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Record number of international students sit down for Thanksgiving meals with host families

It was a record year for the Center for International Studies and Programs’ fifth annual Thanksgiving host program: 30 families invited 80 students to their homes to celebrate the traditional American dinner.

“The results of the presidential election left many with feelings of anxiety,” said Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs. “Even with the uncertainty in the air, we were able to triple the number of families and students participating in the program this year.”

Cheryl Thomas, executive assistant in the Center for International Studies and Programs, and her husband, Dave, welcomed international students to their Thanksgiving gathering.

Cheryl Thomas, executive assistant in the Center for International Studies and Programs, and her husband, Dave, welcomed international students to their Thanksgiving gathering.

In 2012, nine families hosted 12 international students. The program has grown each year.

“This gesture displays the great unity of our community, the appreciation of diversity, and willingness to open our hearts and homes to individuals of different cultures,” Spann said. “The Center for International Studies and Programs is committed to providing more events that help bridging cultures together.”

Xinren Yu, international program coordinator in the Confucius Institute, said more families asked to host students after the registration deadline, and he worked to accommodate as many requests as possible.

“It really shows that our community is very receptive and welcoming people from all cultures and backgrounds,” Yu said.

According to Yu, a lot of the students end up having closer relationships with their families after participating in the program.

UT student Maggie Nigro, center, invited Arofat Rakhmankulova of Uzbekistan, left,  and Mayu Adachi of Japan for Thanksgiving dinner.

UT student Maggie Nigro, center, invited Arofat Rakhmankulova of Uzbekistan, left,
and Mayu Adachi of Japan for Thanksgiving dinner.

“Students have the opportunity to have a real Thanksgiving experience and learn about American culture and the traditions,” Yu said. “It’s also a great time to make new friends and bond with an American family.”

Kate Abu-Absi, outreach and retention specialist in the College of Arts and Letters, hosted eight international students.

“In the world today, there are a lot of people who are being discriminated against, and I want our students to always feel that UT is their home away from home,” she said.

Abu-Absi said she had such a great time at Thanksgiving she plans to invite international students to celebrate other holidays.

“Everyone got a plate, and we pulled our chairs into the family room and sat in a big circle and talked about what we are thankful for,” she said. “We laughed, shared stories about family and friends, ate way too much, and had a blast.”

Cheryl Thomas, executive assistant in the Center for International Studies and Programs, and her husband, Dave, continue to open their home.

“My husband and I have been hosting international students for several years now.  The cultural bonding, friendship and fun is what keeps us doing it year after year. Of course, my husband is a wonderful cook, too,” Thomas said. “We are very honored and thankful to have these students in our lives, so what better way than at Thanksgiving to share just what that means with them.”

Inmaculada Zanoguera, a graduate assistant from Spain, shared Thanksgiving dinner with the Thomas family.

“Good company, good vibes and good food — there is nothing like getting together in celebration of such a cheerful holiday to remind us how privileged we are to be here,” Zanoguera said. “I think I speak for all international students when I say that having a family selflessly open the doors of their home for us isn’t just a thoughtful invite, but a great honor for which we are deeply thankful. We sincerely appreciate all of the host families who participated in the program.”

“Getting to see all the happy and excited faces of students who have never experienced Thanksgiving makes this one of my favorite events all year,” said Tyler Mattson, graduate assistant in the Center for International Studies and Programs. “The students always leave stuffed to capacity and excited to have been a part of an American holiday.”

New UT Press book showcases voices of Beat poets

For one year, David Ossman interviewed writers and literati as poetry reached its precipice.

With reel-to-reel tapes recording, Ossman was on the air at WBAI in New York City, where he talked to poets and editors in 1960 and 1961. His show was called “The Sullen Art,” a reference to Dylan Thomas’ poem about the solitary nature of writing. Among those stopping by to share thoughts were Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley, Amiri Baraka, Paul Blackburn, Rochelle Owens and Jackson Mac Low. Corinth Books published some of Ossman’s transcripts in 1963.

Sullen ArtAn expanded edition of “The Sullen Art: Recording the Revolution in American Poetry” recently was published by The University of Toledo Press. The 268-page work includes 28 interviews and a CD recording of Ossman’s 1961 radio documentary.

“At the moment ‘The Sullen Art’ was on the air, I felt was doing my listeners a service by playing out to them something they couldn’t have known unless they were grubbing around in the Beat bookstores in Greenwich Village,” Ossman said during a call from his home on Whidbey Island, Wash.

“There were poetry readers on the air, but no one was talking about what was really going on, and by this time, it had been going on for five years where everything — since “Howl” and “On the Road” and “Naked Lunch” — had changed in the world.”

Being a poet, novelist and playwright helped Ossman easily converse with other artists who wielded words.

“I really think [the book] is a slice of history and shows when poetry began to go in several directions. The ’60s lay spread out for the poets and the writers who were writing in 1960, and if you look at that decade, how tumultuous and political and violent it was, well, all of those things were about to happen,” Ossman said. “At the moment of the interviews, and I made this comment to many of the writers: It seems like nothing is happening; it seems like an interregnum; it seems like a quiet spot just between the election and the inauguration, just when Kennedy came into office. 

