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Archive for December, 2012

Program assists parents in raising nonviolent children

The United States leads the world in rates of youth violence. Unfortunately violence in the form of physical aggression, fights, and related acts, such as the tragic school shooting in Newton, Conn., are becoming too commonplace in American schools.

In an effort to address the issue of youth violence, as well as related issues of child maltreatment and family violence, the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center at The University of Toledo offers the ACT Raising Safe Kids program for parents and caregivers of young children. The program helps parents to protect children from violence, use effective nonviolent methods of raising children, and foster safe and nurturing home environments. The program provides interactive learning opportunities for parents and caregivers in friendly environments.

“Decades of research underscore how critical it is for parents and caregivers to be aware of and to minimize the impact of violence on children. Using programs such as ACT, we can mobilize parents to protect children from violence and to raise children who are nonviolent,” said Dr. Michele Knox, clinical child psychologist at the UT Medical Center and ACT Regional Center Director. “It is very difficult to effectively treat violent teens. We are far better off when we prevent the problem from happening by starting early in life.”

The ACT program’s mission is to mobilize communities and educate families to create safe, nurturing environments that protect children and youth from violence and its consequences. ACT provides a parenting program for parents of young children that includes classes and information to teach parents effective, nonviolent discipline and to prevent violence exposure and its effects. Research on the program demonstrates improved parenting, reduced child maltreatment, and reduced aggressive and disruptive behavior in children of parents who complete the program.

The Great Lakes Regional Center in Toledo is one of five regional centers that engage families and professionals in their regions to respond local communities’ needs. The others are located in Chicago, Miami, Waltham, Mass. and Pleasant Hill, Calif.

The ACT Great Lakes Regional Center is funded by the Verizon Foundation, Auto Dealers United for Kids – Toledo, American Psychological Association and Metlife Foundation.

Contact the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center at 419-383-5494 for more information.

UToledo law professor available to comment on CIA interrogations report


Benjamin Davis, an associate professor in The University of Toledo College of Law, is available to comment on the investigation report recently approved by the Senate intelligence committee that concluded that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs.

“The Senate report is a devastating indictment of the enhanced interrogation program finding the program both ineffective and counterproductive for our national security,” according to Davis.

“This is a Pentagon Papers moment with far reaching implications for all branches of our government. Our government failed us and misled us for nearly 12 years; we should seek accountability for present and former officials who put the enhanced interrogation program in place and covered up its inefficacy to the American people all these years.”

Davis, a faculty member at UToledo since 2003, is a contributing editor at the SALTLAW Blog. He has been addressing accountability for torture since early 2004 in law review articles, online articles and as a Board Member of the Human Rights Committee of the Society of American Law Teachers. He also led the effort for the American Society of International Law (ASIL) to adopt its centennial resolution on laws of war and detainee treatment in 2006, only the eighth such resolution in the history of the organization.

Click here to download a photo of Davis.

Contact Meghan Cunningham at 419.530.2410 or to schedule an interview.

U.S. Dept. of Education grant to develop speech-language pathology coursework

A recent grant from the U.S. Department of Education will ensure that local elementary school students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing will soon have new opportunities to learn.

Both The University of Toledo and The University of Akron will use a joint grant to develop course work and practicum experiences for speech-language pathology graduate students.

UT’s Rehabilitation Sciences received the grant in October for maximizing listening and spoken language of children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing through advanced technologies, according to Lori Pakulski, professor of speech-language pathology. Pakulski said there is a great need for the program because there are very few people trained in this field in northwest Ohio.

“Most children, with early intervention, can expect to be on par with their peers by kindergarten,” Pakulski said. “If we want to maximize their opportunities we have to begin intervention in the first year of life.”

Pakulski said there have traditionally been two schools of thought in the audiology field. There are those who believe one should never force a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to use technology such as cochlear implants or hearing aids to hear and they should embrace deaf culture and learn sign language.

But the opposing viewpoint believes in those devises and supporting a family’s desire to help their children learn to listen and talk.

“There was a time when a deaf person’s use of cochlear implants was looked down upon by the deaf community,” she said. “But our approach here is that families should do what is right for them and learn about the options available to their children.”

Pakulski said she is working on the grant in conjunction with Dr. Todd Houston, associate professor at the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at The University of Akron.

