by identifying UT faculty articles and books published in preeminent journals and publishing houses,” said Beau Case, dean of University Libraries.

“Faculty members are raising the profile of The University of Toledo across the breadth of disciplines and programs at UT,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research. “The excellent work of faculty members in disciplines outside of science and engineering is quite impressive and sometimes goes unnoticed.

“All too often research grant dollars are associated with faculty scholarly and creative activity,” Calzonetti said. “In some disciplines, such as in biomedical science, faculty members cannot sustain their research programs that lead to discoveries and publications without external funding to support laboratory needs. However, in many disciplines, such as pure mathematics or history, external funding is not as critical to faculty success in scholarly and creative activity.”

“Given the many faculty members who have had outstanding contributions in scholarly and creative activity over the past three years, it was a tall order to determine just 26 who should be recognized at this time,” said Dr. Ruth Hottell, chair and professor of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and selection committee member.

The following faculty members were recognized:

• Dr. Abdollah Afjeh of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering;

• Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio of the Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Melissa Baltus of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology;

• Dr. Joe Elhai of the Department of Psychology;

• Dr. Kristen Geaman of the Department of History;

• Dr. Blair Grubb of the Department of Medicine;

• Daniel Hernandez of the Department of Art;

• Dr. Terry Hinds of the Department of of Physiology and Pharmacology;

• Dr. Bina Joe of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology;

• Dr. Dong-Shik Kim of the Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum of the Instrumentation Center;

• Dr. Ashok Kumar of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;

• Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery;

• Dr. Barbara Mann of the Jesup Scott Honors College;

• Elizabeth McCuskey of the College of Law;

• Dr. Thor Mednick of the Department of Art;

• Dr. Munier Nazzal of the Department of Surgery;

• Dr. Kim E. Nielsen of the Department of Disability Studies;

• Dr. Michael Rees of the Department of Urology;

• Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini of the Department of Music;

• Dr. Donald Ronning of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;

• Stephen Sakowski of the Department of Theatre and Film;

• Dr. Yanfa Yan of the Department of Physics and Astronomy;

• Dr. Matt Yockey of the Department of Theatre and Film;

• Rebecca Zietlow of the College of Law; and

• Evan Zoldan of the College of Law.

Book launch to celebrate new UT Press title ‘Caps, Capes, and Caring’

A new book that chronicles a century of nursing education in the Glass City has been released by The University of Toledo Press.

“Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo” was written by Patricia Ringos Beach, Susan J. Eisel, Maria E. Nowicki, Judy Harris Szor and Beth E. White.

Mulford Library on Health Science Campus will host a book launch Wednesday, May 23, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase, and the authors will be present to speak with attendees.

Between 1893 and 1999, there were eight hospital-based diploma schools of nursing in Toledo: Flower Hospital School of Nursing, Maumee Valley Hospital School of Nursing, Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Riverside Hospital School of Nursing, Robinwood/St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, Toledo Hospital School of Nursing, and Toledo State Hospital School of Nursing.

This core group of schools, operating for more than 100 years, sent registered nurses into the community to care for the sick and teach community members how to stay healthy. Graduates from these schools continue to provide care and comfort, and educate future nurses.

The authors, all hospital diploma school graduates, taught together as nursing faculty at the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. Beach, Eisel, Nowicki and Szor are alumni of MCO/MUO/UT, where they received advanced degrees in nursing and education.

In the course of writing the book, the authors interviewed nearly 100 Toledo diploma school graduates. Their memories and stories are celebrated in the book, which also includes historical images and photographs.

The book is $24.95 and available at utoledopress.com.

Light refreshments will be served at the free, public event.

For more information on the launch party, contact Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, at jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu or 419.383.5152.

UT partners with Ohio’s public universities in efforts to close attainment gap

The University of Toledo is partnering with Ohio’s 13 other public universities to raise awareness of the value of public higher education and spur efforts to produce more college graduates to close the state’s higher education attainment gap.

The statewide campaign, called Forward Ohio, seeks to mobilize public support for enhanced investment in public higher education and ensure that it is a public policy imperative for state government.

“We know that higher education is a smart investment for the college graduate who will earn $1 million more than a high school graduate over the course of a lifetime,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “It also is a smart investment for the state because Ohio needs a highly skilled workforce to attract and retain the jobs of the future. Public universities like The University of Toledo play an important role in training the majority of those skilled workers.”

Studies indicate that about 66 percent of jobs in Ohio in 2025 will require degree, certificate or other postsecondary workforce credentials. Currently, just 44 percent of working age Ohioans have these credentials.

The Forward Ohio campaign illustrates how maintaining a strong system of public higher education is essential to closing the attainment gap and meeting the economic and workforce needs of the state’s business community.

In addition to producing the workforce of the future, public universities also have direct economic impacts on their communities. In northwest Ohio, UT is the region’s second largest employer and has a $3.3 billion annual impact on the community. For every $1 invested by the state into UT, $10 of economic impact is generated to the local economy.

UT also is an exceptional value for students providing a high-quality education with one of the lowest tuition rates among Ohio’s public universities.

The value of a UT degree has been validated by external sources such as Schools.com, which ranked UT Ohio’s best four-year college when analyzing criteria such as affordability, flexibility and student services. The website LendEDU also ranked UT the top Ohio public college for the lowest student debt. Most recently, Student Loan Hero listed Toledo third in its list of the 20 cheapest cities in the country for college students, a ranking based on cost-of-living data in college towns where students benefit from low room and board costs on and off campus.

“UT and all of Ohio’s public universities provide significant value to our students and to the state,” Gaber said. “I join my fellow university presidents in advocating for enhanced support for strong public higher education to move Ohio forward.”

Visit the Forward Ohio website at forwardohio.org for more detailed facts, figures and success stories.