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College students across U.S. to participate in national sales competition at UT

Professional sales students from 34 universities across the United States will visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the third annual UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales at UT organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

“We believe that younger students are chomping at the bit to shine outside the shadow of a senior, and we are confident that they have the talent and coachability to compete on a national stage,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UT Invitational Sales Competition. “We are thrilled to bring tomorrow’s top talent today to our sponsors so they can find the sales talent they need for internships and regular job placements.”

Since 2016, more than a dozen corporate sponsors who send company representatives to serve as buyers and judges have hired 48 competitors. Hiring tripled between 2016 and 2017.

The sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout Savage & Associates Business Complex.

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at an awards luncheon at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room featuring sales leaders and recruiters from sponsoring companies.

More than 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions and the career fair.

Sponsors include 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., and Procter & Gamble Co.

Participating universities include Baylor, Florida State University, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Purdue.

Director of center operating NASA’s Hubble, James Webb space telescopes to speak Feb. 22

The director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which operates NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope, will speak on campus as part of The University of Toledo’s continuing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Ritter Astrophysics Research Center.

The free, public event featuring Dr. Ken Sembach and titled “Great Observatories, Present and Future” will take place Thursday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in Wolfe Hall Room 1205.


“Some telescopes are put into space to get above the blurring of our atmosphere and to detect light that our atmosphere otherwise blocks,” said Dr. Jillian Bornak, associate lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and chair of the UT Astronomy 50th Anniversary Committee. “Dr. Sembach will talk to us about these great observatories and lay out the foundation for why we are excited for the view of the universe that the Webb telescope will give us.”

Toledo has historic connections to deep space exploration and unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

In 1946, an astrophysicist from Toledo named Lyman Spitzer Jr. proposed building telescopes in space. Today, UT researchers and students use Spitzer and NASA’s other space telescopes by downloading the data and engaging in the exploration of the universe from Ritter.

The James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the largest and most powerful when launched into orbit next year, is named in honor of Dr. James Webb, who received an honorary degree at the dedication of UT’s Ritter facility Oct. 13, 1967. Webb was the head of NASA at that time.

The Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which UT was selected to join in 2016 in recognition of the astronomy and astrophysics program’s strengths in research, education and outreach.

Before becoming director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Sembach served as interim director, Hubble mission head and Hubble project scientist. Previously, Sembach was the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer deputy project scientist for Large Science Programs at Johns Hopkins University. He also was a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sembach received a bachelor’s degree in physics with honors in 1988 from the University of Chicago and a PhD in astronomy in 1992 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chemical sensing topic of Distinguished University Professor Lecture

Dr. Jon R. Kirchhoff, Distinguished University Professor and Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will discuss his research this week.

The title of his Distinguished University Professor Lecture is “Chemical Sensing: Finding a Needle in a Haystack.” The free, public event will be held Thursday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. in Doermann Theatre.

“The presentation will look at the importance of chemical sensing in our everyday lives and the challenges of making accurate and useful measurements,” Kirchhoff said. “Several projects from my research group will be used as examples.”

In his 29th year at The University of Toledo, Kirchhoff has served as associate chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for 16 years and chair for four years.

He received his PhD from Purdue University in 1985 and specializes in analytical chemistry focusing on chemical sensing. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and patents, and has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research and infrastructure grants totaling $5.8 million.

Kirchhoff was appointed a Distinguished University Professor in 2010.

“The faculty who have been named Distinguished University Professors are colleagues that I have admired for their significant contributions to the University,” he said. “It is an honor and very humbling to be considered among this group of faculty.”

A reception will follow his lecture in the lobby of University Hall.

Grammy Award-winning pianist to play Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert Feb. 21

Billy Childs, who took home the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for “Rebirth” last month, will visit The University of Toledo this week.

The five-time Grammy Award-winning pianist will perform at the Department of Music’s Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.


