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UT faculty film accepted to prominent international film festival

Holly Hey, a filmmaker and faculty member of The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, will screen one of her films in the internationally recognized Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

The Aesthetica Film Festival, accredited by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, is a celebration of independent film and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. The festival includes a selection of films from around the world in genres including advertising, artists’ film, music video, drama and documentary.

These stills are from Holly Hey’s film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” which will be shown at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

These stills are from Holly Hey’s film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” which will be shown at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

Hey’s film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” emerged successfully after two competitive rounds of selection review.

The UT associate professor of film said the first-person experimental documentary is a moving-image meditation that contemplates landscape, home, recollection, queerness and time.

“The project uses personal history to reflect on universal themes about home, life, love, parenting, memory and death,” she said.

Hey began the project in 2005 when she received funding from the LEF Moving Image Foundation. She later received funding from The University of Toledo in 2012 and completed the film in 2014.

To date, “the dum dum capitol of the world” has screened at several festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival; the Athens Film Festival in Athens, Ohio; the Queens World Film Festival in New York; and the Moon Rise Film Festival in British Columbia.

Hey is head of the UT Film Program. She holds a master of fine arts degree in filmmaking from the Art Institute of Chicago.

She makes a broad range of work that can be seen in galleries, film festivals, live performances and on television. Her works have screened both nationally and internationally, and the National Educational Telecommunications Association distributed her last major release, “Rat Stories,” which aired on PBS affiliates in the United States, British Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Twice as nice: Fraternity brings home national honors again

In recognition of its exceptional work over the past year, a University of Toledo fraternity received top honors last month.

The University’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was given the Smythe Award — one of the highest national honors the fraternity can receive — for the second year in a row. The award, named for one of the fraternity’s junior founding members, is granted to the top 10 percent of chapters. The fraternity has more than 220 chapters internationally.

Members of UT’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha received the Smythe Award for the second year in a row. The honor is given to the top 10 percent of chapters.

Members of UT’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha received the Smythe Award for the second year in a row. The honor is given to the top 10 percent of chapters.

“The Smythe Award recognizes all our hard work we’ve done the past year, especially the work put toward bettering the UT community,” said Brandon Alves, executive board member for Pi Kappa Alpha and third-year pharmacy student. “When we’re classified as the top 10 percent, it’s basically saying of all those chapters, we are the elite based on a variety of factors, including campus presence, community service, athletics, anything really that would make an organization great.”

He attributes the win to the many accomplishments the fraternity has garnered this year; these include top honors at Homecoming, Songfest, Greek Week, and receiving the Dean Parks Award for campus community involvement.

“I think our enthusiasm for making this a better community is what sets us apart at UT,” he said. “I think we have a really strong common bond to help each other and that reflects in our competitive attitude toward bettering campus.”

In addition to receiving honors on campus, the fraternity puts a lot of work into its philanthropy: Children’s Miracle Network. Each semester members host Pike Pretzels, a fundraising event featuring music and soft pretzels, to raise money for the organization.

Additionally, UT’s annual RockeTHON benefits Mercy Children’s Hospital, which is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network. For the past several years, Epsilon Epsilon has been the top fundraiser, contributing more than $15,000 this past year.

“We are looking forward to taking the momentum from this impressive achievement into continuing to better The University of Toledo and the community around it,” Alves said.

UT organization welcomes international students; assists in transition to college

While there are nearly 8,000 miles separating India and The University of Toledo, a student organization on campus helps to make it feel a little more like home for Indian students.

The Indian Student Cultural Organization (ISCO) helps Indian students adapt and flourish at college in America. Between social events, festivals, aid with housing and airport pickups, the organization works to make the transition for international students as easy as possible.

Preparing paratha, an Indian flatbread, at the Festival of India earlier this month were, from left, Roshan Kini, volunteer; Sai Kumar Naini, panel member, graduate vice president and webmaster for the Indian Student Cultural Organization; Narendra Raghav Venkatesan, volunteer); and Krishnakant Patel, president of the Indian Student Cultural Organization.

Preparing paratha, an Indian flatbread, at the Festival of India earlier this month were, from left, Roshan Kini, volunteer; Sai Kumar Naini, panel member, graduate vice president and webmaster for the Indian Student Cultural Organization; Narendra Raghav Venkatesan, volunteer); and Krishnakant Patel, president of the Indian Student Cultural Organization.

