UT News » UToday

UT News

Faculty member who advocated for STEMM, minority students passes away

Dr. Anthony Quinn, associate professor of biological sciences and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, died Wednesday at the age of 59.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at Warren AME Church, 915 Collingwood Blvd. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the church. A funeral reception will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Radisson Grand Ballroom on the Health Science Campus.

Quinn joined The University of Toledo Department of Biological Sciences in 2001 and was a renowned immunologist known for his work in deciphering the interplay between diabetes and immunity.


He was passionate about the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students and created in 2015 the We Are STEMM initiative to bring high-profile underrepresented minority scientists to UT in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine as role models for University students of color, inspiring them to engage in STEMM fields of study.

“Dr. Quinn was a very valuable contributor to his home Department of Biological Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the entire University. He was a tireless advocate who worked very hard toward increasing and supporting diversity in STEMM,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “Tony will be greatly missed by all of us. He leaves a huge hole that will be very difficult to fill, but his legacy will continue. We all feel fortunate to have had him as an important part of our lives.”

Quinn also co-directed the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program, and led the Brothers on the Rise mentoring program.

The University recently established the Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Initiative in recognition of his service to UT to expand the existing We Are STEMM lecture series to include fellowships for graduate and professional education and mentoring programs. The Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Fellowship Fund has been created to support the initiative. To make a donation, visit utfoundation.org/give/quinnfellowship.

Quinn’s service to the University included co-chairing the strategic planning committee that created The University of Toledo’s Path to Excellence plan approved last year by the UT Board of Trustees. He also served as president of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., a master’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Quinn, who received the UT Outstanding Teacher Award in 2013, was a member of the American Association of Immunologists, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, Immunology of Diabetes Society, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and Clinical Immunology Society.

UT alumna wins 2018 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award

Estar Cohen, of the Estar Cohen Project and a 2015 alumna of The University of Toledo Music Department, is one of 15 recipients of the ASCAP Foundation’s 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards.

The program, which was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30, is named in honor of the trumpeter/composer/bandleader in recognition of the Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this program. Additional funding is provided by the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

Estar Cohen performed as a student with the UT Vocalstra Ensemble at the 2013 UT Holiday Jazz Concert in Doermann Theatre.

The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 14 to 29, and are selected through a juried national competition. The ASCAP composers/judges for the 2018 competition were Sylvie Courvoisier, Wycliffe Gordon and Sachal Vasandani.

In addition, one of the recipients of the Herb Alpert Awards will be featured during the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival in August. Read more about the winners here.

Cohen is a vocalist, lyricist, composer and educator based in Ypsilanti, Mich.

She graduated with a bachelor of music degree in jazz performance from the University, where she studied voice, improvisation and composition with pianist Tad Weed, guitarist Jay Weik and Jon Hendricks, the father of vocalese and former UT Distinguished Professor of Jazz, who called her lyrics “beautiful.”

Some highlights over the course of her four years include recording her first album, “Waiting for Dawn”; lyricizing the instrumental pieces of late jazz pianist Herbie Nichols for Weed’s Freedom Ensemble; putting on clinics and concerts with her jazz quintet Talking Ear at numerous southern Michigan universities; and exploring the art of free improvisation and improvised poetry with Weik.

In 2015, she was chosen as a finalist in the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and in 2014, she was given the Craig’s Keyboard Student Composer Award for her original vocal ensemble composition, “The Day the Government Shut Down.”

Since her graduation, she has traveled as a performer and educator throughout the Midwest and to major cities, including New York and Chicago. She has performed alongside renowned musicians, including Hendricks, Weed, Peter Eldridge, Pete Siers, David Bixler, Vinny Golia and Ken Filiano. Notable performances include New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall, the Earthwork Harvest Gathering, Ann Arbor’s Edgefest at Kerrytown Concert House, and Michigan’s River Street Anthology Project.