“The University of Akron was selected because of their long history of working with kids and taking this approach to listening and spoken language,” she said. “The geographical convenience between UT and UA will also make it more convenient to host joint events.”

Pakulski said the grant and new program also play into the Auditory and Language Enriched Program, a playgroup for young deaf or hard-of-hearing children that is run by speech-language pathology graduate students and works as a community service. The program helps young children in similar circumstances bond, while also targeting listening and spoken language skills and educating parents.

Both UT and UA will choose five students for four of the five years the grant is in place. The first group of first-year graduate students accepted into the UT program consists of: Adam Barnes, Mary Dunn, Ryan Rummel, Emily Russell and Leslie Starr.

Active duty Army pilot set to receive MBA in leadership

The mountains and valleys of Afghanistan are a far cry from the farm fields of northwest Ohio where Trent D. Miller has been studying for a master of business administration degree in leadership.

The 32-year-old active duty Army captain is scheduled to receive his degree Saturday, Dec. 15, during commencement ceremonies in Savage Arena.

U.S. Army Capt. Trent Miller

Miller, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot with more than 750 hours of combat flying time, isn’t your average college student. He shuns the idea that his neatly groomed hair is a “high and tight” — military jargon for the standard soldier haircut. He prefers to discuss his two combat deployments, the first to Iraq and the second to Afghanistan, in generic terms because he said at times it can be difficult to relate to his peers.

“The first term was a big shock. I hadn’t had to think or act like a student in nine years at that point,” said Miller, a married father with a 1-year-old son. “Army schooling is very different from civilian higher education, so it was challenging.”

The native of Columbus Grove, Ohio, said his father was a track runner while attending The University of Toledo for a couple of years in the 1960s, and his brother graduated from UT in 2007. The Army’s Expanded Graduate School Program, a developmental and retention tool created for captains, was the catalyst to bring Miller and his wife back to the Buckeye State. The program funded Miller’s studies at UT and will require an additional four-year active duty obligation.

“As a student, Trent Miller was terrific, intelligent, articulate, highly motivated,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Business Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation. “As a person, he demonstrates tremendous character in what he does, and he knows when to lead and he knows when to follow.”

Earning his commission through the Ohio State University Army ROTC Program in 2003, Miller graduated as a distinguished military graduate with a degree in natural resources. Later that year, he would attend flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., and marry his high school sweetheart, Denise.

In fall 2005, Miller embarked on his first deployment as part of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade of the famous 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky. As a platoon leader, he flew a variety of missions throughout Iraq; these included direct support to the four-star commanding general of Multi-National Force — Iraq U.S. Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

“All of the leadership-specific classes have been very applicable to what I have been doing the last nine years,” Miller said. “All of the faculty members, in my experiences, have been very receptive to my comments and input into the class.”

Between deployments, Miller served as the executive officer for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Deputy Commanding General and assumed his first company command in spring 2009 at age 28.

As a company commander with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Germany, Miller and his soldiers deployed to Afghanistan for medevac and general support missions; he was responsible for the lives of 63 soldiers and more than $40 million of equipment, including eight Black Hawk helicopters with a price of tag roughly $4 million apiece without weapons systems.

“I have a lot more marketable skills than I realized as an Army officer that relate directly to business,” said Miller, who is line to be promoted to the rank of major in 2013.

Following graduation, Miller and his family are scheduled to move to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he will attend the Army’s 10-month graduate school for mid-career officers at the Command and General Staff College.

“I know his career in the military will be exemplary in every respect,” Longenecker said. “He is a tremendous patriot, and he is a hero in the eyes of not just his professors, but his fellow students for taking care of the security of the United States.”

Contact Haraz Ghanbari at 419.530.4137 or for more information.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (Dec. 19, 2012)

United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to speak at commencement Dec. 15


The University of Toledo will welcome His Excellency Dr. Anwar Gargash of the United Arab Emirates as keynote speaker for fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Gargash holds two cabinet positions in the United Arab Emirates: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for the Federal National Council.

“The University of Toledo is honored that Dr. Gargash is able to visit our campus and speak to our graduates,” said UT President Lloyd Jacobs. “As a leader in a nation that has areas where UT also has intellectual strength — such as alternative energy — Dr. Gargash’s words will provide these new UT alumni with invaluable lessons as they seek careers in fields universally touched by sweeping global changes.”

