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Archive for January, 2015

Business executive to speak at Aspiring Minority Youth Conference

Business leader and child advocate Steve Pemberton will be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s 31st annual Aspiring Minority Youth Conference Saturday, Jan. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

The conference titled “Embracing Diversity: Understanding the Reality of 21st Century” is designed for sixth- through 12th-grade students, parents and community members.


“Our theme this year focuses on how critical it is that young people begin to understand the diverse and global world that they are a part of and how critically important it is for them to engage with and understand people who are different from themselves,” David Young, director of the UT Office of Excellence, said.

Pemberton, chief diversity officer and divisional vice president for Walgreens, is considered one of America’s most inspiring executives. Despite setbacks, he has been successful in both his personal and professional life by utilizing opportunity, access and equality.

“We are especially proud to present our keynote speaker,” Young said. “He is recognized as a leader on matters of diversity and inclusion and their importance to the growth of the American industrial complex.”

Pemberton’s inspiring journey from foster care to finding his biological family is shared in his memoir, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home.

After the general session featuring Pemberton, there will be a session for parents and educators titled “Fostering and Maintaining Healthy Lifestyles for the Whole Family,” which is designed to encourage parents to discuss nutrition and exercise with their children and be proactive about health and wellness.

Students will attend a concurrent session on “Ethnic Diversity: Overcoming the Negative, Reinforcing the Positive.” A Toledo Excel alumni panel will lead a discussion to encourage students to celebrate diversity and take pride in their ethnic backgrounds.

A free lunch will be provided for all attendees after the last session.

The free, public conference is hosted by Toledo Excel, which was established in 1988 and has since helped prepare underrepresented students in higher education for success in college.

To make a reservation for the free, public conference, click here or call 419.530.3823.

Click here to download a photo of Pemberton.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (Feb. 11, 2015)

Toledo Law offers Indiana residents low Ohio in-state tuition

What if Indiana’s most affordable law school isn’t in Indiana?

For members of the fall 2015 entering class, The University of Toledo College of Law will provide Indiana residents a scholarship to cover the out-of-state tuition surcharges, making Toledo Law the most affordable law school for Indiana residents. The scholarship will be automatically renewed each semester of law school enrollment.

With the new Indiana Resident Scholarship Guarantee, Indiana residents will effectively pay Toledo Law’s in-state tuition rate of $17,900 – lower than any public or private law school in Indiana.

“Toledo Law offers a nationally ranked education with a personal touch,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “We have many graduates who have had outstanding legal careers after returning to or settling in Indiana with a Toledo Law degree.”

Toledo Law is consistently looking for ways to improve the value it provides its students. Other recent initiatives include enhanced opportunities for experiential learning during all three years and more emphasis on joint degree programs such as the JD/MBA and new JD/MD.

This initiative is part of the college’s ongoing efforts to recruit students from nearby states. Toledo Law also offers in-state tuition to Michigan residents through the Michigan Resident Scholarship Guarantee.

UT researchers to lead majority of Ohio water quality research projects

The University of Toledo is slated to lead eight out of the 18 research projects to be funded with $2 million in state of Ohio research funds to address water quality and algal bloom toxicity.

UT is to receive more than $830,000 of the $2 million dedicated by the Ohio Board of Regents under the recommendation of a committee tasked with deciding how to best utilize and invest the funds. The Ohio Board of Regents announced the research project proposal earlier today.

The University is investing an additional $200,000 to support the research efforts of its faculty.

“The faculty at The University of Toledo were prompt to help when Toledo’s water supply was impacted by toxic algae in Lake Erie and continue to offer their expertise as we seek solutions to the algal blooms that negatively impact our community and others throughout Ohio,” UT Interim President Nagi Naganathan said. “Given our location on Lake Erie and breadth of expertise in environmental sciences, environmental engineering, medicine and spatial sciences, UT is well positioned to provide the important solutions we need to address this concern.”

