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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 2017.

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.

UT major gifts officer one of five in nation recognized as Outstanding Young Professional

Nicholas Kulik, major gifts officer for the College of Engineering, is among five fundraisers younger than 31 recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

For his impressive fundraising achievements, he recently was named to the association’s first group of Outstanding Young Professionals.


In his first year with The University of Toledo, Kulik raised more than $2 million for the major gift programs of two of UT’s largest colleges.

“Nick’s personal contributions have been a tremendous asset to the Advancement team,” said Brenda S. Lee, president of the UT Foundation. “This national honor is a testament to his exemplary efforts and enthusiasm.”

The Outstanding Young Professionals designation honors exemplary work in raising funds, inspiring donors, helping manage campaigns, and giving back to the profession.

“Nick’s focus on meeting donor objectives, while working to further the University’s mission, has been a great part of his success,” said Michael Harders, vice president for advancement. “Not only is he an outstanding fundraiser, he also is skilled at building relationships throughout the University community.”

Kulik and the other four honorees will be recognized at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco Sunday, April 30.

“It’s an honor and humbling experience being recognized with a great class of young professionals,” said Kulik, a Certified Fund Raising Executive. “Through the guidance of my mentors, support of my family, especially my wife, and experiences through the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I’ve turned my career into my passion.”

An alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi, Kulik also was recognized with the fraternity’s Thirty Under 30 Award in 2014. It was through Pi Kappa Phi that he realized he wanted to make fundraising his career.

“While in college, I started raising funds for people with disabilities through Pi Kappa Phi and wanted to make it my life’s pursuit to help people,” Kulik said. “Working with philanthropists to create transformation change in a community, hospital or university has been personally rewarding.”

After graduating from Bowling Green State University, Kulik spent most of his career with the United Way network, where he worked on multiple $13 million annual campaigns in northwest Ohio. Kulik also worked at the United Way of Racine County, where he led a campaign that raised a record-setting $5.4 million.

In addition to his United Way experience, he was a major gifts officer for Bowling Green State University and ProMedica Health System focusing on securing major gifts for their comprehensive campaigns.

He is pursuing a master of studies in law from The University of Toledo.

Outstanding staff members honored

More than 30 nominees were recognized at a ceremony April 19 in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center.

Winners this year were:

President Sharon L. Gaber posed for a photo with this year’s Outstanding Staff Award winners, from left, Jon Pawlecki, Sarah Farkas, Anthony Edwards, Alexandria Kraft Luneke and Tony Gibson. Also in the photo is Candace “Candy” Busdiecker, right, who won the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award.

Anthony Edwards, custodial worker in Environmental Services on Health Science Campus. He has worked at the University since 1986.

“Anthony is one of the most positive and kind individuals you may meet on Health Science Campus. He truly embraces all employees and patients with his high standard of excellence and old-fashioned manners and demeanor. Anthony never has a bad day and spreads his infectious cheer anywhere he goes,” one nominator wrote. “Anthony does not just stick to the responsibilities of his specific position; he stops what he is doing to hold the door for someone and will set down his supplies to walk someone to the right place when they are lost. This is just something Anthony does naturally because he has a kind heart.”

Sarah Farkas, customer service liaison in Parking Services. She began her career at the University in 2012.

“Sarah always receives my calls with excitement, confidence, empathy, urgency and respect. Honestly, talking to her is like catching up with an old friend, when, truth be told, I’m not sure we’ve even had the pleasure of formally meeting,” one nominator wrote. “Because of Sarah, I’ve been able to help my visiting students assimilate into the University system in a timely manner, allowing them to have a more comprehensive experience. It’s clear to me that Sarah goes out of her way to help those requiring assistance, providing exemplary customer service to all she encounters.” Another noted, “I always feel like my students are a priority to Sarah.”

Tony Gibson, custodial worker in Building Services on Main Campus. He joined the staff in 1997.

