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Open mic night to promote poetry, sexual assault awareness April 2

An open mic night will be held in Rocky’s Attic in the Student Union Thursday, April 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. to start a campus wide recognition of National Poetry Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Poetry in the Attic” will feature students, faculty and Toledo community members readings geared toward women empowerment, activism and sexual assault awareness.

“I just want to generate awareness, and I feel like this event will promote harmony between men and women because they can see how sexual assault and domestic violence can affect someone’s life,” said Lanette Dukett, event organizer and UT student intern in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Non-monetary donations will be accepted at the event for the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter. Items suggested include blankets, kid’s toys, baby accessories, non-perishables, clothing and hygiene products.

“This event is also about gathering students together to show the YWCA that UT is a community that cares about our Toledo community,” Dukett said.

“To me, the poetry event is a way to share each other’s feelings and thoughts on domestic violence and at the same time raise donations to help those who are suffering right now,” Dukett said. “That’s a big part of what our college is doing as far as teaching people in humanity courses. This is what we should be doing, being more humane to people who are less fortunate than we are.”

The UT Feminist Alliance will provide refreshments and snacks during the event.

The open mic night is sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, the UT Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program, the UT Feminist Alliance and the Division of Student Affairs.

To participate or for more information, contact Dukett at 419.261.3349 or lanette.ducket@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Division of Student Affairs adds associate vice president

When Virginia Speight assumes the position of associate vice president for student affairs April 1, it won’t be an entirely new hat to wear.



“Because I’ll continue to serve as director of residence life, I’ll be able to keep drawing on the wealth of valuable experiences as I take on the more comprehensive duties of associate vice president,” she said.

“Working with the thousands of students as well as the many resident advisers who have lived in the residence halls was an amazing foundation for me professionally. They probably taught me more than I taught them.”

As associate vice president, Speight will be able to apply that experience to all the departments and programs under the Student Affairs umbrella, working with directors, managers and the dean of students to identify current needs, anticipate developing trends, and keep the far-ranging division nimble.

“This new position is a natural progression for Virginia,” noted Dr. Kaye Patten Wallace, senior vice president for the student experience. “She already has a deep understanding of our resident students’ needs that has made her a vital member of the Student Affairs team.

“Now we’ll be relying on her to build on that understanding as she works closely with our other areas.”

Speight will continue to report to Patten Wallace as she takes on her new responsibilities. She anticipates opportunities, she said, to work more comprehensively with staff and students across the division.

Speight added, “It’s typical to say you’re excited about a new position, but it’s so true for me because as associate vice president I expect to be able to reach many more people.”

Best-selling author to discuss youth revolt at Imam Khattab Lecture April 1

With prejudice and intolerance toward Muslims on the rise both in the United States and Europe, The University of Toledo’s Imam Khattab Lecture offers an opportunity to promote a better understanding of Islam and the Middle East. This year’s speaker is a candidate uniquely qualified for the job.

Khattab lectureDr. Reza Aslan, a New York Times best-selling author and scholar, will speak on “Youth Revolt: The Future of the New Middle East.”

This year’s free, public lecture will be held Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

Aslan is the author of a number of books, including Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and How to Win a Cosmic War. Zealot recently was picked up by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to be turned into a feature film.

He is a creative writing professor at the University of California in Riverside and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary. He is also the founder of AslanMedia, a social network focusing on news and entertainment about the Middle East, and the co-founder and chief creative officer of BoomGen Studios, an entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Middle East.

At the lecture, Aslan will focus on the growing number of young adults in the Middle East and their increasingly vocal campaign for greater rights and opportunities. This young generation vastly outnumbers its elders; 75 percent of the population is younger than 35, and 50 percent is younger than 25. In countries like Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, young people’s views stand often in stark contrast to those of the ruling elite. Aslan will discuss what motivates these young people and how they will affect the future of the Middle East.

“This is a timely discussion,” said Dr. John Sarnecki, UT associate professor and chair of philosophy and religious studies. “With what’s happening with ISIS and what’s happening with the demographic change in the Middle East, the talk is topical, it’s political, and it’s also helping us understand the world from a perspective of people who do not often have a voice in our media.”

This talk is part of the Center for Religious Understanding’s annual lecture series, which has been active for more than a decade. Aslan will be available for questions and a book signing after the lecture.

For more information, visit Aslan’s website at rezaaslan.com or the Imam Khattab Lecture Series web page.

UT sorority promotes autism awareness

From the Tokyo Tower and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, to the Christ the Redeemer statue and The University of Toledo’s bell tower — national landmarks around the globe will be bathed in blue light for autism awareness.

AS_10 LIUB AS Branding logo MASTER OLWorld Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every year April 2. The event was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a light on autism as a growing global health crisis. On this day, Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism advocacy organization, celebrates its Light It Up Blue campaign by organizing thousands of buildings worldwide to shine blue lights for autism awareness.

The Alpha Xi Delta sorority, whose philanthropy is Autism Speaks, will bring the campaign to UT this April for the second time.

