UT News » UToday

UT News

UT alumni celebrate Giving Tuesday Dec. 1

Thanksgiving is the day for giving thanks. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the days for getting great shopping deals. And Giving Tuesday is the day for giving back.

Since kicking off in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become the premier day for celebrating philanthropy and giving back across the country.

web GIVING TUESDAY my_utThe University of Toledo is asking alumni and supporters to consider a gift to UT on Tuesday, Dec. 1, if they should choose to participate by visiting utoledo.edu/giveTOL.

As part of its Giving Tuesday campaign, UT is highlighting just a few of the people and programs impacted by the generosity of Rocket donors, many of whom are giving forward for current and future students.

“Before I was a physician, I was a UT medical student working long hours, studying hard, and planning for a future in medicine. Scholarships eased the burden. When I came to Toledo, I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay. Seven years later, I’m a physician at UT Medical Center, and I’m proud to call Toledo home. I started giving back to UT as a way to honor the people who gave me this opportunity — and to extend the same opportunity to others,” said Dr. Rajiv Bahl, a resident in emergency medicine.

Join UT alumni and friends in remembering the University on Giving Tuesday. Gifts on Dec. 1 will make an impact on the University and beyond.

Follow UT Giving Tuesday on Twitter with the hashtag #GiveTOL and Facebook.

Dec. 2 deadline to apply for MLK Scholarship

The Office of Student Financial Aid is accepting applications for the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship.

Undergraduate African-Americans who are U.S. citizens and enrolled full time or part time at The University of Toledo are eligible to apply.

MLK scholarship poster 2015The application deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 2, and materials should be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid in Rocket Solution Central, Rocket Hall Room 1200.

Applicants must have a 2015-16 Free Application for Federal Student Aid on file in the Office of Student Financial Aid and completed a minimum of 30 semester hours by the application deadline.

To be considered for this scholarship, a completed application form, along with two letters of recommendation, one from a professor or instructor, and two essays must be submitted.

Selection criteria for the scholarship include grade point average, extracurricular activities, civic or community service, professional goals, financial need as it relates to all resources available to attend UT, and an interview.

Applications can be found here.

For more information, call the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement at 419.530.8571.

Community invited to watch businesses compete for $1,000, chance at up to $70,000

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, the public is invited to watch 10 local businesses vie for $1,000 and a chance at much more at The University of Toledo’s Scott Park Auditorium.

UT is hosting a local round of the InnovateHER Challenge, a national competition created by the U.S. Small Business Administration aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families.

InnovateHERThe 10 local businesses competing will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, much like the TV show “Shark Tank.” Judges will evaluate each pitch based on whether the product or service has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, whether it has the potential for commercialization, whether it fills a need in the marketplace, the overall quality of the pitch, and the overall quality of the company’s business plan.

The judges for the regional event are Scott Weiss, CEO of Ocean Accelerator; Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation; Amy Hall, president and CEO of Ebony Construction; Linda Parra, president at Nuestra Gente Community Projects Inc.; and Chris Hill, vice president of business banking at Huntington Bank. The local round is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.

The winner of this round, announced the same day as the competition, will be eligible to compete with up to nine other businesses in the national competition for a chance at one of three prizes totaling $70,000 provided by Microsoft.

For more information, visit UTInnovateHER.com or sba.gov/content/2016-innovateher-challenge.

Bedside pharmacy program on track to surpass goals

The last thing that Pat Stevenson wanted to do was stop at a pharmacy on her way home to fill her husband’s prescriptions when he was discharged from the hospital after a heart attack.

She was tired. She was ready to go home. She was daunted by the task of running an errand during the busy holiday season.



Much to her surprise, UT Health offers a free bedside program to take care of prescriptions for patients. She didn’t have to drive to her local pharmacy.

“My husband, John, is a Vietnam veteran who usually gets his medication from the VA, but when he had a heart attack in December, we started getting some of the heart medications from UTMC,” Stevenson said. “I thought it was going to be a difficult transition, but UTMC has helped us save money on the prescriptions because UTMC puts people before money. That is rare in 2015.”

