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Rocket to compete in State Farm’s Slam Dunk Championship April 2

Senior forward J.D. Weatherspoon will have one more opportunity to wear a Toledo Rocket uniform after being selected to participate in State Farm’s 27th annual College Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championships.

J.D. Weatherspoon amassed 115 dunks during 67 games for Toledo.

J.D. Weatherspoon amassed 115 dunks during 67 games for Toledo.

The event will take place at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Thursday, April 2, and air on ESPN from 7 to 9 p.m.

A Columbus, Ohio, native, Weatherspoon earned third-team All-Mid-American Conference honors this past season and will be one of eight individuals competing in the slam-dunk portion of the event.

He ranked second in the MAC with 8.4 rebounds per game and a 56.3 field-goal percentage and was third on the team with 12.9 points per game. He slammed home 69 dunks this season and 115 in 67 contests as a Rocket.

Weatherspoon also finished fifth on UT’s career field-goal percentage list with a 55.1 percent (279 of 506) shooting mark.

Tickets can be purchased through ticketmaster.com. Adult general admission tickets are available for $16 with children’s tickets priced at $8.

Professor, trustee recognized for service, achievement

The Youth and Women Catholic Association of Northwest Ohio recognized two women with connections to The University of Toledo at its 20th anniversary celebration, YWCA Milestones: A Tribute to Women, March 12.

Sharon Speyer, left, and Dr. Iman Mohamed were all smiles after receiving awards earlier this month at the YWCA Milestones: A Tribute to Women.

Sharon Speyer, left, and Dr. Iman Mohamed were all smiles after receiving awards earlier this month at the YWCA Milestones: A Tribute to Women.

At the evening gala, seven women were honored in the areas of arts, business, education, government, sciences, social services and volunteerism.

Dr. Iman Mohamed, associate dean of medical school admissions in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, medical oncologist and professor of medicine, and Sharon Speyer, northwest Ohio regional president of Huntington National Bank and vice chair of the UT Board of Trustees, were among the women recognized at the event.

The awards were presented to women who have reached significant milestones in their fields and have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities while empowering other women to reach their potential.

In addition, these women’s service and achievements are consistent with the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Mohamed, who also has a membership in the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, which recognizes her knowledge for core medical training and is a valued professional distinction internationally, received the science milestone award.

“I receive gratification daily; there is not a single day where you don’t hear people who are thankful for what you do as a physician. But when the community acknowledges that you have made a difference, in even a small way, that’s very gratifying,” Mohamed said.

She was presented the award for her innovative live and social media outreach programs that focus on promoting breast cancer awareness, with an emphasis on preventive care and education, as well as her commitment to education, research and dedication to helping others.

“This is a northwest Ohio award, so that means that the area recognizes what I’ve done, which is important because then we can all partner in making the world a better place,” Mohamed said.

Speyer received the business milestone award for her Women in Leadership Program, which provides awareness, mentoring and opportunity for women seeking advancement.

“I am very flattered to be named as a milestone recipient,” Speyer said. “It is very humbling to be honored by your peers. It is even more special when these peers have been influential in your career development.”

The award further recognizes her service to the local community through her position of co-chair at Local Initiative Support Corp., which promotes healthy environments and lifestyles, and improving income and quality of life in the Cherry Street Corridor and the Garfield/Marina District. In addition, she serves the community as a board member for Marathon Classic, Regional Growth Partnership, ASPIRE and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

“I am very fortunate to work for a company that values inclusion and promotes women to leadership positions,” Speyer said. “The more young women see others in leadership roles, the more they can appreciate that their aspirations are possible.”

Two professors named Jefferson Award winners

Faculty at The University of Toledo are dedicated to improving the human condition — and Dr. Celia Williamson and Dr. Kristopher Brickman do so both in and out of the classroom.

Williamson

Williamson

That’s why Williamson, professor of social work, and Brickman, professor and chair of emergency medicine, are two recipients of this year’s Toledo Area Jefferson Awards.

