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University reaffirms support for transgender students

The University of Toledo continues to welcome and value people of all racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds. We believe our diversity makes us stronger, and we work hard to create and foster an inclusive environment.

UT remains committed to treating every person with respect and equality. All students, faculty and staff at the University are able to use restroom facilities according to their identity, or they can use one of more than two dozen public and individual gender-neutral restrooms located across UT’s campuses.

Please know we are here to help address any questions or concerns. Contact UT President Sharon L. Gaber or Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, at 419.530.2260 or willie.mckether@utoledo.edu for assistance.

Sales students across U.S. to participate in national sales competition at UT

Professional sales students from 30 universities across the United States will visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the second annual UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex on Main Campus.

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m., and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at an awards luncheon at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The UT Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

“We want to help businesses find top and available business-to-business professional sales talent while also giving universities a recruitment tool to grow their sales program enrollments,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Driscoll Alumni Center with sales leaders and recruiters from 15 sponsoring companies.

More than 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions and the career fair.  

Sponsors include 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Schindler Elevator Corp., Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Hilti, and Procter & Gamble Co.

Participating universities include Baylor, Florida State, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Indiana.

Faculty: Bookstore requests input on texts in stock

The Barnes & Noble University Bookstore soon will return overstock textbooks from spring semester.

Faculty members who need texts held in stock should contact the bookstore by Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“We know there may be titles not assigned until later in the term, and we’d like to make sure we still have them in stock and available for students to buy,” Colleen Strayer, general manager of the bookstore, said.

Requested titles will be kept on the shelves in the bookstore through Thursday, March 30, Strayer added.

Faculty members also may let the bookstore know if they intend to use the same texts next semester.

Call the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore at 419.530.2516 or email sm573@bncollege.com.

Women’s rights, immigration policy to be subject of faculty showcase

The University of Toledo’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies will host a faculty showcase focusing on women’s rights and immigration policy Friday, Feb. 24, in Libbey Hall.

The showcase will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar and light refreshments, followed by presentations by two faculty members on research they have developed during the past year.

Dr. Asma Abdel Halim, associate professor and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, will discuss women’s rights in the Sudan, which ranks No. 5 on the list of countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban. She will examine women’s rights in the Sudan from a legal perspective, including the issues that face women in the country, as well as what local and international women’s organizations are doing to change Sudanese laws and regulations affecting women.

Dr. Karie Peralta, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, will focus her presentation on the efforts of non-governmental organizations to assist Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic in navigating the documentation process needed to regularize their status. She will present information gathered from in-depth interviews with non-governmental organization leaders working with the migrants.

“As the community prepares to commemorate Women’s History Month in March and continues to wrestle with issues of immigration, these presentations will give attendees the opportunity to explore these topics in greater depth led by UT faculty members who have specialized in researching these subjects,” said Dr. Jim Ferris, director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies.

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies, part of the College of Arts and Letters, is the leading engine of interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences at the University. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 10 fields that work between as well as across traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative ways to solve problems.

Wanted: Outstanding Staff Award nominations

Nominations for the 2017 UT Outstanding Staff Award are due Thursday, March 16.

Take a few minutes to nominate staff members who exceed expectations and enhance the University environment for students, patients, staff, faculty and the community.

Eligible nominees must be full-time or part-time (20 hours or more) regular employees (contingent, temporary and intermittent employees are not eligible), and have at least two years of service at the University.

Senior administrators and previous award recipients are ineligible if they have received the Outstanding Staff Award within the past three years.

All nominees will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony Wednesday, April 19, at the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center from noon to 1:30 pm. A total of five employees will be selected to receive awards and $1,000.

In addition, the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award will be presented.

Nominations will be accepted from faculty, physicians, staff, students, patients and community members.

The selection committee for the awards consists of previous winners and a representative from the Human Resources and Talent Development Department.

The selection committee will consider:

• Career accomplishments and outstanding contributions on the job;

• Commitment to improvement and innovation; and

• Leadership and loyalty to The University of Toledo community.

The nomination form is available here.

If you have any issues with the online form, email  vicki.riddick@utoledo.edu.

University’s strategic plan taking shape

After several months of work and with the input of more than 1,000 people at the University, the strategic planning committee has defined the major areas of focus for the institution over the next five years.

The team shared the plan framework with various groups of University leaders last week, and soon will be conducting information sessions with students, faculty, staff and the community to review major components of the plan.

Areas of focus include:

• Student success and academic excellence;

• Research, scholarship and creative activities;

• Faculty, staff and alumni;

• Fiscal positioning and infrastructure; and

• Reputation and engagement. 

The team also identified themes that cut across all of the areas of focus. Those include:

• Athletics;

• Communications;

• Community engagement;

• Diversity and inclusion;

• Fundraising;

• Innovation;

• Technology; and

• UT’s Health System.

In addition to the plan, the strategic planning committee is working on new drafts of the University’s mission, vision, values and purpose statements.

“It is exciting to see the plan taking shape,” said UT President Sharon L Gaber. “It’s clear that we have a lot of things we’d like to do, and we are anxious to get started on the plan.”

Students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to review the plan and discuss the proposed goals in the information sessions planned for Tuesday, Feb. 28, and Wednesday, March 1; see the chart below.