“It’s very difficult for an international student going somewhere new,” said Krishnakant Patel, ISCO president.

When Patel first became a member of ISCO in 2012, the group’s membership was at an all-time low due to a large number of graduating students. The seniors at the time decided to revamp the organization so that future students wouldn’t have to struggle to get acclimated on campus like they did.

“The group wasn’t active when we first came here, so it was kind of difficult to get in touch with everyone here at UT,” Patel explained.

New programs and events were instated, including an airport pickup program where students could be shuttled from either the Detroit Metropolitan or Toledo Express airports if they became a member of ISCO — which costs just $10.

Since then, ISCO’s numbers have been steadily increasing.

Members of the Indian Student Cultural Organization posed for a shot at the Festival of India earlier this month. Members manned the food booths at the event and served up a variety of Indian delights, including dosa, naan and panner, mango lassi, and pani puri.

Members of the Indian Student Cultural Organization posed for a shot at the Festival of India earlier this month. Members manned the food booths at the event and served up a variety of Indian delights, including dosa, naan and panner, mango lassi, and pani puri.

“We want to bring our organization to the next level and make sure everyone at UT, especially the new incoming students this semester, know about our organization and what we offer,” said Raj Jessica Thomas, ISCO marketing manager.

A variety of activities and festivals also are offered through ISCO to celebrate Indian culture, including Patel’s favorite, Diya — an event to celebrate Deepawali, the festival of lights. During the event, students perform traditional dances and songs, and Indian food is provided. The event is ISCO’s largest; last year more than 600 people attended.

“This event gives an overall idea for the people on what India really is,” he said. “People get to see India is a diverse place where each state has its own way of living.”

ISCO also helps put on Holi Toledo, which is Thomas’ favorite. The campus-wide event, which is organized by a collaboration of groups including ISCO, the UT Center for International Studies and Programs, and the UT Center for Religious Understanding, is for the Hindu religious festival Holi — a celebration known for the color thrown into the air to commemorate the arrival of spring.

“Since so many people are walking around the field where Holi is, it gives us a great opportunity to expose our culture to everyone,” she said.

In addition to the big festivals, ISCO gives students the chance to connect and just hang out with movie nights and cricket tournaments. The group also organizes trips to the Hindu Temple of Toledo, located on King Road in Sylvania, so students can connect with community members.

“It gives [students] good exposure to a lot of other people so they don’t feel homesick,” Patel said.

For more information about ISCO, contact Thomas at Raj.Thomas@rockets.utoledo.edu or visit utoledoisco.org.

Professor recognized by National Medical Association

Dr. Reginald F. Baugh, professor of surgery, chief of otolaryngology and assistant dean for admission in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ Department of Surgery, has received the exclusive Hinton-Gladney Award.

“It’s been years now since somebody has been given the award, so it’s not given out all the time,” Baugh said. “I’m very humbled and honored to have received the award.”

Baugh

Baugh

He was presented the award Aug. 2 during the 113th annual Convention and Scientific Assembly hosted by the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest organization representing physicians and patients of African descent in the United States.

“The award is given to someone who has made substantial contributions, has recognizable accomplishments in his or her respective field, and has been a positive force in the African-American community,” Baugh said.

For most of his career, Baugh has been an academician on staff at the University of Kansas, Henry Ford Health System, Texas A&M University and most recently at The University of Toledo. He served as a quality and process improvement consultant for the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

“I’ve been fortunate to serve the people and my specialty for the development and implementation of head and neck guidelines,” Baugh said.

Working to improve patient safety, he has chaired efforts in identifying and implementing national guidelines on tonsillectomy, Bell’s palsy, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatments.

During the past year, Baugh has been working on developing a machine to assist in the assessment of patients’ swallowing function through mechanical receptor function testing in the throat.

“We have a working prototype that’s patent-pending,” Baugh said. “We are working on the final approvals now from the FDA and Institutional Research Board. In early fall, we hope to begin testing.”

UT research featured on cover of chemistry journal

Featured on the cover of a recent issue of one of chemistry’s most notable journals was a diagram of lead iodide molecules assembling into a complex photovoltaic material. It referenced an article inside the magazine written by a group of scholars from The University of Toledo.

Chemistry of Materials is a peer-reviewed scientific journal featuring fundamental research in chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science.

