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West entrance to Main Campus to close for construction

The West Towerview Boulevard and Secor Road entrance to Main Campus will close for repair starting Wednesday, May 24.

“We will place barricades at the entrance and have detour signs in place during construction,” Doug Collins, director of grounds and off-site facilities, said.

The curbs, sidewalk and driving surface all will be replaced, according to Collins.

If the weather cooperates, the work is scheduled to be complete Friday, June 16.

“We apologize for any inconvenience during the construction phase as we continue to make improvements on campus,” he said.

UTMC nurse named ‘Champion for Children’

Katie Bush, a sexual assault nurse examiner at UT Medical Center, recently received another award for her dedication to helping those in need.

Bush received the Cullen Champion for Children Award at the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center’s spring luncheon. The award honors those who show an outstanding commitment to the well-being of children and families, tireless advocacy, and a pioneer spirit. It is named for Dr. Bernard J. Cullen, a Toledo pediatrician who worked on behalf of abused children.

Katie Bush, a sexual assault nurse examiner at UT Medical Center, left, received the Cullen Champion for Children Award from Dr. Christie Jenkins, CEO of the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center.

“I feel very blessed that my name was even considered for this award,” Bush said. “There are so many people doing wonderful things in this community for children and families living with violence as their daily norm, and if I have positively impacted even one child, then it’s all worth it.”

Bush acknowledged the difficult nature of her work: “There is no doubt about it, working with this population is hard. It’s sad and frustrating at times, and there are not always good outcomes. Being immersed in this part of the world can be dark, so this award shines that light and reinforces that I’ve kept going for a reason.”

She earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice at the University, where she worked with victims of crime. After becoming a registered nurse, the UT alumna made it her goal to become a forensic nurse at the encouragement of one of her advisers.

“I wish I could explain where the passion comes from to work with this patient population,” Bush said. “I truly believe it’s just inherently there for me, to be the advocate for the broken, for the victim or patient that just needs someone to be 100 percent on their side and supportive no matter what the circumstances. I’ve been lucky enough to live my life violence-free, but that’s not the case for so many families in our community, and I’m happy to be the person willing to help them in any way possible.”

In addition to this award, Bush received a Liberator Award in 2016, which recognizes locals fighting human trafficking, as well as a 2013 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award.

She also was the primary author of the national Emergency Nurses Association position statement on Human Trafficking Patient Awareness in the Emergency Setting. This statement was created to educate emergency nurses throughout the country on their essential role in identifying trafficking victims.

For those who wished to get involved with the various causes that she supports, Bush cited volunteering as the best way to both help and educate oneself simultaneously.

“I volunteered for 10 years with the Lucas County Crisis Response Team,” she said. “I went to homes and hospitals at police request to provide immediate crisis intervention to victims seeking help. There are so many programs out there that need help. From our own Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, to rape crisis, the battered women’s shelter and [court-appointed special advocates], there are plenty of opportunities to donate time and learn what the needs are within our own backyard.”

On advice for young nurses, Bush cited the importance of knowledge on different types of abuse: “Seek education on topics such as child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. I assure you, no matter what type of nurse you become, this population is among those you will care for. Understanding the dynamics they live within goes a long way to increase positive patient interaction; you may actually be the only person they can trust or turn to. They may not want your help, but offer it anyhow. Reserve judgments and keep the door open for them to feel safe no matter how many times they may walk away. And if you identify a need, know your resources. Connect them to services and call a social worker or a sexual assault nurse examiner.”

Bush’s passion for her work shines through her tireless efforts to provide survivors and their families with appropriate care. Her work has not gone unnoticed by her peers.

“I’m proud to have received an award in honor of Dr. Cullen, because in no way do I believe I’ve impacted our profession on his level,” Bush said. “It creates a goal for me, to continue improving lives of people who deserve better than the violence they live within. That was part of Dr. Cullen’s mission, and I couldn’t be more proud to be among the past recipients of this award.”

New dean selected to lead College of Arts and Letters

An award-winning independent documentary filmmaker and scholar of women’s and gender studies will join The University of Toledo to lead the College of Arts and Letters.

She also is a familiar face on campus.


Charlene Gilbert will return to UT from Ohio State University at Lima, where she has served as dean and director since 2014, as well as professor in the departments of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her appointment will be effective July 10.

Prior to Lima, Gilbert worked at UT for seven years as professor and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, founding director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and director of the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.

“The University is excited to welcome Charlene Gilbert back to Toledo,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “Her excellent, diverse experience and enthusiasm for student and faculty success will be strong assets as dean of the College of Arts and Letters.”

