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UT faculty, students to present diverse water quality research at Great Lakes conference in Detroit

An ongoing study on the height of the annual algal bloom in the water near the Toledo Water Intake in Lake Erie is one of 34 University of Toledo research projects being presented this week at the annual conference of the International Association of Great Lakes Research.

The study, which measures the algal bloom over 24 hours in rough and calm waters, is entering its second year. The goal is to make recommendations to water plant operators on the best time to pump water and reduce intake exposure to microcystin.

Last year, Ken Gibbons pulled up a water sample using a long, white tube that reaches the lake bottom. The water was emptied into the orange bucket held by Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, UT algae researcher and professor of ecology.

“This has the possibility to provide a practical way to protect the public drinking water,” Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, UT algae researcher and professor of ecology, said. “We want to develop a model that tells the water utilities where to expect the algae to be and when to pump more or less to avoid it.”

Graduate student researcher Eva Kramer will present the research, which is titled “Avoiding Harmful Algal Blooms at Toledo’s Drinking Water Intake by Observing Vertical Distribution and Migration,” during poster presentations Wednesday, May 17.

“It’s inspiring to be surrounded by hundreds of people working to understand, protect and restore the Great Lakes from a broad range of backgrounds,” said Kramer, who is pursuing a master’s degree in ecology. “I look forward to hearing their stories and learning from their successes and struggles.”

UT researchers take regular samples near the Toledo Water Intake in Lake Erie.

The annual conference of the International Association of Great Lakes Research is taking place from Monday, May 15, through Friday, May 19, at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

UT researchers will present from diverse areas of study, including economics; engineering; environmental sciences; chemistry and biochemistry; geography and planning; and medical microbiology and immunology.

A full list of the UT researchers and their projects can be found at utoledo.edu/nsm/lec/news/abstracts.html.

Dr. Carol Stepien, Distinguished University Professor of Ecology, and Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, professor and director of the UT Center for Geographic Information Sciences and Applied Geographics, organized a special session titled “Pathways for Invasions Into the Great Lakes: Detection, Monitoring and New Technology” that will run from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 17. Stepien and Czajkowski work with bait shops and fishermen for invasive species prevention.

PhD student researcher Alison Brandel, who works in the lab of Dr. Jason Huntley, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology, will present a talk titled “Isolation and Characterization of Lake Erie Bacteria That Degrade the Microcystin Toxin MC-LR” Friday, May 19, at 10:40 a.m. during the session titled “Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiatives: Field to Faucet and Beyond.”

During that same session, Dr. Kevin Egan, associate professor of economics, will present “Benefit-Cost Analysis for Policy Options (e.g. Fertilizer Fee, Wetlands) to Reduce Nutrient Runoff” Friday, May 19, at 8 a.m.

Water quality is a major research focus at the University. With $12.5 million in active grants underway, UT is studying algal blooms, invasive species such as Asian carp, and pollutants, and looking for pathways to restore the greatest natural resource for future generations to ensure communities continue to have access to safe drinking water.

Researchers and students help to protect the public drinking water supply for the greater Toledo area throughout summer algal bloom season by conducting water sampling to alert water treatment plant operators of any toxins heading toward the water intake. UT’s 28-foot research vessel enables the University to partner with the city of Toledo and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor the health of the lake and provide real-time data.

The UT Lake Erie Center is a research and educational facility focused on environmental conditions and aquatic resources in Maumee Bay and western Lake Erie as a model for the Great Lakes and aquatic ecosystems worldwide.

Basketball coach to serve as panelist for Women in Leadership event May 18

Toledo Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop will serve as a panelist for a Women in Leadership event Thursday, May 18.

The event will take place from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, 325 N. Michigan St.


The Women in Leadership event is sponsored by the Women’s Initiative of United Way, which networks and mobilizes women to be leaders, advocates and philanthropists on issues relating to women and children.

Sashem Brey, anchor at 13 ABC, will be the moderator.

Cullop will be joined on the panel by Jan Bertsch, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Owens-Illinois Inc.; Diana Patton, author, speaker and health coach; and Mo Sheahan, owner of Pure Barre Toledo and Pure Barre Perrysburg.

