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Archive for March, 2013

Alpha Xi Delta, UT to ‘Light It Up Blue’ for autism

On Tuesday, April 2, World Autism Day, you may notice University Hall’s bell tower and Mulford Library lit up blue.

Major landmarks including the Pyramids of Giza and the Sydney Opera House also will be lit up blue to help raise awareness of autism.

Alpha Xi Delta, a national sorority, and the University will work together in “Light It Up Blue,” an Autism Speaks program.

“We proudly support the ladies of Alpha Xi Delta for shining (the blue) light on World Autism Awareness Day,” Dr. Sammy Span, assistant provost for international studies and programs, said. “For UT to participate in a national and international phenomenon to help raise awareness of autism and the impact it has on so many families is profound, but what’s more impressive are the ladies of Alpha Xi Delta for considering such a social endeavor.”

Autism is a development disorder that is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. A new case is diagnosed every 20 minutes; this year, more children will be diagnosed with autism than with AIDS, diabetes and pediatric cancer combined, according to Autism Speaks.

To get involved with “Light It Up Blue” or to learn more about Autism Speaks, contact Emily Jacobson at

Local children to ‘travel world’ at home thanks to UT students

Children from the Toledo area will learn about other cultures and countries from international students at The University of Toledo at an upcoming event called “Oh, The Places You Will Go.”

Boys & Girls Club Toledo logoThe Boys & Girls Club of Toledo event will take place 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22 at the Homer Hanham Club, 2250 N. Detroit Ave.

The children from the club will get to interact with UT students from all around the globe. Destinations will include Saudi Arabia, Germany, China, Iran, Africa and the Philippines.

UT students will host rotating activities to teach the children about their home countries through native dances, crafts and food samples.

Rocksy will join the children in “traveling the world,” and they will have opportunities for photos with the mascot.

The UT Center for International Studies and Programs is helping to coordinate the event.

For more information contact Shawna Woody, director of program operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo at 419.241.4258 or

Lecture to offer critique of Muslims and the American dream

After more than a decade since 9/11, American Muslims and the religion of Islam continue to face criticism and prejudice.

“Good Muslims, Bad Muslims and the American Dream” will be the focus of the annual Imam Khattab Lecture on Islamic Studies by Dr. Ovamir Anjum, UT Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies. The free, public lecture will take place 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.


The lecture is an invitation to self-critique how Muslims have adjusted to the new realities of America, as well as address the idea of the American dream as understood today.

“This topic is extremely relevant to the community, both Muslim and non-Muslim, because it seeks to look past the distractions and address our most urgent issues as Americans and what American Muslims and non-Muslims can do to contribute to solutions rather than becoming part of the problem,” Anjum said. “We have major common problems, and Islam is not one of them.”

With more than a decade since 9/11, there have been enough apologies from Muslims, as well as enough attacks on Islam, Anjum said, adding that it is important that American Muslims see past their victimization and work toward the solution of colossal common problems facing America: social injustice, breakdown of community, consumerism and environmental destruction.

“The 99 percent of Americans who do not have what the 1 percent have, instead of rethinking the culture, they’re interested in joining that 1 percent,” Anjum said. “That is extremely destructive for our society, for our democracy and for our environment.”

According to Anjum, Islamic civilization historically has been one of the most egalitarian and socially conscious societies: dynamic, commercially successful, tolerant of diversity, and scientifically advanced yet reverential toward nature. American Muslims should be bringing their religious perspectives to the American public sphere, he said.

“Islam requires American Muslims to be self-critical and to be critical of the consequences of following the American dream,” Anjum said.

This talk is part of the Center for Religious Studies’ annual lecture series and has been held each year since the Imam Khattab Chair was established about a decade ago. Anjum has delivered the lecture for the last four years.

For more information, visit

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (March 20, 2013)

Students compete in UT Iron Chef Competition

What will UT staff and students whip up in the kitchen with a unique secret ingredient? Find out during The University of Toledo Spring 2013 Iron Chef Competition.

Modeled after the Food Network TV show “Iron Chef America,” five teams made up of one faculty adviser, one residence hall chef and three students will create an original dish with a secret ingredient that will be announced right before competition.

The culinary competition, which is open to the public, will take place Wednesday, March 20, at 4 p.m. in the Ottawa East Dining Hall.

There will be entertainment, food samples, local celebrity judges and trophies for the winning team and the Peoples’ Champion. The first-prize-winning dish will be offered to students through UT’s food services.

Participating students are from the University’s living learning communities, including the Arts Living and Learning Community, Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Living and Learning Community, Resident Student Association, Multicultural Leadership and Service Living and Learning Community, and the Politics, Law and Society Living and Learning Community.

