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Stoepler Professor of Law and Values named

Dean Daniel J. Steinbock has named Professor Lee J. Strang the next John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values, effective July 1.

Strang

Strang

Strang follows Professor Susan Martyn, who became the John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values Emeritus following her retirement last month.

“Professor Strang’s outstanding national scholarly reputation and concern for values in his work put him squarely within the aims of this professorship,” Steinbock said. “He joins three other distinguished scholars on the College of Law faculty, Professors Geoffrey Rapp, Joseph Slater and Rebecca Zietlow, in holding one of our named professorships.”

Strang is the author of more than 20 law review publications, a constitutional law casebook, as well as several book chapters and book reviews. He has published in the fields of constitutional law and interpretation, property law, and religion and the First Amendment.

Among other scholarly projects, he is editing the second edition of his casebook for LexisNexis, writing a book titled Originalism’s Promise and Its Limits, and authoring a book on the history of Catholic legal education in the United States.

He frequently presents at scholarly conferences and participates in debates at law schools across the country. He also is regularly quoted in the media. Strang was named the college’s director of faculty research in 2014. This fall, he will be a visiting scholar at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, where he will complete his book on originalism.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was articles editor of the Iowa Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif, Strang also holds a master of law degree from Harvard Law School.

Before joining the UT College of Law faculty, Strang was a visiting professor at Michigan State University College of Law and an associate professor at Ave Maria School of Law.

Prior to teaching, Strang served as a judicial clerk for Chief Judge Alice Batchelder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and was an associate with Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, where he practiced general and appellate litigation.

The professorship is named after Stoepler, the seventh dean of the College of Law. He was an alumnus and longtime faculty member before being named dean of the college in 1983. Stoepler served as interim president of the University in 1988.

The Stoepler Professorship of Law and Values is funded out of a bequest by Eugene N. Balk, a former general counsel of The Andersons Inc.

UT to host engineering workshops for high school students in July

Incoming high school seniors and juniors are invited to attend engineering workshops this July at The University of Toledo’s College of Engineering.

“These workshops take interest in math and science a step further and put them in an application setting to show students what they can do with those interests,” said Kevin Brooks, recruitment officer in the College of Engineering.

Dates and topics of the faculty-run workshops are:

• Wednesday, July 8 — bioengineering;

• Wednesday, July 15 — computer science and engineering; and

• Friday, July 24 — electrical engineering.

Each workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will feature an introduction session, labs, lunch and a question-and-answer session. Parents are welcome to attend the introduction and closing sessions.

“It’s a way for the students to see if they want to get into engineering and further their education in it; it’s a real hands-on look,” Brooks said. “Engineers aren’t simply sitting down and solving equations all day; they are applying math to real-world problems and finding solutions.”

Additionally, a continental breakfast featuring coffee, bagels, orange juice, muffins and fruit will be provided.

Registration is $35 for the bioengineering workshop and $25 apiece for the computer science and electrical engineering workshops.

To register, visit eng.utoledo.edu. Space is limited.

For more information about the bioengineering workshop, contact Dr. Aurnan Nadarajah, professor, chair and graduate program director for the UT Department of Bioengineering, at arunan.nadarajah@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8031.

For more information about the computer science or electrical engineering workshops, contact Dr. Richard Molyet, professor and undergraduate program director for the UT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, at richard.molyet@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8143.

Non-union staff to receive 2 percent raise

Members of the Professional Staff Association will receive a 2 percent wage increase and an additional $500 to their base pay effective July 1, University officials announced today. The $500 amount will be prorated for part-time PSA employees.

Employees eligible for the increase are full-time and part-time non-union employees who were hired before Jan 1, 2015, and who have not received salary actions resulting in an increase after that date. The dates that the increases will appear in paychecks are still being determined, but they will be retroactive to July 1 in any event.

The about 1,200 staff members in the Professional Staff Association include the classified exempt, classified salaried, and unclassified administrative and professional employees who do not belong to a bargaining unit and do not have faculty rank.

“We are deeply appreciative of the many contributions and services provided by all of our academic, hospital and professional staff employees, and we recognize the important role each employee plays in supporting and advancing the University’s mission and goals,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, interim president. “Thank you so much for all you do for our university.”

Compensation for UT employees who are members of unions is determined by their collective bargaining units. The American Association of University Professors approved a new contract in May, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8 and AFSCME Local 2415 and Communication Workers of America Local 4319 are operating under contracts approved in July 2014. The UT Police Patrolman’s Association approved its current contract in 2013.