The awards, given by the American Institute for Public Service, honor people for their community and public service in the hopes that others will be inspired to become involved.

Williamson dedicates much of her free time to raising awareness about human trafficking and aiding victims. For more than a decade, she has organized and hosted the annual International Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference at The University of Toledo.

The conference brings together researchers, practitioners and others to educate attendees on human trafficking. Discussions include those of modern human trafficking, laws that are being created, and resources for victims both locally and nationally.

Williamson has volunteered her time with many of these resources. She also founded the Second Chance program in Lucas County in 1993, the oldest program in the state that works with prostituted women and trafficked youth.

“Human trafficking affects more than just the victims, it affects the whole community,” Williamson said. “I’m honored that the community I’m serving recognizes my efforts, and I’m encouraged by this award to make an even bigger impact.”

Now she is leading the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, recently established by the University Board of Trustees.

Brickman

Brickman

Brickman, who has practiced medicine for almost 30 years, has led medical missions all over the world to help those in need after crises. He didn’t hesitate to help the people of Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in 2010, and he was there in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people in 2013.

“Even with a job that keeps me busy here at UT, I never feel like my work is done,” Brickman said. “There is always more to do, but it’s important to approach each day with a passion to make the world a better place, whether it’s mentoring local high school students or developing global health programs.”

Along with his University responsibilities, Brickman has been the team physician and part-time wrestling coach for St. John’s High School for the last 28 years. He has mentored hundreds of high school students on their careers in both sports and life.

On top of providing help to those in need all over the world, Brickman encourages his students to do the same and educates them to be better equipped to assist others. He is the director of global health at UT Medical Center, partnering with foreign medical schools to give students an opportunity to learn outside the United States.

By placing medical students in international settings, often without modern medical infrastructure, Brickman introduces them to the challenges of working in diverse cultural situations. The Office of Global Health also supports students who want to go on medical missions by providing guidance and resources.

Williamson and Brickman were two of four honorees selected from a list of 53 nominees and 15 finalists. The four winners have the potential to win national Jefferson Awards and represent the region at a national ceremony in Washington, D.C., this summer.

The Toledo Area Jefferson Awards are sponsored by The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem, WTVG-13 and Leadership Toledo.

Students learn residency placements at annual Match Day ceremony

Tears of joy and congratulatory shouts filled the Great Hall of Stranahan Theater Friday as fourth-year medical students opened envelopes to reveal their residency placements.

Sonya Naganathan, center, showed her residency placement letter to Chelsea McKirnam, left, and Marla Scott at Match Day. Naganathan will study emergency medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and McKirnam and Scott will train in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, respectively.

Sonya Naganathan, center, showed her residency placement letter to Chelsea McKirnam, left, and Marla Scott at Match Day. Naganathan will study emergency medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and McKirnam and Scott will train in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, respectively.

Match Day is an annual event where medical students across the country learn where they will continue their training and, possibly, their entire medical careers.

“Match Day is one of the most exciting times in the life of a medical student, culminating years of hard work and indicating where they will spend the next three to seven years of their lives in training,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and senior vice president for clinical affairs. “The University of Toledo College of Medicine faculty and staff are proud of our students and each year celebrate this important milestone in their lives.”

The 166 students matched with institutions across the country: the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, the Mayo Clinic and more.

Interim President Nagi Naganathan attended the event as the leader of UT and as a parent of a medical student. His daughter, Sonya Naganathan, will study emergency medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

“I’m very excited to go where I’m matched,” Naganathan said. “I have worked as an EMT and my interest in the field has continued to grow. I’m happy to see how I progress over the next four years.”

Jessica Chang, left, received a big hug from her sister, Cheryl Chang, at Match Day after she learned she’s heading to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles for a plastic surgery residency.

Jessica Chang, left, received a big hug from her sister, Cheryl Chang, at Match Day after she learned she’s heading to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles for a plastic surgery residency.