“I am honored to have been selected as the next dean of the College of Arts and Letters,” Gilbert said. “This is an inspiring time for The University of Toledo, and it is clear to me that the College of Arts and Letters will be a critical part of the University’s highest aspirations for the future.”

Gilbert was a documentary filmmaker and professor at American University in Washington, D.C., from 2001 to 2007 in the School of Communication.

Her documentary films have been screened nationally on PBS and in film festivals across the country. Some of her best-known works include “Homecoming: Sometimes I Am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay,” about African-American farmers and their struggle after the Civil War to own and farm land in the rural South, and “Children Will Listen,” which is about elementary school children planning and performing a junior production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Her current projects include an experimental documentary on the international prototype for the kilogram and a documentary on Mary Fields, a female pioneer known as “Stagecoach Mary” who has ties to Toledo.

Gilbert is a past recipient of Harvard University’s Radcliffe Fellowship, the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship and American Council on Education Fellowship.

She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Yale University and a master of fine arts in film and media arts from Temple University.

“The College of Arts and Letters has an incredibly talented community of faculty, staff and students,” Gilbert said. “I am looking forward to joining this community and building on the strong legacy of excellence that can be found in all of the departments and schools within the college.”

Once Gilbert’s appointment begins at UT, Dr. Jamie Barlowe will join the Provost’s Office full-time as interim vice provost for faculty affairs.

Professional Staff Association member to be honored at annual meeting

The Professional Staff Association (PSA) will hold its 2017 annual meeting Tuesday, May 23, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The meeting will take place in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room, and lunch will be provided.

On the agenda for the meeting is the honoring of a current PSA member with the Frank E. Horton Award.

“[The award] was created to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Professional Staff Council at The University of Toledo,” said Dr. Lisa Bollman, academic adviser in the Department of Communication. “The award is named for past UT President Frank Horton, who in 1992 was instrumental in establishing the PSA as an officially recognized organization on campus.”

The honoree will be a member who displays an outstanding commitment, exemplary support, advocacy and service to professional staff at UT. With more than 1,200 members of PSA across UT campuses, there is a wide range of candidates to choose from.

Bollman continued, saying that examples of commitment to professional staff may include past membership on the Professional Staff Council, service on committees that represent the interests of professional staff, or engagement in campus and community events that strengthen the presence of professional staff on campus.

Members of PSA have until Friday, May 19, to vote for their choice for the Horton Award; the winner will be announced at the meeting Tuesday, May 23.

Attendees at the meeting also can donate to Kate’s Closet, a professional clothing resource at the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.

In addition, there will be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle, with proceeds going to the PSA Scholarship Fund. Cash and checks will be accepted.

To register for the meeting, click here.

Vibrant works update outdoor sculpture exhibition

A dancer gives a joyful performance near UT Medical Center. And a family stands on the west side of Centennial Mall.

Ray Katz’s “Domino,” Gregory Mendez’s “Ellie” and Todd Kime’s “Profiling” are three of the eight new pieces installed for the 12th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Gregory Mendez’s “Ellie” dances near UT Medical Center.

It’s a springtime tradition: New artwork blooms at The University of Toledo.

“This is my favorite time of the year. I love when the new pieces arrive,” said Dr. Steve LeBlanc, interim dean of the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Beautification Committee. “They certainly add to the beauty of of the campus.”

Three of the new works are by Mike Sohikian: “Male Flamenco” steps it up near the sidewalk on the north side of University and Gillham halls; “Figure With Large Bowl” walks on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building; and “The Veteran” stands resolutely on the west side of the Health Education Building on Main Campus.

Sohikian, a retired ironworker, has a reputation for creating beauty from scraps of steel.

“I had a lifetime of love and appreciation for art, but I didn’t begin my art career until 1995,” the Genoa, Ohio, resident said. “I assemble industrial materials and rework them into fascinating forms.”

Sam Soet’s “Cedar Walker Variations II” is perched in Ravin Plaza on Centennial Mall.

Sam Soet’s artful twist titled “Cedar Walker Variations II” sits in Ravin Plaza on Centennial Mall.

“I am at home outdoors in the woods. This is where I draw my inspiration from — the lines, shapes and movements influence the forms of my sculptures,” said Soet, who lives in Farwell, Mich. “I pride myself in working with materials that are sustainably sourced, essentially giving new life to a fallen tree or limb, or saving a log from a burn pile.”

