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Archive for March, 2014

Parkinson’s Disease Symposium to provide latest research, feature researcher from Michael J. Fox Foundation

The 17th annual Parkinson’s Disease Symposium on Saturday, April 5, will update Toledo-area patients and their families on the latest research toward better treatments and a cure.



Dr. Brian Fiske, vice president of research programs for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will be the keynote speaker. The symposium, themed “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Hope,” will take place at Parkway Place, 2592 Parkway Plaza, Maumee, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fiske will give his talk at 9:30 a.m.

“The treatment of Parkinson’s disease is quite individualized, so it is extremely important for patients to keep up to date with the latest research and treatment options to meet our goal of making this disease as insignificant as possible in their lives,” said Dr. Lawrence Elmer, professor of neurology and director of the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center at The University of Toledo.

“The presence and support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation this year will provide critical and ground-breaking scientific information along with an international perspective of the ongoing work dedicated to defeating this disease. Dr. Fiske’s presentation will be a real informational asset to our attendees.”

Since 2000, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded more than $450 million to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease. As one of nine scientists on staff, Fiske manages a team of research professionals to develop an aggressive and innovative agenda for accelerating research and drug development for Parkinson’s disease.

“Patients have an important role to play both in their own care and in the development of new therapies,” Fiske said. “Attending events like this symposium to educate oneself about the latest research and to learn how individuals can be part of clinical studies is an important action for helping oneself and helping others with Parkinson’s.”

The annual Northwest Ohio Parkinson’s Disease Symposium is held to benefit patients with the degenerative disorder, their families and the community with the latest information about research and treatment options. The symposium attracts more than 400 attendees each year, Elmer said.

Topics to be discussed at the 2014 event include an extended duration levodopa-containing medication awaiting FDA approval and research into a drug that provides benefits similar to high doses of caffeine on controlling Parkinson’s symptoms, but without the stimulant effects, Elmer said. In addition, other new clinical research studies for Parkinson’s treatment will be presented.

The advanced, interdisciplinary and collaborative approach practiced at the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center, designed to treat Parkinson’s symptoms through a combination of physical therapy, speech pathology, pharmacy, nursing, neuropsychology, social work and other specialties, also will be discussed, Elmer said.

The symposium is presented by the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center at UT and the Parkinson Foundation of Northwest Ohio with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

The registration deadline for the symposium is Monday, March 31, and space is limited. For additional information or to register, call 419.383.6737.

Professor to give talk about human trafficking

The city of Toledo ranks fourth in the nation for sex trafficking arrests and prosecutions among those U.S. cities with Innocence Lost Task Forces.



Dr. Celia Williamson, a professor in the Social Work Department at The University of Toledo, will deliver an informative seminar about this issue Wednesday, April 2, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Schmakel Room.

“I think it is the human rights issue of our generation,” Williamson said. “It is a community problem, and the community needs to be involved and active in the effort to end human trafficking.”

Williamson is a nationally known expert and has presented at several international conferences on the topic.

Her presentation titled “Improving the Human Condition: Responding to Human Trafficking” will focus on human trafficking with particular attention to domestic minor sex trafficking.

She founded the Second Chance program in Lucas County in 1993, the oldest program in the state that works with prostituted women and trafficked youth.

Williamson will give information about human trafficking around the world, in the United States, in Ohio and in Toledo.

“The mission of The University of Toledo is to improve the human condition, and I think everyone should be informed and know what suspicious activity to look for and how to report it,” Williamson said.

Tickets will be available for $5 with pre-registration or $6 at the door. Light hors d’oeuvres are included with ticket purchase.

Reservations can be made by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2586 or by registering at toledoalumni.org.

Assistant professor to sign new ‘Batman’ book April 2

Dr. Matt Yockey, UT assistant professor of film, will sign copies of his latest book, Batman, Wednesday, April 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the University Barnes & Noble Bookstore.



The book is from the TV Milestones Series and was published by Wayne State Press.

Yockey examines Batman’s boundary-pushing in four chapters.