An affinity group of United Way since 2001, Women’s Initiative has inspired hundreds of women to attend leadership development events, contribute their time and talent to numerous volunteer opportunities, and invest more than $1.5 million toward programs that impact women and children.

In addition to providing personal and professional development opportunities for women, Women’s Initiative of United Way supports two children’s programs: WordShop and Imagination Library. In 2015, more than 600 children participated in their collaborative story-writing workshops and the group mailed 19,194 books to Toledo homes.

People can join Women’s Initiative by making a gift of $250 or more to the United Way. The gift will go to help those in need in the community, and the donor will gain special access to networking, development and volunteer opportunities.

The cost to attend the event is $10 for non-members, and free for members.

This past year, Cullop guided the Rockets to their eighth Mid-American Conference title in program history, as well as advancing to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2001. UT finished with a 25-9 overall ledger and a 12-6 mark in the league, equaling the fifth-most wins in single history.

The three-time MAC Coach of the Year is fourth in league history in overall winning percentage (202-96, .678) and seventh in conference (108-44, .711) winning percentage.

Rockets continue to land impressive Academic Progress Rate scores

The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures for the four-year period from 2012-13 to 2015-16, and The University of Toledo received very impressive scores across the board.

All 16 UT varsity sports had at least a 965 score, well above the NCAA’s “cut point” of 930, with women’s golf leading the way with a perfect 1,000 mark. Eight other UT sports were at 990 or above: baseball, men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.

In addition, five Rocket teams — baseball, men’s basketball, football, women’s golf and women’s tennis — had the best APR score in the Mid-American Conference in their respective sports. The UT football program had an APR score of 981, giving it the No. 1 mark in the MAC for the fourth consecutive season. Men’s basketball (990) also led the MAC, while women’s basketball (995) was just five points off the pace set by league leaders Kent State and Miami.

“We are very proud of all of our sports for posting such impressive APR numbers,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Nine of our sports had APR scores of 990 or above, and all of them were above a 965. Those numbers mean that our student-athletes are doing well in the classroom and, most importantly, are on track to graduate.

“Special recognition should go to our women’s golf program, which has a perfect APR score over the past four years,” O’Brien said. “Also, congratulations to our football program for finishing with the highest APR in the Mid-American Conference for the fourth consecutive season.”

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. The APR data released May 10 is a cumulative figure taken from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

To see more statistics, click here.

UT ranked 66th in nation for technology transfer, commercialization

The University of Toledo is ranked 66th in the nation by the Milken Institute’s Center for Jobs and Human Capital in its list of Best Universities for Technology Transfer.

The 2017 report focuses on innovative discoveries at public and private research universities that lead to new products and a rise in entrepreneurial success and regional economic impact through job creation and growth.

The ranking measurements include a four-year average of research expenditures, patents, licenses executed, licensing income and start-up companies. The University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index uses data from 2012 to 2015.

In fiscal years 2012 through 2015, the University received 258 invention disclosures and entered into 59 option or license agreements. Eleven start-up companies were established to commercialize UT technology.

“I was pleased to see the University was ranked in the top 75 Best Universities for Technology Transfer by the Milken Institute,” Stephen Snider, UT associate vice president of technology transfer, said. “This wouldn’t be possible without the participation of faculty, staff and students throughout the institution who help our office to protect and transfer novel innovations to the commercial marketplace.”

According to the report, “More than 1,000 firms were launched in fiscal year 2015 through [technology transfer offices] at research universities, with more than 70 percent of start-ups located in the same state as the affiliated university.”

“The University of Toledo’s Technology Transfer Office has been one of the top performers in the state for many years under the leadership of Stephen Snider,” Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT vice president of research, said. “We are proud to support faculty and students who are coming up with creative ways to solve problems and helping generate high-tech jobs.”

Ohio State University is ranked No. 55 on the Milken Institute’s list. Ohio University is ranked No. 113 and University of Dayton No. 200. The University of Utah is No. 1.

For the entire report, click here.

UTPD officers to participate in active shooter training exercises on campus

The University of Toledo Police Department will conduct active shooter training exercises throughout the month of May that emphasize the role of the first officer to respond to an emergency situation.

