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Archive for February, 2016

International women’s rights activist to speak at UT

Women’s rights activist, author and organizer Charlotte Bunch will come to The University of Toledo to speak in honor of Women’s History Month 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in Driscoll Auditorium.

Bunch, who began her career in activism during the 1960s civil rights movement and was given the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President Bill Clinton in 1999, will discuss the growth of the global women’s human rights movement in a lecture titled, “The Dance of Feminism with Human Rights: A Reflection on 25 years of Advances, Backlash and Challenges.”

Charlotte Bunch

“We are honored to host such an inspiring woman who works to empower citizens worldwide,” said Dr. Asma M. Abdel Halim, interim chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the UT College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.  “She will look at the advances made by women, especially within the United Nations. While discussing the challenges ahead, she also will address the backlash against feminism.”

Bunch is the founding director of the Women for Global Leadership Program at Rutgers University.  She has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and received the “Women Who Make a Difference” award from the National Center for Research on Women.

Bunch also is the author of “Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action.”  She is the focus of a 2011 documentary titled “Passionate Politics: The Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch.”

Bunch currently serves on the women’s division of the Advisory Board for the Human Rights Watch.  She also sits on the Board for the Global Fund for Women and the International Council on Human Rights Policy.

Light refreshment will be served at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (March 4, 2016)

UT to host heroin overdose simulation

The University of Toledo and Team Recovery will simulate treating a heroin overdose situation to help fight Ohio’s heroin epidemic.

The simulation, which includes health science students, faculty and staff, begins 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 29 at UT’s Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center on the Health Science Campus.

Community partners have been invited to the first floor theater to watch a live video feed being filmed one floor above in the state-of-the-art medical education simulation suites.

“You will experience the high-intensity process, emotions and medical treatment of heroin overdose starting inside a home and hopefully feel a connection to what is happening to people of all ages and walks of life in our community,” Tia Hornish, UT clinical simulation and education research associate, said.  “The patient will be one of our human simulators.  Students will act as the patient’s family and friends inside the apartment attempting to administer the antidote drug Narcan, or Naloxone, which is now available at pharmacies over-the-counter.  Toledo Fire Department medic students will serve as first responders who transport the patient to the hospital.  UT medical, nursing and physician’s assistant students will next take over trying to save the patient’s life.”

When the scenario ends, students and doctors will meet the guests in the theater to discuss the exercise and what can be done to respond better.

Representatives from Team Recovery, a local organization of recovering heroin addicts who are working to help other addicts get sober, will answer questions with scenario participants beginning at 9:30 a.m.

“Narcan saved my life,” said Matt Bell, one of the founders of Team Recovery who overdosed on heroin in the fall of 2014. “I graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA, but dropped out of UT after pain pills from a baseball injury led me ultimately to heroin addiction. There is a way out. This simulation may be scary to see, but people need to understand the severity and prevalence of what is happening inside so many homes in our area.”

Team Recovery holds family support group meetings once a week. Representatives also share their stories in school classrooms from 6th grade through college to spread prevention awareness.

“As health care providers, we need to be able to understand that the heroin epidemic is not discriminating against anyone and provide resources to help addicts,” Hornish said.

Media Coverage
The Blade (March 1, 2016)

Sales students from across U.S. to participate in UT’s first national sales competition

Professional sales students from more than 30 universities across the United States will visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the inaugural University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition.

The sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex on the UT Main Campus.

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the second round from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and quarterfinals will be from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. followed by the finals from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at an awards luncheon at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Student Union Auditorium.

“The Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales is widely recognized as one of the top educational sales programs in the nation, and we regularly send teams to other universities to participate in major sales competitions,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales. “Most sales competitions are intended for senior sales students, so we decided to establish a unique competition for freshmen, sophomore and junior sales students. This allows the students to practice and sharpen their sales skills earlier in their sales studies while also allowing employers to be the first to interact with the developing sales professionals of tomorrow.”

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Student Union Ingman Room.

“We are extremely pleased by the participation of so many respected sales schools from universities such as Missouri, Florida State, Purdue, Tuskegee, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Georgia State and more,” Jones said. “Furthermore, we are excited that major companies such as our product sponsor 3M, our rocket sponsor Quicken Loans, and other major companies including Goodyear, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Reynolds & Reynolds will be interacting with these students in role plays, as coaches, at our career fair and more.”

UT among Ohio universities to receive $1.9 million Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative Awards

The University of Toledo is among eight Ohio universities to receive a total of $1.9 million from The Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative.

The Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, jointly managed by UT and Ohio State University, is funding 13 collaborative research projects to provide solutions for the harmful algal blooms that affect Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Mary’s, Buckeye Lake and other fresh water bodies in and around Ohio.

The research projects announced yesterday focus on tracking the sources and movement of harmful algal blooms, ensuring safe drinking water, protecting public health and providing critical education and outreach for stakeholders dealing with both upstream and downstream harmful algal bloom issues.