Judges will include:

  • Toledo Mayor Mike Bell;
  • Paulette Bongratz, UT Student Government president;
  • Amy Campbell, Toledo Free Press food columnist;
  • Rob Campbell, chef at Revolution Grille;
  • Chris Denman, chef at BGump’s 101 Restaurant and Lounge;
  • Jim Dusseau, Maumee firefighter;
  • Dr. Shanda Gore, UT associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement;
  • Labib Hajjar, chef and owner of the Beirut;
  • Michele Martinez, UT dean of students;
  • Dan Neman, food editor of The Blade;
  • Moussa Salloukh, chef at LaScola;
  • Josh Wagy, founder of Smash Toledo; and
  • Mary Beth Zolik, co-host of the morning show on 101.5 The River.

The event is sponsored by the First-Year Experience Program, Crib Notes, UT Dining and Hospitality Services, Dean of Students, the Office of Residence Life, and The Blade.

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (March 20, 2013)
The Blade (March 24, 2013)

Religious freedom in America topic of Stranahan Lecture March 26

Richard W. Garnett, associate dean for faculty research, professor of law, and concurrent professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, will address the state of religious freedom in the United States during the Stranahan Lecture at The University of Toledo College of Law.



The free, public talk begins at noon Tuesday, March 26, in the McQuade Law Auditorium.

In a lecture titled, “Challenges to Religious Freedom in America Today,” Garnett will consider the rights of religious believers and institutions versus governmental action, and their respective roles in American public life today.

“Professor Garnett’s topic is particularly timely given recent legal and political debates over the role of religion in American public life,” said Lee J. Strang, professor of law at the College of Law. “From the recent HHS mandate regarding health insurance coverage for birth control and the morning-after pill, to recent declines in religious affiliation and practice among Americans, both religious and nonreligious Americans are asking themselves, ‘What role should religion play in American public life?’ Professor Garnett’s lecture will tackle this thorny question head-on and is sure to provoke thought and conversation.”

Professor Garnett teaches and writes about the freedoms of speech, association, and religion. He is a leading authority on the role of religious believers and institutions in politics and society. He is the author of dozens of law review articles and book chapters, and his book, Two There Are: Understanding the Separation of Church and State, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

Garnett is regularly invited to share analysis and commentary in national print and broadcast media, including the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, USA Today, Fox News, and MSNBC, among many others, and he regularly contributes to several law-related blogs, including Mirror of Justice and PrawfsBlawg. He is also the founding director of Notre Dame Law School’s Program in Church, State, and Society.

Professor Garnett clerked for the late-Chief Justice of the United States William H. Rehnquist and also for the late-Chief Judge Richard S. Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Click here to download a photo of Garnett.

Stranahan National Issues Forum
The Stranahan National Issues Forum is a joint program of The University of Toledo College of Law and its chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. It is made possible by an endowment from the Stranahan Foundation. The Forum’s purpose is to address issues of national importance through the lens of the American legal system, and Professor Garnett joins a long list of high-profile speakers who have delivered the Stranahan Lecture at Toledo Law.

Reserved parking for lecture attendees is available in Lot 25, which is adjacent to Rocket Hall. Visitors can access Lot 25 from Secor Road using College Drive.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 23, 2013)

Big Event breaks records with 1,500 students volunteering

More than 1,500 University of Toledo students are expected to turn out for the annual BIG Event community service project to take place Saturday, March 23 at 9 a.m., starting at The University of Toledo Savage Arena on Main Campus. Students will then go out into the neighborhoods surrounding UT and perform projects including painting, raking leaves, washing windows and gardening for Toledo residents.

The BIG Event was a tradition revived in 2010 where 200 students were in attendance, while this year’s expected total will exceed 1,500 students. This year, the event will be working with agencies like Toledo GROWS, Cherry Street Mission and Family House as well as heading into the Secor Gardens and Bancroft Hills neighborhoods to tend to individually requested job sites.

The premise of the Big Event is “One Big Day, One Big Thanks!” We hope that through our small acts of service in the community, we can make a lasting and positive change. The Big Event benefits service organizations as well as individual residential homes. It helps bring students and the community together and we hope to create a tradition that will last for years to come.

The overall director this year, Daniel Janisz says, “The Big Event is more than just a community service event. It is a way to leave a lasting mark on our community. 1,500 students working to improve our community is simply fantastic. The support from our students and community has been tremendous. Every year we hope to grow and to impact more lives in a positive way through simple service, and the Big Event is the way to do it!”

For more information contact Daniel Janisz at

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (March 22, 2013)
The Blade (March 25, 2013)
FOX Toledo and 13 ABC (March 25, 2013)

Preview of same-sex marriage cases in Supreme Court topic of March 21 lecture

Marc Spindelman, the Isadore and Ida Topper Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, will preview the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court this term in a lecture at The University of Toledo College of Law on March 21.

