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Biblical violence topic of UT Center for Religious Understanding lecture

The University of Toledo Center for Religious Understanding will host a lecture titled “Unnecessary Roughness: American Perspectives on Biblical Violence” Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

The lecture will be given by Dr. Yonatan S. Miller, the Markowicz Visiting Assistant Professor of Judaism and Jewish Biblical Studies and director of the UT Center for Religious Understanding.

unnecessary roughness posterHe received his doctoral and master’s degrees in Jewish studies from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. After completing his PhD in 2015, he held a postdoctoral appointment as a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies.

His research examines the interpretive reception of the Hebrew Bible among ancient Jewish writers, with particular focus on the continuities, adaptations and appropriations of biblical motifs in Jewish literature, from the Dead Sea Scrolls through the Babylonian Talmud.

“The lecture is an outgrowth of my doctoral research. I employ football and other illustrative analogies from contemporary American society to better make sense of — although not to justify — what might seem like senseless acts of biblical violence,” Miller said.

“While I can say with a relative degree of confidence that these violent narratives are literary fictions, my purpose is not to justify them, but to understand why they were created, where they came from, and how they functioned over time,” Miller said. “By shedding light on these developments, my hope is that we can better grapple with some otherwise disturbing biblical stories and gain a better understanding of a foundational religious text.”

The Philip Markowicz Lecture in Judaism and Jewish Biblical Studies is an event for both the University and the wider lay community from greater Toledo. The lecture is sponsored by Markowicz’s children, Dr. Allen Markowicz and Sylvia Neal, in honor of their father’s continuing passion for the academic study of the Hebrew Bible, which continues with vigor, even now into his ninth decade of life. 

Complimentary tickets are required for the free, public event; RSVP at cfru.eventbrite.com.

Free parking is available in Lot 13. For more information on campus building and parking locations, visit utol.do/directions.

For additional information, email cfru@utoledo.edu.

Faculty member receives career award to advance research

Dr. Emily Diehm, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, has received the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association’s 2016 Advancing Academic Research Career Award.



According to the association, this honor is intended to support young faculty members advance their academic and research careers in the field of communication sciences and disorders. The award is a formal mentorship program and also includes $5,000.

The award not only focuses on research, but also funds proposals that include a teaching component.

“My teaching portion of the application I wrote included a lot of discussion of a ‘flipped classroom’ as I’d eventually like to provide my students with lots of hands-on opportunities while in graduate school to learn how to conduct assessments and develop practice intervention techniques,” Diehm said.

She began researching child language and literacy problems during her undergraduate studies in 2007 and became a speech-language pathologist in 2010.

Along with child literacy problems, Diehm is researching the content and pedagogical knowledge that speech-language pathologists and teachers have with respect to dialectal variations.

“All of us speak a dialect. Linguistically, there is no single dialect that is better than the others,” she explained. “I want to make sure that teachers and speech-language pathologists are able to identify features of non-standard dialect use and provide culturally sensitive instruction.”

With a background in American Sign Language, Diehm became interested in the connection between language and literacy after she learned of low literacy rates among those who communicate through sign language.

“The long-term goal of my research would be to better identify students who are likely at risk for literacy disorders and provide appropriate interventions that target their specific deficit areas before they even begin to struggle with reading and writing,” Diehm said.

UT pharmacy students host bowling tournament to support cancer patients

A pair of University of Toledo pharmacy students are on a roll when it comes to fighting cancer.

Jacob Garfield and Ryan Brown teamed up last year to create “Strike Out Cancer,” a bowling tournament to benefit UT Health’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. Nearly 80 teams participated, raising more than $2,500.

Microsoft Word - 2nd Annual UT STRIKE OUT CANCER flyer (002).doc“We received so much positive feedback after last year’s event and had so much fun, we decided to do it again,” Brown said. “We have room for 360 bowlers and would love to fill all the spots. We are aiming to double our donation to the Dana Cancer Center this year.”

