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UT, ProMedica promote Academic Affiliation through new ad campaign

The University of Toledo and ProMedica have launched a new marketing campaign to promote the Academic Affiliation between the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the health system.

web academic affiliation ad copyTelevision, print and digital ads have begun to appear around the Toledo region promoting the benefits of the affiliation to the community and to students, residents and fellows in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. The advertisements feature local thought leaders representing a cross section of the community and praising the benefits of the unique educational relationship.

The Academic Affiliation will provide long-term benefits for the University and the community throughout the course of the 50-year agreement. The anticipated impacts of the agreement include attracting and retaining top talent among learners, faculty and physicians; additional funding to support biomedical research; economic development in the community; expanded clinical learning opportunities for students, residents and fellows; and increased access to specialty care in the Toledo community.

In July, the first class of College of Medicine and Life Sciences students and residents began training under the Academic Affiliation, utilizing new learning space, and filling clinical learning opportunities at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. University learners in pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine sub-specialties and emergency medicine are on-site at ProMedica Toledo Hospital for clerkships and residencies.

More information about the Academic Affiliation and the new television commercial are available here.

Steak ‘n Shake coming to UT campus dining

The University of Toledo is expanding dining options for students on campus as it extends its contract with Aramark for six years.

Steak ‘n Shake is scheduled to open in January replacing Rocky’s Grill in the lower level of the Student Union.

Steak ‘n Shake is scheduled to open in January in the Student Union.

Steak ‘n Shake is scheduled to open in January in the Student Union.

A second national restaurant chain is expected to open next fall in the lower level of the Student Union around the corner from Rocket Wireless and the UT Federal Credit Union.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Aramark because they have given us very good service to meet the needs of students,” Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs, said. “The plan the company presented to us gives the University a whole new model for our dining services, which will result in new choices and variety for our students. These changes are in direct response to what students have told us is important to them. Our students visit other campuses and see these restaurants. When they return to UT, they ask for popular name brands.”

Freshens, a chain promoting healthy options, is moving into UT’s engineering campus by the end of the year to offer a dining option on that side of campus.

“Freshens is a new type of restaurant that is up-and-coming on college campuses across the country,” Patten said. “Freshens will offer salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, crepes and smoothies. Students will be able to use a meal plan to swipe at the counter.”

aramark_logoUT has four years remaining on its contract with Aramark to operate campus dining, and the six-year extension includes upgrading the main dining facility in Ottawa House West residence hall and adding more fresh food concepts.

South Dining Hall in the Student Union also will undergo minor renovations as part of the contract extension.

“Our partnership with Aramark is all about being responsive to the needs and requests of our students,” Patten said.

Chelsea Clinton to campaign for Hillary at UT Rec Center

Chelsea Clinton will visit The University of Toledo Thursday, Sept. 22, as she campaigns in support of her mother, Hillary, who is running for president.

The event will be at 12:05 p.m. in the Maple Room of the Student Recreation Center on Main Campus. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and space is limited. Those interested in attending can RSVP online through the campaign website.

According to the campaign, Clinton will lay out the stakes of November’s election for voters and emphasize Hillary Clinton’s belief that Americans are stronger together when the economy works for everyone — not just those at the top. She also will urge Ohioans to register to vote ahead of the Oct. 11 deadline.

Toledo to play at Notre Dame in 2021

The University of Toledo football team will play at Notre Dame in 2021. The game will be played Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Notre Dame Stadium. The contest will mark the first meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.

Rocket football logo“We are very pleased and excited to add Notre Dame to our 2021 football schedule,” UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “Notre Dame has one of the greatest college football traditions in the country, so it definitely will be a matchup our football team will be looking forward to. The game also has the added benefit of only being just a two-and-a-half hour drive from Toledo, so I know many of our fans will travel to South Bend for the contest.”

UT Head Coach Jason Candle added, “Playing at Notre Dame will be a great experience and an exciting challenge for our football program.”

Notre Dame will be among the most prominent college football programs that Toledo has played. In recent years, UT has faced Power 5 schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Arizona, Iowa State, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Syracuse, Colorado and Minnesota. The Rockets have held their own against these teams, with wins over Michigan, Penn State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa State (twice), Pittsburgh, Colorado and Kansas.

