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Archive for January, 2017

UT names new Vice President for Advancement to lead fundraising, marketing

A fundraiser with more than 15 years of experience in higher education development has been selected to lead The University of Toledo’s Division of Advancement.

Michael Harders, vice president of university advancement and development for Kennesaw State University in Georgia, will join the University as vice president of advancement Monday, March 20.



“The work that the Division of HardersAdvancement does to elevate UT’s fundraising and messaging to our campus, alumni and external communities is important to the University’s success achieving our goals,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Mike’s experience and commitment to building a culture of philanthropy will provide strong leadership in this area, which is focused on elevating UT’s reputation.”

The Division of Advancement includes Alumni Relations, Development, Marketing and Communications, and Special Events.

“I am honored for the opportunity to work with President Gaber and The University of Toledo community to advance the vision and strategic priorities of this outstanding university at this important moment in the institution’s history,” Harders said.

“I look forward to collaborating with the campus community, to learning the philanthropic interests of the supporters of the institution, and to working with the talented professionals in the Division of Advancement as we strive together to support our students and faculty, and enhance our facilities and programs for the benefit of our state, nation and world.”

During his time at Kennesaw State since 2012, Harders tripled the amount of annual support to the university with significant growth in annual giving and alumni participation and donations.

He previously served as executive director of development for Missouri State University, where he coordinated its “Our Promise” comprehensive campaign, which exceeded its $125 million fundraising goal. He also was senior director of development for the Kansas State University Foundation.

Harders earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Kansas State University.

Activist to give keynote address for Black History Month

Dr. Angela Davis, an activist, scholar and author, will speak at The University of Toledo’s Black History Month Kickoff Luncheon Saturday, Feb. 4, at noon in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Her talk is titled “The State of Black America: Views From a Political Activist.”

Dr. Angela Davis

Dr. Angela Davis

Born in Birmingham, Ala., Davis and her family lived in the “Dynamite Hill” area, where she witnessed the bombings of African-American homes in the middle-class neighborhood. A prominent civil rights activist since the 1960s, Davis has been involved with the Black Panther Party and the Community Party USA.

She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she also led the Feminist Studies Department. Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to dismantling the industrial prison complex, and an affiliate of Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Her books include “Women, Race and Class,” “If They Come in the Morning (Radical Thinkers),” “Are Prisons Obsolete?” and “Angela Davis: An Autobiography.”

“Dr. Angela Davis will urge the audience to seriously think about the changes that have occurred from the 1960s to the present with regard to rights, activism, and social and cultural change as it relates to African Americans,” Dr. Kaye Patten, senior vice president for student affairs, said.

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Davis, who has always been an advocate for positive change. To be able to hear her personal stories will be an incredible honor,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, said.

In addition to Davis’ talk, the UT Gospel Choir will perform at the luncheon.

A limited number of $20 tickets are still available for the event, which is free for UT students who RSVP. To purchase tickets or RSVP, go to

The event will be streamed live in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room.

The luncheon is presented by the UT Division of Student Affairs, the UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Toledo chapter of the Links Inc., and the Study Hour Club.

Listed by date, other events that will take place at the University in honor of Black History Month will include:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 8 — “Real Talk: Mental Health in the Black Community” at 6:30 p.m. in Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Sponsored by the UT Office of Multicultural Student Success, the free, public event will be facilitated by Dr. Steven Kniffley, assistant professor in the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of the book, “Understanding the Mind of the Black Male.”
  • Thursday, Feb. 16 — Dr. Damon Tweedy will discuss race and health disparities at 7 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1200 on UT’s Health Science Campus. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and a staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center. His articles on race and medicine have been published by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, as well as by several medical journals. His free, public talk is sponsored by We Are STEMM, a UT student organization dedicated to empowering peers from underrepresented populations who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine.
  • Friday, Feb. 24 — The Black Student Union 48th Annual Fashion Show at 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. This year’s theme is “All Around the World.” The show will feature fashion from countries around the globe, particularly places represented by UT students. Tickets can be purchased at the Ask Rocky counter in the Thompson Student Union or at the door. All proceeds will go toward scholarships to support African-American students.

For more information on UT’s events for Black History Month, contact, David Young, director of the Toledo Excel Program, at or 419.530.3815.

