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Interim deans named for colleges of Pharmacy, Graduate Studies

Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies and vice provost for graduate affairs, has been named interim dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective Sept. 1.

Bryant-Friedrich will lead the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences while a national search is conducted for a permanent dean to replace Dr. Johnnie Early, who will be leaving The University Toledo after 18 years to serve as dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida A&M University.

“I want to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for Dean Early’s leadership in the college and on the UT campuses. We will miss Dean Early’s leadership and wish him the very best in his new position,” said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “I appreciate Dr. Bryant-Friedrich’s willingness to serve in this position as we look forward to the recruitment of a successful candidate to lead and continue to build upon the strong reputation of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UT.”

Bryant-Friedrich joined UT as a faculty member in 2007 and has led the College of Graduate Studies since 2016. She is professor of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and serves as director of the University’s Shimazdu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence.

She received a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry from Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, a master’s degree in chemistry from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from North Carolina Central University.

Dr. Cyndee Gruden, associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Graduate Studies and professor of civil and environmental engineering, will serve as interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies starting Sept. 1.

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.

New staff appointed to Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost has appointed three new associate vice provosts to continue to make progress on the University’s strategic plan.

Following the recent retirement of three senior academic administrators, there was an opportunity to realign the structure of the positions in the Office of the Provost along the priorities of the University’s strategic plan, said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“In the Division of Academic Affairs, we have made excellent progress on the implementation of the strategic plan,” Hsu said. “With the appointment of these highly qualified administrators who are joining the Office of the Provost team, we will continue to make progress in the priority areas of student and faculty success.”

Bartell

Dr. Denise Bartell is joining the University Aug. 1 as associate vice provost for student success to replace Dr. Steve LeBlanc, who retired from that position. Bartell comes from the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay, where she served as director of student success and engagement, and associate professor of human development and psychology.

In her role, Bartell will oversee the offices of Success Coaching and Academic Support Services, and lead the University’s efforts to support undergraduate student retention and degree completion, including efforts in the areas of advising, orientation, first-year experience, academic enrichment, and the blending of curricular and co-curricular learning.

Schneider

Dr. Barbara Schneider, senior associate dean in the College of Arts and Letters, and associate professor of English, has been appointed to serve as associate vice provost for faculty development, effective Aug. 20. The position is open following the retirement of Dr. Connie Shriner, who had served as vice provost for faculty development, assessment, program review and accreditation.

In her new role, Schneider will provide leadership for faculty professional development initiatives related to student success, including high-impact teaching practices and pedagogies of engagement. She will provide oversight of the Teaching Center and the Office of Classroom Support, and will be responsible for the implementation of the University’s strategic plan goals on faculty development related to student success.

Thompson

In addition, Dr. Amy Thompson, director of the Center for Health and Successful Living in the College of Health and Human Services, and professor of public health, now serves as interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs. She was appointed to that role July 9. Thompson provides oversight of the faculty orientation program, the UT faculty leadership institute, and the University’s faculty awards program. She also works closely with Dr. Jamie Barlowe, interim vice provost for faculty affairs, on additional faculty initiatives related to the priorities of the University’s strategic plan.

Ayres

Margaret “Peg” Traband, senior vice provost of academic affairs, was the third administrator who retired in June from the Office of the Provost. Dr. R. William Ayres has been promoted to that position.

Two deans also have taken on additional responsibilities in the Division of Academic Affairs.

Bryant-Friedrich

Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, has been appointed to also serve as vice provost for graduate affairs. She serves as the liaison between the Office of the Provost, the college deans and graduate program directors. Bryant-Friedrich also monitors the implementation of strategic plan priorities as they relate to graduate student enrollment and retention.

Ingersoll

Dr. Christopher Ingersoll, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has taken on additional responsibilities as vice provost for health science affairs. He serves as the liaison between the Office of the Provost and the deans of the four health science-related colleges, and he monitors the implementation of college-level strategic action plans as they relate to the University’s strategic plan.

Faculty members receive promotion, tenure

A number of faculty members received tenure and promotion for the 2017-18 academic year approved in April by the UT Board of Trustees.

