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President praised for strategic plan progress in annual review

Under President Sharon L. Gaber’s leadership, The University of Toledo has met the graduation rate goal set in the strategic plan three years ahead of schedule.

The six-year graduation rate for undergraduate students has increased nearly 9 percent over the last three years to its highest level in school history, according to preliminary data available. The graduation rate has the potential to increase as additional students graduate following the summer session.

Gaber

“We set an ambitious goal, and President Gaber accepted that challenge in her commitment to ensuring student success,” said Mary Ellen Pisanelli, chair of the UToledo Board of Trustees. “The University is stronger today because of her vision for our future and her sense of urgency and collaborative style getting everyone on board to accomplish it.”

The graduation rate was one of a number of successes praised by the Board of Trustees during the president’s annual review during the final board meeting of the fiscal year.

The trustees recognized Gaber for consecutive years of increased student retention rates and research awards during her tenure and two years of strong fundraising that exceeded goals.

Her leadership also was credited for the new brand, scheduled to launch July 1, that speaks confidently and boldly of UToledo with an emphasis on personal stories. It is part of Gaber’s focused effort to boost Rocket pride and the University’s national reputation, which has led to successfully recruiting the most academically prepared class of first-year students in school history.

“I am proud of the progress we have made together to advance The University of Toledo,” Gaber said. “It is an honor to lead this great team. We would not have been able to accomplish all that we have without the dedicated individuals who are so committed to our students.”

As part of the performance review, the board voted to give the president a performance incentive, to be paid with private funds, per her five-year contract approved in 2018.

A nationally respected higher education leader, Gaber is one of the longest serving presidents among Ohio’s public colleges. She recently was selected to chair the Inter-University Council of Ohio, which represents the state’s 14 public universities. She serves on the NCAA Strategic Plan Committee and represents the Mid-American Conference on the NCAA Division 1 Presidential Forum.

Gaber also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, which is a network of 37 public urban research universities working to drive transformational change throughout their institutions and the communities they serve in partnership with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.

Creativity blossoms with University’s Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

A small flock of enigmatic birds intently gaze across Centennial Mall. A wayward sea turtle suns itself near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. And a wave rolls between UToledo Medical Center and Mulford Library.

“Birdzels” by Mark Chatterley, “Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling and “Blue Wave” by Mike Sohikian are three of the 10 new works installed for The University of Toledo’s 14th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Mark Chatterley’s “Birdzels” are perched on the west side of Centennial Mall.

“For me, ‘Birdzels’ were meant to be fun. They are a cross between anime, emojis and Angry Birds — with a little Snoop Dog mixed in,” Chatterley said and laughed. “They are made from high-fired clay with a crater glaze on the outside. I feel I am pushing the material to make it unrecognizable as clay.”

Bowling’s recycled reptile features a dredge scoop, railroad spikes, horseshoes and stove grates.

“Being able to make something from nothing is what I like to do,” Bowling said. “It’s economical, too.”

Thanks to the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment, new sculptures sprout up each spring.

“Big Blue X” by Brian Ferriby sits atop the hill west of University Hall, and Glenn Zweygardt’s stainless steel work titled “New Mexico Passage” shines on the west side of the Student Recreation Center.

Bernie Dominique’s geometric work “Four Square” can be found by the northeast side of Wolfe Hall, and Beau Bilenki’s engineering feat “Hole in One” is between Nitschke and Palmer halls.

A 250-pound fish flies near the University Parks Trail and Ottawa House with Michael Angelo Magnotta’s “Above the Waves.”

“My sculptures typically begin with a trip to the metal yard,” Magnotta said. “From the shapes and textures I rescue, a conversation takes place — a visual conversation — that results in my sculptures.”

“Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling sits near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories.

Gregory Mendez’s forceful “Kometes” is located north of Ritter Planetarium, and Kenneth M. Thompson’s intricate “Laminated Stack, Triangle” sits on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building.