The iMEDS program (Medication Education Delivery Service) started as a pilot program on the cardiovascular floor of the hospital in April 2013 to help patients get their medications upon discharge. The program was so successful in its first few months that the hospital hired an additional pharmacist and two pharmacy technicians to roll it out hospital-wide by the end of 2013.

Year to date, iMEDS has helped 3,508 patients with a total of 9,141 prescriptions. This is on track to surpass 2014 when 2,741 patients were helped with 7,340 prescriptions filled.

“Our overall goal is to provide a convenient service for our patients and get them the medication they need at discharge, which keeps them healthy and prevents another hospital readmission,” said Holly Smith, pharmacy manager at the outpatient pharmacy. “The patients love it. They love the convenience of our service because they can leave the hospital with their medications.”

Smith said patients and families like not having to make another trip to their pharmacy on their way home. They also like being able to ask face-to-face questions with a pharmacist when the medication is delivered to their rooms.

“Some medications require in-depth counseling,” Smith said. “We may have to demonstrate to a patient how to give themselves an injection.”

The other benefit is that if there are insurance problems, the outpatient pharmacy staff will look for alternative medications that are covered or find manufacturer discount cards. While the iMEDs service is free, the medications are billed to the patient’s insurance company, just like at any other local pharmacy.

iMEDS also has led to an uptick in sales at the outpatient pharmacy. Patients who utilize iMEDS often return for refills.

“We make follow-up phone calls to patients who are scheduled for a refill,” Smith said. “We offer to transfer the prescription if that is what the patient wants to ensure they continue on their prescribed medication.”

In the future, Smith would like to expand the program by creating a follow-up program for patients where they can sit with a pharmacist to review their current medications and make sure everything is going smoothly.

“I am passionate about patient care. I love helping other people,” Smith said. “This program has been self-rewarding and self-fulfilling. I know that we are doing great things in the outpatient pharmacy, and our staff is dedicated to improving the health of our patients by offering convenient patient-centered services.”

Med school student trades in baton for stethoscope [video]

First-year medical student Moriah Muscaro is one of the best baton twirlers in the nation.

Her perfect figure eights, spins and illusions are a result of 17 years of continual practice, constant competition and relentless repetition.



“Twirling is amazing for me, even if it is an incredible amount of hard work, because I love to perform for people,” the 22-year-old said. “I love performing for an audience and getting everyone to smile when they leave.”

Just a week after being named College Miss Majorette of America in July, she traded in her baton for a short white coat.

“In many ways, my years of baton twirling and competing can be compared to my journey of getting into medical school and my first semester at The University of Toledo,” Muscaro said. “What I learned from twirling is work ethic. I have had to balance school and twirling my whole life. When I had homework and competition, I had to turn down friends and social opportunities.”

That continues to be the reality of her new life as a medical school student. The aspiring pediatrician who “loves the way our bodies are put together” is applying many of her baton lessons to real life.

First-year medical student Moriah Muscaro performed her routine in the Student Recreation Center.

First-year medical student Moriah Muscaro performed her routine in the Student Recreation Center.

“I love the feeling of my hard work paying off, but I know that even if I work hard, I won’t always succeed,” she said. “That is good to keep in mind as I go through medical school because while I tend to excel in math and science, I am undertaking the most vigorous academic journey of my life.”

Even though Muscaro was given a baby baton at birth, she wasn’t that good when she started twirling at age 5. That was hard to accept because her mom, Rhonda, runs a twirling program called Twirl-M’s in their hometown of Walled Lake, Mich.

“You could say that I was born with a baton in my hand, but I didn’t like it at first,” Muscaro said. “I actually wrote my personal statement to get into medical school about baton twirling because I was terrible. I wasn’t flexible; I had no natural talent, so I wrote about the life lessons learned from having to work so hard to succeed.”

By age 10, she had started to get serious about the sport, and her mom hired outside coaches. In 2005, she won her first competition. After that, the awards and accolades never stopped. She twirled for Walled Lake Middle School and Walled Lake Northern High School.

Moriah Muscaro won College Miss Majorette of America in July.

Moriah Muscaro won College Miss Majorette of America in July.