The UT researchers to receive funding for their projects are:

•  Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, who will work to extend early-warning capacity for harmful algal blooms by placing sensors up to eight miles away from intakes in areas were high toxin levels tend to develop during blooms and investigate environmental variables that provide insight on conditions that promote production and release of algal toxins.
•  Dr. Isabel Escobar, professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and interim associate dean of research, development and outreach in the College of Engineering, who will study alternative water treatment processes to removal algal toxins, address transport of toxins through drinking water distribution systems and compare processes to detect cyanotoxins.
•  Dr. Kenneth Hensley, associate professor pathology, who will develop a method to detect toxins in biological samples, such as urine or blood, to assess exposure to toxins.
•  Dr. Jason Huntley, assistant professor of medical microbiology and immunology, who will test conditions that promote microcystin-degrading bacteria to form biofilms on filters currently used in municipal water treatment facilities.
•  Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, who will organize available information and engage Maumee watershed stakeholders to help make informed decisions and suggest best management practices.
•  Dr. Thomas Sodeman, professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at UTMC, who will study the impact of preexisting liver disease for susceptibility of microcystin hepatotoxicity.

A group of more than 60 university researchers, including four from UT who co-chaired focus group areas, were convened by Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey to recommend how the funds would be invested. The group made their recommendations looking at five key areas: Lake Erie harmful algal blooms and lake water quality; drinking water testing and detection; agricultural land use practices, sources of enrichment, water quality, and engineered systems; human health and toxicity; and economics and policy reform.

“This group put a great deal of time and effort into addressing this important issue,” Carey said. “I am very proud of the effort of the researchers from both the public and private higher education institutions. This collaborative effort is evidence of the value of higher education in Ohio to solving the toxic algae issue. We need to build upon this model with other important issues facing our state.”

The newly funded research projects will build upon UT’s already robust work in the area of water quality.

Shortly after the August water crisis in Toledo, a University of Toledo Water Task Force was created. Comprised of faculty and researchers spanning the University’s colleges, UT Medical Center and UT Lake Erie Center, the task force serves as a resource for officials at all levels of government and coordinates existing UT Lake Erie research and ongoing related investigative efforts on water resource management and water quality.

“We are committed to our role as a public research university and are pleased we have the faculty expertise to support our region,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT vice president for government relations and chief of staff to the president, who is chairing the task force. “UT is in a unique position to provide the resources and expertise sought by our local and regional stakeholders to address this issue.”

Media Coverage
13 ABC, FOX Toledo and WTOL 11 (Jan. 28, 2015)
The Blade (Jan. 28, 2015)
WTOL 11 (Jan. 29, 2015)

Equal opportunities for people with disabilities topic of Jan. 29 talk

** Americans With Disabilities Act talk Jan. 29 is canceled **

A lecture by Dr. Michael Stein, co-founder and executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29 at the UT College of Law has been canceled. 

The event, “The Americans With Disabilities Act at 25: Looking in by Looking out,” will be rescheduled.

This year marks the 25-year anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Where it stands now will be discussed Thursday, Jan. 29, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

Dr. Michael Stein, co-founder and executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, will give a talk titled “The Americans With Disabilities Act at 25: Looking in by Looking out.”

The landmark civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all places that are open to the general public.

Stein will survey the act’s 25-year legacy of promoting equal opportunity for people with disabilities and address what needs to be done. In doing so, he will draw on his work on disability rights in three dozen countries.

An internationally recognized expert on disability law and policy, Stein helped draft the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In addition, he works with disabled persons organizations around the world, consults with governments on their disability laws and policies, advises a number of UN bodies, and has brought landmark litigation and written extensively on disability rights.

Stein has received numerous awards for his work and was appointed by President Obama to the United States Holocaust Council.

A longtime visiting professor of law at Harvard, Stein also has taught at New York University, Stanford and William & Mary law schools.