The second annual “UT Strike Out Cancer” bowling tournament will be held Friday, Oct. 28, from 9:30 p.m. to midnight at New Glass Bowl Lanes, 5133 Telegraph Road. The evening also will include a Halloween costume contest, door prizes, a raffle, music, concessions and a cash bar.

The tournament is a 9-Pin No Tap Dutch Doubles format.

“In this style of play, taking down nine pins equals a strike,” Garfield said. “Teams of two bowlers will play alternate shots throughout the game, with the only time one of the pair completes a frame alone is when scoring a strike.”

Teams will play three games with each game adding to the team’s final score. The top team in each division — all male teams, all female teams and co-ed teams — will win a cash prize, Garfield said.

Chris Kosinski, Dana Cancer Center clinic manager, said funds raised from the event support patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

“Patients received integrated supportive therapies, including therapeutic hand massages and guided imagery,” he said. “These techniques help patients manage the physical and emotional stress that cancer treatment can cause. They help to support the patient’s stamina and well-being, and we are grateful for the work Jacob and Ryan have done to raise funds for this type of care.”

Registration is $20 and includes three games and shoe and ball rental. Teams can register here before Tuesday, Oct. 25, or at the event.

UT distance learning instructor recognized by Quality Matters

The University of Toledo continues to earn accolades for its online courses.

Jessica Kruger, a UT doctoral student in health education, teaches three classes that have been recognized by Quality Matters, a peer review process that certifies the design of online and blended courses.



The courses recently recognized are:

• HEAL 1310: Nutrition for Fitness and Health, which is for all majors and teaches foundational knowledge of nutrition.

• HEAL 1360: Alcohol and Contemporary Issues in College, which focuses on the effects alcohol can have on college students.

• HEAL 3300: Drug Awareness, which teaches everything about drugs, legal and illegal, good and bad.

“It is important to make sure courses are meeting a standard, include more rigorous work, and focus on the student,” Kruger said.

“We work hard with our health education doctoral students to help develop their teaching skills, but Jessica has gone above and beyond to maximize her teaching effectiveness in the online learning environment,” Dr. Joseph A. Dake, professor and chair of the School of Population Health, said. “We are proud to have her as one of our majors.”

Kruger said programs like Quality Matters are important because instructors can take what the QM peer review team suggests and improve the course being taught.

“I encourage students to try online courses and to pay close attention to whether or not a course is Quality Matters-approved,” Kruger said. “Having Quality Matters approval shows that the class has been reviewed for its design and that it is put together in a way that is conducive for student learning and is easy to navigate.”

Kruger believes distance learning is important because it is a great way to provide students with more flexibility; however, it requires strong self-discipline.

“Just because a course is online does not mean it is easy or takes less time,” Kruger said. “Online courses require students to be self-motivated to work on projects and learn the materials on a schedule.”

Faculty who would like to learn more about Quality Matters or the course review process are encouraged to contact Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development, at phoebe.ballard@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4379.

Author to discuss campus racism at diversity dialogue Oct. 24

The latest installment to the Dialogues on Diversity and Inclusion series will take place Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

“Know Better/Do Better: Deeper Reasons Why Campus Racism Exists” will be presented by Lawrence C. Ross, author of The Divine Nine and Blackballed. This lecture will focus on why campus racism exists and how to overcome it.

Ross talkRoss’ lecture will cover the systemic racism that has been observed on college campuses for generations and has been ignored. Ross looks at it from four different viewpoints: policy, symbolism, overt racist acts and racial micro-aggressions.

“As you’ve seen over the past couple of years, there’s been more than 100 different campus racism protests, and it’s evident that colleges and universities aren’t prepared to handle it,” Ross said. “Colleges and universities are places where we educate our future leaders, and if they’re not fostering an environment that is racism-free, or creating an inclusive environment, what does that say for the future of American society?”

The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book-signing event.

Henderson Hill, assistant dean of multicultural student success, said the decision to spotlight this topic was influenced by questions and concerns about current racial tensions and issues around the country.