Chemistry of MaterialsThe article and cover art in the July 14 edition focused on the formation of revolutionary material that is exciting the photovoltaics community: so-called perovskites. This material, applied to solar energy conversion only in the last five years, has quickly demonstrated high efficiency for generating power from solar energy.

The project has been worked on for the past two years in UT’s Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, which was started in 2007 to strengthen photovoltaic research and manufacturing in Ohio. Drs. Michael Heben, Randy Ellingson and Adam Phillips of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, along with students Suneth Watthage, Zhaoning Song and Brandon Tompkins, contributed to the research and writing for the article.

Heben, UT professor of physics and the Wright Center’s endowed chair, explained that perovskites have attracted so much attention for photovoltaics because they have only been around for a fraction of the time of other photovoltaic materials, but already have demonstrated great effectiveness.

“It’s really unanticipated that a material that was not on anybody’s radar would come on the scene about three years ago and rapidly progress from efficiencies of just a few percent to efficiencies greater than 20 percent,” he said. “Researchers from all over the world have been very rapidly working to improve the performance of the materials in solar cells.”

With all the haste to improve efficiency, some fundamental science questions have gone unanswered. The UT group’s research gained attention due to the creation of a phase diagram for the handling and processing of the perovskite material. A phase diagram is a material’s representation of the limits of stability of the various phases in a chemical system with respect to variables such as composition and temperature, Heben explained.

“The reason that this is important is because it will provide a road map for others who want to work in this field, and help those currently working in the field to understand and improve upon the results they already have,” he said.

In the past month, the article has been one of the top downloads from the journal.

“Solar energy is booming; the market is growing 30 to 40 percent each year and has been doing so for more than 15 years. In many parts of the country, clean solar energy is already cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity,” Heben said.

For more information about the article, contact Heben at Michael.Heben@utoledo.edu.

Professors assessing financial damage from water crisis

The memories of last year’s water crisis in and around Toledo are still fresh in the minds of most residents, and the anxiety about a repeat event in 2015 is high.

But two University of Toledo professors are hard at work at one of the critical issues surrounding last year’s three-day event: What was the economic impact of the 2014 Toledo water crisis on the local economy?

Aug.24.FA.inddDr. Andrew Solocha, professor in the Department of Finance in the College of Business and Innovation, along with Dr. Neil Reid, director of the UT Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center and professor of geography and planning in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, are researching that very issue, funded by a grant from the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. They began their research in May and will have an initial impact report by the end of August.

“Lake Erie is an enormously important resource,” Solocha said. “I didn’t know anything about the science behind this, but I was really concerned about what happened here last year, and so I volunteered my time for this research. We envision a series of reports, the first one in August about the three days from last year, and then other reports over time.

“My training is in economics, data and model building, and for this research and report it is essential to have someone with experience in both business and economics because we have to interpret this data, find out what the data is saying to us; sometimes it doesn’t say anything at all. We have to go and interview people, and people can be confused or have misinformation. This is a work in progress, and we don’t yet know where all the answers are to make this complete.”

“One of the main challenges in doing this research is getting reliable data,” Reid said. “Often in the research we do, you can go to a public data source like the census and use data that has been collected in a systematic fashion. But with unanticipated one-off events like this, there are no data that are systematically collected.

“So it becomes like doing a jigsaw puzzle, but one in which you have to go out and find all the data pieces,” Reid said. “And, unfortunately, many of the pieces are either very hard to find or may not even exist. Our task here is to find as many of the pieces as possible and put them together to paint as complete a picture as we possibly can.”

“We need to be able to assess what the damages — all the damages — are. We know several sectors that were impacted by the 2014 water crisis, including hospitals, the food processing industry, restaurants, tourism and consumers, plus we will probably see an impact on housing,” Solocha said.

“But there may be impacts that we can’t see, and there could be a long-term impact. For example, people who typically go to Lake Erie beaches who have decided that now they can’t go there in the future because of the negative publicity for the region.

“Of course, there was also good news, such as the charities that came out, mobilized and helped,” he observed. “For example, the American Red Cross brought in water for people, and the National Guard distributed water and food.”

Solocha added, “The University of Toledo has been fantastic in helping us with this project, as have other organizations such as the United Way of Greater Toledo. It is absolutely critical that people know we are working on this report and that they help us.”

