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Mascot makes kindergartner’s day, spreads Rocket cheer

Rocky made a special appearance last month to greet one of his biggest fans. After receiving kindergartner Eli Cordell’s email, UT’s mascot visited Delaware, Ohio, to surprise the Schultz Elementary School student.

Rocky ventured to Schultz Elementary School in Delaware, Ohio, to have lunch with Toledo fan Eli Cordell.

“I love Rocky the Rocket from Toledo. I think it’s funny when he dances,” Cordell wrote in his message. “I want to go to [UT] for college.”

After collaborating with Cordell’s teacher and the Schultz Elementary administration, Rocky traveled to Delaware, which is north of Columbus, and joined the young fan for lunch and met his parents and classmates.

It was important to the UT mascot to acknowledge how much Cordell’s message meant. From the expression of excitement and joy on the boy’s face, it was clear Cordell was elated.

Rocky gave the young fan UT T-shirts, stickers, a towel and a Battle of I-75 helmet statue.

Schultz Elementary Principal Travis Woodworth was impressed by Rocky’s surprise, saying the visit spoke volumes about Rocky and UT’s culture of appreciation and their support for the Schultz Elementary mission.

“His visit helped to encourage positive energy in the classroom, the importance of education, and excitement about school,” Woodworth said.

Rocky shares UT pride during athletic games, events and special engagements by request. To learn more, visit Rocky the mascot’s webpage.

Canaday Center closed for renovation

Renovations are underway in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections, which is closed to the public with limited reference services.

Renovations started Jan. 17 in the Canaday Center.

Work began Jan. 17 in the exhibition area and reading room of the center, which is located on the fifth floor of Carlson Library. The project is expected to be complete in March.

“We can still assist our remote users via email or phone; however, visitors to the center must email or call ahead to make an appointment,” Sara Mouch, university archivist and curator, said.

Patrons needing assistance should email canadaycenter@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.4480.

Renovations will include replacing walls for a lighter look, upgrading electrical outlets, and installing a projector.

“We’re also planning to showcase artwork that is preserved in the center,” Mouch said.

For updates, go to the Canaday Center website.

Megabus stop moves off campus

Planning to hop on the Megabus? You’ll need to catch the coach at a new location.

The Megabus stop has moved from Scott Park Campus to Springfield Commons.

The new stop is located in the Kohl’s parking lot, adjacent to Planet Fitness, 1120 S. Holland-Sylvania Road in Holland, Ohio.

University Women’s Commission program to offer advice: ‘Just breathe’

“Just Breathe: Using Technology and Relaxation to Prevent Anxiety and Improve Stress Tolerance” will be the topic of the University Women’s Commission’s Lunch and Learn Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Knox

Dr. Michele Knox, UT professor of psychiatry, will speak at the event, which will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1035 on Health Science Campus.

Acute stress often leads to muscle tension, rapid/shallow breathing, increase in heart rate, and changes in stress hormones — adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.

These in turn affect the regulation of the immune system and inflammation. Prolonged stress can lead to the development of various physical and mental health conditions. Knox wants to introduce students and employees to new strategies to combat these afflictions.

“I will be showing the attendees why and how to use technology to help learn to prevent and reduce stress. I will show them technology that I use to help patients with anxiety disorders learn to bring about a state of relaxation to counter or prevent the impact of stress,” Knox said. “I hope that attendees will learn a basic skill that they can use on a daily basis to reduce or prevent stress and its outcomes.”

Campus community members are invited to bring their lunch and attend the free event.

UT Department of Art students’ work appears on area electronic billboards

The creations of University art students are on display throughout the Toledo area for the next several weeks, appearing on electronic billboards as part of an annual exhibition.

Each fall, Barry Whittaker, UT associate professor of art, organizes the exhibition of juried student work. The digital billboard space was donated by Lamar of Toledo.

“While studying art, it is important to see how images can move beyond classroom and gallery walls to interact with the city where you live,” Whittaker said. “Lamar has been a great partner in this project by providing students with the opportunity to see their work illuminated and at a large scale in many locations around the city of Toledo.”

A total of 19 works from 14 artists are featured in the exhibition.

The digital billboard locations are at Reynolds Road at Airport Highway, Glendale Avenue at Byrne Road, Tremainsville Road at Laskey Road, Washington Street at Huron Street, Woodville Road at East Broadway Street, the Anthony Wayne Trail at Western Avenue, I-75 at Berdan Avenue, and I-75 at Monroe Street.