Sullen Art event info box“So it’s a snapshot, to use another cliché word, of that year — what people were talking about, what moved them, what kind of writing they wanted to do, who they liked, who they didn’t like. And so much of it centers around Ginsberg as the guy who was famous.

“Other than the novels [Jack] Kerouac was churning out and long, long poems that Allen was turning out, general readers didn’t know about anybody else. It was censorship; it was the press: Should we talk about that? It was a weird moment in time. And I think everything in the ’60s precipitated from that, including really the end of poetry as an influence, which Allen carried all the way through the ’60s, through the Vietnam War, and became almost a folk hero.” 

Ginsberg’s interview offers a peek into his innovative process.

“It’s a moment in Allen’s creative life that he was willing to share very informally; I just pointed at the tape recorder and said, ‘Go,’ and it started. That to me is the centerpiece — where he was at that moment as a writer, where he was famous, but it was before he became a real pop culture figure, and how everyone else in the community of writers felt about it. And the impassioned writers of the time really cared about method and influences, and everybody is corresponding with everybody else and talking about Ezra Pound, I mean, it’s really serious stuff. That disappeared by the mid-60s. I was happy to go into comedy,” Ossman said and laughed.

Ossman

Ossman

Ossman headed west and helped create the comedy troupe, The Firesign Theatre, which received three Grammy Award nominations. The witty writer also penned a novel, “The Ronald Reagan Murder Case,” a memoir titled “Dr. Firesign’s Follies,” and is finishing a second memoir called “Fighting Clowns of Hollywood.” His latest collection of poems is “Marshmallows & Despair,” and his forthcoming second novel is “The Flying Saucer Murder Case.” Other credits include directing “The War of the Worlds 50th Anniversary Production” and providing the voice of Cornelius in Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life.”

Meanwhile, in 1977, thanks to encouragement from Noel Stock, UT professor emeritus of English, the University obtained the recordings of poets who appeared on Ossman’s radio show. The tapes and related materials are housed in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections in Carlson Library.

Two years ago, Ossman and his wife, Judith Walcutt, contacted the Canaday Center about the possibility of an expanded edition of “The Sullen Art.”

“The inspiration was: Can we get this published and on CD? And the answer was yes,” Ossman said. “I love the book, and I love the way it turned out.”

Thanks to the Alice Ohlinger Weaver Endowment Fund, the reel-to-reel tapes were digitized so a CD could be included with the book.

“I’m proud that this important work has been given new attention through this updated edition,” Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center and UT Press, and interim director of University Libraries, said. “The interviews in this book reveal these poets at a time when their styles were still evolving, and they were only just becoming well-known and critically acclaimed.”

“The Sullen Art” is $29.95 and available at utoledopress.com.

In honor of Ossman’s 80th birthday, members of the Toledo Poets Museum will read excerpts from “The Sullen Art” Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005. The free event is co-sponsored by the UT Press and the UT Department of English Language and Literature.

UT Health physician warns allergy season extends into fall and winter

As the warmth of early fall gives way to crisp evenings and the start of the holiday season, thoughts of raking leaves and a crackling fire come to mind. But not everyone can enjoy the crunch of drying leaves and the scent of wood burning in the fireplace.

The 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children who are affected by nasal allergies in the United States know the sneezing, stuffy nose, sinus pressure, itchy eyes and cough of seasonal allergies are not always resolved the change of seasons.

Kriegel

Kriegel

University of Toledo Health Allergist and Immunologist Dr. Svetlana I. Kriegel recommends
those affected learn their triggers and symptoms and ways to avoid exposure to allergens to reduce the misery of nasal allergies.

“The most common are seasonal pollen allergies in the spring, summer and fall. About 70 percent of patients with spring allergies also have allergy symptoms in the fall,” Kriegel said. “We have seen a drop in temperature and with it a drop in ragweed pollen, the primary fall allergen.”

Kriegel said patients are starting to notice a change, but we aren’t out of the woods yet, and other allergens like mold are actually triggering allergic symptoms.

“The fungi take advantage of the fallen leaves and decaying vegetation this time of year and can be found in compost piles, cut grasses, wooded areas, soils, lawn debris and other moist surfaces,” Kriegel said. “In order to reduce the exposure to molds, I suggest avoiding raking leaves altogether or wearing a particle mask if you must work outside.”

A hard frost will eventually kill the foliage and bring the outdoor molds to the dormant state. However, Kriegel said indoor molds can still be troublesome, especially with humidity levels more than 50 percent. The damp air allows molds to flourish in poorly ventilated areas like attics, bathrooms, basements and under kitchen sinks.

“As we close windows and start running heaters, indoor allergens, including dust mites, pets, cockroaches and molds, become predominant allergy triggers,” Kriegel said. “Luckily, effective avoidance measures can diminish exposure, thus decrease nasal, eye and chest symptoms. I always teach my patients this first line of defense.”

Kriegel said it is important to consider other indoor allergens as we settle in for the winter.