Ann Hulme will study physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“It’s exciting to go somewhere new and take on a new adventure,” Hulme said.

Eight students will continue their training at The University of Toledo Medical Center as part of a group of 15 who matched in northwest Ohio and 64 throughout the Buckeye State.

Christopher Johnson was the only student to match in the competitive field of ophthalmology. He is headed to Indiana University Health Ball Memorial for a preliminary year before studying at Loyola University Hines VA Hospital in Chicago.

“I was originally interested in optometry until I saw cataract surgery and I fell in love,” Johnson said. “I feel like I can do more for my patients in this field.”

Johnson’s three daughters, 12-week old twins and a 22-month-old, were present at the celebration wearing scrubs for the occasion.

The students matched into 26 specialties, with 58, or 35 percent, in primary care fields, and 108, or 65 percent, entering other specialties. The top specialties for this graduating class were internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine and general surgery.

Michigan was the most popular state behind Ohio with 19 students matching there, followed by California with 13, and Pennsylvania and Texas each with seven. Overall, students matched with programs in 29 states.

Toledo’s season ends with 74- 58 loss against Michigan in second round of WNIT

Michigan ended the first half with a 16-0 run and went on to claim a 74-58 victory over Toledo in the second round of the Postseason WNIT Monday before 3,004 fans in Savage Arena.

Senior Inma Zanoguera led the Rockets with 14 points and a game-high six assists in her last contest for Toledo.

Senior Inma Zanoguera led the Rockets with 14 points and a game-high six assists in her last contest for Toledo.

With the loss, UT ends its season with a 19-14 record.

The Wolverines (18-14) trailed 23-21 with 6:06 remaining in the opening period before going on the game-changing burst to secure a lead they would not relinquish.

Senior Inma Zanoguera led the Rockets with 14 points, a game-high six assists, five rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes. The 2014-15 first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection scored in double figures for the team-best 27th time this year.

Junior Ana Capotosto was close behind Zanoguera with 12 points and five caroms, while junior Brenae Harris had 11 points and a contest-tying best three steals. The Midnight Blue and Gold also received nine points from freshman Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and eight by sophomore Sophie Reecher in the season-ending loss.

As a team, the Rockets shot 38.2 percent (21 of 55) from the floor, including 35.3 percent (6 of 17) from three-point range, and 76.9 percent (10 of 13) from the free-throw line to halt their season-best five-game home winning streak.

Katelynn Flaherty paced the Wolverines with a game-high 25 points, including nine during the crucial run to end the first half. Siera Thompson also contributed 20 points off the bench, and Cyesha Goree had 13 to help the Maize and Blue advance to the third round of the post-season event.

UT looked good at the outset and jumped out to a 14-9 lead at the 12:30 mark. The Rockets hit five of their first nine shots, including a pair of triples from Bravo-Harriott to take an early two-possession advantage.

The Wolverines quickly responded with a 10-2 run to build a 19-16 lead, forcing Toledo into a timeout at the 7:59 mark. Goree tallied a pair of layups to spark the rally, while Thompson and Flaherty also knocked down triples along the way to prompt the Rockets to stop the action.

The timeout was just what the Rockets needed, as they scored seven of the next nine points to reclaim the advantage, 23-21, with 6:06 left in the first half. Harris tallied the first five points in the burst, while Zanoguera had the other two to pressure Michigan into calling a timeout.

Unfortunately for the home team, they would not score for the remainder of the period. Michigan rattled off the final 16 points of the period to build a 37-23 advantage at the intermission. Toledo missed its final six field-goal attempts and had five turnovers during this pivotal stretch to turn a two-point lead into a 14-point deficit.

Michigan’s backcourt of Flaherty and Thompson remained red-hot shooting the ball to start the final 20 minutes, extending the margin to 54-35 at the 12:08 mark. The duo was responsible for 10 of the team’s first 17 points after the break to make it a game-high 19-point difference.