Toledo will be just the fifth school currently in the Mid-American Conference to play Notre Dame in football, and just the fourth since 1920. The others are Miami (1909), Akron (1910) and Western Michigan (1919, 1920 and 2010). Miami is scheduled to play at Notre Dame in 2017 and Ball State in 2018.

Information on how to order tickets will be provided at a later date. Tickets orders will be prioritized based on Rocket Fund/athletic donation and season ticket history.

Student Union renamed for trailblazing professor

The Student Union at The University of Toledo will be renamed in honor of a 55-year UT veteran who dedicated his career to helping students succeed.

The building will be renamed the Lancelot Thompson Student Union, pending approval by the UT Board of Trustees at its next meeting, UT President Sharon L. Gaber announced Monday evening at a memorial service for the late University leader.

Lance Thompson DVD 442 CD 326


Dr. Lancelot C.A. Thompson, professor emeritus of chemistry who served 20 years as the University’s first vice president for student affairs, died Sept. 10 at age 91.

“Generations of future students will know his name and the impact he has had on our University,” Gaber said. “I could not be more proud to continue his legacy in this way.”

The president also announced a new Dr. Lancelot Thompson Student Activities and Diversity Fund that will support programming to enhance the student experience and advance diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A true trailblazer, Thompson was the first African-American full-time faculty member at the University when he joined UT in 1958 and the first black faculty member to receive tenure. He went on to become the first African-American vice president.

A committed classroom teacher, he was one of the first four recipients of the University’s Outstanding Teacher Award. To inspire the next generation of college students, Thompson helped organize UT’s annual Aspiring Minorities Youth Conference, which continues to this day.

Throughout his career and after retirement in 1988, when he was named professor emeritus, Thompson mentored a large number of students and student-athletes.

In 2014, the Dr. Lancelot C.A. Thompson Meeting Room was dedicated in his honor in the Student Union that will now bear his name.

At the time, Thompson noted his passion for helping students. He said, “If anything is said about me, just let it be that I cared about people, especially students, so they had all the help available to them.”

UT to host International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference Sept. 22-23

Every year thousands of children in the U.S. and around the world are forced to become victims of a criminal underworld and suffer in plain sight.

Survivors, social workers, law enforcement officers, educators, nurses and researchers from across the globe are coming together for a two-day conference at The University of Toledo to bring the sex and labor trafficking trades out of the shadows and help end the abuse through education and advocacy.

JHHS 75_Full page flyerUT is hosting the 13th Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22 and 23, in the Student Union.

The conference is hosted by UT’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.

“Human trafficking affects more than just the victims, it hurts the whole community,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, UT professor of social work and director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “Since 2004, this annual conference has welcomed presenters from 31 states and 15 countries to educate social service, health-care and criminal justice professionals on this form of modern slavery and the needs and risk of victims, as well as their customers and traffickers. We are laying the groundwork for future collaborative research, advocacy and program development.”

One session allows participants to watch a video of UT medical students treating a human trafficking victim inside a state-of-the-art patient simulation suite at the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center on Health Science Campus. The victim is a high-tech medical mannequin that can bleed and breathe.

“Nearly 90 percent of sex trafficking victims encounter an ER or clinic, but only a quarter of health-care professionals think that trafficking impacts their patients,” Katie Bush, clinical simulation and education research associate, said. “This simulation presentation will showcase how our students going into the health-care field are being trained to spot red flags of trafficking and help rescue victims.”

Bush will discuss the simulation Thursday, Sept. 22, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Student Union Room 3010A.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will speak Friday, Sept. 23, at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

Additional speakers will include:

• FBI Special Agent James Hardie and Detective Pete Swartz with the Toledo Police Department, who specialize in investigating child sex trafficking as part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost initiative, Thursday, Sept. 22, at 11:15 a.m. in Student Union Room 2584.

• International human trafficking expert Mohammad Ashraful Alam, who will present “Sex Trade Behind the Scene of Women and Girls Trafficking: A Case of Bangladesh” Thursday, Sept. 22, at 1:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 2584.