This is the second round of HABRI awards. The first $2 million in awards, released in February 2015, supported 18 interdisciplinary, multi-university research projects — eight of which are lead by UT — that are currently in progress.

“HABRI was created in the aftermath of the 2014 Toledo water crisis to provide near-term solutions for the full suite of issues surrounding harmful algal blooms,” Chancellor John Carey said. “Guided by the technical needs of state agencies at the front lines of the HABs crisis, Ohio research universities are the engines for creating new knowledge, new technologies and new approaches to give us both short-term assistance and long-term solutions.”

Each project funded by HABRI consists of multiple university partners and state funds have been matched at least one-to-one by participating universities.

“These awards to our universities also serve to train the next generation of Ohio scientists who will be called upon to address future environmental challenges,” Chancellor Carey said.

The projects led by UT researchers are:

  • “Characterization of recreational exposures to cyanotoxins in western Lake Erie basin” led by Dr. April Ames, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine;
  • “HAB Avoidance: Vertical Movement of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie” led by Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences;
  • “Discovery of Enzymes and Pathways Responsible for Microcystin Degradation” led by Dr. Jason Huntley, assistant professor of medical microbiology and immunology; and
  • “Evaluating Home Point‐of‐Use Reverse Osmosis Membrane Systems for Cyanotoxin Removal” led by Dr. Glenn Lipscomb, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.

Ongoing activities funded by the first round of HABRI include the development of an early warning system for bloom hazards in the western Lake Erie basin, a phosphorus fingerprinting technique to determine the origin of nutrient runoff, alternative water treatment tools to detect microcystin and other toxic algal byproducts, and a better understanding of the exposure of humans to toxins from fish and fresh produce.

Entrepreneur appointed to UT Board of Trustees

A local technology entrepreneur and the organizer of TEDxToledo has been appointed the newest member of The University of Toledo Board of Trustees.

Will Lucas, the co-founder and CEO of the technology company Classana that connects students with educational and career-related resources and founder of Creadio that provides custom, live in-store music channels for businesses, was named by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to a term beginning Feb. 24, 2016 and ending July 1, 2024.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the The University of Toledo and our community in this role,” Lucas said. “I am passionate about the future of education and the future of Toledo. The University of Toledo is an important part of creating that future and I stand ready to help it succeed.”

Lucas, a graduate of UT with a bachelor’s degree in organizational technology, is the founder, curator and license holder for the local annual TED talks, an acronym that stands for Technology Entertainment Design, bringing together the city’s thinkers and doers since 2012.

“I look forward to Will joining the board and adding his perspectives from his community engagement and professional experiences,” said Sharon Speyer, chair of the UT Board of Trustees.

Business Insider named Lucas among The 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology in 2014 and The Most Influential African-Americans in Tech in 2013. TechCruch also listed him in the 40 Diverse People In Tech Who Made Big Moves In 2015.

He serves on the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.

Media Coverage
The Blade (Feb. 24, 2016)

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to hold public session at Toledo Law Feb. 24

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, based in Washington, D.C., will hold a public session in the McQuade Law Auditorium at The University of Toledo College of Law from 9:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 24 as part of the court’s Off-Site Court Program.

The court’s session accompanies a visit by Eugene R. Fidell, attorney for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in his pending court martial and visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, who will deliver the Order of the Coif Distinguished Lecture titled “Military Justice and Its Reform” today (Tuesday, Feb. 23) at the College of Law.

“Watching an appellate argument before a federal court in our building is a rare learning opportunity for our students and members of the community,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law.  “Students and others attending the event will also have the opportunity to ask the judges questions following the argument.”

“This event also has special meaning because of the importance of veterans’ issues in current policy discussions,” said Barros. “This court provides a necessary avenue for our nation’s veterans, including 2.5 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to ensure they receive all the benefits they are due.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a federal court with exclusive jurisdiction over final decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The court provides veterans an impartial judicial forum for review of administrative decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals that are adverse to the veteran-appellant’s claim of entitlement to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits, and other benefits including education payments and waiver of indebtedness.

Three of the court’s seven judges will preside over oral argument at the College of Law in the matter of Noah v. McDonald, concerning an application by a Vietnam veteran for a finding that PTSD was “service connected.” The three-judge panel will be announced at the event. Among the court’s seven judges is College of Law alumnus Alan G. Lance, Sr. ’73, who was nominated to the court by President George W. Bush in 2004.

More information is available on the court’s website,, and the UT College of Law website,

Community leaders to kick off scholarship campaign for African American health professions students

The mayor of the City of Toledo and area church leaders will join The University of Toledo to kick off a “Campaign Critical” fundraiser to support scholarships for African American students in the health professions.

The initiative is lead by the President’s Committee for African American Recruitment, Retention and Scholarship Support, or PCARS, which was formed in 2006 to enhance the recruitment and retention of African Americans in the fields of health sciences, which include medicine, pharmacy, nursing and physician assistant.

