UT News » UToday

UT News

Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to hold oral arguments at UT College of Law March 22

On Wednesday, March 22, UT law students and members of the public will get to experience a morning of appellate court arguments when the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals holds oral arguments in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

Oral arguments at the free, public session will begin at 9 a.m., and the final case will be argued starting at 10:15 a.m.

Presiding over oral arguments will be a panel of three judges from the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals: The Hon. Arlene Singer, a 1976, UT law alumna; Thomas J. Osowick, a 1981 UT law alumnus; and Christine E. Mayle. The judges will hear four cases:

• Romstadt v. Garcia, et al. is a personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff was injured when hit by a vehicle owned and insured by defendant-appellee but driven by her son. The issue on summary judgment was limited to the question of whether the son had his mother’s permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident. Plaintiff now argues that summary judgment was inappropriate because of material inconsistencies in the mother’s deposition testimony and because the question turned on the credibility of the mother’s testimony.

• In State of Ohio v. Whites Landing Fisheries Inc., the defendant-appellee was charged by the state under the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code with three counts of illegally harvesting yellow perch from a part of Lake Erie for which the annual quota was zero. The defendant-appellee alleged in its motion to dismiss that the definition of “Lake Erie yellow perch management units” in the code provision was unconstitutionally void for vagueness. The appeal is from a grant of a motion to dismiss based on the unconstitutionality of a penal provision.

• State of Ohio v. Brandeberry involves a guilty plea and sentencing order for a juvenile prosecuted as an adult for charges of arson and murder. On appeal, the defendant challenges the constitutionality of the mandatory transfer and sentencing provisions that resulted in defendant being prosecuted and sentenced as an adult. The constitutional challenges allege violations of due process and equal protection, as well as ineffective assistance of counsel.

• In State of Ohio v. Greely, the appeal is from a sentencing order after a guilty plea to charges of aggravated burglary and rape. For purposes of sentencing, the court treated the aggravated burglary and rape counts as dissimilar offenses and ordered separate and consecutive sentences. The defendant argues that the court erred in treating the offenses as dissimilar and imposing consecutive sentences.

Experiencing appellate arguments firsthand will be especially helpful for first year UT law students. As part of their Lawyering Skills II course, each law student must research and write an appellate brief and then present an oral argument on behalf of a fictional client.

“The opportunity for students to observe judges and lawyers in a real court session is a valuable learning experience in our oral advocacy curriculum,” said Terrell Allen, UT legal writing professor and director of the College of Law’s legal research, writing and appellate advocacy program. “We appreciate the court’s willingness to provide this useful experience and instruction for our students.”

Toledo Hackathon focusing on Lake Erie infrastructure

Through its tech-driven water innovation competition, Erie Hack challenges local coders, designers, engineers, water experts and everyday citizens to think of creative solutions to some of Lake Erie’s biggest obstacles.

“At a time when critical funding for the health of Lake Erie is in jeopardy, it’s more important than ever for citizens to come together to produce homegrown, innovative solutions for the most precious resource in our region,” said Morgan Fitzgibbons, program director for Erie Hack.

The competition, which includes more than $100,000 in prizes, focuses on six individual challenges:

• Mitigate nutrient loading and its environmental impacts;

• Reduce and remediate urban pollution;

• Cultivate resilience in water infrastructure systems;

• Manage aging water infrastructure systems;

• Connect communities to the value of water; and

• Drive the creation of meaningful data.

One of the goals of Erie Hack is to engage young people in the emerging “blue economy”: the economic sector dedicated to sustaining freshwater bodies around the globe. One of the ways this is accomplished is by hosting hackathons in cities surrounding Lake Erie.

The regional Toledo Hackathon will begin Friday, March 24, at 6 p.m. and end Sunday, March 26, at 6 p.m. The competition will be held at Launchpad Incubation at UT, 1510 N. Westwood Ave.

Both individuals and teams not exceeding five members may compete. Participants must be 18 years of age or older to compete, unless he or she is on a high school team.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required in advance; click here.

