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Celebrate right and freedom to read at banned books vigil Sept. 28

The University of Toledo will celebrate its 20th annual Banned Books Vigil to celebrate the right to read and think freely without censorship.

The free, public event will take place Thursday, Sept. 28, on the third floor of Carlson Library. The event will begin at 9 a.m. with programs starting every half hour through 5 p.m.

“Our democracy depends on our intellectual freedom,” said Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UT professor of communication, who coordinates the event. “Anybody who controls what we read controls what we think and what we know. We give away banned books to promote free inquiry. It’s a fun way to circulate these books that have been called into question.”

Light snacks and refreshments will be available, with free banned books and door prizes given away every half hour. The first 300 attendees also will receive a goody bag at the entrance. One of the sacks will contain a card redeemable for $50 on the spot.

“We want the students to enjoy themselves,” Kilmer said. “We are thankful that all of these people find the time to come to our festival of reading and free expression.”

Topics and speakers for the event will be:

• 9 a.m. — “Welcome: Read on” by Beau Case, dean of University Libraries, and Dr. David Tucker, UT professor of communication;

• 9:30 a.m. — “The Future Isn’t What It Used to be” by Dr. David Tucker, UT professor of communication;

• 10 a.m. — “Banned: Native-American Spirituality” by Dr. Barbara Alice Mann, UT honors professor of humanities;

• 10:30 a.m. — “Girl’s Night Out With Pandora, Lilith and Eve” by Warren Woodberry, local author and mentor;

• 11 a.m. — “A Historical Overview of Book Banning From Plato to the Present” by Arjun Sabharwal, UT associate professor and digital initiatives librarian;

• 11:30 a.m. — “All That (and) Jazz: Censorship of Transgender Representation in Children’s Books” by Dr. Sharon Barnes, UT associate professor and interim chair of women’s and gender studies;

• Noon — The Dr. Linda Smith Lecture: “Suppressing ‘Truths’ in the Age of Fake News” by Dr. Heidi M. Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College;

• 12:30 p.m. — “Remarks and Observations” by Dr. Andrew Hsu, UT provost and executive vice president for academic affairs;

• 1 p.m. — “Just What is Fake News?” by Lou Herbert, Toledo broadcaster and historian;

• 1:30 p.m. — “Book Burning Videos: Indiana Jones, Eyewitnesses and Ray Bradbury”;

• 2 p.m. — “Plato’s ‘Cave’ in the Age of Post-Truth” by Dr. Glenn Sheldon, UT honors professor of humanities;

• 2:30 p.m. — “Jeopardy!” hosted by The Independent Collegian editors;

• 3 p.m. — “Covering Campus News Transparently in the Selfie Age of Public Image”
by Emily Schnipke, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian;

• 3:30 p.m. — “You Read WHAT to Your Daughter?! And Other Stupid Questions…” by Josie Schreiber, UT student;

• 4 p.m. — “Hear No Evil! See No Evil! Speak No Evil! Teach No Evil!” by Cindy Ramirez, Bedford High School teacher; and

• 4:30 p.m. — “Hard-Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People” by Risa Cohen, West Side Montessori teacher.

Kilmer said this Banned Books Week Vigil would not be possible without help from generous sponsors: Barry’s Bagels; Ann Lumbrezer; The Independent Collegian; Lambda Pi Eta, UT Communication Honor Society; New Sins Press; Phoenicia Cuisine; UT Barnes & Noble Bookstore; UT Center for Experiential Learning and Career Development; UT Department of Art; UT Department of Communication; UT Department of English Language and Literature; UT Department of Foreign Languages; UT Office of Excellence and Multicultural Student Success; UT Federal Credit Union; University Libraries; UT Greek Life; UT Jesup Scott Honors College; UT Marketing and Communications Office; UT Office of the Dean of Students; UT Student Government; UT Theatre and Film Department; WXUT FM 88.3; Aramark; Mitchell & Kelley Auctioneers, Adrian, Mich.; UT Public Relations Student Society of America; UT Campus Activities and Programing; UT Counseling Center; UT College of Arts and Letters; UT School of Visual and Performing Arts; and UT Starbucks.