“Tony is exceptionally diligent, dedicated and hard-working. He approaches his many responsibilities in the Snyder Memorial Building with consistent good humor and without complaint. When I arrive to the building early in the morning, Tony is well into his rounds and tasks: He is predictably systematic and organized, and completes all his tasks with zeal and pride,” one nominator wrote. “Tony is intelligent and innovative in his approach to his career. He is jovial and charismatic, and these are major prerequisites for successful leadership. I recommend that UT administration recognize Tony’s leadership potential and deploy it to improve campus harmony and efficiency in the future.”

Alexandria Kraft Luneke, aquatics and safety program coordinator in the Office of Recreational Services. She has worked at UT since 2012.

“Alex works toward the University’s vision of improving the human condition by being a steward of very important safety and risk education within our department. She makes sure those that use and participate in programs, services and facilities offered by the office do so knowing that it is a safe and risk-free environment,” one nominator wrote. “She is an outstanding teammate and teacher in the area of aquatics, aquatics management and aquatics safety. Alex is committed to the departments’ values of diversity and inclusion, student development, community services, and healthy lifestyle options. Alex also has worked to be student-centered, mentoring students who are working toward their professional pursuits.”

Jon Pawlecki, director of student services in the College of Engineering. He joined the UT staff in 2003.He joined the UT staff in 2003. Pawlecki has two degrees from the University and is pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education at UT.

“Jon’s role in the College of Engineering revolves around recruitment, retention and student success. He is tireless in his efforts to promote the College of Engineering, whether it is in large-scale recruiting events, daily tours, or during individual meetings with students and their families. Our undergraduate enrollment has increased 60 percent over the past decade, and Jon’s contributions are an essential component of this success,” one nominator wrote. “Jon has created numerous extracurricular and leadership opportunities for our students outside the classroom. He is the adviser to a number of college-wide organizations. Engineering students are among the most active on campus, and his contributions have been essential to this outcome.”

Executive assistant selected for Hymore Award

Candace “Candy” Busdiecker, executive assistant and liaison committee on medical education coordinator in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, is the 2017 recipient of the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award.

Busdiecker received the honor named for the longtime executive secretary to former President Lloyd Jacobs April 19 at the Outstanding Staff Awards in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center. The award is presented annually to an individual whose work defines the core values of the University in Hymore’s spirit of support, encouragement and service.

Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs, left, and President Sharon L. Gaber, right, presented the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award to Candace “Candy” Busdiecker.

“Candy wears many hats in her position. She provides assistance to the administrative director of operations for the dean, which is an extremely busy office. She is also taking calls, emails or visits in her capacity as ‘concierge’ for specific needs for UT Medical Center,” one nominator wrote. “She is always calm, smiling, happy and welcoming. No matter how small or large of an issue, she maintains professionalism throughout. She follows through and also follows up. She does not consider any matter resolved until she knows it has been satisfactorily done.”

She joined the University in 1995 as a secretary in the Department of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, becoming a secretary II in 1999. One year later, Busdiecker took on the role of administrative research coordinator staying within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. She joined the College of Medicine Dean’s Office as administrative assistant to the chancellor in 2011.

“Candy is a very patient person. One of her biggest assets is the art of how she listens. She honors each person as unique and knows that it is not a one-size-fits-all type of approach in doing her job,” one nominator wrote. “She understands that the success of UTMC and UT as a whole is built one person at a time. Whether she is dealing with members for the affiliation, faculty, staff or students, her mission is that they have a positive experience however she is able to help.”

“I enjoy the people at UT and working with such a great team in the College of Medicine Dean’s Office,” Busdiecker said. “There is no way to express my gratitude to everyone for nominating and choosing me for this award. Ms. Hymore was an amazing lady and will always have a special place in my heart.”

UT selected for national leadership project for student-athletes, coaches focused on sexual assault prevention

The U.S. Department of Justice awarded The University of Toledo approximately $10,000 worth of training and curriculum to participate in the Healthy Masculinity Campus Athletics Project.

UT is one of 14 colleges and universities across the country chosen for the initiative through the Office on Violence Against Women to positively engage male college athletes, coaches and athletic administrators as influential leaders in the prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on college campuses and in their surrounding communities.