DC03-388-4178 Marc Spindelman Moritz College of Law 8-7-03 Jo McCulty photo


The free, public talk titled “Marriage Equality & Racial Justice” will be held at noon, Thursday, March 21, in the College’s McQuade Law Auditorium.

On March 26 and 27 the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral argument in United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to California’s Proposition 8. Professor Spindelman will summarize the arguments on both sides and the questions posed by the cases, including constitutional questions about the power of states and of the federal government to pass laws that forbid or discourage same-sex marriage.

The battle for marriage equality being waged in cases like those currently before the Supreme Court is widely supposed to be in perfect harmony with civil rights projects that aim for racial justice. But Professor Spindelman asks whether the constitutional arguments being made for marriage equality in the federal courts in any way dovetail with the elimination of race-conscious remedial projects such as affirmative action in higher education – and if, as a result, new and different approaches to marriage equality are necessary.

“Professor Spindelman will provide an excellent introduction to what promise to be landmark decisions by the United States Supreme Court, and his talk will be of interest to anyone interested in this important social issue,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law.

Spindelman teaches and writes about bioethics, constitutional law, family law, feminist legal theory, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights, health law, law and sexuality, and physician-assisted suicide. He is the co-author of the casebook Family Law: Cases and Materials (6th Edition) published by Foundation Press last year.

Spindelman is regularly consulted by the press, and his views have appeared in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and USA Today, among many others. He also has appeared on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, as well as ABC Nightly News, CNN, and other television and radio outlets.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Following law school, Spindelman clerked for Judge (now Chief Judge) Alice M. Batchelder on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Click here to download a photo of Spindelman.

For more information contact Rachel Phipps, assistant dean of communications for the UT College of Law, at 419.530.2628 or

University of Toledo teams with American Cancer Society for Cancer Prevention

The University of Toledo will host the American Cancer Society for a news conference tomorrow at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20 in the west lobby of Savage Arena, as a new partnership is announced to encourage participation in the latest phase of a national cancer study that will provide new understanding about the causes of the disease.

The Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) is the third phase of an ongoing effort to discover the causes of cancer. In phase one, the study officially linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer. In phase two, obesity and certain foods were identified as a cause. Now, CPS-3 will increase understanding further.

“The past decade has seen an explosion of new knowledge about cancer that has shown great promise for our ability to control this often devastating health problem. While new, more targeted and individualized treatments have improved our ability to fight against cancer, this study to improve our understanding of the causes of cancer can do even more to help reduce the number of lives impacted by this disease”, said Dr. Roland T. Skeel, professor, division of Hematology and Oncology, department of medicine at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

In addition to Dr. Skeel, speakers at the news conference will include Dr. Blair Grubb from The University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Amy Boehm, health initiatives director for the American Cancer Society.

“The CPS has revealed incredibly important things about the relationship between human behaviors and cancer,” said Bell. “I am very excited about this partnership with the American Cancer Society, The University of Toledo and the City of Toledo that empowers our citizens to be proactive in the fight against cancer.”

The study is open to anyone between the ages of 30 and 65 who has never been diagnosed with cancer. The University’s goal is to enroll 800 adults from various racial and ethnic backgrounds here in northwest Ohio, to collect data that may one day help eliminate cancer as a major health risk.

The first step will take place at the UT enrollment sites, scheduled on the Main and Health Science Campuses from April 16-20. Participants will be asked to read and sign a consent form, complete a small written survey, provide a waist circumference and a small blood sample.

Additional steps occur at home. Participants will be asked to complete surveys on an ongoingbasis that will include questions about factors related to your health. These surveys will be mailed periodically over the span of the research study.

For more information or to register to participate, visit or contact Andrew Mariani at 888.227.6445 X 5103 or

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 21, 2013 online)

WTOL 11, WNWO and 13 ABC (March 21, 2013)
The Blade (March 22, 2013 print)

Parent activist brings emotional anti-bullying message to UT

Kirk Smalley’s story featured in Lee Hirsch’s documentary film Bully

Ty Field-Smalley was a happy and cheerful boy who always had a smile on his face. But Ty was small for his age, which made him an easy target for bullies.

On May 13, 2010, at the young age of 11, Ty took his life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully who had been picking on him for more than two years.



Ty’s dad and mom, Kirk and Laura Smalley, have since made it their mission to bring awareness about bullying and the devastating harm it causes.

“Laura and I try to teach all these kids that they are somebody. That they can make a difference in our world. That everyone has a right to be who they are and be themselves,” Kirk Smalley said. “If we save one baby. If we stop this from happening to one other family, it’s worth everything that we can do everything we have to give to make that happen.”