More than 180 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment reviewed the entries and selected pieces for this year’s exhibit.

Since the exhibition began, more than 130 sculptures have rotated through the display on UToledo campuses, and several have become part of the University’s collection courtesy of campus benefactors, colleges and departments.

Those wishing to make a gift to support the exhibition are encouraged to contact the UT Foundation at utfoundation@utoledo.edu or 419.530.7730.

Huntington, UToledo partner to create new Opportunity Scholarship

A new scholarship made possible with a generous gift from Huntington Bank will power opportunity for The University of Toledo students to achieve their educational goals.

Sharon Speyer, president of Huntington’s Northwest Ohio Region and a member of the UToledo Board of Trustees, presented UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber with a $200,000 check May 20 to create the Huntington Bank Opportunity Scholarship.

Sharon Speyer, president of Huntington’s Northwest Ohio Region and a member of the UToledo Board of Trustees, left, presented UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber with a $200,000 check to create the Huntington Bank Opportunity Scholarship.

The scholarship will be awarded over the next four years to degree-seeking undergraduate students based on financial need.

“Access to knowledge is something we should aspire for all of our children,” Speyer said. “Having said that, the cost of education can be a barrier for some. We wanted to create a program, with the University, to provide more opportunities to potential students to study and learn at this fine institution.”

“This investment by Huntington in our students will have a powerful impact on not only the individuals awarded the scholarship, but also on the community we both serve as these individuals graduate and become the future leaders in our region,” Gaber said. “I want to thank Huntington for our strong partnership and its ongoing support of UToledo.”

With the gift, Huntington has now given more than $2 million to UToledo since 1975 in support of academic, athletic and student affairs programming.

The first Huntington Bank Opportunity Scholarships worth a total of $50,000 were awarded to 40 students for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.

Students are eligible for consideration if they demonstrate financial need after completing the Free Application for Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, and after completing Office of Student Financial Aid’s general scholarship application. Preference will be given to residents of Lucas County.

Huntington gift funds new UToledo scholarship

The University of Toledo and Huntington Bank will announce a new scholarship program to power opportunity for students to achieve their educational goals.

Huntington will present UToledo with a $200,000 check to create the Huntington Bank Opportunity Scholarship Monday, May 20, at 1 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

The scholarship will be awarded over the next four years to degree-seeking undergraduate students based on financial need.

The first scholarships worth a total of $50,000 were awarded to 40 students for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.

With the gift, Huntington has given more than $2 million to UToledo since 1975 in support of academic, athletic and student affairs programming.

Got your plates? UToledo pride ready to roll

The University of Toledo is proud to announce that drivers now have a choice of two UToledo specialized designs when ordering their Ohio license plates — a UToledo logo plate and a Rocket icon plate.

Any Ohio resident with a valid driver’s license may order the UToledo collegiate plates for their vehicles by either stopping at any Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles agency or visiting the Ohio BMV website. In addition to annual license registration fees, UToledo specialized plates cost $35, with $25 directly supporting UToledo student scholarships.

Dr. Michele Soliz, associate vice president for student success and inclusion, said she is proud to display UToledo specialized plates on her vehicle. More than 400 Ohio drivers currently use UToledo specialty plates on their vehicles.

“We’re pleased to offer our alumni and other stakeholders an additional opportunity to show their Rocket pride wherever they go,” President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Our goal is to get hundreds of UToledo collegiate plates on the road over the next few months to help fund student scholarships and raise awareness of the University.”

“Along with wearing Rocket gear, flying a UToledo flag at home or contributing to the University through the Foundation, purchasing UToledo specialty plates is another great way our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and our athletics fans can promote UToledo,” Bonnie Murphy, associate vice president for auxiliaries, said.

“While the University logo plate has been available for several years, last fall we were able to quickly gather more than the 200 signatures required to petition the BMV to produce a newly designed Rocket plate, which we anticipate will be very popular among Rocket fans,” Murphy said.

