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Archive for April, 2016

UT students to give new roundabout a landscaping makeover

The University of Toledo is partnering with the Lucas County Engineer’s Office to give the new roundabout at the intersection of Dorr Street and King Road a new look from the ground up.

Dozens of students in UT’s Department of Environmental Sciences will plant flowering species of plants native to the Oak Openings region next week at the new 67-foot diameter traffic island in Springfield Township.

Students and organizers will be available for media interviews from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 at the Dorr and King roundabout.

dorr&king“People may be surprised that we specifically wanted bare sand to begin the gardens,” said Todd Crail, an environmental studies lecturer at UT who regularly moves his classroom outdoors for student service learning. “The plants we use are adapted to this type of soil, as well as the regional climate.  Therefore, they need little maintenance or watering once established and – more importantly – do not require fertilizer.”

The Lucas County Engineer’s office paid $7,000 for nearly 9,000 native species plants to be used in this project. According to the county, it costs on average $11,000 for labor and materials to plant a more traditional, non-native landscape that also requires continuous weeding.

“The county is actually saving money by going this landscaping route both initially at the outset and over the long term because native species require minimal upkeep,” said Kyle Warner, a traffic/design engineer with the Lucas County Engineer’s Office.  “As Todd and his group of volunteers are donating their labor, more money can be focused on the native plants themselves with the idea that a denser planting pattern will reduce the opportunity for weed growth. It’s a self-sustaining landscape that does not need mulch or fertilizer, and it requires very little – if any – watering or maintenance after 2-3 years. Even if we put down rock or stone, it would require ongoing labor and harsh chemicals to treat and prevent weed growth.”

The students will be planting predominantly herbaceous species that also keep weeds at bay by taking up nutrients and space.  Plants include black eyed susans, butterfly milkweed, dotted horsemint, prairie thimbleweed, rattlesnake master, rough blazingstar, wild bergamot and wild blue lupine.

Last year, UT students planted the roundabout at Dorr and Centennial.

Media Coverage
The Blade (May 4, 2016)
The Blade (May 4, 2016)

Finalists named for UT CFO position

Four finalists for the position of executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer will hold open forums in May to engage with The University of Toledo community.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to get to know the candidates at four open forums. Each will take place in Student Union Room 2582:

John Beaghan, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer to the Board of Trustees at Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.

  • Monday, May 2, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Dr. Gregg Lassen, vice president for business affairs at the University of New Orleans.

  • Monday, May 9, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Dr. David Ellis, associate vice president for budgeting and analysis at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

  • Tuesday, May 10, 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

Dr. Cornelius Wooten, vice president for administration and finance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

  • Friday, May 13, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

The executive vice president of finance and administration and CFO is responsible for the University’s overall financial leadership, strategic financial planning, and financial management. The role also oversees UT’s facilities and police and safety operations, the divisions of human resources and information technology, and other business services.

For more information about the CFO search and to see the candidates’ curriculum vitaes, visit

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 28, 2016)
Oakland Press (April 28, 2016)

Pacemaker Awards to honor local couple, 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 the 53rd annual Pacemaker Awards at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Inverness Country Club.

The 2016 recipients of the Business Pacemakers Award are Kathleen Hanley, recently retired from ProMedica, and Michael Hanley, recently retired from Ernst & Young. It is the first time in the history of the honor that the business Pacemaker Award will be presented to a married couple, as well as the first time the award has been presented to more than one person. Kathy Hanley small

Mrs. Hanley retired from ProMedica in 2015 after 35 years of service. She served as chief integration and development officer, president of ProMedica Indemnity Corp., and ProMedica’s chief financial officer. Previous to her long career with ProMedica, she was a senior auditor with Ernst & Young. Mrs. Hanley graduated from the UT College of Business with a BBA in accounting in 1978 and an MBA in finance. She has held many leadership positions with a variety of community organizations, including membership on the UT Foundation Board and the UT College of Business and Innovation Business Advisory Council, and she was named the 2014 UT College of Business and Innovation Most Distinguished Alumna.

Mr. Hanley retired from Ernst & Young in 2014 after 37 years with the firm, where he served many companies in the automotive industry in both an assurance and advisory role. He was the firm’s global automotive leader, was a frequent speaker at automotive conferences around the globe, and led conferences or executive discussions covering global and regional automotive megatrends, urban mobility, and doing business in developing markets. Mr. Hanley graduated from UT in 1977, completed Ernst & Young’s Executive Program at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University in 1996, and is a certified public accountant. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Shiloh Industries Inc., as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the MVP Foundation.