UT scholars to host forum Jan. 31 titled ‘A Law and Order Presidency? Issues in Policing and Criminal Justice’

The University of Toledo’s second post-election forum since President Donald Trump became the country’s 45th president features a panel of scholars focusing on the topic of “A Law and Order Presidency? Issues in Policing and Criminal Justice.”

The free, public event is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the West Toledo Branch Library, 1320 West Sylvania Ave.

post-election-forum“We invite all concerned members of our community to join us for a public discussion about critical issues and questions pertaining to law enforcement, the terms on which we adjudicate crime and punishment, how we think about rights, and how we might aspire to justice,” Dr. Rene Heberle, professor of political science, said.

Heberle will discuss “Undoing Mass Incarceration in the Trump Era: What Is to Be Done?”

Additional UT speakers and topics include:

  • Jelani Jefferson Exum, professor of law, “What May Change? The Influence of the Attorney General on Criminal Justice Protections and Priorities”
  • Liat Ben-Moshe, assistant professor of disability studies, “Not in Our Name: Disability, Mental Health and Criminal Justice Reform”
  • Gregory Gilchrist, associate professor of law, “Federal Influences on Local Policing”

“Criminal justice and policing reforms have been at the forefront of political and policy activity at the federal level, in statehouses, in communities and in the streets for the last several years,” Heberle said. “Faculty from various disciplines will offer perspectives on the kind of influence the federal government has had on reform efforts over the past several years. More importantly, we will discuss prospects for continuing reform given the fundamental shifts in ideological perspectives and priorities signaled by the new administration taking shape under President Donald Trump.”

The event is sponsored by the UT College of Law and the School for Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Arts and Letters.


UT students recruiting 800 volunteers to help feed families in hurricane-ravaged Haiti

Three months after Hurricane Matthew unleashed a path of destruction through the southern peninsula of Haiti, devastation lingers for families who lost their homes, crops and livestock.

“It’s horrible,” said Ashley Jemerson, who studied criminal justice, forensic science and Spanish at UT before graduating last month. “Seeing the ongoing effects of the natural disaster makes me grateful for everything we have here in the United States.”

Jemerson and dozens of UT students selected by their colleges to participate in the Klar Leadership Academy in UT’s College of Business and Innovation need 800 volunteers Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28 in the Health Education Building on Main Campus to help produce 140,000 meals that will be sent to Haiti for hurricane relief.

The public is invited to participate in the two-day community service event called Feed My Starving Children, which is the culmination of a global service project organized by the 75 students in the Klar Leadership Academy to feed families in the country where food is scarce.

Volunteers need to sign up for shifts here. Shifts are 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, and 9-11 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.

Klar Leadership Academy students at Cherry Street Mission in November 2016

Klar Leadership Academy students at Cherry Street Mission in November 2016

The 2016-17 Klar Leadership Academy students are 75 percent of the way to raising their goal of $31,000 to make the event called a “Mobile Pack” a success.

“One of the biggest things we’ve learned in the academy is the importance of giving back,” said Anthony Dimodica, a senior studying human resource management. “Leadership also is about helping others. We’re hoping our University students, faculty and staff give up a little bit of their time to make a huge difference for people who don’t have a lot.”

The Klar Leadership Academy was founded in 2015 with the support of Steven Klar, a 1971 alumnus of the College of Business and Innovation and a New York City builder and real estate developer.

“The Klar Leadership Academy is all about creating the next generation of exceptional leaders who will carry on the COBI and UT legacy of leaders who are changing the world,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organization Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation. “This learning experience takes our best students across all undergraduate colleges on campus and leads them through a seven-month, transformational leadership development experience to increase their career trajectory and their ability to improve the human condition through high performance servant leadership.”

Enrollment increases through strengthened efforts to recruit and retain more students

The University of Toledo has 372 more students currently enrolled for spring semester than at the same time last year, reflecting continued efforts to recruit and retain additional students.

The total enrollment for spring semester 2017 is 19,221, according to official 15-day census numbers. UT had 18,849 students enrolled in spring semester 2016.

At the beginning of this academic year, UT experienced its first fall enrollment increase in six years, with 20,648 students enrolled. The University has continued its efforts to encourage students to continue their studies with a fall to spring semester undergraduate retention rate for 2016-17 of 89.2 percent, which is on par with the previous year.

