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Archive for November, 2017

Three researchers elected Fellows of American Association for the Advancement of Science

Three University of Toledo researchers have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of their important contributions to scientific discovery.

The UT faculty members who are among the 396 AAAS Fellows elected in 2017 are Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College and professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences; Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy; and Dr. Steven Federman, professor of astronomy.

AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary 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.

“I am proud three UT faculty members earned this prestigious national honor in one year,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “This recognition by AAAS is an external validation of the talented experts on our campus. UT faculty make important contributions to their fields of study and actively engage our students in research projects in the process.”



Appel, who joined UT in 2016, is being elected to the biological sciences section of the AAAS for her contributions to the field of chemical ecology. Her research on how plants can “hear” by detecting feeding vibrations from insects and responding with an enhanced chemical defense has been widely cited.

Her other research project explores how galling insects trick plants into making novel structures that they then use as protected places to feed and reproduce. Some of these insects are major agricultural pests worldwide on grapes, wheat, and rice.

“Plant defenses against insects are mostly invisible to us because they are chemical. Just think about all of the herbs and spices we use — plants evolved that chemistry to defend themselves against their own diseases and insect pests,” Appel said. “I’ve been fortunate to spend my career working with great collaborators to advance our understanding of how plants detect and respond to insect pests, including a sensory modality we didn’t realize plants had.”



Bjorkman, who has been a member of UT’s faculty since 1996, is being elected into the AAAS’ astronomy section for her leadership in the field of stellar astrophysics and spectropolarimetry to better understand the disks around massive stars.

The massive stars she studies, which are 10 to 20 times the mass of our Sun, can have unpredictable gaseous disks around them that change over time for reasons as yet unknown. Bjorkman studies these disks both in individual stars and in larger samples within star clusters to better understand their physical characteristics and the mechanisms behind their formation and variability.

“Most of the atoms that make up everything around us originated in the center of stars, so it is important to advance our understanding of stars and their evolution, while at the same time applying the laws of physics. That is how we learn things, by continuously testing our understanding,” Bjorkman said. “It is an honor to have one of the largest science associations in the world acknowledge our contributions to science. When two of the seven astronomers in this year’s class of Fellows are from UT, that is nice recognition from our colleagues about the strength of our program here.”



Federman also is being elected into the astronomy section of the AAAS for his contributions in the research of interstellar matter and for advancing the field of laboratory astrophysics.

He has been a UT astronomer since 1988 and for much of his career has studied interstellar gas clouds to better understand the elements and isotopes within these clouds that form stars. He also is a leader in establishing the field of laboratory astrophysics that brings together theoretical and experimental astronomy research to combine observational and lab data to better test theories. He was the first chair of the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Laboratory Astrophysics.

“Studying the abundances of elements and isotopes in the material between stars informs about the reactions and processes that happened in the past that led to the outcome we see today,” Federman said. “I’m proud to have been able to contribute over the years as we’ve moved from modeling to observations to lab studies as we continue to learn more and more about the chemical makeup in material that will become the next generation of stars and planets.”

Appel, Bjorkman and Federman will be recognized at the AAAS Fellows Forum at the association’s annual meeting Feb. 17 in Austin, Texas.

The 2017 AAAS Fellows join UT’s Dr. Carol Stepien, Distinguished University Professor of Ecology, who was elected last year, and Dr. Jack Schultz, who joined UT in September as senior executive director of research development and has been an AAAS Fellow since 2011 when he was elected while at the University of Missouri.

Innovators to present ideas at UT LaunchPad Incubator’s Pitch & Pour Nov. 16

An app that aggregates social media messaging, 3D printed bone implants, and a cutting-edge treatment for autism are among the ideas to be presented from aspiring entrepreneurs at Pitch & Pour, northwest Ohio’s largest entrepreneurial business pitch competition.

Five teams will pitch their ideas at the sixth annual startup pitch event sponsored by The University of Toledo’s LaunchPad Incubation Program Thursday, Nov. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex.

The teams are vying for a grand prize of $10,000 in cash, plus access to entrepreneurial services through UT Launchpad Incubation.

The future entrepreneurs will have five minutes and five slides to pitch their business concepts to the region’s angel investors, venture capitalists, technology experts, professors, and business and community leaders. An expert panel of judges will provide helpful insight and vote to determine the winner or winners.

“We are proud to be providing the opportunity for candidate companies and entrepreneurs to compete in November’s event here at the heart of our region’s startup community,” said Jessica Sattler, director of economic engagement and business development programs at UT. “Each year we seek to identify high-tech, high-growth, technology-enabled enterprises that demonstrate innovation and business concepts with the potential to develop into successful companies. This year we are thrilled to have received the greatest number of applicants in Pitch & Pour history with some true standout ideas in the mix. This is a testament to the growth in the entrepreneurial culture and overall ecosystem here in northwest Ohio. ”

The presenting startup teams at the Pitch & Pour event will be:

• Flyght, a retail and restaurant software platform that automates and unifies the business ecosystem to allow retailers to focus on their customer.