The Hanleys have two children and reside in Scottsdale, Ariz.Mike Hanley sall

“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, and both Kathleen and Michael Hanley certainly belong in that impressive roster,” said Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation. “The Pacemaker Award is the College of Business and Innovation’s highest honor, recognizing individuals for outstanding achievement in business as well as contributions to the community and the University. Kathleen and Michael’s highly successful careers, outstanding leadership, and tremendous generosity to our community make each of them an ideal business professional to receive this year’s award, as well as to historically be the first dual Pacemaker honorees.”

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

The 2016 student Pacemakers are: Applied Organizational Technology — Donna Provolish; Accounting — Gianfranco Rolando and Rodrick Perkins; Finance — Martha Krause and Patrick Northcraft; Information Operations Technology Management — David Headley and Madeline Jarrett; Management — Kayla Cepo and Karee Kunkel; Marketing/International Business — Stephanie Elkins and Megan Gaysunas; Master of Business Administration — Gretchen Buskirk; Master of Science in Accountancy — Rachel Headley; and Dean’s Recipient — Jacob Pawelczyk.

UT invites public to Stranahan Arboretum 50th anniversary celebration on Arbor Day

Arbor Day 2016 marks 50 years since The University of Toledo’s Stranahan Arboretum opened to the public as a place of beauty, learning and inspiration.

A group of UT students will celebrate the golden anniversary by recreating the tree planting ceremony of five decades ago along with food and games from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 29 at the 47-acre site at Sylvania Avenue and Corey Road.

UT President Sharon L. Gaber will attend the tree planting ceremony that begins at 4:30 p.m.

The free, public event on Arbor Day will feature guided tours and family activities, including potato sack races and Frisbee.

“As a senior project, our group called Team Treedom Arboretum wants to ignite the hope and inspiration that was present 50 years ago by involving both the community and the University,” Matthew Miller, UT student majoring in environmental studies, said. “We want to help make a difference by inspiring the next generation of tree planters with our love of nature and belief in preserving forests for the future.”

“The UT Stranahan Arboretum is not only an outdoor laboratory for ecology and geology classes, it is a place to nurture plants and engage our community in fascinating biodiversity,” Gaber said. “We want to use this milestone to kick off the next 50 years of our work to protect the environment here and across the broader region.”

The W.W. Knight family donated the land to UT in 1964 in memory of Robert Stranahan, founder of Champion Spark Plug Company.

The Stranahan Arboretum opened in 1966 and serves as one of the Department of Environmental Science’s field sites for education and research. It also hosts educational programs for local K-12 school students.

“Trees are amazing. They not only make our world beautiful, they clear our air and clean our water,” Daryl Dwyer, director of the arboretum, said. “The 50th anniversary of the Stranahan Arboretum should remind us to thank J. Sterling Morton, who with his wife organized the first Arbor Day in Nebraska in 1872 as a holiday that is a promise for the future made by planting trees that ‘grow and self-perpetuate themselves and shed yearly blessings’ on us all.”

Parking will be available at Camp Miakonda located at 5600 W. Sylvania Ave.  A UT vehicle will shuttle visitors to Stranahan Arboretum.

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 30, 2016)

Smithsonian museum director and physicist to address UT graduates May 7

Leaders with a passion for diversity and science who have uplifted Americans through the arts, public service and higher education will address graduates at The University of Toledo’s spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7 in Savage Arena.

During the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, former U.S. Congressman and physicist Dr. Rush D. Holt, who leads the world’s largest multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society, will speak to graduates from the colleges of Adult and Lifelong Learning, Health Sciences, Social Justice and Human Service, and the Judith Herb College of Education.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the first African-American female president of Spelman College, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony for the colleges of Business and Innovation, Communication and the Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

There are 2,843 graduates for degrees, including 234 doctoral candidates, 677 master’s candidates and 1,840 bachelor’s candidates.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on

Dr. Rush D. Holt Photo Credit: Chet Susslin, National Journal

Holt, who will receive an honorary degree of doctor of public service during the morning ceremony, is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

He served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District.  During his time on Capitol Hill from 1999 to 2015, Holt advocated for increased federal research funding, science education and innovation. Holt made national headlines in 2011 when he defeated IBM’s supercomputer “Watson” in a non-televised round of Jeopardy!

Holt previously served as assistant director of Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole

Cole, who will receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters during the afternoon ceremony, made history nearly 30 years ago as the first African-American female president of Spelman College in Atlanta. She later served as president of Bennett College for Women, making Cole the only person who has served as president of both historically black colleges for women in the United States.

Cole also was the first woman elected to the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She was the first African American to serve as chair of the board of United Way of America.