“People are so stressed out. Life is so hard,” Muscaro said. “I want to bring joy to people with my baton twirling. I want everyone to have a moment where they don’t have to worry about all the things that bring them down in life and just watch something that is pleasurable and enjoyable.”

While many twirlers end their careers after high school, Muscaro was talented enough to continue; from 2011 to 2015, she was the feature twirler for Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., where she majored in biomedical sciences and graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

“During the school year, I practiced two hours a day in the morning before class,” she said. “In the summer, I practiced with my team, the Twirl-Ms, for six hours a day. My philosophy is that I practice until I get everything done and do it well.”

Meanwhile, she was taking the MCAT and applying to medical school, which included traveling for in-person interviews.

Morian Muscaro started twirling when she was 5 years old.

Morian Muscaro started twirling when she was 5 years old.

“I felt so strongly that I was being called toward medicine and, if possible, I wanted to go straight to medical school,” Muscaro said. “The process of becoming a doctor takes so long, but I really want to do this.”

She never stopped twirling, though.

In April, Muscaro competed as part of Team USA at the World Baton Twirling Championships in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. She placed fourth as a soloist. In May, Muscaro won the College Miss Majorette of Michigan competition for the fourth time. In June, she took home the College Miss Majorette of the Great Lakes award for the third time.

When Muscaro won College Miss Majorette of America in July — the highest honor a person can get as a collegiate baton twirler — it was her fourth attempt. The first two times, she placed second. The third time she was first runner-up.

“Moriah twirled under intense pressure at College Miss Majorette of America,” said her mom, Rhonda. “Everyone wanted her to win because it was her last time before she went to medical school. Her solo routine, which was the bread and butter of the competition, was 2.5 minutes long. She twirled one, two, three and then four batons. She didn’t drop. It is like watching ice skating at the Olympics where everyone is just hoping the skater sticks the landing.”

The event was a three-part competition: a solo routine, a strutting routine that judged flexibility and timing, and then modeling a gown, which measured poise, confidence and interviewing skills. In the end, Muscaro bested 53 other twirlers.

“The whole week was emotional because I knew I was going to medical school and I was retiring from competitive baton twirling,” she said. “I needed to stick it. I needed to hit everything. Frankly, I wanted to throw up.”

Moriah doesn’t remember performing much of her solo routine, but she does remember feeling the last catch in her hand and knowing she had achieved a personal best.

“This didn’t seem reachable because I was so terrible when I was young,” she said. “I am still in shock.”

These days, she uses baton twirling as her stress reliever. She also helps with the Perrysburg Twirling Sophisticates. However, medical school and becoming immersed in the UT community is her priority, even though it feels strange to not twirl every day.

“When I came here for my interview, I really loved the community feel,” Muscaro said. “Students are welcoming to each other. It is a collaborative environment. There is so much research going on, but professors still take time for the students.”

Jeff Cole, a member of the UT Board of Trustees, talked to Muscaro before she decided on UT for medical school. He wants her to twirl at an upcoming athletic event.

“Moriah is an exceptional student who could have chosen just about any college of medicine in the country, so I think it speaks to the reputation of our faculty, student services personnel and alumni that she elected to attend The University of Toledo,” Cole said. “Likewise, she represents the excellent caliber of students enrolled in our College of Medicine. Like many of them, Moriah has achieved excellence both in and outside of the classroom while taking time to serve others along the way.”

Theatre auditions scheduled Nov. 30-Dec. 2

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will hold auditions for its spring plays Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, in the Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre.

Auditions will be held from 6 to 10 p.m.

The department will be casting for:

• “No Exit,” a play by Jean Paul Sartre about three people trapped in a room for eternity. UT student Andrés Medina will direct the production. It will be staged Feb. 19-21, 23-24 and 26-28.

• “Little Shop of Horrors,” a musical by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman about a florist and his plant named Audrey. Dr. Edmund Lingan, UT associate professor and chair of theatre and film, will direct the show. Performances will take place April 8-10, 15-17, 19-20 and 22-24.

Auditions are open to all.

Those auditioning should have a brief monologue prepared and will be asked to perform a song. Actors should be familiar with the shows; script information is available from the Theatre and Film Department office.