Since his first recordings in the 1980s, Childs has developed into a distinctive and distinguished composer. An accomplished symphonic writer, he has amassed jazz originals that can swing hard, dazzle with intricacy, touch with direct simplicity, or mesmerize with crystalline lyricism.

On his new Mack Avenue debut album “Rebirth,” Childs reaches back to the start of his astoundingly varied musical experience — leading a small jazz band of state-of-the-art musicians with his piano playing.

At his musical core, Childs is an improvising pianist. He has the ability to equally distill the harmonic and rhythmic languages of classical music and jazz into his playing. The wide-ranging vocabulary on the taut track “Tightrope” begs the question of Childs’ love of classical music; “I’m not just jazz,” he stressed.

His insistent pulse and melodically probing introduction to song is a key to his musical identity: welcome extended harmonic possibilities as they come along, take a flexible approach to time, and leave an open door for input from bandmates.

While on campus, Childs also will conduct a free master class at 2 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

A cash bar will be available the night of the concert.

Tickets are $20 each and are available at the door and through the Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 419.530.ARTS (2787), as well as online at utoledo.tix.com.

All proceeds from the concert benefit the UT Department of Music’s Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Program. This scholarship is awarded to African-American students pursuing a degree in jazz performance at UT.

UT Spring Engineering Career Expo Feb. 21

More than 140 companies will attend the Spring 2018 Engineering Career Expo at The University of Toledo Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The networking and hiring event will take place from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of Nitschke Hall and the North Engineering Building.

Only UT College of Engineering students and alumni are eligible to attend this opportunity to connect with companies.

More than 700 engineering students and alumni are expected to attend.

Companies scheduled to participate include Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Dana Inc., Marathon Petroleum Corp., Matrix Technologies Inc., Owens Corning, Owens-Illinois Inc., PCC Airfoils LLC, Plastic Technologies Inc., R.W. Beckett Corp., Rudolph Libbe/GEM Inc., SSOE Group, The Lathrop Co. and ZF Group. 

“The current job outlook for engineering students in The University of Toledo College of Engineering is certainly bright as evidenced by the record number registered to attend the college’s spring career expo,” said Dr. Vickie Kuntz, director of the Engineering Career Development Center that hosts the event. “Employers are seeking undergraduate students to participate in engineering co-op assignments, as well as their leadership development programs. Employers are also seeking seniors and graduates for full-time employment.”

The college hosts semiannual career expos to give students the opportunity to network with potential employers.

“The University of Toledo College of Engineering’s undergraduate mandatory paid co-op program is one of only eight mandatory engineering co-op programs in the country,” Kuntz said. “Our students experience one full year of professional engineering experience before they graduate, and they feel confident seeking full-time employment upon graduation. Co-op businesses are able to work with these students and are able to determine how the student fits within their organization. It’s a win-win situation for our students and the companies who hire them.”

UTPD seeks feedback on community engagement

The University of Toledo Police Department is seeking feedback on the service it provides to campus and recent efforts to enhance relationships between police officers and the University community.

UT students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Toledo community, are asked to take a short survey available online or in paper format that seeks information about how safe you feel on campus, how much you trust the police, and how you engage with campus police officers.

“Last summer we received a $37,000 grant from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services to support initiatives aimed at improving relationships between the campus community and UTPD,” said Jeff Newton, UT police chief and director of public safety. “We used those funds to support events like Meet the Office of Public Safety Day and Pizza with the Police. Now we want to gage how those efforts are impacting how the community engages with our officers.”

UTPD also enhanced its social media activity this year with a digital media campaign to communicate with the community through the department’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The survey can be taken online at http://police.utoledo.edu, and paper copies are available at the UTPD police station in the Transportation Center on Main Campus. UTPD also will make the survey available at the remaining Pizza with the Police events this semester, which will take place at noon Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Health and Human Services Building; Friday, March 23, in the Thompson Student Union; and Thursday, April 26, outside the Thompson Student Union.