This year’s last new work, “Three Tenors” by Ric Leichliter, will be installed this week near the Root Bridge, where North Tower Boulevard meets Stadium Drive.

“Profiling” by Todd Kime stands on the west side of Centennial Mall.

In addition, Sohikian’s “Reaching for the Moon” from last year’s exhibit still sits on the west side of Savage Arena.

And thanks to donor contributions and a partnership between the Campus Beautification Committee and the President’s Commission on the River, Tom Rudd’s 9-foot, 1,000-pound “Whitefish” is becoming a permanent part of UT’s collection and will continue swimming south of Carlson Library near the Ottawa River.

Nearly 230 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the UT Campus Beautification Committee reviewed the entries and selected pieces for this year’s exhibition.

Artists receive stipends for the sculptures, which will be on display for the next year.

Nearly 120 sculptures have rotated through the display at the University since the exhibit began, and 11 have become part of UT’s art collection thanks to the generosity of campus benefactors, colleges and departments, according to LeBlanc.

“Gifts from donors make the annual exhibition possible,” LeBlanc said. “If you like the sculptures, please consider a gift to the Campus Beautification Committee through the UT Foundation.”

Go to https://give2ut.utoledo.edu.

College of Business helps sponsor new WGTE show

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation is one of the major sponsors of “Business 360,” which will premiere Thursday, May 18, at 8:30 p.m. on WGTE.

This new 30-minute, magazine-style program will take a look at regional trends, technology and leadership in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Host Kristi Hoffman is an award-winning television host and producer, author, and CEO of Total Package Global, a professional and personal development corporation.

Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation, is featured in the first segment of the debut. He discusses leadership.

An encore presentation of the premiere episode will air Sunday, June 4, at 11 a.m.

Future episodes will air the third Thursday of the month at 8:30 p.m. followed by the first Sunday at 11 a.m.

Kristi Hoffman, left, is the host of “Business 360.”

Interim VP of student affairs named

The University of Toledo Division of Student Affairs is transitioning through a leadership change.

Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, will serve as interim vice president of student affairs effective June 1. Dr. Kaye M. Patten will retire in June.


“I have enjoyed my time at UT, have created many great memories, and feel our team has accomplished much,” Patten said. “I am looking forward to the future.”

“For 11 years Dr. Kaye Patten has provided strong leadership for the Division of Student Affairs,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “On behalf of our UT community, I thank her for all she has done and wish her the best upon in her well-deserved retirement.”

A retirement reception for Patten will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1, in the UT Driscoll Alumni Center Schmakel Room.

“Dr. Phillip ‘Flapp’ Cockrell has proven himself to be a strong leader with a commitment to student success, and I appreciate his willingness to step into the role of interim vice president to continue the progress being made in the Division of Student Affairs and to fulfill the University’s mission for a student-centered environment,” Gaber said.

“I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to working with the administration and faculty in looking for ways to enhance student success as it relates to the student experience at the University,” Cockrell said.

The offices and departments that make up the Division of Student Affairs include the Office of the Dean of Students; Office of Residence Life; University Counseling Center; Office of Multicultural Student Success; Office of Recreation; Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards; Office of Student Involvement and Leadership; Office of Student Advocacy and Support; Toledo Excel; and Upward Bound.

Cockrell joined UT as associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students in April 2016. Cockrell has several years of experience working in student affairs at various universities. Most recently, he served three years as associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

His prior student affairs experience also includes work in various positions at Mississippi University for Women, Ohio State University and Florida International University.
Cockrell toured and studied institutions of higher learning policies and practices abroad in England, Scotland and Ireland. 

He received his bachelor of science degree in family studies from Mississippi University for Women in 2003. Cockrell obtained a master of science degree in educational leadership and student affairs from Florida International University, followed by a doctor of philosophy in urban higher education from Jackson State University.

Pioneering surgeon to speak at College of Medicine commencement May 26

Internationally renowned minimally invasive surgeon Dr. Mehran Anvari will be the commencement speaker for the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences graduation ceremony Friday, May 26, at 2 p.m. at Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo.

There are more than 200 candidates for degrees: 162 for doctor of medicine degrees; 10 for a doctor of philosophy degrees; 29 for master’s degrees; and four for graduate certificates.


Anvari, one of the first physicians in Canada to use robotics in surgery who also won a NASA award for his role in developing an automated robot used for detecting the early stages of breast cancer, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Anvari serve as the speaker for our upcoming commencement,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, senior vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “His impressive body of work, particularly in minimal access techniques, should serve as an example to our graduates that pushing boundaries and finding new and innovative methods to replace established practices can lead to better, more positive outcomes.”