Sign-up sheets are posted outside the Theatre and Film Department office, located in Center for Performing Arts Room 1030.

Audition preparation information can be found at http://utole.do/auditions.

Tailgate party, football game to benefit cancer survivors

The Friday after Thanksgiving is usually about shopping. This year, it is about surviving.

The University of Toledo Center for Health and Successful Living is organizing a tailgate party for cancer survivors and their families before the Rockets’ football game versus Western Michigan Friday, Nov. 27.

cancer Tailgate event webThe free tailgate party will start at 10 a.m. in parking lot 1S on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building before the noon kickoff in the Glass Bowl.

The Center for Health and Successful Living also is selling discounted game tickets that anyone can purchase for $12 with $2 going toward the center for screening and outreach purposes. Use the code “CHSL” when buying the tickets at http://utrockets.com. Reservations for the tailgate party are appreciated.

“We wanted to thank our survivors for coming to our programs, and we wanted to connect our survivors to each other,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, co-director of the center and UT health education professor. “We want to celebrate their survivorship journey and create some awareness about the center.”

Since its inception two years ago, the center has educated more than 5,000 people and screened more than 500 women for breast cancer.

The Center for Health and Successful Living, located on the first floor of the Health and Human Services Building on Main Campus, offers a variety of low-cost health promotion and disease prevention services, including health coaching, health screenings, case management, customized exercise programs and support groups.

“We are an arm of the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center; we are Dana’s survivorship program,” Thompson said. “We do free screenings, mobile units and education in the community. We also do patient navigation. People will call us and say, ‘I need help finding a physician.’ We also help people who can’t afford health services.

“We have known people who have walked 5 miles to get a free mammogram,” Thompson said. “The more we work with people in the community, the more we see the need. Our students were doing health coaching at one point, and we were finding that people couldn’t even identify a vegetable.”

While the center is open to anyone, Thompson said specific attention is paid to minorities, the LGBT community and those suffering from mental illness.

“We try to serve the mentally ill because they live 25 years less on average,” she said. “They don’t get screened because they are focused on their mental health instead of getting a colonoscopy or a mammogram. We try to provide services for everyone, but we try to focus on people who are underserved.”

Thompson started the center with Dr. Tim Jordan, UT health education professor, because her mom, Gladys, had breast cancer.

“My mom had to go to so many different places to get support for her cancer. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have it all in once place?’” Thompson said.

Jordan said a large part of the center’s mission is to recruit and retain high-quality students to UT while collaborating with other academic departments.

“We want to create more opportunities for students to gain more skills in their majors,” he said. “We have students in occupational therapy, social work and physical therapy, among other disciplines, who intern and volunteer in the center. We have even had international students specifically come to UT to intern in our center.”

As the center evolves, it has added many social events to its calendar. For instance, the Pink Sneakers walking group meets at 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. The center also hosts a Survivorship Book Club, which is meeting Monday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m.

“A lot of these programs are things that people have asked us to do,” Thompson said.
“Last year, we had a Christmas party for survivors at my home. Everyone had to say one thing he or she was grateful for this year. Someone said, ‘I am grateful that I had cancer because I would have never met all of you at the center without this diagnosis.’”

Thompson and Jordan are working to secure more funding for the center, which runs on $10,000 a year, to be able to offer additional services. Thompson and Jordan run the center in their free time.

“This is a labor of love, but if we had more money, we could do more for the community,” Thompson said.

To make a donation to the Center for Health and Successful Living, contact Malory Sykes, major gifts officer in the Office of Development, at malory.sykes@utoledo.edu or 419.530.5428.

Order poinsettias from Satellites by Nov. 24

It’s that time of year again: Make your holidays more festive by ordering a poinsettia from the Satellites Auxiliary.

The poinsettias range in price from $5 to $15 and are available in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, and blue with gold. The plants vary in size from 4.5 inches to 7.5 inches and by the number of blooms.

poinsettia1Fresh wreaths measuring 14 inches also are available for $10.

Order forms must be received by Tuesday, Nov. 24. Fax to 419.383.3206, email lynn.brand@utoledo.edu, or drop off to Volunteer Services in Dowling Hall Room 75.