Cohen is an avid writer, penning lyrics for Midwest jazz artists, including Weed, Travis Aukerman, Dan Palmer and Benjamin Maloney. Her poetry has been published in Ohio Anthology, Bards Again 2016 and Khroma Magazine.

As an educator, she has taught songwriting with Michigan label Earthwork Music in partnership with the nonprofit SEEDS and is a private music instructor in the Ann Arbor area.

Syrian refugee outreach topic of March 19 lecture

“Students Organize for Syria: UT Students’ Outreach to the Refugee Community” will be discussed Monday, March 19, at 1 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2420.

Marah and Farrah Alarmanazi, founders and presidents of the UT chapter of Students Organize for Syria, will deliver the lecture hosted by the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Both are students in the Jesup Scott Honors College.

The lecture will cover activities the organization has participated in with the Syrian refugee community in Toledo, as well as volunteer and community engagement opportunities UT students can get involved in.

In 2014 when refugees began coming to the United States from Syria, Marah and Farrah noticed that a number of them did not have a student organization to spread awareness about what was happening in their country or to be a social support system. In 2016, they created an independent organization, but in 2017 teamed up with the national organization Students Organize for Syria and became a chapter.

“We have a large refugee community in Toledo and by learning and participating in the various opportunities we offer, students will learn how to interact with this population and gain a new insight into a different culture,” Marah said.

Attendees will gain insights to refugees’ backgrounds, including their culture, as well as some of the hardships they face in their everyday lives.

“Students will learn about the volunteering opportunities that involve a direct interaction with the refugees such as our Family Education Program in which volunteers gain an invaluable experience through interacting with refugee children that speak a different language, lived through the war, and lost many years of education,” Farrah said. “Interested students can also participate as a tutor in this program for credit hours under the Department of World Languages and Cultures or the Jesup Scott Honors College.”

For more information on the free, public lecture or to get involved, contact marah.alarmanazi@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Women in leadership panel discussion to take place March 21

In celebration of Women’s History Month, on Wednesday, March 21, Carlson Library and Career Services invite members of the UT community to participate in a discussion on “Women Making a Difference: A Panel on Inspired Leadership.”

The women in leadership panel will be held at 6 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005.

The event will feature four panelists who will address their roles as women leaders and change-makers in business; they specifically will discuss the challenges facing women in leadership positions.

Panelists will be:

• Nina Corder, founder of Women of Toledo and EmpowerWomen;

• Rita Mansour, senior managing director of Mansour Wealth Management; 

• Lisa McDuffie, CEO of the YWCA of Northwest Ohio; and

• Andi Roman-Tye, communications and media director for the Toledo Walleye and Toledo Mud Hens.

Panelists will share the stories of what made them successful and challenges they’ve encountered along the way. Included will be an opportunity for a question-and-answer session and a chance to network at the conclusion of the panel.

Light refreshments will be available at 5:30 p.m.

To learn more about the event, go to libguides.utoledo.edu/utinspires.

Visiting writer to read poetry March 20

Jenny Molberg will read from her new book of poetry, “Marvels of the Invisible,” Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

The assistant professor of English at the University of Central Missouri won the 2014 Berkshire Prize from Tupelo Press, which published her debut last year.

Powerful and mesmerizing, Molberg’s poetry weaves together the personal and the scientific, examining relationships and immortality, the known and the unknown. The author analyzed archival letters from 17th- and 18th-century scientists, and read new studies on biological phenomena.

“One thing I love about the scientific texts I explore is their language. Centuries-old science that now may seem outdated to us was filled with moments of shock and wonder for scientists then. I love to mine these texts for diction that I may not have otherwise used,” Molberg said in an interview with How a Poem Happens.

The Texas native believes in inspiration and sweat.

“Yes — sweat and tears galore,” she said. “But I live for that outpouring.”

Erin Adair-Hodges, UT visiting assistant professor of creative writing, invited Molberg to campus. Her debut poetry book, “Let’s All Die Happy,” was released last fall.