Toledo did not go quietly, though, and went on a 9-0 run to trim the deficit to 54-44 with 7:01 left in regulation. UT received points from four different players in the rally to bring the crowd to its feet.

Following a timeout, Michigan sealed the impressive road victory with three-consecutive jumpers from Flaherty. The closest the Rockets would get for the remainder of the contest was 10 points on two occasions.

With the completion of tonight’s game, the collegiate careers of senior Stephanie Recker and Zanoguera came to an end. The duo was part of 88 overall victories over the last four seasons, including 44 league wins. They helped the Rockets win two MAC West Division titles (2011-12, 2012-13), one MAC regular-season championship (2012-13), and secure three post-season appearances (2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15).

Toledo to entertain Big Ten member Michigan in second round of WNIT March 23

Toledo (19-13) will entertain Big Ten member Michigan (17-14) in the second round of the 2015 Postseason WNIT Monday, March 23, in Savage Arena. The opening tip is slated for 7 p.m.

Junior Brenae Harris had 16 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to record the first triple-double in UT history when the Rockets beat Wright State, 72-64, in the first round of the WNIT.

Junior Brenae Harris had 16 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to record the first triple-double in UT history when the Rockets beat Wright State, 72-64, in the first round of the WNIT.

The winner of tomorrow’s match-up will take on the winner of Big 12 participant Kansas State (19-13) and Southeastern Conference member Missouri (18-13) in the third round Wednesday-Friday, March 25-27. Sites and times for the Sweet 16 will be released at a later date.

The Rockets are in the midst of a season-best five-game home winning streak and sport an 11-4 (.733) mark in Savage Arena.

UT advanced to the second round of the post-season tourney for the fifth-consecutive time with a 72-64 victory over Horizon League member Wright State Friday at home.

Junior Brenae Harris paced the Midnight Blue and Gold with 16 points, a career-high 11 assists and a collegiate-best 11 rebounds to record the first triple-double in school history.

Freshman Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott also contributed a game-high five triples and a contest-best 19 points, while senior Inma Zanoguera had 12 points, eight boards with five helpers, and sophomore Janice Monakana chipped in 10 points and seven caroms off the bench.

UT was extremely efficient offensively against the Raiders and recorded 20 assists on 25 field goals and also finished with a commanding 54-42 edge on the glass. Junior Ana Capotosto fueled the effort on the boards, finishing with a career-best 14, followed by Harris, Zanoguera and Monakana.

Zanoguera, Bravo-Harriott and Harris lead Toledo offensively, scoring 15.4, 10.5 and 9.7 points per game, respectively.

A former Wolverine, Harris started six of 53 games in two seasons at Michigan during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. She averaged 2.5 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 0.5 steals in 10.6 minutes per contest and scored in double figures on two occasions.

Michigan qualified for the second-round contest by virtue of its 72-50 victory over Horizon League member Cleveland State at home March 18. Second-team All-Big Ten selection Cyesha Goree and Madison Ristovski led the Wolverines with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

UM finished with an 8-10 mark in its conference and features a balanced attack with four players scoring in double digits led by Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Katelynn Flaherty’s 14.2 points per game.

The Wolverines are 4-10 away from home this season and are making their sixth-straight postseason appearance.

Toledo and Michigan will meet for the 19th overall time and first since the 2010 Postseason WNIT. The Wolverines secured a 72-57 home victory in the second round of the 2010 post-season tourney and lead the all-time series 10-8. The Wolverines also hold a 4-3 edge in games played in Savage Arena, most recently claiming a 44-41 triumph Nov. 22, 2006.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children for reserved seats (all seats in the lower bowl) and $12 for adults and $6 for children for general admission (all seats in the upper level).

UT students will receive free admission with a valid ID.

UT employees may purchase up to two half-price tickets at the UT Ticket Office with a valid UT employee ID.

Tickets are available online at UTRocketstix.com, by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653), and visiting the UT Ticket Office located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex. 