For more information on Erie Hack, including full rules, judging criteria, tips to ensure success and prizes, visit eriehack.io/challenge.

Immigration seminar set for March 23

Recent changes to U.S. immigration laws will be the topic at an informational immigration seminar sponsored by the Paralegal Studies Program.

The event will take place Thursday, March 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

The seminar will focus on general immigration rules and international student visa status; immigration updates under the Trump administration; ramifications to immigration status for those charged with a crime; and the rights and responsibilities of international students after graduation.

The guest speaker for the event will be Tracy Schauff, who has more than 20 years of experience in immigration law, from the Fakhoury Law Group.

“Today, the number of foreign-born residents living in the United States on a long-term basis is the highest it has ever been,” said John J. Schlageter, program director and senior lecturer of the Paralegal Studies Program. “Immigration law and policy has a dramatic impact on the foreign born, their family members, and the U.S. workforce.”

Schlageter said that since immigration law is never static and societal goals and public priorities are always changing, the information that will be presented in the seminar is even more valuable.

“This information is of value to everyone, regardless of their nationality. Faculty and staff need to be informed so that assistance can be given to any student who may inquire,” Schlageter said. “Students should be informed so that trips to country of origin can be better planned. Doing so will cause less confusion upon re-entry to the United States and will continue the University’s goal of creating a memorable educational experience.”

Lunch will be provided for the first 50 people at the free event, which is open to faculty, staff and students.

‘The Trials of Spring’ screening and discussion to focus on political and social justice

In a time of cultural and political upheaval in her home country, Hend Nafea will visit campus to share her story with the UT community.

“The Trials of Spring” tells the story of 21-year-old Nafea’s indomitable spirit, and her journey after being arrested for speaking out against her country’s military rule.

“The film shows, not only the actions taken, but the suffering that existed before and after,” said Dr. Asma Abdel Halim, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. “Autobiographical and biographical stories are detailed and inspiring. I think the film tells us about the fear that was instilled in the people through decades of oppression and the unbelievable courage that overcame that immense fear.”

Nafea traveled from her village to Cairo, where she advocated with thousands of Egyptians for the end of military rule. She was arrested, beaten and tortured by security forces. After her release, Nafea was shunned by her family for bringing shame to their name.

All are invited to attend a free screening and discussion of the film Wednesday, March 22. Refreshments will be served starting at 6:30 p.m., and the film will begin at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

The discussion with Nafea will be moderated by Abdel Halim and Dr. Renée Heberle, professor and honors adviser in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

“It is important for every woman that participates in an action that leads to change to tell her story. Even within those seeking change, one cannot ignore the gender aspect of activism. It is also necessary for documenting such events for women’s history, as most of the time this history is ignored,” said Abdel Halim. “Real heroism is seen in actions taken by the powerless, as such actions are taken by the most unexpected actors, such as women. It is really empowering for people everywhere, to see that everything is possible and the biggest obstacles are surmountable.”

The event, one of many scheduled at UT for Women’s History Month, is sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; School of Interdisciplinary Studies; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women; Program in Law and Social Thought; and Office of Student Services.

For more information, contact Abdel Halim by calling 419.530.2233.

Mock trial team brings regional trophy back to UT

The UT Mock Trial Team is continuing a tradition of excellence. Over the years, the team has earned national championship titles 10 times, and may be on its way to another.

“After their outstanding performance at the regional tournament, The University of Toledo’s Mock Trial Team has received a bid to represent our region at the Opening Round Championship,” said John Schlageter, coach of the team, program director and senior lecturer for the Paralegal Studies Program.

Members of the UT mock trial team posed for a photo after winning a bid to the Opening Round Championship Tournament at the Cleveland Regional Tournament. They are, from left, Joshua Yeager, Kyle Zapadka, Travis Peterson, Taylor Sanders, Colleen Anderson, Andrea Bonds, Elizabeth Layhew and Rachel Schneider.