Smalley will share his emotional story at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25 in Memorial Field House Room 2100 on The University of Toledo Main Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

As part of his mission to eradicate bullying, Smalley through his Stand for the Silent organization has given presentations to more than 620 schools touching more than 650,000 students and educators in the last year. There are now more than 370 Stand for the Silent chapters that work to spread the message that everyone deserves to feel loved, included and treated with respect.

The Smalleys’ story is featured in Director Lee Hirsch’s feature documentary film Bully that pushes us to look past the “kids will be kids” attitude and realize the serious issue impacting young people and their families.

CNN also included Smalley in its “The Bully Effect: An Anderson Cooper Special” that premiered Feb. 28 on Anderson Cooper 360.
Stand for the Silent logo

“Kirk and Laura are so brave to share their heartbreaking story to The University of Toledo and schools everywhere in an effort to save other families from such a painful loss,” said Lisa Pescara-Kovach, PhD, UT associate professor of educational psychology and author of School Shootings and Suicides: Why We Must Stop the Bullies. “Bullying is a serious issue that impacts all of society. We need to get past this idea that bullying is a harmless rite of passage, and see it for what it is – a public health issue that leads victims to internalize or externalize, at times, to the point of suicides and targeted violence like school shootings.”

“Those who perpetrate bullying need assistance as well,” added Kovach, who co-chairs the UT Anti-Bullying Task Force with UT Police Chief Jeff Newton. “It’s a must to get to the root of the bullying in effort to eradicate the behavior and prevent the individual from using similar
tactics in adulthood.”

The Stand for the Silent event at UT is part of the larger Preventing Bullying = Creating Safety collaborative effort of WGTE Public Media and Fostering Health Communities, which is a joint effort among Mercy, ProMedica and the UT Medical Center. The year-long initiative, which launches this spring, focuses on increasing youth safety by decreasing the incidence of bullying.

Preventing Bullying = Creating Safety is a comprehensive public information campaign through TV, radio, print and the web: three live Town Hall television programs on WGTE TV; videos for classroom use; three workshops for educators; and a website with resources for parents, students and educators. Visit for more information.

For more information about Stand for the Silent visit

Click here to download a photo of Kirk Smalley. Click here to download the Stand for the Silent logo.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 23, 2013)
13 ABC (March 27, 2013)
WNWO (March 29, 2013)

UToledo, Digerati launch free, statewide student/business matching program

Creating better matches ensures better learning experiences and will lead to Ohio jobs

Internships for college students can be a hit or miss proposition. A successful match may lead to a job and a career. An unsuccessful match may find the student bored and the business dissatisfied and hesitant to hire interns in the future.

A new program called Intern in Ohio uses advanced matching algorithm technology to connect students – even those who might look similar to each other on paper – with internship opportunities tailored to their needs, strengths and interests — Think the career placement and economic development version of eHarmony.

The University of Toledo has partnered with Detroit-based Digerati to provide this free service to all college students and all businesses and organizations throughout the state and will announce its launch Monday, March 18, at 10 a.m. in the northeast corner of the Memorial Field House.InternInOhioLogo

“Experiential learning has never been more important for today’s college students to gain that valuable experience and be ready for opportunities after graduation,” said Dr. Scott Scarborough, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“The University of Toledo is proud to bring this program to Ohio to not only connect students to great internship opportunities, but also to do what we can to retain our best and brightest in the Buckeye State andreduce the so-called ‘brain drain’ of young people moving away after graduation for career opportunities elsewhere.”

To register, students and businesses visit to sign up, create a profile or post internship opportunities. Both are asked to answer a short series of questions about the position and about their personal preferences, and then the system identifies the top seven matches for each individual student as well as to the business for each position.

When a match is made, the employer and the student are notified, and both must select that they are interested before any contact information is shared.

Research has shown that not only do internships often lead to offers of full-time employment upon graduation, but that students are likely to remain in the area where they completed an internship.

“Based on a similar program in Michigan, we’ve found that 70 percent of students who have internship are offered jobs at those companies,” said Brian Balasia, CEO of Digerati. “And when you consider not all of those students were seniors, the stat becomes even more impressive.”

The successful Intern in Michigan pilot program resulted in more than 127,000 matches and introductions between students and employers.There have been 4,824 internship opportunities in the system from 1,256 Michigan businesses. On the academic side, 1,049 universities, colleges andschools and nearly 19,000 internship-seekers have registered.

“The beauty of this is that’s it’s not just a UT or a Toledo initiative – it is a statewide opportunity,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs. “Intern in Ohio is an economic engine that will in many cases make seamless the transition from in-class learning to hands-on learning to employment at an Ohio business or organization.”


Media Coverage
The Blade (March 18, 2013)
1370 WSPD (March 18, 2013)
WNWO, 13 ABC and WTOL 11 (March 18, 2013)
Cleveland Plain Dealer (March 19, 2013)