“As we are coming to the holiday season, we all should be jolly and happy,” she said. “Be mindful of your guests who could have an allergic or asthmatic reaction to indoor triggers.”

Smoke from fireplaces or wood burners, scented candles and pets can cause problems for allergy sufferers.

“If you purchase a live Christmas tree, you are at risk for carrying millions of mold spores into your home in its bark,” she said. “This mold can cause worsening of allergies and asthma in sensitive adults and kids.”

When avoidance measures are not enough to minimize suffering from allergies or when patients also experience episodic cough, wheezing or chest tightness, Kriegel develops an individualized care strategy for each patient.

“Pharmacological therapy for patients with allergies and asthma made great advances in recent years,” she said. “Medicines can significantly improve the quality of life of allergic individuals. Nontheless, for the most bothersome, persistent and difficult to treat symptoms, allergen immunotherapy offers a great advantage. For the right patient, allergy shots can reduce suffering from asthma and potentially cure his or her allergies.”

Electrical engineering student inspires LinkedIn campaign

Tyrone Jacobs Jr.’s drive to succeed is larger-than-life — like the ginormous image of him on a wall at LinkedIn headquarters in California.

A line from an April post is by his photo: “I will never, and I mean never, stop striving for greatness.”

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. visited LinkedIn headquarters in California last month. The networking company featured the UT student in a campaign.

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. visited LinkedIn headquarters in California last month. The networking company featured the UT student in a campaign.

“I got tagged in a post on LinkedIn. And I clicked on the link and it was me, and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I had to stop. I thought: Is this for real? And I’m looking at it, and it’s for real — a wall, a mural, dedicated in my honor in their headquarters,” the UT junior majoring in electrical engineering said.

“Anybody who works at LinkedIn in California can see me all day — right there when you walk to the café — it’s a huge plastering of me,” he said. “I can’t put what it means into words.”

It all began in March when Jacobs attended the National Society of Black Engineers conference in Boston and interviewed with Boeing Co. In April, he was offered a summer internship with the world’s largest aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jets.

“I got the offer, and I posted about it on my LinkedIn account,” he recalled.

Heartfelt and candid, the post began: “To be real, statistically, I should be dead or in jail. I’m a young black man that was raised in the hood by a single mother that had to support three other family members along with me. I don’t even know what to say. How did I make it this far in my life when the odds were always against me? I’m so in shock. I came from practically nothing and to get an offer from Boeing for an electromagnetics effects position just absolutely blows me away… I will never, and I mean never, stop striving for greatness.”

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. posed for a photo last month by his mural at LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. posed for a photo last month by his mural at LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

“The post just blew up,” Jacobs said. “It really took off like a rocket. It had 13,000 to 14,000 likes and comments.”

In fact, the post received so much attention that LinkedIn invited Jacobs to visit. He traveled to the business networking giant’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., in April.

“I flew out there for a photo shoot and a video shoot. My video is on the YouTube channel if you type in ‘defying the odds Tyrone Jacobs Jr.,’ you’ll see me with my big cheesy smile on the thumbnail of the video,” he said and laughed.

More than 3,500 have viewed that video, and thousands have seen Jacobs on LinkedIn’s wall, which went up during the summer.

“I’m just trying to spread my story to inspire someone,” he said.

Jacobs

Jacobs

It’s a moving tale about a boy born in Chicago who grew up in Toledo.

“I lived in a bad neighborhood. I come from where people don’t make it from. I saw a lot of police, violence, gangs, drugs — all these things you see in a movie or on TV, I was seeing in real life,” he said. “Sometimes we didn’t have electricity or food. And I didn’t have a father.

“My mom, she was so focused on me, going to school and keeping my grades up, making sure I was taking care of my business.”

Since the family didn’t have a computer, with his mom’s encouragement, Jacobs went to the library every day after school.

“My mom talks about that now, how I was always so studious. I was trying to get away from all the negative stuff around me,” he said.

His mom continues to motivate him.

“She’s worked so hard over the years, and she’s done what she can with so little,” Jacobs said. “She’s my inspiration. If I can make a better situation for her and the rest of my family, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. met LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner last month.

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. met LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner last month.

The 2012 graduate of Toledo Technology Academy has impressed many.

“Tyrone sets a great example of what all of our students can achieve. They are ready to take on major roles in industry and start making an impact right away, even before graduation, in Tyrone’s case,” Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, said. “Tyrone exemplifies the kind of leadership we want our students to embody. I don’t doubt that his perseverance and dedication will pay off in ways he has yet to realize.”

“I think Tyrone’s story is inspiring to anyone,” Dr. Mansoor Alam, professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, said. “It proves there is light at the end of the tunnel, but only for those who keep on and on — moving forward as Tyrone did.”

“I find Tyrone an inspiration,” Christie Hennen, associate director of student services in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, said. “He never gives up on his goals. When faced with challenges, Tyrone perseveres and does it with a positive attitude.”

Jacobs found his passion in a high school digital electronics class. Choosing to attend The University of Toledo was easy.

