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Holi Toledo event at UT canceled due to weather

Organizers of the Holi Toledo celebration at The University of Toledo have canceled the event this afternoon due to the weather.

Holi Toledo, an all-campus celebration of the Indian holiday Holi, was scheduled to take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 27 on the grounds outside Memorial Field House on Main Campus.

This year’s event had already been postponed once. Last week, thunderstorms forced organizers to push the event back to today.

With finals next week, there is no plan to reschedule the event this semester.

The annual event features students throwing colored powder, as well as music, dancing and a T-shirt giveaway sponsored by the Center for International Studies and Programs.

“Holi is a popular springtime festival that is celebrated with great fanfare in India,” said Dr. Yonatan Miller, director of the Center for Religious Understanding. “It is a colorful celebration — both cultural and religious — of the change of seasons and the triumph of good over evil. And, significantly, it is also a time when, at least for one day, all people are considered equals; the usual social hierarchy is suspended.”

Holi Toledo was the brainchild of Dr. Jeanine Diller, former director of the Center for Religious Understanding. The event, which draws on the festivity, color and seasonal meaning of the holiday, has the blessing of the Hindu Temple of Toledo.

“Holi Toledo also serves a more immediate purpose here in the UT community, which is to highlight our diversity, promote unity, and foster improved understanding of the religions represented on campus,” Miller said.

UT to produce 100th ESPN3 broadcast at Saturday’s softball game

The University of Toledo Department of Communication, in cooperation with the UT Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, will mark its 100th ESPN3 production Saturday, April 29. The landmark broadcast will be the Rocket softball team’s game vs. Western Michigan.

UT first began producing games for ESPN in October 2015 as part of an agreement between the Mid-American Conference and the worldwide leader in sports. Unlike many of the other MAC schools, however, UT was able to build upon the longstanding relationship between its Athletic Department and the media production component of the Department of Communication to create an academic-driven means of producing game broadcasts. This initiative was led by the late Don Reiber, UT director of media services and faculty member in the Department of Communication. Reiber developed a Live Web Streaming course that would provide the students needed to serve as the eight- to 12-person technical crew for each ESPN3 production, as well as the numerous football and basketball games that were already being produced for the Glass Bowl and Savage Arena’s live video board audiences.

Student Adam Stoddard ran the camera for one of six women’s soccer games in 2016.

Over summer 2015, the Department of Communication and the Athletic Department pooled resources, investing in new equipment to outfit an existing television production truck owned by the Communication Department that had been unused for several years. Seeing both the academic potential and the opportunity to reach a much larger audience, UT’s administration authorized the creation of two new staff positions to support the endeavor. UT hired John Eidemiller, who previously had been a media producer in the Department of Communication, into a new role as executive producer for ESPN and athletic video productions, as well as UT alumnus and former WTVG 13 ABC executive director Jonathan Mondelli, into the role of technical director.

Unfortunately, in September 2015, just weeks before the first scheduled UT-produced ESPN3 broadcast, Reiber passed away unexpectedly. Determined to still meet the broadcast schedule that they had set weeks before, Eidemiller and Mondelli pressed on, completely rebuilding and rewiring the production truck in less than two weeks with the help of Meagan Dietz, who was then a junior majoring in communication, and getting all of the newly received equipment configured in time for the first scheduled production, a UT volleyball game vs. Western Michigan.

Jonathan Mondelli directed an ESPN3 women’s soccer production.

The class has changed somewhat. Eidemiller has taught the Live Sports Production for each of the four semesters since taking it over following Reiber’s death, and has refined it each time to address the goals of the students, but he said that at the core, the principle remains the same.

“There’s a big push right now in higher education for hands-on experiential learning that gets students out of the traditional classroom,” Eidemiller explained. “That is exactly what this is all about. The biggest difference between Toledo and what a lot of other schools are also doing in terms of delivering content to ESPN is in our approach. With the exception of me, Jonathan, the on-air talent, and one or two paid undergraduate students in mentoring roles on the crews, our productions at UT are entirely staffed by students earning class credit. That lets us produce far more than the minimum 35 games per year required by the MAC, while at the same time giving our students a chance to graduate with hands-on experience that they simply cannot get at most other universities.”

