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Campus Performance to Commemorate Kristallnacht Anniversary Nov. 6

The University of Toledo is observing the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Glass — with the Sunday, Nov. 6, performance of “The Trial of FDR” in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium on Main Campus.

The play focuses on the controversy surrounding the voyage of the SS St. Louis, a ship carrying 937 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. The ship was turned away by Cuba and the U.S., forcing the asylum-seekers to return to Europe, something which had a knock-on effect on the Nazi campaign against the Jews.

The live docudrama puts President Franklin Roosevelt on trial for the decision to refuse U.S. entry to the asylum-seeking passengers.

Kristallnacht, in which Nazi vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues and homes caused the shattered glass from the violence to litter the streets, occurred in November 1938, several months before the voyage of the SS St. Louis.

“Kristallnacht and the voyage of the SS St. Louis were major turning points in the history of Nazi Germany’s persecution and systematic murder of Europe’s Jews in the Holocaust,” said Dr. Barry Jackisch, a visiting associate professor of history and director of UToledo’s Roger Ray Insitute for the Humanities. “This docudrama reminds us of the terrible consequences of discrimination, exclusion and hate that still resonate powerfully in our modern society.”

The free, public event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the UToledo Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities and the College of Arts and Letters, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo’s Ruth Fajerman Markowicz Holocaust Resource Center.

Parking is free for this event in Area 12, near the Law Center.

For more information, visit the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities webpage.


UToledo to Cut Ribbon on New Student Center

The University of Toledo will celebrate the opening of the new Center for Advocacy and Student Experience with a ribbon cutting and open house event on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The new center, located in Thompson Student Union Room 2518, brings together several areas in the Division of Student Affairs in a newly remodeled space to connect students to services in times of need.

UToledo President Gregory Postel, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Sammy Spann and other campus leaders will make remarks and cut the ribbon at 11 a.m.

“The new Center for Advocacy and Student Experience reflects our increased focus on supporting our students’ sense of belonging on campus,” Spann said. “When a student needs help with anything at all, we want them to come here first. Our team will personally connect them to all the areas of support we have available across UToledo.”

 


UToledo Concert to Celebrate All-Steinway School Achievement

The University of Toledo Department of Music will celebrate its achievement of obtaining the prestigious title of an All-Steinway School with a free concert on Sunday, Nov. 6.

UToledo has been striving for this goal for nearly two decades and is proud to celebrate its accomplishment of placing Steinway pianos in every practice room, faculty studio and performance space on campus.

Joining less than 300 schools worldwide, the Department of Music is demonstrating a commitment to excellence by providing its students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music.

“Thanks to the vision of former department chair, Raymond Marchionni, the department began this initiative in 2002, and since then has worked tirelessly to accomplish this goal,” said Dr. Jason Stumbo, interim chair of the Department of Music. “With the assistance and support of our donors and administration, we are finally able to say we are All-Steinway – guaranteeing that all our music students and faculty will practice and perform on the best pianos in the world.”

The department will celebrate this honor with a special free concert 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, in the UToledo Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Representatives from Steinway & Sons will be at the concert to officially present the All-Steinway School designation.

Performers at the concert will include UToledo students, recent alumni and current and former UToledo faculty, including Dr. Michael Boyd and Frances Renzi. The following repertoire will be performed:

  • “Overture to The Magic Flute,” Mozart;
    •  “Hoe Down,” Copland;
    •  “Variations on a Shaker Melody,” Copland;
    •  “The Serpent’s Kiss Rag,” Bolcom;
    •  “Andante from Suite #2, Rachmaninoff;
    •  “La Valse,” Ravel;
    •  “Porgy and Bess Fantasy,” Gershwin;
    •  “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Sousa; and
    •  “Ride of the Valkyries,” Wagner.

The concert is free and open to the public but requires an advanced RSVP by visiting utoledo.tix.com.

Event parking is free for the event in Area 12, located across from the Center for Performing Arts. Metered spaces at the front of the lot require payment.

The All-Steinway School initiative was made possible through the generosity of UToledo donors and friends. To support this initiative further, visit the UToledo Foundation’s website.


UToledo Installs New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Across Campus

Driving a greener future, The University of Toledo installed a half-dozen new electric vehicle charging stations across Main Campus to help the city and northwest Ohio make the transition toward transportation sustainability.

Since the publicly accessible ports went online in October in partnership with ParkUToledo, consumer use of the technology avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to planting 23 trees and letting them grow for 10 years.

Each charging station can power two vehicles at one time, totaling 12 new electric vehicle charging parking spaces at UToledo.