Faculty members who received tenure were:

College of Law
• Michelle Cavalieri
• Bryan Lammon

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

College of Arts and Letters
• Daniel Hernandez, Art
• Dr. Thor Mednick, Art
• Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Disability Studies
• Dr. Jason Levine, Psychology
• Daniel Thobias, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Kainan Wang, Finance
• Dr. Joseph Cooper, Management

College of Engineering
• Dr. Halim Ayan, Bioengineering
• Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, Bioengineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, School of Social Justice

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. David Heidt, Surgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, Biological Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Art
• Dr. Sujata Shetty, Geography and Planning
• Dr. Jami Taylor, Political Science and Public Administration
• Dr. Edmund Lingan, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Management
• Dr. Bashar Gammoh, Marketing and International Business

College of Engineering
• Dr. Scott Molitor, Bioengineering
• Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Devinder Kaur, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Gursel Serpen, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
• Dr. Hongyan Zhang, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Tavis Glassman, School of Population Health
• Dr. Sheryl Milz, School of Population Health

Judith Herb College of Education
• Dr. Tod Shockey, Curriculum and Instruction
• Dr. Florian Feucht, Educational Foundations and Leadership

College of Law
• Elizabeth McCuskey
• Evan Zoldan

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Neurosurgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Maria Diakonova, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Michael Weintraub, Environmental Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
• Dr. Frederick Williams, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to associate professor were:

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Sumon Nandi, Orthopaedic Surgery
• Dr. Terrence Lewis, Radiology

Football legend, technology expert to speak at UT commencement ceremonies

Chuck Ealey and Dr. Helen Sun will return to The University of Toledo to give addresses during spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5, in the Glass Bowl.

Ealey, the football star and businessman, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. Sun, a technology strategist known for transforming companies, will come out for the graduate commencement at 3 p.m.

There are 3,094 candidates for degrees from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Graduate Studies; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College. There are 987 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates, and 2,107 for bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.

The public ceremonies can be viewed live at utoledo.edu/video.

Ealey

UT will award Ealey an honorary doctor of humane letters.

“It is amazing, wonderful and humbling to have the opportunity to speak to the 2018 graduates of The University of Toledo,” Ealey said. “What I want to share is what I have learned — and am still learning — after I graduated. It’s about a legacy dream that can come true.”

He made dreams a reality as the UT quarterback who became a legend leading the Rockets to 35 victories in three seasons and as a trailblazer for African-American QBs in the Canadian Football League.

After finishing 18-0 in high school in Portsmouth, Ohio, Ealey received a football scholarship to the University. While earning a business degree in economics, he earned some nicknames for his exploits on the field: Mr. Cool, The Wizard of Oohs and Aahs. With Ealey at quarterback, Toledo went 35-0 from 1969 to 1971. He racked up 5,903 yards in total offense and 54 touchdowns while leading the Rockets to final Associated Press rankings of No. 20 in 1969, No. 12 in 1970, and No. 14 in 1971, finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior year.

Despite the eye-popping numbers, Ealey was passed over as a quarterback in the 1972 NFL draft. Although offered other positions, he was committed to becoming a professional quarterback and elected to go to the Canadian Football League. As a rookie, he led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Grey Cup Championship in 1972 and was named Most Valuable Player. During his seven years in the CFL, he also played for the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

After hanging up his helmet, Ealey was a certified financial planner with Investors Group for 30 years. He recently stepped out of his role as regional director to do more client and corporate coaching. The 1972 UT alumnus also inspires through the Chuck Ealey Foundation, which helps people discover and embrace their undefeated spirit to better themselves and their community.

Sun

Sun, chief technology officer of architecture, engineering and data management at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Chicago, received a PhD in educational technology from UT in 2001. She is an expert in revolutionizing businesses through innovative solutions, including artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics and architecture.

“I’m very excited to be coming back to campus and reflect on how my IT career took shape during the years I attended UT,” said Sun, who developed websites while in graduate school.

“I’ll wrap my speech around three personal experiences: How I started a career in technology — find where your passion lies; how my seemingly diverse career path has taken me to where I am — take risks and never let fear of failure deter you away from opportunities; and who my true hero is throughout these years — don’t let what others do to you change who you are,” she said.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sun was vice president for cloud computing, information and architecture at Motorola Solutions Inc. She has held senior leadership positions at some of the world’s most recognizable companies, including Harbor Capitol Advisors, NewEdge Group, Oracle Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc.

At Oracle, Sun became the first woman to achieve Oracle Enterprise Architect status and was honored as Oracle Enterprise Architect of the Year in 2011. In 2016, the Chicago Business Journal named her one of 50 honorees for its Women of Influence Awards.