“Recently, I asked my introductory creative writers to list questions they had about poetry, and one student wrote, ‘Why poetry at all?’ I think this is a superb question — because most of us aren’t exposed to poetry in any significant way in today’s world, we can easily think it doesn’t have a place for us,” Adair-Hodges said. “But I would argue that the value of poetry is that it looks at any and all human experiences and mines them for value. In using language in a very precise way, poetry makes our lives essential. Jenny Molberg is a poet whose work does this particularly well, saying look at the marvels inside of us.”


Molberg’s work has appeared in Best New Poets, Poetry International, Ploughshares, Boulevard, Green Mountains Review, The Adroit Journal, Copper Nickel, The Missouri Review, and other publications.

At the University of Central Missouri, she teaches Advanced Poetry, Introduction to Creative Writing, and American Literature. She also is the poetry editor for Pleiades.

After graduating from Louisiana State University, Molberg went to American University and received a master of fine arts degree in poetry and then continued at the University of North Texas for a doctorate in English and creative writing. She joined Central Missouri in 2015.

Molberg’s free, public poetry reading is sponsored by the UT Department of English Language and Literature. For more information, call 419.530.2318.

Materials engineering, orthopedic biomaterials topic of Distinguished University Professor Lecture

Dr. Sarit B. Bhaduri, Distinguished University Professor of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, will discuss his research Tuesday, March 20.

The title of his Distinguished University Professor Lecture is “A Materials Engineer’s Perspective on Orthopedic Biomaterials — From Fundamentals to Research Translation.” The free, public event will be held at 4 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1027.


Bhaduri is trained in materials science and engineering. His active research career is divided into two halves: the first half was devoted to structural materials research, and the second half involves biomaterials research.

He is listed as an inventor/co-inventor of 45 issued U.S. and foreign patents. 2018 marks the 25th year of his receiving sustained funding from the National Science Foundation. The author and co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed papers and seven book chapters has received significant additional funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the state of Ohio and industry.

Bhaduri has been elected as a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors.

He was appointed a Distinguished University Professor in 2017.

A reception will follow his lecture in the lobby of University Hall.

Frame it: Winners of Lake Erie Center Photo Contest announced

A total of 142 phenomenal entries were submitted for the 2017 Lake Erie Center Photo Contest.

The contest theme, “The Nature of Our Region, From Oak Openings to Maumee Bay,” invited participants to submit up to three photos featuring various areas of northwest Ohio.

All entries are displayed in the Lake Erie Center lobby.

“The display consists of many fabulous images showcasing the nature of our region, through the eyes of the photographer, for us all to enjoy.” said Rachel Lohner, education program manager for the Lake Erie Center.

First-place winners took home $25. Listed by category, they are:

• Youth (7 to 12 years old) — Annika Padhye;

• Teen (13 to 18 years old) — Dustin Canada; and

• Adult — Dr. Sashi Bhatt, associate professor of anesthesiology.

Lohner said the purpose of the photo contest is to inspire all camera enthusiasts and others to explore more of the nature within the Lake Erie area.

Visit facebook.com/lakeeriecenter to see more photos from the contest.

Dr. Sashi Bhatt won first place in the adult division.

Dustin Canada took top honors in the teen category with this photo of downtown Toledo.

Annika Padhye placed first in the youth category with this shot.

Olympic gold medalist to talk business March 22

John Naber, Olympic gold medal winner and sportscaster, will visit The University of Toledo to give the Edwin Dodd Distinguished Lecture Series in Business Ethics.

The public is invited to hear him speak Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.


Naber’s presentation is titled “Pursuing Victory With Honor.”

In today’s difficult business environment, the temptation to “cut corners” has never been greater. Delivering his remarks in a friendly and unthreatening manner, Naber enables his audiences to learn how to succeed without violating ethical standards. He believes that nice guys can finish first.

