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Archive for February, 2017

UT undergrad discovers elusive companion star to Beta Canis Minoris

Nick Dulaney was determined to solve a galactic mystery. Why is there an unexpected, wavy edge on a disk around a bright, rapidly rotating star located 162 light years away from Earth?

The junior studying physics at The University of Toledo spent last summer analyzing 15 years of spectroscopic archive data collected at the Ritter Observatory on campus and discovered that Beta Canis Minoris, which is three and a half times larger than the sun and easily visible to the naked eye, is not alone.

Nick Dulaney

With the help of UT post-doctoral research associate Dr. Noel Richardson and Dr. Jon Bjorkman, professor of physics and astronomy, Dulaney found that the highly-studied star featuring a disk around its equator is actually a binary star, or a double star.

“A low-mass secondary star orbits around Beta Canis Minoris,” Dulaney said. “While it’s circling the bright star, the smaller star stops the disk on the bigger star from getting too big by creating a wave in the disk.”

Beta Canis Minoris is what is known as a Be star, a hot star that rotates so fast that the material on its equator is ejected into a large gaseous disk surrounding the star.

“Nick discovered that the star was moving back and forth every 170 days,” Richardson said. “This motion is caused by the pull of the companion star and is very difficult to measure.”

Dulaney also found that the companion star tugs extra material from the disk towards it. This causes the observations to change repeatedly every time the star orbits. The student’s findings are leading new efforts by Bjorkman’s international modeling team to determine how the stars interact.

Dulaney is the lead author on the research paper recently published in the Astrophysical Journal. He worked on the project while participating in UT’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

“This is a big milestone for me and shows that I am progressing towards building a career,” Dulaney said. “Doing this research has given me valuable experience, and I am very grateful to the NSF and The University of Toledo for the opportunity.”

“Many students don’t have similar publications until halfway through their graduate programs,” Richardson said. “As an undergraduate, Nick has shown that he is capable of collecting and analyzing data, and then communicating the results with scientists. These skills will serve him well in his future and shows the strengths of our undergraduate program at The University of Toledo.”

Dulaney started using the Ritter Observatory as a freshman and is one of nearly two dozen undergraduates making up a team who use the observatory every clear night. The students help graduate students in making the measurements and operating the telescope.

“This student observing team is a gem for the University,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the UT College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “Nick’s project highlights how our one-meter telescope on campus is used for both educational and scientific missions.”

Sales students across U.S. to participate in national sales competition at UT

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

The sales competition will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25 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 wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and 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 Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales at UT organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

“We want to help businesses find top and available business-to-business professional sales talent while also giving universities a recruitment tool to grow their sales program enrollments,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UT Invitational Sales Competition.

The event also will feature a career fair for participating students from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Driscoll Alumni Center featuring sales leaders and recruiters from 15 sponsoring companies.

More than 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions and the career fair.

Sponsors include 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Hilti and Proctor and Gamble.

Participating universities include Baylor, Florida State University, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Indiana.

2017 KeyBank Global Leaders Forum at UT focuses on ‘Real Leadership’

Real Leadership 2017 is the theme of the KeyBank Global Leaders Forum, which will be presented by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 23 in Savage Arena on Main Campus.

The program provides an environment for regional business leaders to talk about contemporary issues, discuss cutting-edge leadership practices and explore trends.

gary_pinkelThe keynote speaker is Gary Pinkel, former head football coach at UT and the University of Missouri. Pinkel is currently special consultant to the University of Missouri and its Athletic Department.

The event is free, but registration is required. To sign up, go to

More than 600 people attended the forum last year.

Also presenting at this year’s event is Charles Packard, president of Pacific International Capital; Cynthia Thompson, chair of the Toledo Museum of Art Board of Directors and former co-owner of Midwest Stamping; Michael Anderson, chairman of The Andersons; and Dr. Clint Longenecker, UT Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation.

“The KeyBank Global Leaders Forum provides a wonderful opportunity for area business professionals and leaders to hear from difference-making leaders such as Gary Pinkel, Cynthia Thompson, Michael Anderson and Charles Packard,” Jim Hoffman, president of KeyBank, said.  “It is part of our vision at KeyBank to help our community and our businesses thrive.”

“The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation is extremely pleased to again partner with KeyBank to present another Global Leaders Forum,” said Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation.  “Last year’s event was remarkable, and we are excited to stage another one this year so that hundreds of area professionals, as well as many UT students, will have an outstanding opportunity to learn, network and benefit from the presentations and discussions at this unique event.”

