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Archive for March, 2015

Economic development seminar to introduce new UT Press book on the subject

A seminar for local leaders interested in economic development will introduce a new book on the topic by University of Toledo President Emeritus Dr. Daniel M. Johnson.

The half-day seminar, Leading Economic Development: A Seminar for Local Public Officials and Civic Leaders, will be Friday, March 27, from 2-4:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel on UT’s Health Science Campus. The event is sponsored by the UT Urban Affairs Center and the UT Press.Book cover - front

Johnson, who authored the new book Leading Economic Development: A Toolkit for Public Officials and Civic Leaders published by the UT Press, is a keynote speaker at the seminar.

Former Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher also will deliver a keynote addresses and the seminar will include a panel discussion featuring Paula Hicks-Hudson, mayor of Toledo; Joe Napoli, general manager of the Toledo Mud Hens; Jeffrey Potter, president of Potter Technologies and host of a radio show on Toledo business; and Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT’s vice president for governmental relations.

Following the seminar Johnson will host a free reception and book signing from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Faculty Club at the Radisson.

Johnson’s book is a primer for how those new to the field, or who want to become more successful, can lead economic development in their communities. Basing his work on the best minds and current scholarship in economic development, Johnson presents concepts in an approachable way that will be helpful to the novice and the experienced professional.

The book draws on his experience not only as a president of UT where he made economic development part of the University’s mission, but also on work he has done throughout his career in Illinois, Virginia, Texas, Alaska and Dubai.

Johnson has served in higher education leadership for more than 30 years, during which he fostered collaborations and partnerships between his universities, government and industry.

“Dan Johnson reinforces in this book that economic development is much more than financial incentives. It is about connecting your distinctive assets of people, place and opportunity,” Fisher said.

The book, which includes a foreword by Fisher, features chapters on economic clusters, globalization, branding, workforce development, the role of universities in economic development, private sector economic development and future trends in the field.

For more information, or to register for the seminar, visit or call 419.530.2170. The cost of the seminar is $25, which includes a copy of Johnson’s book. The deadline to register is Monday, March 23.

Johnson’s book is available for purchase on

Electronic recycling drive to be held March 21 on UT’s Main Campus

Have old electronics taking up space and collecting dust? Bring them to The University of Toledo’s community electronic recycling drive.

The e-waste event will be held Saturday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in parking lot 28, located off East Rocket Drive by the Transportation Center near the Dorr Street entrance to Main Campus.

Electronics that can be recycled at the drive include computers, laptops, printers, cameras, radios, cell phones, electronic games, VCRs, DVD players and power tools.

Televisions will not be accepted because they have a different recycling process, according to Brooke Mason, UT sustainability specialist.

Affinity Information Management, an R2 certified recycler, is collaborating with the University during the drive to ensure all electronics are recycled in an environmentally safe manner and in accordance with Department of Defense standards.

The drive is part of RecycleMania, an eight-week national recycling competition that runs through Saturday, March 28. UT is competing against schools across the United States and Canada to see which can collect the most recycled materials as measured by weight.

The competition and the e-waste event are part of UT’s Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design Initiative.

For more information, contact Mason at or 419.530.1042.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 20, 2015)

Interfaith forums to explore religious backgrounds

The Toledo community will gather to share their perspectives on religiously based topics at The University of Toledo Center for Religious Understanding’s upcoming Interfaith Forums.

“Fiction and Fact” will be Monday, March 16, and “Holy Days and Holidays” will be Tuesday, April 7, both at 4 p.m. in University Hall Room 4700. The events are free and open to the public.

Participants will join in small group discussions to explore different religious outlooks and traditions as well as to share their own perspectives.

“The forums are important because they are interesting and real ways of hearing from people who think differently about religion than you do — not just a book or a lecture, which come at arm’s length, but a real, live person who inhabits and is living out an entirely different way of thinking about what the point of life is and what is most real, valuable and the deepest source of human fulfillment,” said Dr. Jeanine Diller, director of the UT Center for Religious Understanding.

