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New assistant vice president named to improve student success, inclusion

Dr. Michele Soliz has been named assistant vice president for student success and inclusion within the Division of Student Affairs.

In addition to leading the Office of Multicultural Student Success, Soliz will focus on strategic retention initiatives across the division and will have a reporting relationship to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Soliz

Soliz

“This position will support the University’s goals to enhance student success with a focus on the overall student experience on campus,” said Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs. “Dr. Soliz’s experience as a dean of students and leading academic support services on campus and her passion for student engagement make her the perfect fit to fill this new role.”

Soliz will work to ensure the University is enhancing the student experience both inside and outside the classroom, Patten said.

“I am pleased that Dr. Soliz will have a formal role with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,” said Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion. “This not only provides a clearer path for our divisions to collaborate on multicultural initiatives, but also enables Dr. Soliz to better utilize her retention expertise. This is an excellent move for the University and, most importantly, our students.”

Soliz, who was named to the new position effective Jan. 10, pending approval by the UT Board of Trustees, most recently served as the executive director for academic support services in the Office of the Provost, where she provided leadership to the Learning Enhancement Center, Writing Center and TRIO Student Support Services. In collaboration with partners across the institution, she has increased the usage and visibility of the services that help retain students and put them on the path to graduation.

Soliz, who previously served as the University’s dean of students, has been a committee member of the Latino Youth Summit and Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program since their inceptions. She is active in the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate, serves as a mentor to African-American female students in the Talented and Aspiring Women Leaders program, and teaches the course Managing Diversity in the Workplace.

“I am excited to engage students and colleagues in inclusion and retention efforts,” Soliz said. “I look forward to collaborating across campus to have a greater impact on the overall student experience.”

She received a bachelor of arts degree in ethnic studies from Bowling Green State University and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from UT in higher education, with a research focus on Latino student baccalaureate completion rates and student engagement.

UT calendar of events relaunching

To improve communications, the University’s calendar of events is being relaunched as a single site and more convenient online tool that will house all on- and off-campus, UT-sponsored events to better serve students, faculty, staff, trustees and the public.

calendar-utnewsIn addition to featuring student and University events, this master calendar will include research, athletic and recreation events, as well as University lectures and conferences.

“This one-site master calendar will aid in planning and promoting events, plus ensure that major events don’t overlap,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “We also want the calendar to reflect that the University is welcoming, student-centered and richly diverse in its offerings.”

Everyone has access to submit events to the calendar. Activities that should be posted on this master calendar include:

• University-sponsored events that the campus community and public may attend.

• UT-sponsored meetings that support transparency (for example, Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate meetings).

• Official academic calendar dates.

• Campus-wide student organization events and activities.

• Campus-wide alumni and UT Foundation events, such as Homecoming and pregame events, that are open to the public.

• Campus-wide athletic events and activities, including varsity athletic schedules.

• Events featured in UT News, UT NewsBreak and on the myUT portal.

Room scheduling, department meetings and events, personnel meetings, retirement announcements, and events not sponsored nor supported by the University should not be included on this calendar.

Individual areas within the University may continue posting these types of activities and meetings on their own calendars; however, the bulleted list of University-sponsored and campus-wide events above should always be mirrored on the master UT calendar of events.

Within the next couple of weeks, members of the UT calendar steering group will discuss use of the updated calendar with University deans.

To view the calendar, visit calendar.utoledo.edu, and a listing of the day’s events can be found on the myut.utoledo.edu page.

UTC3 pledges total more than $133,000

Thanks to 680 University faculty, staff and retirees, the 2016 UT Community Charitable Campaign (UTC3) exceeded its goal by raising $133,798, with additional pledges from retirees still forthcoming. 

This amount set an all-time University record for recent years, with more than 13 percent of faculty and staff participating.

utc3-newsbreak_finalEvery UTC3 donor has been emailed an invitation to attend a celebratory breakfast with President Sharon L. Gaber Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in Savage Arena’s Grogan Room on Main Campus. Complimentary UT T-shirts will be given to each donor.

Every faculty and staff member who made a UTC3 pledge late last year should RSVP to the emailed invitation no later than Monday, Jan. 23. Those who made a contribution but cannot attend the Jan. 31 breakfast should still RSVP so their free T-shirt can be sent to them via inter-office mail. For questions, contact vicki.riddick@utoledo.edu.

“We truly want to thank every faculty member, employee and retiree who made a UTC3 pledge,” Gaber said. “Our collective UT contribution will significantly impact thousands of lives throughout our community this year.”

Formerly referred to as the United Way Campaign, UTC3 contributions assist nearly 220 charitable organizations throughout the region to help those in need.