• Psyneurgy, which is developing new treatments for neurological disorders, including autism spectrum disorders.

• RegenFix, an implant that mimics the structure and mechanical behavior of bone designed and produced according to patient-derived CT data.

• Venturi, an app that aggregates different social media platforms to allow the user to see and organize all messages in one place.

• Uptik, a service that organizes upcoming expenses and revenue to provide a daily, accurate picture of your financial future without taking any personal and sensitive information.

This year’s judges are Tom Burden, founder of Grypmat and former student winner of Pitch & Pour; Justin Hammerling, CEO of Kapios Health and associate vice president at ProMedica Innovations; Candice Matthews, founder of Cincinnati’s Hillman Accelerator; Bob Savage, founder and managing partner of CoreNetwork Fund and founder and president of Savage Consulting; and Dr. Michael Toole, dean of the UT College of Engineering

Admission is free. Attendees must pre-register online at

Pitch & Pour competitors have the opportunity to be invited to join UT’s LaunchPad Incubation Program, which works to bolster innovation in northwest Ohio by providing access to capital, resources and expertise focused on enhancing community collaboration and communication for entrepreneurial development.

UT plans events for International Education Week

The University of Toledo Center for International Studies and Programs will spotlight International Education Week, Nov. 13-17, with more than 20 events.

“International Education Week is not only an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, but also a great opportunity for students to study and work with people from other countries and cultures,” said Sara Clark, interim director of the Center for International Studies and Special Programs.

“This annual initiative aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange,” Clark said. “We are honored to share our different cultures and experiences to bring that unique diversity to UT.”

Listed by date, photo ops include:

• Wednesday, Nov. 15 — International Village, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Member organizations in the UT International Student Association will serve up free food to sample, as well as performances.

• Thursday, Nov. 16 — Paper cutting, Thompson Student Union table, noon to 1 p.m. Learn the art of Chinese paper cutting.

• Friday, Nov. 17 — Mask painting, Thompson Student Union table, noon to 1 p.m. Come paint a Chinese opera mask.

For a complete list of International Education Week events, visit

UT Center for Family Business celebrating 25th anniversary Nov. 14

The University of Toledo Center for Family and Privately Held Business will celebrate its 25th anniversary of service to area companies Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Toledo Club.

Established in 1992, the UT Center for Family and Privately Held Business is dedicated to serving the specific needs of family businesses, primarily in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. It received its start due to a generous endowment by the Stranahan Foundation and the continual support of family businesses.

“The fun-filled evening will include stories about the past and reflections on the future,” Debbie Skutch, center director, said. “We will honor center leadership past, present and future; and we have some other fun activities planned. The center has thrived for 25 years because of our members, sponsors and community partners, and we want to spend the evening celebrating them.”

“We have always strived to be attentive and responsive to the changing needs of our members,” Angie Jones, assistant director at the center, said. “Their businesses are not static, but always evolving. They change as the economy changes, as world markets shift, and as dynamics change in their own businesses. We truly believe it is our responsibility to be there with pertinent answers to as many of these issues as we can. We have done that, which is why our members stay with us and new members join us all the time.”

Today, with nearly 200 family businesses as members, the center membership benefits include:

  • Attendance at events and forums sponsored by the UT Center for Family and Privately Held Business;
  • Monthly mini-forums available to member companies only;
  • Interaction with family business peers through affinity group participation; and
  • Access to local, regional and nationally recognized business experts.

Thirteen companies have been members since the center was established; these include The Andersons, the Appliance Center, Gross Electric, Hart Inc., Kuhlman Corp., Shrader Tire & Oil, and Walt Churchill’s Market.

“Over our first 25 years of service, we estimate that the information, resources, programs, networking and more has resulted in a positive impact worth millions of dollars to these regional businesses,” Skutch said. “The viability of our members is the reward we seek, and together we will continue to make a meaningful difference in their future success.”

Exhibit featuring best of UT’s Canaday Center to open Nov. 14

A copy of “Common Sense” printed in 1776 signed by Benjamin Franklin. A white shirt worn by President John F. Kennedy in 1958. An autographed photo of Katharine Hepburn. Toledo native Jamie Farr’s “M*A*S*H*” scripts from 1978 to 1980.

These are a few of the documents and artifacts that will be on display in the exhibit titled “Preserving Yesterday for Tomorrow: The Best of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections.”

