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Professor receives recognition at Access to Justice Awards

Dr. Celia Williamson, professor of social work and director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, won the Community Advocacy Award May 10 at the 18th annual Access to Justice Awards.

The Advocates for Basic Equality and Legal Aid of Western Ohio’s Access to Justice Awards recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations for their contributions to promote and provide access to justice for the underprivileged and underserved.

Williamson is well-known for her community advocacy against human trafficking and domestic violence, along with her extensive research into the subjects and finding ways to combat them.

The Community Advocacy Award is given to an organization or individual who has made a difference in the lives of low-income or disadvantaged persons and communities. It is intended to recognize grass roots organizing, public education, or community advocacy by an individual or group in northwest Ohio.

“The award means that the community recognizes and acknowledges that the work I’m doing is important and is on behalf of the vulnerable, poor and oppressed, and that human rights should be protected,” Williamson said.

Williamson has devoted much of her time addressing the problem of human trafficking. The UT alumna has given more than 200 presentations on the topic; completed several articles and reports; and edited two books on sex trafficking. She is a chair of the Research and Analysis Subcommittee for the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission and is the editorial manager for the Journal of Human Trafficking.

In 1993, she founded the first and oldest anti-trafficking program in Ohio titled Second Chance in Lucas County. She later established the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.

In addition, Williamson is both the founder and president of a National Research Consortium on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and founder of the annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

Recently, she has worked with the community to develop Partners Against Trafficking in Humans, known as the PATH model, which helps victims transition to survivors and eventually “thrivers.”

Williamson has been recognized for her trailblazing work, receiving the YWCA Milestone Award, The University of Toledo Gold T Award, Ohio Liberator Award and more.

UT teams up with Toledo Mud Hens to spotlight high-achieving students

The University of Toledo is partnering with the Toledo Mud Hens to recognize students who have achieved commendable academic success during the school year.

Hawkins

Students selected will be recognized as the Honorary Starter of the Game on the field prior to the first pitch.

The first recipient of the award was Sierra Hawkins, a social work major in the College of Health and Human Services.

“It was a really neat experience to be able to walk out on the field and be on the huge board just for achieving my personal goals of maintaining good grades,” Hawkins said. “This award is extremely important because it is recognizing local students and praising them for their achievements.”

Students will be honored at 13 home games throughout the season and are chosen based on recommendations from each UT college.

Sierra Hawkins, who is majoring in social work in the College of Health and Human Services, was the first UT student recognized for academic success at a Toledo Mud Hens’ game thanks to a new partnership between the baseball club and the University.

UT scholar to host news conference about words used to describe alleged victim of child sex trafficking

In response to recent media reports about a case involving a former Toledo police officer, The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute is hosting a news conference at noon Friday, May 25, at the Kent Branch Library, located at 3101 Collingwood Blvd.

Williamson

Dr. Celia Williamson, a UT professor of social work who defends the rights of women and girls on a local, national and international level, organized the event along with the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition to discuss the importance of words and to educate the public on child sex trafficking.

“Language is a powerful way of denigrating oppressed populations who society views as less valuable,” said Williamson, who is the director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “When an alleged victim is 14 years old, she is not a ‘child prostitute’ or ‘under-aged prostitute.’ Child sex trafficking is modern-day slavery.”

Williamson wants to decrease the stigma associated with alleged child sex trafficking victims and rally the community to support them.

“We want to assure child victims who may be out in our community that we want them to come forward and get help,” Williamson said. “The community also needs to know the proper language to use when discussing the topic of commercial sex with a child.”

Tourniquets added to AED boxes for campus safety

The University of Toledo is updating a number of its automated external defibrillator stations to also include tourniquets for the campus community to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations.

While AEDs — portable devices used to treat sudden cardiac arrest — have been available for several years across UT campuses, this is the first time commercial-grade tourniquets also will be available in several AED stations.

Dr. Paul Rega, right, talked to UT Police Chief Jeff Newton as he placed tourniquets in the automated external defibrillator station outside Doermann Theatre.
On May 10, signage was installed marking the AED/tourniquet station in University Hall and 19 other such stations located across UT campuses.

“Thanks to the generosity of the UT Foundation, we were able to purchase 100 combat application tourniquets, as well as signage to help individuals locate these combined AED/tourniquet stations during an emergency,” said Dr. Paul Rega, assistant professor of public health and emergency medicine.