UToledo plates may be purchased through the BMV at any time throughout the year, and also may be used for vanity plates. Once purchased, it takes approximately three weeks for Ohio collegiate plates to be delivered via the U.S. Postal Service.

For more details about UToledo specialty plates, including all associated costs and other frequently asked questions, visit the UToledo license plate website.

Rockets to host evening with football coach May 29

University of Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle and his staff will host a reception at the world-famous Inverness Club Wednesday, May 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Craft beer and wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be availble for fans and supporters of the Rockets at the Toledo golf club, 4601 Dorr St.

There will be a live auction; items will include a trip for two to the game at Colorado State, a complete game-day experience with the team for selected home games, and NFL packages and gifts.

Proceeds will benefit The University of Toledo Rocket Fuel Program.

Donation levels are $1,000 for a table (seating for 10 and event recognition), $200 for a couple, and $125 for an individual. A portion of the ticket is tax-deductible.

Register on the UToledo Alumni Association website, or contact Andrew Terwilliger at andrew.terwilliger@utoledo.edu or 614.580.9978.

University, bookstore deliver courseware savings to students

The University piloted an inclusive access model through its partner the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore in 2016. Inclusive access, also referred to as digital course content access, is a method of delivering access to online interactive courseware content on the first day of class.

This model allows The University of Toledo Bookstore and faculty to negotiate with publishers to offer a lower price than traditional print text materials. Students benefit because the price can be 50 percent to 80 percent lower than equivalent pricing for printed textbooks, according to Colleen Strayer, general manager of the University Bookstore.

Colleen Strayer, general manager of the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore, center, and UToledo students, from left, Caprice Hannah, Maddy Silveous, Shayla Kazmierczak and Grant Wright held a check for more than $47,000 to be used for textbook scholarships.

“Digital course content access is all the excitement in college bookstores today,” Strayer said. “It is yet another way we are striving to lower student costs.”

UT increased the number of digital course content access courses from one to 13 for fall 2018 and added an additional eight courses for spring, with a total estimated enrollment of 5,400 students, according to Strayer. The University anticipates savings to students for the 2018-19 academic year to be estimated at $360,000 across all courses.

“Course content and its delivery will continue to evolve, which makes this an exciting time to be a college bookstore manager,” Strayer said. “I look forward to sharing new opportunities with the University community going forward and continuing efforts to cut textbook costs.”

The UT Foundation, in partnership with the University Bookstore, awarded more than $32,000 in textbook scholarships to 64 UToledo students this semester. The University Bookstore contributes annually to the Student Scholarship Fund, making it possible for the UT Foundation to award numerous scholarships each semester.

UT Foundation President Brenda Lee said, “Their willingness to help our students manage the costs associated with attending college is fantastic. We appreciate the partnership and their willingness to help our students.”

Since spring semester 2018, with support from Barnes & Noble, the UT Foundation awarded $47,000 to 84 students. Barnes & Noble plans to continue supporting UToledo students by contributing $15,000 annually to the textbook scholarship fund.

Senior nursing student Christopher McCoy, who received a textbook scholarship, said, “I would like to thank the bookstore one million times for selecting me for this scholarship. They do not understand how much this scholarship has benefited me. I am a first-generation college student and receiving this scholarship proves that my hard work is paying off.”

Supporting UToledo students with textbook scholarships is Strayer’s favorite part of her job. As an alumna of the University, she aspires to meet the students who have received the scholarships and learn more about their plans and goals for the future.

UToledo student La’Quita Jackson said, “I am a grandmother and mother of six children; receiving this scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and my family. We are very grateful for Barnes & Noble’s generosity.”

Faculty recognized for tenure, promotion

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees approved during its April meeting tenure for 12 faculty members and promotion of another 31 associate professors and professors.

