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UToledo alumna to share inspirational story March 26

Diana Patton will return to The University of Toledo Tuesday, March 26, to talk about overcoming abuse and persevering to become an attorney.

She will speak at 7 p.m. in Thompson Student Union Room 3020.

“We are honored to have Diana Patton visit campus to share her moving and motivational story,” David Young, UToledo director of Toledo Excel and Special projects, said.

Patton is the author of “Inspiration in My Shoes,” a 2016 memoir that chronicles overcoming abuse, racism and heartache. In the 236-page book she wrote with Amanda Filippelli, Patton explains inspiration is everywhere; turmoil doesn’t define you; and faith and determination can help through anything.

The CEO of Diana R. Patton Consulting LLC is an attorney who speaks on leadership, emotional intelligence, diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as trauma-informed care. She is a mentor on self-care, and social and emotional intelligence.

Patton served as the vice president, chief operating officer and general counsel for the Toledo Fair Housing Center, and she worked at CedarCreek Church. In addition, the graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York also co-owned a health-based company, FITatudes LLC.

She serves on the UToledo College of Health and Human Services Board and the UToledo Paralegal Advisory Board.

Patton received bachelor’s and law degrees from UToledo and was a member of the track team.

Her visit is part of the Office of Multicultural Student Success’ African-American Intitiatives Through Your Eyes Series.

The first 20 women at the event will receive a free signed copy of “Inspiration in My Shoes.”

For more information on the free event, contact Young at david.young@utoledo.edu.

College of Law receives federal grant for tax clinic

The University of Toledo College of Law was awarded a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic grant from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Taxpayer Advocate Service, making it the only academic institution in Ohio to receive the honor.

Tax Controversy Clinic Director Chris Bourell, left, works with law students Gregg Byrne and April Johnson. The clinic is the only academic institution in Ohio to receive a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic grant from the Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Advocate Service.

The grant can match funds up to $100,000 annually to support the law school’s existing Tax Controversy Clinic. Law students work under the supervision of Tax Controversy Clinic Director Chris Bourell to assist taxpayers in disputes with the IRS.

Bourell indicates that the federal grant will allow the tax clinic to expand its services and community outreach efforts, as well as provide structural support for the operation.

“We are especially honored to become a part of a network of recognized Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics across the country,” Bourell said. “The contacts we have made with other grant recipients, both at legal aid organizations and other law schools, and within the IRS itself have been beneficial to improving and expanding our services.”

Tax clinic students receive legal training from their experience of handling challenging legal cases, and they have the opportunity to serve the community.

Student attorney Stephen Domingue said, “I have learned how to be a better attorney through the clinic. It is a great program to improve my legal skills, but it also gave me insight into the challenges faced by many people who are not able to receive quality legal care elsewhere.”

Consultations for assistance from the tax clinic are made by appointment by emailing intake@ttcc.law or calling 419.484.8822.

Free speech topic of Stranahan Lecture March 20

Keith E. Whittington, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University, will discuss the importance of free speech at universities as part of The University of Toledo College of Law’s Stranahan Lecture series.

His lecture, “Why We Should Value Campus Free Speech,” will be delivered Wednesday, March 20, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

Whittington

Whittington will explain the need to protect free speech at universities to enhance the mission of assembling and nurturing an open and diverse community of scholars, teachers and students. As argued in his award-winning recent book, “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech,” he will examine how relationships between the critical functions of the university and the principles of free speech can help resolve difficult challenges that confront modern universities.

“Free speech, which for so long has been a cornerstone of American universities, has recently come under significant pressure at universities across the country,” said Lee J. Strang, John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values at the College of Law. “Professor Whittington will argue that free speech is fundamental to the mission of modern universities as centers of research and teaching.”

A prolific scholar, Whittington’s publications include nine books and dozens of articles and essays on constitutional law, politics and history, and American political thought. He is a Fellow with the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, and is a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences.

The winner of numerous book, scholarly and teaching awards, Whittington completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and earned his doctorate in political science at Yale University.

This free, public lecture is a part of the Stranahan National Issues Forum and is sponsored by the College of Law and its chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

There will be book sales and signings before and after the event, which will be streamed live by The University of Toledo Alumni Association.

For more information, visit the College of Law website.

UToledo graduate programs jump in U.S. News rankings

The University of Toledo’s graduate programs are recognized among the best in the nation, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings.

The College of Nursing and College of Law, in particular, jumped dramatically in the most recent rankings released Tuesday.

The master’s degree in nursing jumped up to 135 from the previous year’s ranking of 183. The doctor of nursing is ranked 135 compared to 152 the previous year.