“That we exceeded our goal is living proof that UT faculty, staff and retirees embody our mission,” added Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs and the 2016 UTC3 chairperson. “By contributing at whatever level they could afford, they’ve made a personal commitment to improve life for others. Those selfless acts of kindness will be felt for months to come.”

In addition to Patten, special thanks go to 2016’s UTC3 Committee members: Kelly Andrews, Athletics; Donna Braswell, Biological Sciences; Elissa Falcone, Graduate Studies; Laura Nowacki, Information Technology; Michelle Peterson, Community Wellness; Vicki Riddick, Human Resources; Marcus Sneed, UT Foundation; Christine Wasserman, University Communications; and Kathy Wilson, Student Affairs.

Climate change disruption to be discussed Jan. 19

The University of Toledo is hosting an event to discuss the polarizing topic of climate change.

Jorgensen

Jorgensen

Dr. Andy Jorgensen, associate professor of chemistry and environmental sciences at UT and senior fellow for the National Council for Science and the Environment, will lead a talk titled “Climate Change Disruption: How Do We Know? What Can We Do?” as part of the Lake Erie Center Public Lecture Series.

The free event will take place Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. at the UT Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

“Climate change and the cost of carbon dioxide pollution is a very intense topic in our country, which finds its way into political, business and social conversations, often with vocal disagreement,” Jorgensen said. “This presentation will give background information about the phenomenon and methods that have been used to characterize these changes. The human dimension of the problem will be emphasized in order to consider solutions.”

People who attend the event will be able to ask questions and share opinions. Participants also will be encouraged to share their views using a “clicker” or personal response device to compare their replies to those of more than 3,000 members of Jorgensen’s previous audiences.

NASA and the National Science Foundation have supported Jorgensen’s work on science education. He helped create an online program with more than 800 resources on climate change for students and teachers. The free, web-based curriculum can be found at camelclimatechange.org.

Purchase semester parking permits by Jan. 23

The start of a new semester means it’s time to purchase or renew your parking permit.

The University reminds students, faculty and staff that spring semester parking permits must be purchased by the last day to add or drop classes for the semester, which is Monday, Jan. 23. After that date, vehicles without a parking permit will be ticketed. Jan. 23 also is the deadline to cancel a permit and receive a refund.

To purchase a parking permit, visit myparking.utoledo.edu, log in with your UTAD credential, and select the “apply for a permit” option.

If you need to change the vehicle you drive to UT any time during the semester, you can update your license plate number and vehicle information for your permit on the parking system.

Guest permits for family and friends visiting on weekdays are available at guestparking.utoledo.edu.

The Office of Public Safety and Support Services also has updated its website to include a list of parking lot closings for special events, such as basketball games, so that drivers may plan ahead. Visit utoledo.edu/publicsafety/support-services.

As a reminder, parking area 11 on Main Campus near the Thompson Student Union is a metered lot, accepting credit cards and coins. Paying by credit card offers the convenience of adding time without revisiting the meter outside, with an extend-by-phone tool in the lot’s new meter technology.

Nearly 5,000 faculty, staff and students responded to the University-wide parking survey late last year. Results are being evaluated to help establish a new parking system that will provide more choices for the UT community and help to alleviate congestion in the busiest lots. The system will be operational by fall semester.

The Office of Public Safety will provide ongoing updates throughout the semester on the move to a new parking system. 

Physician warns cuddling while sleeping can get on your nerves

With winter here and the mercury dropping, you may be tempted to snuggle a little closer to your partner overnight. But one University of Toledo Medical Center physician warns your warm and snuggly sleep position could cause nerve problems.

Dr. Nabil Ebraheim, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, said a condition called radial nerve palsy could develop when the radial nerve is compressed near the elbow.

cuddlingThe radial nerve runs along the underside of the arm and controls the movement of the triceps muscle and is responsible for enabling extension of the wrist and fingers. It also controls sensation in part of the hand.

“Radial nerve palsy is often referred to as honeymoon palsy, due to the closer sleeping habits of newlyweds,” he said. “When your partner falls asleep while laying on your arm, the radial nerve and surrounding muscles are compressed, which can cause numbness and prolonged tingling in the fingers or even restrict movement in the hand or wrist.”

Wrist drop is a rare, but a disabling condition that causes paralysis of the muscles that normally raise the hand at the wrist and can make it difficult to move the hand or fingers.

Radial nerve palsy is treated by supporting the wrist with a brace or splint and through physical therapy that helps to maintain muscle strength and reduce contracture. The nerve usually recovers within a few weeks, but in some cases it could take four to six months. Extreme cases, including wrist drop, could require surgery.

Ebraheim said the best way to avoid developing these conditions is to re-evaluate the way you sleep.

“People should be mindful of their sleep position to reduce the risk of nerve injury,” Ebraheim said. “It’s best to avoid positions that place pressure on the upper arm either from snuggling up with a loved one or sleeping with your arm curled under your head.”