She added a special thanks to the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.

Satellites to hold $6 sale this week

The Satellites Auxiliary’s $6 sale will take place Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 27-29, in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

Check out a wide variety of items that will be for sale for $6: rings, watches, bracelets, scarves, ties, sunglasses, belts, earrings, cuff links, purses, wallets, totes, reading glasses, pendants, chains and more.

The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

Cash, check, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit scholarships.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a volunteer group designed to promote education, research and service programs; provide support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conduct fundraising events; and provide services.

For more information on the sale, contact Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

Bowling event to bring together kids, men and women in uniform

Tensions between civilians and police have been on the rise recently, but a member of The University of Toledo staff is looking to change that stigma.

George W. Hayes Jr., UT electrician journeyman 2 and Toledo Bowling Senate junior coordinator, organized the Build-A-Trust Bowl-A-Thon to help bridge the trust level between people in the Toledo area with men and women in uniform.

The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. at the Toledo Sports Center, 1516 Starr Ave. Kids, police, firefighters, military personnel, and members of the community are encouraged to attend.

With more than 30 years of working with kids, Hayes has seen firsthand many of the issues they face and hopes this event will help make Toledo a better place.

“With the issues going on around the country between the police and young folks, I think that this is a great way to try and bridge the trust level between the groups here in Toledo and the surrounding area,” Hayes said. “It’s good to get the community involved because this is not just a Toledo problem, this is nationwide.”

The cost to bowl three games is $5 per person, including shoes. Kids 17 and younger bowl for free courtesy of Jon Harris of McDonald’s, who helps sponsor the event.

There will be music and door prizes at the event, which is expected to bring in 200 people.

Hayes encourages all police, firefighters and military personnel to attend, regardless of where they live or work.

“Come out and have some fun with The University of Toledo Police and other officers if you are not afraid to get beat on the lanes by the young folks,” Hayes said and laughed. “If you know how to have fun, fun and more fun and want to make a difference, come out and party with the crew.”

For more information, contact Hayes at  george.hayes@utoledo.edu.

Staff Leadership Development forms due Oct. 2

As a reminder, all applications and nominations for the new UT Staff Leadership Development program are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

Based on staff and faculty feedback received during the strategic planning process, the one-year program has been designed to develop emerging, high-potential leaders to help them grow in their existing positions at the University and later assume expanded leadership roles. Eligible staff members must have at least two years of employment with UT.

“Participants will be required to attend two to three hours of course work per month, except during July and August when they will have summer reading assignments,” said Wendy Davis, associate vice president and chief human resources officer. “They also will need to complete a capstone project by October 2018.”

Up to 20 participants will be selected to participate in the Staff Leadership Development program for 2017-2018. Interested staff members should complete an application form, while deans, vice presidents and other senior leaders may recommend an emerging leader to participate by submitting a nomination form. Both forms and additional information are available at utoledo.edu/depts/hr/leadership-development.

A multidisciplinary selection committee will review all forms, and cohorts selected to participate will be notified by Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Racism topic of diversity discussion Sept. 27

Dialogues on Diversity are back. The first topic up: race and racism.

“In keeping with the theme of Hispanic Heritage month, we are going to have a conversation about race, what it is, what it means, and how racism comes to be,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, said.

A panel of experts on race, culture and diversity will lead the discussion Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Thompson Student Union Room 2592.

Campus community members are encouraged to talk openly about diversity with their peers, according to McKether.

“The Dialogues on Diversity give everyone on campus a voice and a chance to view issues from different perspectives,” he said.

Light refreshments will be served.

The free, public series will continue Wednesday, Oct. 18, and Wednesday, Nov. 15, with themes on LGBTQA+ and veterans, respectively.