Barbara Floyd, who retired last month as director of the Canaday Center, will speak at an opening reception 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14.

“With 31 years in the Canaday Center — initially as university archivist and for the past 20 years as university archivist and director of special collections — I had a role in preserving some great collections,” Floyd said. “This exhibit is bittersweet for me. It has been a privilege to have helped shape the development of the center and its collections.”

It was a $226,000 gift from Doreen Canaday Spitzer in 1977 that made the center possible. The donation was to be used to create a research center for the study of rare books and special collections as a tribute to her father, Ward Murphy Canaday, chairman of the board and president of Willys-Overland Motor Co., and longtime president of the Friends of the UT Libraries.

Since its dedication Sept. 26, 1979, the center has grown from a small rare books repository into a modern special collections department, preserving thousands of feet of material.

“The center still has a three-pronged mission of collecting, preserving and making available rare and unique research materials,” Floyd said. “The center continues to preserve three distinct types of materials: rare books, manuscripts and The University of Toledo archives.”

In addition, the center has refined its collecting focus while expanding its emphasis to include new research areas.

“With rare books, the center has collected less literature and more books chronicling the history of northwest Ohio and women’s social history,” Floyd said. “The center also added an amazing collection of rare medical books following the merger of UT’s library with Mulford Library of the former Medical College of Ohio.”

It is in manuscript collecting that the Canaday Center has grown in terms of size and reputation, according to Floyd.

“The center has developed three extraordinary collecting areas: the history of business and industry in Toledo, disability history, and the history of Toledo’s city government,” she said.

These areas will be showcased in the exhibit, along with gender and sexuality, sports and recreation in Toledo, and more.

“This exhibit highlights specific, individual items from our collections that are judged to be among the best of what we preserve,” Floyd said.

On public display for the first time will be the original charter of the city of Toledo, which the center recently acquired and preserves on behalf of the city. Also on display will be items documenting Toledo’s glass industry. The collections of historical records from Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning, and the former Libbey-Owens-Ford companies that the center houses have been used extensively by researchers from around the world.

“Preserving Yesterday for Tomorrow: The Best of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections” will be on display Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through July 27.

For more information on the free, public exhibit and opening, contact Sara Mouch, curator and assistant university archivist, at or 419.530.5578.

UT grad pitches invention on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

A graduate of both The University of Toledo and its LaunchPad Incubation program got the opportunity to pitch his invention to celebrity investors on ABC’s Emmy award-winning reality TV show “Shark Tank.”

Tom Burden, who graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology, introduced his solution to mechanics frustrated by their tools sliding off aircraft while they work — the Grypmat. The flexible, non-slip tool mat is made of a unique polymer-silicone blend that helps grip tools and keep them in place at extreme angles of up to 70 degrees. 

“It was pretty nerve-wracking to pitch this idea that I created up with in my basement in front of billionaires,” Burden said. “I’m standing there on set next to a jet getting the opportunity to tell them all about how my invention helps mechanics like me keep their tools in place while they work.”

So what did the sharks think? You have to tune in at 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 to find out. The episode Burden participated in included guest shark Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, in addition to investors Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec.

Burden came to “Shark Tank” with experience successfully pitching his idea. He won the University’s Pitch & Pour competition while a student at UT and is returning next week to serve as a judge for the sixth annual entrepreneurial business pitch competition. Five teams will pitch their ideas at the local startup pitch event sponsored by the UT LaunchPad Incubation program at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex.

“We are incredibly proud of what Tom has accomplished with the Grypmat,” said Jessica Sattler, director of economic engagement and business development programs at UT.  “Tom was one of our first clients here at LaunchPad and we knew he had potential as an entrepreneur from the start.  His work ethic, coachability and willingness to utilize and leverage all the resources at his disposal convinced us of his path to success early on.”

An F-16 mechanic in the U.S. Air Force, Burden knew first-hand the frustration of not having his tools within reach. He was inspired by a nonslip mat for the car dashboard to come up with a similar solution geared toward mechanics.

The CAD training skills he learned in the UT classroom helped him design his product. The resources at the UT Launchpad Incubation helped him put the Grypmat in the market.

“The University helped me take this idea and turn it into a real product that is now available for sale not just to aircraft mechanics, but those who work on cars or boats or any number of projects where it is important to keep your tools organized,” Burden said.

For more information about Grypmat, visit To learn more about the UT Launchpad Incubation program, visit

November UT Board of Trustees Meetings

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room
5:30 p.m. Board of Trustees Social Dinner

Monday, November 20, 2017
Driscoll Alumni Center, Board Room
1 p.m. Privileging and Credentialing Sub-Committee Meeting
This subcommittee will enter Executive Session immediately upon convening
the meeting to discuss privileged information related to the evaluation of medical
staff personnel appointments.