“I think that people should attend this discussion because it is an opportunity to have a program facilitated by a content expert who does work related to race, culture and inclusion,” Hill said.

Ross was chosen to speak after a group of students heard him at a national conference and felt that he would be a good fit for the series.

“Our students were impressed by Lawrence Ross, and we are extremely excited for him to visit the University and share his powerful point of view on why racism still exists on college campuses and how we can all work together to create an environment where all feel like they belong,” Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion.

McKether led UT’s effort to create a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion, which is available on the Office for Diversity and Inclusion website at utoledo.edu/diversity.

According to Ross’ website, his newest book, Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses, tackles the historical and contemporary issues surrounding campus racism.

“Racism isn’t about false equivalence, or ‘I just feels…’; campus racism has a real-life effect on the students who are the targets and those who do the targeting,” Ross said. “To get a comprehensive understanding of it, people should get out of their own myopic point of view and see how deep the problem is.”

Ross’ visit is sponsored by the offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Student Success, and Student Involvement and Leadership.

“It is really important for all students to come out to hear Lawrence Ross and other speakers like him,” Donovan Nichols, assistant dean for student involvement and leadership said. “It is an opportunity for students to dig deeper and gain more understanding about an issue that is extremely prevalent in our nation and on our campus.”

For more information on the free, public event, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.

Conference celebrates conclusion of NURTURES science education program

The University of Toledo will recognize the conclusion of a successful science education program with a conference to showcase how local educators incorporated high-quality science inquiry into their curriculum.

The NURTURES program, which stands for Networking Urban Resources with Teachers and University enRich Early Childhood Science, was a five-year, $10 million program funded by the National Science Foundation to engage teachers and parents in supporting a young child’s natural curiosity through interactive science lessons.

The NURTURES conference will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons in Perrysburg. It will feature presentations from local teachers and administrators who incorporated science inquiry and engineering in their classrooms and schools through the program.

Educators from Toledo Public Schools, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo and local charter schools will present topics that include:

• Overcoming common science misconceptions in the classroom;

• Developing discourse and critical thinking skills around science;

• Incorporating engineering design at the early childhood level;

• Integrating common core subjects with science; and

• Engaging with parents and community resources to promote science.

During the NURTURES program, 330 teachers of preschool through third grade and administrators participated in a total of 544 hours of professional development in the teaching of science inquiry and engineering design for early childhood classrooms.

Through NURTURES, teachers were exposed to high-quality science and engineering activities and worked to use them within their classrooms to increase student comprehension and academic achievement, said Dr. Charlene Czerniak, professor emeritus of science education and research professor in the UT College of Engineering. Data from standardized testing in Toledo Public Schools show an increase in reading, early literacy and math scores in students of teachers who have participated in NURTURES, she added.

“These findings are very significant and provide evidence that the teachers in Toledo Public Schools and area schools worked diligently to improve science teaching and learning,” Czerniak said.

Led by UT, the NURTURES program engaged a number of local partners for a community-based complementary learning model to support early learners. Those partners include Toledo Public Schools, Toledo Catholic Schools, Monroe County Schools, the former Apple Tree Nursery School, the East Toledo Family Center Day Care, UT Ritter Planetarium, Imagination Station, Toledo Zoo, Metroparks Toledo, Toledo Botanical Gardens, the former Lourdes University Nature Laboratory, Challenger Learning Center, YMCA, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and WGTE Public Media.

Students argue insider trading and hearsay exception questions at Fornoff Appellate Advocacy Competition

What is the scope of insider trading tippee liability? Can exculpatory testimony given in prior grand jury proceedings be admissible where the witness is unavailable for testimony in subsequent criminal proceedings?

Second- and third-year students will tackle these issues during The University of Toledo College of Law’s 45th Annual Charles W. Fornoff Appellate Advocacy Competition.

law logoThe final round of the competition will take place Thursday, Oct. 20, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

Daniel Carroll and Blake Padget will represent the United States (petitioner) in this year’s competition. Nancy Magginis and Mitchell Guc will represent Dana Dinofrio (respondent). Padget was the only competitor to go undefeated during the preliminary rounds, which earned him the honorary title of barrister in the competition.