The campus charging infrastructure expansion was made possible, in part, by a $90,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

UToledo also contributed $18,000 from what’s called demand response revenue, a University energy savings program.

“Expansion of the number of charging stations available on our campuses is another indication of our commitment to sustainability,” said Jason Toth, senior associate vice president for administration. “We understand the global movement towards electric vehicles and want to be supportive of not only the campus community but also the community at large that will have access to utilize these stations.”

The six new dual-charging stations made by ChargePoint can fully charge a vehicle in approximately 4 hours.

Drivers of electric vehicles can download the ChargePoint app on the company’s website to use the fleet at a cost of $0.028 per minute and a $1.10 per hour parking fee.

The rates will be used to potentially add more electric vehicle charging stations as demand grows.

The spaces are available 24/7.

“These 12 EV charging spaces are an important step to reduce carbon emissions,” said Sherri Kaspar, executive director of ParkUToledo. “We look forward to the hopeful expansion of electric vehicle use on UToledo’s campus in the future.”

Locations of electric vehicle charging stations on Main Campus include:

  • Four in Parking Area 20 in front of the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex;
  • Four in Parking Area 2 at the intersection of North Towerview Boulevard and Bancroft;
  • Two in Parking Area 31 by Plant Operations along Dorr Street; and
  • Two in Parking Area 25 by Rocket Hall along Secor Road.

On Health Science Campus, an electric vehicle charging station has been in place since 2008 at the Facilities Support Building.


‘Public Health and Water’ Topic of Great Lakes Water Conference Oct. 28

The University of Toledo’s 22nd Annual Great Lakes Water Conference will address threats to public health posed by algae, forever chemicals called PFAS and lead in our waters, as well as the lack of access to safe water.

Titled “Public Health and Water,” the conference will be conducted online as a live webinar from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28.

The conference is sponsored by the UToledo College of Law and its Legal Institute of the Great Lakes.

The conference will feature panels of experts addressing multiple water-based public health problems, including harmful algal blooms and the key toxin they produce in Lake Erie and beyond; per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), so-called “forever chemicals” that are widespread in surface and ground waters; a new federal regulation governing lead in public drinking water; and lack of access by some communities to public drinking water systems.

Experts include:

  • Ken Kilbert, a professor of law and director of the UToledo Legal Institute of the Great Lakes;
  • David Kennedy, an associate professor of medicine at UToledo;
  • Evan Zoldan, a professor of law at UToledo;
  • Abigail Hendershott, executive director of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy;
  • Erica Bloom, toxics campaign director at the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor;
  • Suzanne Novak, a senior attorney with Earthjustice in New York; and
  • Michele Okoh, assistant professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.

Registration for the half-day conference is free for the public and $55 for attorneys seeking 3.0 hours of Ohio Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

For more information about the conference and to register by Wednesday, Oct. 26, visit the event’s webpage.

 


UToledo Professor to Explore History of ‘Scary Clowns’ in Oct. 27 Lecture

With its ghostly white makeup and blood-red smile, Pennywise, the child-killing evil clown, is a frightening duality: the friendly face of pure evil.

But the malevolent monster from Stephen King’s 1986 bestselling novel “IT,” and the popular TV miniseries and two films it spawned, is by no means the first clown to terrify us.

Dr. Daniel Compora, an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at The University of Toledo, will explore “Coulrophobia” — the extreme fear of clowns — and its origins and history in popular culture and real life on Thursday, Oct. 27, on the first floor of Carlson Library.

Titled “Stephen King, Scary Clowns and Coulrophobia,” the lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 1005.

“Stephen King has had a tremendous impact on the cultural fear of clowns. While he did not create this phenomenon, undoubtedly, his creation Pennywise the Clown, the shapeshifting clown menace in ‘IT,’ certainly is the most recognizable,” said Compora, a longtime King fan who has a book chapter to be released this month titled “Toxic Nostalgia in Stephen King’s ‘IT’ ” and is working on another article focusing on King’s novel “The Talisman.”

“People often point to King and Pennywise as the basis of their clown fear, but there is actually quite a long history of menacing clowns, which have also been found in the lore of ancient imperial China, ancient Rome and medieval Europe.

Clowns didn’t become mainstream in the early 1800s until English actor and comedian Joseph Grimaldi created the traditional white-faced makeup design, he said.

But the truly frightening clown wasn’t from a King horror novel or film.