The initial survey data will be collected through Saturday, May 5; however, the department plans to keep the survey available online to continue to receive feedback about its operations.

Inaugural Rockets’ Wine Night set for Feb. 21

The University of Toledo will host the inaugural Rockets’ Wine Night at Savage Arena prior to the women’s basketball game vs. Eastern Michigan Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Heidelberg Distributing will feature 12 of its most popular wines in the Fetterman Practice Gym beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Tipoff for the basketball game is 7 p.m.

Cost for the inaugural event is $30 and includes a game ticket, 12 wine samples, and appetizers. Tickets to the event are $20 for fans who have already purchased their game tickets. The cost for designated drivers is $20 and includes game ticket and appetizers with soft drinks.

This event is for fans 21 and older.

All attendees will be required to show a valid photo ID upon entry. No refunds or exchanges will be provided for failure to provide ID or failure to attend.

Attendees can redeem their event voucher at the door of the Fetterman Practice Gym from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for access to the pre-game event.

To order tickets for Rockets’ Wine Night, call 419.530.GOLD (4653), go online at utrockets.com, or stop by the UT Ticket Office at Savage Arena.

Stanford professor to give Summers Memorial Lecture

Dr. Roland Greene, Mark Pigott KBE Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, will give the annual Richard M. Summers Memorial Lecture Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 4 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

His lecture, “Inceptions of the English Baroque: Donne and Milton,” will discuss instances of Baroque that are evident in literature from England — specifically John Donne’s love poetry and John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”


The term Baroque is used to describe a prominent art culture that reigned from 1600 till 1750 and is strongly associated with Italian and French art and architecture. However, the term remains difficult to observe and define.

Greene is the author of four books, most recently “Five Words: Critical Semantics in the Age of Shakespeare and Cervantes,” and is editor of the fourth edition of the “Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.” He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.

He is also the founder and director of Arcade, a digital salon for literary studies and the humanities at arcade.stanford.edu.

Greene received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his PhD from Princeton University.

The free, public lecture will be followed by a reception.

The Richard M. Summers Memorial Lecture was established by Marie Summers to honor her son, a member of the UT Department of English from 1966 until his death in 1988. The lecture is designed to bring a distinguished literary scholar, critic or writer to the University.

For more information on the Summers Memorial Lecture, call the UT Department of English Language and Literature at 419.530.2318.

Miles to go: UT master’s student/former basketball star ‘Running Home’ in Sahara marathon


It’s the perfect word to describe the fortuitous series of incidents that propelled Inma Zanoguera, a University of Toledo master’s student and former basketball player, to begin a journey to find her roots and connect to a family history she only recently discovered.

Inma Zanoguera jogged on the UT track to train for a marathon in the Sahara Desert.

Later this month, Zanoguera will travel to Africa, a continent she’s never visited, to do something she’s never done before — run a marathon.

The race won’t be just a physical challenge for 24-year-old Zanoguera. It will be an emotional and spiritual one as well.

When she was 3 years old, Zanoguera and her two older siblings were adopted by a family in Mallorca, Spain. While she was growing up, Zanoguera knew nothing of her biological family’s origins. She never asked.

Inma Zanoguera was a three-time all-Mid-American Conference selection who helped Toledo win 88 games in four seasons from 2011 to 2015.

At 17, she came to UT to study communication and business and play basketball. She graduated in 2015 and played basketball professionally in Europe. While in London in 2016, her sister sent her a picture of a document that she’d just found about her adoption.

That single piece of paper changed everything.

“My sister must have known I was ready for the answers,” Zanoguera said.

Zanoguera knew that her biological mother had died, but not much else. All the questions that she’d been holding inside for 20 years spilled out.

She pored over the adoption document. She discovered that she and her mother shared the same name. That her mom came from Laayoune, a city in Western Sahara, a place Zanoguera had never heard of.

The information stirred something in her, Zanoguera said, and she scoured the Internet for hours to learn about the region.