“The main reason was because UT has a really strong College of Engineering. And the fact that the school is close to home, all my family is here,” he said. “I got offered scholarships as well to come here and pursue my education. Everything worked out.”

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. smiled for the camera at the LinkedIn Café during a visit in October.

Tyrone Jacobs Jr. smiled for the camera at the LinkedIn Café during a visit in October.

That includes landing internships with two Fortune 500 companies. In 2015, Jacobs worked in information technology at Eaton Corp. in Maumee.

Then there was Boeing: “I had a chance to see employees design airplane wings and other parts of airplanes. I was looking at military aircrafts, all this super-cool and confidential stuff that people usually don’t have a chance to see.”

Last month, Jacobs experienced more rarities when he returned to LinkedIn.

“I flew out there to meet with some of the people who have been working on my stuff,” he said. “And I was kind of a celebrity there in a sense for a moment. I was walking through the building, and everybody was freaking out: ‘Wait! Is this the guy?’ Everybody is stopping their work just to say hi. That felt pretty cool.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Jacobs met LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

“He was very humble, relaxed and cool. He shook my hand, we took a picture, I got to pick his brain for a little bit. He actually said, ‘I remember you, I liked your post.’ He actually likes my posts. I’ve never had a CEO of anything like my posts. I see his name pop up, and I’m just like wow, he genuinely likes my stuff. It’s crazy.”

Back on campus, Jacobs is concentrating on classes. He is president of the UT chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and a member of the Roy and Marcia Ames Engineering Leadership Institute, and he is an information technology desktop support assistant in the College of Arts and Letters. Carrying a grade point average above 3.0, Jacobs plans to graduate in fall 2017 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a minor in business administration. He’s applied for another internship with Boeing, this time in California, and hopes to get an offer letter soon.

“I want to use my all for everything that I’m doing right now — school, work, all my leadership on campus — everything I’m doing, I have to give it my 120 percent every day, not complaining, not making excuses, just getting the job done,” he said.

“I want to keep growing, making more moves, and keeping my eyes on the prize, and not stop until I get there.”

Students identify popular bursts of baby names spanning more than a century

Teachers notice it the most.

Popular names can be confusing when groups of students in a classroom share the same one.

Ram Mukherjee, left, analyzed the popularity of names for newborn girls, a project supervised by Dr. Tian Chen, assistant professor.

Ram Mukherjee, left, analyzed the popularity of names for newborn girls, a project supervised by Dr. Tian Chen, assistant professor.

Chloe, Bailey, Claire and Crystal are the next big names to hit elementary schools in the U.S. in growing numbers, according to student research at The University of Toledo.

“We wanted to explore which names appear together over time, and the results are quite interesting,” Ram Mukherjee, a graduate student studying statistics and working as a teaching assistant at the University, said.

After struggling to hand back homework assignments to college classes with a lot of students named Emily, Abigail and Christina, a group of UT graduate students analyzed underlying data structures to understand reasons behind popular clusters of first names for newborn girls in the U.S. from 1880 to 2004.

The team chose to work with girls only for its baby name research because there are more options. Out of 104,110 unique names, 64,911 are female and 39,119 are male.

baby name research graph“For example, the cluster of Emily, Abigail, Christina, Sarah, Nicole, Rachel and Megan grew steadily in the 1980s and peaked in the 1990s for newborns, which explains the reason why we see so many in college or the workforce now,” Mukherjee said.

Emma, Ella, Claire, Anna and Kathryn trended together in the 1930s and rose again together in the 1990s. Elizabeth and Kelly were popular in the 1920s and began to surge again in the 1970s.

Dr. Tian Chen, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, supervised the project. Chen gave birth less than two weeks ago to a boy she named Daniel. Chen chose the name Chloe for her daughter two years ago.

Dr. Tian Chen just had a baby boy, Daniel. She said she chose the name because “it sounds beautiful and currently is declining as a trend, meaning it might not be overused anymore.”

Dr. Tian Chen just had a baby boy, Daniel. She said she chose the name because “it sounds beautiful and currently is declining as a trend, meaning it might not be overused anymore.”

“Some names skyrocket under the influence of pop culture — like Elsa from the Disney movie ‘Frozen’ — and then decline as everyone on the playground starts answering to the same name,” Chen said. “Some names reflect similar preferences of people. Some names become popular because they sound similar to a previous trend, like Chloe, Claire and Katie.”

Chloe, Claire, Emma, Grace, Ella, Bailey and Mia are in a cluster riding a current wave.

“Emma, Ella and Grace experienced some fame about 100 years ago, then went silent and suddenly peaked after 2000,” Mukherjee said. “However, Chloe and Bailey are the newbies. They are Generation Y, who are still small and about to enter school or have recently started school.”

Dorothy, Virginia, Betty, Margaret, Anna, Evelyn, Helen and Shirley started to rise in the 1880s and experienced a baby boom in the 1920s and 1930s. Anna and Evelyn recently experienced small resurgences.

The names Barbara, Linda, Mary and Patricia never go out of style.