UT will award Gargash the honorary degree of doctor of public service for his work in public affairs, economics and renewable energy, culture, and international leadership. Gargash will be accompanied by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Ali Al Mannaei, his chief of staff.

There are 2,132 candidates for degrees from the summer and fall semesters from 11 of the University’s colleges. There are 686 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates, and 1,446 for bachelor’s and associate degrees.

In the event severe winter weather requires commencement to be postponed, the ceremony would take place Sunday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

The ceremony will be webcast live at

During the recent uprisings in Arab countries in spring 2012, the UAE remained stable and Gargash was a leading voice in the region calling for peaceful transitions that could pull citizens out of poverty in many of the Middle East nations affected.

In an op-ed published in August, Gargash wrote, “In the UAE, we have been less affected by the events of the Arab spring, partly due to our economic success and partly due to the legitimacy of the political system. Throughout these difficult months, the UAE has continued to provide its citizens and residents (including hundreds of thousands of Arabs) with a secure and stable livelihood and an opportunity to prosper economically and to thrive socially.”

In addition to his cabinet portfolio, Gargash holds the positions of:

• Chair of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking;

• Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai School of Government;

• Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Al Owais Cultural Foundation;

• Deputy chair of the Permanent National Committee for Demographic Structure;

• Member of the Ministerial Legislative Committee; and

• Member of the Dubai Economic Council.

Gargash attended The University of Toledo and ultimately graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University, where he also earned a master’s degree. He received a doctorate in political science from King’s College, Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.

Media Coverage
The Blade (Dec. 16, 2012)

UTMC resumes live kidney transplant program following successful reviews

The University of Toledo Medical Center has lifted the voluntary suspension of its live kidney transplant program following extensive reviews from several national accrediting bodies and an intense self-evaluation, UTMC officials announced Tuesday.

UTMC voluntarily had suspended the program after a to-be-transplanted kidney was accidently rendered unusable during a procedure earlier this year.

“Today we complete the next step in a difficult journey, but one that I think has unquestionably made us a stronger, safer hospital,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

“Ultimately, we found what I believed we would find — that UTMC’s renal transplant program is one of the oldest and most successful in the nation, and that this incident was the result of an accidental and inexplicable human error. We have put new policies and technology in place to eliminate the possibility that this error is ever repeated,” Gold said.

According to Gold, UTMC has stayed in close communication with those affected by the error, and the institution remains committed to their medical care and their request for privacy.

“This has been a very emotional time for the family as well as for UTMC employees. I want to onceagain express my best wishes to the family, and I want to thank all staff members at UTMC for their outstanding and positive response to this unfortunate incident,” Gold said.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs, a vascular surgeon by training, said that while human error always will exist, putting policies, procedures and technological advances in place drastically reduces the chances that an error negatively affects a patient.

“Every hospital works to avoid these occurrences, but when they happen, academic medical centers especially have an obligation to share what happened with the medical community so all can learn and improve,” Jacobs said. “I regret that this incident took place, but I’m proud of the role UTMC took in working to eliminate the chances that this could happen at any hospital in the future.”

During the voluntary suspension, UTMC worked actively with all patients in the live-kidney transplant program to provide all necessary care short of transplantation; this included coordinating with other medical centers where transplantation could take place. Following a one-week voluntary suspension in August, UTMC’s deceased donor kidney program was reinstated and has since been actively performing transplants.

Established in 1972, UTMC’s renal transplant program has performed more than 1,700 transplants and has a 98 percent success rate — one of the best in the nation.

Media Coverage
The Blade (Dec. 12, 2012)
The Independent Collegian (Jan. 16, 2013)

UT engineering students show off senior projects today from noon to 3

What/Why: The University of Toledo College of Engineering’s annual exposition to showcase design projects created by graduating engineering seniors will include 43 projects and more than 200 students from the chemical engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering technology, computer science and electrical engineering programs. Projects are part of the required senior design/capstone project where students form business-consulting units to develop a solutionfor a client’s technical/business challenge.

Where: The University of Toledo, Nitschke Hall, Room 1610.

When: Noon- 3 p.m. Today, Dec. 7

Media Coverage
The Blade (Dec. 8, 2012)