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Posts Tagged ‘College of Languages Literature and Social Sciences’

UT students dig into Toledo history during Archaeology Field School at Wildwood

If you walk the red trail at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, you may catch a glimpse of University of Toledo students armed with shovels, trowels and dust pans on an archaeological dig.

Melissa Baltus, archaeologist and assistant professor of anthropology, is running the UT Archaeological Field School on a flat terrace overlooking I-475 as a summer class to combine hands-on learning of archaeology techniques and local history research.

IMG_2549The media is invited to explore the excavation and interview Baltus and her students from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, June 13 on the red trail at Wildwood between trail markers ten and 11.  If it rains, the media availability will be moved to Tuesday, June 14. The media is advised to wear long pants.

“It’s an active field research project to explore our understanding of the prehistoric period of northwest Ohio from right here in Toledo,” Baltus said. “We’re focused on learning more about social interactions between different groups of people and the creation of local community identity during the Late Woodland Period, between A.D. 700 and 1300.”

IMG_2558With permission from the Metroparks of the Toledo Area and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, the UT class is testing the area for evidence of past human habitation, such as house structures or refuse pits.

“Metroparks encourages research, especially where findings will continually build on existing knowledge and assist in the dissemination of information through education,” said Karen Menard, research and monitoring supervisor for Metroparks of the Toledo Area.

“The Metroparks aren’t just preserving the natural environment, they’re preserving cultural resources, too,” Baltus said. “This high, flat area overlooking a stream would’ve been a nice place to live.”

Students are receiving training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloguing and classification.

IMG_2557“We’ve already uncovered a few artifacts, including pottery, arrowheads, spear points and small pieces of burnt and broken bones,” said Jacalyn Deselms, a UT graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in sociology. “Those show evidence of hunting and cooking.”

“It’s awesome to be able to do this as an undergraduate,” said Brianna Geer, a UT junior majoring in anthropology, as she scrapes layers of sandy soil with a trowel. “It’s physically rewarding. We’re putting a lot of work into what we’re learning. I want my career to be working at dig sites around the world. I ultimately dream of working in museums and creating my own exhibits.”

“This experience is helping me gain the knowledge and skill set I need to to take me further into archaeology,” said recent history graduate Michael Campbell.

Media Coverage
The Blade (June 13, 2016)

Students from Ohio and Michigan to present environmental research projects

About 100 students from public schools in Ohio and Michigan will present their science research projects at the SATELLITES Student Conference today at Penta Career Center.

The students, who represent grades kindergarten through college, will share their research related to the Earth’s environment through poster presentations that will be judged by local scientists and teachers.

The conference begins at 4:30 p.m. today (Friday, May 6) with students presenting their research to the judges from 5 to 6:45 p.m. in the Auditorium and Multipurpose Room at Penta Career Center, 9301 Buck Rd. in Perrysburg.

Laura Schetter, a teacher at Wildwood Environmental Academy, will give the keynote address at 7 p.m. about her research trip to Antarctica, which will be followed by the presentation of awards.

“The students from districts such as Toledo, Akron and Detroit designed research projects around their own science questions first creating a hypotheses, then collecting data and analyzing their findings to draw conclusions that will be shared through poster displays at the conference,” said Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, UT professor of geography and planning who created the SATELLITES program, which stands for Students And Teachers Exploring Local Landscapes to Interpret The Earth from Space.

Through the SATELLITES program, students have access to GLOBE resources to help answer their research questions. GLOBE is the acronym for Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, which is an international science and education program that connects students, teachers, scientists and citizens from different parts of the world to conduct real, hands-on science about their local environment and put in a global perspective.

UT professor to discuss “Is ISIS Islamic?”

Less than a month after the Brussels attacks, there are many questions surrounding the terrorist group ISIS.  “Is ISIS Islamic?” will be the topic of the annual Imam Khattab Lecture on Islamic Thought by Dr. Ovamir Anjum, UT Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies.

The free, public lecture will be 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7 in the Driscoll Alumni Auditorium.

Professor Ovamir Anjum portrait for the UT EXPERT pages

“In the face of these terrible terrorist attacks in Brussels, France, Turkey and Pakistan, there is a lot of emotion and fear,” he said. “To understand the situation better, I think it’s good for us all, especially with the ongoing elections, to have these discussions.”

Anjum spoke on the topic last fall for the series, “Windows on Contemporary Islamic Issues,” following the Paris attacks, stating that ISIS is not Islamic, but rather Saddam Hussein’s radical legacy. Modern scholars consider ISIS a modern-day Kharijites — a heretical group known for violence, he said.

Expanding on his previous talk, Anjum said he plans to reflect on three points: what conditions created ISIS; how everyone in the Islamic tradition condemns the acts of ISIS; and the disturbing phenomenon of young people, especially Westerners, joining ISIS.

With a larger audience, Anjum said he hopes to spark conversations in the community.

This lecture is part of the UT Center for Religious Understanding’s annual lecture series, which has been active for more than a decade. The center promotes a deeper understanding of religion on campus and in greater Toledo.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (April 8, 2016)

ToledoView offers local data analysis resource to community

If you want to know childhood obesity rates within a local elementary school district or find the location of every bank in Lucas County or learn how a neighborhood demographic has changed during the past 20 years, a new online database created by the Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center at The University of Toledo has the answers.