In 1976, Naber became the most highly decorated member of the U.S. Olympic Team, winning four gold medals and one silver, and setting four world records in the sport of swimming. In the process, he became the first swimmer in Olympic history to win two individual medals on the same day.

One year later, he led his school, the University of Southern California, to his and its fourth consecutive undefeated season and national title, and won the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s outstanding amateur athlete.

Moving to broadcasting, Naber worked for all the major networks and almost every cable channel covering his sport at local, national and international meets. In 1984, he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame, just two days before he carried the Olympic torch, and later the Olympic flag, into the Los Angeles Olympic opening ceremony. In 1986, Naber began working as a play-by-play announcer, covering sports as varied as motorcross, skiing, gymnastics, football, bowling and equestrian events. He has hosted coverage for more than 30 different sports and for seven Olympic Games.

As a keen observer of excellence, Naber has discovered the method by which champions in all walks of life use to reach their goals, and he shares this process along with his personal insights to audiences all over the globe.

Sponsored by Dana Inc. and Owens-Illinois Inc., and co-hosted by the UT College of Business and Innovation, the College of Law, and the Jesup Scott Honors College, the event is free, but registration is requested at utoledo.edu/business/edwindodd.

The Edwin Dodd Distinguished Lecture Series in Business Ethics celebrates the legacy of the late chairman, CEO and president of Owens-Illinois Corp. Established in 2003 through a collaborative effort led by the Dodd Family with partners Owens-Illinois and the Dana Corp., this fund was established as an enduring memorial to Dodd, spotlighting his work in the business world and the Toledo community. The purpose of the fund is to support the ongoing Distinguished Lecture Series in Business Ethics.

The fund is housed in the College of Business and Innovation and partners with both Dana Corp. and Owens-Illinois with representatives sitting on the planning committee, along with a member of the Dodd family, with the goal of leveraging national networks to identify and feature experts in the field on a biannual basis.

Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame induction ceremony set for March 17

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Science’s Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame will induct a new class of honorees Saturday, March 17.

Inductees will be recognized during a ceremony at 7:30 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1000 on UT’s Health Science Campus.

Members of the 2018 class are:


• Dr. Diane Cappelletty, professor and chair of pharmacy practice in the UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Monclova, Ohio, resident has been involved with medical missions and local medical clinics for 15 years.

Her mission work began in 2003 when she went with a team to Peru. Since then, Cappelletty has been on numerous missions to Guatemala and Honduras, and has inspired students to serve alongside her. She compounds medications in the field, comes up with innovative techniques to provide meds during the missions, and mentors students, showing them the humanistic side of pharmacists in trying conditions. Her work has been recognized by the Ohio Society of Health System Pharmacists.

In Toledo, Cappelletty volunteers at the free Community Care Clinic, which, thanks to her efforts, was licensed by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

A UT alumna, she received a bachelor of arts degree in biology from the University in 1982. Cappelletty continued her education at Ohio State University and received a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy in 1991 and 1993, respectively.


• Dr. Ziya Celik, a surgeon who has participated in missions for more than three decades. He has worked with Midwest Medical Missions, Medishare and Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Boarders, serving in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Haiti and Nigeria.

Born in 1941 in Rize, Turkey, Celik moved to the city of Erzurum to complete his early education. In 1960, he started medical school at the University of Istanbul, completed a surgery residency, and was an instructor at the University of Ataturk in Erzurum until 1971. A research fellowship followed in 1972 at the University of Boston, where he was selected for a position. In 1976, he completed a residency in general surgery at the former Medical College of Ohio.

In addition to medical missions and earthquake relief, Celik maintained a general surgery private practice in Oregon, Ohio, for 30 years, retiring in 2006. Affiliated with St. Charles Hospital, he was a 20-year member of its executive committee, director of surgery for 10 years, and chief of staff while volunteering his surgical skills around the globe. He lives in Pompano Beach, Fla.