“We continue to have high-caliber faculty advancing through our tenure and promotion process, and this year’s cohort of faculty members all have very impressive achievements,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

The provost also noted the goal in the strategic plan to increase the percentage of professors among the total number of full-time faculty. There were 22 who became fully promoted to professor with the board’s recent action.

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor are:

College of Business and Innovation

• Dr. Xinghao Yan, Information, Operations and Technology Management

• Dr. Marcelo Alvarado-Vargas, Management

College of Engineering

• Dr. Carmen Cioc, Engineering Technology

• Dr. Luis Mata, Engineering Technology

College of Health and Human Services

• Dr. Kimberly McBride, School of Population Health

• Dr. Shipra Singh, School of Population Health

• Dr. Heather Sloane, School of Social Justice

College of Medicine and Life Sciences

• Dr. Nezam Altorok, Medicine

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

• Dr. Trieu Le, Mathematics and Statistics

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

• Dr. Isaac Schiefer, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

• Dr. F. Scott Hall, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

• Dr. Amit Tiwari, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to professor are:

College of Arts and Letters

• Dr. Melissa Gregory, English Language and Literature

• Dr. Bhuiyan Alam, Geography and Planning

• Dr. Charles Beatty, History

• Dr. Lee Heritage, Music

• Dr. Ovamir Anjum, Philosophy and Religious Studies

• Dr. Patricia Case, Sociology and Anthropology

• Dr. Willie McKether, Sociology and Anthropology

College of Business and Innovation

• Dr. Iryna Pentina, Marketing

College of Engineering

• Dr. Yakov Lapitsky, Chemical Engineering

• Dr. Hong Wang, Engineering Technology

• Dr. Matthew Franchetti, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

College of Health and Human Services

• Dr. Wendy Cochrane, School of Intervention and Wellness

• Dr. Jiunn-Jye Sheu, School of Population Health

• Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, School of Social Justice

College of Law

• Bryan Lammon

College of Medicine and Life Sciences

• Dr. Cletus Iwuagwu, Medicine

• Dr. Ruby Nucklos, Medicine

• Dr. Tanvir Singh, Psychiatry

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

• Dr. John Gray, Biological Sciences

• Dr. Dragan Isailovic, Chemistry and Biochemistry

• Dr. Alessandro Arsie, Mathematics and Statistics

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

• Dr. Zahoor Shah, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

Faculty members promoted to associate professor are:

College of Medicine and Life Sciences

• Dr. Sarah Gerken, Anesthesiology

• Dr. Anu Garg, Medicine

• Dr. Dani Zoorob, Obstetrics and Gynecology

• Dr. Jiayong Liu, Orthopaedic Surgery

• Dr. Waseem Ostwani, Pediatrics

• Dr. Eileen Quinn, Pediatrics

• Dr. Richard Baron, Psychiatry

• Dr. Kimberly Hunter, Psychiatry

• Dr. Jason Schroeder, Surgery

Independent coffee shop celebrates grand opening in Gateway Feb. 25

An independent coffee shop is celebrating its move to Gateway Plaza at The University of Toledo with a grand opening event Monday, Feb. 25.

Brew, which is open to the public at the retail center on the corner of UT Main Campus on Secor Road at Dorr Street, is offering $1 Americanos and free drip coffee or tea with the purchase of a pastry from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Brew, an independent coffee bar, is serving customers at its new location in the Gateway Plaza. The shop offers coffee, tea, pastries and ice cream.

The coffee bar is located between Barnes & Noble University Bookstore and Huntington Bank. It moved to Gateway from its original location near campus on the south side of Dorr Street.

“We love coffee, and we opened our business in 2016 because we felt there was a need for coffee shops around The University of Toledo area,” Jennifer Erd, owner of Brew, said. “Approximately 70 percent of our customers are students, so being closer to student housing, faculty and classrooms makes sense. Plus, Gateway gives us double the space.”

