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Archive for March, 2014

Get Yourself Tested, Get Yourself Talking: April is Sexually Transmitted Infections Awareness Month

Sexually active young people account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STI) occurring in the United States each year – and most are unaware that they are infected.

The University of Toledo is bringing the Get Yourself Tested, Get Yourself Talking (GYT) campaign to campus to help promote STI Awareness Month.

There will be an open forum discussing the risks of STIs Monday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

“It is our hope that by making students aware of the problem of STIs, they will not only get tested, but take steps to prevent or decrease the risk of STIs,” said Dr. Sanford Kimmel, professor and vice chair of the UT Department of Family Medicine. “Abstention is the only sure way to prevent STIs. Condoms do decrease the risk, although STIs can be spread by all forms of sex.”

Get Yourself Tested, Get Yourself Talking is a national campaign that increases awareness about sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them, links young people to STI testing services, and promotes a more open dialogue with partners and health-care providers.

“I encourage all sexually active people to take initiative and get screened for STIs on a routine basis. Knowing is empowering,” said Dr. Tara Erbele, assistant professor in the UT Department of Family Medicine. “Communicate openly with your partners; everyone gets an STI from someone. While it may be a difficult conversation to have, it is critical for their health and it is significant in reducing the spread of these infections.”

The GYT national campaign is a partnership between the American College Health Association, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Coalition of STD Directors, MTV and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. GYT also receives technical consultation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information and to locate a testing center, visit

Legal issues affecting students focus of free event April 2

Experts will provide information to college students about laws and legal issues that can directly affect their lives during a free, public panel discussion on Wednesday, April 2.

“A Real Look at Legal Issues That Can Impact Students” will focus on the issues of sexual misconduct and domestic violence, drug use and legalization, and social media 7-8 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room.

“These are all issues that can have real legal consequences for students, and can affect their lives for a long time,” said Dr. Willie McKether, UT associate professor of anthropology and adviser of Brothers on the Rise. “We’ve assembled a panel of experts from different parts of the local legal community. They’ve worked with young people, they know these issues — like how you can actually lose your job over what you say on social media — and they’ll share that expertise with our students.”

Students will get life-relevant legal information from four panelists: Ray Arce, an employment attorney with Marshall & Melhorn; Judge Myron Duhart of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court, who will moderate; Jelani Exum, associate professor in the UT College of Law; and Lindsay Navarre, assistant Lucas County prosecutor.

“Call this being legally proactive,” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, UT associate professor of biological sciences and Brothers on the Rise adviser. “Students will learn a great deal of real-life information from these experts. There’s nothing theoretical about what the panelists will share; it’s the lowdown on what students need to know about these issues.”

Students will have a chance to ask the panelists questions.

The collaborative event is sponsored by Brothers on the Rise, the Association of Black Faculty and Staff, the UT College of Law and Alpha Phi Boule.

Author to speak about new book on FDR, polio

Author James Tobin believes Franklin Delano Roosevelt would not have become president if he had not contracted polio.


Tobin will discuss his theory and his new book, The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency (Simon & Schuster, 2013), at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 2 in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of UT’s Carlson Library.

The free, public talk will be followed by a book signing and reception.

In his new work, Tobin, who won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his previous book titled Ernie Pyle’s War, examines how FDR used his battle with polio as the narrative that helped get him elected president in 1932.

“The conventional wisdom is that FDR became president in spite of polio. I think the evidence suggests an alternative truth — that he became president because of polio,” he said.

Tobin contends that Roosevelt’s long recovery period kept him out of the presidential race in the mid-1920s when he would not have stood a chance of winning. He also believes that FDR’s public battle to overcome the effects of polio established him as a fighter in the minds of the American public, and this narrative helped him to get elected in the darkest years of the Great Depression. Before polio, FDR was hampered by his image as an aristocrat, but after polio, FDR could present himself as a man of the people willing to fight for the nation’s recovery.

“Polio by itself did not make Roosevelt the man he became,” Tobin concluded. “But one cannot see Roosevelt in full without a deep understanding of his encounter with disease and disability. Without the polio virus and what it did to FDR, the history of American life since the 1920s would not be what it has been.”