In “Bat-Civics,” he analyzes the superhero as a conflicted symbol of American identity and considers the ways in which the character parodied that status.

He then looks at the show’s experimentation with the superhero genre’s conservative gender and racial politics in “Bat-Difference” and investigates the significance of the show’s choices of stars and guest stars in “Bat-Casting.”

Finally, he considers how the series’ dual identity as straightforward crime serial and subversive mass culture text set it up for extratextual production in “Bat-Being.”

At UT, Yockey teaches introductory film, film theory, national cinema and film genre courses.

His research focus is on Hollywood genres, especially the superhero genre, and reception studies. His essays on these topics have appeared in several journals, including as The Velvet Light Trap, CineAction, Transformative Works and Cultures, Journal of Fandom Studies, and Studies in Comics, as well as in the anthology Critical Approaches to the Films of M. Night Shyamalan.

Latitude 49, brass tribute to highlight UT Spring Festival of New Music

The University of Toledo Department of Music Spring Festival of New Music will feature concerts at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, April 1-3, in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

For 37 years, guest composers and performers have interacted with students and faculty during this annual event.

This year, a work by the winner of the student composer contest will be performed at the Faculty and Student Chamber Music Concert, which will kick off the festival Tuesday, April 1.

Latitude 49

Latitude 49

In addition, “Tribute in Brass” for brass quintet, composed by UT Professor Dr. David Jex, and “To the West Wind,” composed by Associate Professor Dr. Lee Heritage, will premiere at this concert.

Both compositions honor the memory of UT Professor Emeritus Bernard Sanchez, who taught for more than 30 years at the University’ he passed away last year.

“While I was composing this quintet, the news came suddenly — and with a great sense of shock and tragedy — that Bernie had died,” Heritage said. “I was deeply saddened and gradually realized that the second movement of my woodwind quintet was taking shape as an elegy to our great friend. The movement is set for flute solo, singing an angular, emotional melody, accompanied by somber chords in the rest of the quintet.”

“To the West Wind” will be performed by the Toledo Symphony Woodwind Quintet. The instrumentalists will be Joel Tse, flute; Michele Tosser-Smith, oboe; Georg Klaas, clarinet; Sandra Clark, horn; and Gareth Thomas, bassoon.

The “Tribute in Brass” quintet will be performed by UT faculty members Jex, Alan Taplin, Dan Harris and Andrew Rhodes, and will feature guest trumpeter David Kosmyna, a UT alumnus who is a professor of music at Ohio Northern University.

An eclectic mix of new music in a variety of genres will be in the spotlight Wednesday, April 2. A funk, fusion quartet called The Good, The Bad and The Blues! will perform a set of original songs. The group was among the International Blues Challengers semifinalists of 2013 in Memphis.

In addition, UT graduate student and teaching assistant Christina Eck, an electronic music composer and singer-songwriter, will perform original works from her disc, Diamond in the Rough. Stephen Mariasy, a UT film/video student, will present his new composition “Raindance,” all realized by virtual-instrument, computer-based digital sound.

And David Mariasy, senior lecturer of music technology, will debut his new composition, “Requiem for Violin and Digital Orchestra.” Performing on the work will be violin soloist Cecilia Johnson, a member of the UT strings faculty. Video projections produced by Holly Hey, UT associate professor of film, will be part of the concert.

Concluding the festival Thursday, April 3, will be guest artist Latitude 49. The mixed-chamber ensemble explores new sounds while showcasing songs by contemporary composers.

For more information on the free, public concerts, go to utoledo.edu/comm-arts/music.

Flag-raising ceremony signals start of Donate Life month

The University of Toledo Medical Center will commemorate the start of a monthlong campaign to raise awareness about the critical need for organ and tissue donors in northwest Ohio and around the country with a ceremony Tuesday, April 1.

donatelifelogocolorrgb1Officials from UTMC, the region’s only transplant center, will gather with representatives from Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Services for a ceremonial flag raising of the Donate Life flag at 11:30 a.m. at the flag pole outside the main entrance to the hospital on Arlington Avenue.