The first forum will take place during Muslim Awareness Week and is co-sponsored by the UT Muslim Student Association. With the goal of dispelling religious stereotypes, participants will talk about common prejudices toward other religions and how to work toward better understanding.

The second forum will take place on the eve of Holi Toledo — a UT recreation of the cultural event in India celebrated by throwing colored powder.

Diller said the forums are modeled after a similar program offered by the Lubar Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison that is focused on alleviating tension between people of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths.

Dr. Sharon L. Gaber is named The University of Toledo’s 17th President

History was made at The University of Toledo Thursday as the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Dr. Sharon Gaber UT’s 17th president.

“The University of Toledo is one of the most important institutions in the region and in Sharon Gaber, we have a president who can provide transformational leadership at a University deeply interwoven in the communities we serve,” said Board Chairman Joseph Zerbey.

“Whether the topic is student recruitment and retention, external research funding, improved student graduation rates, or raising philanthropic support, not only does Dr. Gaber have experience, she has achieved incredible results,” Zerbey added.


At a news conference following the trustees’ vote, Zerbey highlighted Gaber’s accomplishments during her tenure as provost of the University of Arkansas, including:

• A nearly 40 percent increase in enrollment at Arkansas, while simultaneously increasing incoming student preparedness and diversity;

• An increase in Arkansas’ six-year student graduation rate;

• A reclassification by the Carnegie Foundation of the University of Arkansas to a Very High Research institution, a reflection of more than $120 million in external research expenditures in 2014; and

• Active leadership in the University’s capital campaign.

“This University and this community needs a leader who can elevate The University of Toledo on a national stage and propel this institution to the next level,” Zerbey said. “And we have found her.”
“I’m excited, honored and incredibly thankful to the Board of Trustees for this opportunity,” Gaber said. “I see so much great work already happening at The University of Toledo and so much potential that we can achieve working together. I can’t wait to begin.”

Zerbey said a timeline for a transition will be established in the coming weeks.

Gaber will be the first woman to serve as UT’s president.

UT’s 16th president, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, led UT for eight years and had previously served as president of the former Medical College of Ohio before the 2006 merger with UT.

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, the dean of the College of Engineering, has been serving as interim president since July 1.

“I want to thank Dr. Naganathan for his service as interim president during the last year and for three decades as a teacher of our students, a mentor of our faculty and as a leader at this University,” Zerbey said.

In addition to her work since 2009 as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas, Gaber also serves as an officer on the board of directors for the 366-bed Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. She also is a corporate board member of the Simmons First National Corp. and is vice chair of the Arkansas Research and Technology Park.

She came to the University of Arkansas, where she also is professor of sociology, from Auburn University, where she served as interim provost.

Prior to that, she served Auburn as senior associate provost and associate provost for academic administration. She began her time at Auburn as associate dean in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction.

Before her time at Auburn, she was a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She served as department chair, graduate officer and held the A. Leicester Hyde endowed professorship.

She holds a PhD of city and regional planning from Cornell University, a master of planning from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees in economics and urban studies from Occidental College. Her research interests are in community needs assessment of marginalized populations and planning methods.

Gaber has served on the National Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Governing Board, was awarded the 2006 State of Alabama Outstanding Professional Planner of the Year, and the 2009 Auburn University Women of Distinction Faculty Award.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 12, 2015)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (March 12, 2015)
Arkansas Business (March 12, 2015)
KFSM Arkansas (March 12, 2015)
NBC 24 (March 12, 2015)
The Plain Dealer (March 12, 2015)
Sentinel-Tribune (March 12, 2015)
The Blade (March 13, 2015)
University of Arkansas News (March 13, 2015)
WTOL 11, 13 ABC and FOX Toledo (March 13, 2015)
FOX Toledo, 13 ABC, NBC 24 and WTOL 11 (March 13, 2015)
WBNS 10 TV (March 14, 2015)
The Independent Collegian (March 18, 2015)
Toledo Free Press (March 20, 2015)
The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 23, 2015)
The Blade (March 24, 2015)
The Blade (March 29, 2015)
The Blade (March 29, 2015)
The Independent Collegian (April 29, 2015)
The Independent Collegian (April 29, 2015)