Other commencement ceremonies taking place include:

  • College of Engineering: graduate commencement 5 p.m. Thursday, May 5; undergraduate commencement 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7. Both ceremonies will be held in Nitschke Auditorium.
  • College of Nursing: 1 p.m. Friday, May 6 in Savage Arena.
  • College of Law: 1 p.m. Sunday, May 8 in the Student Union Auditorium
  • College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: 10 a.m. Sunday, May 8 in Savage Arena.
  • College of Medicine and Life Sciences: 2 p.m. Friday, May 27 in the Stranahan Theater.

For more information, visit

UT College of Law offers new graduate certificates in compliance

To help professionals stay current and comply with evolving laws and regulations, The University of Toledo College of Law is offering a new graduate certificate program in compliance.

The part-time program, which can be completed in about 10 months, is offered through online and in-person classes held in the evenings to accommodate working adults.

“A foundation in compliance is applicable to many heavily-regulated career fields, including health care, education, and human resources,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law. “Coursework in areas such as policy and procedure creation; ethics; privacy and data security; reporting; and investigations will allow graduates of the certificate program to be more competitive in the job market and better prepared to lead compliance programs.”

Interested students have three graduate certificate options: a specialized certificate in health care compliance, a specialized certificate in higher education compliance, and a general certificate in compliance that is applicable to a variety of fields and industries.

The health care compliance certificate is 18 credits and participants will learn the rules and regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and HIPPA.

The 17-credit certificate in higher education compliance will provide a foundation for the regulations associated with the NCAA for athletics, Clery Act and Title IX for safety, and FERPA for student privacy.

The general-focus certificate is a 16-credit program that includes a faculty-supervised research project focused on the student’s unique compliance interests.

Each certificate program also can be incorporated into the College of Law’s master of studies in law (MLW) degree program and the juris doctor (JD) program.

The graduate certificates were recently approved by the American Bar Association and will be offered beginning this fall semester.

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 27, 2016)

UT offering free health coaching to breast cancer survivors

The University of Toledo Center for Health and Successful Living is inviting breast cancer survivors to sign up for free health coaching.

Enrollment in the six-month, personalized program begins May 1 and ends Nov. 30.

The goal is to equip and empower survivors to take control of their nutrition, fitness and mental health in order to live longer, happier lives.

“Cancer survivors are a vulnerable population,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, health education professor and co-director of the Center for Health and Successful Living. “They are at risk for a recurrence of cancer, as well as the development of other metabolic and mental health disorders. One-on-one coaching will help improve their health and well-being.”

A portion of a more than $50,000 grant from Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio will fund the personalized health coaching at UT for 30 people.  The coaches will serve as mentors and guide them on their path to better health.

“This will help the survivors enjoy a better quality of life and reduce the chance of recurrence of cancer,” Thompson said. “Modifications like diet and exercise are recommended to ensure a disease-free survival. This kind of coaching has proven to be an effective model for prevention and sustaining a lifestyle change.”

To enroll, call the Center for Health and Successful Living at 419-530-5199.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (April 25, 2016)
The Blade (April 26, 2016)

Tribute set for longtime communication department faculty member

A memorial service honoring Don Reiber, who taught communication courses for 36 years at The University of Toledo, will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24 in Savage Arena.

Reiber, associate professor of communication and the director of the Department of Communication’s Media Services, passed away Sept. 20 at age 68.

ReiberHe taught television production, live-truck production, and radio production and programming. His students and alumni number in the thousands, working in broadcasting in Toledo, across the United States and for national news organizations, including CNN.

“Everything you’ve heard about Don Reiber is true,” Paul Helgren, UT associate athletic director, said. “What made him a great employee was his work ethic, professionalism and dedication to UT — especially UT students. What made him a great person was his easy-going nature and his genuine interest in others. He touched so many lives, probably many more than he ever realized. Don helped make this University great. His influence will be felt here for many years to come.”

The memorial service will be emceed by Dan Saevig, UT associate vice president of alumni relations and longtime friend. It will include several speakers who will share their remembrances and a video tribute, which is fitting for the man who lived and breathed broadcasting.

“We have alumni from as far away as California coming for the service,” Saevig said. “We expect several hundred to be there to celebrate a great human being who did so much for students and this University.”

The University is establishing an endowed fund in Reiber’s memory with the intention of dedicating the production control room in Savage Arena in his honor, pending approval by the UT Board of Trustees and the completion of a fundraising campaign. Contributions can be made to the Don Reiber Student Production Fund to The University of Toledo Foundation via

“Don was and still is a true inspiration to all that had the pleasure to have worked with him. He made us all want to be better at what we do,” said Tyler Mattson, a student who will receive a bachelor’s degree in communication in May and who received a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutics in 2014. “I knew Don for seven years from helping at events across campus. We all know that everything he did at UT wasn’t because he had to, but because he wanted to. It was with this that he showed and inspired all of his students and those who had come to know him. Don will always have a place not only at UT, but in our hearts as well.”