The judges for this year’s final round will be Magistrate Judge Kathleen B. Burke from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Chief Judge Denise Page Hood from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and Judge James D. Jensen from the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals.

The Fornoff Appellate Advocacy Competition is organized each year by the UT College of Law’s Moot Court Board. Patrick Charest and Dylan Loga are the 2016 Fornoff co-chairs.

Professors Eric Chaffee and Bryan Lammon serve as Fornoff faculty advisors and helped prepare the finalists in the weeks between the tournament’s end and the final argument.

“For students, the Fornoff Competition is one of the premier events of the academic year,” Chaffee said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for competitors to learn about oral advocacy, and as a faculty member, I am very pleased to help support the competition.”

Named for former Dean Charles W. Fornoff, the competition honors Fornoff’s 31 years as a UT law professor and administrator between 1939 and 1970. During his time at the University, he continued law school operations in spite of World War II and encouraged women to pursue a legal education even when this was an unpopular stance. He generously gave his time to students and even personally aided students with financial need.

The purpose of the competition is to help students develop the skills needed to become excellent oral advocates as well as dedicated and proficient lawyers. Early rounds of the competition take place in spring semester, with additional and final rounds taking place early in fall semester.

UT astronomer helps capture first sharp image of famous exploding star’s raging winds

A researcher at The University of Toledo is part of an international team of astronomers pioneering a new way to understand how extremely massive stars lose mass as they evolve.



The research team focused on the most luminous and massive stellar system in the Milky Way galaxy called Eta Carinae. Its primary star is 100 times more massive and five million times more luminous than the sun. That star also is famous for losing 10 suns worth of material — huge amounts of gas and dust — into space in an enormous explosion in the 1830s.

These astronomers are the first to use what is called the Very Large Telescope Interferometer at the the European Southern Observatory in Chile to study the violent wind collision zone between two stars in the system and discover new and unexpected structures.

The nebula surrounding Eta Carinae as imaged with the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope at left. At right is a high-resolution image of the wind collision zone in the central region of Eta Carinae. The two red dots indicate the positions of the two stars. 

The nebula surrounding Eta Carinae as imaged with the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope at left. At right is a high-resolution image of the wind collision zone in the central region of Eta Carinae. The two red dots indicate the positions of the two stars. 

“The scale of the images is roughly equivalent to being able to read the small print in a newspaper from 50 miles away,” said Dr. Noel Richardson, postdoctoral research associate in UT’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The team’s methods used to revolutionize infrared astronomy and the resulting discoveries recently were published in the international journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

This 3-D print of wind collision cavity in Eta Carinae system is based on models of Dr.Thomas Madura at San Jose University.

This 3-D print of wind collision cavity in Eta Carinae system is based on models of Dr. Thomas Madura at San Jose University.

The researchers used interferometry, which is a technique combining the light from up to four telescopes to obtain an image about 10 times higher than the resolution of the largest single telescope.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Richardson, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in physics from UT in 2004 and 2006. “Until now, we couldn’t study the Eta Carinae star system’s wind collision zone because it was too small for the largest telescope.”

The Eta Carinae star system is 7,500 light years from Earth where winds from two tightly orbiting stars smash together at speeds up to 10 million kilometers per hour approximately every five years. Temperatures reach many tens of millions of degrees – enough to emit X-rays.

This shows three 1.8-meter telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer of the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

This shows three 1.8-meter telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer of the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

Richardson said the star is too far south to observe from UT’s telescope. The collaborators in South America sent him data to analyze every night in mid-2014, the last time the stars passed close to each other. Richardson observed the images with spectroscopy and spotted structures in the data that hadn’t been seen before.