UT recognized as first university in U.S. to dedicate both Blue and Gold Star Memorial markers on campus

The University of Toledo is nationally recognized as the first university campus in the country to simultaneously honor all service members of the armed forces and the families who lost a loved one defending the United States by dedicating both a Blue Star Memorial marker and a Gold Star Memorial marker.

UT unveiled the new markers at the Veterans Memorial Plaza on Veterans Day.

The Blue and Gold Star Memorial markers were unveiled in November at the UT Veterans Memorial Plaza, an outdoor area that honors individuals and groups who served in the U.S. military.

The Blue and Gold Star Memorial markers were unveiled in November at the UT Veterans Memorial Plaza, an outdoor area that honors individuals and groups who served in the U.S. military.

Andrea Little, national chair of the Blue Star and Gold Star Families Memorial Marker Program, recently wrote a letter on behalf of the program and National Garden Clubs to Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz Ghanbari, UT director of military and veteran affairs, to notify the University of the pioneering honor.

“By these actions taken, you and your staff have elevated this program’s standards; and a distinct precedent has been established by which all other university campuses should emulate,” Little noted. “There is no greater way to honor all our armed forces and their families.”

UT student Clinton Grantham, a senior studying social work, spearheaded the effort with Ghanbari. Grantham, who is a medically retired, active-duty Army veteran, served a tour in Afghanistan as a member of the 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

“UT has a lot of student veterans, and I wanted to do something special not only for them, but for families who lost a loved one in combat,” Grantham said. “When I started the process, I had no idea that no one had done this before. I’m proud we accomplished it in seven weeks, on time for Veterans Day. Future students will walk by every day, hopefully read the memorial markers, and understand what service members and their families sacrifice to serve and defend their country.”

The Blue Star Memorial reads, “A tribute to the Armed Forces who have defended the United States of America.”

The Gold Star Memorial reads, “A tribute to Gold Star Families whose loved one paid the ultimate price defending the United States of America.”

The University has long been recognized as a military friendly school for its commitment to providing exceptional assistance and support to service members, veterans and their families.

In 2017, UT was again recognized by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings and by Military Advanced Education & Transition as a top school in its 2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities research study.

UT receives award for being military friendly

The University of Toledo has consistently been recognized for accommodations to student veterans and their families.

After being recognized as a top school for supporting student veterans by Victory Media, UT has been named a Bronze Award recipient for being a Military Friendly School.

military-friendly-bronze-award-2017This award is given to large public schools with outstanding programs and support for veterans and their families.

UT’s name was published on militaryfriendly.com last month and was printed in the December issue of G.I. Jobs and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools. Both publications are produced by Victory Media.

“This recognition demonstrates the commitment of our university and our community to our service members, veterans and their families,” said Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz N. Ghanbari, UT director of military and veteran affairs. “With increased support, we can continue to build upon the solid foundation we have created over the last several years.”

UT has been consecutively recognized by Victory Media for being military friendly since 2010 and also has been recognized by the KMI Media Group and the Military Times.

Ghanbari wants UT to be the most veteran friendly school in the region by implementing impactful programs and services that provide military students the opportunity to have successful transitions from military service to the classroom and beyond.

“I encourage our faculty and staff to contact the Military Service Center at 419.530.VETS to schedule Green Zone Training to help provide a better understanding of our service members, veterans and their families, as well as the resources we have on campus and in the community to make sure we are best-positioned and equipped to support our military students,” Ghanbari said.

Academic research uses hacked Ashley Madison data to map areas with most cheating husbands

The Bridgeport, Conn., metropolitan area led the nation last year in active use of Ashley Madison, the matchmaking website for extramarital affairs, with 6.23 subscriptions and $1,127 spent for every 1,000 men between the ages of 18 and 79, according to research at The University of Toledo.

Graduate student researchers used customer data exposed by anonymous hackers last year to analyze the geography and market characteristics of active users.

The research titled “Infidelity and the Internet: The Geography of Ashley Madison Usership in the Unites States” recently was published in the journal Geographical Review.

Chohaney

Chohaney

The common characteristics identified of cheating husbands are financially well-off, younger, not retired and less religious.

Michael Chohaney, a PhD student studying spatially integrated social science at UT, and Kimberly Panozzo, who recently graduated with a master’s degree from the Department of Geography and Planning, conducted the research.

“This is the only academic geography article we know of that collects, processes and analyzes publicly available data originally stolen and released by Internet hackers,” Chohaney said. “Due to ethics concerns, we handled the Ashley Madison user account information with the utmost respect for personal security and privacy. No individual user identities or locations can be derived from our work.”