If you have information you would like to share about the economic impact of the 2014 water crisis, contact Solocha at Andrew.Solocha@utoledo.edu or Reid at Neil.Reid@utoledo.edu.

UT updates student insurance policy to offer voluntary coverage

The University of Toledo continues to offer health insurance plans for students, but no longer has a policy that requires students to have insurance coverage.

The passage of the Affordable Care Act that requires individuals to have health insurance coverage made it redundant for the University to also have a policy making it mandatory for students to have health insurance, said Dr. Thea Sawicki, vice provost for health science affairs and university accreditation.

“We continue to believe in the importance of all students maintaining health-care coverage to help ensure academic success and well-being, which is why we continue to offer a competitive option for students,” Sawicki said. “This change in policy means that University-offered coverage is voluntary for students to sign up for, rather than it being automatically applied to their accounts and having them opt out if they had other insurance coverage.”

For international students and students who are in a program that requires health-care coverage, the UT student insurance program will continue to be placed on their accounts with the ability to opt out of the UT plan if they have other comparable coverage.

The UT Board of Trustees approved the policy change in June. The mandatory student insurance policy had been in place since 2013.

The policy change also reflects the trend of fewer students using the UT policy because of having other health-care coverage. Only 1,774 students were assessed the UT coverage in fall 2014, compared to 3,825 five years prior in fall 2010.

The Student Health Coverage Plan is run by Student Educational Benefit Trust-Medical Health Services, a subsidiary of Medical Mutual of Ohio. Pharmacy coverage is included, and students also can select optional vision and dental coverage plans.

Information about the insurances plans is available at utoledo.edu/healthservices/student/health_insurance.

ProMedica, The University of Toledo reach academic affiliation agreement

ProMedica and The University of Toledo College of Medicine have finalized an academic affiliation agreement that will enable the two organizations to develop one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. The academic and clinical medical model will recruit medical students, physicians and researchers to northwest Ohio and benefit our communities for generations to come.

ut-promedicaA signing ceremony will take place Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. at the Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Toledo.

“Our goal is to establish one of the nation’s premier academic medical programs that will attract and retain the best caregivers and specialists,” said Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and chief executive officer. “This agreement lays the foundation for our long-term vision to create healthy individuals and healthy communities for generations to come.”

“As we look out at the next half century, this affiliation positions both organizations to be national leaders in health-care education and medical research,” said UT President Sharon Gaber.

The focus of the agreement is on academics and research as well as:

• Offering a broader range of educational and training opportunities for future physicians and medical professionals;

• Attracting and retaining a greater percentage of physicians and other medical specialists;

• Increasing clinical training capacity that will be comparable to other major academic centers;

• Creating new jobs and driving community revitalization, economic and business development opportunities; and

• Enhancing research and innovation opportunities.
Substantially, all of UT’s medical students, residents and fellows will be placed at ProMedica facilities. The agreement includes a commitment by ProMedica to support the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, including teaching, research, and the college’s facilities.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to enrich the quality of medical education and expand our clinical training capacity in Toledo and northwest Ohio,” said Dr. Lee Hammerling, ProMedica chief medical officer. “We’re very excited about the future.”

According to a recent report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the nation will face a shortage of between 46,000 to 90,000 physicians by 2025, including primary and specialty care. At the same time, the demand for physicians continues to intensify as a result of the nation’s growing and aging population.

The partnership will be governed by an Academic Affiliation Operating Group, which will serve to develop and implement an academic and programmatic plan for the affiliation. The group will be comprised of six members with equal representation from both parties. A first key action by the group will be the development of a transition plan, which is anticipated to begin implementation in July 2016.

The dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Dr. Christopher Cooper, will chair the Academic Affiliation Operating Group.

“The outcomes of this agreement will be truly transformational,” said Cooper, who also serves as UT’s executive vice president for clinical affairs. “For too long, we have educated students that have traveled to other parts of the country to practice medicine. Thanks to UT’s and ProMedica’s affiliation, not only will we retain far greater numbers of the health-care providers we educate, but I have no doubt students, residents and clinical faculty will be drawn to northwest Ohio and what we have created together.”

For more information about ProMedica, visit promedica.org/aboutus. For more information about UT, visit utoledo.edu.

Welcome greeting from President Gaber

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year!

As you might know, I have had the privilege of serving as UT’s president since July 1, and I have been eagerly awaiting the energy and enthusiasm that comes with the start of the fall semester.