Brew serves coffee from Zingerman’s Coffee in Ann Arbor, along with local, made-from-scratch pastries and desserts from All Crumbs Artesian Bakery, 7 Little Cupcakes, Libby’s 17 Second Cookies, and So Sweet Lebanese and French Pastries.

Since the move, Brew added ice cream.

“We’re selling pints by Hartzler Creamery out of Wooster, the same place we get our milk. It’s delicious,” Erd said. “With the ice cream, we’ve added affogatos to our menu — a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned with a double shot of espresso. Coke floats are coming soon.

“Along with being an awesome local coffee shop, we want people to think of us as a nice, after-dinner option, too,” she said. “We will continue to promote local artists by displaying and selling their work and offering open-mic sessions every month.”

“Brew is a great addition to Gateway,” Brenda Lee, president of the UT Foundation, said. “We are excited they have joined our vibrant campus.”

Brew is located on the south end of the Gateway, which also includes Rice Blvd., Verizon Wireless Zone, Great Clips, Jimmy John’s, Bubble Tea and Domino’s Pizza.

Brew is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Brew is an Alumni Association membership benefit partner. UT Alumni Association members can save 10 percent at Brew when they show their membership cards.

New hydrotherapy center in Larimer Athletic Complex will help promote health, recovery of student-athletes

The University of Toledo Athletic Department recently dedicated the Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center in the Larimer Athletic Complex.

Longtime UT athletics supporter Paul Hotmer made a substantial gift toward the completion of the center, which will help promote recovery time for Rocket student-athletes.

Paul Hotmer, back row fourth from right, was joined by members of his family, UT President Sharon L. Gaber, Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien, Football Coach Jason Candle, and UT staff members at a recent dedication of the Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center in the Larimer Athletic Complex.

“We are very grateful to Paul Hotmer and his family for their very generous gift to help us build the new hydrotherapy center,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Paul has been a tremendous supporter of Rocket athletics for many years. His contributions continue to have a very positive effect on the experience of our student-athletes.”

Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle added, “The Hotmer Hydrotherapy Center is a tremendous asset and a major step forward for the Toledo football program as we continue to strive to provide our student-athletes with a first-class experience during their time as a Rocket.

“The generosity of Paul Hotmer and his family will directly contribute to the health of our football players by shortening the necessary recovery time after practice and games. In order to sustain the high-level success that the Toledo fan base deserves, it takes the support of the entire Toledo community, and I am forever grateful to the Hotmer family for investing in the future of the Toledo football program.”

The Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center features two in-ground therapy pools that each contain 1,500 gallons of water. One is a combination therapy pool that can be used as either a hot pool or a cold pool. The second is used strictly as a cold pool. They are similar to the Hydroworx pools that were installed in the Sports Medicine Center in the Sullivan Athletic Complex when Savage Arena was renovated in 2008.

Cold plunge therapy is used to enhance muscle recovery by reducing metabolic rate, inflammation, circulation, muscle spasms and pain. With cold therapy, vasoconstriction also takes effect, narrowing the blood vessels and resulting in reduced swelling. In a polar plunge pool, the water is kept at a therapeutic 50 degrees to help control joint inflammation and to stimulate the release of endorphins. Science also shows that the cold water causes the release of cytokines and other body chemicals that help boost immunity.

Thermal plunge pool therapy heats muscle and tissue to increase circulation and restore blood flow to the body. The warmth of the water promotes a transient reduction in joint stiffness, pain and muscle spasms. It also can help to reduce inflammation. The typical temperature of a hot pool ranges from 94 to 104 degrees to relax tight muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins.

Also in the center is the Hydroworx 350 Underwater Treadmill. This is a sports model that is taller and longer than a standard unit. Water can be adjusted to attain depths ranging from one to 56 inches. It has a 750-gallon reservoir tank that filters and recycles water between uses. The treadmill utilizes water’s buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure to aid injured athletes back to functional activity.