UT production truck

Mondelli added, “We do our best to rotate students through each crew position so they learn a variety of technical skills they can apply later in their careers, such as camera operator, graphics operator, audio and replay. Those students who show an interest in a particular skill can continue to fine-tune their abilities by doing an independent study. Our students get to learn remote production hands-on with some of the latest broadcast-level equipment available, making the learning curve for our students much easier when they transition to an industry crew. All of this makes our students extremely versatile in the ever-changing job marketplace.”

“You learn through the different positions on the crew how everyone works together and that you really do need everyone,” said Dietz, who will graduate in May with a double major in communication and film after working on nearly all of UT’s first 100 ESPN3 productions. “We work together and get to put out something that can be seen by anyone in the world. I like that I get to put my name on a quality production and that I have leg up on people who don’t get that experience in school.”

In addition to the complement of women’s soccer and women’s volleyball games in the fall, men’s and women’s basketball in the winter, and baseball and softball in the spring, Eidemiller and Mondelli are planning to increase coverage to include women’s swimming and diving in the 2017-18 academic year, and are exploring the possible addition of tennis down the road.

All UT-produced ESPN3 games are available online at watchESPN.com or on mobile devices through the ESPN app. For a full schedule of games, including a listing of available TV viewing options, visit UTRockets.com and search by sport.

Students interested in becoming part of the production crew are encouraged to contact Eidemiller at john.eidemiller@utoledo.edu or Lisa Bollman, academic adviser in the Department of Communication, at lisa.bollman@utoledo.edu.

Community invited to celebrate National Astronomy Day at Ritter Planetarium

The solar eclipse set to occur this summer will be prominently featured at the sixth annual Astronomy Day celebration hosted by The University of Toledo.

The free, public event, which will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in Ritter Planetarium, will include hands-on, family-friendly activities for kids, UT astronomers sharing their latest research, shows in the planetarium, and a chance to look through the largest optical telescope in the Midwest.

“Astronomy Day is a special event for us each year,” said Alex Mak, UT associate planetarium director. “It is one of the ways we give back to the community for the tremendous support they give us year after year. It also is an opportunity to invite young people to campus to learn about our solar system.”

Programs and activities will include:

• The planetarium show titled “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” at 1 p.m. followed immediately by Moon Adventure, a hands-on education experience that includes making craters and exploring the “moon” with binoculars;

• A discussion at 5 p.m. about the solar eclipse that will occur Monday, Aug. 21, and be visible from Toledo;

• The Fulldome Festival at 6 p.m., which will include a presentation of three programs along with a live tour of the night sky and a look at the Discovery Channel Telescope;

• A session for adults called Research Talks at 8 p.m. to learn about the cutting-edge investigations that UT faculty and students are involved in, while younger guests watch episodes of “The Zula Patrol” in the planetarium; and

• An open house to tour Ritter Observatory at 9 p.m. Weather-permitting, guests will have the chance to look through UT’s 1-meter telescope, the largest optical telescope in the Midwest.

Members of the Toledo Astronomical Association will be available to answer questions about telescopes and provide solar observing, weather permitting.

Sign up for UT team to make strides toward cancer research

Join thousands of others by taking to the streets Saturday, May 6, for the 11th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk to help the American Cancer Society end the pain and suffering of those with breast cancer.

The 5K walk will take place at the Town Center at Levis Commons in Perrysburg. Registration will open at 8 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Before the walk, an opening ceremony will take place to help inspire participants to take action as well as to symbolize the uplifting and energizing commitment people have made in making sure that no one has to face breast cancer alone.

“This event is important to the community and the breast cancer survivors and families. Not only does it bring awareness, but the funds generated from this walk benefit research, and free events for patients undergoing treatments, programs on educating the public to prevent it, catch it early and treat it,” said Michelle Giovanoli, manager of radiation oncology at UT Medical Center. “Their goal is to create a world without pain and suffering of breast cancer.”

Last year, more than 5,000 participants raised more than $130,000 for cancer research. The money raised was able to support programs to fight breast cancer in areas such as research, education, advocacy and patient services.