The full-time law program is now ranked 126. It had been 137 in the 2018 rankings.

“The significant increases in the U.S. News rankings in just one year reflect the University’s increasingly positive reputation and the progress we are making advancing our academic and research excellence,” President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We are proud of these rankings, but, more importantly, the outcomes they represent in student success, program quality and accomplished faculty.”

In addition to the nursing and law programs, UToledo’s graduate programs in education and social work moved up in the rankings. Education is now ranked 172 up from 176, and social work is listed as 196 up from 201 the previous year. In addition, the engineering graduate program is now ranked and listed as 148.

The College of Nursing attributes its dramatic 48-point jump in the master’s program and increase of 17 spots in the doctoral program to attracting a more qualified student applicant pool, increasing program accessibility for students, strong graduation rates, and a growing research profile for faculty.

“We are proud of the recognition for our outstanding programs, excellent students and talented faculty, who are leaders in clinical practice, teaching and research,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing.

The 11-point increase in the College of Law rankings reflects improved bar passage results and a higher employment rate 10 months after graduation.

“The reputation of Toledo Law continues to grow in recognition of our strong faculty and commitment to student success, which includes advanced bar exam preparation and career development initiatives,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law.

Launch into Law bridge to profession program prepares students for law school application process, experience

The University of Toledo College of Law piloted the Launch into Law bridge to the profession program this year to increase the number of historically underrepresented students enrolled in law school. The free, weeklong program took place last month.

Launch into Law prepared participants to be stronger law school applicants and law students. Participants were immersed in courses to prepare them for the Law School Application Test (LSAT) and to improve legal writing and study skills.

Additionally, the participants sat in on a first-year law school class, and attended sessions on success strategies, clinical education, the admissions process, and legal career opportunities.

Faculty members in the UT College of Law presented practice spotlights on business law, health law, criminal law, and intellectual property law. The program also included a field trip to observe proceedings at the Toledo Municipal Court.

The first cohort was composed of 11 undergraduate students and recent graduates of The University of Toledo, as well as institutions around the country: Ohio State University, Penn State University, Roosevelt University, Spring Arbor University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Xavier University. Participants ranged in age from 19 to 30.

Each participant was matched with a student mentor and a professional mentor based on the student’s background and expressed practice interest. Professional mentors included a common pleas court judge and prosecutor, as well as attorneys in small and large firms, legal aid/nonprofit agencies, and senior corporate counsel.

Jelani Jefferson Exum, professor of law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, designed the Launch into Law program in collaboration with Amber Chuhy, assistant director of law admissions.

“Programs providing a pipeline to law school are vitally important, not only in providing individuals from a variety of backgrounds with access to a legal career, but also in enhancing the legal profession itself so that it better reflects the rich diversity of our society,” Exum said. “I was so pleased with the caliber of students that participated in our first program. They are bright, passionate, and all very interesting individuals whom I have no doubt will be excellent law students.”

The Launch into Law pilot was a success. Official LSAT practice tests were administered pre- and post-experience. Participant scores increased an average of 4.6 points with increases as high as 8 points. Three participants already have applied to the UT College of Law for fall 2019, with two more planning to apply in the future.

“This program has enlightened me to the true practice of law and has given me a glimpse as to what I should expect as a future law student,” said Noelle DeRiso from Penn State University. “Hearing each of the member’s journeys has only strengthened my passion to one day work within the law.”

DeRiso added, “Launch into Law has only solidified my desire to attend The University of Toledo’s law school. With the array of opportunities offered through its legal clinics and extensive courses taught by such knowledgeable professors, I know I will receive an exceptional education that will prepare me for the real world.”

For more information about the program, contact Chuhy at amber.chuhy@utoledo.edu.

Launch into Law participants gathered with their professional mentors for a group photo last month.

Toledo-born actress to give commencement address

Katie Holmes, an internationally recognized actress, producer and director, will return to her hometown to inspire The University of Toledo graduates at the spring commencement ceremony.

Holmes

The Toledo-born actress who has appeared in more than 30 films and television programs will be the commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. in the Glass Bowl.

The UT Board of Trustees approved Monday an honorary degree for Holmes, in addition to several other board actions.

Holmes made her feature film debut in “The Ice Storm” in 1997, and her breakout role came a year later as Joey Potter in the television series “Dawson’s Creek,” which she portrayed for six years.

Her film credits include “Go,” “Wonder Boys,” “Batman Begins” and “All We Had,” which is one of several projects in which she served as director and producer. In addition, her Broadway experience includes appearing in “All My Sons” and “Dead Accounts.”