UT will send three representatives to an intensive three-day training at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., in July. The representatives will be from the UT Athletics Department and the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness. Upon their return to campus, they will implement the curriculum through programming and practice.

“This is a great opportunity to further enhance our training and resources for our student-athletes so they can play a strong leading role in fostering a healthy, safe campus,” said Mike O’Brien, UT vice president and athletic director. “UT athletics continues to support sexual assault education and prevention. We work with UT’s Title IX Office and Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness to train our coaches, staff and student-athletes on an ongoing basis. We are very excited about this collaboration and what the new grant means for our student-athletes and entire University.”

“College athletes and coaches across the country are uniquely positioned to play a key role in creating a safer campus climate,” Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness, said. “They can use their visibility to promote healthy relationships and advocate against sexual violence. We are honored to work with the Athletics Department and value their continued support.”

The 13 other colleges participating in the program are Wheaton College; St. Johns University; Utah State University; Juniata College; Upper Iowa University; Loyola University; College of Mt. Saint Vincent; Goucher College; University of Idaho; Doane University; Georgian Court University; North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; and the College of New Jersey.

University Libraries receives largest gift to date

The University of Toledo Libraries has received a bequest of $500,000 from the estate of Dorothy MacKenzie Price. It is the largest gift in the libraries’ history.

The donation will provide an endowment to support a model classroom in Carlson Library and staffing in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections.

Dorothy MacKenzie Price, shown here seated by Vern Snyder, former UT vice president for institutional advancement, gave a bequest of $500,000 from her estate to University Libraries.

Price, a UT alumna and supporter of many University programs, died in 2016. She provided the funds in her will to create a state-of-the-art classroom in the library. The model classroom is part of the current renovations underway on the second floor of Carlson Library. The classroom will be used as a space for instructing students on how to access and use both basic and advanced library resources.

“This room will be instrumental in helping us introduce students to college-level research, especially in how to use the many electronic resources we have available in the library,” Barbara Floyd, interim director of University Libraries, said.

Floyd added the technology will connect UT students to the resources, and librarians will provide instruction on how to best utilize these resources in the research they are completing for their classes.

“Students who know how to use the library effectively are more successful in their academic careers,” she said.

Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive president for academic affairs, added, “The library is central to student life and student success, and this gift will further enhance our libraries’ ability to serve our students.”

In addition to $100,000 to support the classroom, an additional $400,000 will serve as an endowment to support staffing in the Canaday Center. The center houses more than 15,000 feet of unique manuscripts and archival material, and 30,000 rare books.

“Organizing, preserving and making available special collections materials is labor-intensive,” Floyd said. “To have additional funding to help provide the staff to complete this work will allow us to more effectively serve our patrons — some of whom travel to the center from around to world to use our collections.”

The Canaday Center is responsible for collecting personal papers and organizational records that primarily focus on documenting the history of Toledo and northwest Ohio. Among the center’s most important collections are records documenting the history of the glass industry in Toledo, which includes 1,000 linear feet of materials from Toledo’s glass corporations.

The center also is one of the national leaders in collecting materials that document the history of people with disabilities. These include many local organizations such as the Ability Center of Toledo, Bittersweet Farms, and the now-defunct Toledo Hearing and Speech Center, as well as collections that document disability history nationally.

“These funds from Dorothy MacKenzie Price will be instrumental in helping us to continue our mission of preserving rare and unique materials and making them available to researchers,” Floyd said.

University recognizes faculty, staff for advising, research, teaching, outreach work

UT outstanding advisers, researchers and teachers, and recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement, were honored last week.

Recipients of the Outstanding Advisor Award were:

Winners of the Outstanding Adviser Award were Rose Marie Ackerman and Dr. Matthew Franchetti.

Rose Marie Ackerman
, associate director of student services in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering. She joined the University in 2006.