ToledoView is a compilation of economic, education, social, health and environmental data for the city of Toledo and surrounding communities that can be analyzed via downloadable maps, spreadsheets, charts, graphs or reports.

“There was a need for a one-stop data repository for economic planning and development, demographic analysis, forecasting and many other applications,” said Dr. Neil Reid, director of the center and professor of geography and planning. “In addition to the database, the ToledoView team also is available to provide advice and assistance for projects ranging from site selection for a new health care facility to an economic impact analysis.”

The public launch of ToledoView will be 3 p.m. Monday, March 14 in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center on UT’s Main Campus.

UT President Sharon L. Gaber will give opening remarks followed by a presentation on how to use the new resource by Reid and Dr. Peter S. Lindquist, professor emeritus of geography and planning who is one of the main architects of the database. Local elected officials also will attend the launch event.

The database includes information such as population demographics, home values, public transportation service areas, business locations and types, street and interstate networks, and health and social services.

ToledoView will be available to use as a desktop application with a paid membership for businesses, real estate developers, governmental agencies and other community organizations. The resource also will be available for a fee for individual research projects and reports. The fees will support efforts to maintain and grow the resource.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 15, 2016)

International women’s rights activist to speak at UT

Women’s rights activist, author and organizer Charlotte Bunch will come to The University of Toledo to speak in honor of Women’s History Month 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in Driscoll Auditorium.

Bunch, who began her career in activism during the 1960s civil rights movement and was given the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President Bill Clinton in 1999, will discuss the growth of the global women’s human rights movement in a lecture titled, “The Dance of Feminism with Human Rights: A Reflection on 25 years of Advances, Backlash and Challenges.”

Charlotte Bunch

“We are honored to host such an inspiring woman who works to empower citizens worldwide,” said Dr. Asma M. Abdel Halim, interim chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.  “She will look at the advances made by women, especially within the United Nations. While discussing the challenges ahead, she also will address the backlash against feminism.”

Bunch is the founding director of the Women for Global Leadership Program at Rutgers University.  She has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and received the “Women Who Make a Difference” award from the National Center for Research on Women.

Bunch also is the author of “Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action.”  She is the focus of a 2011 documentary titled “Passionate Politics: The Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch.”

Bunch currently serves on the women’s division of the Advisory Board for the Human Rights Watch.  She also sits on the Board for the Global Fund for Women and the International Council on Human Rights Policy.

Light refreshment will be served at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (March 4, 2016)

UT political science scholar to speak about terrorism at Perrysburg library

Three weeks before the Ohio presidential primary and several months after the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, Dr. Joel Voss, assistant professor of political science at The University of Toledo, will lead a discussion about terrorism 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Way Public Library at 101 E. Indiana Avenue in Perrysburg.

Joel Voss

The presentation, titled “Terrorism in America and Abroad,” is part of the library’s Topical Tuesdays series hosted in collaboration with the League of Women Voters of the Perrysburg Area.

“What do terrorists hope to achieve and how can we best combat terrorism?” Voss said.  “I will discuss the fundamentals of terrorism and hold an open question and answer session in hopes of shedding light on one of the largest issues as voters prepare to head to the polls.”

As a political scholar, Voss focuses on international relations, political violence, foreign policy and global human rights.

Refreshments will be served at the discussion, which is free and open to the public.


Lecturer to teach mindfulness practices Feb. 2

Inhale, be aware, exhale.

Mindfulness — the ability to be in the moment, focused and aware — is a practice that requires dedication and one that UT Senior Lecturer Jay Rinsen Weik recommends starting with a face to face interaction with an instructor.

Luckily his upcoming lecture, “Zen Mindfulness,” could serve as that first step. The free, public lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. will be in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. After a brief musical introduction, Weik plans to talk about the practice of mindfulness and teach some basic meditations for people to implement in their daily lives.

The talk will be an extension of the Mindfulness and Creativity Initiative that Weik directs at the University.

“The initiative brings together two important aspects of human fulfillment,” he said. “One of them is creativity studies, which is ridiculously relevant no matter what field we’re talking about. The other is mindfulness. That’s the ability to be present to one’s experience; really powerfully present. Creativity is the currency of progress, and mindfulness is the currency of peace.”

Both are developable and trainable, according to Weik, who also serves as an American Zen teacher. By practicing meditational exercises daily, mindfulness can alleviate stress and reduce suffering — producing a tangible difference in a person’s life.

“The more of us that are healthy, that are creative, that are fulfilled, the better it is for all of us,” said Weik, who teaches a course called Mindfulness and Creativity at UT focusing on introducing mindfulness through meditation and breathing methods.

A reception will follow the talk. Free parking will be available in the UT Law Center’s parking areas, 12, 12S and 12W.

The lecture is sponsored jointly by the UT Mindfulness and Creativity Initiative and the UT Center for Religious Understanding. It’s made possible by the University’s College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, the Toledo Community Foundation and other local individuals, families and corporations that support the Center for Religious Understanding.

