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UT Leadership Institute 2018-19 class announced

Last year, 21 faculty from across the University participated in the second year of the UT Leadership Institute.

The program was launched in fall 2016 by UT President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu to provide professional development to help prepare future academic leaders.

“We started this program to help our fantastic faculty members develop into future academic leaders,” Gaber said. “We believe the UT Leadership Institute accelerates success in higher education administration.”

“For faculty who are interested in exploring leadership opportunities in higher education administration, participation in the UT Leadership Institute is an excellent opportunity,” Hsu said. “Our third cohort of faculty represents faculty from eight colleges and University Libraries. I look forward to the many contributions they will make as emerging leaders of the University.”

Following a competitive application process, a third cohort of 22 faculty members was selected to participate in this year’s UT Leadership Institute. This year’s participants are:

• Dr. Ammon Allred, Philosophy, College of Arts and Letters;

• Dr. Jillian Bornak, Physics, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;

• Dr. Lucinda Bouillon, School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Services, College of Health and Human Services;

• Dr. Maria Coleman, Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering;

• Dr. Joan Duggan, Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Kevin Egan, Economics, College of Arts and Letters;

• Dr. Michael Ellis, Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Rodney Gabel, School of Intervention and Wellness, College of Health and Human Services;

• Dr. David Giovannucci, Neurosciences, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Lynn Hamer, Foundations of Education, Judith Herb College of Education;

• Dr. Dana Hollie, Accounting, College of Business and Innovation;

• Dr. A. Champa Jayasuriya, Orthopedic Surgery, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. David Kennedy, Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Lisa Kovach, Foundations of Education, Judith Herb College of Education;

• Sarah Long, School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health and Human Services;

• Julia Martin, University Libraries;

• Amy O’Donnell, Management, College of Business and Innovation;

• Dr. Jorge Ortiz, Surgery, College of Medicine and Life Sciences;

• Dr. Youssef Sari, Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;

• Dr. Rebecca Schneider, Curriculum and Instruction, Judith Herb College of Education;

• Dr. Qin Shao, Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and

• Dr. Puneet Sindhwani, Urology, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

The first meeting of this year’s UT Leadership Institute cohort was held Oct. 5 and will be followed by monthly meetings throughout the academic year.

Participants will discuss various aspects of leadership in higher education and engage in discussions with members of the UT leadership team and invited speakers, with presentations focusing on leadership styles, critical issues facing administrators, funding, and diversity and inclusion.

President Sharon L. Gaber, second row standing at right, posed for a photo with most of the members of the 2018-19 class of the UT Leadership Institute during last month.

UT professor honored for technology commercialization efforts

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey presented the 2018 Ohio Faculty Council Technology Commercialization Award to The University of Toledo’s Dr. Vijay Goel in Columbus Oct. 12.

Goel was recognized for his accomplishments toward the development and commercialization of the Libra Pedicle Screw System, which is being used in a growing number of hospitals and spinal surgery centers.

Goel

He has been a professor of bioengineering at the University since 2001 and has demonstrated outstanding success in translating his research into patented technologies that serve as a foundation for commercial ventures. He directs the Center for Orthopaedic Research Excellence that brings together UT faculty from a number of disciplines, such as engineering, medicine, kinesiology and physical therapy. He is an inventor on 42 invention disclosures at the University, has 25 issued patents, and the Libra pre-sterilized pedicle screw system is being widely used in trauma, deformity and degenerative applications in the spine.

In nominating Goel for the award, UT Provost Andrew Hsu wrote, “He contributes to the UT mission in many ways, but he is exceptional in his ability to translate his funded research into licensing and commercialization opportunities.”

“I am honored to receive this Technology Commercialization Award on behalf of UT and my bioengineering colleagues and collaborators, Dr. Anand Agarwal, Dr. Sarit Bhaduri and several others,” Goel said. “As faculty researchers, we look for opportunities to solve problems. I am proud we were able to do that with LIBRA to combat contamination in the operating room and a few other FDA-approved products, the bases for the two startups, Spinal Balance Inc. and OsteoNovus Inc.”

Dr. Jay Lee from the University of Cincinnati also was recognized as the runner-up for this year’s award. He was honored for his development of Watchdog Agent — a collection of machine learning and artificial intelligence software tools that can be customized for predictive health monitoring and diagnosis of equipment and systems in many diverse applications.