“Rose is the only adviser I know that does long-range plans for students. This helps tremendously because I am able to check off the classes I have already taken because she provides a specialized plan for each individual,” one nominator wrote. “She is the best adviser I’ve had at any university, and I’ve been to three different universities.” “Rose is always willing to see and talk to any student,” another noted. “She responds to emails quickly with any information needed. I just changed my major, and Rose is the person who helped me the most.” Another wrote, “She is the go-to person in the department for policies and procedures.”

Dr. Matthew Franchetti, associate professor and associate chair of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering. He began working at UT in 2007.

“Dr. Franchetti is the most helpful person I have ever met,” one nominator noted. Another wrote, “The other day I walked into his office looking for advice on going to grad school. He went through the positives and negatives and all of the things required in the application process. He sat down and went over the different courses of study and what each plan entails. On top of that, he took the time to explain what the University is kind of looking for and offered to be one of my references. I do not know how I would have gotten through engineering without him.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award were:

Receiving Outstanding Research Awards were, from left, Dr. Robert Collins, Lee J. Strang, Dr. Blair Grubb and Dr. Mohamed Elahinia.

Dr. Robert Collins
, NEG Endowed Chair and Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Collins is an internationally recognized expert on thin films and photovoltaics, especially for his groundbreaking contributions in the use of optical measurements, in particular, ellipsometry for assessments of real-time thin-film growth. This work is not only important to the photovoltaics industry, but also is valuable to related technologies such as displays and sensors. His total research funding, either as principal investigator or co-principal investigator at both UT and his former university, exceeds $48 million. He is a prolific writer with more than 450 peer-reviewed journal and conference proceedings articles, and he is the editor or co-editor of nine books. His published work has more than 10,000 citations.

Dr. Mohamed Elahinia, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering.

Elahinia’s group, with support from the Ohio Federal Research Network and NASA Glenn, has fabricated high-temperature shape memory alloys in 3D printing for the first time. His research on low-temperature shape memory alloys has resulted in several medical devices, which are at various stages of commercialization. In collaboration with NASA Glenn and the Cleveland Clinic, he organized the development of the Nitinol Commercialization Center to support startup companies. He has been the principal investigator and co-investigator on 37 research projects, bringing in more than $12 million in awards. He is the author of a leading book on shape memory alloys, as well as more than 70 journal articles; his publications have been cited about 2,000 times.

Dr. Blair Grubb, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Electrophysiology Program in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

He is one of the world’s authorities in the treatment of syncope — abrupt, brief loss of consciousness — and other disorders of the autonomic nervous system. He has patients referred to him from all over the world to help those dealing with severe autonomic disorders. His patients testify on how he takes a personal interest in their condition, and he has a long list of testimonials on how he has provided patients with ways to improve their condition. Grubb has published more than 240 scientific papers, authored five books, written 35 book chapters, and has been the recipient of 10 research grants while at UT. He has been recognized as one of America’s Top Doctor’s 15 years in a row.

Lee J. Strang, the John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values in the College of Law.

Strang is an expert in constitutional law, particularly originalism and constitutional interpretation. He has expertise on the topic of law and religion and the history of Catholic legal education. He is highly sought as an invited speaker and expert on constitutional law matters and has presented his work at more than 150 conferences at top institutions. Since arriving at UT, Strang has authored 17 articles, two book chapters and five book reviews, as well as co-written a 1,500-page casebook. His work is highly regarded; Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens cited Strang’s work on the original meaning of “religion” in the First Amendment. Strang’s work also was cited in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Hobby Lobby case.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were:

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach and Dr. Andrew Jorgensen.

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach
, associate professor of educational foundations and leadership in the Judith Herb College of Education. She is the co-chair of the UT Anti-Bullying Task Force, a campus violence prevention and protection trainer for the Department of Justice, and author of “School Shootings and Suicides: Why We Must Stop the Bullies.”