Update: March Board of Trustees Meetings


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Driscoll Alumni Center, Board Room
10:30 a.m. Finance and Audit Committee Meeting

Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
12:00 noon Special Board of Trustees Meeting

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling (419) 530-7832 or via email at

Joan A. Stasa
Secretary, Board of Trustees

EPA Great Lakes conference to be held at UT

Toledo’s active participation in the health of the Great Lakes is one of the reasons the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Great Lakes Area of Concern Conference will be held this week at The University of Toledo.

The conference will take place Wednesday and Thursday, March 11 and 12, in the Student Union.

“Here at the University, we are engaged in a lot of water projects and work with a lot of community partners, including the Maumee area of concern,” said Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of the UT Department of Geography and Planning. “It seemed to be a nice fit for their audience and the type of conference that they’re looking to host.”

In 1987, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States was amended and signed in downtown Toledo. It identified 43 areas of concern on the Great Lakes.

Areas of concern are typically at major cities with historical issues of water and sediment contaminants from industries, wastewater treatment plants and other sources, and they range in size and scope. The Maumee area of concern covers the lower Maumee River, the Ottawa River, Swan Creek and several other rivers within northwest Ohio.

Since President Barack Obama started the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, it has brought in more than $1.9 billion in the last five years to address beneficial use impairments, or BUIs, in Great Lakes areas of concern. A BUI means that there has been a change in the chemical, physical or biological integrity of a water body; an area of concern must have at least one BUI, but typically has several.

One of the topics of the conference will be on funding and how to budget for different projects in order to address the wide range of BUIs still found at many of the areas of concern.

“People really want to know what the federal government is doing to help them achieve their goals,” said John Perrecone, environmental specialist with the EPA. “All of us that work on these projects feel very good about them because we know that the money being spent is going toward good outcomes, and I think this conference will showcase that.”

Funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative partially helped fund the recent Ottawa River restoration project on campus that wrapped up in 2014. One of the focuses of this year’s conference will be discussing some of the successes of habitat restoration projects like this that are being funded and implemented by federal and state agencies.

One of the most important aspects of this conference is bringing together people who work on these projects to share ideas and successes from across the Great Lakes basin. There also will be a special video presentation on Toledo’s water crisis last summer to share how the city handled it and what was learned.

“The problems that we had here in Toledo last August with the drinking water are something that is of great interest in other areas of the Great Lakes,” Lawrence said. “We will highlight interviews of local citizens and groups focusing on how the University and the Toledo area responded to that event and what we learned from it and share with other Great Lakes communities.”

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 9, 2015)
WTOL 11, 13 ABC and NBC 24 (March 12, 2015)
The Blade (March 13, 2015)

UT chosen as one of four national sites for innovation program

Entrepreneurship kick off event March 8-11

The University of Toledo has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as one of the first four Innovation Corps (I-Corps) sites in the nation. I-Corps sites are academic institutions that engage multiple, local teams in technology transition and strengthen local innovation.

The NSF I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of select, NSF-funded basic-research projects.

Developed at Stanford University, I-Corps affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to talk to their customers much earlier in the product and business development process, enabling them to truly understand their market and determine whether or not their product is a fit.

The kick off of the NSF I-Corps Program is Sunday, March 8 through Wednesday, March 11, in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center on UT’s Main Campus. The event is part of a partnership between UT and the University of Michigan, with faculty, students and mentors from both Universities participating.

“Recruiting teams for this program has been an amazing experience,” said Dr. Patricia Relue, UT professor of bioengineering. “The scientific and engineering capability at UT is diverse and rich, and the community and alumni response to our mentor recruiting efforts was very enthusiastic. The teams develop a sense of camaraderie during this training that is an important component of the program’s success.”