The Ohio Faculty Council launched its annual Technology Commercialization Award in 2016 to recognize a faculty member in the state university system for exceptional research discoveries and the role they have played in supporting the translation of those discoveries into marketable products and/or services.

“The public university system of Ohio is a critical incubator for innovation and the Ohio Faculty Council embraces the opportunity to recognize the role that our world-class faculty play in economic development,” said Dan Krane, chair of the Ohio Faculty Council. “Dr. Goel’s and Dr. Lee’s work are outstanding examples of the ingenuity and entrepreneurship taking place on campuses across the state that are greatly facilitated by our institution’s investment in higher education and commitment to academic freedom.”

The Ohio Faculty Council represents the faculty at all of the four-year public universities in the state. It addresses concerns common to faculty members across Ohio and presents a faculty perspective on major issues affecting higher education. It is committed to supporting and bringing attention to the critical role that Ohio’s institutions of higher education play in revitalizing the economy of the state and the nation by attracting and training an educated workforce. Learn more at ohiofacultycouncil.org.

UT faculty recognized for tenure and promotion

Sixty-four University of Toledo faculty members were honored in a special 2018-19 tenure and promotion celebration Sept. 28 in Carlson Library. Last year, 53 faculty members earned tenure and promotion.

Each honoree was asked to select a book that was instrumental to his or her success, and these books — each containing a bookplate commemorating the honoree’s milestone — are now housed in the library.

“We began this tradition when I joined UT because we believe recognizing faculty helps to foster excellence in research and academics, and helps fuel innovation in all fields of study,” said President Sharon L. Gaber.

“Faculty success, together with student success, are two of the highest priorities of the University and of the Office of the Provost,” said Provost Andrew Hsu. “We have implemented a number of new programs to enhance faculty success since President Gaber joined The University of Toledo. And while the large number of faculty honorees this year demonstrates the progress that we have made in faculty success, the credit goes to the hard work and dedication of our faculty.”

UT faculty receiving tenure are Dr. Hossein Elgafy and Dr. Xin Wang, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Appointed as professor with tenure are Dr. Anne Balazs, College of Business and Innovation, and Dr. Raymond Witte, Judith Herb College of Education. And appointed as associate professor with tenure is Dr. Denise Bartell, Jesup Scott Honors College.

Faculty members who were promoted to professor are Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Dr. Maria Diakonova, Dr. Timothy Mueser and Dr. Michael Weintraub, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich and Dr. Frederick Williams, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Florian Feucht and Dr. Tod Shockey, Judith Herb College of Education; Dr. Bashar Gammoh and Dr. Margaret Hopkins, College of Business and Innovation; Dr. Tavis Glassman and Dr. Sheryl Milz, College of Health and Human Services; Dr. Edmund Lingan, Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Dr. Sujata Shetty and Dr. Jami Taylor, College of Arts and Letters; Elizabeth McCuskey and Evan Zoldan, College of Law; Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Dr. Theodor Rais, Dr. Tallat Rizk and Dr. David Sohn, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Devinder Kaur, Dr. Scott Molitor, Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Dr. Gursel Serpen, Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Dr. Sridhar Viamajala and Dr. Hongyan Zhang, College of Engineering.

Promoted to professor with tenure are Dr. Guillermo Vazquez and Dr. Hongyan Li, College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor include Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Halim Ayan and Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, College of Engineering; Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Daniel Hernandez, Dr. Jason Levine, Dr. Thor Mednick and Dr. Daniel Thobias, College of Arts and Letters; Dr. Joseph Cooper and Dr. Kainan Wang, College of Business and Innovation; Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Mouhammad Jumaa, Dr. Krishna Reddy and Dr. Diana Shvydka, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, College of Health and Human Services.

Faculty promoted to associate professor are Dr. Daniel Gehling, Dr. Claudiu Georgescu, Dr. Bryan Hinch, Dr. Kimberly Jenkins, Dr. Jeremy Laukka, Dr. Terrence Lewis, Dr. Jiayong Liu, Dr. Sumon Nandi and Dr. Syed Zaidi, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Dr. Randall Vesely, Judith Herb College of Education.

Faculty who received renewal of their titles with tenure are Michelle Cavalieri and Bryan Lammon, College of Law.

And Dr. George Darah was promoted to clinical associate professor in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

“We wish each of these individuals continued success at the University, and ask our campus community to join us in congratulating them,” Hsu said.

Faculty members posed for a photo with President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu during the tenure and promotion celebration held last month in Carlson Library.