“Dr. Pescara-Kovach has performed countless service in the community in working with the prevention of tragedy in our schools and workplaces. She works with University and community agencies in multiple stages: preventing bullying and other aggressive behaviors; preventing targeted violence and suicide; and postvention of first responders, victims and witnesses when such incidents occur,” one nominator wrote. “While many faculty think their work is life-changing, few (outside the medical fields) can honestly claim their work saves lives; Dr. Pescara-Kovach is such a faculty member.”

Dr. Andrew Jorgensen, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He studied climate change during his sabbatical at the National Council for Science and the Environment, helping to create Climate Adaption Mitigation E-Learning, an online program with more than 300 resources on climate change.

“Dr. Jorgensen has given more than 150 lectures to general public audiences all over the world about climate change. Having been an audience member, I can attest to the way he presents scientific knowledge in a nonpolitical, approachable way that makes a strong case for the need to address this topic,” one nominator wrote. “I admire his energy, commitment and passion, and am deeply respectful of his personal mission to educate as many people as he can about the importance of climate change to our global future.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award were:

Taking home Outstanding Teacher Awards were, from left, Dr. Patricia Sopko, Dr. Ruslan Slutsky, Dr. Jillian Bornak, Dr. Nitin Puri and Dr. Todd Crail.

Dr. Jillian Bornak
, associate lecturer of physics and astronomy in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She began teaching at the University in 2014.

“She brought her enthusiasm for science into the classroom every Tuesday and Thursday night when we were all tired and drained. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and her energy made it easy to show up to every class that semester,” one nominator wrote. “She gave us every tool we needed to learn the material and pass her course with a good grade. She taught us with both ease and eagerness for her students to learn. Her students gained knowledge of these tough physics concept without ever feeling like we were too behind or too incapable of learning these concepts. The University is lucky to have her.”

Dr. Todd Crail, associate lecturer of environmental sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He joined the faculty in 2012.

“I have yet to meet any professor as engaging and passionate about the environment as Dr. Crail,” one nominator wrote. “He has a distinct voice and motivation in what he teaches — take action. If you want a better world, a better environment, then you have to act upon it. Dr. Crail encourages students’ critical thinking, he supports the curious mind, and he makes time for his students.” Another noted, “He has changed the lives of so many students, and he deserves to finally be rewarded for all the hours of hard work and dedication that he puts into his class, activities, service learning, and the Department of Environmental Sciences.”

Dr. Nitin Puri, assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. He has been at the University since 2012.

“Dr. Puri teaches physiology with great passion and consistently has the highest turnouts for lectures and review sessions. He expects the most from his students and repeatedly encourages you to think like a physician,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Puri’s teaching style is interactive and certainly yields the strongest staying power of the basic sciences. I still use his notes to prepare for clinical rotations. Dr. Puri is more than a teacher. He is a fierce advocate for students, an outstanding mentor and, most importantly, a genuine person.” Another wrote, “Dr. Puri prepares you for the future, not just exams, but for clinical practice unlike any other professor.”

Dr. Ruslan Slutsky, professor of early childhood education, higher education and special education in the Judith Herb College of Education. He came to the University in 2001.

“Dr. Slutsky always makes time for his students. He is always willing to give extra help, and he goes out of his way to provide students with learning experiences outside of the classroom — research opportunities, helps send projects to conferences, etc. His lectures are always thought-provoking and stimulate deep classroom discussions. He expects a lot from his students and, in turn, his students achieve great things,” one nominator wrote. “I am thankful to have had him as a professor and am thankful for all the things he has done for the college, as well as the University and community as a whole.”

Dr. Patricia Sopko, instructor in the College of Nursing. She joined the faculty in 2010.

“I was essentially failing my pathopharmocology class despite hours of studying. I always felt the exams to be very fair, and I approached Dr. Sopko to help me understand what I was doing wrong,” one nominator wrote. “When I did eventually speak with her, she in no way looked down upon me or made me feel intimidated, despite the fact that I should have approached her long before to ask for help. She not only clarified what I was doing wrong, she also made sure I was properly preparing for the final exam. She helped me improve my overall critical thinking abilities. The fact that she took the extra time to help me is something that I greatly appreciate.”