• Theresa Flores, a human trafficking survivor, who will present “The Health-Care Needs of Domestically Trafficked Women: Study Results” Thursday, Sept. 22, at 2:45 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room.

Click here for a full schedule of events.

For more information, visit traffickingconference.com or email  traffickingconference@gmail.com.

Patent approved for new spine testing device developed by UT bioengineer

A University of Toledo research professor received a patent for a new device designed to assist with fine-tuning spinal surgeries.

Manoj Kodigudla, research engineer in Dr. Vijay Goel's lab, made adjustments to the spine testing device in the lab.

Manoj Kodigudla, research engineer in Dr. Vijay Goel’s lab, made adjustments to the spine testing device in the lab.

Dr. Vijay Goel, professor of bioengineering and co-director of the Engineering Center for Orthopedic Research Excellence, said the Simplified Spine Testing Device standardizes the range-of-motion testing for pre- and post-surgical procedures.

“The device is used on cadaver samples in the lab to design the surgical process from start to finish,” Goel said. “This standardization greatly reduces the amount of time needed to test range of motion using CT scans and other imaging.”

The patent also was assigned to The University of Toledo, ATS Holdings LLC, the University of Kansas, Norman L. Carroll, Edward C. Cartwright, Robert J. Gephardt, Christopher L. Dixon and Elizabeth A. Friis. The Simplified Spine Testing Device has been licensed to Applied Testing Systems LLC for continued
development and commercialization.

Additionally, Goel and his colleagues Dr. Anand Agarwal and Dr. Sarit Bhaduri, UT professors of bioengineering, founded a spinal biological startup company called OsteoNovus. Goel and Agarwal also founded Spinal Balance, and co-developed other medical devices, including the Libra Pedicle Screw System. The pre-sterilized, individually packaged screw system was designed to reduce the risk of surgical infection for spine surgery patients.

New interim leaders announced in medical operations at UTMC

Two University of Toledo Health physicians have been named to new interim leadership roles.

Dr. Linda Speer has been named interim chief medical officer, and Dr. Samay Jain now serves as interim associate chief medical officer.



Board-certified in family medicine, Speer has served as the chair of the Department of Family Medicine since 2006. She also is the compliance officer for the UT Physicians group.

“Dr. Speer’s experience in clinical care, faculty leadership, compliance oversight, and her training with the Vanderbilt Patient Advocacy Reporting System provides a solid foundation for her transition into the CMO role,” said Dan Barbee, vice president for clinical services and chief operating officer.

Speer completed her residency in family medicine at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Mich., and her fellowship in primary care faculty development at Michigan State University.

As chief medical officer, Speer provides medical oversight, expertise and leadership to UT Health physicians and manages the central verification system required for personnel. She will be supported by Jain, assistant professor of urology and vice chief of staff.



Jain is board-certified in urology and serves as the medical director of the Urology Clinic and chair for the Value Analysis Committee. He recently served as the interim chair of the Department of Urology.

“We are pleased that Dr. Jain has accepted this position. He has extensive experience in team building, conflict resolution and enacting the institutional vision,” Speer said. “He also is a messenger for the Vanderbilt Patient Advocacy Reporting System, providing a concrete foundation for this role.”

Jain completed his residency in urology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed a fellowship with Hackensack University Medical Center and Endourological Society, and a laparoscopic, endoscopic and robotic oncology fellowship.

Both will continue to see patients in their practices and continue existing administrative roles, with Speer remaining chair of family medicine, and Jain continuing to serve as vice chief of staff.

UT doctoral student honored for identifying how climate change threatens food quality

A doctoral student at The University of Toledo recently won an award from the Ecological Society of America for his study that shows why the combination of high carbon dioxide levels in the air and chronic global warming will contribute to a decrease in crop production and food quality during the next few decades.



“We have provided a better understanding of what scientists need to do to improve the heat tolerance of crops in the future,” said Dileepa Jayawardena, a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Sciences, who conducted the climate change study as a project for his master’s degree. “They can use this information to generate new climate-change-tolerant crops to help feed the growing human population.”