She is the co-author of “Oracle Big Data Handbook,” “Pro Salesforce Analytics Cloud: A Guide to Wave Platform, Builder and Explorer” and “Master Competitive Analytics With Oracle Endeca Information Discovery.” Sun is a frequent speaker at major conferences and symposia; she gave the keynote address at the Open Group Big Data Conference in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition to her passion serving as a mentor for women, Sun was a member of the UT Business Advisory Board from 2012 to 2016. She is co-chair of the Computer Science Advisory Board at Bowling Green State University.

Those planning to attend commencement are advised to use the west entrance off Secor Road and the south entrance off Dorr Street to avoid congestion on West Bancroft Street.

The College of Law will hold its commencement Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

And the College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ graduation ceremony will take place Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. in Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo.

UT Graduate Student Association to host Midwest research symposium

The University of Toledo’s Graduate Student Association is accepting registration for its ninth annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium.

The symposium will take place Saturday, April 7, in the Memorial Field House and the Thompson Student Union.

“The Midwest Graduate Research Symposium is an inspirational event that uniquely features the talents of graduate students from across the nation,” said Mitchell Haines, president of the Graduate Student Association. “Each year I am inspired by the ambition, innovation and work ethic from so many individuals.”

Graduate students from 65 universities from across the United States are invited to the symposium, which will consist of oral and poster presentations, professional development workshops, and an award ceremony. The event provides a great opportunity for students to share their research, refine their communication skills, and experience a diverse, intercollegiate environment.

“The Midwest Graduate Research Symposium has presented me with challenges that I may not experience in my normal degree program,” said Alisa Nammavong, vice president of the Graduate Student Association. “It has pushed me to work harder and manage time better while staying positive to lead and inspire others.”

The symposium will feature a keynote address from Dr. Clinton Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor of Management and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation. Longenecker has received more than 60 research, teaching and service awards. During his address, he will discuss his new book, “The Successful Career Survival Guide,” and additional topics regarding brand development and emotional intelligence.

Several awards will be given out during the dinner, where the top three oral presentations and posters will be recognized.

Registration must be submitted by Saturday, March 10, online here. All participants will receive invitations to the awards dinner.

For more information, contact the Graduate Student Association Office at graduatestudentassociation@gmail.com.

Toledo Women in Leadership Symposium to be held March 6

“Women Blazing Trails” is the theme of this year’s Women in Leadership Symposium, which will be held Tuesday, March 6.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in The University of Toledo’s Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

The focus of the event is to bring together successful women leaders who, through discussion, will educate, inspire and encourage other women to reflect on their own goals and status.

“Very often women do not take the time to reflect upon their achievements and the goals that they have set for themselves,” said Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the UT College of Graduate Studies. “Providing this opportunity to women in our area to interact with women who are invested in their success and helping them find their path is an important investment in our community.”

The symposium will allow attendees to network and will include several speakers who will touch on a variety of topics, including caring for your whole self and how to handle difficult conversations with confidence.

In addition to Bryant-Friedrich, speakers will include Amy Yustick, chief financial officer for Champion Laboratories; Kim Riley, president of Cleveland-Hylant; Linda Alvarado-Arce, executive director of the city of Toledo; and Tasha Hussain Black, vice president of marketing for The Andersons Inc.

“This will be a wonderful event to gain firsthand knowledge from women who are successful in their fields and to gain insight into what it takes to be successful,” Bryant-Friedrich said.

Cost to register is $99 with a $3 transaction fee.

To register for the event, visit wilsymposium.com/2018-symposiums/2018-toledo/#reg-cta.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D. Sallah will return to his alma mater Sunday, Dec. 17, to deliver the keynote address during The University of Toledo’s fall commencement ceremony.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Sallah

Sallah will address 2,067 candidates for degrees, including 118 doctoral, 523 master’s, 1,370 bachelor’s and 56 associate’s.

The ceremony is open to the public and can be viewed live at video.utoledo.edu.

Sallah’s investigative work as a reporter and editor with award-winning newspapers across the country has revealed public corruption, police abuses and government blunders, resulting in grand jury investigations, legislative reform, and the recovery of millions of taxpayer dollars.

He is a reporter on the national investigations team at USA Today/Gannett Network in Washington, D.C.

“This is where it all began for me,” Sallah said. “From the time I took my first journalism class in the fall of my freshman year, I fell in love with journalism, and UT is a big part of that. It’s part of my foundation — the professors, the values they conveyed to me about journalism, and why it’s so critical to our society, especially investigative work. I’m honored to be coming home to be the commencement speaker.”