Media Coverage
The Blade (Jan. 30, 2016)

Two UT colleges team up to offer six-year BA/JD program

The College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences and the College of Law at The University of Toledo have partnered to create a program that allows students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in just six years instead of the usual seven.

The new three-plus-three program is an innovative collaboration that saves UT students both time and money, according to Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

“This exciting three-plus-three program not only provides our students with a focused, cost-saving pathway to a rewarding career, but it also acknowledges the importance of a liberal arts background to the study of the law,” she said.

In order to participate in the new program, students in the UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences must fulfill the college’s general education and major requirements by the end of the third year. The student postpones 18 hours of related fields requirement and 12 hours of electives until senior year.

The UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences student applies to the UT College of Law during junior year and begins attending law school during senior year. When the student has completed all of the first year law courses, he or she is awarded a bachelor’s degree from the UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences. The student receives the law degree after completing the entire law program.

“We are very excited to collaborate with the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences on the three-plus-three program,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law. “It gives students an opportunity to get an outstanding undergraduate and legal education quickly and inexpensively.”

A UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences student can decide to pursue the program at any point during undergraduate study, but students are encouraged to discuss their intention as early as possible with an undergraduate adviser to ensure completion of any required courses for the student’s major.

For more information, visit

Media Coverage
La Prensa (Dec. 18, 2015)

CNN journalist to deliver UT Commencement address Dec. 19

Christi Paul, anchor of CNN New Day Weekends and HLN’s Daily Share, will address graduates at The University of Toledo’s fall commencement 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 in Savage Arena.

The UT graduate and Bellevue-native, who also will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, will address more than 2,000 candidates for degrees, including 138 doctoral candidates, 556 master’s candidates and 1,372 bachelor’s candidates.

This marks the first University of Toledo commencement for President Sharon L. Gaber.

Christi Paul

“From her time at UT to her successful career at CNN, Christi Paul has devoted her life to thoughtful curiosity, learning, and helping others with the power of information,” Gaber said. “She has been at the forefront of many major news stories of our time. The award-winning journalist and advocate for women and children is an inspiring voice who will offer a passionate message to our graduates and guests.”

The national journalist graduated from UT in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree with a focus on broadcast journalism.

“I’m humbled and honored to give the commencement speech and so grateful to UT, the professors who helped me grow, the staff who guided me to solid internships, and the friends I made along the way,” Paul said. “I will always credit UT for giving me my springboard into the journalism arena.”

Paul has covered many high-profile events throughout her distinguished career, including President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, Hurricane Sandy, and the Casey Anthony murder trial. She was in the anchor chair walking heartbroken viewers through the early hours of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech.

Prior to joining CNN and HLN in 2003, Paul worked as an anchor and reporter in Phoenix, Ariz., and Boise, Idaho. The Idaho Press Club honored Paul for her series about a brave four-year-old girl who underwent a five-organ transplant. Paul began her career at WDTV in Clarksburg, W.Va.

The wife and mother of three also is passionate about helping children. Along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Paul is co-founder of the “Find Our Children” series that airs on HLN. Viewers have helped bring home 35 missing kids as a result of the news profile segments. The center honored Paul in 2012 with its prestigious Hope Award for her efforts to make the world a safer place for children.

Paul serves on the National Advisory Council for the One Love Foundation, which works with teens to help end dating violence. Paul also serves on the Advisory Board for When Georgia Smiled that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault find healing, safety and joy.

UT recognized Paul in 2006 as an Outstanding Alumna of the former College of Arts and Sciences.

The fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the Colleges of Adult and Lifelong Learning, Business and Innovation, Communication and the Arts, Judith Herb College of Education, Health Sciences, Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, Medicine and Life Sciences; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Social Justice and Human Service.

Other college specific commencement ceremonies taking place are:

  • College of Engineering: graduate commencement 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17; undergraduate commencement 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19. Both ceremonies will be held in Nitschke Auditorium.
  • College of Nursing: 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 in Nitschke Auditorium.

For more information, visit

Media Coverage
The Blade (Dec. 19, 2015)
The Blade (Dec. 20, 2015)

UT holding symposium on ISIS terrorist attacks, Syrian refugees Dec. 3

In response to the overwhelming amount of questions and concerns raised by students about the recent terrorist attacks and ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, The University of Toledo will hold an additional symposium at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Memorial Field House Auditorium Room 2100.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Our community has been riveted and horrified by the stories and images coming out of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Mali,” Dr. Joel Voss, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, said. “The brazen attacks raise a number of issues for communities here in the U.S. and across the world.”

The panel hosted by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies will include Voss, Dr. Asma Abdel Halim, interim chair for the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Fatima Al-Hayani, retired professor of Middle Eastern studies, and law professor Ben Davis.

The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

“The discussion will resonate with not only students, but residents across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan,” Abdel Halim said.  “The panel also will address several specific topics, including what is motivating terrorist groups and whether we can make a paradigm shift in how we think about the victims.”

This event is a follow-up to UT’s teach-in last month which tackled a wide range of issues, including the fears of resettling Syrian refugees.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (Dec. 3, 2015)
The Blade (Dec. 4, 2015)