Holmes managed and designed the fashion line Holmes & Yang, with her partner Jeanne Yang from 2009 to 2014, and is the co-founder of the Dizzy Feet Foundation that supports dance education in the United States. Holmes is a graduate of Toledo’s Notre Dame Academy. Her father, Martin Holmes Sr., and brother, Martin Holmes Jr., are graduates of the UT College of Law.

Parazynski

Trustees also approved an honorary degree for Dr. Scott Parazynski, a physician, astronaut and inventor, who will address graduates of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at its commencement ceremony Friday, May 10, at 4 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Parazynski spent 17 years as an astronaut during which time he flew five space shuttle missions and conducted seven spacewalks. In 2016, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center.

Parazynski trained for a career in emergency medicine and trauma and has applied his expertise in the human adaptation to stressful environments. He is founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies, a company focused on developing disruptive robotic control devices for everything from drones to surgical robots.

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved a proposal for a new Master of Applied Business Analytics Degree Program in the College of Business and Innovation. The program’s goal is to meet a growing demand for skilled professionals with analytical problem-solving skills who can apply real-time solutions to business problems.

The proposed 30-credit-hour program combines functional areas of business with business analytics courses and would conclude with an internship project or thesis. The proposal next will be submitted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. With approval, the program would start by fall semester 2020.

Also approved by trustees were housing and meal plan rates for the upcoming academic year for continuing and incoming students who are not in the current cohort of the Toledo Tuition Guarantee Plan. Dining rates will increase 2.8 percent, with a maximum of $4 more per week depending on the meal plan selected, and housing fees will increase an average of 2.9 percent, which represents an increase of up to $19.60 per week. The new housing and dining rates will help to cover increased costs of operations.

A new collective bargaining agreement with The University of Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association (UTPPA) also was approved by the trustees. The agreement, which runs from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021, was ratified by the union Jan. 9. There are 26 employees represented by the UTPPA who will receive wage increases of 1.8 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019, 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020, and 2.2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2021.

#MeToo Movement to be discussed Feb. 5

The Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women will host a talk titled “Law and the #MeToo Movement” for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.

Nicole Porter, associate dean for faculty research and development in the UT College of Law, and professor of law, will speak Tuesday, Feb. 5, at noon in Carlson Library Room 1005.

Porter

She will discuss the #MeToo Movement, including the legal aspects and the recent changes in Title IX.

Since the movement gained momentum in November 2017, Porter has been working with law professors across the country to try to increase the public’s awareness of the legal issues surrounding #MeToo.

“There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about sexual harassment and sexual assault. One of my goals is to help clear up some of the confusion,” Porter said. “I think conversations like this one are difficult, but very important.”

She plans to talk about the difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault, and how Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 addresses sexual harassment in the workplace.

Porter also will address the quickly changing law surrounding Title IX, which applies to educational institutions, and some of the myths surrounding sexual assault and sexual harassment.

To register and for more information, call the Eberly Center at 419.530.8570.

UT dean elected to executive committee of Association of American Law Schools

D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the UT College of Law, was elected to serve a three-year term on the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) at its annual meeting in New Orleans this month.

The AALS Executive Committee is composed of nine members from across the country who are respected among their peers as leaders in legal education. Barros, an expert on property law, was one of the youngest educators to serve on the executive committee when he served a one-year term in 2014.

Barros

“Dean Barros is well-positioned to serve legal education as a member of the AALS Executive Committee,” Judith Areen, executive director of AALS, said. “His thoughtful advice and prior experience on the committee will help guide the association in our efforts to advance excellence in legal education.”

“Law and lawyers are essential to our society and our democracy, and our profession is rooted in legal education,” Barros said. “I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the AALS and its member schools as we work to shape the future of legal education and the legal profession.”

Barros joined UT as dean of the College of Law in 2015. He teaches and writes in the areas of property law and theory, regulatory takings, property law reform, and the philosophy of science. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Law, Property, and Society. In 2015, he released a casebook on property law with Aspen/Wolters Kluwer.

Prior to joining UT, Barros was the associate dean of academic affairs and professor of law at Widener University School of Law. Barros practiced as a litigator before teaching. He clerked for Judge Milton Pollack of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and later worked at the law firms of Latham & Watkins LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton, both in New York City.

Barros graduated from Fordham University School of Law, where he was an editorial board member on the Fordham Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Colgate University and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Maryland.

The Association of American Law Schools, founded in 1900, is a nonprofit association of 179 law schools. Its members enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of the country’s lawyers and judges, as well as many of its lawmakers. The association’s mission is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education. In support of this mission, AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve communities — local, national and international.

Princeton Review names UT College of Law among best law schools in U.S.

