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Runner to cap off season at national championship race

Junior Athena Welsh will represent the Toledo women’s cross country team in the NCAA Championships Saturday, Nov. 17.

She was announced as an automatic qualifier during the NCAA’s inaugural Cross Country Selection Show.


Welsh had a breakout season, claiming the individual crown in three of the four regular season races, helping the Rockets land consistently in the top five in team standings throughout the year. In the Mid-American Conference Championships, Welsh took runner-up (20:37.9), only three seconds behind Eastern Michigan’s Natalie Cizmas.

At the NCAA Regional Nov. 9, Welsh finished in 17th with a time of 20:55.2, helping the Rockets take ninth in the team standings.

Last season, Welsh also landed in 17th (20:58), the highest a Rocket had placed in the regionals since 2014.

The NCAA Championships will take place at the Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wis. The women’s 6K will begin at 10:45 a.m.

Work proceeding to renovate, expand Glendale Medical East

UT Medical Center continues to look for opportunities to be more efficient and align hospital resources with clinical priorities. This winter, the hospital will focus those efforts into renovating and expanding Glendale Medical East to meet the primary care needs of patients with increased access and convenience.

The comprehensive health and wellness center will pair family medicine and internal medicine subspecialists in pulmonology, endocrinology, nephrology, cardiology and gastroenterology who will relocate from Ruppert Medical Center. South Toledo Internists also will relocate their practice from Glendale Medical Center.

The facility will feature an additional 44 exam rooms, a retail and specialty pharmacy, general x-ray and basic lab draws. Academic space, a break room and locker rooms also will be incorporated. The convenience of centralized registration will make check-in easy for patients, and with subspecialties co-located in the same building, physician communication and referrals to subspecialties will be improved.

Construction is expected to conclude in spring 2019. Once clinics locate their practices to Glendale Medical East, vacant space in Ruppert Medical Center will be used to accommodate expansion of remaining clinics, as well as providing additional space for outpatient behavioral health services.

“Thank you to the family medicine and internal medicine teams for their input during the design process, and to Facilities and Construction for their diligent work in facilitating the capital improvements,” Allen Siefert, chief administrative officer of outpatient integrated clinic operations, said.

UTMC is working with partners in clinical offices and facilities to make these transitions as smooth as possible and will continue to share updates as construction progresses.

Rockets pound Kent State, 56-34

Redshirt freshman Bryant Koback ran for a season-high 192 yards and two touchdowns to lead Toledo to a 56-34 victory over Kent State at wintry Dix Stadium in Kent Thursday night.

It was the sixth win of the season for Toledo (6-5, 4-3 Mid-American Conference), making the Rockets bowl eligible for the ninth consecutive season. It also was the fifth time this season Toledo topped the 50-point mark, a school record.

Diontae Johnson scored on an 83-yard punt return in Toledo’s 56-34 victory over Kent State Thursday night.

Junior Art Thompkins added 122 yards and two scores to Toledo’s running attack, which racked up a season-high 384 yards. Sophomore quarterback Eli Peters completed 11 of 14 passes for 131 yards and two scores. Junior Diontae Johnson helped the cause with an 83-yard punt return just before halftime that gave Toledo a 28-17 lead going into the locker room. Toledo then scored three quick touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 49-17 lead that ended Kent State’s hopes of an upset on a night that featured rain, sleet and snow.

Kent State opened the scoring on its first possession with a four-play, 52-yard drive that was capped by a seven-yard touchdown run by quarterback Woody Barrett.

Toledo answered with a 31-yard TD run by junior Thompkins. After the Golden Flashes went three-and-out, Toledo responded with a nine-play, 85-yard drive to give the Rockets a 14-7 lead. Peters finished off the drive with a three-yard pass to junior tight end Reggie Gilliam.

Koback made it 21-7 with a 44-yard TD run on third-and-six play on UT’s first possession of the second quarter. Kent trimmed the lead to 21-10 on a 27-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett with 11:09 left in the half. After a Toledo drive stalled, KSU struck again, this time on a 19-yard TD pass from Barrett to Isiah McKoy. With three minutes left in the half, Diontae Johnson returned a punt 83 yards for the score, rebuilding the UT lead to 28-17.