UT went head to head with 16 other schools, including Case Western, Ohio State University, Cornell University, and Michigan State, at the competition Feb. 25 and 26 at the Cleveland Justice Center.

The team is preparing for its next competition, practicing case materials in the McQuade Courtroom in the Health and Human Services Building. Both the regional and championship tournaments consist of four rounds of competition, in which teams are required to perform twice as plaintiff and twice as defense.

The American Mock Trial Association hosts the competitions from February through April, alternating between a civil case and a criminal case each year. This year, teams are representing both sides of a civil case for wrongful termination. Each round must consist of three witnesses and three student attorneys, as well as one direct and one cross-examination.

Schlageter noted that participation on the team is open to and benefits all majors: “The mock trial experience is a value-creating activity open to all students regardless of major. Team members must demonstrate abilities to communicate meaningfully, persuasively and creatively to a jury. Communication students may learn how to speak effectively in public. Theatre students may learn how to perfect their craft playing the role of attorney or witness. Business students may learn how to give a persuasive presentation. Any student that desires to master the ability to communicate meaningfully, persuasively and creatively with different audiences through written, oral, numeric, graphic and visual modes would benefit greatly through mock trial.”

The Opening Round Championship will be held Friday through Sunday, March 24-26, in Hamilton, Ohio.

“I am very proud of the dedication and hard work exhibited by our team. Our team is committed to getting even better in preparation for the upcoming championship tournament,” Schlageter said. “These students bring back an understanding of the high regard our judicial system merits and the protection it affords all of our citizens.”

Partners Against Trafficking in Humans assists victims on path to recovery

A $75,000 grant from the Toledo Community Foundation made to The University of Toledo will support the work of the Partners Against Trafficking in Humans Project.

The project aims to help move victims of human trafficking to survivors and survivors to thrivers through a coordinated, transparent and data-driven response, and is coordinated and overseen by the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

Fanell Williams, project coordinator of Partners Against Trafficking in Humans in the UT School of Justice, said the project is based on a modified replica of the Pathways Model, which addresses the issue of Ohio’s infant mortality rate and works to improve birth outcomes in low-income, high-risk African-American mothers. This is also the first project in the nation to implement the Pathways Model to study a local community’s response to human trafficking.

“The goal of Partners Against Trafficking in Humans is to become an evidence-based model that can be used nationally for providing the best care coordination to assist victims of human trafficking on their path to recovery and restoration,” Williams said. “Creating a system of services that has the potential to restore individuals to the level of mental, emotional and physical well-being and economic stability they would have reached had they not been trafficked is a huge part of the vision.”

The project focuses on five main objectives: train professionals to increase their ability to identify and engage with victims of human trafficking and trafficked clients; provide highly trained care coordinators to effectively assess and intervene; produce high-quality individualized service plans and services that address individual needs; determine barriers and strengths and service delivery using a data-driven process of evaluation and response; and identify the continuum of care of victims to survivors and survivors to thrivers through continued data analysis and feedback.

Partners Against Trafficking in Humans has worked with several Lucas County organizations, including the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, as well as numerous social service agencies that provide support, social, legal and health-care services.

According to Williams, local agencies can become approved partners by receiving training on human trafficking and/or trauma-informed care, signing a memorandum of understanding, and by providing a point of contact that will join the coalition and guide care coordinators and clients through their system of services.

Over the span of nine months, 800 professionals from criminal justice, health care, mental health and substance abuse, and various social services, have been trained on human trafficking, trauma-informed care, and the Partners Against Trafficking in Humans Model. The project is based in Lucas County, but will be expanded to other counties and states in the following years, according to Williams.

Through Partners Against Trafficking in Humans, 10 services have been identified as extremely beneficial for victims of human trafficking: trafficking education; legal; basic needs; injury, impairment and supports; mental health; services for dependents of clients; substance abuse treatment; support systems and life skills; empowerment; and health care.