Couple gives $1 million for endowed professorship in accounting

Alan H. Barry and his wife, Karen A. Barry, have given their alma mater a $1 million gift to establish an endowment that supports the Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professorship in Accounting at The University of Toledo.

The Barrys announced the gift at their home in Scottsdale, Ariz., April 21 at an alumni event for the Phoenix Chapter of the UT Alumni Association. University President Sharon L. Gaber attended the event in Scottsdale as the alumni chapter’s invited speaker.

Karen A. Barry, left, and her husband, Alan H. Barry, signed an agreement April 21 with UT President Sharon L. Gaber to establish an endowed professorship in accounting at the University.

“UT’s College of Business and Innovation has benefited greatly from the generosity of Alan and Karen Barry through their many gifts, which have supported both the Management and Accounting departments,” Gaber said. “Their donations have helped our business faculty prepare UT students to enter the accounting and management professions with all of the necessary critical-thinking skills and core business principles to succeed as leaders in today’s competitive marketplace.

“This newest gift from Alan and Karen Barry to endow a professorship adds another level of support, ensuring that our students are receiving the best possible education in accounting, and that our faculty have the resources they need to deliver an education of excellence,” she said. “The University is deeply grateful for Alan and Karen Barry’s generous gift and all that they do to support UT students.”

The Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professorship in Accounting will be used to recruit or retain a professor in the Department of Accounting; any costs related to the recruitment of a faculty member; bridge or pilot research projects; faculty and staff development costs; curriculum development; the development of a fellowship program; and specialized equipment needed for teaching.

“We are ecstatic that Alan and Karen have made such a tremendously generous gift to establish the endowed professorship in accounting in the College of Business,” said Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “Their action will benefit countless students for years to come and further elevate the College of Business and Innovation’s reputation. Alan shows how much he truly cares about our students by frequently coming to campus when he is in town, and taking the time to meet and talk with business students, answering their real-life questions, and being a true mentor to them. We cannot thank Alan and Karen enough for their kindness, generosity and support.”

Alan Barry, who is a certified public accountant and the retired president and chief operating officer of the Fortune 200 company Masco Corp., said giving back to UT students is a pleasure: “The accounting background I got at the University was beneficial to me throughout my career. I’ve always been a supporter of the University, and once I was in a position to do so financially, I felt pretty good about giving back to the University that gave me the opportunity to succeed.”

He joined Brass Craft Manufacturing Co. in 1972 as controller and became president of that Masco division in 1988. In 1996, he became a group president of Masco, a manufacturer of home improvement and building products. He has broad business experience that includes finance, manufacturing, customer development, acquisitions and general operating management.

He serves on the board of directors of the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group. He is a retired director of Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc., Scotts Miracle Gro Co., Flint Inc., and IPS Corp. He also served as an executive board member of the Plumbing Manufacturing Institute from 1985 through 2000, and as chairman of the institute in 1994. In addition, Barry served on the executive board of the associate member division of the American Supply Association during 1995 and 1996.

The Barrys have a history of philanthropy at The University of Toledo. In 2014, the University named a new accounting lab in the College of Business and Innovation for Alan Barry. At the time the lab was established, it was the first one nationwide to have a certified management accountant license, in which students could access for free the review material from Wiley, a leading provider of educational programs for professionals and students who are preparing for the certified management accountant exam.

The lab also serves as the location of the free income tax preparation assistance the College of Business and Innovation provides annually to qualified, low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the Toledo area during the spring income tax filing season.

“I am truly grateful for Karen and Alan Barry for their continuous support to the accounting students,” Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, professor and chair of UT Department of Accounting. “It’s only through people like Karen and Alan that we are able to provide the high-quality education we offer at the UT College of Business and Innovation. It has been my privilege to see Alan as a guest speaker in the classrooms, meeting and advising accounting students, supporting their development through the state-of-the art Alan Barry Accounting Lab and the $1 million gift.”