UTMC leaders will be joined by organ recipients and donor families for some brief comments. Following the flag raising, the “Green Chair” will be on display outside the gift shop in the medical center until 2 p.m.

The green chair is a symbol that represents someone who has received a second chance at life because someone else made the decision to be a donor.

The chair also will be on display Saturday through Monday, April 5-7, in various UTMC locations. Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Service volunteers will be on hand at each location to answer questions about organ and tissue donation.

UTMC also will hold a Celebration of Life event to honor the memory of those who have generously given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. The event will take place Saturday, April 5, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Mulford Café.

April is Donate Life Month. Life Connection of Ohio, Community Tissue Services, Donate Life Ohio and UTMC are working together to educate patients, visitors, staff and the community about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation, and to encourage more people to make the decision to register as donors.

Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor and give hope to those who wait.

To learn more about organ tissue and eye donation, call 800.262.5443 or go to donatelifeohio.org.

Legal issues affecting students focus of free event April 2

Everyone knows about the complexity of legal issues, but an upcoming event will provide crystal-clear information to college students about laws and legal issues that can directly affect their lives.

legal issues poster“A Real Look at Legal Issues That Can Impact Students,” a free, public panel discussion, will be presented Wednesday, April 2, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room.

“We’re covering three areas that students often don’t think about from a legal standpoint: sexual misconduct and domestic violence, drug use and legalization, and social media,” said Dr. Willie McKether, UT associate professor of anthropology and Brothers on the Rise adviser.

“These are all issues that can have real legal consequences for students, and can affect their lives for a long time. We’ve assembled a panel of experts from different parts of the local legal community. They’ve worked with young people, they know these issues — like how you can actually lose your job over what you say on social media — and they’ll share that expertise with our students.”

The collaborative event is sponsored by Brothers on the Rise, the Association of Black Faculty and Staff, the UT College of Law and Alpha Phi Boule, the last a community partner that was instrumental in securing a panel of legal professionals.

Students will get life-relevant legal information from four panelists: Ray Arce, an employment attorney with Marshall & Melhorn; Judge Myron Duhart of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court, who will moderate; Jelani Exum, associate professor in the UT College of Law; and Lindsay Navarre, assistant Lucas County prosecutor.

“Call this being legally proactive,” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, UT associate professor of biological sciences and Brothers on the Rise adviser. “Students will learn a great deal of real-life information from these experts. There’s nothing theoretical about what the panelists will share; it’s the lowdown on what students need to know about these issues.”

Students will have a chance to ask the panelists questions, and light refreshments will be available.

Disability rights activist/author to speak April 1

The UT Disability Studies Program will present award-winning author Susan Nussbaum Tuesday, April 1, at 5 p.m. in Center for the Performing Arts Room 1017.



Nussbaum won the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for her novel Good Kings Bad Kings, which takes readers into the lives of a group of teens who live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities. This peculiar and isolated landscape is much the same as the world outside: friendships are forged, trust is built, love affairs are kindled, and rules are broken. But those who call it home have little or no control over their fate.

Good Kings Bad Kings challenges ideas of what it means to be disabled in a story told with remarkable authenticity and in voices that resound with humor and spirit.

“Nussbaum wonderfully sweetens a stark subject with doses of idiosyncratic humor and hard-earned pathos,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “She upholds the individuality and integrity of her characters, never stooping to saccharine clichés or Hollywood manipulation.”

The Chicago Tribune noted, “This is a world as foreign to most as another planet. That Nussbaum is able to make it as real and as painful and joyful and alive as she does is a spectacular accomplishment … a joy for readers.”

School Library Journal said, “Each character tells his or her own story in alternating chapters with lively, diverse, authentic voices … Nussbaum will have readers rooting for these brave, vulnerable teens to fight for better lives.”

The Los Angeles Review of Books said, “A knockout . . . Nussbaum possesses an astonishing ear for idiosyncratic voices, and a talent for creating characters who appear in full bloom within a few sentences. This is an easy book to love and admire — but more than that, it’s a book that has the potential to change forever the conversation we are (or are not) having about what it means to be ‘disabled’ . . . In Good Kings Bad Kings, we have the rare opportunity to be awakened by hearing the truth delivered with beauty alongside agony, despair interwoven with possibility.”