The first exercise will take place Wednesday, May 10, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the former Main Campus Child Care Center near the south entrance of campus off Dorr Street and also in Parking Area 9.

Most of the training will be contained inside the building. However, officers will be practicing entry into the north side of the building.

The community may see police cruisers with emergency lights on as officers practice their approaches in the parking lot. Signs will be posted that say, “UT Police Training Event.”

Two more training exercises will be held at the same time and location Thursday, May 18, and Friday, May 26.

The training program called RAIDER, which stands for Rapid Deployment, Awareness, Intervention, Decisiveness, EMS and Recovery, provides the tactical skills necessary for the first officer responding to an active shooter situation to be able to intervene immediately in order to reduce the number of causalities.

The training provides officers with the mental and physical skills to draw the attention of the active shooter away from potential victims, confuse and frustrate the shooter, and successfully neutralize the situation.

Girls in Science Day at UT May 10

More than 140 sophomore high school girls will visit The University of Toledo Wednesday, May 10, when prominent female scientists and engineers across the region will introduce them to the exciting world of science and technology careers through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

The eighth annual Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on UT’s Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

UT faculty and industrial professionals from Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Spartan Chemical Co. Inc. will help inspire a passion for science careers by exploring the tools of the trade. The visiting high school students also will get to interact with female graduate students in the various areas in science, engineering and the health sciences.

The girls will carry out investigations in a number of areas, including physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology, engineering, pharmacy, and medicine.

Activities for students will include building solar cells; using liquid nitrogen to make objects float in the air; swabbing their cheeks for a DNA sample; building a motor; generating electricity on a bike; making biodiesel fuel; using patient simulators to practice patient interventions; and making lip balm.

During lunch in the Brady Center on the Engineering campus, the students will learn about coding and its importance for future careers in STEMM.

“Girls are just as interested in science and technology as their male peers, but the number of girls that make it to college to pursue a major and get a job in a STEMM field is not growing as we need it to do,” said Edith Kippenhan, senior lecturer in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, director of WISDOM, and past president of the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. “Women approach problems differently, and they come up with different, equally valid solutions. We need them in the workforce to better design products and solutions for the various problems facing our society and our planet.”

Students from Toledo Public, Washington Local and Oregon Schools, as well as from the Toledo Islamic Academy and Wildwood Environmental Academy, will participate in WISDOM at the University.

“It is our goal to show the students they have a real and doable pathway to their dream career in STEMM,” Kippenhan said. “It is our hope that a visit to UT for events such as WISDOM will inspire them to embrace science and technology, and turn their dreams into reality.”

The event is hosted by the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Sponsors include Marathon Petroleum Corp., Columbia Gas, Spartan Chemical Co., the Toledo Section of the American Chemical Society, the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, and the UT colleges of Engineering, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

North entrance of Carlson Library closed for construction

Visitors to Carlson Library will have to use the south entrance this summer.

Due to construction, the north entrance across from the Thompson Student Union closed Monday, May 8.

The north entrance is scheduled to reopen Friday, Aug. 11, according to Chris Levicki, manager of structural maintenance in Facilities and Construction.

A glass curtain wall will be installed on the east side of library this summer. The $3 million project is made possible by state biennium capital funds.

Workers from Mosser Construction Inc. in Maumee are using an 80-foot, 50-ton crane to remove masonry on Carlson Library.

Workers from Mosser Construction Inc. in Maumee used an 80-foot, 50-ton crane to begin masonry removal on Carlson Library.

Rockets battle inclement weather, put up good results at Toledo Invitational

Despite an unrelenting rainstorm, University of Toledo women’s track athletes still managed to come up with some good performances at the second and final day of the 2017 Toledo Invitational at the UT Track Friday.

The Rockets took three first-place finishes and three runner-up spots.

Stephanie Sherman (1) and Marissa Rossetti (3) battled the rain in the 1500 meters at the 2017 Toledo Invitational Friday.

Finishing at the top of the pack were sophomore Christina Johnson in the 200 meters with a time of 24.66; sophomore Deja Martin in the triple jump (11.60 meters); and sophomore Anna Bellman in the javelin (37.0 meters).