“They are popular at all times for new parents, but were especially hot in the late 1940s and the 1950s,” Mukherjee said.

Mothers most commonly named their newborns Lisa, Amy, Laura or Jennifer in the 1970s.

In the 1950s, Carol, Debra and Sharon topped the charts.

However, names like Diana and Joan have had variability over the years. Diana was popular for newborns in the 1950s, decreased for a while and then surged in the 1990s.

“Princess Diana’s influence, no doubt,” Chen said.

Of the most unique names during the 124-year span, the highest frequency occurred for Latory and Massa, which was no more than 100 newborns.

The team’s research continues. The next step is to predict future trends.

“If new parents turn back to tradition, the names of the 1970s or maybe even more from the 1920s could make a comeback,” Mukherjee said. “Or more expecting parents could turn to the less common and more one-of-a-kind route. We are working on that right now.”

23% increase in political science majors at UT during presidential election year

The number of University of Toledo students choosing to major in political science jumped 23 percent during this election year.

This semester 113 UT students are majoring in political science as a primary major, non-primary major or secondary major. That is up from 92 students a year ago. A total of 98 undergraduates chose political science as their primary major in 2016, compared to 83 last year.

Students attended a presidential debate watch event hosted by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Students attended a presidential debate watch event hosted by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

“I’m sure the high level of interest in the presidential election has been part of it,” Dr. Sam Nelson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, said. “I’m really pleased with the increase and proud of what we’ve been doing to offer an improved and more student-focused program.”

After recognizing a growing interest in global affairs, the department chose to offer more courses in international politics and American politics.

The department held two presidential debate watch events this fall for students to discuss the faceoffs between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Faculty also added a film series and speaker series.

“The study of campaigns, political parties and public opinion has reached a fever pitch in this election,” Nelson said. “The randomness of the race has kept us all on our toes, and the analysis of the results will make this area of study very exciting for the foreseeable future.”

Freshman Kyle Zapadka wants to be a lawyer. He chose to attend UT because of the 3+3 program that allows students to earn both a bachelor of arts degree and a law degree in six years instead of seven.

“I chose political science because this gives me the connections I need if I want to stay in the Toledo area,” Zapadka said. “I first became interested in politics during the Obama-McCain presidential election and have remained active as a Republican.”

Senior Lucy Frank, who majors in political science and minors in French, wants to work in logistics or schedule planning for a politician after graduation.

“Throughout my time at UT, the Political Science Department has been growing,” Frank said. “UT gave me the opportunity to intern in the Toledo mayor’s office. I also interned for the Ohio Democratic Party in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. It has been a fun ride, and I’m proud faculty members are growing the reputation of the program.”

UT more bike-friendly with installation of repair stations

Bike riding around campus just became easier and more convenient. Bike repair stations recently were installed at three locations: Rocket Hall, Palmer Hall and the Student Union.

Each station provides a stand to mount a bike, cabled tools for minor adjustments and repairs, air pumps with gauges, and QR codes to scan that will reveal how-to videos for small repairs.

Bike riders who need to make minor repairs or air up tires can stop at three repair stations, including this one on the south side of the Student Union on Main Campus.

Bike riders who need to make minor repairs or air up tires can stop at three repair stations, including this one on the south side of the Student Union on Main Campus.

The bike repair stations are available for everyone to use.

This project is a collaboration between We Are Traffic, the UT Cycling Club, UT Grounds, and the UT Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design Initiative.

Keith Webb of We Are Traffic coordinated the project and is responsible for the bike repair stations throughout Metroparks Toledo.

“I’m really excited about the placement of these repair stations,” Webb said. “It’s wonderful that UT placed them where the community can easily access them.”

The bike repair stations were funded by the UT Student Green Fund.

Tom Garey, manager of facilities information and president of the UT Cycling Club, said it is important for universities to be bike-friendly for many reasons, including the promotion of health and wellness, lowering carbon emissions, and easing traffic and parking congestion.

A student rode his bike in Centennial Mall.

A student rode his bike in Centennial Mall.

The UT Cycling Club promotes all forms of riding and is for all people who have a common love of bicycling.

Rocket ReCycle also promotes pedal power. Peter Thomas, director of international partnership and immigration, founded the bike share program for international students who have a limited budget, but need access to safe transportation that can be used on and off campus.

“A bike-friendly campus permits the safe flow of cyclists of varied degrees of skill to move from one section of campus to another quickly. Students who are taking a class in Nitschke Hall cannot make it to Rocket Hall in less than 10 minutes by walking,” Thomas said.

“The Rocket ReCycle program began with a donation from the UT Police Department of seven bikes and has grown to more than 100 from donations from the community, friends, students and the Toledo Police Department,” Thomas said.

Initially for international students, Rocket ReCycle has been expanded to cater to research scholars and visiting professors. Thomas said they also are looking to offer weekend use by the community for a small donation that will help off-set the cost of maintenance.

“Students come from abroad and must resettle and prepare for their academic journey,” Thomas said. “Having a simple system that provides basic transportation helps students adjust to a new country.”