“As leaders are attempting to deal with the challenges of this turbulent economic environment, this event is a great way to discover new ideas for becoming a better leader and creating competitive advantage with people,” Longenecker said. “We invite them to come, be ready to learn and be in a better position to make 2017 a great year.”

KeyBank and COBI presented the first Global Leaders Forum in 2008, which featured former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department John Snow, and the second event in 2013.

Convenient parking is available, and a continental breakfast will be served.

UT Campus Master Plan approved

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees voted today to endorse the Multiple Campus Master Plan 2017 that establishes a guide to the evolution of UT’s campuses for the next decade.

The master plan is focused on four themes: repositioning the academic core, investing in research, consolidating athletics, and enhancing student life.

“This 10-year plan is the result of months of collaborations with our students, faculty, staff, trustees, neighbors and other stakeholders to guide future decision making for our physical campuses to support the University’s mission to serve students and benefit the community,” said Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities and construction. “I look forward to watching the campuses evolve according to this plan.”

Efforts to develop the master plan, which was created in collaboration with the consulting firm Smith Group JJR, began in fall 2014, and the draft plan was presented publicly in December.

It was developed under the guiding principles of student success and student life experience; research, scholarship and creative activities; asset stewardship; campus character; and community interface.

The master plan honors the beauty of UT’s campuses and the Ottawa River by focusing the academic core on Main Campus around the iconic University Hall with renovations to nearby academic buildings, including Carlson Library. The Student Union, on-campus living and recreation options also will be enhanced to boost student life energy and excitement.

The Health Science Campus is positioned to respond to continued evolution in medical education and clinical research as the academic affiliation agreement between the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and ProMedica is implemented and the UT Medical Center plans to add more primary care and behavioral health options to meet the needs of the community.

The plan also calls for a new multidisciplinary research center near Nitschke Hall and a consolidation of athletics facilities moving baseball, softball and soccer from Scott Park Campus to Main Campus.

The campus master plan will be implemented in phases during the next decade.

The executive summary of the Multiple Campus Master Plan 2017 is available online at

UT to celebrate Engineers Week with catapult competition, balloon rocket

A Nerf gun skill tournament, marble racing and tire bowling are part of The University of Toledo’s recognition of Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25.

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. 20 

  • E-week Kickoff Luncheon, 11 a.m., Nitschke Hall. This event will spotlight diversity as students and faculty will add pins to a map to represent their countries/states of origin.
  • Tire Bowling, 3:30 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

 Tuesday, Feb. 21

  • Engineer for a Day, 9 a.m. Area high school students will tour UT’s engineering facilities and have lunch with College of Engineering students and professional engineers before spending the afternoon shadowing a practicing engineering professional in the community.
  • Concrete Bowling, 12:30 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.
  • Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, 3 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.
  • Catapult Competition, 4 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.
  • Historical Spotlight on Black Engineers, 5 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

Wednesday, Feb. 22

  • Spring Career Expo, 12:30 p.m., Engineering Complex. More than 140 companies will visit campus to meet with approximately 600 UT engineering students and graduates.

 Thursday, Feb. 23

  • Nerf Gun Skill Tournament, noon, Nitschke Hall.
  • 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.

Friday, Feb. 24

  • Corn Hole Tournament, noon, first floor of Nitschke Hall.
  • Student Entrepreneur Expo, 2:30 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall. Freshman engineering students will be showcasing their projects, which include a trash can bracket for a lawn mower, an iron-on insert to increase the size of pockets in women’s jeans, a radial dog collar, a modified ankle brace and more.
  • Balloon Rocket, 2 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.
  • Marble Racing, 4 p.m., first floor of Nitschke Hall.

Saturday, Feb. 25

  • Private screening of “Dream Big,” 2 p.m., Franklin Park Mall. Free movie passes are available; call 419.530.8040 to schedule your school or group. Limit 10 students per group.

UT selected as one of six partners in U.S. to join first research network on misdemeanor justice

The University of Toledo has been selected to join a new national research network to study trends in low-level crimes to inform smarter criminal justice policies that enhance public safety, increase public trust in police and save tax dollars.

The Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice is run by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and funded by a $3.25 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice began focusing on misdemeanors in New York City years ago and is expanding the study’s scope to include six other cities. UT received a three-year, $169,000 grant to analyze local data and work with research institutions throughout the country.

In addition to Toledo, joining the new national alliance with New York City are Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Durham, N.C., and Prince Georges County in Maryland for a total of seven jurisdictions throughout the country working together.

“The University of Toledo is proud to be a part of this pioneering national project to inform policy discussions and reform because misdemeanors are the bulk of what police officers deal with every day, but there is not much research on it,” said Dr. David Lilley, assistant professor of criminal justice and the research director of the misdemeanor justice project at UT. “The vast majority of arrests are low-level offenses that carry a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, such as drug possession, petty theft, simple assault and driving on a suspended license.”