Works on the billboards were created by 14 student artists: Austin Baker, Donna Beauregard, Taylor Carey, Colin Chalmers, Jason Chappuies, Alaina Coote, McKenzie Dunwald, Chen Gao, Lindsay Haynes, Alexa McLaughlin, Tyler Saner, Ashley Simmons, Valerie White and Lydia Yant.

Women & Philanthropy offering $65,000 for 2019 grant

Friday, Feb. 15, is the deadline to apply for a grant from Women & Philanthropy at The University of Toledo.

UT employees and students from all campuses are eligible to apply. To be considered for a grant, all application guidelines must be followed. Grant applications are available on the Women & Philanthropy website.

The Women & Philanthropy Grants Committee will review and evaluate the applications, and the general membership will vote to determine the recipient(s). Grant amounts vary from year to year.

Grant recipients will be announced in May.

The inaugural grant, in the amount of $15,000, was awarded in 2008 to Carlson Library to commission a glass sculpture by artist Tom McGlauchlin. That sculpture titled “A University Woman” is on display in the library concourse and has become the model for the Women & Philanthropy logo.

Since then, Women & Philanthropy has funded classrooms; an art gallery; locker room enhancements; a sensory-friendly medical examination room; the hospitality area in the William and Carol Koester Alumni Pavilion; renovations to the Savage Arena media room; computer-based educational displays in Ritter Planetarium and Lake Erie Center; a computer lab in the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women; a playground at the Kobacker Center; a student-family room in University College; an interactive periodic table display; a Genetics Analysis Instrumentation Center; and the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research Center.

A complete list of awards and winners is available on the Women & Philanthropy website.

Since 2008, Women & Philanthropy has gifted $493,687 in 19 grants to a wide array of programs and initiatives to The University of Toledo. Women & Philanthropy is able to give substantial gifts to the University by pooling its members’ resources and making monetary awards in the form of grants.

For more information, contact Sarah Metzger in the Office of Alumni and Annual Engagement at sarah.metzger2@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4237.

Transparent learning topic of forum Jan. 30

“Walk Before You Run: How Transparent Assignment Descriptions Can Foster Greater Growth in Students” is the title of this month’s Future of Higher Education Forum.

The session will take place Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Carlson Library Room 1005.

Martin

Dr. Christopher Martin, visiting associate professor of philosophy and religious studies, will lead the forum.

He will discuss transparent learning — an approach to class and assignment design that emphasizes how and why students are asked to learn course content in particular ways.

“Transparent learning, because it articulates the literal process whereby success is achieved, is very beneficial for our students who are unfamiliar with best practices in college classes,” Dr. Amy Thompson, vice provost for faculty affairs, said. “Dr. Martin will talk about the many benefits of transparent learning and share his passion for helping students achieve academic success.”

The Future of Higher Education Forums are coordinated by the Office of the Provost in collaboration with the University Teaching Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Register for this month’s program and read more about the Future of Higher Education Forums, including how to submit proposals for upcoming events, at the Office of the Provost website.

Those unable to attend can watch live on the faculty training session website.

Huntington Bank offers free financial empowerment classes for campus community

Ever wonder how to set a monthly budget? Do you know what to do if someone steals your identification? Wondering what to do about student loans? Huntington National Bank, through its partnership with The University of Toledo, is offering a series of free financial empowerment classes to help answer those questions and more.

Beginning in January, Huntington will offer monthly classes that are free and open to all UT students, faculty and staff. These classes will cover a wide variety financial education topics and are designed to ensure that every member of the University community has access to resources that will help them make informed financial decisions.

Participants are encouraged to register by calling 248.655.5635 or emailing teresa.l.grace@huntington.com. A sign-up sheet also will be available at the Huntington Branch in the Thompson Student Union.

Each class will be offered multiple times per day to address scheduling needs. A free lunch will be provided at the noon sessions.

Huntington Bank is the preferred provider of on-campus financial services.

The series will open Thursday, Jan. 24, in Thompson Student Union Room 2584. Listed by time, classes will be:

• 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — Borrowing Basics. By the end of this course, participants will understand how credit works, available types of credit, and if they are ready to apply. They also will be able to identify the costs associated with getting a loan and how to guard against predatory lending practices.

• 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Understanding Credit. Ever wonder what a FICO score is and how yours is determined? This class will help you understand what’s factored into a credit score and offer tips to improve your score.

• Noon — Strategies for When You Have Student Loan Debt. This session will focus on student loan repayment plans, as well as home financing strategies prior to buying a home.