New responsive UT website goes live

Coming to a screen any size near you: The new responsive UT website.

ut new websiteLaunching Monday, utoledo.edu is in a template that creates a better user experience by dynamically delivering the website in various device sizes, including desktop, mobile phones and tablets.

That change was made possible thanks to the Center for Creative Instruction, which is part of the Division of External Affairs.

“We have been watching our smartphone traffic increase, so moving to a responsive design was important,” Kathleen Walsh, director of web development, said. “Our visitors will now get a consistent and high-quality user experience across all browsing devices.”

“Our goal is to deliver the best website that is eye-catching and easy to use in multiple formats,” Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs, said. “We want to reach potential students through digital marketing and showcase all the great things UT offers.”

The UT home page and navigation received an updated look so it functions better on different devices and continues to focus on prospective students.

The large, bold top image will feature photography taken by University Marketing as part of UT’s efforts to advertise degrees and programs offered by the colleges. Content specifically focused on enrollment actions also takes commanding space on the new home page.

The new responsive template was launched on all websites managed in OmniUpdate, the web content management system that handles the majority of UT’s web pages.

“The content management system allows us to efficiently maintain this type of advanced technology, deliver it across 20,000-plus web pages, and still give our users complete access to managing their content,” Walsh said.

The template also continues the University’s commitment to meet the federal guidelines for accessible websites, Walsh added.

Toledo defeats Wright State in first round of WNIT, 72-64

Junior Brenae Harris recorded the first triple-double in school history to lead Toledo to a 72-64 victory over Wright State Friday in the first round of the 2015 Postseason WNIT before 1,709 fans in Savage Arena.

Brenae Harris recorded the first triple-double in school history to lead Toledo to a 72-64 victory over Wright State Friday in the first round of the 2015 Postseason WNIT.

Brenae Harris recorded the first triple-double in school history to lead Toledo to a 72-64 victory over Wright State Friday in the first round of the 2015 Postseason WNIT.

With the win, UT improves to 19-13 on the season.



The 2011 Postseason WNIT Champion Rockets will host Big Ten member Michigan (17-14) in a second-round match-up Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m. The Wolverines defeated Cleveland State, 72-50, in the first round Wednesday in Ann Arbor.



A former Wolverine, Harris finished with 16 points, a career-high 11 assists and a collegiate-best 11 rebounds to propel the Midnight Blue and Gold to the second round of the post-season tourney for the fifth-straight time. The first-year Rocket connected on 5 of 14 shots from the field, including 2 of 5 from three-point land, and a perfect 4 of 4 from the free-throw line to break out of a three-game shooting slump. The Marion, Ohio, native had totaled 16 points on 7 of 33 shooting from the floor over the previous three contests.
 


Freshman Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott also remained dialed-in offensively and contributed a game-high five triples and a contest-best 19 points. Bravo-Harriott has made at least three treys on a team-high nine occasions this season.



Senior Inma Zanoguera nearly added another triple-double for the victors, posting 12 points, eight boards and five helpers, while sophomore Janice Monakana had 10 points and seven caroms off the bench.



Toledo was extremely efficient offensively all evening and recorded a whopping 20 assists on 25 field goals and also finished with a commanding 54-42 edge on the glass. Junior Ana Capotosto fueled the efforts on the boards, finishing with a career-best 14, followed by Harris, Zanoguera and Monakana. In total, the Rockets had five players with at least five rebounds.

Horizon League Player of the Year Tay’ler Mingo led the Raiders (25-9) with 18 points, while Courtney Boyd had 14.



Tickets for Monday’s second-round game go on sale Saturday, March 21, at 9 a.m. and will be $15 for adults and $7.50 for children for reserved seats (all seats in the lower bowl) and $12 for adults and $6 for children for general admission (all seats in the upper level).

UT students will once again receive free admission with a valid ID.