“In the event there is a victim or multiple victims who have sustained life-threatening hemorrhaging due to an accidental or intentional incident, tourniquets would be readily available in AED boxes to help save lives,” explained Rega, who also is the University’s medical advisor for disaster preparedness and has more than 30 years of experience in emergency preparedness. “Additionally, we’ve trained about 600 members of our campus community on how to effectively use them.”

As emergency preparedness has evolved in the U.S. during recent years, paramedics and other medical professionals have turned to using military-grade tourniquets to help save lives during disasters such as building explosions caused by gas leaks, vehicular accidents, crimes involving weapons, and other life-threatening emergencies. As a result, some large facilities such as airports, malls and schools have begun equipping their sites with such tourniquets so they are on hand for medical crises, Rega said.

“Even with a solid emergency preparedness plan, routine practices and preparation, a disaster can occur at any time,” Rega said. “That’s why it’s important that the University has proper supplies that are easily accessible across our campuses, in addition to an adequate number of campus members trained to use them.”

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

Girls in science day at UT May 10

More than 160 sophomore high school girls will visit The University of Toledo Thursday, May 10, when prominent female scientists and engineers across the region will introduce them to the exciting world of science and technology careers through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

The ninth annual Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on UT’s Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

Area students tested their handmade solar cells constructed with glass, blackberries and graphite during last year’s Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM.

UT faculty and industrial professionals will help inspire a passion for science careers by exploring the tools of the trade.

The girls will carry out investigations in a number of areas, including physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology, engineering, pharmacy, and medicine.

Activities for students will include building solar cells, swabbing their cheeks for a DNA sample, aseembling a motor, generating electricity on a bike, making biodiesel fuel, creating lip balm, and touring the anatomy museum.

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.

Three Distinguished University Lecturers named

Three faculty members have been named Distinguished University Lecturers in recognition of their exemplary teaching, supporting student success, and demonstrating their commitment to UT’s educational mission.

The newest Distinguished University Lecturers, who were approved and recognized by the UT Board of Trustees April 16, are Amy O’Donnell of the College of Business and Innovation; Sherry Tripepi in the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services; and Sara Yaklin of the College of Arts and Letters.

Distinguished University Lecturers, from left, Sara Yaklin, Amy O’Donnell and Sherry Tripepi were recognized during an April 19 awards ceremony.

“It is a privilege to honor these outstanding faculty members who are accomplished in their fields and who are dedicated to sharing their expertise with students,” said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Every day, they make a difference in so many lives at this institution and in our community.”

O’Donnell joined the University as a lecturer in the Department of Management in 2004 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2015.

She has received University and college awards for excellent teaching and dedication to students. O’Donnell has developed new courses and programs, facilitated student success initiatives, and supported the Business Career Programs Office in the College of Business. In addition, she served as faculty advisor to the UT chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. O’Donnell also has presented at 19 regional conferences.

“I have always felt respected and supported by College of Business and Innovation students, faculty and staff. This appointment as a Distinguished Lecturer at the University level further validates that my efforts are valued and meaningful by our community,” O’Donnell said. “I am humbled and proud.”

Tripepi started working as a clinical social worker in the University Counseling Center in 1997. Ten years later, she was named a visiting assistant professor of social work. In 2010, Tripepi became a lecturer in the Social Work Program and was promoted to associate lecturer in 2013.

She has received teaching, service and student impact awards. Tripepi serves as director of the Social Work Bachelor’s Degree Program, field coordinator, internship supervisor and continuing education coordinator for the UT Social Work Program through the Ohio Board of Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers. In addition, she developed a new course on social work practice with the LGBTQ population and has helped develop and implement campus-wide training programs — including Safe Place and anti-bullying programs — at area schools.

“I feel very honored and appreciative of this recognition,” Tripepi said. “I feel social work is the best career as it has allowed me to bring my passion to work each day. And for the past 11 years, I have been fortunate to be able to bring this passion to the classroom. I have fantastic students, who I want to thank for allowing me to join them in their professional journey and nurture their passion along the way. I also have such wonderful colleagues and am forever grateful for their support and teamwork.”

Yaklin was named a lecturer in 2001 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2009. She received a master of arts degree in English language and literature from UT.