So far this year, 1,600 participants have raised more than $154,000.

Giovanoli serves as a co-chair for the event, but also has a deeper connection to the walk as she herself is a two-year breast cancer survivor.

“My mom and my aunt both were diagnosed and are survivors; my best friend is as well. I am sad to say that my sister-in-law died of the disease when she was in her 40s,” Giovanoli said. “I want people to know they are not forgotten; we walk in support of those who have survived as well as those who have passed from their disease.”

The walk also will honor Renee Schick, manager of Renee’s Survivor Shop in the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, as this year’s honorary survivor. She is celebrating 16 years as a breast cancer survivor.

A limited number of T-shirts will be available at the event for $20. Parking will be free at the Town Center at Levis Common. The parking lots on the back side of the mall also will be available for participants.

The University of Toledo has a team called Rocket to a Cure, and people are encouraged to register for it. Rocky and Rocksy also will be in attendance.

The walk is family-friendly, and there is no registration fee to sign up. Participants are encouraged to fundraise or donate, but are not required.

UT Health will sponsor a photo booth for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

To sign up for the event or to donate, click here.

Share pride in heritage, learn about other cultures at April 29 international festival

The eighth annual Toledo Sister Cities International Festival will be held Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about and experience cultures from around the world.

The event will start with a parade of nations at 10 a.m. After that, there will be an opportunity every 30 minutes for participants to learn a little bit of a different language including Urdu, Arabic and Hungarian.

Ethnic food and crafts will be available for purchase.

“The basic premise of Sister Cities International is that the road to global peace is built with the small bridges that citizen diplomats create among each other through business, and educational and cultural exchanges,” said Christine Weisfelder, treasurer of Toledo Sister Cities International. “The international festival brings new people into this process and helps all of us appreciate this mosaic we call Toledo.”

Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the event that featured music, dance, and the celebration of people and diverse cultures.

“I think people should come to the international festival because the event celebrates the wonderful diverse cultures of the people who live in Toledo and surrounding communities,” Weisfelder said. “Toledo Sister Cities International exists to build bridges — internationally among our citizens and the citizens of our sister cities, and locally among our ethnic communities here in Ohio. Our lives are enriched when we appreciate each other.”

Admission is $5 for seniors 65 and older and students with their ID; $7 for general admission; and free for children 10 and younger.

For more information, visit toledosistercities.org.

UT engineering students to show off senior projects April 28

More than 70 projects will be on display Friday, April 28, during The University of Toledo’s Undergraduate Research and Senior Design Engineering Project Exposition.

Projects include an aromatic alarm clock, a motion-activated vacuum pump for lower limb prosthetics, and an Internet-enabled, smart-mirror medicine cabinet.

The College of Engineering event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on the first floor of Nitschke Hall.

The exposition showcases projects created by more than 250 graduating seniors from the departments of Bioengineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering Technology; and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Projects are the required senior design capstone project where students form business-consulting units to develop a solution for a client’s technical or business challenge. Businesses, industries and federal agencies sponsor these projects.

Several projects over the last few years have gone on to become patented. This semester, a team of bioengineering students plans to pursue a patent for its project called SpecuLIFT, which is being designed to reduce discomfort and residual pain during pelvic exams.

Spring plant sale through April 28 in Wolfe Hall

Graduate students in The University of Toledo Department of Environmental Sciences are holding their spring plant sale this week.

The fundraiser benefits the community gardens and student groups.

“We offer a huge variety of vegetable and herb plants,” said Jessica Sherman, PhD student researcher in UT’s Department of Environmental Sciences and vice president of the Graduate Student Association. “All three- and four-inch pots are $1.50 each or four for $5. We also offer some larger perennial wildflowers that cost up to $10.”

The sale is open from noon to 5 p.m. through Friday, April 28, inside the northeast entrance of Wolfe Hall.

‘Wearable Conditions,’ BFA Thesis exhibitions this week

This year’s “Wearable Conditions” exhibition will be held Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion.

“Students in the School of Visual Art’s Department of Art have created extraordinary hybrids of sculpture plus fashion plus research to fabricate runway-ready works of art,” Brian Carpenter, UT gallery director and lecturer in the Art Department, said. “Students dove into analysis of diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, delusional disorder and neuroblastoma.  