Nussbaum is also a playwright and a noted disability rights activist. Her plays have been widely produced. Her play “Mishuganismo” is included in the anthology Staring Back: The Disability Experience From the Inside Out, and her play “No One As Nasty” is included in the anthology Beyond Victims and Villains: Contemporary Plays by Disabled Playwrights.

She is the founder of one of the earliest groups for girls with disabilities, the Empowered Fe Fes. In 2008, she was cited by the Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” for her work with girls with disabilities.

Nussbaum’s reading is co-sponsored by the UT School for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Humanities Institute.

Parking for Nussbaum’s reading is available in Lot 12 across the street from the Center for the Performing Arts.

For further information on the free, public event, call 419.530.7245.

Graduate Program Fair slated for April 1

The College of Graduate Studies will host a Graduate Program Fair Tuesday, April 1, in the Student Union Ingman Room. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Various UT graduate programs will have representatives at the fair to speak with interested students and answer questions.

Graduate admissions representatives also will be there explain the application process.

Any student who completes an inquiry card will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card. Students who complete the inquiry card also will have the application fee waived for one future application.

“The University of Toledo offers more than 170 graduate degree programs that can help you get ahead in today’s competitive economy,” said Corey Sampsel, graduate orientation and enrollment specialist in the College of Graduate Studies.

“National studies show that jobs requiring graduate degrees are on the rise, and UT is ready to help you stay ahead of this trend,” he added.

For more information, stop by the Graduate Program Fair or email corey.sampsel@utoledo.edu.

Men’s basketball coach named finalist for Hugh Durham Award for coach of the year

Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk is one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Hugh Durham award, according to CollegeInsider.com.

“It is always so difficult to limit the list of finalists,” said CollegeInsider.com’s Angela Lento. “This list could easily include 25-plus names.



Kowalczyk guided the Rockets to a school-record 27 victories, a figure that ranks fourth in Mid-American Conference history, as well as a share of the program’s eighth MAC regular-season title.

Toledo opened its season with 12 straight victories, matching the second-best start in school history, before dropping a 93-83 decision at national power Kansas.

UT also set school records for most points (2,694), free throws made (643), free throws attempted (887), and was second in school history in field goals made (929) and fourth in assists (509) and blocked shots (101).

The Rockets are set to return four starters from their record-setting squad for the 2014-15 campaign, including first-team All-MAC honoree Julius Brown (14.9 points per game, 6.0 assists per game) and third-team All-MAC selection Justin Drummond (14.2 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game).

The Hugh Durham Award is given annually to the nation’s top mid-major coach. The award is named in honor of Durham, who retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just 12 coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.

The winner of the 2014 Durham award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

Students vying in national energy competition

Help The University of Toledo conserve energy by participating in this year’s Campus Conservation Nationals competition.

Campus Conservation Nationals logo copyThe contest began March 14 and continues through Sunday, April 6, when residence halls at the University will compete to see who can conserve the most energy.

“Through competitions like this, we hope students can learn new ways to conserve energy and then pass on those habits to their friends and families,” said Brooke Mason, UT interim sustainability specialist. “Students can conserve energy in simple ways like unplugging their phone chargers and turning off lights when they leave a room.”

Now in its fourth year, Campus Conservation Nationals is the largest electricity and water reduction contest for colleges and universities.

While competing against other universities nationwide, UT has an additional challenge with rival Bowling Green State University called the Falcon-Rocket Smackdown. UT and BGSU residence halls are head to head to see which school can save the most energy. Last year BGSU was victorious, but UT is looking to avenge this year.

“It is a fun competition we have with Bowling Green and it helps get the students more involved,” Masons aid. “Hopefully, we can have the bragging rights this year.”

Weekly updates about energy saving activity will are posted here.

For more information and tips on how you can conserve energy, visit competetoreduce.org or contact Mason at brooke.mason@utoledo.edu.