“Journalists have an important role to inform the public about the issues that affect our lives, and Michael Sallah has embraced that responsibility uncovering many misdeeds through investigative reporting that resulted in positive change,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “I look forward to him sharing with our graduates how he got his start here in Toledo and inspiring them to stay curious and serve their communities.”

Born in Toledo, Sallah is a 1977 alumnus of The University of Toledo, graduating cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. He was named UT’s Outstanding Alumnus in the Social Sciences in 2004. Sallah also is a 1973 graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School.

He was a reporter and national affairs writer at The Blade for more than a decade, and was the lead reporter on the 2003 project “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths” that exposed the U.S. Army’s longest war crimes case of the Vietnam War. The series won numerous national awards, including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

While investigations editor and reporter at the Miami Herald, Sallah led an inquiry into local corruption. His team’s 2006 “House of Lies” series exposed widespread fraud in Miami-Dade County public housing and earned the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. He was named a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his series “Neglected to Death,” which uncovered deadly conditions in Florida assisted-living facilities, led to the closing of 13 facilities, and was the impetus for a gubernatorial task force to overhaul state law.

During his two years at The Washington Post, Sallah received a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism for an investigation that exposed a predatory system of tax collection in the District of Columbia. 

He returned to the Miami Herald in 2014 and was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2016 for uncovering one of the nation’s most corrupt sting operations in a police unit that laundered $71.5 million for drug cartels, kept millions for brokering the deals, and failed to make a single significant arrest. 

Sallah is the author of the books “Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War” and “Yankee Comandante: The Untold Story of Courage, Passion and One American’s Fight to Liberate Cuba.” He also was a consultant for the Public Broadcasting Service documentary “American Experience.”

UT’s fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Graduate Studies; Health and Human Services; Honors College; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

Deadline extended for new graduate programs proposals

Tuesday, May 30, is the deadline for campus community members to submit proposals for new graduate programs.


Earlier this year, the College of Graduate Studies issued a request for proposals for new graduate programs. 

“To date, we have received 10 proposals,” said Dr. Amanda C. Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “We’re extending the deadline for proposals to allow those who are busy with end-of-the-year duties to participate in this process.”

Proposals will be accepted from all UT community members, including students, staff, alumni, administrators and faculty.

“As you know, the quality and prestige of graduate programs is dependent upon the availability of competitive, challenging and cutting-edge curricula that are of interest to today’s student,” Bryant-Friedrich said. “The University of Toledo has excellent offerings that attract highly qualified students from around the world, but there are some deficits in our portfolio. Please assist me in bringing new and modified programs online that utilize the existing expertise on our campus to support those in need of our instruction.”

The proposal is short and easy to complete: click here.

University Women’s Commission recognizes employees, awards scholarships to students

Five UT employees were honored last week for exceptional achievement and dedication to the campus community at the 31st annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.

More than 70 attended the University Women’s Commission program, which was held Wednesday in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room. Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies, gave a talk, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” The 2015 recipient of the Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award shared her story, including her love of science, working in Europe, and how she came to UT.

Recipients of the 2017 Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were, from left, Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, Dr. Kaye M. Patten, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, Dr. Nina I. McClelland and Dr. Dorothea Sawicki.

The recipients of the 2017 Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award were:

• Dr. Nina I. McClelland, dean emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences, professor emerita of chemistry, and executive in residence in the College of Business and Innovation. She served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2011. A UT alumna, she received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in 1963. McClelland also received an honorary doctorate of science from the University. During her career, she has won numerous honors, including the 2016 Women in Conservation Award from the National Wildlife Federation for her accomplishments in protecting safe water around the world, promoting clean energy, and preserving wildlife and habitats in Ohio. In 2010, she was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.

“Dr. McClelland is internationally recognized for her expertise in environmental chemistry. She was elected director at large of the American Chemical Society and served in that role for nine years. She was elected chair of the board of directors, a position she held for three years. Nina served the NSF International for 30 years, including 15 years as chair of the board of directors and executive committee, president and chief executive officer,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. McClelland is an amazing woman who has dedicated her life to using science to make this world a better place.”

• Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs. She has been working at the University 12 years. She served as chair of the 2016 UT Community Charitable Campaign, which exceeded its goal and raised $134,568 for nearly 220 nonprofit area organizations.