Keep up to date on these events and more by signing up for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion newsletter. Go to utoledo.edu/diversity.

UT Engineering Fall Career Expo to take place Sept. 27

The University of Toledo Engineering Career Development Center will host the Fall 2017 Engineering Career Expo Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Representatives from more than 160 companies will be available to talk to students and alumni of the UT College of Engineering.

Employer participants will include American Electric Power, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., DTE Energy, DePuy Synthes/Johnson & Johnson Co., Honda, Marathon Petroleum Corp., Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois Inc., Toledo Refining Co. and Zimmer Biomet.

“The current job outlook for engineering students in The University of Toledo Engineering College is certainly bright as evidenced by the number of employers registered to attend the college’s fall expo,” said Dr. Vickie Kuntz, director of the Engineering Career Development Center. “This reflects very positively on the quality of both our programs and our students. It also demonstrates our dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership we have with our industry participants.”

This event is held to connect students with companies seeking talent needed for success.

“The college hosts semiannual career expos in order to afford our students the opportunity to network with potential employers. It also allows our employers to meet our students to determine if they would be a good fit into their organizations,” Kuntz said.

“Our undergraduate mandatory co-op program is one of only eight mandatory engineering co-op programs in the country. Many students indicate our co-op program is the reason they attend the College of Engineering at The University of Toledo. Our program requires our students to graduate with one full year of professional engineering experience. Our students feel confident seeking full-time employment upon graduation. Co-op employers are able to work with these students and are able to determine how the student fits within their organizations. It’s a win-win situation for our students and the employers who hire them.”

More than 600 students are expected to attend the fall expo, she added.

The expo is open to University of Toledo College of Engineering students who are enrolled in the mandatory co-op program. Additionally, alumni of the UT College of Engineering and students searching for full-time opportunities are welcome.

The UT Engineering Fall 2017 Career Expo will be held at the College of Engineering from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Attendees can pre-register the morning of the event from 9 to 11 a.m. or register just prior to the event starting at 12:15 p.m. in North Engineering Building Room 1022.

UPDATED: Detour for west-bound Bancroft Street to begin Sept. 26

As installation of a new storm sewer line continues, it will be necessary to close west-bound lanes on Bancroft Street.

This closure is scheduled to start Tuesday, Sept. 26, and is expected to last three weeks, weather permitting.

During that time, a detour for west-bound Bancroft will be posted for drivers to take University Hills Boulevard to Douglas Road to Dorr Street to Secor Road.

Lane restrictions for east-bound traffic on Bancroft Street will continue.

“We want to remind drivers the speed limit in the work zone is 25 miles per hour,” Doug Collins, director of grounds and transportation, said. “We ask everyone to be patient, drive slowly, and be aware of pedestrians.”

To avoid congestion, students, employees and visitors to Main Campus are encouraged to use the west entrance off Secor Road or the south entrance off Dorr Street.

“We will keep the campus community informed as we receive updates from the city of Toledo on this project,” Collins said.

UT alumnus takes third place at international conducting competition

Juan Montoya of Columbia won third place in the prestigious Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition in Bulgaria in July.

Montoya graduated from UT in 2009 with dual master of music degrees in piano performance and orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Boyd, Dr. Lee Heritage, Dr. Jason Stumbo and Rico McNeela.

Juan Montoya took a break during a rehearsal.

The conducting contest is held every two years, and the competition is fierce, as the prizes are coveted conducting jobs in Europe. Conductors from all over the world apply to compete, but only about 30 are awarded competition slots. Out of that number, 12 are chosen for the semifinals and only four for the finals.

At the close of the competition, the top three winners of the competition shared the conducting of a fully staged, full length performance of “Madama Butterfly.”

The other winners were, in first place, Chris McCracken of the United Kingdom, and second place, Nobuaki Nakata of Japan.