Using tomato as a model, Jayawardena investigated the way plants absorb nitrogen fertilizer from the soil.

Over the course of 18 days inside controlled growth chambers in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories, the plants were subjected to conditions that mimic future climate by Jayawardena’s team.

Individually, elevated carbon dioxide and warming did not have large effects on tomato responses.

However, when combined, researchers saw a large decrease in the uptake rate of soil nitrate and ammonium through the roots. At the same time, researchers saw a significant drop in the concentration and function of the proteins that roots use to acquire soil nitrogen. The result was a crop with lower nitrogen levels and thus lower nutritional value.

Dileepa Jayawardena grew tomato in a controlled environment to mimic future climate change and assessed the plants’ growth.

Dileepa Jayawardena grew tomato in a controlled environment to mimic future climate change and assessed the plants’ growth.

Jayawardena’s work also shows that the combination of heat and carbon dioxide is bad for the plant in terms of being able to convert inorganic nitrogen, like nitrate and ammonium, into organic form, like protein, which is the form of nitrogen that humans require.

“If climate change intensifies, this impact on plant nitrogen concentration means that plants will not grow as big in the future, and they will be poorer-quality food for people and other animals that eat plants,” he said.

Jayawardena won the New Phytologist Poster Award for his presentation at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting last month in Florida. It is the nation’s largest organization of professional ecologists with a membership of more than 10,000 scientists.

“By itself, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels tend to increase plant growth, which is a positive,” said Dr. Scott Heckathorn, UT ecology professor and Jayawardena’s faculty advisor. “However, increasing carbon dioxide is the primary cause of current global warming, which will increase heat stress for much life on the planet. The question then arises as to whether benefits of elevated carbon dioxide will offset the negative effects of increasing heat stress. What is new about Dileepa’s work is that it provides a mechanism for why the combination of elevated carbon dioxide and heat is detrimental.”

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rockets to recognize Toledo Humane Society at Sept. 17 Football game

The University of Toledo’s football game against Fresno State Saturday, Sept. 17, will feature a special in-game ceremony showcasing the work that the Toledo Area Humane Society is doing in northwest Ohio.

The ceremony is sponsored by the Spartan Chemical Co. Inc., Maumee. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.

toledo human society“The Toledo Area Humane Society is honored and very grateful that our new neighbor, Spartan Chemical, has chosen to acknowledge us on this very special occasion,” said Jessica LaValley, annual fund manager for the Toledo Area Humane Society. “It is because of community support like this, from companies such as Spartan Chemical, that we are able to save over 5,000 animals yearly by giving them the care and love they need and ultimately finding them their new forever homes.”

“The Toledo Area Humane Society is a charity that’s near and dear to many Spartan employees,” said Cali Sartor, director of marketing for Spartan Chemical. “We are excited to sponsor them and know that this event will be a lot fun, while helping to increase awareness of the work the humane society does in our community.”  

In addition to the special in-game ceremony, fans will have the chance to engage representatives — and furry friends — from the Toledo Area Humane Society prior to the game at the FanFest area to learn more about how they can get involved and support the organization. 

The Toledo Area Humane Society:

• Cares for about 5,000 animals annually, including 1,400 stray cats and 800 dogs from other shelters.

• Finds forever homes for about 3,500 animals annually.

• Has more than 200 foster families that annually help care for about 1,000 animals that are ill, injured or too young to be adopted until they are ready.

• Is assisted by almost 500 active volunteers who donate about 65,000 hours of their time annually to help care for animals at the shelter.

• Employs only two full-time cruelty officers that serve all of Lucas County. These two officers answer about 2,000 calls and rescue almost 500 animals yearly from situations of cruelty.

• Hosts about 1,500 children each year through its education department, which includes summer camps, Paws for Reading Program, birthday parties and fieldtrips.

Spartan Chemical has been a recognized leader in the formulation and manufacture of sustainable cleaning and sanitation solutions for the industrial and institutional market since 1956. Spartan manufactures high-quality products from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Maumee and sells both domestically and internationally through a selective network of distribution. Spartan’s chemical products and services are used in building service contractor, education, health-care, food service and processing, lodging/hospitality, and industrial markets.