“I am proud to see our increased recruitment and retention efforts result in more students choosing to come to UT and succeeding in their studies,” President Sharon L. Gaber said.

The spring 2017 enrollment includes 14,858 undergraduate students, an increase over the 14,679 enrolled the previous spring. These numbers are partially attributed to a larger number of new transfer students and high school students taking courses at UT.

UT experienced stronger growth in graduate students with 4,363 graduate students currently enrolled. The 4.6 percent increase over the 4,170 enrolled in spring 2016 includes a 31 percent increase in first-time graduate students and a 44 percent increase in new international graduate students.

National expert on urban education to speak at UT Jan. 26

The University of Toledo will host one of the country’s foremost experts in teaching education during a program titled “Diverse Teachers Matter” Thursday, Jan. 26.

Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will discuss the impact diverse teachers have on the success of all students, as well as the community’s importance in supporting teachers and contributing to increasing diversity in education.

The free, public event begins at 7 p.m. in the Scott Park Campus Auditorium.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a more important educator in the U.S. today,” said Dr. Lynne Hamer, professor in the Judith Herb College of Education’s Educational Theory and Social Foundations program and coordinator of Teach Toledo, the college’s degree program created to attract a diverse pool of students into higher education. “Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings has focused attention on the importance of explicit attention to racial and ethnic diversity, most importantly bringing ‘critical race theory,’ a theory developed in legal studies, into use in education. She also developed the concept of ‘culturally relevant pedagogy,’ introducing it in 1995 and continually applying it to modern teaching methodology.”

ladson-billingsLadson-Billings was elected in December to a four-year term as president of the National Academy of Education, which supports research for the advancement of education policy and practice. According to its website, members are invited from “a very select group of education experts from all over the world.”

Ladson-Billings is a 10-year member of the academy.

She also is past president of the American Educational Research Association and winner of the Brock International Prize in Education (2012), a monetary award honoring outstanding scholarship and research in education.

In January, Education Week’s “Straight Up” blogger Rick Hess named her the third most influential education scholar in the U.S.

Ladson-Billings’ book, which is titled “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children,” was published in 1994. The narrative follows eight successful educators in primarily African-American environments. A second book updating the lives and careers of the “Dreamkeepers” was published in 2009.

“For education to be an equitable system and for students to have a quality education that prepares them as citizens in a diverse society, teachers need to mirror the larger population in terms of diversity,” Hamer said.

“Diverse Teachers Matter” is sponsored by the Judith Herb College of Education, UT’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Toledo Public Schools. It is one of several events offered by the College of Education to commemorate its 100th year.

For more information, email or call 419.530.6126.

UTMC sets path forward to serve health care needs of community

Following a thorough review of its clinical operations and the needs of the region, The University of Toledo leadership has determined that The University of Toledo Medical Center will continue to operate in South Toledo serving the community.

The hospital is strong financially, operating near full capacity and able to meet the health care needs of its neighbors. In the coming years, UTMC will strengthen its focus in the areas of primary care and behavioral health.


UTMC will continue to be owned by The University of Toledo and serve as a teaching hospital, providing opportunities for learners from the Colleges of Medicine and Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nursing, and Health and Human Services.

In 2016, UTMC served approximately 12,000 inpatients, treated 36,000 people in the emergency department and saw more than 250,000 people in affiliated clinics. More than 70 percent of the medical center’s patients come from the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital, and serving that population will continue to be a priority for UTMC.

“In a rapidly changing industry such as health care, it was imperative that we take the time to thoroughly review our operations, the community we serve and the dynamics of the healthcare market. We needed to be sure we could successfully adapt to the changing environment we live in and continue to serve our 80,000 neighbors effectively,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We have confidence in our team and we appreciate the patience everyone exhibited while we worked toward determining this path forward.”

In the years ahead, UTMC will continue to evolve to respond to changing health care priorities and the needs of the Toledo community.

“Our success is directly related to the efforts and commitment of our more than 2,300 employees and physicians who work tirelessly to provide high-quality care for our patients,” said Dan Barbee, interim CEO of UTMC. “We are excited about our future and we look forward to continuing to serve this community we know so well.”