In the third quarter, Toledo got off to a quick start, scoring on a 15-yard run by Koback that moved its lead to 35-17. On the very next play from scrimmage, senior linebacker Tyler Taafe picked off Barrett and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. Moments later, Peters hit Jon’Vea Johnson over the middle for a 55-yard touchdown to make the score 49-17 with 10:06 left in the quarter. Kent State countered with a 76-yard TD run by Jo-el Shaw to trim the lead to 49-24. Moments later, the Flashes connected on a 38-yard field goal to cut the margin to 49-27.

Thompkins shouldered the load on Toledo’s next drive, moving the ball downfield on a 43-yard run at the end of the third quarter before finishing off the sequence with a one-yard score on the first play of the fourth period. Kent State finished off the night with a late score on a short flip TD pass from Dustin Crum to Mike Carrigan.

Up next, the Rockets will close out the regular season vs. Central Michigan Friday, Nov. 23, at the Glass Bowl. Kickoff is set for noon.

For tickets, go to the Toledo Rockets website, call 419.530.GOLD (4653), or stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena. UT employees and retirees may purchase tickets at half-price; UT students are admitted free with ID.

Rocket football great to lead Toledo holiday parade Nov. 17

Former UT and NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will be the grand marshal for The Blade Holiday Parade.

The 31st annual parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in downtown Toledo and include more than 70 participants, including color guards, giant balloons, clowns, marching bands and dance teams.

Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski led the Rockets to the 2004 Mid-American Conference Championship.

The parade will start on Summit Street at Jefferson Avenue and proceed north on Summit to Jackson Street, west on Jackson to Huron Street, south on Huron to Washing Street, and east on Washington to Summit.

Santa Claus also will be in attendance during the parade and afterward at Imagination Station.

Gradkowski played for Toledo from 2001 to 2005 and led the Rockets to the 2004 Mid-American Conference Championship and two bowl appearances. He earned first-team All-MAC honors as a senior in 2005, finishing his career with a 45-13 triumph over the University of Texas at El Paso in the GMAC Bowl.

After a record-breaking career as a Toledo Rocket, Gradkowski played 11 seasons in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Oakland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

The 2005 UT alumnus now shares his expertise as a color analyst for the Rocket Football Radio Network and is a co-host of a weekly NFL radio show on SiriusXM.

Gradkowski is a local restaurant owner and a community ambassador for ProMedica. He recently received a 20 Under 40 Leadership Award from Leadership Toledo, which honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in their career and/or as a volunteer in the community.

Ohio poet laureate to read work, sign books Nov. 20

Dr. Dave Lucas is a poet on a mission.

“I don’t want to convince you that you should love poetry. I want to convince you that you already do,” he wrote in a column for the Ohio Arts Council.


“If you know by heart the lyrics to your favorite song, you already love one kind of poetry. You love another whenever you laugh at a joke or groan over a bad pun. The jargon of your profession and the slang you speak with friends are poetry. So are the metaphors we use to describe this world we all are trying to understand.”

Lucas, who began his two-year term as Ohio poet laureate in January, will visit The University of Toledo Tuesday, Nov. 20, to talk about his love of words and read his work. The free, public event will take place at 7 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

He also will sign copies of his first collection of poetry, “Weather,” which was published in 2011 and won the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. That work also caught the attention of Rita Dove, former U.S. poet laureate, who called Lucas one of 13 “young poets to watch.”

“I’m excited we’re able to bring Dave Lucas to campus,” Dr. Benjamin Stroud, UT associate professor of English, said. “He’s not just an excellent poet, but a great advocate for poetry and, more widely, all the literary arts. He provides a great model to students — and everyone — for how to hone your own craft while also supporting the larger community of poets and writers.”

Since being named the state’s poet laureate Jan. 1, Lucas has been trying to debunk the lofty notions of the measured word.

“Poetry happens — in metaphors or jokes or in poems themselves — at that place where sound and sense blur into each other,” he wrote on the Ohio Arts Council website. “We may not realize that we are under the spell of poetry, because poetry is made of ordinary language (if language can ever be ordinary). Some words we use to toast a wedding or to bless the dead; others we use to order a pizza.”