UT research award dollars reach five-year high

The University of Toledo researchers brought in $27.1 million in new grants to fund research during the 2018 fiscal year, contributing to a five-year high in external research funding.

When combining the 39.5 percent increase in new awards compared to 2017 with renewal grants awarded to continue progress on previously funded projects, the total amount of grants awarded to UT in 2018 climbed to $46.6 million, an increase of 21 percent compared to the previous year.

“Our research portfolio is growing,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The University’s faculty members are leaders in their academic disciplines who are making important advancements in their field of study and helping UT achieve national research prominence.”

The number of grants jumped 15 percent in fiscal year 2018, from 282 in 2017 to 326. Of those, the number of new awards increased 11 percent, from 163 to 182.

“My office has seen grant awards increase across the entire campus in a wide range of disciplines, showing a strong faculty response in supporting the University’s commitment to building research,” Vice President for Research Frank Calzonetti said. “I am particularly impressed by the number of new awards, compared to awards to continue previously funded projects. These new awards are mostly for projects that have met agency merit review criteria and have a higher probability of future funding.”

Federal awards in 2018 include:

• $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, professor in the UT Department of Chemical Engineering, for a project titled “A Comprehensive Strategy for Stable, High Productivity Cultivation of Microalgae With Controllable Biomass Composition”;

• $1.8 million from the Air Force Research Laboratory to Dr. Randy Ellingson, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, for a project titled “Ultra-High Efficiency and Lightweight Thin-Film Photovoltaic Electricity for Portable, On-Demand Power for Defense Applications”; and

• $438,172 from the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Heather Conti, assistant professor in the UT Department of Biological Sciences, for a project titled “Novel Role for B-Defensin 3 in the Regulation of Innate Lymphocytes and Oral Mucosal Immune Responses.”

For more information about UT’s research enterprise, visit utoledo.edu/research.

UT Engineering Fall Career Expo slated for Sept. 26 in Savage Arena

The University of Toledo Engineering Career Development Center will host the Fall 2018 Engineering Career Expo Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Savage Arena.

“This year marks a milestone for the center: celebrating 20 years of placing more than 20,000 engineering co-ops,” said Angie Gorny, interim director of the Engineering Career Development Center.

More than 190 companies from across the United States and 700 UT engineering students and alumni are expected at the event.

Companies scheduled to participate include Automatic Handling, BP, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Dana Inc., GEM Inc., Johnson & Johnson — DePuy Synthes, First Energy Corp., GE Appliances (a Haier Co.), Honda, Libbey Inc., Matrix, Marathon Petroleum Corp., Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois Inc., PCC Airfoils, SSOE Group, and the Lathrop Co.

Employers are seeking undergraduate students to participate in engineering co-op assignments, as well as their leadership development programs, along with seniors and graduates for full-time employment.

“This event is a dynamic networking and hiring experience for students to connect with companies seeking the talent they need for success,” Gorny said. “The expo is exclusive to UT College of Engineering students who are enrolled in the mandatory co-op program, as well as UT engineering alumni searching for full-time opportunities.”

Since the launch of the co-op program, the event has grown in size each year and this fall has been relocated to Savage Arena.

“The demand for our co-op students is evidenced by the increase in the number of companies participating this fall,” Gorny said.

The college hosts semiannual career expos to offer UT students the opportunity to network with potential employers. It allows employers to meet UT students to determine if they would be a good fit in their organizations.

“The current job outlook for engineering students in The University of Toledo Engineering College is certainly bright as indicated by the record number of students registered to attend the fall expo,” Gorny said. “This reflects very positively on the quality of The University of Toledo’s engineering program and our students. It also demonstrates our vital and mutually beneficial partnership we have with our industry participants.”

The UT undergraduate mandatory co-op program is one of only eight mandatory engineering co-op programs in the country.

“Many students indicate our co-op training is the reason they attend the College of Engineering at The University of Toledo,” Gorny said. “Our students have one full year of professional engineering experience before they graduate, and they feel confident seeking full-time employment upon graduation. Co-op businesses are able to work with these students and determine how the student fits within their organization. It’s a win-win situation for our students and the companies who hire them.”

More information can be found on the College of Engineering Career Development website or by contacting Gorny at angelagorny@utoledo.edu.

Re-envisioning road, highway infrastructure for autonomous vehicles topic of Sept. 21 seminar

The University of Toledo College of Engineering and AAA Northwest Ohio are hosting the fourth in a series of free, public talks to educate consumers about how smart vehicles will impact the world.