“Partners Against Trafficking in Humans, in just the name, lets us know this is not a one person or one organization effort. This coordinated and collaborative response to human trafficking puts a mandate on local organizations to partner together to move a victim to survivor to thriver on her or his individual path of healing and recovery,” Williams said. “We know the cliché, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ It takes a community to work together in an organized manner to combat an issue while creating and sustaining positive change.”

Eberly Center for Women slates lunches to spotlight research

The Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women’s Lunch With a Purpose brings together students, faculty and staff to support UT’s women researchers.

All are welcome to bring lunches and hungry minds to find out what researchers are working on and to contribute to interdisciplinary discussions. The lunches are held in Eberly Center, Tucker Hall Room 0152, from 12:10 to 1 p.m. throughout the semester.

The next Lunch With a Purpose will take place Wednesday, March 22, and focus on “Being Mary Willing Byrd: Race, Property and Widowhood in Revolutionary Virginia.” Dr. Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, associate professor of history, will discuss her research on Byrd, who became a widow in wartime and interacted with the state, the occupying military and the market in ways that were considered out of the ordinary for women of the time.

On Wednesday April 5, Dr. Karie Peralta, assistant professor of sociology, and Dr. Shahna Arps, lecturer of anthropology, will present their research, “Becoming Globally Competent Through a Community-Based Approach.” This research was not only used to develop an international field school to be used in the Dominican Republic this summer, but also demonstrates how community-based principles may guide the development of global competencies for professors and students.

“By encouraging women researchers to participate in Lunch With a Purpose, we are promoting interdisciplinary discussion, showing support, and offering critical feedback that strengthens the work being produced at The University of Toledo,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, associate vice president of the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and the Minority Business Development Center.

Match Day reveals sharp increase in medical students staying in Toledo for residency

Through waves of happy tears and cheers at Stranahan Theater’s Great Hall on Match Day, members of the next generation of doctors reached a thrilling milestone in their medical careers by ripping open envelopes that revealed not only where they will spend the next few years of their training, but also a growing commitment to the northwest Ohio region.

Fifteen percent of the 155 medical students graduating from The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences this year will stay in Toledo to continue their training at UT. That is more than double the number in 2016.

Amala Ambati, left, Megan Mooney and Eric Lindsley all matched at The University of Toledo. Ambati will study internal medicine, Mooney will focus on orthopaedics, and Lindsley will work in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Twenty-three fourth-year students matched here for their hospital residencies, compared to a total of nine last year and eight in 2015.

“We are very excited that many students are choosing to stay in Toledo to continue their training,” Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences and executive vice president for clinical affairs, said. “There are many contributing factors, and one is the Academic Affiliation with ProMedica. This is helping our region retain talent because approximately 70 percent of residents establish their practice in the community where they complete their terminal training.”

Jennifer Amsdell matched at UT for neurology.

Jennifer Amsdell matched at UT for neurology.

“The wait was nerve-wracking, but I am so happy I matched with my top choice,” Amsdell said. “I wanted to stay because of the faculty in neurology. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with them in rotations and during research projects. They are amazing mentors and teachers.”

Ryan Johnston matched at UT for emergency medicine.

“My wife immediately started crying, and I couldn’t stop smiling because this was our No. 1 choice,” Johnston said. “We’re both from northwest Ohio and want to stay home. Plus, the Academic Affiliation with ProMedica benefits the specialty of emergency medicine because of high patient volumes, different acuities, and presentations of illnesses at Toledo Hospital. I think that is going to lead to extensive learning. I’m excited to see what the future holds for the Academic Affiliation.”

The students, who are graduating in May, matched in 21 specialties, with 50, or 32 percent, in primary care fields. The top specialties for this graduating class were internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine and anesthesiology.

Ohio was the most popular state with 65 students matching here, compared to 52 last year. The second most popular state was Michigan with 14, followed by Illinois with 12. Overall, students matched with programs in 30 states.

Student recognized by UTPD for helping lost dog

Miranda Dziobak, third-year biochemistry student, has received The University of Toledo Police Department challenge coin.

The UTPD challenge coin is given to citizens who go the extra mile to help someone in need.