“We’ve learned the secondary star’s wind is carving a cavity into the primary star’s enormous wind,” Richardson said. “We saw large structures pushed out into space after the winds collide, were able to pinpoint how they were moving, and learned they keep that geometric shape. It’s amazing to see the tails coming off, which are the shocks in the secondary star going into orbit. We have computer and 3-D print models that can now explain the X-rays, Hubble Space Telescope observations, unusual spectroscopic features, and the incredible images from the Very Large Telescope Interferometer.”

“Our dreams came true because we can now get extremely sharp images in the infrared regime,” said Dr. Gerd Weigelt of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany, who led the team of astronomers from the U.S., Canada, Chile, Japan and Brazil.

“Dr. Richardson’s work is a nice example of the kinds of international collaborations with which our UT astronomers are involved,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the UT College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “The results, which use data from the Hubble Space Telescope, show a very interesting way to map the fossil remnants of material thrown off by a famously unstable binary star system. I congratulate him on this work and am proud to note that he is a UT alumnus.”

Richardson hopes this new research helps astronomers come closer to understanding what triggered Eta Carinae’s explosion in the 1800s.

“That is one of the driving motivators for myself,” Richardson said. “How do we connect the physics of what is happening today to what happened back then? There is still a lot we don’t understand about the stars we have looked up and seen in the sky for a long time. Science is a process, and we want to push the envelope to solve the mystery.”

UT awarded $286,782 to continue Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness

For the second time in two weeks, The University of Toledo has received a grant to prevent and address sexual assault on college campuses and help victims.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine awarded UT $286,782 to continue operations of the University’s Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness, which was created last year.

The new funding is part of $79.5 million announced recently to support 356 crime victim service providers across the state through the Attorney General’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative. The funds being awarded are from the Victims of Crime Act provided to Ohio from the U.S. Department of Justice. The fund is financed by federal settlements, fines and fees.

“Victims come first, and we want to set the example of how to do this successfully for other universities across the country to follow,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.

“In the aftermath of a crime, it’s critically important that victims have easy access to comprehensive care and services,” DeWine said. “Through these grants, agencies throughout the state will be able to continue or even expand upon the ways they help victims of crime in Ohio.”

Last week the U.S. Department of Justice awarded UT a $299,202 grant to enhance efforts to prevent and address sexual assault victimization on college campuses through the creation of a coordinated community response team. The team will develop prevention, education and intervention policies and practices for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

“This is a national issue that we are committed to tackling here at UT through education, prevention and research,” said Dr. Megan Stewart, assistant professor of criminal justice and director of development and programming for the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.

The UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness is a community where education, advocacy and research intersect that strengthens the University’s commitment to raise awareness and increase education and prevention of sexual assault and violence.

Halloween carnival Oct. 22 to help support Diabetic Youth Services

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Pediatrics Club will hold a Halloween carnival with Diabetic Youth Services Saturday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 4441 Monroe St., Toledo.

More than 3,000 children in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This event featuring food, games and performances will help call attention to their plight and raise awareness for Diabetic Youth Services, an independent nonprofit in Toledo.

halloween carnival hi-res“Diabetic Youth Services is a phenomenal organization with a plentiful collection of resources and fun, informative events to help serve its mission of teaching children to manage their diabetes,” Alex Calderone, president of the Pediatrics Club, said.

“The Halloween carnival allows the Pediatrics Club to give our medical student members an opportunity to work with children similar to those they’ll care for in the future,” he said. “More importantly, the event allows us all to give the diabetic children of Toledo a fun, safe and diabetes-conscious atmosphere to enjoy the usually sugar-heavy holiday.”

Calderone added, “As a club, we offer other opportunities for our students to explore the skills and experience needed to practice pediatrics later in their careers, but this event is about giving to the kids above all else.”

To RSVP and for more information regarding the event, click here.

For more information about Diabetic Youth Services, visit dys4kids.org.

To donate or offer support for the Halloween carnival or the UT Pediatrics Club, email alex.calderone@rockets.utoledo.edu.