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New University College to serve adult and undecided students

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

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

Kopp Miller

Kopp Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choral concerts slated for April 30, May 1

UT’s Concert Chorale, University Chorus and Community Chorus will perform together Saturday, April 30, for Gioachino Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” in Doermann Theater at 7 p.m.

Accompanying these three groups will be a variety of soloists.

choir image for eventTickets are $8-$4 and are available through the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office online at utoledo.tix.com or by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787).

On Sunday, May 1, UT’s Concert Chorale, Women’s Chamber Ensemble, and members of the UT Opera Workshop will present “Viva L’Italia,” a small chamber concert of Italian works and composers.

The free, public concert will be held at 3 p.m. in the Center of Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Both concerts will be directed by Dr. Brad Pierson, UT director of choral activities.

Finalists named for UT CFO position

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campus master plan scenarios being developed to share with campus fall semester

The University of Toledo’s master planning team will continue to receive feedback during the summer months to be ready to share proposals when faculty and students return to campus in the fall.

UT’s Facilities and Construction staff are working with consultants from SmithGroupJJR to study the facilities and use of space on the University’s campuses and to establish a long-term vision that will guide facilities decision-making for the institution into the future.

“The input of the campus and the community is critical to a successful comprehensive plan that sets the course into the future for a strong University by addressing the academic, research, clinical, physical, functional and financial needs of the institution,” said Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities and construction. “By taking the extra time this summer to continue to calculate campus needs and prepare future scenarios, we also will be able to coordinate the campus master plan with the ongoing strategic enrollment planning initiative and receive input from the University’s new provost and other new senior leaders.”

For more information about the University’s master planning process or to contribute input online, visit utoledo.edu/facilities/master-plan.

Budding conservation biologists go birding at Warbler Capital of the World

As songbirds begin to stop, rest and refuel along Lake Erie marshes before finishing the last leg of their spring migration to Canada, a class of environmental science students at The University of Toledo learned firsthand how researchers collect data and what the long-term patterns teach about climate change.

“I had zero experience with birding,” UT senior Alexa Seaman said. “I heard this area is called the Warbler Capital of the World. Now I know why.”

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Research Director Mark Shieldcastle showed an American goldfinch to UT students before it was banded.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Research Director Mark Shieldcastle showed an American goldfinch to UT students before it was banded.

“This is a remarkable natural phenomenon,” said Dr. Hans Gottgens, UT professor of environmental sciences and editor-in-chief of Wetlands Ecology Management. “These songbirds are the size and weight of a pingpong ball. It’s fascinating they are so light and somehow manage to migrate from South America to Canada. They’re magnificent animals.”

A group of 17 students boarded a bus last week on Main Campus for a 40-minute drive to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area in Ottawa County, which is preparing for the Biggest Week in American Birding, May 6-15. Tens of thousands of avid birders across the world flock to the 10-day festival timed to coincide with the peak of spring songbird migration.

Kate Zimmerman, the education director for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, left, and UT student Jeanna Meisner released a banded American tree sparrow.

Kate Zimmerman, the education director for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, left, and UT student Jeanna Meisner released a banded American tree sparrow.

“The Black Swamp Bird Observatory has been monitoring songbird migration for nearly 25 years on the southwestern shoreline of Lake Erie,” Gottgens said. “There is little habitat left along the lake for these birds, so they all pile up in the same area for food and sleep.”

UT undergraduate students watched as conservation biologists at the observatory used mist-nets to carefully capture and care for the birds. Researchers demonstrated how to safely hold the birds, identify the species, and assess them for weight and condition.

“We were looking for the wing length, if it was male or female, and the amount of fat on the body,” Seaman said. “Before we released the birds, we also watched the banding process.”

According to Gottgens, researchers put a miniscule aluminum band around the leg of a bird to help track its travel.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Education Director Kate Zimmerman spoke to students from Dr. Hans Gottgens' upper-level conservation biology course.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Education Director Kate Zimmerman spoke to students from Dr. Hans Gottgens’ upper-level conservation biology course.

“Some of these bands are so tiny, you could hardly see them with the naked eye,” Gottgens said. “Birds banded in northwest Ohio have shown up in Columbia, South America, later in the year. Over time, you keep track of the status of the birds. Are they in danger of going extinct? Are they growing more abundant?”

The database on the conservation status of songbirds also provides information related to changes in the environment.

“By following the birds and relating it to climate conditions, you get an idea of how climate change affects bird migration,” Gottgens said. “Some birds might show up much later than they did 25 years ago partly because of change in the weather and climate conditions.”

Seaman had the opportunity to touch and release a warbler after a conservation biologist finished banding it.

“She placed the little bird on my hand, and the bird just flew away in a matter of seconds,” Seaman said. “It was an awesome, amazing experience.”

Bloomberg ranks College of Business in top 100 best undergrad schools

The UT College of Business and Innovation ranked in the top 100 best undergraduate business schools in the nation by Bloomberg, a global business and financial information and news leader. The college ranked No. 96.

Every year, students around the country compete for a head start on conquering the corporate world by studying business in college. Since 2006, Bloomberg has ranked undergraduate business programs to help guide prospective college students and their families in choosing the right degree program for the career they want.

business logo“All of us in the College of Business and Innovation are very excited at this national recognition by Bloomberg of the quality and relevance of our programs,” said Dr. Terribeth Gordon-Moore, senior associate dean of the college. “This recognition by Bloomberg further validates the quality of our faculty, the significance of our curriculum, and the excellence of our students.”