“Autism is kind of my life,” said Jennifer Huffman, the sorority’s programs vice president. “That’s how I picked my major in occupational therapy. My brother has autism, and I’ve seen personally what it does to people and how it affects people.”

This year’s celebration will include information tables in the Student Union Tuesday, March 31, Wednesday, April 1, and Thursday, April 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday there will be a “kissing booth” where members of the sorority will pass out free Hershey kisses with facts about autism on them, Light It Up Blue wristbands, and save-the-date cards for the sorority’s philanthropy dinner later in April. Puzzle piece cookies and other bake goods also will be sold Thursday. All proceeds go toward Autism Speaks.

At sundown, the sorority will host a ceremony during which University Hall will join numerous other world landmarks in lighting up blue for autism. Every night the following week, the tower will light up.

“The money we raised for our philanthropy helped my family specifically, so I just want to pass that on to other people,” Huffman said.

Started in 2005, Autism Speaks raises awareness about the disorder, advocates for the needs of individuals with autism and their families, and funds research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism.

To learn more about the campaign, contact Huffman at jennifer.huffman2@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Distinguished lecture to focus on photovoltaics April 1

The Academic Honors Committee will host Dr. Robert Collins as part of the Distinguished University Professor Lecture Series.



The free, public lecture, “Polarized Wave Probes for Thin-Film Photovoltaics: From the Lab to the Production Line,” will take place Wednesday, April 1, at 4 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100 with a reception to follow.

Collins holds the positions of Distinguished University Professor, NEG Endowed Chair of Silicate and Materials Science, and co-director of the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization in the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy.

He will speak about his work with the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, recent developments in second-generation photovoltaics in his group’s laboratory, and how it impacts second-generation photovoltaics in use today.

Second-generation or thin-film photovoltaic modules incorporate several thin layers of different solid-state materials applied to low-cost substrates such as glass or stainless steel foil for direct conversion of sunlight to electricity.

“It is an exciting time for this technology. In addition to their application for utility scale power, thin-film photovoltaics have a wider range of applications that rely on its potential for flexibility, lightweight and portability, as an example, generating emergency power for disaster relief,” Collins said. “The potential exists for low-cost manufacturing of thin-film photovoltaics, which have been realized by the industry leaders.

“A key goal, however, is to translate the recent significant efficiency improvements made in the laboratory to the production line.”

At UT Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, a team of faculty, staff and students are developing and applying diagnostic probes of thin-film photovoltaic material systems using polarized electromagnetic waves. The team also is collaborating with local companies such as Calyxo and NSG Pilkington to advance second-generation photovoltaics.

“We value the opportunity to work with Toledo area companies to advance this technology,” Collins said.

In 2004, he joined The University of Toledo, where his interests span from condensed matter physics to optical and materials sciences with applications in photovoltaic devices, optical instrumentation and metrology.

Collins was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014 for “advancing the understanding of the optical properties and structures of thin-film materials and devices, for innovations in real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry, and for leadership of research collaborations of industrial, government and university laboratories.”

He received a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and master’s and doctoral degrees in applied physics from Harvard University.

Students to prepare for anthropology conference

With just about a week until they speak in front of hundreds of anthropology professors, students, scholars and aficionados, two University of Toledo undergraduates are looking for constructive criticism from their peers.

To prepare for the Central States Anthropological Society conference in St. Paul, Minn., UT Anthropology Society President Katrina Beckloff, a third-year anthropology and history major, and society member Joy Reason, a fourth-year anthropology and sociology major, will take part in a student colloquium Wednesday, April 1, at 12:30 in University Hall Room 5260.

At the colloquium, they will give presentations: Beckloff on “Fascist Italian Archaeology” and Reason on “Ethnography of Toledo Charter Schools.” These will be the same talks they will give at the conference.

“At the student colloquium, Joy Reason and I can present on topics that we’re going to be presenting on at the conference in more of an informal setting,” Beckloff said. “It’s a way that we can practice going through what we’re going to say and get feedback before actually going to do a big presentation.”

Reason said she’s excited and nervous to present at the conference: “I’ve never presented anything major like this before. This will be a new experience for me.”

The conference will be held Thursday, April 9, through Saturday, April 11, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Paul. This will be the 94th Central States Anthropological Society meeting.

For more information on the free, public presentation where refreshments will be served, contact Beckloff at katrina.beckloff@rockets.utoledo.edu.

UT community invited to participate in active shooter training

The University of Toledo continuously strives to help ensure the safety of its constituents, and next Monday it will be even easier for everyone to get involved.

ALICE logoFrom 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 30, in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711, the Criminal Justice Society will host a free ALICE training session. ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is a program designed to prepare people for an active shooter situation.

“ALICE shows you what to do if there is an active shooter on campus, but these skills can be used anywhere — a movie theater, a mall, any place really,” said Dr. Wendi Goodlin-Fahncke, UT assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Legal Specialties.

No registration is needed for the training session, which is open to all UT faculty, staff and students, and will be led by two UT police officers who are certified ALICE trainers.

Those who can’t attend the March 30 session can get information from the ALICE website at alicetraining.com or schedule their own presentation by emailing ALICE@utoledo.edu.