That everyday sense was at the forefront of his class called Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry at Case Western Reserve University, and with Brews + Prose, a reading series he co-founded and co-curated with the slogan “literature is better with beer.”

Lucas’ poetry is featured in anthologies “The Bedford Introduction to Literature” and “Best New Poets 2015,” and has appeared in several journals, including The American Poetry Review, Blackbird, The Paris Review, Poetry and Slate.

The Cleveland native received a bachelor of arts degree from John Carroll University, a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Virginia, and master of arts and doctoral degrees in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.

His visit is presented by the Department of English Language and Literature, and the College of Arts and Letters.

For more information, contact Stroud at benjamin.stroud@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2086.

UT Rocket Marching Band to perform Nov. 17 in Valentine Theatre

The University of Toledo Rocket Marching Band will take its show on the road to an indoor venue. The Sounds of the Stadium Concert will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. at the Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St.

The band will perform music from the 2018 football season.

The UT Rocket Marching Band performed during the 2018 Edward C. and Helen G. Schmakel Homecoming Parade.

Highlights of the program will include the music of Panic! at the Disco, Elton John, show tunes from “The Greatest Showman,” and traditional UT favorites.

Tickets are $7 each. Discount tickets are available for groups of 10 and more.

Tickets are available through the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office, 419.530.ARTS (2787), and on the School of Visual and Performing Arts website, as well as through the Valentine Theatre Box Office, 419.242.ARTS (2787), and the Valentine Theatre website.

For more information, visit the UT Rocket Marching Band page.

UT Opera Ensemble to present ‘Così Fan Tutte’ this weekend

The UT Opera Ensemble will present Mozart’s comic Italian opera, “Così Fan Tutte” (“Women Are Like That”) with a modern country-western twist. Set in a country bar, a friend of two young men bets them that their girlfriends would be unfaithful if left unattended. So, the men take the bet and put their ladies to the test.

The opera will be sung in the original Italian, with subtitles provided.

Be there before the performance for barbecue, beer and free line dancing lessons. Beer is cash bar, and the barbecue will be sold by Deet’s BBQ.

Performances will take place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 16-18, in the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s show will be at 2 p.m.

Cast members are UT student Alana Scaglioni, soprano, as Fiordiligi; UT alumna Katherine Kuhlman and UT student Kate Walcher, mezzo-sopranos, as Dorabella; UT Music Instructor Justin Bays, baritone, as Guglielmo; UT student Moises Salazar and UT alumnus William Floss, tenors, as Ferrando; UT student Paige Chapman, soprano, as Despina; Jonathan Stuckey, bass baritone, as Don Alfonso; and UT students Kaitlyn Trumbul, Kailyn Wilson, Sterling Wisenewski and Jasmin Davis as the chorus.

Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, UT assistant professor of music, is producing and directing the show. Wayne Anthony is the music director, and Scaglioni is the assistant director. Kent Lautzenheiser-Nash is the choreographer.

Tickets $10 to $15 are available through the Center for Performing Arts Box Office by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787), online at the School for Visual and Performing Arts website, and at the door.

For more information, visit the UT Department of Music opera page.

Rockets travel to Kent State Nov. 15 looking to gain bowl eligibility

With just two games left in the regular season, Toledo is looking for a victory at Kent State Thursday, Nov. 15, in order to gain bowl eligibility for the ninth consecutive season.

The game will start at 6 p.m. and be carried by the CBS Sports Network.

The Rockets (5-5, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) need to defeat the Golden Flashes or Central Michigan in the regular-season finale Nov. 23 in order to reach the minimum bowl requirement of six wins.

Toledo is coming off a 38-15 loss at Northern Illinois Nov. 7 that knocked them out of the MAC West Division title hunt. Sophomore quarterback Eli Peters completed 26 of 47 passes for 264 yards, but Toledo could not keep pace with the Huskies. The Rockets outgained NIU in total offense, 431-427, but missed opportunities and big plays by Northern made the difference.