“The most notorious real-life clown would have to be Pogo the clown — the clown persona of real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy,” Compora said. “Infamously referred to as the ‘Killer Clown,’ Gacy was convicted in 1980 for the sexual assault and murder of at least 33 teenage boys and young men in the Chicago, Illinois, area.”


Multi-Year Engineering Gift Builds Bridge to a More Diverse Future

Diversity of thought is a strategic advantage.

That tenet is the driving factor behind a significant, combined gift over five years to The University of Toledo College of Engineering from alumnus Vince DiPofi, his wife Sandra and SSOE Group, the internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm headquartered in Toledo.

“The world of engineering needs more diversity to be stronger, better and to meet the challenges of the next century,” DiPofi said. “That’s a legacy I’ll be proud to leave behind at my alma mater.”

DiPofi, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1985, has served as SSOE’s CEO since 2019.

An event to celebrate the collaboration will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Nitschke Auditorium. The program begins at 6 p.m.

UToledo is the company’s largest pipeline for talent, with alumni representing around 20% of SSOE’s global employee population. The talent and recruiting connection goes back decades, through integrated co-op and internship programs as well as curriculum innovation.

The gift will primarily support personnel and programming in the Office of Engineering Inclusive Excellence. That team, housed in UToledo’s College of Engineering, helps ensure that every student has access to the resources and tools needed for academic and career success.

The DiPofis’ contribution also includes funding for scholarships that will target high-performing students belonging to groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in engineering professions as well as classrooms.

“We’ve had top students and engineers in Toledo for many years,” DiPofi said. “This program takes it to the next level by broadening the spectrum of the population that can participate in what we believe is the most challenging, innovative and creative profession available.”

The investment builds upon a strong foundation in the College of Engineering and takes a more comprehensive view of the student experience – from K-12 outreach and STEM education to admissions and student retention.

“Our college has many reasons to be grateful to Vince, Sandra and SSOE for this generous gift, but most important is that it reinforces our current trajectory,” said Dr. Mike Toole, dean of UToledo’s College of Engineering. “We measure our success by how well we engage and value the broad diversity of students, faculty and staff that make up our college. We’re excited to continue our growth by that measure.”

The composition of the typical engineering classroom is evolving as a result of activities like the college’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” for middle school students and by promoting a strong community of student organizations including chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.

The college has been awarded the Diversity Recognition Program’s Bronze Award by the American Society for Engineering Education, which is the highest level granted.

Over the next five years, the new gifts will help fuel those existing initiatives and create new ones like Summer Bridge programming.

“Moving the needle on diversity and equity requires commitment of both human and financial resources,” said Dr. Lesley Berhan, the college’s associate dean for diversity, inclusion and community engagement. “This support empowers us to continue translating our ideals into outcomes. If we admit a student, we expect them to succeed.”

DiPofi’s journey in the field of engineering started on the moon.

As a child, the northwest Ohio native was inspired by the Apollo 11 landing, sparking an interest in science that would come to define his education and career. What began with building models of the Saturn V rocket later turned into recruiting visits with some of the country’s top engineering programs.

“My father encouraged me with chemistry sets and crystal radio receivers, along with showing me how to install plumbing and other odd jobs,” DiPofi said. “I had no other career aspirations than to be an engineer.”

He would eventually become the first in his family to attend college, joining a challenging program that he also paid for himself. DiPofi credits the experience with providing him a tenacious work ethic and a grounded perspective.

“Underrepresented or underprivileged students are often bridled with financial and first-generation challenges, but unlike me, may not have grown up with access to chemistry sets or parents encouraging them to go to college,” he said.

“Obviously, I have never had the challenge of being a person of color or a woman, in a field where few of my peers are like me. With this gift, we’re continuing to grow an ideal space for all students to thrive in the College of Engineering.”

Just as current problems around the world in areas like clean energy, water security, infrastructure and computer science have never been greater, the possibilities for engineering students, educators and professionals are abundant.

DiPofi is confident in UToledo’s role in delivering solutions.

“At SSOE, our vision is to design and build the future for our clients, colleagues and communities,” says DiPofi. “I believe this partnership brings our vision to reality. To design the future for our clients, we need colleagues who are the best and brightest.”


UToledo Professor to Discuss Rock Music History Oct. 19 at Main Library

Dr. Kimberly Mack, an associate professor of English and scholar of African American literature and American popular music at The University of Toledo, is the first speaker in the Humanities in Public Speaker Series Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Main Library in downtown Toledo.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the free, public lecture is hosted by the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities in the UToledo College of Arts and Letters.