Srinival Muthukrishnan said that Rocket ReCycle has helped him to get to class and tennis practice as well as run errands.

Rocket Wheels close-up by Rachel“I would like to thank the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for the gesture, and I hope more people like me benefit from the program,” Muthukrishnan said.

Members of the campus community are invited to use Rocket Wheels, a bike program launched last year by Facilities and Construction.

There are more than 50 bikes available to students and employees who register with Rocket Wheels, and there are four locations on campus where bikes can be checked out and returned: the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement across from the Ritter Bike Corral, near the northeast entrance of Rocket Hall, by the south entrance of Palmer Hall, and on the northeast side of the west parking garage. Bikes can be borrowed for up to six hours.

There are more than 1,100 members registered for Rocket Wheels, according to Diana Watts, UT transit and Rocket Wheels bike share coordinator.

“Bike riding is fun and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The Rocket Wheels bike share gives people the opportunity to get to class without having to use their cars and eliminates the worry of finding a parking space,” Watts said. “It also provides those who do not have cars on campus a mode of transportation to get to other places around the city.”

To register for Rocket Wheels, visit utoledo.edu/rocket-wheels.

UT pharmacists remind patients to discuss medications during awareness month

Nearly half of all Americans have taken at least one prescription medication, and 20 percent have used three or more prescription drugs in the last month. But according to a National Council on Patient Information and Education survey, more than half report not taking their medications as prescribed, putting them at risk for serious health concerns.

During October, which is American Pharmacists Month and Talk About Your Medicines Month, University of Toledo pharmacists are encouraging patients to build a relationship with their pharmacist in order to learn how to take medications properly, manage multiple prescriptions, and reduce prescription costs.

Holly Smith, UTMC Outpatient Pharmacy manager, talked with a customer.

Holly Smith, UTMC Outpatient Pharmacy manager, talked with a customer.

“Your pharmacist is likely the most accessible health-care provider you have,” said Lindsey Eitniear, clinical pharmacist. “Yet not enough people take the time to talk to their pharmacist about their health. That is truly unfortunate because we can provide many services to help our patients understand and manage their medications better.”

More than 12,000 prescriptions are filled each month across UT’s three outpatient pharmacies, and pharmacists work directly with patients who are recovering in UT Medical Center or being treated in several of the University’s clinics.

“We educate patients about taking their medication properly, identifying potential side effects, and managing chronic conditions,” Eitniear said. “We also work to resolve insurance concerns and explore options for reducing out-of-pocket expenses.”

New legislation also allows a physician to permit pharmacists to make adjustments to medication dosages, including those for blood pressure and diabetes, at the pharmacy.

“We work closely with physicians to suggest simplifying medications or to clarify what has been ordered,” Eitniear said. “This extra communication ensures patients know how to take their medications correctly and is an added safety for patients.”

Eitniear said it is safest when patients use the same pharmacy each time they need a prescription filled, particularly if the patient takes multiple drugs.

“We can track some controlled medicines and a few others are tracked through insurance companies, but there is no one database that holds all patient prescription information,” she said. “Even a seemingly simple antibiotic can cause severe interactions with some medications. Pharmacists can spot these potential hazards if prescriptions are filled in the same location.”

Consistent use of the same pharmacy also allows a relationship to form between patient and pharmacist.

Holly Smith, UTMC Outpatient Pharmacy manager, said patients should talk about all medications they are taking at each doctor’s appointment. She said printouts of all prescribed medications can be requested from the pharmacy and shared with physicians and family members.

“I tell patients to carry the list in their purse or wallet so they always have it with them,” she said. “It’s also important that there is at least one designated family member who knows your health history and medications in case of emergency.”

This also is a good time to take inventory of any leftover or expired medications. Pharmacists can advise patients the proper methods for disposing of old prescription and over-the-counter medications.

“We accept unwanted medications in a drop box in the Emergency Department of UTMC,” Smith said. “Patients with injectable medications should follow the directions on their sharps container for proper disposal.”

Smith said unused medications also can be mixed with used kitty litter or coffee grounds and disposed of in the trash. Medicated patches should be folded over and stuck together before being thrown away.

“I would advise anyone getting a prescription filled to take a minute to ask a few questions about the medication you will be taking. You can even call your usual pharmacy to review medications and discuss any concerns,” Smith said. “It is our goal as pharmacists to do the best we can by our patients so they are able to care for themselves and stay well.”

Book on global brewing industry dedicated to late UT grad student

Michael Moore enjoyed sharing a pint of cold beer, but had no thirst for the standard domestic titans.

The University of Toledo PhD student researcher was a craft beer aficionado who found a way to combine his passion with his academic work.

Moore

Moore

“He loved geography and craft beer,” Andy Moore, Mike’s brother, said.

Moore’s research on the rapidly growing artisanal industry recently was published more than a year after he died at the age of 34 from an aortic aneurysm while at a local brewpub.

“The large vessel that comes out of the heart ruptured unexpectedly,” Andy said. “Doctors told our family it’s very rare for someone that young. The fact that it happened where it did is so unusual because we loved to hang out there and watch a Tigers game.”