It was a happy holiday for Gizmo, who was found by UT student Miranda Dziobak Dec. 24 and returned to the pet sitter.

On Dec. 24, Dziobak was driving home from her job at Helzberg Diamonds. She was taking Talmadge Road when she saw a strange dark lump in the street. After stopping her car to investigate, she found that it was a small, tan lap dog named Gizmo.

Dziobak attempted calling the number on the dog tag several times, but with no response. She took the dog home for a little while before deciding to take him to the UTPD.

“I honestly just didn’t know where else to take him besides the police station,” Dziobak said. “I really didn’t want to see him go to a shelter because he was seriously so sweet.”

UT Police Chief Jeff Newton shook hands with Miranda Dziobak, a student majoring in biochemistry, after presenting her with the UTPD challenge coin and certificate of appreciation for helping a lost dog named Gizmo.

With the help of UT Police Dispatcher Kendra Ries, Gizmo’s pet sitter, Dr. Paul Schaefer, associate professor and assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, was contacted.

“I can say that after a lot of panicked searching, hearing from the UT Police that they in fact had Gizmo and he was safe and sound was a moment of true grace,” Schaefer said. “The relief was tremendous as it very much felt like there was going to be a bad ending to this story.”

“We are so grateful that [Dziobak] stopped and saved our silly little dog,” owner Stephanie Scigliano said. “He’s always up for an adventure.”

Dziobak said she wanted to help the dog since she is a huge animal lover and did not want someone to hit him.

“It’s hard to say what the award means to me. I wasn’t expecting anything out of this,” Dziobak said. “I guess it’s nice because it means someone else cares about something that’s really important to me. It’s a restoring-my-faith-in-humanity kind of feeling.”

Ries was impressed with the concern Dziobak expressed over the welfare of the dog and the lengths she went to help.

“She is a breath of fresh air that put Gizmo’s safety and happiness first,” Ries said. “The University should be honored to have students like Ms. Dziobak and should praise her for her actions.”

Winners announced for 2017 Shapiro Essay Revision Contest

On its 28th anniversary, the participants of the 2017 Shapiro Essay Revision Contest went head to head for one of the 15 cash prizes.

“Over the past 10 years, the participation in this contest has grown from 100 students to 200 participants with an increase in contestants every year,” said Dr. Deborah Coulter-Harris, senior lecturer in the UT Department of English Language and Literature, and director of the contest for the 10th year.

This year, the winners are:

• Celine Schreidah, sophomore biochemistry major, $500;

• Judy Daboul, senior biology major, $400;

• Isabel Abu-Absi, sophomore global studies major, $300;

• Dustin Johnson, senior chemical engineering major, $200;

• Colleen Anderson, junior paralegal studies major, $100;

• Logan Brooker, freshman pharmacy major, $75;

• Amy Beerbower, freshman nursing major, $75;

• Patrick Dillon, freshman finance major, $75;

• Allison Fair, sophomore adolescent young education major, $75;

• Matthew Goldman, junior film/video major, $75;

• Riley Goodell, freshman mechanical engineering major, $75;

• Jenna Lykins, senior bioengineering major, $75;

• David Morris, freshman exercise science major, $75;

• Jacob Watson, freshman civil engineering major, $75; and

• Philip Zaborowski, junior English major, $75.

Winners of the competition will be invited to attend the Shapiro Festival gala in April.

“Dr. Sara Lundquist, Dr. Anthony Edgington, and I are so heartened and pleased that so many students who entered the contest represented a great variety of academic disciplines and departments across campus,” Coulter-Harris said. “Accurate, strong, creative and analytic writing is at the forefront of all academic research and expression.”

Lundquist is associate professor and chair of English, and Edgington is associate professor of English and director of the Composition Program.

Named after Dr. Edward Shapiro, professor emeritus of economics, the Shapiro Essay Revision contest seeks to recognize students for the craft of good writing. Prize money from the contest helps to defer the cost of tuition, fees and books for UT students.