Sophomore Nautica Hill was just an eyelash behind Johnson to take second in the 200 with a time of 24.67. Junior Julia Mendiola took second in the 800 meters clocking in at 2:17.16, and freshman Tori Thompson was just a stride off the pace in the 100 meters, finishing in second with a time of 12.24.

“This was more of a competition meet than a performance meet,” said UT Head Coach Linh Nguyen. “We had the trifecta of cold, wind and rain, so it was just a matter of going out and competing and not worrying about the times. Christina Johnson and Nautica Hill ran a great race in the 200. Both of their times are in the top 15 in the [Mid-American Conference] this year. Anna Bellman had close to her [personal record] in the javelin (37.0 meters), which is impressive considering the weather.”

Next up for the Rockets is the 2017 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Thursday through Saturday, May 11-13, in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Changes to UT Main Campus Medical Center announced

Changes are on the way for the Main Campus Medical Center at The University of Toledo.

Student Health Services will be closing in the Main Campus Medical Center building during summer term, and fall, winter and spring breaks in response to low usage.

“This is a cost-saving measure because patient visits often drop to less than 10 encounters per day during these times,” Dr. Linda Speer, interim chief medical officer of The University of Toledo Medical Center and chair of the Family Medicine Department, said. “There are insufficient patient visits to warrant keeping it open, and we have excellent facilities available to serve students on the Health Science Campus.”

Students on campus during breaks will be able to access medical services in the Student Wellness Center located in the lower level of the Ruppert Health Center on UT’s Health Science Campus. Students can use the UT transit loop that provides a free shuttle between campuses and has a direct stop at the Ruppert Health Center.

Student Health Services at the Main Campus Medical Center will close later this month and reopen in the fall with new, reduced hours of operation, which will be Monday through Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m.

A UT Physicians Family Medicine practice also is located in the Main Campus Medical Center that offers primary care for UT students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public. That location will close permanently Monday, June 19.

The two doctors who practice there will move to other UT Physicians locations – one at Glendale Medical East and one at Regency off Talmadge Road. Those doctors will notify patients of their new location and continued service.

The changes to the Main Campus Medical Center are estimated to save $500,000.

No changes are being made to Main Campus Pharmacy operations.

Men’s basketball, women’s golf recognized by NCAA for top 10 percent Academic Progress Rate

The UT men’s basketball and women’s golf programs received NCAA public recognition for their classroom commitment as part of the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program.

Teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport during their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) evaluation earned recognition.

Jordan Lauf, left, and Pimchanok Kawil helped the Rockets earn NCAA Academic Progress Rate recognition.

A total of 44 Division I programs received public recognition in men’s basketball, with the Rockets being the lone representative from the Mid-American Conference. UT has made dramatic improvement in its APR under Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk, who has raised the Rockets’ figure from a low of 858 in 2009-10 (one year prior to Kowalczyk’s arrival) to 990 at the conclusion of the 2015-16 academic year.

“During my first three years at Toledo, we were penalized several scholarships, saw our practice time and number of games we could play reduced, and couldn’t participate in postseason play due to our low APR scores,” Kowalczyk said. “Since that time, we’ve put in a lot of hard work and many long hours to get our program to a point where we are being recognized among the best in the country for our commitment to academics. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment and want to thank everyone at our university who has played a role in helping us achieve this honor.”

In women’s golf, the Rockets registered a perfect 1,000 APR score and were among six MAC schools honored.

“I’m very proud of being recognized for our team’s performance in the classroom over the last four years,” Women’s Golf Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. “Everyone involved in our program knows how important a college degree is, and we are going to continue to strive to be the best we can be.”

Each year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the annual scorecard of academic achievement, known as APR. The rate measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance in each sport. The most recent APRs are multiyear rates based on scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.

A perfect score (or graduation rate) is represented by 1,000, while a 930 (50 percent rate) marks the threshold for which the NCAA can impose sanctions on athletic programs. Full APRs for all teams, including access to postseason play and penalties for low-performing teams, will be released May 10.

APR scores are based on retention and eligibility of each scholarship student-athlete. Each student-athlete can earn four points per year — one point for first-semester eligibility, one point for first-semester retention, one point for second-semester eligibility, and one point for second-semester retention. The total points earned are then divided by total points possible and the decimal place is dropped for the APR score.