Juan Montoya, right, posed for a photo with the other winners of the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition, Nobuaki Nakata, left, who came in second, and Chris McCracken, who came in first place. Montoya took third place.

As one of the winners, Montoya will have several professional engagements with different opera houses around the world. Confirmed engagements so far include concerts in Romania, Serbia, Egypt and Hungary, with more engagements to be scheduled in the coming months.

Montoya is also the recipient of two other international recognitions. He was awarded the golden baton for first place in the Concurso Internacional de Direccion 3.0 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay in 2016. He also received the jury special mention at the second edition Black Sea International Conducting Competition in Constanta, Romania, in 2016.

While working on his master of music degree at UT, Montoya studied with Stumbo, chair of the Music Department and director of bands.

“As his conducting professor, I kept him busy with score study and provided him opportunities to conduct and lead several chamber and large ensemble performances. He was always eager and prepared,” Stumbo said. “I’m not surprised to see him achieving at an international level, and I look forward to following what will surely be an incredibly successful career.”

Montoya also studied music composition with Heritage, associate professor of music.

“Although conducting has been the focus of Juan’s career, he is also a gifted composer. He wrote pieces during his student days at UT that were beautiful … they were so good that they were published professionally,” Heritage said. “During his last year at UT, his piano and composing skills came together when he wrote a concerto for piano and orchestra that won our concerto competition, and then he played it with the orchestra. Juan is truly a gifted musician.”

Listen to “Baba,” which won the UT concerto competition.

Soon after leaving UT, Montoya lived in Malaysia, where he conducted orchestras, including the Bentley Repertoire Symphony Orchestra. He also served as a music lecturer at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia’s largest public university, and was the music director for its symphony orchestra. He was also assistant conductor for the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, among others, and was the music director of the Encounters Training Ensemble, both of which are housed in the Dewan Philharmonic Petronas in the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

He also worked with the Malaysian Ministry of Education, training several high school symphonic bands throughout the country, work that has taken him to several cities of this South East Asian country. His most recent performance in his native country of Colombia was as a guest conductor with the Universidad EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in 2013.

Montoya is pursuing a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting and opera under the guidance of Thomas Cockrell at the University of Arizona, where he is the music director of the UA Philharmonic Orchestra and the assistant conductor for the Arizona Symphony Orchestra.

Additionally, he is the principal guest conductor of the newly founded Kuala Lumpur City Opera in Malaysia.

UTMC helps BMX racer beat paralysis to get back on track

Sixteen-year-old Dakota Gillett was an avid BMX bicycle racer with the dream of going pro.

“BMX was my passion. It was just my thing,” Gillett said. “I’d just focus on that and do my school — and that’s all I did.”

Dakota Gillett, who was diagnosed with lifetime paralysis after a bike accident last year, was pedaling again recently on Health Science Campus.

On July 3, 2016, while on vacation in Tucson, Ariz., he entered a BMX contest that would forever change his life. When attempting a jump over a barrel, Gillett fell and broke his C3 and C4 vertebrae, which resulted in him being paralyzed from the chest down.

His mom, Heidi, was home in Montpelier, Ohio, when her son was injured. After arriving at the hospital in Arizona, she was not prepared for what she saw.

“There was Dakota, with tubes everywhere. He had a ventilator in. He had tubes coming out of his neck, he had two central lines put in,” she said. “He was just sitting there. He just looked so miserable and so sad. I’ve never seen him like that.”

Eman Jarouche, physical therapist at UTMC’s Outpatient Therapy Services, worked with Dakota Gillett.

After undergoing surgeries and beginning rehabilitation, Gillett was transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Northwest Ohio on the UT Health Science Campus to be closer to home. He then progressed to outpatient care at UT Medical Center.

“He started off here in our facility in a wheelchair,” said Eman Jarouche, physical therapist at UTMC’s Outpatient Therapy Services. “He had mentioned that he was able to stand a couple of times and try to take a step, but that was all he was able to do when he started here.”