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

Dana Cancer Center hosts lymphedema program

The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo is hosting “Lymphedema: From Head to Toe,” an evening of education and answers about lymphedema Monday, Nov. 13.

“Many might not be aware lymphedema can affect those recovering from other types of cancers, venous leg ulcers and chronic wounds, not just breast cancer,” said Renee Schick, manager of Renee’s Survivor Shop in the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. “Lymphedema can also be congenital; this is referred to as primary lymphedema. This program aims to educate and provide answers to those living with this chronic condition.”

Registration begins at 5 p.m. with the program starting at 6 p.m.

Guenter Klose, MLD/CDT Certified Instructor, CLT-LANA and founder of Klose Training & Consulting, LLC in Lafayette, Colo., will be the featured speaker. Klose is an internationally known expert on lymphedema therapy. Certified in Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) at the renowned Foeldi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany, Klose was instrumental in establishing the field of lymphedema therapy and training in the U.S.

In addition, local therapists and lymphedema-product manufacturers also will be on hand to share information. The program is free and valet parking is available and refreshments will be provided.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to or Renee’s Survivor Shop at 419.383.5243.

Leading Native-American singer-songwriter to perform Nov. 9 at UT

Joanne Shenandoah, a composer and vocalist from the Wolf Clan of the Iroquois Confederacy and Oneida Nation, will visit The University of Toledo this week.

She will perform a free, public concert Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Room 1025.

“We are honored to have acclaimed artist and activist Joanne Shenandoah come to the University in honor of Native American Heritage Month,” Dr. Barbara Alice Mann, professor in the Jesup Scott Honors College, said. “It is not often that we are able to bring in an indigenous Grammy winner.”

A Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Shenandoah has 18 discs and has recorded her original folk music with Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Bill Miller and Mary Youngblood. She has won more than 40 awards, including 14 Native American Music Awards. And she has performed at five presidential inaugurations, as well as at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, the White House, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Growing up on the Oneida Territory near Oneida, N.Y., Shenandoah learned to play several instruments, including guitar, piano and flute, and absorbed many traditional songs and music styles.

In addition to her music, Shenandoah is passionate about peace and earth justice.

“As I make this journey in life, I’ve found that most people around the world are compassionate about our Mother Earth and concerned about the environmental changes affecting all living things,” she wrote on her website,

Shenandoah is a founding board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, a nonprofit educational facility based on Iroquois principles that operates in partnership with Syracuse University.

For her music and humanitarian efforts, Shenandoah received an honorary doctorate of music from Syracuse University in 2002.

Shenandoah’s UT appearance for Native American Heritage Month is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters; Jesup Scott Honors College; Division of Student Affairs; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.

Veterans to be honored at UT’s annual event Nov. 10

On Friday, Nov. 10, The University of Toledo will pay tribute to those who serve or have served this country, as well as their families, during the 13th annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair.

The free Veterans Day celebration will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. in Savage Arena and is open to local veterans, members of the military and their families.

“My respect for my brothers and sisters who served with me, before me, and those who will follow is deep and passionate,” said Dr. Thomas Papadimos, medical director of the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center, professor and associate dean for interprofessional immersive simulation, and director of anesthesiology critical care in the Department of Anesthesiology in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “Having played the roles of physician and warrior, I could not help realizing that many of the basic tenants of medicine and war have much in common.”

A U.S. Navy retiree with 21 years of service, Papadimos will give welcome remarks at the program.

He served in Nea Makri, Greece; Naples, Italy; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and Jacksonville, Fla. Papadimos was recalled for Operation Desert Storm, and he served in Hawaii. He retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps in 2001.

The keynote speaker will be Maj. Daniel Wendolowski, inspector and instructor with the Weapons Company 1/24 in the U.S. Marine Corps.

A native of Cleveland, Wendolowski was commissioned from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2006 and reported to the Fleet Marine Corps in 2007. Throughout the next 10 years, his assignments included deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and Okinawa, Japan, as a company commander in 2014. In addition, Wendolowski served on the Alpha Company Fleet Antiterrorism Team, Marine Corps Security Forces, and conducted three deployments aboard Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Naval Base Rota, Spain, and reinforced the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a Yemen during September 2013.

To celebrate the 242nd anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps, there will be a ceremonial cake-cutting.

The UT Concert Choir will sing the national anthem, and the UT Student Jazz Combo will play before the program. In addition, fourth-graders from Waterville Primary School will perform military songs.

Free parking will be available in lots 3, 5 and 6 near Savage Arena.

This year’s event is sponsored by The University of Toledo, the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio, the Lucas County Commissioners and the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission.

For more information on the event, contact the UT Office of Special Events at 419.530.2200 or