Although the scandalous data dump included 7 million subscribers in the U.S., this research analyzed the accounts and narrowed it down to 702,309 active profiles. Researchers eliminated inactive users, such as people who visited the site once for free out of curiosity to view other members’ profiles. Unusable billing addresses and duplicate profiles paid for by a single credit card account also were removed.

“Women were not required to pay, so only heterosexual men are included in our sample,” Chohaney said. “We focus on users who put their money where their mouse is in order to measure and better understand the characteristics of those vulnerable to cheating.”

The top three areas with Ashley Madison subscription rates are Bridgeport, Conn.; Boulder, Colo.; and Jacksonville, N.C. The markets with the top spending rates are Bridgeport, Conn.; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.

“Income is the leading market determinant for Internet-facilitated infidelity,” Chohaney said. “The service of allowing people to pay to engage in an extramarital affair behaves as a luxury good, which means people with disposable incomes are willing to pay for a service that facilitates extramarital affairs and promises anonymity during the process. It makes sense; Bridgeport is wealthy.”

Chohaney said metropolitan statistical areas with the highest rates also housed large numbers of armed forces personnel and families with children headed by male breadwinners.

At the local level, spatial distribution of user and spending rates are most highly clustered in the Atlanta and Chicago areas. The most active suburbs and neighborhoods of Atlanta were Buckhead and Roswell. The most active suburbs and neighborhoods of Chicago were Lincoln Park and Aurora.

The research finds that locations with higher proportions of Asians and older married men were less likely to subscribe or spend money on Ashley Madison than locations with large proportions of African-Americans, Hispanics and younger married men. Further, the research found Ashley Madison subscription rates drop 18 percent and spending rates drop 13 percent for every additional religious congregation per 1,000 people.

“That indicates religiosity prevents individuals from using the Internet to cheat on their spouse,” Chohaney said.

MLK Unity Celebration to kick off Week of Service to honor civil rights leader

The 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration will kick off a Week of Service for students at The University of Toledo.

Students, families and leaders in the Toledo community will gather at UT on the holiday for the annual Unity Celebration and then spread out throughout the city to honor King’s passion to help others.

The theme of the 16th annual event on Monday, Jan. 16, is “Reconciliation Through Service: Education, Social Justice and Religion,” named in honor of the three pillars that defined the philosophy of the civil rights leader who created a nonviolent social movement that changed the course of American history.

Abernathy

Abernathy

The free, public Unity Celebration will take place at 9 a.m. in Savage Arena on the UT Main Campus. A free community luncheon will follow the ceremony.

The keynote speaker will be Donzaleigh Abernathy, award-winning actress and daughter of civil rights icon Ralph David Abernathy. She published a book about the friendship between her parents and the Kings titled “Partners to History: Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and the Civil Rights Movement.”

The Unity Celebration will feature performances by the Scott High School marching band, UT gospel choir, UT Fire Squad dance team, and students from the Toledo School for the Arts, as well as recognition of MLK Scholarship recipients and African-American Leadership Council of United Way Scholarship Award winners.

Throughout the week, UT students will volunteer at local agencies, including the Friendly Center, Padua Center and J. Frank Troy Senior Center.

In addition, UT is partnering with the United Way of Greater Toledo and other local colleges and universities for service activities throughout the month.

“We are proud to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King by working together and helping serve others,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Selfless acts of generosity combined with conversations about issues that in the past have kept us separate will allow us to celebrate our differences.”

mlk-poster-2016-copy“Through meaningful work and ‘Reconciliation Through Service: Education, Social Justice and Religion,’ we can make real our celebration of Dr. King’s life in 2017 and beyond as we strive as individuals and as a city to define ourselves by these peaceful and powerful activities,” Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said.

Several events are scheduled at UT throughout the week, starting with Cost of Poverty Experience training sponsored by the United Way of Greater Toledo. The two-hour event will guide students through a role-playing simulation to give them a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families in this region. The free, public session will be held Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Thompson Student Union Rooms 2582 and 2584.

UT will show a documentary about the emergence of King titled “Eyes on the Prize: No Easy Walk” Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m. in Doermann Theater. The screening will be followed by a discussion. The free, public event is sponsored by the UT Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

The UT Epsilon Alpha chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is sponsoring a showing of “Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK” Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. in Student Union Room 2592. The documentary tells the story of King’s fraternity days as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Students also are invited to UT’s Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium, where Dr. Cornel West’s speech at Bowling Green State University will be streamed live Thursday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m. West is a social activist, Princeton University professor and author of the book “Race Matters.”

The Unity Celebration is organized by a committee with co-chairs Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion; Linda Alvarado, executive director of the Board of Community Relations for the city of Toledo; and Pastor Christopher Rowell.

For more information, contact the UT Office for Diversity and Inclusion at diversity@utoledo.edu.