He is a graduate of New York University and holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a PhD from Cambridge University.

Stein’s free, public talk is sponsored by the UT College of Law.

UT to cut ribbon on new facility at Schoolcraft

A new location is now open in southeast Michigan for students to earn a University of Toledo degree closer to home.

As part of the Schoolcraft to U partnership between UT and Schoolcraft College, the Jeffress Center on the college’s Livonia campus has been refurbished to look and feel like UT campus classrooms.

A ribbon cutting to celebrate the new Schoolcraft to U space will be 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 on the third floor of the Jeffress Center, located on the Schoolcraft campus on Haggerty Road between Six and Seven Mile roads. The event will feature Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey, Livonia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan West, UT Vice President for External Affairs Lawrence J. Burns and Schoolcraft Vice President and CFO Glenn Cerny.

The 10,000-square-feet of UT space in the building named in honor of the college’s President Conway A. Jeffress allows students to take univeristy program courses in that building, or online, to complete their degrees without leaving their neighborhood.

The Schoolcraft to U partnership features UT bachelor’s degrees in professional studies, criminal justice, health information administration and nursing.

UT provides scholarships to cover the out-of-state surcharge for Schoolcraft to U participants and works with students to coordinate student courses at Schoolcraft and UT to ensure a seamless transfer.

The Schoolcraft to U program also includes Wayne State University in midtown Detroit, which offers engineering technology and business courses.

For additional information about the Schoolcraft to U partnership, visit

Media Coverage
WXYZ Detroit and WJBK Detroit (Jan. 28, 2015)

UT partners with Cleveland Cavaliers for Bow Tie Bracket Challenge

At The University of Toledo, the bow tie is synonymous with the fight against prostate cancer.

As part of a new partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers, The University of Toledo Bow Tie Bracket Challenge will run for four weeks beginning Sunday, Jan. 25. The co-branded promotion will encourage fans to vote for which Cavaliers personality best wears a bow tie.

Cavs Tie One On

“This is an opportunity for The University of Toledo to partner with one of the most important brands in sports to help UT’s efforts to raise prostate cancer awareness,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs and prostate cancer survivor.

Those participating in the challenge include:

•  Campy Russell, TV Analyst, FoxSports Ohio and Cavaliers Legend
•  Austin Carr, TV Analyst, FoxSports Ohio and Cavaliers Legend
•  Allie Clifton, Cavaliers Side Line Reporter, FoxSports Ohio
•  Fred McLeod, TV Analyst FoxSports Ohio
•  Ahmaad Crump Hype-man/In-arena Host, Cleveland Cavaliers
•  Moondog, Cavaliers Mascot
•  SirCC, Cavaliers Mascot
•  Olivier “ The Voice” Sedra, Announcer, Cleveland Cavaliers

Winners will advance to the next round in the bracket and a champion will be crowned during week four. The Bracket Bow Tie Challenge champion will be recognized when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics on Tuesday, March 3.

All fans who vote via the web site in the “Tie One On” Bow Tie Bracket Challenge will be entered to win two floor seats to the Cavs vs. Boston Celtics game on Tuesday, March 3, where the bracket champion will be recognized. The winning fans will also earn two benchwarmer passes, a Cavaliers prize pack and a UT/Cavs bow tie designed specially for the event.

The event is part of a partnership between UT and BowTie Cause, a national initiative that designs bow ties for charitable efforts across the country, founded by former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones.

“For more than five years, we’ve been working to support the fight against prostate cancer at our Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center and UT Health clinics throughout the Toledo community,” Burns said. “It’s incredible to see the Cavs stand with us to join this fight.”

Media Coverage (Jan. 26, 2015)

Finalists for University of Toledo presidency announced

The University of Toledo has announced its presidential finalists. Candidates who will be invited for campus interviews are:

•  Dr. Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas.

•  Dr. Christopher Howard, president of Hampden-Sydney College.