UT employees may purchase up to two half-price tickets at the UT Ticket Office with a valid UT employee ID.

Elite, suite, loge, club and courtside seat holders’ tickets will be placed on hold within their ticket account. Elite season ticket holders have until Saturday at 5 p.m. to purchase their tickets before they are released for general sales. Season-ticket holders may purchase their normal seats in one of the following ways:



1. Logging into your account at UTRocketstix.com using your username and password. 


2. Calling 419.530.GOLD (4653) and providing your account information.


3. Visiting the UT Ticket Office located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex during business hours. 


Athletic department recognizes Larimer complex contributors

The University of Toledo Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will name several rooms, offices and areas in the Larimer Athletic Complex to recognize the generosity of Rocket supporters.

thumb-rocket-color-logo“The Department of Athletics is very grateful for the overwhelming generosity of our donors,” said David Nottke, senior associate athletic director for development and external affairs. “We asked for their support with this project, and so many stepped up to make it a reality.”

The UT Board of Trustees approved Feb. 9 the naming of the following areas in the Larimer Athletic Complex in the donors’ honor in recognition of their gifts:

• A player position meeting room for Mike and Teresa Boyle.

• An academic office for Carl and Sue Happ.

• An assistant football coach’s office for James and Nancy Lapp.

• A player position meeting room for Frank Miceli.

• A weight room office for Perstorp Polyols Inc.

• An assistant football coach’s office for H. David White and Dave White Chevrolet.

• The equipment room for Bob and Carol Eberly of Team Sports Inc.

• A physical therapy room, located within the athletic training room, for Alfagreen Supreme.

• An assistant football coach’s office for Dean and Lil-Mar Stroh.

• The main lobby atrium for Dave and Sue Bissonette.

• The wall of champions for George and Corrine Joseph.

• The coaches’ office suite and legends lounge for Ron Vail.

• The second floor reception area for Jim and Barbara Poure.

• The players’ lounge for Al Thigpen.

• The Rocket Academic Center for Roy and Marcia Armes.

• The team meeting room for Fischer Tool and Die Corp.

• The staff conference room for Dick and Jane McQuade.

• An assistant coach’s office and the coaches’ locker room for Bill and Carol Koester.

• The head football coaches office for Dr. Tom and Mary Wakefield.

• The defensive linemen’s meeting room will be named in honor of George P. Hotz, a defensive tackle from 1969 to 1971, thanks to the support of Gerry and Candace Seizert and the Seizert Family Foundation.

• A player position meeting room will be named for the 35-0 “Unbeatable Rockets” from 1969 to 1971, thanks to a lead gift from Alfred A. Baker and donations from other members of the team.

• The athletic training room will be named in memory of former head athletic trainer David Huffstettler, thanks to a gift from Dennis and Shelia Johnson in his memory.

• And the entryway onto the football field will be named the Sullivan Walk of Champions to recognize the generosity of Chuck and Jackie Sullivan. The football locker room also will be named in their honor.

There are many others who have contributed gifts for named rooms and offices, as well as others who have given without naming recognition attached to the gift, Nottke said.

Match Day: Medical students to learn residency placements March 20

At noon on Friday, March 20, 180 fourth-year medical students at The University of Toledo will open the highly anticipated envelopes revealing where they will serve their residencies.

The 2015 Residency Match Reception will be held in Stranahan Theater’s Great Hall. The event will begin at 11 a.m. with the envelope-opening ceremony precisely at noon when all medical students across the country will participate in Match Day.

Students spend months interviewing at residency programs to find the ideal institutions that will best help them perfect their skills in their chosen specialties. The students rank their top choices, and academic and community-based medical centers nationwide rank their top student choices. A computer algorithm administered by the National Resident Matching Program then puts the students and residency programs together.

Depending on the specialty, residencies last three to seven years and have a major impact on the training and lives of medical students. Residents are licensed physicians who care for patients under the supervision of attending physicians, and represent the medical workforce of tomorrow.