Eight teams with product and business ideas in the areas of bioengineering, chemistry and manufacturing and monitoring technologies will receive education and guidance during the event.

“The main focus of this event is to educate and provide resources to these teams that enable them to talk to customers much earlier than is typical in the commercialization process, which allows them to truly understand and validate the market and their customers,” said Jessica Sattler, UT’s director of economic engagement and business development programs. “This can lead to a pivot in their technology or business model or complete abandonment of the idea before a lot of time and money are spent developing a technology and business for which the market has no need.”

Combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum, I-Corps teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants.

NSF will work with the private sector to bring additional resources to the table, in the form of partnerships and finance, when warranted.

University leadership and representatives from the Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio Board of Regents, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ohio State University and Eastern Michigan University also will be present.

For more information, contact Sattler at or 419.530.6164.

Media Coverage
NBC 24 (March 8, 2015)
Toledo Free Press (March 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.”

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 automatic Michigan Resident Scholarship Guarantee.

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.

Daniel Steinbock, dean of the College of Law, will speak to a class at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis on Tuesday, March 10, at 1:30 p.m.

Contact Rachel Phipps at 419.530.2628 to arrange a meeting with Dean Steinbock.

Students set to compete in regional finals for $1 million Hult Prize

A group of University of Toledo students has been selected in the top 1.25 percent of more than 20,000 applying teams from around the globe to compete in regional competitions for the Sixth Annual Hult Prize.

Coined the “Nobel Prize for Students” by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, the annual Hult Prize Competition is the world’s largest student case competition, awarding the winners $1 million in seed capital to promote social good. The competition, in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, capitalizes on promising ideas of young and socially engaged entrepreneurs, growing them into actual startup enterprises.

UT students, from left, Merna Naji, Kaitlyn Opperman, Mahbod Pourriahi, Abigail Dudek and Nehemiah Scott will travel to Dubai over spring break to participate in the Hult Prize Competition.

UT students, from left, Merna Naji, Kaitlyn Opperman, Mahbod Pourriahi, Abigail Dudek and Nehemiah Scott will travel to Dubai over spring break to participate in the Hult Prize Competition.

The UT team includes four Jesup Scott Honors College undergraduate students — Kaitlyn Opperman, Merna Naji, Mahbod Pourriahi and Abigail Dudek — as well as one doctoral candidate, Nehemiah Scott, who is in the Manufacturing and Technology Management Program.

The theme of this year’s competition is to propose a solution for early childhood education disparities for residents of urban slums.

“Our goal is to close the gap between children growing up without access to early education programs that jump-start the learning process, among other things,” said Opperman, a junior majoring in secondary/adolescence to young adult education. “The brain development that happens at that age is crucial to setting them up for the rest of their education and lives.”

“We are trying to find a solution that is scalable, sustainable and holistic,” added Naji, a junior majoring in biology. “Because we are such a diverse team, we have members who bring health, educational, business and engineering/infrastructure perspectives to the table.”

Aside from their diversity of academic backgrounds, the UT Hult team is also different from traditional teams in that the majority of Hult Prize competitors are MBA students, rather than undergraduate students.

Dr. Lakeesha Ransom, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College, will travel to Dubai with the UT Hult team during spring break next week for the regional finals competition.

“We are dedicated to creating as many transformative opportunities for our students as possible in the Honors College, and I’m incredibly proud that the UT Hult team will compete in the regional finals,” Ransom said. “I look forward to all that they will accomplish.”

Media Coverage
13 ABC (March 5, 2015)

March UT Board of Trustees Meetings

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Driscoll Alumni Center, Board Room
5:30 p.m.

Monday, March 9, 2015
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
10:30 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting
11:30 a.m. Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting
11:45 a.m. Trusteeship and Governance Committee Meeting
12:00 p.m. Special Board of Trustees Meeting to discuss the employment of a public employee

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
10:30 a.m. Finance and Audit Committee Meeting

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling (419) 530-7832 or via email at