Zanoguera’s mother was a Sahrawi, a people who lived in the western Sahara Desert in northern Africa. In 1975-76, during the Western Sahara War, Sahrawis fled invading Moroccan soldiers.

Zanogeura’s mother was lucky enough to find safe haven in Spain. Most Sahrawi ended up in refugee camps in Algeria.

Forty years later, they’re still there, relying on international aid to live. The Western Sahara today is listed by the United Nations as a non-self-governing territory. It’s claimed by both Morocco and the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi group fighting for independence.

Last year, Zanoguera returned to Toledo to pursue a master’s degree in English as a second language. She started running to keep in shape and after finishing a half marathon, she knew she was ready for more. That’s when inspiration struck.

Zanoguera (photo by Katie Midgley)

In her hours spent Googling her mother’s homeland, she had read about the Sahara Marathon. Participants run a route connecting three refugee camps in Algeria that are home to more than 100,000 Sahrawi refugees. They stay with refugee families.

It all came together in her mind, Zanoguera said.

“All these coincidences seemed to be leading to that one goal,” she said. “I just knew that I had to go.”

Zanoguera wanted to meet the refugees. But for a stroke of luck, her mother could have been one of them. She wanted to see what their life is like, to help them if she could. Even more, she wanted to bring light to the injustices they’ve suffered.

It’s a story most Americans know nothing about. Zanoguera hoped to change that.


A chance meeting with Canadian filmmaker Michelle-Andrea Girouard — yet another coincidence — led to the pair’s collaboration on a documentary about Zanoguera’s journey. They started a crowdfunding effort to raise money for the film, which they call “Running Home.” Twenty percent of donations will go directly to refugees in the camps.

Zanoguera said the UT community has been “overwhelmingly supportive,” contributing financially to the project.

She credits her UT basketball career with helping her grow into the kind of person that doesn’t see limitations. All the lessons that a student-athlete learns — going to practice when you don’t feel like it, coming back from a 20-point deficit — helped shape her.

She recalled conversations about life, not basketball, with her mentor and coach, Tricia Cullop.

“[Coach Cullop] has this open side of her that dreams really big,” Zanoguera said. “Life is short, and if there’s something that matters to you, there’s nothing that’s more important. I grew into somebody that sees something and believes she can do it.”

While she’s excited about her upcoming trip, Zanoguera said she’s scared, too. She’s never been to Africa or run a marathon, let alone in a desert.

“It’s difficult and unknown,” she said. “But at the same time, I’m not scared because I trust that this is the right path right now.”

If you’d like to see a video about Zanoguera’s journey or donate, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/running-home-sports#/.

UT to celebrate Engineers Week by inspiring wonder in elementary, high school students

The University of Toledo will bring engineering to life for elementary and high school students in celebration of Engineers Week.

The theme of this year’s events is “Inspiring Wonder.”

Discover Engineering is a free, public event geared toward elementary school students and their families; it will take place Sunday, Feb. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Lois and Norman Nitschke Auditorium. It includes a showing of the movie “Dream Big,” followed by hands-on activities organized by College of Engineering students.

The College of Engineering also will host its first Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day for students in fifth through eighth grades. Starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, girls from the Toledo area will tour UT’s engineering facilities and have lunch with College of Engineering students and professional engineers before spending the afternoon doing hands-on activities.

Area high school students will get the opportunity to be an Engineer for a Day Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m. on when they tour UT’s engineering facilities and have lunch with College of Engineering students and professional engineers before spending the afternoon shadowing a practicing engineering professional in the community.

“Participants will learn that engineering is not just about being good at math and science. It requires curiosity, creativity and teamwork, and it is also fun,” said Dr. Lesley Berhan, associate professor in the UT Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and interim assistant dean of diversity, inclusion and community engagement. “About 20 percent of engineering degrees nationwide are awarded to women. We hope the students are inspired to see their future selves working in one of the many different fields of engineering to design, invent and create things to make our world better, safer, healthier and cleaner.”