Copies of Tobin’s book will be available for sale at the event.

Click here to download a photo of Tobin.

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 2, 2014)

Flag-raising ceremony signals the start of Donate Life Month

The University of Toledo Medical Center will commemorate the start of a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the critical need for organ and tissue donors in the northwest Ohio region and around the country with a ceremony on Tuesday, April 1.

Officials from UTMC, the region’s only transplant center, will gather with representatives from Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Services for a ceremonial flag raising of the Donate Life flag at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 1 at the flag pole outside the main entrance to the hospital on Arlington Avenue.

UTMC leaders will be joined by organ recipients and donor families for some brief comments. Following the flag raising, the “Green Chair” will be on display outside the gift shop in the medical center until 2 p.m.

The green chair is a symbol that represents someone who has received a second chance at life because someone else made the decision to be a donor. The chair also will be on display April 5 through April 7 in various UTMC locations. Life Connection of Ohio and Community Tissue Service volunteers will be on hand at each location to answer questions about organ and tissue donation.

UTMC also will hold a Celebration of Life event honoring the memory of those who have generously given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. The event is scheduled for 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5 in the Mulford Café in the basement of the Mulford Library Building.

April is Donate Life Month. Life Connection of Ohio, Community Tissue Services, Donate Life Ohio and UTMC are working together to educate patients, visitors, staff and the community about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and to encourage more people to make the decision to register as donors.

Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor today and give hope to those who wait.

To learn more about organ tissue and eye donation, call 800.262.5443 or go to

Media Coverage
13 ABC (April 3, 2014)

UToledo law professor addresses student-athlete rights

The Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Wednesday that Northwestern University football players qualify as employees and have the right to unionize.

This ruling goes beyond paychecks for the athletes according to Dr. Joseph Slater, a professor at The University of Toledo College of Law, who has been a leading voice regarding Labor and Employment Law.

“The ruling could also mean coverage under other laws,” Slater said. “If they are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, they could be employees for the purposes of worker’s compensation laws and other labor employment laws.”

The right for student-athletes to unionize will affect other universities differently, since laws differ for public and private institutions, Slater added.

Contact Aimee Portala at 419.262.4185 to schedule an interview with Slater.

UT Innovation Enterprises announces interim CEO, looks to next five years

Rhonda Wingfield, director of budget and planning at The University of Toledo, has been named interim CEO of UT Innovation Enterprises (UTIE), officials announced Wednesday.

Wingfield will serve in both roles until a permanent CEO is determined.


“Rhonda has more than 20 years of financial management experience in the public sector, industry and in start-up organizations, and has been highly involved in Innovation Enterprises operations during her tenure at UT,” said C. William Fall, chair of the UTIE Board of Directors. “As we plan for UTIE’s next five years, we are fortunate to have Rhonda’s strategic mind and detailed financial knowledge during this interim period.”

Wingfield, who has overseen the finances of UTIE since shortly after her arrival at UT in 2010, will assume the role created following the separation of the chair and CEO positions, one of several recommendations made following a six-month review of UTIE and its processes led by board member Bill McCreary.

Given the success of UTIE following its establishment in 2009, Wingfield said she was excited to accept the post, though she acknowledged that the nationwide addition of economic development as part of universities’ missions was a cultural change that hasn’t come easily to everyone.

“We have a very promising portfolio, which is still very young. During the years I’ve worked with UTIE, I’ve been incredibly impressed with the innovation and potential of these start-up companies,” Wingfield said.

“Some of our society’s most impressive inventions and advancements have come from university research, and we cannot allow our fear that an individual idea might not pan out to stop us from investing in people and ideas that may strengthen our region economically,” she said.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs said the goal of cultural change encompassed the entire community.

“We have no intention of leaving the next ‘dorm-room business success story’ only to the Harvards or the Stanfords of the world,” Jacobs said. “Our students and our faculty are accomplishing great things in both social and business entrepreneurship. And it is our job to explain to the UT family, to the media, and to the overall community that prudent investment in the ideas of the UT faculty and entrepreneurs is one of the surest routes to long-term and sustained economic growth in northwest Ohio.”