•  Dr. Michele Wheatly, professor and senior adviser to the president at West Virginia University.













Calling the group of leaders outstanding, UT Board of Trustees Chairman Joseph Zerbey told the UT campus community in a letter Thursday that the most important part of the search was still to come.

“The most important part of the search will take place in the coming weeks and as members of the UT community, you will play a critical role,” Zerbey said, noting that UT plans to set up feedback opportunities through the presidential search website.

Zerbey said that itineraries for the candidates would be developed and published in the coming days.

“While here, they will meet with leadership from our faculty, students, staff and administration, learn about the campus, and participate in open forums where members of the UT community can come ask questions and hear about the candidates’ visions for this University’s future,” Zerbey said.

Zerbey also had praise for the presidential search committee.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to say how thankful we are for the input, expertise and guidance from faculty, staff and student leadership, as well as alumni, UT supporters and members of the community who served on the search committee.”

Visit for the most up-to-date information.

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (Jan. 22, 2015)
NBC 24 (Jan. 22, 2015)
WSET Virginia (Jan. 22, 2015)
13 ABC (Jan. 22, 2015)
Morning Journal (Jan. 22, 2015)
13 ABC, FOX Toledo and WTOL 11 (Jan. 22, 2015)
The Blade (Jan. 24, 2015)

UTMC among first to treat cardiac patients with new device

The University of Toledo Medical Center is one of the first hospitals to treat cardiac patients with a newly-approved, revolutionary device.

“I know that for these people who live very close to us, we can have the confidence that they could not have gotten better care anywhere else in the world,” said Dr. Mark Burket, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, director of vascular medicine, director of cardiovascular research and professor of medicine.

The Lutonix drug-coated angioplasty balloon is the first of its kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It received final approval in early October, and is the only drug-coated balloon currently marketed in the United States.

UTMC participated as a clinical site for the LEVANT-2 study, which led to the FDA approval of the balloon. The balloon is primarily for use in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a circulatory disease in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs.

“We were quite privileged to be able to participate in this trial. By participating, we were among the first to receive the balloons once they received FDA approval. The first person in northern Ohio to receive the treatment was a UT employee, treated at UTMC,” Burket said.

Four patients have been treated with the device at UTMC.

The study compared the safety and effectiveness of the drug-coated balloon with a standard balloon.

“The approval of this device is extremely important to patients who suffer from blocked arteries to the legs. Opening obstructions with a balloon is much safer than performing surgical bypass, but the limitation of balloon angioplasty is that blockages can recur,” Burket said.

The Lutonix balloon releases a drug, paclitaxel, which limits the growth of scar tissue after a blocked artery has been opened.

“The outer surface of the balloon is coated with paclitaxel. When the balloon inflates, the drug is transferred to the wall of the vessel. The drug suppresses scar formation, thus ensuring that the vessel won’t clog up again,” said Burket. “Paclitaxel significantly decreases recurrence, so patients are more likely to have permanent relief of leg pain.”

“UTMC’s Cardiovascular Division was invited by Lutonix to participate in this study because we had extensive experience in clinical research in peripheral vascular disease. For example, UT was the top U.S. university center for enrollment in Zilver PTX, a clinical trial in which a drug-coated stent was used to treat blockages in the same artery that was treated in the Lutonix study,” Burket said.

Participation in the LEVANT-2 required dedication from the entirety of the cardiovascular staff.

“We are dependent upon our research coordinators to carefully attend to every detail for enrollment, data-entry and follow-up. The first-rate staff in the Cardiovascular Lab ensures that we have the right equipment, that imaging is complete and of the highest quality,” Burket said.

A second drug-coated balloon received FDA approval in early January.

“We are proud to have been involved with the trial and approval of the Lutonix balloon. The distribution and use of this device, and others like it, will greatly benefit patients affected by PAD, and will ensure they receive quality treatement,” Burket said.