The seminar focused on transportation infrastructure and autonomous vehicles will be Friday, Sept. 21, from 9 to 11 a.m. in Nitschke Auditorium.

Speakers will include Jim Barna, executive director of DriveOhio; Randy Cole, executive director of the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission; and Zach Huhn, chief executive officer of Venture Smarter.

All speakers will participate in a panel discussion with Dr. Eddie Chou, UT professor of civil and environmental engineering, and director of the Transportation Systems Research Lab, and Laurie Adams, managing principal and director of traffic safety at DGL Consulting Engineers.

Register for the free, public seminar here.

The next seminar in the Technology Takes the Wheel series will be Friday, Nov. 2, and focuses on accessibility. Previous events examined cybersecurity and public transportation.

UT engineer awarded nearly $400,000 to make 2D materials using high-pressure gases

Two-dimensional, or 2D, layered materials are expected to be next-generation building blocks for electronics and batteries, as well as aerospace, automotive and health-care equipment.

The National Science Foundation awarded an engineer at The University of Toledo a three-year, nearly $400,000 grant to refine his newly developed method to continuously and rapidly produce 2D-layered materials using high-pressure gases, into a means for mass production with the potential to transform U.S. manufacturing.

Dr. Reza Rizvi, assistant professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, looked at a dispersion of graphene that was produced using his rapid and scalable exfoliation process. This new process can enable low-cost, flexible and printable electronic devices.

One example of a two-dimensional material is graphene, a flat form of carbon that is strong, lightweight, and electrically and thermally conductive with a high surface area. The material is about 50,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Dr. Reza Rizvi, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and the project’s principal investigator, said the main challenge is the high cost of production.

“Our process called compressible flow exfoliation is capable of continuously producing quality 2D-layered nanomaterials using a supersonic flow of high-pressure gases in just a fraction of a second. Comparable processes take minutes, hours or even days,” Rizvi said. “Using this grant, we will investigate the fundamental mechanisms and process issues, and we will devise strategies for scaling the process to industrial production so that we can take this process out of the lab and into the factory.”

According to the NSF grant, “The results of this work advances the nation’s prosperity and security by boosting competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing efforts on the international stage and promoting broader adoption of two-dimensional materials into next-generation nanotechnology-enabled products.”

Rizvi’s research was recently published in the scientific journal Advanced Materials.

Fellows selected for MAC Leadership Program

Three UT faculty members have been named fellows to participate in the second year of the new Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership Development Program.

The program was created to identify, develop, prepare and advance faculty as leaders in the colleges and universities that are members of the Mid-American Conference. Fellows participating in the program have the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience by working closely with select administrators from other colleges and universities in the MAC.

Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said, “Leadership development is an important part of faculty professional development and faculty success, and The University of Toledo is committed to providing these exceptional leadership opportunities for our faculty.”

Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year are:

• Dr. Cyndee Gruden, interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and professor of civil and environmental engineering;

• Dr. Jason Huntley, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology; and

• Dr. Kristen Keith, associate professor of economics, assistant to the executive vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer, and faculty associate.

Last year, two UT faculty members participated in the inaugural year of the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program: Holly Monsos, professor of theatre and associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs.

All tenured faculty with experience in administrative leadership and service were eligible to apply for the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program. Candidates needed to submit a letter of support from their dean, as well as an application and curriculum vitae for consideration.

“Our fellows will participate in a development program with UT leaders to gain valuable insight and experience,” Hsu said. “In addition, they will work with administrators and peers from MAC member institutions to better understand how universities operate.”

All MAC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows will attend one three-day workshop each semester. Topics to be addressed include budgeting, conflict resolution, accreditation and accountability.

“Thanks to this program, our fellows will see firsthand the challenges and rewards of institutional service as they prepare for potential leadership positions,” Hsu said. “This is an excellent opportunity to advance academic leadership among our faculty at UT.”

Read more about the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program here.

Women in STEM to host network-building event

Women in STEM at The University of Toledo is working with the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women and the Association for Women in Science to create mentoring programs and initiatives for students.

A welcoming and network-building event will take place Monday, Aug. 20, for women pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering or math at the University. The organization also has expanded its inclusion of those studying the medical sciences.

This free event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Libbey Hall Dining Room and provide students and faculty with a relaxed atmosphere that will allow them to establish and develop mentoring relationships to ensure their success at UT.