“I have worked with many dedicated women in my 30 years in higher education. Dr. Kaye is in a class by herself. Through working with her, I have witnessed a level of energy, commitment, respect and advocacy for students that I had not experienced before,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Patten treats each student exactly how she would want her own son or daughter treated. I have admired and appreciated Dr. Kaye’s approach — to always be upfront with students, letting them know their responsibilities and how UT can help them achieve their goals. She understands the life-changing power of higher education, and it is clear that she wants the best for our students. If she is not attending a student event after hours or on weekends, she is representing the University in the community through the Toledo branch of Links Inc., a women’s service organization whose mission is to enrich the cultural and economic lives of African Americans. Dr. Kaye does nothing halfway — if she makes a commitment, she’s all in. To borrow from the UTC3 campaign slogan: She simply gives.”

• Dr. Dorothea Sawicki, vice provost for health affairs and university accreditation, and professor of medical microbiology and immunology. In 1977, she began her career as an assistant professor at the Medical College of Ohio. She received tenure and worked her way up to professor. She also served in several administrative roles in the College of Graduate Studies and in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences; as secretary-treasurer of the American Society for Virology since 2006; and as a member of the Journal of Virology editorial board since 1988.

“Dr. Sawicki has contributed to the University in a variety of ways for almost 40 years. She was one of the first people I met when I began at UT in 2010. At the time, I was a temporary hire helping the institution prepare for its Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit, and Thea was one of the committee co-chairs. I was immediately struck by her direct, no-nonsense approach to getting things done,” one nominator wrote. “I appreciate the historical background she is often able to provide about some obscure policy or way of doing things, and her unwavering commitment to the University. She is successful in her field and is a role model for women in science; she is extremely involved in the UT community at all levels; she maintains a positive, can-do attitude in her work; and she is active in various women’s issues.”

• Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, director of communication and fund stewardship with the UT Foundation. She joined the University in 1992. Over the past 25 years, she has significantly enhanced the Foundation’s internal and external communications, donor relations, and stewardship efforts. A UT alumna, she received a bachelor’s degree in communication in 1983. In 2013, Stanfa-Stanley embarked on “The 52/52 Project,” a year where she challenged herself every week with a new experience. As she turned 52, she shook things up. Her adventures included suiting up as Rocksy the mascot for a UT soccer game; babysitting quadruplets; wearing pajamas in public for a day; riding with police and going on a raid with the vice squad and SWAT team; visiting a nude beach; performing as a mime outside a shopping center in Kentucky; and crashing a wedding reception — and catching the bride’s bouquet.

“All the while, Sherry blogged about her amazingly crazy year on Facebook.com/The52at52Project. The witty writer served up entertainment and enlightenment for nearly 5,000 followers. Her book, ‘Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares,’ will be published Aug. 15 by She Writes Press,” one nominator wrote. “Sherry likes to call herself ‘a cautionary tale,’ but she really is a role model, showing it’s never too late to change your life. Her heady heroism is inspiring.”

• Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, assistant professor of Japanese in the Department of Foreign Languages. She started to work part time at UT in 2011. She is the social media coordinator for the Japanese Studies Program and adviser of the Calligraphy Club. She also is a translator in various community organizations local and abroad, as well as assistant coordinator for the Toledo Sister Cities International. A UT alumna, she received a bachelor of arts degree in global studies in 2009, a master of arts degree in English in 2011, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in 2015.

“Dr. Yamazaki’s contributions and achievements are numerous and balanced in research, teaching and service. She has three articles in press, and in the 2016-17 academic year, she presented or is scheduled to present eight sessions at international and national conferences,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Yamazaki has implemented a 3D virtual world simulation game into Japanese as a foreign language classroom and designed an immersive Japanese curriculum for her students. She uses an experiential and integrative computer-assisted language learning framework, conducting classes in a 3D massive multiplayer online learning environment to enhance students’ acquisition of Japanese and cultural proficiency. With what Dr. Yamazaki calls computer-assisted learning of communication, she developed an advanced Japanese course that is based in a 3D simulation in Tokyo. Through communicative collaboration with native Japanese game-users online, she made it possible for students to acquire knowledge to function in Japan.”

Students who received $1,000 scholarships from the University Women’s Commissin were, from left, Areeba Shaw, Bianca Caniglia, Jennifer Zaurov and Jessica Angelov.

The University Women’s Commission also presented $1,000 scholarships to four students. Receiving awards based on academic achievement, support of women’s and gender issues, and campus involvement were Jessica Angelov, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in entrepreneurship, family and small business; Bianca Caniglia, a senior majoring in environmental science with a minor in women’s and gender studies; Jennifer Zaurov, a junior majoring in communication with a minor in psychology; and Areeba Shaw, a sophomore majoring in media communication.