Orders will be available for pickup on Health Science Campus Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Four Seasons Bistro. The pickup date for Main Campus is Thursday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Rocket Hall Lobby. For pickup, all poinsettias will be foiled and sleeved.

Payment options for the poinsettias include checks (payable to Satellites of UT Medical Center), cash, departmental requisition for Main Campus and payroll deduction for Health Science Campus. Payment is due at the time of pickup.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a group designed to promote education, research and service programs; provide support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conduct fundraising events; and provide volunteer services.

For more information on the annual poinsettia sale, contact Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

Distinguished University Professor featured on business skills DVD from The Great Courses

Dr. Clinton O. Longenecker, Stranahan Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation, is one of five business professors from top U.S. business schools featured in the recently released Critical Business Skills for Success Lecture Series published by The Great Courses.

For 25 years, The Great Courses has been producing audios, videos, CDs and DVDs featuring the world’s best professors on topics in the fields of science, mathematics, history, fine arts, music, religion, philosophy, literature, finance and more.



Ryan Davis, a recruiter from The Great Courses, said, “The Great Courses selects only the top 1 percent of professors in the world to share their knowledge with our worldwide customer base of adult learners.”

“Everyone wants to know: What does it take to reach success in business, the kind of success that lasts? It all comes down to a solid grasp of the fundamentals of business — the same kind that are taught to MBA students in many of the world’s most prestigious business schools, including our own,” Longenecker said.

The comprehensive Great Courses five-part, 60-lecture course, Critical Business Skills for Success, is designed to give people this kind of integrated, accessible introduction. Each of the Critical Business Skills for Success course’s five parts is a detailed look at a particular skill: strategy, operations, finance and accounting, organizational behavior, and marketing.

Longenecker’s sections focus on organizational behavior and high performance leadership.

“The Great Courses Series has an exceptional following among lifelong learners as they draw talent from the best schools from around the world,” Longenecker said. “Their lecture series are developed with amazing professors from universities such as Harvard, Michigan, Yale, Duke, Ohio State, UCLA, Emory and others. To have The University of Toledo included in these circles in a series with worldwide distribution is a wonderful thing.”

He added, “I also think that the ideas shared in Great Courses programs are more powerful than ideas being included in a book, primarily because of the reach and the powerful learning associated with great and dynamic lectures and with these topics being available on DVDs, CDs, streaming.”

The lectures were recorded late last year, and the Critical Business Skills Series was released worldwide in the spring.

“This kind of well-rounded business education is useful to anyone who works in a company of any size,” said Longenecker, who was named by The Economist as one of the top 15 business professors in the world. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master of business administration degree from UT in 1977 and 1978, respectively.

The CD and DVD versions include 60 lectures, a 496-page printed course guidebook, and a downloadable PDF of the course guidebook. The program is available at GreatCourses.com.

Law professor elected vice chair of American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution

UT Law Professor Benjamin G. Davis was elected vice chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution at the organization’s annual meeting in August in Chicago.

The Section of Dispute Resolution, established in 1993, has more than 18,000 members and is a global leader in dispute resolution. As number three in command, Davis will help to manage and develop the section’s work.



“Enhancing peaceful means of dispute resolution at the local, state, national and international levels is what the section and its members do in their remarkable work,” Davis said. “I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to help dispute resolution progress and to bring back that experience to my students.”

Davis has spoken on dispute resolution issues around the world and is published widely across a number of academic disciplines. He led the creation of fast-track international commercial arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce. He has been an early innovator in the development of online dispute resolution, creating an international law student moot court in online negotiation, online mediation, online arbitration and online litigation from 2000 to 2005, and a symposium on the topic of online dispute resolution published in The University of Toledo Law Review in 2006. He is a fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts.

Before teaching, Davis worked in Paris for 17 years. Most of that time was as American legal counsel of the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration. There, he directly or indirectly supervised more than 5,000 international commercial arbitrations and mediations, and developed training programs on international trade topics for professionals around the world.

Davis also recently was appointed to serve on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

He received a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard College and is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.