• International Samaritan, a ministry based in Ann Arbor, Mich. For nearly two decades, this nonprofit organization has established programs to alleviate severe poverty and health issues in numerous countries.

In 1994, the Rev. Donald Vettese, a Jesuit priest who was then president of St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, founded this ministry after a trip with students to an orphanage in Guatemala City. He and his students took a detour and stopped beside a garbage dump where the scene seemed like a nightmare: Droves of people scavenging through trash, searching for plastic, glass, metal and other materials to sell to recyclers. After talking with the students and the mayor of Guatemala City, Vettese agreed they would work together to help improve the plight of garbage workers and others living near the dump. In 1995, Vettese was able to incorporate the not-for-profit, originally calling it Central American Ministries, but renaming it International Samaritan in 2009 to reflect the growing global outreach.

In 16 years, the ministry has started programs in Guatemala, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Haiti. The organization also is conducting feasibility studies for similar efforts in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Each year it serves more than 13,000 people.

Oscar Dussan, president of International Samaritan, will attend the ceremony to accept the award.


In addition, Dr. Andrew Casabianca, associate professor and chair of anesthesiology in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and medical director of operative services at UT Medical Center, will receive the Dr. Lawrence V. Conway Lifetime Distinguished Service Award. He also is associate professor of surgery and dentistry.

Since traveling to the Dominican Republic on his first medical mission trip in 1994, Casabianca has returned every year. A member of the Midwest Medical Missions, he has participated in more than 30 trips, conducting primary care, anesthesia and dentistry. Casabianca has been the faculty adviser for UT Students for Medical Missions and is on the missions committee at Calvary Church in Maumee. He also was on the planning committee for Serve Week, participated in medical clinics for Vision Ministries and Convoy of Hope, and is a board member for Midwest Medical Missions.

Casabianca completed his undergraduate education at New York University and received a doctor of medicine in dentistry degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He graduated from the former Medical College of Ohio with his medical degree in 1988, and completed his dental residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital, a transitional internship at Mercy Hospital, and an anesthesiology residency at the former MCO.

In conjunction with the induction ceremony, the College of Medicine Students for Medical Missions will host a free symposium Saturday, March 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Health Education Building 110. Speakers will include Cappelletty, Celik, Dussan and Casabianca. Register for the free symposium here.

Dr. Lawrence V. Conway, UT professor emeritus of finance, founded the Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to advancing the medical well-being of people around the world. In 2006, the Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame became affiliated with the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. The hall of fame can be seen in the lobby of the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

RSVPs are requested for the free, public induction ceremony: Call 419.530.2586 or 1.800.235.6766, register online at toledoalumni.org/events/events.aspx?eid=753 or email medmissionhof@utoledo.edu.

Panel to discuss disability studies career options March 15

The UT Disability Studies Program is hosting a career discussion panel Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005.

The panel will provide information on what students can do with a degree in disability studies and how it can enhance their career field. It will include professionals who utilize disability theory in their work.

“If students are considering disability studies as a major or minor, this panel will give them a better sense of what they can do with that degree,” said Kathryn Shelley, graduate assistant in the UT Disability Studies Program. “It will also raise awareness on the program and what we have to offer.”

Panel members will be Tim Harrington, executive director of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo; Valerie Novack, disability rights advocate with the Ability Center of Greater Toledo; Kate Wade, UT graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in education; and Sarah Millimen, member of Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

They will discuss a variety of career opportunities students can pursue with a degree in disability studies; these range from higher education to performing arts.

“Having a degree in disability studies is beneficial in all career paths. I also think that as the field grows, people are becoming more aware of justice, rights and advocacy,” Shelley said.

Dr. Kim Nielsen, UT professor of disability studies, also feels the panel will provide significant impact on career awareness.

“It will help to prepare students for employment and civic life experiences,” Nielsen said. “It will have impact on the community as a whole.”

For more information on the free, public lecture, contact the Disability Studies Program at 419.530.7244.