Fall emphasized that stringent due diligence and investment procedures remain in place. With this type of innovation-based economic development, it is clearly a fact that not all such early-stage investments succeed, he said.

“But in the case of Innovation Enterprises, this is an incredibly strong showing for an investment portfolio of this type at this early point in UTIE’s lifespan. Like a mutual fund, you invest in a wide range of organizations knowing that even if some underperform, over the long term the fund as a whole will be successful,” Fall said.

Fall expressed his thanks to all who have worked so hard to make UTIE a success in the first five years: board members, researchers and faculty, students and support staff. He made special mention of Bill McCreary’s contribution, a sentiment Jacobs echoed.

“The University of Toledo and UT Innovation Enterprises is so fortunate to work with a person of such superior personal character, intellect and experience as Bill McCreary. He will play an important role as Bill Fall and Rhonda Wingfield lead UT and this community to continued economic successes,” Jacobs said.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 26, 2014)
The Blade (March 27, 2014)

Pacemaker Awards honor Sharon Speyer, outstanding UT business students

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council will recognize both business and academic excellence during their 51stth annual Pacemaker Awards on Friday, March 28 at Inverness Country Club.

The 2014 recipient of the Business Pacemaker Award is Sharon Speyer, president, Northwest Ohio Region, Huntington National Bank.

Speyer has been with Huntington Bank and its predecessor banks since 1992. Huntington National Bank, a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares, is a $59 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to her role as President, Speyer previously served as general counsel for Sky Bank.

Speyer received her juris doctorate from The University of Toledo College of Law after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from The Ohio State University.

Speyer serves on numerous boards and committees including: ASPIRE; Marathon Classic Executive Board; Regional Growth Partnership Board; Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board; and the Toledo Symphony Board of Trustees. She is also vice chair of UT’s Board of Trustees.

“Sharon Speyer’s highly successful career, community involvement and outstanding leadership make her the ideal business professional to receive this year’s Pacemaker Award,” said Dr. Thomas Sharkey, interim dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “Furthermore, her commitment to The University of Toledo, both as an alumna and as a concerned officer of the Board of Trustees, is to be applauded.”

“From Stephen Stranahan to Robert Savage, Harold McMaster to Marianne Ballas, recipients of the Pacemaker Award over the past five decades read as a Who’s Who of current and legendary business leaders in the Toledo region,” Sharkey said. “As the College’s highest honor, the Pacemaker Award recognizes an individual for outstanding achievement in business as well as contributions to the community and the University.”

Student Pacemaker Awards are presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, service and leadership.

The 2014 student Pacemakers are: Accounting – Todd Fry and Megan Massi; Finance – Ethan Barteck and Justin Blake; Information Operations Technology Management – Robert Cagle and Cody Mohler; Management – Taylor Juza and Amy Cress; Marketing/International Business – Nicholas Dorner and Nicole Diegel; MBA – Leandra Hutchinson; Ph.D. – Nehemiah Scott.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 27, 2014)

UT law professor available to comment on Hobby Lobby case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear opening arguments today on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which tackles the politically hot-button topics of the Affordable Care Act, religious freedom and women’s access to birth control and emergency contraceptives.



UT Professor of Law Lee J. Strang said this complex case with a lot of moving parts will have far-reaching implications for the free exercise of religion and corporations seeking an exemption to the Health and Human Services Mandate.

“This case is attracting a lot of attention, and rightly so,” Strang said. “The Affordable Care Act is President Obama’s signature legislation and there is a growing movement of religious people who are asking for a hands-off approach from the federal government under the ACA.”

The Greens, a Christian family who owns Hobby Lobby, is protesting the Health and Human Services Mandate, which they argue requires employers to go against their religious beliefs to provide health insurance with coverage of contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs.

The Greens claim the mandate violates the First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and also the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which prohibits laws that substantially burden a person’s free exercise of his or her religion.

Strang is available to talk discuss the Supreme Court case and its implications.

Contact Meghan Cunningham at 419.530.2410 or to schedule an interview.