A kickoff event for the fundraising campaign will be 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 1502 N. Detroit Ave., with UT President Sharon L. Gaber, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and the Rev. James Willis of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.

The committee’s goal is to increase the number of African-American health-care workers in the Toledo region as an important part of the solution to address the health-care needs of African Americans in the community.

Additional religious leaders active in PCARS who will join Pastor Willis in support of the initiative at the news conference include: the Rev. Cedric Brock of Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Waverly Earley of Wesley United Methodist Church, the Rev. K. David Johnson of Third Baptist Church, the Rev. John Walthall III of Mount Ararat Missionary Baptist Church and Sister Virginia Welch of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church.

Media Coverage
WTOL 11 (Feb. 24, 2016)
13 ABC (Feb. 24, 2016)

UT to celebrate Engineers Week

The University of Toledo College of Engineering will celebrate Engineers Week, Feb. 21-27.

The annual “E-week” was started by the national organization, DiscoverE, to celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and bring engineering to life for students, educators and parents.

Spearheaded by the UT Engineering Council, student organizations at the College of Engineering have planned events in the spirit of E-week.

Listed by date, highlights for the week will include:

Monday, Feb. 22

• Egg-Drop Contest, 1 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall. Students will test their small, lightweight containers designed to protect a raw egg dropped from successive heights. This event is presented by the UT Society of Professional Engineers.

• Popsicle Stick Catapult Competition, 3 p.m., Nitschke Hall. This contest is hosted by the UT Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.

Wednesday, Feb. 24

• The College of Engineering Career Development Center will hold the Spring 2016 Career Expo. Open to current UT engineering students and alumni, the event will have representatives from more than 120 employers.

Thursday, Feb. 25

• Life-size Jenga, 11:30 a.m., Nitschke Hall. This game is organized by the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society.

• Putt-Putt Golf, 2 p.m., Nitschke Hall. The UT Engineering Council designed the miniature course.

Friday, Feb. 26

• Rube Goldberg competition, 9 a.m., Tom and Betsy Brady Innovation Center. Sponsored by Theta Tau, this contest will feature student teams that will construct the most creative and complex contraptions with more than 20 steps to open an umbrella.

• Freshman Design Expo, from 2:30 to 5 p.m., Tom and Betsy Brady Engineering Innovation Center. For the first time, freshman engineering students will showcase their projects.

For more information on the events, contact Jon Pawlecki, director of student services in the UT College of Engineering, at

Media Coverage
The Blade (Feb. 23, 2016)
The Blade (Feb. 23, 2016)
The Blade (Feb. 24, 2016)
13 ABC (Feb. 29, 2016)

Attorney handling court martial case to speak Feb. 23 at UT College of Law

Eugene R. Fidell, senior research scholar in law and the Florence Rogatz Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, will deliver the Order of the Coif Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Feb. 23, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

The free, public lecture is titled “Military Justice and Its Reform” and accompanies a visit by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which will hold a public session at the College of Law Wednesday, Feb. 24.

In his talk, Fidell, who is representing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in his pending court martial, will examine current proposals for modernization of the U.S. military justice system not only in light of the overall trajectory of U.S. military justice, but also against the backdrop of contemporary human rights standards and developments in other countries.

“We’re thrilled to host a speaker who is currently handling what is beyond doubt the most high-profile pending court martial in the United States Armed Forces,” said Geoffrey Rapp, associate dean for academic affairs at the UT College of Law and president of the college’s chapter of the Order of the Coif. “Many of our graduates have successfully obtained commissions as [judge advocate general] attorneys, and for students interested in that career path, this is a rare opportunity to discuss military justice in a law school setting.”

Fidell is a co-founder and former president of the National Institute of Military Justice and of counsel at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Defense Legal Policy Board of the Department of Defense and the board of directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War.

He also has taught at Harvard Law School and the American University Washington College of Law. Fidell is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Queens College.

The Order of the Coif is an honorary scholastic society that encourages excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of careful study, recognizing law students who attained a high grade of scholarship, and honoring lawyers, judges and teachers who attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments.

UT political science scholar to speak about terrorism at Perrysburg library

Three weeks before the Ohio presidential primary and several months after the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, Dr. Joel Voss, assistant professor of political science at The University of Toledo, will lead a discussion about terrorism 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Way Public Library at 101 E. Indiana Avenue in Perrysburg.

Joel Voss

The presentation, titled “Terrorism in America and Abroad,” is part of the library’s Topical Tuesdays series hosted in collaboration with the League of Women Voters of the Perrysburg Area.

“What do terrorists hope to achieve and how can we best combat terrorism?” Voss said.  “I will discuss the fundamentals of terrorism and hold an open question and answer session in hopes of shedding light on one of the largest issues as voters prepare to head to the polls.”

As a political scholar, Voss focuses on international relations, political violence, foreign policy and global human rights.

Refreshments will be served at the discussion, which is free and open to the public.