Misdemeanors accounted for approximately 90 percent of total arrests by Toledo police officers in 2015 when there were 22,463 misdemeanor arrests and 2,296 felony arrests.

“Misdemeanors are the lion’s share of the charges that we usually bring against suspects,” Toledo Police Chief George Kral said. “I’m hoping this study gives us more ideas on what works and what doesn’t work. That valuable intelligence will help me change policy, if necessary, to make the whole process more efficient, keep the community safe, and give defendants the help they need. If we could nip it in the bud at the misdemeanor level, we could stop someone from escalating to felonies in the future.”

Toledo was chosen as part of the misdemeanor study out of 39 that applied, in part, because of the collaborations UT researchers already have with local law enforcement and the ongoing criminal justice reform efforts underway in Lucas County.

Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail

“We are one of the smallest cities on the list, but one of the factors that puts us ahead of the curve is that we have been doing this type of data analysis at UT for years by working with the Toledo Police Department,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, associate professor of criminal justice, director of the Urban Policing and Crime Analysis Initiative and principal investigator for the misdemeanor justice research project at UT. “TPD’s advanced data system is one of the best. Being chosen for John Jay College’s misdemeanor project is an honor that rewards our teamwork.”

UT researchers say many police agencies across the country do not know how many misdemeanor arrests result in incarceration.

“Part of what we’re doing is taking a close look at the outcomes and conduct cross-site analyses to figure out how to increase efficiency and effectiveness,” Lilley said. “Are people ending up in jail? Fined? Are charges dropped because the system is overburdened or there is not enough evidence? Are suspects going through a diversion program, such as drug court? Our research alliance will examine trends and outcomes of misdemeanor arrests, summonses, pedestrian stops and pre-trial detention at the local level.”

The University of Toledo will work with the Toledo Police Department, Northern Ohio Regional Information Systems and the Toledo-Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as part of the project.

“Hopefully this research will help guide new alternatives for individuals that may need help instead of punishment,” said Holly Matthews, attorney and executive director of the Toledo-Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. “We’re working on reducing our jail population by 18 percent. This misdemeanor project is going to help show the trends over the last three or four years – especially with the opioid epidemic – that we’re seeing locally. We have already been working proactively with the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board to address other options besides incarceration for individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues.”

Research partners for the Misdemeanor Justice Project also include the University of California in Los Angeles, North Carolina Central University, Seattle University, University of Maryland and University of Missouri in St. Louis.

“To see the work of the Misdemeanor Justice Project expand from New York City to six other jurisdictions is very exciting,” said Dr. Preeti Chauhan, assistant professor of psychology at John Jay College and principal investigator of the research network. “We are looking forward to replicating the New York model to these sites and believe the results will guide smarter criminal justice reform.”

“The network has generated an outpouring of academic and government interest in pioneering a national conversation around enforcement of lower-level crimes – something that leads a large number of individuals to enter our justice system,” said Matt Alsdorf, vice president of criminal justice for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. “We are proud of the diverse U.S. cities leading this conversation and we look forward to learning how the research partnerships inform local and national justice policies for the long term.”

Army ROTC Rocket Battalion senior cadets to be recognized at UT Military Ball Feb. 17

Seven University of Toledo Army ROTC cadets scheduled to be commissioned as officers in May will be recognized Friday, Feb. 17 at the UT Military Ball.

The annual event, which is hosted by the UT Military Science Department and UT Army ROTC Rocket Battalion to honor graduating students and their families, is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Holland Gardens Banquet Hall, 6530 Angola Rd.

More than 100 cadets are scheduled to attend.

“Army military balls are a formal part of military life that many people dream about,” Master Sgt. Johnnie Fields, UT senior military instructor, said. “The special tradition can be an exciting experience. In the ROTC program, it is a time to recognize senior cadets who achieved leadership excellence and military training throughout their college years. They have made sacrifices to be able to accomplish their goals of graduating from college with a degree and also continuing to serve this grateful nation.”

“Being an Army cadet and a full-time graduate student for the past two years has been the most trying time of my life,” said Cadet Joseph Asiedu. “From 5 a.m. until midnight on a weekly basis, the pain, stress and anxiety gave me many good reasons why I should have given up. What has kept me going is my sense of duty to serve my country and challenging myself both physically and mentally to strive for excellence and enhance my leadership capability as I go into the real world. I am moved to tears anytime I think about the end so I try my best to stay focused and give my best.”