“Mike enjoyed debating varieties of hops and India pale ales as much and as easily as he dove into complex statistical analyses of the industry,” said Dr. Neil Reid, professor of geography and planning and director of the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center, who is known as UT’s “Beer Professor.” “It’s devastating and sad, yet if he had to choose how to go, that’s what he would’ve chosen.”

Dr. Neil Reid and Andy Moore, Mike Moore’s brother, got together recently at the Black Cloister Brewing Co. in Toledo.

Dr. Neil Reid and Andy Moore, Mike Moore’s brother, got together recently at the Black Cloister Brewing Co. in Toledo.

The editors of a new volume published on the craft brewing industry called Brewing, Beer and Pubs: A Global Perspective dedicated their book to Moore, who co-authored a chapter with Reid and Ralph McLaughlin, a colleague from California. The chapter is titled “The Locational Determinants of Micro-Breweries and Brewpubs in the United States.”

The editors wrote in the dedication at the beginning of the book, “It is very fitting that Mike passed away in a local brewery.”

Moore collapsed and fell to the floor April 8, 2015, as he was sitting on a bar stool enjoying a beer.

The Black Cloister Brewing Co. last year created a beer in Mike Moore’s honor: Michael’s Memory.

The Black Cloister Brewing Co. last year created a beer in Mike Moore’s honor: Michael’s Memory.

“I was sitting next to him when it happened. We were drinking Summer Stinger, an American pale wheat ale that was just bottled the day before,” Reid said. “We were talking with a visiting scholar from Turkey about our upcoming trip to a geographers’ conference and attending the Beeronomics Conference in Seattle in the fall when I heard a thud. I thought a bar stool had fallen over. I looked down and Mike was on his back on the floor.”

“It’s still hard for our family and Mike’s longtime girlfriend, Jeanette, to process, but seeing Mike’s work being published and honored helps us find closure,” Andy said.

Moore was a doctoral student studying spatially integrated social sciences in UT’s Department of Geography and Planning.

His dissertation — left incomplete — was an examination of the spatial dynamics of the American craft beer industry.

“The craft brewing industry is growing so fast and changing the whole brewing landscape,” Reid said. “Mike analyzed where it’s growing and why. He was well on his way to being a really successful academic.”

UT posthumously awarded Moore a PhD based on his completed course work and publications while a student.

The Department of Geography and Planning created a scholarship in his memory for UT students pursuing the geography and planning field.

“I miss our Monday morning meetings and the occasional exchanging of beer-related gifts,” Reid said. “I cherish the memories — memories, by and large, created around a common love and appreciation of craft beer, the people who brew it, and the people who drink it.”

Black Cloister Brewery in downtown Toledo created a special brew last year to commemorate Moore’s life and called it Michael’s Memory. The owners contributed some of the profits to the scholarship fund.

“The outpouring of support is amazing and unexpected,” Andy said. “It’s excellent to see the fruit of all the research he had done. The recognition of Mike’s work makes it just a little bit easier to deal with his loss.”

Moore’s family is working to organize a golf outing next year to raise money for the scholarship fund.

Gifts can be made at give2ut.utoledo.edu to the Geography and Planning Progress Fund.

Revved up: Assistant dean pays tribute to alma mater with Rocket Room

One look at Donovan Nichols’ Rocket Room and it’s clear: He’s got spirit; yes, he does.

The assistant dean for student involvement and leadership exudes enthusiasm explaining how he put together the ultimate UT fan zone.

Donovan Nichols stood beneath the sign that inspired his Rocket Room. As an undergraduate in 2002, he picked up the sign that hung in Rocky's Attic during the 1980s.

Donovan Nichols stood beneath the sign that inspired his Rocket Room. As an undergraduate in 2002, he picked up the sign that hung in Rocky’s Attic during the 1980s.

“The whole idea has been 14 years in the making,” he said looking around his basement walls emblazoned with UT jerseys, ticket stubs, posters, stories and more. “But actually putting this together took about five months.”

He pointed to a wooden sign featuring old Rocket and UT logos that bookend the stenciled name “Rocket Room.”

“That sign is actually what started the whole idea. When I was a student, I was walking around with Tom Trimble [then associate director of the Student Union] in Rocky’s Attic, and this sign was sitting in a corner,” Nichols recalled. “Tom said it was a sign that was hanging in Rocky’s Attic in the 1980s, and he said, ‘We’re probably going to throw it out.’ And I said, ‘No, you’re not.’”

Donovan Nichols' Blue Crew uniform is among the memorabilia featured in the Rocket Room. He and friend Jason Rodriguez started the masked spirited squad when they were undergraduates in 2000.

Donovan Nichols’ Blue Crew uniform is among the memorabilia featured in the Rocket Room. He and friend Jason Rodriguez started the masked spirited squad when they were undergraduates in 2000.

It was 2002 when Nichols rescued the relic and stored it at his parents’ house until now.

“Back then, I said, ‘When I have my own house, I’m going to create a Rocket Room. I’m going to carpet it with field turf and put that sign in it.’”