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 23, 2016)
13 ABC (April 23, 2016)
NBC 24 (April 25, 2016)
WTOL 11 (April 26, 2016)
The Independent Collegian (April 27, 2016)

UT among Bloomberg’s best undergrad business schools in nation

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has ranked The University of Toledo in the top 100 best undergraduate business schools of 2016.

The UT College of Business and Innovation ranked No. 96.  That is up 31 spots from its place in Bloomberg’s previous ranking of undergraduate business programs in 2014.

Bloomberg, a global business and financial information and news leader which has been ranking undergraduate business programs for ten years, updated its process this year by placing greater emphasis on jobs and removing data that does not directly relate to career preparation.

“Our tremendous success in securing jobs for our students — as high as 93 percent as of May 2015 graduates — through the work of our outstanding Business Career Programs Office obviously played a key part in producing great survey results for the Bloomberg study,” Terribeth Gordon-Moore, senior associate dean of the college, said.  “All of us in the College of Business and Innovation are very excited at this national recognition by Bloomberg of the quality and relevance of our programs. This further validates the quality of our faculty, the significance of our curriculum and the excellence of our students.”

Bloomberg surveyed more than 27,000 students from the 2016 graduating class at the 114 ranked schools and recruiters at nearly 600 companies.  It based its rankings on four main metrics:

  • Employer Survey (40 percent of total score): Feedback from recruiters who hire recent business graduates on how well schools prepared students for jobs at their companies.
  • Student Survey (35 percent): Students’ own ratings of the campus, career services department, and faculty and administrators.
  • Starting Salary (15 percent): The base compensation of students who had jobs lined up, adjusted for salary variation across industries and regions.
  • Internship (10 percent): The percentage of a school’s graduates who had at least one internship at any time during college.

Bloomberg provides these rankings to help guide prospective college students and their families through the process of choosing the right degree program for the career they want.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (April 25, 2016)

UT astronomers discover free-floating planetary-mass object in family of stars

Astronomers at The University of Toledo have identified a new object in space approximately 100 light years away from Earth estimated to be roughly five to 10 times the mass of Jupiter and 10 million years old.

The free-floating planetary mass object identified by researchers as a brown dwarf is called WISEA J114724.10-204021.3, or just WISEA 1147 for short.  A brown dwarf is a light-weight star that lacks enough mass to fuse hydrogen into helium, the process that makes stars like the Sun shine.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The new object is a member of the TW Hydrae family of stars and is located in the Crater constellation.

“We estimate it is one of the youngest and lowest-mass free-floating objects yet discovered in the Solar neighborhood, which is within 300 light years,” said Adam Schneider, UT post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and lead author of the new study to be published in The Astrophysical Journal. “This is not orbiting a star, so it is not a planet. It likely formed on its own in isolation like stars. We can use this to help us inform our understanding of chemistry and cloud structure of exoplanets, which are planets that orbit stars other than the sun.”

According to NASA, this discovery provides new clues in a mystery of galactic proportions regarding possibly billions of lonely worlds that sit quietly in the darkness of space without any companion planets or even a host sun. Where do the objects come from? Are they planets that were ejected from solar systems, or are they brown dwarfs?

“We are at the beginning of what will become a hot field – trying to determine the nature of the free-floating population and how many are planets versus brown dwarfs,” said co-author Davy Kirkpatrick of NASA’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

UT undergraduate student James Windsor, a sophomore studying astrophysics, is listed as one of the study’s co-authors.

Caption: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“James played a vital role at the outset of the study by identifying WISEA 1147 from a candidate list of several thousand,” said Mike Cushing, associate professor of astronomy and director of UT’s Ritter Planetarium. “Exposing undergraduates to cutting-edge research plays an important role in their education and I am happy that in this case it resulted in a pretty amazing discovery.”

“To make the discovery and have a student be involved is just awesome,” Schneider said.

James Windsor

James Windsor

“The ability to do research like this as an undergraduate student is one reason I chose to attend UT,” Windsor said. “This whole experience is mind blowing. I’m a kid who grew up in the village of Paulding, Ohio, dreaming of becoming an astronomer.”

For more information and to download images from NASA, go to

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 20, 2016)
13 ABC (April 22, 2016)
WTOL 11 (April 22, 2016)
FOX Toledo (April 22, 2016)
The Independent Collegian (April 27, 2016)