The Army ROTC at UT has commissioned more than 2,000 lieutenants since 1947. The highest ranking alumnus of the UT ROTC program is retired Major General David W. Foley from the commissioning class of 1970.

Physician, best-selling author to discuss racial health disparities Feb. 16

“Being black can be bad for your health” – it’s a lesson Dr. Damon Tweedy first learned in 1997 as a first-year medical student at Duke University, according to his memoir.

“Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine,” became a New York Times Bestseller and was one of Time magazine’s top 10 nonfiction books in 2015.

Dr. Damon Tweedy

“From the beginning of life to the very end — and everywhere in between — African Americans continue to experience disproportionately worse health outcomes,” said Tweedy, assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center. “You can name pretty much any disease, and you’re likely to find that it’s either more common in black people; black people who get the disease have a worse course; or both of these conditions. There are a lot of factors involved with this, and I explore many of them in my book.”

Tweedy will discuss race and health disparities 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 in Collier Building Room 1200 on Health Science Campus.

Tweedy’s talk is one of the University’s events scheduled for Black History Month.

For several years, Tweedy has written and lectured on race and medicine. His articles have been published by The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, as well as by several medical journals.

In his book, he wrote, “Whether it is premature birth, infant mortality, homicide, childhood obesity or HIV infection, black children and young adults disproportionately bear the brunt of these medical and social ills. By middle age, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure and cancer have a suffocating grip on the health of black people and maintain this stranglehold on them well into their senior years.”

“I wanted to put a human touch to these issues of racial health disparities — examining how this impacts real people in everyday life,” Tweedy said. “Many people are more likely to engage in these issues when they are presented as stories rather than simply as statistics.

“I also wanted to explore some of the unique challenges faced by African-American doctors — a largely unexplored perspective in popular medical narratives,” he added.

His free, public talk is sponsored by We Are STEMM, a UT organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring students from underrepresented populations who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. Led by faculty and staff, the group celebrates and supports diversity in several UT colleges: Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Engineering; Medicine and Life Sciences; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Health and Human Services.

“I found Dr. Tweedy’s book to be inspirational. While it reveals a story often heard in the community of underrepresented groups pursuing higher education, I think he has been able to deliver many aspects in a manner that may be enlightening and perhaps more palatable to those freed from this ‘experience,’” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and chair of We Are STEMM.

“In contemporary society, there is the perception that history can be wiped clean with a single piece of new legislation — no need to deal with lasting psychological scars inflicted by past overt and covert policies or the entrenched social norms that are retained and vigorously guarded for generations in spite of new laws,” Quinn continued. “Dr. Tweedy brings out the adverse and lasting impact that discriminatory practices can have on individuals and society long past the time of those who initially implemented them.”

UT to host ‘Dog Kissing Booth’ for Valentine’s Day

University of Toledo students in need of a smooch on Valentine’s Day will be able to pucker up with an adorable pet.

The social media team in the Office of Marketing and Communications is hosting a “Dog Kissing Booth” 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 in the Thompson Student Union Lounge.


Students will have the opportunity to interact and take photos with three dachshunds who will steal their hearts through hugs: Cooper, Milo and Gregory.

“We wanted to give our students the chance to take a moment to relax and play with some dogs,” Cam Norton, assistant director for social media, said. “UT students have enjoyed seeing dogs on campus and through our new Instagram account, UToledo Dogs.”

The event will last approximately one hour.


Public invited to share stories at ‘7 Countries, 7 Stories’ open-mic night

The University of Toledo is hosting a night of open-mic storytelling about heritage and identity to encourage the community to better know and understand one another. The event follows a March Against Injustice organized by students in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven countries for 90 days.

The free, public event titled “7 Countries, 7 Stories” is from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Participants who share stories will be limited to four minutes each.

“It becomes a lot harder to paint a group of people with a wide brush once we’ve heard each other’s stories,” Hedyeh Elahinia, co-president of the UT Muslim Students Association and sophomore studying biology, said. “We all have something to tell, be it funny, tragic, intimate, happy, long, short or silly. Listening forces us to see individuals rather than labels. We hope this event can serve to help our community members humanize one another and look past each other’s labels.”

“7 Countries, 7 Stories” was organized by the UT Muslim Students Association and the UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the UT Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, the Gamma Nu chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated, and the International Students Association. It is sponsored by the Center for International Studies and Programs, Jesup Scott Honors College and Division of Student Affairs.

“This is an evening of short stories from our community about our community,” said Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion. “The University is stronger when we value everyone, regardless of difference. We’re proud of our students for embodying that spirit of inclusion by taking the lead in organizing this inspired event, as well as the rally last week.”

Food also will be provided, including halal and vegetarian options.

For more information, click here.