Mack’s lecture is titled “We, Too, Write Rock and Roll: African American Writers and Rock Music, 1970-1983.” Attendees will learn about the ways in which race and gender help determine how we define music genres, with an emphasis on rock music.

“Audience members will be introduced to two important Black rock critics who emerged in the 1970s: Cynthia Dagnal-Myron and Vernon Gibbs,” Mack said. “Vital rock writers (and musicians) have been dismissed or forgotten because of racialized or gendered assumptions about how a rock musician or writer should look.”

For more information about the event and the speaker series, visit the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities website.


Annual Mikhail Memorial Lecture to Feature Mother-Daughter Poet-Artists

Mother-daughter poet-artists Adele Ne Jame and Melissa Chimera will present The University of Toledo’s 22nd Annual Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail Memorial Lecture.

The free, public lecture titled “The Lebanese Diaspora, Loss and Recovery, a Personal Retrospective,” which will include a recitation of Ne Jame’s poetry and images from Chimera’s paintings, is 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium and will be livestreamed on the University’s YouTube channel.

Hawaii natives Ne Jame and Chimera combine their expertise to represent species extinction, globalization and human migration. Their work has been displayed at the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates International Biennial in 2009 and most recently at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

An award-winning poet, author and professor emeritus at Hawaii Pacific University, Ne Jame has taught poetry at universities since 1990 and previously served as poet-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, an Elliot Cades Award for Literature, a Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize and a Robinson Jeffers Poetry Prize among many others.

In addition to being an artist, Chimera has worked as a conservationist in Hawaii since 1996. Her work, which relies heavily on her research about species extinction, human migration and globalization, has been on display across the U.S., Asia and the Middle East. Chimera is this year’s artist in residence at Anchorage Museum in Anchorage, Alaska, displaying her artwork representing immigrant narratives. Her work resides in the collections of the Arab American National Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Hawai‘i State Foundation of Culture and the Arts.

“As the college’s longest-running endowed lecture series, the Mikhail is a very special event each year,” said Dr. Melissa Gregory, interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “The lecture’s annual focus on Arab culture makes it a great fit for the Toledo community, given our city’s vibrant Arab-American community and our rich history of Arabic immigration.”

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with first-come, first-served seating. Event parking is available in Area 12. A visitor parking permit is required to park on campus at all times. A temporary visitor permit can be purchased online in advance of the event.

The free, public lecture has been a continuous event at UToledo since 2001 and is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and the Mikhail Endowment Fund, which was originally established through a donation from the Mikhail family to honor the work and contributions of Maryse Mikhail and her involvement in educational, philanthropic and interfaith organizations.

The fund supports an annual lecture dealing with Arab culture, history, politics, economics and other aspects of life in the Middle East, including issues of peace and justice.

More information is available on the event website.

Those who wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to the fund can go to the UToledo Foundation website.


Oct. 12 Founder’s Day Concert Moved to Savage Arena

UPDATE: Due to the weather forecast, The University of Toledo’s Founder’s Day concert is being moved indoors to Savage Arena, and the fireworks and food trucks are postponed to be held at a later date.

To mark The University of Toledo’s 150th birthday, UToledo is hosting a commemorative Founder’s Day celebration Wednesday, Oct. 12, featuring a day of music, with headliner Grammy-winning rapper T-Pain.

A lineup of performances by national and local acts will take place from 5 to 10:20 p.m. in Savage Arena. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with a maximum capacity of 4,000 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Concessions in Savage Arena will be open.

The free concert kicks off with local bands Distant Cousinz at 5 p.m. and the Skittle Bots at 5:50 p.m., followed by national acts country-rapper David Morris at 6:50 p.m. and country singer Nate Smith at 7:55 p.m. T-Pain is scheduled to take the stage at 9:10 p.m.

Parking permits are not required on the University’s Main Campus from 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, through 7 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 13. Exclusions include handicap, reserved, patient and metered parking.

The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections opens its anniversary historical exhibition on Founder’s Day with a lecture by Barbara Floyd, retired university archivist and author of the book, “An Institution for the Promoting of Knowledge: The University of Toledo at 150.” Titled “Ten Events That Shaped 150 Years,” the lecture will begin at 3 p.m. in the Canaday Center, located on the fifth floor of Carlson Library.

The Founder’s Day celebration is supported by generous sponsors, including Kripke Enterprises and ParkUToledo.

Established in 1872, The University of Toledo has a storied history with more than 168,000 alumni around the world. A year-long sesquicentennial celebration will recognize the historic milestones, achievements and the positive impact the University has had since its founding 150 years ago.