She is a founding co-director of the Composition Institute for Teaching Excellence and is a composition instructor and program contributor for the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge Program. Yaklin also was a presenter at the Multicultural Orientation and Resources for Excellence Institute. In addition to mentoring teaching assistants in the English Department, Yaklin participates in the University Common Read Program and is a writing consultant, tutor, editor and mentor at UT, Owens Community College and local organizations. She recently received an Innovations in Teaching Award for a community partner pilot program for scientific and technical report writing students.

“Each day, I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love in teaching and working with students. I have a dream job,” Yaklin said. “My program director, department chair, college deans, co-director and colleagues all deserve recognition and thanks for making it a dream job. I am deeply appreciative of the University’s honoring of faculty through these awards.”

UT Social Work Program to host workshop on youth trauma and resiliency

The University of Toledo’s Social Work Program will host a free workshop on youth trauma and resiliency Wednesday, April 18, at 5:15 p.m. in Health and Human Services Building Room 1500.

The workshop is designed to raise awareness in the community about youth trauma, protective factors and resilience. A panel of experts will discuss working with youth and ways to advocate for those experiencing trauma.

“This can be useful for anyone who wants to help others and make connections,” said Ryan Cornoyer, mental health professional at ProMedica. “Educating ourselves how to identify and properly address these concerns will strengthen our student body by allowing us to support each other in an effective manner.”

Members of the panel will be:

• Kris Buffington, past chair and member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Juvenile Delinquency Committee and former chair of the Ohio Department of Mental Health Child Trauma Task Force Training and Evidence-Based Practices Committee;

• Dr. Adrienne Elhai of the Cullen Center at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital; and

• Keith B. Jordan Sr., vice president and director of development at JLJ Vision Outreach, a Toledo organization that works with at-risk youth.

“The event will provide useful information for a wide range of professions and student interests,” Cornoyer said.

Registration for the free event is requested by Monday, April 16; click here.

For more information, contact Cornoyer at ryan.cornoyer@rockets.utoledo.edu.

UT to host Opioid Summit April 10

The University of Toledo is hosting an Opioid Summit to connect UT researchers, physicians and community partners with state leaders to advance collaborations that can help address the crisis affecting Ohio.

The summit will take place Tuesday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Thomspon Student Union Room 2592 and will feature speakers who will discuss the opioid epidemic in Ohio and share the state’s focus areas and funding priorities to address the issue.

“This summit provides an opportunity to further current initiatives, identify new collaborations, and connect with community contributors in addressing this major public-health problem,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the UT College of Nursing and co-chair of the committee leading UT’s opioid task force.

“Opioid abuse, addiction and overdoses affect families of every socio-demographic group,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and co-chair of the committee leading UT’s opioid task force. “Our research, education and service activities can help make a difference in the state of Ohio, as well as the nation.”

Charles See, vice chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, will speak at 9:15 a.m. in a presentation about the role of higher education in solving the opiates problem and supporting addicted students.

Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, will speak at 9:45 a.m. about strategic priorities, funding opportunities and resources through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Panel discussions will include representatives from the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Medicaid.

As Ohio and the nation struggle to stem the opioid epidemic, UT’s faculty, researchers and students are creating new, innovative solutions to address and prevent new users from forming addictions; developing methods for greater access to treatment and preventing the likelihood of relapse after treatment; and educating students and peers about opioid addiction and resources to seek help.

For example, a cross-disciplinary team that includes doctors and engineers is working to create a wearable device for opioid addicts that notifies the addict’s sponsor or 911 to indicate relapse or health distress from drug abuse. Also, researchers in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics are designing a drug that targets a receptor in the brain to limit dopamine release, thereby preventing opioid addiction and reducing withdrawal symptoms in addicted patients.

Faculty in the College of Nursing and the School of Population Health recently received a grant from Cardinal Health to promote prevention of opioid abuse by teaching fifth- through eighth-graders and their families about safe prescription drug use and storage.

In April 2017, UT Medical Center opened an inpatient detox program under the medical direction of Dr. Tanvir Singh, UTMC psychiatrist. This is the first and only hospital-based program in the region.

UT’s opioid task force was created by President Sharon L. Gaber to bring together researchers, physicians and educators across the University working on issues related to the opioid crisis.

The summit is among the committee’s activities to advance research and identify opportunities for additional partnerships and funding sources to support more collaborative projects.