The Princeton Review once again selected The University of Toledo College of Law in its prestigious list of the top 165 law schools in the country.

The UT College of Law ranked No. 1 for professor accessibility in Ohio and Michigan, and tied for No. 1 in Indiana. Nationwide, UT’s law school is tied for third in the category of professor accessibility with 14 other schools with a score of 97 out of 99. Six schools tied for the No. 2 spot.

“What makes the UT College of Law special is that faculty members are deeply involved in their students’ learning and professional development from day one,” said Geoffrey Rapp, associate dean for academic affairs and Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values. “Our faculty get to know our students — where they are from, where they want to be, and what kind of law they aspire to practice. This puts them in a position to provide support to help students reach their goals.”

The Princeton Review does not rank law schools on an overall basis.

The Princeton Review surveyed 17,700 students attending law school about their school’s academics, student body and campus life. The student surveys for the 2019 list were collected during the 2017-18, 2016-17 and 2015-16 academic years. The ratings also are based on institutional data.

National science leader and Toledo native to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 15

The head of the nation’s oldest and one of its most prestigious laboratories will return home, as Toledo native Michael Witherell is set to deliver the address during The University of Toledo’s undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 15.

Witherell, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in Berkeley, Calif., will address 1,474 candidates for degrees, including 1,437 bachelor’s and 37 associate’s candidates. The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Savage Arena on Main Campus.

Witherell

UT’s graduate commencement ceremony is scheduled at 8 a.m. in Savage Arena and will commemorate 641 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. Md Kamal Hossain, emerging cancer researcher and candidate for a doctoral degree at the University, will be the speaker.

Both ceremonies are open to the public and can be viewed live on the UT Views website.

Witherell, a distinguished physicist, educator and science leader, developed the foundation for his future at Toledo’s St. Francis de Sales High School. Salutatorian at age 15, he earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in experimental physics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After a distinguished career as a university professor performing research in particle physics, he devoted himself to leading large research institutions.

In 2016, Witherell was named director of Berkeley Lab, the oldest of the 17 labs in the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories systems. Berkeley Lab is a global leader in fundamental and applied scientific research in physical, biological, energy, computing and environmental sciences. The lab’s employees have earned 13 Nobel Prizes and played a role in the discovery of 16 elements on the periodic table, among its honors. The lab is managed for the DOE by the University of California.

“Our mission at Berkeley Lab is solving the nation’s most challenging problems through great scientific and technological discoveries. I believe that the national assets in addressing these problems include public universities and the students whom they are educating,” Witherell said.

Before joining Berkeley Lab, Witherell spent six years as director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He was vice chancellor for research at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where he also held a presidential chair in the Physics Department.

His primary research interest is in studying the nature of dark matter. He was a contributor to the LUX experiment, which in 2016 published the most sensitive search for interactions of dark matter particles with normal matter. He is now part of an international research team that is building a successor to LUX, known as LZ, which will be three orders of magnitude more sensitive. Data collection is expected to start in 2020.

Witherell is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He chairs the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies and serves on the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy.

“As a nationally recognized, public research university, The University of Toledo is pleased to have Dr. Witherell as our fall commencement speaker. Research not only helps us to discover new knowledge that advances all areas of study, but also instills critical thinking skills that our students can use to approach problems systematically and come up with solutions that improve everyday life,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We look forward to Dr. Witherell sharing his insights with our graduates, especially since he grew up in Toledo and has since made tremendous contributions through research.”

Witherell’s personal success can be traced back to the Glass City, as well. He and his wife, Elizabeth Hall Witherell, head of the Princeton Edition of Henry Thoreau’s writings, grew up in the same west Toledo neighborhood and were high school sweethearts. They have a daughter, Lily.

“The foundation for my career and life was my extended family in Toledo,” Witherell said. “Their support and the value they put on education and public service were central to my personal and professional development.”

Hossain

Hossain, the graduate ceremony speaker, is a native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, who came to UT as an industrial pharmacist with a passion to develop innovative medicines.

“I’ve always been interested in studying health-related fields due to the suffering of people in my homeland from different types of disease,” Hossain said. “My focus is to develop a specific targeting approach for a more effective cancer vaccine. My research examined the utilization of a natural antibody already present in human serum that makes the vaccine more convenient to target tumor cells.”

He is a candidate for a doctor of philosophy degree in medicinal chemistry in UT’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

UT’s fall commencement ceremonies 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; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

The College of Law will host its commencement ceremony Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Later that week — Friday, May 10, at
4 p.m. — the College of Medicine and Life Sciences will hold its commencement ceremony in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit the UT commencement website.