Black Student Union to host ‘All Around the World’ fashion show Feb. 24

The Black Student Union’s 48th Annual Fashion Show is set to feature the diversity that the UT campus offers. This year’s theme, “All Around the World,” will showcase fashion from countries across the globe that many students call home.

“There will be four countries presented throughout the show,” said MeKayla Pullins, president of the Black Student Union. “The countries represented are Brazil, Jamaica, India and China.”

Pullins explained how this year’s theme was chosen: “Each year around the middle of the fall semester, we hold scene director auditions. These auditions consist of a vision of the show, giving the students a wide and open range of creativity and originality. This year we chose the theme ‘All Around the World,’ which was presented to us by one of the executive board members of BSU, Kyndra Gaines.”

Each year, the Black Student Union chooses a celebrity to host the event. This year’s fashion show will be hosted by Vine and Instagram comedienne Lala (@lalasizahands89).

The event will take place Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $15 for VIP seating in the front row, meet-and-greet with the host, and hors d’oeuvres prior to the show. They are available for purchase at Ask Rocky, and will be at the door for $15 and $20, respectively.

All proceeds from the fashion show go toward scholarships to support African-American students.

For more information, contact Pullins at mekayla.pullins@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Financial planning and retirement to be subjects of Professional Staff Association brown-bag seminar

The Professional Staff Association (PSA) knows how important it is to invest in your future.

When its 2016 professional development survey revealed a need for more education on retirement and financial planning, PSA responded with upcoming brown-bag seminars on Ohio Deferred Compensation Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Ohio Deferred Compensation is a supplemental retirement plan for Ohio employees, and is one of the largest and lowest priced plans in the country.

Brent Tabler, account executive for Ohio Deferred Compensation, will speak at the sessions and inform employees on how they can enroll in the program.

Emily T. Creamer, assistant director for engineering transfer programs, said that the events are open to all members of the UT community interested in personal finance.

“Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or coffee while they learn about the supplemental retirement plan,” Creamer said. “I’m looking forward to learning about an additional option. Since I’m in my early 30s, I have a long time until I retire. I do know that financial planning is important, which is why PSA decided to bring an expert on campus to share this information.”

Both sessions will take place Tuesday, Feb. 28.

A session from 11 a.m. to noon will be held in Collier Building Room 1210 on Health Science Campus, and another will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. in Rocket Hall Rocket Room on Main Campus.

Click here to RSVP for the event.

To learn more about Ohio Deferred Compensation, visit ohio457.org, or contact Tabler at tablerb@nationwide.com or 614.579.9817.

To learn more about the seminar, contact Creamer at emily.creamer@utoledo.edu or 419.530.8048.

Carlson Library offering weekly workshops

Having difficulties with a project? Trying to land a job? The University of Toledo Carlson Library has you covered with weekly workshops they will be having on six different subjects throughout the months of February, March, and April.

“Part of the mission of The University Libraries is to enrich the student learning experience. These workshops are one of the many ways we are trying to engage students in the conversation that is research,” said Thomas Atwood, coordinator of information literacy and library instruction.

Topics for the workshops include getting your research started, endnote — -manage your research, company research for the job hunt, identifying fake news, internet privacy, and research in engineering.

All workshops will be held in Carlson Library Room 1025, except research in engineering, which will be held in the McMaster Engineering Library, Palmer Hall Room 2600.

“These workshops not only assist students who are working on research in their courses, helping them connect to better quality academic resources, saving them time and frustration, but also offer real-world skills that will make them better informed citizens,” Atwood said.

The mission of the University Libraries is to drive excellence in life-long learning, discovery and engagement.  Within a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment, they it aims to enrich the student learning experience, facilitate research at all levels, and engage the community through innovative educational services, resources and technologies. 

Dates and times for the workshops can be found at libguides.utoledo.edu/workshops.

Trustees approve campus master plan

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees voted Monday to endorse the Multiple Campus Master Plan 2017 that establishes a guide to the evolution of UT’s campuses for the next decade.

The master plan is focused on four themes: repositioning the academic core, investing in research, consolidating athletics, and enhancing student life.

“This 10-year plan is the result of months of collaborations with our students, faculty, staff, trustees, neighbors and other stakeholders to guide future decision making for our physical campuses to support the University’s mission to serve students and benefit the community,” said Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities and construction. “I look forward to watching the campuses evolve according to this plan.”

Efforts to develop the master plan, which was created in collaboration with the consulting firm Smith Group JJR, began in fall 2014, and the draft plan was presented publicly in December.

It was developed under the guiding principles of student success and student life experience; research, scholarship and creative activities; asset stewardship; campus character; and community interface.

The master plan honors the beauty of UT’s campuses and the Ottawa River by focusing the academic core on Main Campus around the iconic University Hall with renovations to nearby academic buildings, including Carlson Library. The Thompson Student Union, on-campus living and recreation options also will be enhanced to boost student life energy and excitement.

The Health Science Campus is positioned to respond to continued evolution in medical education and clinical research as the academic affiliation agreement between the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and ProMedica is implemented and the UT Medical Center plans to add more primary care and behavioral health options to meet the needs of the community.

The plan also calls for a new multidisciplinary research center near Nitschke Hall and a consolidation of athletics facilities moving baseball, softball and soccer from Scott Park Campus to Main Campus.

The campus master plan will be implemented in phases during the next decade.

The executive summary of the Multiple Campus Master Plan 2017 is available online at utoledo.edu/facilities/master-plan.