Visit utoledo.edu/depts/police/alice.html for more information about UT’s ALICE program.

For more information about the March 30 ALICE event, contact Wendi.Goodlinfahncke@utoledo.edu.

Shapiro Essay Revision Contest winners named

On its 26th anniversary, the 2015 Shapiro Essay Revision Contest had the largest number of participants ever with 174 students competing for 15 prizes.

Students from almost every academic major took part in the writing contest on campus, which was sponsored by the Department of English Language and Literature and the Composition Program.

“We were very excited with the number of students that participated in the contest this year; 174 is the largest turnout we have ever had,” said Dr. Deborah Coulter-Harris, associate lecturer of English and the contest director.

Winners of this year’s contest were:

• Andrea Tsatalis, sophomore biology major, $500;

• Ashley Teow, junior biology major, $400;

• Elissa L. Vaitleus, sophomore sociology/women and gender studies major, $300;

• Jessica Mysyk, sophomore political science/economics major, $200; and

• Christina Palmiero, sophomore speech language pathology major, $100.

Taking home $75 prizes were:

• Erin Bruggemann, freshman education major;

• Ryan K. Beagle, freshman mechanical engineering major;

• Anthony Coustillac, freshman mechanical engineering major;

• Austin D. Mills, sophomore political science major;

• Matthew D. Goldmann, freshman computer science and engineering major;

• Andrea A. Ferrao, freshman economics major;

• Lindsay M. Mahaney, junior communication major;

• Jana L. Choberka, freshman biology major;

• Jordan A. Budrevich, freshman bioengineering major; and

• Dingzhong Hu, senior psychology major.

The Shapiro Writing Contest is named for and supported by funds established by the late Dr. Edward Shapiro, professor emeritus of economics, who retired from The University of Toledo in 1989 after 22 years of service. An undergraduate of UT, he went on to obtain a master of arts degree from Ohio State University and a doctoral degree from Harvard.

Learning Ventures recognizes individuals who impact distance learning

Learning Ventures recently celebrated three individuals at the University who have made a big impact in distance learning at The University of Toledo.

Dr. David Meabon, associate professor of higher education in the College of Social Justice and Human Service, and director of the John H. Russel Center for Educational Leadership, received the DiAnne M. Masztak Award.

The award is presented annually to an individual in the greater University community who has supported online learning and educational technology in a distinguished fashion. Meabon has been teaching online at UT since 2001.

“DiAnne is a very special individual who provided incredible service to the University,” Meabon said. “The award I received could only be achieved by the service I got through Learning Ventures, so it is quite an honor to have that connection with her.”

Kevin Gibbs, associate lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, received the Ella Fridman Award for exhibiting pedagogically sound and student-centered instruction in an online course.

Fridman was a faculty member in the Engineering Technology Department and a pioneer in online learning. She was one of the first faculty members to start converting courses to online versions.

“She was always optimistically energetic and had a work ethic that did not quit,” said Susan Shelangoskie, former instructional designer for Learning Ventures who is now an associate professor of English at Lourdes University.

“It is nice to be recognized for your work, and I am extremely humbled and honored to have received this award,” Gibbs said.

Justin Ballard, director of learning and academic technology for Learning Ventures, received the Mark A. Yeary Award. The honor is presented annually to an employee of Learning Ventures for exhibiting exemplary dedication to his or her work and for serving members of the UT community.

“I am very humbled having worked with Mark for a number of years. He was an amazing individual, a very hard-working person who was passionate about helping others,” Ballard said. “To be nominated for an award in his name is a great honor.”

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, said the awards are a way to acknowledge the hard work of individuals and the impact they have made with online learning at UT.

UT’s iconic tower to go dark for Earth Hour March 28

On Saturday, March 28, The University of Toledo will look a bit darker than usual.

Earth Hour 2013That’s because this year, UT is participating in Earth Hour — a worldwide grassroots movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund to unite people in protecting the planet. For one hour, beginning at 8:30 p.m., the lights on the tower of University Hall will be shut off as UT stands with the more than 50,000 other people participating in this year’s event.

“By making this iconic part of our university dark for an hour, we are bringing light to the importance of sustainability,” said Brooke Mason, UT sustainability specialist.

In addition to the tower blackout, an outdoor event is being held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Olander Park, 6930 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. There will be a speaker, fundraiser and candlelit walk; attendees are asked to bring a candle, lantern or flashlight.

“I feel like many people take advantage of everyday things like electricity and power without thinking of where it comes from or its effects on the environment,” said Alyssa Corbeil, UT junior studying environmental sciences with a concentration in geology. “I believe that this event will help some people to critically think and be more aware of the power they use.”

All Earth Hour events are hosted by the Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Society, for which Corbeil is the event coordinator. She originally brought the idea to Mason, who worked with her team to make it a reality.

Though this is the first time UT has participated in Earth Hour, the University focuses on sustainability practices year-round. This week will wrap up UT’s participation in RecycleMania, an eight-week international recycling competition that the University participates in every year.

To see other sustainability initiatives at UT or to get involved, visit utoledo.edu/sustainability/index.html.