A tenured professor and chair in minimally invasive surgery and surgical innovation at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Anvari is the founding director of the McMaster Institute for Surgical Invention, Innovation and Education; the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery; and the Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation.

“It is an honor to be invited to speak at the commencement of The University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences,” Anvari said. “My talk will focus on how innovation is an essential ingredient for social and economic progress and can solve the problems facing our global community. It should be a goal for all students and drive our future academic and professional endeavors.”

Anvari is a pioneer in his field. He is the founding director of the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery and scientific director and CEO of the Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation, affiliated with McMaster University and St. Joseph Healthcare Hamilton.

In 2003, he established the world’s first telerobotic surgical service linking St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a community hospital.

In addition, Anvari has authored more than 120 publications and has been an invited lecturer numerous times on the outcomes and evidence for the increasing use of laparoscopic esophagogastric and bowel surgery, as well as on the use of robotics in surgery.

University’s strategic plan nears completion

The final review of the University’s strategic plan has been completed, and the plan is in the process of being finalized for approval by the UT Board of Trustees.

Approximately 30 people provided comments on the plan in the two-week public review period in late April. As a result of comments received, a number of minor adjustments were made to the plan.

In several cases, language was altered to make the meaning clearer. Changes were made to better clarify how this plan dovetails with UT’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan, the Multi-Campus Plan, and the Strategic Enrollment Plan.

Other clarifications were made in the language around philanthropy, globalization, research and support of faculty research, as well as UT’s image.

The goal seeking to reduce the number of programs that require more than 120 credit hours to graduate also was rewritten for clarity.

No comments were made about the University’s new mission, vision and values statements.

A final copy of the plan will be available in mid to late June.

New dean selected to lead College of Nursing

The future of nursing education at The University of Toledo will be in the hands of a leader and scholar with a passion for pediatrics whose research focuses on helping children and families cope with traumatic situations.

Dr. Linda Lewandowski is selected to join UT as the dean of the College of Nursing effective July 10.


Lewandowski comes to UT from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) College of Nursing, where she served as professor of nursing and former associate dean for academic affairs and graduate program director.

“I am proud to welcome Dr. Linda Lewandowski to The University of Toledo as dean of the College of Nursing,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “Her extensive experience in patient care, nursing education and research will advance and strengthen our commitment to research and training high-quality, versatile health-care providers who will make a difference in the community.”

“I feel very honored and privileged to be joining the UT community,” Lewandowski said. “Visionary and action-oriented new University leadership; leading-edge, innovative educational facilities; well-established interprofessional collaborative education programs; and talented and compassionate faculty, staff and students are some of the strengths that drew me to this position.”

Personally, this move brings her much closer to family.

“I grew up in Michigan and am looking forward to coming back to the Midwest,” Lewandowski said. “The fact that my daughter, son-in-law and grandchild — with another on the way — live not too far away in the Detroit area is certainly a plus. I am looking forward to more frequent ‘grandma-time.’”

Lewandowski said she believes that universities play vital roles in advancing the health and well-being of communities, while providing meaningful and real-world learning experiences for students.

“Helping address and manage tough challenges, such as the growing opioid epidemic, which affects families of every socio-demographic group, through our research, education and service activities is one example of how we can help make a difference in the state of Ohio as well as the nation,” Lewandowski said.

Lewandowski worked in a joint position at Wayne State University College of Nursing and Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 2003 to 2012 as the Elizabeth Schotanus Endowed Professor of Pediatric Nursing and assistant dean of family, community and mental health.

While teaching at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing from 1993 to 2002, she was promoted to associate professor. Lewandowski also served as associate director for training and education from 2001 to 2002 at the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.

From 1981 to 1993, she was at Yale University School of Nursing, where she held several positions, including assistant professor, research associate and acting department chair. Additionally, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at Yale.

Lewandowski worked as a staff educator and resource nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Mount Zion Hospital and Medical Center in San Francisco and in the pediatric intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

She earned a PhD in clinical psychology and master’s in psychology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She also holds a master’s in pediatric critical care nursing from the University of California in San Francisco. Lewandowski earned a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Michigan.

Lewandowski is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and holds leadership posts in national and international nursing organizations.

“I wish to thank Dr. Kelly Phillips for her leadership as interim dean during the last two years,” Hsu said. “Together with the nursing faculty, Dr. Phillips has made tremendous progress in moving the college forward.”