Media Coverage
The Blade (July 1, 2014)

UT professor to speak about ethics of addressing climate change

There is a serious issue with climate change and the attitude many people have toward it, according to Dr. Ovamir Anjum, the Imam Khattab Chair of Islamic Studies at The University of Toledo.

He will deliver the annual Imam Khattab Lecture on Islamic Studies titled “Planting Trees the Day Before Doomsday: Islamic Reflections on Tomorrow’s Ethics” Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.



Anjum said his lecture is inspired by the words of the Prophet Muhammad: “If you are planting a seed and the doomsday comes, finish planting it.”

What that means is don’t give up the good works; continue to work to benefit others in the future even if you don’t stand to benefit from it, Anjum explained.

His talk will focus on the challenge of man-made global climate change that is facing the world and the cataclysmic effects that are being seen.

Anjum will then speak about the ethics and attitudes that will be required by all caring and thinking human beings in the coming decades and the guidance that monotheistic religions in general, and Islam in particular, need to provide to cope with the emerging world.

“The new ethics will have to become community-centered and will have to overcome consumerism and the ideologies behind it,” Anjum said.

For more information about this free, public lecture and other events sponsored by the Center for Religious Understanding, visit

Click here to download a photo of Anjum.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs announces he will step down June 30, 2015

President led implementation of merger, hailed as ‘transformative’ leader

After eight years leading The University of Toledo and another three as head of the former Medical University of Ohio, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs announced today that he will step aside as UT’s president effective June 30, 2015.



“My time in Toledo has been among the most personally rewarding years of my life, and Ola and I are looking forward to many more at UT and in the community,” Jacobs said. “I’m excited by a new opportunity to help UT and other universities adapt to the financial and resource pressures that will grow only more challenging over time.”

Joseph Zerbey, chair of the UT Board of Trustees, said Jacobs has defined what transformative leadership truly is.

“Lloyd Jacobs not only led the way to make the merger with MUO a reality, he has led the implementation of the vision behind the merger and in a very literal way transformed this institution into one that is far greater than the sum of the two organizations that came together in 2006 to comprise the new University of Toledo,” Zerbey said.

Zerbey indicated that Jacobs will lead a new Institute of University Transformation. While still an initial vision that will be fleshed out over time, Zerbey said the institute would help integrate the ways technology can be used to improve the learning and retention of skills and information, increase access, and reduce costs for students.

“I have spoken often about the danger of higher education pricing itself out of the market. This is why I’ve been committed to ensuring UT has been a leader in slowing the pace of tuition increases,” Jacobs said. “UT plays a critical role in this community, and it is essential that The University of Toledo keeps pace with the rate of societal transformation taking place all around us.”

“This University and this community owes Dr. Jacobs a debt of gratitude for his success in raising UT’s national profile,” Zerbey said, adding that UT areas like the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and the Ruth M. Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center are examples of pieces with a natural fit into the future Institute of University Transformation.

According to Zerbey, a national presidential search is planned and a formal search process will be announced soon.


Lloyd A. Jacobs, M.D., became the 16th president of The University of Toledo in July 2006 when he was selected to lead the merged institution created by the union of the former Medical University of Ohio and UT.

Jacobs has been a champion for increased access to higher education with UT taking a leadership role freezing tuition in 2007 and 2008, and again in 2013 for undergraduate students.

During his tenure, the University has invested more than $200 million in capital improvements, mainly by renovating existing academic buildings, classrooms and athletic venues. And the University celebrated the successful completion of its largest capital fund campaign in history that raised more than $106 million. A new $200 million campaign is already a quarter of the way to its goal.

Jacobs was named the sixth president of the Medical College of Ohio — later renamed Medical University of Ohio — in November 2003. Prior to coming to Toledo, he was chief operating officer of the University of Michigan Health System, one of the largest systems in the country, and senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the University of Michigan Medical School. He also held a faculty appointment as professor of surgery.

A native of Holland, Mich., Jacobs is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. A vascular surgeon, he completed surgery residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of California at San Diego Hospital and Wayne State University in Detroit.

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (March 21, 2014)
The Blade (March 21, 2014)
The Blade (March 22, 2014)
The Blade (March 24, 2014)
The Blade (March 30, 2014)