The Barrys also endowed the Alan and Karen Barry Scholarship Fund, which provides support for full-time UT business accounting students, based on both merit and needs. Alan Barry, a native of Toledo, is an active UT Alumni Association Phoenix Chapter member, as well as an active member in UT’s Blue Key organization. He also serves on the UT Foundation Board of Trustees.

The couple’s interest in supporting accounting students through financing scholarships, the accounting lab and the endowed professorship grew out of a nostalgic return to campus. “I was invited back to the University about 15 or so years ago. I hadn’t been on the campus for a long time, and I guess I kind of fell in love with the place for the second time.” The Barrys have been supportive donors ever since.

Alan received a business degree in 1966, and Karen graduated in 1964 with an associate degree.

The Department of Accounting is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International. This prestigious accreditation places the department among the top 2 percent of accounting departments worldwide.

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.

Faculty selected for UT Scholars Institute Program

Winning competitive external grants is an important element of faculty members’ road to success, and the UT Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is working to help them navigate the complexities of this progress.

The UT Scholars Institute Program has selected 38 early career faculty members to assist in their journey to promotion.

The program will help faculty members identify sources of funding targeted to their research projects; how to prepare and submit proposals that meet various agency and foundation requirements; how to comply with federal, state and University policies and rules; and ways to write a compelling story that is likely to sway external review panels.

The institute, which will convene in May, will consist of six monthly sessions, the topics of which are flexible to the interests of the participants.

“I am excited for the new Scholars Institute Program to launch. We had a large pool of applicants indicating a strong desire for faculty to increase their scholarly activity and grantsmanship,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health and faculty fellow in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, who developed the program.

The 2017 Scholars Institute Program participants are:

• Dr. Ana Alba-Rubio, Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Wissam Abou Alaiwi, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics;

• Dr. Gabrielle Baki, Department of Pharmacy Practice;

• Dr. Larissa Barclay, Department of Advanced Population Care;

• Dr. Tian Chen, Department of Mathematics and Statistics;

• Dr. Carmen Cioc, Department of Engineering Technology;

• Dr. Madeline Clark, Department of Counselor Education;

• Dr. Aisling Coughlan, Department of Bioengineering;

• Dr. Allyson Day, Department of Disability Studies;

• Dr. Katherine Delaney, Department of Early Childhood, Higher Education and Special Education;

• Dr. Hamoun Delaviz, Department of Neurosciences;

• Dr. Obi Ekwenna, Department of Urology, Department of Transplantation;

• Dr. Saori Furuta, Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology;

• Jenn Glassman, Department of Speech Language Pathology;

• Dr. Temeaka Gray, Department of Advanced Population Health;

• Dr. Serhan Guner, Department of Civil Engineering;

• Dr. F. Scott Hall, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics;

• Dr. Trieu Le, Department of Mathematics and Statistics;

• Dr. Jiayong Liu, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery;

• Dr. Kimberly Mack, Department of English Language and Literature;

• Dr. Luis Mata, Department of Engineering Technology;

• Dr. Kimberly McBride, School of Population Health.

• Nicole McKenzie, Department of Exercise and Rehabilitation;

• Dr. Gigi McNamara, Department of Communication, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies;

• Dr. Peter Mezo, Department of Psychology;

• Dr. Jared Oluoch, Department of Engineering Technology;

• Dr. Megan Petra, Department of Social Justice;

• Dr. Brad Pierson, Department of Music;

• Dr. Dayanidh Raman, Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology;

• Dr. Isaac Schiefer, Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry;

• Dr. Heidi Shank, Department of Nursing;

• Dr. Vithal Shendge, Department of Orthopeadic Surgery;

• Dr. Heather Sloane, Department of Social Justice;

• Dr. Tonya Schmitt, Department of Advanced Population Care;

• Dr. Amit Tiwari, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics;

• Dr. Brian Trease, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering;

• Dr. Kasumi Yamazaki, Department of Foreign Languages; and

• Ronald Zallocco, Department of English Language and Literature;

For more information on the Scholars Institute Program, visit utoledo.edu/research/SIP.html.