During the next nine months, Gillett and his mom traveled more than an hour from their home to UTMC at least twice each week for physical therapy and occupational therapy services.

Gillett and Jarouche

“Once he came here, they instantly put him on a harness, and they put him on a treadmill and got him walking,” Gillett’s mom said.

In spite of a diagnosis of lifetime paralysis with little chance of walking, Gillett was determined to get back on his bike by the first anniversary of his accident.

“As my body got stronger, we started talking about getting back on my bike,” he said. “I went out and bought a helmet and bought a strap for my left leg and said, ‘OK, now it’s time to focus.’ They put the belt on and were like, ‘OK, you’re on your own,’ and I look back and I’m on my own! This was unbelievable.”

“His biggest goal was getting back on the bike by the one-year mark, and now he’s riding with the wind in his hair!” Jarouche said.

Gillett’s mom credits Jarouche and the rest of her son’s therapy team at UTMC for pushing him while giving him the quality care he needed.

“I felt like these guys actually cared and made sure that that person could get to where they needed to get,” she said. “When Dakota would get his goals, they would be doing dances with him. I’m just so happy with this place.”

“My experience at UT is possibly the best experience that I’ve ever had in my whole life because they never give up and they always push you to your limits,” Gillett said.

To watch Gillett’s story, click here.

Welltower announces transformational gift to UT; company headquarters will remain in Toledo

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: HCN) announces the donation of its state-of-the-art, LEED-certified office buildings and approximately 100 acres of land for the benefit of The University of Toledo.

This transformational gift, at an estimated value of more than $30 million, is made possible through an innovative real estate agreement that transfers the company’s extensive Toledo property at 4500 Dorr St. to The University of Toledo Foundation.

Welltower’s corporate headquarters will remain in Toledo, where it has been located since 1986. As part of the agreement, Welltower will continue to occupy the 4500 Dorr St. North Building. The University of Toledo and the UT Foundation will evaluate the optimal uses for the gifted real estate to advance the University’s mission.

“We are thrilled to make this transformational gift to The University of Toledo,” said Tom DeRosa, Welltower’s chief executive officer. “As the global leader in health-care real estate, we are positioning Welltower for growth and optimizing our own real estate footprint. We have more space than we need and are focused on running the business more efficiently. This led us to consider more productive, community-minded uses of the campus. The University of Toledo is the ideal choice, and we are delighted to partner with them in such a meaningful and progressive way.

“It is a fitting tribute to our company’s founders, Fritz Wolfe and Bruce Thompson, to donate the building and grounds to an institution that so profoundly impacts the region and the community that the Wolfe and Thompson families loved dearly. We are honored to open the gates of this incredible campus to broader uses that will benefit the University and the Toledo community for generations to come.”

“We are grateful for this generous gift from Welltower, which affirms the important role of The University of Toledo to positively impact our community. This Toledo-based global company chose to invest in UT because of our capacity to contribute to the growth and development of our region, and we are thankful for their support,” said Dr. Sharon L. Gaber, president of The University of Toledo. “This is the largest gift in the University’s history and provides a unique opportunity to explore potential uses for this space that would best serve the University and the community, and contribute to our goal to be one of the top public, national, research universities.”

The donation by Welltower includes the 4500 Dorr St. Main Building’s 140,000 square feet of office space, which will be repurposed by the UT Foundation, and the approximately 31,000-square-foot North Building to be leased by Welltower as its corporate headquarters and office space for its Toledo-based employees. As a result, Welltower will significantly reduce the cost associated with its corporate headquarters.

Final transfer of the real estate and implementation of the lease-back structure are expected to occur by the middle of 2018. The company also plans to open an office in New York City in 2018. This adds an important local presence to support the company’s significant East Coast portfolio, and will function similarly to other regional offices in London, Toronto, Jupiter and Beverly Hills. Additionally, the company has real estate management offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Phoenix.