UT ecologist elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science

A University of Toledo ecologist is being honored for her work to advance science as a newly elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Carol Stepien, Distinguished University Professor of Ecology, is among the 391 AAAS Fellows elected in 2016 who will be recognized at the association’s annual meeting Feb. 18 in Boston.

AAAS is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society. Since 1874 it has elected fellows to recognize members for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.



“You are being honored for distinguished contributions to the fields of molecular evolutionary ecology and conservation genetics, particularly invasive and native populations, and mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students,” Rush D. Holt, AAAS chief executive officer, said in a letter to Stepien informing her of the honor.

“I am honored to be recognized by our nation’s scientific community,” Stepien said. “My special emphasis has been helping to train and mentor UT graduate and undergraduate students, and our local high school students in aquatic ecology, to aid conservation efforts in the Great Lakes.”

Stepien is internationally recognized for her research in the areas of invasive species and fish genetics. She joined UT’s Department of Ecology in 2004 and also served as director of the Lake Erie Center until 2016. Dr. Stepien was appointed a Distinguished University Professor in 2012.

“Recognition as an AAAS Fellow is an enormous honor and a credit to Dr. Stepien and her impressive body of research to advance our knowledge of marine biology,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The University of Toledo is proud to have a faculty member selected to the AAAS and looks forward to more faculty receiving prestigious national awards.”

Stepien is currently on a leave of absence from UT while continuing her active research program and working with UT graduate students. She is serving as an Ocean Environment Research Division Leader at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

Stepien is the author of the book “Molecular Systematics of Fishes” published in 1997 and reprinted in 2002, as well as more than 90 other scholarly publications. She has received more than $12 million in grants and awards for her studies of molecular ecology, population genetics, evolutionary patterns and genomics.

ESPN host to speak at UT Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth

An award-winning national sports journalist and analyst on ESPN is the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s 33rd Annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth Saturday, Jan. 28.

Sponsored by Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee, the conference for 7th and 8th graders, high school students, parents and the community takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. This year’s theme is “Expectations vs. Reality: Exploring Gender Roles in Society.”

Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill, co-host on ESPN2’s “His and Hers” with Michael Smith, is scheduled to take over as co-host of the 6 p.m. broadcast of “SportsCenter” next month. “SportsCenter” is the iconic sports show that established ESPN as a brand.

“Jemele Hill broke down barriers as a woman achieving at such a high level in the world of sports and sports media dominated by men,” David Young, director of the Toledo Excel program at UT, said. “She is a great role model for our students, and we are inspired by her perspective and passion. Jemele also shares a background that is familiar to many of our students, and attended Michigan State University on academic scholarship from a program that has similarities to Toledo Excel.”

For 28 years Toledo Excel has provided college preparation and scholarships to underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans. Through services such as summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

“Our goal is to empower students to not set limitations on themselves when deciding on potential career choices,” Young said. “We want them to reconsider their ideas about stereotypically men’s and women’s careers. Jemele is a wonderful example of a successful individual who chose a career typically not thought of for her gender. She is flourishing.”

Last year Hill moderated President Barack Obama’s town hall discussion on race relations, justice, policing and equality that was broadcast on ABC and ESPN titled “The President and the People: A National Conversation.”

Before joining ESPN in 2006, Hill worked as a sports columnist in Orlando and Detroit. She began her career in 1997 as a general assignment sports reporter in Raleigh, N.C.

A native of Detroit, Hill graduated from Michigan State University in 1997 with a degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish.

After Hill’s keynote address at the conference, breakout sessions for parents and students will be held to discuss career obstacles and how others have overcome the obstacles.

“We want to empower families to view options in the workplace as unlimited,” Young said.

Toledo Excel is based in the Office of Multicultural Student Success, which is part of the Division of Student Affairs. The UT Joint Committee includes representatives from UT, Toledo Public and Parochial schools, and civic and community leaders from the city of Toledo. The mission of the committee is to bring together people in the Toledo community interested in the education of underrepresented youth. The UT Joint Committee also serves as an advisory board and support system for Toledo Excel.

Make a reservation beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17 for the free, public conference by visiting or calling 419.530.3820.

January UT Board of Trustees Revised Meeting Schedule

Monday, January 23, 2017
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
10:30 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting
11:30 a.m. Board of Trustees Meeting
There will not be a luncheon for the Trustees after the meeting.

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling 419.530.2410 or via email at