“HIV/AIDs” by Shelly Trivisonno is from last year’s “Wearable Conditions” exhibit.

“Students worked to understand the impact of these conditions on the individuals who suffer with the disease and those who care for the afflicted. They even worked with physician partners and heath-care workers to familiarize themselves with the toll the diseases take on their victims,” he said.

Students employed costuming techniques, old and cutting-edge technologies, sewing machines and computer numerical control machines to craft dramatic sculptural responses to the conceptualization of the particular virus, disorder or disease they chose to study. 

In addition to the exhibition, there will be lectures by Brian Kennedy, president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art, and Dr. Mysoon Rizk, UT associate professor of art history and director of the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities.   

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 6 p.m. at the TMA Glass Pavilion. 

Due to limited seating in the Glass Pavilion, the show will be streamed live in the Center for the Visual Arts Haigh Auditorium on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.  

Immediately following the “Wearable Conditions” exhibition, there will be a reception for the BFA Thesis Exhibition in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery. 

This exhibition features works by eight graduating students who will receive bachelor of fine arts degrees. The work spans multiple mediums, including photography, ceramics, painting and virtual reality.  

The works will be on display through Wednesday, May 3.

For more information on the free, public exhibitions, contact Carpenter at brian.carpenter@utoledo.edu.

These archival pigment prints by Sebastien Schohn are featured in the BFA Thesis Exhibition.

UT students encouraged to ‘Pay It Forward’ April 24-28

With final exams just around the corner, many students are feeling the stress of their assignments building up.

Jack Sample, noticing this continuing trend, decided to take steps to bring some cheer to The University of Toledo campus.

“I have always had a passion for serving others; if I see an opportunity to help someone, I feel inclined to take it,” Sample, president and founder of Pay It Forward Toledo, said. “I believe that any heartfelt contribution, no matter how big or how small, can help change the world. Founding Pay It Forward was a way for me to extend the passion that myself and many other students share to other areas of the UT campus and Toledo community.”

The organization follows the philosophy of many other “pay it forward” groups worldwide.

But what exactly does it mean to “pay it forward?”

“To me, ‘paying it forward’ means putting other people before yourself. When you ‘pay it forward,’ you are inspiring positive change, and this inspiration can be the foundation of great change in our world,” Sample explained. “The beauty of Pay It Forward is every person can create their own meaning of what it means to them, and they can take that and run with it as far as they wish. I believe this is so important to the UT community because there is so much need in our community, and creating a student body that is more understanding of the importance of service in the community helps tremendously.”

Pay It Forward Week will be observed Monday, April 24, through Friday, April 28, at the University. Friday, April 28, also is recognized as International Pay It Forward Day.

Sample emphasized the wide variety of ways that people may choose to pay it forward. Suggestions include paying for someone’s coffee, holding a door, offering verbal encouragement, or just going out of your way to make someone smile.

“The biggest piece of advice I can give people who ask, ‘How can I pay it forward?’ is to simply do something that you want to do,” Sample said. “Everyone knows how good it feels when someone goes out of their way to help them, so we all have the capacity to do that for others. Just go out and make people smile! That is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others.”

Pay It Forward Toledo will host many events in celebration of the week. These will include free coffee, granola bars, and food for students on their way to class and study, as well as stress management activities and free golf cart rides to class.

For more information on Pay It Forward Toledo, follow @UTPayItForward or go to facebook.com/payitforwardutoledo.

UT to hold Rocket Sale at Savage Arena April 25-26

The University of Toledo Athletic Department will hold a two-day sale of Rocket gear, uniforms and equipment at Savage Arena Tuesday and Wednesday, April 25-26.

Items will include sale items from Rocky’s Locker, marketing items, and game uniform and other equipment from UT athletic teams.

The sale will be in the West Concourse of Savage Arena and will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. All sales are final.

Fans may park in Lot 4 via Douglas Road and enter Savage Arena through Rocket Plaza entrance.

All proceeds raised from sales will support the UT Athletic Department.

For more information, go to UTRockets.com or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).