With a head’s up and permission from Athletics, Nichols snagged pieces of turf in April during the Glass Bowl renovations. Prepping it for installation took most of the summer.

“The turf fibers are about an inch long with about a half inch of infill — sand granules and rubber pellets to make it feel more like real grass — so I had to get all of that infill out,” he said.

The bar in Donovan Nichols' Rocket Room features turf from the blue rocket that was in the center of the field in the Glass Bowl.

The bar in Donovan Nichols’ Rocket Room features turf from the blue rocket that was in the center of the field in the Glass Bowl.

After power-washing and scrubbing the turf, Nichols cut and put pieces together to resemble a field with help from his girlfriend, Alycia Demey; friend and UT alumnus, Rob Bleile; and father, Tom Nichols.

The bar features a piece of the blue rocket from the center of the field. “I was lucky enough to get that piece, so I wanted to showcase it,” Nichols said.

Collecting UT memorabilia started during his undergraduate days when he helped establish a tradition. The year was 2000, and Nichols and his friend, Jason Rodriguez, created Blue Crew.

Bobbleheads of Football Coach Jason Candle and Rocky sit atop the bar.

Bobbleheads of Football Coach Jason Candle and Rocky sit atop the bar.

“Blue Crew’s first game ever was traveling to Penn State. There were four of us that went. About 92,000 people were in the stadium, and only about 2,000 of which were Toledo fans, but we were louder the entire game,” Nichols said pointing to a story about UT’s upset of the Nittany Lions, 24-6. “That was a really cool experience for me because that was the founding of Blue Crew.”

It was the Rocket Fanatic group from the 1990s that inspired Nichols and Rodriguez to start the masked spirited squad. 

“We wanted to create something that emulated the Rocket Fanatic group, but do something that would continue the spirit even after we graduated,” Nichols explained. “So we decided to wear the masks and wigs so we would cloak our identities because it wasn’t about us being the spirited students, it was about having the positive energy and the positive spirit always represented at the University.”

He still radiates that energy and excitement for the Rockets and his alma mater. Standing by his Blue Crew uniform, he said, “My mask is signed by Chester Taylor, who was one of the great UT football players. I have a poster of him and a jersey. He was a running back for the Minnesota Vikings and a couple other NFL teams. I try to pay tribute to some of the players who were around when I was a student because I knew some of them. In the stairwell, there’s a poster of [quarterback] Bruce Gradkowski and [wide receiver] Lance Moore, both who were students when I was around, and I have pictures of them in the NFL as well to display their success.”

A shirt with No. 16 pays tribute to Chuck Ealey, the legendary UT quarterback who led the Rockets to three undefeated seasons from 1969 to 1971.

A shirt with No. 16 pays tribute to Chuck Ealey, the legendary UT quarterback who led the Rockets to three undefeated seasons from 1969 to 1971.

Then there’s a white football shirt with a midnight blue No. 16, which was worn by the quarterback known as the “Wizard of Oohs and Aahs.”

“I wanted to highlight Chuck Ealey because it’s incredible the accomplishment that he had; he’s the only collegiate quarterback in history to go undefeated. From 1969 to 1971, the Rockets went 35-0,” Nichols said. “And he was undefeated in high school, too.”

That sense of history is everywhere in the Rocket Room — the sheet music for “Fair Toledo,” the alma mater, is framed, along with “U of Toledo,” the fight song. Also under glass is the UT Traditions brochure Nichols created after more than 500 hours of research on the school’s history.

“I wanted to walk down memory lane and teach some UT history, and display why people should be proud of The University of Toledo,” he said. “Hopefully, the Rocket Room will inspire more people to show their pride in the institution.”

After graduating with honors with a bachelor of arts degree in communications in 2004 and a master of education degree in higher education in 2006, Nichols stopped to say goodbye to Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president of student affairs. 

The 2005 GMAC Bowl Championship poster that Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president of student affairs, gave Donovan Nichols after he graduated and the UT Traditions brochure he created are part of the Rocket Room.

The 2005 GMAC Bowl Championship poster that Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president of student affairs, gave Donovan Nichols after he graduated and the UT Traditions brochure he created are part of the Rocket Room.

“She went over and took this [2005 GMAC Bowl Championship poster] off her office wall and gave it to me and said she appreciated everything I had done for the University. I was moving to Las Vegas, so it was a piece I took with me. And when I worked in Georgia, it was with me there, and now it’s back with me at home.”

“Donovan was one of the most passionate UT students. He started Blue Crew, created the Rocky doll, was Student Government president,” Patten said. “It’s so nice to have him back where he belongs to inspire that same love for the University in our students.”

“I always thought it would be fun to come back to UT to work, but I didn’t necessarily have a plan to come back. I knew I could show my Rocket pride wherever I went. When I worked in Las Vegas, I created an alumni chapter out there,” he said. “But it feels comfortable in Toledo; I’m home.

“I think if I had a Rocket Room like this in any other city, it wouldn’t be as cool,” he added and laughed. “At least here, a lot of people can come over and see it and appreciate it. Go Rockets!”