Multicultural scholars program to kick off June 29

A collaborative program geared toward student success in their first year of college will be introduced on campus this June.

Thirty students have been accepted into the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program that will start Monday, June 29. The program is designed to aid the transition from high school to college and promote academic excellence in college-level courses for first-year students.

The entering freshmen, who have been admitted into The University of Toledo’s colleges of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences or Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will receive an $8,000 scholarship to cover tuition, books, housing and meals for the six weeks of summer class, and enrollment for the Emerging Scholars Living Learning Community during the academic year.

“We’ve conducted a qualitative study where students have told us, ‘I thought I was prepared in high school, but I got here and realized I wasn’t,’” said Dr. Willie McKether, associate dean of social sciences and associate professor of anthropology. “We also learned from the study that some students, male students in particular, often times have trouble asking for help. We need to help students understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness in a college environment.”

With the goal of promoting academic excellence and college readiness, the program will allow students to form a community of support to help them during their academic journey — starting with their own peers in a living learning community, a group of students who share similar academic goals and attitudes. There have been many studies reflecting the benefits of living learning communities, said Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean of humanities and associate professor of English.

McKether, who helped run one of the prior Multicultural Living Learning Communities on campus, said while students living in a focused community certainly helps them achieve academically, the system still has room to improve. Many of the first-year students spend much of their first semester getting acclimated to college, which McKether said is difficult when so many things are happening around them. It’s for this reason the program has the summer bridge component.

“The idea of linking this to a summer bridge program is so that they come back in the fall and now they’re ready to hit the ground running,” he said.

“It’s like if you enter a foot race and you decide to walk until you get warmed up; you start running at mile five and you’ve already lost,” Schneider added.

Each student will be enrolled in a series of classes during the six-week summer program: Composition I, Cultural Anthropology, Learning to Serve and Math Camp. These courses fulfill requirements that all UT students have, but also provide a variety that each student can benefit from.

In addition to becoming better students, the program pushes the freshmen to become socially cognizant leaders in their community. Through the Learning to Serve class and Learning to Lead course they will take in the fall, students will be required to complete a service project with an organization in the Toledo community.

“What we hope is that in addition to strengthening students and their competitiveness, we will also create future mentors who will see a social responsibility to reach back and encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM areas,” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, assistant dean in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and professor of biology.

Students also will take a variety of trips during the summer session to help enhance their understanding and appreciation of their own culture and the Toledo community. These will include visits to the Holocaust Memorial Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Lake Erie Center and Toledo City Council.

According to UT Director of Undergraduate Admission William Pierce, the first- to second-year retention rate at the University has steadily been improving the past few years and with programs like this, coupled with the continued recruitment of more well-prepared students, those numbers will hopefully continue moving in a positive direction.

“You’re never really content with retention. UT is continually working to not only attract more students that are prepared for college, but is also investing resources designed to ensure students are successful at UT from their first day on campus through graduation.
The success coach initiative and now the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program are great examples of this,” Pierce said.

“Are we happy with the progress we’ve made the past couple years? Absolutely. But until you are retaining 100 percent of the students that enroll, there is always work to be done,” Pierce said.

For more information on the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program, contact McKether at Willie.Mckether@utoledo.edu.

Moot court team awarded honors at China intellectual property competition

The University of Toledo College of Law’s moot court team recently earned high honors last month in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing.

The UT College of Law moot court team, from left, Jason Csehi, Joseph Stanford, Kolet Buenavides and Jonathan Kohfeldt, placed fourth in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing last month.

The UT College of Law moot court team, from left, Jason Csehi, Joseph Stanford, Kolet Buenavides and Jonathan Kohfeldt, placed fourth in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing last month.

The team of Kolet Buenavides, Jason Csehi, Jonathan Kohfeldt and Joseph Stanford performed exceptionally well in oral argument, placing fourth out of 14 teams.

Csehi won the competition’s best oralist award, and Buenavides received an award as outstanding oralist.

The team ranked fifth in the competition overall.

Llewellyn Gibbons, professor of law and intellectual property expert, served as faculty adviser to the team and also traveled with the students to Beijing.

“In addition to their very hard work preparing for the legal argument part of the competition, I was very impressed with the level of cultural sensitivity and professionalism of the UT team,” Gibbons said. “Several team members took the additional step of taking a conversational Chinese class so that they could pronounce Chinese language terms correctly and contacted the Confucius Institute at The University of Toledo for a briefing in Chinese business and banquet etiquette.

“Our students showed the initiative and the attention to detail necessary to compete in a global legal marketplace.”