I’ve had the chance to say hello to some of you, and I’m looking forward to many more meetings during campus activities and programs, at athletic events, or just in line for lunch at the Student Union.

During the summer, I’ve been able to meet with many groups across campus, as well as community leaders and elected officials at all levels of government representing northwest Ohio. I’m excited to work with my leadership team to find ways we can enhance our relationships with the various components of the community to provide learning and engagement opportunities for our students and faculty.

I am currently working to finalize my senior leadership team. We’ve combined the external affairs and institutional advancement vice presidencies into one position. Sam McCrimmon, a great addition to UT from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will lead the new division.

Additionally, Institutional Research is now led at the director level and will be reporting to the Provost’s Office. I’ve also asked Matt Schroeder, who previously worked in the UT Foundation, to join my office as chief of staff. He starts today.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting with colleges and other divisions. At each meeting, I’ve been laying out my goals for UT:

1. We will raise the standing of the University on the national stage, and we will do that by investing in the academic and research core of the institution. We’re going to celebrate and recognize on a greater level the thousands of accomplishments of our students, faculty, researchers and alumni.

2. We’re going to increase the numbers and the academic preparedness of students enrolling at UT, put programs in place to support and retain them as they take robust curricula, and make sure they graduate on time.

3. UT will recommit to increasing externally funded research, advancing scholarship, and demonstrating for the world the new knowledge that we discover.

4. We will increase our fundraising efforts to fund more student scholarships, establish endowed chairs and professorships, develop academic programs and initiatives, and fund new and renovated facilities. I mentioned Sam earlier. Sam and his team will be working with the college deans and units across campus to do this.

5. The University also will be working to reduce administrative costs over time to ensure a UT education remains financially accessible for students.

In the coming months, we will begin a formal strategic planning process that will depend upon substantial campus input and feedback to develop the necessary steps to achieve these goals and move UT forward. The faculty, staff and students are critically important to our collective success.

I joined The University of Toledo because I see what you see: a strong University with an incredible potential for greatness. I am proud to be a part of this community and am grateful for the warm welcome I have received.

To our entire community of UT students, employees, alumni and supporters, thank you for all you continue to do to help this University reach new heights.

Sincerely,
Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D.
President

Student Part-Time Job Fair to be held Aug. 28; prep sessions available Aug. 25

Looking to build your resumé or gain extra spending money? Go to the Part-Time Job Fair Friday, Aug. 28, in the Student Union Ingman Room from noon to 4 p.m.

“Employers are looking for not only that degree and credentials, but for experience as well,” said Sabina Elizondo-Serratos, associate director of the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services.

The job fair will feature various campus student employment opportunities, as well as community and campus federal work-study jobs.

“This year we are combining our community work-study job fair along with the part-time job fair,” Elizondo-Serratos said. “We are inviting community agencies and nonprofits on campus to interview our work-study students and hopefully get them connected so they can get that hands-on learning experience in the community.”

The event will feature student employment opportunities several the following campus entities:

• Aramark;

• College of Natural Science and Mathematics;

• Department of Art;

• Department of Foreign Languages;

• Institutional Advancement;

• Jesup Scott Honors College;

• Office of Student Experience;

• Office of Student Involvement;

• Transit Services and more.

“Working on campus, you get 20 hours a week, but employers realize you’re a student so the departments will work with students’ schedules; that’s something you don’t always get off campus,” said Joshua Vail, student employment specialist in the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services.

Community and campus federal work-study jobs opportunities include:

• Food for Thought;

• Kids Unlimited;

• MetroParks of Toledo;

• Nightingales Harvest;

• School for Autistically Impaired Learners;

• Toledo Botanical Garden;

• Toledo Campus Ministry;

• Toledo Museum of Art; and

• United Way.

“A number of our students are awarded federal work-study,” Elizondo-Serratos said. “It’s a mutually beneficial experience for both the community agencies and the students.”

Students should bring resumés and wear professional attire at the event.

Six pre-fair one-hour prep sessions are available to students Tuesday, Aug. 25. Those who qualify for federal work-study status must attend. Register here.

“We will go over interviewing tips that students should know about, resumés to make sure it’s presentable, and professional attire to make sure that students understand what that is and should be,” Elizondo-Serratos said.

For more information, visit the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services in Student Union Room 1533 or call 419.530.4341.