Future classes, listed by date, will include:

• Wednesday, Feb. 13, Thompson Student Union Room 2591
— 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — How to Position Your Home to Sell;
— 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Money Matters; and
— Noon — Pay Yourself First.

• Monday, March 18, Thompson Student Union Room 3018
— 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — Your New Home;
— 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Charge it Right; and
— Noon — Keep it Safe.

• Monday, April 15, Thompson Student Union Room 2591
— 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — The Road to Refinance;
— 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Second Homes and Investment Real Estate; and
— Noon — Financial Recovery.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with $105 billion of assets and a network of 968 branches and 1,831 ATMs across eight Midwestern states. Founded in 1866, Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust and insurance services. Huntington also provides auto dealer, equipment finance, national settlement, and capital market services that extend beyond its core states.

For more information, go to the Huntington website.

UT online programs move up in U.S. News rankings

The University of Toledo continues to improve its place in the U.S. News & World Report list of the top online bachelor’s programs.

UT is ranked 114 out of 348 total institutions listed in the 2019 Best Online Programs ranking, an increase from 125 last year and 142 in 2017. The University is ranked 67 out of the public universities.

The rankings are determined based on criteria that includes student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion.

Specific to online programs, there is a focus on graduate indebtedness, course delivery, and academic and career support made available to students remotely. UT made improvements in each of those categories in the most current rankings list.

“The University of Toledo is committed to student success, and an important part of achieving that goal is providing flexible learning options and supportive faculty and staff whether students are on campus or online,” UT Interim Provost Karen Bjorkman said.

The UT College of Nursing also is now ranked in the 2019 Best Online Nursing Programs. The University offers online RN to bachelor of science in nursing completion, and Master of Science in Nursing — Nurse Educator and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs designed to help nurses achieve their professional advancement goals.

For additional information about the rankings, visit the U.S. News & World Report website.

UT research assistant to appear on ‘Jeopardy!’

This microbiologist studies Lyme disease at The University of Toledo and finally made good on his lifelong dream to appear on “Jeopardy!”

Who is John Presloid?

Correct. The UT research assistant will make his “Jeopardy!” debut Wednesday, Jan. 16.

UT alumnus and employee John Presloid, right, posed for a photo with Alex Trebek during an appearance on “Jeopardy!”

“It felt like an accomplishment just being there, just being on the stage,” said Presloid, who works in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “I watched the show every day growing up. My first audition was actually like a week after my 18th birthday. Pretty much as soon as I turned 18, I’ve been applying nonstop.”

He finally broke through in October after his fourth in-person audition, earning the right to fly to Culver City, Calif., meet longtime host Alex Trebek, and go head to head with two other trivia superstars.

The questions he answered and where he placed is a closely guarded secret — you’ll need to tune in to find out — but Presloid said the overall experience was even better than what he had expected.

“I thought it was going to be very serious and I’d be really nervous. But I just had a blast the entire time,” he said. “One of the things they tell you is they want a poker face; they want you to look serious and not give anything away.”

“One of the handlers kind of jokingly wagged her finger at me for smiling, but she was like, ‘Question right, question wrong — you’re always smiling or laughing. That is your poker face.’ It was just so much fun.”

Presloid earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from UT in 2004 and a master of science degree in biomedicine in 2008. He’s spent the last four years working in the lab of Dr. Mark Wooten, UT professor of medical microbiology and immunology, who studies Lyme disease and melioidosis, a bacterial infection common in tropical climates.

He was actually working in the lab when a colleague knocked and said he had a phone call from a “Jeopardy!” producer.

A dedicated reader who naturally soaks up information, Presloid said he felt well-prepared, though he did brush up on some fine arts topics such as classical composers and opera.

“I tried to cram a little bit, but I didn’t want to drive myself crazy,” he said. “I kind of balanced between feeling comfortable but not losing sleep over it.”

Presloid likened being on “Jeopardy!” to playing sports. There were a few anxious jitters at the start, but once you’re involved in the game, you sort of fall into the zone.

“It goes by really fast. I’m actually kind of excited to see it on TV because there’s so much I don’t remember,” he said. “All the contestants were hanging out all day and most of them were really, really cool. You expect some people might be too competitive or off-putting, but I think everyone had the same goals and the same dream, and everyone is just so excited to be there. It was just unbelievable.”

In Toledo, the episode featuring Presloid will air at 7:30 p.m. on WTOL-TV Channel 11.