The University of Toledo’s Center for International Studies and Programs was especially helpful in making the trip possible with its generous funding as well as support navigating the necessary visa requirements for travel to China, Gibbons noted.

The Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida competition is one of only two English language international moot court competitions involving intellectual property law. This year’s competition hosted 14 teams from China, Australia, Taiwan and the United States.

The competition problem was based on an actual case involving Chinese copyright law. Students submitted briefs and argued the issues in front of a distinguished panel of judges that included a former member of China’s Supreme People’s Court, a retired justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice’s resident legal adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, intellectual property judges from Taiwan and China, senior partners in two of China’s largest intellectual property firms, and law professors from China and Australia.

In this context, Gibbons said the competition provided a unique opportunity to explore intellectual property issues with a dynamic and diverse group of students and experts from around the world in a way that is not possible in the traditional classroom setting.

Schmidt School of Professional Sales named a top program by Sales Education Foundation

The Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales in the UT College of Business and Innovation has been recognized by the Sales Education Foundation in its “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education” program.

Sales Ed Foundation Top Sales IconThese university programs are acknowledged for preparing students for careers in professional selling and helping to elevate the sales profession.

Established in 2007, the Sales Education Foundation works with multiple universities to provide grants, assist sales faculty, provide and/or promote educational opportunities, and recognize quality research and dissemination.

The Schmidt School of Professional Sales was formed in 2000 and endowed in 2002 as the first professional sales major in the country from an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited college of business administration.

“Everyone plays a critical role to ensure the sustainability and success of our top-ranked program. We have accomplished a great deal to launch and propel our professional sales program,” Deirdre Jones, director, said. “We embrace our commitment to developing the world’s future sales professionals one student at a time. We strive to continually set the bar high in terms of learning, discovery and outreach.”

Jones added, “Students with a sales education ramp up 50 percent faster and turnover 30 percent less than their non-sales educated peers. Furthermore, we are very proud of the fact that 100 percent of Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales students seeking employment upon graduation have jobs, and, in fact, many of our students have multiple job offers.”

Sally Stevens, executive director of the Sales Education Foundation, noted that companies should have an increased focus on partnering with university sales programs. “Top sales organizations should consider developing partnerships with these programs who are educating the next generation of professional sales people.”

For more information about the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales, visit utoledo.edu/essps.

For more information about the Sales Education Foundation, visit salesfoundation.org.

UT to host Human Trafficking Roundtable June 26

The University of Toledo will host a Human Trafficking Roundtable Friday, June 26, to discuss recent legislation aimed to combat the issue.

Organized by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, the event will bring together UT researchers, law enforcement officials and a survivor of human trafficking at 9:30 a.m. in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium on UT’s Main Campus.

The hourlong roundtable event will include discussion on the Bringing Missing Children Home Act, Ensuring a Better Response for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking, and Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

Dr. Celia Williamson, UT professor of social work and a nationally recognized expert on human trafficking advocacy, and UT Interim President Nagi Naganathan will participate in the event. Williamson recently was named director of UT’s new Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

UT participating in Operation Sunflower

The University of Toledo is showing its support of Toledo Botanical Garden this summer by planting sunflowers throughout campus as part of Operation Sunflower.

OPERATION SUNFLOWER LOGO“The goal has been to plant a million sunflowers all over the community so that by mid to late July, you start to see sunflowers every where you go,” said Karen Ranney Wolkins, executive director at Toledo Botanical Garden.

This is a community-wide project in collaboration with The Andersons to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Toledo Botanical Garden.

“We want to engage everyone in the celebration and make it approachable,” Ranney Wolkins said. “Not everyone can grow a rose — I don’t think I can — but virtual anybody can grow a sunflower. It’s one of the easiest flowers to grow and so many people have shared that it’s a flower that makes them smile.”

The sunflowers have been planted around Main Campus, including by the Secor Road and Douglas Road entrance signs, in Brunner Garden on the south side of University Hall, and behind Carlson Library.

In addition to planting a million sunflowers, the garden is hosting a related photo contest that includes three categories: before and after, largest, and most unique growing location.

“Something magical happens when you are growing something and particularly when other people are involved, there’s a relationship that gets built that wouldn’t otherwise happen,” said Molly Thompson, director of the UT LaunchPad Incubation Program and executive committee member of the Toledo Botanical Garden. “That is something that I think is extremely important, particularly now in marking the 50th anniversary of the Toledo Botanical Garden, is to be able to build that relationship in a way that hasn’t existed previously.”