Toledo trailed by just one, 10-9, late in the first half when NIU’s Sutton Smith blocked a punt and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. The Huskies scored twice in the third quarter, while the Rockets did not find the end zone again until late in the game. Senior wide receiver Cody Thompson led the offense with eight receptions for 110 yards. Junior Diontae Johnson added seven catches for 52 yards, while senior Jon’Vea Johnson chipped in with four receptions and one TD. Junior Art Thompkins led the rushing attack with 62 yards on 12 carries.

Kent State (2-8, 1-5 MAC) is coming off a 48-14 loss at Buffalo Nov. 6. The Golden Flashes are led by sophomore dual-threat quarterback Woody Barrett, who has thrown for 1,932 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also run for 442 yards and six TDs. KSU’s lone MAC victory was a 35-28 triumph at Bowling Green Oct. 30. The Flashes also have had a pair of one-point losses, 27-26 to Ohio and 24-23 to Akron.

Toledo leads the series with Kent State, 25-21. The Rockets have won the last three meetings, most recently a 38-7 victory in the Glass Bowl in 2015. Toledo is 4-1 vs. the Golden Flashes since the MAC split into divisions in 1997. Thursday’s game will be only the fourth meeting between the two schools in the past 19 years.

New leadership named for Eberly Center for Women

The University of Toledo appointed new leadership to the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, which promotes the personal and professional advancement of women at the University and in the surrounding community and offers scholarships to UT students.


Dr. Kim Nielsen, UT professor of disability studies, history, and women’s and gender studies, will serve as interim director through August 2019.

Danielle Stamper, program coordinator for the UT Office of Multicultural Student Success, was named interim program manager during that same period.

Nielsen and Stamper take over day-to-day administrative operations as UT launches a search for a new executive director to replace Dr. Shanda Gore, who continues to serve as the executive director of the Minority Business Development Center.

“We thank Dr. Shanda Gore for her leadership and service to the Eberly Center,” Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs, said. “I welcome Dr. Kim Nielsen and Danielle Stamper to the center. They bring a wealth of proven leadership and experience reflective of the core mission and values of the Eberly Center.”


The Eberly Center reports to both the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Division of Student Affairs.

“The new leaders are responsible for implementing high-impact programs, engaging internal and external stakeholders, promoting student success and student well-being, and strategically increasing the visibility of the Eberly Center,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, said.

The Eberly Center hosts programming and services to empower women and guide them on their careers and community engagement to enable them to reach their highest potential. The Eberly Center offers personal and professional development classes and is home to Kate’s Closet, a professional women’s clothing closet providing complimentary professional attire to UT students and clients of the center.

“This responsibility and opportunity is an honor,” Nielsen said. “Since its founding in 1977, the Eberly Center has always been an important resource for both the UT community and the greater Toledo community. The Eberly Center seeks to bring hope and growth to women, provide resources for all who seek to support women, and welcome those committed to gender justice and equality. I invite all to stop by to say hello and use the space to study, have an organizational meeting, ask questions, use Kate’s Closet, learn about our scholarships, try the computer lab, or just relax.”

“Women’s centers have a rich history of not only empowering women, but also working toward gender equity and inclusion within the institution,” Stamper said. “I look forward to connecting my baccalaureate and professional experiences to continue growing as a student affairs practitioner.”

The Eberly Center is located in Tucker Hall Room 0168 and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Public invited to ‘Fake News’ symposium at UT Nov. 15

The Independent Collegian and Zeta Phi Eta at The University of Toledo are hosting an event titled “Fake News: An Interdisciplinary Approach” Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The free, public symposium will feature professionals in the fields of law, journalism and political science on the nature of “fake news,” how to distinguish between fact and fiction, and the effect it has on society.

“Our purpose is to inform students and community members about the importance of news coverage, how to identify reliable sources, and debunk myths regarding journalism,” Areeba Shah, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian, said. “We hope this event educates individuals and allows them to understand journalism in a more in-depth capacity.”

Speakers will include Nolan Rosenkrans, reporter for The Blade; Dr. Sam Nelson, associate professor and chair of the UT Department of Political Science and Public Administration; Dee Drummond, associate lecturer in the UT Department of Communication; Brigette Burnett, host and producer of the “Daily Downtown” on Buckeye Broadband; and Kristen Schnerer, social studies teacher at Start High School, who pioneered a class on Media and Politics.