Bloomberg determined its rankings after surveying nearly 30,000 students and recruiters at almost 600 companies. Bloomberg updated how it ranks undergraduate programs to put a bigger focus on the outcome most students want from B-school: the brightest possible career path. Bloomberg based its rankings on four main metrics:

• Employer Survey (40 percent of total score): Feedback from recruiters who hire recent business graduates on how well schools prepared students for jobs at their companies.

• Student Survey (35 percent): Students’ own ratings of the campus, career services department, and faculty and administrators.

• Starting Salary (15 percent): The base compensation of students who had jobs lined up, adjusted for salary variation across industries and regions.

• Internship (10 percent): The percentage of a school’s graduates who had at least one internship at any time during college.

“Our tremendous success in securing jobs for our students — as high as 93 percent as of May 2015 graduates — through the work of our outstanding Business Career Programs Office obviously played a key part in producing great survey results for the Bloomberg study,” Gordon-Moore said.

“We proudly proclaim at the top of our website that ‘The College of Business and Innovation equals careers,’” she added. “The Bloomberg surveys and rankings are in, and we are pleased and excited to have this external confirmation of what we have already known.”

Spring plant sale through April 29 at Wolfe Hall

The University of Toledo Department of Environmental Sciences is holding its spring plant sale this week.

The fundraiser benefits the community gardens and student groups.

“We offer a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and native wildflower seeds,” said Jessica Sherman, PhD student researcher in UT’s Department of Environmental Sciences.

The sale is open from noon to 4 p.m. through Friday, April 29, at Wolfe Hall.

Organizers accept cash and credit card.

Plant Sale 2016

UT invites public to Stranahan Arboretum’s 50th anniversary celebration on Arbor Day

Arbor Day 2016 will mark 50 years since The University of Toledo’s Stranahan Arboretum opened to the public as a place of beauty, learning and inspiration.

A group of UT students will celebrate the golden anniversary by recreating the tree planting ceremony of five decades ago along with food and games Friday, April 29, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the 47-acre site at Sylvania Avenue and Corey Road.

arboretum springUT President Sharon L. Gaber will attend the tree planting ceremony that will begin at 4:30 p.m.

The free, public event on Arbor Day will feature guided tours and family activities, including potato sack races and Frisbee.

“As a senior project, our group called Team Treedom Arboretum wants to ignite the hope and inspiration that was present 50 years ago by involving both the community and the University,” Matthew Miller, UT student majoring in environmental studies, said. “We want to help make a difference by inspiring the next generation of tree planters with our love of nature and belief in preserving forests for the future.”

“The UT Stranahan Arboretum is not only an outdoor laboratory for ecology and geology classes, it is a place to nurture plants and engage our community in fascinating biodiversity,” Gaber said. “We want to use this milestone to kick off the next 50 years of our work to protect the environment here and across the broader region.”

The W.W. Knight family donated the land to UT in 1964 in memory of Robert Stranahan, founder of Champion Spark Plug Co.

The Stranahan Arboretum opened in 1966 and serves as one of the Department of Environmental Science’s field sites for education and research. It also hosts educational programs for local K-12 school students.

“Trees are amazing. They not only make our world beautiful, they clear our air and clean our water,” Dr. Daryl Dwyer, director of the arboretum, said. “The 50th anniversary of the Stranahan Arboretum should remind us to thank J. Sterling Morton, who with his wife organized the first Arbor Day in Nebraska in 1872 as a holiday that is a promise for the future made by planting trees that ‘grow and self-perpetuate themselves and shed yearly blessings’ on us all.”

Parking will be available at Camp Miakonda located at 5600 W. Sylvania Ave. A UT vehicle will shuttle visitors to Stranahan Arboretum. 

Open forums slated for graduate studies dean candidates

Three finalists have been selected from the internal search for a new dean for the College of Graduate Studies.

They are:

• Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education in the Judith Herb College of Education;

• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal and biological chemistry, associate professor of chemistry, and director of international pharmaceutical sciences graduate student retention and recruitment in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and

• Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of geography and planning in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

The UT campus community is invited to meet the candidates at open forums.

Listed by date, the open forums will be:

• Friday, April 29 — Dinnebeil from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus and from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Student Union Room 2592 on Main Campus.

• Monday, May 2 — Lawrence from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus and from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Student Union Room 2582 on Main Campus.

• Thursday, May 5 — Bryant-Friedrich from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus and from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Student Union Room 2582 on Main Campus.

Curriculum vitaes are available for each candidate at utoledo.edu/offices/provost/search-dean-graduate.

“We are looking for someone to lead our graduate and professional programs to become even more nationally distinguished and highly ranked,” Dr. William Messer, vice president for research and chair of the search committee, said. “The next dean also will be charged with continuing and growing UT’s emphasis on graduate student research.”

The University has 128 master’s degree programs and 40 doctoral programs in 12 colleges. In addition to those degrees, the University offers professional doctorates and master’s degrees, as well as a variety of certificates in health care, business and personal enrichment areas.