Operation Sunflower is one of many happenings for the garden’s 50th anniversary milestone. Another event, “The Garden After Dark,” will feature a projection installation by UT students Friday, June 26, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Read more here about this nighttime event.

For more information on Operation Sunflower or on Toledo Botanical Garden, visit toledogarden.org or call 419.536.5566.

UT professor utilizes two telescopes simultaneously to examine planet-star hybrid

A professor at The University of Toledo is examining a new space object that is half planet, half star, and has a name similar to a phone number.

Cushing

Cushing

Dr. Mike Cushing, director of Ritter Planetarium and associate professor of astronomy, is observing a newly discovered brown dwarf, named WISE 1405+5534. He is utilizing both the Spitzer Space Telescope, named for Toledo native Lyman Spitzer, and the Hubble Space Telescope simultaneously.

“Hubble looks at UV, visible and infrared light. Spitzer looks at infrared light with wavelengths longer than Hubble can see,” Cushing said. “Since they look at different wavelengths, they are good for examining different things.”

He is able to access the data from each telescope, stored as images, and download what he needs to his computer.

Cushing’s team is using Hubble to look deeper into the atmosphere and Spitzer to look higher into the atmosphere. Their observations, which can take months to review, will help astronomers not only better understand brown dwarfs, but also advance knowledge about the atmospheres of gas giant planets located outside of our solar system.

“What we want to do is look at multiple levels of the atmosphere at the same time,” Cushing said. “Then we can try to connect what’s going on in an atmosphere at different levels.”

Brown dwarfs, sometimes referred to as “failed stars,” share characteristics with both low-mass stars and gas giant planets. Many theories suggest that brown dwarfs originate from clouds of gas and dust that gravitationally collapse to form a dense core, similar to the formation of stars.

“The idea we want to try to understand is the three-dimensional structure of the atmosphere by looking at different wavelengths,” Cushing said. “We think brown dwarfs, cold ones especially, are very similar to the planet Jupiter.”

However, brown dwarfs form without the ability to sustain nuclear fusion, which is the process that allows stars like our sun to shine and emit light. Without a lasting internal energy source, brown dwarfs cool as they age and become fainter, which makes them difficult for astronomers to detect.

“Brown dwarfs are so cold and low-mass that instead of generating their own heat and light, they are similar to embers plucked from a fire — warm at first, but slowly cooling off with nothing to keep them hot,” Cushing explained.

Cushing and his team will study how the brightness of the brown dwarf changes as it spins on its axis, which will help astronomers learn how clouds are distributed in the atmospheres of brown dwarfs.

“We know these objects have clouds of potassium chloride and sodium sulfide, and that they are probably patchy like we see on Jupiter,” Cushing said.

More than 1,000 have been spotted since the first brown dwarfs were confirmed in 1995. Brown dwarfs come in various sizes and temperatures, but Cushing and his group are focusing on the colder brown dwarfs, measuring less than 500 Kelvin, which is equal to 440 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest brown dwarfs on record have reached temperatures as low as 300 Kelvin or 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prior to joining UT in 2011, Cushing completed postdoctoral fellowships with NASA, the University of Hawaii and the University of Arizona.

College of Business and Innovation maintains accreditation

The UT College of Business and Innovation has received a five-year extension of its business accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an elite distinction achieved by less than 5 percent of all the business schools in the world.

The accreditation, which is voluntary, follows an on-site evaluation in March by administrators of other AACSB-accredited institutions. The accreditation recognizes the college’s bachelor of business administration, bachelor of science in information technology, master of business administration/executive MBA, master of science in accounting and PhD degree programs.

Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. It is an association of educational institutions, businesses and other organizations devoted to the advancement of higher education in management education, and is the premier accrediting agency of collegiate business schools and accounting programs worldwide.

“It takes a great deal of commitment and determination to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation,” said Robert Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “Business schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students.”

“UT and the College of Business and Innovation are very excited at this continuing recognition by the AACSB,” noted Dr. Gary S. Insch, dean of the college. “This validates the high quality of our faculty and students, as well as the significance of our curriculum at all levels.

“This is also great news following the fantastic news we received this spring, namely, that the College of Business and Innovation received — in its first attempt — an Accounting Department accreditation from the AACSB. This is a voluntary accreditation obtained by only 1.3 percent (182 institutions) of accounting programs in the 13,670 business schools around the world.

“Our inclusion in this select group is a seal of quality for our degree programs,” Insch said. “It elevates the value of degrees received, leads to increased enrollment of high quality students, and enhances the qualifications of alumni.”