Women in STEM at UT also has worked with IDEAL-N, a multi-university project that is funded through the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program and facilitated by Case Western Reserve University.

IDEAL-N aims to institutionalize gender equity transformation at leading research universities by creating a learning community of academic leaders that is empowered to develop leverage knowledge, skills, resources and networks to transform university cultures and enhance diversity and inclusion.

“Organizations like these and the Association for Women in Science are a valuable source of information for women in STEMM,” said Dr. Patricia Case, associate dean for the UT College of Arts and Letters. “They provide links to education and research opportunities, as well as provide opportunities to develop relationships with other women in STEMM.”

Research has found that a male-dominated discipline can be demoralizing to women, and having a group of individuals to guide you or “have your back” can be the difference between success and exiting a career path, Case explained.

“Women account for approximately 52 percent of the population, so equality would mean that we have more representation in these fields,” Case added. “When barriers are lifted, women pursue and succeed in these degrees as much as men.”

If interested in attending the event, RSVP to Angelica Johnson at angelica.johnson2@utoledo.edu or 419.530.5146.

For questions about the event, contact Case at patricia.case@utoledo.edu.

UT team receives research award at international Biodesign Challenge Summit

UT students who thought outside — and inside — the hive won the Outstanding Field Research Award June 22 at the Biodesign Challenge Summit in New York.

“Apigiene Hive: Rethinking Bee Hygiene” was selected for the honor that recognizes a team that takes the initiative to go into the field and interview experts as well as potentially affected communities in order to find and understand the social impacts of their project.

Members of the UT team — from left, Madeline Tomczak, Jesse Grumelot, Domenic Pennetta and Lucya Keune — posed for a photo with the Outstanding Field Research Award they won June 22 at the Biodesign Challenge Summit, which was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Members of the UT team are Madeline Tomczak, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science in May; Domenic Pennetta, a sophomore majoring in art; Jesse Grumelot, who graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in bioengineering; and Lucya Keune, a senior studying visual arts.

The four were in New York for the award ceremony and exhibition with Brian Carpenter and Eric Zeigler, assistant professors in the Department of Art in the College of Arts and Letters, who taught the Biodesign Challenge class spring semester.

“We are very proud of our UT students,” Carpenter said. “This challenge is fantastic. It encourages students to think creatively, take risks, and gather science and data. They realize their designs can work.”

“This competition was such an incredible opportunity for our students,” Zeigler said. “For UT to win an award our first year in the challenge shows the dedication and creativity of our students.”

Solving problems creatively is what the Biodesign Challenge is all about. The Genspace NYC program offers college students the chance to envision future applications of biotechnology by working together interdisciplinarily.

At UT, the Biodesign Challenge class brought together students majoring in art, bioengineering and environmental science, as well as peers from the Jesup Scott Honors College.

UT went head to head against 29 schools from across the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Guatemala, Japan and Scotland. Six awards were presented at the challenge.

“This was an incredible win on a world stage. Our students competed against teams from New York University, Rutgers, the University of Sydney, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Ghent University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgetown. It was our first time out of the gate, and UT took an award,” said Barbara WF Miner, professor and chair of the UT Department of Art. “We are ecstatic!”

“[The 30] finalists were selected from a pool of 450 participants,” Daniel Grushkin, founder and director of the Biodesign Challenge, said. “I firmly believe that they are leading us into a sustainable future with their visions.”

The UT team wanted to help the bee population and created additions for the popular Langstroth hive to fight one of the insect’s biggest foes: mites.

A fibrous brush filled with zebra mussel powder at the hive entrance targets Varroa destructor mites on the surface of adult bees. The insects will clean off the powder — and the mites — and leftover powder will help kill the intruders inside the hive.

And to tackle the Acarapis woodi mites, which invade the hive and lay eggs, the team turned to a natural deterrent: mint, which was infused with the wax frames.

At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the UT students presented their project to more than 200 scientists, designers, entrepreneurs and artists.

“Our students’ design is economically feasible; beekeepers would just add two simple modifications to their existing hives,” Zeigler said. “It’s a happy solution, and one that could have tremendous market impact all over the world.”

“Eric, the students and I want to thank the University for its support,” Carpenter said. “We wouldn’t have been able to develop this class without assistance from the College of Arts and Letters; the Jesup Scott Honors College; the College of Engineering; the Department of Art; and the Department of Environmental Sciences. We’re already looking forward to next year’s challenge.”