Huntington Bank provides $10,000 in scholarships to five UT business students

Huntington Bank will present scholarships totaling $10,000 to five University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation students at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 in the Huntington Sales Lab, located on the fourth floor of the college’s Savage & Associates Business Complex.

The recipients are graduate student Cassandra Wenman ($3,000) and undergraduate students Paviele Pena ($2,000); Kaleigh Rapp ($2,000), Jae Huth ($2,000) and Boram Kim ($1,000).

“We were extremely impressed with the recipients, and their respective accomplishments and aspirations – a compliment to the talented students that the University is developing,” said Joel Jerger, senior vice president of Huntington Bank, Toledo. “The scholarships reflect Huntington’s commitment to Northwest Ohio. We look forward to continuing to work with the University as it educates the next generation of leaders.”

Through an expanded banking program between Huntington Bank and UT, Huntington is providing $150,000 in academic programming and scholarships for students and additional convenient banking options on campus.

“Both The University of Toledo and the College of Business and Innovation are extremely grateful to Huntington Bank for their outstanding support of our tremendous students,” said Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the college. “Huntington is serious about its role as UT’s banking partner, and these new scholarships reflect their commitment to provide meaningful financial support to some of our extraordinary business students.”

Rapp, a junior double majoring in accounting and finance, said, “Becoming a recipient of this scholarship shows that my hard work has paid off. It really means a lot that I was chosen out of a pool of recipients to represent the College of Business and Innovation. This scholarship is going to help me achieve my academic goals because I will be able to focus more on my school work rather than the stress of making ends meet.”

UT professors establish Health Disparities Research Collaborative

Mental health, heart disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS are more prevalent in Lucas County when compared to other counties in Ohio and other states throughout the U.S., and the infant mortality rate in Lucas County outranks many developing countries.

Two University of Toledo faculty members are addressing these health disparities with a new Health Disparities Research Collaborative (HDRC) that grew out of a shared passion for health equity, social justice and interdisciplinary collaborative research.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by social disadvantaged populations.”

As co-directors of the new research collaborative, Dr. Kimberly McBride and Dr. Shipra Singh, assistant professors of health and recreation in the College of Health Sciences, hope to build the HDRC into a program that will be on the forefront of health disparities research, training and service in the northwest Ohio region, as well as nationally and internationally. Specific areas of focus include health communication, mental health, minority health, mixed methodology and sexual and reproductive health.

Both new to The University of Toledo, McBride and Singh joined UT with experience in research aimed at reducing health disparities and creating opportunities for social justice, particularly among minority communities.

“Health equity is increasingly a priority within public health and medicine. Health is now being recognized as a fundamental human right,” McBride said. “From that perspective, efforts to eliminate health disparities are critical to ensuring that every human has the opportunity to enjoy health.”

Health disparities result from multiple factors including poverty, environmental threats, inadequate access to health care, individual and behavioral factors, and educational inequalities. They are directly related to the unequal distribution of social, political, economic and environmental resources.

“Historically, the groups that have had to bear the largest portion of the burden of disease and disability have been poor and marginalized communities. When we look at northwest Ohio, we see the same trend,” McBride said. “Our mission is to address the underlying issues that contribute to disparities through collaborative, community-engaged research and practice.”

Aside from research initiatives, a significant focus of the HDRC is the training and mentoring of future public health researchers, teachers and practitioners in a model of collaboration the prepares the next generation of professionals to adequately respond to critical issues in public health.

McBride and Singh are working to bring together faculty, graduate students and community-based organizations with plans to include undergraduate training opportunities in the future.

“Right now, our country is in crisis when it comes to the health status of the population,” McBride said. “The field of public health is supposed to be committed to improving social justice, which means that anyone who is working in the field should be making efforts to address health disparities and health equity.

“Our perspective with the HDRC is that bringing together people with diverse perspectives, skills and experiences improves our chances of making a meaningful contribution to these efforts,” said Singh.

For more information, visit